Headscratchers: Superman Returns

  • When Luthor raided the Fortress of Solitude, why didn't he steal the depowering machine Superman used to beat Zod and his cronies?
  • Why does Lex Luthor seem content with just growing ugly rocky crap using the Kryptonian crystals? He does know they are much more than that, part of an alien supercomputer, but the moment that he finds that adding water results in said ugly rocky growths, he forgets about any further researching on what they can do.
    • He only used one crystal, and saved the others. Possibly he was saving the rest for those later experiments.
    • He mentioned he planned to use alien technology to defend himself from the government. Presumably those would be grown from the other crystals.
    • Wouldn't everyone have been a lot happier if he'd gone to some acre of desert land that he owned and just grew a tourist attraction utilizing these crystals for all the good they do to begin with instead of destroying an entire continent? Superman would have no reason to "stop" him, and I can't really imagine anyone wanting to pay to live on a continent of NOTHING BUT the crystals from Fort S, not to mention one that's presumably run by a guy with no regard for human life.
    • First, the crystals need water to activate, so a desert would be useless. Second, they'd still just crack the world underneath there, and just start destroying the continent faster. Third, Lex doesn't just want money. He wants power, and a theme park won't give him that.
  • Regarding the continent of Kryptonite that Supes chucked into outer space: This thing was sapping his strength like nobody's business while he was carrying it and in fact nearly killed him—how does he know he threw it hard enough? What's to keep it was slinging back however long in the future and taking out a significant chunk of Earth's population?
    • Well, presumably Superman. He managed to get it off Earth, it's not creating trouble at that moment, and Superman's still around, so presumably he has some time to prepare for that eventuality if indeed it is one. For all we know it ended up smacking straight into Jupiter or something.
    • It says at the end that it settled in the asteroid belt, and will serve as the Plot Device in the planned sequel which would also involve other kryptonians and Brainiac.
  • While this Troper does love this movie there was till one thing on his mind when watching it. I understand everything else that is debatable such as how Lois Lane had Superman's kid, how he was able to get the mountain off the ground. However what I don't understand is how he was able to survive after nearly dying in the hospital. There was still shards of kryptonite in his wounds (Small, but unreachable.) the stuff on the mountain when it kept growing out gave him enough exposure to kill him. To top it off, it was severely cloudy, the only way Supes could heal would be to fly up like last time and get as close to the sun as possible. Which he couldn't because after throwing the mountain, he fell back into the earth.
    • The next day, it is sunny however. The best guess this troper has is that the sunlight coming in through the windows was just enough to recharge him a bit. Superman woke up, crawled over to the window, opened it up and stepped out into the sunlight, absorbing it and then flying up into the sky for a major recharge. After basking in sunlight for awhile, he probably got to work on figuring out how to get rid of the green K in him.
    • I'm pretty sure the surgeons pulled out the tiny shard of kryponite in him in the first hospital scene.
  • Lex's plan for fending off government military intervention against his nascent empire by using "advanced alien technology" is clever, but he's on a seriously tight time budget. He's got to figure out how to produce weapons, shelter, provisions, etc. fairly quickly, because at the moment he's got 3 minions, no weapons beyond a few handguns, and will die of dehydration long before he even gets a chance to starve. His entire operation at its start could be taken over by a single army platoon of green recruits, which the nearest government is likely to do once they realize there's a new continent growing offshore. At the time when he's calmly smoking a cigar and the goons are playing cards, they should be working terribly hard to prepare for the inevitable backlash from the US.
    • He is in fact insane.
    • If the government suddenly sees an entire continent growing out of the sea in a few hours, somehow I don't think they would spend days searching for several people that they don't even know would be there.
      • The government would, however, be immediately dispatching a task force and establish satellite surveillance of the new continent. It would probably not take more than a few hours to find Luthor.
    • Furthermore, while Luthor claims he can use "advanced alien technology" to protect his new continent, he never displays any greater understanding of Kryptonian tech than what amounts to a "Grow Your Own Crsytals!" kit. Even just some holographic displays of Kryptonian vehicles or weapons would have made Luthor's claim less ridiculous.
    • Lex doesn't own or make holotech, if that even exists on Earth by that time. But his trip to the Fortress of Solitude had him asking Jor-El about how the crystals work, so presumably he knows another method that will make weapons and vehicles or such.
  • Why is Jason "super?" Assuming we're going by the events in Superman II, before Supes and Lois had sex, he had been transformed by the particle chamber into a normal human being. Did his sperm somehow survive the transformation? And even if it did, wouldn't the remaining "superness" of the developing zygote in Lois's womb have been eliminated when he turned the tables on the villains? Lois was outside with them and exposed to that red Kryptonian sunlight, when he was safe inside the chamber.
    • The chamber didn't so much turn Clark into a normal human being as it hit him with enough red sunlight to suppress his powers down to normal human levels. He was still Kryptonian, and so were his sperm. And Lois being outside that chamber and exposed to the red sunlight wouldn't have done anything to change the DNA of the fetus developing inside her already.
  • Why does that one criminal try to shoot Superman in the eye? By this time, Supes is famous all over the world, so his reputation should establish that wouldn't work. Even if the guy didn't believe that or ready the news or something, then there's the thousands of rounds that bounced off Supes seconds before. So what was the point in pulling out the pea shooter and shooting him the in eye?
    • The same reason why this trope exists.
    • In both Marvel and DC continuities, some of the lower-level Flying Brick and Implacable Man characters specifically have bulletproof/invulnerable skin, so eyes and open mouths are popular targets for someone trying to take advantage of this. The idea was sound, the guy just massively underestimated how tough Superman was.
  • About the only thing that Luthor understand about Kryptonian tech is that his "Grow Your Own Crystals!" project will take on the properties of other matter mixed with the crystals. So he puts a hunk of Kryptonite in the seed crystal to give the entire new continent its properties. Not only does Luthor's NO natural resources, even soil or fresh water, making it less valuable than Antarctica, the entire continent is radioactive due to the Kryptonite.
    • Luthor is under the impression that Kryptonite radiation is only poisonous to Kryptonians. In the film universe, there is no evidence to dispute this claim (in the comics is a different story altogether). He has no idea that the radiation is dangerous to humans, and his ego won't allow him to even consider the possibility. So Superman not only saved everyone from catastrophic flooding, but from a slow, lingering death.
    • As to the soil question, we never get to find out. The surface looks rocky with crystal protrusions, but it's possible the land could be arable. If the crystals had been allowed their full growth, effectively flooding almost all other land, the point would be moot; it would be the only dry land for thousands of kilometers in every direction. People would have to live there, or face a Water World scenario.
  • Really, trying to understand Luthor's plan, it appears to go like this:
    1. Grow big radioactive rock in the ocean, devastating multiple continents.
    3. Profit!
    • To be fair, Step #2 is always where the comic book villains usually drop the ball. But Luthor did have an idea: assuming he could defend the new land from military action - possible with advanced Kryptonian tech, which sadly we didn't see in action - it would be his. People would have to pay through the nose to be able to live there (or drown due to stubbornness and/or fiscal issues), and Lex would live as supreme ruler of all he surveyed. As far as he knew, the K-radiation would serve only to keep the alien riff-raff away. Of course his plan was doomed to failure, and his empire would have been tragically short-lived, but Superman saved the day, so we all lucked out there.