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It's debatable where the solo Superman film would fit into the timeline of DCEU films between now and 2020, but one thing is a sure bet: Warner Bros. Pictures will introduce some familiar DC Comics characters to Man Of Steel 2 who haven't yet been portrayed in the DCEU, continuing Superman's story of self-discovery after finding out there are more cosmic beings out in the universe besides Kryptonians.
Where Will the Man Of Steel 2 Story Go?
The plot and tone of Man Of Steel 2 are still unknown, and will likely remain unknown until the first teaser for Man Of Steel 2 drops — which could be a few years away. Until that time comes, we can begin to speculate and guess which directions the sequel to Man Of Steel 2 might go in.
Since Justice League will begin to introduce cosmic beings like Stepphenwolf, it's possible Man Of Steel 2 will also incorporate the use of cosmic elements as well.
Any cosmic beings potentially being added to Man Of Steel 2 would likely be more closely related to Superman's mythos in DC Comics than any general area of DC Comics. With that in mind, here are some good educated guesses on which other DC characters might make it into Man Of Steel 2.
In DC Comics, Brainaic is one of Superman's greatest foes. Initially, Brainiac's artificial intelligence was designed as a tool for archiving the histories of all kinds of species around the universe. But the artificial intelligence began to corrupt itself, going one step further when archiving the history of any particular planet: annihilating it, leaving nothing in his wake.
Going back to Man Of Steel, the computerized archive of Kryptonian history seen in the Fortress of Solitude functioned in the same manner as Brainiac did when the artificial intelligence was brought online.
In accordance with the events of Man Of Steel and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, there's potential for the artificial intelligence that controls the Fortress of Solitude to be corrupted, possibly even by a third party who decides to finagle with a complex technology. In that scenario, the artificial intelligence within the Fortress of Solitude could cause some serious destruction to the world around it — that world being Earth, resulting in the birth of Brainiac and his reign of destruction.
There hasn't been any word yet of Martian Manhunter joining the DCEU, but that doesn't eliminate Manhunter from possibly showing up in Man Of Steel 2.
Seeing as how Justice League will continue to explore cosmic elements, it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility for some Martians to make it to Earth in the film. Along with the possibility of Man Of Steel 2 taking place off of Earth, Martian Manhunter would be one ally who could function within the vacuum of space — in comparison to how comical Flash or Cyborg would appear up in space.
Martian Manhunter would present the ideal partner for Superman in the scenario of Kal-El coming face-to-face with a variety of cosmic adversaries, and could definitely back him up.
Since Stepphenwolf has been confirmed as the main antagonist in Justice League Part One, it's only logical for the hierarchy behind Stepphenwolf to be explored in future DCEU films — and Darkseid is at the top of that hierarchy. Most would expect Darkseid to be the final villain introduced in Justice League Part Two, but it also seems plausible for Darkseid to be introduced as a villain in Man Of Steel 2. (Although Darkseid might not be defeated by Superman so easily.)
Superman's conflict with Darkseid might roll over to future Justice League movies in the scenario of Superman being incapable of defeating Darkseid the first time around.
We've heard quite a bit about Superman's Kryptonian heritage during Man Of Steel, so it's possible Man Of Steel 2 will also explore some unknown aspects of Kryptonian culture, including the location of his cousin, Kara, otherwise known as Supergirl.
Supergirl would make a great addition to Superman's growing team of friends, and utilizing her character in the DCEU would give Kal-El a reason for why he's fighting. If his cousin is in dire trouble, Superman probably won't stand down from giving Kara a helping hand. And as we saw from the CW Flash and Superman, Warner Bros. isn't afraid to depict characters in the DCEU and DCTV universes simultaneously.
Otherwise known as John Corben, the cyborg with a Kryptonite heart could find himself being created by ARGUS in the DCEU. After a nuclear deterrent has been deemed a necessity, cyborgs with Green Kryptonite hearts could be seen as the perfect safeguard in the scenario of Superman unleashing his godly wrath on the world.
Cyborg Superman would fit perfectly in the DCEU. He was originally astronaut Hank Henshaw, but after blaming Superman for his wife's death, Henshaw began to modify his body, becoming Cyborg Superman in the process and temporarily taking Superman's place after the (likewise temporarily) fatal battle with Doomsday.