Smallville Wiki

This article is about the original Lionel Luthor. For his parallel universe doppelganger, see Lionel Luthor (Earth-2).

"The real test of a hero is knowing when the greater good will be served by an evil act. To save the Earth, the cost of one life is the price that must be paid."
— Lionel to Clark Kent, Vessel

Lionel Luthor (1944—2008) was the founder of LuthorCorp, the father of Lex Luthor, Lucas Luthor, Julian Luthor and Tess Mercer, the widower of Lillian Luthor, the emissary of Jor-El, and was a member of Veritas. Prior to his death, Lionel served as the original Chairman and CEO then as Special Advisor of LuthorCorp. He used to have connections with the criminal underworld through his childhood best friend Morgan Edge.

Prior to his death, Lionel Luthor had an estimated net worth of US$42.5 billion before Lex took LuthorCorp from him. Lex also stole Lionel's personal fortune, which was US$57 million.[1] Lionel was also the Kryptonian vessel for Jor-El (the artificial intelligence version of Clark Kent's biological father) who would inhabit Lionel if his son needed him. Lionel graduated summa cum laude with a chemistry degree from Princeton University, and had two PhDs in biochemical engineering and macroeconomic modeling from Yale University.[2]

As a teenager, Lionel and his childhood friend Morgan Edge plotted to kill Lionel's parents and collect the insurance money. After this act, Lionel started LuthorCorp. Later in his life, Lionel married Lillian, who would be the mother to Lex Luthor and Julian Luthor. After Julian's death, Lionel fathered Lex harshly. Lionel also helped found the secret society of Veritas, along with the Queens, Teagues, and Virgil Swann. The job of this group was to find the Traveler and help him fulfill his destiny as the savior to mankind. During the 1989 meteor shower in Smallville, Lionel was there on business (both for LuthorCorp and Veritas). Lex was caught in the shower and the Kents helped him get to a hospital. Lionel also helped the Kent family in their adoption of a young Clark Kent.

When Lex was older, Lionel sent him to LuthorCorp's fertilizer plant in Smallville. After Lex had "passed his test", Lionel wanted him to come back to Metropolis. After Lex refused, Lionel grew angry and shut down the Smallville plant, forcing many out of jobs. Lionel also became obsessed in finding out the secrets to the Kawatche Caves. He also developed a romantic interest in Martha Kent. Over time, Lionel's presence in Clark Kent's life grew substantially.

After Chloe Sullivan researched Lionel's background, Lionel was eventually tried and convicted for killing his parents and put in prison. After Genevieve Teague got Lionel out of prison, he tried to take back LuthorCorp (which Lex now possessed). After failing, he became a Special Advisor to LuthorCorp. Lionel eventually found out that Clark Kent was the Traveler (real name Kal-El), but didn't know about his powers until Clark used them to save Martha and Lionel. After this act and being possessed by Jor-El, Lionel grew closer to Clark and more distant from Lex, viewing Clark more as a son than Lex.

Lionel was given a huge Kryptonian library to aid Clark with on his journey to becoming a hero by Jor-El. After blackmailing Lana Lang into marrying Lex, he used her to find out what information Lex had on Clark and to help Clark battle the Phantom Zoners. After an explosive battle between Clark and Bizarro, Lionel suffered many injuries and was taken to an unknown location by Marilyn. It was later revealed that she was working for Lana to get revenge on Lionel for making her marry Lex. Lionel was murdered by Lex after he realized that Lionel knew who the Traveler was.

He was buried in Metropolis.

Physical Appearance[]


Lionel Luthor in Season One

In the early-2000s, Lionel boasts a long dark brown hair which seemingly grows to its greatest length until mid-2004. He does not let allow his long hair to get greasy, matted, or unkempt, often seen with signs he frequently combs or brushes it. The well-kept hairdo reflects his sharp, elegant style of dress.

His long hair and beard, which serve as a sharp contrast to the baldheaded Lex, could also be interpreted as a sting to his son, who suffered bullying after his accident.

Normal SM714-0029

Lionel Luthor in Season Seven

In 2004, Lionel was imprisoned. There he matched Lex's appearance when authorities ordered his head to be shaved bald upon entry to the prison. From there his hair eventually grows back to its usual length before the character began sporting a much shorter hair style early-2005 to mid-2008, most likely to represent the character breaking away from his evil past.

