Alexander Joseph "Lex" Luthor is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Lex Luthor first appeared in Action Comics #23 (April 1940) and has since endured as the archenemy of Superman.
The character is a power-mad American billionaire, business magnate, inventor, scientist, philanthropist to the city of Metropolis, and one of the most intelligent people in the world. A charismatic and well-known public figure, he is intent on ridding the world of alien superhero Superman, who Lex Luthor views as an obstacle to his megalomaniacal plans and as a threat to the very existence of humanity. Given Lex's high status as a supervillain, he also comes into conflict with Batman and other superheroes in the DC Universe.
Lex Luthor has traditionally lacked superpowers or a dual identity and typically appears with a bald head. He periodically wears his Warsuit, a high-tech battle suit giving him enhanced strength, flight, and advanced weaponry, among other capabilities. Lex Luthor is the owner of a corporation called LexCorp, with Mercy Graves as his personal assistant and bodyguard. Luthor has carefully crafted his public persona in order to avoid suspicion and arrest. He is well known for his philanthropy, donating vast sums of money to Metropolis over the years, funding parks, foundations, and charities.
The character was ranked 4th on IGN's list of the Top 100 Comic Book Villains of All Time and as the 8th Greatest Villain by Wizard on its 100 Greatest Villains of All Time list. Luthor is one of a few genre-crossing villains whose adventures take place "in a world in which the ordinary laws of nature are slightly suspended". John Shea and Michael Rosenbaum portrayed the character as the main antagonist character in Superman-themed television series, while Lyle Talbot, Gene Hackman, Kevin Spacey, and Jesse Eisenberg have portrayed the character in major motion pictures.