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"Tess Mercer. My access is unrestricted"

Tess Mercer (born Lutessa Lena Luthor) is Lex Luthor's former protégée and younger half-sister, and Lionel Luthor's illegitimate daughter with Pamela Jenkins.

Shortly after Lex's disappearance during a private expedition to the Arctic, Tess was given control over all his projects and his finances, inheriting the role of acting CEO of LuthorCorp and publisher of the Daily Planet. In her quest to find out what had happened to Lex, she began to realize that there was something very unusual about Clark Kent. Tess Mercer had her own metahuman agenda and an unusual approach to saving the world.

With the help of remaining records left by both Luthors, Tess managed to discover Clark's secret in less than a year. Unlike Lex, however, she began to see Clark as a hero and savior rather than a threat to humanity. She diverted some of the devotion that she'd had for Lex onto Clark, despite using unconventional methods to prove it.[1]

For a long time, Tess was dedicated to maintaining the Luthors' legacy and was completely loyal to Lex, whom she considered a personal mentor. However, after Lana Lang revealed to her that Lex had implanted an optic camera into her brain to survey her movements in Smallville, she understood that his faith in her had been a lie. She realized that she had left behind a life in Star City as a marine biologist for a man that never trusted her.

Tess felt Lex’s betrayal deeply and sought a personal revenge. She announced his ‘death’ in a front page issue of the Daily Planet and proceeded to cut off his access from all Luthor bank accounts, thereby leaving Lex without any resources to continue his life support. Finally, she asked her former lover and Lex's lifelong archrival, Oliver Queen, to help her merge LuthorCorp with Queen Industries. Tess assumed absolute control over all Luthorcorp businesses and assets, successfully removing Lex’s access to the dynasty.

After learning about Clark's secret and being guided by voices coming out of the Orb, Tess released the power contained within the Kryptonian device, which allowed Major Zod and his army to be reborn on Earth. Tess thought that the Kandorians would be like Clark Kent, and in this way she thought she would be saving the world. Tess helped Zod to achieve some of his goals, but all with the intention to protect and empower her own plans.[2] However, her plans were affected when she was summoned by an old organization to which she briefly belonged, and was forced to go underground to prevent an assassination attempt on her life.

After being rejected by Oliver, whom she trusted the most, by Zod and everyone else she knew, Tess realized that she had lost everything in her quest for power. In an attempt for redemption, she faced Zod and tried to stop him from destroying the Earth, but he used his heat vision to burn her, rendering her unconscious and bleeding. Tess helped Clark use the Book of Rao from her hospital bed and apologized for everything she had done.

Unable to bear the severity of her burns, Tess died in the hospital of cardiac arrest. Later, she was mysteriously resurrected, waking in Cadmus Labs, where she found hundreds of Lex clones. Tess started to take care of what appeared to be a young clone of Lex whom she believed was an innocent little boy. Clark Kent rescued her from the lab and their relationship finally began to shift into a friendship. Things started to become more complicated than she expected due to the latent presence of Lex's mind inside the little boy, but she was able to convince the genetically engineered version of Lex to have a change of heart, with Clark's help.

With a second chance to redeem herself, Tess decided to start doing things right and chose to help Clark and Oliver in their fight against crime. Soon, she was able to obtain a place in their team of heroes and given the command of Watchtower. However, her loyalty was ultimately tested after learning that she was Lionel's daughter, consequently making her a Luthor; and her situation was aggravated when she discovered that she had been resurrected to serve Darkseid and duel against a Lionel Luthor of a parallel world.

After a long struggle against her dark side, Tess finally chose a side on the battlefield and finally was killed by her brother Lex, but not without getting the redemption she longed for by erasing all of Lex's memories and thereby protecting Clark's secret. Thanks to an unexpected property of the neurotoxin, however, her conscience survives inside of Lex's mind and so is later rescued by the team and resurrected in a cybernetic form.

As an artificial intelligence called Tess 2.0, she succeeded in overcoming her obsession for revenge on her brother. Tess rejoined the Justice League, where she became Watchtower once again while Chloe is on maternity leave.

Physical Appearance

Tess in Season Eight.

Tess in Season Ten.

Tess is a Caucasian female in her twenties. Her height is about 5'9", and her build is thin, athletic and voluptuous. She has fair skin with long curly red hair and green eyes, often with a coldly seductive smile.

Tess usually wore her hair down or straightened, but sometimes had it tied up in a bun when she was working at the Daily Planet or Watchtower. On the occasions when Tess attended social events, she had her hair tied to the side. (Checkmate, Kent)

Unlike most of the main characters, Tess' appearance virtually stayed the same since her first appearance in Season Eight, though her hair was slightly longer in Season Ten. Like her half-brother Lex, Tess usually dressed in dark clothing, wearing mostly purples and blacks. She also had a signature gray, button-down coat that she wore a number of times.

Tess also wore a pair of glasses while working at Watchtower. (Ambush)

Tess' new cyber form after her rebirth.

Tess in her new robotic body.

Emil Hamilton's original costume design for Tess.

While she was Lex's secondary consciousness she appeared wearing the clothes that she wore when she was killed. The only difference was that her gray button-down coat's color was changed to green with a big blood stain on it. (Guardian, Detective, Haunted)

In her cyber form, Tess appears as an holographic mass of RAM's memory banks and binary codes which forms the red, nude, transparent ghost-like shape of her physique. While her hair and eyes are bright red, her skin seems light red, almost pink with some shades of white. Her whole body emits a bright red light and is surrounded by light particles similar to fireflies. (Haunted, Argo, Olympus, Hollow)

While Emil offered a series of codes which upgrades clothes on her projection interface, she refused stating that clothes are for people and she doesn't see herself as one anymore but she later reconsiders accepting Emil's offer. (Hollow)

Later she adopts a red, transparent, full body costume, which she "wears" on a regular basis. (Alien, Harbinger, Lantern, Chaos, Continuity)

After finally deciding to become tactile again, she sports a new look, as she creates a new robotic body for herself with Watchtowers' 3D printer. She has a full red robotic body with a yellow "T" on her chest going all over down to her abdomen. She also has two blue arrows on her waist forming some kind of a belt and one yellow arrow on her face. Moreover she has a pair of blue stripes on her arms forming some kind of gloves and a pair of yellow ones on her legs forming boots. Her hair seems to be the same with the only difference being that it now has a metallic look like her rest of the body.

Later it is revealed that Tess can also maintain a human physical appearance, even though she now has android body, looking exactly the same way she did before her death. (Continuity)


"Tess Mercer is a pit bull in Prada"
Lois Lane speaking about Tess

Tess is a fine example of what can happen to an individual who has been betrayed, abandoned, abused and used by those they loved. While being the woman that Oliver Queen dubbed "Mercy" when he was dating her to the one we saw have a license plate that read "No Mercy" - Tess trained herself to become strong, independent, and a fighter.

Tess cares deeply for the Earth and nature.[3] She believes that humankind is destroying the planet Earth, and that the Kryptonian race is the solution. She believes this because she feels a strong responsibility to make things right, it takes her time to realize that Clark is destined to save Earth and he will do it on his own terms.[4]

Based on this conviction, when she read about the Traveler in the Luthor journals, she believed it was her role to help him become a hero and battle the ultimate Destroyer. Still unsure of Clark's role, she later believes that Major Zod would help save humanity, which is why she released him and his fellow Kandorians from the Orb. (Crossfire) Tess gradually became more conscientious, both as a result of seeing her actions in relation to Zod backfire, and also because of her interaction with Clark, Oliver, and their allies. She gradually became someone that the Justice League could trust, culminating with her taking over the role of Watchtower from Chloe in Season 10.

Tess strives to be on equal terms with her partners, from her professional interactions with Lex Luthor to her attempts to save humanity with Clark Kent and Zod. This may be the result of her brutal treatment at the hands of others: she was physically abused by her father, held hostage by Marcos, and controlled by Lex. In the past she does not hesitate to manipulate people or use unconventional methods to get what she wants. She is willing to go to great lengths to achieve her goals: she even allowed herself to be brutally interrogated by the Kandorian army in order to learn more about the Kandorians.

