Superman Allergic to Kryptonite

Filed under: — suzero on February 15th, 2003 05:02:31 pm

kryptonite.pngDespite being an avid Superman fan, I have never understood why he is allergic to Kryptonite if it is part of his home planet. Is he allergic to home? If anyone knows the theory behind this, please do enlighten me 🙂

author picture suzero (90 posts)
Suzanna Noort - TV/video director/editor and multimedia something. Amsterdam, Netherlands


  • Superman is not allergic to kryptonite!
    As I understand the theory, and you must remember, this is after all, comic book logic…
    He has super powers because the gravity on Krypton, was like a zillion times more than what we experience here on earth. I remember seeing one of those informative animated science films in school that Disney produced in the 60’s and 70’s (Donald Duck in Mathematic land being my personal favorite of the series) They explained that if identical twins grow up apart; one grows up in a place that’s below sea level and the other another person high up in the mountains, if we took them to a point at sea level the one who grew up below sea level will beat the other one in an arm wrestling match. why? because the stronger one moves to a location where gravity is experienced at a lesser level than the norm they grew up with where as the other one moves to a location where the experience of gravity is greater than what he was use to.
    Are you with me so far? Hey, ask a stupid question, expect a long and drawn out stupid explanation.
    Anyway, so according to the Superman Comic Science (SCS) superman is strong because genetically his people have evolved to having this incredibly strong muscle fiber. So he’s super strong everywhere except on Krypton, where he would just be average with the extreme gravity holding everyone back to relative regular strength.
    Exposure to krypton makes him weak because the chunk of planet still holds residual gravitational forces which we are expected to take the leap of faith and accept have become even heavier by their reaction to the hugely weaker gravity here on earth.
    Yeah, in real science none of this holds water (that’s a little gravity joke by the way for popular science geeks like myself) but don’t forget IT’S A COMIC BOOK as long as the science within it is consistent the laws of the comic book universe are acceptable. Probably what has make the Superman books such great comic classics is the consistency in their science until the mid 70’s when, let’s face it, the writers had clearly done way too much acid, fried their brains and the quality of the stories suffered for it.

    Comment by denise — Sun February 16, 2003 @ 2:21
  • WOW 🙂
    I understand now… thanks
    … but I don’t think it was a stupid question!

    Comment by suzero — Sun February 16, 2003 @ 11:16
  • I always thought that the earth’s YELLOW sun was the source of Kal-El’s powers. As opposed to Krypton’s RED sun(s). This obviously doesn’t explain why one piece of meteorite from his home planet can kill him and another causes him to be lethargic or even evil!
    Having created more questions than answers I am now hoping someone will once and for all solve the intergalactic mysteries of Superman. And just to add another mystery: Where did Supergirl come from? If she’s supposed to be his niece, how does he know her (being sent to earth as a mere baby)? And how did she escape the explosion of her home planet?

    Comment by Neal — Tue February 18, 2003 @ 13:55
  • Yesterday, I leafed through Mark Wolverton’s book “The Science of Superman” in a book shop and naturally went straight for the chapter on Kryptonite hoping to find a definitive answer. But the answer is so far removed from Denise and Neal’s theories that I don’t know what to think now.

    I can’t remember it exactly, but Wolverton explains that Superman’s weakness with regard to Kryptonite has to do with radioactivity. Apparently Superman has a bio-electric forcefield around his body which protects him from ‘regular’ radiation, but Kryptonite contains a more potent form of radiation (something to do with the difference between alpha, beta and gamma rays) which breaks down Superman’s bio-electric field. By breaking it down it also reaches his skin where it is absorbed and makes his health deteriorate rapidly.

    Wolverton also writes that Kryptonite would be just as lethal for humans, so the scenes where Lex Luthor and other incorrigable villains calmly hold out glowing pieces of green kryptonite to ward off Superman would appear to be impossible.

    To add a little Super-psychology; Wolverton also explains that Kryptonite causes Superman additional pain as it makes him realize that a ‘piece of home’ is killing him and that he will never be able to go back there.

    I’m bound to have got some things wrong here, so check out the book if you want the precise explanation.

    Comment by suzero — Wed March 5, 2003 @ 9:45
  • i think superman is a character based around my life!

    i am a human – lookng being and nobody will tell me apart from the ordinaryman in the street- but i have truly amazing powers!

    i have the ability to eat turnips raw and also to tie my own shoe laces.

    i do share the same allergy to kryptonite as the cartoon character but i can never reveal why because some mad scientist may develop a similar form with the same chemical base and try to destroy me !

    Comment by Anonymous — Thu May 15, 2003 @ 2:29
  • Hmmmm May 15 that sounds quite impressive. Look like you also discovered the power of irrational thinking ;))

    Comment by punkmachine — Thu May 15, 2003 @ 9:29
  • punk machine- i dont think you understand the depth of my powers !!!!

    not only do i have the above mentioned powers but i can also eat computers whole !!!!!

    i think you will wise to remember that i am also a member of the X-men with the special powers of carrot throwing from my eyes !

    also- punk — i hear that mohammed ali was the greatest heavyweight of all time !

    Comment by Anonymous — Fri May 16, 2003 @ 2:39
  • Neal posted ” always thought that the earth’s YELLOW sun was the source of Kal-El’s powers. As opposed to Krypton’s RED sun(s). ” I agree, this is always what I have heard as well.. the Kryptonite expells a special radiation that blocks supermans powers and causes him to feel really weak, and in pain because of the sudden loss of power I thought.. the radiation in the Kryptonite is also what has made many mad guys with powers.

    Comment by Dave — Thu May 29, 2003 @ 1:32
  • *Spelling fix* 😉 That’s Bad Guys…lol

    Comment by Dave — Thu May 29, 2003 @ 1:36
  • ummmm no…

    Superman has “super powers” is based on the effects of our yellow sun “sol”

    the kryptonite did come from his planet, however the element became a type of radioactive that would only effect a kryptonian…. now there are different types of kryptonite, Green, White, Red, Gold… all with different effects….

    hope that helps!!

