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Brainiac

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I am the knowledge and strength of 10,000 worlds. I am flesh and machine. I am becoming everything.
~ Brainiac in Superman Unbound

Brainiac is an alien computer system and later an alien scientist that became an artificial intelligence and a villain from the DC comics.

History

Past

Brainiac was created on the alien planet of Colu to act as a humanoid interface and the perfect operating system for the planet’s massive computer network. He developed by sorting and storing large amounts of the planet’s data and information and eventually gained complete sentience. Brainiac was then used as a spy by Colu’s ruling class, due to rebels springing up that were trying to bring down the oppressive government. To make him seem like a normal Coulan, Brainiac was given a "son", Quil Dox, who would later become called Brainiac 2. With his cover intact, Brainiac succeeded in infiltrating the rebels and bringing them down from within.

However he became too independent and turned on his masters, bringing them down as well. But with two groups now against him, Brainiac left Colu, eventually establishing himself on another planet called Bryak, before he was driven out of there as well. He decided to follow one of his original directives, information gathering, but now for his own gain.

Clashes with Superman

Brainiac began searching the universe for powers and techniques that would ensure his success against any opponent he came across.
Brainiac0987654321

Brainiac with a shrunken city

He eventually discovered a shrinking ray that would allow him to remove huge cities by miniaturizing them and their populaces. Brainiac began testing it on cities on planets throughout the universe, but the restoration process yielded mixed results and even utter failures.

It when the humanoid computer tried to take Metropolis that he had his first encounter with Superman. The Man of Steel managed to stop Brainiac, despite his advanced technology, and drive him away from Earth. The humanoid computer decided that Superman was the ultimate test of his abilities, one that would ensure success in his goals of conquest in the universe. Brainiac attempted many times to defeat Superman using various schemes and even joined forces with Lex Luthor due to their shared level of high-intellect.

Brainiac Robot

Brainiac's new more robotic body

Eventually Brainiac decided his body was insufficient to beat Superman, despite its possession of super strength and speed. He rebuilt his biological body into a more robotic one constructed out of “living metal”, thus making it so he was no longer limited to one body. This was because Brainiac could now transmit his mind into other electronic devices that could hold it or at least a large part of it. Brainiac was also able to directly transmit himself into interface with other electronic devices to control them and access other devices. He could previously do this only with specialized interface plugs, such as the one on his previous head. Brainiac used this form until Crisis on Infinite Earths, where he was destroyed, but was recreated as the biological Vril Dox.

New Beginnings

On the plant Colu, there was a scientist named Vril Dox, who actually cloned himself to create a lab assistant, a clone that would be called Vril Dox II. After obtaining a spaceship, Vril Dox journeyed throughout the universe to obtain knowledge and captured members of numerous alien species with use of robot drones. At one point, he went to Krypton while General Zod was alive and stole the entire city of Kandor, which he shrunk and put in his ship. Vril Dox also built a remote scout unit, which he actually programmed to think it was Vril Dox.

Battling Superman

The scout unit eventually came to Earth as a cloud of nanotech robots, taking over the body of sideshow psychic, Milton Fine, who worked under the name "Brainiac". Since he needed cranial fluid to keep Fine under his control, Vril Dox forced him to go on a killing spree. He eventually discovered that Fine did actually have psychic powers, which he used to fight Superman. Eventually Brainiac was captured by Lex Luthor, but he used his powers to take control of Lexcorp and made the company’s scientists build a version of his Coluan form.

A series of diodes on his head increased and stabilized Brainiac’s mental powers and allowed him to directly access computer banks. He continued to come into conflict with Superman, battling him with a combination of mental power and control of computers, even shrinking cities on one occasion like he did in his first incarnation. After losing access to Milton Fine’s body, Brainiac placed his mind in a new robot body called "Brainiac 2.5" and briefly sought to take Superman’s body.

206801-126527-brainiac-13 large

Brainiac 13

Later on, Brainiac revealed he’d place a sleeper virus inside Lexcorp’s Y2K safeguards, which he intended to use to increase his powers to an extremely high level. However it instead brought Brainiac 13 from the 64th century to the present, who stole Brainiac’s form, placing his mind inside Lena Luthor, Lex Luthor’s daughter. Brainiac 13 transformed Metropolis into a futuristic version of itself, but Lex Luthor made a bargain with Brainiac 13. In exchange for control of the B13 Technology, he gave Brainiac 13 Lena Luthor and Brainiac 2.5 left with Brainiac 13.

