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"I raise my voice, and Satan himself is on bended knee. I am the leader of the free world, you impotent little psychotic. I've had the most powerful beings on this or any planet gunning for me for years, and you think you're going to scare me?"
While I do not enjoy sharing the personal details of my life, I find it wise to keep my fan base happy (that clown's bragging about having a page before me was...unappreciated) so I will indulge you. At the minimum, I deserve a page before that alien with the yellow ring.
My name is Alexander Joseph Luthor. You may address me as "Lex" or preferably as "Mr. Luthor", or "Mr. President", depending on whether or not I am currently president, as I was from Lex 2000 #1 to the Superman/Batman series, just ANYTHING but "Lexy". That clown drove me nuts with that name!. From my humble beginnings in Action Comics #23 (April, 1940) , I have been portrayed as almost everything between a Mad Scientist and a rather upscale white-collar criminal, a maniacal villain to an abused child, courtesy of my evil, sadistic, backstabbing, manipulating lunatic of an excuse for a father, Lionel Luthor. I have been married eight times; the first seven don't count, and the last one I ended by blowing up my wife.
At least two of my children have been killed: Lex Luthor Jr. and his mother, Ardora, when their planet was destroyed, and Jerry White, of whose parentage I was not aware until his death. The only ones of my blood who have lived are Lena (whereabouts unknown), daughter of Contessa, my last wife; and Conner Kent, who is (biologically) my son with Superman (Spare me the "clever" remarks, please.) Conner is the only one for whom I have truly cared as a father, though only a clone made using my DNA and that of the Man of Steel. Unfortunately, he has turned from me to the path of the "hero".
Speaking of heroes, I'm sure you're aware that my arch-nemesis is Superman. Our relationship is... complicated and my feelings for him are mixed. I do find him annoying, but it is difficult not to admire him — even when he destroys one of my creations that was not meant to garner his attentions.
I have been played by Gene Hackman, Kevin Spacey, Scott James Wells, Sherman Howard, John Shea, Michael Rosenbaum, Jesse Eisenberg and Jon Cryer. Voice acted by (the most famous) Clancy Brown, Ray Owens, Stan Jones, Michael Bell, James Marsters, Chris Noth, Anthony LaPaglia, Joe J. Thomas, and Mark Rolston.
Tropes that apply to my person:
- Abusive Parents: ...The less said about my father, the better.
- Affably Evil: Just look at me. Being the bigger man is important, as well.
- Alliterative Name: When I go by "Lex Luthor."
- Alternate Universe Lex Luthor Is Awesome - I saved the civilization of the planet Lexor, and the Lexorians recognized me for the hero I am. Terrible pity about their world blowing up...
- Ever wonder what would have happened if that Kryptonian had landed in the Soviet Union instead of the United States? Apparently I would have destroyed him, and instead of being incarcerated I would be properly lauded as a hero as well as a genius, savior of American democracy and the whole of humanity. Once I defeated him for good, I would make Earth a paradise that would endure for millions of years. Quite frankly, we would all be much better off without him, don't you agree?
- Ambiguously Brown: Well, in Superman: The Animated Series (that version of me is apparently Greek). They made me a good deal paler in Justice League, I'm guessing to rectify the confusion.
- And That's Terrible - The caption accompanying a picture of me pilfering 40 cakes became the Trope Namer.
- Arch Enemy - The one and only for that simpering alien garbage. Depending on the continuity, Brainiac, General Zod, and Darkseid may be up there as well.
- Ax Crazy - Sometimes, admittedly, the alien will drive me to this.
- Bad Guys Play Pool - At least in "Smallville", I do.
- Badass Abnormal - During the Black Lantern invasion, I was briefly empowered by an Orange Lantern Ring. Unfortunately, not only does the orange light take a toll on one's higher functions, but Larfleeze shares his power even less willingly than I do.
- Badass Baritone - When Clancy Brown is voicing me.
- Badass Boast
- Badass in a Nice Suit - Occasionally I will put on my power suit. I don't need a purple and green spandex suit to be a truly menacing Super Villain.
- Badass Normal - I have no consistent powers besides my intellect, though I have used an exoskeletal suit from time to time. My recent attempts at procuring a replacement for my orange ring have put me up against some of the most powerful "villains" in my world. They have no chance, really.
- Bald of Evil - Gene Hackman may have been living in denial, but it was there. Oh, yes. Even John Shea went there eventually. Michael Rosenbaum and Kevin Spacey understood this from the beginning.
- Battle Butler - Meet my chauffeur, Mercy Graves.
- Big Bad - Who else?
