31/10/2018 There have been many different types of kryptonite in the comics, but the latest version is a more powerful weapon than any before. It’s time for fans to learn about platinum kryptonite. A stone that grants all of Superman’s powers to anyone who possesses it.
Warning: Spoilers for “Batman Secret Files” (Vol 1) #1 Coming! For less involved fans of the Superman movies or modern comics, the term “kryptonite” may simply refer to the green variety that is lethal to Kryptonians. But different versions of the radioactive substance have affected Superman in different ways, mostly for the worse – and this is where the new platinum kryptonite differs because it doesn’t affect Superman’s powers at all. Platinum Kryptonite grants the powers of a Kryptonian under a yellow sun to anyone who touches him… and now Superman wants Batman to accept his powers as a gift.
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This is a massive shift in the status quo like nothing has happened before when it comes to Batman and Superman, and it was already revealed in the Batman Secret Files (Vol 1) #1 preview! In one of several short stories, Batman writer Tom King and artist Mikel Janin throw Bruce Wayne into this impossible dilemma. But Superman doesn’t just show Batman this “potion” that turns whoever drinks it into a new Superman—he actually suggests that Bruce undergo the change in order to continue his fight, which he always deserved.
The science or mineral composition of platinum kryptonite, or an explanation of how it would actually change Batman’s physiology, is not where fans will get hung up. The point is, the question now being asked of Bruce Wayne is whether he is far enough along in his crime-fighting career to accept that his body will only weaken as the days, weeks, and years go by. A deep dilemma for Batman: will he embrace this power to continue his mission… but only if he surrenders his humanity along with his mortality.
The narration that accompanies this story provides all the necessary explanations why Superman offers Batman this dream that comes from the Phantom Zone and why Bruce could accept it. As fans know, the cycle is always the same: Batman fights until all seems lost, Superman saves the day, and then part ways until next time. So what happens when Superman isn’t around? What happens when the broken bones in his body don’t heal properly? Superman’s question is the most important: if not Batman, the most disciplined and determined hero to defend the earth, who else will turn the platinum kryptonite into a demigod?
When Alfred finally arrives to interrupt Bruce’s pondering of the decision, Bruce’s question to his most trusted partner, friend and father sums it up: “Alfred… am I enough?” Would Batman, gifted with Superman’s abilities, be the hero. who would he be, as Clark puts it? Or would he become something else if his mortality—often seen as his greatest weakness AND strength—was left behind?
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