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Lena Luthor, also known as Lena Thorul-Colby, is a supervillain in the DC Universe. She usually appears as Lex Luthor's younger, and in some versions estranged or foster, sister. Lena Luthor was created by Jerry Siegel and Kurt Schaffenberger, first appearing in Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #23. (1961)
Lena Luthor originally appeared on Earth-One, as the daughter of Jules and Arlene Luthor. She was but a baby when her older brother, Lex Luthor, became a world famous criminal, and her parents, ashamed of what Lex was doing, decided to leave Smallville and to change their names, so that their little daughter would have never been linked to the madman terrifying the world; when Lena grew up, since she had some memories of an older brother, she was told that he had died while climbing a mountain. The Luthors changed their surname in Thorul, simply scrambling the letters, believing that doing so they would have protected Lena from Lex, but they didn’t know that her older brother had already influenced the life of the girl (even if not purposefully) as, when she was little more than a toddler, she had snuck into Lex’s room, stumbling upon one of his early experiments, an alien device he called the Space Brain: upon touching the thing she saw as a weird toy, Lena unlocked some psionic abilities she would have developed only in adulthood. Growing up, Lena was completely unaware of both her latent powers, and her true parentage to Lex Luthor. There was something bonding the Luthor family to the House of El, however: Lena attended Midvale High School, where she met the one who would have become her best friend, Linda Lee, who was actually Kara Zor-El, the cousin of her brother’s nemesis Superman. It was unavoidable, the moment Linda/Kara became Supergirl, that Lena was involved in her and her cousin’s adventures in a way or the other, but anytime Lex was present, he did everything in his power to prevent the girl to learn about her true family, receiving even help from the two Kryptonians in this facade. As a young woman, Lena Thorul met Jeff Colby, fell in love with him and eventually married him. She became a simple librarian, and she had a son from Jeff, Val, but when her mental powers finally manifested, Superman was forced to reveal to her the truth about Lex, so that he could convince her to undergo brain surgery and have her life saved. From that moment, Lena desperately tried to redeem her criminal brother, succeeding at least in becoming the one person in the world he loved and protected.
Obviously, after Chrisis on Infinite Earths Lena Luthor had her story undergo some major changes, as Earth-1 was erased from existence and she was reborn on New Earth. In this new reality, she was the last daughter of Lionel Luthor, a drunken man who lived in Smallville, Kansas. Since her mother Laetitia died when she was still a child, she grew up with her father and her older brother Lex, but the latter eventually started hating Lionel, and left as soon as he could; Lena, who was already paraplegic at the time (it’s unknown if she was born like this or if this was the result of an accident), was the only one to take care of her father, and when he died of a heart attack, she was devastated by it. Plus Lex, who needed money to start his corporation, took all the money from the insurance for himself, leaving his wheelchair-bound sister to take care of herself. In a way or another, Lena managed to fend for herself: she married an unknown man, and she had a daughter from him, Lori. It’s unknown what happened to her husband, but eventually only Lena and Lori were left, taking care of each other. Again, the mysterious connections between the Luthor family and the House of El stroke again, as Lori became (close) friends with Superboy, Smallville’s newest superhero, and brought him home to meet her mom: even Lena took a liking for the young hero. When Lex Luthor managed to escape from Project 7734, he came back to Smallville in an attempt to control his creature, Superboy; in order to convince him to follow him, he cured his crippled sister and gave her back the ability to walk, only to revert her to her usual condition immediately after. To an enraged Superboy, he said that he did so to prove he was able to cure Lena, but that he would have done it permanently only the moment Superman was dead. Superboy found another way, and entrusted Lena to his friend Red Robin, who in turn brought her to Wayne Enterprises, where the best doctors in the world tried to understand how Luthor cured her so that they could replicate the process. Witnessing her own brother’s cruelty, however, was now a crippling far worse than the one to her legs.
To be added
In other media
- Lena Luthor appeared in the Superboy TV series two-part story "Know Thine Enemy" with the young version played by Jennifer Hawkins and the adult version played by Denise Gossett.
- Main article: Tess Mercer
- The final season of Smallville reveals that Tess Mercer (played by Cassidy Freeman) is really Lutessa Lena Luthor (portrayed by Leigh Bourke). This version of the character is based on Lena Luthor and Lex Luthor's assistant from the DC Comics, Mercy Graves and Eve Teschmacher.
- Lena Kieran Luthor appears in The CW series Supergirl, portrayed by Katie McGrath.
- Main article: Lena Luthor (DC Superhero Girls)
- Romi Dames voices Lena Luthor in the webseries DC Super Hero Girls.
- Lena Luthor appears in the second Robot Chicken DC Comics Special Robot Chicken DC Comics Special 2: Villains in Paradise, voiced by Sarah Hyland, and is portrayed as Lex Luthor's daughter, instead of his sister.