- "No man in the sky intervened when I was a boy to deliver me from daddy's fist and abominations! I figured it out way back! If God is all-powerful, He cannot be all-good, and if He is all-good, then He cannot be all-powerful...and neither can you be."
- —Lex Luthor to Superman
Alexander Joseph Luthor Jr., also known as Lex Luthor, is the billionaire philanthropist CEO of LexCorp Industries and the primary antagonist of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Growing up with an abusive father, Lex's psyche was founded in his youth and he eventually replaced his father as CEO, turning LexCorp into one of the world's wealthiest companies in a short space of time.
In 2013, following the Black Zero Event and the appearance of Superman, Lex grew an obsession with Superman and began investigating a Metahuman Thesis that there are other beings like Superman. Deciding that he needed to kill the 'demon' Superman, he began an intricate manipulation of people to expose the world's distrust of Superman, orchestrating the Bombing of the United States Capitol and put him in a deathmatch against Gotham City's Batman, but the plan ultimately failed so he created Doomsday from the remains of General Zod. Doomsday killed Superman but Lex was placed in prison for his crimes of the bombing of the US Capitol and sent to Arkham Asylum.
Lex grew up in the wealthy family home but was abused by his father, who often beat him as a child.
In 2000, Luthor Sr. passed away unexpectedly, leaving his legacy of LexCorp to his only son Lex, who took control of the business, transforming it from a petrochemical and heavy machinery dinosaur into a cutting edge technology giant.
The Metahuman Thesis
Some time after the Black Zero Event, Lex began investigating Kal-El, now known as Superman. It didn't take him long to work out that Kal-El has been hiding on the Earth as Clark Kent, gathering up evidence on him.
Lex hired Firefly anonymously to blow up a merchandise warehouse in Gotham City to test out the Batman's capabilities, to see if he had any Metahuman capabilities. He set up CCTV at the warehouse to watch events unfold.
During this time, he began gathering evidence and research on a 'Metahuman Thesis', that there are other beings out there capable of things much like Superman. He gathered evidence on antiquities dealer Diana Prince, whom it appeared had been alive on the Earth a lot longer then she looked, having stolen a photograph of her from Belgium in 1918.
He acquired CCTV footage from a store in Central City, where Central City Police Department CSI Barry Allen uses Super Speed to take out a robber. He also acquired drone footage from a deep sea drone that witnesses an Atlantean, King Orin, taking out the said drone with his Trident of Neptune. Lex finally got a hold of videos made by Dr Silas Stone at S.T.A.R. Labs, where he was working to save his son Victor. Silas used a Mother Box which activated and began creating a Cybernetic body to replace Victor's lost limbs.
Taking Down Superman
Lex hires Anatoli Knyazev to accompany mercenaries to Nairomi in Africa, whilst Lois Lane is there to interview a terrorist leader, where they will blame Superman for the killings. When Lois arrives along with her photographer Jimmy Olsen, Knyazev discovers Jimmy is CIA and kills him, along with most of the terrorists as per Lex's instructions, burning them alive and killing any witnesses to make it look like Superman used his Heat Vision to kill them.
Lex then hires Kahini Ziri to go on the US media and in front of the US Government and lie about what happened in Nairomi, blaming Superman for the deaths of the people in her village.
Lex is at LexCorp Headquarters awaiting the arrival of Senator June Finch and Barrows. They arrive as he is playing basketball in the lobby with some of his staff. He takes them into the labs and shows them a tiny piece of Kryptonite, found at the Black Zero site. He and Dr Emmett Vale reveal that the Kryptonite is capable of destroying Kryptonian cells, and that Lex wants an Import Licence to bring a massive chunk into the country from the World Engine in the pacific ocean. Finch is skeptical and leaves with his aid, as Barrows makes a deal with Lex, who in return wants access to the crashed Scout Ship and possession of General Zod's body for experimentation.
Lex has Zod's body brought to LexCorp where they use the tiny piece of Kryptonite to cut off Zod's fingerprints which Lex takes to the Scout Ship site in Metropolis. They allow him access to the Scout Ship where Lex finds the destroyed Genesis Chamber, and General Zod's Command Key, which grants him access to the ship's records, posing as Zod.
