Lex Luthor was born and raised in the poverty stricken area of Metropolis known as Suicide Slum, the child of abusive parents, with a fierce desire to better himself. As a teenager, young Lex engineered the deaths of his parents in order to profit from a large life insurance policy he had taken out in their names, and went on to found his own company-LexCorp.
Luthor the Businessman
Lex turned the company into a multi-national corporation that would ultimately come to dominate the city of Metropolis and own every media in the city and use it to enforce his public image as a wealthy benefactor. The one paper outlet that had always stood free was the Daily Planet (he would come to buy it much later). One such critic was the young reporter and Editor In Chief Perry White, whom Luthor detested, due to his outspoken attitudes, even when the Planet condemned his actions with an outrageous editorial signed by White himself. As a result, when Clark Kent is first inducted into the Planet, the newspaper is almost bankrupt, dilapidated and unable to afford new reporters. Luthor made many criminal connections and industries, anything to help him rise to be the unchallenged master of Metropolis. His legitimate businesses attached to LexCorp cover a variety of enterprises, including anything from telephone companies to personal gaming devices. As part of his image, Lex created the illusion of being a caring philanthropist. He became the most powerful man in Metropolis, both financially and in the world of organized crime. Lex would create havoc on the streets by selling weapons to the gangs of Metropolis and using his primarily female staff of underlings to keep blackmail files on all of the major organized crime groups in the city, so that Lex could use them to further any schemes he had planned. However, this all ended with the arrival of Superman.
Several months after Superman first arrived in Metropolis, terrorists attacked a society gala aboard Luthor's yacht. Lois Lane, whom Luthor had tried to romance as a ninth trophy wife some time before, was present during the attack, which was stopped by Superman. Luthor tried unsuccessfully to hire Superman as a bodyguard, but when he admitted that he had known the attack was to occur but had allowed it to proceed in order to see Superman in action first hand, Mayor Berkowitz deputized Superman on the spot to arrest Luthor for reckless endangerment. He avoided prison thanks to a legal technicality, but still had to endure the humiliation of being publicly led away under arrest.
Luthor vowed to destroy Superman for this humiliation, and he has since devoted much time and energy to that goal. An early attempt led to the creation of an imperfect clone of Superman meant to destroy him, though this was unsuccessful as Superman's alien DNA made the clone unstable. Luthor continued the vendetta, though; he was a man driven to be the best, having fought his way up from lowly beginnings by his own (dubious) efforts, and was resentful of how Superman was given his powers by random fate of birth. Superman survived subsequent attempts Luthor made on his life, but he had never been able to prove Luthor's role in the attacks. Aside from Lex's immense wealth and connections, he was able to weasel his way out of trouble due to the fact that Superman, being liable as a witness, would have to reveal his true identity in court to testify against him.
Luthor soon acquired the only known sample of kryptonite on Earth from the kryptonite-powered cyborg Metallo, whom LexCorp abducted just before Metallo succeeded in killing Superman. Fashioning a ring from the alien ore deadly to Superman, Luthor began wearing it constantly to ward off his enemy. Unfortunately, Luthor suffered from a severe cancer in the 1990s, caused by long-term radiation exposure to his kryptonite ring (before this, kryptonite exposure had not been thought to be harmful to non-Kryptonian life forms). Later, he would find a way to protect himself from its side effects, and he discovered more than one kind of kryptonite, which he would later use in his battles against Superman.
Faking his Own Death
Luthor's hand soon had to be amputated to prevent the cancer's spread, but unfortunately by then it had already metastasized; it was eventually determined that the disease was terminal. Luthor faked his own death shortly afterward by taking his personally designed jet, the Lexwing, on a proposed trip around the world and crashing it in some mountains, using this as cover for the transplant of his brain into a healthy clone of himself which he then passed off as his hitherto unknown son and heir by Dr. Gretchen Kelley, Lex Luthor II. The young Luthor had apparently been secretly raised by foster parents in Australia to protect him from his father's enemies. This deception was helped by his new body having a full head of red hair and a beard, as well as the appropriate Australian accent created through use of audio teaching tapes.