- Board to Death - I was quite bemused to learn of my 64th century successor's penchant for this.
- Brains Evil Brawn Good - I am more reliant on intellect, and less on strength, than Superman is. Regardless of how intelligent he may be, he tends to solve his problems with his fists.
- Card-Carrying Villain - See for yourself in All-Star Superman...
- Cardboard Prison - I have the best lawyers in the world. Put me away, I'll be out within the week. Back in my scientist days, I'd often be out within the hour.
- (I still can be if I want to be, but why waste the time?)
- Care Bear Stare: I once released the Zone Child from the Phantom Zone, defeated it, and gained its power to eradicate negative emotions and create eternal bliss throughout the universe. Of course, I could only keep that power as long as I don't do anything negative, like trying to destroy the Alien. No need to elaborate on how well that went down...
- Characterization Marches On - When I debuted in 1940, I merely wanted to facilitate a war in Europe. In the Silver Age, my enmity with Superman increased over some lost hair. In The Eighties, yon Green-Eyed Monster became my raison-d'etre for hating the alien. And in some perspectives, I'm a humanist. Maybe the last humanist: the one who wants to deliver you all from the Kryptonian's unspeakable menace. To some extent all these alignments are laid out rather nicely here.
- Chronic Villainy - Let's face it. I'll never stop until that spandex-clad bumpkin kills me... if I don't kill him first.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome - Lena Luthor? Oh, yes, my daughter. I wonder what happened to her....
- Civilian Villain - Several times.
- Classic Villain - I am indeed a classic, and always classy.
- Cloning Blues - A favourite ploy of mine (employing everything from science to the Devil himself). Case in point, young Conner Kent. Less endearingly, there is that irritating Bizarro creature.
- And if you're wondering why I look so much younger and more fit than I did when Superman first appeared in Metropolis, it's because of a deal with the devil. He only wanted my soul: the barter was more than acceptable.
- Contemplative Boss - I never act without thinking (and usually standing at the window for some time).
- Corrupt Corporate Executive - From time to time, I am the CEO of LexCorp.
- Cut Me A Check - Sometimes I play it straight, sometimes I subvert it. But even when I subvert it, I always keep my best technology and inventions to myself in order to better fight the alien.
- Dark and Troubled Past - Needless to say.
- Dartboard of Hate - I'm not above destroying some of the alien's merchandise when the mood strikes.
- Deceased Parents Are the Best: They really are.
- Despotism Justifies the Means: When I rule the world, things will be much better...for me.
- Determinator - I do not go down that easily.
- Enemy Mine - That one time I fought alongside the Alien to stop those... odd karate people.
- "We're not here to help you save the world, you're here to help me get revenge on Darkseid. When this is over, it's back to business as usual."
- Even Evil Has Standards - Once in a great while I indulge this. Most famously, during the Final Crisis of Man and the Multiverse, I pretended to join with Sivana, and took command of Darkseid's army.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Kent? Superman? Preposterous. Oh, they share a certain resemblance, but why would someone with Superman's power bother with any kind of secret identity, yet alone one so humble?
- Evil Is Petty: Bah. What good is power if you must pretend to be polite to the rabble while you exert it? Kick a man while he's down, rub his face in the mud, tell him what a useless waste of matter he is, and spit on his grave after the fact. That, my friend, is power.
- And what use is godhood if I can't use it to destroy my greatest foe?
- Evil Redhead - Yes. Once upon a time I had hair. In the long-ago and deeply troubled Silver Age, Superman caused its loss.
- Evil Twin - Mostly these are good twins, due to my nature. However, there was the fellow who was turned into Kryptonian barbecue - and don't get me started on Alexander Luthor Jr.
- Evilly Affable: Of all the villains, on all the teams, through all the years, the one I deal with better than anyone? The Joker.
- Fantastic Racism - Aliens. Who do they think they are? I yearn to reclaim Earth for its rightful owners, humans. You may consult the following document: Lex Luthor: Man of Steel.
- Fictional Political Party - As President, I represented the Tomorrow Party.
- First-Name Basis: Under the pen of John Byrne, I insisted on being called Lex. For manipulation and for profit.
- Flat Earth Atheist: I don't care if Death herself paid me a visit, I refuse to believe in such primitive, superstitious nonsense.
- I do however acknowledge that under "The Big Hand Theory" it is illogical to be an atheist, but I declare myself to be one on the moral grounds on the eve of becoming a god myself!
- Foe Yay - As I said, my relationship with Superman is complicated. There was that time in the beginning of "Superman: Doomsday" I mentioned how much I admired him. Wonder Woman once made me admit that I wanted to be him. That last part makes me rather glad that neither I nor anyone else in my universe remembers Wonder Woman anymore... whoever she is.
