Lex Luthor in other media

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Adaptations of Lex Luthor in other media
Created by Jerry Siegel
Joe Shuster
Original source Comics published by DC Comics
First appearance Action Comics #23 (April 1940)
Print publications
Novel(s) Last Son of Krypton (1978)
It's Superman! (2005)
Films and television
Film(s) Superman: The Movie (1978)
Superman Returns (2006)
Superman: Doomsday (2007)
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009)
Television
show(s)
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993)
Superman: The Animated Series (1996)
Smallville (2001)
Games
Video game(s) Superman (1979)
Justice League: Injustice for All (2002)

As Superman's best known enemy, Lex Luthor has been portrayed in almost every Superman media tie-in and franchise.

Lex Luthor is a major supporting character within the Superman mythos and has appeared in many of Superman's adaptations into other media. Traditionally, he is depicted as an evil scientific genius. Since the mid-1980s, he has often been portrayed as a wealthy business tycoon in control of (or heir to) a major conglomerate based in the city of Metropolis. His depiction in the Superman feature films are rather different- as that of an incredibly vain criminal interested in real estate development.

Contents

Atom Man vs. Superman[edit]

Luthor was first portrayed on film in the second Superman serial, Atom Man vs. Superman (1950). He was played by Lyle Talbot.

Feature films[edit]

Actor Gene Hackman played the role of Lex Luthor in the 1978 movie Superman: The Movie and in two of its three sequels (Superman II and Superman IV: The Quest for Peace). Hackman's portrayal is a notable departure from Luthor's comic book incarnations. In the films, Luthor is portrayed as Superman's comedic foil, or as comic book critic Peter Sanderson puts it, "a used car salesman wielding nuclear missiles."[1] In most of the films of this franchise, Luthor's main business interest is real estate speculation. In contrast to most incarnations of Luthor in printed comics, this version appears to have no particular personal animosity toward Superman.

Superman: The Movie[edit]

In the 1978 movie Superman: The Movie, Lex Luthor serves as the main antagonist. He is purely motivated by money, as well as the desire to swindle as tremendous a fortune as possible to prove his genius. Although he is bald, he wears a variety of wigs throughout the film to conceal it. He resides in a secret lair fashioned out of the remains of an abandoned railway terminal, a high-tech hideout that hearkens back to his "Golden Age" comic counterpart.[citation needed] Luthor's schemes are offset by a tendency to surround himself with unsatisfactory help; he is burdened by his bumbling henchman Otis, as well as his conscience-stricken girlfriend Eve Teschmacher. Luthor plots to divert a nuclear missile into hitting the San Andreas fault, causing California to sink into the ocean, thereby turning its neighboring states into prime beach front property. Although Luthor nearly kills Superman using kryptonite, Superman escapes with the help of Teschmacher. After Superman repairs the damage to the San Andreas region, he delivers Luthor and Otis to prison.

Superman II[edit]

Gene Hackman as Luthor in the 1980 film Superman II.

Luthor's role in Superman II is relegated to a supporting villain, beginning with a jailbreak organized with the help of Miss Teschmacher. After journeying to the Fortress of Solitude, Luthor learns of the existence of General Zod and the other Kryptonian criminals. Hoping to rule his own continent once the evil Kryptonians take over Earth, Luthor allies himself with Zod. He asks Zod for control over real estate in Australia. However, when Superman confronts Zod and his cronies at the Fortress of Solitude at the film's climax, Luthor tricks Superman into revealing that there is a chamber in the Fortress which can nullify a Kryptonian's powers using synthetic red solar radiation- in essence turning a Kryptonian, such as Superman, Zod, and his followers Non and Ursa, into a vulnerable human. Fortunately, expecting Luthor's betrayal, Superman had already reversed the mechanism of the chamber, and when forced inside by Zod, the "red sun" beams are dispersed throughout the Fortress while Superman is safely shielded; Zod and his followers are defeated easily because of the loss of their powers. Luthor, meanwhile, is sent back to prison.

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace[edit]

Luthor reappears in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, escaping from prison once more, this time with the aid of his nephew Lenny (portrayed by Jon Cryer). Once again, Lex allies himself with other villains, in this instance a cadre of war profiteers and arms dealers who are worried about what Superman's efforts toward nuclear disarmament will do to their business. Lex uses his own DNA, combined with strand of Superman's hair that is stolen from a museum, to create a hybrid clone which he dubs "Nuclear Man." The radioactive villain possesses abilities similar to Superman, but receives his power from direct sunlight, whereas Superman can still operate in darkness. Superman exploits this weakness eventually, destroying Nuclear Man and returning Lex to prison. In the film, Luthor never takes off his wig.

Superman Returns[edit]

Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor in Superman Returns

In the 2006 film Superman Returns, Luthor is played by Kevin Spacey. Although retaining a humorous streak, Spacey's take on the character is dryer and more straightforward than that of Hackman, and notably displays a more personal dislike and hatred for Superman. In the film, Luthor has been released from prison bent on revenge against Superman. Luthor funds his criminal operations by seducing a wealthy, elderly benefactor. Luthor's machinations once again concern real estate, as they did in the first two films. He plans to use Kryptonian crystals, like the one Superman used to create the Fortress of Solitude, to form a new continent, owned by Luthor, off the East Coast of the United States, destroying all surrounding landmass in the process and killing untold numbers of people. The landmass also has the added effect of sapping Superman's powers when he is in proximity, as Luthor has laced it with Kryptonite. While Superman is weakened, Luthor violently attacks him, stabbing him with a shard of Kryptonite and brutally kicking him as he crawls on the ground. Luthor shoves a barely-conscious Superman off the edge of the landmass into the Atlantic Ocean, presumably to his death. However, with the help of Lois Lane and Richard White, Superman recovers and hurls the landmass into space. After his scheme fails, Luthor uses a helicopter to escape capture, but it runs out of fuel, stranding him on a deserted island with his new sidekick/wife, wealthy heiress Kitty Kowalski, as well as her dog. When she asks what they will eat, he looks at the dog hungrily.

Man of Steel[edit]

The third theatrical Man of Steel trailer reveals the LexCorp Tower in the background of chaotic events, confirming the film's acknowledgment of the character. In the actual movie, while Superman is fighting General Zod, Zod manages to push Superman into two gasoline filled tanks on a gasoline truck, both with the confirmed Lexcorp name.[2]

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice[edit]

David S. Goyer talked about Lex in the Man of Steel sequel and sees him as a Bill Gates-like Lex that is probably worth 50, 60, 70 billion dollars.[3] Zack Snyder talked about seeing a modern take of Lex as a combination of Richard Branson and Brad Pitt & with hair.[4] On January 31, 2014, it was reported that Jesse Eisenberg was cast as Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.[5] The new Lex will skew much younger than Superman Returns' Kevin Spacey (46 at the time) and Superman's Gene Hackman (48) but will be more in line with several recent graphic-novel and TV incarnations, in which he is a childhood friend of Clark Kent.[6]

Live-action television[edit]

Superboy[edit]

In the syndicated television show Superboy, Luthor first appeared as a rich, scheming college student played by Scott James Wells. In early episodes, Luthor is preoccupied with showing up Superboy, rigging basketball games, and stealing priceless artefacts, among other small-time schemes. At the close of the first season, Superboy accidentally causes Luthor to go bald while saving him from a lab fire in an incident similar to Lex Luthor's classic origin. Convinced that Superboy intentionally caused the accident, Luthor kills wealthy businessman Warren Eckworth and tries, unsuccessfully, to take his place via plastic surgery. In the guise of Warren Eckworth, he takes over Eckworth's "Superboy Gun" project and tries to kill Superboy with the weapon.[7] Luthor is portrayed for the remainder of the series by actor Sherman Howard.

In the Season Four two-parter, 'Know Thine Enemy' Luthor's childhood is explored when Superboy relives his life via the "psychodisk". Similar to his post-Crisis origin, Lex is raised by an abusive father and neglectful mother; Lex becomes rich when he takes out an insurance policy on his parents and then kills them both. His sister, Lena Luthor, holds the distinction of being the sole person Lex cares about.

Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman[edit]

John Shea as Lex Luthor in Lois & Clark.

In the television series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman (1993–1997), Lex Luthor is a multi-billionaire portrayed by actor John Shea. In the beginning of the series, Lex is described as having recently become the world's third richest person. In the eyes of the public, he appears to be a beloved humanitarian, but Superman knows the truth. During the show's first season Clark Kent/Superman spends a good deal of time trying to prove that Luthor is corrupt, while Luthor tests Superman to find his weakness. He also comes up with dangerous plots to turn the public against Superman. At the end of season one, he manages to acquire a rare piece of kryptonite; he then devises a trap for Superman that almost kills him, but Superman narrowly escapes when Luthor leaves him to his fate. Just as Luthor is about to marry Lois Lane, the truth about his evil nature is exposed and he takes his own life rather than face imprisonment.[8] Ironically, due to exposure to Luthor's kryptonite, Superman's powers are too weak and he cannot save him.

Following the season one finale, Lex's corpse disappears from the coroner's office. Later on, the body resurfaces in a lab where his ex-wife Arianna Carlin (played by Emma Samms) with the help of a devoted scientist called Gretchen Kelly (played by Denise Crosby) freezes Luthor's remains and labors to bring him back from the dead. Blaming Superman and Lois for Luthor's death (Superman for not saving him and Lois for "driving him to his death" by saying No to him at the altar) Arianna uses subliminal messaging to turn part of Metropolis against Superman, and uses plastic surgery to make a henchwoman look like Lois Lane. Lois is then framed for several acts of law-breaking, and she tries to make it seem like Lois is having a mental breakdown. Lois is then kidnapped after meeting her double, bound and gagged by Arianna, and drugged before Superman arrives. Superman is shot by a kryptonite bullet and the criminal places the gun in Lois's hands, hoping to frame her for the murder. Superman uses his heat vision to send water from a fish tank onto the face of Lois, reviving her and enabling her to remove the kryptonite. Arianna and the double are then jailed leaving Gretchen behind to care for Luthor's body. The scientist eventually succeeds, but as a side effect of his resurrection, Lex loses his hair (thus bringing him in line with Luthor's usual look).[9] However the effect was only temporary and a year later his hair grew back. He is quickly disenchanted with the changes that have happened during his absence, particularly the emergence of Intergang, as well as the loss of his personal fortune. Lex hides underground, again seeking kryptonite. But after kidnapping Lois in an attempt to reclaim her, he is traced to his sewer lair by Superman. This time however, Superman prevents Lex from taking his own life again to "cheat justice" and sends him to prison to serve a double life sentence.

Luthor later escapes after a whole year in prison, through an elaborate plot involving clones; first using a clone of the President to grant him a pardon, then kidnapping the real Lois Lane and replacing her with a clone just before her wedding to Clark.[10] Luthor hopes to transfer the minds of himself and the genuine Lois into clone bodies so they may never be found. Although he tricks Lois' clone into divulging Superman's secret identity, he still fails in destroying Superman, and is killed in the destruction of his lab in his underground subway hideout.

Unbeknownst to anyone, Luthor has illegitimate children, two of whom try to kill Superman over the course of the last two seasons. The first one Jaxon Xavier who was also a top scientist in one of Lex's companies called Lex Labs, entrapped Lois and Clark in a virtual reality world to steal information for mind control before the two with the help of Jimmy Olsen tricked him into letting them out by stealing his wrist watch escape window leaving him stranded. He crashed the system leaving his mind trapped inside his virtual world forever. The second one (played by Keith Brunsmann) is facially deformed and disowned by his father, reduced to living in a furnished sewer/transit station beneath Metropolis. Lex Luthor Jr. hires a handsome stand-in (played by Patrick Cassidy) to impersonate him. The impostor poses as Lex Jr.'s public persona as he murders the CEOs of his father's old companies and rebuilds LexCorp.[11] While Lex Jr. and his impostor manage to get their hands on a recording of the elder Luthor (John Shea's voice) made before his death; a journal which include Superman's secrets. Both men are later killed in an explosion that levels the crypt. Lois is initially sceptical that Lex could have fathered these adult men, but Clark insists that no one can be sure of Luthor's true age since he was "a master of deception."

Although Lex only appeared a few times after the first season, he is mentioned a great deal throughout the rest of the seasons which reveals him as still a very important character.

Smallville[edit]

Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor on Smallville.

The television series Smallville features a younger version of Lex Luthor, played by Michael Rosenbaum (the voice of the Flash on the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited). Although his history echoes previous incarnations, this version of Lex did not begin as a bona fide villain. The series also tries to pin a more psychologically realistic take on the character, attempting to expand his character to fully flesh out his journey into what will turn him into the mythic DC Supervillain from the comic books.

Lex's full name is Alexander Joseph Luthor, named after Alexander the Great. His ruthless business mogul father Lionel Luthor idolizes the legendary general and applies Alexander's tactics to the world of modern business, believing himself to be the business world's Philip of Macedon. At the age of 9, a frail and asthmatic Lex accompanies his father on a business trip to Smallville, unwittingly getting caught in the kryptonite meteor shower that brings Kal-El to Earth; he survives, but loses his asthma and his red hair as a result[12] (Superman's indirect involvement in Lex's hair loss resembles the Silver Age comic mythos). Lex later believes that the exposure which left him bald also gave him a "super" immune system and was the reason that he had never been sick even once after the event. Lex is the heir to Lionel's LuthorCorp and lives in an ornate mansion (a rebuilt Scottish castle transported stone by stone to America) on the edge of Smallville.

Lex first meets Clark Kent (Superman) when he loses control of his Porsche, slamming into Clark and plummeting off a bridge. It is after Clark saves his life that the two bond and become friends. Smallville plays on his relationship with Clark and how that deteriorates into the mutual enmity that they will have in life. Lionel exhibits many of the same characteristics as Lex's comic-book counterpart, and it is through his dysfunctional relationship with Lex that Smallville attempts to characterize how Lex eventually succumbs to his evil leanings; early seasons focused on Lex's traumatic and love-starved upbringing, a bleak contrast to Clark's idyllic childhood.

Lex's mother Lillian Luthor died when he was a child. He had a younger brother Julian Luthor who also died when Lex was young (the episode "Memoria" reveals that the infant Julian was smothered by a Lillian in the throes of postpartum psychosis, with part of the hostility between Lex and Lionel being caused because Lex claimed responsibility as his father might have killed his mother but would not hurt his only remaining heir), though he was cloned, and the clone appeared in season 7 using the name "Grant Gabriel". Lionel had another son named Lucas Luthor, whose mother was Rachel Dunleavy, but Lucas was left to live on the streets as part of Lionel's attempt at a 'nature versus nurture' test to see how a Luthor coped on his own. Young versions of Lex were portrayed by Matthew Munn in seasons 1 and 2, Wayne Dalglish in season 3, Lucas Grabeel in season 6, and Connor Stanhope in seasons 7 and 8.

In season 5, Lex breaks all ties to his friends, including Clark. As resentment between the former friends grows- made even worse after Lex imprisons Clark's new friend A.C. for attempting to stop an underwater weapon that was damaging the environment- Lex further alienates Clark by becoming romantically involved with Lana Lang after Clark breaks up with Lana following the death of his father Jonathan Kent. At the end of season five, Milton Fine (Brainiac) manipulates Lex into being possessed by the consciousness of General Zod. After recovery at the beginning of season six, Lex focuses on a secret project called 33.1 based around capturing and studying people who have been infected by kryptonite in order to recreate their abilities, ostensibly to protect the world against further alien threats, stating on some occasions that he feels anyone with such powers will naturally attempt to put themselves above the rest of humanity. This puts him at odds with Clark and his new ally, billionaire vigilante Oliver Queen with whom he went to boarding school. At the same time, Lex becomes engaged to Lana after she supposedly becomes pregnant with his child (it turned out that she had been drugged with a synthetic hormone to simulate pregnancy). They get married late in season 6. At the end of season 6, Lex is arrested for the murder of Lana, who appears to have been caught in an explosion triggered by a car bomb.

