|Family|| Unnamed adoptive parents|
Lachlan Luthor and Eliza Luthor (paternal grandparents, deceased)
Lionel Luthor and Pamela Jenkins (biological parents, deceased)
Lex Luthor (half-brother)
Julian Luthor (half-brother, deceased)
Lucas Luthor (half-brother)
|Occupation|| CEO/Managing Director of LuthorCorp (former)|
Owner of Daily Planet (former)
Agent of Checkmate (former)
Member of the Justice League
| Powers and|
|Skilled hand-to-hand combatant, Technology/Electronic Manipulation, Holographic Projection, Technology Interface, Longevity|
|Played By||Cassidy Freeman|
|Status||Alive (Resurrected as an A.I.)|
- "I just wanted to save the world..." - Tess Mercer, Sacrifice
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 coscience 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 light blue 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 wear when she was killed. The only difference was that her grey button-down coat' colour 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. (Alien)
Tess is a fine example of what can happen to an indivdual who has been betrayed, abandoned, abused and used by those they loved. While being the meek Tess that Oliver dated, and rescued from the island, she trained herself to become strong, independent, and fierce in her life as well to everyone.
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.
Eventually, Tess started to try and redeem herself for her sins. 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 AI 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 revege, 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 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. Tess also says, 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. (Hollow)
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Tess possesses no superhuman abilities, however due to conditioning and practice, she is good at:
- Diving: Though by no means an expert, Tess has stated that she enjoys diving as a hobby in her spare time. (Toxic)
- Kickboxing: Tess Mercer keeps herself in top form and is maintains a regular exercise regime while also practicing kick-boxing 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.
As an artifical 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 substituing 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 on her own holographs of other objects.
- Longevity: Since Tess is an A. I., she is incapable of aging.
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.
- "One of the most important things that Lex taught me is you can't afford to live in the past." Tess Mercer to Oliver Queen, Committed
Four weeks after Lex Luthor disappeared, Tess went to the Arctic to take command of LuthorCorp and search for signs of their missing CEO. She turned out to be the successor designated by Lex to guard all his interests in case something happen to him and immediately took control of the search project, but was forced to leave the area when they were ambushed by Oliver's team. She then made her way to Smallville to take up residence at Lex's mansion and in the process had her first encounter with Lois Lane. Tess began to look insistently at clues about the Lex's whereabouts and finally ended with a box containing the Crystal of Knowledge and a photo of a footprint that does not belong to Lex.
Tess took possession of all Lex's business, including the Daily Planet and on her first day, she was saved from the burning remains of a bus explosion by her new employee, Clark Kent. After she introduced herself to him, Tess showed herself to be flattered for meeting him, revealing that Lex told her a lot about Clark.
It became apparent that it was no coincidence that Tess was in the bus at the time of accident because she was chasing a girl with metahuman powers to recruit her for her new team of heroes that she was putting together and finally intercepted the prison bus in which the girl was put after Clark caught her.
After Oliver falls poisoned mysteriously, it was revealed that Tess and Oliver knew each other from before and that the two had maintained a relationship in the past. Tess helped to cure Oliver and later he questioned her about how much she had changed and about her alliance with Lex. Tess showed continuing resentment towards him for having cheated her, but however revealed to him that Lionel killed Oliver's parents.
During her research about the crystal she found in the Arctic, Tess tracked down one of Lex's scientist for help and was reluctant to believe that the crystal was an alien technology, but when an experiment on it, sent a beacon attracting an alien princess to Earth, she began to believe it. After the crystal was stolen, Tess became suspicious of everyone who knew about it and later received an email saying that she wasn't ready yet.
At the same time, Oliver tried to rekindle his relationship with Tess and invited her to dinner but however, despite sleeping together, Tess told Oliver that she was not interested in a romantic relationship and rejected him.
Tess continued her recruitment of special people and her search to find out who took the crystal from her. She hired Sebastian Kane to help her find it by questioning Lois since she was her prime suspect and also sent her men after Jimmy, as he was her second suspect.
When the crystal was eventually used, Tess tracked its energy pulse reading to the Kent Farm, where she questioned Chloe about it and started to suspect more of her and Clark. After meeting Faora while she was possessing Lois and learning a bit about Krypton and Kal-El, she called Clark into her office and revealed to him that she knows he was the last person to see Lex alive.
Finally, it was revealed that Tess had made contact with Lex at some point after her arrival in Smallville and that she had been keeping in touch with him through emails.
