Or – “If Your Power Was ‘Smartest Man In This Or ANY Room’, You’d Be Testy, Too.”

The day that I have been dreading has finally come…  We’re turning our attention to a Legionnaire whose span of membership is essentially unbroken from 1961 to the present, a Legionnaire who was present for the battle with Computo, the Dominators first salvo, all three of Universos attempts to take over the world, the EarthWar, The Great Darkness Saga, the Five-Year Gap Legion, the SW6 Legion and Zero Hour, as well as being key to the reboot AND Threeboot Legion stories.  If there was ever a member who would challenge my ability to effectively summarize the essence of the Legion, this is the man.  Even in a fantastic future world of wonders and technology that seems like magic, he is an innovator, utilizing his boundless intellect to help his teammates maximize their potential.  No matter what the era, every Legion needs their Brainy, and a twelfth-level mind is a terrible thing to waste.  This is your Major Spoilers Hero History of Querl Dox of Colu… Brainiac 5!


The timelines of the very earliest Legion of Super-Heroes stories are a bit tangled.  Indeed, between Adult Legion stories, imaginary stories, crossed wires and just plain mistakes, Legion lore has more than a few rough corners that didn’t quite get the full coat of paint.  Most likely, if you’ve read the Legion’s first appearance in Adventure Comics #247, you’ve seen only the founding three members in action, with many other Legionnaires are seen in shadow or cameo shots, including this notable sequence of panels, seemingly the first appearance of Querl himself!


Now, taken at face value, these panels (from the reprint of #247) seem to indicate that that Brainiac 5, Invisible Kid, and Colossal Boy were members BEFORE Silver Age Tom Welling (see the Major Spoilers Dictionary at right for more details) joined the Legion.  This is the way I’ve read the story (I have three different reprints that show it exactly like that) and certain stories have taken the tack that Brainy was already a member when this first Legion story took place.  There’s only one problem with this theory, seen clearly in the ORIGINAL coloring of the panel from #247…


That�guy�ain’t really�green.� According to the common Legion wisdom, S.A. Tom was the sixth member of the Legion, and Brainiac�5�the eleventh.� The�actual first appearance of Brainy came a couple of years later in Adventure Comics #276, alongside another Kryptonian, the Silver Age Helen Slater (the feminine equivalent of Tom Welling, since I can’t spell Vaan Deerr Voorrrtt)� Since there’s no injunction against HER heroic alias, we can show the first interactions of one of the Legion’s longest-running and most tragic (but really,�aren’t they all?) romance, as the cousin of Superman and the great-great-something-or-other of his terrible enemy Brainiac come face to grin-skinned face.


It’s interesting that even here, Supergirl’s opinion of him seems to be as important (if not moreso) than getting into the Legion itself.� The feuding houses of El and ‘Iac don’t have to go the full Romeo and Juliet, as both Capulet and Montague are voted to full Legion membership together.� Once on the team, Brainiac settled himself into the multilab, taking on the support and research role that would�define his Legion tenure for decades�(our time, mind you) and trying to overcome the stigma attached to the name ‘Brainiac.’� An early adventure had Querl figuring out that the mystery of a spy in the Legion was due to a shrink ray, and remarking how ironic that his heroic moment came dealing with shrinking when he ancestor shrunk the bottle city of Kandor.� One of his first big scientific breakthroughs came when he managed to successfully do what even Tom Welling couldn’t, freeing Mon-El from the Phantom Zone, even playing one of the endless series of classic Silver Age Legion pranks by disguising the big guy as “Marvel Lad” to vex his pals…


The cure for Daxamite lead poisoning has been a touchstone in all Brainiac’s time/space incarnations, one of the Herculean feats that only his 12th level intellect could conquer, along with his only active combat super-ability, courtesy of another invention, his force-shield belt.� Seemingly just a band of material with a few small boxes or pockets, (depending on the artist) the belt�generates a forcefield that can hold off (at least temporarily)�even the hammering fists of a Kryptonian!� Another of Dox’s great inventive moments came when he accidentally conquered gravity itself, creating the metal that allowed for the Legion’s defining piece of technology:� The flight ring.


