Kryptonite was an unexpected summation to the mythology of the DC Universe. In fact, it did n’t even get its start on the pages of a comic—instead, it was the 1943 Adventures of Superman radio indicate that first introduced it. That ’ south right, a radio show. sure, it may sound a little foreign to us nowadays, but back then the Superman radio show was barely as—if not more—popular than the comics themselves. Keep in mind that this was the affection of the Golden Age before things like continuity and shared universes were truly established the manner we know and recognize them today, so stories about Superman across all different mediums fair kind of did their own thing, and in that manner, they helped each early grow and deepen. Kryptonite ‘s inclusion in the radio picture was n’t merely for narrative growth. The recording schedule for episodes was a drawn-out and daily work that required a huge clock committedness from the voice actors. By giving stories a way to take Superman out of commission, they were besides giving their actors a gamble to take breaks and days off. It took six years after its radio receiver introduction for Kryptonite to make the leap to the comics and it still was n’t the glowing k rock you ‘re thinking of. It made its on-page introduction in SUPERMAN # 61 in 1949, but this early version was actually red in color—not to be confused with the now well-known Red Kryptonite that would be introduced several years belated. It took another two years for “ standard ” Kryptonite to get its green color, in 1951 with ACTION COMICS # 161. Over prison term, Kryptonite ‘s mythology shifted and changed as it became more and more popular. different variations and colors started being introduced all through the ’ 50s and ’ 60s…and by “ different variations, ” we mean just about every color or combination you could think of.
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There was Red Kryptonite, which caused aggressive and odd behavior, White Kryptonite that killed plants, Blue Kryptonite which affected Bizarro Kryptonians, Red-Gold to remove memories, Black which divide people into good and evil selves, Jewel, Magno, Anti, X…you identify it. If a narrative needed something done, there was a Kryptonite to do it. This was the altitude of the Silver Age where “ fanciful stories ” ( stories that did n’t exist or fit into any specific continuity, normally dreams or delusions by characters ) reigned sovereign, so there was very no specify to what could be done. Kryptonite provided an easy, versatile and about unlimited direction to put the man of Steel and his allies through all sorts of weird and wild ringers. exposure to Pink Kryptonite could switch Superman ’ s sex while Orange Kryptonite could give him the powers and abilities of an animal. scientifically disposed villains could even manufacture their own versions artificially, tailoring it to whatever scheme they had come up with. The earth, it would seem, was actually merely one giant, rock candy Kryptonite buffet. The Silver Age ‘s Kryptonite fever got so out of hand that the dawn of the Bronze Age saw a report where every Kryptonite shard on Earth got sweepingly nullified into useless “ k-iron ” just to keep things from snowballing any further in 1971. Of course, it did n’t just go away for adept. After the multitude k-iron transformation and the giant, continuity shifting events of CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, Kryptonite got another revamp, this time with a initiation that was a piece more firm. In the Post-Crisis DCU, all Kryptonite was derived from one natural form ( the park kind ), and could only be modified or crafted into early variations artificially. This is how it became the limited and highly valuable resource on Earth we know today, and why we do n’t see the early colors and combinations cropping up all that often.
still, if its by is any indication, the electric potential for change and development in Kryptonite ‘s forms, effects and applications are about illimitable. From unexpected origins to disruptive development, this glowing radioactive rock from outer space has proven to be about as endear and omnipresent as adult Blue himself. And after eighty years as the global ‘s most recognizable superhero, it all but figures he ‘d have the populace ‘s most recognizable weakness.
ACTION COMICS #1000 featuring art and stories by Brian Michael Bendis, John Cassaday, Paul Dini, Geoff Johns, Tom King, Jim Lee, Scott Snyder and more is in stores on April 18, 2018.