Thursday, July 11, 2013

My Superman Movie!

So, as of this writing, I have yet to see Man of Steel, but from what I've heard, it sounds like it'll be even more disappointing than Superman Returns. So I figured, hey, I could come up with a better Superman movie than that, so here's what I've got:

The opening sequence would work as the trailer, in my opinion.

We open on a long shot of the city of Metropolis. We know it's Metropolis because we can easily spot the Daily Planet globe on top of one of the buildings, probably the LexCorp building, too. It's a nice sunny day, and as we cut in closer shots, we see people walking the streets, perhaps a family of tourists buying a balloon with an s-shield on it. We might even see Lois Lane walking with Jimmy Olsen, but won't call attention to it yet.

We cut to a armored truck driving down a street. A guard in the passenger street mentions the run has been uneventful, but the driver responds that he always feels better after delivery. Suddenly, he slams on the brakes because a group of five criminals in ski masks are in the street ahead of them, brandishing some deadly-looking weapons. One of them runs to the side of the truck and orders the driver and guard to get out, saying that these guns are powerful enough to kill even...

He's interrupted by a blur of red and blue and a rush of wind, and suddenly, his hands are empty. We cut to the other four, reacting to this. One of them says, "Uh-oh" as another blur of red and blue and a rush of wind flashes past them, and they are empty-handed as well. We cut to a close up on the street as the weapons clatter to the street, the power packs already separated from them. The camera pulls up and back, revealing Superman, with an appropriate fanfare. He looks serious, and says, "Are you going to give up, or are you going to make this hard on yourselves?"

The four raise their hands immediately, but the one by the truck says, "Do it!" We cut to a view through a gunsight, aimed at Superman's shield on his cape. We hear a click, but the view suddenly blurs and Superman is gone from sight! We cut to a rooftop where the sixth member of the group, who'd been aiming the gun, looks around, bewildered, before Superman darts in, grabs the gun, and points to his ear and says, "Super-hearing... You must not have done your research."

We cut back to where the other five are standing on the street as we hear sirens approaching. Superman floats down with the sixth crook and his gun, gently sets the crook on the street,  and adds this gun to the pile. The police arrive, led by Maggie Sawyer of the Special Crimes Unit (it says so on the door of her car). Captain Sawyer approaches Superman and remarks how they got there in record time, but Superman always seems to get there first. Superman says he's just happy he got there before anyone could be hurt.

As the crooks are cuffed and led into the paddy wagon, Sawyer picks up one of the weapons and examines it, saying that she's never seen that design before. Superman tells her they look like the same kind of tech Intergang has been selling, but more advanced. Sawyer hopes they'll be able to shut Intergang down soon, but they have covered their tracks too well. Superman promises he'll keep his eyes open, but says he's got to be going.

Sawyer asks if there's an emergency somewhere, and Superman says, "Something like that," as he starts floating upward, then flies off. We cut to the Daily Planet building as a streak of red and blue zips to the globe.

Opening credits... Although some preliminary credits could be shown over the preceding.

We then go to the Daily Planet, where Clark Kent is at his computer, writing the story about what just happened. He pauses when his phone rings; it's Lois Lane, giving him more info, including quotes from Captain Sawyer. She chides Clark for not letting her know ahead of time so she could've got Jimmy on the scene to take pictures, Clark tells her there wasn't time (yes, we're starting off with Lois and Clark being together, and Lois knows the secret... They're being vague enough that nobody overhearing would know). Clark asks Lois if they're still on for lunch, but she has an interview with a visiting official from overseas, and asks Clark to meet her at one at the Schaffenburgers on Swan and Anderson, and to order for her if she's running behind. Clark agrees and hangs up to finish and submit his story, first looking to see If anyone's paying attention before finishing at superspeed.

Perry White stops by to ask if Clark's finished his story, and w hen he's told it was just submitted, he tells Clark that construction workers at the outskirts of Metropolis have dug up something odd, and wants Clark to check up on it. Clark grabs his coat and hat and leaves.

Meanwhile, Lois and Jimmy are at the mayor's office. We can see by the sign on his door that his last name is Siegel. The mayor greets Lois and Jimmy, assures them his door is always open to the press, and without any pleasantries before, Lois pulls out a digital recorder and starts questioning the mayor about his okaying the use of what had been former wilderness outside the city for the location of a new tech firm. The mayor points out this firm will bring nearly 2,000 jobs to Metropolis, which would impact unemployment rates, which have been rising. He appreciates the loss of the wilderness, but he feels the people are better served by providing jobs. Lois isn't convinced of this.

At the construction site (not for the tech firm, this is a housing development), Clark arrives and manages to get through the crowd of gawkers that have gathered, all trying to see what's been dug up. Clark is allowed a closer look after he flashes his press pass. Police are there to mange crowd control. Clark finds the foreman, who leads him to the dig site. On the way, he says the crew was digging the foundation for this home when they heard the sound of metal on metal, and they came upon this...

What this is appears to be a small spacecraft of very alien design. Clark tries to use his x-ray vision on it, but it is impenetrable. It seems to have been buried for some time. The foreman says they're waiting on someone from Star Labs to come by, but they're having a hard time getting the necessary equipment to haul it back to their lab for study. Clark takes a few photos with his cell phone and suggests that Superman might be able to help.

Later, Clark is walking towards Schaffenburgers, which is a hamburger restaurant similar to Red Robin, when he hears the squealing of tires. A semi truck coming down the street has lost it's brakes. Clark ducks behind the building, and we see Superman streak out seconds later. He zips to the truck and brings it to a stop. The driver, shaken, steps out and thanks Superman, but the Man of Steel is examining the truck. Superman tells the driver he's welcome, but that it looks like the truck's brakes are in very bad condition, and that he should be inspecting them daily and getting them repaired when needed. He then flies off.

