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Mercy Graves in Superman: Metropolis Secret Files and Origins #1 (July 2000). Art by Stuart Immonen and Wade Von Grawbadger
|First appearance||Superman: The Animated Series|
"A Little Piece of Home"
|First comic appearance||Superman Adventures #1 (November 1996)|
|Created by||Paul Dini|
|Alter ego||Mercedes "Mercy" Graves|
|Abilities||Trained in hand-to-hand combat|
Mercedes "Mercy" Graves III is a fictional character owned by American comic books publisher DC Comics. She debuted in 1996 on Superman: The Animated Series as the personal assistant and bodyguard of Superman's archenemy, Lex Luthor. Like Harley Quinn, Chloe Sullivan, and Livewire, Mercy Graves has since crossed over into comic books and is part of the DC Universe.
DC animated universe
Superman: The Animated Series
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. Trained in unarmed combat, she was entrusted with his personal security and also to carry out his dirty work.
Her demeanor reveals a sardonic wit and her habitual dress is a chauffeur's uniform with a very short skirt, a chauffeur's cap, nylons, and short, high heeled boots. Mercy is loyal and respectful to Luthor, and she claims to be "the only one in Luthor's entire company who can get away with calling him Lex".
In the episode "Brave New Metropolis" Lois Lane travels to an alternate reality of Metropolis. 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, send the adults to prison, and send any children of the revolutionaries to 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 would 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 henchwoman and on again/off again 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.
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-caused cancer.
Justice League Unlimited
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.
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 President Luthor: Secret Files and Origins 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. 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.
In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. In this new timeline, Mercy Graves is reintroduced as an Asian American. She works as Lex Luthor's personal assistant and manages LexCorp during his absence.
In other media
- In The Batman episode "The Batman/Superman Story, Part One", Mercy Graves (voiced by Gwendoline Yeo) appears again as Lex Luthor's right hand, only this time she appears to be of Eurasian descent, gunslinging skills, and possessing a pair of twin laser guns.
- Mercy Graves appears in Young Justice. She appears as Lex Luthor's main bodyguard and 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".
- A character who shares some similarity with Graves appears in Smallville. She is a combination character, created through an amalgamation of Mercy Graves, Eve Teschmacher, and Lena Luthor. Her birth name was Lutessa Lena Luthor, but she is more commonly known in the series as Tess Mercer. She is also referred to by Oliver Queen, with whom she has a romantic fling, as Mercy. She makes her first appearance in "Plastique." She is portrayed by Cassidy Freeman.
- Mercy Graves first appears in the Supergirl season four portrayed by Rhona Mitra. This version is a former Project Cadmus agent alongside her brother Otis Graves. Similar to her Superman: The Animated Series counterpart, Mercy was also head of security for what was then known as Luthor-Corp under Lex Luthor's reign. In the episode "Fallout," Mercy and Otis are apprehended by the DEO following Mercy's fight with Lena Luthor at L-Corp. They persuade a DEO agent named Jensen to release them as they use Lena Luthor's lead-dispersion device to spread Kryptonite into the air which weakened Supergirl. In the episode "Ahimsa," Agent Jensen assists Mercy Graves and Otis into furthering their anti-alien goals by releasing a Hellgrammite and an unnamed Kopy from the DEO custody where they cause havoc at a carnival. After the Kryptonite in the air is gone and the Kopy is defeated, Mercy and Otis are seemingly killed by the Hellgrammite who surrendered to the DEO.
- Mercy Graves (sporting her DCAU design) is voiced by Tara Strong in Superman: Brainiac Attacks. She is seen at Lex Luthor's side, even to the part where Brainiac uses LexCorp technology to build a new body. Mercy discovers Jimmy looking for evidence against Luthor and attacks him. Eventually, Jimmy uses a robot to knock her out, though destroying his camera in the process. While Luthor is recuperating in the hospital being interviewed following Brainiac's attack, he quietly tells Mercy to call all his lawyers when a small Kryptonite shard found by detectives in his facility exposes his involvement with Brainiac's rampage.
- Mercy Graves appears in Superman: Doomsday voiced by Cree Summer. 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. Luthor 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, Luthor 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 is no link back to LexCorp, he shoots her in the head to ensure absolutely nothing can be traced back to him.
Tao Okamoto portrays Mercy Graves in the 2016 film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, making it Mercy's first official live-action appearance. This version is the personal assistant of Lex Luthor. She is killed in a bombing of the Capitol masterminded by Luthor during a Congressional hearing, in order to both discredit Superman and receive approval to use salvaged Kryptonian technology (first seen in 2013's Man of Steel) against him.
- Mercy Graves appeared in Superman: Shadow of Apokolips voiced by Lauren Tom.
- Mercy Graves appears as a main character in Lego DC Super-Villains, with Cree Summer reprising the role from Superman Doomsday. She is first seen at Stryker's Island with "The Rookie" on her side to help break out Lex Luthor before answering a question from Commissioner Gordon that involves a break in at Waynetech. Following her success on freeing her employer and the Rookie, Graves is later accompanied by Cheetah and Solomon Grundy to free Metallo from beneath the prison. While the Stryker's Island breakout was a success, Graves is later seen flying with Luthor to escape the Justice League after their arrival on Stryker's, then later accidentally crashed The Joker's getaway helicopter.
- 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.
- Bussey, Ben (2011-04-20). "Wolverine Actress Joins Batman V Superman - Yahoo Movies UK". Yahoo. Archived from the original on 2014-07-15. Retrieved 2014-06-19.
- Justice League: Cry for Justice #1-7 (Sept. 2009 – April 2010)
- Justice League #31 (June 2014)
- Andreeva, Nellie (July 27, 2018). "'Supergirl': Rhona Mitra To Play Mercy Graves on the CW Series, Robert Baker Also Cast". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on July 28, 2018. Retrieved July 27, 2018.