Oct. 16, 2001
60 min.
The CW TV Network

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A young Clark Kent struggles to find his place in the world as he learns to harness his alien powers for good and deals with the typical troubles of teenage life in Smallville. His journey to become Superman!

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Lex Luthor Smallville
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Lex Luthor

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  Played by:
Michael RosenbaumMichael Rosenbaum
Michael Owen Rosenbaum (born July 11, 1972) is an American film and TV actor, director, producer and ...

Character Bio

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"I've always been fighting my destiny, trying to avoid becoming my father. But we all have certain genes that, no matter how much we want to change, dominate us".

As a child, Lex Luthor was very close and protective of his ailing mother yet fearful of his emotionally and physically abusive father. His father would criticized him harshly whenever he showed the slightest weakness. After losing his red hair thanks to the first meteor shower, Lex was teased mercilessly by other children for being bald. Despite his parents's contradicting methods, he was a quiet yet kindhearted little boy. After his mother's death, Lex became a calloused, alienated and self-destructive young man. In his young adult years, he partied hard, got arrested and was a general source of embarrassment and disappointment to his father.But since he moved to Smallville, Lex's personality underwent many changes despite being forced to move there by Lionel. While struggling to overcome Lionel's ruthless and uncaring reputation, Lex was honest and kind, willing to use his wealth to help others. He also stopped being self-destructive, and worked hard to become a productive, valuable citizen. While Lex occasionally showed signs of the evil man he would become, his friendship with Clark helped to keep this at bay.

Desperately seeking the love of a family, Lex constantly sought his father's approval and was envious of Clark's relationship with his own father Jonathan Kent. He also thought of Clark as the brother he never got to have. Additionally, his romantic relationships are intense, as he married both Helen Bryce and Lana Lang after relatively short courtships. Lex has indicated that he possesses some sort of spiritual beliefs as he is well-versed in the Bible and has mentioned on more than one occasion that he prays.

With an extensive knowledge of the world and many skills in corporate business, certain sciences and efficient street skills, Lex is intelligent and intellectual, as he quotes a variety of historical figures and often uses scholarly and literary facts to illustrate his point of view. Also, Lex is an accomplished classical piano player, enjoys fast cars, scotch, chess, pool, fencing, swordsman, marksman, and an effective hand-to-hand fighter, owing his skills to years of private tuition.

After Lex became LuthorCorp's second CEO, he begun to abandon truth and justice in search of power and control, abuse his company's assets and resources to fund questionable and illegal scientific research on cloning and alien intelligence, and abandoned the company's agricultural roots and converted it into a leading military contractor, had developed prisons or laboratories on which he experimented or controlled metahumans. While Lex has killed people in the past, he became much more willing to kill or torture someone simply for making him angry or if they fail to cooperate.

While his thirst for power had become stronger and his relationship with Lana intensified, he seemed to focus more on obtaining power than Lana's difficult pregnancy (which he had faked to get Lana to marry him). Because of his thirst for power, Lex purchased the Daily Planet (Metropolis' main newspaper) and named himself CEO where he used his authority to kill stories, monitor employees's computer usage, and fire reporters.

Lex's friendships and relationships were dominated by his desire for control. He attempted to control people by offering them help, but only on his own terms. This included finding out the "truth" about people he suspects of having secrets, often investigating them without their knowledge. He couldn't abide it when people hid the truth from him, as it prevented him from achieving the control that he so greatly desired.

As long as he could control someone through gifts and obligation, he would do in anything in his power to protect them. As soon as he could no longer control someone, they quickly become his enemy. Lex's desire to protect people went beyond individuals. Lex viewed himself as a great man who is on a search for truth, and who wants nothing more than to help people and humanity. He was blind to the idea that his help is purely conditional: if the person he's helping doesn't completely depend on him or reveal the entire truth about their background to him, he will turn on them completely and make them his enemy. He often blamed others for not coming to him right away with the truth, or for not asking for his protection. He had a narcissistic belief in his own importance, and saw himself as a victim: in his mind, his relationships would have been successful if only other people trusted him or came to him for protection. He was oblivious to his own role in this dynamic, and how his desire for control consistently turned friends and lovers into enemies.

Perhaps Lex's most dominant trait and the one he shares in equal measure with his comics counterpart is his incredible degree of self-obsession. Lex is apparently incapable of seeing people outside of how they relate to him and believes that many, if not all, of their actions are designed specifically to hurt him. Whilst this initially seemed to simply be a result of his upbringing and playboy lifestyle, it increasingly became his main character trait to the point that he saw everyone around him as extensions of himself, viewed his role as a leader only in terms of how it could benefit him and more or less believed that the world existed to serve his purposes. Conversely, Lex also has a serious inability to admit his mistakes, to the point where he is almost incapable of accepting responsibility for his actions, often quick to blame his father or Clark for his own failings and accusing them of sabotaging him. This reaches its peak when he starts blaming others for his increasingly evil actions. Despite having accepted his destiny of becoming the tyrannical and ruthless leader his father Lionel originally raised him to be, Lex occasionally acknowlegdes the effects his thirst for power has on his ones he care about.

After having a second chance at life thanks to the alternate-reality father's deal with Darkseid, Lex had become a sociopath. However, he geniunely loved Tess Mercer. Despite having lost all of his memories thanks to Tess, Lex retained his intelligence and is seemingly still power-hungry.

Powers and Abilities:

Elevated Immune System
: After getting caught in the 1989 meteor shower and getting exposed to green kryptonite at age nine, Lex was given a superhuman immune system; as such, he hasn't been sick ever since that day, as the kryptonite increased his white blood cell count, making him immune to common colds, fevers, viruses, and other ailments. The kryptonite is also the reason he is bald. This ability also seems to allow him to survive serious wounds (as he has been stabbed and shot on numerous occasions), and has also been knocked out dozens of times without experiencing any permanent brain damage.

Skilled Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Lex is an expert in judo, taekwondo, boxing, swordplay and gun handling. He was able to hold his own in hand-to-hand combat against Oliver Queen.

Intelligence: Lex's greatest asset is his high level of intellect. He is also a skilled strategist with a keen business sense, and his access to resources, advanced technology and manpower allow him to directly and indirectly hold his own against more powerful enemies, whether they be superhuman or not. He has encyclopedic knowledge of subjects in history and culture. He also is a brilliant scientist, often assiting in the creation of Lexcorp projects, expecially when they are intended to be used against Earth's heroes. Thanks to Tess using Summerholt's neurotoxin on Lex in order to erase his memories, not only is his mind healthy but that it has been operating at a higher percentage, basically making him a super-genius.

Episode Screenshots

08x17 - Hex
Season 8, Episode 17
09x11 - Absolute Justice
Season 9, Episode 11
10x16 - Scion
Season 10, Episode 16
05x05 - Thirst
Season 5, Episode 05
[More Episodes]

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