Send in the Clone
Luthor used his new identity as his own son to seduce Supergirl and continue to torment Superman from the shadows. However everything quickly fell apart, when Luthor's new clone body began to deteriorate and age at a rapid rate. This caused Luthor to begin to slip, as Lois Lane discovered proof that Lex Luthor had years earlier murdered a female LexCorp employee and framed an innocent man for the murder. This led Lois to find out the truth about Lex faking his death and being his own son, which caused Luthor to systematically destroy Lois's life and have her fired from the Daily Planet. Lois fought back and with help from Superman, exposed the truth about Lex Luthor, his faked death, and his evil criminal activities to the public. Luthor, right before his body became so old that he couldn't move or communicate, activated a "Doomsday Plan" to destroy Metropolis. The city was burned to the ground and thousands killed as Luthor became a permanent prisoner in his cloned body. However, aid would come in the form of the demon Neron; Luthor promptly sold his soul in exchange for Neron restoring his body to perfect health. Returning to a rebuilt Metropolis, Luthor turned himself over to the police and was put on trial, where he was acquitted of all crimes when Luthor claimed to have been kidnapped by renegade scientists who replaced him with a clone, who was responsible for all the crimes he was charged with.
Luthor the Philanthropist
Lex Luthor had cultivated a popular image as a great philanthropist. He had been instrumental in reverse-engineering alien technology for use in general consumer goods, upgrading Metropolis into a true "city of tomorrow." When Gotham City was destroyed by an earthquake and then abandoned by the American government, it was LexCorp that took up the massive task of rebuilding the city. Later, Luthor also played an instrumental role in assisting the Justice League in recharging the sun during the Final Night storyline.
Despite his hatred for Lois Lane for temporarily bringing down his evil criminal empire down, Lex Luthor has a unspoken love for her. On several occasions Luthor has commented that had Superman not arrived in Metropolis, Lex would have used his time and energy instead to romantically pursue Lois and marry her. He has been married eight times in his life, though the first seven marriages occurred off-panel in Luthor's past sometime after he left Smallville and before Superman showed up in Metropolis. While his previous seven marriages were hinted to have based on love (or as close to the concept of love as Lex Luthor understands it) Luthor's eighth marriage to Contessa Erica Alexandra Del Portenza (or "The Contessa" as she was called) was a marriage that was based on mutual manipulation and greed. The Contessa had bought controlling interest in LexCorp after Luthor was exposed as evil, forcing Lex into a marriage with her in order to regain control over the company. The marriage was doomed from the beginning as the two fought constantly and never loved each other. The Contessa quickly became pregnant with Lex's child and began using the unborn child to dominate Lex into doing her bidding. Luthor's response to the Contessa's actions was to use her desire to be unconscious during childbirth to lock her in the basement of his corporate headquarters in a permanently-drugged unconscious state. Luthor took over as a single father to his daughter (named Lena after both his adopted sister and aunt) and vowed never to marry again, stating that he wanted to never have to share his daughter's love with anyone else. It was later implied that Lex killed the Contessa months afterward, although no body was ever found.
President of the United States
Lex became the President of the United States, winning the election on a platform of promoting technological progresses for the common people (his first action as president was to take a proposed moratorium on fossil-based fuels to U.S. Congress in hopes of putting "a flying car in every garage"). Despite Luthor's more villainous traits, he was assisted by the extreme unpopularity of the previous administration due to its mishandling of the Gotham City earthquake crisis. Ironically, Batman would ultimately learn that Luthor was involved in the mishandling of the entire Gotham City rebuilding process, resulting in Bruce to sever all military contract ties between the U.S. government and his company Wayne Enterprises in protest of Lex Luthor's election as President. Luthor responded in kind by ordering the murder of Batman's lover Vesper Fairchild and framing Bruce Wayne for the murder.
An early triumph of his political career was his handling of the Imperiex War, in which he coordinated the U.S. Army, Earth's superheroes and a number of untrustworthy alien forces to battle the story's villain, Imperiex. However, as it would later be revealed, Lex knew about the alien invasion in advance and did nothing to alert Earth's heroes to it.
Superman and his supporting cast had their origins revised in the Superman: Birthright series written by Mark Waid in 2003. This rewrote the previous definitive origin story, John Byrne's 1986 mini-series The Man of Steel, to include more elements from the Silver Age character. It would remain in continuity until Infinite Crisis in 2006 established Geoff Johns' Superman: Secret Origin.
Lex Luthor finally accepted Superman's secret identity as Clark Kent, which he had been aware of from almost from their earliest meetings but refused to accept for his own personal belief that people of power always crave and reflect themselves as people of power, never as one of the masses, thus to Luthor a being like Superman would never try to pass himself off as Clark Kent who was no one of extreme note. In a story published in 2002, when a lowly scientist was able to get a meeting with Lex and reveal top secret government documents showing the rocket containing baby Superman crashing near the farm of Martha and Jonathan Kent. Killing the scientist, Lex surprisingly decided to keep the knowledge a secret even as Clark Kent took the fall for Lois publishing proof that Lex Luthor knew of the alien invasion of "Our Worlds At War" but had opted not to make any defensive plans to save the people of Kansas from attack. Clark was fired from the Daily Planet as a result of the flap, when another Superman villain, Manchester Black, used his telepathic powers on an unknowing Lex to allow him to pass an assortment of lie detector tests (including Wonder Woman's lasso of truth) to prove that Lois and Clark's story was a lie. When Manchester Black tried to kill Superman and his friends and family members, Luthor surprisingly came to Superman's aid when Black tried to kill Lois, admitting that he had kept Superman's identity as Clark Kent secret both out of a sense of nostalgia for their past confrontations in recognition of an approaching change and the knowledge that revealing the truth about Superman would endanger Lois, almost the only woman he cared for. In the end, Manchester Black was defeated and as revenge for Lex helping Superman defeat him, Black erased all knowledge that Clark Kent was Superman from Lex's mind before taking his own life.
Later, Luthor once again overplayed his hand, as his success at framing Bruce Wayne for the murder of Vesper Fairchild caused him to get arrogant. In an attempt to blame Superman for a kryptonite meteor approaching the Earth, he instead raised questions about himself as Superman and Batman uncovered a plot of Luthor's to further torment Batman that involved tricking Batman into thinking that the Superman villain Metallo was the man who killed Batman's parents. In desperation, he used a variant combination of the "super-steroid" Venom (a steroid mainly used by Batman villain Bane), liquid synthetic green kryptonite, and an Apokaliptian battlesuit to battle Superman directly. Unfortunately, the madness that is a side effect of Venom took hold, and he revealed his true colors during the battle. The final straw was the revelation that Talia Head, the acting CEO of LexCorp, had sold all the company assets to the Wayne Foundation. He has since gone underground, leaving the presidency to his vice president, Pete Ross.
Lex Luthor had retreated into recluse before the events of Infinite Crisis, as he prepared to try and activate mind control programming inside the brain of then current Superboy (Conner Kent) (created using Lex's DNA) to help him gain revenge against Earth's mightiest heroes. He also was revealed to have orchestrated, with help from the newly created robotic Brainiac, the murder of Teen Titan member Donna Troy, who is destined to play a critical role in "Infinite Crisis". He's also been carefully surveilling the new Supergirl, and has plans for her involving his newly-acquired black kryptonite.
With Lex Luthor acting in secret, Alexander Luthor, Jr. returned to New Earth and began his own plot that was interfering with LEX's own plans. Assuming the Post-Crisis Lex Luthor's identity, Alexander began an elaborate scheme with help from the erased Earth-Prime Superboy-Prime and Kal-L, the Earth-Two Superman that he wanted to restore the original Multiverse, but his intentions was not just to recreate them as they once were but only as the basis of his ultimate goal, as he told Superboy-Prime Kal-L would help them "whether [he] likes it or not".