Lionel is however consistently shown wearing a beard with both hairstyles.

As a part of his usual getup, Lionel wears elegant tailored suits and long, flowing overcoats and blazers with ties that have dark colors like purple, blue, and blood red.


"One day you'll thank me, Lex. Smallville isn't in your future; it's just a brief chapter in your biography."
— Lionel to Lex, Tempest

Lionel was extremely rich, powerful, manipulative and intelligent; he was prone to forming numerous Machiavellian schemes. For most of his appearances, he was obsessed with obtaining power and control over everything he encountered. With all these character traits, Lionel's actions may be described as sociopathic, but his attitude is that of a narcissist. If a person dared to back out of their "agreement" with Lionel, they were met with swift retaliation (costing them their job, blacklisting their family members and, in extreme cases, having them killed.[citation needed] Lionel's attitude can even be seen in his trademark long hair: He is so powerful he can appear however he likes without being called on it.

Lionel seemed intent on controlling Lex as much as possible, to mold him into his own conquering, amoral image. Lionel saw himself as a modern Philip of Macedonia, and named his firstborn son Lex after Philip's son, Alexander the Great.[citation needed] His second legitimate son was named Julian; perhaps an homage to Julius Caesar.

However, after being cured of his liver disease, Lionel's personality transformed completely, resulting in a more caring (but still manipulative) man, such as when he was upset about his driver's murder and covered him up with his coat. Lionel still shows these feelings all the way up to the sixth season when he admits his feeling towards Martha Kent. Lionel's ruthless tendencies would sometimes resurface, when someone would threaten his son Lex, or Clark. Although he was no longer self-serving, he still treated those around him as if they were his enemy, the only exceptions being Clark, Martha, and anyone who knew of his Kryptonian heritage.

In Season Five, Lionel became the Kryptonian vessel of Jor-El, but when the Fortress of Solitude "died", he lost his connection to it. However, Martian Manhunter revealed to Clark Kent that Lionel was still an emissary of Jor-El.

Towards the end of his life he tried all that he could to protect Clark. His protection however once more dissolved into control, when Patricia Swann sent him letters through Veritas threatening to expose his past crimes if he did not produce the traveler and, as a result, held Clark captive in a kryptonite cage. All too familiar with Lionel's desire to control, Clark took it the wrong way and began to treat Lionel as an enemy. Lionel realizing that no one trusted him, tried to convince Clark and his friends that he was in serious danger. Though no one believed him, he tried his hardest to help them and did not expose Clark's identity as the traveler to Lex before he was murdered. Towards the end of his life, Lionel revealed he truly had changed to a caring, loyal man.

Prior to his redemption, Lionel was a corrupting influence on his children:

  • Lex eventually became the son Lionel had originally wanted, and even killed Lionel.
  • In an alternate universe, Lionel raised Clark to be a ruthless murderer.

Oracle of Jor-El[]

Lionel became a Kryptonian vessel for Jor-El after the Crystal of Water had released a beacon.

Jor-El appeared to have "used" Lionel and was connected with him in a much different manner than he was when he was "using" Jonathan Kent[Citation needed], as Jonathan was more of a mouth piece or receptacle in which Jor-El's powers would run through him, and would often hear Kryptonian frequencies and beacons whereas Lionel actually articulated Kryptonian a few times and his connection with Jor-El was so strong that the crystals in the Fortress of Solitude led Zor-El directly to him [Citation needed].

At first, he went into coma, and would sometimes get up and walk around strangely and would start drawing Kryptonian glyphs on floors and walls. He eventually recovered from that state and was programmed by Jor-El with vast stores of knowledge on the House of El dynasty, and in extension, Krypton's heritage, and on Kryptonian sciences, customs, culture and teachings.

While Lionel was physically connected with Jor-El, he would exhibit white eyes while Jor-El was directly communicating with people through him, and would often still be seen carving Kryptonian symbols on floors and walls, and would later discover their meaning. After becoming Jor-El's oracle, he obtained many powerful and ancient Kryptonian artifacts, like a Kryptonian flashlight, the Mirror box, Green kryptonite, Black kryptonite, Kara's bracelet, and some expensive necklaces and jewelery, and stored them all in a library vault located inside LuthorCorp Plaza planted outside Metropolis.

