- "Designation incorrect. Call sign: Ares. Prototype. Mark IV."
- — Wes to Lois. Prototype
Wes Keenan was a decorated Green Beret in the U.S. Special Forces and a childhood friend of Lois Lane. During a tour in Afghanistan, Wes was severely injured and came into the care of LuthorCorp as part of Project Ares under the facade that he was helping to treat other soldiers.
Wes was a tall, imposing soldier. Clean-shaven, green-eyed, and sporting short-cropped, dark-brown hair grown from his Army butch cut. As a teenager, Wes fell and cracked his head on a cement floor, leaving a scar above his right eyebrow. In the Service, he wore the U.S. uniform.
After being reprogrammed as the Prototype, Wes was outfitted with a black-leather bodysuit, a black belt, and black combat boots. Although he did not require it thanks to his ability to kill seamlessly and effectively, Wes did wield a combat knife while on assassination missions.
Powers and Abilities
Wes' abilities were derived from genetic material harvested from several 33.1 metahumans. In addition to this, Ares used material harvested from the Zoner Titan as the basis both for his super-strength as well as an anchor to hold so many different sources of power in one vessel.
- Energy Shield Generation - Wes was encompassed by a force-field powerful enough to stop bullets, lasers, and explosives - making him effectively invulnerable. According to Chloe's research, only a controlled nuke could break the shield. This power was derived from the Twins, although he could not expand it.
- Invisibility - By refracting light around his body, Wes could conceal his presence from the naked eye. He could also extend this power through physical contact with others. This ability also seemed to have cloaked him from electronic detection as well. This power was derived from Graham Garrett.
- Night Vision - Wes was able to able to engage Lex's squad of special operatives in the dark without equipment.
- Super-Strength - Wes possessed overwhelming levels of physical strength. He generally proved a fighting match for a late-adolescent Clark Kent - seamlessly sending him flying across rooms with a single-handed strike. This power was derived from Titan, the only ability not sourced from a metahuman.
- Super-Speed - Wes could accelerate his movements and reactions to velocities easily breaking the sound barrier. He could also perceive the world in a slowed perception while moving unhindered at super-speed. This power was derived from Bart Allen.
In addition to his superpowers, Wes' optic nerves were also affected by the Ares augmentations. This made his eyes sensitive to heat - seeing the world only through a darkened thermal vision. This was presumably added so as to give him a more predatory advantage over his targets.
Wes was an army brat like Lois Lane. He befriended both Lane and her father, General Sam Lane when they were young. The two had a childhood romance in grade school. Wes then joined the Army, where he was a decorated, model soldier, and trained to be a Green Beret. He married Jodi Keenan and went off to war.
As a Green Beret, he was severely injured on a mission in Afghanistan. His wife was informed of his death by helicopter crash, but she refused to believe he was dead and traced the connection between her husband and LuthorCorp.
Jodi Keenan confronted Lex Luthor and demanded to know the truth about her husband while threatening to blow up a series of underground tunnels with Lex inside. However, Jodi died in the tunnels before Lex revealed Wes' true fate - Lex had recruited Wes after he was injured and fooled him into volunteering for Project Ares under the guise of helping wounded soldiers like him. Instead Lex turned him into a super-soldier using the genes of kryptonite-infected humans. Wes was the first successful prototype of Project Ares' true mission.
Lex used Wes to go through the underground tunnels to reach the main lab by going through all of the armed forces that stood in his way. Wes was sent to kill Senator Ed Burke, then Lois Lane for witnessing the murder.
Due to his childhood connection to Lois, Wes was in conflict of the programmed control that was embedded in his head and fought to resist his orders to kill Lois but was unsuccessful. Clark had no choice but to use his heat vision at a maximum intensity to stop him and unintentionally kill him. Wes asked Lois to promise not to let this happen to anyone else.
Wes' body went back into Lex's possession. Lex was undeterred at Wes' death and revealed that he has an unforeseen number of other soldiers waiting for similar treatment.
- Season Six: Nemesis, Prototype
- Season Ten: Lazarus (Photograph only)
- Season 11: Olympus (flashback)
- Tahmoh Penikett has also appeared on Smallville in Season Three's Resurrection portraying Vince Davis.
- Tahmoh Penikett appears in Man of Steel as Jed Eubanks, an Arctic worker interviewed by Lois Lane. Penikett is one of several actors (including Amy Adams, Alessandro Juliani and Ted Whittall) appearing in both the universes of Smallville and the DC Extended Universe.
- Penikett is also the first actor to have screen time with Lois Lane in both universes, followed by Michael Cassidy.
- Lois Lane shared her first kiss with Wes.
- His military record shows a pay grade of E-4, indicating that Wes is either a specialist or a corporal.