Darkseid and Superman have fought on several occasions and Superman, I think, always turns out to be a major pain for Darkseid. Darkseid is not stupid and surely must have known about the kryptonite weakness from very early on. Darkseid is also not weakened by kryptonite. So why doesn't he just have a little laced into his suit in case he ever bumps into a Kryptonian? That is, why bother fighting and risking defeat when you could just weaken and then destroy Superman and move forward with your plans?

(I don't buy that the real answer is that it makes the story boring because even the writers for Justice League Dark: Apokolips War found an interesting and entertaining storyline where Superman is nerfed for most of the movie [by a kryptonite injection that Darkseid put into him AFTER his souped-up parademons defeated him in battle].)

That is, why bother with the battle at all?

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    Look at what happened to Lex Luthor's lustrous head of hair thanks to Kryptonite exposure. Sure Darkseid wants to destroy the universe or whatever, but he's doesn't want to go bald. Jan 17, 2022 at 15:37
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    @PaulD.Waite - HA! I assume Darkseid isn't as weak or vulnerable as a human, especially with his vast array of technology at his disposal. Jan 17, 2022 at 15:38
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    @honeste_vivere Have you ever heard of a god that wasn’t filled with vanity and pride? Jan 17, 2022 at 19:03
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    @PaulD.Waite It's funny you mention that, because in the DCAU, most people who owned a dragon "jade" statue (actually, it was kryptonite) died prematurely from various diseases (in an episode from Superman: TAS featuring Batman from Batman: TAS). And Lex Luthor himself eventually caught blood cancer because of kryptonite radiations (from carrying some all the time).
    – Clockwork
    Jan 17, 2022 at 22:56
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    @Clockwork By funny, you mean insightful and indicative of deep comics knowledge! 😎 Jan 18, 2022 at 0:14

1 Answer 1


Because he usually doesn't need to.

I'm going to focus on the DCAU continuity, because it's the one universe I know the most about.

In Superman: The Animated Series and Justice League, when Darkseid fought against Superman, he could easily overpower him most of the time (episodes Father's Day, Apokolips... Now! Part II and even Legacy, Part II even if Superman managed to win in extremis in that last one). He truly lost only one fight in the Justice League episode Twilight, and it did cost him his life... until he's revived in the penultimate episode from the Justice League Unlimited.

In the very last episode of the Justice League Unlimited animated series, Destroyer, after his revival and his fusion with Brainiac, he became stronger, which allowed him to crush Superman with even more ease, until Superman decided not to hold back. But that didn't change much, because Darkseid still had something to put a stop to Superman.

Darkseid: It's called the Agony Matrix. Direct neural stimulation of pain receptors - all of them. Imagine the worst pain you've ever felt in your life, times a thousand. Now imagine that pain continuing. Forever. Oh, that's right... you don't have to imagine.

Still, that specific version of Darkseid fused with Brainiac had something special for the occasion (same video, 38 seconds forward):

Darkseid: Still alive. You impress me, Kryptonian. More... your valor has touched my heart. Oh yes, there is still some small part of me that knows mercy. I will end your pain... with something special I've been saving for just this occasion. [Darkseid draws a Kryptonite knife] I'm going to carve out your heart and put it on a pike in my throne room.

So, yeah, he's so strong that he doesn't actually need to use kryptonite, to the point that in the last occurrence, he pulls a kryptonite knife out only to kill Superman out of mercy.

As a side note, he's depicted as being so sure and so proud of himself that he doesn't even bother actually dealing with problems himself, usually sending his army to fight the nuisances in his stead. And even when someone dares to disrespect him, like Superman does, he usually uses his Omega Beam to avoid having to fight at all.

When you think about how he considers himself a god above everyone else, it would be pretty low from him to use kryptonite to deal with Superman.

Another point to add to the fact that it's not just about killing Superman to him: take a look at this excerpt from the episode Legacy, Part I, in which Superman was brainwashed into believing Darkseid is his adoptive father, and is sent to attack and conquer Earth.

He did it for the sole purpose of destroying Superman's reputation, so that the entirety of Earth would hate him, because he initially tried to persuade Superman into joining his rank to increase his army's power (which Superman refused); quote from the episode Apokolips... Now! Part II:

Darkseid: Think of it, Superman. The power you have now, it's nothing compared with what I'm offering you.

Superman: You know I can't do that.

Darkseid: Pity. Still, if you won't be my knight, you will be my pawn.

Quotes from above are transcript retrieved from these websites.

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    Absolutely love the DCAU, but it should probably be noted that Superman is quite nerfed in it compared to the comics. That being said, I think your point still stands that generally Darkseid doesn't need kryptonite to defeat him. I'm not sure what media the OP was asking about, it seems pretty open-ended.
    – Nacht
    Jan 18, 2022 at 0:44

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