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|As a result of the New 52 in 2011, the entire line of DC characters was relaunched, incorporating properties belonging to the company's imprints: Wildstorm, Milestone, and Vertigo. As such, elements of this character's history have been altered in some way from the previous incarnation. For a complete list of all versions of this character, see our disambiguation page.|
- So instead of walking into the unknown ... I didn't do anything. [...] I never again let the fear of failure stop me.
- — Lex Luthor src
Lex Luthor is the genius, ego-centered Metropolis businessman who, with his company LexCorp, and scientifically advanced Warsuit, has acted as both an antagonist and ally to Superman and the Justice League.
Alexander Luthor was born and raised in Smallville, Kansas with a sickly sister, Lena, whom he promised to cure. Lex's father, Lionel was the main scientist of the Legionnaires Club, an organization created by Vandal Savage to find the hidden secrets of the universe through an approaching event known as the totality. In an attempt to create a human-martian hybrid species behind Savage's back, Lionel used a device to capture a martian child from across time and space, the young J'onn J'onzz.
Lionel instructed Lex to bond with J'onn in order to gain his trust, however Lex, under the name "Albie" (like L-B, or L-2, Lionel being L-1) became close friends with J'onn as they communicated telepathically as well with a special communicator on Lex's shirts, creating messages out of infrared light.
Eventually, with the threat of the Blackhawks shutting them down, the Legionnaires prepared to kill J'onn. Fearing for his friend's life, Lex altered the killing machine to send J'onn back to his home, revealing his true name with his final message.
With the knowledge of Lionel's secret now known to Savage, he attacked and shut down the Legionnaires, altering the minds of all of those involved to forget the entire organization. With the memories of his life taken from him, Lionel became a broken shell of a man, drinking heavily and frequently beating his family.
Adulthood and Criminal Operations
As an adult, Lex Luthor moved to Metropolis and set himself up as a troubleshooter. When he began intercepting signals from an alien craft that called itself the "Brain Inter-Acting Construct", he set up a dialogue, trading data about Earth for alien scientific knowledge.
Through a strange benefactor, he was recruited into an alliance of convenience with General Lane of Project: Steel Soldier and Glen Glenmorgan, the corporate master of Metropolis, against Superman. However, Luthor double-crossed Lane and Glenmorgan, stealing the Kryptonite the group planned to use, and leaked their plan to a reporter named Clark Kent.
He attempted to aid Brainiac during the shrinking of Metropolis, but, in the aftermath, there was no evidence and so the government was forced to let him go. Luthor spent the next several years filling the power vacuum in Metropolis left by Glenmorgan.
Around four years after the formation of the Justice League, he instigated the American invasion of Qurac so that he could sell his super-weapons to the army. That was also the year that he personally faced Superman for the first time and was detained by the hero, receiving a facial scar across the left side of his face in the fight. Luthor spent a year in prison, during which Superman would sometimes visit to ask his opinion of a particularly troubling scientific disaster.
While in prison, Lex was visited by Pandora, a mysterious woman who believed he could open her box with the darkness of his heart, but a group of heroes led by Wonder Woman broke into his cell in an attempt to seize the box. Soon after, Luthor was released from prison and returned to his position as the CEO of LexCorp, just in time to witness the Crime Syndicate arrive and announce that criminals were free to walk the Earth.
Determined to stop the Crime Syndicate from controlling his world, Lex chose to awaken his unfinished Superman clone Subject B-0 and initiate the Syndicate's downfall. Both unlikely heroes explored the destroyed remains of Metropolis and recruited a handful of other villains that opposed the new world order, forming their own "Injustice League".
When finally preparing to fight the Syndicate, a new enemy - Mazahs, Lex's Earth 3 analogue - attacked Luthor and his allies. However, Mazahs' power was no match for Lex's superior intellect, and Lex defeated and killed his counterpart in battle. In the aftermath, after the Crime Syndicate had been dethroned and the Justice League had been restored from the Firestorm Matrix where they had been trapped, Luthor and the rest of the Injustice League were regarded as heroes and celebrated for their courageous efforts.
