Kryptonite Man

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Kryptonite Man
Kryptonite Man as seen in Action Comics Annual (vol. 2) #1 (December 2012) as part of The New 52.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceSuperboy #83 (September 1960)
Superman #650 (May 2006)
Created byOriginal:
Jerry Siegel
George Papp
Kurt Busiek
Geoff Johns
Pete Woods
Clay Ramsay:
Grant Morrison
Rags Morales
Sholly Fisch
Cully Hamner
In-story information
Alter egoK. Russell Abernathy (2006 version)
Clay Ramsay (The New 52)
  • Enhanced strength and endurance
  • Kryptonite radiation manipulation (Kryptonite radiogenesis & radiokenesis)
  • Kryptonite radioactive vision (Shoot kryptonite energy out of eyes) Logo.png Search Kryptonite Man on Amazon.

The Kryptonite Man is the name of several supervillains who appear in stories published by DC Comics.

Publication history[edit]

The first character to use the name was Lex Luthor, who appeared as the Kryptonite man in Action Comics #249.[1]

The second character to use the name first appeared as the Kryptonite Kid in Superboy #83,[2] and as the Kryptonite Man in Superman #299.[3] and was created by Jerry Siegel and George Papp.

The K. Russell Abernathy version of Kryptonite Man first appeared in Superman #650 and was created by Kurt Busiek, Geoff Johns, and Pete Woods.

The Clay Ramsay version of Kryptonite Man first appeared in Action Comics Annual (vol. 2) #1 and was created by Grant Morrison, Rags Morales, Sholly Fisch, and Cully Hamner.

Fictional character biography[edit]


Lex Luthor[edit]

Lex Luthor drank a serum dissolved from a Kryptonite meteor he found to gain the ability to emit Kryptonite radiation.[4]

Kryptonite Kid[edit]

The original Kryptonite Man started out as a teen-age alien criminal called the Kryptonite Kid.[5] On the planet Blor. Facing a 20 year sentence, he volunteered for a scientific experiment, a satellite that required a test passenger. He favored dying in deep space to rotting in jail, with the added bonus of a 10,000 to 1 chance of surviving the test.

He was loaded in the satellite together with a laboratory dog, and the satellite was shot into deep space, never to return. To pass the time, they watched a telescopic viewer of Earth and learned of Superboy's existence. On their course for Earth, they passed through a green cloud of gaseous Kryptonite. Exposure to the Kryptonite turned both him and his dog green, bestowing each of them with Kryptonite-based powers. This incarnation is most well-known Pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths from his appearance and death in the non-continuity story Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?. In this story, he is depicted as somewhat older and uses the name the Kryptonite Man.[6]

Alien Kryptonite Man[edit]

A second Kryptonite Man appeared in Superman #397.[7] He had been the ruler of a race of humanoids who inhabited Krypton (called "Ny'L'Uyl" in his language) eons before Superman's ancestors. When a nearby cosmic body threatens life on Krypton, the second Kryptonite Man, whose real name is never given, sends all of his people into stasis deep underground, while he himself remains on the highest mountain peak, to act as guardian. He is then placed in suspended animation for what is to be 20 years, at which time, he will awaken to determine if the planet is habitable once again. For some reason, the machinery fails, and the unnamed ruler slept for over 1,000 years. Unfortunately, the very day he awoke is the day Krypton exploded. The mountain that the unnamed ruler's observatory was on is sent into space. Somehow, the king is able to feed off of the Kryptonite radiation the mountain produced. He eventually became dependent upon these energies to sustain his life at all times, weakening outside of its influence. This second Kryptonite Man blames the pink-skinned humanoid inhabitants (Superman's race) with the death of Krypton, never realizing it was a natural disaster. Eventually, after the Kryptonite radiation of the mountain began to fade, the Kryptonite Man encounters a race known as the Seeders. For unknown reasons, the ships of this race produce radiation similar enough to Kryptonite radiation, that Kryptonite Man could feed off of, and survive. Kryptonite Man discovers the existence of Kryptonians on Earth, and stealing a Seeder ship, travels there to confront and kill them. Kryptonite Man attacks Superman, but their battle was interrupted by the Seeders, who took offense to Kryptonite Man's theft.[8] The story continued in Supergirl (vol. 2) #21, where Supergirl joined Superman in fighting Kryptonite Man and the Seeders.[9]


