‘Man of Steel’ Prequel Comic Answers Some Big Questions

Published 2 years ago by , Updated September 3rd, 2014 at 1:39 pm,

Man of Steel Prequel Comic Answers Man of Steel Prequel Comic Answers Some Big Questions

With each new trailer released for Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel our list of questions and theories grows, and even a single image  out of context gets our minds racing over potential plot twists. Thankfully, Warner Bros. and DC Comics have provided some answers.

The Man of Steel prequel comic that just last week confirmed the existence of Supergirl a.k.a. Kara Zor-El in Snyder’s universe has now been released; and the inclusion of Superman’s cousin is the least shocking truth revealed in the comic’s pages.

Normally prequel comics or tie-in graphic novels are intended to expand on a film’s plot, or help fill in small gaps and backstory. But in this case, with the story provided by Man of Steel movie writer David S. Goyer, things are a bit different.

MASSIVE SPOILERS lie ahead, so stop reading if you hope to keep the nature of Kryptonian exploration, Kara Zor-El, and Superman’s Fortress of Solitude a surprise.








For starters, the plot of the prequel comic must be explained. As the most promising daughter of the House of El, the comic follows Kara as she nears completion of her training, intending to become a member of Krypton’s ‘Explorers Guild’; citizens tasked with searching the cosmos for suitable planets, and triggering terraforming projects to make them inhabitable to Kryptonians.

Man of Steel Movie Comic Supergirl Man of Steel Prequel Comic Answers Some Big Questions

Keeping up with the previous spoilers that Kryptonians no longer rely on natural birth, it is explained that once a planet is made suitable for Kryptonian physiology, “stored embryos” in the ship are developed, planting the seeds for hundreds of Kryptonians to populate the new world. The impression given is one of a much colder, almost swarm mentality – Kryptonians are grown to spread and expand from world to world, turning every member of the society into a drone of sorts.

After losing her closest friend during training at the hands of another maniacal recruit, Dev-Em, Kara defeats the killer. As the first documented murderer in over a century, the Kryptonian authorities choose not to execute Dev-Em, claiming they are not as barbaric as the Thanagarians – a nod to Hawkman and Hawkgirl, and yet another hint at the shared universe Man of Steel will be launching.

Meanwhile, Kara graduates with distinction, and prepares to command her own Scout Ship. The Scout Ship – of which there are literally hundreds preparing to depart – matches the look and structure of those seen in the many Man of Steel trailers, presumably in the service of General Zod.

Man of Steel Trailer Images Kryptonian Spaceships Escape Krypton 570x237 Man of Steel Prequel Comic Answers Some Big Questions

Once the journey is under way, Kara and her crew enter cryogenic pods for the ten-year-long sleep until they reach their unnamed destination. At the same time, it is discovered that Dev-Em has escaped his cell, although no one knows where he has fled to, or why. Kara awakes, wondering why the rest of the cryopods surrounding her are already empty.

Leaving her pod, Kara soon discovers that Dev-Em has smuggled himself onto her ship, and one-by-one, pulled her crew members from stasis and forced them to follow his command. While Kara has slept, Dev-Em has lived the decade in near-isolation, as the rest of the ship’s crew have been reduced to skeletons, still encased in their armor.

It appears to be these skeletons that show up in the most recent Zod-centric MoS trailer, still clutching their weapons.

Man of Steel Kryptonian Skeleton Man of Steel Prequel Comic Answers Some Big Questions

In confronting Dev-Em, Kara soon finds that instead of their intended target, the ship has entered Earth’s own solar system – although the maniac’s reasons for doing so aren’t explained. A fight soon erupts between the now-super-strong Kryptonians, doing catastrophic damage to the ship as it nears Earth.

Kara attempts to land the ship, but ultimately crashes it into the arctic, last seen clutching her command chair. Dev-Em and Kara’s fate is left a mystery as time passes and the Scout Ship is slowly covered by snow and ice, until it is revealed to be the alien structure we highlighted in our previous trailer analysis – the structure Goyer has since confirmed is the presumed Fortress of Solitude.

Man of Steel Trailer Kryptonian Ship Man of Steel Prequel Comic Answers Some Big Questions

Adding further evidence to this theory: the interior shots of Kara’s ship are a near-perfect match for the darkened hallway that we have suspected was the Fortress since the very beginning. Which means the previously unknown wall-mounted pods are the same cryogenic chambers used by Kara’s crew.