As one of the premier reformers of the "Secret Society of Super-Villains", Alexander Luthor, Jr. recruited Black Adam, Doctor Psycho, Calculator, Talia Head, and Deathstroke as his inner circle. The new Society exploited the villain community's fear of mind-wipes at the hands of the Justice League to recruit a literal army of villains under the guise of creating their own "mind-wipe" device designed to erase the memories of Earth's heroes as payback. However, this was just another cover for his even darker scheme involving the kidnapping heroes, each representing alternate earths, to power the giant tower being used to perform a major act of alteration to reality. Alexander Luthor, Jr. formerly of Earth-Three had decided to restore the previously existing multiverse as a base selection to create a so-called "perfect" universe from as the current reality seeemed to be failing and in Alexander Luthor, Jr.'s own words "was a world of villains". Abandoned by his allies, Alex Jr. was depowered, in part due to the villains that Lex assembled under his alias of Mockingbird. Lex tracked down the supposedly depowered Alex Jr. and allowed the Joker in a fit of revenge kill Alex.
Lex used Alex's corpse as evidence that he had an impostor who responsible for all his recent illegal activities. He was cleared of many of the criminal actions he was accused of.
Post Infinite Crisis Origin
The events of Infinite Crisis and Alex Luthor's attempts to rewrite history actually led to alterations in Lex Luthor's personal history. In the newly created time line, the current Luthor family has a long history with the city of Metropolis. Some of Lex's ancestors were among the pilgrims who founded the city, others were amongst the Native Americans who were there to meet them. Over the centuries, the Luthor family became wealthy and influential, Lex's great-grandfather Wallace Luthor being a millionaire industrialist at the beginning of the 20th Century. He lost his fortune though, in the stock market crash of 1929, and went to his grave a pauper after having to declare bankruptcy. The family fortune would not be rebuilt until the arrival of Lex Luthor, the son of abusive alcoholic Lionel Luthor and his wife Letitia. Lex cared little for his parents, though he did love his sister Lena. In his teens, he lived for a time in Smallville with his aunt, also called Lena, and there met the young Clark Kent and his friends Lana Lang and Pete Ross. The stand-offish and superior Lex was friendly with Clark for a time, but eventually left Smallville under a cloud of suspicion after his father died in mysterious circumstances (engineered by Lex, though this could not be proved). Leaving his sister in Smallville, Lex went to metropolis and, as before, founded LexCorp.
Superman Arrives (Again)
In this new timeline, Luthor's first meeting with Superman was also somewhat different. As part of his philanthropic image Luthor, by this time the most powerful man in Metropolis, had taken to picking a random person from the supplicants who gathered at LexCorp's gates every morning in order to bestow the chance of a new life upon them. His choice on this occasion, though, was Rudy Jones who, after eating a donut contaminated by an unknown chemical compound, was transformed into the Parasite. Superman stopped the Parasite's rampage, overshadowing Luthor and infuriating him. Lex contacted General Sam Lane, who was convinced Superman was a threat, and informed him that Superman was an alien. He transformed one of Lane's men, Sgt John Corben, into Metallo and sent him out after Superman, but Metallo was defeated and Superman, previously an object of suspicion in the city, feted as a hero. When Luthor came to bestow his gifts on a grateful populace the next day, no-one was there; Lex was no longer the most powerful man in Metropolis. This cemented Lex's lifelong hatred of the Man of Steel. Eventually, as before, Luthor went from hero of the people to public enemy number one.
Superman's origins were heavily revised in the Superman: Secret Origin mini-series written by Geoff Johns in 2009; this made the history established by Mark Waid in his 2003 mini-series Superman: Birthright non-canon following Infinite Crisis in 2006. It would remain the definitive origin until 2011 when Flashpoint established the DCnU and Grant Morrison's Action Comics updated the story.
Through his still impressive financial resources, Lex has engaged in a public promotion campaign to regain his popularity through the Everyman Project, a scientific process that could grant superhuman powers to non-metahumans. The first several subjects of his process became the latest incarnation of Infinity, Inc. Luthor's own body, however, was not compatible with the process, a fact which pained him greatly.
