The Kryptonite Kid

The Kryptonite Kid

(pop culture)
It must have seemed like a good idea at the time: a supervillain made of Superboy's weakness. After all, the premise proved successful with the hero's adult self, Superman, when Lex Luthor temporarily transformed into “The Kryptonite Man!” in Action Comics #249 (1959). So in Superboy vol. 1 #83 (1960), writer Jerry Siegel and artist George Papp introduce a delinquent teen and his dog from the planet Blor who travel through a curious space cloud, emerging with shimmering green complexions and a Midas-like kryptonite touch. As Kryptonite Kid and Kryptonite Dog, they do what any kryptonitecharged psychotic punk and mutt would do—terrorize Superboy and Krypto the Superdog. Luckily for the Boy of Steel, the magical imp Mr. Mxyzptlk deports the radioactive duo to a dimensional prison, to spare Superboy's life for his own tomfoolery. The problem with the Kryptonite Kid—aside from his preposterous outfit of a magenta shower cap and bathing suit—was his one-dimensional supremacy. Lording his power over the Teen of Steel in several stories, this rare attempt to create a Superboy-specific rogue apparently intimidated writers who realized his limitations. Yet he also mustered a handful of appearances as the adult Kryptonite Man, the most noteworthy being Action Comics #583 (1986), in which the vengeful rogue poisoned Krypto in an “imaginary” tale by writer Alan Moore and artist Curt Swan. A kryptonite-pigmented clone of the Man of Steel appeared in the contemporary Superman continuity in Superman vol. 2 #43 (1990), but the original Kryptonite Kid remains a glowing testament to the wild imagination of comics' Silver Age (1956–1969). Author Joseph Torchia borrowed the character's name for his 1979 novel The Kryptonite Kid, the “real world” story of a boy obsessed with Superman, and Jay Underwood played the villain in an episode of the live-action Superboy television series (1988–1992); Underwood later went on to portray another comic book character, the Human Torch, in the unreleased live-action Fantastic Four film of 1994 (not to be confused with 2005's Fantastic Four).
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