Don’t you wish you had a fabulous computer mind, too?� That’s how you know we’re in the far future, what�with�those personal rocket belts that are just so bulky and unweildy.� We should take the flying car down to the Ice Cream parlor for some Milky Way�sundaes!� Heh…� Around this time, we also encounter one of the repeating character themes of Brainiac 5’s history:� when his racing computer mind is focused on a problem, he has no time for the niceties of human interaction…


I absolutely love Element Lad’s little pink jerkin with the big “E” on it.� If I were feeling cruel, I might assume that the letter is so he doesn’t mistake it for�Lightning Lass’ favorite cashmere sweater-dress.� One of�Brainiac’s projects that DIDN’T go so well was his attempt to perfect artificial intelligence, something even the myriad geniuses of his homeworld of Colu couldn’t perfect, instead unintentionally subjugating themselves to Computer Tyrants for hundreds of years.� Brainiac is so successful in the creation of his A.I. that it actually helps to complete it’s OWN programming, but quickly captures its proud papa for insidious purposes…


Quickly manufacturing dozens more Computos, the rampaging robot confronts the Legion directly, destroying one of Triplicate Girl’s bodies just to prove a point, even blackmailing the LSH’s most powerful members into leaving Earth.� Only the sudden appearance of ‘The Weirdo Legionnaire’ turns the tide, but Brainiac is forced to learn a lesson in hubris, having assumed that his superior mind would have avoided the mistakes others have already made for him.� Though his intellect is his primary ability, Brainiac is shown to have tremendous force of will, even shrugging off powerful brain-washing techniques of the Super-Stalag of Space.


His 1930’s tough-guy dialogue aside, Brainy concocts the plan that allows escape from the prison (already seen in Matter-Eater Lad’s�H.H.)�proving that he’s not just some intellectual hiding in an ivory tower.� (Though�in the future, it’s probably an intertron tower with automatic plumbing and a built-in robot servant.)� Although it’s not always his strong suit, Brainiac isn’t afraid to mix it up in a fight.� Indeed, several times during his heroic career, he was forced to not only�THROW punches, but take a few as well…


Indeed, it’s not his lesser combat skills that serve as his personal weakness.� No, dear Spoilerites, Brainiac 5’s personal Kryptonite is 5′ 9″, blonde, and could tear your arm off with a flick of her delicate pinky.� Yes, dear friends, their twin inductions have left him imprinted on young Kara Zor-El, the Girl who is the Super.� Though seemingly unable to communicate the depth of his feelings to�his long-standing crush, he is able to take a bullet for her, metaphorically, anyway…� When the United Planets threatens to cut the Legion’s funding unless they lose a member (apparently groups up to 25 members are exempt, and the LSH has just hit 26 members) Brainiac throws the competition, losing a battle of wits in order to save his Argo City sweetie pie from expulsion…


Turns out his feelings are quite reciprocated, (even though she doesn’t tell him that)�but S-Girl comes with SERIOUS baggage, including romantic competition from a merman, a demon, and the fact that she wears the worst mousy brown wig since Ted Danson on Cheers.� The decision is reached that TOM WELLING will quit the team instead, using a complex series of brain surgeries and Kryptonite brain implants, but Brainy still can’t get over Kara Zor-El.� As her visits to the 30th Century slowly taper off, his obsession with her only increases, until he is completely overwhelmed by his longing (and can you blame him, with those bulletproof red hotpants?)


