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Lex Luthor (DC Extended Universe)

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I don't know how to lose. [...] Ha! I'll learn. I don't hate the sinner. I hate the sin. And yours, my friend, is existing.
~ Lex, to Superman, from the Ultimate Edition

Alexander Joseph Luthor, Jr., otherwise known as Lex Luthor, is the main antagonist of the 2016 superhero movie Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the second installment of the DC Extended Universe and the sequel to 2013's Man of Steel.

Lex is a megalomaniacal psychopathic multi-billionaire and CEO of LexCorp. Although he is one of the smartest people on the planet, he has developed an unhealthy fixation with Superman, whom he views not as a hero but as an alien and an intruder. Thinking of himself as the superior one, he is obsessed with defeating and killing Superman through any means necessary, even using Batman.

He is portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg in his first villain portrayal of his cinematic career.

History

Early life

Lex was born in 1984 and was abused physically by his father Alexander Luthor, Sr., an East German immigrant. The elder Luthor's abuse led Lex to believe God plays favorites to people; the younger Luthor thus developed a deep hatred of God and anyone god-like, such as Superman, thereby becoming a misothetist.

After his father's death, Lex became CEO of his company, LexCorp.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Starting his manipulation

Lex is first seen at LexCorp, being visited by Senator June Finch. Lex reveals to her that he used a small fragment of Kryptonite on the corpse of General Zod, causing rapid decomposition. He asks her for permission to import a larger chunk of Kryptonite for further testing. After the meeting, he then asks another senator for access to the wreckage of the Kryptonian scout-ship and Zod's corpse for further testing, which is granted. Lex then enters the military facility in which the scout-ship is stored. Secretly, he cuts off Zod's fingertips with a Kryptonite blade.

Later, Lex has a business dinner with Finch, who tells him that she is denying him permission to import the Kryptonite, claiming that she knows that Lex is not planning to import it merely for testing purposes.

After finding out that Russian gang leader Anatoli Knyazev has been in contact with Lex, Bruce Wayne decides to investigate Lex and, conveniently, is told by Alfred Pennyworth that he has received an invitation to a charitable function Lex is hosting at his villa. Bruce attends the gala and briefly listens to Lex's speech about gods before heading away from the public to plant a bug in Lex's server room. Meanwhile, Lex has a sociopathic fit onstage and ends his speech before he can damage his image; this seems to be ignored by the crowd, who applaud Lex's speech.

Lex then intervenes in a heated conversation between Bruce and Daily Planet reporter Clark Kent, jovially introducing both men and claiming how he loves to bring people together. After brief small talk with Bruce, Lex invites him to meet with him at some point, claiming that they could work together. Lex is then told by his assistant Mercy Graves that the governor is waiting, so he leaves the two men.

Bombing the Capitol

Do you know the oldest lie in America, Senator? That power can be innocent
~ Luthor to Senator Finch, shortly before the explosion

Lex later pays the bail for Wallace Keefe, a Wayne Enterprises worker who was rendered paraplegic during Zod's and Superman's fight in Metropolis. After bringing Keefe out of jail, Lex provides him with a state-of-the-art wheelchair. Persuaded by Lex, Keefe meets with Finch and convinces her to invite Superman to a Senate hearing at Capitol Hill to meet those he has harmed in his battle against Zod.

Viewing the information he obtained from Lex's server, Bruce finds out that Lex is smuggling the Kryptonite to Metropolis and decides to steal the rock to form it into a weapon against Superman (ironically the same plan Luthor has for it). While pursuing Lex's men, Bruce, as Batman, is stopped by Superman. With Batman prevented from taking it, the Kryptonite is delivered to Lex.

Shortly before the hearing, Lex sends Mercy into the meeting room to hold him a seat. He then approaches Finch, coldly remembering her and how she stopped his plans to build a weapon against Superman because she was weak. Finch storms off after being told that Superman has indeed arrived for the hearing and before she is gone, Lex tells her that the oldest lie in America is that power can be innocent. Despite sending Mercy in for the hearing, Lex doesn't enter himself; instead, he leaves the building while Superman enters it. Although Mercy is perplexed, she remains seated. Moments later, the hidden explosives Lex planted inside Keefe's chair go off, killing Finch, Mercy, and everyone else inside the building except Superman. This leaves Superman blamed by the public, leading him to go into a self-imposed exile.

