WARNING: SPOILERS, YO.
Different movies take different approaches to presenting Easter eggs. "Iron Man Three," for instance, played things coy, while "Star Trek Into Darkness" was so blatant about its references that the entire film could be seen as an Easter egg.
For "Man of Steel," though, director Zack Snyder and producer Christopher Nolan took a different approach: They hid their Easter eggs in plain sight and simply counted on sensory overload to distract you from what was right in front of your face. With corporate logos jamming seemingly every scene and Z-list characters getting name-dropped like celebrities on a TMZ blotter, picking up on all the Easter eggs is harder than dominating Pokemon: You can't possibly catch them all.
So with that in mind, here's a look at Ten Things You May Have Missed the First Time Around — and there are probably plenty more where these came from as well. Because unlike Superman, not everyone has super vision.
1. Bruce Wayne
For months, rumors swirled that Nolan had roped one of his "The Dark Knight" stars into appearing in "Man of Steel." That didn't happen, but Bruce Wayne did actually have a presence in the film. During the climactic fight between Superman and General Zod, they head up into space and crash straight into a satellite — one that conspicuously bears the Wayne Enterprises logo. Hopefully for Bruce, that was the satellite that ran Brother Eye, because that would save everyone a lot of headaches down the road.
2. Lex Luthor
Speaking of corporate logos, the Superman-Zod throwdown also managed to drag in Kal-El's usual arch-enemy, Lex Luthor, thanks to an awkwardly situated tanker parked in the middle of the battle zone. It wasn't the only LexCorp logo in the film, but it certainly was the most blatant. Hey, criminal masterminds aren't known for their subtlety. Neither is Zack Snyder.
3. Booster Gold
On the other hand, we're going to take that back right now, because Snyder was so subtle about his Booster Gold reference that fans actually needed to freeze-frame the trailer to see it. Booster Gold, for those who don't know, is a time-traveling athlete from the 25th century who comes to present-day Metropolis and uses stolen technology to become a superhero. He also got his own line of comics published in Metropolis by a company called Blaze Comics ... whose logo can be seen in the background during, you guessed it, the Superman-Zod fight. How meta!
Want something that isn't just fake product placement shoved into the background of the final fight scene? Well, how about Supergirl? This is a tricky one, but try and follow along: Before the film came out, DC Comics published a prequel comic explaining how that Kryptonian seed ship ended up trapped in the Arctic ice floe for the past 20,000 years. It turns out that Superman's distant cousin (ancestor?) Kara Zor-El, better known as Supergirl, piloted that ship. Unfortunately, a rogue killer murdered the rest of the crew in their stasis pods, but Supergirl herself apparently survived the attack — as hinted at by the one empty and open stasis chamber Clark finds when he enters the ship. So did Supergirl die 20,000 years ago? Or did she get back in her pod and emerge much more recently? Or was the lone survivor of the crash actually the Kryptonian serial killer? Looks like we'll have to wait for the sequel to find out.
5. How to Speak Kryptonian
Speaking of those Kryptonian spaceships, the computer displays in Zod's ship and the crashed seed ship display what appears to be gibberish in Kryptonian lettering. However, "Man of Steel" producer Deborah Snyder revealed recently in an interview with Crave that they actually had linguists create a Kryptonian language so they could hide messages in Kryptonian. So what secrets do those messages hold? Well, Snyder claims she can't remember, meaning you'll have to decode the alien language yourself to find out. Thanks for nothing, guys!
Fans of "Superman II" were probably pretty stoked to see that General Zod's female companion got much more face time — and butt-kicking time — in "Man of Steel." However, this time around, Zod's right hand woman actually isn't Ursa, the character from "Superman II," but rather Faora-Ul, an even more dangerous character from the comics. First appearing in 1977, the comic book version of Faora was both an expert in Kryptonian martial arts and a serial killer who sadistically hunted down and tortured men for her enjoyment. So if you happen to run into someone named Faora on Match.com, take the hint and keep looking.
7. 'Superman II'
Don't be too disappointed in the loss of Ursa, though, because Snyder did throw a bone to fans of "Superman II" — namely, the epic throwdown in Smallville. During that sequence, Faora shows up once again to battle Superman, but this time around she's joined by an enormous, hulking male companion who remains eerily silent throughout the entire sequence. This is an obvious nod to the similarly huge and silent Non, the third Phantom Zone criminal from "Superman II." We would have liked to see more of this man-monster, but for fans of the original series this might have been the coolest moment in the movie.
8. Dr. Hamilton
Fans of "The West Wing" were probably pretty stoked to see Richard Schiff make an appearance as the government's resident big brain, Dr. Hamilton. But comic book fans were pretty excited, too, as Dr. Hamilton has an interesting role in the funnybooks. A former top dog at S.T.A.R. Labs, Dr. Hamilton became Superman's go-to guy for super technology, getting involved in some of Superman's most famous storylines. And his connections to S.T.A.R. Labs make for some interesting possibilities down the road — for instance, Justice League and Teen Titans member Cyborg is a S.T.A.R. Labs product. Hmm ...
9. Lana Lang
Speaking of Smallville, fans of the CW TV series of the same name probably picked up on the many references to characters from Superman's hometown, but one character who only got the briefest mention was Clark's first girlfriend, Lana Lang. While Clark's nerdy buddy Pete Ross seemed to appear in every single scene, Lana had only two brief shots as a girl on the school bus making eyes at Clark and who was later identified in passing as "Lana." Hey, at least they acknowledged the show's existence, right?
10. Steve Lombard
And finally, speaking of random nods to the Superman fan base, consider the curious case of Steve Lombard. That's Lois Lane's squirrely d-bag co-worker who tries to hit on her at the end of the film with a pair of courtside seats, played by Snyder's "Dawn of the Dead" pal, Michael Kelly. In the comics, Lombard is the Daily Planet sports editor — as a man's man, he's everything Clark Kent seemingly isn't. Of course, given that Clark looks like a slab of 100% USDA choice beef in "Man of Steel," that comparison doesn't really work, but it's interesting that Snyder and company decided to go with the fairly obscure Lombard for comic relief rather than the much more famous Jimmy Olsen. Hey, it wouldn't be an Easter egg if everybody knew his name.