We see Lois at the front of the restaurant, and Clark joins her very shortly, straightening his tie. As they enter the restaurant, Lois tells Clark about her interview with the mayor, and how much she hates that that forest area, which was called Shuster Forest, is going to be ruined by the new tech company moving in there. Shuster Forest was where she and her parents used to go camping every year, and she has fond memories of there from her childhood, exploring caves there. She also suspects some bribery was involved, as the permits for the build were approved in record time, but she hasn't found proof of this yet.

Clark in turn tells Lois about the apparent spaceship that's been discovered, and that Superman will be helping move it to Star Labs later. This reminds Lois about something, and she starts looking at the walls of the restaurant, which are covered with all sorts of Metropolis memorabilia, including many Daily Planet front pages. 

Finally, she spots what she was looking for... About 30 years ago, there was a UFO sighting outside of Metropolis, which wasn't quite as spread out yet. This UFO was seen in the general area the home construction is taking place in. She tells Clark that after Superman first appears in Metropolis, and that he was from Krypton, she came across that headline and thought this might be the ship that Superman came to earth in, but of course, now she knows different. Clark leans closer to Lois and says she might be closer to the truth than she thinks, as he couldn't use his X-ray vision on the ship, although he couldn't find any Kryptonian markings on it.

We cut to where the tech firm will be constructed. The construction crew there is working furiously away when a limousine pulls up, and Elliott S. Weisinger exits the limo. He's in his early 50s, but could pass for younger. He's dressed in an expensive suit, and is accompanied by his assistant, Julius, whom Weisinger refers to as Julie. Weisinger approaches the foreman and asks how the construction is going, and is told that they're on schedule. There was some trouble with a reporter asking questions about their permits, but she was escorted off the property. Weisinger suggests that was Lois Lane, and that she's not to be allowed anywhere near the construction. They return to the limo, and Weisinger tells Julie to get him a cappuccino... There's a stand about two miles down the road, it shouldn't take him more than 15 minutes to walk there and back... Although running would be more efficient. Julie starts running, and Weisinger gets into the limo, closes the privacy screen, and makes a phone call. We don't hear who's on the other end, but Weisinger reports that all is according to plan, and he expects the first building up in a week, thanks to prefabrication, and merchandise will be able to be moved in then.

We switch scenes back to where the spaceship was discovered. There's still a crowd, although the police have moved them back a ways more. Lois and Jimmy arrive and flash their press passes, which allow them access to the area. They start looking up into the sky, which gets the crowd to start looking, too, and then Lois points in one direction and tells Jimmy to start shooting. We see Superman flying in, not at any great speed, and he lands near the spaceship. Someone from Star Labs is there waiting, and they thank Superman for his help. Superman lifts the ship up and starts flying it off to Star, while the Star Lab person there uses a device to check the area around where the ship was for radiation, and takes a few soil samples as well. He tells the foreman they should hold off on any more work until they've completed an analysis to be sure there's nothing harmful from the ship. Lois notes this while Jimmy takes pictures.

At Star Labs, we see a large doorway open on the rooftop as Superman flies the spaceship in and sets it down. Dr. Janet Klyburn and Professor Emil Hamilton greet the Man of Steel, and thank him for helping. They ask him what he'd been able to tell about the ship, and he says he couldn't see inside it, but it's not made of lead -- his microscopic vision shows it to be made of a metal not from earth, and that it's possibly Kryptonian. Since other Kryptonian artifacts discovered in the past have proven to be potentially dangerous, Superman recommends they use caution in examining it, even though he was unable to detect any kind of power source at all -- even infrared came up with nothing, although that could be due to the composition of the hull. Hamilton asks if Superman could possibly cut off a sample of the metal with his heat vision, but when the Man of Steel tries this, no matter how intense, the heat is quickly dissipated. Hamilton suggests this may be a property of the metal, intended to dissipate the heat of reentry. Klyburn says she'll put her top people on it, and that they should have some results in a few days, if Superman wants to keep up to date. After Superman flies off, Hamilton suggests that they try the Kryptonite laser to get a sample of the metal.

We cut to the Metropolis Police Department, where the impounded weapons from the beginning are being tested. A special SCU firing range is used, and when one of the weapons is fired at the test target, the target is not on,y destroyed, but the shot damages the solid concrete wall beyond. Sawyer suggests that if this weapon had been fired at the armored truck, it would've destroyed it. She wonders if these weapons are the rumored Toastmasters that informants told the MPD about.

We cut to the opulent office of Elliott Weisinger, who's watching an interview with himself on television. When asked about his wealth and its impact on Metropolis, he casually says that he's no Lex Luthor in the wealth department, or even Morgan Edge, owner of GBS Television, but he does what he can to help the citizens of Metropolis out, especially when it comes to jobs. In fact, there will be a job expo coming up and he encourages any citizen of Metropolis, no matter what their background, to apply for positions in his new tech company, as they will provide training for the right people.

Weisinger turns off the tv when an alert comes up on his desk reminding him of a meeting. When he comes out of the office, he tells Julie he won't need him any more today. Julie asks if he should call his driver, but Weisinger says he'd prefer to drive himself. We follow Weisinger to the garage, where he gets into an expensive sports car and drives off. A short distance later, he pulls into a parking garage, where a secret doorway automatically opens for his car. Inside, he stops the car near where four men are standing. The obvious leader of the group is "Ugly" Manheim, who taps his watch impatiently and announces that Weisinger is late. Weisinger casually mentions he was watching himself on tv. 