Later Conflicts

When Imperiex attacked, Brainiac 2.5 and 13 got involved in the conflict. Though at first they helped the heroes of Earth battle Imperiex, the two changed sides, but this ended up backfiring. Brainiac 13 was destroyed when he was sent back in time to the Big Bang and Brainiac 2.5’s control of Lena Luthor was broken, thus he is now considered deceased. Later on, a clone of Brainiac joined forces with a future Brainiac model, Brainiac 8 A.K.A. Indigo who’d been sent to kill Donna Troy and ensure Colu’s existence. The Brainiac clone tried to copy itself using a secret Lexcorp facility, but Starfire destroyed him along with the ship he was in.

Brainiac02

Brainiac fighting Superman and Batman

After the Infinite Crisis, another Brainiac clone, this time composed of nanobots, invaded a Waynetech robotics facility, hoping to get a new body, the prototype OMAC unit created from B13 technology. The Brainiac clone fought Superman and Batman to try and get the OMAC with Metallo and the Metal Men under his control helping him, but was beaten. Later on, a drone came to Earth and fought Superman, retrieving a blood sample from him for Brainiac to research. When Supergirl told Superman about what Brainiac was up to, Brainiac brought his ship above the Earth and deactivated all the technology on the planet’s surface. Brainiac captured Superman and prepared to take Metropolis, planning to destroy the Sun with a missile and destroying the Earth as well.

However Supergirl stopped the missile, while Superman freed himself and brought Brainiac to Earth. But as the Man of Steel was distracted with saving Metropolis and Kandor, Brainiac attacked the Kent farm, resulting in the death of Jonathan Kent. The U.S. Government then captured Brainiac, turning him over to Project 7734 and Lex Luthor attempted to flee the project with him. But Brainiac didn't go with him, since he had another plan, though it’s unknown what it is, only that it involved an alliance of two masterminds against Superman.

Television History

Brainiac is the secondary antagonist in Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, behind Lex Luthor.

Brainiac (Smallville)

Brainiac (Smallville)

Brainiac is one of the main antagonists in the TV show Smallville.

Film

Brainiac is rumored to be the villain of the upcoming Man of Steel sequel.

Appearance in LEGO Batman franchise

LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes

Brainiac appears at the very end of the game and leaves a cliffhanger for the third game. He is seen on his ship watching a screen with energy and says "I have located it".

LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham

Brainiac reappears as the main antagonist of the sequel. He captures all seven members of the Lantern Corps and mind control to hold them in their cells. Just as the Justice League are battling Lex Luthor, The Joker, Cheetah, and Solomon Grundy, and the Justice League prepare to return to Earth with them subdued, they are halted by Brainiac, who suddenly sends a transmission to the Watchtower, revealing his plan: to use the combined powers of the Lantern Corps to charge a shrink ray which will miniaturize Earth, allowing Brainiac to add it to his growing collection of planets.

Powers and Abilities

Action Comics 242

Brainiac using his Ultra Force Shield

In his original incarnation, Brainiac has superhuman knowledge due to being an advanced computer system. He also has superhuman strength, speed, and endurance, which increased after building himself a new robotic body. Brainiac has used numerous devices such as the Hyper-Ray, which let him shrink entire cities and the Ultra-Force Shield, which was strong enough to protect him from Superman. After reconstructing himself, Brainiac was able to build a large Skull Ship as a cybernetic extension of himself.

It came with numerous weapons, including red sun torpedos and robotic tentacles. The incarnation of Brainiac after Crisis on Infinite Earths has an extremely high level of intelligence. He used powerful telekinetic and telepathic abilities while controlling Milton Fine. Brainiac’s robotic forms have the ability to control machines and possess superhuman strength.

Gallery

Trivia

  • In the early drafts of Superman III the character of Gus Gorman was intended to be a disguise for Brainiac so that he could operate freely on Earth. The producers rejected this idea, and Gorman - played by the late Richard Pryor - was instead used as comic relief in the finished film.
  • Superman has speculated the incarnation of Brainiac after Crisis on Infinite Earths had a direct hand in destroying Krypton.


 
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