He eventually becomes a direct Kryptonian vessel that Jor-El can inhabit when needed, and is used that way. After this Lionel gained all Kryptonian powers and abilities, and also exhibits their weaknesses. After his son Lex gets possessed by General Zod, Lionel gets disconnected from Jor-El but retains some connection with the entity, as Zor-El was able to locate him through crystals in the Fortress of Solitude. Lionel, in the occupation as Jor-El's emissary, worked alongside John Jones.

Jor-El demonstrated the following abilities when inhabiting Lionel:

  • Super strength - Through Lionel, Jor-El was stronger than any human and virtually all aliens. He effortlessly plunged his hand into a window and shattered it.
  • Super speed - Through Lionel, Jor-El could travel at crazy speeds. He ran to Smallville Medical Center and took his son to the Kawatche caves, using the Key to transport them to the Fortress. Peculiarly, Jor-El for some reason didn't just run to the arctic.
  • Invulnerability - Jor-El made Lionel's body invulnerable to anything but kryptonite.
  • Matter Manipulation - Jor-El could use Lionel's body to vaporize Brainiac and restored his son's powers.
  • Super hearing - Through Lionel, Jor-El could hear sounds from great distances away.

Early life[]

Lionel Luthor grew up as the son of Scottish immigrants Lachlan Luthor and Eliza Luthor in Suicide Slums.[3] As a teenager, Lionel conspired with Morgan Edge to kill his parents to collect the insurance money to fund LuthorCorp, and their criminal dealings continued well into their adult years after their lives have taken divergent turns[4]


Lionel giving Lutessa to Granny Goodness

Sometime before the 1980s, Lionel married a woman named Lillian. After their marriage, Lionel and Lillian had their first child Alexander "Lex" Luthor. Lionel hired Pamela Jenkins to act as a nanny to the household.

Sometime a year later in 1981, Lionel fathered his second child Lutessa Lena Luthor with Pamela (It's unknown if Pamela raised her with Lionel without Lillian's knowledge or not). When the girl was nine, Lionel had her placed in Granny Goodness's orphanage.

Lionel veritasflashback k77

Lionel at the Swann Mansion

Before the 1989 meteor shower and Julian's birth, Lionel was working on a project called "Veritas," which was discovered in his briefcase by Lillian. Veritas was an "astronomy club" involving the Teagues (Genevieve, Edward and Jason), the Queens (Robert, Laura and Oliver), and the Swanns (Virgil and Patricia) having to do with what they referred to as "The Traveler." Lionel believed the Traveler to be Kal-El.[5]


Lionel following the meteor shower in 1989.

Lionel bought a Scottish mansion and had it shipped to America to be reassembled. Lionel, along with the rest of the Veritas group hid the Orb in the fireplace of the mansion, to keep it safe.

When on a business meeting in Smallville in 1989, Lionel and Lex were caught in the meteor shower. Lionel found Lex in the cornfield, completely bald, and was helped by the Kents to get him to the hospital. Because of that, Lionel had made it possible for the Kents to adopt Clark, and Jonathan Kent had to make the painful decision to convince Pete Ross' family to sell their property to Lionel to build his LuthorCorp Plant.

When Kal-El's ship landed on Earth, he sent a search team to get the Traveler, only to grab a young boy, named Davis. Believing him to be the Traveler, Lionel took Davis in. Studying him and gathering information, Lionel allowed the boy to stay in the Luthor Mansion. After five days when he realized he grabbed the wrong boy, Lionel had the boy thrown out in the streets of Metropolis.


Lionel holding his son Julian

After Lillian gave birth to their second son Julian Luthor, Lillian smothered Julian to death when he was an infant; Lex took the blame, and Lionel has resented his surviving son ever since. Also Lionel engaged in an affair with Rachel Dunleavy, a nurse hired to care for Lillian as her health declined. The relationship resulted in an illegitimate son whom Lionel had placed with an adopted family.

Lex has often been a victim of Lionel's wrath; Lionel frequently puts him in harm's way under the motive of "making Lex stronger." Lex has survived many attempts on his life and his business. However, all that Lex wanted from Lionel were things that Lionel found foreign: kindness, respect and love.[6]

Smallville TV Series[]

Post Mortem[]

Season Eleven[]

Lionel was mentioned when Tess and Lex talk about the toxin that Tess infected Lex about its origin. It's also revealed that Lionel tried to recruit Thomas Wayne into Veritas.

