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mygif

This was such an excellent post! We’re currently hip deep in Brainiac 5 fandom at our house, because my four-year-old daughter has fallen in love with the character. Even little kids know how great Brainiac 5 is!

Though she A.) insists that the name is Brainiac 2525 (which if she were older, I would think was some kind of bizarre Zager and Evans reference), and B.) further insists that the character is a girl (as she’s only familiar with the animated version from the LSH series, and the design for the first season did look more than a little like a little girl,) though I’m still trying to wrap my head around how a robot has a gender (and all that beautiful blond hair) at all.

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mygif

And don’t forget that anytime Brainy destroys one of his labs… take a drink :)

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mygif

As the only good Brainiac (tho no good at being a leader; seemingly something of a drawback if one is an android programmed to be a dictator), is it possible he’s a Bizzaro Braniac?

And c’mon, tell the truth, doesn’t he dance in his undies in front of his bathroom mirror ala FLASHDANCE, singin’ “I’m a Braniac, Brainiac, oh!!”

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mygif

So, Brainiac Five is basically the House MD of superheroes? I’m glad I never read Legion.

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mygif

97% Rex… I think measurements begin to break down near the event horizon of the Rex-ularity.

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I thought his biggest failure was when Computo went berserk?

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Greg Morrow said on May 12th, 2011 at 12:45 pm

“But there is another theory, and that theory also has an embodiment.” is Brainy’s all-time Crowning Moment of Awesome.

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Tim O'Neil said on May 12th, 2011 at 12:49 pm

I have to admit, whenever I see the Who’s Who entries, I try to avoid peeking down to the Rex Rating until the very end. And here, as I was reading the entry I was thinking to myself, is this it? Could we actually have a 100% Rex match? But no, just three points off.

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mygif

holy crap, i thought, for *sure* that Brainy would get a 100% when his turn came up

great write up, brainy has long been one of my favs

(am i the only one who’s always wanted to see Brainy and Doom go head to head?)

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mygif

I was gonna make a weak case for Braniac 2, but really we all know that he’s just masking his power grab with LEGION.

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mygif

Really good write up.

It does make me wonder something, though. Although it’s nowhere near universal, there seems to me to be a bit of a nerd backlash against Reed Richards from time to time that’s different from the general attitude (correctly) described here.

Wondering if there’s anything there, or it’s just a trick of the mind.

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Bird Nacklash said on May 12th, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Fuck Reed Richards!! Fuck that guy with a cement dildo covered in monkey poop!! I hate him SO VERY VERY VERY VERY MUCH

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Sotto Voce said on May 12th, 2011 at 2:40 pm

@Bret: It’s probably all in your head.

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mygif

interesting as usual! however i’ll always prefer vril dox from legion or rebels ( hiring lobo & surviving is already a feat itself)
or DCAU brainiac (srsly why overcomplicate the guy? is sentient computer too hard of a concept) oh & btw;
– you admitted that you were interested in Gambit? well go read any nicieza issue with him & you’ll see why the cajun deserves more respect than what modern writers think
Srsly Gambit fans where is the shame ? he’s an awesome character !
_ Reed richards was great under mark waid , under other writers, ben was having the attention & Doom was the guy people paid to see
_when will you give tunisia’s anthem a mark dammit ?
_regarding morrison’s batman : it just fucking blows,2 words damian wayne . a marty stu that makes me want to let the joker feed with smylex tainted fish or a good crowbar punishment;really the kid brings a decapitated head & bruce says nothing even burton’s batman aka the darkest version of batman would react, seriously
_final crisis blows monkey balls, go watch jlu destroyer this is how you fucking write Darkseid!
_hey do one with beast boy next please!it’ll be funny

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The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on May 12th, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Burton’s Batman was FAR from the darkest version of Batman, just the sleepiest.

Or did you mean the version where it’s hardest to see what’s going on?

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mygif

I’ve been wondering about Brainiac 5’s Rex-quotient for a while. I think you need to put up another RextMFWD post to remind us all why he is the standard by which the rest are measured.

Also, why do you dismiss Brainiac 2 as an evil, universe-conquering android. Or any of them as androids, for that matter. Have I missed a retcon somewhere? Aren’t the Brainiacs (except for #1) enhanced Coluans?

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Mary Warner said on May 12th, 2011 at 4:11 pm

This is the first character I’ve seen on here that I know anything about.

I didn’t think he was an android, either, but I haven’t read any Legion since I was a kid.

The thing I always remember most about Brainiac 5 is that he once ran away with Supergirl, but then she turned out to be a high-tech sex doll that he’d built in his sleep. No wonder the nerds relate to him.
(That’s a joke. I’m a nerd, too.)

