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  • When Luthor raided the Fortress of Solitude, why didn't he steal the depowering machine Superman used to beat Zod and his cronies?
    • Who said this machine exists in this movie?
      • The machine was a major plot point in Superman II, which took place in the same continuity as this movie, so it makes no sense for it not to exist.
      • If it was the Richard Donner version, then he likely has no memory of it.
      • If it wasn't, Superman probably disassembled or destroyed it.
    • The machine is a chamber that is part of the Fortress. It isn't something he can just take and carry off with.
  • 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.
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    • 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.
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    • There's a reason he's the Trope Namer for Cut Lex Luthor a Check.
  • 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.
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    • I'm pretty sure the surgeons pulled out the tiny shard of kryponite in him in the first hospital scene.
    • The kryptonite in the mountain was a weak copy of the real kryptonite he was stabbed with. Note in the first movie a chunk of green K the size of a baseball made him weak as a newborn kitten; if he flew anywhere near a mountain of that he'd likely drop dead instantly. Yet he was able to land on that kryptonite island with enough force to fracture the ground, and seemed strong enough that even Lex seemed to think the K copy wasn't working ... until Supes walked up to Lex WHO HAD A SHIV OF REAL GREEN K IN HIS POCKET and started to sweat/weaken. That was what depleted him enough to be brutalized and stabbed. Which does, however, raise the question of how he could lift it with that kryptonite shiv lodged in his back...
  • 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 Waterworld 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.
  • Rather than lifting Luthor's continent and throwing it into space, why didn't Superman just rewind time and stop Luthor before he created it? That would have undone all the disasters it caused in Metropolis, not to mention that lifting a continent of Kryptonite was an extremely dangerous thing to do for him and he has no guarantee he would succeed, especially considering that it almost killed him. Plus he would have gotten his Kryptonian crystals back.
    • In the first movie, it was a heat-of-the-moment since he was in so much anguish for losing the woman he comes to love.
  • Which version of Superman II is this move a sequel of: the theatrical version, or the Richard Donner Cut? If it's the former, why is the Fortress of Solitude intact after Supes destroyed it in the Superman II? If it's the latter, why does Jason exist after Superman rewinded time and undid the night he had sex with Lois?
    • Superman never destroys the Fortress in the theatrical cut of II; that was a deleted scene added to some broadcast versions, but not in the theatrical cut.
    • Who can be sure that was the only time Superman and Lois had sex?
  • How does Luthor get out? At all?! I'm not a legal expert, but I'm pretty sure trying to sink California with everyone on it is more than enough grounds to get "without the possibility for parole" to get tacked onto "life in prison". Moreover, he saw seen talking to General Zod, even helping him; that's treason. Furthermore, this Luthor is supposed to be the same one that Gene Hackman played and that Hackman was proud of and boasted about the fact he was a ciriminal!
    • It's explained that because Superman wasn't around to be the key witness, there wasn't enough evidence for a trial. Flimsy, perhaps, but that's the explanation in the movie.
      • Even Lois thinks it's bull, and she always thought the justice system was imperfect. And she still tells Lex to his face he deserved to be in jail.
    • How much of the plan has been undone to the point it can no longer be legally held against Luthor? Also, Luthor's only seen boasting to allies and Superman. He does mention a Lex Luthor Incorporated, suggesting he's already a Corrupt Corporate Executive who bothered to maintain a facade to a certain extent.
    • Gertrude probably bribed his way out. Or he used up his own money and that's why he needed to resort to gold digging for his next scheme.
  • No one notices Superman and Clark Kent disappeared and reappeared a few years later on the same day. No level of Clark Kenting would fool anyone at this point if they weren't dumb as a bag of hammers.
    • Clark didn't "disappear" though. When he comes back, people are asking him how his trip was — he left a cover story behind, an excuse to be gone for years at a time. Also, seriously, don't assume that everyone is paying that much attention to Clark Kent. He's a dorky nobody that, maybe, his small handful of friends wondered what he was up to for a few years before they continued what they were doing.
      • Even Lois, who didn't even talk much (or rather at all) about him to her "husband" and kid.
  • Did Superman ever found out Lex tricked him into leaving Earth to find any survivors on dead Krypton?

