The Animated Series Made So Many Changes To Brainiac

In a retrospective piece on “Superman: The Animated Series” for CBR, Bruce Timm talked about how the significant changes to Brainiac came about, giving credit to his collaborator for the clever idea to make the villain an AI on the planet Krypton:

“That was all Alan Burnett’s idea. I give him all the props for that. At first, I was really not into the idea because I’m such a purist — I’m one of those guys who watch a movie trailer and goes, ‘Spider-Man shouldn’t be shooting webs out of his own body! He needs to build the web shooters!’ — but then Alan explained it to me that [Brainiac] is basically Siri — though, he didn’t say Siri back then — for the entire planet.”

In the original comics, Brainiac had no relation to Superman or his origin. However, the animated series decided to take the character down a darker route that was much more personal to Clark Kent and his journey. While Timm is a self-proclaimed purist, the way Alan Burnett framed the story of Brainiac’s disturbing ties to the destruction of krypton and the AI’s need for its self-preservation was too good to pass up:

“He knows that Jor-El is telling the truth about the end of the world. He’s got his escape plan and a bigger plan beyond that’s creepy and sinister; I was all-in.”

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