Based on the comic-book character created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, a child from a planet in another galaxy with superhuman powers is sent to Earth to help people without changing human history.
In June 1938 a boy reads in Action Comics that even the city of Metropolis was not spared the ravages of a worldwide depression. In the times of fear and confusion the metropolitan newspaper The Daily Planet informed the public with clarity and truth and became a symbol of hope.
On the planet Krypton at the center of a city Jor-El (Marlon Brando) says that the indictments he brought today for treason are issues of fact. He asks that they judge the accused—the mindless abstraction Non (Jack O’Halloran) whose means are violence and destruction, Ursa (Sarah Douglas) whose perversions and hatred for all mankind have threatened the children of Krypton, and General Zod (Terence Stamp) who had been trusted by the council and defended Krypton but tried to establish a new order he would rule. Jor-El says the Council has heard the evidence and asks for their verdict. Three councilors declare them guilty, but Zod says that Jor-El must make it unanimous for it to take effect. He asks him to join their revolution. The dome opens, and a flat spacecraft arrives and takes away the three criminals who cry for forgiveness.
Jor-El tells the Council they cannot ignore these facts because it is genocide. The First Elder (Trevor Howard) warns him that the Council has already evaluated his outlandish theory. Jor-El says that he is not impulsive and does not make wild and unsupported statements. He says they must evacuate this planet immediately. Vond-Ah (Maria Schell) says they do not question the facts but his conclusions. He says the planet Krypton will explode within thirty days, but she says it is simply shifting its orbit. The Second Elder (Harry Andrews) asks Jor-El to be reasonable, but he says he has never been otherwise. The First Elder terminates the discussion, and he says the decision of the Council is final. He warns Jor-El that any attempt to arouse the people on Krypton by fear to panic will be considered an act of insurrection. Jor-El asks if it has become a crime to cherish life. The First Elder asks if he will abide by the Council’s decision. Jor-El says he will be silent, but his wife and he will not leave Krypton. The councilors leave Jor-El alone.
Lara (Susannah York) is holding a baby and talks to Jor-El. He says if the child remains there with them, he will die too. She asks why send him to Earth where they are primitive and thousands of years behind them. He says he will need that advantage to survive, and their atmosphere will sustain him. She says he will defy their gravity. He says he will look like one of them, but she says he will not be one of them. He says his dense molecular structure will make stronger. She says he will be odd and different, but he says he will be fast and invulnerable. She is afraid he will be isolated and alone; but he says he will never be alone. Jor-El puts a crystal on a table with others. He takes the child and puts him in the spacecraft and says he will travel far, but they will never leave him even in death. The richness of their lives will be his. All that he has and values he bequeaths to his son. He will carry his father inside him all his life. He will carry his strength, and they will see each other’s lives. This is all he sends with his son Kal-El. A green crystal comes up, and Jor-El puts it with the others. The spacecraft rises slowly and then takes off. Then the city begins to collapse around them. Jor-El and Lara embrace as they watch the spacecraft depart. The city is being destroyed, and the dome sinks. Finally the planet Krypton explodes as the spacecraft travels on.
In the spacecraft Jor-El’s voice is teaching the child about life on Earth. He will have exceptional powers. He is forbidden to interfere with human history. The spacecraft comes into the atmosphere of the Earth.
Pa Kent (Glenn Ford) and Ma Kent (Phyllis Thaxter) are driving on a country road. They see a flash of light and feel a shock, and he stops the truck. They get out, and she sees the land scorched. They walk over and find in a hole a naked baby boy. She gives him something to wear, and Pa works on changing the flat tire. She says she prayed for a child and hugs the baby. She advises Pa to take it easy because of what the doctor told him about his heart. Pa laughs and says the first thing they have to do is to find the boy’s proper family. She says he has no family around there, and Pa asks if she is thinking what he is thinking. She says they could say that he is the son of her cousin in North Carolina and is now an orphan. She tells her husband Jonathan that he is only a baby. He reminds Martha how they found him. Suddenly the jack falls over, but the boy picks up one end of the car and smiles at them. They look at the spacecraft.
On a football field the coach orders the players how to take care of their uniforms. The manager young Clark Kent (Jeff East) tells the cheerleader Lana that he will take care of her pom-pom. She says they are going up to Mary Ellen’s to play some records and invites him to come. He says sure, but a player tells him he has a lot of work to do with the equipment. The cheerleaders get in the player’s car, and he drives off. Clark kicks a football more than a hundred yards.