Mannheim's not happy about the capture of the six Toastmaster weapons that morning, he was expecting that the crooks they sold them to would at least get a shot at Superman to confirm if they would be able to have any effect. With the weapons captured, he's convinced that the Special Crimes Unit might be able to track down the source of the weapons. Weisinger assures him that the components for the gun were manufactured at sixty different locations worldwide, and assembled in one secret location that nobody will be able to find, as it was destroyed in a fire that appeared to be accidental. There's nothing on any of the components that can be traced back, and they're being shipped to Metropolis hidden in crates that look like they're loaded with other merchandise. Once his new tech firm is up, they'll be able to sneak in the components and assemble them in large enough quantities that should allow Intergang to take over Metropolis, if they wish.

We cut to Superman, hovering above Metropolis, talking on his cell phone to Lois. He's telling her what happened at Star Labs, but warns the it's too early to add any of those details to the story yet. He also tells her that he might be late for dinner, he's heading up north for a little bit. Lois tells him she's still pursuing the whole bribery for permits angle on Weisinger's new tech company. Superman suddenly tells Lois to stop, and we see she does... She was about to cross the street, but a driver ran the red light, and would've hit her if she hadn't stopped. She asks if he's going to run the driver down, but then she hears a siren, and Superman tells her he saw the policeman waiting. He reminds her to be careful, and Lois says she's always careful. Superman says he doesn't remember it that way, and he'll see her soon.

At Star Labs, Hamilton is trying the Kryptonite laser on the ship, and successfully slices a small piece off. As he leaves the lab with the laser and the sample, he tells one of the technicians, Pasko, that the ship is all his, but reminds him to use all the standard precautions. After Hamilton leaves, Pasko takes his cell phone out and calls his wife, telling her they've got a new project, and he probably won't make it home for dinner. As he does this, he rolls a cart to the ship with assorted examination equipment, and when he's done with the call, he absentmindedly sets his phone on the cart. He checks over the equipment, and reaches to his head as if to pull down protective goggles. Realizing he doesn't have them on, he goes to a cabinet to get some.

As his back is turned, the ship glows slightly, and a spark of energy jumps from the ship to Pasko's phone. The screen lights up briefly with three yellow dots on a field of green, arranged like the points of an equilateral triangle point down, with lines connecting the top two to the bottom, and then it fades to the standard home screen.

In the Arctic, Superman flies to the Fortess of Solitude. Landing there, he's enthusiastically greeted by Krypto, the Superdog, who has a pile of gigantic bones that he goes back to chewing after Superman promises him they'll get a chance to play later. Superman goes to his computer, sets his phone by it, and brings up the picture of the spacecraft. Superman tells the computer to analyze the picture and compare to spacecraft in its database. The computer does its analysis, rendering a 3d image of it based on the pictures, and announces a strong probability that the ship is a Kryptonian space probe, somewhat modified from the original design used by Jor-El. Superman asks if this probe was possibly used by Jor-El to decide on Earth as the destination for himself as a baby when Krypton was going to explode, but there is insufficient data for that.

Superman then does his routine Fortress checks, making sure all criminals are accounted for in the Phantom Zone, makes sure the automated feeding systems are keeping his Interplanetary Zoo collection fed, and so on. We can see Krypto following him, wagging his tail and looking impatient. Superman sees this and laughs, and tells him they can play now. Outside, despite the howling winds and freezing ice and snow, Superman and Krypto play a game of catch, with Superman throwing a metal ball into the upper atmosphere and into space, and Krypto flying after it and bringing it back. A Superman's best friend is his Superdog, after all. Finally, Superman tells Krypto that playtime is over, and that he has to get back to Metropolis, promising to whistle if he needs him.

Shortly, at Lois's apartment, Superman lands on the balcony and enters. Lois points out a folded set of clothes, topped by Clark's glasses. She says dinner will be ready in a minute, and he can go ahead and change back... But of course, Superman's already changed back to Clark. Lois comments that she'll never understand how he can fit the cape under his shirt without looking like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Clark starts to explain, but she tells him to skip it, and asks how Krypto is.

As they sit down to dinner, Clark mentions how lucky he is... He's got a great job, a great woman, and he gets to use his powers to help people. Lois counters that she's lucky too... And that they both owe some of their luck to Superman. She explains that she got a friend request on Facebook from a former Planet reporter who left just before Clark was hired, and that these days he's not working for a newspaper, as the paper he worked for closed. The Planet is one of the only newspapers worldwide that hasn't suffered because of the Internet, and a lot of that seems to be due to Superman's presence and the stories Clark and Lois write about him. Even papers in other cities with superheroes are suffering by comparison. Clark tries to say that he doesn't really try to take advantage of his Superman identity that way, and that he's always talked to reporters elsewhere in the world when he gets the chance, but Lois assures him that she doesn't see it as taking advantage, it's just a natural circumstance. Working at the Planet gives Clark information that Superman needs, and Superman's exploits give the Planet what it needs... It's a fair trade off.

Later that week, at the job expo, we see that among the booths are representatives from LexCorp, Wayne Enterprises, Star Labs, and many others. Pasko is there, taking advantage of his lunch break, wearing a hat and sunglasses in hopes that the Star Labs reps don't recognize him. He goes to the Weisinger Tech booth, where Weisinger himself is just finishing a speech to great applause. He comes off the stage at the booth and Pasko approaches him, introducing himself and asking about possibilities at WT. Weisinger assures him that he has the greatest respect for Star scientists, but that Star has a tendency to be so focused on the big picture that they forget the people who make the big picture happen... And that they need financial rewards. He tells Julie to fetch them some cappuccinos and invites Pasko backstage to talk more.

