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To the surprise of no one, Warner Bros. already allegedly green lit a sequel to Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, expecting the new movie to earn north of $100 million over its opening weekend. We thought Warner might want to pursue a Justice League movie, or possibly a World’s Finest team up of Batman and Superman. But it sounds like Man of Steel 2 will happen before those movies come to fruition.
Which got me thinking: Of all the classic Superman storylines from decades and decades of comics, which do we think could lay the foundation for Snyder and screenwriter David S. Goyer’s sequel? Lord know that they have loads of old stories to sift through. Let’s figure out five vintage Superman stories that would make excellent fodder for a Man of Steel sequel.
1. Lex Luthor: Man of Steel
As you might have heard, Man of Steel contains Easter Eggs suggesting the existence of Lex Luthor in Snyder’s Metropolis. In much the same way that The Dark Knight introduced The Joker, Luthor probably needs to be the focus of a Man of Steel sequel, and no book better examined the thought process behind Luthor’s criminal plots than Brian Azzarello’s graphic novel. Stick to this script, and Snyder could deliver the quintessential Luthor story set to film.
2. Kingdom Come
Adapting Mark Waid and Alex Ross’ Kingdom Come solves multiple problems. By introducing alternate Elseworlds, a spin on the Kingdom Come story could bring in classic Justice League of America heroes who are struggling with the way their powers affect our society. But as war escalates – thanks to the machinations of Lex Luthor – it’s Batman and a team of allies who steps in … meaning Man of Steel 2 could make room for the next iteration of The Dark Knight, leading to more D.C. cinematic adventures.
3. Superman: Red Son
A re-imagining of the Superman myth that has baby Kal-El crashing down in Moscow instead of Kansas, thereby fighting for Communism instead of the American way. While it would be impossible to reimagine Snyder’s Man of Steel already, a new Krypton being landing in Mother Russia could trigger modern versions of classic villains (Bizarro, Brainiac) and JLA heroes such as Green Lantern and Wonder Woman.
4. Superman: Birthright
Comic book artists love telling (and retelling) Superman’s origin, and Birthright takes another stab at figuring out Kal-El’s introduction to our planet. Instead of going through the motions once again, Snyder could borrow from the second half of Mark Waid’s story, which involves Lex Luthor, the destruction of Krypton (leading to more scenes for the great Russell Crowe), and the threat of a dangerous militaristic antagonist named Van-Gar … which, now that I think about it, seems to be Michael Shannon’s inspiration for General Zod.
5. What’s So Funny ‘Bout Truth, Justice and the American Way?
A standalone issue from 2001, this Superman story takes the ball Snyder started bouncing and runs with it by exploring the amount of power Superman wields on our planet – where we’re so physically inferior. The story pits Superman against Manchester Black and The Elite, rogue antiheroes who kill their opponents … helping them gain popularity from a bloodthirsty global population. Superman thinks that their methods of crime-fighting are wrong, and he challenges them to a battle on one of Jupiter’s moons, just to prove the point that his way, the American way, is the right way.