Finch arrives to Lex's house sometime later, where he begins to tell her stories about his father. She tries to keep it brief and denies him the important licence to bring the Kryptonite to the US.
Lex is then holding a Charity Event at the Metropolis Public Library, where is specifically sends an invite to Clark Kent to cover the event, and one to Bruce Wayne to attend. Lex begins the event by giving a speech about power, before realizing he was talking too much and cuts it brief. He then see's Clark and Bruce talking and interrupts to subliminally tell them not to pick a fight with each other.
Lex decides to ship the Kryptonite to the US anyway, and has Knyazev oversee the operation in Gotham City while Lex waits for the final package. When it arrives however, the convoy is destroyed and the truck carrying the Kryptonite is half destroyed thanks to a failed attempt to stop it by the Batman. Lex then places the Kryptonite in the chamber, replacing the tiny piece he had previously and look's on in wonder.
Lex then sees Wallace Keefe being arrested on the news for graffiti on the Superman Statue in Heroes Park. Lex pays Wallace's bail and waits for him at this house, where he finds newspaper clippings and stories regarding the Black Zero Event and the Battle of Metropolis, as well as stories regarding Bruce Wayne. Lex provides Wallace with a new wheelchair and persuades him to go to Finch to take Superman to trial. Unbeknownst to Wallace, it is armed with a bomb.
Lex then sends Bruce Wayne messages, doctored to look as though they had been sent by Wallace on how Bruce let his 'family die', referencing the destruction of the Wayne Financial Building during the Black Zero Event.
Deciding he needs to tie up loose ends, Lex has Knyazev kill Kahini Ziri before she can reveal that she lied about Superman's involvement in Nairomi.
Lex is invited to the Superman trial, and briefly attends along with Mercy Graves. As the trial starts, he slips away and leaves a note on Finch's drink, a throwback to an earlier remark she gave to him at his house about Granny's Peach Tee. After she reads it, the bomb in Wallace's charge went off, killing everybody except Superman.
Doomsday's Birth and Superman's Apparent Death
Lex then returned to the Scout Ship along with General Zod's body, where he placed it in the waters of the Genesis Chamber and cut his own hand and spread it across Zod's face. The ship warned against it but Luthor commanded it to proceed.
He went to the top of LexCorp Tower and saw the Bat-Signal in the sky above Gotham. Knowing that tonight was the night that Batman and Superman would finally be forced into battle, he ordered Knyazev to kidnap Lois Lane and Martha Kent. Lois was brought to him at LexCorp Tower where he throws her off the helipad. Superman saves her and confronts Lex, who reveals to him that he knows his true identity as Clark Kent. He reveals to Superman that he has been orchestrating him and Batman's hatred of each other and that he wants Superman to kill Batman within an hour, revealing that he has Martha kidnapped somewhere. With no choice, Superman leaves as Lex departs to the Scout Ship.
Later in the hour, Lex awaits in the Genesis Chamber as Superman crashes into the ship, without Batman's head. Superman tells Lex that he has lost, but Lex reveals the Chamber, which has been regenerating Zod's body into an ancient Kryptonian deformity, Doomsday, with the sole purpose to destroy Superman. Doomsday attacks Lex but is stopped by Superman who battles the creature away from the Scout Ship.
Lex then begins communicating with Steppenwolf from the Scout Ship, as their communion is interrupted by S.W.A.T. teams who arrest Lex.
Lois Lane finally exposes Lex's crimes and is sent to a supermax prison, head shaven and placed in a cell awaiting transfer. Batman arrives and threatens Lex, telling him that he has contacts and is going to make sure Lex is transferred to Arkham Asylum. Lex tells Batman that the whole universe now knows that Superman is dead and that "he" is hungry and is coming to Earth.
Lex Luthor is a man of relatively small height and slim build for a male of his age, but a confident walk and demeanor. He has long hair that is a dark orange-red color. After being taken into custody, however, the prison barber shaves his hair off and he is left completely bald.
