I’ve never been one for Brainiac. He’s one of those “all powerful, all knowing” super-villains that exists just to be shown that they’re not all powerful and all knowing, usually after some well placed fists and one liners. I’ve also had a hard time finding him villainous. Granted, he blows up planets and kills billions, but that’s an unfortunate side effect of what Brainiac is truly after, knowledge. Every modern interpretation of the character has had an obsession to learn everything which isn’t inherently bad. The desire to learn is an actually quite an honorable thing to have. Brainiac’s desire just happens to lead him to decimate whole planets. At best I see him as a tragic villain, one who should be beaten, but leaves everyone feeling a bit guilty when it’s all over.
Brainiac #1 plays with this a little bit by showing his origin to be a misguided attempt to save his own civilization from the Multitude. I thought it was a race but turns out it’s just a plot device that destroys stuff for no real reason. Still, his “I do this for the good of all” motivation helped to round out his character which made him that much more interesting. Yet this was literally all thrown away with the last line of the comic so I was left rather disappointed.
I was honestly torn when I read this. I knew he was bad and I knew he would destroy everything if left alone but he didn’t start out destroying the planets he tried to save. And even then, the planet he destroyed would have been destroyed anyway. His actions were wrong yes, but from a pragmatic point of view it makes sense. Some could see it as a bit of mercy even. Yet all of that was just tossed aside in favor for turning him into a green Luthor. Sad times.
Final Verdict: I just want some pants! A decent pair of pants!