Ahem... Diabolical Mastermind, Mad Scientist, LexCorp CEO. TheSuper Villain — or so say my detractors.
While I do not enjoy sharing the personal details of my life, I find it wise to keep my fan base happy (that clown's bragging about having a page before me was... unappreciated) so I will indulge you. At the minimum, I deserve a page before that alien with the yellow ring.
My name is Alexander Joseph Luthor. You may address me as "Lex" or preferably as "Mr. Luthor", or "Mr. President", depending on whether or not I am currently president, as I was from Lex 2000 #1 to the Superman/Batman series, just anything but "Lexy". That clown drove me nuts with that name! From my humble beginnings in Action Comics #23 (April, 1940) , I have been portrayed as almost everything between a Mad Scientist and a rather upscale white-collar criminal, a maniacal villain to an abused child, courtesy of my evil, sadistic, backstabbing, manipulating lunatic of an excuse for a father, Lionel Luthor. I have been married eight times; the first seven don't count, and the last one I ended by blowing up my wife.
At least two of my children have been killed: Lex Luthor Jr. and his mother, Ardora, when their planet was destroyed, and Jerry White, of whose parentage I was not aware until his death. The only ones of my blood who have lived are Lena (whereabouts unknown), daughter of Contessa, my last wife; and Conner Kent, who is (biologically) my son with Superman (Spare me the "clever" remarks, please.) Conner is the only one for whom I have truly cared as a father, though only a clone made using my DNA and that of the Man of Steel. Unfortunately, he has turned from me to the path of the "hero".
Speaking of heroes, I'm sure you're aware that my arch-nemesis is Superman, whom I refer to on this page below as "the alien." Our relationship is... complicated and my feelings for him are mixed. I do find him annoying, but it is difficult not to admire him — even when he destroys one of my creations that was not meant to garner his attentions. And That's Terrible.
See also Lex Luthor.
My appearances throughout history:
Notable Comic Book stories
Every origin story of the Kryptonian will guarantee that I will be there to oppose him.
I understand that my Earth-Three counterpart is an actual Superhero. Interesting...
The iteration of him I met during Forever Evil, however... he was no hero, despite what he might say, and certainly no match for my intellect.
Ambiguously Brown: In Superman: The Animated Series (that version of me is apparently Greek, resembling the actor Telly Savalas). They made me a good deal paler in Justice League, I'm guessing to rectify the confusion. Though that might've had something to do with the fact that I had contracted cancer.
Arch-Enemy: The one and only for that simpering alien garbage. Depending on the continuity, Brainiac, GeneralZod, and Darkseid may be up there as well, but they still only qualify in a secondary sense.
Badass Normal: I have no consistent powers besides my intellect, though I have used an exoskeletal suit from time to time. My attempts at procuring a replacement for my orange ring put me up against some of the most powerful "villains" in my world. They had no chance, really.
Beware the Superman: I am constantly reminding people of how unwise it is to put one's fate in the hands of an alien who, when he inevitably goes rogue, could be a threat to all life on Earth. Considering all he has to do to win back their affection is to rescue a kitten from a tree (as if ordinary humans can't do that...), it's something of an uphill battle.
Big Bad: According to Superman, I am responsible for all the turmoil in Metropolis and behind every Evil Plan... In truth, I should be the Big Good because my efforts keep him occupied when he could otherwise turn on humanity at large.
Board to Death: I was quite bemused to learn of my 64th century successor's penchant for this.
Brains: Evil; Brawn: Good: I am more reliant on intellect and less on strength than Superman is. Regardless of how intelligent he may be, he tends to solve his problems with his fists.
Breakout Villain: I was originally a powerful but minor adversary for Superman, but I ended up becoming popular enough to take the spot of his Arch-Enemy from the creators' first choice, the Ultrahumanite.
Canon Discontinuity: I never appeared in an animated movie called Brainiac Attacks which used the likeness of my Magnificent Bastard appearance from Superman: The Animated Series but had me act like a giggling buffoon with the effect of having my movie persona without any charm or actual menace. Nor was I voiced by Powers Booth, who you may know as my nemesis Gorilla Grodd in such a production. That would be below a genius such as myself.
