Lex Luthor - Relationships and Family

Relationships and Family

In the pre-Crisis continuity, Luthor is shown as having very few personal attachments. Shamed by his crimes, his parents (Jules and Arlene) disown him, move away, and change their name to the anagram "Thorul". Luthor has a younger sister named Lena, an empath who grows up unaware of her familial connection with the noted supervillain. Lena, like Lex, also attended Regis High School. Protective of his sister, Luthor takes measures to hide his fraternity, and is assisted towards this end by both Superman and Supergirl. Lena Thorul later marries FBI agent Jeff Colby (who had once arrested Lex), later giving birth to a son, Val Colby. Jeff Colby dies some time later. After Lena has brain surgery the decision is made to reveal the truth about Luthor to her. There is some reconciliation between them when Luthor discovers he was an unwitting party to a conspiracy against Lena, which was masterminded by his cellmate "Sam", who wanted revenge against Colby. He is deeply apologetic to Lena.

In the Post-Crisis continuity, Lena is the name of Lex's adopted sister when he was living in a foster home. She is accidentally killed by their foster father when she refuses to try to trick Lex out of his inheritance. Lex later names his baby daughter after her. However, following the events of the Infinite Crisis, Luthor's history was again altered, re-introducing Lena as his sister. Unlike the Pre-Crisis version, Lena is well-aware of history with Lex, having grown up alongside him, with only an abusive father. She has no empathic abilities, and is a paraplegic with a teenaged daughter, Lori, both of whom still live in Smallville. Unlike his pre-Crisis version, Lex has little love for his sister, having abandoned her with an unnamed aunt after their father dies of a heart attack. Lex even goes so far as to cure Lena's illness, and then immediately undoes the process, leaving her completely catatonic, solely in order to make a mocking point to Superboy and Superman. Lena is currently under the care of the best doctors from Wayne Enterprises, hired by Red Robin.

Lex Luthor himself later marries Ardora of the planet Lexor and, in Action Comics #544 (June, 1983), first learns of his infant son by Ardora, Lex Luthor, Jr. A short time later, Lexor is destroyed and both Ardora and Lex, Jr. die as a direct result.

The Pre-Crisis Luthor also has a niece named Nasthalia Luthor who is an occasional thorn in Supergirl's side.

In post-The Man of Steel continuity, Luthor is childhood friends with Perry White and it is revealed that Luthor is the biological father of Perry's dead son Jerry White. Lex Luthor has been married eight times, though the first seven marriages occurred off-panel in Luthor's past. His eighth marriage to Contessa Erica Alexandra Del Portenza (aka the "Contessa") is based on mutual greed; the Contessa buys controlling interest in LexCorp after Luthor is indicted, compelling him to marry her in order to regain control of his company. The Contessa becomes pregnant and starts using the unborn child to dominate Lex into doing her bidding. Luthor's response is to imprison her while she is drugged during childbirth, keeping her in a permanently-unconscious state. The Contessa later escapes to an island mansion, but upon being elected President, Luthor targets her home with a barrage of missiles and destroys it. Luthor's daughter Lena was the avatar of The Tech, the remnant cyberware of Metropolis after Brainiac 13's advancing the city to a futuristic state was undone.

James D. Hudnall's Lex Luthor: The Unauthorized Biography further expands on Luthor's origin. The story details how Luthor was sent to live with a foster family following the sabotage of his parents' car. His foster parents, Casey and Emily Griggs, conspire to embezzle his insurance, and coerce their daughter, Lena, into seducing Lex in order to learn the location of the money. Due to her own romantic feelings toward Lex, Lena refuses, and is beaten to death by her father. Lex is absent from the home at the time of the murder, having been talked into going to a football game by his schoolmate Perry White. Once he has established his preeminence in Metropolis, Luthor takes vengeance on Griggs, secretly hiring him to assassinate Frank Berkowitz, the city's popular four-term mayor, who refuses to knuckle under to Luthor's dominance, then personally killing him once the deed is done.

As an adult, this incident motivates Luthor to begin an affair with Perry's wife, Alice, during a period when Perry is missing and assumed dead. Alice becomes pregnant shortly afterward, though the timing of the conception means an equal possibility of either Luthor or White being the father. The child, Jerry White, later learns of his true parentage during his late teens, shortly before being killed by a local street gang he is associated with. The loss of a potential heir weighs heavily on Luthor's mind, particularly when he is dying of cancer; while mulling over his fate, Luthor visits Jerry's gravesite.

Luthor has shown an unusual level of compassion for Conner Kent, a hybrid clone created from the DNA of Superman and Luthor himself. After Conner's death at the conclusion of the Infinite Crisis, Luthor is shown visiting a memorial statue of Conner in Metropolis and placing flowers there. More than once Luthor addresses Conner as his son. Following Conner's resurrection, Luthor is shocked and decides to locate him. When Brainiac accuses him of showing paternal feelings for Conner though, Luthor denies it, saying that he only wants his property back, and has no fatherly feelings towards Superboy. Apparently, Luthor is no longer affectionate to the Boy of Steel after the event at his sister's house, and now seeing Superboy as a "failed experiment" due to using "a wrong alien DNA" to combine with his own. Luthor creates another binary clone with Brainiac using their genetics, which implies that it would becomes a threat to Superboy.

In the alternate future timeline of Titans Tomorrow, in which Conner still exists, Luthor acts as a caring, fatherly figure to him.

After the events of Blackest Night, Luthor went on to build a gynoid version of Lois Lane using Brainiac technology. His primary purpose for creating her was to have a companion which voiced honest opinions about his plans, and to give him an extra voice of reason to counsel him on his obsessive quest for the Black Lantern energy. Luthor also had a pseudo-romantic relationship with the "Loisbot", and regularly slept with it.

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