After Lana Lang returned to town, Tess was approached by her and confronted with the knowledge that Lex was alive and that Tess knew where he was. Tess denied that statement and after she learned that Lana had stolen information about a secret survival project of Lex denominated Project Prometheus, she confronted Lana and started a fight. Lana won the battle and exposed to Tess the nano-transmitter that Lex implanted in her optic nerves. Feeling betrayed, Tess decided to repay Lex by closing his bank accounts and offered Oliver the chance to merge with LuthorCorp.
When Lana went missing, Tess revealed to Clark everything that happened to Lana after awakening from her alien coma. After being confronted by Lex's right-hand man, Regan Matthews, who was revealed to know about the transmitters in her eyes, they got into a fight and Tess managed to killed him. Keen to prevent Lex from getting his hands on the Prometheus suit, Tess tracked it down to Dr. Groll's laboratory and was prepared to kill Lana in order to destroy the suit. However, Lana managed to defeat her and then tried to convince Tess to let go of her desire for vengeance against Lex.
Lex tried to get his revenge on Tess and the other LuthorCorp board members for switching their allegiance to Oliver Queen by hiring Winslow Schott to set a bomb to kill them. However, Tess was out of town to see a surgeon to remove the nano-technology that Lex had inflicted her with.
After returning to town, Tess started to become more suspicious about Clark´s secret and devised a plan to force Clark to expose his powers aboard a jet, and even confided to Clark her deepest secret hoping that in return Clark would reveal his secret to her, but her plan was not successful. After they returned to Smallville, she thanked him for saving her and tried to convince him that he could trust her, stating she isn't Lex.
Tess finally managed to get hold of Lionel's journal and by reading it, surmised that two Kryptonian boys fell to Earth on the day of the meteor shower and soon came to the conclusion that Clark was the one who Lionel called "The Traveler".
Thanks to Jimmy's note, Tess discovered that Davis Bloome was killing criminals and realized that he was the other Kryptonian and attempted to kill him although he survived and then she took him back to the mansion to explore his past with the Luthors. Tess confessed that she believed that Clark and Davis were destined to kill each other and keen for Clark to embrace his destiny but he ignored her.
It was revealed that Tess was in possession of the Kryptonian Orb that Lex deposited in the console of the Fortress the last time and following Clark's refusal to accept his destiny, Tess began to publish articles revealing Davis as the serial killer and began a manhunt against him, knowing that many will die in the process.
Still keen to defeat the threat of Doomsday, Tess found the perfect opportunity to use her team of heroes and sent them after Chloe and Davis, who were on the run. Tess sent her shape-shifting assistant, Eva Greer, to infiltrate Clark's life disguised as Chloe to learned more about him and using the recovered Kryptonian information relayed from Eva, find and destroy the Black crystal to force Clark to confront his destiny and kill Doomsday.
It was revealed that Tess had been taking orders from the Orb who tells her that she will be the savior of Kandor after Clark kills the beast and when Tess returned to the Luthor Mansion after work, she found the Orb missing and that the vault was busted open from the inside and then instructed all of her staff to find it. When Tess discovered that Lois had been in her office, she immediately suspected her and confronted Lois at the Daily Planet basement. Lois accuses Tess of trying to bring a alien nation to conquer Earth but Tess claims she only wanted to save the world. A fight is quickly developed and Lois managed to defeat Tess by knocking her out.
Tess woke up and returned to the Luthor Mansion and after Doomsday was defeated, Tess saw a glowing light outside the mansion. As she approached it she saw the Orb send a burst of light into the ground, out of which came a man standing on the Mark of Zod.
- "Because I see... I see what mankind is doing to this planet. The earth is doomed." - Tess Mercer to Jor-El, Kandor
Having released Zod and his troops via the Orb, Tess was held prisoner for three weeks in the Luthor Mansion. During this time, she was savagely interrogated by the soldiers and after meeting their leader, General Zod, she discovered that the Kandorians did not know how they came to be on Earth and that they are powerless.
When suddenly the whole army left the mansion, Tess revealed that letting herself be caught was only part of her plan to discovered more about them.
Tess started her search of Zod and his troops, which led her to an abandoned laboratory with stolen technology from LuthorCorp. Tess realized that the kryptonians were trying to get their powers in any possible way and after Tess's team recovered the remains of the kryptonian experiment, they revealed to her that Kryptonian symbols had appeared across the globe since the day that Zod arrived on the mansion. Tess then saw the House of El symbol in a picture and someone lying on it.