Alternate Realities[]

Season Ten (Earth-2)[]

See: Lionel Luthor

In the Comics[]


Lionel Luthor shown in flashback, with his appearance inspired by his Smallville portrayal.

Unlike the series, Lionel Luthor does not have as major a role in the comic books. Just prior Lionel's death, Lex declared that "No one will even remember your name.", which is a nod to the DC expanded universe where very little mention of Lex's father is made.

1569106648 84057f59e0 o

An alternate timeline version of Lex regrets Lionel's death in Booster Gold # 3.

In the comics, the character of Lex's unnamed father was originally mentioned as an abusive alcoholic father that (along with Lex's unnamed mother) died in a mysterious automobile accident. In the 1986 The Man of Steel reboot it was revealed that Lex had killed his parents in order to collect insurance money to create LexCorp (similar to Lionel's killing of his father and mother in order to collect insurance money to start LuthorCorp).


The first appearance of Lex's father in the comics, who was known then as Jules.

In the story The Curse of Lena Thorul he is named "Jules" and is revealed to have disowned his criminal son Lex and changed the family name to "Thorul". He also told Lena, his younger daughter, that Lex had been killed in a mountain-climbing accident. Later Jules Thorul and his wife Arlene are killed in a car accident.

Lionel as presented following Infinite Crisis.

In the 2004 miniseries Superman: Birthright, Lex's father is not a billionaire himself, but immediately puts Lex to work making millions for him as soon as he discovers his son's astronomical IQ. He dies in a fire caused by Lex's experiments with Kryptonite—the same accident that causes Lex's hair to permanently fall out.

In the most recent Superman: Secret Origin storyline shows Lionel's original history as an abusive alcoholic is re-instated. Furthermore, Lionel has a daughter Lena. He terrorized both Lex and Lena and then died of a heart-attack, leaving Lena in the care of an aunt and Lex to leave Smallville. It was later revealed that Lex had caused his father's heart attack in order to cash in on a sizable life insurance policy, which he would use as the basis for what would become his fortune of LexCorp.


In contrast to Smallville's sophisticated mogul, Lionel is portrayed as a disgruntled drunk in Superman: Secret Origin.

In the Green Lantern superhero crossover Blackest Night, Lionel is revived as a member of the Black Lantern Corps.


Lionel Luthor alive in the Flashpoint timeline.

Lionel Luthor also appeared in the DC Comics major Flash superhero crossover Flashpoint event. In that reality Lionel Luthor took his young son, Lex, and they tour General Sam Lane's facility. Lionel wanted to see some aliens of Project Superman and try and beat Queen Enterprises to the punch. The men working at Project Superman brought out Subject Two (Krypto) and then Subject Zero released some energy from afar, enough to drive Krypto over the edge into a murderous frenzy. After that Lionel threw his son quite literally to the dog, killing Lex.


Lionel in The New 52.

In the New 52's title Forever Evil, Lex Luthor mentions that when he was a child he used to run when older kids would chase him and his sister, calling them names and holding them in contempt for their father's reputation and that back then the Luthor name hurt them. According to Lex, his parents's marriage was an unhappy one, as his mother, his sister and himself had to live with him and that his mother's garden of wild sunflowers was a colorful distraction to her mind in her rather unhappy life.

In the revised continuity following the Rebirth banner, Lionel was regarded as an genius whose brilliance caught the attention Vandal Savage. Placed in charge of the science division, was set straight to work, studying alien artifacts. Through his research on extraterrestrials, Lionel learned of the Green Lantern Corps.

While studying Martians, Lionel captured J'onn J'onzz and had his own son, Lex befriend him to gain more trust and information.


Lionel in the Rebirth era.

What Lionel didn't count on was the friendship that grew between Alex and J'onn, and when the time came to kill J'onn, Lex sabotaged the machine in order to send him home. With this major event, Lionel's actions became known to Savage, whose goal was to prevent Earth from colliding with the a force known as Totality, rather than to channel it as Lionel intended.