In season 7, Lex is released when somebody paid by Lionel confesses the crime and it is later revealed Lana was alive and left a stand-in clone to forge her death. Lana had also stolen 10 million dollars from Lex, which he later allows her to keep for good as part of a divorce settlement. Since then, Lana's been obsessed with exposing anything bad about him. While searching for the truth about his past, Lex kills Lionel by pushing him out of his office window at LuthorCorp in season 7's "Descent", saying "I was raised in your shadow... and now you're going to die in mine". Lex then drags "Alexander" (a personification of himself as a child who acts as his conscience) to the fireplace and burns him, saying "You make me weak!" Lex later comes into possession of a strange object comprising various metal disks with star graphs on them, which turn to reveal a pair of rectangular slots. This device is somehow a necessity in controlling "The Traveler" (Clark). In the season seven finale, Lex learns of the Fortress of Solitude from Brainiac (posing as Kara Kent). Lex travels to the Fortress, taking the device with him, under the belief that he is fulfilling his own destiny to save mankind from "The Traveler". After arriving in the Fortress, Lex learns that Clark is "The Traveler". A confrontation between the two ensues and Lex activates the device, causing the Fortress to collapse with Clark and Lex both inside.

In season 8, Lex relied on life support through tubes and breathing machines and his face was also scarred due to ice burn from the destruction of the Fortress. He used Winslow Schott to get revenge against Oliver. After Lana absorbed the energy from a Kryptonite bomb, Lex's 18-wheeler truck was blown up when Oliver used a toy bomb of Schott's. In season 9, Lex was occasionally mentioned. After Clark stopped Scott's madness, Oliver saw hallucination of Lex on a mirror. During a meeting with the Justice Society, Clark was informed by Doctor Fate that he would triumph over his greatest enemy Lex despite Clark's current belief that Lex was dead. In a flash-forward to 2013 was shown as part of a dream or vision that Clark was having, with one of the events depicted being that Lex has declared his candidacy for President of the United States.

In Season 10's premiere, it was discovered that Lex had used Cadmus Labs to engineer clones of himself in an effort to repair his body prior to his death. One of the clones (portrayed by Mackenzie Gray) was just as hell-bent to make Clark's life miserable as the original by attempting to murder Lois Lane but later died because of his accelerated aging. Michael Rosenbaum reprised his role as the character in the series finale's second part. In the series finale, it's revealed that Lex took some of his many imperfect clones and grafted them to repair himself, making him completely restored into thanks to an alternate Lionel Luthor's deal with Darkseid. Lex then reunites with Clark in the ruins of his family mansion, announcing that he has embracing his destiny as Clark's opposite as foretold in the Veritas prophecy. Lex later ambushes Tess Mercer and fatally stabs her, claiming that he is 'saving' his dear little sister from becoming him; before she dies-stating that Clark already saved her from that fate-, Tess poisons him with a specialized neurotoxin that removes all of Lex's memories, saving Clark's secrets. When the series ends by shifting into the year 2018, Lex has now been elected President of the United States.

Lex's story continues in the comic book continuation Smallville Season Eleven, written by Bryan Q. Miller, who also wrote for the television series. The comic book series sets six months after Darkseid's attack and years before Lex pursues his political career. It is reveals that, despite Tess's sacrifice, that there are remnants of his memories for Lex to continue his hatred towards Superman, but lost the knowledge of his secrets as Clark Kent. Lex finds Clark unsophisticated despite knowing that they were friends after reading news clippings, taking his mild-mannerism façade at face value. The toxin also slightly enhanced his already formidable intellect despite causing a chemically induced amnesia. Lex has renamed LuthorCorp into LexCorp following his memory loss. It is also reveals that Tess's consciousness survived because of their physical contacts with the toxin prior her death, and she is trapped within Lex's mind for seven months until her friends extract it from him. Lex has begun a quest to restore his memories, and continues his feud with Superman, Green Arrow, and their allies. The comic book series also reveals that Lex was friends with Bruce Wayne during their childhood off-screen, but apart after the latter's parents' murder. Wayne's alter-ego, Batman, is at odds with Lex as Wayne is secretly aware that his former friend is now corrupt.

Animation[edit]

Early animation[edit]

The New Adventures of Superman[edit]

His first non-comics appearance was in Filmation's The New Adventures of Superman. Luthor appeared in a total of ten episodes spanning the three seasons of the series, such as: Merlin's Magic Marbles, Luthor's Lethal Laser and Can A Luthor Change His Spots? The character was voiced by Ray Owens.

Super Friends[edit]

Luthor was a recurring villain in Hanna-Barbera's Super Friends franchise that ran from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s. He was voiced by Stanley Jones. Of all the comic book villains to appear in the show, Lex Luthor appears in the most episodes, more than any other villain.

  • He makes his Super Friends debut in Challenge of the Super Friends. Luthor, was head of the Legion of Doom, a coalition of villains who plotted the downfall of the titular heroes.[13] Luthor appeared a little slimmer than in his previous animated appearance[citation needed] and sported his pre-Crisis purple jumpsuit. In the episode History Of Doom depicts a portion of Lex Luthor's origin from Adventure Comics #271. In that episode it is also implied he brought the Legion of Doom together in reaction to the forming of the Superfriends. He also decides where their base should be located.
  • In the series The World's Greatest Super Friends season the second episode "Lex Luthor Strikes Back" features Luthor escaping from jail and challenging the Super Friends.
  • He also appears in the series Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show season, in the opening and the episodes No Honor Among Super Thieves (in which acquires his power suit from the comics of then), Case of the Shrinking Super Friends and The Mask of Mystery.
  • In the series The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians season, appears in some episodes as The Seeds of Doom.

Ruby-Spears animated series[edit]

In the short-lived 1988 animated series produced by Ruby-Spears Enterprises, Luthor was shown as an evil businessman for the first time in other media and shown wearing a Kryptonite ring. He is voiced by Michael Bell.

DC animated universe[edit]

Luthor appears in Superman: The Animated Series as well as its follow-ups, Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, portrayed by actor Clancy Brown.

Superman: The Animated Series[edit]

This version of Luthor is a corrupt businessman and scientist, like his comic book counterpart, and again his jealousy and hatred of Superman is his primary motive for going up against the Man of Steel. While Luthor comes into conflict many times over the course of the series, he is always ultimately foiled, but never charged with any crime due to lack of evidence (even in his brief alliances with villains such as Bizarro, Metallo, Brainiac and The Joker), and thus stays out of prison throughout the series.

According to the DVD commentaries and interviews by the show's creators, the Animated Series Luthor was inspired by Telly Savalas' portrayal of the James Bond villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld in On Her Majesty's Secret Service.[citation needed]

Justice League[edit]

Early in the series, Superman finally exposes Luthor's criminal activities with the aid of Batman, Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter and achieves sufficient evidence to prove his guilt. He also learns that he is suffering from a rare but deadly blood cancer caused by long-term exposure to the Kryptonite shard he carried for years. While in prison, he bribes the Ultra-Humanite to free him, and the two band together and ultimately form the first Injustice Gang. Ultra-Humanite's technology allows Lex to wear a special chestplate that will stop the spread of the cancer, as well being part of an armored suit that gives him a fighting chance against Superman, blaming him for his ordeal. However, Humanite betrays him when approached with an offer by Batman. After being exposed as a criminal and losing his business empire, Luthor's characterization turns more toward the original conception of a criminal genius obsessed with destroying Superman, most notably enlisting the help of the android AMAZO to destroy the League. He is eventually pardoned from his crimes after assisting the Justice League in defeating their alternate evil counterparts from a parallel universe, the Justice Lords. Afterwards, Luthor is interviewed by the press and implies that he is thinking of going into politics.

Justice League Unlimited[edit]

Luthor merged with Brainiac.

