COTC: Curious about Kryptonite

Dear Capes on the Couch,

My girlfriend of 3 years is constantly nagging me to spend more time with her.  I work a lot of overtime hours and when I get home at night, I’m pretty tired and just want to crack open a beer and watch ESPN.  She expects me to take her out to dinner or dancing, neither of which I have the interest or energy to do.  My friends all think she’s being too demanding and suggest that I dump her and find someone with more similar tastes as my own. 

Having said all that, my question to you is, what’s the deal with all the different kinds of Kryptonite?  I mean, exactly how many colors of it actually exist in the DC Universe and what are all their different effects on ol’ Supes?


Curious about Kryptonite.


Dear, Curious.

The deal with all the different kryptonites is the same deal humans have with Earth found uranium and other heavy metals found deep underground… they can kill you. The high energy unstable atomic structures that produces unhealthy radioactivity we find in various forms on Earth have subtle negative physiological side effects for each type found. For Supes this is the same effect, but as his exposure to our sun gave him “Super” benefits so too did it give the Krypton heavy elements “Super” effects. As for the types of Kryptonites as explained in the silver age there are Green, Red, Gold, Blue, White and Jeweled. 

Green: is of course the most common and well known. In superpowered Kryptonians, causes immediate physical pain and debilitation, reduces their powers, and kills within hours.

Red: No two chunks of red kryptonite have the same effect. Effects are typically depicted to last for 24-48 hours, after which the Kryptonian in question is always immune to that specific chunk of red kryptonite. Superman has suffered the following random effects upon exposure to various pieces of red kryptonite: being turned into a dragon, a non-powered giant, a dwarf, an ant-headed humanoid, a lunatic, and an amnesiac; being made unable to see anything colored green; growing incredibly long hair, nails, and beard; being rendered totally powerless; growing fat; gaining the ability to read thoughts; growing a third eye in the back of his head; losing his invulnerability along the left side of his body; being split into an evil Superman and a good Clark Kent; being split into young and old forms (Superboy and Superman); being rendered unable to speak or write anything but Kryptonese… to name a few.

Gold: Permanently removes superpowers from Kryptonians, by destroying the ability of Kryptonian cells to process solar energy. For obvious reasons, this variety is little-used in Superman stories.

Blue: Blue kryptonite is the Bizarro analogue to green kryptonite. Using Bizarro logic, this, in general, hurts Bizarros while having beneficial effects on ordinary Kryptonians.

White: Kills all plant life, whether Kryptonian or not. Induces decay immediately upon exposure, with a range of about 25 yards.

Jewel: Jewel Kryptonite amplifies the psychic powers of Phantom Zone residents, allowing them to project illusions into the “real world” or perform mind control. It was made from what was left of a mountain range on Krypton called the Jewel Mountains (it is shown in one comic story to be used by Zod and Ursa outside the Zone in the “real” world as well, to blow up the piece they had and transport themselves back to the Phantom Zone. So it is probable that any Kryptonian can make use of Jewel Kryptonite as long as they are in close proximity to it.)

Curent Comic Continuity has been reintroduced to the multi colored Kryponites recently and has only start to explore any new effects and the introduction to Black Kryptonite. Black Kryptonite can be created by super-heating Green Kryptonite. It later made its first appearance in a DC comic in September 2005’s Supergirl #2, where it apparently possessed the ability to split a person or a person’s personality into two separate entities. In Supergirl #3, Luthor used Black Kryptonite on Supergirl, which caused her to split into two separate people, one wearing Supergirl’s traditional costume, and another wearing a black-and-white version. Her black-and-white costume is similar to the one that Superman was wearing when he returned from the dead. Luthor noted that he was given the Black Kryptonite by the self-proclaimed god Darkseid, who may have been responsible for its creation (a synthesized version of Kryptonite in the feature film Superman III had similar effects on Superman, creating an evil Superman.) In All-Star Superman, which takes place outside of DC Universe continuity, Black Kryptonite makes Superman evil, almost as if he is transforming into Bizarro Superman.

And to help with the girlfriend situation… I don’t know… Try to compromise and open lines of communication?


Capes on the Couch 


One Response

  1. Fantastic. I’ve got questions and this is the place to ask them. You’ll be getting my questions soon. I hope you can answer them so I can finally sleep at night.

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