As Julie walks to the coffee stand, he mutters under his breath about how he's tired of being sent for cappuccinos all the time, he's got a business degree, and is capable of being more than a gofer, and most of all, tired of being called Julie! He places the coffee order, and when the total is given, when he reaches for his wallet, Lois is suddenly there, saying she's got it. She starts to introduce herself, but Julius knows who she is. She tells Julius (who asks her to call him Jules -- he made the mistake of telling Weisinger once that his mother called him Julie when he was a child, and Weisinger has called him Julie ever since, he prefers Jules). Lois asks if she could meet with Jules sometime to ask him some questions about Weisinger and Weisinger Tech -- off the record, and she'll gladly pay him for his time. Jules is hesitant, but Lois flirts with him a little bit (why do you think she always dresses the way she does... An attractive woman can open doors that might otherwise be closed), and he agrees to meet with her that night at her apartment.

Backstage, Pasko is explaining to Weisinger about how Star often calls on him to work late, and he wants more time in the evenings and weekends with his family. Weisinger says he understands, he believes he missed out on having a family due to his dedication to his company, and wishes he'd found the time (of course this is all a line, but Pasko doesn't notice this). Weisinger suggests they exchange contact information, so they can discuss his role at Weisinger Tech in more detail at another time. They each pull out their cell phones, and since they're the same brand, they tap them together to swap contact info. There's a spark when this happens that surprises them both, and Pasko suggests perhaps there was some kind of static discharge, but the phones both still work, so there's no harm done. As Weisinger starts to put his phone back in his pocket, we see the dots and lines appear briefly on the screen.

Later that day, Clark and Lois are leaving the Planet building, and Clark asks Lois about having dinner together that night, there's a new fusion cuisine restaurant in Seattle getting great reviews, but Lois tells him she's meeting a source that night, perhaps another time. Clark starts to ask her about the story she's working on, and she tells him this is one byline she's keeping for herself.  

At Weisinger's office, Julie is leaving for the day, no longer being needed, and Weisinger sits at his desk. He pulls his cell phone out and connects it to his computer, which starts acting strangely, all sorts of data popping into the screen and then disappearing. Weisinger is angered at this, saying out loud that if he finds out who screwed up the computer system he'll have their head. Suddenly, the screen goes green, and the dots and lines icon appears. The green background shows a slightly lighter green display of data constantly on the move, Matrix style. A voice comes from the computer, the dots and lines fluctuating with the voice. The voice says there is no need for alarm, and that he is a computer intelligence, Weisinger may call him Brainiac. He is now in control of the Weisinger computer systems, and has full access to all data, including the encrypted files, which he has re-encrypted. He offers Weisinger a bargain... If Weisinger will provide Brainiac with what he needs, Brainiac will in turn give Weisigner what he needs. Weisinger asks how Brainiac got into his computers, and where he came from. 

Brainiac replies that he was created on the planet Krypton, but that the scientists there feared his control over the computer networks, and managed to isolate his programming and launched the tech he was trapped inside into a deep space probe, which was launched into space. The probe landed on Earth and was buried on impact, and Brainiac waited to be freed. At Star Labs, he was awakened, and used the smart phone near the probe to transfer his intelligence, and from there, he moved to Weisinger's phone, and then to the computer. He was limited to what he could do until he had enough storage space to completely decompress his intelligence.  Weisinger mentions that Superman's from Krypton, and Brainiac notes that Superman is the only real potential threat to either of their plans, but he can be dealt with.

We cut to Lois Lane's apartment. There are boxes of Chinese takeout on the dining room table, and there's a knock at the door... It's Julie. Lois invites him to the table, and asks if he's hungry. She'd looked Jules (she takes great care to always say Jules) up online, and saw that he likes Chinese food (the things people say on Facebook). As she gets a plate prepared for Jules, she tells him that she's been looking into the new Weisinger Tech building project, and that things seem to have gone faster than they should have. She figures something funny was going on, and wonders what Jules could tell her. She again promises that she won't mention him as her source, she just needs leads to get the facts.

Jules tells her that Weisinger covers his tracks pretty well, but he has a tendency to dismiss Jules as little more than an errand boy, always sending him out for cappuccinos every time he wants to talk business, so he doesn't know specifics about what might have happened to make permits so easy to get, but he does have a talent for names, faces and dates, and he can tell Lois about meetings Weisinger had with various people that probably helped matters move along. Lois is happy to get that information, at least it's a start.

At Weisinger's office, Braniac tells him that he's aware of Weisinger's connections with Intergang, and that he knows Weisinger would like more power than he has. Weisigner is impressed by this, but asks for a sample of how Brainiac can help him. Brainiac ponders for a moment, and then announces that Weisinger's assistant is right now in contact with Lois Lane of the Daily Planet. We quickly cut to Lois' apartment, and can see that Jules' phone is activated, although when he looks at it, it just shows that he's received an email, so he doesn't pay much attention to it.

At Weisinger's office, Brainiac relays the conversation between Jules and Lois, and Weisinger starts to get angry, swearing that he will see Jules dead for this.  Brainiac assures him that there are better ways to deal with Jules, and there are more immediate concerns, such as the Toastmaster weapons in Metropolis' SCU facility, and that even now, he is taking steps to eliminate any possibility of them being used to be connected with Intergang.

We cut to the SCU and the evidence locker. A guard stands by the door, when an electrical junction box suddenly blows, sending sparks flying. The guard quickly runs towards a fire alarm panel, but when he pulls the lever, nothing happens. The sparks start a fire, and the guard uses his radio to try to get help. He notices that the fire defense systems aren't working, and gets further away. He reaches a phone, but the line is dead. He tries his cell phone, but there's no service. 