As with many geniuses, Brainiac’s mind has it’s hidden depths (like Einstein, he only has one outfit) and hints of what lies in the frightening�hidden corridors�of his mind comes soon after.� Brainiac is unable to think about anything but his long-lost Kara, and the Legionnaires are stunned when Supergirl miraculously appears again, having given up the 20th Century for good to stay with Brainiac.� When Brainiac and Supergirl quit the Legion and run off together, Star Boy senses something is wrong, and calls for backup.� The Legionnaire who arrives to investigate?� Supergirl!� What the–??� It turns out that Brainiac 5 has not only been sleep-walking, he’s been sleep-assembling a robot duplicate of his beloved…


In the year 2975, nothing says “love” like building a Real Doll in your image, apparently.� Their attraction finally out in the open, Supergirl and Brainiac 5 both avoid the thorniest of questions that occur from this mission:�namely, the fact that building a robot bride is creepy unto itself, but doing it WITHOUT REALIZING you’re doing it is a sign of serious mental imbalance.� Sadly for the lad from Colu, it won’t be the last time he skirts the boundaries of madness in search of answers about love and life.� When the mysterious Pulsar Stargrave enters the Legion’s lives, most of the team wants to take him down, but Brainiac 5 convinces them all that the greater threat comes from Mordru, and that Stargrave should be left alone.� Why would he ignore such an obvious threat?


His deep-seated need for a father-figure leads to near tragedy, as the Super-Heroes clash with the most powerful sorcerer in the known universe, and Brainiac’s seemingly traitorous actions are eventually brought to light.� His recently tenuous grip on reality continues to loosen, especially when “Daddy” is seemingly revealed to be the ORIGINAL Brainiac in disguise.� (The origins of Pulsar Stargrave are lost to the mists of time, the victim of a series of writer changes.)� Having the horrific villain that has�ruined his family name for centuries�outsmart him doesn’t do Querl’s�ego any favors, and his arrogance comes to the fore again, covering his growing mental instability.� When the power of Jaxon Rugarth, The Infinite Man (remember that name, there may be a test) threatens the very fabric of reality, Brainiac tries to convince�the people of Colu to devote their time travel resources to stopping Rugarth…


His behavior gets more and more erratic, and at the same time an unseen foe begins manipulating the team.� When Dr. Mantis Morlo uses his Chemoid android creatures to try and defeat the Legion (a tack he’s tried more than once, and it’s frankly not that impressive) Brainiac comes to the rescue like the cavalry, BLOWING them away with a bazooka.� Almost immediately after, a mysterious menace called Omega attacks, possessing sufficient power to crush planets in his bare hands.� As the creature continues attacking, Brainiac’s behavior�gets more and more frenetic, until finally team leader Wildfire puts two and two together and realizes that Brainiac 5 IS the secret manipulator behind their recent woes…


His twelfth-level mind officially completely off-track, Brainiac 5 makes a bargain with the Legion and the U.P.� He will give them the secret to defeating Omega, in return for being given absolute power…� He will save the universe, but ONLY if they allow him to RULE it.� The Legion agrees (though Wildfire has no intention of following through on it) and Omega is taken out by none other than Tenzil Kem, Matter-Eater Lad!� The Legion is forced to rely on�Crazyac 5�again to stop the menace of the League of Super-Assassins, and then falls back on a desperate plan to save his lost sanity.� Brainiac awakes to find himself once again in the chambers where he was raised, reliving his childhood as a freak and outcast.��Even among the geniuses of Colu, his intellect is frightening, and children are always cruel to the outsider. �But he also is forced to remember his first moment of heroism, the moment when he discovered that he could be more than the latest in a long line of Dox freaks, and the remembrance is enough to return his sanity to him…


Crazy or not, the man is certainly perceptive.� Returning to active duty, Brainiac attempts to set things right, helping to repair Matter-Eater Lad’s sanity and rebuild his credibility.� Unfortunately, this also leads him to recreate Computo (it doesn’t go well, AGAIN) but he empowers a new Invisible Kid in so doing, and is the only Legionnaire to put together the clues to realize that their opponent in the Great Darkness Saga is Darkseid himself.� When the Legion of Super-Villains attack, five of his comrades are sent far across the galaxy, and Brainiac devotes his full attention to finding them.� Augmenting Dawnstar’s powers by technological means, Brainiac accompanies her into space, only to crash-land on a mysterious backwoods planet where his flight ring and forcefield won’t function properly…