In the first season of Justice League Unlimited, Luthor announces he is running for President of the United States; this is later revealed to be a ruse to enrage Superman. In reality, Luthor is financially backing Project Cadmus, a shadow government organization dedicated to eradicating the League if they ever turn on Earth's population. Luthor's actions cause Captain Marvel to quit the League. Luthor uses the project to gain access to the technology necessary to build a duplicate of A.M.A.Z.O., intending to transfer his mind into the android body and gain immortality. He is thwarted by Amanda Waller and the seven founding members of the Justice League. At this point, it is revealed that Brainiac has been hiding within Luthor ever since the events of "Ghost in the Machine", the blast he hit Luthor with having delivered a nanotech payload with a copy of his program, the same program had earlier cured Luthor's cancer and given him superhuman strength. The two escape the League, and Luthor convinces Brainiac to merge with him into a single being using alien nanotechnology. Brainiac is thus reborn with a new purpose: absorb all information in the universe and then remake it rather than merely destroy it then shut down. The combined being is defeated by the Flash in the first and only demonstration of the Speed Force in the series. Superman nearly kills him, believing he has killed the Flash, but stops. It is then revealed the Flash has survived, the League pull him from the Speed Force.

In the following season, Luthor continually speaks to a hallucination of Brainiac, giving him a sort of multiple personality disorder; it is never made clear if the hallucination is actually Brainiac or merely a figment of Luthor's imagination. Luthor is obsessed with rebuilding Brainiac and regaining his lost "godhood". He joins the Secret Society, led by Gorilla Grodd, in order to obtain a piece of Brainiac in Grodd's possession. Later, using the failure of Gorilla Grodd's plan to turn all humans into apes as a pretext, Lex usurps and imprisons him, then assumes Grodd's place as leader with no apparent objections from the membership.

After taking over as leader of the Secret Society, Luthor returns to trying to resurrect Brainiac. Using the power of the Secret Society headquarters, Luthor tries to bring the fragment of Brainiac back online. Eventually, with the help of Tala, Luthor tracks down the remains of Brainiac's base and reconfigures the Secret Society headquarters into a starship to reach it. During the journey, Tala frees Grodd, who mounts an insurrection against Luthor with his fellow Secret Society members. Luthor manages to turn Grodd's own telepathy against him when Grodd tries to place him under his control, then forces Grodd to get into an airlock. He spaces Grodd, apparently killing him.

The Secret Society, back under Luthor's power, returns to their task of resurrecting Brainiac. Luthor hooks Tala up to a machine to gather Brainiac's essence from the remains of his base, knowing fully well that this will kill Tala. Before Luthor begins the process, Metron warns him that he may unleash something that will affect all of time. Luthor ignores the warning and proceeds, and as a result ends up mistakenly resurrecting Darkseid, fused with Brainiac, (although the DVD commentary suggests that Tala deliberately did this as her final act of revenge against Luthor), who immediately unleashes his wrath on the Secret Society before heading to Earth. The Society survives thanks to a forcefield generated by Sinestro and Star Sapphire.

As a result of the attempt, Luthor can no longer hear Brainiac's voice. The remnants of the Secret Society, under Luthor, go to the Justice League Watchtower to warn the superheroes of the threat. Complaisant to Superman's distrust to him, Luthor makes it clear that he cares less about saving the world and more about revenge on Darkseid for robbing him of his quest for power; they both agree that it will be "back to business as usual" and so make a temporary alliance in the defense of the planet. After, with the aid of the New God Metron, Luthor manages to acquire the Anti-Life Equation long sought by Darkseid, and in an act of heroism and bravery, uses it on the lord of Apokolips, sacrificing his own life in the process. Though there is no trace left of the two villains, Batman suspects Darkseid and Luthor will most likely meet them again. By the time of Batman Beyond, however, they have not been seen or heard from, implying that Luthor and Darkseid are indeed dead, but Dwayne McDuffie said that Lex and Darkseid both became a part of the Source Wall, like everyone else who solved the Anti-Life Equation

Animated film[edit]

Superman: Brainiac Attacks[edit]

Lex Luthor was also featured in the direct-to-video animated movie Superman: Brainiac Attacks as the secondary antagonist. Lex's character designs from Superman: The Animated Series, his job as a criminal businessman and his bodyguard Mercy Graves were used for this movie, but this version of Luthor acted similar to Gene Hackman's Luthor from Superman: The Movie. He constantly spouted one-liners and at one point threw a Tiki Torch Luau to celebrate Superman's presumed death. Lex Luthor was voiced by Powers Boothe in this movie (who earlier provided the voice of Gorilla Grodd in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited).

Luthor's role in this movie had him forming an alliance with Brainiac (the primary antagonist of the film), whose original body was destroyed by Superman. Luthor manages to recover a piece of Luthor's remains and takes it back to his lab in Metropolis, where he uses his technology to revive Brainiac. Luthor then offers a deal to the alien cyborg: he would offer him a new robot body and sent him to destroy Superman. Afterwards Brainiac would pretend to be defeated by Luthor and then leave Earth to conquer a different planet, while Luthor would appear as a hero to a people and then continue his quest to rule Earth. Seeing this as an opportunity, Brainiac accepts the deal, and Luthor sends Brainiac over to his LexCorp satellite in space, where Brainiac modifies it as his new body. As such, Luthor waited as Brainiac tracks down Superman and seemingly kills him in his Fortress of Solitude before returning back to Metropolis to fulfill his side of the deal. At first, they seemingly put on a good show of a fight, but unfortunately, Brainiac betrays Luthor, now intending to conquer Earth himself; he even destroyed the self-destruct mechanism that Luthor placed in case of he would be double-crossed. Brainiac then beats Luthor down and continues to rampage on Metropolis, much to Luthor's dismay. However, Superman arrives to the rescue (having escaped the explosion of the Fortress by traveling to the Phantom Zone) and manages to permanently destroy Brainiac, much to the relief and joy of everyone (including Luthor, who has been sent to the hospital to mend for his injuries inflicted by Brainiac). Despite being relieved that Brainiac is finally gone for good, Luthor is shocked to find out that the authorities have found a piece of kryptonite inside Brainiac's remains, and that the container contains Luthor's company insignia, thus exposing his involvement of Brainiac's attacks. Seeing that he is now in big trouble and that the authorities are now on to him, Luthor secretly tells Mercy to call in all of his lawyers.

Superman: Doomsday[edit]

Lex Luthor in Superman: Doomsday

Lex Luthor is featured in the direct-to-video animated movie Superman: Doomsday, serving as the main antagonist of the second half of the movie. Lex's character design is similar to those seen in Superman: The Animated Series, albeit with a much slimmer profile and a white suit, and is voiced by James Marsters; Marsters also portrayed villain Milton Fine (Brainiac) in the fifth and seventh season of Smallville. Here he's shown as highly intelligent (able to cure every known case of Muscular Dystrophy), but extremely amoral (has his scientists find ways to draw out such cures to make a higher profit).

In the film, Luthor is indirectly responsible for the release of the creature Doomsday. Upon discovering that the latent radiation from the Earth's core can be harnessed for energy purposes, LexCorp has been illegally drilling into the earth. When Luthor's miners stumble upon Doomsday's alien spacecraft while digging, they accidentally damage it and awaken Doomsaday from his long slumber. After the creature slaughters the mining team, Luthor orders his personal assistant, Mercy Graves, to cover up his involvement; when all other loose ends have been tied up, Luthor kills her to prevent any chance of a leak.

Following Superman and Doomsday's epic battle, Superman lies dead, and Luthor is free of all culpability. Rather than be pleased, Luthor is incensed that he was not able to kill Superman himself. Luthor then robs Superman's body from his grave with the intention of creating genetic clones of him. The cloned Superman is more violent than the original, killing crooks, threatening civilians, and generally behaving like a public menace, even causing the death of Toyman by dropping him from a large height during the criminal's arrest because Toyman killed a little girl. Meanwhile, the real Superman's corpse disappears from LexCorp during an electrical blackout (it is later revealed that Superman's robot servant at the Fortress of Solitude rescued him after seeing minor pulse fluctuations through separate days, realizing Superman was not dead).

