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View Full Version : Why does Kryptonite Affect Superman?



Holy_Knight
2006-06-24, 04:23 AM
Is there an actual explanation in the comics of why Superman is weakened by Kryptonite? I've always figured it must have something to do with his not having built up what would otherwise be a natural immunity to something in the composition of Krypton, but is there an official reason?

Jack Mann
2006-06-24, 04:32 AM
As I recall, the radiation was caused by the destruction of Krypton. If he went back to Krypton before it exploded, he'd be fine, though powerless under the red sun.

Dhavaer
2006-06-24, 04:55 AM
The kryptonite energy pushes the yellow sun energy out of his cells, or something like that.

Ing
2006-06-24, 01:31 PM
because he'd be too powerful without something to weaken him occasionaly. the Kyrtonite is actually crystalized Karma balacing out the otherwise Deus Ex Machina character


and every criminal who graduates from Lord Reclus's school of villanry gets a wear house full of it and a lifetime acess to a factory that can craft it into any shape or construct.

The_Kobold_Hero
2006-06-24, 04:50 PM
Didn't you know?

"Bits of Chuck Norris' DNA was found to be contained in Kryptonite. Thats how it hurts Superman."

DMaster
2006-06-24, 05:08 PM
Enough of friggin' Chuck Norris! *I get it, he's cool, but everywhere I go, that's all anyone blabs about! *ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

....

Scuse. *I tend to get snappish when surrounded by people who parrot the same old statements endlessly. *

Steward
2006-06-24, 06:08 PM
Enough of friggin' Chuck Norris! I get it, he's cool,

That is not true.

As to the kryptonite question:


The titanic interstellar explosion that destroyed Krypton transformed the hurtling remnants of the shattered planet into kryptonite, a glowing, green, radioactive substance which is toxic - and potentially fatal - to all Kryptonian survivors. "When Krypton exploded," explains Superman #61, "all the atomic elements fused to become one deadly compound! That compound gives off rays which apparently can only affect Kryptonites!"

From a Superman encyclopedia. (http://theages.superman.ws/Encyclopaedia/krypton.php)

Also, Wikipedia's article on Kryptonite concurs with what Daever said.


Kryptonite's radioactivity possibly interferes with this semi-photosynthetic process, driving the energy out of his cells in a painful fashion.

And, of course, Ing is right.

Midnight Son
2006-06-24, 07:32 PM
The real question is, "How did so damn much of it end up on earth?"

Rocks from asteroids and such are so rare that they make diamonds common, but a planet light years away blows up and suddenly you can't walk through a field without stumbling over the stuff. What!? Was it a directed blast? Did someone blow it up with the express purpose of increasing the Earth's mass?

Steward
2006-06-24, 08:10 PM
The real question is, "How did so damn much of it end up on earth?"

Rocks from asteroids and such are so rare that they make diamonds common, but a planet light years away blows up and suddenly you can't walk through a field without stumbling over the stuff. What!? Was it a directed blast? Did someone blow it up with the express purpose of increasing the Earth's mass?

Kryptonite is magically generated by the tiny Plot Contrivactinus star that orbits invisibly over Superman.

Dawnstrider_Moogle
2006-06-24, 08:52 PM
The real question is, "How did so damn much of it end up on earth?"

Rocks from asteroids and such are so rare that they make diamonds common, but a planet light years away blows up and suddenly you can't walk through a field without stumbling over the stuff. What!? Was it a directed blast? Did someone blow it up with the express purpose of increasing the Earth's mass?

It was probably carried in the wake of the spaceship that brought Superman here.

Finwe
2006-06-24, 09:11 PM
Because ships have really big wakes in space ::)

xyzchyx
2006-06-24, 09:25 PM
The real question is, "How did so damn much of it end up on earth?" There was an explanation given, although it was quite some time ago (pre-crisis era) and the answer may no longer be canon.

The story as I remember it was that as the rocket which carried the baby Kal-El entered hyperspace, kryptonite in the vicinity was drawn along with it, being carried by the same warp field that guided the rocket. The rocket came out of hyperspace in our solar system, and so there is a disproportionately large amount of the stuff in our own solar system relative to Earth's distance from the planet.

