Against Kryptonite

June 22, 2013 in Daily Bulletin

Paul Fairchild is an American who appears to be trying to launch his career as a journalist. What is the subject of his first article? His hatred for Kryptonite. We at Centives believe that it’s possible that Fairchild is the alter-ego of the so-called “Super-Man” who recently helped save Metropolis. But anyway. Fairchild’s article:

  • When Superman was first conceived of as a character he only had a handful of the abilities that he has today. Yet even though he wasn’t as powerful as he is today, he was still able to win against every opponent.
  • But reading stories about an individual who wins every battle gets…boring fast.
  • Instead the creators of Superman resorted to gimmicks to help make stories more interesting. Suddenly Superman could fly, had freeze breath, and heat vision. Problems such as Superman accidentally freezing people when he sneezed began to drive the story.
  • But those gimmicks too became old. Superman needed a weakness. And the writers found…kryptonite. The hero was now vulnerable.
  • Yet Superman could never really be killed (as dead characters don’t generate profits) – and villains pulling out a rock that hurt but never truly harmed Superman became monotonous.
  • Thus the writers created different coloured kryptonite to drive the story of the month. Gold kryptonite turned Superman human for a day, red kryptonite could cause Superman to hallucinate and pink kryptonite made him gay.
  • Ultimately kryptonite is a weak plot device which writers use when they’ve run out of ideas.

Read other gimmicks – such as lead – that writers have used to try to make Superman stories more interesting, how Superman’s evolution mirrors that of Achilles and much more over here.

Source: The Atlantic