- Former Teen Rebel - I did not appreciate my father's...controlling tendencies.
- For the Evulz- I don't wash my hands...'cuz I'm evil.
- Funny Animal: Much as I loathe the term "funny animal," there is my sentient animal counterpart who lives on the parallel world of Earth-C-Minus, "Lex Lemur," who also wishes to triumph over his version of the alien, "Super-Squirrel."
- Greed - The orange ring said it best: I want it all.
- Green-Eyed Monster - One of a number of explanations for why I hate the alien. Alternately, the title for my favorite article of all time, 'Why the World Doesn't Need Superman'.
- Heroic Build - Yes, I did have something of a weight problem in my younger days, but a diligent exercise regimen has long since eliminated the problem.
- Hollywood Atheist - I've always been an atheist. It's not just a logical choice, it's an ethical one. Believers always seem to be declining their responsiblities.
- I Am What I Am - And there's nothing you girls can do about it.
- Kick the Dog - See the Superman: Confidential dossiers on this: "That's right...I just killed your girlfriend, Superman. What are you going to do about it?"
- Large Ham - They've got the guts to say this about me, the Greatest Criminal Mind on Earth! They're WROOOOOOOOOONG!
- Legion of Doom - If one exists, you can be sure I'm the one at its head.
- Mad Scientist - Some of the time, when I'm not concerned with politics or economics.
- Mythology Gag - In at least two continuities (plus one where matters became bizarre), the Man of Steel went evil: one involved service to Darkseid. I aspired to, or became, the US President in as many continuities: only in one did I drive out the Kryptonian menace.
- Nay Theist - I am an Atheist, but not because I don't believe in God (the Big Hand Theory is the predominent theory on the creation of the universe, after all). For me, Atheism is more of a way of life than a belief.
- I also know hell exists (as I have been there), but I refuse to believe that there is anyone who 'judges the dead', as he would need an objective point of view, which is impossible.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero - That time where that alien scum BLEW UP MY OWN WORLD! I put him in his place, but he still was strong enough to defeat me.
- Noble Demon: Mostly when Elliot S! Maggin was chronicling me in the Bronze Age.
- Obvious Trap: I once set up one to catch Superboy (as in the alien's younger self). Talk about dumb (on his part, not mine).
- Off on a Technicality: People who think I should be in prison usually believe I fit this trope.
- Powered Armor - In a classy green and purple.
- President Evil - The Trope Namer, no less. The alien and his vigilante friend brought me down, with assistance from Lois Lane and my treacherous sucessor as CEO of my company.
- Pride - If you had 12th-level intellect, you'd be high on yourself too. In fact, Depending on the Writer, this is my primary motivation for my crusade against the alien; the existence of a being more powerful and more loved by the people than I is simply intolerable.
- Polite Villains Rude Heroes: In that episode of the new series Young Justice, I remained civil with Speedy, I mean, Red Arrow. While he was, for lack of a better term... a Jerkass to me.
- Robosexual - There have been rumors about my close associations with Brainiac, and a woman on my staff who bears a negligible resemblance to Lois Lane. All specious, naturally.
- Smart People Play Chess - It is one of the best ways to keep one's mind sharp and one of the most pleasurable.
- Stalker with a Test Tube - This opinion on the origin of Connor Kent is a simply ludicrous and baseless accusation. I most certainly never even cared for the boy anyway, he was merely a means to an end.
- Swiss Cheese Security - I have spent thousands of dollars in new doors from time to time. Also, see above.
- Teen Genius - Not that I was properly respected for it by my jealous peers, mind you.
- Ubermensch - I certainly am; yet an alien dares call himself superman? It's galling.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: The alien fails to grasp how much better the world could be under my guidance....and away from his influence. He naively thinks that I can do it with him around; I can, of course, but what would be the point? What worth are our achievements when he his mere existence makes them seem lacking?
- Villain Team-Up - Almost a speciality of mine, keeping such conflicting personalities in line is quite a worthy challenge. Yes, even that particular insane buffoon, since quite frankly I'd rather at least have him where I can see him.
- Villainous Breakdown - I do lose my temper from time to time.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: In one continuity, it was my destiny to stop the Traveler from destroying Earth. Kal-El will never threaten the world again.
- You Killed My Father - Actually, I killed my father. Sic semper tyrannis.
(The preceding should be read with Kevin Spacey's voice or with Clancy Brown's voice. Whatever suits your pleasure.)
- (This trope used to be named Lex Luthor Security.)