Tess respects strength and power. She gave Lois a raise despite the fact that Lois always gets in her plans and has hostile encounters with her.[5] She also wanted a rematch with her after having fought and lost in the Daily Planet.[6]

Tess appears to be cold on the outside, but on several occasions she has been seen crying alone. (Identity)

Tess is capable of great brutality and violence, especially vengeance or if she feels that it is for the greater good. As her character progresses we can see the changes her personality on-goes as she repeatedly claims that Clark has saved her and she becomes more creative in methods to help others. This can be seen in how she treats Lex in the final episode, instead of killing him she gives him another chance to live without the horrible memories that made him a monster.

After two years of see-sawing back and forth between not being a total good guy and not really being a complete villain either, Tess chose to side with Oliver and Clark once and for all. From this point on, she used violence only when she didn't have another choice:

Tess' dreams indicate her obsession with Lex.

Having moved on with her life and changed her personality, due to her friendship with Clark and her involvement with the Justice League, she still seems she hasn't forgive Lex for what he had done to her for all these years: manipulated and lied to her, used her as his own "ears and eyes" without her will, kept her in the dark about her origin, killed her and finally threatened her if she would not tell him the truth about Superman. Even when she was freed from Lex's body she still seemed to hold on to her past seeking vengeance from her brother. While she was on standby mode she dreamed about many moments in her life and between them they were many scenes of violence including Lex, indicating that she wants to get revenge. In many cases she has being seen to uses her powers as A.I. to somehow hurt or even kill him. This obsession to get revenge on Lex seems to stops her from settling into her new life and moving forward.

Tess also seems to acknowledge her obsession for revenge, asking for some advice from Hank Henshaw, who has been in her place some months ago. According to Henshaw, recognizing her obsession as a problem and asking for help makes Tess move a step forward. Later Tess actually got her chance for revenge on Lex but at the last moment, she decided to spare her brother's life. She said, she feels like she is getting a second chance and she does not want to ruin it with any blood on her hands or darkness in her heart and that is why she didn't kill him.

Tess rejecting her human side.

Even though Tess was grateful to her friends for freeing her from her brother's body, she was unsatisfied with her new state as an A.I. at first. She rejected Emil's offer to design a costume for her because, according to her, clothes are only for humans and she didn't considered herself as one anymore. Tess seemed to have distanced herself from her humanity and her life, focusing only on her work at the Watchtower and especially her revenge on Lex. She was overlooking any signs that proved she was still human, at least in part, like the fact that she was still able to dream, because of her frustration over Lex. Fortunately when she finally faced Lex she chose not to kill him, realizing that she still has feelings. She confessed to Emil Hamilton that the reason for not killing Lex was because of her dreams, stating that if she has dreams, it must means that she is not just a machine but more human than she previously thought. She then started seeing her current state as a second chance and not as a bad fortune, wanting to make the best of it and that is why she decided to finally accept Emil's offer. (Hollow)

Even though Tess states that she doesn't have any feelings anymore, it is proven by Oliver that her statement is not actually very sincere. When she expresses her frustration on the fact she can not physically protect herself, take a stand against the Crisis and fight like she used to, Oliver says that she could easily create a body for herself with the 3D printer she has at her disposal for months now but the fact she hasn't done it so far means that she fears for something. Tess explains that if she becomes tactile again, that means she could die and lose everything but this time once and for all. Oliver recognizes Tess' response as a feeling, the fear of dying. (Continuity)

Powers and Abilities

Tess is a Harvard educated marine biologist (Toxic) and environmentalist. (Toxic and Odyssey)

Tess possessed no superhuman abilities, while she was human, however she was also proficient at:

  • Deep Sea Diving: Though by no means an expert, Tess has stated that she enjoys diving as a hobby in her spare time. (Odyssey)
  • Kickboxing: While human, Tess Mercer kept herself in top form and maintained a regular exercise regime while also practicing kickboxing techniques. (Instinct)
  • Hand-to-hand combat: Tess has being seen to be able to battle many skilled people in a hand to hand combat and most of the times she wins without needing to use a weapon to do it. She was able to overpower Lana Lang in their fight at the Isis Foundation, only losing because Lana found the gun.
  • Aikido, Bo-staff fighting, and various other forms of martial arts (Committed)(Bulletproof)
  • Intelligence: One of Tess's greatest assets is her high level of intelligence and her keen ability to pick up new skills such as:
    1. Take on Lex Luthor's multi-billion dollar empire
    2. Run the Daily Planet without having a background in journalism
    3. Develop the research, hacking and computer skills necessary to become the new Watchtower

Tess waking from her standby mode.

As an artificial intelligence, Tess is able to manifest some abilities mostly associated with Watchtower's technology systems. Tess, in her new form, has many characteristics of a computer system substituting those of a human, like instead of going to sleep she goes on a standby mode, although it is stated that she may dream while she is on standby. Her thoughts also appear as options on screen.

Tess takes control of a robot.

  • Technology Interface: She had been able to control the doors at LexCorp, remotely locking them whenever she wanted and manipulate some information through the computer systems at Metropolis' hospital, meaning that her control over technological systems does not end within Watchtower's walls. She has also being able to watch through cameras placed in almost every building in the city.
  • Electronic Manipulation: Tess is connected with almost all the city's computers and prove to be able to control any electrical object anywhere. She took command of a helicopter and a crane arm in Metropolis and a robot at S.T.A.R. Labs.

Tess creates a holograph of a neighborhood in Metropolis.

  • Holographic Projection: She also has the ability to move from a place to another through the system in seconds and appear as an hologram through projectors, which are at some certain places. This is may possible due to Tess being connected to the network of the place she wants to go. She is also able to create her own holographs of other objects.
  • Longevity: Since Tess is an A. I., she is incapable of aging.

With her new robotic body, Tess has now gained some additional abilities:

  • Superhuman Robotic Physiology: In her robotic body, Tess is faster and considerably stronger and more durable than any human, though the exact degree was never seen.
  • Aerokinesis: She is now capable of creating bursts of cyclone-force winds and high speed forward velocity through her arms and legs, that enable the creation of storms. She can also create tornadoes and twisters with destructive winds.
  • Flight: By channeling these cyclone-force winds through the lower part of her body, she can fly at incredible speeds or hover in one place.

Early life

Lionel leaves Lutessa at Granny Goodness' orphanage

Born as Lutessa Lena Luthor from an affair between Lionel Luthor and Pamela Jenkins, she was given up to the St. Louise's Orphanage, run by Granny Goodness. Granny Goodness began training Lutessa to become the leader of her group of warrior women due to the great potential she saw in her and considered Lutessa as her favorite. Because of the abuse she received during the training, Lutessa had a hard time in the orphanage and tried to escape on one occasion using a key hidden in her room. However, Goodness discovered and stopped her.

Lutessa being dragged away by Granny Goodness

Granny Goodness removed all of Lutessa's memories about her birth parents and childhood so far, but when Lionel located a home for his daughter and threatened Goodness to close the orphanage down if Granny resisted, she complied and removed Lutessa's memories of the orphanage before sending her at age five to her new parents. She was adopted by the childless Mercers in Louisiana and renamed "Tess Mercer".

However, her new life was far from content. Tess grew up in a swamp house where she taught herself how to read. Tess was abused by her adopted father when she was young, and often envied those that had such "blissful" childhoods. At the time, she ended up with a ruptured eardrum and a thrice-broken arm. However, she got into Harvard at fifteen and graduated from college at the age of 17 as a marine biologist.

Tess and Oliver meet for the first time.

Tess found Oliver Queen on an island in the South Pacific where she and her friend were kidnapped while on a marine biology trip. Oliver was poisoned by a flower on the island, but Tess saved his life due to the fact she was an expert on that field. He then returned the favor by saving her life using a makeshift dart (from the poison from the indigenous plant) against their kidnapper before they left him for dead and set sail for Star City.

After some time, Tess began working for LuthorCorp and a month after started, she was recruited by Amanda Waller to be part of a secret government organization called Checkmate. Amanda recruited her in order to learn more about the research on aliens from Lex Luthor and kept Tess as an undercover agent, placing her as the best candidate to win the confidence of Lex.

Tess kidnaps Lana Lang

While gathering viruses for LuthorCorp (possibly during Project Mercury) when Brainiac attacked, Lex saved Tess from an explosion that Brainiac caused. However, it was at that time during her recovery that Lex implanted a nano-transmitter in her optic nerve, so that she could be “Lex's eyes and ears” in case he needed her in the future.

In 2008, Tess was ordered by Lex Luthor to kidnap Lana Lang and to force her to create a farewell videotape to Clark before transporting her to a secret facility for her own safety. She was reassured by Lex that it was for her own safety and that the coma that Lana had been in was because of Clark Kent.

