Superhuman Intelligence – The ability to have intelligence quotient far above that of a genius level. This ability can be so evolved that its user can gain psionic abilities and resist both mind control and other psionic attacks.
The Brainiac 5 (DC) is a superhero that has this power in the DC universe (DC Who’s Who V1 #3).
The Leader (Marvel) is supervillain that has this power in the Marvel universe.
They are both green of course so there is a certain symmetry between these characters.
Both Brainiac 5 and the Leader show a high understanding of science but not necessarily of people. Brainiac 5 and the Leader would score high on a standard IQ test but not necessarily very high in a test of multiple intelligences. In particular, characters with superhuman intelligence would score normal or even below normal in the areas of interpersonal intelligence (social skills) and intrapersonal intelligence (introspection).
Brainiac 5 suffers from mental illness because of a repressed memory of being abandoned by his mother as an infant. Brainiac 5 logically thinks that memory should be repressed, contrary to just about every theory of psychotherapy, in Legion of Super-Heroes V4 #77. This shows that Brainiac 5 might be a genius in some areas but has very low intrapersonal intelligence even if this lack of insight is a deliberate choice.
Brainiac 5 was better off being abandoned by mother since the readers later find that only mass murder makes Brainiac 5’s mom feel good (Legion of Super-Heroes V4 #108). The mother is obviously not very adept at managing her emotions in a socially acceptable manner! Yet another instance of how super intelligence may cause a deficit in Emotional Intelligence (EQ) in comic books.
The Leader is the arch enemy of the Hulk. In most incarnations, the Hulk has below normal intelligence and the Leader should be able to manipulate the Hulk into being a henchman without too much trouble but always ends up using violence against the Hulk rather than psychology. The Leaders first reaction to meeting the Hulk is to destroy him (Tales to Astonish V1 #63)!
Later, the Leader decides to make the Hulk an ally but goes ahead and shows him the Hulk his army of plastic androids and shares his goals of global conquest on their first date! The Hulk predictably reacts negatively as would be expected with anyone who had any understanding that the Hulk is basically a good guy (Tales to Astonish V1 #72). The Leader shows an exceptional inability to understand the motivations of others i.e. low interpersonal intelligence.
The Leader then removes a bullet from the brain of the Hulk, instead of inserting an explosive device (Tales to Astonish V1 #73). The Leader relies on the gratefulness of the Hulk rather than the use of a decisive threat. Doctor Doom would never make this mistake, more about Doom later!
Also, characters with super intelligence do not generally use stratagems, as intelligent people do in real life, to win battles but instead rely almost exclusively on gadgets such as death rays and robots. The exception to this rule is Doctor Doom. I wrote The 36 Stratagems as Portrayed in Comic Books and identify two instances of Doctor Doom using stratagems. The Intelligencia is a name of a fictional supervillain team made up of the most intelligent villains in the Marvel Comics. Doctor Doom outsmarts the Intelligencia in Fall of the Hulks: Alpha. Doctor Doom uses Stratagem number 15 of the 36 stratagems against the Intelligencia as he has so many times with Fantastic Four. Stratagem 15 is “Lure the tiger out of the mountain”. Doctor Doom uniquely among super villains in the Marvel universe is the ruler of a nation-state, Latveria, to him back up in a combat situation and regularly lures the tigers (super heroes) to Latveria. Furthermore, what idiot(s) trusts Doctor Doom (Fall of The Hulks Alpha #1)!
Maybe the second version of the Intelligencia will do better and first appear in Monsters Unleashed V2 #1.
Reed Richards on the other hand invariably falls for Doctor Doom stratagems and walks into traps set by Doctor Doom all the time. Reed Richards also uses mathematical intelligence to make up for intrapersonal intelligence by creating Asimov’s Psychohistory system in Fantastic Four #542. However, Richard’s lack of none math based social skills means that Reed Richard loses his wife in the same story. I came up with my symbolic, logical system that could be applied to historiography called symbolic memetics.
The person Reed Richards is discussing his system of historiography with is the Mad Thinker (Marvel). The Mad Thinker is a genius on par with Reed Richards but lacks his creative abilities (Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe V1 #6).
Reed Richards does show unusual insight about Doctor Doom and his repetitive use of the same stratagems in World War Hulks #7.
Doctor Doom has actually tried to launch the Baxter building into space not once but twice! The first time was in Fantastic Four V1 #6.
The second time the building was also exploded in space and in all fairness the person was not Doctor Doom but a surrogate Doom, Kristoff Vernard, in Fantastic Four V1 #278.
MODOK (also written as M.O.D.O.K.; acronym for Mental/Mobile/Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing) is a supervillain who has below average interpersonal skills despite his super intelligence and this intelligence mismatch is often used as a plot device for comic effect.
MODOK does not respond well to criticism in Fall of the Hulks #4.
MODOK does not play well with others in M.O.D.O.K. – Reign Delay One-Shot #1.
MODOK has had intimacy issues in the past (Super-Villain Team-Up Modok’s 11 #5).
MODOK appeared to find a perfect mate in the form of Ms. MODOK but that didn’t last due to the fact he is a cold blooded killer (The Incredible Hulk V1 #290).
However, MODOK seems to have started a “normal” relationship with Maria Hill in Secret Avengers V3 #15.
White mice with superhuman intelligence are a recurring plot device in fiction.
In Mystic V2 #41 (Atlas), intelligent mice turn the tables on the human who gave them superhuman intelligence.
In Pinky and the Brain, the Brain vows to use his superhuman intelligence to take over the world but Pinky’s idiocy doesn’t help.
In Strange Tales of the Unusual #5, an intelligent, telepathic parrot gets tired of saying “Polly wants a cracker”.
In Strange Worlds #5, a gorilla gains and soon loses intelligence.
In Animosity #1 (Aftershock), all animals gain intelligence with disastrous results! A fantastic read!
Rick Veitch provides the best presentation of a character gaining super intelligence in the history of comic books in Swamp Thing V2 #75.
Ben 10 has several geniuses including:
Albedo (Ben 10)
Azmuth (Ben 10)
Brainstorm (Ben 10)
Bulkic (Ben 10)
Dr. Psychobos (Ben 10)
Driba (Ben 10)
Grey Matter (Ben 10)
Bronson (Marvel) finds out that intelligence is relative in Tales to Astonish V1 #45.
Chip & Friends (Wildstorm) in Cyberforce-Sourcebook #2.
Krang – TMNT Mutant Universe Sourcebook #1
The first Watcher (Marvel) in Mysteries of Unexplored Worlds #18. One could argue this is the true reason the Watchers do their watching and their watching for its own sake is a ruse.
Protos (Top Cow) is a computer that needs to be “terminated” on a regular basis due to it’s intelligence in Mechanism #4.
Mentor (Marvel) is part of the Shi’ar Imperial Guard and a pastiche of Brainiac 5.
Slarecian Muse – Creature Collection I
Calculus (Marvel) is one of the Young Gods and is a genius in mathematics and appears in Spectacular Spider-Man Annual V1 #8.
Rocket Raccoon (Marvel) is a tactical genius. This is turn described as intuition/instinct at the genius level in Annihilation Conquest Starlord #1.
Next Superhuman Leaping