  • Lex Luthor. The greatest criminal mastermind on earth. And after getting out of prison, his great comeback plan is... boning an old, sick woman? he really couldn't find a more dignified, less pathetic way to get back in bussiness? REALLY?
    • The idea of it may seem pathetic, but it's funny for one good reason: No matter how superior he thinks he is, he will sink to any depth necessary to get what he wants. Besides, that is a hell of a yacht.
    • Besides, he knew she wouldn't be around long (he might have helped that, too). He even forged her signature (but no one else knew).
    • Remember that it's Luthor who says Luthor is the greatest criminal mastermind on Earth. And remember that while he does manage some truly amazing stuff, at the heart of it he's really just a petty scam artist. And big-time plans or no, a scam artist can't work without seed money, and the bigger the scam, the more seed money you need. He was doing a whole lot of crap in Superman Returns that needed a ton of money to finance, so yes, boning an old woman for her money was both necessary and crafty.
      • You can't deny it, for a man who stole nukes and made pacts with alien conquerors, boning an old woman is a bit degrading.
  • Thus film picks up from Superman II, and Jason is the son of Clark Kent. I use that name intentionally because Kal-El was de-Kryptonized so that he could ethically marry Lois and live as a human. Boy does their de-Kryptonization suck! Jason (late in the game) starts to exhibit superhuman powers. You'd think they would have bothered to do something about possible offspring; otherwise, what's the point of de-Kryponization in the first place?
    • He wasn't de-Kryptonized. He was bathed in red sunlight, which took away his powers. Later on, he's bathed in the energy of yellow sunlight, which recharges his powers. He was still Kryptonian throughout the whole thing. There was no changes made to his physiology of DNA. Essentially, he had the batteries pulled out of his powers.
      • Why does depowering him make him human-level? Even without Kryptonian powers he should still have a much more advanced physique than humans.
      • Define "advanced physique". In nearly every version of the mythos since the Silver Age, Clark is more or less human without his powers. Sure, the comic book version is also pretty damn muscular, but that aside, how is his physique any more "advanced" than a human?
      • Beside, Lois (and pre-embryonic Jason) were exposed to the Krypton rays. Sure, it de-powered Zod and co. but...

  • The scene in which a bullet bounces off of Superman's eye. What is his eye supposed to be made of? In order to deflect a bullet like that, it would have to have been completely solid... so if his eye is made of steel, how can it contain any photoreceptors? And why do Kryptonians have eyelids?
    • The whole "Man of Steel" thing...isn't literal...but Kryptonians have eyelids for precisely the reason humans do: to protect their powerless eyes (assuming they are powerless, which they are on their own planet).
      • I know he's not literally made of steel, it's just a common hyperbole. My point was that if his eye is rigid enough to deflect a bullet, it would have to be too solid to be functional as an eye.
      • Oh god, not a debate on Superman's physiology... okay, why wouldn't something rigid work for an eye? Cameras aren't exactly viscous, yet they work fine.
      • "My point was that if his eye is rigid enough to deflect a bullet, it would have to be too solid to be functional as an eye." Um, why? I mean, yeah, an eyeball is full of fluid but it still resists a certain amount of pressure (that's why you can push gently on your eyeball without puncturing it). Superman's super-eyeballs are just a few million times more resistant to pressure than a human being's.
      • Human eyes change their focus using little muscles that change the shape of the lens. If Superman's eyes work the same way, no problem — the lenses are super-tough, but the muscles are correspondingly super-strong.
      • If Superman's skin can function perfectly as well as skin despite being rigid enough to stop nukes, then why are we worried about his eyeballs?
    • It's not Superman's skin. His invulnerability comes from an extremely thin but nigh-unbreakable forcefeld he projects just over his skin. It wasn't bouncing off the actual eye, just the field around it. Yes, that's the in-canon explanation for his invulnerability.
      • Not anymore. The current canonical explanation is that he's just that tough. Not to mention that the whole electrochemical field was never really an explanation of his invulnerability, but of why his supersuit doesn't get destroyed. In Byrne's day, his uniform was Earth-made, not kryptonian. That's why you often saw him with his uniform intact but his cape ripped to tears - his field protected the uniform because it was skin-tight, the same didn't happen to the cape.
      • I'll have to say I prefer the kryptonian fibre explanation. But more on topic, I've never doubted his disguise, but how in the name of Rao could you hide invulnerability? A friendly slap on the shoulder would feel as jarring as striking steel with bare hands.
      • For what it's worth, there was an episode of The Adventures of Superman where Clark did that classic "finger to a crook's back to make him think you have a gun" routine. When Clark admitted that it was only his finger, the crook didn't believe him: "I know what steel feels like!"
      • Well, no. His skin and flesh still clearly has some give to it, like yours or mine would. You'd have to slap him really, really hard to notice the difference, to the point where you're probably trying to actually hurt him.
      • I always imagined that like his hair, his flesh couldn't be cut but it could bend; when he wants to look extra badass, he tenses his muscles so bullets bounce off him without making the slightest dent.
      • Superman also has Super Speed and the Required Secondary Power of super reflexes. If someone's hitting him and he's maintaining his cover, he just "rolls with the blow" so that they don't break their hand. Say, if someone were to give Clark a friendly-but-forceful slap on the back, Clark would pitch his body forward as the blow connected, making it look and feel like he was really affected by it.

