Sam was born in the fifties into a military family. When he was a kid, his father used to bring he and his sister to the movies every Sunday, during one of this occasions they seen "The Day the Earth Stood Still", which strongly impressed and convinced him that aliens are the biggest threat to both the country and the whole planet, as their technology and their powers could wipe out the human race in a few moments.
Growing up, Lane follows the family tradition by joining the U.S. Army and climbing the hierarchy until he get the rank of general. Also he fathered two daughters; Daily Planet's reporter Lois Lane and military lawyer Lucy Lane, who also serves as a legal attaché on his staff. However, over the years, his relationship with Lois became estranged, due to his immorality and control issues over her life.
Due to his strong anti-alien ideas he view even Superman as a potential threat to the country and the world. Furthermore, Lane has tried to established a relationship of enmity with D.E.O., which he considers inadequate to handle the alien threats.
Due to his immorality, many of the men in Sam's unit generally do not have any loyalty or respect for him, as they are more than willing to disobey or refuse to follow his orders, mainly due to their morals, honor and principals; traits that Sam completely lacks, as he is not well-respected among the military.
Arriving in National City
General Sam Lane comes to National City, as he wants "Hank Henshaw" to transfer Supergirl to his unit. However, Hank cannot, as she does not technically work for the D.E.O. Then, he demanded that Supergirl fight their field robot Red Tornado. Supergirl won the battle, breaking off the android's arm with her freezing breath, and causing damage in his system. As Red Tornado flew, Dr. Morrow said his robot activated the self emergency protocol so General Lane fired Morrow because he did not cope with the task. The next day, the general has dinner with Lucy and James, to whom he told (in an arrogant/disrespectful manner) that James is not worthy of his daughter - that James surrounds himself with special people because he's not good enough himself. Later, General Lane, Lucy and James are attacked by Red Tornado and Supergirl rescues them but is forced to allow the android to escape in order to diffuse a tornado it caused. Later, "Henshaw" suggested using alien technology that created the hologram of General Lane to draw out Red Tornado and Supergirl destroyed it.
Acting director of the D.E.O.
When "Hank Henshaw" was captured by Astra and Non's army, General Lane return to National City to temporarily perform his duties as director of the D.E.O.; he tortured Astra by injecting her with liquid Kryptonite to know the location of their base, but she told them a false position, which turned out to be a trap. Then Supergirl decides to make an exchange of prisoners; despite the fact that the general was against it, he was forced to retreat as Kara stood her ground. After his return, "Henshaw" (coldly) told General Lane that his presence in D.E.O. is no longer required, and General Lane and his team leaves.
When National City was put under the influence of Myriad, Supergirl contacted General Lane and asked him not to let anyone enter the city as she didn't understand what was happening. Later he calls her back saying that he had done his duty and asks her to fulfill hers.
Later, Lucy asks his father to release J'onn J'onzz (whose martian identity has been previously revealed making him a fugitive), but the general (arrogantly) refuses to do so. However, he allows J'onn to go with Supergirl to fight with Non and Indigo. After their victory, General Lane told J'onn J'onzz that the President granted him a full pardon and re-instated him as the director of the D.E.O.; also he take Non's apocalypse device, the Omegahedron, under military custody and later delivers it to Maxwell Lord.
Housing Daxamite technology
General Lane aided in the safekeeping of a Daxamite ship following their invasion. However, after it was hijacked by Robert DuBois, J'onn J'onzz called Lane and gave him a stern talking to, threatening to have his stars stripped from him.
Sam is extremely arrogant, self-righteous, short-sighted, and disrespectful, although he truly cares about the welfare of his country, he is quite selfish; as never takes responsibility or even admit to his own mistakes, always trying to shift the blame on others, he is incapable of showing gratitude, even towards people who had saved his life, viewing their actions as only a most or for their own selfish reasons. His elitist views even show their nature when it comes to his parenting, regularly outright noting his disapproval of would-be suitors to his daughters that do not meet his overly-high standards. It can be assumed that he does not have a good relationship with his daughter Lois, due to the fact that he interferes in her relationship with men, and mainly because of his immoral traits; as he has an anti-view on aliens in general.
Sam has a strong hatred for aliens, for no apparent reason; simply because they are different, regardless whether or not they are a threat to the human race, he even dislikes anyone who associates themselves with aliens for no apparent reason, like James Olsen; due to the latter being close friends with Superman.
Sam is also quite immoral, as he had Astra tortured with liquid Green Kryptonite, to try and get the location of where her comrades were keeping Hank Henshaw (J'onn J'onzz) he had no guilt or remorse for this vile act of his; this shows his hatred for aliens, which goes so far as to arrogantly believe they don't deserve civil rights.
Because of these negative traits of his, many of Sam's men in his unit, generally do not have any loyalty or respect for the latter, mainly due to their morals, honor and principals.
Adventures of Supergirl
Behind the scenes
- In the DC comics, Sam Lane was originally introduced as a horse farmer from the town of Pittsdale, before later being reinvented as a U.S. army general.