The endgame villain of DC’s Injustice 2 was revealed in a new story trailer on Tuesday, showing Brainiac as the mastermind behind the new conflict among the DC superheroes. But what could Brainiac possibly want from Superman punching Batman for the umpteenth time? Well, total control, of course.
Injustice 2, the sequel to 2013’s Injustice: Gods Among Us from Mortal Kombat developers NetherRealm Studios, takes place five years after the first game with Batman trying to restore society after the fall of Superman’s tyrannical Regime. Betrayals and losses within Batman’s Insurgency leads the Dark Knight to form a new team to fight Brainiac, whose timing to invade Earth couldn’t have come at a worse time.
Brainiac, a classic Superman villain who debuted in Action Comics #242 by Otto Binder and Al Plastino in 1958, is an alien android with supreme “12th level intellect” allowing him to calculate complex science and even possess others and absorb their knowledge. Later reboots in DC continuity, like from John Byrne, expanded Brainiac’s power set to telepathy and telekinesis, which would be quite useful in a fighting game. Appearance wise, you can always expect Brainiac to have green skin and stuff coming out of his skull.
Brainiac is also notable for shrinking and keeping the Kryptonian city of Kandor, to the ire of Superman. In a 2008 storyline after the DC event crossover Infinite Crisis, Superman learns his countless fights with Brainiac were just fights with probes, and that nobody has ever seen the real Brainiac, which Superman finally does in Action Comics #868.
In a post on the official PlayStation blog by Dominic Ciancolo, cinematic director at NetherRealm, Brainiac was chosen so the story of Injustice 2 wouldn’t merely repeat the conflict between Batman and Superman. “We knew that the game’s core conflict — Batman versus Superman — had to remain front and center. But to keep Injustice moving forward, we needed more.”
“Enter Brainiac,” writes Ciancolo. “There are few in the DC universe that could top ‘Dictator Superman’ as a foe for Batman. The challenges don’t come much bigger than a determined Man of Steel. But in Brainiac, Batman faces a challenge like none he’s faced before … The overwhelming threat he poses to Earth forces Batman to question everything he knows. It also makes him consider crossing lines he’d vowed to never cross …”
Injustice 2 will be released May 16 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.