The Brainiac War. Considered by many to be among the greatest tragedies in modern history, the Brainiac War resulted in the single greatest loss of civilian life in recorded history.
The first event of the Brainiac War went unnoticed for almost 48 hours, and it is widely thoerized that had the action been discovered in time the entire catastrophe could have been avoided. Early in the morning over New York, Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern, began his interstellar flight to check in with his superiors on the planet Oa. He had just cleared the edge of the solar system when he was ambushed by a force of large, heavily armed war vessels of the Brainiac Construct. Jordan fought them off for a time, but soon he realized he would be overwhelmed. He attempted to flee, returning towards Earth to warn The Justice League of Brainiac’s approach, but was intercepted again by Brainiac himself. Outnumbered and outgunned, Hal Jordan was overwhelmed and killed by Brainiac. His Power Ring was then taken by Brainiac, who over the course of the next 48 hours discovered the secrets of the ring and was able to corrupt it, integrating its energies into the core programming of the Brainiac Construct, arranging for him to be able to exert the rings power through any of the agents linked directly to his mind. It is widely theorized that had Brainiac been found and attacked in this period of time that the war could have been wholly averted, as the subsequent events were made possible by the power gained from the Ring. However, as nobody expected the Green Lantern to return for several days, nobody knew to miss him until it was far too late.
Brainiac struck earth with the expected cold efficient brutality of a heartless machine, focusing his initial invasion into a blitz of Metropolis. Several of Earth’s stronger heroes were present for the ensuing battle, but with the power of the Green Ring flowing through all of Brainiac’s mechanical soldiers, it was akin to the city being invaded by the entire Green Lantern Corps. The battle raged in the streets of Metropolis for 2 hours before Brainiac’s personal Bioship arrived in Metropolis airspace. Immediately upon his arrival, a green hard-light dome materialized around the entire city, trapping everyone inside and preventing anyone from escaping. As Superman tried to attack the Bioship, the dome rapidly collapsed in upon itself, crushing the entire city and much of the ground around it, compressing it tightly. Within minutes, Brainiac forced the entire city – and over 14 million of its citizens – into the size of a marble. Turning his attention on Superman, Brainiac exerted his force of will to temporarily immobilize him before forcing the hyper-compressed Metropolis down his throat before releasing the compression bubble. The gravitational force of the entire city created a small black hole within Superman’s chest, which was enough to crush and kill the Man of Steel.
The only survivor of Brainiac’s destruction of Metropolis was Lex Luthor, who managed to escape the crushing dome using his power-suit and familiarity with the energies of the Green Power Ring. When all was said and done, he stood over the ruined waste of a devastated Metropolis, at a complete loss for what to do next. He then watched as Brainiac, cold and mercurial as he had arrived, turned and left earth.
It only took a day for the next part of the Brainiac War to begin. Realizing that he would need to consolidate his power quickly before various groups organized against him, he unleashed his forces on the next greatest threat to his power – the planet Apokolips, throneworld of the tyrannical demigod Darkseid. The audacious attack took Darkseid and his forces completely by surprise, and the legions of the Brainiac Construct swarmed over Apokolips like a plague. Darkseid himself fought against the assault personally, personally destroying dozens of ships and countless drones. Once more, Brainiac personally arrived to handle the situation. Knowing that he could not truly kill Darkseid, he resorted to the next best thing. He defeated Darkseid, rendering him defenseless long enough to throw him into a dimensional rift, banishing Darkseid to the Phantom Zone. There would be time to determine exactly how to kill Darkseid once the rest of Brainiac’s enemies were destroyed.
The third battle of the Brainiac War happened immediately after the systematic deconstruction of Apokolips. Having sensed the fear sowed by Brainiac and his armies, Sinestro and his Corps of Yellow Lanterns arrived, recognizing the threat that a Green Lantern powered Brainiac posed to the universe. Sinestro led the attack personally, using the powers of the Yellow Power Ring to counter Brainiac’s own power ring. At first, the Sinestro Corps seemed to be making decent headway. However, as neither Brainiac nor his drones experienced fear, the Yellow Lanterns were unable to recharge their power and as such lost their advantage. Brainiac seized the initiative, quickly eradicating over two thirds of the Sinestro Corps in minutes. With no other options, Sinestro ordered his forces to fall back and regroup for later.
