Superman Strikes, the second film in the series, takes place a couple of years later. Superman is now a household name following his defeat of Brainiac. Lex Luthor is working with the military studying the weapons obtained from Brainiac’s ship, with an emphasis on the Kryptonian arms. They have also made a discovery of a highly radioactive Kryptonian ore that Luthor believes can be utilized as an energy source. Simultaneously, the U.S. military is developing a plan to neutralize Superman if he were to ever turn against them.
Enter Rudy Jones, a deadbeat who is currently employed as a maintenance custodian on the research project. Following a seemingly never-ending series of disastrous events that constitutes his life, Jones has accumulated a major gambling debt. In an effort to pay off his threatening debtors, and save his life, he promises to acquire alien objects from the project for them. Any items associated with the aliens in Metropolis would be priceless, so they begrudgingly let him go. With Jones’ limited access on site, that amounts to the highly toxic waste that he disposes of from Brainiac’s ship and other technology at the base. Rudy then attempts to steal some of the waste at night, but is doused with the material when he tries to flee the scene. After a few days holed up in his apartment, he realizes he can drain the life force from other beings. Horrified by the physical transformation he has undergone, he places the blame for his situation on Superman, thereby continuing a pattern that has followed him his entire life.
Meanwhile, the military is implementing the Metallo program to create a cyborg using the new technology as a safeguard against Superman or any other potential alien threats. The candidate for the program is quadriplegic war veteran, John Corben. Corben is given a new cybernetic body with weapons that should stop Superman or any other menace to America. This new body is also powered by Luthor’s newfound power source, Kryptonite. A side effect of the procedure is that Corben can now no longer feel anything physically. The doctors that performed the operation hypothesized that Corben’s condition would acclimate him for this, but he is slowly being driven insane by his dwindling humanity.
Rudy Jones, now transformed into a human Parasite (swidt?), has gone on a rampage in the middle of Metropolis to lure out Superman. After draining several random citizens, Jones believes that he can drain Superman and permanently gain his powers for himself. Superman appears to stop Parasite and battle ensues. Back at the military installation, General Eiling decides to initialize project Metallo to stop Superman and Parasite. Corben arrives on the scene and quickly goes from helping Superman corral Parasite to trying to kill Superman also. Corben believes that Superman is at least indirectly responsible for the procedure he has undergone.
Superman, realizing that both of his foes stem from Kryptonian technology, now feels responsible for them. Trying to reason with them and promising to help them, he lowers his guard. Metallo seizes the opportunity, and unleashes his Kryptonite power source on Superman with catastrophic results. Parasite lunges at him in an effort to slay Superman and obtain his super powers. Weakened, Superman convinces Parasite, now mad with his intent to consume Superman’s abilities, that Metallo holds a greater power, in the Kryptonite. Parasite, convinced that Superman is sufficiently weakened and unable to escape him, pounces on Metallo. Clawing at the Kryptonite within Metallo, Parasite is unable to contain its energy and is fried and knocked unconscious. Metallo, now powerless, is effectively inert as Corben is being kept alive by emergency power in his body.
Exhausted from the battle, Superman has little time to reflect on his victory as he contemplates that his Kryptonian legacy in being weaponized in ways that could harm him and potentially his adopted world. Afterwards, at the military compound, Lex Luthor evaluates footage from the fight while he is surround by plans and Kryptonian devices.