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  • Jor-El's most important message to his son is taken from Grant Morrison's All-Star Superman (picture).
  • As Superman is flying to escape the Phantom Zone bubble, lines of light appear across his face, also from All-Star Superman.
  • In yet another reference to All-Star Superman, Zod's "could have built a new Krypton in this squalor" is taken word-for-word from what Lilo (another conquering Kryptonian) said.
  • One superbeing hurls another all the way up into space and straight into an orbiting satellite, which also happens in All-Star Superman. Both satellites are even of similar design.
  • The genetic code of a billion Kryptonians being kept in Superman's cells may be a reference to the miniaturized Kryptonians in the Bottle City of Kandor.
  • Jonathan Kent telling Clark the boy is his son is taken from Superman: Secret Origin.
    Clark: Can't I just keep pretending I'm your son?
    Jonathan: You are my son.
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  • Jonathan's line "You're the answer son, you're the answer to 'Are we alone in the universe?'" is paraphrased from Superman: Birthright.
  • Jonathan advising Clark to lay low and keep his powers secret out of concern for him is also from Birthright.
  • Clark's pet dog Shelby nods to Superman's Silver Age animal sidekick, Krypto The Super Dog, as well as Shelby from Smallville and Superman Returns.
  • Zod wears Powered Armor, similar to two different versions of Zod in the comics. It also bears a resemblance to Superman/Superboy-Prime's Anti-Monitor-based powered armor from Infinite Crisis on forward
  • Zod and crew have all-black outfits akin to their counterparts from Superman II instead of their comics versions. Faora looks more like her counterpart Ursa (who was based on Faora).
  • Zod's form-fitting bodysuit under the armor is almost identical to Superman's grey "space suit" in the beginning of Superman Returns, although in that case it is only clearly shown in a Deleted Scene.
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  • Superman's first fight with the other Kryptonians in Smallville echoes a lot of Superman II. It takes place in a small town, (like the one the Kryptonian criminals land in) and is against Zod, his female dragon with short dark hair, and a hulking mute brute.
  • Superman crashing into a bank against its vault's door is taken right out of the Justice League Unlimited episode "Clash", where he fights Captain Marvel.
    • For that matter, the final battle between Superman and Zod seems to echo the battle in "Clash", with similar levels of destruction and trades of heavy superpowered punches.
  • The bearded version of Jor-El comes from Superman: Secret Origin and Superman: Earth One.
  • Kryptonians being genetically engineered is a variation of a concept introduced in The Man of Steel by John Byrne.
  • The Superman crest meaning "hope" is from Mark Waid's Superman: Birthright. Which is itself derived from an idea Marlon Brando came up with while playing the previous Jor-El, that the emblem is a family crest.
  • Clark performing heroic acts as a mere civilian outside of Smallville is similar to The Man of Steel and Birthright.
  • Zod's video broadcast takes from Tyrell's threat-laden message in Superman: Earth One.
  • One of Clark's friends as a teenager is named Whitney Fordman.
  • There is a "Sullivan's truck and tractor repair" in Smallville.
  • The shots of Superman flying over Earth and later falling into the atmosphere borrow from scenes in Superman Returns.
  • The official motto of the city of Metropolis is Veritas et Justitia, "Truth and Justice".
  • A fuel truck labeled LexCorp is destroyed during the battle.
  • In one scene, Zod destroys a Wayne Enterprises satellite... bearing the logo from The Dark Knight Trilogy.
  • This early poster recreates a cover for Kingdom Come.
  • Zod's ultimate fate is thematically similar to a storyline from John Byrne's run on Superman comics.
  • The World Engine that Zod was using is a similar concept used by Starro, a literal Starfish Alien who has conquered several galaxies and planets in the DC universe.
  • A half-destroyed moon can be seen in Krypton’s sky, a possible nod to the fact that in the Silver Age comics one of Krypton’s moons was indeed blown up.
  • Clark's initial attempts at flying hearkens back to the original concept of Superman ("... able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!"). Flying wasn't a power until the animators from the 1940s cartoon insisted on flying for easier animation. His unsuccessful attempts are also reminiscent of Clark's failed flight in Smallville season ten episode "Supergirl".
  • Blaze Comics appears in Metropolis between the fight of Clark and Zod.
  • Clark seeks advice from a pastor similar to Superman for All Seasons.