Smallville TV Series

Season Eleven

"I might be pretty new at this, but I think it's safe to say...we've got issues, sis"
— Lex Luthor, Haunted

Tess appears to Lex.

Six months after her death which was declared by Lex Luthor as a suicide, Tess appears in front of Lex as a hallucination. She states ironically that he has a talent for making people disappear. At Metropolis General Hospital,

Tess appears before Lex at the hospital.

Lex Luthor undergoes an MRI to determine why he is seeing hallucinations of the deceased Tess Mercer. The doctor informs him that his mind is healthy. Without a physical reason, the doctor offers that learning that Tess committed suicide might have caused a psychological toll. While finishing with the doctor, Tess appears behind Lex and mocks his unwillingness to reveal the truth behind her death. Lex asks if she's a figment of his imagination or if he's being haunted. Tess recounts her death at her half-brother's hand, says that next she knew she was standing next to him on the street, and that she doesn't appear to be a ghost. Though no one else can see her, Lex is able to touch Tess and pushes her against the wall, demanding to know what she is. Tess offers that if he didn't spend so much time worrying about Superman they could take the time find out.

Lex shows Tess the mental bond side effect the Nuerotoxin has on its victims.

Inside of LexCorp Plaza, Tess once again appears behind Lex, who has found the information on the Nuerotoxin, and how it causes the patient to form a mental bond with whomever administered the Nuerotoxin, and so they share one mind, with Tess as a secondary consciousness.

Tess is surprised Emil will let Lex get involved with the procedure.

Lex questions Tess about her relationship with Emil.

In a S.T.A.R. Labs bathroom Tess appears to Lex once again, where he admits he can sense her when she appears. He also reveals that he plans to repeat the procedure his team is conducting if it is successful, and even plans to try it on Tess's consciousness. She questions why Emil agreed to the procedure and he admits it took a bit of manipulation to convince him. He then ask Tess just how close her and Emil's relationship was and she smacks him, with Lex expressing his delight over finally having a way to remove her. Otis interrupts informing Lex that the procedure is over. He then express his sorrow for her condition to the invisible Tess, much to Lex's annoyance.

Tess watches Lex sleep peaceful as she tries to get the control of his body.

A night later, Tess tries to control Lex's movements as he sleeps and is curious whether she will succeed or not and is earnestly hoping so. She manages to lift his finger after trying.

Tess controls Lex's body.

The next day Oliver Queen bursts into Lex's office to accuse Lex of harassing him with those coded emails. When Oliver leaves, Lex notices the time stamps are all from the dead of night. During the night, Otis sees Tess take control of Lex and rises from his peaceful slumber and sleepwalks to his office, speaking gibberish and caressing Otis' face. Then she starts sending out the emails.

Lex and Oliver argue about the e-mails that keep flashing on Oliver's computer, and Lex comes to realize that Tess has been controlling his body while he's asleep in order to send them. Otis hands a partly burnt popcorn to Lex, noting that it is early, though it's never too early for entertainment as Lex says.

Lex asks Tess about her connection to Superman.

Lex wants to know everything.

Giving Lex alone time, he soon has a brief argument with Tess. Lex notes that Tess couldn't figure the typing out, and when Tess asks why he's in a good mood, he points out what's on the news: Superman has been shot, and Batman is on the run. Tess points out her death by his hands, a memory he does not have anymore, but Lex isn't angry over she did, as Luthors are "survivors" and she did what he would've done if the roles were reversed. Lex will now be strapped to his bed, preventing her from doing what she did again. He also notes that Tess might have a connection to Superman, as she hopes he's okay as she watches the monitor where his signal is (from the radiation Lex gave him). At Lexcorp, Lex Luthor wants Tess who is still inside him to tell him everything and if she chooses not to tell him he'll take what he wants to know by force.

Lex chases Tess's consiousnes inside his mind.

Lex attempts to tap into the memories of his sister Tess' consciousness trapped in his own mind to determine what she knows about Superman. Using a procedure developed by the former LuthorCorp, Lex appears in the memory of the moment Tess was left in the care of Granny Goodness by their father. The grown Tess materializes to help young Lutessa run from their brother down a long hallway. They manage to barricade themselves behind a door. As Lex approaches, he is called to a red door to exit the procedure.

Tess stands beside Lex during his conversation with Lois Lane.

Later when Lex finds his way back from Mexico, he returns to LexCorp, where Lois talks with Otis while waiting to speak with Lex, attempting to get him to admit to his boss' secretly nefarious nature. Lex intervenes, inviting Lois into his office. She confronts him about Psimon and what he intends to do about this and other consequences of the LuthorCorp experiments that granted people such abilities. With Tess chiding him, Lex offers Lois the company line on their corporate responsibility of past transgressions.

Lois reminds him of her first-hand knowledge of Project Ares and how the fall-out of that program brought down Reeves Dam. As Lex shows surprise regarding the dam and the two talk about regret for his actions prior to losing his memories, Tess forces Lex's body to write a note on a Post-It against his awareness, which Lois picks up. On her way out of the office, Lois reads the note and is baffled by its one word: "Help!"

Psimon sees Tess.

Lex visits Psimon in Hyper-Solitary on Stryker's Island. LexCorp technicians have attached a helmet to him that emits a psionic dampening field to keep him in check. Lex has them lower the field slightly so that he can have Psimon search his mind to pull out any thoughts or memories that might still exist before they were wiped. Psimon is able to see Tess' consciousness and she motions for him to keep quiet. Instead of offering anything useful, the criminal chides Lex for being "an animal" and "a monster." Lex retreats.

Lex gives Tess an ultimatum.

Lex confronts Tess.

In LexCorp Tower, using the Project Intercept apparatus to go inside his mind, Lex confronts Tess and reveals that his team of neurosurgeons has discovered the area of his brain where her consciousness resides. He makes her an offer: tell him everything she knows about Superman or he will have the doctors damage that part of his brain, effectively killing her off. Tess rejects his ultimatum. Lex awakes and tells the doctors to prepare to perform their procedure the next morning.

Lex angrily surveys the room at LexCorp where the Project Intercept machine once stood. He asks after the security tapes and the night guards, and Otis tells him the tapes were stolen and all of the guards quit. Lex turns to the vision of Tess and she denies having anything to do with it. He realizes that it must have been Oliver Queen. Otis remarks that it would likely be best to postpone the procedure to cause his boss brain damage to kill Tess' conscience. Frustrated, Lex leaves.

At LexCorp Plaza, Lex heads towards his office only to find that the lights aren't working. As he calls for Otis, Superman appears with Lex realizing that he found a way to remove the radiation off him. The Green Arrow and Lois Lane appear too, revealing they are here to take Tess back. Lois slaps Lex knocking him unconscious. As he wakes up, he is helped by Otis. He realizes what the heroes did and he asks where is his sister.

Tess is resurrected by her friends.

At Watchtower, Clark, Lois and Oliver stands patience as Emil downloads the conscience of Tess into a computer system making her a hologram. Clark apologises to Tess for taking too long to free her and she gratefully replies "Thank you".

Skeets explains to Tess about Superman and Booster Gold's disappearance.

The following day while performing monitor duty over her allies at Watchtower in her newly digitized form, Tess gets an unexpected visit from Skeets who tells her Superman and Booster Gold were accidentally transported to the future. Tess doesn't see how she can help Skeets given her artificial state. Skeets offers to help her discover the joys of being an A.I. after this crisis is dealt with, but right now he needs money.

Skeets requests Tess' aid in his plan.

Tess mentions that Booster is connected very well to Ted Kord. But Skeets insist that he needs someone who has more money so he can purchase land with a thousand year lease as a means to place himself in a time capsule. So he can wait until a thousand years to be their when they arrive.

Tess "wakes up" at Watchtower.

Emil asks Tess if she dreams when she is on standby mode.

Emil arrives at Watchtower, where he updates the software and "wakes up" the consciousness of Tess Mercer. He tells her he could make a uniform especially for her so she can put some clothes on her holographic representation. Tess doesn't seem to be interested in that idea because as she says clothes are for people and at the moment she is not an actual person. They also talk about whether she dreams when she is in stand-by but their conversation is interrupted by an assault at Seattle, involving men with robotic suits.

Tess sets up a trap for Lex.

