[The Week in Geek is a weekly Tuesday column that plunges headfirst into a deep pool of genre geekiness without ever coming up for air.]
What's so difficult about Superman? The argument always seems to come back to the fact that the guy is so powerful, it's hard to write a decent conflict around him. Okay then, somebody please explain the past 72 years' worth of Superman stories -- thousands of stories about The Last Son of Krypton, in every media imaginable. If you've got the imagination, or if you can get a handle on Superman's humanity, then you can tell a decent Superman story.
J.J. Abrams might have been one of those guys, but we'll probably never know. Right before Bryan Singer turned out 'Superman Returns,' Abrams took a stab at a feature-length Superman screenplay ('Superman: Flyby,' the first part of a proposed trilogy) that turned a lot of the Man of Steel's mythos on its ear, including a gay Jimmy Olson, Lex Luthor as a secret Kryptonian, and no exploding planet Krypton, according to AICN. The project bloomed fast and died just as quickly, joining a growing pile of Superman almost-rans that include Tim Burton's 'Superman Lives' and George Miller's 'Justice League.'