We cut to over the skies of Metropolis, where Superman is flying on patrol. His super-hearing catches the guard's voice, and he quickly flies to the scene. The guard and other officers in the area have passed out from the smoke already, and he flies them outside. He quickly discovers that nobody can reach the fire department, and very loudly orders that the building be evacuated. He zips back to the evidence locker, which by now is engulfed in flames. Suddenly, there is an explosion, and Superman quickly blocks the worst of it with his body, then uses his super-breath to blow out the fire. It's a mess in there, as he sees after he opens a window and uses his super-breath again to blow the smoke outside.

Sawyer arrives at the scene, and looks over the damage. There's a lot of evidence that's ruined now, and the Toastmasters are beyond the point of any use to them now. She doesn't understand what happened, the fire suppression systems are checked every week to prevent this kind of thing from happening, but she'll look into it. Superman apologizes for not getting there soon enough to stop it from getting this bad, but Sawyer knows he saved some of her people first, and that was more important.

At Weisinger's office, Brainiac says the captured Toastmasters are no longer a concern. Weisigner still wants revenge against Jules, but Brainiac tells him to be patient. Not only will he deal with Jules, but he'll also take care of Lois, but first, the steps must be started towards getting Brainiac what he needs. To that end, he will work to expedite the shipment of construction materials to the new Weisinger Tech facility. There is also the matter of Weisinger taking control of Intergang. Weisigner says he'll be patient, but will need results.

At Lois' apartment, she is wrapping up her interview with Jules. Jules sees a picture of Lois and Clark together, and makes a comment about how he's not surprised she has someone in her life, and that he wishes he was that lucky. Lois says there's a single girl at the Planet about Jules' age, and that she'd see about setting them up on a date. This brings a smile to Jules' face as he leaves.

When Jules leaves, she uses her phone to text Superman that the coast is clear, and the second it's sent, Superman comes in through the balcony door, Lois notes his costume stinks of smoke, and Superman tells her there was a fire. She offers to wash his uniform while he gets a shower, and he accepts the offer, nothing that he could just fly to the Fortess to get a spare uniform, but he did want to see Lois for a little while this evening.

The next day, at Star Labs, Pasko is continuing to study the space probe, examining it thoroughly. At one point, he lets an instrument slip, and it hits the side of the ship before landing on the floor. There is a hum, followed by a voice in an alien language. Pasko goes to the door and yells for Hamilton.

At Weisinger's office, Jules arrives for work, but when he gets to his desk, he finds that his personal items are in boxes. Weisinger, accompanied by two security guards, tells Jules that he's discovered that Jules has been stealing from the company, but given his long association, instead of pressing charges, he's just going to fire Jules. The security guards take the boxes and escort him out, Jules denying the whole time that he never stole anything from anyone.

At the Daily Planet, Clark and Lois are at their desks working away when Clark's phone rings. It's Hamilton, who asks Clark if he can reach Superman, and ask him to come to Star Labs. Clark says he'll see what he can do. As Clark tells Lois about the call, Jimmy overhears and offers to use his signal watch to call Superman, but Clark says he's got a pretty good idea where Superman might be now, and leaves. Jimmy tells Lois that Clark and Superman must be very close friends, then rushes off when he hears Perry bellow for him. Lois says quietly, "You have no idea, Jimmy."

Lois then spots the woman she was telling Jules about, and rushes over to her. She confirms that Alice (a cute 20-something) is new in Metropolis and doesn't know many people outside of the Planet staff. When Alice agrees, Lois starts to tell her about Jules.

We cut to Star Labs as Superman arrives. Hamilton greets him and brings him to the probe, explaining that Pasko managed to accidentally activate a voice recording, which was automatically recorded by the cameras in the lab. Superman listens to the playback, looking surprised. He tells Hamilton the language is Kryptonian, and was recorded by his father, Jor-El, as a warning that the probe should be left in space and returned to its original course, which was intended to be a black hole. The probe contained the malevolent computer intelligence Brainiac, who had been isolated from Krypton's computer network and placed inside. It was decided it was safer to send Brainiac into a black hole instead of to the Phantom Zone, because they figured there would be no escape for Brainiac. 

Hamilton tells Superman that analysis of the hull of the ship revealed traces of minerals that could indicate the probe was sent off course due to a collision with a meteor. Superman muses that's been known to happen. Neither one can figure how the recording was able to be played, as there's still no energy signature from the probe. Hamilton suggests that it's probably not safe to keep the probe at Star, and that it might be safer to store it at the Fortress until it can be safely sent back into space. Superman agrees, but before he flies the ship away, he asks Hamilton if he could figure out some sort of weapon to be used against Brainiac if he were to somehow escape, and Hamilton promises to work on something.

Pasko observes this exchange, unnoticed until his cell phone rings. Hamilton reminds Pasko that Star Labs policy is that all personal phones are to be turned off in lab areas, and this will be his last reminder. Pasko apologizes hurriedly and rushes out. He gets to an office, and answers his phone. It's Weisinger, who first asks how Pasko is doing, and that he looks forward to their upcoming meeting to discuss his future employment at Weisinger Tech. Then he asks about the probe, he'd read in the Planet that it had been brought to Star, and wondered if Pasko had any information about it he could pass on. Pasko tells him Superman just flew off with it, and Weisinger hangs up.

At Weisinger's office, it's obvious that Brainiac has heard the conversation. He says it's regrettable that the probe has been moved, as he was unable to transfer his full intelligence into the phone, even with Kryotnian compression. Since nobody but Superman knows the location of the probe, he will have to extract that information from the Man of Steel before he kills him.

Brainiac also reports that with the arrangements he's made, the initial building for the new Weisinger Tech site should be finished in two days. Brainiac insists that this building be devoted to building him a body to better handle Superman.

