44 – Kryptonite Spear

coverblackOur introduction to Kryptonite in Batman v. Superman, its properties and use.

Getting into the science of minerals, materials, radiation, and projectiles.  Why make a Kryptonite spear?  Why not Kryptonite bullets, blades, or bludgeons?

Something more meaningful than the gift of a Kryptonite ring.

Answers, insights, and commentary on:

  • Properties of a mineral
  • Properties of Kryptonite
  • Weaponizing Kryptonite
  • Why Kryptonite glows
  • Kryptonian bio-interactions
  • Wisps of smoke during scalpel cut
  • Radioactive half-life
  • Biological half-life
  • Ballistic penetration
  • Lightsaber design language
  • In praise of production design
  • Pathology of Kryptonite gas
  • Entrusting Kryptonite
  • How to give hope

…and a bonus round of random topics:

  • What altitude did Superman?
  • Super-speed stories
  • Bringing Clark back
  • DC Rebirth
  • Allegory
  • Allergy

Kryptonite Spear ManOfSteelAnswers.com
Note: Lightsaber design language, form follows function, and spearhead geometry | Various

Minerals and Blades
Botryoidal mineral texture | Wiki
BvS Spoiler Special with Zack Snyder | Empire Podcast
Stone Blade Surgery | PBS
Obsidian Surgery Scalpels | CNN
Glass Knife | Wiki
Diamond Knife | Wiki
Diamond LaserKnife | ASDS

The Batman Superman Movie | WB Animation
Silver Bullet | Wiki
Radioactivity: Expect the unexpected – Steve Weatherall | TED-Ed
Is radiation dangerous? – Matt Anticole | TED-Ed
How does radiation sickness work? | BrainStuff
The Radium Girls | SciShow

Army Special Forces: “Silent Warriors” (1961) | US Army
Modern Crossbow vs. Modern Body Armor | twangNbang
Momentum, Kinetic Energy, & Arrow Penetration | Dr. Ashby
Tungsten: The perfect metal for bullets | BBC
Firewalking | Wiki
Discoveries from the Inside – Designing the Lightsaber | Star Wars
Return of the Jedi Fake Script Story| Howard Kazanjian
Alpha Particle | Wiki

Everything is a Remix: The Force Awakens | Kirby Ferguson
Justice League: The New Frontier | Darwyn Cooke
Radioactive (Cover) – Happy Sad Songs | Gregory Brothers

Web: ManOfSteelAnswers.com
Twitter: @mosanswers
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  1. Welcome back, Doc! Your podcasts have been missed.

  2. Thanks Doc for the love you put into these things. Please know that we greatly appreciate them.

  3. I don´t disagree with the spear discussion but assume that Snyder (who else) reverse engineered the weapon as he wanted to include the Spear of destiny in the film. The object is a big part of the DC lore, in company to the obvious bible connection.
    I was further surprised that the 2 men who were executed with Bruce didn´t have a role to play (Uncharted 4´s entire narrative is about Dismas for example). I wouldn´t even be too surprised if the eastern opening turned out to be a thematic decision, after the 3D conversion delay.

    Where i 100% disagree is Bruce´s “test” of the spear. Miller´s Batman or Daredevil are repentant sadist by design and have to fight against that. It´s why Bullseye and Joker work so well an anti-thesis. Snyder + Affleck and the content of the film / credits single out DKR. It includes glass torture and him smirking about killing (his mass killing in the mud-pit by bouncing back the grenades / rockets, the “i believe you” line and more). Year One is the only Miller story without him killing but he singled out and brutal hospitalized a SWAT member for shooting a cat! Let´s just forget the sequels and the Spawn tie-in… Bruce was further an executioner in the film and even Alfred chastised the new rules again and again. I wonder how the film would have been received if the protagonist wasn´t an anti-villain for 80% of the way.

    The reviews for DC´s Rebirth are all in and it basically pulled a MoS by splitting the audience in two. My favorite response so far was an all-white roundtable discussion from Comicsalliance (i am Afro-Russian), who insisted that DC is “racist” for allowing 2 Wallys to exist @ once and that The Killing Joke take on the characters (one of the 3 operating Jokers) needs to stop existing and that everyone @ WB is a “misogynist” for still liking the book. It´s only the best Joker story of all time but whatever… The internet’s love affair with Geoff Johns didn´t even last a month! Lol. I am starting to feel nostalgic for the time when the internet didn´t care about comics (let´s not even think about how many of these editors even follow along on a weekly basis ) BUT the rebranding ultimately only needs to do 2 things. To sell and to please me. Geoff always knows how to do both! The comic further felt like a logical step in a larger narrative despite being a course correction. I expect a less dark story with how Rebirth was marketed but that´s not really Geoff´s style. Non-comic readers should probably scratch their heads regarding nearly everything in this comic. The 10/10 prequel Darkseid War is also required reading.
    9,5/10 and i always go with the flow with these once (or twice) a decade refreshes. The New52 was ultimately a sales success, despite a VERY rocky 2015, and enough stuff worked. Especially in the Gotham camp and Superman is being “fixed” (i actually liked 50% of his issue, especially his death) next week. DCEU fans should find something to like in the end. So check out a preview catalog and feel free to gamble.

