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  • Jor-El mentions to Clark/Superman that "many thousands of your years" will have passed by the time he turns 18. However, all evidence implies (and possibly even confirms) that Krypton exploded in 1948, and that it was a simple 3-year flight to Earth. Jor-El's education recordings make mention of Einstein's Theory of Relativity, and later movies include quotes from poets from the 19th century (for the record, the round-trip flight to the ruins of Krypton in Superman Returns is only 5 years). This would make Jor-El's line a simple throw-away. Any ideas?
    • 1948 could just be when the light arrived to be seen. And if we assume that he can fly faster than light (leading to a possible explanation for the reversing time/rotating earth scene near the end, as Superman becomes a Tachyon), then it would just be a case of having him "fly" fast enough and in such a way that he ends up at Krypton without the time travel. That would be left as a separate headscratcher of:
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    • Why doesn't Superman use his newfound 'Rescue a planet through Time Travel power' to save Krypton?
  • When Superman turns back time to save Lois, why doesn't he go a little bit farther back and just stop the missile entirely, preventing massive damage and surely saving many lives?
    • Or, if he's fast enough to go around the world in less than a second, how is he *not* fast enough to just stop both missiles?
      • He basically discovered in his rage/grief that he could fly much faster than he thought possible; another possible explanation is that he could only travel that fast once he left the atmosphere, which we have no evidence he had ever done before.
  • How great was Lex Luthor's plan?
    • Assume that Kal-El of Krypton never came to Earth, and so no Superman existed to stop Lex Luthor's plat. Consider the following:
      • Lex Luthor is already under law enforcement investigation, and he is hiding out underground in Metropolis for some reason.
      • Nuclear missiles are hijacked (which brings up scary implications of such weapons can be hijacked merely because their guards are Distracted by the Sexy, but that is a whole other conversation). The United States government may not notice this right away but they will certainly notice when the missiles go off course.
      • Next, a nuclear detonation hits the San Andreas fault, triggering an earthquake. Even in 1978, this would have been detected even if the government did not know that their missiles had been hijacked (and they damn well better be tracking where their missiles are going once launched). Assume that the quake has exactly the intended effect: everything to the west of the San Andreas fault sinks into the ocean, which results in Lex Luthor's "worthless desert land" becoming beachfront property. Assume also that he does not nuke Hackensack, New Jersey (not needing a decoy plan to distract a superhero from throwing off a missile), just to reduce the complications. Even with those assumptions, problems arise.
      • Problem 1: Would not the obvious deliberate sinking of a significant chunk of California and the attempt to capitalize upon this destruction throw even further suspicion onto a man already under investigation by the feds? Especially when Lex is ready to name his towns Costa del Lex, Luthorville and Otiƨburg?
      • Problem 2: Assume that, somehow, Lex avoids even an investigation. The fact remains that extensive destruction will leave a lot of people suddenly homeless and/or displaced. Yes, most residents of the sunken land may well perish but at least some will be able to evacuate and other residents may be outside of the destruction area when the quake hits. This is going to create a massive refugee crisis and the federal government will certainly need to step in to handle it. That being the case, some nearby "worthless desert land" that no one inhabits may seem like a very convenient place to set up the necessary facilities which could certainly hamper Mr. Luthor's plans, especially if the government uses eminent domain to buy the property out (at "fair market value", which likely would be close to what Lex paid for it in the first place).
      • Problem 3: Assume that somehow Lex keeps his land and is able to use it for exactly its intended purpose as beachfront property. Except that this beachfront property is beside an ocean under which lies the remains of a significant chunk of a state with all of the cities and other infrastructure that entails. This means that debris from destroyed roads, bridges and buildings are likely to wash ashore for years, if not decades, and this debris may include human remains. Not to mention that chemical stores in the state may well toxify a good portion of the water. Is this really going to be a worthwhile investment?
      • Problem 4: How long would it take after the DEATHS OF TENS OF MILLIONS OF AMERICANS before thoughts turned to beach-houses? It's been nearly twenty years since the deaths of five-thousand people in New York and it is still a cornerstone of modern sensibility.
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    • Am I off in my thinking? Am I just not too brilliant a criminal to understand how Mr. Luthor stands to greatly profit in his nuclear scheme?
    • At least some of this simply has to fall under Willing Suspension of Disbelief; this is a comic book movie, based on comics that in turn were built around rather simplistic plotting. Frankly, if you were going to a Superman movie in the late 1970s, you weren't expecting nor did you associate the character with airtight narrative complexity. You just went along with the simple logic of "Lex is genius criminal = he's gonna sink California having bought up all the worthless land surrounding it = PROFIT!" and assumed that he was genius enough to work around most of these problems, and so didn't really worry about them because the movie wasn't about Lex's plan, it was about seeing Superman stopping it and being awesome.
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    • As for the beach-houses one though, it's worth noting that while 9/11 is still a foundational part of American history, it's not as if Ground Zero has been permanently left a rubble-filled wasteland that no one can bear to build on without wailing and rending their garments in uncontrollable grief. In fact, they were considering proposals for rebuilding mere months after the attacks. World War II reduced most of Europe to rubble, but once it was over people didn't guiltily insist on living in that rubble because to rebuild might have been seen as insensitive to those who died. Harsh it may sound, but the world keeps turning; life would have continued, and people would have gradually rebuilt. It should also be noted that Lex is simply being flippant when he brings up beach-houses; his point is that he would have been in control of the land, and so would have profited from any developments.
  • It's generally accepted that the proper pronunciation of Krypton is CRIP-tawn, with the short "o" sound on the second syllable. Yet Jor-El pronounces the name of the planet CRIP-tinn, with a short "i" sound on the second syllable. So, assuming Kal-El received all his education about his home planet from his father (via the crystalline technology in the Fortress of Solitude), how does he know the proper pronunciation of Krypton later when he names the planet for Lois? Why wouldn't he pronounce the word the way his father pronounced it?
    • Kal may see it as a "toe-may-toe / toe-mah-toe" kind of deal. Remember he was raised on Earth speaking U.S. English, and krypton is a real word. If he thinks of the planet's name as being the same as the name of the rare gas, he may just go ahead and pronounce it the way he always has, whilst considering Jor-El's pronunciation a variant.
    • The second film shows that Lara also recorded some of the education crystals. Maybe Superman picked up his pronunciation from her.
  • Where the hell did those rockets launch from? From the Chrysler Building, the Statue of Liberty, and the World Trade Centers, it is made clear that Metropolis is in this universe what New York City is in ours. The XK-101 rockets launch and soon go opposite ways (dialogue states that one is going due east, the other due west). So, since one was targeting Hackensack, New Jersey, and the other the San Andreas Fault in central California, they launched from somewhere more or less in between. But the footage of the launch we see shows they they launched from a coastal location. Let's say that's Lake Michigan or somewhere along the Mississippi that's wide enough to upon brief inspection look like a coastline. Superman flies for the rocket that's heading for Hackensack, starting from Metropolis. But look at the terrain he flies over: borderline desert with canyons and very little vegetation. There's not much of that kind of landscape east of the Mississippi, much less the miles and miles and miles of it he flies over trying to catch up with a missile (which, incidentally, is travelling away from him despite its course bringing toward him, but that's another issue).

