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When Did 'Kryptonite Nevermore' Turn Into 'Okay, A Little More'?

This is "Never Gonna Be the Same Again," a feature where I look at how bold, seemingly "permanent" changes were ultimately reversed. This is not a criticism, mind you, as obviously things are always going to eventually return to "normal." That's just how superhero comic books work. It's just fun to see how some of these rather major changes are reversed. This is differentiated from "Abandoned Love," which is when a new writer comes in and drops the plot of the previous writer. Here, we're talking about the writer who came up with the idea being the same one who resolved the change. This is also differentiated from "Death is Not the End," which is about how "dead" characters came back to life, since this is about stuff other than death.

Today, based on a suggestion from reader Riccardo N., we take a look at how "Kryptonite Nevermore" turned out to be more of a suggestion than a statement.

As I believe I've mentioned in a few recent columns, the early 1970s was an era of major change in the DC Universe, as a new era of writers took over the major DC characters. One of these new writers was Denny O'Neil, who oddly enough was actually a decent bit older than some of the other "young guns" at the time in the sense that he was in his early 30s at the start of the 1970s instead of his early 20s like a lot of the other writers. Still, he was definitely a much fresher writer than most of DC's old guard, who had been working consistently for DC Comics since practically before World War II!

Julius Schwartz had a lot of faith in O'Neil's abilities, so when Schwartz took over the editor role on the main Superman title (for some bizarre reason, perhaps having to do with Schwartz's workload at the time, as he still edited the Batman titles, Flash and a few other books, Schwartz initially only took over Superman while Action Comics went to Murray Boltinoff, who mostly stuck with the approach that Mort Weisinger had already been using on the books. So yes, DC decided to do a big revamp and only had it on one of the two titles - that makes about as much sense as you think), he had O'Neil write the new revamped title, with a great Neal Adams cover for the first issue, Superman #233...

(Adams, by the way, was never a fan of the cover and was a bit...if not irked, perhaps a little disappointed that the cover still became iconic based more on the fact that the basic idea of the cover was just THAT good)

Besides establishing Clark Kent as a TV journalist rather than a print journalist (which was a major change that actually became a "permanent" change, with Clark remaining in the role right up until the Man of Steel reboot, although the Daily Planet was also eased back into the book, as well), the major change in this issue (which was drawn by Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson) is what was teased on the cover - an experiment went "wrong" and rendered all green kryptonite on Earth effectively inert...

It's a funny enough bit, I guess, Superman, but seriously, dude, that is still a weird thing to do. You're eating a freakin' rock. Just because you CAN do something doesn't mean that you SHOULD do something...

Okay, so kryptonite is gone.

Or is it?

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