Savage systematically destroyed Lionel's life, erasing all knowledge of the Legionnaires club from his and all other's minds, and reducing Lionel to a broken shell of a man who had never left Kansas, and drank himself to sleep every night. With his new, broken life, Lionel was a shadow of his former self, taking out his anger on his wife and children. Lex grew up in the shadow of this man, and was implied to have killed him.

However, before he passed away, Lionel managed to set up a fail-safe for all of his work, connecting Lex's mind to a hidden door in the fake Legionnaires Club that would lead to all of his discoveries, as well a piece of the totality.[7]


"Lex Luthor II", the possible inspiration for Lionel Luthor's appearance on Smallville.

The physical appearance of Lionel Luthor in this series bears a remarkable resemblance to Lex Luthor's clone body from the comics, implying that the appearance of "Lex Luthor II" is the inspiration of Lionel Luthor's appearance in Smallville. In Superman (vol. 2) Lex created a new body for himself when he found out he suffered from a severe cancer brought on by long-term radiation exposure from a kryptonite ring that he wore on his finger. He then faked his death and removed his brain from his cancer-ridden body and transplanted into his new cloned body and passed himself off as "Lex Luthor II", his illegitimate 21-year-old long lost son and heir from Australia (this storyline was also used in the last season of the show where Lionel of Earth-2 used Alexander Luthor, passing him off as Lex's long lost son, to gain full control of LuthorCorp). Eventually, his true identity was discovered by Lois Lane. Luthor, right before his body became so old that he couldn't move or communicate, activated a "Doomsday Plan" to destroy Metropolis. The city was burned to the ground and thousands killed as Luthor became a permanent prisoner in his cloned body. However Luthor later sold his soul to the demon Neron in exchange for Neron restoring his body to perfect health.


Education History

  • Princeton University (pre-Season 1)
  • Yale University (pre-Season 1)

Work History


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 #
Season 1 X - X - - - - X - X - X - - - X X - X - X 9
Season 2 X - X X X - X - - X - X X - X - - - - X X X X 13
Season 3 X X X X - X - X X X - - - X - X X X X X X X 16
Season 4 X X - - - X - - X X X - - X X X X - X X X X 14
Season 5 X X X - - - X X X X - X X X X - X - X - X X 15
Season 6 X X - X X - X X - - X - - - - X - - X X X X 12
Season 7 X - - - X X X X - X X X X X X X - - - - 12
Season 8 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - X - - - - 1
Season 9 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0
Season 10 - - - X - - - X - X - - X - - X - - - - - X 6
Total 98