    Comment by Jason — Sat June 7, 2003 @ 4:51
  • I agree, Kal-El’s powers come from the Earth’s yellow sun. I didn’t realize, or forgot, Kryton’s sun was red.
    As far as the different types of Kryton…my guess is that they are different parts of the exploded Krypton maybe…and/or where affected by the explosion and traveling thru space to Earth.

    Comment by scott — Fri July 11, 2003 @ 9:06
  • Superman’s powers do come from the yellow sun. i’m not up on my Superman comics as much as i’ld like (my true love lies with Marvel and DW) but this is what i know; Sups’ powers come from the Earth’s yellow sun. Kryptonite is not naturally lying around on Krypton. It is harmful to all Kryptons regardless of whether or not they’re on Earth, Krypton, or some other planet. There was at one time a large amount of Kryptonite on Krypton and the inhabitants were forced to build a protective sheild around their city or be destroyed (I believe the sheild was made of lead). This time period plays into Supergirl’s back story but i forget the details so i’ll go back and reread my old Supergirl number one and get back to you guys on that.

    Comment by Slugman — Sun September 7, 2003 @ 5:07
  • you guys need to read Superman: The Ultimate Guide to the Man of Steel HC
    heres what happened. a guy named black zero set of thermonuclear devices on krypton a thousands of years before krypton exploded. when he did this he set off a chain reaction which started the creation of the green kryp. when he landed on earth our yellow sun stated a sorta chain reaction (he became a living solar battery) and he gained more energy from the sun he became more powerful. green kryp. is radioactive to him thats why he will die from it, the other forms of kryp. are mostlt from the green stuff floating through gas clouds


    Comment by dave — Fri September 26, 2003 @ 2:57
  • sorry im tired my writing is not too understandable 😛

    Comment by dave — Fri September 26, 2003 @ 3:02
  • Question: Is Superman drawn to kryptonite even though it’s bad for him???? I am using this as a comparison in an English paper.

    Thx! from a non-comic reader (obviously)…

    Comment by Anonymous — Tue September 30, 2003 @ 21:46
  • you all are morons

    Comment by mia — Thu November 20, 2003 @ 19:54
  • ok, the effects of Kryptonite being radioactive to humans..

    all anyone has to do is watch Smallville…almost all the super villians on there are the way ther are because they were exposed to Kryptonite..Lex’s hair fell out even..hahaha

    kids, dont eat yellow snow and dont pick up green glowing rock fragments

    Comment by panda — Thu February 12, 2004 @ 19:37
  • oops, i think it has to get into your bloodstream though..cuz Lana always had that lame ass pendant and it never hurt her..and people just held it always..but when it exploded around you or you grew up near a field of it..yer sure to have some problems

    Comment by panda — Thu February 12, 2004 @ 19:40
  • LOL, Panda! hehehe

    Comment by suzero — Thu February 12, 2004 @ 21:31
  • listen

    Kal – el gets his powers from thr earther yellows sun.. ok ?

    now the reason he is allergic to kyptonsite is … have you ever w0ondered how the planet blew up ? .. it didnt just blow up randomly … something made it blow up.. A NUCLEAR REACTOR which irradiated the kryptonite rock , this affects superman becuase it is kryptonium radiation ( its liek us walkking into a plutonium factory ) .. i also affects humans after a long period of time

    i think you will find that that information is accurate…

    Comment by Zen — Thu May 13, 2004 @ 18:57
  • Hmm.

    Ok. Clark gets his power from sol (the sun) because it increases his power. Now, It’s safe to say anything from Kypton that floats into our solar system becomes, lets say, 100X more powerful. Thus Kyptonite (originally from the exsplosion of Kypton) is radioactive material that was created under a red sun and thus becomes 100x more potent/powerful under our yellow sun.

    It doesn’t affect Humansbecause Kypton is our Equivillent to radioactive material. If one kid from our planet was thrown into space with a fragment of our OWN radioactive material and landed on a planet with a white star, he would become 100x more powerful and the radioactive material from earth would also become 100x more potent for the kid. But the inhabitants wont be affected because it isnt THERE radioactive material.

    This works on plantary effects only. As to the gravity effects of Clark, I’m not sure. It’s safe to say if I become 100x more powerful I owuldn’t be able to fly, just jump very very high. Thus gravity could play a part in this as well.

    I hope that answer’s your questions.

    Oh, and Superman recognized supergirl because she was sent to earth wearing teh saem blue and red uniform. He instently knew she was a relitive, remeber Clarks real parents originally gave his that material when he was in the spaceship.


    Comment by Saturn — Sun June 20, 2004 @ 17:43
  • For goodness’ sake! Some of you need to learn how to spell better. Anyway, this has been very informative, although I wonder if there isn’t anymore definitive information on these Kryptonian effects, since I don’t seem to see much explanation coming out of the Smallville series….that show is my FAVORITE!! It is so awesome! Thanks to all the debaters.

    Comment by Matt Simon — Tue November 16, 2004 @ 8:57
  • thats not true Superman gets his power from yellow suns and is a normal kryptonian under a red sun.and every kryptonian is allergic to kryptonite due to the radiation from there kryptonite and the red sun.thats how the get there power 2 from the radiation so its a good bad thing.

    Comment by Ryan — Tue November 30, 2004 @ 20:14
  • Suzero is exactlly right Kryptons sun on the brink of distruction gave off alpha gamma rays to the meteor rocks.So that means hes not actually allergic to the rock but what it holds inside.(which is the gamma rays from the Red Dwarf star).

    Comment by Ryan — Tue November 30, 2004 @ 20:18
  • ryan, its not meteor rocks. its either called meteoroid, meteor, or meteorite. meteoroids are small rocks in space. meteors are meteoroids that have entered earth’s atmosphere. meteors usually get destroyed in the atmosphere. if meteors get through the atmosphere, they will hit earth’s surface, and then they are called meteorites.

