Who is Lena Luthor?

The CW’s Supergirl is digging deeper into comic book canon in season two, not just with the Man of Steel himself making an appearance, but with a brand new potential friend-or-foe in the form of Jurassic World’s Katie McGrath, who joins the show as Lena Luthor.

The show describes Lena as Lex Luthor’s sister, looking to strike out on her own and turn the family company into a force for good following her brother’s incarceration, but what do we know about her from the original comics? Here's a crash course on everything you need to know about the other Luthor sibling.

 

 

Lena Luthor was created by Jerry Siegel and Kurt Schaffenberger, and was originally introduced in 1962’s Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane #23. She was raised under the name Lena Thorul, as her family was deeply embarrassed and ashamed of their son’s criminal activities, and for a long time she had no idea she was related to the supervillain.

She appeared now and again throughout the Silver Age in comics such as Superman Family, and was revealed to have developed psychic abilities from one of her brother’s experiments. She would later lose those powers following brain surgery and learn the truth about her brother as they began the first steps towards reconciliation.

Post-Crisis on Infinite Earths, which reset DC's continuity, Lex Luthor had a daughter who he named Lena after a foster sister who died at the hands of their guardian. When Braniac 13 arrived in Metropolis, the present day version of the villain hid inside Lena Luthor to avoid being made obsolete by his future incarnation, but Lex made a deal to hand over his daughter to the time-travelling villain for control of the future technology that has transformed Metropolis.

 

 

She would return later as a teenager and assist her father in helping to defeat Imperiex, but at the end of the Our Worlds At War event, she was de-aged back to infancy. When the Brainiac 13 technology became sentient, it took the name Lena Luthor and attempted to engage in a relationship with Jimmy Olsen, but he used the real Lena to prove to the AI that it was a simulation of a person.

Lena Luthor the baby pretty much disappeared from comics, and as another continuity reboot in Infinite Crisis changed Superman’s origin to one more resembling his Silver Age incarnation, it had a knock-on effect on the Luthors as well. Lex once again had a sister named Lena, whom he disavowed when he cut all ties with Smallville.

Lena returned as an adult when Superboy made friends with her daughter Lori while living with Ma and Pa Kent in Smallville. In the intervening years, she had become quadriplegic, but Lex returned to her life and provided a cure for her condition. The cure proved temporary and Lex promised that as long as Superman was alive, he'd never reveal the secret.

 

 

Most recently, Lena Luthor appeared in The New 52 continuity under the care of her brother in the bowels of Lexcorp. Lex introduced her to Batman when he joined the Justice League as proof that he does care about somebody, but at some point along the way she was indoctrinated by Darkseid and she shot her own brother at the beginning of the “Darkseid War.” Her brush with Apokolips left her comatose, and currently Lex Luthor is looking for a way to revive her.

While it’s deliberately ambiguous what role Lena Luthor will play in the upcoming season of Supergirl, there’s no doubt that in her handful of appearances in the comics, there are a lot of strange stories to pull from!