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Note: For this list only the creators of the characters first appearances are listed. As with all comic book characters, Superman and his supporting cast have had several reinventions and different contributions from different writers. Theses include different iterations in different mediums that all have added different concepts to the overall mythology of the characters.
Obviously theirs, Clark Jerome Kent/Superman/Kal-El of Krypton, called Clark Kent on screen. He made his first appearance in the comic story "Superman, Champion of the Oppressed" from Action Comics #1 (June 1938) by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster. Fun fact his middle name Jerome is named after writer Jerry Siegel's full forename.
Lois Joanne Lane, called just Lois Lane on screen. She made his first appearance in the comic story "Superman, Champion of the Oppressed" from Action Comics #1 (June 1938) by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster. Fun fact her middle name Joanne is named after Joanne Siegel wife of Jerry Siegel who the two met when she modelled for artist's Joe Shuster's drawing for the characters of Lois herself.
Alexander Joseph "Lex" Luthor, called Lex Luthor on screen. He made his first appearance in the comic story "Superman: "Europe at War (Part II)" from Action Comics #23 (April 1940) by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, as a character originally called Alexei Luthor. Fun fact his middle name Joseph is named after artist Joe Shuster's full forename.
Perry White, who was created for the radio serial The Adventures of Superman, voiced by actor Julian Noa. He appeared in the second episode, "Clark Kent, Reporter", which aired on February 14, 1940. He transitioned into the comic books later that year, appearing in the comic story "The Three Kingpins of Crime" from Superman #7 (November 1940). He was created by radio writer George Putnam Ludlam.
James Bartholomew "Jimmy" Olsen, who first appeared as an unnamed "office boy" with a bow tie in a brief appearance in the comic story "Superman's Phony Manager" from Action Comics #6 (November 1938). Whilst the character was first introduced with his name Jimmy Olsen in the radio show The Adventures of Superman on April 15, 1940 in the episode "Donelli's Protection Racket", mainly "so the Man of Steel would have someone to talk to". With Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster creating and drawing the physical appearance and giving him a bigger personality, the character moved from the radio show back into the comics in 1941, first appearing as a named character in the story "Superman versus The Archer" in Superman #13 (November-December 1941). But after a handful of appearances, he disappeared again. In late 1953, Jack Larson played the character on the Adventures of Superman television show where he was referred to as "Jim Olsen", the character was revived in the Superman comics after a 10-year absence and then given his own title.
All other characters were created by the films writers. Edit
1. Nuclear Man takes Lacy into space where there is no air, and yet she stays very much alive the whole time. Possibly explained by the supers projecting an atmospheric shield around themselves. Remember this was 1987 and the script writers clearly weren't comic book geeks or wholly knowledgeable about comic book physics.
2. Numerous scenes of Superman and Nuclear Man, while in space, very clearly breathing and/or talking. They may be able to fly and hold their breath for a long time, but this doesn't mean they could possibly talk or breathe in the vacuum of space. We also see Superman's cape blowing in the wind while he's in space a number of times.
3. Metropolis is supposed to be its own fictional city somewhere on the East Coast; however, all the views shown clearly reveal it to be New York (The Statue of Liberty, which appears in the first film as well; Empire State Building; etc.). This is can be explained by the fact that in the DC Universe, Metropolis is often depicted as being analogous to New York City.
4. Superman may be extremely strong, but if he were to exert the amount of force needed to push a large body like the moon, such a localized amount of force on the surface could not possibly cause it as a whole to move. It would in fact cause a localized dispersal of material on the surface and cause him to "burrow" down under the surface. (For example, think what would happen if you tried to move a car by pushing it with a thin metal rod). Also, the moon being moved so rapidly all of a sudden would have a very adverse effect on the Earth in regard to the ocean's tides. Not really a plot hole so much as an ignorance of real world physics for the sake of a larger-than-life movie. Note that Superman breaks the laws of physics himself simply by existing.
5. How exactly was Superman able to repair the damage done to the Great Wall? He doesn't normally have telekinetic powers, and even if he did, would he able to put back together the jagged, uneven, broken pieces of stone into the nicely carved bricks they used to be? A matter of convenience here. The writers wanted to show him being the good guy so they arbitrarily gave him telekinetic powers to counter the destruction Nuclear Man did.
6. Whenever Superman takes someone such as Lois flying, why are they not affected by the extremes in atmosphere? (It's very cold with much lower levels of oxygen high up in the air). Also, they often end up flying exactly parallel to him even though hes only hanging onto their hand. Shouldn't they be dangling below or behind him? Again, this is simply writers ignoring physics for the sake of "good visuals".
7. An object as large as a building (i.e. the Statue of Liberty carried around by Nuclear Man and later Superman) could not be held up horizontally by only one small area a few feet wide on one of its ends. Such a huge amount of weight throughout the length of the building would cause too much stress along the unsupported areas and cause it to break apart. See above explanations. Edit
An explanation was given in the script, though this motivation never made it into the film:
371 THE NUCLEAR MAN
His genetic memory kicks in. This is the woman he fell in love with at the disco. His entire demeanor changes as bold desire courses through him. Again, his eyes glow red. He reaches out gently to touch Lacy Warfield's ([link]nm0000446[/link]) photo. The paper flares into flames. Edit
Despite the fact that 40 minutes of footage were cut out before the movie was released, there still exist two different versions of the movie. In the US version, two scenes were not shown that are included on the German VHS release. However, all later DVD and Blu-ray releases used the shorter US Master, thus the two scenes are missing as well. According to IMDB the longer version is a special TV version which was made for American TV channels. This wouldn't be an unusual thing, since several movies had a longer TV version so that the channels could air more commercials. The two scenes that used to be in the German version are also included in the deleted scenes section of the DVD. Edit