When Lex returns to LexCorp, he finds that the Kryptonite has been stolen and that a Batarang has been left in its place. The same night, he enters the Kryptonian scout-ship again, accidentally activating it and thus gaining access to its database. With help from the ship's database, Lex analyzes Zod's genetic material. He then cuts his hand and drips his blood onto Zod's corpse. Although the ship's computer warns Lex that the High Council of Krypton has forbidden the creation of the creature Lex is about to produce, Lex overrides this security measure by stating that the High Council is long gone. The scout-ship then begins morphing Zod's and Lex's DNA, resulting in the creation of Doomsday.

Batman versus Superman

Lex sends his men to kidnap Martha Kent. He also has Knyazev capture Lois Lane and bring her to the roof of LexCorp, where Lex is waiting. Lois, who has been able to prove that Lex was involved in the earlier incident in Nairobi, is thrown off the roof by Lex, but is caught mid-air by Superman who has returned to the city. Unbeknownst to both, this was exactly what Lex had expected.

After ensuring Lois's safety, Superman flies back up to the roof to face Lex. Superman threatens to bring Lex in, but Lex, ranting about how Superman stands above everything like a god, reveals that he knows Superman's true identity as Clark Kent/Kal-El and that he wants for the world to see Superman as the fraud he is. Pointing at the Bat-Signal shining in the sky in the distant Gotham City, Lex reveals that he expects for Superman to fight Batman to the death. When Superman asks if Lex really expects Superman to fight for him, Lex confirms it, showing Superman photos of Martha being held captive by his henchmen and hinting that Martha will die should Superman refuse.

When a shocked and enraged Superman falls to the ground in front of Lex, looking at the photos, and demands to know where Martha is, Lex states that he has forbidden his henchmen from telling him, but assures Superman that his mother will die should he attack Lex or try to fly off, his only chance of saving Martha being to kill Batman and to bring Lex his head. Lex gives Superman one hour to complete his task, then flies off in his helicopter. His continuous manipulation of Batman and Superman eventually leads to the titular battle between the two superheroes. However, before Batman can impale Superman with a Kryptonite spear, Lois arrives to clear up the confusion and to reveal Lex's manipulation. Teaming up with Superman to save Martha and defeat Lex, Batman locates Knyazev's mobile phone in a warehouse and takes out his men and the Russian himself, saving Martha.

Releasing Doomsday and Defeat

Meanwhile, Superman enters the Kryptonian scout-ship where Lex is awaiting his return. Upon seeing that Superman doesn't have Batman's head, Lex calls Knyazev's phone but is surprised to hear Batman on the other line and realizes that Martha is safe. Superman tells Lex that he has lost, but Lex disagrees and shows Superman that he has been creating a creature that he calls "Doomsday," bred to kill Superman. Stating that "God is as good as dead," he releases Doomsday, which attempts to attack Lex, but Superman stops it. Doomsday then starts fighting Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, resulting in a battle through the entire city.

Speaking with Steppenwolf

LuthorArrestedDeletedScene

Lex kneels in front of the mysterious figure

In the end of the movie (although this is included in the extended cut), Lex is seen screaming in his cell about an upcoming threat. Although it is yet unknown what he means or how he obtained the knowledge, a deleted scene which is set shortly before Lex's arrest by a Metropolis SWAT team shows Lex inside the Kryptonian scout-ship in front of a holographic image of Steppenwolf holding three cubes (most likely Mother Boxes, which are mostly associated with Darkseid) in his hands.

Imprisonment

After Doomsday is defeated at the cost of Superman's life, Lex is arrested for the terrorist attack on the Capitol and the havoc wrought by Doomsday. His head is shaved before he is imprisoned. In his cell, he seems to have a complete breakdown.

Personality

Lex Luthor has a tremendously brilliant mind, by far one of the greatest in the world, though it is hideously corrupted by his cruel and traumatic upbringing, horrifically unstable ego, and low morality. While he puts on a kindly, witty and charming façade that he is an altruistic man of and for the people (with Lex comparing himself to the enlightening gift-giving figure of Prometheus), Lex is actually full of rage, sadism, and ruthless malevolence behind closed doors, truly wishing to obtain ultimate power for himself, to control others, and to destroy those that he deems as his competition - namely his archnemesis Superman, but also metahumans in general (specifically Wonder Woman, Aquaman, the Flash, and Cyborg). Furthermore, Lex's attempts to acquire power are quite immoral and ruthless, as he has little care for the methods he uses, or their impact on others. Lex is even shown to have fits of psychotic frustration and rage when talking to a large group of people and not knowing what to say. Hence, when Lois Lane calls him "psychotic", Lex dismisses that word as merely referring to "any thought too big for little minds."