Superman clone[edit]

In the Post-Crisis era, the Kryptonite Man appears in Superman (vol. 2) #43 as a green-skinned clone of Superman, grown by the scientific spies Simyan and Mokkari.[10]

Living radiation version[edit]

A character in the ongoing series Superman/Batman also uses the name Kryptonite Man.[11] This version of the character is created when Captain Atom absorbed the explosive energy from Major Force, then went out to destroy a Kryptonite meteor. The Kryptonite energy somehow combined with the remaining energy from Major Force in Captain Atom to create a sentient energy force. After being siphoned from Captain Atom by the Toyman, the energy was able to jump from body to body, taking over the personality and causing the body to release Kryptonite radiation.[12]

K. Russell Abernathy[edit]

Most recently, soon after DC Comics' One Year Later jump, a scientist named K. Russell Abernathy was working on an experiment to use Kryptonite to develop a new energy source. The experiment explodes, infusing Abernathy's body with radiation. Clark Kent, powerless, summons the current Supergirl. Abernathy, in a misguided attempt to prove his energy theories, goes on a violent rampage; this includes deliberately attempting to injure Kryptonians. He is soon subdued and imprisoned.[13]

He is taken to Stryker's Island, Metropolis' local prison. Lex Luthor sends insectile warriors who free Abernathy.[14] The man is used in conjunction with large amounts of Kryptonite to free an ancient Kryptonian spaceship.[15]

He later resurfaced in Action Comics #853, having Superman on the ropes until the timely intervention of Jimmy Olsen and Krypto.[16]

The New 52[edit]

Clay Ramsay[edit]

In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. In this new timeline, Kryptonite Man is reintroduced in Action Comics #5, by Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert. His origin is told in Action Comics Annual #1 (2012) (penned by Sholly Fisch).[17]

In this origin, Clay Ramsay was an abusive husband living in Metropolis. One night, Superman broke into his house while he was beating his wife and threw him into Hob's Bay. His wife subsequently left him and no one in the justice system could help him. Seeking revenge, he joined the mysterious "Project K-Man" (a private super-soldier project) after receiving an invitation from Dr. Abernathy (a nod to the pre-New 52 version of the character). Gaining superhuman powers, he attacked Superman but was defeated and arrested. He was released shortly afterwards by General Sam Lane who believed he was needed as a countermeasure to keep Superman in check. K-Man agreed under the condition that the General would help him locate his wife.[18] It was revealed that Lex Luthor had played a major role in the K-Man's creation. Also (as revealed in flashback), he had stolen Kryptonite crystals from the government while being employed by them.[19]

His subsequent activities are unknown, but a version of him from the near future was a member of the Anti-Superman Army. He was seen alongside two people with similar powers (one equipped with Red another with Blue) as part of a group called the "K-Men".[20]

Other versions[edit]

In the Elseworlds storyline Superman: The Last Family of Krypton, when Jor-El and Lara accompany Kal-El to Earth, they have two more children, Bru-El and Valora, whose genetic potential is slightly 'stunted' compared to their brother due to them being born on Earth.[21] As part of his vendetta against the El family, Lex Luthor is able to turn Bru-El against his family, using a series of nanites designed to make him immune to kryptonite to make him essentially addicted to it, transforming him into a kryptonite-powered superhuman with too little willpower to defy Luthor's orders. He subsequently kills his mother in the attack on the El compound, but Kal-El is able to defeat his brother when he expends too much of his energy. With Luthor's plot defeated, Bru-El is purged of the nanites, at the cost of losing his memory; with Lara's last words being that Bru-El never learn of his role in his mother's death, he is last recorded as having reached an eighth-grade level following his mindwipe.[22]

Powers and abilities[edit]

The original Kryptonite Man was an alien with natural powers of telepathy. After passing through the Kryptonite cloud, he gained enhanced strength and endurance.

