WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Justice League #31 by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Jorge Jimenez, Francis Manapul, Alejandro Sanchez and Tom Napolitano, on sale now.
In the ongoing Justice League arc, Lex Luthor's Doom War is certainly living up to its name, leaving the heroes in a state of disarray as he, the villains he powered up in Year of the Villain and Perpetua, the cosmic goddess who turned him into the Apex Lex, get set to enact a stranglehold on the galaxy. They're looking to remake all of reality and the entire DCU has been put on notice.
Thanks to Starman and his cosmic rod, though, the League has dispatched a couple teams to find missing pieces of the Totality to stop Lex's quest. John Stewart's Green Lantern and Barry Allen's Flash are in the past dealing with the Justice Society, while Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman meet Kamandi at the Hall of Justice in the future. It's there, however, they realize Brainiac, a member of Lex's Legion of Doom, has powered up like never before and could be the key to unraveling existence as they know it.
The Trinity finds a dystopian world with Kamandi and his animal army fending off Brainiac's robots, who are searching for the Totality shard too. While the Man of Steel and Diana of Themyscira destroy the drones, the Dark Knight plugs into one and uses the data to figure out what they're looking for, only to discover that Braniac has leveled up big time. He's no longer bottling cities or lost worlds, Brainiac is actually bottling various futures.
The Superman villain can due this by using fragments of hypertime -- brought into Snyder's story as Starman tries to harness the missing Totality shards -- and with this tool, Brainiac can jump to various worlds and collect futures there. In doing so, he is now able to analyze these futures so he can find the Totality shard himself. We don't know if Lex helped him or how he weaponized hypertime but Brainiac is literally 10 steps ahead of all his rivals as he knows where and more importantly, when to look.
What's interesting is if Brainiac finds it, there's no guarantee he will offer the shard to Lex or use it for himself now that he knows the potential it holds. It can offer someone godlike abilities and once he combines this with the ability to manipulate space and hypertime, Brainiac can become even more deadly. The first step, though, is defeating the Trinity who are capitalizing on Dwarf technology Batman previously used to traverse Superman's body by shrinking down to a microscopic size. This allows the Trinity to travel between worlds without Brainiac noticing, although they meet up the Justice Legion along the way, which could slow them down against the Collector of Timelines now.
It remains to be seen what else Brainiac holds in his arsenal and who else is helping him, but with these drones he clearly has some serious cards up his sleeve. If Lex and Perpetua are indeed aiding him, it could be very troublesome for the League, and truly fashion him into the most dangerous incarnation of the villain the Man of Steel and DC's heroes have ever faced.
Justice League #32 goes on sale Sep. 18.