Hank McCoy (Before the Fur)

You know what I always thought was the coolest thing about Superman?

The color thing. With Kryptonite. You know, all the different colors, what each one did. I know the whole thing is a little cheesy. I mean, pieces of Krypton that glow bright colors?

But still, I always thought it was cool that each color was different. It was a great vehicle, I think, for a guy who is probably waaayyy too powerful. Those powers can get out of control- and that’s bad news for everyone.

It’s probably no surprise that the ‘standard’ kryptonite is green. Green like money. It might not always seem this way, but Superman originally had some very politically, subversive stuff going on. I mean, guy from a small town in Kansas with superpowers goes up against fat, capitalist, industrialist Lex Luthor. It’s sort of like Superman is here to ‘save us from ourselves’. If it wasn’t for his good ol’ fashion, country-lovin’ values, we might all become disgusting, selfish bastards who destroy the planet.

Krypton itself (which doesn’t get much screenplay, in any incarnation- movies, comics, whatever…) is sort of a cautionary tale. Kal-El’s civilization aspired to amazing things- but ultimately they were too blinded by progress and ambition to notice that their planet was about the BLOW THE **%$ UP. So you know. Superman comes to Earth to sort of ‘turn us back’ from the road we might be on.

So yeah, green. Green hurts and strips him of his powers. So you know- Superman’s fatal weakness is actually…capitalism.

It was the others that always held my interest. I mean, depending on what incarnation of continuity you’re reading of DC Comics, there is more or less kryptonite around…

Red makes Superman…weird. His powers do strange things, his skin becomes transparent... I always thought it was the most interesting.

Gold, on the other hand, is kind of the ultimate kryptonite, completely robbing a Kryptonian of their ability to synthesize sunlight into power. Actually, the pre-crisis version of Krypto the superdog willingly exposed himself to Gold kryptonite during a mix-up in which he was attempting to defend the pre-crisis Superboy (now Superboy Prime) from the post-crisis Superman (WEIRD, I know!).

Interesting note- Post-Crisis Superman originally came from a universe in which Green WAS the only Kryptonite. So variations like Gold and Red didn’t work on him (whether this is still true is anyone’s guess, what with all the ‘crises’ that have revised the timeline).

The sun is an interesting matter with Superman too. Again- Superman is very environmentally friendly when you stop and think about it. As long as the sun burns bright daylight- Superman has superpowers. Red suns, which are too big to give off such bright daylight (like Rao, the Sun that Krypton orbits- named after the mythological Kryptonian Sun God) don’t do the trick.