    Comment by blah — Thu December 23, 2004 @ 0:16
  • sigh!!!

    the best thing to do is to ask the creator of superman!!! but i think he is dead so go to the dc comics industries or its website and ask the people there, i’m sure they have the perfect answer…

    smallville’s story is kinda changed from the original story but its’s still related… i think they made it more kinda realistic and not so cartoony, a more mature one, whatever that is!!! did you watch the episode where flash is there?! he was a robber when in fact he was a scientist(not so sure) in the 1st place.. lots of changes… there was no much of a story in smallville anyway in the first place from the original superman… writers from DC made stories from his adolecent period w/c he was a superboy… then his niece, supergirl… and his superdog…i bet they’ll make superman jr. in the future!!! hahaha… or what else, supergay or supergrandpa or what!!! hahahaha…. its so funny, comics hehehehe…

    they even combine the superheroes, justice league…
    so i think they created this much to make more money and make never-ending stories w/c obviously enlarged super-hero stories and make people nuts!!! hehehe… its business… hehe i’m gettin’ far away from the topic… hahaha… this makes me nuts…

    watch out for superman movie next year….

    Comment by pozzy — Fri May 27, 2005 @ 10:14
  • ok! read carefull!!! full explanation!!!

    S U P E R M A N… man of steel… ( i bet he’s not circumcised yet for it takes a green kryptonite to tore him apart or hurt him) he got a steel dick w/ superhard balls…. hahaha…

    Superman was born on the Planet Krypton. When his father, Jor-El, realized that the Planet Krypton was doomed, he launched his son into space. Eventually he landed on a small blue-green planet called Earth.

    The child was adopted by Smallville residents Jonathan and Martha Kent, and was named Clark. The boy grew to be quick and strong, as his Kryptonian cells were converting the Sun’s energy into incredible superpowers.

    After high school, Clark moved to Metropolis, where he works as a mild-mannered reporter on the Daily Planet. But whenever danger calls, he’s only a quick-change away from saving the world as Superman.


    AKA : On Earth: Clark Kent
    On Krypton: Kal-El

    History: Came to Earth from the planet Krypton
    * Faster than a speeding bullet
    * Superhuman strength
    * Leaps tall buildings in a single bound
    * X-ray vision

    Equipment: Underpants (always worn on the outside)
    Arch enemy: Lex Luther
    Weakness: Exposure to Kryptonite saps his strength
    Love interest: Lois Lane

    So how did Superman get so strong? The explanation not only tells us about gravity and solar energy, but also suggests why the Planet Krypton exploded. Let’s start with clues from the comic:

    “Superman hails from a long-dead planet, the planet Krypton. Krypton’s Jupiter-like size and red sun kept the Kryptonian race weak, while on Earth Krypton’s last son is the mightiest of all!”Action Comics no.14

    A matter of great gravity…
    Superman’s strength lies in the fact that the gravity on Krypton was much greater than on Earth.

    So how do we know this? The fact that Superman can survive on Earth means that Krypton must’ve had a simliar climate and atmosphere. So his home planet was probably made of rocks and water, with a core of molten metal, just like Earth.

    Krypton’s Jupiter-like size would make it very heavy. Jupiter is made of gas, with only a small rocky core. So although Jupiter is 1321 times the size of Earth, it only weighs 318 times as much. But as Krypton is made from rocks and water, it’d weigh 1321 times as much as the Earth.

    Jupiter – image courtesy of NASA
    The planet Jupiter

    Blast off!
    So why did Krypton explode? Earth has a core of molten iron, but Krypton has a uranium core. The huge weight of surrounding rock on Krypton bears down on its core, exerting incredible pressure.

    This growing pressure eventually led to the destruction of the planet in a huge explosion. This transformed the remnants of the rocky planet into the highly radioactive (but fortunately fictitious) element “kryptonite”. Even now, close contact with kryptonite renders Superman weak and powerless.

    Superhuman strength
    From Krypton’s size and mass, and a few equations, its gravity works out to be at least ten times as strong as Earths.

    Since lifting an object on Earth would take ten times less effort than on Krypton, Superman could lift a car as easily as we lift a wheelbarrow. Its the same reason astronauts on the Moon can take 25 metre jumps and lift huge objects with ease. Their muscles have adapted to work in the Earths gravitational field. So the Moons weaker gravity (one sixth the strength of Earths) doesnt pull them back towards the surface as much.

    Solar-powered superhero
    Superman apparently gets some of his tremendous energy directly from our Sun. The yellowish light that comes from the Sun contains more energy that the red light that bathed Supermans home planet. Also, Krypton was probably a lot further away from its sun, since larger planets are more likely to orbit their stars at a greater distance.

    Other descriptions of Krypton suggest that it had a very dusty atmosphere, which would also block sunlight from reaching the people living on the surface. So while Superman is on Earth he receives much more solar energy than on Krypton, making him much more powerful.

    Plant – Alchemila Mollis
    Superman in disguise?

    Why is Superman like a plant?
    How does Superman trap the Suns energy? While animals have to eat plants (or each other) to survive, plants can harvest their energy directly from the Suns light by photosynthesis.

    This is a chemical reaction that converts carbon dioxide and water into glucose (a type of sugar) and oxygen.

    Plants are full of a chemical called chlorophyll that speeds this reaction up. It is perhaps the most important molecule in the world, because it traps all of the energy we need to live. The solar energy is stored inside the plant. When we eat it, this energy is released inside our bodies. All of our coal and oil reserves were once made of plants, meaning that the energy we get from petrol to run our cars originally came from the Sun.

    So perhaps Superman is using some form of photosynthesis to build up the tremendous reserves of energy that he needs for his superhuman feats of strength. One things for sure hes not using chlorophyll, because it would turn him bright green!

    i think doomsday wouldn’t have killed superman if they would fight face-to-face fair and square!!!

