In Justice League: Doom, there is a scene where kryptonite is in very close proximity to Superman, seemingly without any led casing.

Specifically, a kryptonite bullet. There could not be closed casing for the bullet to fire.

Why was Superman unable to detect this?

1 Answer 1


Superman doesn't detect kryptonite. He is just affected by it's radiation. However the effects of kyrptonite on Superman are never consistent or even proportional in any of the comics, shows or movies. Even within the same comic or movie it seems to be up to the writer at that moment to determine the effect that kryptonite has on Superman. For instance in the movie Superman returns he is affected by a small piece and is basically powerless however later he is able to lift a large island of it and fly it into space.

So for the specific instance you mentioned I would assume that the bullet was deemed small enough and the metal of the gun enough of a dampener for the radiation that the writer didn't have Superman immediately double over as if he had an irritable bowel.

  • Poor writing aside; in Superman Returns he suffered a massive dose of Kryptonite radiation prior to being beaten, stabbed, and nearly drowned. It wasn't until after he had the Kryptonite shiv removed, gotten a safe distance away, and then rejuvenated by the yellow sun was he able to dig under the Kryptonite Island and pick it up under the safety of several meters of sediment (blocking most of the radiation). So it wasn't just a Kryptonite splinter rendering him powerless vs. picking up the island being easy.
    – Dylan Yaga
    Mar 12, 2012 at 18:27
  • There really wasn't much sediment, in fact it shows that it's really mostly dirt covered Kryptonite but still it was an entire island of it that he flew into space! If one sliver sent him into spasm it doesn't make any sense. Mar 12, 2012 at 19:44
  • I remember huge chunks of dirt falling off as he lifted it, I'll have to watch it again.
    – Dylan Yaga
    Mar 13, 2012 at 12:07

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