|Tess Mercer / Watchtower II/ Red Tornado|
|Family|| Unnamed adoptive parents|
Lachlan Luthor (paternal grandfather, deceased)
Eliza Luthor (paternal grandmother, deceased)
Lionel Luthor (illegitimate father, deceased)
Pamela Jenkins (mother, deceased)
Lex Luthor (half-brother)
Julian Luthor (half-brother, deceased)
Lucas Luthor (half-brother)
Conner Kent ("brother", "son")
|Occupation||Member of the Justice League; former CEO/Managing Director of LuthorCorp, former Owner of Daily Planet, (former) Agent of Checkmate, former Marine Biologist|
| Powers and|
|In cyber form: Technology/Electronic Manipulation, Holographic Projection, Technology Interface, Longevity; In robot form: Aerokinesis and Flight|
|Played By||Cassidy Freeman|
|Status||Alive (Resurrected as an A.I.; later took robotic form)|
- "Tess Mercer. My access is unrestricted." - Tess Mercer, Odyssey
When Lex disappeared during a private expedition to the Arctic, Tess took control of all his projects and business, assuming the role of acting CEO of LuthorCorp and publisher of the Daily Planet. Like her predecessors, she became obsessed with finding the truth about Clark Kent, had her own metahuman agenda and an unusual approach to saving the world.
Supported by the records left by both Luthors, Tess managed to discover Clark's secret and started to see him as a kind of savior, diverting some of her devotion toward him, despite using unconventional methods to prove it. She had very little touch with everyone who knew Clark, including Chloe Sullivan, Lois Lane and her old flame Oliver Queen, who did not have any confidence in her due to being an emissary of the Luthors.
For a long time, Tess was obsessed with maintaining the Luthors' legacy and was totally devoted to Lex, whom she considered a hero, but after discovering that Lex was spying on her, she became very angry and took her revenge on him, merging LuthorCorp with Queen Industries and leaving Lex without resources to continue his life support.
After learning about Clark's secret and guided by voices coming out of the Orb, Tess released the power contained within the Kryptonian device and allowed Major Zod and his army to be reborn on Earth. Thinking that in this way she would be saving the world, Tess helped Zod to achieve all his goals, but not without getting her own ambitions and plans. However, her plans were affected when Tess was summoned by an old organization to which she belonged, and was pushed to go underground to prevent an assassination attempt.
Being rejected by Oliver, Zod and all those she knew, Tess realized that she had lost everything she had in her quest for power and, in an attempt for redemption, faced Zod and tried to stop him, but was severely burned in the process. From her hospital bed, Tess helped Clark use the Book of Rao and apologized for everything she had done. Unable to bear the wounds she had suffered, she died in the hospital, but 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 she could change, but things started to become more complicated than she expected due to the latent presence of Lex's mind inside the boy, but 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 dueled against a Lionel Luthor of a parallel world.
After a long struggle against her dark side, Tess finally chose a side in 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 Neurotoxine 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 succeeds to overcome her obsession for revenge on her brother and rejoins the Justice League, becoming Watchtower once again while Chloe is on maternity leave.
Tess is a Caucasian female in her late twenties. Her height is about 5'8", and her build is thin and moderate. She has fair skin with long curly red hair and green eyes.
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 had a pair of glasses that she wore while working at Watchtower. (Ambush)
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 grey 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)
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 a robotic body, looking exactly the same way she did before her death. (Continuity)
- "Tess Mercer is a pit bull in Prada." - Lois Lane about Tess Mercer
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. 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.
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. She also wanted a rematch with her after having fought and lost in the Daily Planet.
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.
- Tess personally poisoned her old kidnapper Marcos dooming him to an almost certain death, after purposefully bailing him out of jail.
- She was deeply upset and filled with vindictive rage against Lex when she discovered that he had been spying on her through ocular implants. To get revenge, she merged LuthorCorp with Queen Industries and left Lex without resources to continue managing his projects of life support hoping to kill him with it.
- Tess also brutally beat and killed Regan Matthews.
