Follow TV Tropes


WMG / Superman Returns

Go To

Lex Luthor is Keyser Söze
Same director, same actor, similar mannerisms, a penchant for disguises and aliases. It all adds up. The Usual Suspects is set in Bryan Singer's Superman universe. Keyser Söze is a myth invented by Lex Luthor to scare people, while Verbal Kint is a simple cover alias.
Lex Luthor once infiltrated the White House
Back in the 1970s, he actually successfully served a term in the White House disguised as a man named Richard Milhouse Nixon, using his very adept impersonation skills, and was actually able to fool people for quite some time. During this time, General Zod disguised himself as a popular rock and roll singer, and stopped into the White House to discuss how they might go about using their power as these two well-known figures to influence the masses. However, the idea was quickly shelved by Lex, seeing as while he might be able to successfully convince people that he was the President of the United States, sadly poor General Zod would never be able to pass for Elvis Presley, being too Ugly Cute and all.

Jason was not Superman's son.
That was just a really, really light piano.
  • According to the Blue Book of Pianos the average Steinway Pianos weighs between 540 lbs and 990 lbs depending on model.
  • Seriously though, has anyone done the math on this? If Richard and Lois (and therefore everyone else) genuinely believe he's Richard's son... it's a pretty small window of opportunity, is what I'm saying.
    • I don't think they DO think that he's Richard's son. It's more realistic to think that Richard met and fell in love with Lois while she was pregnant. The two got engaged, they put Richard's name on the birth certificate, and no one cared beyond Jason now having a father.

Superman Returns is set within the Burton/Schumacher Batman universe.
Superman and Metropolis are mentioned in Batman Forever/& Robin and Gotham in Superman Returns. Plus after Batman Returns the events of Superman Returns takes place. Lex Luthor's crystal continent could have caused damage not only to Metropolis but also (and maybe to a larger extent) Gotham. With most of Gotham in disrepair the city is completely renovated replacing all the gothic architecture with the bright neon lights shown in Batman Forever and Batman & Robin.

Lois Lane has the strange case of Benjamin Burton.
30s years —-> 23 years

Jason, upset by the Parental Abandonment, will become a supervillain.
Because reason to hate hero + superpowers + ostracized by peers = supervillain.

Lois Lane is angry at Superman because she thinks he raped her.
Remember, Superman erased Lois's memory of their time together with his amnesia kiss in Superman II. To Lois's perspective, she never had sex with Superman or anyone else, but she somehow gave birth to a baby with superpowers. What else is she going to think?
  • Alternately, she doesn't think she was raped but she knows something happened that she can't remember and Superman is hiding from her.

Jason is going to become Superboy.
Resulting in a universe with two supermen and a golden age of science and technology because Jason is being raised by his actual parent and will want to help his home world in a different way.
  • Sadly, they decide to reboot the thing for the...god knows how many times instead of expanding this interesting bit.
  • And in the movie, Jason gets an "A" on his report card in science, supporting the "golden age of science and technology" part of this WMG.

Brutus is the Killer Birthday Clown.
Early in the film, Perry White mentions "that birthday clown massacre thing." Following on from this, Brutus has a tattoo of a scary clown face which the movie focuses on as if it means something. Ergo, Brutus is a former Monster Clown who murdered a bunch of people at some kid's birthday party. Which makes his... interest in Jason all the creepier.

Had Superman Returns had been more successful, the movie would have been the setup for a Justice League film.
Think about it - Lex Luthor tries to create a continent in the ocean made out of Kryptonite, probably messing up marine life for thousands of leagues, and pissing off Aquaman. Gotham City is mentioned frequently in the movie - at one point, when Lex Luthor sets off his device, the map shows that Gotham City is not far from ground zero, so it too would have been affected, getting Batman involved. Depending on how far the Kryptonite affected the oceans, it could have affected the Amazons on their island, bringing in Wonder Woman to be sent as an envoy to the "World of Men".

That leaves Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter and the Flash - perhaps one of the pilots escorting the Space Shuttle flight was Hal Jordan?

This film didn't have Kryptonite, but Tiberium.
This explains how Superman could lift a whole island's worth of the stuff while still suffering some ill effects.

If the movie was a complete reboot...
  • The movie opens with Krypton. We meet Jor-El and Lara. Jor-El learns Krypton will explode. The Science Council refuse to believe him. Jor-El and Lara send Jor-El in a rocket. The rocket goes into lightspeed the moment Krypton explodes.
  • The opening credits.
  • The Kents finds Kal-El.
  • Montage of Clark's childhood. Which includes meeting Lana Lang and Lex Luthor.
  • Clark learns of his alien heritage and forms the Fortress of Solitude.
  • Advertisement:
  • Clark moves to Metropolis. Works at the Daily Planet. Meets Lois Lane, Perry White, and Jimmy Olsen.
  • Lex is CEO of LexCorp. Kitty Kowalski would be his secretary.
  • Clark becomes Superman and saves the plane.
  • Lex finds out he's an alien and stole a crystal from the Fortress.
  • The rest of the movie would pretty much be the same, minus Richard and Jason White.
  • Lex is exposed at the end and is a wanted criminal. Lex swears revenge.

  • The plot of Man of Steel could have easily been the sequel. With people getting used to Superman as he's praised as a hero, until Zod and the other Phantom Zone criminals appear to take over Earth. Superman also has to deal with the public turning against him.

Superman Returns takes place in the same reality as Supergirl and Green Lantern.
You'd need to fudge around with the timeline a bit to make this work, but...

1966: Kara is born on Krypton.

1978: Kal-El/Clark is born, Krypton explodes, and Kara goes into suspended animation.

1997: Clark begins secretly operating as Superman.

1999: Clark takes a job at the Daily Planet. He meets Lois Lane and, depending on how old he is, Jimmy Olsen.

2002: Clark publicly debuts as Superman. His first act of public heroism is saving a plane, effectively preventing a second 9/11.

2003: Clark finds Kara's pod and brings her to the Danvers family.

2006: Superman discovers that Krypton may not actually have been destroyed. He flies off to Krypton to find it.

2010: The events of Green Lantern occur.

At some unspecified time, Hal Jordan either retires as Green Lantern or leaves Earth, or is otherwise prevented from openly using his powers.

2011: Superman returns, and this is when the movie actually takes place.

At some point, Richard dies, Lois and Clark get married, and Clark decides to take time off from full-time superheroing to look after his son. That's why Superman doesn't show up except during emergencies during Supergirl.

2015: The events of Supergirl begin.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: