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Lex Luthor
Lex Luthor
Information
Real name: Alexander Luthor
Species: Human
Hair: Bald
Eyes: Green
Relatives: Lionel Luthor (father, deceased)
Base: New York City
Affiliations: LexCorp
Abilities: Genius-level intelligence
"Please, it's Lex."
―Lex Luthor[src]

Alexander "Lex" Luthor is a powerful and incredibly intelligent businessman of LexCorp.

History

Early Life

Lex Luthor was the son of Lionel Luthor, a millionaire businessman, and heir to his father's fortune. As a young child Lex had suffered from a very rare form of cancer; the treatment that the doctors had used to treat it had left him completely bald and terribly frail for years after.

During his childhood, Lex was raised neglectfully by his parents, most especially coming from his father. He lived his early life in Smallville, Kansas where he befriended Clark Kent. Lex first met Clark when his parents took him to swim at the local pond after only just finished the recovery from his bout with cancer. Lex swam too far into the pond and caught a wire on his leg that dragged him under the water; he was then saved from drowning by Clark. Thereafter, Lex became good friends with Clark.

Young Lex spent a happy childhood with Clark and other friends - Wally West, Oliver Queen, Victor Stone, Arthur Curry, and Alison Blaire. Under his peers, Lex was notable for his growing intelligence and notorious for his inventive pranks.

Lex was present in witnessing Clark using his Kryptonian powers in saving a family in a traffic accident. He kept this discovery to himself through the years.

Luthor the Businessman

"I think that the best friend – and probably the only friend – I've had since childhood knows me. I think that you know me well enough to know that any secret – no matter how big or small – you tell me, I take with me to the grave."
―Lex Luthor[src]

After his father passed away, Lex inherited his father's fortune and becoming the owner of LexCorp. He refused to be address as "Mr. Luthor" that only serves as a unhappily reminder of his father, and strongly preffered to by his first name or his full name. As a businessman, Lex used his accrue knowledge in leading LexCorp to becoming one of the most successful corporations in the United States. With his renown career, Lex had made friends and enemies in the business world. Among his business rivals were infamous figures, such as the likes of Wilson Fisk and Sebastian Shaw, the latter of which organized an industrial espionage scheme on LexCorp by having Emma Frost pose as Lex's girlfriend. However, Lex soon deduced Frost's deception and planned an elaborate backfire on Shaw and Frost into losing a significant portion of their respective shares to LexCorp. Lex also had a friendly relationship with Warren Worthington III.

When costumed heroes with special abilities began appearing, Lex took some interest ever since he witnessed Clark's powers. His interest led to him becoming aware of the existence of mutants when noticing a suspicious electromagnetic interruption during a high school pep rally in Bayville. His company's satellites and computers were able to capture and compile glimpses of the X-Men and Superman's battle with the Brotherhood. Lex and other higher-ranking employees in his company were the only people aware of this information.

Eventually, Lex reunited with Clark when he requested a personal interview with the Daily Bugle. He then shared his foreknowledge of the X-Men with Clark and as well having already deduced his friend's identity as Superman. Despite his rather suspicious agenda, Lex gained Clark's trust in keeping his superhero career a secret and helped in providing information that allowed Clarke to save Spider-Man from Wilson Fisk and his enforcers. Lex later visited the Xavier Institute and revealed his knowledge of their secrets. He made his promise that he would keep their existence protected and only offered a mutual alliance should mutants be revealed to the public. With Clark vouching for Lex's generosity, Professor Charles Xavier agreed with Lex's proposal.[1]

Lex's alliance with the X-Men and Institute came to a head when he rediscovered Lionel Luthor's connection to Project Sentinel, which was designed by his company after it was commissioned by S.H.I.E.L.D. to create a line of robots to serve as a anti-mutant countermeasure, and revealed to the X-Men that it was being restarted by the Friends of Humanity and financed by Doctor Doom, Magneto, and Sebastian Shaw.[2] After the battle that led to mutants being exposed to the public and the heroes that formed the Justice League, Lex provided the team with financial support in repairing the Xavier Institute after it was destroyed during the conflict.[3]

Moral Ambiguity

As time went on, however, Lex Luthor began to pursue increasingly questionable actions in order to protect the common citizens from the perceived 'threat' of superhumans. Although his faith in Superman and other heroes was untarnished, he felt that other precautions were needed to deal with various supervillains, such as arranging the creation of a neural processor- essentially an organic computer-, although he only used DNA samples taken from himself for the procedure. He went on to ally himself with Project Cadmus, including such scientists as Doctor Mary Storm and Amanda Waller, to develop new methods of dealing with superhumans.

His actions came to a head when he learned that Cadmus had abducted Allison in order to try and force her to provide them with access to Superman's Fortress of Solitude, shortly after Superman had confronted him about his role in a raid on Wakanda to try and force T'Challa to provide other countries with access to Wakanda's Vibranium mineral wealth. Although Lex chose to side with Superman rather than Cadmus, he was shot in the head before he could inform the authorities of Cadmus's illegal actions, and the subsequent coma resulted in minor brain damage that erased his knowledge of Clark's powers and identity as Superman.

Luthor awoke from his coma shortly following after General Zod's defeat. The damages done to him by Cadmus made him to developed a growing distrust and suspicion of superhumans and vigilantes; in which most particularly the Justice League as he blamed them for all the troubles brought to Earth by Zod. Luthor soon secretly embraced his allegiance to Project Cadmus to curb the power of the Justice League.

Personality

Lex had to grow up with a neglectful father and he struggled to overcome Lionel's ruthless and uncaring reputation. Wishing to step out of his shadow, he worked hard to become a productive, valuable citizen. Lex was honest and kind, willing to use his wealth to help others, and displayed a fair amount of loyalty to his friends, as shown when he deduced that Superman was his old friend Clark Kent, but kept his secret identity safe.

However, his curiosity and thirst for knowledge led him to start working on questionable projects, which ultimately ended in becoming involved with Cadmus, causing some strain in his friendship with Clark. Seeing what they were planning to do when they kidnapped Alison Blaire, he rescued her and decided to go to the police to confess, only to be shot by a sniper before he could do so, and placing him in a coma.

After awakening from his coma, without any memories of his friendship with Clark, Lex has become extremely distrustful of superhumans in general, viewing them as a menace to society.

Background Information

Lex Luthor's background in The Last Son is based on his Smallville incarnation, portrayed by Michael Rosenbaum, in which he starts out as a close friend to Clark Kent, but gradually descends into the dark side and becomes one of his greatest enemies.

Footnotes

  1. The Last Son, Book Two: Reckonings, "Friends Indeed"
  2. Ibid, "Zero Hour"
  3. Ibid, "Public Relations"

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