From the source’s point of view, several of Jack Kirby’s earliest stories of the fourth world involve Superman coming into contact with various new gods and eternal humans, and his desire to be among creatures more like him. Have Orion and Lightray come to Earth to enlist Superman’s aid in their cosmic war, similar to how these concepts were introduced in Superman: the animated series. Superman becomes the public’s POV character, we no longer have to worry about him being automatically the most powerful person in the room, and the DCEU can properly introduce Darkseid without having to stage another invasion of Earth, as almost all of the action will take place on New Genesis or Apokolips. Remember how much everyone loved the visuals when Thor left bland, earthy adventures for the Kirby-esque splendor of Thor: Ragnarok? Yes that.
The Warworld Saga
Folks, if you haven’t read any Superman comics in the past year, specifically Action Strips, holy moley, are you missing one of the best Superman stories of the century so far. Philip Kennedy Johnson and a string of artist assassins have taken Superman off, taken off the world, and turned him into a revolutionary figure in the gladiator’s pits of Warworld, redefining one of DC’s more interesting cosmic villains. An epic in the truest sense of the word, it bears little resemblance to “traditional” Superman stories… other than the fact that the spirit and values of the Man of Steel himself are perfectly portrayed, showing that even if he is a real underdog, he is still Superman.
For my money, this is the only modern story from which any new live-action Superman story should take its cues. The perfect blend of Golden Age Superman toughness and grit and modern sci-fi elements and philosophizing. Honestly, the PERFECT tone for the DCEU.
For the man who has everything
While Justice League 2 certainly doesn’t seem like a priority for Warner Bros…and maybe never…my personal dream would be to recreate Superman with DC’s two safest cinematic bets: Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman and Batman (and yes, bring Ben Affleck back for this!). The DCEU likes to adapt the broad strokes of classic comics, so a big screen version of the guards creative team of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ “For The Man Who Has Everything” would tick all the right boxes, without the pressure of a fully blown Justice League continuation.
“For the Man Who Has Everything” is the superhero story that has it all. A powerful alien sends Superman into a hallucinatory coma, leaving him in a dream world where he came of age on a Krypton that never exploded, while Batman and Wonder Woman fight for their lives. This could almost play as Start (or a twilight zone episode) featuring superheroes, and it would be Krypton, the visual and world-making pinnacle of Man of Steel. In a way, this story, forcing Superman to confront his guilt as the sole survivor of his world and make peace, would feel like a fitting farewell to Cavill’s Superman.
Justice League 2
Sorry folks. Don’t hold your breath. I bet if it ever happens, it’ll be more along the lines of the kind of misfit squad we had in the late ’80s, and it’s just the kind of thing that would be perfect for James Gunn’s next DC movie. I’d be shocked if we ever get another one Justice League movie starring Cavill’s Superman, but hey, there’s nothing I’d rather be mistaken about. That said, if they want to make Man of Steel 2 about Superman assembling a new Justice League (or reassembling the old one), you should definitely watch a story called Panic in the airone of the great epics of the 90s Superman comic books.