Having seen the potential threat that the Lantern Corps’ could pose to his power base, Brainiac’s fleet made for the planet Oa, base of operations for the interstellar peacekeeping force, the Green Lantern Corps. The flight between the two worlds took only 2 days, after which Brainiac’s forces appeared above the planet seemingly without warning. However, the Green Lantern Corps was not unprepared. They had learned about everything that had happened since Jordan’s death, and had been preparing for an inevitable assault on the Corps’ headquarters. As such, the entirty of the Corps’ members were waiting on Oa, and had fortified it against such an assault. Furthermore, they had gained the aid of several potent allies. The Blue Lanterns of Hope, the Indigo Lanterns of Compassion, and the Violet Lanterns of Love had also gathered their forces to stop Brainiac’s advance in its tracks. The bearers of the Power Rings had drawn a line in the sand, and had chosen Oa to make their stand against Brainiac.
The ensuing battle was truly fierce. Millions of drones descended upon Oa’s defenders, but were outclassed by the Green Lantern Corps due to their proximity to the primary Green Battery. Fortified by the dozens of warriors who stood by their side, Brainiac Drones were destroyed by the hundreds. However, numbers were on Brainiac’s side, and slowly but surely the Green Lanterns and their allies were driven back to the Guardians’ citadel, never even getting a clear shot at Brainiac’s command ship. Soon the numbers began to turn the tide, and many of Oa’s defenders turned to terror and despair, draining the powers of their rings and leading to their deaths. Oa was being deconstructed, and its defenders overrun. The Green Lantern Corps was doomed.
It was then that Sinestro and his Yellow Lanterns arrived above Oa. However, instead of coming to fight against their old enemies in the Green Lantern Corps, they had arrived to join the battle against Brainiac. Drawing upon the terror of an entire world, the Yellow Lanterns attacked Brainiac’s command ship directly, striking at it from his unguarded rear flank. Filled with confidence over his previous victories, Brainiac opted not to redirect any of his forces from the surface, choosing instead to finish the wavering defenders of Oa and kill the Guardians. This overconfidence allowed Sinestro to personally break into the command ship and face Brainiac personally. The battle between the two caused extreme damage to the ship, and the entire Sinestro Corps was killed in the process. However, in the end, Sinestro’s nobility showed for the first time since he left the Green Lantern Corps. Fueling all of his power into a single blow, Sinestro lashed out and managed to destroy Brainiac’s hand, releasing Jordan’s power ring from Brainiac’s control. However, in that effort he lowered his defenses entirely, allowing Brainiac an opening to kill Sinestro. However, the damage was done to Brainiac’s war effort – Jordan’s power ring was gone, and all the others were destroyed with Oa and the Guardians. Brainiac’s ace in the hole was gone.
Knowing that his greatest advantage was gone, Brainiac realized that he needed to act fast in order to maintain control. He made to return to Earth, and he arrived there after a three day journey. He hoped that by striking the planet while it was still recovering from the destruction of Metropolis that The Justice League would be unable to hold his attack. Gathering all of his forces, he launched simultaneous attacks on Gotham, Star City, New York and Washington DC. While his legions attacked these cities, Brainiac led an assault fleet on Watchtower directly, hoping to kill as many members of the Justice League as possible in one swift stroke. Though he did not have the Power Ring in his arsenal, he was still confident that the League would be unable to fight back.
He was wrong.
As his armies fought, died, and killed on the surface, his fleet found Watchtower apparently abandoned. His fleet immediately began to deconstruct the station, thinking that all of the League’s members were too busy defending their various cities to rally against him. As Brainiac’s ship approached the station, however, a small ship appeared out of nowhere. It was the Batwing, retrofitted for space flight. Moving too fast for Brainiac’s ships to intercept, the Batwing smashed through the outer hull of Brainiac’s command ship. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor attacked from the other side, high powered laser weaponry penetrating through Brainiac’s armor and defense ships. Luthor and Batman moved through Brainiac’s ship, having developed an advanced computer virus that efficiently shut down the ship’s systems. They managed to cut through his defenses and reached Brainiac himself in his command center. There the three of them fought while Brainiac’s forces turned their attention from Earth and raced towards the command ship, hoping to support Brainiac before Earth’s greatest minds could defeat him.
In the end, they were too late. Though most of Batman’s bones were shattered and Luthor’s spine was completely removed, Luthor landed the blow that forcibly uploaded the virus into Brainiac directly. The virus shut Brainiac down, and with him the entirety of his forces. Controlling his battlesuit through voice commands, Luthor carried Batman back to his ship and flew them both to safety, where they were both rushed to their respective medical facilities.
Batman was never seen again, and despite the advanced medical technology at his disposal, Luthor was never able to walk again. But the Brainiac War was over. At the end of the war, over 30 million innocent people were killed along with dozens of earth’s heroes. Though it lasted only a week, it is considered the most devastating event in the planet’s history. A memorial to the heroes who gave their lives in the effort to destroy Brainiac was erected in New Metropolis, forever marking the event in mankind’s memory.
More information to come