Out of all the mighty enemies that Superman ever faced, Kryptonite might be Clark Kent’s greatest foe. What’s even worse, there are numerous versions of the rock out there, each having a different effect on the Man of Steel. Among the most interesting versions of Kryptonite, though, is Silver K. So, what does Silver Kryptonite do to Superman?
Silver Kryptonite is an artificial type of Kryptonite that causes many effects on Kryptonians, but mostly paranoia, hallucinations, anxiety, and extreme hunger. It doesn’t take away Superman’s powers but clearly slows down his healing speed.
Interestingly, the most well-known version of Silver Kryptonite is actually from the TV series Smallville, although there are versions of the rock in the comics, both Pre and Post-Crisis. Here’s everything you need to know about Silver Kryptonite, its history, and its effects on Superman.
What is Silver Kryptonite?
Silver Kryptonite is one of the many versions of the rock that has a unique effect on Superman. The first version of Silver K with any kind of effect came in Season Five of Smallville. Although, it wasn’t the first version of the rock that ever appeared.
What does Silver Kryptonite do to Superman?
As I’ve mentioned, the most well-known version of Silver Kryptonite appeared in the TV series Smallville (specifically, Season Five of the show). In the show, Silver K is an artificial type of Kryptonite developed by Brainiac, aka Professor Milton Fine. Brainiac was a Kryptonian artificial intelligence made out of a liquid metal.
Brainiac used that liquid metal and an ordinary rock to create Silver Kryptonite. He then sent the rock in a box to Lana, along with a note saying it was coming from Lex Luthor. When the box came, Clark was opening it and cut himself on the Silver K, leaving a splinter in his finger.
After about half an hour, the effects of Silver K started kicking in, and Clark started behaving erratic, paranoid, and frantic, believing everybody was out to get him, including his family and friends.
Upon examining the rock, they traced it back to Milton Fine after Lex Luthor clarified he had nothing to do with it, and Fine used a Metallic device to get the tiny splinter out of Kent’s finger. As soon as he did that, the effects started to wear off, and Clark came to his senses.
So, Silver Kryptonite is kind of like a drug for Kryptonians, causing numerous similar effects to drugs, like hallucinations, paranoia, profound sweating, dilated pupils, etc. But there’s actually much more going on than that.
The fact that a splinter pierced Clark’s skin and stayed there means that Silver Kryptonite slows down Superman’s healing. Moreover, it remained inside until it was taken out, meaning Clark’s body couldn’t eject it like it usually would when he ingested or inhaled Red or Green K.
Also, the effects take around half an hour to kick in, but they wear off rather quickly after the rock is removed. And that’s what happens when the Kryptonite is directly ‘injected’ into the bloodstream via the splinter in Kent’s finger. It’s unclear if Silver Kryptonite affects Clark only when entering his bloodstream or if simply being in its presence has the same effect.
That being said, it seems that Silver Kryptonite does emit some sort of radiation because we can clearly see Clark getting paranoid about the box even before he opens it. That would suggest it works when it’s only in a Kryptonian’s vicinity but at a much milder, toned-down level.
Alternative versions of Silver Kryptonite
The Smallville version of Silver Kryptonite might be the most well-known, but it wasn’t the first nor the last. The first Silver Kryptonite actually wasn’t Kryptonite at all but a hoax. In Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #70 from 1963, Jimmy plays a joke on Superman by making up Silver Kryptonite.
It was only a prop that Jimmy used as a part of the joke for Superman’s silver anniversary, or 25 years since arriving at Metropolis.
Another interesting appearance of Silver K happened in Superman/Batman #46, where it does have some mystical, magical properties. For Superman and other Kryptonians, however, Silver Kryptonite has similar effects as the Smallville version.
It works as a hallucinogenic drug that causes them to lose inhibition, alter their perception, and cause extreme, insatiable hunger. Munchies, am I right?
Apart from Smallville, Silver K also had an appearance in the Supergirl TV Series. Again, it was Superman who was affected, and it caused severe hallucinations, making him think that his cousin, Supergirl, was Zod.
Finally, there’s this version of Kryptonite that isn’t really Silver Kryptonite, but it’s close enough for me to mention it. In Action Comics #310 from 1964, we get introduced to Jewel Kryptonite, a type of Kryptonite created by the Phantom Zone villain Jax-Ur.
He tricked Superman and went back to the time before Krypton exploded and went to the planet’s Jewel Mountains to get a piece of the rock. It had unique properties that allowed villains in the Phantom Zone to increase their mental powers to such an extent that they could affect things outside of the Zone. Luckily, most (or even all) of Jewel K has been destroyed.