Lex is extraordinarily brilliant in sciences and business, as well as strategy (to the point that he claims not to know how to lose), and is thereby practically always the smartest man in a room, but his God complex persona makes Lex very envious and bitter towards the godlike alien Superman, even going so far as openly describing the latter in infernal and diabolical terms, subtly comparing Superman to a werewolf (by referring to Kryptonite as a "silver bullet"), a "Winged demon" (which he uses to justify his threat of ruthlessly burning Martha Kent alive), and finally, to the biblical Devil Lucifer himself, who had originated not in "Hell beneath [Lex]", but had come "from the sky" (as a fallen archangel), inducing humanity to admire him.

This immense hatred of powerful individuals with popularity seemingly stems from the great amounts of hatred and resentment that Lex harbors for his late father, Alexander Luthor Sr., as the latter, while both powerful and popular, was extremely cruel and egregious behind closed doors, physically abusing his young and helpless son with both fists and "abominations." Thus, Lex's experienced abuse, without any intervention from any "man in the sky", immensely traumatizes him, which in turn induces Lex to gain a misotheistic view of God, believing that if God were all-powerful, then He logically could not be all-good and vice versa (the theological problem of evil), thereby solidifying his belief that power cannot be innocent (referring to the antithesis of that as the "oldest lie in America").

Ironically, while the egregious abuse would make Lex immensely despise his father, he would eventually come to share some of his father's traits as an adult, with Lex's exceptional intelligence, ruthless malevolence, and use of an affable façade all mirroring those of Luthor Sr., though it could be argued that Lex took all of these traits even further, as he would notably become more intelligent, skilled, and powerful than his father had ever been. Hence, Lex projects his childhood trauma and theological resentment onto the godlike Superman, determined to prove to both himself and to humanity at large that the alien superhero, while being supremely powerful, is actually not supremely good, and is in fact an abominable fraud. Hence, while Lex claims to hate "the sinner, not the sin", he specifies that Superman's sin is existing. However, Lex notably does not have the same hatred towards General Zod, and actually seems to admire him, with Lex sadly remarking that the latter had "[flown] too close to the sun." This is most likely due the the fact that General Zod, unlike Superman, did not contradict Lex's worldview, due to Zod's godlike power being used for malevolent purposes.

Somewhat ironically, despite his misotheism, Lex has a penchant for constantly implementing allusions to major figures of both pagan and biblical theology, with him notably comparing himself to Prometheus, General Zod to Icarus, and Superman to Zeus, Horus, Apollo, Satan, and Jehovah. He even compares himself to the biblical God in one way, claiming to hate "the sinner, not the sin."

Another factor of Lex's resentment towards Superman was how, all his adult life, Lex was determined to view himself as a superior, godlike being amongst humans (due to his virtually peerless intellect and great achievements), and his ego was damaged when an actual godlike being induced Lex to question his own deluded self-image. Due to this, Lex, despite his ability to kill Superman himself (with the acquired Kryptonite), instead waits for the opportune moment to manipulate Superman and Batman into a fierce mortal duel, in order to first discredit the Man of Steel, so as to avoid Superman becoming a martyr, and to simultaneously humiliate Superman, by having a being of godlike power killed by an ordinary man (supported by Lex' many biblical allusions when gloatingly describing the heroes' planned mortal duel).

Lex carries out this malevolent plan with cold calculation and ruthless cruelty, being quick to murder anyone who comes in his way, such as Senator Finch and Wallace Keefe, his guilt-ridden hired actress Kahina Ziri, and even his own loyal assistant Mercy Graves is likewise shown to be disposable to Lex, as she is likewise killed off along with them. Lex goes so far as to sadistically threaten to burn the kidnapped Martha Kent alive unless Superman "bows to [his] will" by killing Batman. This meticulous and brilliant plan behind Lex's ultimatum was to expose the theological problem of evil in Superman regardless of the fight's outcome - if Superman were to win and kill Batman (to save his mother's life) he would prove to be supremely powerful yet not supremely good, and if Superman were to lose (due to holding back and his weakness to Kryptonite) to Batman and die, he would prove to be supremely good yet not supremely powerful.