Luthor is visited in his office by Lois Lane, who says she feels distant from her relationship with Superman (not knowing that he is a clone). Luthor tries to seduce her and they kiss, but Lois uses a tranquilizer on Luthor and knocks him unconscious; Lois believes he is the one behind Superman's strange behavior. Lois and Jimmy Olsen uncover Luthor's cloning project, but Luthor reappears and tries to shoot them. Fortunately, the cloned Superman has freed himself from Luthor's control and steps in to rescue Lois and Jimmy. Luthor escapes to a room with red sun beams, similar to Krypton's Red Sun, which will neutalize Superman's powers; he also dons kryptonite gloves, with the intention of beating the insolent clone to death. Instead, the clone traps Luthor in the vault, rips its foundation out of the building, and throws the vault across Metropolis. At the end of movie, it is revealed that Luthor survived, but with severe injuries. He is aware of the real Superman's survival at this point, and his final line in the movie is: "If history has proven that gods can die, it has also proven they may return from the dead... It would seem you can't be destroyed after all, Superman. It would seem."

Justice League: The New Frontier[edit]

Lex Luthor appears briefly in the animated film Justice League: The New Frontier. He is shown in LexCorp, (referred to as LexCo, possibly supposed to be an earlier name for LexCorp) during the scene in which John F. Kennedy made his famous speech.

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies[edit]

Clancy Brown reprised his role of Lex Luthor in the movie adaption of the comic book Superman/Batman: Public Enemies as the main antagonist. In the film, Luthor is elected President of the United States. When a massive Kryptonite meteor streaks toward Earth, Luthor attempts to form a pact with Superman to destroy the meteor, but later frames Superman for the murder of the villain Metallo, convincing the public that the Man of Steel has been psychologically influenced by the Kryptonite radiation. He places a $1 billion bounty on Superman's head, forcing Superman and Batman go on the run, trying to find a way to clear Superman's name, stop the meteor from striking Earth, and expose Luthor as a traitor. It is later revealed that Luthor ordered one of his aids, Major Force, to kill Metallo and pin the event on Superman. During the movie, Luthor attempts to destroy the meteor with nuclear weapons, but the radiation produced by the meteor prematurely detonates the nukes. As a result, Luthor becomes disillusioned by his failure, and being already mentally unstable due to Artificial Kryptonite and Venom (the same drug used by Bane) infusions that he was taking in secret, he decides to let the meteor hit to rule whats left of the planet. When he goes to fight Superman as a 13-year-old Toyman puts his plan into action to destroy the meteor, he dawns a high tech battle suit powered by the kryptonite pumping through his veins and puts up a fairly good fight against Superman, However the Venom eventually wears off and Superman is able to slowly strip the suit from Luthor. With Luthor's impeachment and subsequent incarceration with testimony from Amanda Waller over his secret infusions, he is driven completely insane as he's taken away to jail.

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths[edit]

Chris Noth portrays a benevolent version of Lex (Alexander) Luthor from a parallel universe on Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. In the film, Luthor was the leader of his world's superhero team until the Crime Syndicate eradicated every member, leaving him the sole survivor. To save his world, Luthor travels to a parallel Earth to enlist the Justice League's aid. Because of knowing his evil counterpart's existence and the Justice League's earlier distrust toward him, Luthor did made a brief sarcastic remark of "destroying the world" to get the League's attention. Luthor and the League eventually gained each other's trust and work together to defeat the Syndicate.

In battle, Luthor uses a yellow and black power suit that allows him jet boot-assisted flight, enhanced strength using focused energy and a personal shield for protection from harm. It also lets him shoot beams from hand blasters and project a force field dome around himself. The suit has compartments for the quantum trigger, his dimensional transporter, and a small piece of blue kryptonite to use against Ultraman, and it has a mini-computer in the left glove.

The regular Luthor also appears, but is shown to be in his prison cell on Stryker's Island, through Superman's telescopic and x-ray visions.

All-Star Superman[edit]

Actor Anthony LaPaglia provides the voice of Lex Luthor in an adaptation of All-Star Superman In the movie he's in prison but working for the army in creating weapons however he also plots on how to kill Superman and have the same powers. Ultimately, Luthor temporarily gains superpowers but is both physically and emotionally defeated by Superman. When Luthor laments all the good he could have done with superpowers, Superman condemns him by pointing out that Luthor had already squandered his chance to do so, choosing instead to use them to further his vendetta against Superman. After Superman's apparent death, Luthor, in a gesture of atonement, provide a template for replicating Superman's genetic structure in a human embryo.[14]

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse[edit]

While he does not make a physical appearance in the film, Lex Luthor is mentioned by a Gotham City newscaster. He states "I promise we won't talk about President Luthor's impeachment", in reference to the arc in the comics, in which Luthor is forced to resign the office.

Lego Batman: The Movie - DC Super Heroes Unite[edit]

Lex Luthor appears as a main antagonist in Lego Batman: The Movie - DC Super Heroes Unite, with Clancy Brown reprising his role.

Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox[edit]

Lex Luthor appears in Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox voiced by Steve Blum. In the distorted timeline of the 'Flashpoint' event, Lex alongside with Deathstroke is the captain of the ship. He and Deathstroke set out to find Aquaman's 'Doomsday Device', but the ship is suddenly attacked by an Atlantean army, led by Aquaman. Lex is wounded when Deathstroke and the crews were killed; Lex is executed by Aquaman saying no survivors.

JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time[edit]

Lex Luthor appears as the secondary antagonist in JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time, voiced by Fred Tatasciore.[15]

Other animation[edit]

Krypto the Superdog[edit]

In the animated series Krypto the Superdog, a rather cartoonish version of Luthor (voiced by Brian Dobson) is seen in two episodes. He is portrayed as a rich businessman in the series and has a pet iguana named Ignatius (voiced by Scott McNeil). Like Luthor, Ignatius is intelligent, vain, and morally ambivalent. Luthor, himself, has a greenish tinge to his skin and a Penguin-like hook nose.

Legion of Super Heroes[edit]

In the Legion of Super Heroes episode "Legacy", the young Superman meets Alexis (voiced by Tara Strong), the "richest girl in the galaxy" in the 31st century, who also has a knack with machinery and access to her own corporation's powerful technology. A beautiful redhead who wears a purple jumpsuit (echoing Lex Luthor's original hair color and classic costume), Alexis starts out as a friend of Superman, but is scorned when he refuses to neglect his duties with the Legion in favor of spending time with her.

To get rid of the "competition" for Superman's time, Alexis equips the Scavengers with cutting-edge weaponry and, after luring Superman away with a fake distress call, personally dons an large, advanced battlesuit, and leads an attack on the remaining Legion members. Superman returns in time to aid his friends and makes it clear to Alexis in no uncertain terms that he wants her out of his life. Alexis resolves to fight Superman, her reasoning being that if he will not be her friend, he will not be anybody else's either and she blasts him. Superman tries to warn her that she cannot hurt him and he overloads the barrel of Alexis' gun and her suit blows up. Superman pulls her free in time to save her life, but in addition to the injuries she sustained from the blast, all of her hair is seared off.

Instead of showing gratitude, Alexis is incensed. In the final scene, she has recovered and appears to be regrowing her hair while in prison. Her prison uniform displays the name "Luthor" written in the Interlac alphabet. While rebuilding her butler/bodyguard in her cell in Takron-Galtos, Alexis ominously states that she is actually grateful to the Legion, since they helped her realize her potential as a supervillainess. She is seen again in the season one finale where the Legion break out the Fatal Five, locked in her cell as she sticks her tongue out at a passing Superman. She's last seen in the second season premiere, her hair still not regrown, escaping with a crowd of inmates.

Young Lex makes an appearance in the tie in comic Legion Of Super Heroes In The 31st Century #13. Making his Metropolis debut, Superman saves Lex and the surrounding crowd from Lex's own out of control prototype battle suit. Though this version of Lex does not yet show hostility towards the Man Of Steel, Brainiac 5 warns Superman to keep an eye on Lex.

