Brainiac 5 is presently starring in the ongoing Legion of Superheroes series since the rebooted DC universe in the new 52. The Legion is presently fighting a Daxamite and a group of Controllers on the planet of Panoptes.
In the 30th Century, Querl Dox was born on Colu, a direct descendant of the original Brainiac and Vril Dox II. After centuries of disuse, the title "Brainiac" was taken by Querl's father, and eventually was given to Querl at the age of twelve. He was the fifth to ever hold the title. Making many breakthroughs in the science of time travel during university as a young boy thanks to his mentor Circadia Senius, Querl was invited to join the Time Institute in Metropolis on Earth. He became close friends with fellow time genius, Rond Vidar. He invented the Time Bubble, which became the primary mode of time travel for the Legion of Super-Heroes. While using a Time Viewer to see the dawn of time, the Green Lantern Corps attacked him, but he was saved by the newly formed Legion of Super-Heroes. Impressed by the team, and using his code-name of Brainiac 5, he tried out and joined the Legion alongside Supergirl. He went on to collaborate with the first Invisible Kid, Lyle Norg, to invent the Legion Flight Rings.
Brainiac 5 was created by Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney.
Original Continuity: New Earth
Brainiac 5 is usually portrayed as being anti-social, cold towards others, aloof and self-involved. The reasoning for this is his heightened intelligence which always surpasses those around him, making it difficult for him to relate communication his point to others. Through sensible, appropriate dialogue, Brainiac 5 found he had to "dumb down" his conversations so his peers could understand his ramblings. Still Brainiac 5 has shown a dedicated valor to his friends and the Legion, he has enjoyed being the resident brainchild on the team. Brainiac 5's career has had its ups and downs. He invented the robot, Computo, which rebelled and caused trouble for the Legion, including cause the death of one of Triplicate Girl's bodies.
The Querl Dox of Earth-247 was awarded the title of Brainiac. Before Querl, his mother, a famous scientist for Colu, held the title. She abandoned Querl on his day of birth and he inherited her research. He was speaking by the time he was an infant and functionally working as a scientist by a toddler. Querl's research conflicted with Colu's and he was sent to do research for R.J. Brande. Querl destroyed several of Brande's labs, and when Brande could no longer afford to keep him on staff, Brande sent him to work at the Time Institute on Talus. While there, he met Rond Vidar. Querl received a draft notice from Colu to join the Legion of Super-Heroes. He was so wrapped up in his work, that he ignored it. Once he was noticed as missing, he was brought into the Legion.
Joining the Legion as Brainiac 5, he was instrumental in many cases. He saved the Earth from the White Triangle, healed Triad, cured Andromeda's lead poisoning, and created the anti-gravity metal that was used in the Legion Flight Rings. He developed a crush on Andromeda, but after she was seemingly killed, he threw himself into his work. He made some new discoveries, and used them to travel back in time to save the hero, Valor. He was arrested by the United Planets, however, because time travel was illegal. He was pardoned when R.J. Brande became President and legalized time travel. Brainy and a group of Legionnaires were exiled to the 20th Century by the Emerald Eye. With his technological sources limited, the Legionnaires were trapped for several months.
On Earth-Prime, Brainiac 5 is an influential figure with leadership designs that include usurping leadership of the United Planets. Early on Brainiac 5 comes into conflict with Legion leader Cosmic Boy about the way he has been leading the team. Brainiac 5 is visited by Lemnos and is the only Legionnaire to later recall his face. Brainiac 5 broadcasts a conversation between Cosmic Boy and Sun Boy, causing a fight between the Legionnaires on his side and Cosmic Boy's supporters. Cosmic Boy is called back to his home planet and Brainiac 5 assumes leadership of the Legion. They reconciled later and moved forward as allies. Dream Girl was killed during a Terra Firma attack and Brainiac 5 recovered her body and became obsessed with finding a way to resurrect her. He captured Lemnos to try and revive her, but the experiment destroyed her physical body. It did however leave her consciousness alive in Brainiac 5's dreams.
