Mercy Graves

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Mercy Graves
Mercy Graves.jpg
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Superman: The Animated Series
"A Little Piece of Home"
First comic appearance Superman Adventures #1
(November 1996)
Created by Bruce Timm
Paul Dini
Voiced by Lisa Edelstein (Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited)
Lauren Tom (Superman: Shadow of Apokolips)
Tara Strong (Superman: Brainiac Attacks)
Cree Summer (Superman: Doomsday)
Gwendoline Yeo (The Batman)
In-story information
Team affiliations LexCorp
Abilities

High intelligence
Experience in hand to hand combat


(in comics) Amazon superhuman strength, speed, agility, etc

Mercedes "Mercy" Graves III is a fictional character who appears in comic books published by DC Comics. She debuted in 1996 on Superman: The Animated Series as the bodyguard and personal assistant of Superman's archenemy, Lex Luthor.[1] Like Harley Quinn and Livewire, she has since crossed over from the DC animated universe into the comics.

DC animated universe[edit]

Superman: The Animated Series[edit]

Mercy Graves was created for Superman: The Animated Series (voiced by Lisa Edelstein) as a tough young woman with a checkered past. Mercy serves as Lex Luthor's personal bodyguard and chauffeur. Originally the leader of a gang of female thieves, Mercy once daringly swiped Luthor's briefcase from under the billionaire's nose. She did not get far before Luthor's men hunted her down. However, rather than take revenge, Luthor, impressed by her mixture of ruthlessness and street savvy, offered her a job. He took her in, cleaned her up, and made her his right-hand woman, entrusting her with his personal security and also to carry out his dirty work.

Though she usually relies on cool and sardonic wit as her first form of defense, Mercy is an excellent hand-to-hand combatant, using a rough, street-form of kickboxing as her preferred form of attack. She is also an expert with most forms of handheld weapons. Her habitual dress is a chauffeur's uniform with a very short skirt, a chauffeur's cap, nylons and high heeled boots.

Mercy is loyal and respectful to Luthor, but never servile. She claims to be "the only one in Luthor's entire company who can get away with calling him Lex".

In "Brave New Metropolis," an alternate reality of Mercy Graves is the commander of Lex Luthor's law-enforcement group. She and her soldiers raid the hideout of the revolutionaries led by Jimmy Olsen where they arrest the revolutionaries, confiscate the stolen Kryptonite, had the adults sent to a prison block, and had any children of the revolutionaries placed in the LexCorp Orphanage. When she hears Jimmy call out to Lois, Mercy had her brought before Lex Luthor after the DNA tests prove that she is Lois Lane. Lex Luthor decided that in order to keep Superman at bay, it'd be best to dispose of Lois. He sent Mercy to kill her in the city. On their way, they came across Angela Chen, who managed to distract the commander. Lois stole Mercy's gun and before she could react, Angela had bitten her leg. Lois made her getaway. Lois and the alternate Superman met where he learned what Lex Luthor has been doing behind his back. In the LexCorp building, Mercy was present when Lois and Superman confronted Luthor. Mercy fought Lois, but ultimately lost when Lois planted a jaw-breaking left hook. Rebels stormed into the room and poured onto the hated Mercy while Superman pursued Lex Luthor.

In the episode "Ghost in the Machine," Mercy teams up with Superman to find a missing Lex Luthor. Superman tries to convince Mercy that Luthor does not actually care for her; Mercy tries to prove him wrong. However, after a battle with Brainiac, Mercy is pinned under a pile of fallen machinery while the room caves in. Although Luthor could have saved her, he flees instead causing Superman to save her.

During the "World's Finest" crossover arc, Mercy develops an intense rivalry with Harley Quinn, the Joker's hench-girl and on/off girlfriend. During the arc's climactic episode, Harley duct-tapes Mercy's mouth shut and ties her to a killer android that attacks Batman and Superman. She is saved by the two, and is later seen watching television and laughing as Harley is publicly arrested.

