When it comes to DC Comics and its large roster of characters, the villains are almost as powerful and engaging as the heroes who stop them. After Marvel’s major success with villains like Loki and Thanos, the world is constantly wondering who the villain is at DC Comics that can replicate what they brought to the big screen. One such villain has to be Brainiac.
The humanoid A.I. villain has had many different iterations and backstories told. From an A.I. from Krypton to an alien who steals cities, let's take a look at things fans forget about Brainiac.
10 Originally A Plot Device
Brainiac has become one of the most powerful villains Superman and the entire DC Universe has had to face over the years. Alongside Darkseid, the Anti-Monitor and others, this villain has nearly brought the universe to its knees. Yet fans may be surprised to know that he wasn’t originally meant to be a major villain in the universe.
When he first appeared during the Silver Age of DC Comics, Brainiac was mostly used as a plot device rather than a significant figure. His first couple of appearances kept him hidden in the shadows, a villain behind the scenes really.
9 Original Retcon Made Him A Spy For Colu
It wasn’t long after his first appearance that Brainiac was retconned for the first time. The villain was transformed into a humanoid alien being created by the Computer Tyrants of Colu to be a spy sent to other worlds to allow them to invade those same worlds later on for their own nefarious needs.
One of the big parts of this new backstory included an adopted son, who was a young Coluan boy that was later named Brainiac 2, although his true name was Vril Dox. That same boy would later revolt against the tyrants and erect a Brainiac statue.
8 Once Fused Together With Lex Luthor
When the Pre-Crisis storyline for Superman came to an end, the Silver/Bronze Age Brainiac met his end in the story, Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow?. This story was unique in that it featured not only his end, but the end of an iconic foe as well for the man of steel, Lex Luthor.
Luthor found Brainiac’s head and fused himself to it, making him practically immortal. However, Brainiac took over Lex’s body, and teamed up with the Legion of Super-Villains. After Lana Lang ended Lex’s life, Brainiac held on to control until rigor mortis set in.
7 Took Control Of Warworld
One of the more popular storylines of the Modern Age of Superman comics has to be Panic in the Sky. The story found Brainiac now a Coluan scientist who tried to overthrow the Computer Tyrants and failed. Before his passing, he transferred his consciousness to mentalist Milton Moses Fine on Earth.
Using Fine’s metahuman psychic powers against Superman, he went on to take control of the battle station Warworld. He recruited Maxima to aid him, and then proceeded to brainwash Supergirl and Draaga to serve him as he captured Metron and went to war with the New Gods, including Orion.
6 He Has A Son
As mentioned before, part of Brainiac’s history is that he has a son. Known by his codename Brainiac 2, Vril Dox was originally an adopted son who went on to lead a major rebellion on Colu against the Computer Tyrants. After the rebellion, he had many descendants carry on the name of Brainiac, including Brainiac 5 of the Legion of Superheroes.
Later he was retconned to be a clone of Brainiac, but still considered his son. He would battle entities like Starro, Lobo, and Eclipso alongside organizations he helped build like L.E.G.I.O.N. and R.E.B.E.L.S., to police the universe.
5 Brainiac’s Legacy
While Vril Dox may be one of his first “heirs” to the Brainiac namesake, there have been many other characters to inhabit the legacy of Brainiac. From Vril Dox and his great-grandson Querl Dox, aka Brainiac 5, to the more nefarious entities such as Indigo and Brainiac 13 of the 64th century.
B-13 went on to remake the modern day Metropolis into the 64th century version of the city he controlled in the future, and it took the Man of Steel using Kryptonian technology to expel the villain. He later fought Brainiac 12, stopping B-13 from existing.
4 Lex Luthor Unlocked His 12th-Level Intellect
When Brainiac was retconned to be a Coluan spy, it was Lex Luthor who discovered the villain on Earth. Learning that the Computer Tyrants had only given Brainiac a tenth level intellect, Lex Luthor saw an opportunity to use the robotic villain to his own ends.
Increasing Brainiac’s intellect to a 12th level, he implanted a bomb in the villains head to get him to do his bidding. However, Brainiac turned the tables on Luthor, hypnotizing him into forgetting Brainiac was a robot and leaving the evil Luthor to remove the explosive from his mind, freeing him to his villainy.
3 Started Collecting Alternate Realities
One of the more interesting stories involving the villain in recent years has to be Convergence. Nearing the end of the New 52 era, Brainiac was discovered to be the Pre-Flashpoint version of the villain, who had made his way into the Source Wall and been thrown back into the timeline, mutated into a god-like being from various crisis events in the DC Multiverse.
He made his way into the Vanishing Point, and was able to traverse fallen timelines, alternate universes, and parallel worlds, where he could collect doomed cities from realities like Pre-Flashpoint and many more.
2 Encountered Larfleeze And Green Lantern Corps
The villain’s first brief appearance in the Rebirth era of DC Comics came surprisingly not in any Superman-related comics, but in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps. His appearance came when the Corps was answering a call of an attack on the world Xudar by the villainous Starro.
While there, the planet was shrunk and bottled inside one of Brainiac’s collective bottles. Larfleeze had taken over the ship, and the Brainiac shown here was a drone of the villains who fell under Larfleeze’s grip until the Lantern Corps broke out and fought off both villains, freeing the planet.
1 Destroyed By Amanda Waller
The latest appearance in DC Comics own Rebirth era was in the major crossover event, No Justice. During this time, Brainiac had gathered several heroes from Earth across multiple teams, and included some villains as well. Upgrading their power sets and forming four teams out of the heroes, he sent them to his homeward of Colu, to battle four beings threatening to destroy his home-world.
However, after capturing the heroes, before he could relay his plans Amanda Waller set her team of psychic’s to download Brainiac’s mind onto her servers, which caused the villain’s head to explode, stranding the heroes.