The people behind Syfy’s KRYPTON went deep into the history of Superman’s home planet by involving a classic villain. Introduced as the main antagonist, Brainiac is one of the Man of Steel’s most powerful adversaries in the comics.

After so many attempts, fans are excited to see the major villain that everyone loves. The show brought in an accurate portrayal of Brainiac with his appearance and motivations. The question we ask ourselves is, is the malevolent AI actually the right fit for this series?

Blake Ritson Brainiac Krypton
Image courtesy of Syfy.

Brainiac’s History with DC

Brainiac made his first appeared in 1958 as a humanoid alien who frequently fought Superman in the comics. The Coluan has shrunk cities from different planets, including Kandor and Metropolis. By containing these cities, he planned to study its inhabitants’ culture and behavior.

The character went through many changes over the years, going from an alien into an artificial intelligence. As a supercomputer, his purpose is to gain information from other planets as a tool of war. In order to hide his capabilities, he had to look like an alien so he doesn’t arouse suspicion. The more recent comics have tied Brainiac’s origin to Krypton, likely influenced by other media such as SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES and SMALLVILLE.

Brainiac Goes Back to Basics

Superman Brainiac Comics

The malevolent humanoid went through further changes over the years. However, he often returned to his old habit of shrinking cities. Some of the changes that stuck after his debut were the scope of his abilities and purpose. One of his most famous storylines was in the 2008-2009 ACTION COMICS run from Geoff Johns.

In this series, Brainiac was a collector of entire worlds. His growing knowledge of the universe was useful in his fight against Superman.

Previous Attempts At Brainiac in Live-Action

Brainiac
Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Before Syfy’s KRYPTON, Brainiac had his fair share of appearances on television. His first ever live-action debut was in the Superman prequel series SMALLVILLE. Portrayed by James Marsters, this version was posing as a human named Milton Fine, Clark Kent’s history professor.

He became an ally of Clark’s until his true intentions were revealed, turning into a major antagonist for the series. The SMALLVILE version was close to the animated series as a sentient AI from Krypton. He appeared as a villain in the fifth, seventh, and eighth season, providing many incredible challenges for Clark Kent.

He had a huge turn as a reprogrammed Brainiac 5 during the final season, showing Clark his future and the legacy he was leaving behind.

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Speaking of Brainiac 5, another version this character appears in SUPERGIRL as a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Jesse Rath portrayed him as a smart but quirky hero, which may have been odd for fans. Another iteration called Brainiac 8, or Indigo, made an appearance as an enemy of Supergirl. Played by previous Supergirl actress Laura Vandervoort, she very different from her comic book counterpart. As clearly seen in these adaptations, each series had a different idea of what Brainiac should be.

Brainiac will be the Big Bad of KRYPTON’s first season, so his presence will be felt as the show continues. We’ve only seen a little bit of this guy in action, but he’s definitely growing into something sinister and powerful. Considering the show’s budget, KRYPTON did an amazing job with makeup and effects to bring Brainiac to life.

Brainiac
Image courtesy of Syfy.

The Version of Brainiac We See in KRYPTON

KRYPTON takes the traditional approach with Brainiac by following his first appearance in the comics. This version of the classic DC villain seems to be the most petrifying one we’ve seen on-screen. What we witness in the pilot is an alien lifeform absorbing entire cities and worlds across the universe.

He also seems to be taking over bodies through the use of his parasites. We got to see that first hand when he took over the leader of the Voice of Rao. As a destroyer and collecter worlds, Brainiac has set his sights on Kal-El’s homeworld. Brainiac’s goal is to erase his greatest foe, Superman, from existence.

Brainiac is introduced in the pilot by Adam Strange, who warns Superman’s grandfather Seg-El of his arrival. The Man of Steel has always struggled when facing the powerful DC villain. It’ll be even more difficult for Seg-El and the other Kryptonians without powers like Superman’s. It’ll be interesting to see which direction Brainiac goes for the rest of the season. After what this powerful monster has done so far, it looks like he’s only getting started with Kal-El’s homeworld.

The Fortress of Solitude as a Kryptonian Library

KRYPTON May Have Missed Something on Brainiac

Don’t get us wrong; we do enjoy the show’s portrayal of Brainiac so far. However, there are some missed opportunities in this version. What would’ve been great is if KRYPTON drew some inspiration from SUPERMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES. In that version, the DC villain was a Kryptonian supercomputer who went against Jor-El.

Superman’s biological father found things that could endanger the planet, but Brainiac was focused on preserving his programming. The show could’ve benefited from displaying the dangers of artificial intelligence with this origin of the humanoid alien.

Brainiac
Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Brainiac Could End Up as a Terrifying Villain

DC films and TV shows haven’t had much luck with bringing powerful and scary villains to life. Sure we had General Zod or Lex Luthor in the DCEU, but both of them didn’t exactly come across as terrifying. The same goes for Doomsday, who was just a savage beast. There was also Ares and Steppenwolf, but these gods were just out for power and domination over Earth. The villains of Suicide Squad tried, but we didn’t really see anything unique or interesting.

The closest we got to a terrifying villain was the Joker in THE DARK KNIGHT. Heath Ledger’s role as Batman’s archenemy was iconic and set a whole new standard for villainous characters. The Arrowverse has managed to bring some great villains on TV like Deathstroke and the Reverse-Flash. Hopefully, KRYPTON can add Brainiac to their list. We shall soon see what this powerful villain is capable of.

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