Spoiler Alert: If you haven't read all comics series & story arc of New Krypton Saga viz. New Krypton, World of New Krypton, Last Stand of New Krypton, Superman: War of Supermen etc, drop this question right away!

While battling the evil alien Brainiac, Superman & Supergirl discovered the long-lost bottled city of Kandor which was stolen from Krypton prior to its destruction. Superman re-enlarged the city on Earth, but it wasn't welcomed by Humans. Humans assaulted the city in which Kryptonian's leader Zor-El (Supergirl's father) was killed. Using highly evolved science, Alura (Zor-El's wife) created a new planet "New Krypton". Plus, she, as a new leader, freed General Zod from Phantom Zone to command new super military of New Krypton (every kryptonians had super powers due to yellow sun).

While New Krypton & Earth were at cold war, Zod ordered his military to attack Earth. When military was in space, Sam Lane (Lois Lane's father) destroyed New Krypton by a trick making their race extinct again. Kryptonian military successfully crushed Earth's Mars defense facility & they headed towards Earth.

When they were about to enter atmosphere of Earth:
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Many Kryptonians died under the red sun because they couldn't survive in empty space. Its somewhat plausible because they weren't under yellow sun for long. But, what about Superman & Supergirl? They did survive because they were under yellow sun for very long. But, why did they become very weak instantly? If the power draining rate by radiation of red sun was that high, how did Superman & Supergirl survive?

Is this a plot hole? Or, am I missing something?

  • BTW I should comment, this is General Reference, wikipedia directly answers this question. – NominSim Aug 31 '12 at 13:12
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    What happened next? I am curious. – user11147 Aug 31 '12 at 13:12
  • @MikePeterson en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superman:_War_of_the_Supermen – NominSim Aug 31 '12 at 13:15
  • @NominSim Wikipedia has neglected my one assumption, only. It hasn't answered me. – Harley Quinn Aug 31 '12 at 13:18

Red Sun Radiation: Natural in Krypton's planetary system, red solar radiation replaces the higher-yield yellow solar energy in Superman's cells, robbing him of the fuel for his powers. (Pre-Crisis, red solar radiation was said to lack the superpower-enabling "ultra solar rays" that yellow solar radiation contains.) This process does not have the painful, crippling and fever-like symptoms of Kryptonite, and essentially leaves him with the normal health and abilities of a human in his size and shape, as it did for the entire population of Krypton during its existence. Exposure to yellow solar radiation causes his powers to return. Other than red solar radiation, using up his stored yellow solar energy (without continued exposure to yellow solar radiation) also causes Superman to lose his powers.1

So the radiation of a red sun actively drains their powers, and is not the same as just removing the yellow sun radiation.

  • +1 If this is from the wiki, put a reference link. – Secko Aug 31 '12 at 15:14
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    @Secko It's from the wikipedia, the link is at the end of the quote. – NominSim Aug 31 '12 at 15:15
  • Alright, saw it. – Secko Sep 1 '12 at 1:50

There's another question about this on here that even cites the same comics panel. In it, it's pointed out that the idea that red sun radiation "Saps" a Kryptonian's powers is not the currently accepted one. Its lower strength is not enough to replenish the power a Kryptonian needs to remain strong. On a planet with a red sun (or in darkness, or any other sunless situation) their power would reduce slowly as they expend it.

Superman and Supergirl's reaction is more due to the lack of solar power replacing their need to breathe as often. While they'd have enough reserve to make it to an atmosphere after the initial shock, the newly-super Kryptonians die en masse.

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