In the meantime, Lex continues to garner as much power as he can get his hands on, being quick to order the Fortress of Solitude to teach him all about the knowledge from 100,000 alien worlds, thereby expanding his already brilliant mind to supergenius level, finally becoming even more godlike in his own eyes. Despite the failure of his initial grand plan, Lex's far more grand and extreme contingency plan of unleashing Doomsday succeeds, with Superman seemingly being killed by the bloodthirsty monster. Indeed, Lex appears to be so satisfied with his success (as he claims not to know how to lose), that he cares little about being imprisoned for his crimes shortly thereafter, and gleefully awaits the imminent arrival of impending extraterrestrials.

The new extensive knowledge that Lex gains from the Fortress seems to have also made him incredibly bold, as he shows no fear (although his sneer momentarily disappeared with him showing signs of dismay when when Batman informed him about his transfer to Arkham Asylum) when ambushed in his Belle Reve jail cell and at the mercy of a furious Batman with a branding ring, with Lex going so far as smugly sneering at Batman's threats, and warning him with gleeful sadism about the imminent coming of a new, mysterious alien invader Steppenwolf, to whom Earth is now vulnerable to, due to Superman's death.

Lex also has a somewhat dry, black, and sadistic sense of humor, and love for both witty puns and visual metaphors, shown when Lex mockingly imitated a Kentucky accent when speaking with Senator Finch; when Lex told the wheelchair-bound Wallace Keefe that he wanted to help the latter "stand" for something; when Lex claims that the shortest road to Superman is "Lois lane"; when Lex mentions "civilizations of the wane, manors out the window" to Batman (subtly revealing that he knows of Bruce Wayne being the Dark Knight's alter ego); when Lex had a jar of urine placed upon Senator Finch's desk, labelled "Granny's Peach Tea" (illustrating an epithet that she herself had used against him not along ago) before coldly murdering her with a hidden bomb; and when Lex described the upcoming battles between Superman and Batman, and later Superman and Doomsday with dramatic and sadistic glee, mockingly incorporating antique and theological metaphors (such as describing the first battle as the "greatest gladiator match in the history of the world"). In addition, Lex seems to be well-versed in American pop-culture, making quite a few references from it as well, notably "The Midnight Ride", "Lolita" and the "Wizard of Oz."