Clark is running by a road as fast as a speeding train. He crosses the track with a leap before the train gets there. He runs fast on a road. The player and the girls see him leaning against a truck, and they ask how he got there so fast. Clark says he ran. His Pa sees Clark and asks if he has been showing off again. Clark says he wants to tear them apart, but he knows he should not do it. Clark says every time he gets the football he can make a touchdown. He asks if it is showing off if he does what he capable of doing. Pa says no but tells him that when he first came to them, they were worried that people would take him away. Pa tells him that he is there for a reason, though he does not know what it is except that it is not to score touchdowns. Clark runs to the barn and asks his Pa to run. Jonathan stops, feels his pulse, and collapses. Ma calls to Jonathan, and Clark runs to him.
At a country cemetery Clark and Ma stand by Jonathan’s grave. Clark says he has all those powers, but he could not save him.
Clark wakes up at dawn and looks out the window. He goes into the barn and finds a hole with a shining crystal that is green. He picks it up. Ma sees him in a field and goes to him. He says he has to leave. She says she knew this time would come. He says he talked to Ben Hubbard yesterday, and he told him to help out from now on. She understands and asks where he is headed. He says he will go north. She tells him to always remember. They embrace and hug.
Clark is walking on glaciers and ice. He opens his backpack and takes out the green crystal. He throws it far, and it sinks into the ice, causing a fountain of water. The ice is transformed into crystals that form a large structure. He walks over there and on it. In the center he removes a small crystal and puts it back. He has a vision of light and hears the voice of his father Jor-El and sees an image of him. Jor-El tells him he is now eighteen years old, and it is time for him to ask questions. In this fortress of solitude they will try to find the answers together. Clark asks who he is, and Jor-El says he is Kal-El, the only survivor of the planet Krypton. He says he has been raised as a human being, but he is not one of them. He has great powers, and he has discovered some of them. Jor-El takes him on a journey through time. He advises him to let his leadership stir others. In the next year they will examine the human heart which is more fragile than his. He shows his son the planet Krypton as it was. The knowledge of the galaxies is embedded in the crystals which he sent along with him. He tells him to study them well. When they return to his galaxy, twelve of his years will have passed. For this reason he has chosen Earth for him. Now it is time for him rejoin his new world and serve its collective humanity. He is to live as one of them and discover his strength and power but always hold his pride in his heart of his special heritage. He says they can be a great people and that they only lack the light to show them the way. Jor-El sent his only son to them because of their capacity for good. Superman (Christopher Reeve) flies off.
In a taxi in a big city the driver tells him The Daily Planet is here. In the office the photographer Jimmy Olsen (Marc McClure) tells Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) to smile as he takes her picture. She asks him how to spell words, and he helps her. She says a great reporter makes great stories, and she takes her latest to Perry White (Jackie Cooper). He corrects a misspelled word and introduces her to Clark Kent (Christopher Reeve) who wears glasses. He meets Jimmy too. White asks Kent to open a bottle of soda pop, and he has trouble and hands it to Lois. She hits it on the desk. Kent opens it and spills it on his pants. She apologizes for shaking it up. He asks why anyone would want to make a stranger look like a fool. White takes the bottle and sends Olsen to bring Kent a towel and him coffee. White tells Lois to introduce Kent to everybody and says he is giving him the city beat. She complains that is her beat. White says he treats his editor with respect, writes well, and is the fastest typist he has ever seen. Lois gives her story to White, and Kent asks him if he would arrange for half his salary go to the address on a paper on a weekly basis. Lois guesses that he is sending it to his gray-haired mother, but Kent says she has silver hair. Lois asks if there are any more at home like him, and he says no. She tells him to take a desk, and they sit down.
Coming out of an elevator a woman tells Lois that she met a great guy, and she leaves. Lois says hi to Kent and asks how his first day on the job went. He says the hours were longer than he expected, but he was glad to meet her and Jimmy. He says it went swell, and she advises him that few people use that word nowadays. He has trouble going through the turnstile door. Outside she introduces him to Rex and walks away. Kent goes to catch up with her as a man steals an apple. From an alley a man with a pistol tells them to get in there quickly. Kent puts Lois behind him and says they had better do what he says. Kent tells him this is not the answer because he cannot solve society’s problems with a gun. The man says he is right and will change after he rips off this lady’s purse. He points the gun at Kent’s nose. He tells her to hand it over, but she drops her purse on the ground. Kent asks what she is doing. As the man goes to pick it up, she kicks the man’s arm and turns away. As the man is falling backwards he fires the pistol. Kent catches the bullet in his hand and falls on the ground, and the man runs away. She asks what happened to him, and Kent says he must have fainted. He says he is sorry, and she picks up her purse. He says he could have shot her and asks if it was worth risking her life over $10, two credit cards, a hairbrush and lipstick. She says he named the exact contents of her purse and asks how he knew that. He says it was a wild guess.
