Hey, I found my explanation of Kryptonite from the old board:

" OK, Let's see: Speculation, speculation...

Millennia ago, a race of humans, virtually identical to terrestrial humans (an offshoot of Earth-humanity, perhaps? Or a parent race, maybe?) is traveling through space, looking for worlds to colonize. They come across the planet Krypton. They think: "Say, this would be a good planet for us to colonize, but the gravity's too heavy. Terraforming wouldn't work, but we're pretty swell geneticists, so maybe we can change ourselves to suit the planet." So, they alter themselves to suit the planet, but in so doing they unwittingly introduce an "x-factor" into their DNA which causes many of the proto-Kryptonians to mutate into bizarre forms or to exhibit mental aberrations. Working feverishly, the proto-Kryptonians introduce a y-factor that renders the "x-factor" dormant and returns the affected Kryptonians to normal. The altered proto-Kryptonians colonize their new world.

Millennia later, the Kryptonians have lost all knowledge of the early times, and of the dormant "x-factor". Krypton explodes, and Kal-El goes to Earth.

Anyway, Green K is a straight-out toxin that kills Kryptonians.

Red K stifles the "y-factor" in Kryptonian DNA, allowing the dormant x-factor to reawaken in Kryptonians, causing them to rapidly assume bizarre forms or suffer mental aberrations. The transformations are temporary, as when the Red K is removed, the y-factor reasserts itself, and the Kryptonian rapidly returns to normal.

Gold K rapidly reverses the genetic alteration that turned the human proto-Kryptonians into Kryptonians, making them just like their distant human ancestors.

Owzat? "

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PRE-CRISIS KRYPTONITE PRIMER:

It depends how far back you're going. Commander Adam is far more savvy than I at such matters, but I'll throw my two cents in.

Originally - so we are taught by "The Fabulous World of Krypton" - two interstellar explorers land on a somewhat early Krypton and get trapped when their space ships get covered by crimson goo falling from the sky (I'm not making this up.) So, Tonn and Kryp - a male and female - fall in lust and begin propagating a new race on the giant planet.*

Meanwhile, the core of Krypton is an unstable element called kryptonium; and when it starts going off, about fifteen thousand years later, it starts transforming the very structure of the planet itself. When eventually the chain reaction causes that mega-atomic bomb to explode, it causes transformation of the substance of the planet to a radioactive isotope of kryptonium, which is referred to as Kryptonite. (Note that this effect is so pronounced that it occurs even to the land mass that became Argo City.)

Green Kryptonite is the most common form of this isotope, and one of three that occurred "naturally." It is a hyper-energized substance, and its radiation affects only lifeforms that are dense enough to stop it - such as those of Kryptonians who are under a yellow sun and lighter gravity (and thus the reason that Green K doesn't affect non-powered Kryptonians - their super-powerless bodies are not dense enough to be affected by this radiation.) It caused the red blood cells to start changing to green - which is quite painful, and intrusive enough to interfere with the superior abilities of powered Kryptonians.

White Kryptonite, a rare variety, will kill only plants and such life forms. (I think it was also known as "Contrived Kryptonite" at one point, but that Weisinger - he was a genius.)

Gold Kryptonite is extremely rare isotope (as opposed to Green K, which apparently was common enough to be available at your local 7-11 - "Gimme a Green K Slushee and a Slim Jim!") that steals the powers of Kryptonians permanently. (Unless you read Adventure Comics #400 - NO! NO! BAD FOGEY! BAD! NO DOUGHNUT!!!)

Red Kryptonite is a modified form of Green K, subject to its passage through a "cosmic cloud", causing each piece of it to be modified so that it causes a unique weird physical and/or mental changes to Kryptonians. (Topic for discussion, class: If one has a piece of Red K - with unique properties, by definition - and breaks it in half, does it create two new effects? COROLLARY: Each piece of Red K only affects a Kryptonian once - would two broken pieces then each have an effect on a Kryptonian?)

Blue Kryptonite was created by Superman using a bizarro ray machine on Green K, creating a bizarro Kryptonite which, reasonably enough, only affects Bizarros.

