The Kryptonian scientist Jor-El is collecting data from an ice field on the planet Krypton.
After obtaining the samples he needs, Jor-El escapes an earthquake and an attack from a Kryptonian creature.
Jor-El is unable to convince Krypton’s rulers of the planet’s impending doom, and his recommendation to transport all Kryptonians to the Phantom Zone to escape the explosion proves unpopular.
When Jor-El confronts Brainiac on the matter, he notices that it is downloading all the data it has collected about Krypton, preparing to flee with it into space.
Brainiac reveals that he was aware of Krypton’s mounting pressure long before Jor-El did, but decided not to inform the populace, concluding that saving all the information about the Kryptonian civilization would be just as good as saving the civilization itself.
If Brainiac were to be honest, the Kryptonian government would frantically put it to work on an evacuation plan, preventing it from downloading the data in time.
Jor-El considers opening fire on the supercomputer, but decides against it as that could possibly wipe out all memories of Krypton.
Brainiac orders the Kryptonian police to arrest Jor-El, but he manages to evade them for the time being.
Once home, he and his wife Lara send their only son, Kal-El, into space moments before the planet explodes, all but wiping out the Kryptonian race. Kal-El’s spaceship crash-lands on the faraway planet Earth, and he is found by Jonathan and Martha Kent.
Martha decides to adopt the baby boy despite Jonathan’s protests, and names him Clark.
Jumping forward to Clark’s years in high school, he discovers that he has extraordinary speed, strength, and can even see through walls.
He uses his super powers to rescue a family in a gas station accident, and his girlfriend Lana Lang is surprised that he emerged unscathed.
Clark soon learns he also has heat vision, and after demonstrating to Jonathan that he can melt metal with his eyes, he expresses concern about how abnormal he is.