- For the Coluan named Brainiac 8, see Indigo.
- "We could use a cold fusion optical transceiver to harness the... why are you shaking your head?"
- "We don't have cold fusion..."
"Of course not! Why would that be useful!?"
- —Brainiac 5 and Winn Schott[src]
Querl Dox, also known as Brainiac 5, is a Coluan and a member of The Legion. A 12th-level intellect, Brainiac 5 is an incredible scientist and combat strategist, affectionately nicknamed "Brainy" by the other legionnaires. He also goes by the name Barney when operating among humans. While organizing a pro-alien rally, he used the screen name American Alien. Unfortunately, during a rescue mission with J'onn and Nia, he is electrocuted by security guards, causing his mind to "reboot", making him cruel and emotionless, similarly to his evil ancestors. He later regained his emotions after seeing Nia Nal in mortal danger.
Querl was born in the 31st century on the planet Colu into the so-called "Brainiac clan". He is implied to have had a strained relationship with his mother. A genius with a 12th-level intellect, the highest ever recorded on the planet, Querl was inspired by the superheroism of the 21st century and Supergirl's ideals, as well as the story and legend about her. At some point in his life, he joined the Legion, a group of superheroes founded and led by the time-displaced Daxamite Mon-El.
While on a mission, Querl, Mon-El, Imra Ardeen and three other unidentified legionnaires hit a wormhole, and were transported 12,000 years into the past. They decided to put themselves into cryo-sleep until the 31st century, but Mon-El and Imra were awakened early when a torpedo hit their ship in 2017 and they later decided to awaken Brainiac 5 to help Kara after she lost her first fight against Reign.
After Mon-El woke Querl to help Supergirl, they placed her in a suspension tank in the Legion's ship while they fitted her with a neural implant that allowed Querl to go into her mind. Once there, he found Kara in a mental simulation of her loft. He was surprised to find that everything seemed to be normal to both her confusion and irritation. He then introduced himself and told her that she was in a coma following her battle with Reign. However, it seemed like she was stuck. Back outside with the others, Querl told them that Kara seemed healthy enough but couldn't seem to wake up.
Querl is an extremely intelligent, logical, but compassionate individual. In the beginning, Querl's compassionate nature was shown in his efforts to help Kara awaken from her coma. Mostly likely due to being a synthetic being, Brainy sometimes comes off as socially awkward and slow to pick up on people's feelings.
However, Querl's massive intellect boasts an equally massive ego, calling himself a "12th Level Intellect", coming up with impossible solutions with technology that doesn't exist yet or dismisses other people's ideas in favour of his own, in addition, he makes his decisions based on logic and calculations, which is why he sided with Imra in her quest to rid themselves on Pestilence in order to save the millions of lives in the future. He is also shown to overestimate his capabilities, especially back in the 21st century where the technology is far more limited than to what he is used to.
Even after spending months in the 21st century, Querl has some trouble understanding some things; he doesn't understand needing to keep quiet about carrying on off-the-books research, while tending to not understand the purpose of tasks asked of him until explained in greater detail. However, he does have an appreciation for classic movies that both Mon-El and Kara told him about.
Querl seems to have an infatuation with Nia Nal, trying to act cool or becoming clumsy in her presence, she seems to return the attraction, flirting with him several times. Furthermore, after Querl lost his emotions, once he saw Nia in a mortal danger his original personality was restored, indicating he deeply cares about her.
After being tortured by the Children of Liberty, Querl's mind rebooted and made it line up to his more emotionless ancestors, the loss of emotions made him quite ruthless, leading him to leave both Nia Nal and J'onn J'onzz behind to be taken to an unknown location, disregarding their safety.
Querl was very practical, never saying more than needed. However, his words tended to be very textbook to the point of exhasperation.
Powers and abilities
- Coluan physiology: Being a synthetic life form, Querl's physiology allows him to shape his body and interact with technology.
- Cybernetic interface/Technopathy: Querl is a Coluan cybernetic being. He is able to transfer body in the form of digital code and teleport through any technology by flying into it while in digital form. He can use any electronics as a portal to another destination, traveling through electronic and digital signals, while he is unable to travel through older broadcasting signals. He can interface with any machinery and manipulate computer systems with a mere gesture, as well as detect digital electronics and signals, while he could not do so with older broadcasting signals and technology. Being incredibly multitasking, he can project his own mind into another via cybernetics devices and maintain enough clarity to speak at the same time with the person to which he is connected and the others in the real world.
- Super strength: Querl's strength allowed him to fight a Kryptonian on equal grounds.
- Super speed: Being a Coluan, Querl also showcased blinding levels of speed.
- Flight: Being a Coluan, Querl has the ability to fly, although since he mainly uses his legion ring to fly, it is unknown to how well he is capable of flying.