Now is this story actually anything more than an after-the-fact hand-waving explanation offered by the writers that wanted to satisfy the more scientifically curious readers? Probably not... but if one is going to suspend disbelief enough to enjoy a Superman story anyways, this explanation works as well as any other.

Beleriphon
2006-06-24, 11:22 PM
Because ships have really big wakes in space ::)


Depending on which pseudoscience propulsion system you like to use it produce a very large gravitic wake. So *raspberry* to you then :)

As for why there is so much of the stuff, Lex Luthor found a way to create kryptonite through artificial means. Thus the vast majority of kryptonite is articially created on Earth.

Ing
2006-06-25, 12:08 AM
Kryptonite effects everyone...and everything. just Kyrptonians are more effected and more quickly because their body is just a spongue for radiation. pretty much that's the reason, he soaks up the stuff like no bodies buisness.

Steward
2006-06-25, 12:26 AM
As for why there is so much of the stuff, Lex Luthor found a way to create kryptonite through artificial means.

Lex Luthor accomplished this through the powers of death unlife.

Alchemistmerlin
2006-06-25, 12:41 AM
http://www.howstuffworks.com/ref/kryptonite.htm?cid=rss1

Bookman
2006-06-25, 12:51 AM
http://www.howstuffworks.com/ref/kryptonite.htm?cid=rss1

*jaw drops* THAT. IS. AWESOME!!!!!!

CelestialStick
2006-06-25, 02:20 AM
http://www.howstuffworks.com/ref/kryptonite.htm?cid=rss1
From that link:
Its original purpose was to give voice actor Bud Collyer, who played the role of Superman, a vacation. With Superman incapacitated by kryptonite, another voice actor could supply his incomprehensible moans, filling the role until Collyer returned.

In the Golden Age, Superman hadn't reached the apogee of his powers, which probably came in the Silver Age. The Superman of the first Christopher Reeve movie (1978 ), who could shift tectonic plates, absorb nuclear blasts and turn back time, probably represents the Silver Age Superman best. That Superman had almost no weaknesses and therefore needed kryptonite as a challenge. The earlier Superman, however, just wasn't as powerful, and was thus easier to challenge. I will say, however, that the best challenges have always come from good plots, not from kryptonite or, as after the Silver Age, magic.

In any case, this has been an excellent thread all around--so excellent, in fact, that I'd call it a super thread. ;D

Beleriphon
2006-06-25, 02:32 AM
In any case, this has been an excellent thread all around--so excellent, in fact, that I'd call it a super thread. ;D

Does that mean we need brown kryptonite to use against it should one of the Bat-threads need to defeat this Super-thread if it becomes to powerful?

Ing
2006-06-25, 01:35 PM
that's why i liked the Animated Superman. good mix of lowerpowered Gold superman and they used Kryptonite as a fairly well, it didn't show up all the time and there was often just as much threats without it.

Alchemistmerlin
2006-06-26, 03:57 AM
*jaw drops* THAT. IS. AWESOME!!!!!!


You're Welcome

Zita_G.
2006-06-30, 12:49 AM
cause he's queer and likes shiney metals

Kanashimi
2006-06-30, 10:58 AM
I thought the stuff that Lex made ended up being that "red kryptonite" stuff

Guntarrr
2006-06-30, 07:48 PM
cause he's queer and likes shiney metals


WHOA. No place for that. Really.

TreesOfDeath
2006-06-30, 08:02 PM
The animated Superman was cool. No contrived Kryptonite/ plot power nonsense, they just made Superman fight really powerful foes

CelestialStick
2006-06-30, 08:36 PM
I thought the stuff that Lex made ended up being that "red kryptonite" stuff

I think in the pre-Crisis continuity Luthor did create artificial kryptonite, which was red in color. Each different piece of red krytponite affects Kryptonians differently. One piece might make Superman have trouble controling his superpowers, while another might get rid of all of his inhibitions. The red kryptonite of Lois and Clark worked the same way. Red kyrptonite in Superman III got rid of his inhibitions, and the makers of Smallville followed that storyline. Rather than having a different effect, each piece of red kryptonite merely removed Clark's inhibitions.


