So Warner Bros. has finally decided that Superman needs another solo movie in the DCEU. After scrapping the initial plans for a Man of Steel trilogy in order to make Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the studio must have realized that the core characters of the DCEU need to be presented in full before moving forward.
That’s a great thing, as far as I am concerned. And that is because, in this way, the event films (such as Justice League) won't have to spend time with backstories for their characters. Furthermore, this is also a chance for the studio to transform the Man of Steel into an actual symbol of fate.
Will that happen? Least likely at this point, and seeing where the DCEU is now. So what course will the studio decide on? What stories should be taken into account for Man of Steel 2, while also considering how everything has unfolded until now?
Check it out on these pages!
Superman: The Dark Side
As we all know, Superman is dead. So how can this Elseworlds story be adapted? How can the Man of Steel become a disciple of Darkseid?
A couple of months ago, Zack Snyder teased this particular storyline, although he didn't name it. The director said that in the DCEU, Darkseid is like a force of nature. Furthermore, the director also said that the ruler of Apokolips will have a say in how Superman is revived.
Could we see a brainwashed Man of Steel confronting the Justice League as one of Darkseid's generals? I guess this is a path that Zack Snyder would consider appropriate for the superhero and that could fall in line with everything that has happened in the DCEU. Of course, nobody can expect for The Dark Side to be adapted in full.
But, as it has happened until now, we can expect Snyder to borrow from this particular storyline. Thus, Superman will be revived at the end of the Justice League movie, and he’ll have to realize for himself who he actually is in the Man of Steel sequel.
Injustice: Gods Among Us
But there is another storyline which could place Kal-El on a collision course with the Justice League. In Injustice: Gods among Us, Superman becomes a totalitarian leader after the death of Lois Lane. In the comics, this happens after the Man of Steel himself kills Lois, tricked by the Joker. I assume that this won't happen in the movies, as well.
However, the death of Lois has been hinted at. How many times did Supes have to save her in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice? Now that he is dead, he won't be there for her. And, of course, she'll still go into the hottest zones of the world.
So she dies and he is resurrected at the end of the first Justice League. And he discovers that she’s died, just as the Flash said it would happen. Will he blame the Justice League for failing to save her? I assume that he will. And then we'll be treated to a Man of Steel sequel in which he must come to terms with Lois's death and realize that the world needs hope and not an iron fist.
Reign of the Supermen
Following the conclusion of the Death of Superman storyline, four new superheroes appear in his place: Steel, Cyborg Superman, Superboy, and a reformed Eradicator. Each of these characters tries to fill in the spot left empty by the demise of the real Superman, who is revealed to be in the Fortress of Solitude.
Obviously, there are quite a few new characters to be introduced in the DCEU. However, nobody said that the Reign of Supermen will be adapted in its totality. What if Justice League introduces one of them (for example, a clone of the Man of Steel, as Superboy is), to be revealed that he cannot play along with the other superheroes.
And what if the real Clark Kent emerges during the Man of Steel sequel? I can totally see that happening. And I can totally see Superman becoming the symbol of hope and realizing that the world needs a Superman (especially if Steppenwolf arrives and lays waste to the world).
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice dropped quite a few hints concerning Brainiac. But even without them, the supervillain should appear in the DCEU in the Man of Steel sequel - especially since the Man of Steel is known to be dead.
Just like Darkseid and Zod before him, Brainiac has noticed that Earth possesses Kryptonian technology. And he is also on his way. Just like the new 52 version, he preserves worlds from a greater threat, in this case Darkseid. And he arrives on Earth and, with Superman being dead, he miniaturizes Metropolis.
Superman, weakened, awakens and somehow manages to defeat the villain. Maybe he even received help from Metallo, like in the new 52. He returns Metropolis to Earth and also frees the people of Kandor. This is the perfect way for Henry Cavill's Man of Steel to make a brief exit from the DCEU.
Man of Steel 2 should end with Superman taking the bottled city of Kandor to another planet, with a Red Sun, where the Kryptonian civilization could be rebuilt.
While there are quite a few things in these stories that wouldn't work (just yet) in the DCEU, Man of Steel 2 could adapt and expand several stories from 22 Stories in a Single Bound. Thus, following the death and the revival of Superman (in Justice League, of course), the director could ask the people of Metropolis what they think about the superhero (What would you do if you were Superman?).