    PS: @Doc Wally came back about 1 year after Infinite Crisis, to star in a The Incredibles rip-offs before he was put on bus for good, due to Flash Rebirth in 2009/10.

    • What really I didn know that DC rebirth also has a mixed or controversial reaction like MoS does?? I thought DC rebirth is basically a critique to the legacy of watchmen left behind for DC and their mark on DC as well.

      Do you think DC rebirth is also a critique on zack snyder MoS and BvS since snyder is obviously influenced alot from watchmen given his past interview. Heck snyder also admit that he learn how to do justice league based on his experience on watchmen

      • Heart of Steel

        “Do you think DC rebirth is also a critique on zack snyder MoS and BvS”

        I’m inclined to think it may be the opposite, since at first glance (literally at first glance) you can see that the DC Trinity, their most important characters, are remodeled after Snyder’s vision of them. Their costumes are literally taken from Snyder’s film(s) into comic format. If anything, seeing how they also remodeled Supergirl to fit Berlanti’s vision of her, it may be a way for them to more closely unite the comics with their media on both the big and small screens.

        • The comic / redirection is 100% it´s own thing (DC comics is infamous for not pandering to adaptations) if you read it but Geoff´s favorite Superman is from the 90s (mine too) and he is back for one. Geoff was even highly prominent on the MoS feature “Strong Characters, Legendary Roles “ and his current film role was already what he did since the DCEU took shape. Snydra even talked about their collaboration in March, but that´s not the bridge the web would like you to sell… http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/batman-v-superman-married-creative-874799
          Superman and Wonder Woman now looks exactly as in the films but less so with Batman.
          His new suit from Batman No. 50 is an amalgamation of multiple looks, including his very first suit. The comic is quite complicated if you have no knowledge of Watchmen (that Moore reaction will be something!), Flashpoint, who Wally is and general New52 knowledge but come on. Who exactly is supposed to read the books if not us and watching Young Justice (that Aqualad is back again) would also be enough preparation, to get the gist. The problem with the comic (the reaction is more of a 56% split and not a 27%) is that it can be taken apart from every possible angle, if you are a hack that is. DCEU / CW tie-ins (way less than Marvel currently does, which is a double edged sword), diversity, sales stunts, nostalgia pandering, too much continuity due to legacy, multiple artists (it looks SO good), 5 years old New52 anger, no direct return to 2011 (thank Rao, work with what you have!) and so on. Look, the comic already sold very well and the next 2 years are pre-planned, to a degree.
          So don´t care too much about this tempest in a teacup that just can´t end.
          I have been reading US comic for 2 decades like a mad-man and 2016 may be the most exciting year for DC (since 1986?) yet.
          I may be done with Supergirl (awesome lead, so so scripts), i am beyond done with Arrow, Red Hood Rebirth (a shame about the dark trinity team) will probably suck, Return to Arkham is a rushed cash grab, and the next editorial nightmare is only a question of when but SO much is working in nearly every department. Let’s Put A Smile On That Face!

        • What I mean is everybody said that DC rebirth is a critique on dark and edgier take on DC for so long. I’m concerning this is also might be a critique on DC film as well by zack snyder since the tone is almost dark and edgier as well.

          • By “everybody” I guess you mean people that never liked the darker tone of DC? I should also point out that even if it were, it’s hardly focused only against Snyder since the upcoming “Suicide Squad” by David Ayer looks just as dark as Snyder’s films, if not darker. And the teaser of “Wonder Woman” by Patty Jenkins doesn’t looks like a bright war film either…

            Besides, some time before the debut of BvS on theaters there were a few confirmations that next year’s “Justice League” will have a lighter tone in comparison to its predecessors, so regardless of the reception of BvS, the first JL film will be the lightest of Snyder’s superhero films to date.

    • I think that the inspirational connection between the “Kryptonite Spear” and the “Spear of Destiny” further enhance the messianic theme surrounding Superman, since he was also willing to die for the mistakes of men (Luthor labeling him a ‘God’ that must be exposed as a fraud and Batman labeling him a threat against mankind), he eventually perished to save humanity and will ultimately be revived.