The Batman[edit]

Luthor appeared in the fifth season of The Batman. Clancy Brown reprised his role as Lex Luthor (from the DC animated universe) in this series. Luthor hires Metallo and equips him with Luthor's only piece of Kryptonite to defeat Superman, but is defeated by Batman. As Lex Luthor leaves for Gotham with his right-hand assistant Mercy Graves, Luthor hires Black Mask and Clayface (Basil Karlo) to kidnap Lois Lane and bring her to Gotham as part of a diversion for Superman. While Superman, Batman, and Robin fight Black Mask and his henchmen while assisted by Bane, Mr. Freeze, and Clayface, Luthor captures Poison Ivy and mixes her mind-controlling spores with the Kryptonite dust he already had. He uses it to make Superman his personal slave. It is revealed also that Luthor had previously confiscated technology from the remains of the Joining (based on Brainiac) to create an army of robots to take over the world, obstentially in order to protect it from future alien threats by interfacing with weaponry of Earth to create a global army under a his control. However, after Batman frees Superman from his control, both of them subdue Mercy Graves, destroy Luthor's robots, overpower Luthor and defeat him.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold[edit]

In Batman: The Brave and the Bold, a character named Rohtul (Luthor spelled backwards) appears in the episode "The Super-Batman of Planet X" portrayed by Clancy Brown. He appears as the Lex Luthor of Zur-En-Arrh and possibly the arch enemy of the Batman of that world. Both Batmen ended up fighting Rohtul and his army of giant robots (resembling the ones from the comics) when Batman discovered that he had superpowers upon being exposed to Rodon. He used his new abilities to defeat Rohtul's robots and apprehend Rohtul. While in jail, Rohtul discovers Earth Batman's weakness and plans to use it against him as Rodon-powered Earthlings are weak against Quartz (in other words, Rodon and Quartz do not mix). Rohtul contacts one of his robots which springs him out of jail while quoting to the guard that he's "done with the room." When Batman confronts Rohtul, he has one of his robots open a compartment that contains Quartz. Batman of Zur-En-Arrh rescues Batman and sprays him with something that protects him from the Rodon's events. When Rohtul tries to take Vilsi Veylar hostage, he ends up defeated by both Batmen.

The actual Lex Luthor is portrayed with an fat chin and he appears in the episodes "Battle of the Superheroes!" and "Triumvirate of Terror!" voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson. In "Battle of the Superheroes!": He robs a museum and kidnaps Lois Lane only to be thwarted by Superman and arrested by the police. When Lois Lane unknowingly receives a Red Kryptonite necklace, it causes Superman to turn evil causing Batman and Krypto to hold off Superman until the effects wore off. They discovered that the real Lex Luthor is at large having been the one who mailed Lois the Red Kryptonite necklace and that the one in jail was a robotic duplicate. When Lex Luthor tries to use his Kryptonite ring on Superman, it does not work due to the fact that Superman was actually Batman in disguise. Lex Luthor was defeated by Batman and Superman.

In "Triumvirate of Terror!", Luthor is seen as the leader of the Legion of Doom. He competes with The Joker, Cheetah, Weather Wizard, Felix Faust, and AMAZO against the Justice League International, including Robin, Kid Flash, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Booster Gold and Green Arrow, plays a game of baseball, with Jimmy Olsen as the host. During the game, Luthor tries to cheat his way to victory, but the Justice League still defeats him and the Legion of Doom. Later, after Luthor is again defeated by Superman in battle in Metropolis, he meets up with Joker and Cheetah at the Legion of Doom Headquarters. They team up to defeat the heroes by forming a strategy of attacking a different hero: “Superman” vs “Cheetah”, “Wonder woman” vs “Joker”, and “Batman” vs “Luthor”. Luthor, wearing his battle suit, ambushes Batman in his batcave, after being halted off by Alfred Pennyworth, Batman's butler who wore the Batman suit and fought Luthor to protect Batman's secret identity, The Real Batman fights Luthor in the Batcave, despite his speed and skill, Batman is defeated by Luthor and knocked unconscious. When the villains complete their objectives and the heroes are captured, Luthor sends a broadcast to all of the universe, telling everyone that they will destroy the Justice League in front of the entire universe (Interesting, Luthors Zur-En-Arrh counterpart: Rohtul, sees Luthor's broadcast from his location in Zur-En-Arrh) But Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman free themselves and fight the villains. Superman once again fights Luthor, but this time, Luthor gained the upperhand and overpowered Superman. However, Superman quickly revived, knocks Luthor to the Wall with his Super breath and rematched Luthor. After defeating Cheetah with Wonder Woman and Batman, Superman fights Luthor again and Superman defeats Luthor by knocking him down and destroying his power suit. This leaves Luthor vulnerable and Batman finishes Luthor off with a powerful blow, defeating him. Luthor, Joker and Cheetah, following their defeats at the heroes hands, are trapped by Superman with a rope.

Lex Luthor appears in Batman: The Brave and the Bold issue #1 where he controls a composite monster that attacks Batman and Power Girl in England.

Young Justice[edit]

Lex Luthor is featured in Young Justice, voiced by Mark Rolston. In the episode titled "Targets", Luthor attempts to arrange a peace negotiation between two warring nations, which he attempts to profit of later on, but is nearly killed by Cheshire and Sportsmaster. A disgusted Red Arrow saves his life, with Luthor attempting to hire him. Later on, the assassins try to kill him and the diplomats again, but are saved by seemingly-robotic Mercy Graves. The diplomats, impressed and grateful, negotiate under a weapons deal by Luthor. It is later revealed that Lex Luthor had set up the assassination attempts with Ra's al Ghul in order to further the agenda of The Light (Project Cadmus' Board of Directors). In the episode "Revelation", it is revealed that Lex Luthor is L-3 of The Light. In the episode "Agendas", Luthor manipulates Superboy into releasing the other Superman clone Match, so that the locations of Cadmus' missing Genomorphs could be located. Afterwards, Luthor reveals to Superboy that he was the donor for the human half of his DNA. When Superboy confronts him, Luthor says the words "Red Sun", causing Superboy to "shut down" for an undetermined amount of time. In the episode "Usual Suspects", Lex Luthor learns that Superboy has used the last of the patches and contacts him to meet with him on Santa Prisca. When Superboy arrives on Santa Prisca to meet up with Lex Luthor, he also finds Queen Bee, Sportsmaster, Cheshire, Bane, and Blockbuster with him as Miss Martian and Artemis also arrive. Lex Luthor quotes "Red Sun" to disable Superboy so that he can be ready for the plot Lex Luthor and Queen Bee have in mind. When Miss Martian lashes out against Blockbuster, the rest of the Team arrives to fight the villains. As Superboy fights Blockbuster, Lex Luthor states that the there were other programs that were to be installed into Superboy, but Dr. Mark Desmond never got the chance to add them once Superboy was awakened. After Queen Bee is knocked out, Lex Luthor and Mercy escape into their helicopter with Queen Bee while the Team continues to fight the other villains. In the episode "Auld Acquaintance", Ra's al Ghul and Lex Luthor infiltrate Project Cadmus and steal the clones that they have.

In the second season episode Invasion (which is set five years later), Luthor is still shown as part of the Light. After being rescued by Red Arrow (who is revealed to be a clone) and Cheshire, the real Roy Harper attempts to assassinate Luthor. Lex manages to dissuade the youth by offering him an advanced cybernetic arm to replace the one that was amputated after he was kidnapped by the Light. In the episode "True Colors", Luthor partners with the alien race the Reach to produce a line of soft drinks that supposedly makes humans more healthy. In reality, the drinks instead produce an unnatural dependency in humans, which helps the Light and Reach forward their plans. The episode ends with Lex telling Vandal Savage that he plans to create his own team of teen superheroes to counter those of the Justice League.