  • Luthor's scheme to buy up all the land around what will become the new southern West Coast. Unless he's playing the REALLY long game, his profits will be minimal at best. Assuming the US Government doesn't simply snap up the land via Eminent Domain, leaving Lex with little to no profit, he'd have to wait for the new coastline to stabilize, then develop the whole thing, then hope people aren't scared off by the fact that most of California went the way of Atlantis. Not to mention, barring some mad science on his part, he'd be waiting a few hundred years for the new coastline to become more than a series of jagged cliff walls and mud pits.

    Oh, yeah. There's also that "nuclear fallout" thing.

    This is a rather hideously flawed plan for such a genius as Lex Luthor.
    • Nothing says he has to develop it himself. The land that was previously worthless would presumably increase in value by becoming ocean-front property, and Luthor could immediately sell it to developers for an immediate profit.
      • That's assuming anyone in the country, or likely the entire planet, could afford to buy up all that land at the prices Luthor seems to expect it to be worth. Sinking California would be all but guaranteed to crush the U.S. economy for decades, and give the rest of the world's a Depression-level nasty knock. And that's ignoring the side-effect damage of tsunami all over the Pacific rim that would be bound to follow Luthor's big quake.
      • And all that assumes the US could simply shrug off the effects of that and the Hackensack nuke note  - something that would've rendered New York City (America's financial center) uninhabitable for decades. Think of the fallout from the 9-11 attacks and change the weapon of choice from "airliners" to "nuclear missile". Luthor's master plan looks less tenable with every second glance.