Justice League[edit]

Mercy Graves later reappears in the Justice League episode "Tabula Rasa". The nature of her relationship with Luthor becomes more clear. Mercy has agreed to take over LexCorp while Luthor is in prison and is hesitant to return it to him because she feels their former relationship was not an equal one. She also states that while she was the CEO of LexCorp, she brought the stock up 38% and removed certain departments in the science division finding them useless or in order to save money. Lex Luthor exacerbates the situation by verbally and physically abusing her. It is repeatedly implied that their relationship was not solely platonic. Mercy grudgingly assists Luthor's escape from the Justice League. However, his deceitful manipulation of another devoted servant causes Mercy to see their years together in a different light. After his capture, Mercy hangs up on Lex Luthor during his single phone call when he requests help in obtaining a lawyer and doctors to treat his Kryptonite cancer.

Justice League Unlimited[edit]

Mercy Graves reappears in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Clash". She was seen at Lex Luthor's side again implying that her new self-confidence is gone.

Comics[edit]

Mercy Graves as a member of Infinity Inc. Art by Pete Woods.

Mercy Graves first appears in the DC Universe in Detective Comics #735 (August 1999), during the "No Man's Land" storyline in the Batman titles. This version of Mercy has blonde hair and does not wear a chauffeur's uniform. She is later joined by another female bodyguard in Luthor's employ, Hope. It is suggested that the two may be Amazons, as they have exchanged blows with Superman. This possibility is referenced in the Secret Files: President Luthor comic when the sorceress Circe appears at the White House demanding to meet with Lex. Hope and Mercy inform Circe that they can always recognize her, no matter what disguise or form she might take, suggesting some previous familiarity. After temporarily changing them into birds Circe tells Lex that he will need to hire new Amazon bodyguards.

Although Hope's time as a LexCorp employee has passed, Mercy can be seen with the fugitive Lex Luthor after he is driven from the Presidency. Despite her loyalty to Luthor, she has still shown some humanity even while in his employ; when Superman was searching for Lois Lane after she was abducted and impersonated by the Parasite, Mercy saw him during his search, and, in that moment, saw him not as an alien, but as a man who had lost everything.[volume & issue needed] A Mercy-Harley Quinn fight is featured in Action Comics #765 (May 2000).

In the series 52, Mercy is seen alongside Luthor at the unveiling of his "Be Your Own Hero" program, and is injured when she fires several gunshots at Steel, which he deflects and sends back at her, hitting her in the right hand. She is later shown in Luthor's employ in 52 Week 40.

Mercy has appeared in the Infinity, Inc. series, apparently wanting to atone for her past deeds. In #8, she takes on the moniker "Vanilla" and wears a costume equipped with a special mask that will keep her identity hidden from the likes of Superman and Lex Luthor. In #10, she almost beats a man to death. She leaves the team soon after, accepting the fact that she is not "hero" material.

Mercy's Amazon heritage is confirmed in Justice League: Cry for Justice, when the supervillain Prometheus nearly kills Supergirl with god-forged bullets he claimed he bought from Mercy.[2]

In the New 52, Mercy Graves is reintroduced as an Asian American, due to her upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice film incarnation. She works as Lex Luthor's personal assistant and manages LexCorp during his absence just like the original version.[3]

In other media[edit]

Film[edit]

Animated[edit]

  • Mercy Graves (sporting her DCAU design) is voiced by Tara Strong in Superman: Brainiac Attacks. She is seen at the side of Lex Luthor even to the part where Brainiac uses LexCorp technology to build a new body. When Lex Luthor is in the hospital being interviewd following Brainiac's attack, Lex Luthor quietly tells Mercy to call all his lawyers.
  • Mercy Graves appears in Superman: Doomsday voiced by Cree Summer. She is seen porting a design based on her comic book incarnation rather than her DCAU appearance. In the movie, she watches a project with Lex Luthor that involves LexCorp secretly, and illegally, digging deep underground, where they accidentally unearth the villain Doomsday. Lex tells Mercy to make sure that all evidence of LexCorp's involvement never existed. When Doomsday and Superman kill each other in an epic battle, Lex loses his chance to be responsible for Superman's death, both directly and indirectly through Mercy's destruction of the evidence. Once Mercy informs him that there's no link back to LexCorp, he shoots her in the head to make sure absolutely nothing can be traced back to him.

