Previously this summer, we snagged a copy of the "Iron Man 3" Junior Novelization and combed it for spoilers. Some ended up being accurate, some… Not so much: doesn’t seem like Mandarin escaped at the end of the movie to wreck vengeance another day. Now, it’s "Man of Steel’s" turn; with the twist being that the Junior Novelization only covers “The Early Years.” So no Zod, no Lois Lane… But there are a couple of intriguing bits that may – or may not – turn out to be true in the upcoming Superman movie:
10. He’s Called Superman
Given the exchange between Lois and Clark in the Man of Steel trailer, where Kal-El’s super-fart (or whatever) cuts off Lane’s naming of Krypton’s Son, fans began to wonder whether he’d ever be called Superman in the movie. At least in the book, he’s Superman all over the place, particularly in a framing sequence where an earthquake hits Metropolis.
9. Krypton Explodes
Another big question for fans that I think we can pretty firmly confirm: Krypton does explode in "Man of Steel." The planet is doomed, Jor-El sends his baby boy to Earth alone, and boom goes the Krypton. Not only does the event definitively happen in the Junior Novel, it’s depicted in the “Man of Steel: Fate of Krypton” picture-book that I definitely didn’t comb for clues in the children’s section of the bookstore this weekend, because I’m an adult.
8. Black Zero, I Presume
Oh, and WHY does Krypton explode? There’s an off-hand mention in Jor-El’s narration that due to an energy crisis, the Kryptonians started mining energy from the center of the planet – causing its destruction. One tends to wonder if the giant energy thingy slammed into Metropolis, glimpsed in the "Man of Steel" trailers, is this very same device. And if so, why is that plot so similar to the 2009 "Star Trek" movie? And who would win in a fight, Nero or Zod? We may never know.
7. Clark’s Got 99 Problems, and Breathing Is One
Early in the novel, Young Clark has problems breathing, as he’s taking a while to adjust to our atmosphere. He gets better, but again, extrapolating here, that might explain the Space-Jockey-esque helmets Zod and crew are wearing. It may also hold a key to why Supes can go toe to toe with the Kryptonians.
6. Lana. Lana Lang
True to comics continuity, Clark’s first love Lana shows up throughout the Smallville sequences, first meeting Clark at age three, and paling around with him as a teen. No romance, but then, this is a book for 7-10 year old boys… And girls? Yuck. No thanks.
5. Krypto!!! (Okay, Shelby)
In a mild shout-out to everyone’s favorite super-dog, Clark gets a pet pup during his lonely growing up years named Shelby. Shelby does not fly, but does manage to get into a bunch of scrapes before Clark accidentally roasts her with his heat vision. Kidding.
4. No Flights, No Tights
"Smallville" famously had a “No Flights, No Tights” rule; and while "Man of Steel" pretty clearly breaks that, the early sequences seem to adhere pretty closely. In fact, I’d venture a guess that "Man of Steel" might fit neatly into the early years of Smallville continuity more snuggly than comics continuity. Including…
3. Whitney Fordham
Whitney Fordham, a character created expressly for "Smallville," was a jock bully who tortured Clark. He appears here too, in the same capacity. Again, an easy in for anyone who viewed the adventures of The Blur on TV.
2. Pete Ross
Only a brief mention, but Pete – future Vice President of the United States in the comics, and best friend of Clark Kent – appears to be friends with Whitney, rather than Clark.
1. Not a Good Summer To Be A Water Tower
Like in "Iron Man 3," it turns out to be a bad Summer to be a water tower in "Man of Steel," as Clark saves a burning corn maze by using his heat vision to knock over a water tower. Just to be clear, he saves people in the corn maze, not the corn maze itself. Though we would totally watch a movie about Supercorn, the man dressed as an ear of corn who uses his powers to fight for the rights of corn. Call us, Snyder.