Later, Brainy's intellect turned the tide in the battle with the Dominators. Brainy constructed a "bomb" , which was really a Phantom Zone projector, which Mon-el flew into the core of the Dominion Homeworld. He also created an anti-lead serum for Mon-El. Brainiac 5 invented a Chronexus that could view the past, and even open temporary time travel portals. With the help of Evolvo Lad, he used the Chronexus to send Supergirl back to the 21st Century. After Cosmic Boy's disappearance, he manipulated events that resulted in the arrest of Mekt Ranzz, boosting Timber Wolf's powers, and the recruitment of possible Legionnaire E.R.G. 1. Still, his ultimate goal was to bring Dream Girl back to life. Brainiac 5 spent more and more time sleeping to be with her. After a time, he proposed in the dream realm. After inventing a machine that could upload the Legionnaires' minds into an information-based reality and being forced to recreate their bodies, he created a body for Dream Girl as well, downloading her consciousness from his mind into the new body. He then invited the Legion to attend their wedding.
Retroboot: New Earth
The event known as Infinite Crisis brought together the Legions of all three continuities. Afterward, the current Legion of Super-Heroes has returned to being a close approximation of the original Pre-Crisis team prior to the Five Year Later. Due to the removal of the original Supergirl and the retcon addition of the latest Kara Zor-El, Brainiac 5's past was changed. He joined the Legion as before, but without Supergirl accompanying him. Brainiac 5 would later meet the current Kara Zor-El when she was stranded weeks later in the future. He was against the idea of letting her stay. She spent an extended period of time with the team, most notably when Satan Girl attacked Earth. The two teamed up to defeat her, sparking a young romance, before Kara returned home. During this period, Brainiac 5 intentionally rigged the founding Legionnaires' time bubble to visit Superboy rather than Superman. This resulted in Superboy's historic joining of the Legion of Super-Heroes.
Rejoining the Legion after the Magic Wars, Brainy used his knowledge to help protect the galaxy once more by organizing several secret missions among the Legionnaires to help protect time. He sent a team back to the 21st Century with lightning rods to retrieve the essence of Bart Allen after his death as a secret weapon for the future. He also had arranged for Starman, Thom Kallor, to place Superboy's (Kon-El) body in the Kryptonian chrysalis in the 21st Century to be resurrected in the 31st.
Later, Earth Man caused a wave of xenophobia to spread on Earth. Brainy sent a Time Bubble to retrieve Superman for assistance. Deported due to his heritage, Brainy took over leadership of Colu to deter the United Planets from going to war with Earth. Superman finally arrived in the 31st Century months later, and helped defeat Earth Man's Justice League. When Superboy-Prime and the Legion of Super-Villains went on a rampage, Brainiac Five was used his previous contingencies of Superboy and Kid Flash to help turn the tide. He also recruited the Legion of Earth-247 and Earth-Prime to help. The Legionnaires eventually defeated the villains, though Earth-Man was forced by the government to join the Legion. Brainy made a special flight ring to keep Earth-Man under control but eventually awarded him a standard one. Presently, Brainiac 5 is investigating the mysterious Harmonia Li, a self proclaimed student of time travel and immortal.
Major Story Arcs
Original Continuity: New Earth
A insane Brainiac 5
The computer tyrants of Colu, in the humanoid form known as Pulsar Stargrave, claimed to be his real father, and caused Brainy to go mad for a time. Stargrave used Brainy to frame Ultra Boy for the murder of An Ryd, but this was cleared up when Chameleon Boy discovered that Stargrave was the true culprit. Still mad, Brainiac 5 accidentally created the vastly powerful Infinite Man. Then he used the Miracle Machine to create the unstoppable Omega, which destroyed Legion Headquarters.