  • Okay, so Superman can fly around the world really fast to go back in time. That's plausible enough, considering who we're talking about. But the film doesn't show him DOING anything different. In fact, it sure looks like the only difference is that Lois's car runs out of gas at a different place. Donner's cut of Superman II takes this to further heights of ridiculousness. There is no indication that he undid anything. The tough at the bar recognizes Clark as the weakling he downed in one punch, and everyone BUT Lois seems to know something happened.note  The "super-kiss" may have been weak, but the time travel simply makes no sense, let alone the lameness of repeating the exact same gimmick.
    • And this is why the Crisis was the best thing to happen to Superman. No more time travel or amnesia kisses after the retool.
      • There was only the one amnesia kiss before the Crisis. And only in the same movie series which brought you Great Wall Of China Vision.
      • Actually, in the aforementioned director's cut of Superman II, he gives Lois another one after Luthor is dragged off to jail. Which means, as far as Lois is concerned, she woke up pregnant one day.
      • Why Superman doesn't just take one for the team and give Lex Luthor a smooch to make him forget his years of scientific research?
    • Now if, as Luthor says, even Superman can't fly fast enough to stop both missiles, and if the film proves that he doesn't, how does it then make sense that he later flies fast enough to turn back time? Wouldn't time travel require flying faster than stopping a mere missile?
      • He was probably at the fastest speed he could safely go in the atmosphere while chasing the missiles- he goes into space to turn back time, and could go much faster.
      • And it is stupid. Atmosphere is not so thick, some kilometers around the Earth. If the atmospheric speed is topped to "Air burst and everyone dies" (could make sense), it's easy to do a vertical climb to space, zoom before the missile and dive to intercept it. It's like having to cover a long space swimming near the shove: you can cut lot of time simply exiting the water, running, and diving back.
      • And how's Luthor supposed to know how fast Superman can move, anyway? All he'd admitted to the public about his powers was what-little he'd told Lois in one conversation.
      • Luther has Bat Deduction, as shown by his determination of the Kyrptonite weakness.
      • We're never actually given a solid explanation of the time-travel ability, so perhaps it isn't just a pseudo-relativistic consequence of "going really fast", but should be understood as an ability in its own right that doesn't derive from his other powers.
    • The whole thing was summarized fairly well here. Kryptonite, red sunlight, and magic are no match for Superman's true weakness.
    • Superman's speed is never consistently shown, but then again, neither are any of his other powers. We sometimes see him appear to strain to lift a bus, but he can lift California from sinking into the ocean or push a Kryptonite continent into space. I think all of his powers can be summed as, "Strong as the plot demands." That said, here's a possible Fan Wank explanation for the time travel: Superman didn't make the earth spin backwards - he himself went back in time, and the image of the Earth spinning backwards is merely how Superman would have perceived it. How'd he do this? By flying faster than the speed of light. The Earth's about 25,000 miles around, and Superman's flight in The Movie is a good 2 or 3 diameters larger than earth, meaninging that he was flying in loops anywhere between 50,000 to 100,000 miles - in less than a second. The speed of light is 186,000 miles per second. At the speed at which he's depicted flying, Superman is flying much faster than light, and given the dubbing from Jor-el about relativity, we can probably assume that Supes was just traveling back in time, and seeing events play out in reverse.
    • Said Fan Wank doesn't hold up based on what's present in the actual scene, however. People often overlook that after Superman reveres time / the rotation of the Earth, he then flies in the opposite direction to return the planet to its proper rotation again. If all he was doing was flying back in time at a speed faster than light, and the Earth's reverse-rotation was merely a visual metaphor, then he wouldn't need to fly in the opposite direction once he had already made it back to the point where he could save Lois. He'd just need to stop flying, go down and save her.
      • It's worse than that, even. Ultimately, it makes no difference whether he's reversing time or traveling through time—either way, he lands in the past, right at the moment the earthquake started. But for 'no discernable reason', the earthquake doesn't happen this time. There is just no superpower in the world that can make sense out of this. I don't care what his mechanism for time-travel is; it just doesn't add up.
    • One possible explanation for the speed question: Superman is trying to save Lois from death. It's one thing to try to save nameless thousands from doom, but it's another thing to save the one person you love the most. He was just trying harder to go faster, pushed along by his emotions. And it's a good thing he did try traveling in time; in the state he was in, he could've also flown to Metropolis and ripped Luthor apart one atom at a time.
    • This video depicts one possibility of what Superman did once he landed in the past. However, it also adds a moment of Nice Job Breaking It, Hero! that contradicts the Donner and Lester cuts of Superman II. First, he grabs the missile headed for California. The missile blows up before he can finish hurling it into space, but he at least gets it far away enough so that the destruction doesn't become as widespread. After he saves Jimmy, he still has enough time to grab the missile headed for Hackensack, New Jersey, since he doesn't have as much damage in CA to repair. The earthquake in CA never becomes large enough to engulf Lois, making her still safe and sound when Superman finds her. Unfortunately, since Superman saves Hackensack at a different time than before, the missile flies into the Phantom Zone, freeing Zod, Ursa, and Non...