    • re: Test – I said it “wasn’t just sadism” not that it “wasn’t sadism”… that means he can do one action with more than one motive. He may sincerely enjoy proving Superman can indeed bleed, but he may also practically need to know Superman can be cut before thrusting his spear. From a scientific standpoint, he only has Lex’s research to know the spear might work… it’s never been used in this configuration against a living Kryptonian before.

      re: Wally – Yeah, I’m pretty well versed in Wally’s run. It’s easier to say he “essentially” retired then than to go into the convoluted history of what actually happened: including two multi-month hiatuses to ramp up to Bart’s volume and away from it, additionally with no formal retirement even after Barry’s return. The density of Wally appearances fell by a fourth over the following years. I think I said, “essentially retiring” which is still true… coming out of retirement doesn’t mean he DIDN’T retire prior too… since his half-hearted return wasn’t the point, I kept to the streamlined history.

      • You really are a lawyer 🙂 . I kind of liked Bart Allen´s one aborted year as Flash but the entire comic fell off a cliff after his death, with the exception of the 2 Rogues books during Final Crisis / Blackest Night and the Flashpoint mini / toon . I wasn´t even that crazy about Flash Rebirth and his New52 comic was just “fine.” The entire Flash line needs to be fixed! Nothing against CW´s Flash (8,5/10) but it can´t be that the show is better than any of his ongoing runs in a decade. Especially if i consider how elevated he became in universe after the Speed Force was introduced. The back to back runs of Waid, Morrison/Miller and Geoff were the days… The new comic has a solid idea, so we will see. Most of the the ducks are in a row with Rebirth and it´s the editorial side i am slightly worried about, if anything.

  4. The power of friendship would be more effective against Superman(keep him a good guy by never leaving him with no loved ones/friends) than kryptonite. Does this Batman realize that fighting Superman(even with kryptonite) would only turn out well for him if Superman really is a good guy and won’t just turn Bruce into a smear on the pavement?

    • I concur. As Batman himself said it in the “Batman Hush” storyline: “If Clark wanted to, he could use his superspeed and squish me into the cement. But I know how he thinks. Even more than the Kryptonite, he’s got one big weakness. Deep down, Clark’s essentially a good person… and deep down, I’m not.”

      I was never worried about the ‘winner’ in the film’s fight because one way or another it never mattered to me. I think that Superman doesn’t needs to “prove” anything by defeating mortal man with some fancy gadgets, he’s better than that, and the fact that he refused to kill Batman even for the sake of his own mother is evidence of that.

      • True. The only way Clark can win is by losing. Because if he did won, Batman would just come back and try again. Because Batman never gives up. Has Clark ever just given Bruce the win so they can stop fighting? And did Clark not know about Batman until recently?

    • I need to wait for home release to break it down further, but even from the intro we know Superman is “letting” Bruce fight. If he opened up with heat vision or dropped a truck on him, that would pretty much be the end of it. I think Batman’s traps play to that by showing Superman there will be stray bullets and collateral damage if Superman doesn’t keep the fight contained, which explains why Superman takes it to a rooftop, catches the grenade, and throws Batman deeper into the building rather than out the window… accordingly why Batman can predict Superman will do those things. Tactics which might be better for Superman would be bad for anyone around them… dodging grenades lets them go off who knows where and when… letting it spill out into the streets risks civilians… so keeping it contained also optimized Batman’s tactics.

      • Has Clark ever just declared Batman the winner just so they can not fight? So, Batman wanted to kill Superman because the alien might turn evil and kill everyone. Did Bruce know that he only has a chance of winning a fight if Superman does not want to kill him?

        • “Has Clark ever just declared Batman the winner just so they can not fight?”

          No, because they’ve never fought just for sport as far as I’m aware. When they fight, it’s always because they want something, not just for a declaration of a winner. That applies here. Superman needs either Batman’s cooperation or his head. Batman needs Superman dead. Superman saying, “You win.” alone doesn’t accomplish anyone’s goal. To Batman, Superman is still alive and a risk. To Superman, Batman still isn’t helping or being handed over. So there’s little value to verbally declaring a winner.

          “Did Bruce know that he only has a chance of winning a fight if Superman does not want to kill him?”

          I think this is pretty clear not just from the fight’s setup, but from comments from Cavill, Affleck, and the Snyders. In any fight where Superman doesn’t open up with heat-vision or super-speed or dropping a mountain on him basically starts with this premise. Throughout the movie, Batman acknowledges, even if begrudgingly, that Superman is a good guy… cats out of trees, good guys left, etc. And, in fact, their first encounter is “mercy”… Supes set a precedent by not using heat-vision, super-speed, or excessive-force to brutalize him then. So Batman has a benchmark to know Superman isn’t just going to come at him and tear his head off before he can blink.