    Comment by pozzy — Fri May 27, 2005 @ 10:36
  • Thanks to Pozzy I now have but 2 question left: If Kal-El was sent to Earth as a baby and arrived as a toddler (as seen in the 1st film), when did his muscles have the chance to adapt to the immense gravity on Krypton?
    And if Krypton exploded just after Kal-El was sent away, how did Supergirl manage to survive?

    As Lois used to say: (Superman,) Help!

    Comment by Neal — Tue May 31, 2005 @ 12:24
    A lovely blond super-heroine who functions periodically, from May 1959 onward, as Superman’s companion in super-heroic adventures. She is in reality Kara, Superman’s first cousin, the daughter of the Kryptonian scientist Zor-El and his wife Alura. Born and raised on Argo City, a city of the planet Krypton which survived the death of its native planet when it was hurled into outer space, people and buildings alive and intact, by the force of the cataclysm that destroyed Krypton, she was – at the age of fifteen – launched toward Earth in a small rocket ship by her father Zor-El when the city faced extinction due to kryptonite poisoning.

    On Earth, where, like any Kryptonian survivor, she acquired super-powers identical to Superman’s, she assumed the secret alternate identity of Linda Lee, an orphan at the Midvale Orphanage, concealing her blond hair beneath a brunette wig and functioning as Supergirl only in secret, at Superman’s insistence, until such time as she could learn to use her super-powers properly. Adopted by Fred and Edna Danvers, she attended Midvale High School as Linda Lee Danvers, graduated in 1964, and then went on to attend Stanhope College on a scholarship, graduating in 1971. Superman presented her to the world in 1962. Lori Lemaris and other Atlanteans celebrated the occasion by unveiling a gigantic undersea statue of a mermaid Supergirl. Since that time, Supergirl has performed super-heroic feats openly, while retaining the secrecy of her dual identity.

    Supergirl’s alternate identity is a closely held secret, but it is known to Superman, to her foster parents the Danverses, and to the Legion of Super-Heroes, of which she served as a member until resigning her membership at the age of twenty-one. Supergirl is fully aware that her cousin Superman is secretly Clark Kent. Like all Kryptonian survivors, Supergirl is vulnerable to kryptonite. Comet the Super-Horse is Supergirl’s pet and equine companion. Streaky, the orange cat that acquires temporary super-powers as the result of its exposure to “X-kryptonite,” is Linda Lee Danvers’ pet cat.

    In the texts, Supergirl is alternatively referred to as the Girl of Steel. Action Comics No. 285 describes Superman and Supergirl as “the two mightiest crusaders in the entire universe.” Superman, who has dedicated a room to Supergirl in his Fortress of Solitude, has described his cousin this way:

    Physically, she’s the mightiest female of all time! But at heart, she’s as gentle and sweet and is as quick to tears as any ordinary girl! I guess that’s why everyone who meets her loves her!
    – Action Comics No. 285, February 1962

    Supergirl’s red, yellow, and blue costume – which was originally fashioned by her mother Alura prior to her flight from the doomed Argo City – is a female counterpart of Superman’s own.

    Comment by pozzy — Wed June 1, 2005 @ 16:00
  • now about krypton (full description)… read…

    The far-distant planet which was the home world of Superman until it exploded into fragments as the result of a cataclysmic chain reaction originating at the planet’s core. It was as the doomed planet shuddered and rumbled in its dying moments that the Kryptonian scientist Jor-El and his wife Lara placed their infant son in an experimental rocket ship and launched him into the void, eventually to arrive on the planet Earth and to grow to maturity there as Superman.

    The Planet Krypton was a planet of giant size located somewhere in the outer reaches of trackless space. Described as an unusual planet with a unique atmosphere and a tremendous gravitational pull far greater than that of Earth, Krypton had a massive uranium core and was occasionally swept by windstorms so violent that the planet’s tallest skyscrapers had to be lowered into the ground to prevent their being toppled by the powerful gales.
    Although a number of texts seem to place Krypton in the same solar system as that of Earth – somewhere past Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn – the vast preponderance of textual evidence places the planet of Superman’s birth in a distant solar system, revolving about a red sun – as distinguished from Earth’s yellow sun – at the rate of approximately one revolution per 1.39 Earth years.

    Born almost six billion time-cycles ago – six billion time cycles being the equivalent of approximately 8.3 billion Earth years if one assumes that the terms “sun-cycle” and “time-cycle” are synonymous – the planet Krypton occupied the same solar system as the planet Thoron and was orbited, at various times in its history, by two, three, and perhaps even four natural satellites. When, in November 1960, Superman makes a time-journey to Krypton in the period immediately preceeding its destruction, he romances lovely Lyla Lerrol under the soft radiance of Krypton’s two moons; but it is firmly established in the chronicles that the renegade Kryptonian scientist Jax-Ur destroyed one of Krypton’s moons prior to this period, a heinous crime for which Jax-Ur was banished into the Phantom Zone, clear evidence that Krypton had three moons – one of which was evidently named Koron – in the not-too-distant past. In addition, Xenon, the so-called twin world of Krypton, was evidently Krypton’s fourth moon, sometime in the ancient past, until it spun out of its orbit and left Krypton forever.

    Although the planet Krypton was much like Earth in a multitude of ways – it is even called Earth’s sister world in Superman #53 (1948) – Krypton’s atmosphere and solar radiation were substantially different from Earth’s and the weight of its gravity was incredibly stronger. The distance from Earth to Krypton has never been established with absolute certainty, but scientist Mel Evans has estimated the probable distance at 0.317 light years.

    Krypton was a planet of staggering richness and incomporable natural beauty. Among its many scenic wonders were:

    The Fire Falls, a magnificent flaming cataract teeming with mutant fish;

    The Gold Volcano, which erupted gold instead of lava;

    The Jewel Mountains, whose fascinating beauty entranced all beholders;

    Meteor Valley, a scenic valley created by a monstrously gigantic meteor that glanced off the surface of the planet during Krypton’s prehistoric past;

    Rainbow Canyon, a deep natural gorge traversed by a breathtaking rainbow;

    The Scarlet Jungle, a weird wilderness teeming with red and purple flora; and

    The Three Sisters of Krypton, a trio of great fire-geysers so named because they always erupted simultaneously.
    Other natural wonders of Krypton included Shrinkwater Lake, whose waters contained some strange chemical that could shrink ordinary men down to ant size; Great Krypton Lake, which was ultimately contaminated by the evil Professor Vakox; and the Great Krypton Sea, whose waters were once the home of a highly advanced civilization. Other of Krypton’s geographical features are enumerated on the accompanying map.