The animated Superman was cool. No contrived Kryptonite/ plot power nonsense, they just made Superman fight really powerful foes

They did use kryptonite on a number of occasions in the animated Superman, but not so much that it got pathetic. I'd say though that the Superman of the animated series is a little weak for my taste. I prefer him at the apogee of his powers, as he was in the Silver Age or in the Chris Reeve movies.

There was on episode of Justice League or Justice League unlimited where several of the other superheroes admit that they'd be in real trouble if they didn't have Superman to absorb all the damage while the rest of them figure out how to defeat their enemies. :D

Ing
2006-07-01, 09:00 AM
how does kryptonite work?

from the movie, in a law of inverse proportions (like bakini chain mail)

the more kryptonite there is centered around a common mass, the less effect it has on him

example: entire continant is no problem, a tiny dagger is enough to kill

Skyserpent
2006-07-01, 09:01 AM
Spacey is awesome.

Just throwing it out there.

Zzarchov
2006-07-01, 09:50 AM
Chuck Norris is basically superman, except people make fun of his unbeatable powers.

Ing
2006-07-02, 09:09 AM
goddamn that's annoying...and no longer funny

can we have one thread without mentioning *beep* Noris!?

Tarlonniel
2006-07-02, 10:04 AM
I think in the pre-Crisis continuity Luthor did create artificial kryptonite, which was red in color.

Red kryptonite was, at one point, naturally-occurring. Luthor made artificial green kryptonite - maybe it was red in color (I can't tell since my copy of the strip is in b&w), but it acted like green K. I'm not sure if he ever conquered the real red stuff...

_JM_
2006-07-02, 10:25 PM
The way I think of Kryptonite is like Carbon Monoxide.

In your blood Oxygen and Hemoglobin bond at the blood/lung interface to form Oxyhemoglobin and then the Oxygen is removed from the blood cell by whatever part of the body needs it.

However Carbon Monoxide can also bond with Hemoglobin to form Carboxyhemoglobin. This is something like 20 times as stable, and so 20 times harder to break down, as Oxyhemoglobin so the blood cell remains saturated with that rather than being revered to Hemoglobin ready to pick up more Oxygen.

So if the more you are exposed to Carbon Monoxide the less oxygen your blood can carry and eventually, as people have proved with faulty gas heaters and commiting suicide with exhaust fumes from their cars, you will die.

Eventually though as the blood cells die and are replaced you would recover.

Same principle perhaps with Superman.

His cells take up the Kryptonite radiation rather than the solar and the more he is exposed to it the more of his cells become saturated with this. The more of his cells are saturated with Kryptonite radiation the fewer cells he has absorbing solar radiation and the weaker he becomes.

Eventually though through some process his cells purge the radiation (or possibly this occurs as he sheds skin cells...assuming he does) and he regains slowly his ability to absorb and process the energy of the Sun.

This all applies however to the POST-CRISIS Superman where it takes a while for him to be affected and to recover rather than the PRE-CRISIS Superman where it was much quicker (almost instant)to strip him of his powers and he recovered almost at once.

Ing
2006-07-02, 11:08 PM
yes but how does your CO2 analogy explain the cancer/death causing properties it has on Earth folk?

Kryptonite lasers freaking hurt
Kyrptonite rings cause hands to get amputated
and white Kryptonite makes a great weed killer

Beleriphon
2006-07-03, 12:17 AM
yes but how does your CO2 analogy explain the cancer/death causing properties it has on Earth folk?

Kryptonite lasers freaking hurt
Kyrptonite rings cause hands to get amputated
and white Kryptonite makes a great weed killer


I assume that this is all Post-Crisis? If it is this is very interesting, since I don't recall that being the case with kryptonite.

CelestialStick
2006-07-03, 12:56 AM
Red kryptonite was, at one point, naturally-occurring. Luthor made artificial green kryptonite - maybe it was red in color (I can't tell since my copy of the strip is in b&w), but it acted like green K. I'm not sure if he ever conquered the real red stuff...
You're right. According to the Wikipedia article on kryptonite, green kryptonite that passed through "a mysterious red-hued cloud en route to Earth" turned into red kryptonite. Later Luthor synthsized both green and red varieties, and Batman some red kryptonite.