          • But if batman knew Superman had that goodness in him not to kill him right away why did he still want him dead?

          • Nuance. Being good now doesn’t mean no risk of collateral ever. Bruce didn’t deny Superman’s apparent goodness… his answer to Clark isn’t that Superman doesn’t save cats from trees, but that he can burn the whole place down… his answer to Alfred isn’t that Superman isn’t good, but that no one can stay good. He raises Superman’s potential for harm based on his view that everyone and everything falls. Just like he’s become a fallen criminal. Promises aren’t worth anything. How many good men are left? He’s not killing Superman because he believes Superman evil, but because the alien could eventually wreak unfathomable havoc. However, that prediction is born of cynicism Bruce sheds. He believes promises can be kept, which is why he makes one to Superman. He believes men are still good. He understands that even if we individually fall, together we can lift each other up.

          • Batman still needed Superman dead because of the extreme, believable and (from Bruce’s very, very jaded perspective) inevitable fall from grace – it does not matter to Bruce at this point if Superman is a force for good or not. He truly believes that the potential of Superman straying from the path of good is the biggest threat mankind has faced or ever will (and he has a point) – it is all of this and more that Batman instinctively relinquishes and re-forges his own perception in a few heartbeats when he has his epiphany. It is an immense tectonic shift in Bruce’s thought process when he finally realises that this guy isn’t a threat. That he is here to be a force for genuine good, and that he would rather die than become a tyrant or a monster. “Why did he say that name? Does he know who I am? Is he saying her name on purpose? He knows. Who is Martha to him? His mother is in danger? He could have killed me, but he hasn’t – he didn’t kill me. He should have. His mother is in danger. No. No. No. I will not let her die again. No.” is how I imagine his internal dialogue within that small period of time.

          • Why are some internet commenters saying that Batman ought to have killed Superman anyway? Because of Hitler in the cradle or something silly like that. Except that Clark really is the type of guy that would sooner die than be evil. Unless he got brainwashed by Darksied or some other baddie. Though said brainwashing can be reversed by a friend affirming their friensdhip (Lego Batman 3 reference/spoiler).

          • The commentators are saying that irrespective of his connection to and compassion for Clark, it doesn’t remove the potential for future disaster, so his underlying rationale for killing Superman is still sensible and he should still go through with it irrespective of his own feelings. The problem with that view is that it ignores the origins of his rationale, which came from his own cynicism, failure, and isolation. The cynical calculation is that the threat of the Kryptonian remains so long as he’s alive, but the optimistic calculation is that with an ally he never falls that far and instead accomplishes wonders. Batman’s viewpoint is changed so the rationale is properly undermined in his eyes.

  5. @DrAwkward, the podcast seem to have ended prematurely.

    • I haven’t listened to my mp3 file yet (still on episode 43), but have you checked to see if your file is as long as Doc’s notes claim it ought to be (1:29:55)? Sometimes files can be cut short during download and mistakingly registered as “finished”.

  6. Some background info on Leto´s Joker. Doc himself said that he wanted to get 1 ep. in before the film. Study up and follow the links at the bottom, he may prove to be the most controversial DCEU character yet:
    Can´t wait. My favorite Joker is Morrison´s super-sanity take from RIP (and originally Aztek) but i also really did the Golden Age one. (Also love Leto´s “damaged” tattoo, as it represents his ultimate joke. We may get our first truly funny life action Joker!)

  7. Hi everyone,

    Check this new trailer for BvS ultimate edition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AO19XY2rqc

    And it is awesome

    • I’m already seeing more glimpses beyond what I was expecting and that’s exciting. Can’t wait!

      • What really curious me is the african part where superman stop the missile. Wonder what is really happening there?

        • The Africa scene was promised to be greatly extended, and the film could use a bit more clarity and action. This cut will also balance out the scales with way more Cavill and reporting!
          The full films appears to address every of my few grievances, as the Nolan-esque script and direction were nearly perfect. The only problem were clearly missing puzzle pieces and here they are.

          About the Flash: Rick Famuyiwa is a good choice, due to his steadily improving filmography and his feelings based approaches. Way to level up WB and it´s always nice to see another “brother” succeed. “I am Barry Allen, the dopes man alive!”

          • I wouldn’t say nolan-esque, Snyder has a much better time directing and scripting female characters than Nolan.