No matter how smart you are, a concussion will still mess up your head.� But dig those crazy 30th century dance steps!� The mission is unsuccessful, but Brainiac does manage to make his way across the land without access to his technology.� The 5 lost Legionnaires make their way home without his assistance, and�things with the Legion�return to relative normalcy…� Some months later, Brainiac begins spending all his time at the Time Institute, viewing a certain moment of the 20th century over and over.� For the first time, the reasons behind Brainac’s strange behavior around Supergirl all these years comes clear.


He has always known the exact moment when she was going to DIE.� Think about how hard that must have been for him.� Her death is a fact, a matter of historical record!� Every time she came forward, every mission, every KISS couldn’t help but remind him of that fact.� And now, the exact 1000th anniversary of that fateful night has arrived, and Brainiac 5’s emotions are strong enough to overcome even HIS logic.� More horrifyingly, his incessant viewing of history reveals several time anomalies, the ripples of The Crisis On Infinite Earths…


Brainiac’s worst fear is horribly concrete, as his memory, his very mind has betrayed him!� Ironically,�it’s the actions of one of the Legion’s�VILLAINS that have created the problem: Jaxon Rugarth, the Infinite Man.� His tampering with the timestream has also kept the Legion’s pocket of history unchanged, even as the rest of the universe was drastically altered by the Crisis.� When�that influence is removed, the Legion’s world is�subtly changed, and it is discovered that their Tom Welling ISN’T the Tom Welling who would actually grow up to be Christopher Reeve, (Heh.)�but a creation of their old foe the Time Trapper.� Still, Clark Kent is Clark Kent, and the pocket universe Tome Welling gives his life to save the Legion.��Throughout the entire ordeal, Brainiac’s focus has been torn by his certainty that the mysterious Sensor Girl is his beloved Supergirl, somehow brought back to life.� When it is revealed that she is actually old friend Queen Projectra, Brainiac is finally able to put Kara to rest in his mind, regaining his self-control, even going to so far as to make amends with Projectra for his actions…


The life of a Legionnaire seldom has much in the way of quiet, and Brainiac’s newfound cool quickly gets a massive workout…� One seemingly inconsequential morning, Saturn Girl wakes to find herself a prisoner on a remote asteroid, her only companions other superheroes who have been brainwashing and reconditioned into menial lives as minors.� Her teammates Chameleon Boy, Dream Girl, and, of course, Brainiac 5 are also present, and Saturn Girl manages to gather them in a cave and sets about freeing them from their hypnotic trances.� She is barely able to enter Brainy’s perfectly ordered mental landscape at all, but barely manages to free him, only to find that his worst fears have, again, been realized…


Given his flirtations with insanity, it’s easy to see how Brainy must feel.� His intellect is his power, but unlike most Legionnaires, it’s just a facet of himself.� Without his mind, he reasons, he must feel like he’s nothing.� Thankfully,�he is able to shake off his experience, and the four Legionnaires flee in a stolen ship.� As the authorities pursue the rogue Legionnaires, Brainiac shows another�seldom-seen facet of his skillset: his awesome piloting abilities.�


The four Legionnaires free their comrades from the hypnotic spell (turns out it was old-school villain Universo) but more trials are ahead for Brainiac.� The United Planets has brought him up on charges for his participation in the death of The Infinite Man (Brainiac sacrificed his life to save most of the Legion’s history in the wake of the Crisis) and he chooses not to defend himself.� The U.P. votes to acquit him, and the Legionnaires do likewise, but Brainiac 5, as always, finds that HE can’t forgive himself.� A twelfth-level intellect should have found another way, he thinks, and Brainiac 5 thus chooses a rather shocking path.