  • Point 1: We know that at least some Kryptonians are aware of the fact that yellow sunlight gives them fantastic super powers. Point 2: We know there are ways of simulating yellow sunlight (Supergirl's rocket was specially designed to emit solar radiation so she'd be fully-powered when she made it to Earth, Superboy-Prime built himself a suit that stores solar radiation and channels it into his body, etc.). So...why didn't the people of Krypton take advantage of this? Why doesn't every Kryptonian household come pre-installed with some kind of solar radiation emitter? Why doesn't every citizen of Krypton walk around in a solar suit? The things should be as common as coffee machines.
    • An entire civilization where absolutely anyone can obliterate a continent with a single punch? That's going to be easy to police/govern. It's clear that access to yellow-solar radiation and the means to generate it would be strictly limited, and probably banned outright for the civilian population. Granted, that doesn't explain why no one thought to apply it to military or emergency services (and of course criminal) applications, but I think "common as coffee machines" is a bit unlikely. It's for the same reasons (aside from logistical/economic) that everyone in the Western world doesn't have their own nuclear reactor for their home- it's too much power to trust with just anyone.
      • That's a horrible example. People don't keep nuclear reactors in their homes because no nuclear reactor on Earth would fit into any person's home. The safety issue is entirely secondary to that. A yellow sunlight generator would be completely safe and very easy for any ordinary citizen to create, given the level of Kryptonian science. In order for your suggestion to work we would have to assume the Kryptonian government is most dystopian, fascistic, totalitarian regime in the history of the universe. Not that that's impossible, mind you, but I'm not sure there's enough evidence to support that conclusion.
      • I think he's more referring to everyone on the planet being powerful enough to destroy entire cities than to how safe the technology itself would be. Even with superpowered police, if Superman's battles with Kryptonian-level powerhouses are any indication, giving everyone access to these powers would be completely catastrophic.
      • If I recall correctly, in the modern age, it took time for Superman to absorb enough yellow sun radiation to get powers, so you couldn't just turn on a device and get them instantly. In the Silver Age and the Bronze Age, it was instant—but everything was affected. You couldn't gain super-powers and smash a city because the city buildings would become super-tough just like Superman's costume did. (And Krypton had such high technology that you wouldn't need superpowers just to do things like fly.)
      • Also, in this connection, the Silver Age and Bronze Age had X-Kryptonite, which gave non-Kryptonians super-powers. A tiny piece gave powers to Streaky the Super-Cat. But then, there was a Supergirl story in Superman Family where a girl exposed to this substance went into a coma for years because her body couldn't handle the super-powers. It may not necessarily be safe to just get powers.
      • I'd be skeptical of just about any detailed description of Krypton these days, but since they've always seemed to have a global government, I can see why they'd want to keep the yellow light effect secret. Think of it this way: if the Earth's government (and let's pretend there's only one) discovered that simply exposing humans to a certain microwave frequency turns them into Physical Gods, there's no way in hell they'd let that knowledge go public. Every would-be bank robber, spree killer and terrorist would suddenly be unstoppable. Even giving the police the same powers would end up wrecking entire cities every time a suspect resists arrest. Turning every single citizen into a Person of Mass Destruction would be the end of civilization: for the sake of the human race, the government would have to make sure the public never, ever finds out about it. Krypton's leaders probably kept it secret as well, with only a select few academics and leaders knowing about the effect. Jor-El happened to be one of them.
      • Thinking about it further, it wouldn't even be in the Krypton government's best interest to have their own squad of supermen or sanctioned superhero. The moment they let one man fly around and perform superheroics, people would start asking how that's possible. And when the answer's as simple as "shine a certain color of light on you", that's the one question they can't afford to let anyone wonder about.
      • It's not the color of the light, it's the radiation of a yellow sun. The color is just a handy way to tell which is which. Shining a flashlight with yellow saran wrap on it isn't going to supercharge Superman, nor is a flash light with red wrapping over it going to de-power him. It has to be the special radiation from either type of sun.
      • Color's just another way of describing the wavelength. Any society that's invented lasers can create a beam of light with the right wavelength easily enough. It's just a matter of figuring out exactly what the right one is. One possible explanation for the secret being so well-kept on Krypton is that it's a very, very precise wavelength that doesn't naturally occur there (but does naturally occur in solar light), one that's nearly impossible to create by accident.
      • The only thing I can think of is that it's hugely time consuming and easy to lose the powers. If it takes years for a kryptonian child growing up in a sun rich Kansas farm to develop superpowers, it must take even longer on Krypton with the potentially power draining red light. Even if it's only "does not recharge" as opposed to actively weakening, it would mean anyone(s) wanting superpowers would basically have to live in climate controlled rooms and walk around in environmental suits to avoid losing their nascent powers— for years — before the first signs of power manifest. Granted, with such a huge payoff there would be those willing to make the sacrifice, possibly even making their brainwished Tyke Bomb children go through this. On the other hand, the time and energy required to pull this off would at least give the authorities time to detect the "PMD" threats before they're ready, but this is still an imperfect deterrent.
    • My first thought was to agree that lack of superpowers on Krypton was pretty ridiculous, but Krypton apparently is something of a facist state, at least in the movies. Although Jor-el could build a spaceship in his house, the Council could apparently stop him from leaving until the planet was about to explode. They probably had the ability to stop people from building solar suits to gain superpowers, if such things could even be built. The bigger question is why Kryptonians weren't already immigrating to similar stars. I can only imagine that the Yellow Sun phenomenon just wasn't very well known by anyone, except for Jor-el.
    • It's really not all that hard to guess why not: what else comes super powers under a yellow sun? A crippling weakness to Kryptonite. What is the planet Krypton apparently full of?
    • In some versions it is said that Jor-El is the one who found out the power of a yellow sun right before Kal-El is sent to Earth.
    • In one Elsworlds story, Superman's ancestor Gar-El figured out the solar radiation gives you superpower, and traveled to Earth in the 18th century and ruled it with an iron fist after helping the British defeat the colonial forces.

  • The original line. You know the one. "Look, up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's Superman!" I understand finding Supes exciting, at least the first couple times, but...come on. Even for tourists, "Look, it's a bird"? Really? And who registers shock at a plane since there were commercial airlines?
    • I think it's meant to be said by two or more people. Sorta like.
    Person 1: Look, up in the sky! [points]
    Person 2: [looking] It's a bird.
    Person 3: [looking too] It's a plane.
    Person 1: No, it's Superman!
    • Except they still shouldn't be cheering for the bird or the plane. Though one could assume early on it was just a nice quote and then it mutated memetically. I always imagine the original like this:
      Alice: [excited] Look! Up in the sky!
      Bob: [dismissive] It's a bird.
      Charlie: [Nah, i]t's a plane.
      Alice: No! It's Superman!
    • They see something they can't identify flying around and are trying to figure out what it is.
  • Okay, so why hasn't anyone mentioned the fact that after so many encounters with Superman and Clark Kent, no one ever says, "Hey, those two guys look alike. I think they're the same person."?
    • We've gone over this. A lot and often. No, you're not the first person to cleverly think of this. Short answer: There's probably about a dozen or so people, tops who know Clark Kent personally in Metropolis. Of those people, three or four probably have semi-regular contact with Supes.

      Longer answer: Superman deliberately cultivates the persona of Clark Kent as a major dork specifically to throw out the idea that he might be Superman. Just watch Brandon Routh as Kent, and your first overriding impression will be, "Dear gods, he's a friggin' dork." Superman, by contrast, is the physical ideal of Man. Basically...could you see Screech as Superman? There have been incidents in the comic books where someone has thought about it. Hell, once, Luthor hired a private investigator who did conclude that Superman was Clark Kent. Luthor laughed it off because the idea was simply ridiculous that Superman, a Physical God, would go around posing as that dork Kent.