          • @Anthony Snyder is indeed one of the best current directors in terms of women and i don´t disagree (Insomnia and his A+ Catwoman are examples of exceptions) but noone is perfect. Him and Nolan are further friends and both are Kubrick-esque, who is my favorite director.

            My favorite superhero director is Singer for example and it´s shame that Raimi and Whedon were broken by the system. They certainly knew what they were doing. WB needs to make sure that the director and producers + shareholder relationship will work over time. No shared universe ever managed proper cohesion before (Disney recently fired the entire overseeing comic staff!) and i would like to see how that looks one day…

            Rick Famuyiwa´s Dope (9/10) is lastly a better film than the 2 DCEU films, in their current form, and the film has very kinetic direction and editing. The complicate message is very good and the film masks the dark narrative though a positive overall energy. Just what we need! Check the film out true believers and his matter of fact Confirmation (8/10) is worth a watch too.

            My highest interest lies in JL 2 (or wherever Snydra goes full Kirby) and Wan´s (a true Wunderkind) Aqua-man is right behind it, so Famuyiwa´s Flash has to “settle” with the bronze medal. I may be the biggest Batman fan ever but he has been cracked before and the mentioned films + the very solid looking Wonder Woman deserve the public´s attention. Make it so WB!
            +1 for the diversity of the whole universe. In front AND behind the camera.

          • @residentgrigo

            Wait, did Disney really fired their entire overseeing comic staff? Really? I’ve been recently out of touch from superhero news lately (for obvious reasons), but I just want to know; did such announcement created a turmoil in the web? If I were to guess, either nobody really cared, or somehow many people excused it as “the right move” by Disney.

            Doesn’t matters what kind of “bad news” comes out of Disney/Marvel, somehow people can justify it one way or another.

    • Thanks for the link Leon, but can you please also give us the title of the new trailer? I may have to seek it out on other video sites than Youtube.

  8. I love how you couldn’t resist talking about the complexity of the Martha scene even though this was a kryptonite episode. To be honest i would have done the same, but not nearly as good as you Doc.

    • Oh, do you have a blog and/or podcast of your own? I’d love to check it out. 🙂

      • Apologies for the confusion, i don’t have a podcast of my own. What i meant to say is if i was on Doc´s shoes i’ll do the same. but there is one called justice league universe podcast hosted by Sam, he does a scene by scene analysis of BvS, i definitely recommend it.

        There is another version in audio:

  9. These are all rumors.
    TIER 1 – Confirmed by multiple sources
    TIER 2 – Confirmed by some, denied by others
    TIER 3 – Speculation from within that has yet to be confirmed.

    TIER 1:
    – The African woman who speaks at the beginning of the film is an actress paid for by Lex Luthor.
    – Mercy was uncomfortable with what Luthor was doing. Knowing this, Lex leads Mercy to her death out of spite for being unfaithful to him.
    – The Justice League cameos are not via an email in the Ultimate Cut.
    – Aquaman, Flash and Cyborg are seen in “action” during the end credits. Due to time constraints, they had to cut this sequence and their stories within the film. The email scene was a last minute idea to be able tease the Justice League characters in a short amount of time.
    – Luthor comes across as a more grounded character. His story makes much more sense with all his important character moments included and in the correct order.
    – Snyder signed on to make a “3 and a half hour epic” and stressed the importance of this as to separate themselves from what Marvel is doing. He stressed that he needed at least 3 hours. WB gave him the go ahead. This cut of the film received overwhelmingly positive reception from within the studio, which made them over-confident. Having been impressed by the quality of the film, they then focused their attention towards the profitability of the film. 2 MONTHS before the release date, Warner Bros panicked and pulled the plug on the idea of a 3 hour film.
    – Man of Steel sequel is happening. Date will be announced at SDCC 2016

    TIER 2:
    – We get a glimpse of Themyscira.
    – Lois and Diana have met before.
    – ‘Justice League’ will be at least 2 and a half hours long, but with a much simpler/lighter story. Snyder had planned for it to be longer, but it was always going to be lighter in tone.
    – Ben Affleck is supportive of Zack Snyder. As is Warner Bros.

    TIER 3 –
    – Zack Snyder doesn’t want to direct Justice League part 2. Instead, he is planning on adapting a novel for his next project.

  10. @MegaSteel (i nearly overlooked you) The short of it, just google the rest: http://www.bleedingcool.com/2015/09/02/marvel-creative-committee-disbanded/

    The overseeing comic staff´s last film was Cap3. Disney promised to never mess with Marvel but there you go. The comic line´s current stare is another mess (it´s highly reactive to adaptations), but at least 1/3 of it very good and their Star Wars is top notch.

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