Voiced by Lisa Edelstein
The product of a checkered background, Mercy Graves grew up on the street; living, as she has put it, as a “stray dog.” It was there that she developed her cunning, stealth, and prowess; which led to her assuming leadership of a gang of thieves. However, her life was to change forever the day she dared to steal the briefcase of Lex Luthor. Rather than have her killed, Luthor—impressed by her skill and bravado—decided to offer her a job. Accepting Luthor’s offer, Mercy was trained in weaponry and hand-to-hand combat; after which she became his personal bodyguard, chauffer, and assassin.
Originally fiercely loyal (and somewhat attracted) to Luthor, her opinion of him began to waver when, during an attack staged by Brainiac, he decided to leave her for dead rather than help her. Still, working for Luthor had its benefits, as he handpicked her to be chief executive of LexCorp following his arrest and imprisonment. In his absence, however, she realized the toxic influence that he had on her life, and now seeks to reinvent herself as her own woman.
Mercy Graves Image (STAS Design)
Face it, Mercy: you missed me…Soon it’s going to be just like old times around here. Maybe better.
Lex Luthor (to Mercy Graves) in Tabula Rasa
Following Lex Luthor’s transformation into a supervillain in Season One, fans everywhere had two lingering questions regarding his fall: what happened to Mercy Graves and who was running LexCorp? It would appear that the former had taken care of the latter, as Luthor chose his former bodyguard to succeed him as CEO. While some may question her capability as the head of a multinational corporation, it should be noted that Luthor probably prepared her for such duties in the event of his absence. In addition, she was one of the few that Luthor took into his confidence…and one of the few that he could control.
Much like Harley Quinn and the Joker, Mercy’s relationship with Lex Luthor has been, at best, an abusive one. From the beginning, Luthor manipulated her and preyed upon her weaknesses in order to make her the perfect servant for him. Her respect for him, her infatuation with him, her own self-doubt and low-self esteem—Luthor knew all of these things and used them to his advantage. In addition, Mercy believed that, without Luthor’s presence in her life, she would probably still be living on the street. It was these things, coupled with Luthor’s emotional abuse, which kept Mercy in line on Superman.
However, in Tabula Rasa, Mercy has had the benefit of distance from Lex Luthor and now recognizes and dreads the power that he wields over her, which was why her reaction to his initial appearance was fear. It was out of this fear that she tried to take the upper hand by asserting herself and her accomplishments, much like how a battered woman will tell an abusive ex-boyfriend how she is “over him” (although not so much for his benefit, but as a way of reinforcing it to herself). However, like the abusive boyfriend, Luthor immediately gained the advantage by preying on Mercy’s weaknesses and, little-by-little, eased their relationship closer and closer towards their past arrangement (in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Mercy chauffeured Luthor [him in the backseat, her driving] to the warehouse). However, it wasn’t until she saw their relationship mirrored through his handling of AMAZO that she fully recognized the depth of his manipulative presence. In the end, she decided that the best thing she could do was to completely disregard him.
Later, following Lex Luthor's full pardon in A Better World for aiding the Justice League against their parallel counterparts, the Justice Lords, it began to look like Mercy's tenure at LexCorp was over. However, seeing as how the newly-freed Luthor has decided to turn his attention to politics, there stands the possibility that Mercy Graves will continue to run LexCorp for the time being.
Images courtesy of The World’s Finest and New Batman/Superman Adventures Homepage.
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