There’s no shortage of muscle in the DC universe. From Kryptonians who can shatter planets to avatars of magic who wield the strength of Hercules himself, brawn isn’t exactly in short supply whereever you look. But ruthless intelligence? Now that’s a different story entirely, as only a select few minds can boast an intellect capable of understanding the many mysteries of that universe. And then there’s Brainiac, a living example of cold and unfeeling knowledge wrapped up in a mind that’ll stop at nothing to have all the answers possible.
One of the more persistent villains in the Superman rogues gallery, Brainiac has existed in multiple forms since his debut in 1958. Some times he’s a survivor of the Coluan race, other times a robotic shell constructed by the computer tyrants of Colu as an avatar of their quest for knowledge. But his deadliest form may have been seen in his return in 2011, when writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank turned the genius into a proper think-tank who could go toe to toe with the man of steel himself in a fist-fight (See Superman: Unbound for a great animated example of this).
If he chose to, that is. This is arguably Brainiac, at his finest. Devoid of any morals, obsessed with collecting cities by shrinking them and able to outthink any adversary. A 12th level intellect with no compassion, this is the version of the Silver Age foe that Injustice 2’s primary antagonist is likely based on, and it’s one hell of a choice. After all, look at all the skills that Brainiac brings to the table:
- Unique Physiology
- Superhuman Strength
- Enhanced Intellect
Now here’s where I really start reading too much into this. You’ve also got Darkseid available in Injustice 2, a villain who is frankly too fantastic to have around as a mere background character. This is a cosmic-level threat who at one point was so powerful that he almost killed the universe itself. He’s beaten Superman numerous times, rules a planet built on suffering and commands an army of dark gods who were born from pure nightmare fuel.
He’s also an integral part of the animated Justice League universe, a threat who worked together with Brainiac and seemingly met his end in the finale of the episode “Twilight”. Dead along with Brainiac, Darkseid would later on be resurrected and fused with the technology of Brainiac, assaulting Earth with his entire army and taking Superman to the breaking point and beyond.
Listen, I know I’m nerding out here and I don’t care because I’m well aware that this probably won’t happen. But if Injustice 2 doesn’t feature some inspiration from one of the best animated series of all time, it’s going to be one hell of a missed opportunity. Either that, or not having Michael Ironside voice him again would be an even bigger waste. Yes, I am such a nerd.