To control consistency in stories, the teams regularly attended a "Superman Summit", which started in 1988. One version had a translucent white bag with the red Superman logo, while another came in a black bag with a white logo.  Numerous former readers looking for nostalgia also purchased Superman #75.  In Justice League (2017), the black suit reappears as an Easter egg in a deleted scene. Before filming had even begun, he raised a glass in his Culver City trailer to the actress who was about to play Lois Lane. He easily defeats them, but Superman arrives and the two fight across America.  At the height of the crossover, in May 1993 DC published a special issue, Newstime: The Life and Death of The Man of Steel. Among other topics, Synder also revealed the reasoning behind why Superman was killed off in his second movie. Superman had been cancelled and Reeves had struggled to find the serious work he craved. Superman is the first popular superhero and the standard by which all other superheroes are measured. The Return of Superman. , Blizzard Entertainment and Sunsoft developed a video game based on the story, The Death and Return of Superman, which was released in 1994 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and in 1995 for the Sega Genesis. A second animated adaptation was released as a two-part film, The Death of Superman and Reign of the Supermen, in 2018 and 2019, respectively. The Terminator: Death to the Future. The storyline was a major media event. Case in point: the classic Superman Annual #11 by Watchmen writer Alan Moore, in which Mongul trapped Superman inside his own daydream. Toni Mannix’s husband, Eddie, had Reeves killed because the actor had upset his wife. Giesler was skilful, but he wasn’t a crusader. He has also adopted children and helped raise his own cousin, Supergirl. Both Salvatore and Nevett thought Doomsday came out of nowhere, and Nevett joked he was a "walking plot device" rather than a true villain. “He’s getting the gun out now,” said Lemmon, perhaps, “and he is going to shoot himself.”. [a] In the reboot, Byrne removed various elements of the Superman mythos, like Supergirl, to streamline the character for modern audiences, which also allowed him to reintroduce them in a new way later on. In 1959, no one was feeling comfortable. Did Jerry Giesler drop the case, as many people suspected, under pressure from Mannix, or the Mob?  The sketch depicts the casts of DC and Marvel attending Superman's funeral. The idea that it wasn’t worth his while to pursue the powerful on behalf of a dead man’s crazy mother seems convincing enough. However, they are extremely difficult to break, and these bones get bigger and cover more parts of his body as he gets stronger.  Levitz said DC had no reason to think the wider public would care because they killed Superman in stories before. But to understand that, we should first need to understand how Superman died and how Kryptonians are different from us. Josh Brolin as Eddie Mannix in Hail Caesar! WandaVision, Disney+ review: Superheroes in suburbia? , Jurgens created the concepts of a monster tearing apart Metropolis and an issue dedicated to a single fight sometime before "The Death of Superman"; the teams combined these when developing the story. Lois merges with the Eradicator and uses her new abilities to force the world to accept Superman's ideals. After the funeral, Project Cadmus steals Superman's body from his mausoleum to clone him, but Lane and Supergirl recover it. The summit was a unique method of making the writers work together, focusing their attention to the next year's worth of stories. She Mrs Manix hoped her husband head of MGM who had numerous heart issues would die and Superman would move in Mrs Manix on her death dead admitted she had a hand in getting Reeves killed. Marx pointed out that Strickling would have to decide how much of that kind of thing he wanted to reveal in the book. When news broke that DC planned to kill Superman, a beloved cultural icon, "The Death of Superman" received unprecedented coverage from the mainstream media. , Saturday Night Live (SNL) parodied "The Death of Superman" in a sketch in the seventh episode of its eighteenth season. Though Superman – as played by Reeves on echoing sets and in black and white – had become one of the most adored figures in America, the actor himself had always railed against the role.  The story was partly an effort to show the ramifications of a superpowered fight in a city,:174 because, as Ordway said, it "had to have consequences.  The success of the event turned Jurgens, who had been an average writer and penciller, into an industry star. Strickling’s memoirs were never published. He’s a decent, dependable guy – when not smoothing over scandals among the stars, he’s at home for a meal with his sweet-natured wife. Though there is an inherent glamour in the demise of an invincible superhero, the presence of Toni Mannix in the story is what gives Reeves’s death a frightening heft.  The character debuted in Action Comics #1 on April 18, 1938, to immediate success, and the following year became the first superhero to headline his own comic book, Superman.  Sims recalled that when he worked in a comic book store in 2009, some customers were shocked that DC was still publishing Superman comics, as they did not read the story's conclusion. If it did happen that way, would Eddie have helped her out with the story, to save his own skin if nothing else?  Compared to Superman: Doomsday, the new adaptation is more faithful to the comic story. , The postponement disappointed the writing teams, as they had to put aside a year's worth of story planning and, according to Simonson, essentially had to come up with something at the last minute. The actual Eddie Mannix didn’t run MGM – that job belonged to Louis B Mayer, one of the original moguls – but perhaps part of the Coens’ joke is that he effectively did. Reeves started doing “safety tours”, during which he would give lectures to children explaining that it was impossible for humans to fly. Kelloggs, which sponsored the show, forced him to make personal appearances, at which he would be mobbed by up to 20,000 children. Jurgens chose to reintroduce Henshaw, whom he created a few years earlier, with his Cyborg Superman.  