Is Clark observing mummified Kryptonians in this scene, Kara having placed them back into their pods as a burial? Has she preserved herself in one as well? Did she even survive the crash? And what of the Kryptonian embryos stored on board?

These are all questions that will hopefully be answered in the film. What we do know is how the ship got there, what may be stored in it – and in addition, how Clark finds it in the first place.

Man of Steel Cryopod Hallway Man of Steel Prequel Comic Answers Some Big Questions

The comic ends with a northern tribe sharing a meal; a painting of the ship falling from the sky, and the ‘S’ logo Kara wears on her chest decorates the wall of their dwelling. As the story then shifts to the ‘Now’ – a modern military base – it is revealed that the ship has crashed in Ellesmere Island, Canada. Authorities are left trying to understand how a signal could be coming from beneath thousands of years’ worth of ice, and why it would be sending a signal now.

The final frame shows the same bearded Clark Kent MoS now know so well, working his invulnerable knuckles to their steel bones on a fishing boat. The implication is that the signal is meant for him, but given the number of Kryptonians who soon arrive on the scene, we’re not so convinced.

Besides leaving plenty of doors open for bringing in Kara in any potential sequel, fans now know just how far back the history of Krypton and Earth goes. And with hundreds of other ships seen flying from Krypton to seed other worlds, the idea of the race being eradicated seems unlikely, even if the homeworld is destroyed.

Man of Steel Full Trailer Spoilers Man of Steel Prequel Comic Answers Some Big Questions

That poses the obvious question: why is General Zod so determined to find Kal-El? Is it really just a personal vendetta? Is Zod’s massive mechanical ship unleashing not energy beams onto Metropolis, but some sort of terraforming procedure? It seems a bit obvious to claim that Zod is just bent on spreading Kryptonians over yet another world, but what else could it be?

Since we know Superman finds the crashed ship, and that it likely contains enough embryonic seeds to give Krypton a new start, anything is possible. At least we know where his family fits in, and just how high the stakes may be. Even if Goyer may have adjusted the fiction by placing Kara thousands of years before Kal-El was even born – his parents Jor-El and Lara are noticeably absent from the comic altogether.

What do you think of this backstory? Does this make you Superman fans even more excited for what twists and turns Snyder and Goyer have in store? Or will you only be happy if this story gets told on the big screen as well? Share your thoughts in the comments.


Man of Steel will be in theaters on June 14th, 2013.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Follow Andrew Dyce on Twitter @andrew_dyce
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  1. Kara of Argo City escaping from the clutches of Dev-Em… Jake Abel should play Dev-Em. Lesla-Lar as also a Kryptonian villainess of Kandor who took over Argo City. She is the original character being mentioned in #252 ACTION COMICS, she is Supergirl’s enemy (She might appear in the SUPERGIRL spin-off) after the sequel gets made. So we can get the SUPERGIRL rebooted. Save the villainess to the SG (Spin-Off), like Lena Thoral (Lex Luthor’s niece).

    Here is the casting:
    Kristin Stewart as Supergirl/Kara (MOS Part 2)
    Jake Abel as Dev-Em (MOS Part 2)
    Alexandra Daddario as Lesla-Lar (SUPERGIRL spin-off)
    Elle Fanning as Lena Thoral (SUPERGIRL spin-off)

    • Kristen Stewart? Please tell me you’re joking. You’re joking, right?
      Personally, I’d rather have Kristen Bell for Supergirl, though she might be a little to old for the part.

      • *too.

      • I’d prefer Kristen Bell also. And since Kara is 18,000+ years old, I don’t think Kristen is too old. If anything, she’s too young(which could be said about any actress in this case). Obviously, Kara won’t look 18,000 years old, but they can make her look as old as they want. Also Superman was 33 in MOS and Kristen Bell turns 33 this year so she’s just the right age if they want Kara to appear roughly the same age as Superman.

      • No Iam not joking, Iam serious

        • Well that’s a bloody horrible idea.

        • Please god no not her! I hate u for even mentioning her in MOS2

    • No not Kristen Stewart. Mary Elizabeth Winstead!

    • It always strikes me as supremely goofy when people write these things as if it’s actually happening, and they’re just outlining something thats in production and they write as if the cast has been picked out. Yes, I understand they’re writing a “what I’d like to do as director,” but there’s something inherently offputting when it’s written in a context of “here’s my decision,” especially when their choices are silly. Kristen Stewart? Nope.