When newly minted meta-humans began falling out of the sky, the media-named Fall Of The Supermen, Luthor’s building was attacked by John Henry Steel and his niece. Steel confronted Luthor and was beaten, Lex having found a way to gain meta-powers of his own. Lex was still defeated however and arrested. It was later found that the Lex that was imprisoned was, in fact, Everyman – a shape changer from the Everyman project. Lex was found in a hidden room still inside the Lexcorp building.
Later, Luthor had managed to get his hands on a Kryptonian crystal, which he used to attack Metropolis when Superman ‘came back’. As giant crystal formations began to appear through the ground, Superman tried to save as many people as he could whilst trying to find the source of the attack. When he found Lex, the former industrialist was high above the city in a ship made of the crystal where he was controlling it all from. Lex turned all of the crystal into kryptonite, forcing Superman to stay away from Metropolis and the ship, but he didn’t count on Superman charging him. Superman knew Luthor would have some form of personal shielding and was right as they both fell down towards the ground. Luthor had time to say one thing: “I hate you. So much.” Superman was again powerless and Luthor’s shield was weak when they struck the ground. They both rose, weak and injured, and Lex began to fist-fight with Superman. With each traded punch, Lex spoke of how if Superman hadn’t arrived on Earth and come to Metropolis, he would have made so many scientific breakthroughs, instead of trying to come up with ways to destroy Superman. It was all Superman’s fault that Lex wasn’t the top of the food chain anymore. Superman countered with the fact he had been away for an entire year, yet Luthor had acomplished none of these things he claims he could have done had there been no Superman. The fight ended with Superman victorious.
Luthor was subsequently abducted from prison and drafted in Project 7734 under General Lane. He has hopes of using the project to fulfill his goals against Superman, but Lane has been keeping him on topic. Time will tell if Luthor manages to break free...
One Year Later and Countdown
One year after the events of Infinite Crisis, Luthor has been cleared of over 120 criminal counts ranging from malfeasance to first-degree murder relating to the New Year's Eve massacre from 52. However, his role in the massacre has permanently ruined his public image and thanks to the machinations of Doctor Sivana, he has lost most of his wealth and all of his control over his newly reformed LexCorp, which is now being run by Lana Lang. He blames Clark Kent for writing several articles unraveling his schemes and pledges vengeance on Metropolis after an angry mob jeers him on the courthouse steps. After amassing large quantities of Kryptonite, including kidnapping the supervillains Metallo and the Kryptonite Man, Lex uses it to power a Kryptonian battleship controlled through a "sunstone" crystal. Superman manages to destroy the Kryptonite-powered ship and recover the crystal, but Lex manages to escape custody yet again.
Lex later sends Bizarro after the newly arrived "Superboy" only for the creature to be defeated by Superman. Undaunted, Luthor gathers together a new Revenge Squad to fight against invading Kryptonians led by General Zod.
In JLA, Luthor (alongside Joker and Cheetah III) gathers together a new "Injustice League" and, outfitted in a new version of his warsuit (although still green and purple, it no longer has clear design derivations from the pre-Crisis warsuit as the McGuinness design did), sets out to destroy the Justice League with them. On a related note during this section, he was responsible for creating the third Shaggy Man and the third Blockbuster.
Luthor plays a large role in the Countdown to Final Crisis tie-in event, Salvation Run. Having been sent to the prison planet after his Injustice League was defeated, Lex quickly assumes control of the amassed villains, receiving competition only from Joker and Gorilla Grodd, who convince half of the villains to join them. He does fight the Joker until the battle was interrupted by an attack by Desaad's Parademons. After the attack, Luthor manages to get the villains off the planet with a makeshift teleporter, secretly powered by Neutron, Heatmonger, Plasmus, Warp and Thunder and Lightning. When called a "monster" by Thunder, Luthor claims it is the ones who sent them there who are the real monsters, and that he is the hero. He later sets the teleporter to self-destruct after he uses it, killing the attacking Parademons, and his living batteries.