In the episode "Runaways", Luthor sends the rebuilt Red Volcano to S.T.A.R. Labs to steal the remains of Amazo, who had been destroyed by Superboy during the first season. The plan is foiled by the combined efforts of Blue Beetle and Virgil Hawkins, Asami Koizumi, Tye Longshadow, and Eduardo Dorado, a group of teens who had previously been kidnapped and granted superhuman abilities by the Reach. Luthor recruits the children by telling them that he has putting together a team to stop the Reach, whom he suspect have been manipulating him. In the final episode "Endgame", when the Reach activated the machines to destroy the Earth with natural disasters, Luthor contact a truce with the Justice League and the Team using his provided LexCorp devices that will shut down the Reach's machines. In the aftermath, G. Gordon Godfrey starts campaigning for Luthor to replace the now-resigned UN Secretary General, much to the Justice League's (especially Superman's) dismay.

Lego Batman: Be-Leaguered[edit]

  • Lex Luthor appears in the animated television special Lego Batman: Be-Leaguered, voiced by John DiMaggio.[16]

Parodies[edit]

  • Lex Luthor appears in the Robot Chicken episode "Toyz in the Hood" voiced by Donald Faison. He carpools to work with Skeletor, Cobra Commander, and Mumm-Ra which ends with their car caught in traffic. He mentions about having a teleporter on his wrist yet he rides with the villains. At some point during the trip, he ends up annoyed by some kids in the next car who insult him causing Lex Luthor to shoot the tires. When their parking space is stolen by the archenemies of the villains, Lex Luthor uses his teleporter and ends up in the car with the kids who insulted him. Jim Cummings voices Lex Luthor in the episode "Due to Constraints of Time and Budget." In a segment that parodies a scene from the Superman movie, Lex Luthor uses a supersonic frequency to contact Superman which also drives the animals crazy enough for them to leave Metropolis on a raft. The newspaper states that Superman stopped Lex Luthor, but the escaping animals have drowned.
  • Mad featured Lex Luthor in a parody of Zeke and Luther called "Zeke and Lex Luthor".
  • In the Tiny Toons Adventures, the character Montana Max parodies as Wex Wuthor attacking the Just-us League of Supertoons.
  • In Teen Titans Go!, Lex Luthor's face appears in many banknotes shown in various scenes.

Video games[edit]

Lex Luthor has appeared in every electronic game featuring Superman since the first Superman game released for the Atari 2600 with the exception of The Death and Return of Superman.

Superman[edit]

A particular failure was in the 1999 game Superman, where Superman had to undergo the "Solve My Maze" challenges, where the player had to fly through a series of rings under strict time limits. The game as a whole was badly received, to the point that N64 Magazine constantly parodied it, including a recurring feature, "Lex Luthor's Solve My Maze", an equally non-sensical puzzle that was also rarely a maze.

Justice League: Injustice for All[edit]

He also appears as the main antagonist of the video game Justice League: Injustice for All. In the game, he makes a deal with the alien enemies of Martian Manhunter to help them take over Earth in exchange for them helping him destroy the Justice League and uses the Injustice Gang to do his dirty work. He is defeated by Superman and The Justice League in the final battle and is preseumely destroyed after Lex sets his headquarters up to explode with him and the Justice League in it, however, the Justice League managed to escape and Luthor was presumely caught by the explosion. The Justice League stated that if Luthor returned, they would be there to stop him.

Superman Returns[edit]

Most recently, Kevin Spacey reprised his role as Lex Luthor in the Superman Returns video game, but is only seen in cut scenes.

Mortal Kombat vs DC universe[edit]

Lex Luthor is one of the fighters in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe played by Christopher Sean Piereman and voiced by Joe J. Thomas.[17] He is shown to be wearing his power armor in combat. Its Mortal Kombat counterpart is Jax.

In the game, Superman accuses Lex Luthor of helping Darkseid invade the Earth. After Darkseid's defeat when Superman used his heat vision on the Boomtube, Superman takes Lex Luthor to someplace more secure than Stryker's Island that has a view of the Earth. When the "world merge crisis" began, he and Catwoman ended up in the Mortal Kombat universe where they fought Jax of the Special Forces and were defeated. He also confronts Green Lantern and battles him for the power ring when the portal he and Catwoman escaped in took them to Oa instead of Earth. Lex Luthor later makes an alliance with Deathstroke and Joker in order to handle the other-world invaders. They run into Captain Marvel (who had defeated Shang Tsung, Scorpion, and Baraka in the Netherealm) just as Superman arrives. When Superman tells Lex Luthor that he's supposed to be in jail, Lex Luthor states that the evidence did not hold up. When Captain Marvel reveals the origins of Dark Kahn who is partially made from Darkseid, the Kombat Rage overcomes Lex Luthor who blames Superman for his part in Dark Kahn's creation. Captain Marvel ended up calming both of them down as the villains call a truce with the Justice League. Lex Luthor takes Catwoman to secure the portal technology while Deathstroke and Joker serve as a diversion for some of the "invaders." Lex Luthor then goes after portal technology that belongs to the Mortal Kombat universe (defeating both Scorpion and Sub-Zero on the way) and is confronted by Jax (who has apparently faced him before, as Jax mentions arresting him). After taking down Jax, Lex Luthor ends up fighting Flash (who had defeated Catwoman). When both sides of the characters from the respectful universes meet up, Dark Kahn uses the Kombat Rage to make both sides fight with a shot of Lex Luthor fighting Jax again. With some of the opponents on both sides defeated, Lex Luthor (still consumed by the Kombat Rage) still blames Superman for Dark Kahn's creation and ends up fighting Superman only to be defeated.

In Lex Luthor's ending, it has him using his company to begin portal research after stealing the data for it from the Special Forces. Eventually, he manages to create a portal back to The MK Universe where he meets Quan Chi. The two decide to band together thus forming The "Deadly Alliance".

DC Universe Online[edit]

James Marsters reprises his role of Lex Luthor for the video game DC Universe Online. In the game, Luthor leads a war against the Justice League that destroyed all of Earth, helped by Circe, Deathstroke, Black Adam, Metallo, Harley Quinn, and Joker. Almost all the heroes and villains have been destroyed and Luthor drives Superman out of exile by lethally electrocuting Wonder Woman. Superman flies to Earth after gaining strength from the yellow sun and after defeating Black Adam, angrily assaults Luthor. Luthor recovers after Superman is weakened by the Kryptonite in Wonder Woman's mouth, implanted in there by Luthor. Luthor states that Superman has lost, but Superman claims that Luthor lost by losing everything, Luthor tells Superman that he's beaten him after killing him with a Kryptonite Pike. Afterwards, he looks up to witness the arrival of Brainiac. With most of the heroes and villains dead, Brainiac takes over the planet with little trouble, killing what is left of the planets superhumans, Luthor himself being the only survivor. Realizing that hero and villain must work together, he travels back in time where Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the Justice League is still alive and Earth is still intact to warn them of Brainiac's threat. Though they distrust him at first, Luthor says that they must trust him or Earth will be ruled by Brainiac. To this end, he releases stolen nano machines called "exobytes" from Brainiac into the atmosphere, that will give superpowers to whoever they come into contact with, and charges the heroes with training the new superheroes.

Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes[edit]

Lex Luthor appears in Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, featured as one of the two main antagonists along with the Joker. He is once again voiced by Clancy Brown. In the story, Lex broke the Joker out of Arkham Asylum with his new weapon, the "Deconstructor", which can take apart any black object, even Batman and his vehicles. He let the Joker use it in exchange for his assist in Luthor's presidential campaign. To this end, they break into the Batcave, steal Batman's entire supply of kryptonite, and use it to power a giant Joker robot that can dispense a gas that will convince everyone in Gotham to vote for Lex. However, their plans are foiled when the Justice League appears. Despite Luthor's efforts to destroy them using his large Power Armor in the final boss battle, the armor is destroyed when the Martian Manhunter uses the Watchtower's laser, defeating Lex. After completing story mode, he is found as an optional boss fight and an unlockable character, found at the Yacht Club.

Injustice: Gods Among Us[edit]

Lex Luthor appears as a playable character in Injustice: Gods Among Us. Mark Rolston reprises his role once more.

In the "Prime" universe, he leads an attack on the Watchtower battling the Teen Titans before being subdued by Batman. He then reveals that he provided Joker a nuke to destroy Metropolis, expecting the Justice League to die attempting to stop him and he would rebuild the city in his own image, before Nightwing knocked him out.

