The 'official' explanation (at least according to Mike Okuda) for Cochrane's aged appearance (the actor James Cromwell is about 55, when Cochrane is only supposed to be 33 at the time of FC) is that hard living, boozing and surviving in an irradiated, polluted, post-Atomic Horror Earth aged him a couple decades. Much in the same way that turn-of-the-last century coal miners in their 20s often looked like they were in their 50s. I'll buy that, because saying that first contact occurred two decades after Data very CLEARLY says (in dialogue) that the date is "April 4, 2063" is just contradictory to the onscreen fact. Cochrane lying about his age is also plausible (the man has an ego), but even after World War 3, I would assume some record of his birth remained somewhere (?). There is just no way that James Cromwell's Cochrane could pass for 33 years old. I think there's an easier way around this: Dr. McCoy, who has a tendency towards exaggeration anyway, was simply mistaken when he said "Zefram Cochrane died 150 years ago" in Metamorphosis. Maybe it was more like 135 years and McCoy just rounded up. As for actor James Cromwell's complete lack of physical similarity to TOS Cochrane Glenn Corbett? Movie magic. All the math of Cochrane's birth (in Memory Alpha and in the Star Trek Encyclopedia) was predicated on his death being EXACTLY 150 years prior to Metamorphosis; what if it wasn't? What if Cochrane were simply born in 2014 or so? Cromwell's Cochrane could easily pass for a man in his late 40s (esp. given the rough environment of post WW3, which surely added a few years to his appearance). That's my head canon anyway, and it doesn't contradict anything we've seen onscreen either. McCoy exaggerates all the time. Easy peasy. After all, he's a doctor, not a historian, dammit!
Same here. The Trek fandom is generally very accepting (aside from a bunch of people no one should go near), and they accepted me right away despite me not exactly being much of an "all of Trek" fan. Of course, it also helps that I'm in love with one of the most beloved characters in the entire franchise. I'm not sure if the acceptance level would still be as high if I had fallen for Neelix, for example. lol I do find Trek fans among co-workers sometimes. My office co-worker only just told me about watching "Liaisons" the day before yesterday (she totally sticks with the show now if she happens to run across it on TV) and I was so delighted that I gave her the full "it's the most progressive TNG episode and here's why" speech.
There's no doubt that Superman's powers evolve as needed, though I think that happens with a lot of heroes. You think a human being can do the things Batman does and survive a week? They have made Batman such a big deal that he can actually beat super powered beings. Everything that you're complaining about with Superman, actually happens with Batman. The time travel, as used in Superman the Movie, was a terrible decision and the weakest part of the movie. Plus it made no sense, unless Superman traveled even further back, and prevented most of the earthquake, if not all of it.