Otis (Ned Beatty) is eating as he crosses the street. A man talks to Aramus in a car about Otis, and they decide to see if he will lead them to the big man, Lex Luthor. The police detectives hope to be promoted to captain. Otis buys a Daily Planet and tries to steal food from a blind seller, but the dog barks and makes him pay.
Aramus and his partner call in that they are following Otis on foot. The partner says he will follow him on the train, and Aramus goes to call for backup. The partner sees Otis on the train and follows him to track 22, and he calls Aramus. While a train is passing, Otis goes in a secret door. The partner cannot find how to open the door. In the hideaway Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman) sees them on TV screens and pushes a button that causes the door to move out and push the partner in front of the moving train. Aramus finds his partner Harry’s hat.
Eve Teschmacher (Valerie Perrine) tells Lex he is sick, but he says he is days away from the crime of the century. He considers himself the greatest criminal mind and wants her to call him brilliant and gifted. She suggests twisted. She asks why so many people have to die for the crime of the century. He asks why the phone rings when you are in the bathtub. He asks why he is surrounded by nincompoops. Otis comes in, and Lex says he was followed again. Otis knocks a lamp shade off and puts it back. Lex asks for the newspaper he wanted. He shows them the headline “Twin Nuclear Missiles Test Confirmed” and says thanks to the United States Government they are involved in the greatest real estate swindle of all time. Eve asks why he is always obsessed with land. He says his father told him that people will always need land and will pay much for it. He says he has created an empire, but she is not impressed. He asks how many girls she knows who have a Park Avenue address like this one. She says it is two hundred feet below. He asks if she knows what people are paying for apartments above them.
White gives copy to Olsen to take it to composing. Lois is writing up her story about a sex maniac and hopes to win a prize, and White corrects her spelling of brassiere. White tells Kent he did a fine job on the union scandal. Lois is leaving and says goodnight. Kent offers to carry her coat and asks if she wants to have dinner with him. She says she is booked because Air Force One is landing, and she will be there. He asks if she ever lets up. She says her sister has two kids, three cats, and a mortgage. She says she would go crazy in a week. He asks her if he can take her to the airport, and she says not unless he can fly and goes into the ladies room. She opens the door and asks him to mail something for her. He says sure and misses the elevator.
A helicopter lands on the roof of The Daily Planet to pick up Lois and take her to the airport. As it is taking off, a wire breaks. The helicopter malfunctions and spins out of control, smashing windows in a building and getting caught on the edge of the building. Lois looks down and shouts for help. The pilot is unconscious. People on the ground look up at the stranded chopper. An ambulance arrives. Lois tries to open the door and falls out, holding on to a wire. On the street Kent sees it. He sees a pay phone and goes into a turnstile door to change into Superman. He flies up as the wire breaks and Lois falls. He catches her in the air and says he got her. The helicopter falls off, but he catches it in his hand and lifts it with them as they go up to the roof of the building where he sets it down. He tells people there that the pilot needs help. He tells Lois that he hopes this incident has not put her off flying which is still the safest way to travel. She asks him to wait and asks who he is. He says he is a friend and flies away, and she faints.
A burglar is using suction cups to scale the side of a tall building. He looks up and sees Superman standing there. The man falls, and Superman flies down and catches him. He takes him to the ground and tells a policeman that confession is good for the soul and that he should listen to this man, showing the jewelry he has. Superman flies off.
A police car is chasing a car, and they are shooting at each other. They stop at a dock, and four criminals get out. Superman in the air sees them. A policeman catches two of them, but the other two escape on a boat. They are counting the money when they see Superman. Another man tries to hit Superman with a metal bar, and it vibrates from the blow. Superman asks if he has bad vibrations.
At a police station the policeman tells the officers at the desk about a man wearing a red cape who is like a big blue bird. They go outside and see the criminals from the boat in custody and the man in blue with the red cape flying off.
