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Lex Luthor

Superboy’s “Father”

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Super Genius

Since he was a boy living in Smallville, Lex Luthor has been a brilliant, self-taught scientist and inventor. As an adult, he created LexCorp, which specializes in innovative technologies. Luthor considers himself to be the most brilliant mind on Earth. He is driven by a need for power and uses his evil genius to try and destroy Superman, who constantly foils his plans for world domination. Luthor has been imprisoned several times, but always find a way to escape.

Luthor recalls his role in Superboy’s genesis in TEEN TITANS (third series) #26 [2005].

Cloning Around

At the time of Superman’s “death” at the hands of Doomsday, Lexcorp still ruled Metropolis. Luthor had operatives and employees everyone, including the secret underground genetic research facilities of Cadmus Labs. Their scientists were working on a replacement for Superman using cloning technology. But attempts to replicate Superman’s extraterrestrial tissue proved impossible. That is, until Cadmus Director Paul Westfield uncovered a process to take human DNA and manipulate it enough to mimic the traits of a Kryptonian.

Upon discovering a hybrid clone was possible, Luthor replaced Westfield’s DNA with his own. Thus, Luthor’s DNA was fused with Superman’s to create the Cadmus clone. Luthor also programmed his own trigger word for the clone – so when the time was right, the hapless creation would become his super-powered weapon.

The clone awoke before reaching full maturation, making a bold debut as a teenaged Superman. Eventually, the real Superman returned from certain death, and the clone adopted the name of Superboy. Luthor monitored his creation from afar, knowing full well the Teen of Steel would one day be his to control.

Luthor takes control of Superboy in TEEN TITANS (third series) #26 [2005].

Deadly DNA

Soon after joining the Teen Titans, Superboy received a mysterious e-mail detailing the “truth” behind his genesis. This document revealed that half of Superboy’s DNA was from Superman, but the other half was that of criminal mastermind Lex Luthor. Luthor himself revealed this information to Superboy, hoping to set events into motion that would turn Superboy to the dark side.

Superboy began to fear the effects of his Luthor genes. Those fears were realized when Superboy found himself vulnerable to a deeply-buried brain trigger planted by Lex himself. No longer in control of his mind, Superboy shaved his head to resemble Lex and brutally attacked his teammates before struggling back to sanity.  These events left Superboy deeply shaken, which prompted him to take a leave of absence from the Teen Titans for a time.

Superboy later made it his personal mission to find a shred of humanity in Lex Luthor, with the hopes of one day redeeming his biological “father.” In this pursuit, Superboy met Lex’s disabled sister, Lena, and her daughter, Lori. The Teen of Steel challenged Lex do perform an act of kindness and cure his sister. And although Luthor was successful, his own massive ego propelled him to undo this act – rendering his sibling incapacitated once again. After witnessing Luthor’s cold hearted decision, Superboy realized that Lex Luthor was utterly irredeemable.

Superboy comes to terms with his lineage in ADVENTURE COMICS #6 [2009].

 Powers & Abilities

Luthor possesses no super powers, but his genius-level intellect and ruthless cunning make him a dangerous adversary.


 Essential Reading

Action Comics #23 [1940]: First appearance of Lex Luthor.
Superman: The Man of Steel (limited series) #4 [1986]:
 First Post-Crisis appearance as businessman.
Teen Titans #1 [2003]:
 Robin receives an e-mail revealing Superboy’s human DNA donor is Lex Luthor.
Teen Titans #6 [2004]: It is revealed that Lex Luthor has been the mysterious informant to Robin – sending information concerning Superboy’s origins.
Teen Titans #24-25, Outsiders #24-25 [2005]: The Insiders,” a 4-part crossover between the TEEN TITANS and OUTSIDERS. The Titans and the Outsiders are rocked to the core as they face two of the most powerful villains in the DCU – Lex Luthor and Brainiac – in an all-out war to destroy the young teams! Luthor uses a trigger word to turn Superboy against his friends, while Indigo is revealed as a Brainiac plant from the very beginning.
Teen Titans #26 [2005]: Shaken by his Luthor-initiated rampage, Superboy takes a break from the Teen Titans. The Teen of Steel wrestles with memories of his past, present and future.
Teen Titans Annual #1 [2005]: The Titans rescue Superboy from Lex Luthor. Having narrowly survived the death and destruction of the Infinite Crisis, Superboy and Wonder Girl find some time alone in Smallville.
Adventure Comics #5-6 [2009]: Ever since Superboy returned from the grave, he has been obsessed with Lex Luthor, believing that there must be some good in the master villain somewhere. So for Luthor, it’s time to put up or shut up. With Superman off planet, it’s time to do some good for the planet earth. Superboy is willing to do what it takes to make Lex’s dreams come true, but what Superboy will discover is that one man’s dreams, are another man’s nightmares. First appearance of Lena Luthor Post-Crisis. Lori revealed as Lex Luthor’s niece.


Sources for this entry: DC Who’s Who Binder Series, DC Secret Files and Origins, supplemented by

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