'Brightburn' Spoilers: 3 Superman Easter Egg References You Might Miss
Unlike almost all the movies from Marvel and DC, Brightburn is an original superhero universe with no pre-established canon to hint at. But that doesn’t stop the new movie from paying homage to Superman, the mold from which all superheroes are born from — most especially, Brightburn himself.
We can get the obvious things out of the way. Yes, just like Superman, Brightburn (Jackson A. Dunn) comes from an alien planet in a space pod and crash lands on a farm owned by Tori (Elizabeth Banks) and Kyle Breyer (David Denman).
Yes, like Superman, “Brandon” is also capable of superhuman strength, invincibility, flight, super speed, and laser sight. And yes, like Superman, he also has a weakness to the metal from his home planet.
“There are a number of Easter eggs in the movie for sure,” director David Yarovesky tells Inverse before challenging audiences to spot them. “Not many people have found them yet. Maybe I won’t talk about them, and we’ll see what people find.”
Sure thing, Yarovesky. Here’s my attempt. I found three major Superman-related Easter eggs you need to know in Brightburn. Minor spoilers for Brightburn ahead.
3. The Blanket
Revealed halfway through the film in an eerie flashback, the Breyers discover Brandon as a baby in a pod wrapped up in a blood red blanket with his “B” emblem stitched all over. This is an homage to the fact that the Kents found baby Clark wrapped in a red blanket gifted to him by his Kryptonian parents. The blanket would become the basis of his cape when he becomes Superman.
2. The Plane
In DC canon, Superman revealed himself to the world saving a falling airplane. That’s the origin you’ll hear in most popular Superman media, like the TV shows and movies. Brightburn subverts that story by having Brandon’s first mass murder be crashing an airplane at the very end of the movie.
What’s funny is that there’s no actual moment in Superman’s comics where he saved an airplane. He’s saved a bunch of planes, sure, but it has never actually looked like how movies like Superman Returns (2006) or TV shows Smallville and Supergirl make it look. Comic Book Resources very recently did a dive into the earliest instances of Superman saving airplanes, and it’s fascinating how the popular imagination has superseded what actually happened.
1. The, Uh, “Sex” Talk
Hardly a direct connection, but in Brightburn, Kyle takes Brandon hunting in an attempt to bond as family men. They proceed to have one of the most awkward conversations in movie history, about Brandon’s growing “urges” and his growth into a man. Yeah, it’s weird, and actually very funny. It’s welcome levity in an otherwise dark movie.
What’s amusing is that the curiosity over Superman and his ability to have sex with Lois Lane has been an actual thing in movies.
Speculation notably began in the 1994 comedy Mallrats, where the film’s characters debate if Superman could have sex with Lois without A) killing her, because how fast does Kryptonian sperm shoot? and B) giving birth to a freak whose hybrid biology wouldn’t go haywire under Earth’s yellow sun.
While the comics would take a few more years before Superman’s son Jon Kent would be born, the movie Superman Returns gave Lois and Clark a son, Jason.
Brightburn is out in theaters on May 24.