Superman retrieves a cat from a tree and hands him to the girl who was trying to coax him down. She goes in the house and tells her mother what happened, and he mother reprimands her for telling lies.
On Air Force One the pilot calls in for a weather report during a rainstorm. Lightning strikes the plane, and they lose power and an engine. The plane is angling down. The pilot calls mayday and requests an emergency landing because they lost part of a wing. They say the President is on board and give their position. Superman holds on to the broken wing, and the plane is flying well again. The co-pilot sees him and tells the pilot to trust him.
Lex is swimming and tells Eve, who is sunbathing under a lamp, to turn off the TV which has reported this as a miracle or fraud. She asks if he is the genuine article. He says if he is, he is not from this world. He says if anyone had perpetrated a fantastic hoax, it would have been him. Lex tells Otis to bring him his robe. Otis says this guy may be just passing through. Lex says he is willing to give the life of Otis to destroy this guy and what he represents.
Pictures of Superman are on the front pages of the city’s newspapers, and White says he wants the name of this phenomenon to go with The Daily Planet like bacon and eggs, death and taxes, politics and corruption. Kent says he does not think he would lend himself to any cheap promotion schemes. White says he will make him a partner if he has to. He wants the inside story on this guy. Lois reads the note “Tonight at eight your place – hopefully – a friend.” White asks the reporters questions about him and says whoever gets an interview with him will have the greatest scoop since God talked to Moses. He tells them to get on the story, and they scatter.
Lois is waiting on her porch at 8:05. Superman flies there and says good evening. He asks if she has plans, and she tells him not to fly away. He says there must be a lot of questions that people would like answered. She agrees and lights a cigarette. He says she should not smoke but sees that she does not have lung cancer yet. She offers him wine, but he says he never drinks when he flies. They sit down. He says he is not married and does not have a girlfriend; but if he did, she would be the first to know. He says he is six foot four and weighs about 225. She asks if his body functions are normal. He says he eats if he is hungry. He says he can see through things and is impervious to pain so far. She asks what color underwear she has on; but she is standing behind a planter, and he says he cannot see through lead. She walks a few steps, and he says pink. She walks back to the planter, and he apologizes for embarrassing her. She asks where he is from, and he says he is from another galaxy and the planet Krypton. He spells it for her, and she asks if he likes pink. He says he does. They look in each other’s eyes, and she asks why he is here. He says he is here to fight for truth, justice, and the American way. She says he will be fighting every elected official in this country. She does not believe this, and he says he never lies. She asks how fast he can fly, and he says he never timed himself. He suggests they find out and asks her to take a ride with him. She asks if she will fly, and he says he will handle the flying if that is okay. She asks if he is serious, and he asks if she wants to go. She says she will get a sweater, but he says she will be warm enough and takes her hand. She says that Clark said that he is just the figment of someone’s imagination like Peter Pan. He asks if Clark is her boyfriend, and she says he is nothing. He says Peter Pan flew with children in a fairy tale. He gets behind her and lifts her off the ground. He flies over the city as she holds on to him. They go around the Statue of Liberty. They fly above the clouds, and he holds one hand. She loses his grasp and falls, screaming. He rescues her, and they embrace. She asks if he can read her mind. They fly on, and he hears her thoughts. She does not know who he is and calls him a friend from another star. She is holding hands with a god while quivering like a little girl. He can see through her. She wonders why she is all the wonderful things he is. She thinks that if he needs to be loved, she is here and asks him to read her mind. He lands on the roof and puts her down. He says they forgot to time themselves, and he says maybe next time. He asks if she is okay and says goodnight. He flies off. She thinks of the name Superman.
She hears a knock on the door and opens the door. Kent comes in and asks if she did not hear him knocking. He says they had a date tonight and asks if she has been drinking. She says no. He suggests they push off, and she goes to get a coat. He stands up taller and takes off his glasses. He says he has to tell her something. When she comes back, he puts his glasses on and acts timidly again.