Abilities

Abilities

  • Genius-Level Intelligence: Lex Luthor is extremely intelligent (known to be a bibliophile, making numerous pop-culture, biblical, and pagan myth references), by far one of the most intelligent humans in the world, with his tremendous intellect nearly unrivaled (Lex notably being one of the extreme few to intellectually surpass even Batman, and with him referring to even the exceptionally smart Lois Lane as having a "little mind" compared to his), which makes the virtually peerless malevolent genius a worthy opponent even for Superman himself. Hence, Lex was notably not deceived by Batman's inhuman and supernatural façade, being quick to deduce (via CCTV) that the Dark Knight is actually only a mere man without any metahuman powers. In addition, after entering the Fortress of Solitude, Lex orders to be taught the vast amounts of knowledge that the starship's archive had from 100,000 alien worlds, with apparent success. As such, Lex is now more intelligent than ever, effectively a supergenius, and with his newly obtained tremendous amount of knowledge including that of the imminent threat posed by a mysterious alien invader Steppenwolf, coming to Earth (due to Superman's death having left the planet vulnerable), which Lex proclaims to Batman with glee. Lex's tremendous intellect extends itself to his unparalleled tactical, deceptive, scientific, business, and leadership skills.
    • Expert Tactician: Lex Luthor is an extremely skilled and formidable tactician, to the point that he claims not to know how to lose. Given his lack of superpowers, he, much like Batman, often uses cunning and planning to successfully outwit stronger and more powerful foes, rather than simply out-fighting them, often using any of their exploitable weaknesses (such as Kryptonite, Lois Lane, and Martha Kent in the case of Superman and manipulation-inducing tunnel vision in the case of Batman) to his advantage, though his approach is far more ruthless than Batman's. And Lex is almost always successful in doing so (claiming not to know how to lose), as even after his initial plan of having Senator Finch publicly support his Kryptonite "silver bullet" deterrent against Superman (which would have forced the godlike alien to be subjugated and forced to answer to the deterrent-wielding government) fails, Lex is unfazed, and sets a grander contingency plan into motion by changing tactics - learning everything about both Batman and Superman. This allows Lex to successfully manipulate not only Superman into killing Batman (by having Cesar Santos murdered in jail, sending Clark photos of Santos' corpse, and finally, by kidnapping Clark's mother), but also to successfully outsmart and manipulate even the extremely intelligent and experienced Batman into killing Superman (by sending Bruce notes with provoking messages "from" Wallace Keefe about the death of his employees in the Black Zero Event, allowing Bruce to steal his data on Kryptonite and metahumans, and later, to steal the Kryptonite itself), without Batman ever suspecting it until after his duel with Superman was over. This meticulous and brilliant plan behind Lex's ultimatum was to expose the theological problem of evil in Superman regardless of the fight's outcome - if Superman were to win and kill Batman (to save his mother's life) he would prove to be supremely powerful yet not supremely good, and if Superman were to lose (due to holding back and his weakness to Kryptonite) to Batman and die, he would prove to be supremely good yet not supremely powerful. And even when Lex's grand contingency plan of pitting both superheroes against each other ultimately fails (and that being only due to Superman saying Martha's name just in time to stop Batman's killing blow), a once again unfazed Lex reveals his far more grand and extreme second contingency plan (by promptly unleashing the mighty monster Doomsday), a plan that ultimately succeeds in carrying out Lex's goal of killing Superman.
    • Expert Deceiver: Lex Luthor is extremely skilled in deception (at least on par with Batman himself in that regard), as he was notably able to successfully hide his internal ruthless malevolence under a kindly and altruistic façade, which was convincing enough to initially fool Senator Barrows, June Finch, Superman, and even the extremely intelligent and experienced Batman. In addition, no one ever suspected his manipulatee Kahina Ziri to be an actress hired by him (reading a memorized deceitful script that Lex had written for her), until she became guilt-ridden and confessed the the truth to Finch, though at that point it was already too late.
    • Expert Scientist: Lex Luthor is an extremely skilled scientist, as he was able to ultimately create the monstrous Doomsday after studying the alien corpse of General Zod and gaining new knowledge from the Fortress of Solitude, and to reverse-engineer a highly advanced Kryptonian Genesis Chamber from the one in the Fortress.
  • Expert Businessman: Lex Luthor is a brilliant wunderkind businessman, managing to successfully transform his father's company, LexCorp Industries, from a petrochemical and heavy machinery dinosaur into a cutting edge technology giant, helping the company grow and get more business partners, as well as earning himself an immense fortune, rivaled only by extreme few, like his competitor Bruce Wayne. In fact, the business achievements of his father Alexander Luthor Sr. (which were very considerable in their own right) pale in comparison to the astonishingly prolific accomplishments of the younger Luthor, who became the youngest person ever to be named Fortune’s Businessperson of the Year. As a result, Lex is extremely well-respected in the business world. Unlike Bruce Wayne however, Lex is not above secretly using ruthless cutthroat tactics, unethical practices and illegal operations to maintain the success of his business empire.
  • Leadership: Lex Luthor is an extremely skilled and prodigious leader, becoming the youngest person ever to be included in Fortune's list of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.

Weaknesses

  • Human Vulnerabilities: Lex Luthor's greatest weakness is that he is a human with no enhanced strength, speed, durability, or metahuman powers, therefore making him quite vulnerable to the physical attacks of stronger and more powerful opponents. Lex, however, usually compensates for this quite well with his tremendous supergenius intellect, since when he first directly faced Superman, while the latter was easily capable of "taking [Lex] in without breaking [him]", and of destroying Lex with his heat vision, Lex's tactical brilliance had accounted for this in advance, and rendered Superman unable to do so, since if Superman were to injure or kill Lex, Superman's mother Martha Kent would be brutally killed by Lex's loyalist Knyazev. This, in turn, empowered Lex to issue his ultimatum to the Man of Steel. When faced by Superman for the second time, Lex again avoided defeat by unleashing his monstrous creation, Doomsday, against the alien hero, just in time.
  • Arrogance: Lex Luthor's other main weakness is his overconfidence and arrogance, with him even going so far as to claim that he doesn't know how to lose. Hence, Lex was somewhat caught off-guard when Senator Finch refused to grant him an import license for the Indian Ocean Kryptonite, and when a guilt-ridden Kahina Ziri confessed her lies to Finch, as Lex had, in his arrogance, not predicted such a turn of events in either instance. However, this weakness is not very significant, as Lex's tremendous intellect allows him to very effectively compensate for this at almost all times, as he is swift to come up with an effective contingency plan after Finch's refusal, smuggling the Kryptonite in himself, and swiftly getting Finch out of his way by having her killed in the US Capitol bombing, and later having Knyazev murder Kahina Ziri.