At LexCorp output, Tess remotely locks the doors preventing Otis to accompany Lex, and outside there are three former employees of LexCorp heading towards Lex. All three are very angry with him and Lex says they still should thank him because a few years ago he would have had them killed and not just fired. Hearing that the three men begin to beat up Lex, while Tess observes the situation and discards the option of calling 911 to save her brother.

Superman communicates with Tess.

Later Clark communicates with Tess asking her to sent him the coordinates for D.E.O.'s headquarters. When he arrives at the place he finds nothing in sight and calls Tess again but she verifies that this is the place where D.E.O.'s basis should be. Clark then finds out that the facility was actually underground.

Tess has to let Lex go.

Lex wakes up at the hospital after the beating. Meanwhile Tess observes the activities of the network cameras monitoring the hospital, where Lex is and she is about to change the medication oxycodone, but she fails because she has to answer to an emergency call and so eventually Lex is discharged and leaves.

Tess tries to figure out how to save the two civillains.

Tess in action.

The emergency call was for a fire in the lower area of ​​Metropolis. A father and daughter are trapped and firefighters can not come to their rescue. Tess tries to communicate with any member of the team but no one seem to be available at the moment so she decides to take action herself. With her control over all systems, Tess takes command of a helicopter and a crane arm, and manages to create a bridge by which the two escape from the flames. People are surprised at what has happened, and attribute it to a kind of invisible hero.

Hank Henshaw gives Tess an advice about her artificial existence.

Hank tries to calm Tess down.

At the S.T.A.R. Labs, Tess visits Hank Henshaw to get some advice from him about her obsession for revenge, feeling that he is the only person who can understand her due to his state as a newly artificial intelligence too. He says that he knows how she feels, stating that the anger and the instability he felt when his consciousness was first moved to a cybernetic body were long there before Luthor used him as an experiment. He also tells Tess that the fact that she recognizes that she actually has a problem makes her be ahead of the curve. Hank encourages Tess saying that she has a second chance to do right by herself and the people she cares about.

Tess watches Emil getting shot.

Meanwhile Lex orders an attack at the labs and his men confront Emil who engages into a fight with them. One of them shoots Emil with his gun leaving Tess, who all that time was watching from a screen, horrified. Tess decides to take action and do whatever she can to save Emil's life. Hank advises her to keep her emotions in check. She then tries to call 911 but she fails because as she is informed local communications are jammed by LexCorp. So she takes the control of a huge robot inside the facility and is heading towards the wounded Emil saying to him to hold on.

At some point during the attack, Clark tries contacting Tess, so she can hack into some restricted files regarding Director Bones' past, but it is revealed for some unknown reason to him she's offline.

Tess fights with Lex's henchmen.

Tess decides to spare Lex's life.

Tess, while controlling a huge robot, attacks the soldiers sent by Lex in S.T.A.R. Labs and then breaks into the place, where Lex and Otis are. Lex orders Otis to leave the place. Tess then attacks her brother and she is about to kill him, and he even tells her to do it, but at the last moment she reconsiders and ends her connection with the robot, sparing the life of her brother.

Tess decides to accept her new life and leave the past behind.

Later when Emil leaves hospital, after being shot, he visits Tess and they talk about what happened earlier. She says she did not kill Lex because she dreams, and if she has dreams, it must means something. Not knowing why, she feels that if she is getting a second chance, she does not want any blood on her hands or darkness in her heart. Tess also tells Emil that she reconsidered his idea of making a uniform, clothing her holographic design.

Tess informs Clark and Diana about the whereabouts of the creatures they fought.

At Washington DC, Clark meets with Diana and together they go for a walk to talk, when suddenly Tess communicates with Clark and tells him that she had tracked down the hostiles that he, Lois and Diana encountered at the cathedral the previous day and then she sends him the coordinates. Diana, listening to their conversation, asks who is this "Watchtower" and Clark replies by complimenting her super-hearing. Some time later, Superman and Diana arrive at the place, where Tess sent them and Diana says she feels that dark magicks were repretrated there.

Later Clark tries to call Tess back at Watchtower for back-up but because of a communication problem he fails.

Tess communicates with Superman.

In Japan, there is a bullet train that cannot be stopped, so Tess, who observes the situation and supports Superman from the Watchtower, informs "Boy Scout" of a fluctuation in Earth's magnetic pole that has destabilized the train's track system but still she does not know what caused it.

Tess informs the team that Lex departs for Russia.

At Watchtower, Chloe, Tess, Clark and Lois discuss about Earth-2, which was presumably annihilated by the Monitors, and Clark wonders what crime could that Earth have committed to deserve to merit annihilation. Chloe says everything she knows about the alternate Earth and the Monitors but also informs them that the memories, that were transported to her from her doppelgänger never actually took root and she only gets fleeting glimpses. Tess informs them that Lex is preparing his jet to visit Moscow and Lois thinks of a way to sneak in as a press attaché and go to Russia with Lex so she can keep an eye on him. Clark then says he has a better idea and the proceeds to communicate with another member of the team, asking for a favor.

Tess suggests to Diana that Zatanna as a good choice for a DEO consultant.

At Watchtower, Diana Prince contacts Tess in search of a prospect with magical powers that will help D.E.O. deal with magickal and mythological threats. Tess says she knows just the person for the job but Diana has to get a hold of her agent first, suggesting Zatanna.

Tess proceeds to trace the Monitor.

Later Superman communicates with Tess at the Watchtower and tells her that now they have two priorities: to find out where the Monitor is hiding and how was Ray-Lan able to hurt him. Tess then transfers data to Dr. Hamilton at S.T.A.R. Labs, so he can find out how Superman got hurt, and she then says that she will easily trace the Monitor thanks to the satellites she is controlling.

Tess and Emil give advice to Superman.

While regaining his strength, Superman communicates with Emil and Tess at the Watchtower, who explain to him why they believe the Monitor can hurt him without the help of any kind of kryptonite or red solar radiation. They say that the Monitors are beings outside the laws governing their universe, their energy is not governed by the physical laws of our own, which also makes Superman vulnerable to their attacks.

Tess and the others read Cat Grant's article about Superman and talk about the Crisis.

Lois, Chloe, Clark and Tess read an article on the Daily Planet, titled "The New Cold War" and written by Cat Grant, presenting Superman as a threat and even stating that the Monitor's ship was actually his. Lois is furious with Cat's article and gets even more angry because of the fact that Franklin Stern didn't publish her story about the murder in Gotham. Clark says that they have bigger problems to worry about as the danger of the "Crisis" hasn't passed yet. Suddenly Bruce Wayne appears and says that even though he knew that the man in Gotham wasn't actually Clark he is happy to see him standing on his feet. Moreover he says that because of the "Crisis" he has decided to join the team, at least temporarily, so they can face the threat together.

Tess asks John Stewart what is Alan Scott's connection to the Green Lantern Corps.

Some time later, after a Green Lantern power ring chooses Clark, John Stewart tells him that the chosen bearer can not just take it off as the rings are being powered by the willpower of their wearers, which is why in the past they chose people like himself, Kyle Rayner and Hal Jordan as Green Lantern Corps members. Tess and Lois disbelieve that John has a stronger will than them or any of the 6 billion people on Earth, with Tess wondering how did someone like Alan Scott get hold of one of their rings, with John admitting he doesn't know what loophole Alan used to get a ring of his own. Clark then questions what gives a Guardian or whoever is left, the right to force other sentient beings into service. John retorts that orders are orders and Superman is a soldier now.

Tess questions Oliver and Chloe on whether they will keep their promise.

Meanwhile at Watchtower, Oliver and Chloe ask Tess to help them investigate a mysterious robbery but Tess questions whether they will keep their promise to abstain from "hero work" until the baby is born. They both insist that this has anything to do with "hero work" and Chloe says that they are just sleuthing but Tess notes that "sleuthing" got her into trouble with Batman weeks ago. Tess decides to help them with their investigation but she warns them that she will keep an eye on them both. She reveals, as Oliver suspected, that the heist was just a faint. At the same time the alarms were tripped at the bank, silent alarms lit up at an unregistered address in the Suicide Slums and even though Tess couldn't find out what was stolen, she found that it led back to the D.E.O.

Tess takes control of the drones.

