- "You just have to decide what kind of a man you want to grow up to be, Clark; because whoever that man is, good character or bad, he's... He's gonna change the world."
- ―Jonathan Kent to Clark Kent.[src]
Man of Steel is a 2013 film based on the DC Comics superhero Superman. It is the first film in the DC Extended Universe. It was directed by Zack Snyder and stars Henry Cavill as Superman, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, and Michael Shannon as General Zod, the film's main antagonist.
With the imminent destruction of Krypton, their home planet, Jor-El and his wife seek to preserve their race by sending their infant son to Earth. The child's spacecraft lands at the farm of Jonathan and Martha Kent, who name him Clark and raise him as their own son. Though his extraordinary abilities have led to the adult Clark living on the fringe of society, he finds he must become a hero to save those he loves from a dire threat.
On the distant planet Krypton, Lara Lor-Van, has just given birth to a son, whom they name Kal-El. She and her husband Jor-El have birthed their son naturally, in violation of the basic laws of the planet, where babies are to be bred through genetic engineering with a planetary "codex" that imprints just what a person's place in life will be. Jor-El and his wife have chosen this path, as their planet is on the brink of destruction. Harvesting their planet's core for resources has made it unstable and on the brink of implosion. After the birth of his son, Jor-El appears before the Kryptonian Law Council, pleading with them to allow him to save the planet's Growth Codex, and to search for a habitable world beyond Krypton.
However, the council is suddenly set upon by General Zod and numerous Sword of Rao followers, swiftly murdering High Eminence Ro-Zar and intending to take control of the planet in a coup d'état. Though Jor-El likewise disagrees with Council, he refuses to join General Zod, despite being a former long-time friend of the latter. Zod orders Jor-El to be arrested, but Jor-El quickly escapes and flees to an area nearby, wherein the planet's birthing chamber resides. Stealing the Growth Codex from the chamber, Jor-El races back to his home, where his wife Lara has found a planet to send their baby, the planet Earth. Though Lara is sad at the loss of their child, Jor-El claims he will be free of the limitations imposed by Kryptonians and prosper among humanity.
As they prepare to launch the pod containing their son, General Zod and his followers enter their residence, demanding that Jor-El hand over the codex. Jor-El refuses and informs Zod of Kal-El's birth and the embodiment he represents. Enraged at this "heresy" Zod battles Jor-El, but is quickly overwhelmed. Lara, about to launch the pod, is pleaded to by Zod to abort the launch, claiming the Codex is Krypton's future and only chance of survival. Ignoring Zod, Lara activates the launch and the pod shoots into the sky. Angered that Jor-El and his wife have doomed the Kryptonian race with the removal of the codex, General Zod murders Jor-El and orders his followers to shoot down the pod. However, his orders are suddenly cancelled when Kryptonian Sapphire Guards' ships appear, arresting them. In the confusion, the pod's Phantom Drive activates and opens a portal to the Phantom Zone and disappears.
As punishment, General Zod and his Sword of Rao followers are banished to the Phantom Zone by High Eminence Lor-Em. Zod mocks the Council and that even though their planet will soon be gone, the leaders will not grant him and his followers a quick death. He also swears to Lara, who is present, that he will find her son. Shortly after, Krypton is destroyed. Many worlds away, the pod carrying Kal-El rockets into Earth's atmosphere, touching down near Smallville, Kansas. He was taken in by local farmers Jonathan and Martha Kent, who raised the baby as their own son, naming him Clark Kent.
Flashbacks of Clark's childhood and life in Smallville are incrementally revealed, detailing his struggle of adapting to Earth and attempts to r