According to the villains of the world, there are two big weaknesses in Superman’s life: his love for Lois Lane and Kryptonite. While his love for Lois often becomes one of his biggest strengths as well, it’s rare for Kryptonite to do the same.
Kryptonite is a radioactive element from Superman’s home planet Krypton, and since it made its comic book debut in the 1940s, there have been plenty of changes to it. It began simply as a way to zap Superman’s strength, but over time, variations of the element have also split his personality in two, killed plant life, lowered his inhibitions, and so much more.
The Silver Age of comics saw a Kryptonite boom, as writers began introducing different kinds of Kryptonite (combining different kinds to make a new version) every few issues. The movies, television shows, and animated projects have also all created their own kinds of Kryptonite, some of which have filtered into the comic book pages as well.
There are close to two dozen varieties of the Kryptonian space rock, but we’ve narrowed it down to some of the weirdest, with Kryptonite that creates outlandish consequences, has only appeared once, or just doesn’t make any sense.
With that said, here are the 15 Craziest Kinds Of Kryptonite, Ranked!
Yellow Kryptonite is one of the craziest kinds of the special rock for one reason: it’s not even real.
This version of Kryptonite appeared in just one issue of Action Comics in the 1960s after Lex Luthor had discovered what Superman’s weakness was. Lex had recently escaped incarceration by offering his genius intellect up for service while Superman was away from Earth, and when the hero returned to capture him, he used his “Yellow Kryptonite” to scare Superman away - temporarily, of course.
In a fun twist, it turned out Lex had used his fake Kryptonite to give a scare to a fake Superman; the hero sent a robot in his place to do the job! Superman was still able to save the day in the end.
Originally in the comic books, Blue Kryptonite was specifically made to combat Bizarro, Superman’s evil duplicate. The effects of the Blue Kryptonite have changed a little bit in the years since though.
When it first appeared in 1960, Superman created it by placing a piece of Green Kryptonite in the same duplication machine Lex Luthor used to create Bizarro. The effect meant that the Kryptonite that was duplicated would only react to Bizarro, but it would drain him just like Green Kryptonite drained Superman.
When Smallville brought Bizarro into live action, the Blue Kryptonite did the opposite, enhancing Bizarro’s powers and draining Superman’s. The Blue Kryptonite also had the strange effect of powering up all other life forms, though that change hasn’t filtered into the comics.
Like a lot of the variations of Kryptonite that popped up in the comics over the years, White Kryptonite was actually a variety of the original Green Kryptonite that frequently caused Superman so much trouble.
The Kryptonite would change from green to white when passing through a specific “space cloud,” imbuing it with one particular set of abilities: killing plant life.
It was first demonstrated to kill plant-based life forms in Action Comics in the 1960s when a plant-based alien took over Perry White’s body. Supergirl used the White Kryptonite to kill the plant invading his body and Superman used it a later comic as well.
A particularly deadly type of Kryptonite, it only has to be within 25 yards of its target to kill it, which would definitely make it Poison Ivy’s least favorite if comic book writers decided to bring it back to the page.
Not all Kryptonians have superpowers, which means that not all forms of Kryptonite cause them to react in the same way as Superman would.
Superman, Supergirl, and other Kryptonians who have made their way to Earth over the years gain much of their strength, stamina, and abilities as a result of them being under the Earth’s sun.
It’s the solar energy that enables them to power up, but what about Kryptonians who don’t have that luxury? They’re stronger than the average human, to be sure, but they don’t have the special powers that get them labeled as superheroes.
Anti-Kryptonite affects those non-powered Kryptonians the same way the usual Green Kryptonite impacts Superman. They lose energy, strength, and with prolonged exposure, even their lives. It’s tough being a Kryptonian without a power set.
The word “Kryptonite” has become synonymous with weakness thanks to Superman’s comic books, but the Gold Kryptonite is one of the worst. It doesn’t just weaken Kryptonians; it strips them of their powers completely.
When it originally appeared in the comics, Gold Kryptonite was found in the far reaches of space, only discovered because Superboy, in an “imaginary story,” left Earth to help another planet after he was tricked into helping villains as a child.
Since then, though, it has been used to remove powers from Kryptonians several times. Superman has even used it on criminals and power-hungry people himself.
The comics have also seen Lex Luthor develop a synthetic form of Gold Kryptonite since he’s always looking for an edge over his nemesis. The substance also made its way into the Smallville mythology with Lex giving Clark Kent a permanent scar with a piece of Gold Kryptonite.
Another case of fake Kryptonite on the page, the original Silver Kryptonite was nothing more than a prank, but in the years since its debut, its evolved into a very special version of the space rock.
Smallville utilized a silver version of the substance in a storyline that involved the emergence of Braniac as a villain. In the story, the Silver Kryptonite resembled black rock with ribbons of silver running through it.
In addition to actually allowing Clark Kent to be harmed (he cut his finger on it), it also caused paranoia in him. The eventual comic book depiction was very different.
When Silver Kryptonite returned to the comics, it was used as an allegory for recreational drug use. Exposure to it caused Superman to become a bit more mellow, crave different foods, and even hallucinate.
If you ever wanted to see two Kryptonians in action at the same time, this is the Kryptonite for you.
Black Kryptonite was first introduced in season four of Smallville when the rock was used to separate the Kal-El part of Clark Kent’s personality from him, allowing Clark to physically battle himself.
The same was done to separate the evil Doomsday from his dominant personality later in the show. Since then, it has also been used in the comics on Supergirl, separating her darker nature from that of her “pure” self, also leading to a battle.
Some versions of the comics have since adapted the properties of the Black Kryptonite to not physically split people in two, but to reverse their moral compass. It stands to reason then that heroes might be able to easily deal with evil Kryptonians by simply giving them some Black Kryptonite.