Lois Lane, on the other hand, will have to find a way to save herself and not rely on the Man of Steel each and every time (A Week in the Life of Lois Lane), while someone else at the Daily Planet discovers Superman's real identity (Scoop of the Century).
Obviously, there needs to be some action in the film - in this case, While You Were Sleeping, the Man of Steel battles Metallo (All in a Day's Work), defeats a version of Brainiac for real (Bibbo vs. Brainiac), or defeats Parasyte (Blackout).
In the end, Kal-El debunks the Daily Planet story about Clark Kent being Superman, saying that all the people of Earth are supermen.
Yes, we did have an origin for Superman, in Man of Steel, most likely inspired by Birthright. However, and as said a couple of times before, the director of the sequel won't adapt any of these storylines in full.
Thus, from the Secret Origin storylines, we should be introduced to Sam Lane, the general who accuses Superman of being an alien and, thus, an enemy. And this will fall in line perfectly with what has happened in the DCEU, especially since all aliens will be proved to be enemies (Zod, Steppenwolf, the Parademons). And, once again, Superman will have to fight an army.
Now Lex Luthor comes into play - or, better yet, LexCorp, which has developed a new kind of weapon. And that is Metallo. The fight ensues and this time Kal-El cannot take it into a deserted/abandoned area. Which is for the better, since the populace will see him struggling to defend the bystanders from Sam Lane's soldiers and Metallo.
And in the end, Superman becomes the symbol of hope.
Up, Up, and Away
In Up, Up, and Away we find a depowered Superman having to deal with a disgraced Lex Luthor. In the DCEU, Lex Luthor cannot be more disgraced than he already is, while we do not know how death affects the Man of Steel.
Thus, the sequel could borrow all of these from the storyline, adding the final fight between a nearly fully powered Man of Steel and Lex Luthor in a battle suit. And this isn't all. The Man of Steel sequel can also introduce the new Fortress of Solitude.
As we know, Lex Luthor learned from the downed Kryptonian scout ship. And so it isn't too hard to assume that he has found some pieces of technology (Sunstone crystals) that can be used in order to build his iconic home in the Arctic.
What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way?
The Man of Steel presented until now in the DCEU isn't the Man of Steel the fans have been waiting for. He is dark, he is brooding, and he is insecure. An adaptation of What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way? can put him on the right track.
In his absence, Metropolis welcomes some other types of heroes - the Elite, who simply kill all the criminals. And the population is glad about this - especially since the Man of Steel was killed by villains.
Superman is forced to return and, in a way, confront his former self - the one who didn't know whether to help the people of Earth or leave them alone. And so he confront the Elite and he tricks everybody into believing that he has killed the villains.
In the end, he shows everybody that Manchester Black and his cronies are alive and that violence should never be taken to the extreme when dealing with any kind of baddies. So, yet again, this is another chance for Superman to become what the fans wanted him to be in the first place.
In the comics, Superman has retreated from the life of superheroic deeds after the death of Lois Lane. However, he is forced to come back after Magog kills Joker (who killed Lois) and is acquitted. He returns because this isn't the right way and everybody must be equal in the face of justice.
So this would be quite an actual theme to adapt for the DCEU. Obviously, the Man of Steel sequel shouldn't bring in the many characters that appear in this comic book storyline. Instead, it should focus on what made the storyline so successful in the first place.
So maybe it won't be Magog the villain and maybe there shouldn't be a Justice League, Outsiders, and the Mankind Liberation Front all included in the movie. Instead, maybe the Man of Steel sequel should end with the world learning that nuclear bombs can do no good.
And Superman, once again, should become the symbol of everything good in the world.
All Star Superman
This is a storyline to end all storylines. And, if adapted correctly, it would mean the end of the Man of Steel. But maybe this is for the better. Lex Luthor is in prison, but still has his outside resources (maybe he controls LexCorp without anybody knowing). A weakened Kal-El flies too close to the sun and is oversaturated with solar radiation.
In the final year of his life, he performs all sorts of acts of superhuman strength, while also putting the world on the right track through the power of his example. Lois Lane finds out that Clark is actually dying (and not like after the battle with Doomsday) and she receives a gift from him.
Lex escapes and, somehow, manages to take the same formula that transformed Lois into Superwoman and the battle ensues. And what better ending should there be than with Superman's enemy realizing that Kal-El was the epitome of goodness and selflessness?
What do you think? What other storylines should be adapted in the Man of Steel sequel?