Cardboard Prison: I have the best lawyers in the world. Put me away, I'll be out within the week. Back in my scientist days, I'd often be out within thehour. I still can be if I want to be, but why waste the time?
Care Bear Stare: I once released the Zone Child from the Phantom Zone, defeated it, and gained its power to eradicate negative emotions and create eternal bliss throughout the universe. Of course, I could only keep that power as long as I didn't do anything negative, like trying to destroy the Alien. No need to elaborate on how well that went down...
Cassandra Truth: You expect me to belive that that bumbling dolt Perry White employs out of pity is Superman's secret identity? PREPOSTEROUS!! Why would a man with the powers of a God lower himself like that?
Cultured Badass: I simply love classic literature, philosophy, classical music, and art. Just another example of my superiority to that spandex clad simpleton.
Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Sometimes I play it straight (I'm the Trope Namer for good reason), sometimes I invert it, but I always keep my best technology and inventions to myself in order to better fight the alien.
There was also the time when I was a consultant for the Sutherland Corporation on how to deal with Swamp Thing infesting Gotham City; they just happened to be paying enough to interest me and it was an intriguing challenge.
Demoted to Dragon: I have occasionally been forced to serve the interests of another, most notably General Sam Lane in New Krypton. I will allow the fact that I am still alive, and Lane is not, to speak for itself.
Disproportionate Retribution: During the Silver Age, I destroyed the Kryptonite vaccine and became Superman's archnemesis for what reason? He made me bald. That and he humiliated me when he ruined my subsequent innovative public works projects for Smallville to prove my superiority over the alien when they developed, err, technical difficulties.
Don't You Dare Pity Me!: I've never been big on pity. That's for the weak. I prefer to pull myself back up by my own bootstraps, because coming back from the lowest point - that's what I, Lex Luthor, can do.
Driven by Envy: Deep down, I know that I will never be Superman, and it is this, more than anything else, that fuels my hatred of him. Depending on the Writer I may or may not be aware of this.
Empowered Badass Normal: I have gained metahuman powers on several occasions, most notably during the Black Lantern invasion; I was briefly empowered by an Orange Lantern Ring, which gave me power equal to, or greater than, a member of the Green Lantern Corps. Unfortunately, not only does the orange light take a toll on one's higher functions, but Larfleeze shares his power even less willingly than I do.
Enemy Mine: I've joined forces with Superman on occasion to combat a greater menace, most notably Imperiex, General Zod, and Darkseid. Oh, and with Superman to stop another Superman. That was a catharsis, to say the least.
Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Kent? Superman? Preposterous. Oh, they share a certain resemblance, but why would someone with Superman's power bother with any kind of secret identity, yet alone one so humble? Some cold, logical computer tried to tell me thatnote in Superman Vol. 2 #2 but I refused to believe it, and fired its programmer for that offense.
Bah. What good is power if you must pretend to be polite to the rabble while you exert it? Kick a man while he's down, rub it in his face, tell him what a useless waste of matter he is, and spit on his grave after the fact. That, my friend, is power.
What use is godhood if I can't use it to destroy my greatest foe?
Evil Plan: Regardless of who is writing me, all my plans have the death of Superman as their goal.
Evil Redhead: Yes. Once upon a time I had hair. In the long-ago and deeply troubled Silver Age, Superman caused its loss.
Final Solution: During the events of New Krypton I aided General Lane's conspiracy against the Kryptonians, ultimately resulting in the near extinction of the race. Alas, neither Superman, Supergirl, nor General Zod were among the fallen.
Five Stages of Grief: More like three stages. When I met Death, I experienced the first three stages and then, having realized what I was doing, faked depression to manipulate her (it didn't work). As I said, I don't do "acceptance".
Flat Earth Atheist: I don't care if Death herself paid me a visit, I refuse to believe in such primitive, superstitious nonsense. I do, however, acknowledge that under "The Big Hand Theory", it's illogical to be an atheist, but I declare myself to be one on the moral grounds on the eve of becoming a god myself.