Later that evening, Lois has talked Alice into meeting Jules at his apartment. Jules doesn't know about it. Lois knocks at the door, and Jules answers, looking distraught. He politely invites Lois inside, not seeing Alice yet. Lois introduces Alice to him, and Jules says it's kind of a bad time, since he got fired by Weisinger that morning. Lois asks why, and Jules says he was accused of stealing, and there was supposed to be proof, but he never stole anything. Lois believes him, and promises if there's anything she can do to help him find a new job, she'll do it. In the meantime, though, she suggests Jules and Alice go get a bite to eat, her treat -- and forces a fifty on him before he can say no.

The next day, Ugly Mannheim is having lunch at a fancy restaurant, with his goons standing by. He's accompanied by an underdressed blonde woman, an updated version of a gun moll. It's obvious that Mannheim is more interested in her looks than her intelligence. The meal is interrupted by the arrival of Inspector Henderson and a group of uniformed police, as well as another man in a suit who identifies himself as a federal agent. An anonymous source provided evidence that Mannheim is guilty of tax evasion, and that he's under arrest. His goons start to move towards the police, but Mannheim waves them off, insisting this is all a misunderstanding, and tells the blonde he should be out on bail before dinner time. Henderson assures him that it's going to be some time before he sees the inside of anything but the inside of a cell or courtroom again. As they leave, the blonde immediately drops her bimbo act, and complains that there goes her meal ticket.

At Weisinger's office shortly afterward, Weisinger watches news coverage of Mannheim's arrest, and laughs out loud. He asks Brainiac what gave him the idea to get Mannheim this way, and Brainiac says his research revealed that the gangster Al Capone had been arrested and tried for the same thing. Brainiac also says that Jules will be completely dealt with by the end of the day tomorrow. Weisinger plans to call a meeting of Intergang and announce his intention to take over the organization.

The next day, Lois and Clark are having lunch together in Metropolis Park, and Lois is telling Clark about her ill-timed matchmaking, and wonders if somehow Weisinger spied on her meeting with Jules. Clark finds that difficult to believe, as he always scans the apartment and the general area for any bugs or other devices whenever he comes over. They also discuss the arrest of Ugly Mannheim, who was denied bail. Clark's contact at the district attorney told him off the record that the feds are offering him a deal on the tax evasion, so long as Mannheim offers up information on the other suspected criminal activities he's involved in, but Mannheim's refused to talk deal. Clark's attention is suddenly diverted when a passerby listening to the news allows him to hear that a tornado has struck the Midwest, and Lois tells him to go.

We cut to the Weisigner Tech construction, where the foreman is on the phone with Weisinger. He doesn't know how it was managed to get the prefab walls and other materials delivered so quickly, but thanks to the timely arrival and the promise of overtime pay, work is ahead of schedule, with the first building to be finished tonight. Weisinger thanks the foreman for the news, and says that he and his crew may take four days off with pay after the first building is finished as a bonus.

Brainiac tells Weisinger all is going to plan, and the next step will be to transfer his intelligence to the new building and provide the necessary technicians, and Brainiac will get what he wants. Weisinger isn't sure who to assign that will be trustworthy, but Brainiac assures him that won't be a problem. The computer screen begins to pulse rhythmically, accompanied by a series of tones. Weisinger suddenly goes stiff, his eyes vacant. Brainiac tells Weisinger to take his cup of cappuccino and pour it onto his lap. The pulse and tones stop, and Weisinger reacts to the spill. Brainiac says that he has just demonstrated one way to ensure cooperation and trust.

We cut to Jules and Alice, who are watching the tv coverage of Superman dealing with the tornadoes on Jules' tv. They turn the set off when the story is over, and Jules tells Alice that he's glad Lois introduced them. Even though they've only known each other a few days, it's given Jules the confidence to be aggressive in his search for a new job, and that he's already got a couple of good leads. There's a knock at the door, and they assume it's the Chinese food delivery they've been expecting. Alice goes to answer the door while Jules looks for his wallet, but when she opens the door, there's just a package there. Alice brings it in and asks if Jules was expecting anything, but the return address isn't familiar to him. Curious, he starts to open it when there's another knock at the door, and the announcement that it's Metropolis Police. They have a search warrant for Jules' apartment, and Jules assumes it has something to do with the claim that he'd stolen from Weisinger. The police do their search with a German shepherd, who starts barking at the nearly opened package, which is found to contain a large amount of cocaine. Jules is arrested, and Alice is completely bewildered, despite Jules promising he didn't know anything about the package.

At the Planet the next day, Alice tells Lois what happened, and Lois promises to look into it. She makes a call, and after a few  minutes, tells Alice it doesn't look good. A tip to the police led not only to the search warrant, but also examined Jules' bank account, which is significantly more than one would expect. The police are holding him on charges of possession with intent to distribute. However, Lois has pretty good instincts when it comes to people, and does not believe this could be true at all. She tells Lucy they're going to Jules' apartment to look for clues, as the police didn't seem to search longer once they found the drugs.

Clark overhears this and reminds Lois that the apartment would be considered a crime scene, and they likely wouldn't be allowed in. He offers to come with to see if he can be of any help. Alice doesn't understand how Clark would be of any more help, but Lois agrees to bring him.

