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DC Database

Quote1.png All too often have I been defeated by that super-powered cretin... And all too often have I refrained from striking back with all the awesome arsenal at my disposal. But no more, Superman! This time Alexei Luthor shall be the victor! You see, Superman, this time my plan excludes you, yet it will hit you where it hurts the most! All your stupid friends work at the Daily Star-- but very soon, my super missiles will make them little more than mere memories-- which shall torture your soul for as long as you live! You may not die, Superman-- but the death of your friends will demoralize and ultimately destroy you! Quote2.png
Alexei Luthor src

Alexei Luthor was the arch enemy of Superman.

Early exploits

Luthor took control of several small European nations prior to World War II through his super-scientific machinations. He intended to plunge all of the European countries into war starting with the small countries of Galonia and Toran, and used his scientific genius to sabotage a peace conference. Superman foiled his plot.[2]

Luthor would return time and time again with elaborate plans to kill Superman, but was defeated each time. One of the most notable of these schemes was when the scientist took control over the artifact named Powerstone. This jewel of seemingly mystical nature could drain the powers from Superman to Luthor, and turn the scientist into a giant. Fortunately, the Man of Steel was able to trick the villain and take away the gem.

Luthor escaped and later plagued Superman with a gigantic Kryptonite meteor after learning about Superman's weakness to the mineral from Dan Rivers. Unable to defeat Superman, Alexei took solace in publicly revealing Superman's weakness to the world, causing trouble for Kal-L from other various foes.

Over the years and decades, Luthor would make numerous attempts to destroy Superman, either by himself or in alliance with other villains, such as The Prankster and The Toyman.

Multiverse-related plot

Later in his career, Alexei became more uncompromising, sadistic, and bloodthirsty, attempting a missile strike on the Daily Star for the sole purpose of murdering all of Superman's friends and loved ones, whom he was aware happened to be employed there. After Superman thwarted that evil scheme and put Luthor behind bars, Alexei was drawn by his Earth-One counterpart into a bait-and-switch scheme, wherein each Luthor would be transported to the other Luthor's native reality in order to try his hand at fighting the alternate Superman. Alexei's scheme to defeat the Earth-One Superman was to set off a series of explosions in a congested Metropolis street, in order to get Superman's attention, and then to send Superman hurtling into outer space with an anti-gravity binding-trap. Upon encountering the Earth-One version of Lois Lane (erroneously referring to her as "Lois Kent", as his reality's Lois had married Clark Kent by then), Luthor prepared to kill her. Fortunately, Superman returned in the nick of time and stopped him. The Luthors then rendezvoused on Earth-Three, where they extended their alliance to Ultraman. Alexei then took de facto control over the alliance and directed Ultraman to complete an ion-cannon for the purpose of destroying both Earth-One and Earth-Two. His intent was challenged by the Earth-One Luthor, who while occasionally homicidal still had reservations about destruction of such magnitude, and he was ultimately defeated by the Supermen of both worlds, as well as by the heroic Earth-Three Luthor.[3]


During the Crisis, Alexei was recruited into the Multiverse-spanning villain army of Brainiac and Lex Luthor of Earth-One. Alexei objected that his alternate-universe counterpart should have been made the general of the villains by Brainiac and stated that he possessed as much qualification to lead as the Earth-One Luthor, if not more so. Brainiac rebuked the Earth-Two Luthor for challenging his judgement but conceded that he remained right about one thing: their army had no need of two Luthors. With that, Alexei was incinerated on the spot.[4]



  • Mental Illness: Alexei Luthor's hatred for Superman surpasses the edge of madness. While Lex Luthor wanted only to destroy his universe's Superman, and occasionally to conquer the Earth, Alexei was eager to obliterate two entire universes, one of which was his own native universe, simply to wipe their heroic versions of Superman from existence. The fact that the destruction of Earth-Two and its entire reality would mean no Earth-Two left to conquer was inconsequential as long as Earth-Three remained waiting for him as a twisted "consolation prize."[3]


Luthor had various devices of his own creation, such as a machine which could project his image and voice over long distance on a surface and watch and listen where it was projected.

  • This version of Luthor, including all history and corresponding appearances, was erased from existence following the collapse of the original Multiverse in the 1985–86 Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series. Even though versions of the character may have since appeared, this information does not apply to those versions.
  • Luthor's first appearance is generally listed as Action Comics #23 (April 1940).[7][8] That is his first chronological appearance, and is preceded by his behind-the-scenes chicanery in Action Comics #22. However, his first published appearance was in Superman #4 (March 1940).
  • Though Alexei Luthor had a similar appearance and demeanor in his 1940 debut (where he was known only as "Luthor"), subsequent appearances of Luthor throughout the 40's and 50's portrayed him as completely bald. When it became necessary in the 1960's to distinguish the Golden Age Luthor from the one then appearing in DC Comics, the character was retroactively assigned many of the exploits of his bald successor, as well as the first name "Alexei." The Golden Age Luthor was a far more blood-thirsty character than his successors. Whereas Earth-One's Luthor preferred humiliating his adversary to prove his genius, Alexei Luthor sought only Superman's death. Golden Age stories that contradicted this new Earth-Two history would later be ascribed to other Earths like Earth-Two-A.[9][10]
  • While Luthor of Earth-One was born in Smallville and was an enemy of Superman since his youth, Luthor of Earth-Two only faced Superman as an adult. His citizenship is unknown,[7] but he was often a prisoner in American prisons.
  • An unnamed mad scientist with a striking resemblance to Luthor appeared in the Radio Squad story in More Fun Comics #23 (three years before Superman #4).



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