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mygif

Sorry mate but keaton’s batman if he wasn’t a detective vigilante would be a psychopath, & why the sleepiest(that’d be kilmer)? anytime he smirks or says that he’s batman is the epitome of badassery(though the best batman is still kevin conroy)

anyway now that MGK had the pleasure to write about his favourite legionnaire, i hope that he’ll talk about his most hated member of the legion , or hawkman,or raven (say what you will she’s become a one trick pony) or i can’t repeat it enough beast boy !(for my part ,the titan i may hate now is kid flash! srsly we killed bart”awesome” allen the one & only impulse so johns & didio replace him by fucking kid flash! & fuck johns’s superboy, kon-el is the clone of westfield not luthor, YA HEAR ME! WESTFIELD !Kesel said it & what he says about superboy is law!)
OR…SNOW-FLAME!now that’d be 99,999 in the scale of rex the motherfucking wonder dog!

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mygif

I got into the Legion late. My first real exposure to them was in that Legion/Teen Titans crossover right before the Threeboot. That was where I first saw Brainiac Five and from the moment that he treated Bart Allen like something he scraped off the bottom of his shoe I knew he was awesome.

As for Vril Dox, while I wouldn’t say that he is evil, he certainly isn’t a good guy by any stretch. Vril believes in order and control, and is willing to do some damn sketchy things to achieve it (much like Amanda Waller.) “Good” people don’t get chosen as members of the Sinestro Corps (which may also be a commentary on Batman.)

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Zenrage said on May 12th, 2011 at 5:20 pm

I’m kinda curious as to why Brainiac 5 lost points too. I mean, after all, Rex the Wonder Dog is actually a Brainiac construct.

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mygif

Because “Brainiac 5.1.”

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mygif

@Bird Nacklash: Hello, Dr. Von Doom. I’m a huge fan of your work.

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Garfield said on May 13th, 2011 at 12:01 am

Reading about Brainy was probably comics at its most educational for me.
Eight-year-old me: “They all say Brainiac Five is the smartest, and he fixes the problem a lot of the time. Why don’t they pick him as leader?”
Older brother: “Why do you think?”
Me: “Because, uh, he’s a jerk? And he doesn’t explain what he’s up to? And he doesn’t always seem to care whether his teammates live or die?”
Brother: “Keep going.”
The Legion makes the choice, again and again, that democracies make: you want the highest foreheads advising the folks in charge, but you mustn’t put them directly in charge, in part because you can’t tell them anything.

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mygif

Brainiac 5 might not have been able to save the only woman he ever loved, but he and Invisible Kid sure had a touching reunion after one memorable rescue… </fangirl>

Seriously, I read through every single issue of whatever reboot it was in the mid-nineties right up to when they canned it so Mark Waid could write his strange youth-centric nostalgia, just for Brainy and Lyle and sometimes Gates.

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Pantsless Pete said on May 13th, 2011 at 6:38 am

Something that’s always kind of bugged me about ‘Super intelligent or Super Prepared guy’ as a character in modern comics is that, once you slot him into a story, he’s always going to win because having him ‘lose’ is never going to be much of a story.

For example, the story ‘Superman hits Batman in the stomach with his farmboy sized fist and Batman spends the rest of the comic ralphing up his bat cookies and moaning’ isn’t going to be much of a story and because of this, Batman will always win.

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The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on May 13th, 2011 at 9:32 am

@Saidi — I was thinking back to a Keaton interview where he said “I wanted to play him as a guy who’d be really tired all the time ’cause he wasn’t getting any sleep”. And I think he succeeded.

Also, I’m pretty sure that was a Bird Nacklashbot earlier on.

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mygif

@Pantsless Pete Of course, it turns out that Batman ate chocolate-chip-and-green-kryptonite bat cookies, thus depowering Superman with his bat vomit.

… I may just have channelled Kevin Smith.

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Jeff R. said on May 13th, 2011 at 1:27 pm

PP: That’s why B5 has his signature gear, the force-field belt, It’s a really, really good force-field belt; good enough for him to start pretty much any fight with the sure knowledge that the worst he can do is draw.

I think that Reed Richards (and, even more, Hank Pym, who is basically the exact same person as B5) come across worse than Querl is that they exist in the present, which means that they’re necessarily inventing wonderous things all the time but withholding them from the rest of the world, which is really, really dickish…

(Which also comes up with regard to the forcefield belt. The canon explanation is that the controls are so complex that he’s the only one who can really use the thing, but we can’t really believe that a 12th-level intellect can’t design a decent user interface, can we?)