  • The priest's name is Father Leone, who appears as a confidant of Superman's in Superman: For Tomorrow.
  • The holographic Jor-El explaining the significance of the House of El crest involves him pulling back an outer garment to reveal the crest on a suit beneath in a fashion very reminiscent of the common image of Clark Kent opening his shirt to reveal his Superman crest on his suit beneath.
  • A billboard for the "Utopia Casino" is seen at one point, which was a key location in the Superman Confidential arc, "Kryptonite".
  • The bully who beats up Clark in a flashback is revealed in the credits to be named Ken Braverman, who would later grow up to be the minor Superman villain known as Conduit.
  • The female Air Force Captain who bluntly says that Superman is "kinda hot" is named "Carrie Farris", making it likely that she's a slightly renamed version of Carol Ferris from the Green Lantern comics — an experienced pilot and aviation company CEO who was known to have a thing for superheroes.
  • A random trucker assaulting Clark reminds a similar scene from Superman II. Clark destroying his truck in retaliation resembles the end of Smallville's first episode.
  • Lana Lang and Pete Ross (most likely) having figured out Superman's secret identity.
  • The moving sculpture that holographic Jor-El shows Clark, showing where he really comes from and how he got to Earth, shows Clark being sent from Krypton in a snowflake-shaped spacecraft (a sphere with star-like points sticking out), a reference to how said spacecraft looked in the 1978 film.
  • The way Krypton's past is shown in the moving sculpture resembles the Golden and Silver Age Krypton in the comics. The male and female Kryptonians resemble Jor-El and Lara from the original comics; though they could even be Kryp and Tonn.
  • The big, mute Kryptonian alongside Faora (Nam-Ek) is close to Non from Superman II.
  • Kelex and Kelor are taken from The Man of Steel #1.
  • The metallic rod with the "S" logo is this movie's counterpart to the green crystal rod in the '78-'80 Superman movies, or the transparent "father crystal" from Superman Returns. Both serve as access keys to the Kryptonian technology. In this version, Zod has his own as well.
  • One of Clark's aliases is "Joe", calling out to Superman's co-creator, Joe Shuster. "Joe" was also Jor-El's alias when he once visited Earth in Smallville episode "Relic".
  • Clark's first saves involves a vehicle falling off a bridge into the river. The school bus also happens to pass a silver automobile.
  • The villain makes his first move when Clark is watching a football game, and causes a temporary blackout.
  • The scene in which Superman does an aerial rescue of Lois in the damaged escape pod is very reminiscent of him saving the plane in Superman Returns, especially the shot in which the pod shot past the camera and Superman tore after it a moment later next to its smoke trail.
  • Zod and Jor-El's conversation on Krypton at the beginning seems to imply they were once friends, similar to Smallville.
  • The "S" symbol/logo/emblem is much more similar to the one worn by pre-Crisis Earth-Two Superman Kal-L , with the upper right serif of the S extended to connect with the lower diagonal of the pentagonal border. Or the Golden Age. version of the emblem, between late 1940 and 1944, on which Earth-2 Superman was based.
  • During the Smallville battle, the bit about Superman being "more powerful than a locomotive" is put to the test when a locomotive is thrown at him.
  • This isn't the first time Zod is killed by a hesitant Superman. In Post-Crisis, Superman is forced to execute Zod and his two cohorts from another universe for decimating an alternate Earth and fear that they might find a way into his Earth.
  • The spaceship that brought Superman to Earth looks like the one in Superman: Birthright, rather than the traditional Retro Rocket.
  • This isn't the first time Jor-El has coded information into Superman's DNA. In Superman: The Dark Side, he codes the Anti-Life Equation intending Superman to conquer the universe in Krypton's name.
  • Zod's family crest mirrors the El family crest that Superman wears, but the design evokes the one seen in Superman: Red Son (which is a hammer and sickle based on the Russian setting, but with the hammer removed and the sickle repositioned).
  • Lois figures out Clark's identity before he even becomes Superman. Jerry Siegel originally planned for Lois to figure out Superman's Secret Identity early on, only for Executive Meddling to put a kibosh on the idea.
  • Maybe it's coincidence or obscure comics canon, but there's a Daily Planet reporter named Weaver. In the Superman: The Animated Series, episode "Feeding Time," which introduces Parasite, the name Weaver comes up when Perry is yelling at offscreen employees.

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