In the wake of the invasion, public opinion of Lex Luthor was incredibly favorable, and he decided that he liked it. In an effort to continue being regarded as a hero, he tried to convince the Justice League to recruit him, but was initially unsuccessful. The Justice League eventually talked about how Luthor was going to keep on his crusade with or without the help of the Justice League and, begrudgingly, allowed him to join.
One of the first missions Luthor spent with the Justice League was tracking down the Crime Syndicate member Power Ring's power ring, which had flown onto the hand of Jessica Cruz following his death, and invited Cruz to join their ranks.
After opening up LexCorp for an open house on his company, Luthor was attacked by an assassin named Neutron. Though Luthor and the Justice League repelled Neutron, the assassin accidentally released LexCorp's secret project - the Amazo Virus - that turned all of Metropolis into a quarantine zone. Luthor and the League worked together to contain the virus and heal all the infected.
Main article: Justice League: The Darkseid War
During the conflict between Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor, Lex traveled with the Justice League to the planet Apokolips. After Darkseid's death, a large amount of energy from the Anti-Life Equation was released, giving Lex and the rest of the League all-new special abilities. Luthor, absorbing a large amount of Darkseid's energy, was deemed the "God of Apokolips" and became the new Darkseid.
Main article: DC Rebirth
Lex returned to earth, becoming bored of Apokolips, and shortly thereafter learned of Superman's death. Inspired to become the hero of Metropolis that his sister could be proud of when she awakens, Luthor quickly bought out the Daily Planet to retrieve Superman's cape and declared himself the new Superman.
The next day, he went public by stopping a robbery and hostage situation on live television. However, the Pre-Flashpoint Clark Kent, who had arrived in the current timeline after the events of Convergence, was watching and donned his Superman uniform, believing that Luthor was the same evil mastermind as his Luthor. Superman quickly showed, attempting to "stop" Luthor. However, before the fight could escalate any further, a captive Doomsday appeared, which was the target of the robbery, and both Supermen worked together to stop it.
Later, Luthor was targeted by two aliens named Godslayer and Zade who had foreseen that Luthor would one day once again take Darkseid's place on Apokolips and commit worse deeds than the New God himself. Taken to their planet, Luthor was rescued by the new/old Superman, and the Supermen, again, had to work together to escape the assassins and return to Earth.
Later, after having multiple trust issues with Superman, Lex Luthor ripped the Superman symbol from his armor, claiming that Superman abandoned him. While he did not return to evil ways, he now acted as an independent hero, with plans that he would not share with Superman Family. He was then recruited into Team Entropy by Brainiac to assist fighting Omega Titans. Continuing to face mistrust from other superheroes and being called a villain, Luthor discussed his feelings about the situation with Martian Manhunter. He ended up an instrumental part of the plan to stop the Omega Titans: when Deathstroke failed to imbue Justice League's weapon with the power of entropy, Lex took it from him, and to Slade's surprise, gave it the necessary essence of entropy, despite his supposed status as a hero. This has given Lex the epiphany, regarding Earth and humanity representing the universal force of entropy, which he shared with Martian Manhunter and made an ominous promise to meet again sooner than he and the Justice League might have wanted.
Legion of Doom
After Luthor's revelation that the main force of Earth was entropy, and that his life as a hero was meaningless, Luthor set out to see just how true this was, building a time machine and travelling one million years into the future. What he found was a world in which everyone worshipped him, where after centuries of destruction between heroes and villains, humanity found the lost journals of Lex Luthor and began to follow his teachings. In this world, people did not try to make the world a better one, but instead accepted it as it is, with faults and entropy. Shocked at this future, Luthor learned that the reason humanity went down this route was because he himself missed something, a secret, that would change everything. The people of the future could not tell Luthor what it exactly was, but they showed him a symbol that represented it.
