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How to kill the man of steel, aka Superman

Clark Kent, Kal-El, Superman and the Man of Steel. No matter how you refer DC’s All American boy scout hero there’s one thing that everyone knows, Superman is EXTREMELY Overpowered and due to this writers of the long running comic have had to come up more and more vulnerabilities to ensure that having Superman appear does not automatically result in an automatic win, what would be more boring than that?

So HOW do you kill a powerhouse like Superman? And what weaknesses can you exploit to ensure victory?

Superman, the man of steel


In the main DC Comic Universes Superman does not kill. In fact he is so against killing that in Alan Moore’s “The Killing Joke” when Superman is forced to break this cardinal rule by killing Mr. Mxyzptlk whose reality altering powers were used to result in the death of Jimmy Olsen and Lana Langby Brainiac he deems himself unworthy and actually commits suicude by entering a room containing gold Kryptonite (which we will come to later) which kills him instantly. Death of people affects him so much that having lives in danger could distract him enough to put a second phase of a plan into action.

Solar Powered:

Superman gains basically all of his powers from the solar energy of the earth’s yellow sun. Without access to this Superman can quickly lose all powers and become weak, making him vulnerable to any attack. In fact on Krypton, Superman’s home planet, the sun is red which gives kryptonians no powers at all. No Sun, no powers.

In fact due to the fact that Kal-El has spent most of his life on earth absorbing the yellow sun, the native sunlight of Krypton is actually harmful to him and can deplete his powers quicker than just removing the sunlight that gives him his powers.

Blunt force trauma:

So he may be bulletproof but you can simply kill Superman by beating the absolute **** out of him. The most famous example of this from the early 90s when Doomsday “killed” superman by dealing too much damage, but this is not the only time is has happened, Wonderwoman, Darkseid and Shazam among others have beaten Superman with brute strength and interestingly Muhammad Ali has kncoked him out just by throwing punches.

Kryptonian Virus:

In the Comics exists a virus called “Virus X”, a Kryptonian virus has a 30 days from exposure to death and turns the victims skin green and bloated. The virus can also be passed to humans and has no known cure, although Superman has been lucky in the past and has been accidentally cured by ANOTHER type of kryptonite (again we will come to that later)

Magic & Manipulation:

He may be invulnerable to many normal weapons but Clark Kent is in no way protected against magic. His powers occur due to something quite natural and physiological, whereas other beings, heroes and villains alike gain their powers via the supernatural. Spell casters such as the Enchantress and characters whose powers come from the use of magic, such as Shazam have a major advantage in any battle.

Most weapons also can’t hurt him by Aquaman’s trident? No problem, the basis in magic imbuement means that Superman has no defense whatsoever if he is hit with it. Wonder woman can also cause many issues for Supes with her Amazonian weaponry.

So what about manipulation? Kal-El is naturally very weak against psionic attacks and especially mind control. Imagine a mind controlled Superman causing havok. Although Superman has had defense training against this type of attack it is still a great way to manipulate the hero as he will never be fully protected.

His own Powers:

Superman’s powers include Super hearing with this great power comes a great weakness. Certain frequencies that are inaudible to everyone else can cause Superman immense pain and even make him bleed from the ears. Also Superman should be easily affected if you can overwhelm his senses, he has a great knack of being able to single out certain noises or sights, and if you can somehow stop him being able to concentrate on just one thing or event then this can easily be a major distraction.

Superman and his powers

His secret identity and loved ones:

A pair of specs and a change of outfit are all that stands between people discovering that Clark Kent and Superman are one and the same. Other superheroes know who Clark is and for the most determined person wanting to take out Superman should be able to figure it out easily enough. I mean Clark Kent is never seen with Supes and they both “die” at the same time too.

In many versions of Superman the death of his loved ones is the key to really getting to him, We've already explored the killing joke where the death of Jimmy and Lana cause Superman to kill and ultimately end his own life, And the game Injustice: Gods among us the Joker tricks Superman into killing a pregnant Lois Lane and causing the death of 5 million people via nuclear explosion, again the event causes Superman to Kill, this time the Joker and then take over the world as a dictator.


So now we get to explore the last thing on our list. If you asked anyone that is not a full blown geek “what is Superman’s weakness?” then we’re pretty sure that most people would say kryptonite, made famous to most people by Richard Donner’s groundbreaking 1978 film where Lex Luthor uses the green rock to cause Superman to lose all powers. But what if, like we had already mentioned above a couple of times, we told you that there was not JUST one type of kryptonite but many, each that affects Kal-El in a different way?

What types are there then?

Supeman and green Kryptonite

Well we’re not going to list them all as that another blog article in itself as at last count we can think of OVER THIRTY types that have been created or discovered. In post crisis DC universe’s (after Crisis on infinite earths, again a blog of its own) new earth all forms of kryptonite created from the one naturally occurring green we all know.

Here’s a few of the most common and what they can do:

Green Kryptonite;

Saps the powers that kryptonians gain from the yellow sun of earth and will cause death if exposed for a long time. Starts off as flu like symptoms and can cause cancer in humans if they have a long enough exposure.

Red Kryptonite;

The most random of the Kryptonites and each exposure can do something completely different and sometimes ridiculous, Such as turning a kryptonian into a dragon, in Smallville Clark was turned bad by red kryptonite and Batman has created a version that can cause a kryptonians skin to go see through so that they absorb TOO much solar energy and causes incapacitation.

Gold Kryptonite;

Permanently removes the ability to process solar energy making the victim pretty much human, has also caused the death of Superman (See The Killing Joke)

Blue Kryptonite;

Affects Bizzaros the same way that Green affects Kryptonians. Also cures the affect of Red Kryptonite.

So there we have it, multiple ways to affect and attack the Man of Steel. If you would like to see more please let us know and we can create content you want to see.