Monster of the Week: Brightburn

What if Superman was a bad guy? That was the basic concept to this year’s superhero horror flick, Brightburn (2019), produced by Kenneth Huang and James Gunn (Guardian’s of the Galaxy).

An origin story to a teenage alien who turns out to have nearly god-like powers, Brightburn tells the tale of Brandon Breyer, a surrogate for young Clark Kent who charts a path towards an evil Superman. Unlike Clark, Brandon is motivated by rage and other less wholesome emotions than his Superhero counterpart. He is truly the Sith to Clark’s Jedi – turned by the Dark Side thanks to unknown ‘reasons’. From a D&D standpoint, he is also an excellent candidate to morph into a truly horrific villain of Epic-level proportions. The near ban on 5th Edition deity stats can be completely cast aside in Brightburns case because he is not a god, but he does have god-like powers. So if you’re looking for an ultimate adversary to your Epic-level heroes look no further than 2019’s Brightburn!


Conversion. Brightburn manifests as a young Superman in the movie, meaning he has near god-like powers. A great starting point then is the five-headed goddess Tiamat, as presented in The Rise of Tiamat.  He can move exceptionally fast, meaning a ridiculously high speed and can pummel an opponent into the ground with a single hit, or deliver multiple blows before an opponent even knows he’s being attacked.

With his superhuman speed and stamina he is clearly a Legendary creature and both of these abilities should be a part of his complement of legendary actions. While he may be a superhero in his universe, Brightburn can also make an excellent godly avatar, perhaps for Bane, Cyric or even Nerull. Maybe his appearance is even a herald of the coming destruction of the Material world. This apocalyptic iconography is even readily apparent in his Heat Vision power, basically a supercharged ray, much like Tiamat’s fire-breath, only much more focused- focused on the unworthy!

A nice quirk to his movie persona is also Brightburn’s ability to effect electricity and electronics. The Unearthed Arcana for modern Magic has a nice spell for this effect, rounding out his complement of abilities. 

What do you think, is Brightburn godly enough?  (Download my rendition of Brightburn’s stats in JPEG (1 and 2) or pdf format for your campaign and terrify your players with an unstoppable demigod)





(Note: *With grateful updates once again, courtesy /Phylea



Published by Jesse B

Eclectic taste for horror and dark fantasy

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