Not much is known about Orange Kryptonite beyond its appearance in Cartoon Network’s Krypto the Superdog, but it definitely left an impression on the canine hero.
In the animated adaptation, Orange Kryptonite is found by some of the feline characters of the series and it gives them superpowers. The powers did wear off after about a day. It hasn’t appeared in any other incarnation of the Superman universe, so it’s not clear how it would affect anyone else, if at all.
This version of Kryptonite is very similar to another type of comic book Kryptonite called X-Kryptonite. That version was actually regular Kryptonite that was experimented on. Like Orange Kryptonite, it also gave an animal super powers, though in this case, it was Supergirl’s companion Streaky.
As creepy as its name suggests, Blood Kryptonite isn’t your typical Kryptonite. Instead, it was used by a cult.
In the DC comic book series 52, the Cult of Conner was featured. This cult was dedicated to resurrecting the fallen Superboy, but they also spent some time attempting to bring others back as well.
When Hal Jordan disguised himself amongst the cult members, he speculated that the Blood Kryptonite wasn’t anything special at all, just painted rocks. He wasn’t far off.
Though the idea was that Blood Kryptonite transferred the life force from those participating in ceremonies to the one they wanted to bring back, it wasn’t the rock that was doing any of the work. Instead, the supervillain Felix Faust was the one behind the “resurrections.”
Not a variation of traditional Kryptonite, Magno-Kryptonite is an invention of a villain instead.
The substance first appeared in the Superman spinoff series Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen in the 1960s. Jimmy had the spotlight when he discovered that there was a double of him out in the world.
His quest to find out where this other Jimmy came from led him to a villain called Mr. Nero. Mr. Nero not only cloned Jimmy, but he created Magno-Kryptonite to trap Superman and Supergirl.
This false version of Kryptonite was attracted to anything Kryptonian, just like a magnet attracted to metal. The pull was too strong for Superman-- or any Kryptonian-- to resist, but the average human being can, making Jimmy a huge asset for Superman in the story.
Most of the Kryptonite introduced in the comics has been a solid color with a specific purpose in mind, but the Purple-Spotted Kryptonite was one very niche variety-- and it only appeared in animation.
The Purple-Spotted Kryptonite appeared in a single episode of Cartoon Network’s Krypto the Superdog. Just like the comics introduced several varieties of Kryptonite to plague Superman in the 1960s, the animated show featured new varieties to befuddle his canine companion when it aired in the 2005-2006 television season.
When Krypto was introduced to the Purple-Spotted Kryptonite, he became less super and a whole lot more like a regular dog-- it made him chase his tail and there was nothing he could do to stop it. This particular variety of Kryptonite hasn’t appeared in the comics, so there’s no telling if/how it would affect others.
Specific to the Smallville television series, Gemstone Kryptonite seemed like a fun time for Clark Kent, but it certainly caused a bit of trouble.
In a season nine episode, Clark Kent was gifted chocolate laced with Gemstone Kryptonite. Once he indulged in the sweets, everyone around him seemed ready to obey his every word.
The ability only seemed to work once per person, but it caused some confusion when Lois suddenly became more interested in domestic activities (like cooking for Clark) than investigative reporting.
The Gemstone Kryptonite was inspired by Jewel Kryptonite from the comics. Jewel Kryptonite didn’t give everyone the ability to control others’ actions, but it did give Kryptonians in the Phantom Zone a boost-- amplifying any psychic abilities they might have had.
Another one-hit-wonder of Kryptonite, Periwinkle Kryptonite appeared in an issue of Superman Family Adventures, making the titular hero a little less controlled.
During the course of the story, Braniac teamed up with Lex Luthor in a bid to get rid of Superman, though Braniac only even found Lex thanks to tracing his supply of Kryptonite. During the first confrontation with Superman, Braniac launched a ray at the hero powered by Periwinkle Kryptonite.
The result was a lowering of Superman’s inhibitions as he stopped his pursuit of the villain to dance with Lois Lane when he met her in the street. It also had the unfortunate side effect of turning him the same color as the space rock.
He found the lowered inhibitions disturbing, but Lois found his dancing to be “fabulous.”
Red Kryptonite might just be the most common on the page and the screen next to the original Green Kryptonite, so why does it land on a crazy list? That’s because it never seems to do the same thing twice.
Red Kryptonite doesn’t just damage Superman’s abilities or weaken him, though it does that too, but it also makes him do some of the strangest things.
Under its influence in the comics, Superman has lost his memory, gained additional limbs, become a dragon, lost his invulnerability (but only on one side), grown to a giant size, and more.
In the television series Smallville, Red Kryptonite was used to make good guy Clark Kent be a bad boy for an episode or two, though the craziest thing he did was steal a motorcycle.
In any medium, Red Kryptonite is one of the most unpredictable.
Pink Kryptonite appeared in a single comic book, in a story that set out to satirize much of the Silver Age of comics, but it didn’t go over well with fans.
In the fourth volume of Supergirl’s solo series, one story saw writers poke fun at the explosion of Kryptonite during the Silver Age. They introduced their very own new type of Kryptonite-- Pink.
While the effects weren’t explicitly stated, a panel featured Lois commenting how different Clark had been since he’d been exposed while Clark complimented Jimmy’s appearance and his “smashing” window treatment.
The implication, playing to effeminate stereotypes, was that the exposure to Pink Kryptonite temporarily changed Superman’s sexuality. The idea of Superman “turning gay” was offensive, not because a homosexual hero was out of the question, but because it made sexuality appear as something that could be changed with the flick of a switch.
Did we leave one of your favorite kinds of Kryptonite off this list? Let us know in the comments!