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mygif

“Which also comes up with regard to the forcefield belt. The canon explanation is that the controls are so complex that he’s the only one who can really use the thing, but we can’t really believe that a 12th-level intellect can’t design a decent user interface, can we?”

That explanation sort of falls apart given that Booster Gold (who is smarter than he appears, but no Brainy) uses the belt.

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The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on May 13th, 2011 at 3:03 pm

The tech support’s not much help either.

“Have you tried turning the belt OFF, then waiting a minute, and turning it ON again?”

“Yes, I already explained to… look, I’m under attack from the Fatal Five right now, maybe you could… URK”

“I can’t help with URK, sir, I’ll transfer you over to Customer Service.”

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Kid Kyoto said on May 13th, 2011 at 5:27 pm

I think the unhappy part is really important. He’s moe interesting than Reed Richards because at the end of the day Reed is not only world’s smartest man, but also recognized as one of its greatest heroes, married to a former model, rich beyond the dreams of avarace, and pretty happy about it.

There’s not much to go with there.

But with B5 you have the smartest man in the room who is always suspect for his heritage, never consulted until it’s too late and people are always bringing up that time his robot almost conquered the world, or Omega almost destroyed the universe, or he build a sexbot in his sleep or…

Smart, antisocial, misunderstood, yep I can see why comic fans relate.

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mygif

Yeah, I didn’t elaborate earlier about the whole “Brainiac 5.1” thing, but Brainiac 5 doesn’t work nearly so well when he’s happy and well-adjusted and backslapping and Gates’ Best Friend Forever.

(Plus, when I think too much about Brainiac 5’s reboot-era transformation in Paul Levitz’s space-time anomaly, I’m reminded of how disappointed I was when the regular creative team turned it into a teleportation network to compete with the Stargates. I was hoping for the unfathomable mysteries of the universe, and I wound up with a Leland McCauley subplot.)

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stavner said on May 13th, 2011 at 8:19 pm

What you said about Brainy also applies to Gadget.

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Walter Kovacs said on May 14th, 2011 at 1:12 am

I’ve been enjoying the recent Legion books, and Brainiac 5 is definitely a good part of it. He’s even given a bit of time “in control” while Mon El is off being a Lantern, to help remind everyone why he doesn’t get elected often. They’ve been able to basically go through everything from his House “rude but right” stuff, to his ruthless efficiency as leader, to his “I have feelings but don’t tell anybody about it” stuff, etc… in a short period of time.

A lot of the reasons you described of why Brainy is simultaenously popular but also a good character could also be applied to the recent Lex arc in Action. He did go a bit Batman by the end with the whole outsmarting everyone, and I haven’t picked up Action 900 yet, so I’m sure about where the whole endgame is going, but it was fun to show Lex being awesome, while at the same time showing a bit of his psyche (the idea that he would create a Lois-bot is not only amusing, and helpful in a “not talking to himself” way for the story, but also for the devil’s advocate idea). If it meant more Lex in Action, I’d be fine with Superman continuing to do his Forest Gump routine for another couple years.

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mygif

So can anyone explain the cockroach thing? Is this new or am I missing something?

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Post-ZH Brainy is probably my favorite DC character ever. He’s so impatient with everyone. It’s great.

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David D said on May 16th, 2011 at 6:26 am

Re: Chat with Distruction
Actually I’d rather see his chat with Death over the loss of Supergirl.

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mygif

Okay, this is tangential as Hell, but how is Damien Wayne a Marty Stu? He is neither smarter nor stronger nor more competent nor more attractive than the rest of the Bat-Family and he is frequently portrayed as a brat who needs to learn humility.

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mygif

well when a brat brings a decapitated head, beats Alfred & Tim & batman’s response isn’t utter horror that the product of his loins has committed murder. His reaction is more along the lines of “bad boy, guess I can’t leave you alone anymore.” And when this is too much responsibility, he dumps the kid back on his mother, figuring it’s better to let him grow up among a League of Assassins than try and get along with him (you gotta love how Talia is now EEEEVIL MILF mwahahaaha!).And now let’s make him Robin! Even the Joker (well written that is) would say”hey it’s my role to hire & raise snotty little psychopaths! not yours bats! you’ll hear from my lawyer…once i kidnap him!”
This is a problem i had long ago with Morrison’s supeheroes, srsly their dialogue or reactions are just grating (New x-men was full of this shit, & the book should have been renamed the ” Douchebags with leather ,crawling fetuses & junkies!”

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Michael P said on May 27th, 2011 at 2:09 pm

I would argue that the “smarter than everyone else” bit, combined with “show them all” revenge fantasies, is why so many nerds pop a chubby over Doctor Doom’s fascist, metal-encased ass.

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