Kryptonite

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Kryptonite
The character Superman suffering from Kryptonite poisoning courtesy of villains Metallo and Titano.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceRadio:
The Adventures of Superman
(June 1943)
Comics:
Superman #61
(Nov. 1949)
In story information
TypeElement
Element of stories featuringSuperman
Superboy
 
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This article is about Kryptonite, the element from the Superman mythos. For other uses, see Kryptonite (disambiguation).
Kryptonite
The character Superman suffering from Kryptonite poisoning courtesy of villains Metallo and Titano.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceRadio:
The Adventures of Superman
(June 1943)
Comics:
Superman #61
(Nov. 1949)
In story information
TypeElement
Element of stories featuringSuperman
Superboy

Kryptonite is a fictional material from the Superman mythos: specifically the ore form of a radioactive element from Superman's home planet of Krypton. First mentioned in The Adventures of Superman radio show in June 1943, the material has featured in a variety of forms and colors (each with its own effect) in DC Comics publications and other merchandise, including feature films, television series, and novelty items such as toys and trading card sets.

The established premise is that Superman and other Kryptonian characters are susceptible to its radiation, which created usage of the term in popular culture: Kryptonite being a reference to an individual's perceived weakness, irrespective of its nature.[1] To commemorate the 70th anniversary of Superman, the University of Leicester participated in a public relations exercise and presented the Geological Society with "mock kryptonite", termed krypton difluoride.[2]

Origin[edit]

An unpublished 1940 story "The K-Metal from Krypton", by Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel featured a prototype version of kryptonite, being a mineral from the planet Krypton that drained Superman of his strength whilst giving humans superhuman powers.[3]

"Kryptonite" proper was introduced in the story arc "The Meteor from Krypton" in June 1943 on the Superman radio series. In 1949 kryptonite was incorporated into the comic mythos with issue #61 of Superman. In August 1993 pioneering female editor Dorothy Woolfolk stated in an interview with Florida newspaper Today that she had found Superman's invulnerability dull, and that DC's flagship hero might be more interesting with an Achilles' heel such as adverse reactions to a fragment of his home planet.[4]

Kryptonite gradually appeared more frequently, causing science fiction writer Larry Niven to theorize in tongue-in-cheek fashion that Krypton was in fact a Dyson sphere, and that this was the underlying reason for so much of the mineral finding its way to Earth courtesy of meteor showers.[5] In an effort to reduce the use of kryptonite in storylines, all known forms on Earth were transmuted into "k-iron" in a 1971 story arc[6] titled "The Sandman Saga".[7]

Forms of Kryptonite[edit]

Various forms of the fictional mineral have been created in the Superman publications:

