www.cbr.com

Does Liquefying Kryptonite Seriously Eliminate Its Effect on Superman?

This is "Don't Send Me No More Letters No." In this feature I spotlight responses that amuse me for whatever reason by "Superman" family editor Mort Weisinger to letters fans wrote in to the Superman family of titles back in the 1950s and 1960s.

Today, we look at when Mort Weisinger changed the way that Kryptonite worked so that he could win an argument with a fan!

Mort Weisinger, like many people, did not like to admit that he was wrong and so a fun recurring aspect of a lot of these letters is when a fan will write in to tell Mort he is wrong and then Mort will come up with some absurd reason why he is NOT incorrect, with the most infamous one being the time that Mort explained to a kid that Lois' marriage to an alien didn't count because the marriage wasn't consummated (he seriously said that - check it out in one of the earlier editions of "Don't Send Me No More Letters No").

As it turns out, Mort's unwillingness to concede a point even led to him changing the properties of Kryponite!

It all started with Action Comics #252, which featured the debut of Metallo in the first of two stories in the issue (the second story introduced some cousin of Superman that I think made a couple more appearances after this issue, but I could be wrong). Robert Bernstein wrote it and Al Plastino drew it.

In the story, Metallo traps Superman in a room with a piece of Kryptonite. Superman notes that he had tried using his heat vision on kryptonite in the past but it never worked but then he thought that perhaps he just needed to concentrate really hard. So since he was trapped and had nowhere else to go anyways, he concentrates and succeeds in melting the kryptonite and freeing himself.

However, Bernstein doesn't go beyond "Superman can melt kryptonite." In other words, he doesn't say whether what happened was that the melted kryptonite washed down a drain or whatever. He didn't explain WHY melting it helped the Man of Steel out.

A fan, then, questioned Weisinger about it in the letter column a few issues later and Weisinger came up with the position that when kryptonite moves from a solid to a liquid, it loses its deadly effects on Superman.

By the way, melted ice does not cease to be cold. That's a weird thing to say happens. Melted ice water is still cold at first before it eventually loses it cool (unlike Fonzie, who never loses his cool).

Did Weisinger stick to this new property of Kryptonite?

1 2
The Flash Pulls a Captain America Move in Latest Episode

More in CBR Exclusives