Strange as it may be to think of, a good portion of moviegoers who sit down to watch Man of Steel this summer may only have a very vague idea of who the character is, let alone who the supporting characters of the film are. Whether they be kids getting their first introduction to Superman through this movie, or adults who have somehow managed to miss all of the films and TV shows as well as the comics, there will be people going into Man of Steel who don't know what Krypton is, what Superman's powers are, or even who Lois Lane is.
That, of course, is one of the benefits of making both a reboot and an origin story. Zack Snyder has been charged with telling the Superman story anew, from the inception of the character on Krypton to his eventual role as protector of Earth. Along the way, each of the significant characters within the mythology will be introduced naturally, restricting the need for too much lengthy exposition.
For those who need a shorthand way of keeping track of who everyone is, however, a new set of character images and mini-biographies have been made available in some sort of tie-in book, which was uploaded to Imgur by @alljerry04. There are 10 in total, each one dedicated to a different pivotal character, from Clark Kent himself right down to Colonel Hardy. All four of Clark's parents get a character bio, which plays into the strong suggestions we've seen so far that Clark's character is strongly influenced by both his adoptive parents' guidance and the destiny granted to him by his biological parents.
NOTE: The images contain MILD SPOILERS for early Man of Steel story details:
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The character bios might also prove interesting for existing fans, since they flesh out a few small details of the film. Clark's biography confirms that he finds his suit along with the rest of his heirlooms, which seemed almost certain due to the fact that it bears his family crest and seems impervious to damage caused by his high-impact flight, but the information does at least eliminate any tiny possibility that he might have stitched it at home Spider-Man-style.
Clark's biography also mentions that he doesn't realize his full potential until finding the Kryptonian artifacts, and prior to that his powers had developed "slowly." The talk of realizing potential could simply refer to Clark finding out his origins and destiny, or it could mean that his powers get a boost once he comes of age and Jonathan shows him the ship that he arrived in.
The bios for Faora and General Zod also give a little context for their roles within Man of Steel, which is a nice addition since the characters have been mostly sidelined in the trailers. Faora's bio states that she and the rest of Zod's warriors were imprisoned in the Phantom Zone after their capture, but eventually escaped, while Zod's seems to suggest that the band of soldiers come across Kal-El's survival on Earth accidentally, during their search for a new homeworld.
Again, there's not much in these bios that isn't already in the comics, or which couldn't have been guessed at by watching the trailers, but that's unsurprising given the shroud of secrecy that enveloped the film for a long time. With a significant amount of footage, stills and information now available as part of the marketing for Man to Steel, it's possible to get a rough idea of what shape the plot will take, but luckily there are still enough mysteries left to look forward to when the film is released - whether you're a fan of Superman already or just a fan-to-be.
Man of Steel opens in 2D and selected 3D/IMAX theaters in the U.S. on June 14th, 2013.