The second Kryptonite Man could absorb Kryptonite energy, which gave him increased strength and abilities.

The third Kryptonite Man was a duplicate of Superman, with all the basic Kryptonian powers.

The fourth Kryptonite Man was a living cloud of kryptonite radiation that could possess others and could also heal the injuries of those it possessed (as evidenced when it took over a wounded Batman).

The fifth Kryptonite Man possesses a Kryptonite-enhanced physiology, the ability to see radiation spectrums, and the power to fire Kryptonite beams from his eyes. When he becomes angry, however, he loses his ability to think rationally, becoming a raging maniac.

The sixth Kryptonite Man can absorb radiation to fuel his superhuman abilities. This grants him flight and super-strength to rival Superman's abilities. If properly powered he has the ability to expel a large amount of radiation as a blast. This radiation can be detrimental or fatal to organisms based on what they are.

In other media[edit]


  • The Kryptonite Kid appeared in the Superboy episode "Kryptonite Kid", played by Jay Underwood. A young man named Mike Walker, working at a military research base, was caught in a Kryptonite explosion while trying to find a way to make Superboy immune to Kryptonite radiation. The Kryptonite entered his bloodstream, as well as his nervous system, turning his skin green and affecting his mind in vicious ways. Walker became "living, breathing Kryptonite," able to fire Kryptonite radiation from his hands. Superboy was able to defeat him through enlisting the aid of a human man who had been arrested for fraud in taking advantage of his resemblance to Superboy in order to make money and attract girls. In exchange for getting the charges dropped, Superboy convinced the man to stand up to Walker, whereby Walker's Kryptonite beams had no effect on him. With Mike Walker distracted as to why he was not harming the Superboy impersonator, Superboy then wrapped up Walker in a lead tarp, where eventually the Kryptonite would be cleansed from Walker's body.
  • In Smallville, while there is no distinct 'Kryptonite Man', many of Clark's foes in the first few seasons of the show gained their powers through exposure to kryptonite (called Meteor-Freaks), with the result that Clark was weakened by proximity to various foes who would otherwise not have been a great problem for him, such as being unable to come close to enemies using kryptonite-based cream and tattoos to turn themselves invisible and intangible, or a meteor-mutated human able to erase memories completely wiping Clark's memory where he normally just wiped the last few minutes of a person's experiences.

See also[edit]

  • List of Superman enemies


  1. Action Comics (vol. 1) #249 (February 1959)
  2. Superboy #83 (September 1960)
  3. Superman #299 (May 1976)
  4. Greenberger, Robert; Pasko, Martin (2010). The Essential Superman Encyclopedia. Del Rey. pp. 178–179. ISBN 978-0-345-50108-0. Search this book on Logo.png
  5. Greenberger, Robert; Pasko, Martin (2010). The Essential Superman Encyclopedia. Del Rey. p. 178. ISBN 978-0-345-50108-0. Search this book on Logo.png
  6. Action Comics #583
  7. Superman #397
  8. Superman #397 (July 1984)
  9. Supergirl (vol. 2) #21
  10. Superman (vol. 2) #43 (May 1990)
  11. Superman/Batman #20-21
  12. Superman/Batman #25
  13. Superman #650 (May 2006)
  14. Superman #651 (June 2006)
  15. Action Comics #838 (June 2006)
  16. Action Comics #853 (October 2007)
  17. "Action Comics Annual #1". Comic Vine.
  18. Action Comics Annual (vol. 2) #1 (December 2012)
  19. Action Comics (vol. 2) #13 (December 2012)
  20. Action Comics (vol. 2) #15 (February 2013)
  21. Superman: The Last Family of Krypton #1-2
  22. Superman: The Last Family of Krypton #3

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