Between 2006 and 2008, Kids’ WB aired Legion of Super Heroes – an animated television series focusing on a collection of super heroes from the 31st Century. The show featured multiple iconic DC Comics characters, including Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl and Timber Wolf, and ran for two seasons.
During the course of the show, two of the characters, Superman and Brainiac 5, developed a strong friendship, which some fans suggested included a romantic undercurrent from Brainiac 5. So, was there a little more to the Superman/Brainiac 5 relationship than what we saw on screen?
According to Legion of Super Heroes producer James Tucker, yes – there was something there.
Speaking on DC FanDome in September 2020, Tucker said: “Sometimes the network doesn’t want you to have any subtext in anything you do, so that a person can watch it and bring their own thing to it. So, it was there, but it wasn’t something we wanted to hit over the head or make a hard, fast, you know, statement about. But if someone saw it, it’s valid.”
Voice actor, Adam Wylie, who provided the voice for Brainiac 5, was also in support of this element of Brainy’s character.
Speaking on FanDome, he said: “What I loved about that, was Brainiac 5 clearly not only admired Superman but there was something even more there, and it was really fun, actually, to explore the… not obsession, but just the love that this robot who didn’t have emotion developed for a human. It was pretty awesome, actually.”
Outside of Brainiac 5’s feelings towards Superman, there was no other specific LGBTQ+ content in Legion of Super Heroes, and Tucker admits “we hadn’t quite decided” as to whether or not to introduce any LGBTQ+ characters into the show. So, unless fans can read any other LGBTQ+ characters and/or relationships in the series, Brainiac 5 is the only character to come close.
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