Brandon Breyer, otherwise better known as Brightburn, is the titular main protagonist villain of the 2019 supervillain horror film of the same name. In a reversal of the typical Superman story, Brandon is an extraterrestrial who is sent to Earth with the sinister intentions of taking it over. He ends up crash landing in Brightburn, Kansas, where he is adopted by a couple unable to have children.
He was portrayed by Jackson A. Dunn in his first villainous role.
Biography[edit | edit source]
The alien baby that would become Brightburn arrived on Earth within a meteor that crash-landed near the home of a couple named Tori and Kyle Breyer in 2006. As the farm couple cannot conceive a child, they adopted the child as one of their own and named him Brandon, oblivious to the alien's dark nature. They also salvaged the remains of the meteor around that time, which turned out to be an alien ship.
As Brandon got older, he started to develop his abilities such as realizing he had superhuman strength. After attempting to return to the ship he arrived in, Brandon's mannerisms start to darken, making his adoptive parents conclude that something was wrong with him.
Tori later finds drawings that depict disturbing imagery. As he got older, Brandon developed a crush on one of his classmates named Caitlyn and he goes to her house and stalks her. Upon discovering that their chickens had been massacred and implicating Brandon as being responsible for it, Brandon began to be ostracized by his fellow classmates for being a creepy stalker. In a trust exercise, Caitlyn initially refuses to catch Brandon on the grounds of seeing him as a disturbed pervert. This culminates in him breaking her hand and he is then suspended for two days. Once more, Brandon tries to return to his spaceship and repeats the words "take the world" in his extraterrestrial language. It's implied that Brandon was sent by an imperialistic and evil alien race (his species) that destroys planets and eradicates peaceful races.
Brandon goes to see Caitlyn again only to realize that he was denied the opportunity by her mother. Angered, Brandon murders her mother at a diner. After her attempts at counseling her nephew failed, Merilee threatens to call the police to handle the situation only to be on the receiving end of these threats by Brandon. Her husband Noah later tries to inform his parents only to be gruesomely murdered in his car by the alien boy. Realizing what he had done, Kyle takes his adoptive son into the woods and shoots him in the back of the head. Unfortunately, Brandon is revealed to be immune to bullets, and he kills his adoptive father with his laser vision. Tori finds multiple drawings of the murders Brandon had committed and calls the police. When the police arrive, they are brutally murdered by the villain.
Tori manages to get to the spaceship, and she takes part of it to act as a shiv rationalizing that it must be her son's weakness. Embracing her son, Brandon picks up on what she attempted to do with a scrap of metal, and he takes her high into the Earth's atmosphere and drops her to her death. He also causes a plane wreck as a means of covering up his crimes. There were no survivors. This concludes with Brandon going on a murderous campaign and slaughtering numerous people worldwide and leveling cities. He was last seen alongside his dead parents looking innocent.
Powers and Abilities[edit | edit source]
Brandon is an incredibly powerful alien entity (who goes by Brightburn), with a multitude of potent, unstoppable and extremely lethal superhuman/supernatural powers and abilities.
- Superhuman Strength: Brandon possesses immense superhuman strength, being able to lift objects as heavy and large as a pick-up truck and crush stone and metal almost instantly with his hands. Combined with his immense speed, Brandon can move so quickly that impacting a human results in them being utterly obliterated.
- Superhuman Speed: Brandon can move at superhuman speeds through the air, making him lethal and unstoppable. His mobility is enough for him to move behind someone from several feet away in mere seconds and almost seem to be in multiple places at once.
- Flight: Brandon can levitate himself and fly through the air at superhuman speeds, being able to murder people violently whilst flying. He is also strong enough in flying to effortlessly fly far into the sky, well beyond the clouds.
- Heat Vision: Brandon can emit powerful beams of fiery energy from his eyes, with which he can burn and cut through almost anything like a blowtorch. When he uses this power, his normally blue eyes turn a smoldering red, which he can alternatively use as a form of intimidation.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: Brandon is immune to most physical harm, with the only thing that can harm him being the alien metal his ship made of. He discovered this by sticking his hand into the rotating blade of a lawnmower, crushing the blade in the process. When his father attempted to shoot him, the bullet only bounced off his skin.
- Superhuman Stamina: According to his adoptive father, Brandon has never fallen ill or been injured in his entire life. This would mean his immune system is extremely advanced than those of the human race, rendering him immune to almost all forms of harm on Earth.
- Telekinesis: Brandon also displayed the ability to move objects around him with his mind, which as strong as his muscle strength as demonstrated through tearing a metal door he cut with his eye beams into half.
- Technopathy: Brandon can also influence the workings of technology at will. Other than telepathic link with his ship (through which its programming imprinted his sinister purpose on the planet) and causing electronics to malfunctions, it's unknown whether he can warp machinery around him.
- Enhanced Intelligence: Brandon possesses superhuman intelligence, being one of the top 1% academic performers in the country, with science and mathematics being his main areas of knowledge and expertise.
- Charisma: Brandon is a charismatic and seemingly normal, albeit precocious young boy. This is to disguise his true evil and bloodthirsty colors, although, many are not fooled by his false charms.
Victims[edit | edit source]
- Erika Connor - Glass shard in eye, later disemboweled.
- Noah McNichol - Dropped from the sky in a car, the impact tearing off his jaw.
- Kyle Breyer - Heat vision through the head.
- Sheriff Deever - Split in half.
- Deputy Aryes - Continuously thrown against the ceiling and walls.
- Tori Breyer - Dropped from the sky.
- 268 plane occupants - Killed when plane crashes.
The concepts of Brightburn was explored in a 2017 DC comic, a Halloween special that had many short horror stories in an "else world" style - one of these stories had Superman re-imagined as an evil invader (named "Bump in the Night") - the short story even ends with the young Superman destroying the Kent farm and heading off to presumably destroy the rest of humanity, a striking similarity to how Brightburn ends (just like Brightburn the evil Superman of this story is a child (at least in appearance)).
- Because of Brightburn's jarring similarities with Superman, there are those who worried whether James Gunn will be sued for copyright violation by DC. Fortunately, James Gunn reassured that he has good relationships with DC (the company had entrusted him to direct the upcoming Suicide Squad and Superman's well-known background has been used in so many stories that it became a generic origin story route.
- It is possible that Brightburn was sent by his people to conquer the Earth in the same vein as Goku from the Dragon Ball franchise. In stark contrast with Brightburn however, Goku ended up becoming mankind's protector thanks to unforeseen events (head injury which resulted Goku losing his violent impulses).