For the Evulz: Do I wash my hands? No! 'Cuz I'm evil... Okay, no, that was just The Flash in my body saying that. I'm a very clean gentleman. But aside of that one incident? The trope fits...
Oh, and that nasty prank I pulled on that nobody waitress; I offered an Indecent Proposal to her and sped off before she had the chance to answer, just so that she could spend the rest of her miserable life with "what ifs'. Yes, that was an amusing diversion... Then twenty years later she tried to assassinate me when I was running for President.
Funny Animal: Much as I loathe the term "funny animal," there is my sentient animal counterpart who lives on the parallel world of Earth-C-Minus, "Lex Lemur," who also wishes to triumph over his version of the alien, "Super-Squirrel."
A God Am I: I think of myself as this among mortal men, lack of godlike powers not-withstanding. On one occasion, however, I obtained the power of the Zone Child and became the living embodiment of the Phantom Zone.
Greed: The orange ring said it best: I want it all.
Grandfather Clause: Most people cannot conceive that I could be a challenge to the alien when similar antagonisms have the opponent at least equal and usually superior in physical power against the vigilante in question; that just goes to show how inimitable I am nowadays.
Hollywood Atheist: I've always been an atheist. It's not a logical choice (what with it being scientifically proven that there was a giant hand at the start of the universe), it's an ethical one. Believers always seem to be declining their responsibilities.
Insistent Terminology: I am entirely justified in referring to him as "The Alien" if I wish, since the very name "Superman" is a lie in of itself. No matter how much the teeming masses wish to delude themselves otherwise, he will never be one of us!
Insufferable Genius: I'm one of the smartest men in the world, if not the smartest. I'm very, very aware of it and have no problem reminding others of it.
Ironic Name: My name is Lex. Ha-ha! Lex! Get it? As in, "the law". Oh, the irony!
Can no one else see that the alien's attempts at thwarting my plans are mere spite instead of some vague set of ideals about "truth" and other such drivel?
I don't think I'll ever understand why people do not worship me as the god I truly am. And, since they won't, they'll pay for it dearly.
Why did I deign to form an "Injustice Gang" of super-villains in Grant Morrison's JLA? Because clearly, the only reason Superman would become The Leader of the Justice League would be to escalate his conflict with me.
Karma Houdini: I object to this. That would imply I did something wrong. I get away with almost everything I do because deep down, you know I'm right.
Lady Macbeth: My alternate universe counterpart on Earth-One has little interest in killing Superman, and considers the concept unethical. His wife, Alexandra, on the other hand, is fascinated by the concept, and pushes him towards doing it. One begins to wonder which of them is really Earth-One's version of me...
Lust: Some would describe my desire for power and control as a "lust" for it.
MacGyvering: I once made a jetpack out of paint chips, kitchen chemicals, and soda bottles. Just ask Joker. I was in his comic.
Mad Scientist: Some of the time, when I'm not concerned with politics or economics.
Manipulative Bastard: It's easier for me to persuade and twist lesser mortals to my whim than it is for the alien to shatter stone.
Muggle Power: I've always been a supporter of human potential. Aliens do not have a monopoly on power.
Mythology Gag: In atleast two continuities (plus one where matters became bizarre), the Man of Steel went evil: one involved service to Darkseid. I aspired to, or became, the US President inasmanycontinuities: only in one did I drive out the Kryptonian menace.
Narcissist: A loaded term. I merely maintain a healthy amount of self-respect given my accomplishments. Some would argue that this, coupled with my refusal to care about those who are not extensions of myself, and my ability to identify with beings like Brainiac and the Joker identifies me as a sufferer of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. How wrong they are.
Naytheist: I am an Atheist, but not because I don't believe in God (the Big Hand Theory is the predominant theory on the creation of the universe, after all). For me, Atheism is more of a way of life than a belief. I also know hell exists (as I have been there), but I refuse to believe that there is anyone who 'judges the dead', as he would need an objective point of view, which is impossible. I even tell this to Death Of The Endless.
Never My Fault: People will blame me for everything, even if I'm not behind that mishappening. It's obviously Kal-El's doing or The Bat or my idiotic henchmen.