Equipment

As the CEO of LexCorp Industries, Lex Luthor has earned himself an immense fortune (considerably expanding upon that which he has inherited from his father, Alexander Luthor Sr.), making himself one of the wealthiest people in the world, rivaled only by extreme few (like his business rival Bruce Wayne), with Perry White fearing that if threatened by Lois, Lex could sue the Daily Planet "out of existence" with his tremendous funds. Also, his inheritance and wealth allows Lex access to some of the most sophisticated technology in the world (such as the innovative alloy bullets used by Knyazev in Naioromi, and the recently developed Lex/Os), as well as some other useful equipment, some of it innovative, such as a Kryptonite-bladed scalpel. Hence, Lex easily gets Wallace Keefe to testify against Superman by bribing him with a high-tech wheelchair.

  • CCTVs: Many video cameras that Lex has a penchant for setting up in locations of interest, in order to watch events unfold from within his private room in the LexCorp facility. He has thus successfully spied on Batman, Professor Garcia's footage of Superman, research on the corpse of General Zod, as well as the Fortress of Solitude. He is later revealed to have also successfully spied on the Amazon Diana Prince, the Atlantean Arthur Curry, the speedster Barry Allen, and the cybernetically enhanced Victor Stone, with Lex dubbing them "metahumans".
  • Kryptonite: A glowing green radioactive xenomineral from the planet of Krypton, discovered in the the Indian Ocean, a side effect of the World Engine's attack. As Kryptonite is the greatest weakness of all Kryptonians, Lex effectively wields it against them, with him using it to peel off the fingerprints from General Zod's corpse. It is later stolen and weaponized by Batman, just as Lex had intended.

