Terrorists threaten to destroy Paris with a hydrogen bomb.
French commandos detonate explosive charges on the Eiffel Tower elevator cables in order to capture the bomb in the car, unaware that it has been primed and so inadvertently start the countdown to detonation, as well as the fact that Lois is riding it underneath. Superman arrives to stop the car, and after removing Lois from it, pushes the car through the roof of the tower's shaft and into space to explode harmlessly. Superman is buffeted by the explosion's shockwaves which also destroy the Phantom Zone crystal, releasing the prisoners.
The Phantom Zone prisoners murder three astronauts on the Moon.
Upon arriving on Earth in a rural area, the Prisoners attack various people and police officers as they take control of the town. A young boy attempts to escape to bring help, only to be killed on Zod's orders when Non throws a police car's rotating light at him with super strength.
The US military attacks the Trio but they are no match for them as their weapons explode harmlessly around their invulnerable bodies. Ursa uses super breath to cause a military helicopter to crash.
The trio attack Mount Rushmore, defacing three of the faces into their own likenesses and destroy the Lincoln face.
The trio attack the White House. A heavy military guard attacks the trio to keep them from the Oval Office, but their weapons are useless against them. Lex Luthor attempts to engage his hand with Ursa's, only for her to start crushing his fingers.
Attempting to find Superman, the trio invade the Daily Planet offices, causing considerable damage and knocking out Perry White. l:ois Lane swings a punch at Ursa's face, only to end up clutching her hand and crying out in pain. Superman, newly repowered, arrives to challenge Zod and the Kryptonians engage in an extremely destructive battle in which the trio threaten civilians to gain the upper hand. At one point, Superman appears to have been killed when the trio throw a city bus loaded with people at him. At that point, an armed mob attempts to attack the trio but they use their combined superbreath to literally blow them all away. At this, Superman reemerges and attempts to thwart the attack, but decides to withdraw to lure the trio to his Fortress where he can fight them without endangering civilians.
The trio follow Superman to his Fortress of Solitude where Superman uses a variety of weapons and illusions to fight the invaders. When they threaten to kill Lois unless he surrenders, Superman tricks Luthor into revealing his depowering chamber. When Superman is forced to enter it and use it, he appears to have lost his powers but when Zod makes him kneel and take his hand in an act of contrition, Superman reveals that he in fact had depowered the trio instead by crushing Zod's hand and throwing him into a reveen , followed by Non trying to flying and falling into it while Lois punches Ursa into it as well. All are apparently killed, although there is a cut scene that shows they are alive and being led away under arrest by the Arctic Patrol.