Returning to Colu, Brainiac 5 nonetheless does assist his former teammates during the events of The Magic Wars, but leaves again after The Black Dawn debacle.� Five years pass (as though there were some�sort of�’gap,’ if you will) and the United Planets collapses.� Earthgov is infiltrated by the Dominators, and the Legion is disbanded.� When the Dominators decide to put the final phase of their anti-Legion plan in motion, they make a fatal miscalculation, hiring the killer Roxxas to eliminate Blok.� His murder brings the Legionnaires back together, and Rokk (Cosmic Boy) Krinn and Reep (Chameleon Boy) Daggle find that they need their rock, their support and research team…� They need Brainiac 5.� During his five year sabbatical, Querl has taken the time to fill in what he felt was�a hole in his studies, delving into metaphysics, theology, and the spiritual arts.


His new philosophy serves him well, but the new Legion is still Legion, and they’re quickly thrust into a new war with the Khundian fleet.� Brainiac finds his medical training most necessary, patching up his teammates from the kind of injuries that never happened in the Silver Age.� When the Dominators are finally driven from Earth, one of the most bizarre and controversial Legion plots ever commences, as a young man named Devlin O’Ryan finds a cloning chamber under Metropolis, and in the chamber, he finds…

The Legion of Super-Heroes.


We’ve touched on the SW6 Legion in Hero Histories before, but it’s time I finally explained things, at least as well as anyone can explain the SW6 story.� Initially, it was believed that the Dominators has cloned the LSH around Adventure Comics #361 or so, and kept the clones in their chambers for years.� The “regular” Legion was in their mid-thirties when this teen team burst back on the scene, and the grown-up Legion was stunned to see concrete proof of what they used to be and the young Legion was apalled to see ho much they’d changed.� The plot thickened when Brainiac 5 conferred with his younger self, and TWO 12th level minds asked an important question:� Why didn’t the new Legion get brainwashed, like the rest of the Dominators’ clones?� A quick blood sample later, and the “truth” was revealed…� The SW6 batch was the REAL Legion, and the grown-up team were actually the clones!� Understandably, this reveal (pre-dating Spider-Man’s Clone Saga) made no one happy, and it was quickly put in doubt.� Brainiac and the adult Legionnaires soldiered on, encountering Glorith, a crazy time-manipulating loony toon, and Brainiac found himself on the wrong side of her time-twisting powers…


Aged by�decades in mere seconds, Brainiac barely gets out alive.� He and his comrades are forced to go underground, painted as renegades, and Brainy gets around his near-total arthritic disability by donning a powerful exoskeleton and shades, going by the utterly transparent alias “Five.”� Brainiacs old and young quickly became aware of a problem with the timestream, and eventually tracked it down to one thing:� The SW6ers WEREN’T clones at all, but the actual Legion, pulled out of time through unknown means and brought forward.� Their absence in the past era, combined with the effects of the Zero Hour crisis, was causing the Legion’s timeline to unravel one piece at a time.� As their numbers disappear in reverse order, and even the mind of Brainiac 5 (x2) can see no option�for escape.


The two Legions realize that for the timestream to ever be whole,�each of them�must be united as well, and the Brainiac 5’s and all the doppelgangers join hands and merge into one again.� The entire Legion timeline is wiped from reality, and the future begins anew.� In the rebooted universe, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad, and Cosmic Boy still come together to save R.J. Brande from an assassin, but things are a bit different from that point.� The United Planets is no longer the benevolent Silver Age ‘pat-on-the-head’ organization, instead seeing the Legion as a military resource, and DRAFTING those members deemed necessary, including a young Coluan with a brilliant computer mind…