Quotes

Ahoy, ahoy. I did not know you were here.
~ Lex's first words in the movie
You know, dad was born in East Germany. He grew up...eating stale crackers. And every other Saturday, he had to march in a parade and waved flowers at tyrants. So I think it was providence that his son, me, would end up with this. One of my rebuild Metropolis crews found it. A little souvenir from the Kryptonian World Engine.[...] Homeland security? No, ma'am. Planetary security.
~ Luthor, explaining his company's history
We suspected it might have bio interactions, so we took the sample to the AMRIID. Where they keep the remains of the Kryptonian decedent. And, when we exposed general Zod to this mineral, this happened. Profound biodegradation, decaying Kryptonian cells. We concluded the mineral could be weaponized if a large enough sample was found. And then, among the fishes, a whale! Lying at the bottom of the Indian Ocean. Emerald City. Beautiful. Now, Rocky is radio active, but what he needs is an import license.
~ Luthor, revealing Kryptonite to senator Finch
As a deterrent. A silver bullet to keep in reserve to use against the Kryptonians. So, the day doesn't come, madam, when your children are waiving daisies at a reviewing stand.
~ Luthor, explaining to senator Finch why the mineral needs to be weaponized
Yes, Superman. Yeah, but, there are...there are more of them.[...]Yes the Meta Human thesis. More likely than not. These exceptional beings live among us. The bases of our myths. Gods among men upon our...our little blue planet here. You don't have to use the silver bullet, but if you forge one...Well, then...we don't have to depend upon the kindness of monsters.
~ Luthor, mentioning the meta-human thesis
That should be upside down. We know better now, don't we? Devils don't come from Hell beneath us. No, they come from the sky.
~ Lex, observing a painting in his study
The Red Capes are coming! The Red Capes are coming!
~ Lex, to Senator Finch
Books are knowledge and knowledge is power, and I am...no. Um, no. What am I? What was I saying? The bittersweet pain among men is having knowledge with no power because...because that is paradoxical and, um...thank you for coming.
~ Lex, giving a speech to guests at his gala event
Boys! Mmm, Bruce Wayne meets Clark Kent. Ha, I love it! I love bringing people together! How are we?
~ Lex introducing himself to Bruce and Clark
It is a pleasure... Ow! Wow! That is a good grip!
~ Lex introducing himself to Clark
You should not pick a fight with this person!
~ Lex, to Bruce after shaking Clark's hand
You flew too close to the sun. Now look at you.
~ Lex, while studying Zod's corpse
Lane Lo in the morning. Lola in slacks. Lois Lane. Come see the view. Now, the secret is the height. It's the building material. It's light metals, which...sway a bit in the wind. And you know something about LEXCORP metals, don't you, miss Lane? [...] Wow, you're feisty. Unfortunately, that will blow away. Like sand in the desert. [...] That is a three syllable word for any thought too big for little minds. Next category: Circles. Round and round and round they go to find Superman. Wrong category. No, not triangles. Yes, Euclidean triangle equality. The shortest distance between any 2 points is a straight path. And I believe the swiftest path to Superman...is a pretty little road. Mmm, called Lois Lane.
~ Luthor, to Lois Lane, before pushing her off his building
Boy, do we have problems up here! The problem of...of evil in the world. The problem of absolute virtue. [...] The problem of you on top of everything else. You above all. Ah, 'cause that's what God is. Horus. Apollo. Jehovah. Kal-El. Clark Joseph Kent. See, what we call God depends upon our tribe, Clark Joe. Because God is tribal. God takes sides. No man in the sky intervened when I was a boy to deliver me from Daddy's fists and abominations. Mmnnn. I've figured it out way back if God is all-powerful, he cannot be all-good. And if he's all-good, then he cannot be all powerful. And neither can you be. They need to see the fraud you are. With their eyes. The blood on your hands. [...] And tonight, they will. Yes. Because you, my friend, have a date! Across the bay. Ripe fruit, his hate; two years growing, but it did not take much to push him over, actually. Little red notes, big bang--"You let your family die!" And now, you will fly to him, and you will battle him...to the death. Black and blue. Fight night. The greatest gladiator match in the history of the world. God versus man; day versus night; Son of Krypton versus Bat of Gotham!
~ Lex revealing his beliefs and plan to Superman
Mmm, yes, I do. I think you will fight, fight, fight for that special lady in your life.
~ Lex, to Superman
Close, but I am not talking about Lois. No. Every boy's special lady...is his mother. [...] Martha, Martha, Martha. But the mother of a flying demon must be a witch. The punishment for witches, what is that? That's right. Death by fire.
~ Lex, revealing Martha is being held captive
I DON'T KNOW! I would not let them tell me! Now, ah, if you kill me, Martha dies. And if you fly away, mmm, Martha also dies. But if you kill the Bat...Martha lives.
~ Lex, to Superman
There we go. There we go. And now God bends to my will.
~ Lex, after Superman kneels before him
Now, the cameras are waiting at your ship for the world to see the holes in the holy! Yes, the almighty comes clean about how dirty he is when it counts! To save Martha, bring me the head of the Bat!
~ Lex, to Superman
Ah, mother of God, would you look at the time? When you came here, you had an hour. Now it's less.
~ Lex, to Superman
"Late, late," says the White Rabbit. Right, Rabbit? Out of tricks. Out of time. And one bat head short. Ah, that would be the cook. Excuse me. Ah, Gotham Roast. Well done. Hello? Breaker of bad news.
~ Lex Luthor, to Superman as he arrives at the Kryptonian spaceship
I cannot let you win. I gave the Bat a fighting chance to do it, but he's not strong enough. So, if man won't kill God...the Devil will do it! [...] Ancient Kryptonian deformity. Blood of my blood...born to destroy you! Your doomsday. [...] Now God...is good...as dead.
~ Lex to Superman, revealing Doomsday
But the bell's already been rung. And they've heard it. Out in the dark, among the stars...ding dong, the god is dead. [...] The bell cannot be un-rung! He's hungry. He's found us. And he's coming!
~ Lex in his cell

