On the dying 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. The Kents take the child back to their farm and raise him as their own son, naming him Clark after Martha's maiden name. At age 18, soon after the death of Jonathan, Clark hears a psychic "call," discovering a glowing green crystal in the remains of his 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 costume and becomes a reporter at the Daily Planet in Metropolis. He meets and develops a romantic attraction to coworker Lois Lane, but she sees him as awkward and unsophisticated.
Lois becomes involved in a helicopter accident where conventional means of rescue are impossible, requiring Clark to use his powers in public for the first time to save her. During the same night, he rescues Air Force One after a flameout, thwarts a jewel thief attempting to scale the Solow Building with suction cups, intercedes in a police chase where many of the robbers escape via cabin cruiser (which Superman deposits on Wall Street), and even finds time to rescue a little girl's cat in Brooklyn Heights, making 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 cunning 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 following the first delay on the convoy, Luthor's girlfriend Eve Teschmacher successfully changes the course of a second missile while the military is distracted by Luthor's roadblock.
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 a decoy, headed due east towards Hackensack, New Jersey. Luthor knows that even 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. Knowing the hero's reputation for keeping his word, Teschmacher rescues Superman on the condition that he will deal with the New Jersey missile first. After diverting the east-bound missile into outer space, Superman witnesses the west-bound missile detonating in the San Andreas Fault. Superman is able to mitigate the effects of the nuclear explosion, getting rid of the pollution from the fall-out and shoring up the crumbling earth, but the aftershocks are still devastating.
While Superman is busy saving others, Lois's car falls into a crevice that opens due to an aftershock. It quickly fills with dirt and debris and she suffocates to death. Angered 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 then delivers Luthor and Otis to prison and flies into the sunrise for further adventures.
Credit is nice if you use these elsewhere