Matter-Eater Lad saved the day, but it drove him crazy as well. Both Legionnaires were admitted into psychiatric care. Brainiac 5 was temporarily released to help the Legion of Substitute Heroes defeat the League of Super-Assassins. With the aid of Saturn Girl, she was able to purge Brainy's mind of the madness. He later went on to cure Matter-Eater Lad, as well as Danielle Foccart, the sister of the second Invisible Kid. After many years of Legion service, Brainy was forced to resign due to insubordination for his conspiracy within the Legion to kill the Time Trapper.
Five years later
After the Magic Wars, Brainiac 5 was still a top scientist assisting the United Planets. When Glorith defeated the Time Trapper and took his place in history, one of the biggest side-effects was that Supergirl was erased from the Legion's history and replaced with Laurel Gand. Laurel stayed on with the Legion continuously, unlike Supergirl, and she and Brainy enjoyed a lengthy and healthy romance when they were young. However, he began to neglect her because he could not justify ignoring his responsibilities for romantic pursuits. In this new history, after the conspiracy to defeat Glorith and his subsequent expulsion from the Legion, he left Earth for Colu without consulting Laurel and their relationship ended.
Brainiac 5 traveled to Winath to help try to find a cure for the Validus plague. He then rejoined the Legion when they reformed after facing Roxxas the Butcher. Although both he and Laurel had rejoined, he felt uncomfortable around her, because she had found love with Brainy's best friend, Rond Vidar. An incident with Glorith left Brainiac 5's body aged, causing him to have to wear a special suit to allow mobility. He later went into hiding with the team when they were framed for aiding the Khunds. Brainiac 5 was wiped out of existence by the time fluctuations of Zero Hour, along with an SW6 'time clone' who had surfaced months prior among the Legionnaires.
Brainiac 5 becomes Brainiac 5.1
After returning to the 30th Century, Brainy and others helped Andromeda investigate an anomaly in space. Once out of the anomaly, Brainy found himself changed. His personality was more friendly and there were grafts on his face that controlled his force field. Gates jokingly renamed him Brainiac 5.1, a name that stuck for a short time. After an attack on Earth by the Blight, Brainy was one of ten Legionnaires who were lost in a rift in space. After a year in the "Second Galaxy", Brainy was able to use Shikari's pathfinding abilities to lead them home. Once home, they were soon threatened by Robotica, a collective of artificial intelligence. Brainiac 5 learned that this collective was engineered by Computo, whom he had created while in the 20th century. Computo had survived through the ages and considered itself to be Brainy's progeny. Later, Brainiac 5 and the other Legionnaires barely survived the destruction of Earth-247 during the Infinite Crisis. They were brought to New Earth by that Earth's Brainiac 5. After the Legions of Three Worlds defeated Superboy-Prime and the Legion of Super-Villains, Brainy and the other Legionnaires from Earth-247 chose to explore the multiverse as the "New Wanderers".
Powers and Abilities
While the population of 20th century Earth has a 6th level intelligence, and average Coluans have a 10th level intelligence, Brainiac 5 has a 12th level intelligence. Hence, Brainiac 5 is known as the smartest person in the universe.
He is able to create very advanced technology such as time machines (such as the Time Cube, Time Spheres and Chronexus), Flight Rings, artificial intelligences, and Force Shields. Brainy is also knowledgeable with medical technology as well, having invented the anti-lead serum for Mon-El and curing Matter-Eater Lad of his madness. Each level of intelligence represents a separate thought track, allowing him to think about or solve twelve equations simultaneously. His brain processes formulas at the speed of a computer.
While physical combat is not something he excels at, he has been known to use his body physics in combat to defend himself or incapacitate opponents. His advanced intellect presents a challenge when people try to affect him with mental abilities - he just thinks faster than they do. He has been known to learn new languages in just hours of listening to conversation.While it is not often illustrated, he excels at using technology in all forms (he is one of the Legion's best pilots), or finding weak spots in other people technology. With his powerful mind he can regulate his body's automatic nervous features with ease.
