Superman is lame. Guess what is going to happen in the next movie. Kryptonite is going to disable him and then he will save the day and everyone will live happily ever after. Thats great, we are in a recession and so we need to be cheered up a little bit. But honestly unless Doomsday comes into the picture and kills Superman I will be disappointed. I never feel any danger with him. Name something he can't do. Braniac holding Krypton hostage could be good. Superman turning evil would be great, I mean Superman III had Superman fighting himself! What a crappy movie, but that was awesome. Lets have some real danger. I trust Nolan but if he is going to revive the franchise, some shit is going to have to go down. Movie 1: We learn about all of the other alien races, Doomsday kills CK and then the credits role during his funeral. Movie 2: Steel, Cyborg, Superboy, and The Eradicator show up. Earth goes to hell. Superman comes back. Movie 3: He cleans up the mess and doesn't turn the world around to change time. (Donner was the man but not anymore) Only after all of this can everyone live happily ever after. There is a script for this already. It's called Source Material.
Between Movie 2 and 3 lets have the Justice League form. There is a void, and the whole world is no longer being watched over and needs a collection of heroes to save it.
Also where is the movie where He buts on a black suit and goes to find Krypton Destroyed. Maybe he runs into the zookeeper and has to fight his way out. What a great way to set up the Starros.
I liked Superman Returns. One of the main complaints about it is that there wasn't enough action. Well there was a lot. The problem is that there was no fighting (well other than when Kumar kicked him when he was down). My biggest complaint is that Superman had a fruit rollup for a cape.
Routh did a good job, Spacey was awesome. It was a terrific homage to the first movies, a great continuation. What we needed was a new movie. I already know about his origin, we don't need to see that again. Lets bring the aliens into it because there is nothing else to do that we haven't seen already. George Reeves saved cats and helped find stolen pies. Now he is picking up continents and throwing them into space. We need a villain that is on par with him. Luthor in an exoskeleton doesn't count.
This issue was dealt with when Superman split into red and blue lighting things. He was mortal for a while and that was compelling. But otherwise it was weird. Lets have more of the relatable humanity. By the way, floating outside a lake house looking longingly at a family you want but are too nice a guy to screw over Cyclops, doesn't count.*
Batman rises above his mortality to do what has to be done. Superman is born with he ability to save the world because his adopted parents were good decent people. Batman is always in danger and Superman is only in danger when green rocks are close by. We want to see something that inspires hope. Someone who has put work in to make things better and to achieve what they have. Bruce was handed a fortune that sure as hell helped but he could have just hired an army to do it for him.
Superman was an icon and an American Hero during WWII when we all hated Hitler and had victory gardens. Now he is something that we realize that we can't aspire to be him. We want a tangible hero that represents truth justice and The American Way. But our definition of those things has changed. How we go about achieving them has changed. Captain America is perfect for that. He lives buy the same code that Superman does but sometimes he doesn't pull punches, and he died fighting for what he believed in. He was only slightly more super than us. He represented something we might actually be able to achieve.
I am not saying Superman is outdated or obsolete. We still need him but he needs to change for us. We need to see him die again (and when I say we I mean everyone who is unaware that he died to begin with, the masses). Because once he is gone, we will have to band together to make the world better on our own. When that happens he can come back to help us with earthquakes and other unavoidables.
*Marvel DC actor crossovers and repeats will be broached another day. Screw Ryan Reynolds.