  • Lionel speaks the first line of dialogue in the series in the pilot episode, and is also the first character seen on screen (reading an article from the Daily Planet explaining the recent plane crash of Oliver Queen's parents).
  • Lionel is left-handed as is Lex.
  • A trademark feature concerning Lionel's appearance is his ungroomed lion's mane of hair. "Lionel" means "lion cub" complimenting and completing his lion-like façade. Lionel's hair was completely shaved off in the final scenes of Season Three's Covenant. By the end of Season Five and the start of Season Six, Lionel's full mane had completely regrown. Towards the end of Season Six and throughout Season Seven, Lionel kept his hair at clean and manageable shortness, which is widely common and contemporary with men's hairstyles. One can conclude that with Lionel's hair being fully grown and unkept, it was a symbol of his earlier personality (a scheming Machiavellian or a man with an impure soul) while his later "changed" personality as an emissary for Jor-El (cleaner hair courtesy of a clear conscience; or cleanliness is next to godliness).
  • Due to other parallels between the Superman mythos and Christian theology, it is interesting to point out similarities between Lionel's redemption and that of Paul the Apostle. Lionel originally sought to control the Traveler, before he was chosen to be Jor-El's emissary. Paul originally sought to destroy the Gospel, before being chosen to be God's missionary. Additionally, both Paul and Lionel were blind for a short period of their lives.
  • Lionel is a wine connoisseur and has a genuine passion for piano, orchestra and opera music. He also is well versed in the Holy Bible. He himself often articulates lessons learned from American literature the Classics (especially concerning Alexander the Great and Roman Emperors), The Art of War by Sun Tzu, Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche, "Machiavellian" tactics as espoused in The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli, and the heroic deeds of the venerated Saint George.
  • Lionel almost always addressed Chloe as "Miss Sullivan". The only times that he referred to her as "Chloe" were in the Season Four premiere Crusade and in Transference, when he was in Clark's body.
  • It is possible that Lionel was raised Catholic or Episcopalian explaining his common references to Christianity. In Season Two's Prodigal, Lionel told Lex concerning his long lost son Lucas: "Careful Lex, there are parables of many kinds to be found in the Good Book." People who adhere to or have an affinity for Christian teachings are known to refer to the Holy Bible as "the Good Book."
  • Lionel seems to drift away from his Christian upbringing in his adult life, relying upon the teachings of Nietzsche. Beyond Good and Evil is shown prominently in several episodes. The night of Lionel's death, however, he speaks to Chloe about being a different man - wanting to "repent and be forgiven." This suggests Lionel may have returned to his faith before his death.
  • Because of Lionel's Protestant upbringing, it is entirely possible that Lex was brought up with the same sense of religious rearing. In Season One's Stray, Lex told Clark "...the morning of his baptism, my mother went into his nursery, found him in his crib, he had stopped breathing." Christenings and "infant baptisms" are a common practice in Roman Catholicism and in a few Protestant denominations. Although Lionel and Lex are not frequent church-goers, their level of education concerning the Bible and marriage ceremonies in which they have attended throughout the series, tends to portray them as followers of the Episcopalian denomination. But, this is not definitively certain.[8]
  • Lionel was a victim of patricide; his eldest son Lex pushed him out of his own skyscraper. Lionel plunged to his death from his forty-story office window on the night of Thursday April 17, 2008.
  • Lionel appears to have an attraction to redheads as his wife Lillian was a redhead. The women he had affairs with Rachel Dunleavy, Pamela Jenkins, and presumably Genevieve Teague were all redheads. Lionel also displayed an attraction to Martha Kent who also was a redhead.
  • Many of the major events in Lionel's arc seem to be accompanied by operatic themes, such as the scene in which his head is shaved during the Season 3 finale.
  • Lionel was the fourth main character who died and the fifth main villain to die.
  • Lionel is the only character whose name both starts and ends with the same letter "L."

Other faces of Lionel Luthor[]


