What do you know about kryptonite? It’s a green rock that appears in Superman stories, right?

Well yes, kryptonite is green, but it is also blue, and white, and black. In fact, kryptonite comes in many different shades and colours, and creates different effects depending on where it is used and who it is used on.

In this post, I am taking a look at kryptonite in all its different forms. I am providing a list of the many types of kryptonite, and I’m answering some common questions.

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What is kryptonite?

Image: ©Warner Bros./DC Entertainment

Kryptonite is a fictional rock which appears in stories from DC Comics/DC Entertainment. It originates as meteorite fragments from the planet Krypton (Superman’s home planet).

The rock largely appears in stories featuring Superman, and is most commonly shown to have a negative effect on the character, as well as his fellow kryptonians. Kryptonite has appeared in comics, TV shows, movies, games, and on radio.

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When did kryptonite first appear?

Kryptonite made its debut on The Adventures of Superman – a popular, and long-running Superman radio show. Kryptonite was introduced in the episode, The Meteor from Krypton, which was broadcast in June 1943.

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When did kryptonite appear in comics?

Image: ©DC Comics

Despite making its debut on radio in 1943, kryptonite didn’t appear in comic books until 1949. The rock made its first appearance in Superman issue #61, where it started off red, before becoming green in later stories.

Rather interestingly, a form of kryptonite was almost included in a comic much earlier than 1949, in a story from Superman co-creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. According to the book, DC Comics: Sixty Years of the World’s Favourite Comic Book Heroes, kryptonite would have been called K-Metal, but the story was never published.

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What are the different types of kryptonite and what do they do?

Image: ©Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Entertainment

Below is a list of all the different types of kryptonite. Some of these are commonly used forms of kryptonite which regularly appear in Superman tales, while others have only appeared in a one story.

Please note, the effects of kryptonite can (and sometimes do) vary depending on the needs of the story. Some of the kryptonite highlighted below has also been revised over time, meaning its effects change from one story to the next.  

  • Green kryptonite – Weakens kryptonians, and can kill with long-term exposure. Green kryptonite has been known to cause cancer in humans or grant super powers.
  • Red kryptonite – The effects of red kryptonite can vary. Effects can include weakness, physical transformations, and psychological changes including apathy.
  • Red-green kryptonite – Red-green kryptonite can cause mutations.
  • Blue kryptonite – Blue kryptonite produces the same sort of negative effects that green kryptonite produces, but only to the character known as Bizarro – Superman’s imperfect duplicate.
  • Gold kryptonite – Gold kryptonite has the ability to strip kryptonians of their abilities.
  • Red-green-blue-gold kryptonite – Has the ability to separate kryptonians into two people.
  • Red-gold kryptonite – Temporarily strips kryptonians of their memories.
  • White kryptonite – Kills plant life.
  • Silver kryptonite – Silver kryptonite effects kryptonians mentally, playing on fears and altering perceptions.
  • Pink kryptonite – Pink kryptonite can switch gender and sexuality.
  • Black kryptonite – Similar to red-green-blue-gold kryptonite, black kryptonite can split kryptonians into two people.
  • Orange kryptonite – Orange kryptonite can grant super powers.
  • Jewel kryptonite – Jewel kryptonite enhances psychic powers.
  • Periwinkle kryptonite – This form of kryptonite creates a loss of inhibitions.
  • Platinum kryptonite – Platinum kryptonite can give humans super powers.  
  • Bizarro-red kryptonite – Bizarro-red kryptonite produces similar effects as red kryptonite, but only in humans.
  • Red-green-gold kryptonite – Removes kryptonian powers and memories.
  • Magno-kryptonite – Magno-kryptonite is magnetically attracted to anything from the planet Krypton.
  • Slow-kryptonite – Effects humans in the way green kryptonite effects Kryptonians.
  • Kryptonite-X – Used to restore a kryptonian’s ability to process solar radiation.
  • Anti-kryptonite/Fool’s kryptonite – Not harmful to kryptonians, but is harmful to humans.
  • X-kryptonite – Known to give humans or animals super powers and to cause harm in the same way green kryptonite does.
  • Synthetic kryptonite – A faux version of kryptonite with the ability to alter a kryptonian’s mood and split them into two separate personalities.
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Why are there so many different types of kryptonite?

As stories and storytelling has evolved, so too has kryptonite. Some writers will use kryptonite as a plot device, and if an existing form of the rock doesn’t do the trick, they can simply invent a new one which does.

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What is the most common form of kryptonite?

Image: ©Warner Bros./DC Entertainment

The most commonly used and best-known form of kryptonite is green. Green kryptonite appears with regularity in comics, movies, and television shows, and is the rock which is recognised by both fans and non-fans alike.

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Why is green kryptonite the best-known type of kryptonite?

Image: ©Warner Bros. Pictures/DC Entertainment

With its ability to weaken and potentially kill a kryptonian, green kryptonite is rather useful when writing stories in which a super powered character needs to be incapacitated. As such, green kryptonite becomes a very useful plot device and gets incorporated into more stories.

Another reason why this form of kryptonite is so well known is because it featured in Superman: The Movie (1978). Superman: The Movie was a hugely successful motion picture, and it introduced millions of people to kryptonite.

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Does kryptonite always appear in the form of a rock?

Image: ©Warner Bros./DC Entertainment

Kryptonite is usually depicted as a rock, but in the 1950s Superman television series, Adventures of Superman, it appeared as a metal. It has also been fashioned into objects such as a bullet or a ring, and has even been turned into a virus.

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What is the best way to see kryptonite in action?

Image: ©Warner Bros./DC Entertainment

Kryptonite has appeared in multiple comic book stories and in films such as Superman III (1983) Superman Returns (2006), and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), but one of the best ways to see kryptonite in action is via the television show, Smallville (2001 – 2011). Kryptonite featured heavily in Smallville, with multiple varieties of the rock (red, green, blue, black, gold etc) appearing throughout the show’s ten seasons.

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Thanks for stopping by I’ll Get Drive-Thru to read this post about kryptonite – I hope it has provided you with all the answers you seek. For more content, be sure to check out the recommended reads below, and don’t forget to take a trip around the blog for even more posts.

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