Message in a Bottle
Season 2, Episode 8
Message in a Bottle
Air date December 1, 2007
Written by Joseph Kuhr
Directed by Scott Jeralds; Brandon Vietti
Episode guide
Unnatural Alliances
In the Beginning


Superman and the Legion must venture into the legendary bottled city of Kandor in order to stop Imperiex, who seeks an advanced Kryptonian technology believed to be hidden inside. In order to help the Legion and clear his "family" name, Brainiac 5 must delve deep into his memory banks to access information from the original Brainiac.


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The Legion team arrives at Superman’s Fortress of Solitude in the arctic, only to find Imperiex and his destructo-bots waiting for them. Imperiex and Validus enter the Fortress and Brainiac 5 warns that Superman should try to find out as little about its contents as possible. Superman enters only to find them gone, and then he disappears as well, to find himself in the bottle city of Kandor, where the people are wondering when he will release them as promised.

The rest of the Legion arrive and meet with an ancient Superman robot, who explains about the miniaturized city of Kandor. Superman tries to explain only to find Imperiex and Validus interrogating the people to find “the Messenger.” Superman attacks him, only to find out that the city has a red sun and he’s powerless.

The robot offers to miniaturize the rest of the Legionnaires, and gives them a power suit to let Superman shield himself from the red sun. They find an unconscious Superman, and discover that Shrinking Violet is trapped at a relative height to them of 10’. Brainiac 5 knows about the Messenger and finally explains that the Messenger is a device that held Krypton together from Kandor until an alien “Terror” shrunk and removed the city and put it in a bottle. Imperiex wants the Messenger to use against all who oppose him, but claims that records of the Terror were lost.

Superman dons the power suit and goes after Imperiex and Validus. The Chancellor tries to get to the map but Imperiex spots him and brings the ceiling down, and the Legionnaires are forced to rescue the innocents. However, when they spot Brainiac 5 they draw back in terror, saying he has the same markings as the Terror. Outside, Brainiac 5 explains that Brainiac 1.0, his distant ancestor, was the one responsible. Brainiac 5 admits that he also kept the secret so Superman wouldn’t have to face the fact he failed to return the Kandorians to normal. Superman and the others are unimpressed.

Brainiac 5 goes off on his own and Shrinking Violet talks to him. He admits that he’s concerned that he’s always wondered if he might turn evil like his ancestor. Brainiac 5 reviews his recording of the battle and sees the map leading to the Kandorian temple where the Messenger is hidden. The Legionnaires attack Imperiex there and Brainiac 5 figures the Messenger is hidden beneath the temple. The Messenger forms crystals to stabilize the tunnel, and Superman has to fight his way through but one shard damages his suit. Imperiex and Validus follow, imprisoning all of the Legion except for Brainiac 5 and Superman.

The remaining two Legionnaires get to the Messenger and take it back to the surface. Imperiex contacts them and threatens to kill the Legionnaires if he doesn’t get the Messenger. Brainiac 5 warns that with Superman’s suit damaged, they can’t defeat Imperiex so they should destroy the Messenger, even though it is stabilizing Kandor. Superman refuses and Brainiac 5 notes that Superman is angry because he couldn’t defeat the original Brainiac. Superman refuses and gives the Messenger to the Chancellor, then goes to fight Imperiex. The Chancellor says Superman has already saved them, as it was his leadership that gave them hope.

Brainiac 5 goes to the temple and speaks to the image of his ancestor, but realizes the original Brainiac is still a part of him. Brainiac 5 delves into his memory banks but the Brainiac 1.0 programming is behind a firewall. Brainiac 5 overrides the protocol and the Brainiac 1.0 programming immediately gives him the information he seeks. However, Brainiac 1.0 warns that it will open up his programming to new possibilities. Brainiac 5 inserts the information into his mind.

Imperiex orders Validus to destroy the Legionnaires when Superman and the Kandorians confront him. They launch their attack and are initially powerless, but Brainiac 5 arrives and changes the artificial sun from red to yellow. All of the Kandorians gain superpowers and Imperiex and Validus stage a hasty retreat.

Afterward, Brainiac 5 reveals he finally gained his abilities by opening himself to a part he had never acknowledged. Superman feels guilty about not keeping his promise so Brainiac 5 takes him and the bottle city to the remains of Krypton. They use the Messenger to reform the shards of Krypton into a new planet, and then Brainiac 5 uses his ancestor’s technology to reenlarge Kandor to regular size. Superman and Brainiac 5 exchange mutual apologizes… but then Brainiac 5 uses a ray to remove Superman’s memory of what happened so to maintain temporal continuity.