In an alternate universe, Luthor is introduced in the story as an entrepreneur who has never engaged in any criminal activity, as well as an ally and best friend to the alternate version of Superman. However, the friendship is a front, as his real goal is to stop Superman's Regime. To this end, he aids Batman's Insurgency in secret, cooperating with him to create a laser weaponized by Kryptonite. After the Watchtower is blown up by Deathstroke, he calls out Superman directly, but he is stopped by Shazam just before he can fire the shot. He is killed moments later by Superman for his betrayal. After the Regime is deposed by the original Superman, Lex is honored posthumously for his deeds by the original Cyborg. Due to the alternate Lex not being a criminal, it's unknown of who is the alternate Superman's primary antagonist and it's not stated of how did this version of Lex Luthor became friends with this alternate version of Superman.

In Lex's ending in Battle Mode, the original Lex defeats Superman and takes advantage of the heroic sacrifice of that reality's Lex becoming a hero to its people and new ruler.

Young Justice: Legacy[edit]

Lex Luthor appears in the video game Young Justice: Legacy. Mark Rolston reprises the role. Lex aids Black Manta in securing the piece of an ancient statue and capturing Aquaman when he investigated the matter in Santa Prisca. Aqualad and The Team arrive to stop them, but Black Manta keeps the heroes occupied while Lex escapes with the piece on a ship. The Team later chase board his ship, with Lex fighting them with a hover vehicle. After the heroes retrieve the piece, Lex leaves them.

The technology and weapons used by multiple villains and henchmen in the game is also provided by LexCorp.

Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure[edit]

Lex appears in the game as an ally for Brainiac. In Metropolis, after Metallo is defeated, Doppelganger turns Luthor into a kryptonian, but Maxwell gives Superman the upper hand by creating Kryptonite. (Superman was immune to it's effects as Maxwell gave him lead armour). After Braniac transports Lex and Doppelgänger into his lair, Superman finds a starite in one of Lex's safes, which Maxwell collects to add to the Starites needed to get him and his sister home. Luthor is later seen during the final battle on Braniac's lair, where he uses his robotic suit and summons multiple insectoid Lexbots, many of which are Kryptonite-powered. After the Injustice League is defeated Lex (along with The Joker, Harley Quinn, Cheetah, Ocean Master, Professor Zoom and the Sinestro Corps) is teleported by Braniac leaving his fate unknown.

Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham[edit]

Lex Luthor appears as a playable character in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham where he uses his robotic suit. He gathers various villains to form the Legion of Doom so he can sneak in to the Watchtower disguised as Hawkman, hijack the weapons systems and become president of earth. But he and the others later join with the Justice League to defeat Brainiac. During the adventure he temporarily gets struck with indigo energy, filling him with compassion. He manages to take over the white house while the Justice league were distracted, but they were sent to jail by the heroes. He and the Joker mock a miniaturized Braniac in a bottle that was in their cell, but the bottle gets broken, restoring Braniac to normal, to Lex and the Joker's horror and panic. Clancy Brown reprises his role.

Music[edit]

Luthor is mentioned in the song "Rain Man", by the rapper Eminem.

The song, Suprema Lex by Ookla the Mok, is about Lex Luthor having a conversation with Superman as he sits in prison.

Novels[edit]

Last Son of Krypton[edit]

Luthor plays a major role in the Elliot S! Maggin novel Last Son of Krypton.

Lex is a childhood classmate of Clark Kent in Smallville, a scientific genius who blames the then-Superboy for ruining his greatest experiment—the creation of artificial life (in fact it is Lex, celebrating his achievement with a smoke, who starts the fire in his lab). It is at this time that his hair is also burned off. Lex is never again able to replicate his results and holds a lifelong grudge against Superman as a result.

Lex as an adult spends much of his time in prison, but in this story it is described as largely by choice; Lex has the capacity to escape nearly at his leisure, but finds that solitude gives him time to work on his scientific theories and finds dodging manhunts tedious. He learns of a secret document written by his idol Albert Einstein, and breaks out for the express purpose of stealing it, using a hologram of himself as a distraction; however, when he cannot translate it (it is actually written in Kryptonese), turns to an expert linguist who turns out to be a disguised alien who also wishes to steal the documents. Luthor then forms a reluctant alliance with his archenemy Superman to chase the alien to a distant world, using Lex's one-man faster than light starship which he has kept hidden for years in plain sight as a modern art sculpture. When the mysterious alien's greater plans are revealed, Lex must work with, and even save the life of, Superman in order to protect the entire galaxy from the would-be warlord.

Lex in this story combines aspects of the Silver Age, Bronze Age and film versions. During his robbery of the Einstein papers he uses a hologram of himself dressed in his purple bandoliered jumpsuit with jet-boots (the same Silver Age costume is also used on Superfriends), while he uses a disguise and wig to steal the document; he also holds property and front companies under various names and identities. Luthor is also seen in jail wearing the classic grey prison jumpsuit, and uses a museum hideout similar to the "Luthor's Lair" of the Silver Age comics, though he employs several scientists as underlings, as opposed to the solitary mad scientist of the comics. The novel delves into Lex's personality and viewpoint nearly as much as that of the Man of Steel.

It's Superman![edit]

Lex Luthor also appears in another novel titled It's Superman!, by Tom De Haven.

In the novel, Lex Luthor is alderman of 1930s New York City—used in place of Metropolis—and has a company called Lexco. Despite this, he still feels like something is missing. When he visits his dead mother's grave, he is attacked by hitmen. After he kills them, he feels excitement for the first time. Later in the story, much death and destrucation is caused by his robotic "Lexbots". The fiasco leads to his first confrontation with Superman, and Lex believes the void he felt has been filled. By the end of the story, he becomes a wanted criminal, and even he says that he has never been more excited than he is at that moment.

Enemies & Allies[edit]

Luthor is the main antagonist in the Kevin J. Anderson novel Enemies & Allies. Set in the 1950s, his company, LuthorCorp, is buying military contracts via the technological results stolen from Wayne Enterprises. Luthor has either bribed or blackmailed several of Bruce Wayne's board members into smuggling Wayne's designs for Luthor's financial growth. And in the meantime, Luthor has secretly sided with Russian general Ceridov because Ceridov's gulag in Siberia has found a rare, unidentifiable mineral (it is revealed to be kryptonite). Luthor's alliance with Ceridov also guarantees the both of them power to control their own shares of the world: Luthor will get the West side of the planet, while Ceridov controls all countries within Communist boundaries. Their plan was for Ceridov to have three Russian nuclear missiles launched at Metropolis while Luthor, who owns a private island, will destroy all three missiles via a laser weapon so that he will be looked upon as saviour of mankind, while Ceridov will have the blame of the nuclear missiles launching by two other Russian generals. However, his corporate espionage is uncovered by Bruce Wayne/Batman, with Wayne informing the board that they will deliver Luthor only ineffective versions of the components he demands from Wayne Enterprises, with the result that the laser fails to work when the missiles are launched. Though Superman manages to prevent a nuclear holocaust all by himself by diverting the missiles into space, Luthor is still peeved at the failure of his laser beam. After a board member who was giving Luthor the technological designs from Wayne Enterprises reveals to Luthor what Wayne knows, Luthor kills the board member and begins to systematically kill off all the others for their uselessness to him. In an attempt to recoup his losses, Luthor stages an alien invasion of Metropolis after Superman has been captured by the Russians, but this plan is thwarted when Batman rescues the Man of Steel, the two heroes defeating the 'invasion'- and identifying the components that made the spacecraft as LuthorCorp manufacture- while Lois Lane uncovers evidence of Luthor's dealings with the Russians. Although Lex attempts to defend himself by aruging that the subsequent trial focus on the technology he developed to carry out the 'invasion', he is nevertheless sentenced to death by electric chair, simply noting in response to the judge informing him that the chair he will die in was designed by LuthorCorp that he is sure it will work.

References[edit]

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