Brainiac 5 has several other equipment items at his disposal. Brainiac's personal force field belt is nearly impenetrable when it is active. One version of his force field belt is used by Booster Gold. In some iterations, like the Brainiac 5 of Earth-247, this force field is actually internalized. As a Legionnaire, he is equipped with a Legion flight ring which allows him to fly. It can also be used as a long-range communication and tracking device.
As a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes, Brainiac 5 possesses a Legion Flight Ring. The ring gives its wearer the ability to fly, the speed and range of which is determined by the wearer's willpower. It also acts as a long-range communicator (enabling constant vocal contact with other Legionnaires, even across vast distances of space), a signal device, and a navigational compass, all powered by a micro-computer built inside the ring. In the postboot reality, he had a utility belt which provided rations, a transuit, and telepathic ear plugs.
Five Years Later / Batch SW6
During the Dominators' subjugation of Earth, the members of their highly classified "Batch SW6" escaped captivity. Originally, Batch SW6 appeared to be a group of teenage Legionnaire clones, created from samples apparently taken just prior to Ferro Lad 's death at the hands of the Sun-Eater. Later, they were revealed to be time-paradox duplicates, every bit as legitimate as their older counterparts. After Earth was destroyed in a disaster reminiscent of the destruction of Krypton over a millennium earlier, a few dozen surviving cities and their inhabitants reconstituted their world as New Earth. The SW6 Legionnaires including their version of Brainiac 5 remained on New Earth.
Superman: The Animated Series
Brainiac 5 is one of many Legionnaires depicted in the 30th century during the 90s Superman cartoon episode "New Kids in Town." His features and coloring have been altered to more closely resemble the animated counterpart of Brainiac.
Justice League Unlimited
The previous Brainiac 5 returned later in JLU in the episode "Far From Home." Brainy, alongside Bouncing Boy, were the only Legionnaires left to defeat the Fatal Five. Knowing they were outnumbered, Brainy recruited three heroes from the past who history showed as having an undocumented adventure in the future. Among their number was Supergirl, who Brainy quickly found himself physically attracted to. They bonded over technology, something Kara had missed on the backwards Earth of her time. Brainy and Kara were instrumental in defeating the Fatal Five and saving the day. Later, when the heroes of the past prepared to return home, Supergirl decided to stay with Brainiac 5 in the 30th century. He was voiced by Matt Czurchy.
Superman & the Legion of Super-Heroes
Brainiac 5 was a main character in both seasons of the Legion's own cartoon. This version and all of Colu were depicted as robotic lifeforms who could transform themselves into an armored state and create techno-organic energy weapons. This abilities replaced Brainy's force field belt in this universe. This Brainiac 5 was one of the Legionnaires to travel to the past to recruit a young Superman, the start of Brainy's lengthy admiration of the Boy of Steel. He was instrumental in the first season in defeating several threats and especially coordinating the Legion's efforts on missions.
During the second season two years in the future, Brainiac 5 has upgraded his look and travels to the 41st century to help save history. He brings Superman back onto the team and ultimately reveals to Kal-el his connection to the villainous Brainiac, causing a rift between the two friends. Determined to not become like his ancestor, Brainy accessed a part of his programming that was from the original Brainiac in order to increase his own knowledge. This backfired as it allowed Brainiac to slowly corrupt Brainiac 5, ultimately turning him into his host for his return. The entire Legion assembled and it was Superman who helped free Brainiac 5 from his ancestor's control. The resulting purge of Brainiac's programming converted Brainiac 5 into a human being for the first time. Ashamed of his actions and wishing to learn about his new found humanity, Brainy left the Legion in the serie's finale.
In the episode entitled "Legion," the Legion founders travel to the past to defeat Brainiac. Once they have collected Brainiac's mind and plan to return to the future, Saturn Girl remarked that she hoped "Brainiac 5" would be better behaved. It is implied that Brainy would now be a robotic or artificial construct with the original Brainiac's schematic.