WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Justice League #32 by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Howard Porter, Hi-Fi and Tom Napolitano, on sale now.
Brainiac has been leveling up in Justice League through the genius of Lex Luthor and the power of Perpetua. The manipulation of Hypertime by the cosmic goddess has allowed Brainiac to bottle the futures of multiple worlds, including Earth, and transform himself into a bigger asset.
He's now a Collector of Timelines, but just when we think we've seen the deadliest version of the Superman villain, Justice League #32 ups the ante by introducing Brainiac One Million, a Kryptonian intelligence that could even become a threat to Lex's plans.
In the 853rd century, the timeline in which Grant Morrison and Val Semeiks' 1998 storyline, DC One Million, unfolded, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman have joined with Kamandi's resistance to battle the Justice Legion Alpha, who are being mind-controlled by Brainiac. However, Wonder Woman uses her lasso to break his hold on the android Hourman, which then allows all the others to be freed.
They team up, realizing Brainiac wants the piece of the Totality concealed within in Hourman by Starman in the future; Kamandi is then tasked with hiding the fragment the heroes need to make the Justice Totality. Shockingly, Brainiac holds a trump card as he breaches Hourman's defenses, plucking from him the essence of the Worlogog, gifted to the android by Metron. Brainiac incorporates the cosmic relic into his mainframe, along with the technology he stole from civilization across all id the time streams he's collected.
He assimilates the most powerful armies from the future, and seeing as the Worlogog was integrating with the Totality in the midst of the theft, it appears Brainiac may even more powerful than we initially assumed. That leads to Brainiac transforming into a giant android, and willing to engage both groups of heroes. We have no clue what he holds in his arsenal, but we can easily imagine him having Kryptonite weaponry and other advanced tools to take down both Supermen. In short, he's ready for war and not to be underestimated.
Justice Legion Alpha fought Solaris and Vandal Savage in the future, so we know under the likes of Kal Kent, the marble Wonder Woman and the other heroes that the team has what it takes. But that Brainiac appears to be 10 steps ahead doesn't bode well.. The villain didn't factor into Morrison's story 21 years ago, but he's intent on stamping his authority now. The heroes don't even possess strength in numbers, as Brainiac still has his ground legion of drones.
It's a remarkable step in Brainiac's evolution, and should he harness the Totality, he might turn on the Legion of Doom, as well as Lex and Perpetua. His access to Hypertime is something they could come to regret, because it's not only a matter of where he strikes, but when. If Brainiac ever wanted to control the fate of the Multiverse, now is the time, as he has the tools at his disposal.
Justice League #33 goes on sale Oct. 2.