During her search, Tess investigated the disappearance of twelve sailors on a Luthorcorp facility until was attacked by rabid zombies that infected her with a strange virus. When Clark and Lois visited her to ask what had happened she aggressively attacked them turned into a zombie and was placed in quarantine to be studied in detail, as the doctors believed she was the center of the infection.
After being cured, Tess tracked Oliver down to Mexico and had him brought back to a shareholder's meeting in Metropolis at the Ace of Clubs. She made a "deal" with Toyman at his prison cell by giving him Metallo's kryptonite heart and enlisted him to discover how it worked.
As Tess displayed her twin solar tower to her meeting of LuthorCorp executives, she was ambushed by Zod, who congratulated her on her accomplishment. When Zod asked her to help him find the "Blur", she denied any information about knowing who it was. However, she did ask him for equal partnership, but he told her that no human would ever stand with a Kandorian. Not trusting Tess, Zod sent a soldier to kill her but instead she killed the soldier and returned his medallion to Zod, letting him know she is a force to be reckoned with.
Finally, Tess and Zod formed an alliance, although her primary motivation was to prevent Zod from finding the "Blur." Tess kidnapped Jor-El and convinced him to tell Zod that he was the Blur so that Clark could continue saving the world and when Clark learned that Tess had imprisoned his father, he threatened her by grabbing her neck and forced her to tell him where Jor-El was. She was happy that Clark had finally revealed his powers to her but not the way she expected. When she showed the location of Jor-El, Clark realized that Tess let Jor-El be kidnapped so that she could discover where the Kandorian army was.
Intrigued by the mysterious disappearance of Lois weeks ago, Tess kidnapped her in order to examine her memories of the missing three weeks. Tess requested the use of Summerholt technology to enter Lois's mind and saw the Solar Tower completed, realizing Lois was in the future. Tess connected her mind to Lois's mind and after discovering that she will be killed by Chloe, Tess began to question her allegiance to Zod.
One night, Tess went to her office at the Daily Planet and was shocked to find a chess-set piece on her desk. Tess then met with Amanda Waller at the Checkmate headquarters, who addressed her as "Agent Mercer" and said they had a lot to catch up on.
With the solar tower near completion, Zod decided to terminate his relationship with Tess and threatened to kill her. Then Tess tried to enlist Chloe´s help and suggested that they work together to stop Zod but, when Chloe refused. A Gemstone-kryptonite-infected Clark wanted to get his revenge on Tess for killing Jor-El and Tess pleaded with him for her life, saying that she did not kill Jor-El and reminded him that she had not revealed his secret to anyone. Chloe saved Tess and later Clark learned that Tess was telling the truth.
Tess angrily confronted Oliver about the destruction of her Solar Tower and embezzlement that she discovered within the company. She sent an agent to follow Oliver and discovered that he and Chloe had an arsenal of weapons. However, before she was able to get to them, Oliver had hidden them.
Tess arranged a meeting with Zod at the Kent farmhouse, where she shot him to prove that he had powers. She used green Kryptonite to weaken him and after talking of the superiority that some have over others they end up kissing and in bed. Zod asked Tess how she had weakened him in the barn and she told him they both have their secrets.
After Tess was summoned for a Checkmate operation to capture Green Arrow and later blamed when Green Arrow escaped, Amanda Waller threatened to kill her if she did not sort out the problem. When Tess discovered that Oliver was actually Green Arrow and helped him and Clark to shut down the power at Castle so they can save "Watchtower", Tess plead with him for help but Oliver showed no sympathy for Tess, as his trust in her had ended. Tess then revealed that she is "going underground", to prevent an assassination attempt from Checkmate
Tess resurfaced to retrieve John Corben when he escaped, and was discovered by Chloe who wanted to discovered how Clark became infected with red kryptonite. Together, they used their resources to stop Clark and Zod new partnership sending Corben to the Fortress of Solitude and as a desperate attempt to win support, Tess tries to manipulate Zod and informed him of some of the Kandorians betraying him to serve Kal-El, saying that she was the only one he could trust.
Tess returned to LuthorCorp only to find Chloe in Oliver´s office, hacking into the Swiss National Bank. She reminded Chloe that although she might be underground, she still ran Luthorcorp. The pair discussed Tess's alliance with the Kandorian army and Chloe commented on Tess's partnership with Zod, telling Tess that she'll run out of people to betray quickly and warned her about her decisions.