      There's also the subtler implication that, as a man who doesn't wear a mask, Superman doesn't have a secret identity to hide, so some people won't even think about it.
      • It's also explicit that Superman vibrates in place whenever a picture is taken of him, so that his picture comes out blurry and indistinct.
      • Wait just one minute. Superman can vibrate? Lucky Lois!
      • You need to read this:
    • Okay, those are some good attempts at explanations, but they don't explain why someone like Lois or Jimmy would ever be fooled. If you're close to either Superman or Clark and then you see the other, you'd have to have some seriously-impaired skills of observation to not tell they are the same person. Sure, Clark can slouch, wear his hair differently, and wear glasses, but that doesn't change the structure of his face or the shape of his eyes or the general tone of his voice. I think someone who was supposedly a trained investigative reporter like Lois would have figured it out immediately, especially with all the times Clark is present and Superman isn't and vice versa.
    • In some stories, he have the precise muscle control to subtly change the structure of his face and the tone of his voice is an octave higher as Clark.
    • Seriously, just watch the first Superman film, then come back, look me in the eye and tell me that Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent and Christopher Reeve as Superman look the same. Facial features matter some in recognition and they, of course, are the same. Posture, attitude, demeanor, clothes and voice also matter, and they are completely different. At best, someone might think "Hey, Clark looks kinda like Superman", but since Clark and Superman are, and act, so fundamentally different, there is no way someone is even going to consider that they might be the same person.
      • I'm pretty sure everyone watching the movie says, "Hey, that's the same person." If the audience isn't fooled, even a little bit, how can someone standing two feet away be fooled? My suspension of disbelief can only go so far.
      • That's because you're watching the movie. You know, the movie that you heard about before ever seeing it as featuring Christopher Reeve as Clark Kent/Superman, and the franchise for which you already know the secret identity. They're not trying to "fool" the audience because the cat's been out of the bag since 1939. You already know the secret. The people in Clark Kent's world do not. They have little reason to suspect that there's any connection to the Physical God Superman and the clumsy, whimpy, pathetic country bumpkin Clark Kent.
    • All-Star Superman does something similar: Clark Kent is clearly the same size of Superman, and has the same color hair, but that's where the resemblance ends. Clark is noticeably pudgier and his face is less chiseled. He slouches. He stutters and trips over his own two feet. And as Lex points out, Clark may look similar to Superman, but lots of people purposely emulate Superman, like cutting their eyebrows in the "Superman Swoosh."
    • Most people, upon seeing someone who looked like, say, Brad Pitt, dressed in a t-shirt and bermuda shorts with a bad haircut, at a hot dog stand in Peoria, Illinois, aren't going to immediately assume "Hey, that's Brad Pitt! Incognito!" They're going to assume it's some dork who looks like Brad Pitt. Humans are creatures of expectations.
    • Jim Carrey rather famous pulled off a bit of Clark Kenting at an awards show, where he showed up dressed (and acting)like a hippie caricature with waist-length hair and full beard. Until he went up on stage to accept his award, no one, not even the people sitting next to him in the audience, knew he was there. If he can do it, so can Superman.
    • Except that every time I see Clark Kent or Superman, I say, "Yep, that's him." I can't pretend that I don't recognize him. The same goes for Wonder Woman, especially in the 1970s TV series. There are times when she's standing in a crowd, runs off, changes into Wonder Woman, comes back, and no one even suspects it's her. I just think there's a different level of suspension of disbelief when something is in a comic book and when something is on a TV or movie screen.
      • Again, you already know the secret—that renders your point of view on whether or not you can "see through it" invalid. The fact you're seeing the Wonder Woman TV series means you know and expect that Diana Prince is Wonder Woman, and you know the camera wouldn't be on Diana Prince at all if she weren't Wonder Woman. It's like how a joke isn't funny when you already heard it once. You really can't judge how well Lois Lane should recognize Clark as Superman based on your own point of view, because you already know the secret, and that's going to skew your perceptions dramatically.