    Krypton’s animal life was exceedingly varied. Indeed, although Kryptonian fauna included a number of animals such as dogs, monkeys, and great apes – which are also common to Earth, it also included numerous exotic species unique to Krypton, including:
    The snagriff, a winged dinosaurlike creature;

    The flame beast, which looked as though it were literally on fire;

    The Krypton beast, the living wheel, the winged cat, and the balloonie, a large froglike creature that fled danger by inflating itself like a balloon and floating out of harm’s way;

    The flame dragon, a gigantic, bat-winged, dragonlike creature that belched flame from its nostrils and gaping jaws;

    The fish-snake, an eel-like mutant fish from Krypton’s Fire Falls whose venomous bite was potentially fatal to humans;

    The rondor, an exceedingly rare creature whose single large horn emitted strange radiations that could cure any deadly illness;

    The drang, a colossal flying snake, purple in color, which had a head like a dinosaur and a single white horn protruding from its forehead;

    The nightwing, a Prussian-blue bird resembling a magpie;

    The flamebird, a red, yellow, orange, and green bird with a bright red crest;

    The telepathic hounds of Kandor, strange beasts, yellow in color, with tails like wolves and snouts like wild boars, that can locate people at any distance by reading their minds to learn where they are;

    The thought-beast, a large, primitive, rhinocerouslike creature – with a spiked tail and a single large horn protruding from its snout – whose most distinctive feature was a televisionlike thought screen atop its head which flashed picture-images of whatever it was thinking;

    A huge crystal bird, long since extinct, which once filled the skies of ancient Krypton and whose crystalline skeletons, heaped up by the millions, created the beautiful Jewel Mountains;

    The metal-eating mole, one specimen of which survives to this day in the Kandor City Zoo; and

    The metal-eater, a large metal-eating animal resembling a giant tapir.
    When Superman makes a time-journey to Krypton in November 1960, he encounters a fire-breathing space creature – a pink, leopardlike animal, with a horn like that of a unicorn protruding from its forehead, which breathes super-powerful flames when angered – on display in a Kryptonian zoo. It is unclear, however, whether this animal is indigenous to Krypton, or whether the Kryptonians merely collected the specimen on some far-distant planet.

    Kryptonian flora included:
    The gigantic, maroon, mushroomlike fungi native to the Scarlet Jungle;

    The gigantic moving forests, red in color and vaguely humanoid in form, also indigenous to the Scarlet Jungle, which literally advanced across the face of the planet in their yearly migration, forcing Kryptonians in their path to seek refuge in subterranean tunnels until they had passed; and

    The singing flowers, which would softly serenade guests at Kryptonian dinner parties.
    Krypton’s strongest metal was kryptium, a super-metal described as harder and stronger than any Earth metal. Krypton’s most precious metal was boradium. Gold was so commonplace on Krypton as to be literally worthless.

    Krypton was an advanced civilization, with people of great intelligence and physical perfection. The planet was apparently divided into a series of separate nations, but these nations had long since combined to form a planet-wide union, uniting all Kryptonians under a single flag, a single government, a single constitution, and a single planet-wide language, Kryptonese.
    Possessed of high intelligence, the people of Krypton had built a super-scientific civilization far beyond that of Earth. Crime was virtually unknown on Krypton and there had been no war on the planet for thousands of years. Capital punishment was unknown, and Kryptonians were bound, in all their dealings with each other, by a strict Kryptonian Code of Honor. Indications are that they were a freedom-loving people who would have preferred death to dictatorship.

    Perhaps one explanation for the comparative lack of strife on Krypton lay in the relative sparseness of the population, for despite the vast size of the planet, its population may have numbered only in the millions.

    According to Superman #53, Krypton’s inhabitants were humans of high intelligence and magnificent physical perfection. Although several early texts refer to them as Kryptonites, the vast majority of texts refer to them as Kryptonians, describing them as a super-scientific, intelligent people and as a great people, physically perfect and of immense intelligence and science. On the planet Krypton, explains Action Comics #233 (1956), even three-year-olds could solve complex mathematical equations.

    The Kryptonian system of government is never cleary described in the chronicles, but it is clear that the scientific establishment commanded wide respect and exerted considerable influence on political and social policy. The Council of Five, a body of distinguished scientists who, if they did not actually govern the planet themselves, obviously carried much weight with those who did, is mentioned in Superman #53 and there are numerous references in other texts to the Council, the Science Council, and the Council of Scientists.
    Superman #65 makes reference to Krypton’s ruling council, which consisted of the planet’s ten leading scientists, a clear suggestion that Krypton’s leading scientific body governed the planet, but Action Comics #223 distinguishes between the Council of Science and Krypton’s highest officials, suggesting that the Council, while influential, was not really charged with the responsibility of ruling the planet. Superman #154, however, contains a brief reference to a Supreme Council, a title clearly suggestive of supreme political authority. All in all, then, it is probably safest to infer that Krypton was ruled by a political body, probably elected, which was counseled and advised by a body of distinguished scientists exercising considerable influence over political decision making.

    The capital of Krypton was the city of Kandor. Several years before Krypton exploded, however, Kandor was reduced to microscopic size and stolen by the space villain Brainiac, and a new world capital was established in the city of Kryptonopolis, the city which would later become Superman’s birthplace.

    Fluttering from the flagstaff atop the World Capitol Building – which, like the city of Kryptonopolis itself, had been designed by Superman’s ancestor Gam-El, the father of modern Kryptonian architecture – was the flag of Krypton, a multicolored banner consisting of pale rays of blue, yellow, lavender, white, green, orange, pink, light green, and red radiating outward from a circular center featuring a green and pale blue design suggestive of a body of water all but encircled by lush green land.

