Universe Guide

Lex Luthor - Justice League

Lex Luthor from Justice League played by Gene Hackman

Lex Luthor is a fictional male Human industrialist in the Justice League comic series who was played on screen by Gene Hackman, John Shea, Kevin Spacey, Michael Rosenbaum. Alexander Joseph 'Lex' Luthor is his full name. He is the most well-known of all Superman's baddies. He is equivalent to Green Goblin (Spiderman), Joker (Batman) and the Death Judges (Judge Dredd).

He was friends with Clark as they were growing up according to Smallville television but something happened during their youth that turned Lex to be the man he is today. He plays the character with a full head of hair unlike how the character has been described.

In the nineties television series, Lex played by John o'Shea had a full head of hair compared to other versions of the character. Even though Lex was a fundamental character in Superman lore, he had only lasted one series in the entertainment franchise.

The billionaire is one of the antagonists of the Justice League, the groupings of the D.C. comic characters. In the first Justice League film Batman Vs. Superman : Dawn of Justice, he tries to drive a wedge between the two protagonists of the league, Batman and Superman. Lex Luthor kidnaps Superman's adoptive mother Martha and gets him to fight Batman.

Gene Hackman played Lex Luthor in three films of Christopher Reeves tenure as Superman. Although Gene looked like his character had a full head of hair, it was revealed later that the hair is actually a toupee and pulls it off to show he is bald in one of the films.

In the second Christopher Reeve film, you never quite knew whose side Lex Luthor was really on as he seemingly sided with General Zod. Lex would eventually say it was part of his plan to help Earth.

Although widely remembered for being bald, he was not always bald in the comics. When he first appeared, he had red hair but due to a mix-up, he became bald and has been ever since. Ref: DC Comics Encyclopedia.


Lex Luthor in Smallville

In 2002, Smallville was released on television and it featured stories about the early years of Clark Kent when he was still at high school and learning about his abilities. In the series, Lex Luthor, played by Michael Rosenbaum is on friendly terms with Clark Kent after Clark saved Lex's life from drowning in the first episode.

In the pilot episode, we see Lex Luthor as a auburn haired kid who looses his hair on the day when Clark Kent arrives on Earth.

At the start, Lex is not yet the evil billionaire genius that we associate him with. LuthorCorp is in the hands of Lex's father, Lionel Luthor. Luthor is given control of LuthorCorp's agriculture plant in Smallville to run by his father. During his time at the helm of the plant, he is secretly trying to find out more about the kryptonian meteorites that fell on the day that he lost his hair.

Lex has his suspicions about Clark. The first time when Lex gets to prove himself right, Clark has lost all his powers when they are transferred to a fellow student in the episode Leech.

Lex tries to make an effort to fit in with the Smallville community by finaning projects and giving money to his friends such as the Kents. Jonathan Kent doesn't accept Lex's money when its offered, Jonathan would rather go bankrupt or starve than receive any money.

Amongst the girlfriends that Lex has is Victoria Hardwick, played by Kelly Brook in a four episode story arc in the first year. Victoria wants to take control of LuthorCorp with her father but Lex is wise and turns the tables around.

After he left Smallville, Michael Rosenbaum stayed loyal to D.C. voicing various D.C. characters such as Bart Allen a.k.a. The Flash. He did finally succumb and star in a Marvel film, Guardians of the Galaxy 2.

Lex had a number of love interests, in the first series, it was Victoria Hardwicke played by Kelly Brook. There wasn't any real love between the two, Lex used Victoria to destroy Victoria's father's company by tricking him into buying a company neither really needed and as a result, Victoria's company went bust.

Lex got married to Doctor Helen Bryce at the end of series two where Clark Kent was asked to be best man. Clark was unable to do the best man activity but they got married anyway. At the end of the second series, Lex falls asleep on the plane taking him on his honeymoon and when he wakes up he finds he's the only one there and his wife has also disappeared.