Otis and Eve are reading the newspaper that has Lois Lane’s exclusive interview with Superman on the front page. Lex is trying to figure out where Krypton is and says it is amazing. Eve says he is too good to be true. Lex says some people read War and Peace and think it is an adventure story; others can read a chewing gum wrapper and see the secrets of the universe. She questions that. Lex uses a ladder to find a book, and Otis moves the ladder by mistake. Lex complains, and Otis brings it back. Lex says Krypton exploded in 1948, and it took him three years in a rocket ship to get to Earth. Lex tells them to think and use deductive reasoning. Lex says some of the particles from Krypton may have reached the Earth, and Eve suggests meteorites. Lex rips out a page and tosses it to Otis who hands it to Eve. She sees that a meteorite landed in Addis Adaba. Lex explains that the radioactivity to anyone from Krypton makes this substance lethal. They realize that kryptonite can kill him. Lex asks if they feel a shudder of electricity being in the same room with him. Eve says not like the shudder he will feel when Superman sees him coming with that rock from miles away. Lex says the Lord gave them eyes, but they cannot see nor can Superman see through lead. He asks if they have any questions, and they ask about Addis Adaba.
A missile convoy is traveling on a highway. By the highway Lex uses remote control and causes a car to have an accident. The convoy comes to a halt by the wrecked car and a blonde woman lying on the road. The soldiers get out to see what happened.
Otis comes out of the forest and climbs up by the missile.
The major (Larry Hagman) tells them to get an ambulance and not hold up the convoy. A soldier says she is having trouble breathing, and the major suggests a vigorous chest massage and mouth to mouth resuscitation. He says he will do it himself and orders his men to gather around and turn away.
Otis is trying to do something to the electronics on the missile and has numbers written on his arm.
The ambulance arrives, and Lex gets out and asks if somebody is hurt.
Otis is running away with part of the missile and gets in the ambulance that Lex is driving. Lex tells Otis that he does not trust him and asks what he did. Otis says he set the first directional vector to 38, the second to 67, and the third one to 117. Lex asks about the fourth one and says the third one should be 11 and the fourth one 7. Otis says his arm was not long enough. Lex gets angry at Otis and goes after him while Eve tries to control the ambulance.
Lex is driving a truck pulling a house and stops at the edge of a narrow bridge. He tells Otis, who has a black eye, to get it right this time. The convoy has to stop on the bridge, and the officer tells them to back up the truck. While Lex and Otis are talking to them, Eve climbs on the bridge and up to the missile.
Olsen is by a massive dam and takes a photo of a red car which Lois is driving as she asks an Indian chief why he would sell out to a faceless person he never met. He points to the road. He says that for the high price he offered for this worthless piece of desert he hopes it is Custer. She laughs and shuts off the tape recorder.
Kent comes into the office and asks if anyone has seen Lois. A man tells him that White wants to see him. Kent goes into White’s office, and he says Lois is out west looking into a land fraud deal. White says that Olsen is on his first assignment, and some clown is buying up worthless desert at high prices. Kent says that does not make sense. White shows him a report from Addis Adaba where some people broke into a museum at night, killed two people, and then stole only a meteorite. Kent says he can’t understand violence in any form. White says he knows that, and that is why he wants to talk to him. White says he has been in the news business for forty years and has worked hard and used what Kent lacks which is aggression and confidence. He tells him to take charge and let people know who he is. Suddenly Kent hears a loud whistle heard by dogs. Lex tells him that only Superman can hear this frequency. He says that in five minutes a poisonous compound will be released in the air ducts of the city, killing half the population. While White is talking about finding out about Superman, Kent sneaks out. Lex says he was wondering how he would meet Superman and that by a disaster he knew he could not resist the chance to participate. Kent opens a window and jumps out.
While falling Kent changes to Superman and flies in the city. He hears Lex’s voice and lands on a street. He tells people to stand back and drills into the ground. Otis says he is coming. Superman breaks down the door and walks in. Lex says his attorney will contact him about the damage to the door. Superman asks Luthor where the gas pellets are, and Lex says somewhere in the back of his mind and laughs. Superman asks if a warped brain like his gets its kicks by plotting the death of innocent people. Lex says no, but by causing the death of innocent people.
Two missiles are launched at the same time.
Lex explains that he is heavy into real estate, and the idea is to buy low and sell high. He shows a map on the floor and points to California. Superman says he does not need a geography lesson. Lex asks if he knows the San Andreas Fault, and Superman explains it is where earthquakes occur. Lex says the real estate on the west side of it is very valuable from San Diego and Los Angeles to San Francisco. The real estate on the east side is worthless desert which he now owns. He says a 500-megaton bomb at the right point would destroy much of California. Superman says millions of innocent people would be killed as the west coast of California fell into the sea. Otis puts down a new map showing Lex’s west coast. Lex objects to Otisburg, and Otis agrees to erase it. Superman says that Lex is a twisted dreamer. He says his plan could not possibly work. Lex admits there are problems adjusting the trajectory of the missile to find the stress point on the fault line. He says it is now target zero and hits the map, shattering it.