        People have pulled this in real life, just by not being expected. Just because you, the reader/viewer, who A. knows the secret already and B. know that the top-name actor is playing the role(s) of Superman and Clark Kent, can tell who he is, doesn't mean someone in the verse should.
      • Although I still can't agree, I will say that you've put forth some good arguments and presented as good examples as I've ever heard.
    • I've thought about this a lot, and these are the several reasons that I've come up with: 1. People noticing that Clark Kent looks a bit like Superman will assume that this is exactly how things are; Clark Kent is a person who resembles Superman and that's all there is to it. 2. The fact that he could spend his time working as a reporter out looking for crime and stopping it will make people think "Why would Superman be sitting in an office working when he could be out saving lives?" This is my best argument; nobody who knew what a caring and self-sacrificing person Superman is could possibly believe he'd spend a single second writing newspaper articles if he could have been using that second saving an innocent child. 3. There are other people whose facial features resemble Superman's. There's no reason at all to pick Clark Kent as the guy to compare to Superman; surely there are other men who look a bit like the Man of Steel. 4. With Clark Kent's different way of speaking, behaviour, and hairstyle (plus the specs), the difference just isn't noticeable unless you've spent time with both Clark Kent and Superman for a long time. You'll just assume that Kent and Supes share certain characteristics, but not more since you don't know that there is anything to look for. 5. I think there has been stories where Clark Kent has been seen together with Superman through some trick or other. 6. Can't mention this enough: One doesn't notice that kind of thing unless one's looking for it! If you're at a party and you've been told that one of the guests is Al Pacino in disguise, you'll find him after a while. But if you haven't been told, you'll probably just miss it. 7. If people notice he looks exactly like Superman, they won't think "Wow! It's Superman in disguise!" They'll think "Wow! A normal man who looks just like Superman!" The idea of a normal man being Superman is just too darn implausible unless they see some superpower-related activities.
      • Ironically enough, many of the people who look sort of like Superman are Batman, Captain Marvel, Black Adam and other guys who are themselves superheroes or supervillains. Clark might have the strongest physical "resemblance" of course.
    • Beyond what's been said about people finding nothing exceptional about the similarity in appearances between celebrities and normal people, consider that no one even seems to know that Superman *has* a secret identity. Remember, Superman just appears one day and starts saving lives. His first public communication is an interview with Lois Lane in which he announces that he's from another planet. To almost everyone, there's no reason to suspect he's Clark Kenting because no one on the entire planet has done it before. Further, everyone knows that Superman has supervision, superhearing, and superspeed, so there's no reason for them to think that he needs or uses a human alias to find out when people need saving. Since Clark can dash off and become Superman instantly, it looks to normal people that Superman is simply always around, and probably wouldn't even have time for a secret identity.
    • The pilot of Lois & Clark offers an amusing possibility that has the added value of explaining the point of his costume's most baffling aspect: he wears tights, so nobody ever looks at his face.
    • This was canon for a time during the Curt Swan era: Clark Kent's glasses, with lenses made from the glass from the rocket that brought him to Earth as a baby, enhanced a form of subtle super-hypnotism that Superman himself didn't realize he was subconsciously emitting. He finally realized it when a criminal who had tried to attack him from behind in his Clark Kent identity later told the cops that he thought Clark looked bigger from behind than he did from the front. The glasses were made from those lenses in the first place because they wouldn't melt when Clark used either his heat vision or X-ray vision when he was in disguise. So, yeah, Superman had a super-hypnotism power he wasn't aware he had and couldn't control.
    • For what it's worth, I watched this movie for the first time last night, and I thought Clark and Superman looked different enough for it not to be that notable. Clark wears huge glasses and keeps his hair gelled flat, and his disguise is helped a lot by how he's completely engrossed himself in the part of a bumbling dweeb who no one wants to give the time of day. I could definitely see the resemblance slipping past the radar for most people, not because they're just missing it, but because they don't pay enough attention to Clark to notice it in the first place.

  • Jor-El's recording mentions, during Kal-El's space flight, Einstein's theory of relativity. By way of confirming this theory, he later states, in the Fortress of Solitude, that he has been dead for thousands of years. did he know who Einstein was?
    • Translation Convention, and he was referring to a Kryptonian physicist?
      • The "recording" also acts more like a holographic AI in later movies. In Superman 3, the Jor-El recording steps out of his crystal to have a heart to heart with his son.
      • Or maybe a "year" on Krypton is kinda short. Look how close it is to their sun toward the beginning.
      • "Thousands of your years" is what he says, actually. Translation Convention, it's gotta be.

  • Superman can time travel.He uses it to save,basically,one woman (and incidentally save millions of other people) on Earth. Why doesn't he use it to save Krypton?
    • What, exactly, could Superman do, once he got there, that his dad couldn't?
      • "Hi, I'm from the future. In my past, Krypton exploded. I came back to stop it."
      • How, pray tell, would he do that? With the superpowers that don't work under a red sun? With all the science at Jor-El's disposal that didn't do any good the first time around?
      • Besides, in current continuity, you'd still have to contend with Brainiac outright lying to the ruling council about Jor-El's findings. You they'd believe "Guy from 'The Future' who happens to be wearing Jor-El's family crest" over the supercomputer who runs the entire planet?
      • I do believe you mean "Guy Claiming to be From The Future", since the lack of a future for Krypton and its destruction means he won't have all that much foreknowledge that couldn't be obtained by sufficiently advanced subterfuge by a native of the era.
      • Yeah, any attempt by Superman to try to convince the council that he's from the future is probably going to be answered with "wow Jor-El, we know you're really obsessed with your pet doom-and-gloom theory, but hiring this guy to pose as your time-traveling son from the future? That is just sad."
      • The Silver Age comics used to be better about that. Superman could travel back in time, but once he got there, he couldn't interact with anything, being completely invisible and intangible. The few times he thought he did physically go back to Krypton, it turned out to be either a dream or an elaborate hoax.
      • Not quite - he would become an intangible phantom only if he already existed in that timeframe, as he couldn't be in two places at once. He did physically go back to Krypton at least once, but it was to a time before he was born: he actually attended his own parents' wedding. He managed to escape before baby Kal-El was born (or, presumably, conceived, though a Silver Age comic wouldn't go into that!)

  • Why does Lex Luthor plan to set off a 300 megaton nuclear bomb right next to where his new premium ocean-front property will be? The fall-out of such a bomb would probably contanimate the entire continental US, and then some. Why was the military testing such a weapon anyway? The most powerful thermonuclear device ever test-detonated by the US in real life was Castle Bravo at 15 megaton (and any tests done inside the continental US never even got into the megaton range). The most powerful device ever detonated, period, was the Russian Tsar Bomba at 57 megaton. A 300 megaton warhead detonated in California would probably break windows in New York! And Jimmy Olsen sees this thing go off at a distance where he should've been hit by the blast (even if it was a more reasonable size, like maybe 20 kiloton, which is what the mushroom cloud size he sees suggests), but he isn't even phased! In fact, the nukes appear to have no consequences whatsoever besides breaking the fault line. Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale, I guess.
    • ...He's insane.
    • Honestly? Because none of the Superman movies are all that well written. It's especially obvious with Lex Luthor, who in the comics is a shrewd and calculating genius but in the movies is, frankly, a bumbling idiot with a thirst for power who just happens to have a ton of money to play around with.
    • 300 megatons is nothing to sneer at, but there've been plenty of more powerful explosions in history. Mt. St. Helens was a bigger blast, for example.
    • The real problem with this plan is that, even assuming he had managed to destroy California without irradiating the new coastline, what makes him think he's going to profit from it? Has Luthor never heard of Emminent Domain? Even though the Constitution requires "just compensation" for property, Luthor's already a known criminal - Otis was being tailed to the lair so police could catch Luthor before Superman is even on the scene. There's no way he's going to keep the new coastline if Phase 1 of his plan worked.
      • Probably he'd bought all that desert property through a whole series of shell companies, to ensure its ownership can't be traced back to him. Naming everything after himself could've just been a private ego-stroking joke, not an actual plan; that, or the bogus "owner" of his shell companies might've had "Luthor" as his first name of record.

