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Despite his contemptuous exterior, Lex warmed to Clark when he discovered they shared a common interest: astronomy. Unfortunately, Lex was so fundamentally disturbed that he started spending increasing amounts of time locked in his makeshift laboratory next to the Luthor mansion. During one of these periods of seclusion, Clark visited Lex, who allowed Clark inside to unveil his new invention

, a sub-space communicator. Lex hoped that with a piece of meteor rock (kryptonite), he would finally be able to open a wormhole into visions from an alien civilization. While aware of the radiation emanating from the rock, Lex assured Clark that it was perfectly harmless. Clark, stricken with sudden pain, staggered back looking ghastly; he was experiencing his first bout of kryptonite poisoning.

Lex misread Clark's expression and believed Clark had become afraid of him like everyone else. Lex threw Clark out of the lab and commenced with his experiment. He managed to open a portal into events and times of the planet Krypton for a moment, but his generator overloaded and exploded, engulfing the house in flames. Lex, his hair burned off, staggered through the flames to uncover the piece of kryptonite that was integral to his machine. He neglected his father, who was buried beneath rubble and burning alive.

Fast forward to present day, Lex remains bald but seems to have restored his eyebrows via transplant, rendering them black. He begins piecing together instruments to recreate his failed experiment from long ago in the bowels of the research facility, hoping to retrieve the alien visions he saw before. As expected, the kryptonite creates a wormhole and Luthor is greeted with a wealth of visions from the history of Krypton.

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