Live-action[edit]

  • A Mercy Graves-like character named Misty was to appear in the unfinished film Superman Lives. Not unlike her counterparts from the DC animated universe and comics, she is the valet/bodyguard/lover of Lex Luthor, who himself is similar to his Post-Crisis/Man of Steel version. She is by Luthor's side all through the film during his alliance with Brainiac. Interestingly, in several drafts of the script, she does not appear to say a single word (she may prefer to be silent in a way to intimidate her enemies).

Television[edit]

Animated[edit]

  • Mercy Graves appears in Young Justice as Lex Luthor's main bodyguard. She is depicted as a woman with a cybernetic right arm concealing powerful weapons, who speaks very little. In the episode "Targets", when assassins Cheshire and Sportsmaster attempt to kill him and two Asian diplomats, Mercy uses her mechanical arm that contains projectile weapons to stop them. The diplomats, grateful and impressed by the weaponry within Mercy, make a deal with Luthor. She returns in "Usual Suspects," where she acts as Luthor's bodyguard during the battle at Santa Prisca. She blasts Aqualad when he attempts to arrest Luthor, and the two escape by helicopter. She reappears alongside Luthor in "Satisfaction", helping him escape a vengeful Roy Harper who bombs his office before they find Harper inside a parking garage blowing up Luthor's car. Mercy and Roy engage in a duel across the garage, with Roy using various weapons (like a crossbow and bombs) and techniques to avoid or knock out Mercy, most of which fail him. He eventually succeeds in blowing off her cybernetic arm and knocking her into a car windshield. Later, Roy shows Green Arrow and his Cadmus clone Red Arrow a cybernetic arm more powerful than Mercy's, and declares Speedy "dead", preferring the sound of "Arsenal".

Live-action[edit]

  • Cassidy Freeman portrayed Tess Mercer on Smallville, a composite character based on Mercy Graves and Eve Teschmacher. Introduced in season eight as Lex Luthor's successor, she is nicknamed "Mercy" by Oliver Queen. In season ten, she is revealed to be trained by Granny Goodness and was born Lionel Luthor's daughter as Lutessa Lena Luthor, going by 'Tess' for short, so she's not actually Mercy Graves. In the series finale, Lionel's alternate universe counterpart abducts her and attempts to use her heart for a clone body of Lex, so that he can be reborn. She escapes, but returns to LuthorCorp to find Lex, now revived using Lionel's heart instead. After revealing that he knew all along about their sibling relationship, Lex stabs and kills her so she won't be in his way of his plans, but having expected this, just before she dies Tess poisons him with a neurotoxin that erases all of his memory. In the comic book continuation of the show, it is revealed that the neurotoxin has unexpectedly left Tess' consciousness inside Lex's mind, who threatens to erase her unless she tells him Superman's secret identity. Superman and Green Arrow manage to rescue Tess and download her consciousness inside the Watchtower's database, giving her a new cybernetic form.

Video games[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hilary J. Bader (writer); Toshihiko Masuda (director) (September 14, 1996). "A Little Piece of Home". Superman: The Animated Series. Season 1. Episode 5. The CW.
  2. ^ Justice League: Cry for Justice #1-7 (Sept. 2009 – April 2010)
  3. ^ Justice League #31 (June 2014)
  4. ^ Bussey, Ben (2011-04-20). "Wolverine Actress Joins Batman V Superman - Yahoo Movies UK". Yahoo. Retrieved 2014-06-19. 

External links[edit]