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Answered 2011-04-09 05:59:59

On the planet Krypton, using evidence provided by scientist Jor-El, the Ruling Council sentences three attempted insurrectionists, General Zod, Ursa and Non, to "eternal living death" in the Phantom Zone. Despite his eminence, Jor-El is unable to convince the Council of his belief that Krypton will soon explode. To save his infant son Kal-El, Jor-El launches a spacecraft containing the child towards Earth, a distant planet with a suitable atmosphere, and where Kal-El's dense molecular structure will give him superhuman powers. Shortly after the launch Krypton is destroyed.

Three years later the ship lands near an American farming town, Smallville, where Kal-El is found by Jonathan and Martha Kent and raised as their own son, Clark. Fifteen years later, after the death of Jonathan, Clark hears a psychic "call", discovering a glowing green crystal in the ship. It compels him to travel to the Arctic, where the crystal builds the Fortress of Solitude, resembling the architecture of Krypton. Inside, a vision of Jor-El explains Clark's origins, educating him in his powers and responsibilities. After 12 years, with his powers fully developed, Clark leaves the Fortress with a colorful uniform and becomes a reporter at the Daily Planet in Metropolis. He meets and develops a relationship to coworker Lois Lane, but she sees him as awkward and unsophisticated.

Lois becomes involved in a helicopter accident when the helicopter becomes caught in an electrical cable and crashes down and is hanging on the ledge of The Daily Planet, with conventional means of rescue impossible, Clark has to use his powers in public for the first time to save her. The rescue of Air Force One, which is damaged in a lightning strike and about to crash, and other good deeds make the mysterious "caped wonder" a celebrity. The hero visits Lois at home, takes her for a flight over the city, and allows her to interview him for an article in which she names him "Superman." Meanwhile, criminal genius Lex Luthor has developed a nefarious plan to make a fortune in real estate by buying large amounts of barren desert land and then diverting a nuclear missile test flight to the San Andreas Fault. The missile will sink California and leave Luthor's desert as the new West Coast of the United States, greatly increasing its value.

After his incompetent henchman Otis accidentally redirects the first rocket to the wrong place, Luthor's girlfriend Eve Teschmacher successfully changes the course of a second missile. Knowing Superman could stop his plan, Luthor lures him to his underground lair and exposes him to kryptonite. As Superman weakens, Luthor taunts him by revealing that the first missile is headed to Hackensack, New Jersey, in the opposite direction, knowing that Superman cannot stop both impacts. Teschmacher is horrified because her mother lives in Hackensack, but Luthor does not care and leaves Superman to a slow death. Teschmacher rescues Superman on the condition that he will deal with the New Jersey missile first. He is thus too late to stop the second impact, resulting in a massive West Coast earthquake which he battles to correct.

While Superman is busy saving others, an aftershock causes Lois's car to fall into a huge crevice in the ground. It quickly fills with dirt and debris and she suffocates to death. Distraught at being unable to save Lois, Superman ignores Jor-El's warning not to interfere with human history, preferring to remember Jonathan Kent's advice that he must be on Earth for "a reason". He travels back in time in order to save Lois, altering history so that her car is never caught in the aftershock. Superman delivers Luthor and Otis to prison, and flies into the sunrise for further adventures.

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