Jewel Kryptonite was created by Jax-Ur during his time trip back to Krypton with Superman. Jax-Ur modified this piece of the Jewel Mountains so that it would form a very special type of Kryptonite, and with the great good fortune of ALL Kryptonians, he got it back near Earth in "the present" when the Phantom Zone villains used its property - to allow them to focus their mental energy out of the Zone and cause flammables to explode.

THERE IS NO SILVER KRYPTONITE.

These were the only ones pre-Crisis. Of course, once the series was rebooted, Kryptonite changed a little... and again after Zero Hour, and again after Infinite Crisis, and... oh, brother.

I hope that you find that entertaining, and I'm eagerly awaiting the corrections Commander Adam brings - but in the meantime, enjoy!

I remain,
Sincerely,
Eric L. Sofer
The Silver Age Fogey
x<]:o){

*No, I don't really believe two people could have created an entire planetary race, even if their gene charts were clean - that's a heck of a lot of incest. It is reasonable to assume that other interstellar travelers landed on Krypton, met the folks and liked 'em, and decided to stick around and dive into the gene pool. We know that Krypton had some tactical position of importance, as more than a couple of races who were warriors - or conquerors - landed on it, trying to take it over as a beachhead of some type.
They've kinda taken your ideas and bent them recently in Superman continuity...at least for Daxamites...they are, from way back, a combination of human and Kryptonian genes. That would make Conner Kent more like a Daxamite than a Kryptonian, right? Kinda?
"Topic for discussion, class: If one has a piece of Red K - with unique properties, by definition - and breaks it in half, does it create two new effects? COROLLARY: Each piece of Red K only affects a Kryptonian once - would two broken pieces then each have an effect on a Kryptonian?"

A reader once posed those very questions in a Metropolis Mailbag column in the mid-'60's. (And please don't ask me which issue; I don't have time to-day to go through all those issues.) Mort Weisinger's response made it clear. When the green-kryptonite swarm that passed through the cosmic cloud, transforming it in to red kryptonite, the unique properties were vested into each chunk as it existed in the swarm. Any subsequent modification of a single chunk of that red k would not alter those properties.

In other words, if red-k chunk # 1,036 acquired the property of turning Superman's hair purple, and you, as a member of the notorious Superman-Haters Gang, got your hands on it, no matter if you broke it, crumbled it, diced it, sliced it, or pureed it, the discrete components would still be "chunk # 1,036" in terms of its effect on Superman. If you broke it in two and exposed the Man of Steel to one half, his hair would turn purple. But two days later, if you exposed him to the other half, as far as his Kryptonian physiology is concerned, it's still chunk # 1,036, and it has the same properties as the other half---it would turn Supergirl's hair purple, but having affected Superman once, it would have no effect the second time.
Suddenly I'm thinking of purple Krypto...

Commander Benson said:
"Topic for discussion, class: If one has a piece of Red K - with unique properties, by definition - and breaks it in half, does it create two new effects? COROLLARY: Each piece of Red K only affects a Kryptonian once - would two broken pieces then each have an effect on a Kryptonian?"

A reader once posed those very questions in a Metropolis Mailbag column in the mid-'60's. (And please don't ask me which issue; I don't have time to-day to go through all those issues.) Mort Weisinger's response made it clear. When the green-kryptonite swarm that passed through the cosmic cloud, transforming it in to red kryptonite, the unique properties were vested into each chunk as it existed in the swarm. Any subsequent modification of a single chunk of that red k would not alter those properties.

In other words, if red-k chunk # 1,036 acquired the property of turning Superman's hair purple, and you, as a member of the notorious Superman-Haters Gang, got your hands on it, no matter if you broke it, crumbled it, diced it, sliced it, or pureed it, the discrete components would still be "chunk # 1,036" in terms of its effect on Superman. If you broke it in two and exposed the Man of Steel to one half, his hair would turn purple. But two days later, if you exposed him to the other half, as far as his Kryptonian physiology is concerned, it's still chunk # 1,036, and it has the same properties as the other half---it would turn Supergirl's hair purple, but having affected Superman once, it would have no effect the second time.

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