Meanwhile, at the completed Weisinger Tech building, a group of scientists and technicians are hard at work constructing an android body for Brainiac, while Intergang goons stand guard outside. We notice that everyone inside has a glowing green metallic Brainiac symbol on their foreheads, except for Weisinger, who overlooks the building, with Brainiac still in the computer, which was obviously brought there. Weisinger is amazed, he knew about the hypnosis, but he didn't expect that Brainiac would use more direct mind control. Brainiac says this allows him to more completely oversee each worker, and that the same technology could be used on Intergang... The control units can be disintegrated at a moment's notice, and the controlled person will have no memory of what they did. Weisinger appreciates the idea, he could have Intergang members commit crimes while controlled, and if captured by the police, wouldn't be able to talk. Brainiac says there is just one thing more he needs... The Kryptonite laser from Star Labs. Brainiac has deduced that was what allowed him to be free, and it would prove to be useful when destroying Superman. Weisinger calls Pasko and asks him to come over immediately to discuss his employment at Weisinger Tech.

Elsewhere, Clark, Lois and Alice get to Jules' apartment, which is not only still taped up as a crime scene, there's also a pair of cops at the door. They refuse to let anyone in without instructions from Inspector Henderson. Clark uses his x-ray vision to scan the apartment. Alice is worried about Jules, and says if they can't get into the apartment, she's going to check on him. Clark whispers to Lois that if Jules has a lot of extra money in the bank, it's not showing on his account statements, which Jules has filed away. Lois asks the cops on duty if their search was thorough, or if they were just looking for drugs. The cops don't know, they just came on duty a few hours ago. Lois decides to see Henderson in person, while Clark has another story to get to work on.

Later, Pasko arrives at Star Labs, wearing a baseball cap. He's granted acces, obviously, and heads to one of the labs, where he gets the Kryptonite laser and starts to leave with it. A Star security guard sees him and tries to get him to stop, and as they struggle, Pasko's hat falls off, revealing a Brainiac symbol. Pasko breaks away from the guard and aims the laser at him. The guard raises his hands in surrender, and Pasko runs off with the laser. The guard immediately sounds an alarm, but Pasko uses the laser to cause enough havoc that he's not stopped. As he steps outside of Star and starts to run to his car, Superman flies in, and asks Pasko to put the weapon down and give up. Pasko starts aiming the laser at him, so Superman starts to more in, but Pasko fires a shot first, which sends Superman reeling long enough for Pasko to get away.

Hamilton and Klyburn arrive as Superman recovers. He asks what it was that hit him, and Hamilton says its an experimental Kryptonite laser that they use in research. Superman's naturally taken aback at this, but Hamilton assures him that it is a one of a kind item, and the Kryptonite lens is completely lead lined, with a iris opening for when it's in use. Superman isn't happy about this, but he knows that Star has a very small supply of Kryptonite for research purposes, though his impression is it was for energy research. In good news, Hamilton says he's made progress on the anti-Brainiac weapon Superman asked about, and it should be ready soon.

At police headquarters, Henderson is being told that a more complete search of Jules' apartment has turned up printed bank statements that don't match what the computer records are showing. Henderson is sure now that Jules is being framed, and calls the DA to arrange for Jules' release.

While this is going on, Lois and Jimmy are lurking around the outer edges of the Weisinger Tech facility, which includes a satellite dish. Lois is still on the story about WT, and with the goons patrolling the building and a flow of materials inside, she's sure something is up. Jimmy takes pictures, and Lois' phone, which is set on silent (because she's no dummy) vibrates. It's Clark, checking on where she is, as she wasn't at the Planet and nobody knew where she went. Lois tells him, and suggests that they could use his unique view on what's going on. Clark says he'll be there shortly.

Inside, Brainiac has detected Lois' call, and tells Weisinger there are intruders present. Weisinger orders two of his men to check it out, and subsequently, Lois and Jimmy are captured and brought inside. There, they are told that they are just in time to witness the finishing stages of constructing Brainiac's android body, with Pasko arriving with the Kryptonite laser, which is reconfigured swiftly to be mounted on one of the android's forearms. Lois tells them that Superman will find them and take care of Brainiac, but Weisinger helpfully states that the walls of this building are lead lined, a standard precaution for buildings in which radioactive materials might be used in, while Brainiac says the the Kryptonite laser will be more than enough to deal with Superman... And now he has a backup plan.

Outside, Clark arrives, and scans the area with his x-ray vision, but doesn't find them. He mutters under his breath something about wishing Lois would stop sneaking into buildings one of these days, and sweeps the building with his X-ray vision, but of course it's blocked by the lead.

Inside, connections are made between Weisinger's computer and the android body, and Brainiac's intelligence is transferred over. The body gets up, and Brainiac says that this is but the first step in his conquest of the Earth to impose order, as he attempted to do on Krypton.

Outside, we see that Clark has heard this with his super-hearing (see? One of the powers criminals forget to take into account) and for the first time in the movie, we see him open up his shirt to reveal the s-shield underneath (in case you wondered why we didn't get this before). 

Inside, Brainiac informs Weisinger that his services are no longer needed as a free thinking individual, and he grabs Weisinger, and is about to put one of his mind control gadgets on him when Superman breaks in. Superman acknowledges that Brainiac must have somehow freed himself while the probe was at Star, and Brainiac confirms this, and says the instrument of his freedom was this! And fires the Kryptonite laser at the Man of Steel. Superman staggers and falls, but it only stunned. Brainiac goes to the fallen Superman, picks him up with one hand, and points the laser directly at his head. Brainiac asks Superman if he has any last words before he's executed in the name of ultimate order.

Superman says, "Yes, I do... Sic 'em!"

Suddenly, Krypto bursts in and attacks Brainiac, ripping off the arm with the laser, causing Brainiac to drop Superman in order to fight Krypto off. Superman gets to his feet and says, "Good boy." Superman quickly tears a section of the lead shielding and wraps it around the severed arm with the laser. Brainiac, meanwhile, takes advantage of this to reconfigure himself to replace the lost arm, and also has ordered his mind controlled Intergang goons to put their guns to the heads of Lois and Jimmy. He says, "It appears we both had a backup plan... But mine is better. You will surrender and take me to the probe that contains the rest of my data, or I will have these two humans you care for so much killed by my drones." Superman orders Krypto to leave.