In post-Crisis continuity, red kryptonite first appeared as an artificial construct of Mr. Mxyzptlk; a second variety was later revealed as a synthetic variant created by Ra's al Ghul, using notes he stole from Batman. The red kryptonite that Batman created is similar to the red kryptonite in the Lois & Clark series in which red kryptonite causes Supeman's powers to become uncontrollable.

In Superman III, if I recall correctly, the weird not-quite-kryptonite that Gus Gorman (Richard Prior) causes his boss Ross Webster (Robert Vaughn), also had a red color, though the Wikipedia article doesn't specify and it's been years since I saw the movie. I do recall that Lois and Clark had some naturally-occurring red kryptonite too, as does the Smallville series.

Beleriphon
2006-07-03, 01:10 AM
In Superman III, if I recall correctly, the weird not-quite-kryptonite that Gus Gorman (Richard Prior) causes his boss Ross Webster (Robert Vaughn), also had a red color, though the Wikipedia article doesn't specify and it's been years since I saw the movie. I do recall that Lois and Clark had some naturally-occurring red kryptonite too, as does the Smallville series.

Yeah, Smallville's red kryptonite goes on the whole removes any of Clark's inhibitions and he just does what ever is his current whim. Its interesting stuff.

Ing
2006-07-03, 12:39 PM
actually a mix of post and pre crisis

it affecting humans though slower is post crisis

Lex luther had to amputate the hand he kept his ring on because it gave him skin cancer...he later died but saved himself through a bit of scientific raping of nature to live on literally in his son's body.

white kryptonite is from pre and it defoliated all land within its radius...which depended on who wrote it but i think could be as big as 10 miiles or as low as 10 feet..kills plant life dead.

a1057soul
2006-07-03, 01:29 PM
Wikipedia y'all... Wikipedia.

I wouldn't trust it for factual content, but for comic info and pop culture it rules.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kryptonite

explains about all the different versions, where they came from, etc, etc, etc...

and from my understanding on it (which the toyed with in the movie) is that Supes is like a solar battery. the yellow sun juices him up, but the green kryptonite interacts with our sun's radiation and within a certain radius it negates the effect.

like a localized EMP sphere around the kryptonite.

By the by, the info on the Death Star on How Stuff Works rocks.

:o)
Dan

Caillach
2006-07-04, 02:53 PM
cause he's queer and likes shiney metals

I'll said it before, and I'll say it again: Superman is not Gay, and you would know this if you knew anything about Superman. Quit being such a F*cking Homophob.
Furthermore if you don't read superman, have never watched any Superman type shows, or have never seen a Superman movie, guess what? It's probably not a good idea to post in a superman topic.

Eriol
2006-07-04, 04:27 PM
My favorite part of that link on how Kryptonite works is the part in post-crisis about Red Kryptonite: Either from a cosmic cloud, or produced scientifically by Batman. Produced scientifically by Batman?? WTF? That just sounds so... random. I keep getting that Simpsons line where Homer's on the monorail in my head when I think about that:

(talking on the radio to each other)
Marge: Homer, I've got somebody here who thinks he can help you.
Homer: Is it Batman?
Marge: No, he's a scientist.
Homer: Batman's a scientist.
Marge: It's not Batman!

That line from the article just reminds me of that so much.

CelestialStick
2006-07-05, 01:14 AM
Yeah, Smallville's red kryptonite goes on the whole removes any of Clark's inhibitions and he just does what ever is his current whim. Its interesting stuff.


The synthetic red kryptonite in Superman III basically made Superman not quite so good. There's a scene where the badguy babe is on the roof top and Superman flies up and she says something about how she doesn't need to be saved. He asks her what makes her think he's there to save her. At another point, he flies to Smallville and puts the moves on a very uncomfortable Lana. When they see a bus accident on the tv, Lana says, "shouldn't you be going?" to which he replies, "don't worry, I always arrive in time" before he snaps out of it and goes to the rescue--a little too late.

In Lois and Clark, as in the comics, apparently, each piece of red kryptonite had a different effect on Superman. One piece, attached to the underside of a psychiatrist's couch, made him not so good, like the red kryptonite earlier in Superman III and later in Smallville.