Waking up in the present, Luthor spent time recreating all of the technology he saw on his travels from memory, and looking into all possible events he could have overlooked to bring about that future. The only thing he could find, however, was an invitation to a reunion of the Legionnaires Club in Kansas. Using the opportunity to blow off some steam, Lex bought the building and loaded it with explosives, as a last way to get revenge at his abusive father. However, during the explosion, Lex found a door that only he could see, with a glowing doorknob, having the symbol that the future showed him engraved on it.
Using the door, Lex found the remains of the true Legionnaires Club, and all of their readings on The Totality, and how it would change the world. Reading up on the seven forces of Perpetua, Lex realized that the only way to fully access this power, the power of accepting reality as it is, not as it should be, he would need a team to access the seven powers. Realizing what he needed to do to bring about 'doom,' Lex began to recruit the Legion of Doom.
Lex began to recruit members to his new Legion, starting with Gorilla Grodd and Sinestro, appealing to them with the promise of a way to finally beat The Flash and a way to obtain the Invisible Spectrum, respectively.
Soon, he found his way to The Joker, who promised to join the Legion as long as Lex never associated himself with The Batman Who Laughs, Who Lex had captured. Unbeknownst to Lex, Joker planned on playing the ultimate joke on him, to make it so that they came incredibly close to winning, and then betraying him at the last minute.
When Joker ultimately found out that Luthor had lied and talked to the Batman Who Laughs regardless, he systematically took down all members of the Legion of Doom with Joker Venom and left Lex chained. He talked to Lex about the ways he could kill them all; putting each member of the Legion in their own deathtrap, teleport their base into the sun, and have Lex slowly die from a specially made strain of the Joker Venom, but decided to go against it. He told Lex that whatever he had planned, it is nothing compared to what the Batman Who Laughs was going to do to him the moment he was free.
Joker left the Legion, but not before curing the Legion and their new recruits of the Joker Toxin; the latter ultimately leave as they don't want anything to do with what the legion has planned. 
Sometime after the supposed defeat of the Justice League  and the recruitment of the newly revived Crime Syndicate from Earth 3, Perpetua had charged Lex Luthor with stopping the Batman Who Laughs, stating the energies of the Dark Multiverse were a threat to her. However he fell into a trap by the Batman Who Laughs' Team: The Secret Six, and found that his powers didn't work on them as their power draws from Dark Multiverse.
He managed to escape, but just barely and realized that Laughs had infected 666 superheroes while retrieving a sample from Gordon. Luthor was however saved by The Joker, under the orders of Mercy Graves from much earlier, who advised him to be himself in order to defeat the Batman Who Laughs lest he share the same fate as the rest of the Legion of Doom, who were now a part of Perpetua's Throne.
Luthor later assembled a team of all the remaining villains left who had accepted his offers to take on Laughs' infected heroes. During the fight, Lex Luthor stripped The Batman who Laughs of his Dark Metal visor knowing full well it was the only thing that was keeping him grounded on their Earth, but tricked Lex in turn with explosives and took back his visor. The nightmare Batman then ordered for Supergirl to put fire in the area, mocking Lex due to the weakness to fire of his Human/Martian form and wished that Perpetua was watching as he dies.
Despite his injury due to the fire, Lex rose up from the ground and declared to the Batman Who Laughs that he should have gone with the kill before stabbing him with a blade containing an antidote to his dark infection, freeing those infected by the Batman who Laughs. Before the newly freed heroes could do anything Lex then teleports himself alongside Mercy and the subdued Batman Who Laughs back in the Godhead, where Lex showed to Perpetua his victory.
However it was all just a ruse from the Batman Who Laughs. He told her that he knew her and heard all what she promised to Barbatos to draw him up into the light, and he explained that he told Lex Luthor her name and the means to unlock her powers; how she missed the Justice League who were saved and sent by the Quintessence in a journey to end Pereptua for good if she didn't act quickly, while also pointing out that Lex was too myopic to realize that the supposed future that he saw where all worshipped him might have been a fake. The Batman Who Laughs bowed, saying that she should choose him over Lex to be her second in charge.
