DC Database

On Krypton 35 years previously, General Zod and Ursa witness an alien force of robotic enemies arriving and slaughtering innocents. The robots surround the city of Kandor and unleash an energy force-field. It encases Kandor and before Zod can stop it, the city is gone along with their attackers.

Quote1 I grew up on Krypton, didn't I? Everyone who did knows about Brainiac. He's what kept us from going out after dark. Quote2
Supergirl src

Superman: Brainiac is a 2008 Superman storyline written by Geoff Johns with art by Gary Frank. The story was a prelude to the New Krypton arc, and formed the basis for the 2013 animated movie Superman: Unbound.


On Krypton 35 years previously, General Zod and Ursa witness an alien force of robotic enemies arriving and slaughtering innocents. The robots surround the city of Kandor and unleash an energy force-field. It encases Kandor and before Zod can stop it, the city is gone along with their attackers.

In the present day, the Daily Planet is having a staff meeting. Steve Lombard irks the entire staff with his obnoxious attitude until Clark secretly breaks the chair leg with his heat vision causing Steve to fall over. Cat flashes her cleavage at Clark, commenting on her surgery. Clark remains calm with eye contact. Lois is unimpressed as they know it's an act. They leave the meeting and recount how Cat left the Daily Planet and lost her son, and now is using a mask to cover up her feelings.

A flaming object from space is heading to Earth. Clark quickly broadens his shoulders, flips his hair and rips his shirt to perform his 'other job'.

Meanwhile in Smallville, Jonathan Kent is busily posting a fence around the farm. Martha Kent waves him inside the house for breakfast. The pair don't notice the weathervane suddenly spinning.

Superman flies upward and catches the flying object. It rapidly transforms into skeletal form and into the familiar appearance of one of Brainiac 1.0's foot soldiers. The robot fails in its attempt to lobotomize Superman. Ripping off an arm, Superman sends the battle into a nearby river. The robot shields itself and scans Clark's body. A tiny droplet of blood appears from the point it had tried to hurt Superman, enough for a DNA scan. This happens in a split second for it powers down as Clark is about to administer a devastating blow. Instead he watches it power down and crumple, leaving him puzzled as to Brainiac's plot.

In space, Brainiac travels in a frozen old star cruiser shaped like a skull. Dead for some time it suddenly powers up with the transmitted data. The ice melts, the lights power up, and the cruiser hums to life. The tri-circle blinks on revealing a chamber full of bottled cities, almost like lanterns lighting the room. Central to the room is a metallic structure connected to a comatose Brainiac within a Coluan. The data extracts and notifies the ship that it has encountered a Kryptonian and attempt 242 is now in progress.

Back at the Fortress, Supergirl sees the Brainiac android and assures Superman that this isn't really Brainiac because no one has seen the real Brainiac. He sends off probes to scan planets. Several decades ago she saw his probes raid Kandor, which then was stolen. Agitated, she burns the probe, upset at seeing Brainiac again. Kal hugs Kara to calm her down, and realizes he has to find the real Brainiac and rescue every city he has stolen.

In Smallville, Clark talks with his parents, who naturally fear for him but trust him to do the right thing. Clark spends time with Pa and they talk about what it was like growing up.

Clark says goodbye to Lois before getting on a ship and flying deep into space, seeking Brainiac and studying findings by Non about Brainiac on Krypton. He finds probes attacking a planet, and finds himself unable to stop the "bottling" process.

A missile blows apart the system, and Superman is left unconscious. Brainiac's ship pulls him in.

At the Daily Planet, Cat Grant struts down the aisles impressing the younger male staff with her "assets". Supergirl stops by the Planet for an impromptu visit and embarrasses Cat by accidentally revealing information about her enhancements. Kara then meets with Lois Lane and inquires about Clark's whereabouts. Lois has no idea where he's at.

Superman is actually trapped aboard Brainiac's Skull Ship where he is being examined by Brainiac Probes. He has dreams of cities being captured and planets destroyed. When he awakens, he breaks free of their grasp and smashes several of the robots. Superman begins exploring the vessel, searching for Brainiac. After a disturbing encounter with an ape-like specimen named Koko, Superman finds the shrunken Krptonian city of Kandor. The city is concealed inside a bottle that retracts up into the ceiling as soon as Superman touches it. Continuing his exploration, he soon comes upon the bio-pod of the ship's master, Brainiac.

Brainiac awakens and descends from the pod. He tells Superman that he will assimilate all knowledge of everything on Earth, beginning with him. Superman learns that Supergirl was correct and that he has been asleep and he has never met with him face to face before. The two begin fighting, but Superman cannot stop him. He learns of the existence of Superman's cousin Supergirl, and plans on assimilating her as well.

Within minutes, Brainiac's ship appears in the sky above Metropolis. Dozens of robotic Brainiac Probes are deployed. Supergirl holds the front line and defends the Daily Planet. Bolstering her courage, she charges head-long into the probes.

On board the head ship, Superman continues to struggle with Brainiac. He tears out one of Brainiac's cybernetic implant cables, causing him to howl in electrostatic pain.

