Lionel Luthor is a fictional male in the Justice League comic series who was portrayed on screen by John Glover. Lionel Luthor is the father of Lex Luthor, the main adversary of Clark Kent in the Smallville series. Lionel didn't appear in the comics, he was created to show how a young Lex Luthor became a billionaire. Lex inherited the company from his father.
As Lex is supposed to be young, it was probably deemed implausible that that Lex would be so successful at such an early age. Lionel would be the creator of LuthorCorp which Lex would later take on.
Lionel and Lex's relationship is a strained one, one in which Lex decides not to invite his father to the marriage of his and Dr. Helen Bryce, the latter played by Emmanuelle Vaugier.
Lionel's role is a major one in the early series before eventually droppping off and disappearing and then reappearing against as an alternate reality character.
Whilst Lex wants to forge his own path, Lionel is there to try and steer his son into taking over LuthorCorp in the future. Lex was given a plant to run in Smallville which Luthor then closed down to try to make Luthor to come back to Metropolis but it didn't work, Lex set about buying the company with an employee buyout in order to keep it open and for him to stay in Smallville.
There is antagonism between Lionel and Jonathan Kent which date back to when Clark was found. On the day of the meteorites strike, Jonathan helped Lionel when Lex was hurt. Lionel offered Jonathan any help they wanted and so they took him up on the offer. Lionel arranged for the adoption of Clark Kent. Later, after Clark was adopted, Lionel persuaded Jonathan to have a word with some landowners to sell up. Jonathan regrets talking to the landowners and holds a grudge against Lionel ever since.
Lionel in later series becomes an ally of Clarks, aiding him and providing information on Lex. Jor-El, Clark's Kryptonian father channels through Lionel to provide additional help and advice. Jor-El is never seen, only the voice is heard. Jor-El is voice by Terrence Stamp who played General Zod in the eighties Superman II film.
Lana Lang became the girlfriend of Lex Luthor after getting fed up with not being told the truth by Clark. After finding out that Lana was pregnant, Lex proposed to Lana which took Lana some time to accept. When it looked like Lana was going to turn it down, Lionel stepped in and threatened that he would kill Clark if Lana didn't go through with it. The married life of the Luthors didn't last too long and Lana would file for divorce and move back in with Clark.
Copyright: DC Comics
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