    Maintaining public order was the role of the Krypton Security Force, while the task of maintaining internal security and apprehending criminals was entrusted to the Krypton Bureau of Investigation.

    Crime was only a minor problem on Krypton. Indeed, the research of the Kryptonian scientist Raf Arlo had established that most of the crimes on the planet were perpetrated by an unknown race of invisible people. When malefactors were apprehended, they were placed on trial in Kryptonian courtrooms where verdicts were handed down by Kryptonian justice councils, deliberate bodies analogous to American juries.

    Because Kryptonians were opposed to capital punishment, and, in fact, had never in their history practiced it, the perpetrators of serious crimes were exiled into space in a state of suspended animation inside space capsules constructed specially for the purpose. According to Superman #65, the space capsules were made of transparent plastic and shaped like rocket ships, but according to Superman #123, the so-called “prison satellites” were of a spherical shape. The criminals imprisoned inside them were placed in suspended animation by means of a special sleep gas, and chunks of a glowing crystalline mineral – capable of cleansing their brains of criminal tendencies in a hundred years’ time – were placed on their foreheads so that ultimately, once their sentence was served, they might take up constructive roles in Kryptonian society.

    The practice of exiling criminals into outer space was terminated, however, after Superman’s father, Jor-El, discovered the Phantom Zone, a twilight dimension to which criminals could be banished to serve out their sentences as disembodied wraiths.

    One of the most important government departments was the Krypton Record Bureau, where complete records of every Kryptonian’s life were maintained on ingenious thought-projection discs. According to Action Comics #149, such important events as courtship and marriage were recorded astro-electricly, from each person’s memory. By concentrating on one of those discs – in a darkened room – anybody could cause a complete image of remembered events to appear.

    Science and Technology
    Scientifically and technologically, Kryptonian civilization was far advanced over that of Earth. Although the science of space travel was still in its infancy and true spaceships did not yet exist, Kryptonian scientists – most notably Jor-El – had experimented with both manned and unmanned satellites and had launched monkeys, at least one dog, and perhaps other test animals into outer space in small experimental rockets.
    Astronomy on Krypton was highly advanced, enabling Kryptonian scientists to study Earth and presumably other planets with excruciating clarity by means of super-powerful telescopes, even to the extent of being able to tune in on selected alien individuals and monitor and translate their private conversations.

    Despite the lack of spaceships for interplanetary travel, transportation on Krypton was highly developed. People voyaged about the planet aboard sleek, rocketlike airships, or flitted about Krypton’s picturesque metropolises – such as Kandor, Kryptonopolis, and Argo City – in bubble-topped jet-taxis or by means of jetlike devices called solo-rocket tubes which, strapped to an individual’s back, enabled him or her to fly through the air.
    Travel underwater was by means of a small rocket-powered craft known as an aqua-cone, and virtually every Kryptonian family owned its own “Jor-El,” an all-purpose, mass-produced vehicle, invented by Superman’s father, which could travel on land, sea, or air, and even underground.

    Daily Life
    Sophisticated weather control towers enabled the people of Krypton to purify their air and control their weather, while an advanced solar energy tower enabled them to store and utilize the solar energy emanating from their planet’s red sun. In homes that were apparently heated by atomic power, Kryptonian families entertained themselves by watching 3-D TV while, outside in the streets, other Kryptonians moved along the city’s moving sidewalks, gazing at the public news monitor a billboard sized color-TV screen – to keep abreast of current events, watching other Kryptonians queuing up for emotion-movies, or visiting the incredible Mind-Art Center, where, by means of a complex apparatus called a “mento-ray,” designed to freeze the artist’s mental pictures on canvas, Kryptonian artists created art masterpieces by merely envisioning them in their minds.
    Landmarks and places of interest on Krypton included:

    The Hall of Worlds, containing replica scenes of strange planets in faraway solar systems that Kryptonians had observed via super-space telescope;

    The Red Tower of Kryptonopolis, one of Krypton’s great architectural landmarks;

    Krypton’s famous floating city, a city of approximately 1,000,000 inhabitants floating on the surface of a river atop gigantic pontoons;

    The Cosmic Clock, a gigantic timepiece, measuring time in billions of years, which showed how Krypton was born almost six billion time-cycles ago and which, tragically, lulled the people of Krypton into a false sense of complacency concerning the future of their planet by predicting, incorrectly, that Krypton would remain safe from all harm for endless years into the future.
    The most important Kryptonian literary achievement was the Kryptoniad, a great epic chronicling the struggle of ancient Kryptonians to transform their planet into a civilized world.

    On Krypton, robots performed all hard labor and could be bought at small cost. Heavy construction work was accomplished by means of sophisticated building machines.

    Although Kryptonians had at least one serious disease, Virus-X, for which there was no known cure, childhood diseases were not a problem: filing through a health cabinet on their first day of school, Kryptonian children were immunized against all childhood diseases by means of an ingenious microbe ray. Injuries were apparently not a problem either, as even potentially fatal wounds could be healed almost instantaneously by means of a miraculous healing ray employed by Kryptonian surgeons.

    In Kryptonian schools, lessons were taught with the aid of sophisticated telepathy helmets which enabled teachers to transmit knowledge to their pupils telepathically at phenominal speed. The treatment of psychological problems – as well as the investigation of misconduct of all kinds was facilitated by an ingenious mind-reading device known as a mind prober machine, and mental retardation had all but ceased to be a problem thanks to the pioneering work of scientist Lon Gorg, whose supra-psyche treatments successfully transformed morons into geniuses.

    Historically, famine apparently had afflicted certain areas of Krypton, but an amazing growth ray for plants, invented by Superman’s father and capable of growing vegetables 100 times bigger than their normal size, promised to end the problem of hunger forever within a very short time.