When Querl ignores the summons, he is forcibly taken by soldiers and dragged off to Legion headquarters.� His contempt for the U.P. is only surpassed by his contempt for his teammates, often referred to as “super-powered monkeys” or “hormonal primitives.”� Though more arrogant that ever before, he’s still the same Brainiac 5, creating the metal that would be used for flight rings (though it’s Invisible Kid who actually turns a failed experimental metal�INTO the ring) and grudgingly supporting his team.� When a Daxamite named Andromeda (looooong story which I’ll get to in due time) joins the Legion, he is able to once again save the day by creating a long-sought-after serum to override the poisoning effects of lead on the Daxamite body.� But this isn’t the shiny future we used to know, as Andromeda is part of a cult called the White Triangle that believes that only Daxamites are pure, and all other races are “inferior mongrels.”� Brainiac may be arrogant, but he’s still above that sort of rhetoric…


Andromeda won’t do that either, and he simply walks away, leaving her to stew over her own prejudices.� But as with Supergirl�Pre-Crisis, Brainy can’t resist a�tall blonde in spandex with a big ass, and she gets her serum.� His crush on Andromeda is sublimated in this reality with withering sarcasm, but�when she seemingly dies in action, it�weighs hard on him, forcing�Querl to deal inexpertly with his emotions.� Imprisoned by the United Planets for unauthorized time travel (he freed Mon-El/M’onel/Valor from the Phantom Zone in the past) Brainiac finds his mind invaded by a U.P. telepath, searching for the secret to manipulating him.

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Why does Brainy love the hot tall blondes?� Can you say Oedipal Complex?� Can you also say “Ewww?”� Notice how his mind portays the Coluans (the smartest race in the universe, but insects to him) as nothing but apes…� Heh.� Some time later, the entire Legion is forced to combat one of their own, as Shrinking Violet is possessed by the Emerald Eye of Ekron.� The power proves to be too much for her, and she blasts her teammates, causing a large portion of the team to be teleported away.� But where did they land?


Try “when” did they land…� The seven Legionnaires (plus tagalong supervillain Inferno and Science Police officer Shvaugn Erin) have been tossed into the then-current DC Universe, complete with long-haired Superman and Hal Jordan as Parallax.� Once again, it’s Brainiac’s technical expertise that pulls them back to the future (although he�accidentally created the post-reboot version of Computo in so doing…� Somebody needs to give this kid a Post-It that says “No More Robot Brains!”)� After several years of this new Legion,�a great irony occured, when post-reboot Brainiac 5 was essentially transformed into�his smiling, helpful, Silver Age self.�


Brainiac 5.1 (on the trail of a resurrected Andromeda) traveled through a mysterious space anomaly, and they both found themselves physically and emotionally ‘upgraded’ by the experience.� It wouldn’t last, unfortunately, as Brainy finally got to meet his long-lost mommy…� as the evil leader of a strange criminal cult called The Dark Circle.� After this rather�shocking revelation, some of the old snide and sarcastic Brainy began to seep through.� When an attack by�hostile aliens caused the Stargate network (the�teleportation portals that allowed the United Planets to be united) to malfunction, the Legion is faced with a massive hole in the fabric of space-time and no giant darning needles to be found…


Who’s got a solution?� Who else?� Brainiac believes that by using the entire orbital Legion Outpost and it’s gravity system to close the collapsar, but it will require a full crew onboard.� The entire Legion mans their posts, combining their efforts to fight the force of the gravity well.� Wildfire again seemingly sacrifices himself before the entire Outpost is destroyed…


…but the world is saved.� Once again cheating death, Brainiac awakes to find himself and many of his comrades trapped on the other side of the space anomaly, so far from home that distance and direction no longer have any meaning at all.� Even the mighty intellect of Colu’s finest can’t find any reference points to tell them where they ARE, much less which way is home…


This universe also lacks Brainiac’s favorite styling gel…� Soon afterwards, a demoralized Brainy admits to Saturn Girl that he HATES the 5.1 designation (odd, given that he CHOSE to take it…� but I suppose I’ve also made decisions that I later disliked) and drops it from his name thereafter.� After nearly a year trapped outside reality (and a battle with a time-tossed Element Lad, whose mind was snapped by millenia of isolation) Brainiac successfully gets his team home again, even using that technology to replace the Stargate systems when he returns home.� Unfortunately, during his absence, the U.P. worlds have been at the mercy of Robotica, an A.I. race led by none other than his technological baby Computo.� Brainiac convinces Computo to evolve past his current self (ironically using another villain’s world-beating machinery to do so.)� An interesting peek at this Brainiac’s psyche came when the Earth’s power net was shut down, and ALL computer systems disabled.� Giggling like a madman, tears in his eyes, Brainiac madly asks Umbra if she’s ever wondered what the circuitry on his face does.