In Justice League of America (vol. 2) #21, Luthor can be seen associating with Libra's Secret Society of Super Villains and placed in its Inner Circle. Lex Luthor wanted Libra to prove himself, so Libra sends Clayface to blow up the Daily Planet building. As Lex Luthor attempts to ambush Libra after learning that he is a prophet of Darkseid, Lex Luthor soon ends up surrounded by Justifiers. Libra tells Lex Luthor to make a final choice... swear an oath to Darkseid or become a mindless slave. In Final Crisis #5, Lex Luthor is seen when Libra blames Calculator for cracking the computer codes that will help the resistance. Lex Luthor is silent on the matter, but has been picked to lead the rearguard action against the heroes at Blüdhaven. He assumes it's an honor, but he doesn't look very pleased. During Final Crisis #6, Libra figures out Luthor had been the mole in the Society of Supervillains. Luthor, in league with Doctor Sivana, seemingly destroys Libra and overturns the Anti-Life Equation being broadcast into the Justifiers' helmets.
Superman: New Krypton
Luthor ended up imprisoned for his crimes, but rather that going to jail General Sam Lane had him serve out his sentence working for the secretive Project 7734. While still forced to wear chains, Luthor was assigned the job of accessing the knowledge stored within the captured Brainiac who had recently been defeated by Superman (as seen during the Brainiac storyline). Luthor successfully accessed Brainiac’s brain and after Metallo and Reactron were taken to Kandor as prisoners of the Kryptonians who had now settled on Earth he used Brainiac to reactivate the Coluan’s ship that was also being held in Kandor. Brainiac’s robots attacked the Kryptonians, providing a distraction as Metallo and Reactron used their Kryptonite hearts to kill their captors and murder Zor-El.
After his success with Brainiac, Luthor was given the seemingly dead body of Doomsday, who had been defeated by the Kryptonians, to study as it had “potential”
Luthor later manages to use Brainiac's connection to his ship to kill the soldiers assigned to watch him. Brainiac manages to free himself from Luthor's control, forcing him onboard the ship, and the two make their escape. The two are later shown to have entered into an alliance, with Brainiac promising Luthor the Earth when he is done with it. While reading newspapers to catch up on what happened during his imprisonment, Luthor learns of the resurrection of Superboy.
During the Blackest Night event, when words are out that apparently everyone around the world are rising as undead Black Lanterns, Luthor isolates himself in his safehouse in fear of all the people he had murdered over the years would also reanimate and seeking revenge on him. In Blackest Night #6, it is seen that Luthor is being attacked in his safehouse by Black Lanterns including his father, when an Orange Ring arrives and attaches itself to Luthor, inducting him into the Orange Lantern Corps as a deputy member, only for him to attack Scarecrow and Mera to claim their yellow and red rings before his own was taken from him by Larfleeze, the only true member of the Orange Lantern Corps (Sinestro noting that it was the first time Larfleeze had ever given anyone anything).
After the conclusion of the New Krypton event, Luthor's grew a more aggressive lust for power in the wake of his exposure to a power ring in the Blackest Night. After being infused with the Orange Light of Avarice, Luthor begins a universal quest to locate the energy of the Black Lantern Corps.
Target: Lex Luthor!
During the midst of the Brightest Day, Deathstroke and his new team of Titans are hired to assassinate Luthor while he is visiting Midway City with Nava Mendelssohn, his new personal assistant and bodyguard. When the Titans ambush Lex's convoy and begin killing his hired mercenaries, Nava takes him into the sewers, where she is shot and apparently killed by Deathstroke. It is then revealed that Luthor himself had paid the Titans to fake an attempt on his life, in hopes that it would draw out conspirators within LexCorp. Nava's injuries soon heal, and she reveals herself to be a shapeshifter named Facade, who had murdered and impersonated the real Nava in order to get close enough to Lex to kill him. After a massive battle, Deathstroke and Osiris are able to defeat Facade, and then turn him over to Lex. In the end, LexCorp scientists are shown performing experiments on the captured Facade, while Luthor assembles his staff and reveals that he knows that it was one of his employees who had hired the creature in the first place. Luthor warns them not to try such a tactic again, as he will turn them into his next morbid experiment if they do.
