Brainiac has gone via many alternative phases. Superman and Supergirl’s villain is among the important threats to DC’s universe, however who’s he precisely?

Whereas Batman has the most well-liked rogues gallery of DC Comics villains, none of them are as harmful as Superman and Supergirl‘s Brainiac. Whereas Kal-El and Kara Zor-El typically cease him by themselves, generally it takes the whole Justice League to cease him. The alien collector threatens the DC multiverse on a continuing foundation, performing as certainly one of its deadliest threats.

From Superman: The Animated Collection to Injustice 2, Brainiac has undoubtedly earned a rank amongst Superman’s most important villains. Nevertheless, he is gone via numerous interpretations. Brainiac maintains plenty of his unique facets in modern-day comics. Nevertheless, earlier than Disaster On Infinite Earths, the alien was a particularly cartoonish villain. Like most characters throughout DC’s Silver Age, Brainiac as soon as possessed shrinking rays, drive fields, and different stereotypical science-fiction weapons.

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First Look & The Silver Age Origins


Brainiac’s first look was simply initially of the Silver Age of Comedian Books. In Otto Binder and Al Plastino’s  Motion Comics #242, Brainiac reveals himself to Superman for the primary time. The Man of Metal discovers Brainiac has a number of artifacts from Krypton, together with a complete metropolis that the Coluan shrunk earlier than the planet’s destruction. Brainiac is an alien from Colu—a world accommodating genius-level beings. Coluans rank people by their stage of mind, which ultimately grew to become DC Comics’ main system to rank intelligence ranges for any character. For instance, Krypto the Superdog can be thought-about a non-sentient mental. Jimmy Olsen, who has about common intelligence on Earth, has a 2nd-level mind. Batman has a Sixth-level mind; that is the primary rank Coluans take into account genius-level. Everybody on Colu has a Sixth-level intelligence or increased.


Among the many smartest Coluans have been the Laptop Tyrants. One in all their initiatives was to create synthetic intelligence with a Tenth-level mind. Its function was to gather knowledge on worlds all through the universe. They named it “Brainiac.” When the Tyrants pressured a younger Coluan named Vril Dox to protect the AI, the boy determined to fuse with the newfound intelligence. Vril Dox grew to become “Brainiac 2,” the model that first confronted Superman. He ultimately continued this system’s unique mission to gather artifacts across the galaxy, main him to abduct the Kryptonian metropolis of Kandor. Simply ten points after Brainiac’s first look, Superman meets his cousin, Kara Zor-El, for the primary time. She is ready to assist Superman fight Brainiac in future encounters. When the Kryptonian cousins meet the Legion of Superheroes, a crew from the thirtieth century, they discover Brainiac 5 amongst their ranks. Brainiac 5’s heroic intentions and eventual romantic involvement with Supergirl set up that Brainiac 2 is likely to be price redeeming.


Brainiac’s Robotic Type & The Bronze Age


Sadly, Superman and Supergirl nonetheless put up with Brainiac 2’s evil schemes nicely into the Bronze Age of Comics and past. In 1983’s Motion Comics #544, Marv Wolfman and Gil Kane create a new model of Brainiac for Superman’s forty fifth anniversary. Brainiac recreates himself in a brand new robotic physique with a skull-like head. Motion Comics #544 additionally launched Brainiac’s Cranium Ship, which nonetheless seems in Superman and Supergirl’s fashionable story diversifications. The robotic model of Brainiac fought towards his traditional Kryptonian enemies, however he additionally challenged the Legion of Superheroes and the Teen Titans every so often.


Disaster on Infinite Earths in the end ended the Bronze Age of Comics to utterly recreate the DC Universe, merging completely different facets of the multiverse right into a single Earth. Brainiac really sensed the disarray within the multiverse. Alan Moore, Curt Swan, George Pérez, and Murphy Anderson’s Superman #423 and Motion Comics #583 (“What Ever Occurred to the Man of Tomorrow?”), supposed to inform the ultimate pre-Disaster Superman story. Brainiac’s robotic cranium attaches itself to Lex Luthor to destroy Superman as soon as and for all. When Mr. Mxyzptlk chooses to make use of his energy solely for evil fairly than simply mischief, he finally ends up killing Brainiac. DC’s Convergence occasion from 2015 introduced the unique model of Brainiac again because of the DC multiverse’s destabilized actuality. “What Ever Occurred to the Man of Tomorrow?” is now a retconned universe often called Earth-423. Brainiac would get numerous interpretations between right here and his subsequent comedian e-book origin story. Most popularly, he’d be interpreted as a Kryptonian AI in the DC Animated Universe’s Superman: The Animated Collection.


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Return to Coluan Type & Trendy Comics


In 2008, Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s Motion Comics #866-870 (collected as Superman: Brainiac) redefined Brainiac as most followers know him as we speak. When Superman and Supergirl discover a robotic resembling Brainiac’s Bronze Age kind, it seems to be nothing greater than a drone. Superman ultimately finds the actual Brainiac, in his unique Coluan kind, aboard his Cranium Ship. Johns and Frank efficiently redefine Brainiac as a much less tacky villain. Nevertheless, additionally they honor completely different facets from the basic character. When Brainiac miniaturizes the town of Kandor, it ties on to Supergirl’s Kryptonian origins. She goes via a Kryptonian tragedy, shedding numerous family and friends.

Regardless of Brainiac’s refined origin changing into a recent success, the New 52 shortly rebooted the DC Universe but once more. Brainiac obtained a brand new origin story within the New 52’s Motion Comics #4 by Grant Morrison and Rags Morales. This model of Brainiac is just like Johns and Frank’s, besides Brainiac’s first miniaturized metropolis is on Colu to guard his household. Brainiac discovers an assault originating from the Fifth Dimension, which he dubs “The Multitude.” He then units out to gather cities to protect sentient civilization, bringing him to come across Superman on Earth. DC Comics’ newest occasions, similar to Convergence and Rebirth, lead this new model of Brainiac to affiliate himself with Lex Luthor and the Legion of Doom.


In most non-comics media, similar to Injustice 2, Brainiac is most just like his depiction from Johns and Frank’s Superman: Brainiac story. Not solely is Motion Comics #866-870 nonetheless Brainiac’s finest possible depiction in his historical past because the tremendous cousins’ villain, it is also among the many best Superman/Supergirl tales of all time. Clark and Kara’s relationship receives lovely illustration, and Brainiac turns into a villain price fearing. Regardless of the interpretation, two facets of Brainiac that stay fixed all through DC Comics‘ historical past are his assortment of artifacts all through the universe and his rivalry with Superman and Supergirl.

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