|This article relies on references to primary sources. (October 2012)|
Mercy Graves from Superman: The Animated Series.
|First appearance||Superman: The Animated Series
"A Little Piece of Home"
|First comic appearance||Detective Comics #735
|Created by||Bruce Timm
|Voiced by||Lisa Edelstein
(in comics) Amazon superhuman strength, speed, agility, etc
Mercedes "Mercy" Graves III is a fictional supervillain who appears in comic books published by DC Comics. She debuted in 1996 on Superman: The Animated Series as the bodyguard/personal assistant of Superman's archenemy, Lex Luthor. Like Harley Quinn, she has since crossed over from the DC animated universe into the comics.
- 1 DC animated universe
- 2 Comics
- 3 Media outside DCAU
- 4 References
- 5 External links
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, 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 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, leaving her to die.
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.
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. 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, and after his capture she hangs up on him during his single phone call when he requests help in obtaining a lawyer and doctors to treat his kryptonite cancer.
Justice League Unlimited
Mercy Graves reappears in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Clash".
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.
Media outside DCAU
Superman: Brainiac Attacks
Mercy Graves appears in Superman: Doomsday voiced by Cree Summer, sporting 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.
In the The Batman episode "The Batman/Superman Story, Part One", Mercy Graves 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. She is voiced by actress/musician Gwendoline Yeo.
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".
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).
Cassidy Freeman portrayed Tess Mercer's character on Smallville with elements 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. In the series finale, Lionel Luthor's alternate universe counterpart abducts and attempts to use her heart for a clone body of Lex, so that he can be reborn. She escapes and shoots him dead, but returns to LuthorCorp to find Lex, now revived using Lionel's heart instead, waiting. After he reveals he knew all along about their real relationship, he stabs and kills her so she won't be in his way of his plans, but, having planned for this, Tess poisons him as she dies with a toxin thay erases his memory (and, as revealed in the spin-off comic book, plants a copy of her mind into his, allowing her to haunt him).
- 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.
- Justice League: Cry for Justice #1-7 (Sept. 2009 – April 2010)
- Mercy Graves bio on the official Superman Batman Adventures homepage
- Mercy Graves on the DC Animated Universe Wiki, an external wiki