At the Moon, where the new Watchtower base is still under construction by S.T.A.R. Labs' drones, Superman and John Stewart fight a group of Manhunters. To aid Superman and Green Lantern in their battle, Tess takes under her control the drones and commands them to attack the Manhunters. During the battle, John realizes that the Manhunters are powered by yellow rings and that is why their rings can not work on them so he tells Clark to fall back. Superman tells Tess to stand down and then ends the battle with a powerful blast of heat vision destroying the remaining Manhunters.

Tess tells Lois and Chloe about the fight on the Moon. Lois says that Oliver might have been right to tell her to be a little more concerned about Clark and then Chloe asks where is he with Lois being surprised that he hasn't told her.

Tess, Oliver and Chloe try to focus on other threats.

Oliver, Chloe, and Tess are monitoring the yellow rings and the subsequent mayhem they're causing. They communicate with Superman, who is fighting with the Yellow Lanterns in Gotham and tells them to focus on threats that are unrelated to the rings and let him deal with them because a situation like this is the perfect chance for other minor threats to go unnoticed. Then Chloe offers her help to Tess and she says that she definitely could use some help.

Tess and the rest of team in the Watchtower monitor the yellow ring situation in Arkham Asylum.

Tess asks Chloe how she feels about Oliver's decision.

Tess and Chloe work on finding a way to stop the Yellow Lanterns.

Meanwhile, Director Trevor confirms to Watchtower that there have been incidents related to the yellow rings in Washington, D.C. as well. Then, the D.E.O. sends Oliver after Prometheus. Shortly after Green Arrow vanishes, Tess asks Chloe if she is really okay with Oliver being back out in the field and Chloe says that in a situation like this there is no other place for them to be. Tess and Chloe then contact Emil Hamilton at S.T.A.R. Labs, who informs them that unlike the green rings, the yellow rings actually control the people wielding them. Emil takes that notion a step further and determines that the ring may also share a single communication frequency and if they could isolate the communication channel, as they did with Superman's ring, maybe they could interfere.

In Gotham, Batman receives a call from the ladies in the Watchtower, who ask him to secure a single yellow ring for them so Batman says he will see what he can do for them.

After taking a yellow ring and analyzes it, Batman sends the data to Watchtower and S.T.A.R. Labs. The two ladies at the Watchtower later inform Superman about their plan to reboot the rings and when Clark tells to Emil to reboot them all the Yellow Lanterns are released from the influence of fear and lose their powers with the rings turning black.

Tess informs Superman about Bryce Gordon.

Days later, in Metropolis, Superman tries to contain Professor Bryce Gordon, who, according to Tess, has been possessed by an evil spirit after he found a strange black diamond in Africa a few days ago, that has turned him into a violent monster. Tess also informs him that Bryce did not displayed any such abilities back in Africa.

Tess talks with Emil about the Eclipso situation.

Tess loses contact with Emil.

Tess contacts Emil Hamilton to inform him about the effect of Eclipso that is spreading all over the city. Emil tells her that he is already aware of the situation as possessed citizens are attacking S.T.A.R. Labs, at the same time. Suddenly their link is terminated and Tess loses contact with Emil. An overwhelmed Tess is trying to contain the mess, launching an SOS signal to all the heroes who are available, even though all of them seem to be off-line, as havoc breaks loose in Metropolis thanks to the ever-growing army of Eclipso.

Tess warns the heroes not to come in Metropolis.

A man possessed by Eclipso wreaks havoc on a passenger plane headed for Tokyo. Tess monitors its descent but warns other heroes to stay away from the city in order to prevent them from being possessed by the entity. However, there are still a few heroes left, who have already arrived in Metropolis before Tess decided to keep everyone away.

Tess locates Bryce Gordon.

Emil and his cohorts from S.T.A.R. Labs work with Tess at Watchtower. The scientists try study the synthesized gem serum while Tess and the others try to locate the original person under the sway of Eclipso, Bryce Gordon. Superboy, Supergirl, and Hank Henshaw volunteer to find him, and luckily enough, Tess has a lock on his position and sends them where Bryce is.

Hank Henshaw checks in on his wife and stays in the shadows, relaying to Tess that he just wanted to be sure Terri would be okay before he left. He then says goodbye to Tess and soars into an unknown destination.

Clark asks Tess and the others to find as more as they can about the Crisis.

Tess later informs Lois about the Monitors' attack.

Superman and Lois finally arrive at Watchtower where Tess Mercer, Chloe and Oliver along with Batman, Nightwing Martian Manhunter, Supergirl, Jay Garrick and his team of teenagers. Clark tells Chloe, Tess and Bruce to find out everything from one of the Manhunters he destroyed about the Crisis, because more ships are on their way. As Batman starts to examine the crumpled Manhunter head he wonders where are they going, Clark grimly says everywhere.

Tess is frustrated she can't get more information about the Monitors.

Tess reveals her fear of dying.

Tess and Oliver, who manufactures a new arsenal for himself with the 3D printer, talk about what information they got from the Manhunters. Tess points out Henshaw left and the D.E.O. and S.T.A.R. Labs haven't been able to gain any more information than they already knew. Without a body she feels at a loss but Oliver points of that Tess can be tangible again if she wanted to. She has access to a 3D printer and can fashion a body out of it much like he does for his Green Arrow armor and the base they now have on the moon. Tess then confesses that she is afraid of dying and if she does again after becoming physical she might not be able to ever come back.

At the Watchtower, Chloe and Tess try to get them assistance but everyone is busy.

Lex and Lois download the virus.

A bickering Lex and Lois manage to get on the ship with their "skeleton key" and a little luck in the form of Superman. Chloe and Tess confirm access, with 15 minutes to complete the process they can stop the entire attack.

Pods land in Metropolis releasing Monitors as all the older heroes form an army to fight them, Superman arrives with Lois and asks Tess if their backup plan worked. Tess confirms that a second virus was planted in Lex Luthor's battlesuit. Lex hears a recording of Tess and is shocked as his armor falls apart.

The pod speeds up and aims itself at Watchtower. Ollie begs a pregnant Chloe to get out of the base before it is destroyed, but a tearful Chloe tells him there is no time left as she can't outrun the pod. Chloe then hears Ollie's 3D printer activate and Tess steps out in her new physical form.

The Red Tornado saves Chloe.

The heroes are ready to go against the Omega Monitor.

All the heroes race to the Watchtower but are too late to stop the destruction as the pod crashes into the side and it begins to crumble to dust. Superman is shocked to see a red tornado explode from the rubble landing Chloe safely on the ground. As the dust clears Chloe is unharmed and joined by Tess (In her new Red Tornado form). Lois and Ollie hug Chloe while Tess takes Superman aside to explain how she manufactured her new android body also telling Superman about how the Monitors had sent the pod to deliberately sever the virus they had and the link to their network. Superman asks Tess what was in the pod just as something smashes its way out of the rubble.

Watchtower calls through to Batman to tell him that Superman has been beaten.

Superman's counter attack disrupts their network long enough for Tess to reconect. Superman orders Tess to control the ships to fire on everything except the collector and reconstruction ships.

The Justice League decides on the Monitor's fate.

The League stands in the Fortress standing judgment over the female Monitor. The universe is now back to normal though all that died is still dead. The female Monitor asks to die but J'onn points out that Clark would never kill anyone. The League then decides to send the Monitor to the Phantom Zone.

The Justice League members are finally recognized as heroes.

Three weeks later LexCorp holds a major press confrence and Lex introduces the public to a new monument built on the former Watchtower site. In a massive turnout Lex publicly admits that if it weren't for the heroes of earth the universe would be lost. Then Superman makes a speech that is broadcast all over the world. As the tarp falls away it reveals a stunning bronze statue of the Justice League.

Tess launches the new Watchtower.

A few weeks later, at a restaurant in Metropolis, Emil and Tess are eating dinner and he wonders if the new synthetic skin Tess has over her robotic body hurts. She answers it doesn't not hurt if that makes sense with Emil replying he'll have the team work on another sensation patch for her second skin's firmware. Then when they finally eat the food, they both agree the food is terrible thus leaving the restaurant. Emil tell Tess that Clark put him in touch with a man from Russia named Alexi who agreed to help Emil to get certified in space travel so that he would be able to visit her, but Tess tells him to take his time because he doesn't get as lonely as she used to be knowing that she isn't. She then kisses Emil before changing into her Red Tornado form and heading to S.T.A.R. Labs and proceeds to remotely upload and download herself as she transports to the Watchtower Outpost on the moon and tells the members of the "Justice League" that Watchtower is officially back online.