Non-Idle Rich: Think of me as much like Walt Disney; I built LexCorp to its success by keeping my hand in the company's core R & D department as my employees develop the general ideas I introduce.
Not So Different: From Brainiac, if the narration in New Krypton is to be believed. I can certainly identify with that alien and his thirst for knowledge, though his goal of eradicating all life is, to my mind, self-defeating.
The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Superman will die by my hand and only by my hand. When that mindless beast Doomsday apparently killed Superman, I... didn't take it well. Fortunately, Superman got better so I could deal with him myself.
The Pardon: For my aid in helping the Justice League defeat their Knight Templar counterparts, I was given amnesty for my past crimes. Naturally, I used this to my advantage.
My John Shea counterpart once left prison thanks to a pardon signed by the President's clone. The pardon was soon revealed to be a fake, but he actually enjoyed no longer having to put up a facade.
Pet the Dog: My experiences with Bizarro in Forever Evil have, it seems, left me somewhat more kindly inclined to others.
Powered Armor: In a classy green and purple. I wore it frequently Pre-Crisis, and after my fall from the presidency Post-Crisis. It is equipped with a wide array of weapons, both mundane and Kryptonite-fuelled, allowing me to be a physical match for Superman, and any other "hero" who comes my way. When I was granted an Orange Power Ring, I used it to fashion another suit of armor for myself.
The Power of Hate: The thought of dying before the alien has given me the willpower to cheat death on more than one occasion.
Pragmatic Villainy: I can't rule the world if everyone's dead, now can I? Plus, during Villain Team Ups, as much as I hate that clown, I do invite him in on the grounds that it's safer to have that unpredictable freak on our team than to have him mad at us.
I, personally, have always felt that this title is misleading. After all, the great people of America freely chose to elect me into office, something the alien and his allies never could accept. Was it evil to enter office and promote a more technologically savvy America for the 21st century, or clean up the mess made by the previous administration?
Pride: If you had a 10th-level intellect, you'd be high on yourself too. In fact, Depending on the Writer, this is my primary motivation for my crusade against the alien; the existence of a being more powerful and more loved by the people than I is simply intolerable.
Super Intelligence: Brainiac described me as a "10th Level Intellect", making my intelligence superior to the combined IQs of everyone on Earth, both now (6th Level) and in the 31st Century (9th). I am also smarter than almost every individual on Colu, a planet renowned for the computer like minds of its inhabitants (8th on average). In the DC Universe as a whole, only Brainiac himself (a 12th Level Intellect) is known to be smarter than I.
Swiss Cheese Security: I have spent thousands of dollars in new doors from time to time. Also, see above.note (This trope used to be named Lex Luthor Security.)
Teen Genius: Not that I was properly respected for it by my jealous peers, mind you.
‹bermensch: I certainly am; yet an alien dares call himself Superman? It's galling.
Utopia Justifies the Means: The alien fails to grasp how much better the world could be under my guidance... and away from his influence. He naively thinks that I can do it with him around; I can, of course, but what would be the point? What worth are our achievements when his mere existence makes them seem lacking?
Villainous Breakdown: HOW DARE YOU SLANDER ME WITH IMPLICATIONS THAT I'M A SORE LOSER?! I OUGHT TO OBLITERATE YOU, YOU MISERABLE, LITTLE- GRAAAGH! ...Ahem. Let's just say I lose my temper from time to time.
Villainous Valor: I'm often called "a man fighting a god." The alien is no god, but the analogy fits. I won't deny that I am one of the few cases where the Arch-Enemy is weaker than the supposed hero.
Villainous Friendship: Despite how often Joker and I double-cross each other, eventually we'll work together again. As loathed as I am to dare say it, he's probably the closest thing I have to a true companion.
Wrath: Rage at the alien, and at those who aid him, is my right as a human being.
You Could Have Used Your Powers for Good: Superman made a point of this when he went missing for a year, and I spent it trying to find him instead of working on the betterment of mankind. But I swear on my mother's soul that mankind will not benefit from my labour until the alien rots in the ground!