Shocked that Perpetua had actually listened to The Batman who Laughs, Lex ordered Perpetua to kill the monster at once, but instead depowered Lex for his insolence, turning him human again. Amused, Lex told to Perpetua that he didn't need anything from her and that he never did. Perpetua called him disappointing before casting Lex back to Earth-0 with Mercy close behind.
Powerless and back on Earth, Mercy rushed over to Lex in a crater who tearfully said to her that they were all dead now. Knowing fully well that it was only going to get worse from here.
Powers and Abilities
- Genius Level Intellect: Lex is considered one of the smartest beings on the planet, alongside Bruce Wayne.
- Hand-to-Hand Combat (Basic)
- Vulnerability to Fire (Formerly): As a human-martian hybrid, he was partially vulnerable to fire, though not as much as pure-blood Martians.
- Lex Luthor's Warsuit: Luthor's current warsuit is constructed out of Apokalyptian technology.
- Luthor was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, first appearing in Action Comics #23. However, in the Prime Earth continuity, Luthor first appeared as part of the New 52 DC Universe in Action Comics (Volume 2) #1 by Grant Morrison and Rags Morales.
- Alexander Luthor (Prime Earth) appears as Lex Luthor (Prime) a playable character in the Infinite Crisis video game.
- The trademark red hair of Luthors comes from Hannah Alexandria Luthor becoming pregnant with the child of Jimberly Jimmington Olsen, after the two engaged in a relationship despite the disapproval of both their families. This makes Lex a distant cousin to Jimmy Olsen.
- 392 Appearances of Alexander Luthor (Prime Earth)
- 133 Images featuring Alexander Luthor (Prime Earth)
- 42 Quotations by or about Alexander Luthor (Prime Earth)
- Character Gallery: Alexander Luthor (Prime Earth)
- Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen (Volume 2) #12
- Action Comics #1004
- Justice League (Volume 4) #18
- Justice League (Volume 4) #17
- Action Comics (Volume 2) #8
- Justice League of America (Volume 3) #7
- Action Comics (Volume 2) #23.3: Lex Luthor
- Forever Evil #3 - #5
- Forever Evil #7
- Justice League (Volume 2) #35
- Justice League (Volume 2) #39
- Justice League (Volume 2) #52
- Action Comics #957
- Action Comics #967
- Action Comics #972
- Superman (Volume 4) #36
- Justice League: No Justice #4
- Justice League (Volume 4) #13
- Justice League (Volume 4) #39
- Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #1
- Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #3
- Justice League (Volume 4) #36
- Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #4
- Martian Manhunter (Volume 4) #1
- Detective Comics #225
- Martian Manhunter (Volume 4) #2
- Martian Manhunter (Volume 3) #3
- JLA #3
- Martian Manhunter (Volume 2) #8
- Martian Manhunter (Volume 2) #3
- DC Comics Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded
- Who's Who: Update '88 #2
- Martian Manhunter #4
- Detective Comics #226
- Martian Manhunter (Volume 3) #8
- Justice League (Volume 4) #38
- Doomsday Clock #2
- New Super-Man #9
- Red Hood: Outlaw #37
- Batman: Urban Legends #12
Daily Planet Staff member
Injustice League member
|Justice League member|
This character is or was a member of the Justice League of America, or the Justice League in any of its various incarnations, sworn by a duty to act as guardians of America and the world by using their skills and/or superpowers to protect Earth from both interstellar and domestic threats.
Legion of Doom member
Superman Family member
This character is or was primarily an enemy of the Justice League, in any of its various incarnations. This template will categorize articles that include it into the category "Justice League Villains."
|Superman Villain(s) |
This character is or was primarily an enemy of Superman in any of his various incarnations, or members of the Superman Family. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Superman Villains category."