- She also attempted to kill Lana Lang and Dr. Groll, in an attempt to destroy Lex's Project Prometheus.
- Tess blew up Davis Bloome in his car after discovering he was a serial killer.
- Tess had Parasite take Livewire's superpowers away, and then killed Livewire.
- Tess shot Winslow Schott in the leg without remorse, forcing him to leave Oliver Queen alone.
- Tess overpowered or killed the Kandorian security guard that Major Zod had sent to interrogate.
- Tess shot Stuart Campbell after he refused to wipe Lois Lane's memories.
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:
- She tried to stop Zod and beat him with Kryptonite knuckles, only to have her face severely burned by his heat vision.
- As her first mercy killing, Tess tried to inject Alexander Luthor with cyanide to prevent him from becoming the villain he will eventually loathe being. However, the syringe had bent due to his impenetrable skin.
- Tess used a chemical solution from Summerholt to destroy all of Lex Luthor's memories of his time in Smallville.
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.
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 possesses no superhuman abilities, however she is 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: Tess Mercer keeps herself in top form and is maintains 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.
- Aikido, Bo-staff fighting, and various other forms of martial arts (Committed)
- Intelligence: One of Tess's greatest assets is her high level of intelligence and her keen ability to pick up new skills such as:
- Take on Lex Luthor's multi-billion dollar empire
- Solve the mystery of Clark Kent's Kryptonian secret in only one year, whereas Lex couldn't figure it out in seven
- Run the Daily Planet without having a background in journalism
- Develop the research, hacking and computer skills necessary to become Watchtower 2.0
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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
- "I might be pretty new at this, but I think it's safe to say...we've got issues, sis." - Lex Luthor, Haunted
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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!"
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.
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.
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".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 accidently 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 advices 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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
Season Ten (Earth-2)
See: Tess Luthor
- Season Eight: Odyssey, Plastique, Toxic, Instinct, Committed, Identity, Bloodline, Bulletproof, Power, Infamous (Mentioned only), Turbulence, Hex (Mentioned only), Eternal, Injustice, Doomsday
- Season Nine: Savior, Metallo, Rabid, Echo, Crossfire, Kandor, Pandora, Absolute Justice, Part 2, Persuasion, Conspiracy, Escape, Checkmate, Upgrade, Charade, Sacrifice, Hostage, Salvation
- Season Ten: Lazarus, Shield, Isis, Harvest, Ambush, Abandoned, Patriot, Luthor, Icarus, Beacon, Fortune, Scion, Kent, Dominion, Prophecy, Finale, Part 1, Finale, Part 2
- Season Eleven: Guardian, Detective, Haunted, Argo, Olympus, Hollow
- Smallville Miniseries: Alien, Harbinger, Lantern, Chaos, Continuity
In the Comics
- Lena Luthor
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 god-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.
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
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.
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.
Other faces of...
- Tess's license plate reads "NO MERCY".
- Tess Mercer graduated from Harvard at the age of 17 also seen in an article.
- Tess can speak Chinese 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. This is a note to Mercy Graves, the comic character whom Tess is based on.
- A newspaper article reveals that Tess Mercer is 30 years old. This episode aired on March 19, 2009.
- 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.
- 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. She lost both times.
- Tess is one of three women to have fought Green Arrow. The first was Lois Lane and then Lana Lang.
- 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' real birthdate is November 12, 1981 and her birth name is Lutessa Lena Luthor, making her 30 years old at the age of her death, one year shy of her older brother Lex 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.
- St. Louise's Orphanage where she grew up was filmed on the same set as Black Creek, but in Black and White.
- Tess is the only CEO of LuthorCorp to not go to jail or prison unlike Lex's arrest and Lionel's arrest. Although Clark was planning to turn Tess over to the Metropolis Police Department for implanting chips in Bette Sans Souci and Rudy Jones and for the murders of Leslie Willis, Eva Greer and Neutron, but failed.
- 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' maternal love of Alexander Luthor/Conner Kent mirrors Lillian Luthor's relationship with Lex.