  • Lionel's favorite drink is Armagnac 1963 (Red).
  • After Jonathan's death, Lionel refers to Clark as "son" often in a manner similar to the way that Jonathan did. [citation needed] Also, in earlier episodes, Lionel acts similarly towards Lex.
  • Surprisingly, John Glover's characters (Lionel Luthor Earth-1 and 2) are both killed by Superman's two worst enemies in the comics:
    • Lionel Luthor Earth-1 was killed by Lex Luthor for sacrificing him for the Traveler.
    • Earth-2 was killed by Darkseid for saving Lex Luthor to kill the Traveler. Both Lionels are the same person, but totally different lives.
  • After years of suspicion, investigation and research, Lionel definitively learned about Clark's superpowers in Season Five in Mercy. However, he learned that Clark was an alien named Kal-El in Hidden when he emerged from his coma as Jor-El's oracle.
  • Lionel was the main antagonist of Season Two and Three, a supporting antagonist during Seasons One and Four and an anti-hero in seasons Five through Seven. His Earth-2 counterpart is a supporting antagonist in Season Ten.
  • Both Lionels were murdered or mortally wounded by one of his children (or alternate reality counterparts).
    • Lionel from Earth-1 was murdered by Lex, and Lionel from Earth-2 was mortally wounded by Tess. When shot by Tess, Lionel stumbled to Lex's chamber where Darkseid came to him. Knowing he was dying, Lionel made a deal with Darkseid to save Lex in exchange for Lionel's soul. Darkseid gave the killing blow, grabbing his heart out for Lex.
  • There appears to be a major plot hole in Lionel's relationship with Chloe Sullivan. During one phase of their relationship, he attempts to have her killed more than once; (1) having placed a bomb in her safe house, and (2) sending a metahuman assassin after her. However, Lionel and Chloe are never depicted discussing this, and it is apparently forgotten. The two appear being on cordial terms roughly a year after the aforementioned events, in especially when Lionel gives her valuable information regarding Brainiac. Another year later, Chloe is happy to spend Thanksgiving dinner at the Kent's, even happily sitting next to Lionel. Despite all of this, viewers of the show can safely assume that Clark (off-screen) explained to Chloe that Lionel was a newfound ally amongst their circle of friends. The fans can deduce that Clark told Chloe in detail that Lionel was an emissary and oracle for Jor-El, thus, genuinely changing Lionel for the better concerning his knowledge of Clark and his Kryptonian heritage. Chloe did learn from Lionel himself in Season Five's Oracle that he was an oracle for Jor-El, explaining how he made voluminous scribblings of the Kryptonian language, messages for Clark about impending doom. In Season Six's premiere episode Zod, when Lionel's own son was a vessel for General Zod, Lionel revealed to Chloe that his emissary connection to Jor-El was gone. Lionel would further continue his father-son relationship with Clark being an available ally for him whenever he was needed. In Season Seven's Blue, Jor-El's brother Zor-El locates "Jor-El's vessel" in the person of Lionel, further proving that Lionel reobtained and maintained his connection with Jor-El.
  • The accusation made by Patricia Swann and (after Lionel's death) Edward Teague that Lionel killed Virgil Swann does not bear up well to Season 4's continuity, where Swann actually died. Swann's death occurred at the start of the episode, Sacred, which was 10 episodes after Lionel had been converted to a peaceful nature in Transference, but 2 episodes before he gave up that peaceful nature in Onyx.
  • Oliver despised an already-deceased Lionel to the point of vengeful rage and his own personal sadness when he learned from Tess (in Season Eight's Toxic) that Lionel was responsible for the death of his parents. Oliver learned from Clark that Lionel had become a redeemed man, and insisted that he forgive and forget past wrongs made against himself and his family. When Oliver couldn't let go of the knowledge about his parents' deaths, he successfully plotted and executed justice against Lionel's son, Lex (Season Eight's Requiem).
  • A last-minute change was made to the episode Covenant was about Lionel’s physical appearance on the show. John Glover came up with the idea of cutting Lionel’s hair for the season finale. Glover was busy preparing for a play that he was going to be acting in, and he needed his hair cut for the part. Glover made the suggestion while the crew was filming Memoria, as well as the idea of setting the scene in prison. Gough admits to needing some kind of device to cut back to while all of the other cliffhangers are occurring—Clark being taken away, the Kryptonian symbol burned into field on the Kent farm, and Lex being poisoned—and he felt that Glover’s suggestion would help them pull off the effect they wanted
  • Lionel Luthor is the 3rd DC Comics character John Glover has portrayed. He previously was the voice of The Riddler from 1992-1998 in 4 episodes of Batman and 1 episode of Superman. His other DC character was in 1997 as Dr. Jason Woodrue in Batman & Robin.
  • Lionel never met Whitney Fordman or Zod; although he unknowingly confronted Zod while the latter was possessed by Lex.
  • Lionel Luthor, along with the Luthor family as a whole, is one of several aspects featured on the CW television series Supergirl taken from Smallville rather than the Superman comics. In that show, Lionel is portrayed as a bald man.


Male Relationships
Female Relationships
Love Triangle

See also[]


  1. This is the amount Lionel attempts to transfer from a foreign account in Transference
  3. According to Morgan Edge, Lionel's father abused him when growing up and his mother was described as "Gin soaked".
  4. Phoenix and Shattered
  5. Veritas, Eternal
  6. Lionel was shown striking Lex to the ground in Fracture and berating him for crying in the Pilot
  7. Justice League Vol 4 18
Lionel Luthor in Smallville
Family Luthors: Lex, Lillian, Julian, Lachlan, ElizaTess MercerLucas Luthor
More Earth-2: Lionel LuthorClark LuthorTess Luthor • Clones: Grant GabrielConner Kent
'Ships Clark KentLex LuthorJonathan KentTess MercerLana LangChloe SullivanConner
Work LuthorCorpVeritas
Other Luthor MansionLuthorCorp PlazaHomicidesNear-death experiencesEpisodes

Luthors in Smallville
Main Lionel LuthorLex LuthorTess Mercer
Earth-2 Earth-2 : Lionel LuthorClark LuthorTess Luthor
Relatives LillianJulianLucasLachlanEliza Luthor
Clones Grant GabrielAdrian CrossLX-13Conner Kent
Ex-Wives Helen BryceDesirée AtkinsLana Lang
Companies LuthorCorpLexCorpDaily PlanetQueen IndustriesPreClox