Lex Luthor has an extraordinarily brilliant mind, by far one of the greatest in the world, though it is hideously corrupted by his horrifically unstable ego and low morality. While he usually puts up a kindly façade, Lex is actually quite malevolent and believes himself a god among men, and greatly desires to be treated as such. Hence, when Lois Lane calls him "psychotic", Lex dismisses that word as merely referring to "any thought too big for little minds."
Lex is brilliant in both sciences and business, and is often the smartest man in a room, but his god complex persona makes him very envious and bitter towards Superman, even going so far as openly describing the latter in infernal and diabolical terms, comparing Superman to a devil that tries to take over humanity by inducing them to admire him. Lex considers himself better than the rest of humanity and Superman, the latter of whom he feels threatened by, due to Superman's potential to easily overshadow any popularity that Lex already possesses. This belief leads Lex to expand his business and finances, creating innovative technologies to challenge Superman (ultimately obtaining Kryptonite and creating the fearsome Doomsday monster), and to garner as much power as possible, in order to become even more of a god in his own eyes. Furthermore, Lex's attempts to take power are quite immoral, as he has little care for the methods he uses, or their impact on others. He puts on a kindly façade that he is a man of and for the people, but he actually truly wishes to control others and destroy those that he deems as his competition, namely Superman. To Lex, he and Superman are ultimately bitter rivals for the affections and praise of humanity.
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Prequel (First appearance)
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
- Justice League
- Seventh live action iteration of the character.
- This version of Lex Luthor is inspired by the comics Adventure Comics #271 and real life Silicon Valley CEOs.
- Lex is 31 in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, when in most forms of media, he is either slightly or much older than Superman.
- "He" possibly refers to Steppenwolf, the alien creature that he encountered (in the deleted scene titled "Communion"), or it could instead refer to Darkseid himself.
- In the comics, Lex was injured in his hand because of being injured by stabbing himself. In the film, he is injured in the hand because he used in his DNA to create Doomsday inside the Scout Ship.
|Media||Man of Steel | Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice | Untitled Superman film|
|Characters||Clark Kent/Superman | Lois Lane | Perry White | Jonathan Kent | Martha Kent | Jor-El | Lara Lor-Van | Emil Hamilton | Nathan Hardy | Steven Lombard | Jenny Jurwich | Lana Lang | General Swanwick | Peter Ross | Bibbo Bibbowski | Kara Zor-El | Bruce Wayne/Batman | Diana/Wonder Woman | Jimmy Olsen|
|Enemies||Lex Luthor | General Zod | Faora-Ul | Doomsday | Mercy Graves | Jax-Ur | Nam-Ek | Tor-An | Car-Vex | Dev-Em | Nadira|
|Miscellaneous||Metropolis | Daily Planet | Smallville | Krypton | Metropolis Police Department | Kryptonite | LexCorp | Super Suit | Kent Farm | Fortress of Solitude | Black Zero | Kryptonian | Command Key | Kal-El's Starcraft | Phantom Zone | Superman film series|
|Media||Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice | The Batman|
|Characters||Bruce Wayne/The Batman | Alfred Pennyworth | Dick Grayson/Nightwing | Barbara Gordon/Batgirl | James Gordon | Lucius Fox | Thomas Wayne | Martha Wayne | Jason Todd/Robin | Clark Kent/Superman | Diana/Wonder Woman|
|Enemies||Joker | Harley Quinn | Killer Croc | Deadshot | Penguin | Lex Luthor | Deathstroke | Catwoman | Poison Ivy | Jonny Frost | Anatoli Knyazev | Joe Chill | Doctor Aesop | Firefly|
|Miscellaneous||Gotham City | Batcave | Arkham Asylum | Wayne Manor | Batmobile | Batsuits | Wayne Enterprises | Bat-Signal | Gotham City Police Department | Aragon Theatre | Batman film series | Ace Chemicals | Glasshouse | Batwing | Wayne Family | Blackgate Penitentiary | Batman Family|