    Family Names
    In Kryptonian society, descent and inheritance were patroclinous. The names of most – but by no means all – Kryptonian males were duosyllabic, with the first syllable being the given name, the second the surname. Thus, Jor-El was the brother of Zor-El and the father of Kal-El, Kal-El being Superman’s Kryptonian name. Than-Ar was the brother of Jhan-Ar, and Mag-En was the father of Ral-En.
    Sometimes first and last names were linked by a hyphen (e.g., Jor-El, Quex-Ul, Mag-En). Just as often, however, they were not (e.g., Val Arn, Khai Zor, Than Ol). And some names, it must be noted, appear to have defied the system entirely (e.g., Mala, Kizo, General Zod).

    Many of the most revered figures in Kryptonian history were members of the so-called House of El and were, therefore, ancestors of Superman. Among them were Val-El, who launched his planet’s Age of Exploration and discovered islands and continents; Sul-El, who invented Krypton’s first telescope and charted many far off stars, including Earth’s sun; Tala-El, a great lawyer and statesman who authored Krypton’s planet-wide constitution; and Hatu-El, who discovered the nature of electricity, proved that lightning was electrical, and invented Krypton’s first electric motor.

    Each female child on Krypton was given a special feminine first name (e.g., Kara, Lara, Joenne), which, when followed by her father’s name, formed her own full name, so that Kara Zor-El, for example, was Kara, the daughter of Zor-El. When a woman married, she dropped her father’s name and assumed her husband’s: when Lara married Jor-El, for example, she became Lara Jor-El, or, more formally, Mrs. Jor-El.

    Weddings took place in the Palace of Marriage, with the betrothed couple mounting the Jewel of Honor, or Jewel of Truth and Honor – a low pedestal carved from a single, huge, multifaceted jewel – and exchanging vows, accompanied either by an exchange of wedding rings or by the donning of marriage bracelets of a color variation all their own, which no other couple was allowed to duplicate. In accordance with an old Kryptonian custom, statues of the parents of both the bride and the groom adorned the wedding hall. According to the Supergirl story in Action Comics #289, marriage between cousins was prohibited on Krypton.
    Although the Kryptonians were, by and large, an intellectually sophisticated people, they were not without their superstitions. According to Superman #164, which enumerates four Kryptonian superstitions, it was considered bad luck for a bride to wear jewels from the Jewel Mountains at her wedding; the killing of birds was regarded as extremely unlucky, hence the absence of bird hunting on Krypton; an old Kryptonian belief dictated that upon seeing a comet, a person must hide in a cave for 24 hours or he’d die; and Kryptonian criminals believed that if they experienced failure, drawing a picture of a Kryptonian mythological creature known as a “one-eyed grompus” would cause Krypton’s demons to bring them good luck.

    A holiday of great importance on Krypton was the Day of Truth, celebrated annually, on which Kryptonians spoke nothing but the truth to one another – even though the truth might be abrasive and undiplomatic – in order to honor the memory of Val-Lor, a valiant Kryptonian of ancient times, who, by courageously speaking out against the ruthless swarm of alien invaders – known as Vrangs – who had invaded Krypton and enslaved its people, inspired his fellow Kryptonians to revolt against the Vrangs and drive them from Krypton, albeit at the cost of his own life. The Day of Truth is still celebrated each April in the bottle city of Kandor.

    The End
    By the time Krypton’s day of doom arrived, Kryptonian civilization was 10,000 years old. Action Comics #1 observes that Superman’s home planet was destroyed by old age, but Action Comics #182 explains, with far greater accuracy, that Krypton’s destruction was caused by gathering atomic pressure at the core of the planet.
    Jor-El had correctly predicted that the end was coming, but he had been unable to either prevent its occurrence or to persuade the scientific community to adopt his proposal for the construction of a fleet of rocket-driven space arks to enable Krypton’s population to flee the coming cataclysm. “The core of Krypton,” Jor-El had warned, “is composed of a substance called uranium, which, for untold ages, has been setting up a cycle of chain-impulses, building in power every moment! Soon, very soon, every atom of Krypton will explode in one final terrible blast! Krypton is one gigantic atomic bomb!”

    But the people of Krypton would not believe Jor-El, not even when the quakes began, not even when a rumble of mighty forces erupted from deep inside Krypton that shook the home of every Kryptonian.

    And then finally, the rumblings inside Krypton became a roar and the planet shook wildly. As the edifices of a once-proud civilization collapsed like building blocks amid choking clouds of dense clank smoke, nature’s fury gathered for one final cataclysmic eruption and the once mighty planet Krypton exploded into stardust.

    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!”

    Superman remains the most famous survivor of the cataclysm that destroyed Krypton, but over the years the texts have revealed the existence of a great many others, including:

    Krypto the Superdog;

    Beppo the Super-Monkey;

    The people of Kandor;

    The inhabitants of the Phantom Zone;

    Mala and his brothers, Kizo and U-Ban;

    The “snagriff” that runs amok on Earth on 1952;

    Super-Ape and the other experimental apes launched into outer space by the Kryptonian scientist Shir Kan;

    King Krypton, whom Superman encounters in March 1958;

    The Kryptonian caveman who arrives on Earth in a state of suspended animation in June 1959;

    The flame dragon that runs amok on Earth in January 1961 and the offspring, hatched from one of its eggs, that menaces Earth in February 1962.

    The inhabitants of Argo City survived for more than fifteen years following the death of Krypton after their city had been hurled into outer space by the force of the cataclysm. Virtually the entire population, however, ultimately succumbed to kryptonite poisoning, the only survivors of the calamity apparently having been Supergirl and her parents, Zor-El and Alura.
    Far from perished Krypton, in the alien environment of Earth, any Kryptonian survivor acquires mighty super-powers – including X-ray vision, invulnerability, super-strength, and the power of flight – and all things Kryptonian become indestructible.

    The relative physical strength of two Kryptonian survivors on Earth appears to be proportional to what it was – or would have been – on Krypton, so that a Kryptonian gorilla on Earth is more powerful that Superman, just as an ordinary Kryptonian gorilla would have been more powerful than an ordinary Kryptonian man.