- Invulnerability: Querl's body is denser than a human's, but not nearly as durable as a Kryptonian's.
- Self-repair: As a digital being, Querl is able to self-repair, though only if he is conscious, otherwise the Omegahedron can be used to reconstitute him.
- Telekinesis: After being tortured Querl was able to use these powers to pull his legion ring to him and one of the guards.
- Shapeshifting: Being a Coluan, Querl can change his appearance.
- Malleability: Being a Coluan, Querl is able to manipulate his limbs to stretch and elongate to almost no limit and turn his limbs into blades that can pierce into Martians. He is able to absorb bullets harmlessly into his body if shot.
- Voice Mimicry: Querl succeeded to perfectly mimic Lauren Haley's voice.
- Hyper-metabolism: As Querl even states himself, he has the capability of recovering from alcohol libation with remarkable speed.
- Abilities via Legion Ring: Each member of the Legion is granted a special ring that serves as a form of identification, along with granting each member several other capabilities. Since having the ring taken by The Hat, he lost these abilities. After the defeat of Manchester, Brainy's ring was returned to him.
- Flight: The ring has been shown to enable Querl the ability to fly through unspecific means. It seems to be activated through a telepathic suggestion, as no thoughts or movements were taken to activate it. It appears that it allows Querl to fly in a more hover-like stance rather than the typical vertical form of flying found in Martian Manhunter or Supergirl.
- Telepathy immunity: The ring has been shown to give the wearer the ability to resist telepathic abilities such as when M'yrnn J'onzz loses control in the D.E.O. and cause everyone to display violence towards each other.
- Oxygen independence: Querl‘s ring grants him the power to breathe unaided in harsh environments such as the vacuum of space.
- Genius-level intellect: Querl has a "12th-level intellect", meaning he is a genius even by the terms of the 31st century, thus, he possesses superhuman calculation skills, amazing memory and exceptional technical know-how. This increased intellect gives him superior calculating abilities, an encyclopedic memory and innovating scientific knowledge even by Coluans standards. By concentrating the power and disciplined nature of his mighty mind he safely operated many 31st century devices with ease.
- Skilled hand-to-hand combatant: As a Legionnaire, Querl has participated in Legion combat training and is an adequate hand-to-hand combatant. However, he has yet to overly exert himself in this regard, given his sophistication, such that his personal fighting style leans more on the defensive, and is content with simply and calmly dodging incoming strikes, watching his adversaries tire themselves as they attempt to assault the Coluan with virtually no avail. In fact, thus far the one time when he got aggressive was a case somewhat when he kicked down Pamela Ferrer to incapacitate her and nothing beyond that.
- Skilled medic: After Alex Danvers sustained an injury to her leg when Reign lashed at her with a heavy chain, Querl was sene tending to her by mounting a futuristic leg-cast over the agent's damaged limb, and though Alex had to use crutches for a time because of the cast, she recovered quickly enough in due time.
- Ancestral memory: Querl possesses full ancestral memory; he claims to remember all the evil deeds his evil ancestors performed.
- Computer viruses: Since Querl is an A.I., he can be subjected to computer viruses.
- Ophidiophobia: Querl is deeply afraid of snakes. Hence, he had difficulty confronting Pamela Ferrer due to her serpent-like symbiote.
- Emotional state: Querl could be rendered unable to use his advanced intellect when disrupted by current emotional stress; for example, the experience of being prejudiced by his former friend at a pizza shop prevented Querl from completely focusing on a mission to help Kara escape from the Children of Liberty at L-Corp. After having his mind rebooted; Querl has lost all of his emotions. After seeing Nia Nal in mortal danger, his emotions returned and he went back to normal.
- Legion suit: Querl wears a protective suit during battle.
- Image inducer: Querl uses an inducer to make himself look like a normal human; when he goes out in public.
- Legion ring: Querl's legion ring allows him to fly. It was taken away by the Hat in the middle of their battle. It was later returned to him by Kara after the defeat of Manchester.
- Indigo is also Coluan, and another descendant from the "Brainiac clan", originally called Brainiac 8. However, as of now, there is no confirmation of what the lineage connection between Brainiac 5 and Indigo is.
- He uses the alias of "Barney" when purchasing coffee and pizza.
- Querl's favorite pizza is apples and olives.
- Unlike Alex and other members of the DEO who needed J'onn to alter their memories to forget Kara is Supergirl, Brainy retains his memory as 21st-century methods of interrogation are useless on him.
- Brainy more or less serves as a replacement for Winn, who took his place in the future.
- Brainy has ophidiophobia; a fear of snakes.
Behind the scenes
- In the DC comics, Brainiac 5 is a descendant of the well-known enemy of Superman, Brainiac, a prominent member of the Legion of Super-Heroes, and one of the longest romantic partners of Supergirl.