Lois and Jimmy beg Superman not to listen to Brainiac, they're not worth it, but Superman surrenders, agreeing to take Brainiac to the Fortress, where the probe is stored. Brainiac reminds Superman that his control over his drones is absolute, and at any distance, he can order them to kill Lois and Jimmy. Superman asks Brainiac if he can follow him, and Brainiac levitates up in demonstration. The two fly off.

They arrive at the Fortress, and Brainiac marvels at what's inside. He tells Superman that he has had his drones working on nanites that will allow him to take any technology and assimilate it into his own form. With the super Kryptonian metal of the probe, he will be indestructible, and after adding the Fortress weapons, he will be able to defeat any resistance. He decides to begin by connecting to Superman's computer and add its data to his own. Cables snake out and connect, but then something goes wrong... The android body goes limp, and Brainiac's symbol appears on the screen, and his voice says, "Error! Error!"

Superman walks to the computer and says that when a friend of his helped him construct this computer, that friend was very thorough. He can be a bit paranoid at times, but he's always prepared. The supercomputer is designed that if any other computer is connected to it without the proper security procedure, it would automatically transfer and isolate the invading system and its data, and cut off all computing processes until reset. It also deactivates all external connections and activates a signal scrambler.

Brainiac says that he can still in time work out a way to disable the security functions, but Superman replies that he won't get the chance. Krypto flies in, carrying a high tech device in his mouth. Superman explains that he and Krypto have worked out a system of communication that allows Superman to contact Krypto via a hypersonic series of whistles, which even the most sensitive equipment can't detect, but which Krypto can hear clear as a bell. While they flew to the Fortress, Krypto was told to go to Professor Hamilton and fetch a device he'd been working on. "Unless I'm greatly mistaken, this is a hand-held electro magnetic pulse generator, which has a nasty effect on computer systems... And while your intelligence may be Kryptonian, your hardware is definitely Earth materials." He activates the advice, and the supercomputer goes black.

We cut to the Weisinger Tech facility, and we see all the mind control devices go dim and drop off the foreheads of the drones. The drones collapse, and Jimmy calls 911 while Lois is able to determine that the drones are still alive.

Superman tells Krypto to make sure things are okay at Weisinger Tech, while he takes care of Brainiac for good. 

Later, at Lois' apartment, Lois and Clark are having dinner, while Krypto is working his way through some very large and thick steaks (he's earned them). Lois says she understands that whatever he did to Brainiac has to be kept out of the news, off the record, just between them... What did he do?

Clark narrates as we see what he did... When the message from Jor-El was played, it not only had a warning about Brainiac, but also instructions on how to reopen the probe if Brainiac escaped, so that if he could be recaptured, he could be put back in. After Brainiac was trapped in the supercomputer and the EMP shut it down, he opened the probe up, gutted the storage of the supercomputer, and put it into the probe. Then, he took the probe into space and threw it into the sun. That wasn't an option on Krypton, as the red sun would melt the outer hull and possibly allow Brainiac to escape, but our yellow sun has two benefits: one, since everything from Krypton exposed to a yellow sun becomes nearly invulnerable, being in the sun makes it completely invulnerable. Two, since the sun is basically a huge nuclear explosion, there will be enough electromagnetic energy there to keep Brainiac permanently scrambled even if he tries to escape. Clark also mentions that Bruce isn't happy that they'll have to replace some of the computer at the Fortress, but he's already working on an anti-Brainiac antivirus filter based on what has been found in Weisinger's computer to prevent anything like this from happening again.

Lois is impressed, and says that Brainiac, like most computers, only had one backup... But Superman had several. She also notes that Jules has been cleared of all charges against him, and also received a job offer. Ugly Mannheim has a good chance of beating the charges against him, but with all the Intergang goons rounded up when the police got to Weisinger Tech, plus Weisinger himself arrested, Intergang is likely to be out of commission for a while. Oh, and Pasko has been fired from Star Labs. While they've talked, the food has gone cold. Clark offers to warm it up with his heat vision, but Lois declines the offer, saying that food warmed up that way always tastes funny to her. Clark then mentions that it's still fairly early in Seattle, and that fusion restaurant is still getting good reviews. Lois says that sounds like a plan. Clark quickly changes to Superman, takes Lois into his arms, and before flying away, tells Krypto to keep an eye on the place... And he can eat the food on the table if he wants. Krypto barks in agreement, and we cut to an exterior shot, zooming back as Superman and Lois fly off, the camera eventually panning to see them fly off into the distance.

End credits.

Post-credit sequence:

We see the headline of the Daily Planet about Superman's victory over Brainiac. "Fascinating," a voice says. As the paper is set down on a desk, we see a hand press a button on a telephone. The voice says, "It looks like Weisinger Tech will be vulnerable to a takeover... I want it." The only response is "yes, sir!" We cut to another angle, we can't see the man's face as he gets out of his chair and walks to the window of his office, looking out of it. We can see the man is bald... And we cut to the exterior of what we now see is LuthorCorp, and hear an evil laugh.

*****

Obviously, this treatment is missing a big, epic fight... I did that on purpose. I figure Superman has worked out contingencies here to avoid a huge battle. And yeah, there's a lot of Easter eggs for aging comics fans like myself. There's not much of a role for Perry here, but I don't see where he would fit in any more. The Kents might be alive or dead, it doesn't matter for this story. And yes, like in Superman II, the villain is finished off at the Fortress, but that's where this story led me.

2 comments:

  1. Jon,
    I've been reading your blog for almost two years now and...that was your best posting yet, thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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