    Of course the vast majority of Kryptonians perished with their planet, but a number of these have nevertheless planed important roles in the chronicles, among them Jor-El and his wife Lara; lovely emotion-movie actress Lyla Lerrol; and famous psychologist Mag-En and his unscrupulous son Ral-En. According to Action Comics #243, the legendary enchantress Circe was herself a native of the planet Krypton.

    In Memorium
    Superman has made an extensive study of his home planet by overtaking and photographing light rays that had left Krypton before it exploded. He has donated exhaustive notes on the Kryptonese language to Metropolis University.
    Superman has memorialized the lost world of Krypton in other ways as well: he has set aside an entire Krypton Room in his Fortress of Solitude – complete with an exact scale model of Krypton and a 3-dimensional tableau of the exact moment that the planet Krypton exploded – and, with the aid of Supergirl and Krypto the Superdog, he has transformed an uninhabited planet in a distant solar system into an exact duplicate of Krypton, a memorial planet inhabited by android duplicates of the entire Kryptonian population. A statue of Superman holding aloft a globe of Krypton adorns the grounds of Metropolis’ Superman Museum.

    The anniversary of the destruction of Krypton is commemorated annually by the people of Kandor and all the remaining Kryptonian survivors.

    Comment by pozzy — Wed June 1, 2005 @ 16:10
  • superman is allergic to kryptonite. it was not originally part of his planet. it was formed when the planet was destoroyed fusing to element making kriptonite a new radioactiva element. human are also eventually effected by the radiation

    Comment by bob — Sat November 12, 2005 @ 1:10
  • True… but if Clark were to be on Krypton he would have no powers what so ever on that planet!!

    Comment by Dylan Bosch — Thu April 13, 2006 @ 18:04
  • yah yah true, but they have really advanced technologies and the people there were so intelligent, so in other words, they are better than the humans… hey! comics!! hehehe

    Comment by pozzy — Sun April 30, 2006 @ 17:43
  • up up and away!!

    Comment by pozzy — Sun April 30, 2006 @ 17:45
  • i seem to remember people of Krypton fining who was their patrner by bracelets that they wore and when the bracelets matched, that was the person. Anyone?

    Comment by Daniel Flynn — Mon June 5, 2006 @ 11:16
  • If Kryptonians were so clever why did they only manage to save 2 people !!

    Comment by Timmy Jones — Thu June 15, 2006 @ 23:23
  • I only now got into this discussion. I didn’t feel like going through all posts. What I don’t get is why Clark isn’t weakened by the kryptonite he carrier in his bag after leaving Smallville. Or is this not kryptonite? I mean the green chrystal he found in his foster parents’ barn.

    Comment by Arjan — Fri June 23, 2006 @ 23:20
  • Good question! Any answers out there?

    Comment by suzero — Sat June 24, 2006 @ 15:29
  • Coincidentally came across this article at How Stuff Works:

    Comment by suzero — Sun June 25, 2006 @ 10:26
  • I always thought the planet krypton exploded because there red sun went supernova….causeing krypton to be destroyed and the radiation from the red sun, poisoned and contaminated the remnants of krypton…thus kryptonite.

    Comment by krodrigues — Thu June 29, 2006 @ 10:16
  • how do u explain the other types of kryptonite? lol o well

    Comment by jack — Tue August 22, 2006 @ 5:14
  • What about the kryptonian language, how can clark read it?

    Comment by banditjoe — Mon November 6, 2006 @ 6:44
  • Well, if the Kryptonians were just like normal people there. How do you explain the eye thing. If what you say is true then, Clark would just be stronger and faster. He wouldn’t be able to fly, Hear Great, Or have X-Ray Vision.

    Comment by jojoadrian — Thu January 25, 2007 @ 4:10
  • Regarding the eye thing, this isnt anything from the comics just something that had occured to me, just as some animals are incapable of seeing in color, who should’nt superman be able to see beyond the visual spectrum (red orange yellow green blue indigo) and into gamma and xrays?

    Comment by Noobie — Thu May 17, 2007 @ 7:57
  • In the hit tv show Smallville he is able to read kryptonian because he goes in the caves in the episode with Christopher Reeves and he puts the space ships key in the slot and is the kryptonian language is uploaded into his head, but that is just the show smallville and they have done stuff there own way so I have no idea how he is acually to be able to read the kryptonian language before smallville the show was created

    Comment by Dylan Bosch — Tue August 21, 2007 @ 1:49
  • To get back to the original, very interesting question..
    I mostly concur with the first and excellent answer by denise.

    In the first cartoons superman was said to be able to ‘leap a tall building in a single bound’, which is a silly thing to state if a person can fly.
    My conclusion is that the original superman was a flightless superhero and much like the Hulk was able to jump a long way, appearing to the untrained eye to be flying.
    So, basically he’s just very strong.
    The ability fly, only became a reality when enough readers allready believed in it.
    So in comic books, what the reader believes is stronger than any laws of physics. This applies to the kryptonite as well.

    Psychologically superman is our defense system. We all would love to feel like superman all the time. Invulnerable.
    In real life people who put up this strong -I am superman- front, are usually terrified of something deep inside them, like a memory.
    Maybe Kryptonite just reminds him of home and what he has lost. It makes him vulnerable and so -psychologically- no longer be superman.
    The writers knew this would be viewed as way to soppy. So they came up with a kind of radiation, that can only be blocked by lead.
    You are not weak, if you are slain by something as sneaky as radiation..
    So my point would be, that superman is just a big sissy. He’s just VERY GOOD at hiding it.

    Comment by Ludifant — Tue March 9, 2010 @ 12:42
  • its because it is radio active peice of his home nd it is so radio active on superman is in its radar it poisions clark and as soon as he is away it takes him a while 2 recover of it intoxicatin fumes

    Comment by james speirs — Thu August 26, 2010 @ 19:11

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.