Tess came to the conclusion that Chloe was Watchtower and went after her, demanding all the information she possessed about the Kandorians. However, the two become trapped inside the building after the security system was activated by a Checkmate's protocol to access the system and both had to work together to try to escape alive. Tess revealed she has a GPS strip in her flesh that allows them to hack the computers and that burrows deeper into its host when threatened with extraction. In the midst of a touching conversation, Tess opens herself to Chloe and advises her about her relationship with Oliver. After making their way to get out of Watchtower, the two headed to Metropolis General Hospital knowing that Checkmate was following them to try to shut off the GPS strip. Chloe tells her the only way was killing her, and Tess accepted and put her trust in Chloe, knowing that she would let her die. After deactivating the chip, Chloe resurrected Tess, much to her surprise, and Tess then agreed to keep Chloe's secret as a form of compensation.
While being held hostage by Maxwell Lord using his telepathic abilities, Tess was acussed of being the Red Queen and was required to disclose the location of the Book of Rao. However Tess escaped and went to find the Book of Rao she stole and hid in the wine cellar. Tess was later approached by the Red Queen, who was actually Martha Kent, and was forced to hand over the disc to her. Martha warned Tess about the bad choices she has made in her life and threatened her to stay away from Clark.
When Zod declared the war to the earth, Tess revealed she used a tracking device on John Corben to find the Fortress of Solitude and visited it, where Zod was trying to mess with the console. Looking for redemption for everything she had done, she attacked Zod with kryptonite brass knuckles and damaged his face. However, Zod managed to heal and attacked her with heat vision, burning half of her body.
Clark found her and rushed her to the hospital, where she told Clark about the crystal console the Kandorians built and how he could use it to activate the Book of Rao as her last chance for redemption. Later, she had a violent attack from her injuries, resulting in her death.
Once the doctors pronounced it and left the room, a mysterious old woman entered the room, shutting the door behind her.
- "You want to know the truly perverse part? I'm upset that he threw me away... As grotesque and sordid a family tree as I've just inherited, I... Wasn't good enough." - Tess Mercer to Clark Kent, Luthor
Tess awakened in Cadmus Labs, mysteriously returned to life, with her face completely healed. She met "Alexander" (a conscious pre-pubescent clone of Lex), who told her how she survived. Tess discovered a multitude of clones engineered from Lex's DNA, and accidentally released an older psychotic clone, who incapacitated and imprisoned her in the facility, knowing that Clark would soon come to rescue her. When Clark eventually appeared, Tess relayed the clone's message to meet at Riley Field and later, when she returned to the Luthor Mansion, she took "Alexander" to live with her.
With seemingly minimal difficulty due to her wealth and with Checkmate dismantled by Zod's attack, Tess was able to return to normal life of being the CEO of LuthorCorp and manager from the Daily Planet.
Continuing in her effort to gain Oliver and Clark's trust, Tess revealed that she helped Chloe to reset the systems of Watchtower at Chloe's request and also provided Clark with information regarding the assassin Deadshot, in order to help him to protect Cat Grant.
At the same time, worrying about Alexander, Tess hired a therapist to diagnose the child's mental state and was warned about his possible mental instability due to his high intelligence. After rejecting the treatment for Alexander that the therapist had suggested, Tess decided to keep the child with the hope of saving him and started to show some affection toward him and develops a mother-son relationship with him.
Tess was doing her best to insure that Alexander Luthor didn't evolve into the evil Lex that everyone knew, however it had seemed that it would eventually be inevitable. After Alexander reminisced about the memories that Lex had with Clark, Tess tried to convince him that Lex was evil, but he refused to believe her and reminded Tess about all the darkness in her heart, forcing Tess to vent her anger by hitting him. She regretted what she had done and begged him to let her help him but Alexander refused Tess’s help again and reclaimed the name of his "birthright": Lex Luthor. This made her realize that Alexander was beyond saving and decided to lock him in the mansion, waiting for his apparent death.
With her knowledge of computer science and Veritas secrets, Tess became a keen information breaker and chronicler in information that concerned The Darkness that was written for the Traveler to defeat.
Tess began to devote herself to her new role at the Watchtower and made some modifications to make it a more pleasant place, to the dismay of Oliver, who wanted to keep Chloe's memory in it. After she helped the team to discover the plan of Rick Flag and the Suicide Squad, Oliver finally decided to start trusting Tess and welcomed her to his family.