  • When an apologetic Superman takes Lois for a high-altitude "joyride", she should (at least) be quite uncomfortably chilly, but he's got it covered:
    Lois: I had forgotten how warm you are.
    • If Krypton's sun really did go supernova (rather than Krypton itself exploding, as in the comics) wouldn't it have disintegrated all traces of the planet, leaving no kryptonite to wind up on Earth?
      • I'm no scientist, but aren't all heavy metals (presumably including Kryptonite) actually created by supernovas?
  • In the museum exhibit, there's a chemical makeup given for the Kryptonite meteorite. Would it really have been that hard for the genius Lex Luthor to synthesize his own?
    • To answer both questions: kryptonite is a product of nuclear fusion of what is left of Krypton. I doubt the extreme environment needed for its creation is commercially available.
    • One wonders if that list includes "tar".
      • No, it does not. The given formula is "sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide with fluorine". Nerds had a blast in 2008, when a real mineral with almost the same formula (without fluorine) was discovered in a mine near Jadar, Serbia.

  • Kitty dumps out the extra crystals Lex had planned on using. He couldn't get them in time before the rock they were on fell into the water. Shouldn't they have repeated the "new continent" thing?
    • "All they need is water...Like sea-monkeys". I think they are just stuck in a crack in the continent and thrown into space with the rest.
      • It is never made clear (or even suggested) that all of Superman's crystals cause the "new continent" thing. The crystals Lex was carrying around were Superman's information crystals - like the hard drives for the fortress of solitude computer. It would make sense if the "new continent" crystal was a one of a kind crystal Lex had somehow made using the technology in the fortress.
      • Lex vaguely described how he was going to keep the world's governments off his back, but from what we see, there was little chance of that happening. It was him, his girl, and three goons. They didn't even have food and water, much less a reconstructed high-tech civilization. A single U.S. Army chopper with a single squad of soldiers could have dispatched them with ease.
      • That U.S. Army chopper — and its comrades — would, like most of the world's militaries, be a bit more pressed in dealing with the massive natural disasters and humanitarian crises that would result from a completely new continent restructuring the face of the planet and devouring most of the pre-existing continents, causing entire cities to collapse and entire nations to fall apart in the process to worry about five people on the new continent.
      • The kryptonian crystals have almost infinite possibilities and could do just about anything; I'm guessing Lex figured out a few functions other than growing continents.
      • Alternately—it was a stupid plan and Luthor hadn't really thought it through.

  • Both Superman IV and Superman Returns treat the theatrical version of Superman II (with the memory-erasing kiss) as canonical, despite not holding each other so. In IV, we see that simply seeing Clark switch over to his Superman persona can completely undo the effect of the kiss. Is it impossible that the way the kiss works crosses the divided continuity? In which case, Lois would remember everything upon seeing Jason use super-powers.
    • Also, there's been some contention over the implication that Lois knows his secret again upon bringing Clark the cape in IV. But she's a smart girl who recently had a sort of double-date scenario set up with Clark and Superman, both of whom disappeared, but only one offered an explanation. Surely she put the clues together and the kiss was negated.

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