DC Animated Movies: Superman: Brainiac Attacks

Brainiac Attacks

After the trial for me that was Teen Titans, it was really cool and exciting for me to dive into the warm comfort of Superman: Brainiac Attacks. While the movie isn’t technically in continuity with Superman: The Animated Series, it does share design elements and some voice cast, so it feels very homey and lived in and kind of awesome.

The plot involves Lex Luthor building a satellite to rehab his image after his latest scheme in world domination and Superman killing. The satellite then fails at shooting down Brainiac in his return to earth. Meanwhile, at The Daily Planet, Jimmy and Lois rib each other about their love lives, Perry praises Clark for being a good reporter without getting into trouble like that daredevil Lois. Then Superman fights Brainiac and beats him but doesn’t destroy all of him. Also, Lex’s satellite shoots Kryptonite beams at him, because it does. Then Brainiac and Lex team up to kill Superman, because that’s what the two of them do. In that fight, where Brainiac is a giant robot of Lexcorp Tech, because when Superman fights giant robots it’s the freaking best, Lois gets hurt bad. Superman then decides to save her and it turns out that she’s got Kryptonite poisoning, and Superman cures that with Kryptonian tech and a trip to the Phantom Zone. Not gonna lie, I’d checked out on the paying attention to the plot at this point, because the trip to the Phantom Zone involved a Fangirl pitch perfect fantasy sequence where Clark tells Lois the truth and she’s thrilled and they go out to dinner and she wears a fancy dress and she’s cool with him not being Superman anymore. (This is when Clark figures out that she’s a hallucination, because Lois would never be OK with that.) Then he leaves the Phantom Zone, and  well somehow beats Brainiac and Lex.

There’s a B story where Jimmy has a crush on Mercy for some reason and then beats the crap out of her with a robot. Because, I don’t really know why, but it was pretty great. Because I love Jimmy a lot, I particularly love the S:TAS  version of Jimmy. So giving him his own plotline is great.

Performances remain my favorite aspect of these movies. Seeing the slight variations is always a lot of fun. I adore Tim Daly and Dana Delaney as Supes and Lois. Much like Kevin Conroy, these two just kind of own it and move forward doing all kinds of great and unexpected things with their lines. Powers Booth is Lex, rather than the Clancy Brown, which was actually a good fit. This version of Lex was a little bit more manic and silly, and somehow Brown’s silky smooth baritone wouldn’t have fit the tone. (The one time where his Lex does go nuts is in Superman/Batman: Public enemies is amazing but that’s more psychotic than silly.) And Brainiac is here voiced by Lance Henrikson and I didn’t like the films take on him at all. To me, Brainiac works best when he has a sort of detached malice. Brainiac isn’t interested in destruction for the sake of destruction, it’s just a biproduct of his unending quest for knowledge. This Brainiac wants to kille Kal-El, because he was humiliated by Kal-El. That is a very un-Brainiac motivation to me. Brainiac wants to kill Kal-El, because he’s a loose end. Anyway, mentioned already how much I love David Kaufman as Jimmy Olsen, although I missed his mullet very much.

Up next is Superman: Doomsday, which is based on The Death of Superman, which I read and um, tolerated earlier this year. It’s a story that’s very in it’s moment. (That moment being 1993-4). I’ve actually watched this one, but fell asleep. I’ll try not to fall asleep this time.

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