Thursday, September 10, 2009
Brainiac. Terrorizing the Cosmos Sans Trousers.
Second only to Lex Luthor in Superman's rogues gallery, Brainiac is an evil, sentient android with a computerized brain whose name is whispered in hushed tones throughout the known universe. He's also a green, bald guy with no pants.
Honestly, I'm never sure what to make of this guy's outfit. I assume he was meant to look futuristic, but instead he looks like a gay guy who painted himself green for Mardi Gras. I mean, what kind of supervillain wears a skin-tight pink shirt with white collar and cuffs paired with black short-shorts and pink (sometimes white) go-go boots?? Maybe he hopes his ludicrous appearance will make heroes underestimate him.
Apart from his terrible fashion sense, Brainiac's other notable feature is the weird little web of red diodes that light up on his scalp.
Brainiac also seems to eerily predict the habits of future comics collectors, as every time he collects a new city, he puts it in a bottle to keep it in "mint" condition. Well, they didn't have Mylar bags in the 1950's, you know.
The coolest thing about Brainiac is his name. Not that many old-school supervillains get to become a piece of pop-culture slang. It's just so catchy. I can only assume that his name was derived from ENIAC, the early super-computer and, of course, the fact that it combines brain and maniac. And he's always smiling so malevolently on the covers of Superman and Action Comics.
What's funny is, when I was a little kid watching Challenge of the Super-Friends, I always thought Brainiac and Lex Luthor would probably hang out. I guess because they were both bald and hated Superman?