In Beigest Day, In Plaidest Night

Once upon a time there was kryptonite, and it was green, and it was good. (I mean, storywise good.)

Then they added red kryptonite, gold kryptonite, blue kryptonite, silver kryptonite, etc., etc., each one with a different effect. And it was … kinda dumb.

Once upon a time there was a Green Lantern Corps ….

14 Responses to In Beigest Day, In Plaidest Night

  1. Brandon April 27, 2009 at 10:02 pm #

    And that’s one of the main reasons for the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Also, there was so much Kryptonite around that you’d think you could buy it at the grocery store. But that was necessary because Superman was so ridiculously powerful.
    The pre-Crisis Superman could:
    * Run as fast as the Flash (at that time, the speed of light)
    * Time travel at will, through a simple mental command
    * Juggle planets like tennis balls
    * Resist any and all forms of harm outside Kryptonite, including being able to survive in Space without breathing.
    * Heat vision could melt anything
    * Stupid nonsense like being able to suck up a giant cloud of poison gas
    * Freeze stuff by breathing heavy

    A new power was created to fit every problem. In one old issue I have he claims to have “the best science library in the Galaxy” — as if he needs that on top of everything else.
    Of course every villain needed to have lots of Kryptonite. How else can you create drama with this character?
    When John Byrne did the Man of Steel miniseries immediately following Crisis, where all previous Superman history was erased, he gave the character lesser versions of his classic powers — heat vision, invulnerability, flight, super-strength (but not juggling planets) — no more time travel or super-speed or any of the rest of it. And one green Kryptonite rock the size of a baseball.

    • Roderick April 27, 2009 at 10:20 pm #

      And since then they’ve brought all the kinds of kryptonite back….

      • Brandon April 27, 2009 at 11:59 pm #

        That’s disappointing. They’re just repeating the mistakes of the past.

        • Roderick April 28, 2009 at 12:04 am #

          The latest Crisis event (“Final” Crisis, yeah sure, I believe that) was one huge tangled muddle, with no one storyline given attention long enough for me to care about it.

    • Mike D. April 28, 2009 at 8:56 am #

      In Infinite Crisis, I remember Earth 2 Superman punching his way back into reality. If there was ever a super hero who could punch his way out of the comic book, that was him.

      • Brandon April 28, 2009 at 11:15 am #

        I don’t mind the idea of alternate-reality characters, a la the Star Blech episode with the evil Spock. But make it an outside-continuity thing, don’t screw up your universe by including those storylines.

    • Richard Garner April 28, 2009 at 2:24 pm #

      See, this is partly why I prefer Batman (though the mick was rightly taken out of his old utility belt for precisely the same problems you level at Superman).

    • Briggs April 28, 2009 at 3:00 pm #

      Out of curiosity, why was “suck up a giant cloud of poison gas” categorized as stupid stuff? Granted the entire list is absurd but it seems that some of the others are marginally more absurd. If anything that has mass were to move at the speed of light it would reach infinite density thus destroying a large part of the galaxy. Time travel… planet juggling… These all seem to make the suspension of disbelief a bit too difficult.

      They should have at least come up with an explanation of WHY the normal laws of physics did not apply.

      Perhaps I am misattributing the problem though. I have virtually no creativity and that could well be the problem.

      • Roderick April 28, 2009 at 4:07 pm #

        The movies were even worse on this stuff than the comics. Like the first movie, where Superman makes time go backwards by zooming around the earth so as to reverse its orbit. Or the second movie, where Superman’s loss of powers is reversed in a completely unexplained way by a glowing green (not kryptonite) crystal. (On this last, I read an interview with the scriptwriters, who said, “We decided to give the glowing green crystal powers beyond anything.”)

        • Joshua Lyle April 29, 2009 at 10:27 am #

          Let us not forget the “Rebuild the Great Wall of China Vision”. *shudder*

      • Brandon April 28, 2009 at 7:05 pm #

        The explanation for Supes’s powers is that his cell density is much greater than ours. So his body is able to make use of the radiation from our yellow sun in some positive way. Thus you get super-strength, and invulnerability and heat vision as a by-product.
        In the Man of Steel series, John Byrne had some fun with this. Supes couldn’t shave with regular razors because his facial hair was too strong. He had to melt the hair off his face using the heat vision reflected off a mirror.
        The flight is kind of pushing it. Originally Supes could only jump really high, which is related to the strength. This is in fact how Hulk moves across long distances — jumping tens of thousands of feet in the air. Nevertheless, I can buy the flight.
        I don’t see how any of this relates to his being able to suck up a giant cloud of poison gas, or survive in Space without oxygen, which he apparently needs. His lungs aren’t any bigger than the rest of us, is the bottom line.

  2. Jesse Walker April 28, 2009 at 1:00 am #

    You don’t like red kryptonite? Bah. Next thing you’ll be telling me you don’t like the Legion of Super-Pets.

    • Roderick April 28, 2009 at 11:18 am #

      I don’t even like Mxyzptlk! (Heresy, I know.)

  3. Francois Tremblay April 28, 2009 at 2:46 am #

    Heads up, Roderick:

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