In a fascinating scene, Umbra literally slaps him back to reality, and Brainy is finally able to get ahold of himself.� Holding his thoughts and emotions together by sheer force of will, Brainiac uses his tactical skills to direct the Legion in propping up a collapsing Earth…� Soon after, his entire Legion is torn free of the timestream, and ceases to exist (though they’re seen briefly in Infinite Crisis) but even that’s not the end for Brainiac 5.� Three complete wipes of the known universe, but the template of Querl Dox keeps getting reset, as yet another new version of the Legion appeared, this one with a much more contemporary feel and and even more sarcasm than ever before, including an entertaining new take on Brainiac 5 himself.� Even fellow Coluans are like slow children needing constant explanation to a mind of his caliber…


The Threeboot Brainiac�is much more ambitious than before, as well, sparring with Cosmic Boy for control of the Legion of Super-Heroes and building his own power base of loyal Legionnaires.� His weakness for blondes is still extant, though,�as shown in his fascination with Nura Nal, Dream Girl.� Even though he manages to get the better of Cosmic Boy in conversation (remarking that if he wanted to talk on Cos’s level, he’d just find a clever goat) Dream Girl still gets the better of him when he mocks her prophecies, by telling him, “You’ll feel different when we’re married.”� No matter the universe, no matter the Brainiac, the ladies are his Kryptonite…


The story of Brainiac 5 is one that we can all empathize with, going through your life with the strange feeling that everyone around you is a frickin’ idiot.� Even when B5’s snide remarks undermine the sympathetic nature of his character, you still have to love him.� Brainiac 5 is the architect of much of the Legion’s technology and methodology, and over the years kept his comrades alive, both through his planning and tactics and through his medical skills.� Always seeking to balance his immense intellect with his teenage emotions, it’s Brainiac who shows that while everybody has embarrassing relative, you can ALWAYS overcome your upbringing, no matter how awful.� More impressively, Brainiac 5 proves that�a properly utilized mind is�every bit the equal of a steel-hard fist or laser death ray.

If you’ve enjoyed this Hero History, you might want to ‘Read All About It’ at your Local Major Spoilers!� Our previous Major Spoilers Hero Histories include:

Dream Girl
Karate Kid
Matter-Eater Lad
Sensor Girl
Star Boy
Timber Wolf

Or you can just click “Hero History” in the “What We Are Writing About” section on the main page…� Collect ’em all!� We will, in due time, be getting to ALL the Legion of Super-Heroes Members (and from there, the skies the limit!)� But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, there’s the matter of next week.

Coming in the next Hero History…� The man you’ve all been waiting for, whether you knew it or not…� The second-most requested Hero History of ALL TIME!� It’s the much-awaited life and times of Charles Foster Taine…�

Bouncing Boy!�


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. Is it really fair to call the ZH-reboot Inferno a villain? Admittedly, she wasn’t the nicest of characters, but villain seems harsh. Otherwise, this was great work of summarizing such a long history!

  2. pedantic peasant on


    An excellent job, as always. B5 is one of my all-time favorite characters, and the Legion is the first comic I ever started seriously collecting.