  • How did Lois live to adulthood without the aid of Superman to save her from her gross disregard for personal safety? She would have been dead three times in the few short weeks after she met Superman, so how did she manage before? Superman saves her from being shot by a mugger. Her purse was obviously more valuable to her than her life (and Clark's). Next, she falls from a helicopter. Finally, Superman turns time back to save her, which leads to my next gripe...
    • In the comics, at least, its said that she lets herself get into so many insanely dangerous and fatal situations because Superman is around to save her. Before she met Mr. Perfect Fallback Plan, she did have survival instincts, its just that she's smart enough to know that with Big Blue around, she doesn't need them.
      • In the good-ol-days of the Golden and Silver Ages, yes, that was the explanation. Lois became a suicidal risk-taker because she knew Superman would be around to save her (also, in the Silver Age it was often the most convenient way to kick off one of her zany schemes to trick Superman into marriage). However, in modern continuity Lois has always been a risk-taker willing to go to any lengths to get a story.
      • Even some Silver Age stories pointed out that Lois' curiosity has led her to get into risky situations her entire life.
      • The film in question was released at the tail end of the Silver Age, so it still fits.
    • To be fair, in the movie through no fault of her own she falls out of a helicopter which has crashed into the side of a building and is dangling over the street. Hardly seems fair to berate her for her lack of survival instincts in that case; that's an out-of-the-ordinary calamity which has befallen her, it's not as if she was being careless or planned for that to happen.

  • How is it that Superman turns back time (forget the science behind it for a minute), but then when he moves time forward again, how is it that Lois doesn't die, but nothing else changes? All we see is Superman turning time back, then forward again, then he lands near Lois and she's still alive. How does that happen?
    • Don't question it. Just...don't. You'll go cross-eyed. It doesn't make sense. To anybody. Even Richard Donner probably wakes up scratching his head thinking "That made no sense! WTF was I thinking?!"
      • How's this? As others have theorized, Superman didn't turn back time; the shot of the Earth turning backwards was his point of view as he himself went back. He went back well before the moment of Lois' death, then went forward to a more precise moment before. Then, all he has to do is get her out of the car, so she won't get swallowed up by the crevice, which he does. The aftershock occurs after he leaves her and Jimmy. As for not changing the rest, he's not dumb enough to try and alter history to such a major extent.
      • As pointed out above, doesn't work. The "it's just a visual metaphor" excuse fails because once he's turned the Earth backwards enough, he flies back around it to get it going the right way again. They literally had him turn back time by spinning the Earth backwards, end of story.
      • Possibly he just overshot his intended date, so had to reverse course to move ahead in time a bit?

  • In Fortress of Solitude, Jor-El says that he has probably been dead for thousands of years. Later, Luthor says that Krypton was destroyed in 1948, and that it took Superman's spaceship 3 years to reach Earth. So who was right and who was wrong? Let's see our options:
    • a) Jor-El sucks at math. Unlikely, considering he is a genius scientist.
    • b) Jor-El intended for his son to hear the message after already living on Earth for thousands of years. Makes no sense.
    • c) Luthor confused Krypton's destruction with that of another planet, closer to Earth.
    • d) Krypton's destruction opened a wormhole which transported Kal-El's ship closer to Earth.
    • e) When he said "many thousands of your years," he meant Kryptonian years. While it's still hard to believe that a year would be THAT MUCH quicker on Krypton, it would make sense for it to be at-least a little shorter if Krypton is closer to its sun as seems to be the case.
      • You forgot f) there were two different answers in two different drafts of the script and no one paid enough attention to notice that conflicting facts from both of them made it into the final cut.
      • g) Jor-El knew that Earth was mostly covered in oceans, so his son's space capsule would most likely splash down and sink upon arrival. Baby Kal-El would be placed into suspended animation by the capsule's safety systems, to be discovered many centuries later, when humans' technology advanced to the point where we can image thousands of square miles of seabed well enough to spot a spaceship the size of a compact car.
    • h) Krypton exploded thousands of Earth years ago, but it's far enough away that the light of the explosion didn't reach Earth until 1948. Luther is either clueless about the sheer magnitude of distances involved or is oversimplifying to avoid getting sidetracked with exposition re. the speed of light. Baby Kal-El only experienced 3 years' life during the trip because of relativistic speeds and/or the ship keeping him in stasis most of the way to conserve life-support resources.