Lex Luthor will eventually beat Clark Kent to the hand of Lana Lang, the childhood love interest of Clark. Clark was never able to get close enough to Lana, they just remained friends.

Lex Luthor and Oliver Queen High School

In the series, we learn that Lex Luthor and Oliver Queen, both billionnaire businessmen sons were at private school together. This was at a time when Lex had already lost his hair due to the meteor storm. The two children did not get along with one another.

Oliver Queen had the upper hand and would bully Lex Luthor. Lex only had one friend, Michael. When Lex found out that Oliver had the answers for the mid-term exams, Lex betrayed Michael. Lex would beat up Michael who would then go on and be involved in a car incident. Michael would be put into a vegetative state but after being given a drug made from kryptonite, Michael would seek vengeance on those who bullied him. Oliver and Lex believed the other was responsible. It would take Clarke and Lois to investigate to prevent the same thing that happened to the other friends of Olivers.

The rivalry and hated between Lex and Oliver would be told in the episode Reunion. In the episode, both Oliver and Lex return to their old high school where during the events, one of Oliver's friends is killed in an accident. A second friend would be killed in a car explosion.

Lillian, Lena and Julian Luthor

Lillian and Julian

In Smallville, Lex had a brother, Julian who died when Lex was young. Lex was led was to believe that Julian died of natural courses but over time, we learn that Julian in fact died of being smothered by his mother, Lillian Luthor. Lillian was suffering a break down and she felt that by killing Julian, she could save him from Lionel. We encounter a number of Julian clones through the series run.

The death of Julian caused a schism in the family bond in particular Lex and Luthor. Lex saw that he was to blame for the ills of the family. Lex had to undergo pyschiatric treatment as a result of the death. Lex would in a number of episodes hold a dummy and sing to it before he would eventually be cured of it.

Lena Luthor

Lena Luthor appeared in the comics and in the Smallville and Supergirl television series. Lena was the sister of Lex Luthor and had her own empire like her brother. It was revealed in the final series of Smallville that Tess Mercer, the person who becomes C.E.O. of LuthorCorp after the role is vacated by Lex is Lutessa Lena Luthor.

In the Supergirl series, Lena Luthor plays a more central role and is friends with Kara Danvers. Lenaq is still up to her own tricks but is a bit more covert and hasn't been found out yet.

Lena has a full head of hair unlike her brother. Although in the comics, she is seen as having blonde hair, the two most prominent roles on television, Lena has brown hair.

Politics and the Presidency

Feeling that he had conquered the world of business decided to conquer the world of politics. Lex began his political career by first trying to be the senator for Kansas and then later he would become President. In both Smallville and in the comics, he was President. He kept having a dream that he was dressed in white standing in the Oval Office as President but it was also the end of days at the time.

Justice League

Lex Luthor from the Justice League films played by Jesse Eisenberg

In the hastily made Justice League films, Lex Luthor was played on screen by Jesse Eisenberg. The films are hasty because the producers were trying to catch up with their rivals, Marvel Comics, who had established a strong film series foundation.

Unlike previous Lex Luthors, this Lex Luthor is a young billionaire. The producers had chosen a younger actor as a nod towards the young billionaires that control the large internet companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter. For the record, I'm not accusing the owners of the aforementioned companies of being evil.

Luthor was shown with a full head of hair but it is shaved off at the end of the film when Luthor has been defeated.

Injustice League

Just as the heroes of the DC Comic have their group, the enemies have theirs too called Injustice League. After escaping from prison, Lex Luthor set about creating the group from the luxury of his superyacht. The first recruit to the organisation was Deathstroke, a.k.a Slade Wilson.

The group would later contain enemies from other DC characters such as Joker, an enemy of Bruce Wayne a.k.a. Batman.

Lex Luthor Facts

Alien RaceHuman
ActorGene Hackman, John Shea, Kevin Spacey, Michael Rosenbaum
Last UpdatedWednesday, February 20, 2019

Copyright: DC Comics

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