GreenOriginally red in color, the mineral debuted in Superman #61 (June 1943) and did not adopt its characteristic green hue until Action Comics #161 (Aug. 1951). Green Kryptonite weakens Superman and other Kryptonians. The character has been shown to become immune to the effects of green Kryptonite due to either repeated non-fatal exposure,[8] continuous long-term absorption of solar radiation,[9] or extremely high short-term exposure to the sun.[10]
RedDebuted in Adventure Comics #252 (Sept. 1958). Originally just weakened Superman, but to a greater degree. Later caused bizarre behaviour and transformations.
Anti-KryptoniteDebuted in Action Comics #252 (May 1959). Harmless to Kryptonians, but has the same effect as the green variety on normal humans. The power source for one version of the character Ultraman, Superman's evil counterpart.[11]
X-KryptoniteDebuted in Action Comics #261 (Jan. 1960). Created by the character Supergirl in an unsuccessful attempt to find an antidote to green kryptonite. Harmless to Kryptonians, the mineral gives normal lifeforms superhuman abilities, as in the case of Supergirl's pet cat Streaky. Revised in Superman Family #203 (Oct. 1980) to have the same effect as the green variety on kryptonians.
BlueDebuted in Superman #140 (Oct. 1960). Affects the character Bizarro in the same way the green variety of kryptonite affects Superman.
WhiteDebuted in Adventure Comics #279 (Dec. 1960). Kills all plant life, from any world.
Red-GreenDebuted in Action Comics #275 (April 1961). An alloy created by the villainous character Brainiac, it caused Superman to mutate, temporarily growing a third eye in the back of his head.
GoldDebuted in Adventure Comics #299 (Aug. 1962). Kryptonite affected by atomic radiation, and capable of permanently removing a Kryptonian's ability to process yellow sunlight, which in turn nullifies all superhuman abilities.
Red-Green-Blue-GoldDebuted in Superman #162 (July 1963). An imaginary story in which Superman combines the minerals to power a device to boost his intelligence. An explosion causes a mishap and the character is split into two separate beings ("Superman-Blue and "Superman-Red"), both of whom possess enhanced intelligence.
SilverDebuted in Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #70 (July 1963). Revealed by Jimmy Olsen to be a hoax. In Superman/ Batman #49 (Aug. 2008), silver kryptonite was re-introduced: on this occasion shown to be authentic as it causes Kryptonians to suffer from delusions.
JewelDebuted in Action Comics #310 (March 1964). Fragments of Krypton's Jewel Mountains. Amplifies the psychic powers of the criminals imprisoned in the Phantom Zone, allowing the characters to project illusions or perform mind control.
Bizarro RedDebuted in Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #80 (Oct. 1964). Affects humans the same manner that red Kryptonite affects Kryptonians.
Red-GoldDebuted in Superman #178 (July 1965). Temporarily deprives Kryptonians of their memories.
Magno-KryptoniteDebuted in Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #92 (April 1966). Artificially created by the villain Mr. Nero, the mineral is magnetically attracted to all substances originally from Krypton.
Red-Green-GoldDebuted in Superman #192 (Jan. 1967). An imaginary story in which the alloy permanently removes the character's abilities and memories of ever having been Superman.
SlowDebuted in The Brave and the Bold #175 (June 1981). A modified variety of green Kryptonite produced by supervillan Metallo that affects humans in a manner similar to the green mineral.
BlackDebuted in Supergirl #2 (vol. 5, Oct. 2005). Can split a Kryptonian into two separate entities: one good and the other evil.
OrangeDebuted in Krypto the Superdog #4 (Feb. 2007). Gives super abilities to any animal that comes into contact with it for 24 hours.
Kryptonite-XDebuted in The Adventures of Superman #511 (April 1994). A one-time fluke, Kryptonite-X was created when the character the Eradicator filtered a harmful barrage of kryptonite discharged by the villain Cyborg Superman at Superman. The result was actually beneficial: "supercharging" the character and restoring his ability to process solar radiation.
PinkDebuted in Supergirl vol. 4 #79 (April 2003). An alternate universe story, the mineral apparently turns Kryptonians into homosexuals.
PeriwinkleDebuted in Superman Family Adventures #9 (March 2013). A non-canon story, exposure causes Kryptonians to lose all inhibitions.
Fictitious characters Superman and Jimmy Olsen discuss the mineral kryptonite, with the jewel variant making its debut in Action Comics #310 (March 1964).
Art by Curt Swan.

Other varieties of the mineral have appeared but have been revealed to be hoaxes, such as yellow (Action Comics #277, June 1961); "kryptonite Plus" (Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #126 Jan. 1970) and "blood" (52 #13, Aug. 2006).

In other media[edit]

Serials[edit]

Columbia Pictures produced two 15-part radio serials that used kryptonite as a plot device: Superman (1948) and Atom Man vs. Superman (1950).

Films[edit]

Television[edit]

Animated series[edit]

Video Games[edit]

Music[edit]

Songs:

References[edit]

  1. ^ "TvTropes". TvTropes. Retrieved 2010-09-17. 
  2. ^ Barbara Whiteman (February 2003). "The Man of Steel Carries Kryptonite to Piccadilly" (Press release). Le.ac.uk. Retrieved July 8, 2010. 
  3. ^ Jones, Gerard. Men Of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book, 2004, pg. 181-183, ISBN 0-465-03656-2
  4. ^ Tippens, Norman. "Dorothy Woolfolk, Superman Editor", Daily Press (Hampton, Virginia), December 6, 2000. WebCitation archive.: As related by Tippens, who notes, "although there is no definitive record".
  5. ^ Niven, Larry. "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex," All the Myriad Ways (Ballantine Books, 1971).
  6. ^ Superman #233-235 (Jan. - March), #237-238 (May - June), #240 -242 (July - Sept.)
  7. ^ McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1970s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 144. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. "New editor Julius Schwartz, new scripter Denny O'Neil, and regular artist Curt Swan removed the Man of Steel's greatest weakness from the face of the Earth." 
  8. ^ Superboy #58, July 1957
  9. ^ Kingdom Come #1 - 4 (May - Aug. 1996)
  10. ^ All-Star Superman #1 (Jan, 2006), DC Comics
  11. ^ JLA:Earth 2 (Sep. 2000).
  12. ^ http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/3537/3-Doors-Down-The-Better-Life/
  13. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/big-boi-presentsgot-purp-vol-2-mw0000174128

External links[edit]