Religion: devout follower of Lex Luthor
Name: General Lupo
First Appearance: Action Comics (vol. 1) #23 (Apr. 1940): "Europe at War, Part 2"
Number of Appearances: 1
Enemy of: Superman
Worked for: Lex Luthor
Note: first-ever follower of Lex Luthor
General Lupo is a fairly minor character. But he has the distinction of being the first follower of Lex Luthor ever shown in comics.
Perhaps General Lupo should not be called a "henchman" in the sense that the word is most commonly used, however. He wasn't simply a common thug who hired himself out to a crime boss. General Lupo was an actual general for the country of Galonia who was secretly doing the bidding of Lex Luthor. General Lupo's service to Lex Luthor seemed to be about something more than money. Lex Luthor seemed to have Lupo and other servants under some kind of mental thrall, or perhaps Luthor had convinced General Lupo to follow him for ideological reasons. When Luthor is first introduced in this story, he appears as a massive face appearing on stone deep inside a hidden cave. To General Lupo, it is as if Luthor is an idol or god. Unfortunately for the general, Luthor was displeased that he unknowingly allowed Superman to follow him into the secret cave. Laser beams shot out from the eyes of the Luthor stone idol and killed General Lupo instantly.
The exact nature of how General Lupo viewed Lex Luthor is never explicitly stated in the text of this story. But simply looking at the imagery and reading the few pertinent lines of dialog that are available, it Lupo's relationship to Luthor seems more like a worshipper/idol relationship than a traditional henchman/crimeboss relationship.
Other servants of Lex Luthor seen later in the story. The servants within "Luthor's secret lair" all wear green smock-like uniforms and many of them are bald. They look like monks in some sort of temple, and they give Luthor their complete obedience. When Lex Luthor tells one of the servants to kill Clark Kent, the servant responds, "As you command, oh mighty Luthor!" If General Lupo's servitude was similar to that of these servants, it is clear that there was more than simply a reciprocal financial relationship involved. Later Lois Lane realizes that one of the servants is not under Luthor's "hypnotic influence." That servant explains that his mind is able to "withstand Luthor's suggestion." So, as much as the servants seem to be displaying a sort of quasi-religious worshipful obedience to Luthor, they probably weren't fully volitional. Luthor may have used some type of technique or technology to bend his servants, including General Lupo, more fully to his will.
Luthor in this story wears an all red robe and thus appears more like a religious leader of some mysterious Eastern sect than the businessman or scientist he is more commonly known as.
Another question that may be unsettled is whether or not General Lupo is really the first follower of Luthor depicted in comics, or if that distinction should go to Lita Laverne, the Talonian actress and spy introduced in the previous issue. Laverne was clearly helping further Lex Luthor's plans in Europe, but she may have been working directly with Lupo or somebody else. It is never made clear whether Lita Laverne is actually working for Luthor himself. It is not even clear if Laverne is working with General Lupo. It is possible that Lita Laverne's efforts to foment warfare were done purely to further Toran's interests, but she had no idea that in doing so she was helping further Luthor's interests as well.