Tess radios in to 'Boy Scout' about a tsunami in India. She tells Clark that he has only three minutes to stop the disaster but he has one request - no more 'Boy Scout' as a codename, saying that this looks like a job for Superman.

Alternate Timelines

Season Nine

Tess becoming a Kandorian soldier.

In a possible future, Tess has allied with the Kandorians who have turned the Luthor Mansion into their main headquarters under the orders of General Zod. When Tess finds Lois with Zod, having not seen her for a year, she proclaimed that she is the planet's savior. Tess insists that she helped make the planet better than how it was before, but an infuriated Lois only accuses her of treason. Tess's alliance at this point is unclear as she works almost overtime to profess her position to Lois in front of Zod -- her allegiance to him and also what a loss cause trying to bring Clark Kent to their team is. Whether or not Tess's intention was to have Zod set Lois and Clark free or not is up to interpretation. As often with Tess Mercer, her words are often very different to where her alliance lies.

Tess dies in Oliver's arms

Tess's body being buried.

Tess is initiated as a Kryptonian soldier and citizen by Zod before Lois's eyes. During a raid by the Resistance led by Chloe and Oliver to rescue Lois and Clark, Oliver sees Tess shot by a kryptonite arrow, fired by Chloe. He rushes to Tess's side, assuring her he wasn't the one who fired it. Oliver consoled her at her dying moments. She admits to him that the decisions she had made were the wrong ones but that she'd only wanted to save the planet. Oliver holds Tess in his arms as she dies. In his mourning he realizes that Chloe fired the arrow and he's angered by her brutal actions. Oliver then buries Tess, removing the Kandorian tags from her respectfully as Lois stands by watching.

Alternate Realities

Season Ten (Earth-2)

See: Tess Luthor


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 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - N/A 0
Season 2 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 0
Season 3 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - N/A 0
Season 4 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - N/A 0
Season 5 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - N/A 0
Season 6 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - N/A 0
Season 7 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - N/A 0
Season 8 X X X X X - X X - - - X X - - X - X - - X X N/A 13
Season 9 X X X X - X X - X - - X - X X X X X X X X X N/A 17
Season 10 X X - - X X X X X X X - X - X X X - X X X X N/A 17
Total 47

In the Comics

Lena Luthor

Lena Luthor as she appears in the comics.

In Silver Age continuity, Lena is Lex Luthor's younger sister. After Lex began his villainous career, his family changed their last name in shame to the anagram "Thorul". As a result, Lena never knew she had an older brother, as Lex Luthor himself worked to keep her from learning the truth. Lena had psychic/empathic abilities, gained from touching a space brain, Luthor was experimenting on before he became a villain. She lost her powers after brain surgery, and the decision was made to tell her the truth about Luthor. After the initial shock, there were signs of reconciliation after Luthor discovered he had unwittingly aided another criminal's conspiracy against Lena, and he was deeply apologetic. Lena later married a man named Jeff Colby with whom she had a son, Val. Like many minor characters, Lena as Lex' biological sister was removed from comic continuity following the event of the Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Lena with her daughter Lori.

In Final Crisis, Legionnaires Polar Boy, Wildfire, and Dawnstar travel to Smallville during the 20th century, back to when Superman was still a suburban legend. The three heroes arrive to the Luthor household, where they hear a young Lex Luthor arguing with his father about his mother and sister, indicating that the Pre-Crisis Lena has been restored to the Post-Crisis continuity.

Unlike her Silver Age counterpart, Lena grew up alongside Lex, until he left Smallville. Lex made certain to cover-up his Smallville history, and that included disavowing a connection to his sister. Lena is now an invalid, living in Smallville with her daughter Lori. Recently, Lori made friends with Superboy, but both were shocked to find Luthor on Lori's doorstep, intent on taking control of Superboy again, and claiming he can cure Lena's condition. With Superboy's help, Luthor indeed cures Lena, but he then undoes his cure, claiming he only helped her to prove to Superboy that he could and that so long as Superman lives, he will never reveal how he did it. Currently Lena is under the care of Wayne Enterprise doctors, thanks to Red Robin.

Lena Luthor II.

Even after the Crisis on Infinite Earths a new Lena was introduce Post Crisis, as the child of Lex Luthor and Contessa Erica Del Portenza. She is named after Lex's foster sister who had been killed by their foster father, Casey Griggs. After Lena's birth, Lex takes advantage of Contessa Erica's wish to be unconscious at child birth by keeping her permanently drugged and unconscious at his corporate headquarters, not wishing to share his daughter's love with anyone else.

Lena Luthor II (Brainiac-Teen version).

When Brainiac 13 arrives from the 64th century, the modern Brainiac possesses the infant Lena to escape it. Even after Brainiac leaves Lena's body, Luthor trades her to Braniac 13 for control of the future technology that has transformed Metropolis. Lena returns to visit Lex during the Our Worlds at War crossover, where she has apparently been aged by Brainiac 13. Lena plays a sneaky role during the event, helping Luthor and his allies beat Imperiex by feeding her information, while secretly manipulating events to benefit Brainiac 13. She is ultimately convinced at the end to side with her father. At the end of the crossover, Brainiac 12 and Imperiex are both destroyed, and Lena is regressed to infanthood and returned by her father by, who tells Luthor that he now has a second chance to try to be a man instead of a god.

Following Our Worlds At War, Lena appears infrequently, sometimes shown as still Brainiac discs on her forehead. In the Superman's Metropolis miniseries, the artificial intelligence controlling the B-13 technology believes itself to be Lena Luthor. When it creates a human body (female, but bald) to pursue a romantic romantic relationship with Jimmy Olsen, Superman confronts her with the real Lena Luthor, making her realize her personality is a computer simulation of Lena's. Lena has not appeared since Luthor lost the presidency, and her current status is unknown.

Alternate versions of Lena Thorul also appear in Superman Vol 1 #162, Tangent Comics: Wonder Woman #1 and Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade.

Lena Luthor in The New 52.

In the New 52's title Forever Evil, Lex Luthor mentions that when he was a child he tried to save his sister's cat, which had gotten itself stuck up an old white oak. According to him, Lena's incessant pleading motivated him to the rescue but when the cat scratched Lex, he threw it into the river. At some point later, Lex mentions that 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 sometimes they weren't fast enough so Lex would stop and tell to his sister to keep running, to hide in the field until it was over. At some point, during Lex's teenage years, Lena grew ill and Lex thought he could save her but he didn't try, fearing that he would fail to help the only person in his life that ever meant anything to him, so unfortunately, Lena died later that year.

Lex later reveals that the story about Lena was a lie. He tried to cure her from her illness but he failed and she was left an invalid. Not wanting to admit that he failed he lied about her. He later calls Lena saying that he knows it has been a long time but he wants to go and visit her.

Lena makes her first appearance in Justice League #35. After the announcement of LexCorp and Wayne Enterprises' partnership, Lex shows to Bruce Wayne the inside of his company. When Bruce asks Lex to show him his private lab, Lex hesitates so Bruce asks him what is in there? Lex reveals that his paralyzed sister, Lena, was waiting for him in the lab, while previously watching the event on TV. Lex then introduces Lena to Bruce. Later, as they continue the tour, Lex says to Bruce they have to stick together against the metahumans of this world. Bruce asks how can he trust a man, who deserted his own sister? Bruce reveals that he knows all about Lena and that he actually knows the truth, that Lex tried to cure her but failed and because he couldn't stand the reminder of that failure he just left. Lex then says that he is going to cure Lena this time. Suddenly a villain named Neutron, who was paid to kill Luthor, attacks the part of the LexCorp building, where Lex's lab is, hurting Lena and leaving her unconscious. Lex and Bruce immediately run towards Lena and Lex says she is still breathing, so he tells to Bruce to get her out of there while he is running to his armor. Bruce holds Lena while the Justice League battles Neutron but suddenly Lex finds out that a storage unit at his lab has been breached due to Neutron's attack so the Amazo virus, which was inside the unit, now begins to infect everyone.

Mercy Graves

Mercy Graves as she appears in the comics.

Mercy first appears in the DC Universe comics during the No Man's Land storyline. She is later joined by another female bodyguard in Luthor's employ: Hope Taya. The two might be Amazons, as they have exchanged blows with Superman. When the sorceress Circe appears at the White House demanding to meet with Lex. Hope and Mercy inform Circe that they can always recognize her, no matter what disguise or form she might take, suggesting the kind of previous familiarity which Amazons might possess. After temporarily changing them into birds, Circe tells Lex that he will need to rehire new Amazon bodyguards.