    While it’s a minor side story, I wish you had mentioned the one other great invention from during the darkness saga which illustrates (again) Querl’s tendency to keep things secret until he knows they work:

    The Legion was on a red sun world (probably the original site of Daxam, I forget) fighting the darkness clones, and getting their butts handed to them, Brainy (for the first time, I think) uses his force shield belt offensively to hold and capture one of them, when the Tom Welling dark clone comes gunning for them all. Element lad asks if he can use the belt to get the new clone too, and Brainy says no. Element lad says he thinks they’re about to be in big trouble …

    … And B5 smiles and says “Not if a little surprise I’ve works like I planned” (or words to that effect) and in flies Tom Welling, not in a space suit, but in his regular big-red-S uniform, with some subtle circuitry lines, announcing, “It did, Brainy, this new circuitry you whipped up to let me keep my powers under a red sun works like a dream.”

    Brainy always overrides the natural laws, and when the writing is good comes up with really cool unexpected stuff like that!

  3. Matthew Peterson on

    Is it really fair to call the ZH-reboot Inferno a villain? Admittedly, she wasn’t the nicest of characters, but villain seems harsh. Otherwise, this was great work of summarizing such a long history!

    Mmm… Well, it’s a good point, as the Work Force wasn’t really evil, just mercenary, and she did serve a long tour alongside the Legion in the past…

  4. Matthew Peterson on

    … And B5 smiles and says “Not if a little surprise I’ve works like I planned” (or words to that effect) and in flies Tom Welling, not in a space suit, but in his regular big-red-S uniform, with some subtle circuitry lines, announcing, “It did, Brainy, this new circuitry you whipped up to let me keep my powers under a red sun works like a dream.”

    Brainy always overrides the natural laws, and when the writing is good comes up with really cool unexpected stuff like that!

    That is an excellent scene, and an inventive moment by Brainiac… However, since it’s Tom who saves the day, I can still use it when I do the Hero History for him, whenever I get to it. Perhaps around Christmas? :)

  5. pedantic peasant on

    Why wait til then? It’s not like Tom Welling contributed a lot, right?

    Maybe do it in parts?

    BTW, you don’t seem to have an archive database. Are the Hero Histories new, or have you been doing them awhile?

    Have you done Mon-El yet?

  6. Thanks for the massive effort detailing my favorite male Legionnaire. I just love this character: his personality, his romances (I liked him with Supergirl, Andromeda, and his current odd relationship with Dream Girl), his strange familial history, and his look. I’m sure I’m not the only female Legion fan who finds him to be attractive.

    You also could have mentioned his current role in the latest JLA story and his appearance on the Justice League cartoon. I liked that one because he finally got to really get together with Supergirl.

  7. Pedantic: We do have an archive database – perhaps you’ve seen it to the right in the form of a cloud tag. We have been doing Hero Histories for several months now (the first one appeared in April), and you can find the link to all of them by clicking the Hero History link at the end of the article, or click on the individual members Matthew has chronicled. As you can see, Mon-El has not made the list – yet.

    Rest assured my dear Pendantic Peasant, all of the Legionnaires will be covered in time.

    Thanks for checking in and being a member of the site!

    Stephen Schleicher
    Executive Producer

  8. The mention of Brainy’s cure of Mon-El made me remember something about another Legionaire, Saturn Girl. I don’t think she’s ever gotten the respect she deserves, not in ant LoSH variant. I know you mentioned her as being trapped by Universo alongside Brainy, Chameleon Boy, and Dream Girl because of them being the four smartest Legionaires but you left out the fact that Saturn Girl also came up with a formula that showed promise in freeing Mon-El. That showed a scientific genius that was rarely ever played up. Can we see an Imra profile sometime soon as well?

  9. Thanks for creating this great history on Brainiac 5! I don’t have much acess to comic books so you have filled in ALOT of blanks for me. I agree with Amya on the fact that he is SOOOO cute!

    Maybe you should have also mentioned his role in the Saturday animated series “Legion of Sperheroes”….

  10. I’m thinking that, since we started BEFORE the cartoon series, I may cover those Legionnaires in some sort of later update… thing. Of some sort.

    I am, after all, pretty much working by the skin of my teeth, here…

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