10 Weaknesses of Superman Except Kryptonite

Superman, more popularly known as the Man of Steel, first appeared in Action Comics #1 (June 1938) as a symbol of hope for the people of America during the great depression. Labeled as the first American superhero, Superman was marked by his bright red and blue caped costume, superstrength, heat vision, and invincibility.

He became extremely popular with his comics and Superman movies that first came out in 1978 and the latest addition being 2025’s upcoming Superman Legacy. However, no being in this world, whether fictional or real, comes with no weaknesses, and our beloved Superman is no different. We all know Superman to be vulnerable in the presence of Kryptonite, but except for that green rock, Superman has several other weaknesses too. In this article, let’s find out about Superman’s weaknesses except for Kryptonite.

1. The Red Sun

Superman subdued by Red Sun
Source: DC Fandom Wiki

The source of Superman’s powers lies in the radiation of our yellow sun. But on his home planet, Krypton, he would be nothing more than a regular person, just like you and me. The red sun of Krypton would never have granted Kal-El the superhuman strength we know him for.

In the animated movie, Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox, released in 2013, we see that in an alternate timeline, Kal-El was found by the government instead of the Kents, and kept imprisoned as a test subject. We witness Superman is frail and powerless when Flash, Batman, and Cyborg find him locked deep inside a government facility simulating the radiation of a red sun. When they carry Superman outside and sunlight hits him, he develops superpowers and saves everyone.

2. Superhuman Hearing

Superman being in pain by supersonic soundwaves in Batman vs Superman
Source: YouTube/Warner Bros.Entertainment

Even though superhuman hearing has helped Superman on multiple occasions, this power of his is rather a weakness to be exploited. In The Dawn of Justice: Batman vs. Superman released in 2019, we see Batman use supersonic sound canons against Superman, inflicting visible pain on the Man of Steel. Hence, this power is listed as one of Superman’s weaknesses.

3. Inability to See Through Lead

10 Weaknesses of Superman Except Kryptonite

One of Superman’s most famous powers is his ability to see through things using his X-ray vision. But a lesser-known fact about this superpower power is its vulnerability to lead. Yeah, Superman’s X-ray vision cannot see through lead, making this power one of his weaknesses, exploited multiple times by Lex Luthor.

Lex Luthor was able to successfully smuggle weapons under Superman’s nose just because the containers they were being carried in were lined with lead.

4. Atomic Radiation

Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice poster
Source: IMDb (Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice)

As we mentioned above, the source of Superman’s powers lies in the radiation of our yellow sun. This proves that even though other kinds of radiation might not kill Superman, they can most definitely make him weak.

In Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, we see Superman carrying Doomsday to outer space so the military could use a nuclear warhead against it. As the Nuclear warhead hits Doomsday and Superman, we see that he is left in a skeleton-like state as if the nuclear radiation drained him of all his life powers.

Even though he was healed as soon as he came in contact with the sun, this scene was enough to prove that radiation is one of Superman’s weaknesses and can be used as a weapon against him.

5. Susceptible to Drugs

Superman killing Joker
Source: DC Fandom Wiki

Even after having incredible superpowers, Superman’s physical biology is similar to that of normal human beings. Because of this reason, Superman is equally vulnerable to drugs, just as much as normal humans are. In the Injustice storyline, we see that Joker uses a modified version of Scarecrow’s fear gas against Superman. This fear gas makes Superman hallucinate that Lois, his wife, was pregnant at the time, resulting in Superman killing Lois.

When Superman recovers from the drug, he breaks into Arkham Asylum and punches Joker through his chest killing him instantly. Later on, he turned into a dictator with the members of the Justice League who supported his ideology by his side. This vulnerability to drugs was also exploited by Batman on multiple occasions to fight Superman in the Dark Knight Returns comic series.

6. High Voltage Electricity

Superman vs Livewire
Source: DCAU Wiki

This might sound a little weird but the Man of Steel, who can withstand high temperatures and even explosives, is vulnerable to high-voltage electricity. In Superman: The Animated Series, when Superman fights against Livewire, he is thrown around like a basketball on multiple occasions. Even after putting on rubber gloves, Livewire was able to overpower Superman due to the superhero’s weakness in high electricity.

7. Magic

Superman and Shazam
Source: IMDb

Even after Superman’s incredible strength, he is as vulnerable to magic as any of us. Detective Comics introduced us to very few powerful wielders of magic. In several animated series and comics characters like Zatanna were able to give Superman a hard time. Multiple comics and animated series of Superman and Justice League also show us Shazam and Black Adam being able to stand toe to toe against Superman and even stop him on multiple occasions because of their magic-based strength.

8. Life-Threatening Viruses

Superman infected with Doomsday virus
Source: Comic Book Treasury

Superman, like every other lifeform, is vulnerable to diseases. One of the greatest examples of this vulnerability is visible in the comic titled Superman: Doomed, which was published in 2014. In this comic, we see that Superman accidentally got infected with the Doomsday Virus after defeating Doomsday.

This virus started turning him into a version of Doomsday but with the powers of Superman, resulting in him causing havoc for the Justice League till they found a cure and healed him. So yeah, a virus counts as one of the weaknesses of the strongest superhero, Superman.

9. His Humanity

Superman with his parents
Source: DC Database Fandom

If we think about Superman, physically, The Man of Steel is almost unbeatable most of the time, but this strength of his is only limited to his physical power. One of Superman’s biggest weaknesses is his humanity and his emotions. No matter how tough Superman is, he has been brought down to his knees by multiple villains using his loved ones.

Generally, Lois, his wife is the victim, but Superman was scared to death when his son, Jon was born. Superman was freed of his worries when he realized that Jon also had superhuman abilities similar to him. Overall, the world is a cruel place for a superhero who believes in Santa Claus to this day.

10. Mind Control

Superman in Batman Hush
Source: IMDb (Batman Hush 2019)

Just like every other human being, Superman is not resistant to mind control or telepathy as well. We have witnessed Superman being controlled on multiple occasions. In the episode “Hush” of the animated Justice League series, we see that Poison Ivy was able to inflict mind control on Superman, turning him against Batman and Catwoman.

In the Comic Series Wonder Woman#219, we witness Max Lord being able to control Superman’s mind making him think that Wonder Woman is Doomsday leading to a massive fight between Wonder Woman and Superman.

comment Comments 2
  • Yo Mama says:

    The Sun is bright white, not yellow even on Earth.

  • Carlito says:

    You left out the fact that Scarecrow fear toxin only affected Superman because it was laced with Kryptonite

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