  • Upon finding Lois' body trapped in her car, why didn't Supes attempt CPR? I mean, it probably would have failed, but wouldn't it have been worth trying?
    • He'd blow her up with his super breath.
    • Less hilariously, his compressions probably would have shattered her ribs and pulped her internal organs. Broken ribs and heavy bruising are commonplace when normal people do CPR, even with fine control Superman would probably have a hard time... even if he wasn't emotionally devastated when trying to do so. Plus CPR as we know it wasn't even beginning to be promoted until the seventies, which is when the movie was made, the "big blue Boy Scout" would have learned an entirely different and not very useful method when he was in the Boy Scouts. Alternately, with X-ray vision he would have seen that she was already dead and was smart enough to know that CPR isn't really a resurrection ritual. Alternately alternately, the filmmakers considered it, but decided it would make the film drag and decrease the drama to have him huff and puff and do some compressions for a few minutes before his wail of anguish and turning-the-Earth-backwards.
    • Lois wasn't just suffocated, she was physically crushed by dirt and the collapse of her car's chassis. Superman would have used X-ray vision to locate her, so he'd probably already seen that her internal organs were too damaged for survival. He was only so frantic to dig her out because he was in denial.
    • And CPR doesn't really work that way in real life, is generally a way to keep the air flow to the brain until more advance medical care can be provide to avoid brain damage, but almost never "resurrects" people as is often shown in media. Unless some more help comes in their way there's no real reason to do CPR. Is unlikely that the writers of the movie knew this, but let's say Superman does knew it.
  • First film again, and easy to miss. When Superman arrives for his "date" with Lois Lane, she interviews him and asks a few very minor questions - his age, weight, where he's from, and what color underwear she's wearing then they fly around for a while and Superman leaves the moment Lois gets dropped off. The next morning the editor drops the Daily Planet on his desk with a full article written by Lois Lane - how the heck did she stretch what she had into a feature piece? Man, Lois must REALLY be some journalist to do that.
    • News articles, especially feature pieces, aren't just what the person told you. Her article probably spoke a lot about Superman's manner, what he did, and her own experiences in flying around the city. It probably also included a lot of background along the lines of, "I first met Superman when he caught me falling out of a helicopter," or "We've all seen Superman going around the city, such as blank blank and blank."
      • You get an A+ in journalism. Also, we don't know that they didn't engage in a bit more Q&A while they were flying around.
    • Related question: the article includes a photo of Superman with his arms folded, but she was never seen to photograph him onscreen. How was that picture obtained?
    • She took the photo offscreen. Or it's a stock photo. Or he gave her the photo.

  • There's a scene where Clark jumps out of a window and he suddenly morphs into his Superman outfit. And I mean literally morphs, he regular suit just changes to his Superman one. Just... how?
    • He's changing at Super Speed, and as a result, it looks like his clothes morph into his supersuit to the naked eye?
    • Plus, again, the movies are pure Silver Age, they pulled that sort of crap all the time.
    • One of the really neat things about the entire body of work is that they never showed Clark changing to Superman the same way twice.

  • The scene where Lex figures out about Kryptonite is one part Scifi Writers Have No Sense Of Scale, one part Insane Troll Logic, with a dash of Bat Deduction and Contrived Coincidence. Based solely on the evidence of Krypton exploding, Lex figures out that 1. Bits of Krypton are deadly to Superman and Superman alone (with no explanation as to how he would know that) 2. A piece somehow drifted all the way to Earth in a couple decades despite the vast distance between the two planets (stated to be in separate galaxies), 3. Managed to hit Earth instead of missing, burning up in the atmosphere or simply heading in a different direction altogether (guess he forgot that space is big. Really big) and 4. it would just happen to be the unidentified meteorite that landed in Addis Ababa. Oh, and 5. It would kill him AND sap his strength while doing so (as opposed to hurting him long enough for him to throw it into orbit.). That's a lot of assumptions that just turned out to be accurate. Those kind of odds can't be explained away by Lex's intelligence either; to know all that one would have to be omnipotent. That many coincidences simply stretch the suspension of disbelief to the breaking point.

  • One that can't be stressed enough: The whole time-travel thing. Let's see how it plays out:
    • Superman takes care of one missile, but the other missile still hits the faultline, causing a LOT of damage, which Superman at least attempts to repair.
    • After the earthquake is all done, Superman finds Lois, who has been crushed to death.
    • Superman then interferes with Lois's body. There is no indication that he is able to re-set everything here.
    • In fact, it seems as though he leaves right after laying the body out. He then briefly removes himself from the space-time continuum to get back to a point where he can get at the second missile. We're never told whether or not he does this any other way.
    • Now, no matter whether or not the second missile actually hit, shouldn't the damage he didn't repair still exist? And what of the first missile, which he managed to get away from Earth's orbit beforehand? This gets dumber in the Donner cut, where a second go-around makes it so Zod, Ursa and Non never escaped the Phantom Zone.

  • So, Superman wasn't fast enough to stop both rockets, yet he was fast enough to spin around the Earth a hundred times in a few minutes? Kinda negates even needing to turn back time in the first place.
    • When he is chasing the missiles, he's inside the atmosphere, when he travels back in time, he goes to outer space. It is possible if you want to theorize that way, that him reaching subluminal speeds inside the atmosphere might set it on fire; besides, he catches the first missile and DRIVES IT OUT TO SPACE; and he prevents a lot of damage in real time. He just fails to reach lois lane in time (he even manages to save jimmy) and that is what drives him to try the time travel gambit; he Is superman, he will set it right, all of it. By the way, even tough Metropolis is an expy of New York, it's not the same city so he wasn't anywhere near either missile, and he still managed to go from outer atmosphere to california; that is, the opposite side of the country in enough time to save everybody (including LIFTING the whole state).

  • Why does Superman just let Teschmacher go? Ok, she did save him but is that really enough to make up for helping a would-be nuclear terrorist?


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