Lois is driving the red car, and Olsen is by the dam.
The military controlling the missile test notice a variance from the course. They try to abort the mission, but it does not work. The two missiles are moving fast.
Superman tells Lex the rest is a sick fantasy, but Lex says it is history because it is happening right now. He calls in Eve, and she says the two rockets flew over the Grand Canyon. Lex says even Superman could not stop both of them, but he can stop them with his detonator. Superman picks up Lex and asks where the detonator is. He looks around and then asks if he thought he could hide it from him in a lead box. Lex warns him not to touch it. Superman opens the box and sees a green, shining metal. Lex says it is kryptonite from his home town. Lex picks it up and says he was great in his day; but when it came time to cash in his chips, this diseased maniac would be his banker. Superman backs away, and Lex puts the chain around his neck. Superman says he does not care where the other missile is headed, and Lex says it is going to Hackensack, New Jersey. He pushes Superman in to the pool. Lex says he has to leave him now. They all have their faults, and his is in California. Eve tells Lex that her mother lives in Hackensack. He looks at his watch, shakes his head, and walks away. Lex calls her, but she paces back and forth. Superman is struggling under water trying to remove the chain with the kryptonite. He comes up and calls to Eve and tells her not to let millions of innocent people die. She asks him to promise that he will save her mother first. He promises and goes under again. She jumps in the pool and helps him get to the steps. She is about to remove but kisses him first. She takes the chain off him and throws it away. She asks why she can’t get along with the good guys. He fondles her chin for a moment and then stands up and blasts through the ceiling.
Superman flies quickly.
The military are watching the missiles’ paths, and they notice one is headed east.
Superman chases a missile over the desert. He gets to it and pushes it up.
Lois stops for gas.
Superman pushes the missile into outer space.
Olsen from the dam sees an explosion in the desert.
Superman comes back to the San Andreas Fault that is causing earthquakes. Lois has trouble driving on the road as telephone poles fall on the road. The Golden Gate Bridge is moving and breaking. Cars have collisions.
Superman dives into the molten earth and moves the San Andreas Fault back together. Then he flies and patches a railway so that a passenger train can move across a break.
Olsen sees that the dam is breaking. Superman arrives and stops the electrical fires. Olsen is about to fall when Superman rescues him. Water breaks through the dam. Superman puts Olsen down.
Lois has run out of gas on a road that is affected by the earthquake. The car falls into the crack and is being buried.
The dam has broken and is flooding. Superman pushes a huge boulder over, and he uses other rocks to block the flooding.
Lois is being buried in the car, and Superman flies there. He sees the car and pulls it out. He pulls off the door and touches the face of Lois who is unconscious. He picks her up and slowly kisses her lips and puts her down on the ground. He screams in agony and flies high in the sky. He hears voices telling him that it is forbidden for him to interfere with human history and that he is here for a reason. He flies quickly around the Earth many times, causing time to reverse itself so that the dam is no longer broken, and the red car is still on the road. Lois is trying to start it, and she turns and sees him. He says it is dead. She says men are never around when you want them. She tells him what happened to her on the road while he was flying around. He says he is sorry about that, but he was busy for a while. She says it is all right. They are about to kiss when Olsen thanks Superman and runs over to them. She puts her hand over Olsen’s mouth, and Superman says he has something to do. He says he will see them later and flies off. Olsen says that it is too bad Kent wasn’t here to see all this. Lois says he is never around when Superman is there. She gets a silly idea. Olsen says he really cares about her, and she asks if he means Kent; but he looks up in the sky. She says Superman cares about everybody.
At night Superman brings Lex Luthor and Otis to a prison yard and tells the warden to take care of them. Lex says he is the great criminal mind and serves notices on them. Guards take them away. The warden tells Superman that this country is safe again because of him. Superman tells him not to thank him because they are all part of the same team. He says good night and flies off into space above the Earth’s atmosphere.
This fantasy provides wish fulfillment that is not limited by the laws of nature and human frailty as a hero miraculously saves people and captures criminals. He opposes violence and works to prevent it so that justice can work itself out. In a way the story reflects the extraordinary power and influence of America during and after World War II. The story helps people feel good about doing the right thing while criminals are portrayed as arrogant and incompetent failures.