After Tess started to have nightmares about being a child and a music box that mysteriously appeared in the mansion, she told Clark and they tracked it down to an orphanage run by Granny Goodness. After Tess saw a photo of herself as one of the orphanage's prized alumni, Tess discovered the truth about her past and Granny revealed that she was the one who took her from the hospital when she was declared dead because she was her favorite girl and will need her in the war that was coming. Tess and Clark made their way out from the orphanage and later Tess went through her file from the orphanage and was shocked to discover that her real name was Lutessa Lena Luthor, the daughter of Lionel Luthor and Pamela Jenkins.
She worked along with Clark, Lois and AC to discover the truth about the Vigilante Registration Act and rescued Oliver after he was enlisted and later learned about the darkness that was coming to earth.
Finally, Tess began to take her position as legitimate heir of Lionel and was given to her a Kryptonian device that belonged to her father. When Clark discovered that Tess had been helping Alexander and began to question Tess's loyalty, she tried to explain everything to him, including that she was a Luthor, but failed because Clark disappeared in front of her eyes. Tess was ambushed by an alternative version of Clark from a parallel earth, but after the real Clark reappeared, sending back the evil Clark to his world, Tess finally revealed that she was Lionel's daughter and Clark supported her by saying that she should be thankful for not having been raised by him.
After hearing about Clark and Lois's engagement, Tess held a party for them at Watchtower. Later, Tess was escorted away by a government agent for questioning about the vigilantes. Tess was interrogated by Lieutenant Trotter about her relationship with Oliver and his team, and when she wouldn't give up any information, she and Emil Hamilton were taken to a warehouse to continue being interrogated but were saved by Clark.
When Tess found that her long lost father had returned to reclaim LuthorCorp from her and Oliver, Tess immediately recognized that it was the Lionel from the alternate universe. After Lionel tried to reach out to her, seducing her with the idea of being the family she never had, she learned that he wanted to find Alexander and informed Clark about Lionel’s arrival. After arguing with Clark about what to do with the Luthors men, the two were faced off by Alexander and Clark was able to convinced him that Tess really loved him. Tess resumed her relationship with the boy to help him and knew that the only way to save him was by killing him. Tearfully, she tried to inject Alexander with a dose of cyanide, as a mercy killing but the needle was bent when touched his skin and Tess was shocked to learn that Alexander was invulnerable.
Under the influences of a magical champagne, Tess got drunk, with the rest of the gang, and lost all inhibitions that she possessed. She mounted a show with Dr. Emil at the karaoke of the Ace of Clubs and also begun to forge an emotional bond with him, especially since the two had sex while drunk.
Finally, Tess told Clark that Alexander was renamed Conner Kent after it was discovered that he also possesses Clark's DNA and powers and as a way to protect Alexander from their father, she showed Lionel the “remains” of Alexander, but was unsuccessful in her deception. Trying to put an end to Lionel’s controlling influence, Tess managed to discover that Lionel overlooked her adoption paper at the orphanage and was able to prove that Lionel was not who he claimed to be. After had Lionel liquor traced with nanoscopic tracking devices, Tess confronted Lionel, regained control of LuthorCorp, and had him escorted from the building.
While trying to sell the remains of the Luthor Mansion, Tess was ambushed by Clark Luthor who returned to kill Lionel and wanted her help to locate him. Tess was placed on a pedestal of having to choose between giving in to her instincts and desires or do the right thing, revealing that she had feelings for Clark and wanted revenge on Lionel for abandoning her. After hesitating for several moments, Tess finally chose to protect Lionel because he was her father and when she was about to be murdered, was rescued by the real Clark. All of these events led Tess to put into question again her side on the battlefield.
After Tess learns that General Slade was found unconscious on a street corner, she informs the league and send Clark and Oliver to the Phantom Zone to investigate of what is going on there. Tess was approached by Lois to get an update on what was going on and Tess began to be reluctant about sharing information. After Lois discovered that Tess had planned to destroy the gateway of the Zone from the inside, she threatened Tess with a gun to stop her plan as Tess did not hesitate into let her friends trapped under the guise of the greater good. Tess then revealed that she was only following Clark´s orders and once the two had returned, Tess helped Oliver on his quest for finding the Bow of Orion and provided him with information.
