So, Man of Steel could have been a good movie with a few changes but the main problem I have with it is that it tried to do to much and really should have been two or three movies. The best parts in my opinion were those showing Clark before he became Superman except for that abominable scene with his father dying. Anyway, here is my idea for a trilogy of movies or story arc for a reboot/retcon in the comics. Much like Nolan’s Batman the various Superman movies seem to forget that Clark is supposed to be a genius and not just super powered fists.
Start off with Lex and Clark testing a prototype 3D printing technology to grow an advanced crystalline building that is fully self sufficient and powered by sunlight in just a few days. When doing this they get bathed in some really intense reflected and refracted sunlight as a byproduct of the growing process. They bicker in a friendly way and our proud of their creation. Clark has to leave to play football at his university. Clark has a full ride and is paying his way via the scientific patents that Lex and he made in high school. Lex isn’t interested in college and drops out after realizing he is smarter and more knowledgeable than any of the professors and drops out to create Kent-Luthor Incorporated. Some of Clark’s inspirations for certain aspects of the design come from strange dreams.
Clark is a star linebacker with a miracle season as a freshman and accidentally breaks the spine of the other team’s quarterback in an impossible tackle after an entire game in which Clark is at the top of his game having never played better. Clark gets depressed and drops out of college and stops collaborating with Lex leading to Lex having difficulties finishing their project and having to team up with a corrupt megacorp to bring it to the market. Corrupt politicians and the CEO of the megacorp steal almost all the profit and patents from Lex (and Clark) forcing him to start over completely with Lex Corp with only a few a million in cash and an advanced lab.
Clark travels much like Man of Steel. He gets mugged and shot while being a cashier at a liquor store. At the hospital he discovers the bullet didn’t go that deep and that he heals really fast. He works a night shift for awhile and finds himself getting sluggish and his strength lowering to what would be normal for an human with his physique. Clark tries to help people in small ways and ends up having success as a blogger writing about slumlord corruption that impacted a coworker. The slumlord has goons attack Clark and fail but in the process his new friend dies. Clark hides his identity and puts on a mask to take on the slumlord who was also an human trafficker. This is the climax of movie 1. (Basically he is like Equalizer/Leverage helping people who are too small to count but hasn’t developed any super powers very much beyond a Cap America level.)
After Credits scene: Megacorp cutting corners with Clark and Lex’s technology leading to a disaster in Kansas.
Clark returns home after the disaster. Finds out his mother was killed while grocery shopping because of a defect of their building technology. The megacorp leans on their pet politicians to try and ruin Lex Corp and place all the bad PR and blame on him. Lex comes to Clark for help. Clark’s dad tells him about his adoption and how once when he was a young boy he had spent all day in the sun just wearing trunks during a day when the sun was deep red and ended up floating off the ground. Avoiding this was the reason that he always made sure he used lots of sunscreen when going outside for very long thinking that he had sensitive skin. Clark uses his investigative skills to help Lex running into Lois. Clark finds out the adoption agency had no idea where he was from as he was discovered abandoned in the wilderness by Forest rangers during a freak fire started by a fallen meteor. He discovers a necklace with a crystal that had been found with him. Clark and Lex can’t seem to beat the megacorp so Lex turns to crime for money and leverage to counter the megacorp but hides it from Clark. The megacorp sends super soldiers to kill Clark and Lex in different locations. Clark uses his growing abilities (basically a weak Spiderman who can jump an hundred feet) to defeat and turn in the bad guys to the police. Lex uses his criminal connections and the body armor technology he had been developing to survive and kills the bad guys. Lex lies and says no one came after him to Clark. Investigation turns out that the megacorp had used its influence to steal Clark’s childhood space craft and reverse engineer the tech. When Clark arrives at the gutted craft his necklace lights up and the ship turns on allowing him to fly out of megacorp’s facilities.
After Credits scene: Kryptonian ship escapes from a black hole like prison from a civil war thousands of years ago. Ship arrives at Krypton and discovers its destruction. Discovers long dead satellite and rebuilds the brainiac AI. Checks database for seeded colony worlds for ones that might be suitable for rebuilding the Kryptonian Empire.
Using his ship and the necklace with his own tech and insights Clark builds a fortress of solitude and discovers that he has a genetic codex from Krypton is what gives him his power and gave him the dreams. The fortress trains him in battle and focuses the sunlight into wavelengths that he can absorb better. Think danger room. Learns that he can beam energy out of his eyes but it depletes his energy and thus his super strength and invulnerability. He can also draw out the energy from a system which freezes it but it is exhausting. Goes from weak spidey to past spidey. Jumps thousands of feet but has hard time with landings. Learns about Krypton and his mother who made a copy of her mind which is stored in the crystal Clark had recovered. Mother is the heroic figure of the Krypton side of the story with the father being a tragic naive figure as the brilliant scientist who invents the Codex as a way of preventing loss of knowledge during cyclic cataclysmic disasters and rebuilding and is killed for his discovery. Certain oligarchic elements of Kryptonian society don’t want people to know that the destruction is coming so they can rule over the colonies so they steal the technology to use on their own children so the oligarchs can wield power of generation over generation.
Kryptonian ship finds mostly dead colony worlds or worlds that regressed to savagery or primitivism without Krypton’s guiding hand. A single Kryptonian colony world that is backward but still had some elements of advanced technology as remnants of ancient times attacks them viciously thinking them military rivals as the oligarchs had created their society had collapsed into military/religious autocracy with a distrust of science and democracy. The Kryptonian rebels conquer and dominate the colony defeating the dozen super powered Kryptonians using advanced mecha supersoldiers who walk over the handful of still working advanced kryptonian technological war machines. General Zod uses the last substandard version of the serum of the Kryptonian Codex that exists to become Superhuman.
The megacorp plays with some of the advanced tech from Superman’s spaceship to discover an ancient kryptonian base. This sends a signal which is picked up by the rebels who begin to plan an invasion.
Clark helps out Lois on a project of hers and decides to become an investigative reporter and try to root out corruption.
General Zod, his personal mecha units, the colonial troops and the substandard superhumans invade the earth. Lex defends the midwest with his latest iron man style mech and leverages becomes an hero for power as he will never be a victim again. The megacorp gets wiped out by Zod along with significant damage to many nations and their armies. However bits and pieces of Kryptonian tech becomes available to most major world militaries and major megacorps.
Clark defeats Zod. Hopefully without too many billions of property damage as Clark would pick a battlefield away from people as he isn’t a moron. Discovers he can fly and survive in space without a full suit after taking his childhood spacecraft into space battle and it gets destroyed. The final battle is on the space station that the rebels are building to dominate the earth.
After Credits: Brainaic AI on the old colony world gets fed up with the primitives and takes over.