  2. To all my friends out there I have news. I am going to see Man of Steel on the 13th of June. Walmart is having A special showing on thursday. I don’t know if it’s at all of them but it is here. If you have it there the tickets are 2D-$8.00 3D-$11.00.

    • I’m seeing Man of Steel on June 13, 2013 at 6:15pm at IMAX Marbles in Raleigh, NC and I get free popcorn and it’s $10.00! Yay!

      • @Wes

        I’m in the Raleigh area. How is the IMAX so cheap?? It’s usually $15.

  3. This is what I’m going to do. Pop in Superman Returns and Green Lantern and remind myself NEVER to trust WB marketing campaigns. Save myself some money and wait for something better like Elysium.

    • That is not a bad idea. I’m going to do better. YouTube the trailers for those films. Maybe read some interviews with the directors. And also for Sucker Punch and Watchmen. THEN read this prequel comic book again to torture myself and remind me no matter how good the Man of Steel trailers look, do NOT be fooled.

      Sigh, I remember Geoff Johns calling Green Lantern, the GL movie we’ve all been waiting for. He really lost my trust. He’s a hired gun who’s past his prime.

      • In your face doubter

  4. Just finished the prequel comic book. It was very poorly written. The story is bad. Does anyone actually read this at WB? Can they even tell if it’s bad? Goyer, Geoff Johns, and Zack Snyder wrote this….? O Lord, this film is going to be bad like Iron Man 3.

    There’s a lot of hype generated from the trailers but it’s very misleading after reading this prequel. Especially knowing that the writer, producer, and director of the film all co-wrote it together. WOW! I’m in shock.

    Yea, this reminds me of the big let down with Superman Returns and Green Lantern. Movie of the year, BAHAHAHAHA!

    • wait…you think the movie will bomb because you don’t like the prequel comic?
      sure. that makes TOTAL sense.

      • I believe what he means is that the prequel comic is by the very same people making the movie: Snyder and Goyer. If the prequel comic sucks then most likely the film will too. What’s so hard to understand?

        • one word prequel when are prequels ever better especially comics than the film. never.

    • It’s a comic book dude. Doesn’t have to be the most epic comic ever. I enjoyed it but to each their own. It’s just meant to open up more questions about what’s to possibly come down the road. Man of Steel will NOT suck.

  5. Let’s talk about the comic book. It’s written by the authors of the film itself. This is what we call a RED FLAG. The story is cliche, ridiculous, B-movie quality. I remember Animatrix Second Renaissance Parts 1 and 2 giving us the origins of the Matrix. It was so epic. The failure was not including it in the films. This prequel comic on the other hand is colossally bad.

    Kara-El aka Super-Girl is Captain of a ship carrying embryos meant to populate an entire planet with Kryptonians. I don’t know about you, but that’s what we call Expansionism. That’s not a good thing. And then to have the ship crash land due to a ridiculous plot line about a guy who’s in love with her??? Man, pay me to write this crap. I’ll do it justice at a cheaper price.

    So Dev-Em (Notice how this terrible name resembled Devil? Oh, Goyer, Snyder, and Johns are so clever NOT) steers the ship where ever he wanted to go hap-hazardly and winds up at Earth? ha ha. O sweet baby Jesus.

    Yeah, Man of Steel is not going to be that great. Thank you for the great marketing but won’t be enough to make me give up my money to see it. You already got mine from Superman Returns and Green Lantern. Sucker Punch and Watchmen I dodged those bullets thanks to word of mouth on the internet.

    Better luck next time, WB. I really wish you could get your act together and put the right people in charge of the films.

    • lol.

    • i don’t know if you have any idea what the hell you are talking about but kryptonians in general aren’t the nicest people in the universe…

    • It seems you don’t know too much about Superman mythos, but Dev-Em first appereared in comic books circa 1961, as a kryptonian delinquent who survided Krypton’s explosion placing himself in suspended animation in an orbiting space capsule. When the planet Krypton exploded, Dev-Em’s ship was blasted into space, where it eventually landed on Earth. So, what the comic book is telling is actually based on a story already told in Superman pre-crisis canon.

  6. Let me get this straight. So they changed the Super Girl mythos so that she’s an ancestor of Kal-El and their objective was to colonize an alien planet with Kryptonian embryos??? I’m putting together the MoS story and it’s not as good as the marketing would lead us to believe. Zod’s battleship with the gravity gun that Superman pushes back with his fist… Superman having to exert himself to fly faster… Goyer and Zack Snyder are for the lack of a better word, such hacks. Their body of work really isn’t good and will not stand the test of time.