After temporarily disabling Brainiac, Superman discovers the shrunken, bottled Kryptonian city of Kandor. He communes with Supergirl's parents, Alura and Zor-El, who ask him if their daughter is safe. Zor-El tells Superman of how his former home of Argo City had been assimilated into Kandor after an encounter with Brainiac.

Brainiac recovers from his injury and renews his attack against Superman. He gets the drop on him, and attaches him to a network of cables that hard-wires him to the ship's computer systems. Brainiac then uses his force field technology to generate a sphere around Metropolis. Shrinking it, he brings it aboard his ship. Now that he has what he came for, Brainiac no longer requires the use of the planet Earth. He launches a solar aggressor towards the sun and tells Superman that the device will cause the sun to flare up, incinerating the planet Earth.

Supergirl is brought in to the chamber of bottles to join her restrained cousin.

In Smallville, a storm is brewing. Jonathan Kent and Martha Kent nervously try to secure the farm certain that something terrible is on the way.

Brainiac goads Superman about his love for all things Earthly. Krypton was a superior planet, Earth in comparison is a savage world with nothing to offer he explains. Metropolis, now a bottle city stares up at the warped image of Superman through the protoplasmic glass. In particular Superman glimpses down at the minuscule Daily Planet building and the microscopic human staring up at him.

Lois whispers and Superman focuses his weakened senses to hear his loving wife. She tells him that if this really is the end of the world he has to know that she loves him. Superman focuses harder to release his reserve solar energy and while Brainiac continues his diatribe, Superman breaks free.

Brainiac is unimpressed and easily parries Superman's blow. He catches and crushes Superman's hand until it bleeds.

"Earth has robbed you of your potential, you are far from Kryptonian... you are a simple brute"

Mocking the teachings of his parents angers Superman into retaliating. Grabbing Brainiac by his interface ports he digs his fingers in rendering them useless before pulling Brainiac's head onto his bleeding fist. Unleashing his heat-vision he scorches the eyes of the villain and quickly severs the cities of Metropolis and the amalgamated Kandor and Argo.

Kara is being restrained by Brainiac's sentry robots but, resolve renewed, the Man of Steel destroys the robots and rescues his cousin. Kara drowsily awakens and realizes she is captive on Brainiac's cruiser. Before Superman can reveal his discovery about Kara's parents, in the background they hear Brainiac rise and make his way towards them.

Kara is scared, chilled to the bone, but Superman offers his full support, something he realizes he had neglected to do in the past. Kara realizes this is her chance to be a true hero, worthy of her family crest, giving chase to stop the missile from sending the sun nova. Gritting her teeth Kara smashes through the ship's hull and directly after the missile. Superman waits to confront Brainiac. Free from his machines, Superman regains some composure to show Brainiac who really is in control... No one is in control of life.

The weakened villain is taken aback as Superman zips out of his path to kick him in the spinal column and flash freeze him to the side of his own cruiser in 'his own bottle.' Superman's arctic breath weakened the hull enough for Superman to leap through and the two fall to Earth with tremendous force.

On Earth, Brainiac lands in marsh land, a stark opposite to the sterile safety of his cruiser. Insanity creeps in almost instantly as Brainiac sees his body invaded by bacteria, germs, bugs and all manner of environmental 'hazards' we live with every day. With futility, the Coluan desperately tries to claw the germs from his body and distracted by fear he is again caught by surprise and Superman flies down and stomps Brainiac's face in the silt.

Superman is about to strike again but the bottles begin to screech and crackle with energy. Quickly he leaps back into the air to help the souls within, leaving Brainiac in the marsh. Brainiac consciously activates a small homing missile from his damaged cruiser and smiles that he knows where Superman's true home is.

Superman lands in a crater that was once Metropolis and places the bottle back exactly in place before the bioshell cracks and the city expands to its original size.

Supergirl rushes to stop the missile.

At the Daily Planet, Lois looks up at her husband as he races away. Even as Steve uses their rescue to flirt with Cat, Lois looks on with a heavy heart.

In Smallville, Martha races out of the farmhouse to tell Jonathan about what has just happened to Metropolis, but the couple see something in the sky heading directly for them that stops them in their tracks. Jonathan grabs his wife and pulls her out of the missile's path.

Supergirl grips the missile heading for the sun and, summing up her immense strength, hurls the missile out of the solar system.

Superman lands near to the Fortress of Solitude and is flung backwards as Kandor and Argo expand in position next to Clark's former place of solitude.

Brainiac remains in stasis.

Jonathan comforts his wife and they share a tender moment in the fiery rubble that was once the Kent farm. Kara is still in space too far to help and Superman is distracted by the formation of the Earth's newest city. Jonathan feels his arm freeze and his heart skip beats... he drops to his knees and a terrified Martha calls out for her son.

By the time Superman hears the pleas of his mother, the last of Jonathan's life ebbs away.

Superman arrives and the Kent family mourns their loss.


Recommended Reading

Links and References

Superman Our Worlds at War Vol 1 TP
Superman Family Storyline
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Supergirl Storyline
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