Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Kendra Kirai: It should be noted that there's been several Martian Manhunter series, and just being '#24' could mean the one from the 70's, the 80's, or the newest one, which is why I put the approximate date in.

Ununnilium: Usually you go "vx" for whichever incarnation of the book it is. For example, X-Men v1 for the original series (eventually renamed to Uncanny X-Men), and X-Men v2 for the series created so they could have a new #1 (hey, it was the 90s).

Kendra Kirai: Unfortunately, I don't know which volume/version it's in. I just know it's from 2000-something. I can't make out the date on the kind of small cover scan I've got.
Morgan Wick: When I first saw this, and throughly read it, I thought, "Well, this is just a subset of Achilles' Heel. The two entries will lend themselves to different examples."

Then I saw how this is used on With Great Power Comes Great Insanity, and I figure, "Okay, is this just horning in on Achilles' Heel's turf?"

So far, this seems to be described as a mixture of Why Did It Have to Be Snakes? (or Applied Phlebotinum / Green Rocks) and The Worf Effect. The former really isn't much different from Achilles' Heel, and the latter seems to be a completely different trope from what this one ostensibly describes, one not necessarily specific to comic books.

It sounds like a good idea for this to be separate, as giving SuperHeroes an Achilles' Heel of some sort is a long tradition, but is there any way someone can differentiate it?

Ununnilium: IMHO, it should be something that is only harmful to the superhero, or immune to the superhero's powers. Kryptonite fits, because it doesn't effect humans (unless you're in close contact with it for months or years at a time). Yellow for Green Lantern fits, since the ring can't affect things normal people can pick up. You wouldn't think fire fits, since normal people can be hurt by it, but J'onn is repelled by something as simple as a candle flame. I'll fiddle with the entry a bit to make it sync up.

Random Dude 22: IMHO the Kryptonite Factor trope is different from the Achilles Heel trope in that the Kryptonite Factor trope is almost exclusive to Phlebotinum that seems hard/impossible to access but is yet readily available. Kryptonite is derived of meteorites found after crashing to Earth and yet is abundantly around, no matter how many pieces Superman manages to account for, give to Star Labs/Batman/Justice Leaguers, or throw into the sun.

Just to shift it slightly, while the color yellow doesn't seem so unbelivably unaccessible in Green Lantern's universe, it did seems to pop up an inordinate amount of times in the silver age stories, such as spaceships or alien armor that were painted yellow for no reason whatsoever.

This element of the Kryptonite Factor Trope has been almost defiantly eliminated at every turn by modern writers who seem annoyed by the abundance of Kryptonite on Earth (such as John Byrne's 1986 revamp of the Superman mythos or modern stories that include the existence of synthetic Kryptonite, not as potent but manmade and therefore easier to obtain).

Ununnilium: I disagree. Kryptonite itself is often that way (when miswritten), but wood, for instance, is the Golden Age Green Lantern's Kryptonite Factor, and that's as un-Phelbotinumish as you can get.

Looney Toons: Similarly fire for the Martian Manhunter.

Collier7344: In the origin story, the Golden Age Green Lantern's ring was able to stop bullets fired at him by creating a magnetic force field. The hoods were able to club him senseless because the wooden billy they used was "non-magnetic". Anything since then has been lazy writer's syndrome. Incidentally, the magnetic force field stopped the lead bullets because they were steel-jacketed - a big thing in the forties. This leads to an off-topic question - what is the trope for the plot twist that gets around the Kryptonite Factor for one story? For example, Superman vision doesn't affect lead, so he cannot melt lead bullets. However, in one sixties story, he is stated to be able to melt a fusillade of bullets because they were steel-jacketed. He has also on one occasion worn a lead-glass suit, to fight a gang with kryptonite spray guns and a ray that turns lead into glass. The suit was also bullet-proof, so the gang couldn't deal with it THAT way, either.

Daibhid C: On the subject of Alan Scott's ring; he version I heard (or possibly made up and assumed was what the writers meant) was that the power ring is made of metal, and wood is opposed to metal in the Chinese system of elements. I also recall a Retcon that being hit by the club convinced him the ring didn't work on wood, so it didn't (similar to a mid-eighties idea that the GL Corps rings were vunerable to yellow not because of a "necessary impurity", or an evil fear entity, but because the Guardians told the Lanterns they were).