  7. The story in the comic felt like that new Will Smith film, After Earth. Not feeling this whatsoever. Plus I just saw Superman The Movie. I’m younger so I wasn’t too familiar with it. I now can see how Superman Returns and now Man of Steel is borrowing heavily from the 1978 film, but doing it badly. I would rather pay for a video game with a great story than waste my money on this film should it prove to be as bad as WB’s last foray into the comic world with Green Lantern. Ryan Reynolds…?

  8. So humans are aware of where the beacon is coming from that’s calling Kal-El… I’m sorry. That’s pretty lame. And this is by the filmmakers? O well, at least we have the trailers.

  9. watching MOS on the 12th of June in the Philippines! Yoo hoo! will drop a line after i’ve watched it.. before most of yall hehe

  10. MAN OF STEEL will make Over $1 BiLLiON Dollars Worldwide, Henry Cavill is a Great Actor & Amy Adams is a Multi-Oscar-Nominated-Actress & Very Beautiful Plus Multi-Oscar-Nominated: C-NOLAN is The Writer & Producer, i think The New Suit Looks Great & Much Better than The Old Light Blue Suit that Looked Like a SMURF & with The OutSide UnderWear was Real Bad, i Will See MAN OF STEEL in 3D.

    • nolan is not the writer. amy adams is terrible for the part of lois…not to mention shes about 10 yrs older than cavill and has no chemistry with him, goyer is the most over rated writer in the world. he is terrible without someone co-writing with him so that they can serve as the buffer to fix his crap

  11. The backstory sounds Invincible-y: super people conquerors and the one on Earth doesn’t want to follow The Plan.

  12. Lol I wonder what all the people who criticized man of steel have to say now after they’ve seen it

  13. got that prequel comic book of MOS..

    My thought:
    -the ending of Kara’s story – reminds me much on captain america’s movie~
    -if she(Kara) survives the crash, how old is she by the time Clark turns 30?
    -so…..no Lana Lang? or Lex Luthor? (saw his truck destroyed in the movie)

    i hope in the prequel of MOS 2 they tell us the mystery of “Daily Planet’s Building”.. (how in the world they recover soooo faaassssttt???)

    • Kara is about 18 or 19 years old. Remember in the comic her ship crash landed in Ellsmere Island, Canada.

      Kristin Stewart does look like “The Girl of Steel” that’s who reminds me of ? Brooke Shields also can play her mother Allura In-Ze, and she was screen tested to play Supergirl before Helen Slater got the part. Daniel Craig can play Jor-El’s brother Zor-El.

      • i believe that she’s still alive (and frozen like megatron then Clark accidentally “activate” her back. LoL~). so ya, she stay young but she’s not 18 but 18,000+ years old instead. :)

        My next question is… who make the signal from the ship and why now?

        Kristen Steward can’t even smile.. too “cold”..
        need someone fun and fresh, i prefer:
        1.Hayden Panettiere
        2.Yvonne Strahovski
        3.Amber Heard
        Alicia Silverstone is my favorite ^^

        [i think of new Lois Lane for MOS 2.Someone younger than Henry Cavill.]

  14. My guess is that maybe this will be the justification of the Amazon race on Earth?

    I know that would really screw with people’s take on WW, really I do want a mythological take on WW honestly (though maybe Ares is Dev-Em?), but what is the purpose of putting Kara on that ship otherwise? Unless they just needed a Kryptonian headliner… which makes sense I guess.

  15. the comic is ok, but two big things really do bring the quality way down

    1: the faces, those stupid grins are horrifying and completely throw you out of the emotions the words are trying to portray, the rest of the artwork was serviceable enough

    2: they say that you can’t dream in the cryo sleep tube things and then what bloody happens? SHE DREAMS, and then it’s never answered how she can all of a sudden dream… really sloppy story telling and leaves a gapping plot hole that made me unable to enjoy the comic after that, this really has confirmed my position that david s goyer is the one who dragged the movie way down with his lazy script and disregard for the conventions of understandable story telling

  16. What if by some chance that Kara was the original amazon for like Wonder Woman. Kara was on earth thousands of years before superman. Maybe it’s some twist for a future Wonder Woman movie. That they are descendants of Kara mixed with human. And don’t forget the embryos. Maybe they could have been altered to be female only. Just a thought.

  17. Can someone please tell me how kara’s ship landed on earth 10 000 years ago. So shes 10 000 years older than her cousic kal el