Lex Luthor with Mercy and Hope.

Although Hope's time as a LexCorp employee has passed, Mercy can be seen with the fugitive Lex Luthor after he is driven from the Presidency. Despite her loyalty to Luthor, she has still shown some humanity even while in his employ; when Superman was searching for Lois Lane after she was abducted and impersonated by the Parasite, Mercy saw him during his search, and, in that moment, saw him not as an alien, but as a man who had lost everything.

In the series 52, Mercy is seen alongside Luthor at the unveiling of his "Be Your Own Hero" program, and is injured when she fires several gunshots at Steel, which he deflects and sends back at her, hitting her in the right hand. She is later shown in Luthor's employ in 52 Week 40.

Mercy later appears in the Infinity, Inc. series, apparently wanting to atone for her past deeds. She takes on the moniker "Vanilla", and wears a costume equipped with a special mask, that will keep her identity hidden from the likes of Superman and Lex Luthor. Mercy almost beats a man to death. She leaves the team soon after, accepting the fact that she isn't "hero" material.

Mercy's status as an Amazon is confirmed when the supervillain Prometheus nearly kills Supergirl with deity-forged bullets he claimed he bought from her.

Mercy also made some appearances in the comic book tie-in of the video game DC Universe Online and the comic book tie-in of the animated TV series, Young Justice, again as Lex's henchwoman. Her alternate counterpart from Earth-19, made an appearance in the comic book tie-in of the Infinite Crisis video game.

Mercy Graves in DCnU.

In the New 52's title Forever Evil #7, even though she was not seen, Mercy informed Lex that Ted Kord had just arrived for their meeting.

Mercy made her official New 52 debut in Justice League #31. Her physical appearance has been altered as now she is a brunette instead of a blonde, as she was usually depicted, and also she appears to be of Asian descent.

Mercy welcomes Leonard Snart to LexCorp and escorts him to the upper levels of the building. On their way in, Snart is stopped by some security guards, when his gun set off the metal detector he was passing through, but Mercy informs them that this is Captain Cold and they shouldn't be alarmed. Then the guards apologize and ask him to sign some autographs for them and take some pictures together, much to Snart's surprise. Mercy tells him that he is consider an international hero now, the man who helped Luthor save the world, so he has to get used to that kind of responses. Then she tells Snart that Lex is not in Metropolis at the moment but Snart will meet with him soon and before that they have to run some tests. When Snart asks what kind of tests, Mercy tells him Mr. Luthor provides to him the best legal council available in order to wipe out his criminal record and if he wants the job they are offering to him he has to go through this standard procedure. When Snart agrees, Mercy tells to a doctor to process Snart's bloodwork and get the results to Mr. Luthor immediately, as he is searching for Project: Wannabe. Mercy is also present during the announcement of the Lex Corp and Wayne Enterprises' partnership.

Eve Teschmacher

Eve Teschmacher as she appeared in the comics.

On Earth-30, during the Superman: Red Son storyline, she made a cameo as Lex Luthor's secretary when Lex complains to her regarding Brainiac's inability to read a common road map.

Eve with Otis and Lex Luthor in Superman Returns Prequel.

She also appeared in JLA: Earth 2 when Alexander Luthor Sr. was filling in as the Matter Universe's Lex, and she was briefly seen working at LexCorp after Superman discovered Alexander's intentions to bring down the Crime Syndicade of America. Alexander then deposited 80.000 dollars in her account and told her to take a nice vacation somewhere warm.

She also appeared in Superman Returns Prequel #3, the comic book tie-in of the film with the same name.

She has appeared in Superman Family Adventures, which is a comic series for younger-readers, again next to Lex Luthor. In the last issue of the series Eve shares a scene with Lex, which is a nod to a scene from the film Superman Returns, where Lex shoots a kryptonian crystal in the ocean.

Red Tornado

The android version of Red Tornado was introduced in Justice League of America #64 (August, 1968) and was created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Dick Dillin. Originally from Earth-Two, the android was built by Thomas Oscar Morrow, to infiltrate and destroy the Justice Society of America, by pretending to be the original Red Tornado (Abigail Hunkel). However, the android turned against his creator and joined the JSA.

Red Tornado eventually ended up on Earth-One, where he was upgraded with a human appearance. He joined the Justice League and assumed the human identity of "John Smith". In his civilian guise, he married a woman named Kathy Sutton and adopted a girl, named Traya.

In the New 52, the Red Tornado of Earth 2 was Lois Lane. After Lane's death, her father had downloaded her consciousness into a robot body.

Other faces of...

Lena Luthor

Mercy Graves

Eve Teschmacher

Red Tornado


Tess Mercer's promotional poster for season 10

Tess's ill-fated best friend Megan.

  • Tess's old license plate reads "NO MERCY".[7]
  • Tess Mercer graduated from Harvard at the age of 17 also seen in an article. (Turbulence)
  • Tess can speak Mandarin, and knows kick-boxing, aikido and various other forms of martial arts. (Instinct)
  • Oliver first refers to Tess as "Mercy" during his delirium. He continues to do so throughout the show as a playful nickname.[8] This is a nod to Mercy Graves, the comic character whom Tess is partially based on.
  • According to a newspaper article in Turbulence, Tess was 30-years-old in the spring of 2009. However, this doesn't line up with the reveals in Abandoned (which indicates that her DOB is November 12th, 1984). One possible explanation is that Tess lied and pretended to be older, fearing that no one would respect a barely 24-year-old woman as CEO of LuthorCorp.
  • Tess wears a bracelet that she gave to her best friend and classmate Megan. Megan was killed when the two were kidnapped. Tess wears it in her memory.[9]
  • Tess can appear to go to the highest heights of extreme methods for her questions' answers.
  • Tess has fought against two of Clark's love interests. She fought Lana Lang at the Isis Foundation and fought Lois Lane at the Daily Planet.
  • Tess is one of three women to have fought Green Arrow.[10] The first was Lois Lane and then Lana Lang.[11]
  • Since the introduction of her character, it was unknown if Tess ever met Lionel Luthor. However, Tess remembers the night, when she was a young girl, that her real father placed her in the care of Granny Goodness. Tess was able to obtain her "Certificate of Live Birth" from Saint Louise's Orphanage in Metropolis revealing that Lionel Luthor and Pamela Jenkins were her biological parents. Tess's real birthdate is November 12th, 1984 and her birth name is Lutessa Lena Luthor.
  • Tess was the first person that Oliver Queen has saved in his life, but not before Tess saved his life after he had been poisoned.
  • Tess is the only CEO of LuthorCorp to not go to jail or prison unlike Lex's arrest and Lionel's arrest.
  • Tess has either fought or had a violent moment with every other woman on the opening theme except for Kara Kent. She has fought with Lana, Lois and Chloe, and though she did not fight her, Martha (as the Red Queen) pointed a gun at Tess from behind.
  • Tess's maternal love of Alexander Luthor/Conner Kent mirrors Lillian Luthor's relationship with Lex.
  • The name "Tess" is short for Lutessa, her birth name.
  • Tess has interacted with all main characters, except Jonathan, Pete, Whitney and Jason. She has interacted with Jimmy off screen. Tess has interacted with the Red Queen (who unbeknownst to her, at the time was Martha, who Tess didn't meet).
  • According to Cassidy Freeman, the writers seemingly painted undertones of Tess being attracted to Lois. Both Freeman and many fans made note of these undertones, when Tess started on the show.[12]
  • Also according to Cassidy Freeman, her two brothers are comic book fans and were "more excited" than she was when she landed the role of Tess. One of them is actor Clark Freeman.


