Braniac and Luther team up to Destroy Superman!!
SUPERMAN Vol.1, No.167, February 1964; Cover Art: Curt Swan; Writers: Cary Bates, Edmond Hamilton; Penciler: Curt Swan; Inker: George Klein
When one villain isn’t enough to take down the Man of Steel, two titans of terror combine their efforts to defeat him! Escaping from prison, Lex Luthor searches for a partner, only to uncover Brainiac’s true origin. While the Luthor-Brainiac team-up has predictable results, including inter-team rivalry and the inevitable Kryptonian victory, the real curiosity here is that this issue establishes a new backstory for Superman’s green-skinned nemesis, introduced in Action Comics #242(July 1958).
In this version, Brainiac is a computer designed to appear humanoid; the “retcon” was written in order to placate computer scientist Edmund Callis Berkeley, whose home computer kit – introduced years before Brainiac’s first DC appearance – was named the BRAIN-Imitating almost-Automatic Computer. Following the Geniac, Tinyac, and Weenyac, the Brainiac kit may have enjoyed more sales as a result of this gracious advertisement in the form of a revised origin for the computer-minded criminal.
Kudos to Dr. Arnold T. Blumberg for his expert commentary above and to the talented artists and writers of DC Comics who captivated and inspired millions of readers during this magical Golden Age. To purchase the 2020 Vintage Superman Calendar, click HERE.
Dr. Arnold T. Blumberg is an educator, publisher, author, comic book and pop culture historian, and former museum curator. He is the author or co-author of Zombiemania, The Big BIG LITTLE BOOK Book, and Howe’s Transcendental Toybox. He was the editor of The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide and also wrote for Cinescape, The International Journal of Comic Art, Fandom, and IGN.com. He holds a doctorate in Communications Design from the University of Baltimore and teaches courses in everything from comics and superhero mythology to zombies to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. You can find him on Twitter at @DoctoroftheDead