- The name "Tess" is short for Lutessa, her birth name. Cassidy Freeman originates the role of Lena Luthor, Lex's little sister from the comics (Lena being Tess' middle name) on live-action television.
- Tess has interacted with all main characters, except Jonathan, Pete, Whitney, Jason, and Kara. 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).
- Oliver, Clark, Chloe and Zod are the only main characters to find out that Tess was working for Checkmate. (Checkmate, Upgrade, Charade, Sacrifice)
- Tess's name is inspired by Miss Eve Teschmacher (the loyal assistant of Lex from the 1978 Superman film played by the actress Valerie Perrine) and Mercy Graves (the loyal assistant of Lex from Superman: The Animated Series voiced by the actress Lisa Edelstein).
- Tess is a combination character, created through an amalgamation of Lena Luthor, Mercy Graves and Eve Teschmacher.
- 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 series titled "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, Lex Luthor's assistant who was hepling 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 influnced 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 influnced 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 reveales 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 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.
- A Mercy Graves-like character named Misty was to appear in the unfinished film Superman Lives. Not unlike her counterparts from the DC animated universe and comics, she is the valet/bodyguard/lover of Lex Luthor. She is by Luthor's side all through the film during his alliance with Brainiac. Interestingly, in several drafts of the script, she does not appear to say a single word (like many versions of Mercy in other media).
- 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.; and like Lex, she tested Clark to see if he had superpowers.
- After Lex had saved Tess's life, she had fallen in love with him and would've done anything for him but at the time she didn't know Lex was her half-brother.
- 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.
- With the revelation that Tess' 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.
- 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.
- When Tess sings, Cassidy Freeman uses her natural singing voice.
- Like her brother Lucas, she is the only Luthor sibling to not have a clone.
- Tess has died 4 times. She is shot by Chloe, electrocuted by Chloe, burned by Zod and her final death came at the hands of Lex.
- Tess was the seventh and last main character to die. She is also the first and only female main character to die.
- Clark is the only main character to find out that Tess is a Luthor. While it is never shown on-screen, Lois makes a vague reference in Scion to Tess being a part of the Luthor family, suggesting that she does know the truth. Also, while not a main character, Emil Hamilton clearly knows the truth as well, as when talking to Tess in Kent he refers to Lionel as her father. Six months after Finale, the truth about Lex and Tess being siblings has been revealed to the public.
- Tess' 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.
- Family Relationships
- Tess and Lex - Details on their complicated relationship
- Tess and Lionel - Details on their cutthroat relationship
- Tess and Conner - Details on their "mother" & "son" relationship
- 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
- Injustice League
- Luthor Mansion
- Tess Mercer's near-death experiences
- Episodes featuring Tess Mercer
- Tess Luthor
- Tess Mercer at the DC Database wiki
- Tess Mercer at Comic Vine
- Tess Mercer at Smallville Comics Wikia
- Lena Luthor at Wikipedia.org
- Lena Luthor at the DC Database wiki
- Lena Luthor at Comic Vine
- Short biography on Lena Luthor - From Supermanhomepage
- Mercy Graves at Wikipedia.org
- Mercy Graves at the DC Database wiki
- Mercy Graves at Comic Vine
- Mercy Graves at the DC Animated Universe Wikia
- Mercy Graves at Superman Wiki
- Eve Teschmacher at the DC Database wiki
- Eve Teschmacher at Comic Vine
- Eve Teschmacher at Superman Wiki
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ 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."
- ↑ Tess said this to Jor-El's clone in Kandor.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ Doomsday and Metallo.
- ↑ The license can be clearly seen in Toxic
- ↑ Oliver also called her Mercy in Committed, Bloodline, Bulletproof and Rabid.
- ↑ As stated in the newspaper article seen in Turbulence
- ↑ Toxic
- ↑ Tess and Green Arrow fought briefly in Bloodline. Also, Oliver and Tess sparred in Committed.
- ↑ 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.
- ↑ She told Clark, "I have this feeling that you'll never fulfill your great destiny until you meet your greatest challenge."
- ↑ Turbulence
- ↑ 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|
|Luthors in Smallville|