While searching for the energy of the Black Lantern- - simultaneously dispatching various Doomsday 'clones' created from the original to distract Earth's heroes by sending them after the other members of the Superman family- with the aid of a robotic duplicate of Lois Lane created to give him an honest opinion on his actions, Luthor encountered Brainiac in space while attempting to alter the last of the Black Lantern energy, acting upon an unspoken theory of his. Brainiac revealed that Loisbot was an unwilling pawn in his bid to hijack Luthor's quest. Luthor then replied that he had anticipated this for some time, and he then attacked Brainiac and snapped his neck, temporarily incapacitating him. Loisbot pleaded for Lex's forgivness, and he accepted her apology. However, after he altered the four remaining black spheres, he opened a Phantom Zone portal which unleashed an extremely powerful, monstrously large being which prepared to kill all life in the universe, because the negative emotions of sentient creatures hurt it. Luthor promptly impaled Loisbot's head, allowing himself to be infected with Krypontian technology which he used to engage the monster on a mental plane of existence. Grappling with the creature, Luthor's body and mental essence suddenly fused with it, learning that it evolved in the Phantom Zone and now seeks to escape from the grief and anger of the Zone prisoners. Using his new power, Luthor draws Superman to him, attempting to drive Superman mad by forcing him to experience the human emotions that he believes the alien merely fakes to blend in. However, Luthor is outraged when he learns that Superman's defining moment of tragedy is the loss of his father. Luthor is unable to cope with the fact that not only was his greatest enemy raised by humans, but he also had a father he would actually mourn rather than the anguish Luthor endured in his own relationship with his father. As Luthor becomes one with the creature, Superman and Mr. Mind- who has been aiding Luthor's search- realise that the creature allows Luthor to create a feeling of peace and bliss throughout the entire universe, at the cost of never allowing him to cause any harm to another being at the same time. Superman attempts to appeal to Luthor about the potential of doing something even he never accomplished, but Luthor is unable to let go of his hate for Superman, costing him control of the entity- as well as his memory of everything he learned or did while he was merged with it- and it departs for another part of the universe. Luthor is ultimately defeated when he falls into one of the Phantom Zone holes created by the creature, seemingly forever.
After Flashpoint Lex Luthor is hired by the government to take down Superman.LexCorp also exists.He is hired by General Sam Lane to capture Superman in his early years.He sets up a trap for Superman with a train.Superman barely stops it and is left unconscious.Lex collects him and puts him through a lot of tests and experiments. Lex Luthor is later revealed to have obtained contact with the Collector through unknown means and was told to say the word "Krypton" to Superman. He later appears when the Collector abducts New Troy as one of the residents in the area. He along with Lois and Jimmy go into Glen Glenmorgan's hotel where Lex calls the Collector and it is revealed that Lex had made a deal with him. It is later revealed that Lex luthor was the secret caller named "Icarus" that was giving information on Glen Glenmorgan to Clark Kent.After he gets fired from General Sam Lane he creates his own project with the two stolen kryptonite rocks.He creates the Kryptonite Man but that also doesn't worked as well as planned.
Set one year before the ongoing continuity, Lex Luthor arranges the illegal smuggling of war machines in Qurac. Knowing that Superman would intervene, Luthor laces the weapons with kryptonite and nanite technology in order to acquire a sample of Superman's DNA in order to create a monster based on the genetic structure of Superman known as the Hybrid. As Superman seemingly defeats the monster with his ice-breath, it is later found out that the Hybrid is attacking Metropolis - whilst also having infected civilians with a virus (that was carried by Superman when he in turn was infected by poison from his earlier tussle with the war machines), as Luthor had intended. The plan by Luthor was to show the people of Metropolis that Superman is indeed an alien menace, and only Lex can save them from the Man of Steel. The final confrontation between Kale El and Lex, of course resulting in the defeat of Lex, was, chronologically, the first fight between two of DC's most famous characters.