Relationships

Family

  • Alexander Luther Sr. † - Father, Mentor, and Abuser

Allies

Unknown

  • Steppenwolf
    • Parademons

Enemies

  • Superman † - Archnemesis, Manipulatee, and Indirect Victim
  • Batman - Business Rival and Manipulatee
  • Wonder Woman
  • Lois Lane - Exploited Prisoner
  • Martha Kent - Exploited Prisoner, Intended Victim
  • June Finch † - Rival and Victim
  • Wallace Keefe † - Manipulatee and Victim
  • Kahina Ziri † - Blackmailed and Indirect Victim
  • Cesar Santos † - Indirect Victim

Trivia

  • This version of Lex Luthor is inspired by the Lex of Adventure Comics #271 and real life Silicon Valley CEOs.
  • Lex is the youngest person ever to be both named Fortune's Businessperson of the Year and included on the magazine's list of the World's 50 Greatest Leaders.
  • Lex is 31 in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, four years younger than Superman, when in most forms of media, he is either slightly or much older than Superman.
  • Before Eisenberg was cast, Mark Strong, Bryan Cranston, Billy Zane, and Joaquin Phoenix were all rumored to be considered for the part.
  • Lex has some similarities to the following villains:
    • Ichiro Yashida from The Wolverine: They are tech magnates who are fascinated with metahuman individuals, yet they wish to kill one in particular (Lex: Superman; Yashida: Wolverine).
    • Grings Kodai: They are wealthy businessmen who are willing to manipulate and blackmail others to get what they want and have access to advanced technology. They also wind up being arrested and sent to jail for their crimes.
    • Chris D'Amico aka the Motherfucker from Kick-Ass series: both of them are slightly childish and nerdy and also ruthless killers and monsters. Both of them are obsessed about killing their arch rivals, and insane to boot. They were also neglected by their fathers and took over the company after their fathers died, although they were arguably worse than their fathers.
    • Controller X from Godzilla Final Wars: They are youthful, mentally unstable and have powerful monsters under their control and send them to destroy the good guys. They are also Comedic Complete Monsters who wish to control everything.
    • Isaac Ray Peram Westcott from Date A Live. They are businessmen willing to manipulate others to get what they want, are mentally unstable, and are non-fighters so they mostly rely on the powerful monsters under their control to destroy the good guys.
    • Major from Hellsing. They are leaders who are willing to commit any bloodshed to achieve their goals and are mentally unstable for it.
    • Joker by Heath Ledger from The Dark Knight: They are young terrorists who want to double-cross main hero (Lex: Superman & Batman, Joker: Batman). Both threatened to mock and push main heroine (Lois Lane & Rachel Dawes) to fall down. Both are interrogated by their own archenemy where the victims are (Lex: Martha Kent, Joker: Harvey Dent & Rachel Dawes). Both made a bomb in somewhere building (Lex: United States Capitol, Joker: Gotham General Hospital). Both have their own popular catchphrase (Lex: the red capes are coming, Joker: Why so serious?)
    • Jim Moriarty from Sherlock: Both are highly intelligent criminal masterminds, but are also slightly childish, insane and obsessed with their arch-rivals.
    • King Candy from Wreck-it Ralph: Both are intelligent master manipulators and are good with technology, but are also slightly childish, flamboyant and mentally unstable. They also seek to destroy their arch-rivals and stay on top by any means necessary.
    • Prince Hans from Frozen: They are highly intelligent master manipulators and take advantage of situations to achieve their own ends, and they're also sociopaths. They were also abused by their family members, which led to their villainous natures. They also have red hair.
    • Vector from Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL: They are brilliant and insane villains who manipulate everything and everyone to their advantage.
    • Tzekel-Kan from The Road to El Dorado: They are deranged and use the gigantic monsters at their disposal to destroy the protagonists; however, Luthor is an atheist, whereas Tzekel-Kan is a polytheist.
    • Loki from the Marvel Cinematic Universe: They are tremendously intelligent, but also psychopathic and have tragic pasts that led to them becoming evil; they wish to destroy their arch-rivals (Lex: Superman, Loki: Thor); they are slightly childish; and they eventually become subservient to a higher being (Lex: Darkseid, Loki: Thanos).
    • Helmut Zemo from Captain America: Civil War: Both are criminal masterminds who manipulate the heroes into fighting each other and do it out of personal vendetta and revenge. Both also end up being incarcerated by the end.
    • Ernst Stavro Blofeld from Spectre: They are superbly intelligent criminal masterminds who are obsessed with destroying their arch-rivals, and slightly childish to boot. They also get defeated in the end, but survive.

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