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