Alexander "Lex" Luthor is a brilliant scientist who was hired by General Lane as a consultant for the United States Military to catch Superman. Luthor set a trap by starting to wreck a building scheduled for demolition that still had squatters in it. He has no concern for the safety of others and finally was able to catch Superman by almost causing a train wreck, leaving Superman pinned. Lane was angry about this since his daughter, Lois, was on the train but Luthor merely replied he had caught Superman.
After capturing Superman, Luthor tortured him in a government facility by electrocuting him and exposing him to lethal gas. Luthor believed Superman was the precursor to an alien invasion and that a rocket orbiting Earth was going to invade, but this only confused Superman. While Luthor was distracted by talking, Superman gained the strength to break his bonds and escaped. Afterwards, Luthor talks to a mysterious informant about Superman.
When John Corben became fused with the Metal-Zero armor for the Steel Soldier project and taken over by the Collector of Worlds, Lex Luthor revealed that this was the informant he was in contact with. Lex Luthor escaped when robots started taking everything over but ended up trapped in the bottled city of Metropolis.