After the events of Trinity War, the Crime Syndicate has defeated the Justice League and wreaked havoc upon the world. While riding a helicopter into Metropolis, the entire city and the helicopter suddenly lose power and crashes into the Lexcorp tower. Luthor then witnesses a figure whom he mistakes as Superman suddenly flying and crashing into the building. The figure is revealed to be Ultram of the Crime Syndicate. Ultraman's powers are powered by Kryptonite (an obvious play on Superman's own weakness to Kryptonite with Ultraman being Superman's evil doppelganger from a parallel earth). He finds a stash of Kryptonite and proceeds to crush and inhale it.
Luthor also witnesses the unmasking of Nightwing and the reveal of his identity as d**k Grayson on a broadcast the Crime Syndicate put out to the world but notes that he has no idea who d**k Grayson is.
Luthor then notices a figure pushing the moon in front of the sun, the figure is Ultraman and it is revealed that Ultraman is harmed by the ray's of the sun (a stark contrast to Superman who gets much of his power from the sun) Luthor sits in dismay as exclaiming "This is a job for Superman. So where the hell is he?"
Lex Luthor traverses through the dark and powerless Lexcorp building, he stumbles along with a security guard as Luthor finds his Subject B-Zero experiment (Bizarro) whom Luthor exclaims needs another five years to be completed. He decides he has no other choice but to release Bizarro and tests the creatures obedience out by ordering it to murder the security guard. Luthor eventually meets up with other villains such as Black Manta, Captain Cold, and Black Adam and they form a team in order to combat the Crime Syndicate.
While traversing through the sewers in order to reach a Wayne Enterprises storage facility with the other villains, Luthor notices that Bizarro is reluctant to move ahead due to his fear of the dark. Luthor attempts to comfort Bizarro by telling him about how when he was younger his sister had fallen ill but he was too afraid of the fear of failing to try and save her. Luthor states that his sister died shortly afterwards and that he told himself that he would never again let the fear of failure from stopping him, this inspires Bizarro to move on, much to the surprise of Luthor.
When the team finally reach the storage facility, they have an encounter with Batman and Catwoman, but their encounter is interrupted when Power Ring and his own group of villains attack the facility. Luthor and Batman are both forced to fight alongside each other and are forced to team up, with Sinestro and Deathstroke both joining the team.
The team finally reach the remains of the fallen Justice League Watchtower where they find d**k Grayson being held captive in the Murder Room, a device meant to imprison Doomsday. The room is sealed off with no escape and a bomb is wired to d**k's heart and the will detonate unless his heart is stopped. Although Batman attempts to disarm the bomb, he is seemingly unable to do so and Luthor makes the decision to blast Batman from behind and seemingly suffocates d**k to death in order stop the bomb. He is successful in doing so with the timer stopping just before detonation. Batman attacks Luthor for seemingly murdering d**k but Luthor reveals that he had given d**k a pill to only make his heart stop temporarily and proceeds to revive d**k.
When the hooded prisoner the Crime Syndicate had been holding is revealed to be Alexander Luthor of Earth-3 who has the ability to absorb powers from others and takes on the form of Mazahs (an Ananym for the word Shazam) , he proceeds to attack all the people around him, including Lex Luthor himself who has realized that person he is fighting is a version of himself. Bizarro attack Alexander in attempts to protect his creator but Alexander kills him and steals his powers. Luthor appears angered and even saddened by the death of Bizarro. Luthor realizes since he and Alexander are the same person, he can also use the Mazahs shout and he does so and reverts Alexander into his normal form, and then proceeds to kill him.
After the Crime Syndicate is defeated, Luthor also manages to save Superman's life by removing the piece of Kryptonite left in his brain by Atomika. Luthor also manages to discover Bruce Wayne's identity as Batman by learning of his connection with d**k Grayson, and much to the chagrin of Superman, Luthor even manages to secure a place in the Justice League, even managing to build a new watchtower for them and recruiting Shazam onto the team.