When Stargirl was controlled by a mysterious device, Tess analyzed the mind control diode at the Watchtower and discovered that it was created by none other than the Toyman, Winslow Schott, for the villains of Marionette Ventures. Later, Tess and Clark received news from Courtney that their transportation to Stryker's Island was ready, just as a super-powered, mind controlled Lois arrived at Watchtower and attacked Clark. Tess, in a panic, counted down the seconds to sundown when Clark would get his powers back, hoping that he could stall Lois until then.
One morning, Tess was at the remains of the Luthor Mansion seeing the plans for the new project she would build on the site to help ease the Luthors history in Smallville when she was approached by Granny Goodness in a last attempt to recruit and "save" her. After refusing again to serve the dark, saying that she had decided to stay in the light, Granny reveals that Apokolips was approaching to earth and sadly gave her blessing to Lutessa.
Tess went to the Watchtower to see if what Granny Goodness had told her was true, but was surprised to discover that she could not access the satellites of the team. After investigating what was happening, Tess found that Oliver had disconnected the satellites to prevent them from noticing the arrival of Apokolips. Using the cameras of the space station that John Jones has just donated to the team, Tess discovered that Apokolips was above them and immediately went to tell Clark.
On her way to Smallville and because the communication signals were interrupted by Apokolips descent, Tess could not reach Clark and then she began recording a video to him, but in the process, she was hit by several armed men who kidnapped her.
Tess wakes up very confused in a laboratory and discovered that was Lionel who kidnapped her. He informed her that he had found a perfected clone of Lex, who was compromised with the parts of the flawwed clones and revealed that he planned to use her heart as the last piece to resurrect Lex. Tess was quite scared when Lionel told this and try to escape but was stopped by Lionel's thugs.
Before beginning the surgery, Tess begged for her life again but without success and before breaking free of her restraints, shooting her "father" in the chest before escaping.
After investigating the laboratory where she had been captive and finding no traces of Lex, Tess returned to LuthorCorp only to meet him in her office.
Lex reveals to her that he knew they were siblings from the beginning and that's why he was so confident in her. Tess revealed that nothing of that mattered now because she had not yet found her redemption. Lex stabs her in the abdomen after telling Tess he loved her. As she dies in her brother's arms, Tess touches Lex's face, affectionately at first, then wipes a neurotoxin on his cheek, a biochemical that removes all of Lex's memories up until that point. Lex told Tess that he was saving her from becoming like him, though Tess proclaims that Clark already has. Tess then died, finally achieving the redemption she'd always wanted.
- "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 ironicaly 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 traking 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 giving 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 avalaible 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 favour.
In a possible future, Tess allied with Zod and the Kandorians and turned the Luthor Mansion in the main headquarters of General Zod. Tess proclaimed to Lois, who returned after being "missing", that she was the planet's savior because she'd helped make the planet better than how it was before, but Lois only accused her of treason.
She was initiated as a Kryptonian soldier and citizen by Zod before Lois's eyes. During a raid by the Resistance led by Chloe and Oliver, she was shot with a kryptonite arrow by Chloe. Oliver consoling her at her dying moments, she finally admitted that the decisions she had made were her own fault. She was buried by Oliver, with Lois watching.
Season Ten (Earth-2)Edit
See: Tess Luthor
- Season Eight: Odyssey, Plastique, Toxic, Instinct, Committed, Identity, Bloodline, Bulletproof, Power, Turbulence, 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
In the ComicsEdit
- Lena Luthor
In the comics, Lex only has one known sibling, his sister Lena Luthor. Tess Mercer might be based in part on Lena Luthor, with her birth middle name being Lena.
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.
- 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.
- 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 reguarding Brainiac's inability to read a common road map.
She was also mentioned 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.
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...Edit
- Tess's license plate reads "NO MERCY".
- Tess Mercer graduated from college 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 through out the show as a playful nickname. This is a note to Mercy Graves, the villain who 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 been romantically involved with two of her brothers. She revealed to her biological brother that she loved him, but it is later cleared that her relationship with Lex was never sexual but more of a mentor-mentee, also at that point of time Tess didn't know that she was Lex's sister. On an alternate Earth, Tess had a romantic relationship with her adopted brother.
- 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 unbeknowst 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 potrayed 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 aslo 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 unamed 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 10 , 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., and is called Vanilla.
- 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. Six months after Finale, the truth about Lex and Tess being siblings has been revealed to the public.
- 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 then 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 good later 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 Mercerat 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|