Miss Eve Teschmacher (played by Valerie Perrine)

Mercy Graves (voiced by Lisa Edelstein)

  • Tess is a combination character created through an amalgamation of multiple DC Comics characters.
    • Her character's personality is based primarily on Lex's estranged sister Lena Luthor, as suggested by her full birth name "Lutessa Lena Luthor".
    • Her name is inspired by two loyal personal assistants of Lex, Miss Eve Teschmacher (played by actress Valerie Perrine in the 1978 Superman film) and Mercy Graves (voiced by actress Lisa Edelstein in Superman: The Animated Series), which fits into her role as Lex's protégé and second-in-command.
  • This is the second live action appearance of Lena Luthor. She first appeared in the live action TV show, Superboy, where she was portrayed by the actress Denise Gossett and Jennifer Hawkins who played Lena in a younger age.
  • Even though Lena Luthor never appeared in any animated series, in an episode of Justice League Unlimited animated seriestitled "The Clash", as Superman and Captain Marvel crash into the buildings of Lexor City (Lex Luthor's city), one of the buildings bears the name "Lena Luthor Memorial Hospital".
  • In the TV series Superboy, LexLuthor's assistant who was helping him in his mad schemes was a character named Darla. She was an original creation for the series, but like many other female characters who have been Lex's right hand, she had many common elements with Miss Teschmacher.
  • Eve Teschmacher and Otis serve as Lex Luthor's most loyal accomplices in his crimes in the Superman films, for which both characters were originally created for. Even though she did not appear in the homage sequel of the Superman films, titled Superman Returns, she along with Otis appeared in the comic book tie-in of the film.
  • In the movie Superman Returns, Lex Luthor's loyal assistant was a woman named Kitty Kowalski, she served as a prison nurse and would give Lex his examinations. The character was entirely different from Tess Mercer. She is based mostly on Eve Teschmacher, whom she replaced, one of the characters Tess is based on.
  • In the comics one of the last female characters who served Lex Luthor as his right hand women was Lois Lane Robot, a robot who looks exactly like Lois Lane. This character may have influenced the creators of the popular animated show Young Justice to create a new version of Mercy Graves who is a cyborg. The fact that Tess is now an A.I. indicates that the creator of Smallville: Season Eleven was also influenced by that character. In the New 52, the two female characters who appear to serve Lex Luthor as his accomplices are also both robots.
  • In the comics, Granny Goodness has a dog named "Mercy". Tess shares the same nickname on the show.
  • Tess has common grounds with the comic character Big Barda. Both managed to escape the Granny Goodness' team of fighting women and both were considered Granny Goodness' favorite and best pupils.
  • In the comics Lena Luthor has also appeared as a mother. Pre-crisis Lena had a daughter, named Nasthalthia "Nasty" Luthor, with an unnamed European man. She appears in the non-canon mini series All Star Superman as Lex's protégée. Post-crisis Lena has a daughter named Lori Luthor with whom she lives in Smallville. Lori grew up with her invalid mom and her distant dad so she always had to take care of Lena. She also befriends Superboy and she finds out his real identity but does not reveals to him that she knows.
  • Tess taking care of Connor and living with him on Smallville, even for a small time of period, mirrors Lena Luthor's last comic appearance in the pages of the Superboy series where Lena lives with her daughter Lori in Smallville. In that storyline Conner Kent develops a close relationship with both mother and daughter.
  • The storyline of Season Ten, where Tess is turned from a villain into a hero, a member of the Justice League called Watchtower II, is similar with a storyline from the comics, where Mercy Graves leaves Lex Luthor and becomes a member of the superhero team, Infinity Inc., called Vanilla, in order to redeem herself for her previous crimes. However unlike Tess, who succeeds to leave the demons of her past behind and turn a new page in her life, Mercy quits the superheroics, saying she isn't "hero" material, after she almost beats a man to death.
  • Tess being seemingly killed by Lex in the LuthorCorp office is similar with a scene from the animated movie Superman: Doomsday in which Lex kills Mercy Graves, one of the characters Tess Mercer is based on.
  • Granny Goodness explains that Tess was born in darkness which is proven by being the heir of Lionel Luthor, raised by Granny Goodness and abusive parents, and being the sister of Lex Luthor.
  • Lex chose Tess to be his successor to his estate before he left for the Arctic Circle in case he never returned from his own personal destiny.
  • Tess inherited Lex and Lionel's obsession with the Traveler. Like Lionel, she wanted to help Clark fulfill his destiny.;[13] and like Lex, she tested Clark to see if he had superpowers.[14]
  • After Lex had saved Tess's life, there were implications that Tess may have had romantic feelings towards Lex, though at this time Tess did not know Lex was her half-brother.[15]
  • Tess doesn't share any scenes with Jimmy Olsen during Season Eight.
  • Tess is the only main character who was an antagonist but was never a main antagonist for any season of Smallville. However, her good and evil status is up for some debate, as she often uses unscrupulous means to help Clark that do not always line up with his more purist view of justice.
  • It's unknown why Lionel abandoned her and left her to be adopted. It is possible he wanted to salvage his marriage. Or like his third son Lucas, Lionel wanted to see how she fared on her own without his money or influence.
  • With the revelation that Tess's biological parents are Lionel Luthor and Pamela Jenkins, Tess becomes the latest Smallville main character to be an orphan. Other orphaned main characters include Clark Kent, Oliver Queen, Lana Lang, and Davis Bloome.
  • When Tess sings, Cassidy Freeman uses her natural singing voice.
  • Tess has died 4 times. She is shot by Chloe, electrocuted by Chloe, burned by Zod and stabbed by Lex. However, the first took place in an alternate future.
  • Tess's new robotic body and her super powers is a nod to the superhero Red Tornado. Even though the most famous version of the hero is an android, named John Smith, the Golden Age Red Tornado was Abigail Hunkel. The Smallville version of Red Tornado though, is probably based on the New 52 interpretation of the character, who is a gynoid and has a similar back story with that of Tess in Season 11 (the consciousness of the deceased Lois Lane of Earth-2 was transferred into the robotic body, bringing her back to life as an A.I.).
  • Like the most famous Red Tornado in the comics, John Smith, Tess is also capable of maintaining a human appearance.
  • Lena Luthor's origin in Supergirl is taken from Smallville rather than the comics. In that series, she is also Lionel Luthor's daughter born of an affair.


Family Relationships
Male Relationships
  • Oliver and Tess – Details on their complicated romantic relationship and strong, protective friendship
  • Clark and Tess - Details on their relationship and friendship
  • Tess and Zod - Details on their relationship
  • Tess and Emil - Details on their work relationship as well as their budding relationship
Female Relationships
  • Lois and Tess - Details on their long-standing rivalry and then later good friendship
  • Lana and Tess - Details on their at first rivalry and then friendship
  • Chloe and Tess - Details on their relationship and then great friendship

See also

External links


  1. She published for weeks that Davis Bloome was the serial killer who invaded the city, without value for the lives that could be lost in the attempt to catch him, in order to persuade Clark to embrace his destiny that she thinks was to kill the Kryptonian beast Doomsday. She later kidnapped Jor-El and forced him to pose as the Blur to protect Clark from Zod.
  2. She manipulated Zod on several occasions to get what she wanted and to protect Clark, like in Kandor and like she manifested in Persuasion and Upgrade.
  3. She began her career as a marine biologist (Toxic), and also proposed building a solar tower to power Metropolis (Crossfire). She chose to side with Major Zod over humanity in the alternate future of Pandora, and told Oliver that she made the choice because "someone had to save the Earth. I couldn't give up on that."
  4. Tess said this to Jor-El's clone in Kandor.
  5. She found that Lois had knocked out a security guard and even witnessed Lois using super speed. In actuality, Lois had been possessed by Faora at the time.
  6. Doomsday and Metallo.
  7. The license can be clearly seen in Toxic
  8. Oliver also called her Mercy in Committed, Bloodline, Bulletproof and Rabid.
  9. Toxic
  10. Tess and Green Arrow fought briefly in Bloodline. Also, Oliver and Tess sparred in Committed.
  11. Lois and Tess fought several times: first a possessed Lois fought Tess in Bloodline and then they fought again in Doomsday. Tess and a super-powered Lana fought briefly in Power.
  12. - Cassidy Freeman on “Longmire” and what we didn’t see on “The Playboy Club”
  13. She told Clark, "I have this feeling that you'll never fulfill your great destiny until you meet your greatest challenge."
  14. Turbulence
  15. She tells Lex in a mirror (while wearing ocular implants) that, "I did everything you ever asked. You've seen it with your own eyes, and apparently, with mine. But not anymore. I hope you watch with rapt attention as your bank accounts close, and you lose all contact with the outside world. I loved you, you son of a bitch."
Tess Mercer in Smallville
Family Lionel LuthorPamela Jenkins
'Ships Lois LaneLana LangChloe SullivanLex LuthorLionel LuthorConner KentOliver QueenClark KentZodEmil Hamilton
Work LuthorCorpDaily PlanetCheckmateJustice League
Other Injustice LeagueLuthor MansionNear-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