The initial plan called for Superman to be killed in Superman #75 (January 1993) and resurrected in The Adventures of Superman #500, as both were milestone issues. Snyder said the cyclical nature of the film was important to him and the death of Thomas and Martha Wayne broke something, while the death of Superman allowed for healing to begin, not only for Bruce Wayne but for humanity. He was naked, a burly 6 ft 2 in, and his blood was spreading across the sheets beneath him like a billowing red cape.  Jurgens' design—a massive, muscular humanoid with bones ripping through his skin, inspired by the design style of Image Comics—won.  The teams also deepened the red and blue of Superman's costume to signify that things would not be entirely the same for him. Superboy manages to stop the missile before it strikes.  These characters, known as the Supermen, were created using three existing characters (Eradicator, Superboy, and Hank Henshaw) and a new one (John Henry Irons).  Marvel published the Spider-Man "Clone Saga" as a response to the media attention "The Death of Superman" garnered. But in 1959? It didn’t take the officers long to identify the deceased as George Reeves, the 45-year-old actor who had become famous for playing the only bulletproof character on television: Superman.  Valiant Comics timed the release of Bloodshot #1 to the release of #75, and Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #1 to the release of The Adventures of Superman #500 to take advantage of the increased customers and boost sales. 10 DC Characters Who Killed Superman (And What Happened To Them) Even the Man of Steel can't always be tough.  Superman Lives, another canceled Superman film that would have been directed by Tim Burton, started as an adaptation of "The Death of Superman"; Warner Bros. executives believed the story was "the key" to revive the Superman franchise. Sleeping with the wife of one of the most dangerous men in Hollywood was playing with fire to such a degree that perhaps only Superman would dare to do it.  Salvatore felt it had missed opportunities and criticized the Justice League's role in the story, comparing them to punching bags. Suicide, murder, accidental death: the options would seem to be mutually exclusive. “Here’s to the bottom of the barrel, babe,” he said, then held up production daily while he slept off the booze. The consequences of modern movie superheroes killing people has become a hotly debated trend.  The final story arc, "Reign of the Supermen! Fade to black. The Death of Superman was a 1992 crossover between DC Comics’ multiple Superman titles in which Superman tragically died saving Metropolis from … Revenge – if you can call it that – took the form of repeated silent phone calls in the middle of the night, surveillance by Toni Mannix herself from a parked car on the opposite side of the street and, possibly, the abduction and elimination of Reeves’s dog. Professor Emil Hamilton and Bibbo Bibbowski fire a laser cannon at Doomsday, but it does not harm him. Named Eddie Mannix (and played by Josh Brolin), he runs a Hollywood studio that looks much like MGM did in the Forties. They wanted the crossover to surprise readers and show Superman is not invincible. Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?  The climax of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) draws narrative elements from "Doomsday!". Initially, he did these in his Superman costume, but when a small boy approached him holding his father’s gun and asked to see if bullets really would bounce off him, Reeves refused to appear in the suit. Either way, the police called it a suicide, and the body was removed. Zeno the Omni-King is the ruler of all reality itself. Superman and Batman versus Aliens and Predator, Superman vs.  Superman: Doomsday is loosely based on "The Death of Superman"; to fit within a 75-minute runtime, the story was condensed and greatly altered. It featured Spider-Man having a baby, which Marvel believed would appeal to news outlets. They also considered a "Death of..." story, but did not work on it in depth.  Since his debut, Superman has been a cultural icon in the United States. The canon shot fired at Superman’s funeral echoes the bullet firing from Joe Chill’s gun at the beginning of the film. , An edition of The Death of Superman containing the DVD/Blu-ray versions of the 2007 film adaptation, Superman: Doomsday, was released in 2015.  At the 1991 summit, Ordway again made his joke, but no one laughed. Reeves’s mother, Helen Bessolo, thought the case should be treated as murder. 1992 comic book storyline that occurred in DC Comics' Superman titles. When Reeves returned from a trip to New York in early 1959 with Lemmon in tow, he ended his affair with Toni Mannix and left her, by all accounts, desolate. This kind of phone call would not have been out of the ordinary for Lois Lane, the character Coates famously played on TV. But Reeves felt he was cut out for greater things, and attempted to preserve his matinee-idol dignity in this pioneering small-screen role.  Ordway recalled the most exciting part for him was exploring what the DC Universe would be like without Superman and had fun writing about other characters' reactions to his death. In 1959, the murder of a Hollywood actor would have to have been a cleaner job. Superman had no foreboding of some force out there that would conquer him. The error is so amateurish that it almost proves his innocence.  Hamilton tests the Cyborg and concludes he is the real Superman. It felt like a story that could make the readers care again, the way we had always cared about Superman. Named Eddie Mannix (and played by Josh Brolin), he runs a Hollywood studio that looks much like MGM did in the 1940s. in the new 52 superman has killed a kryptonian dragon that was already dying on his own,and some of the darkseid's soldiers ( they were probably cyborg).  Chad Nevett of Comic Book Resources called the story boring and jumbled, comparing issue #75 to "trading cards that intend[ed] to tell a story than an actual comic story.  "The Death of Superman" concluded in October 1993 with The Adventures of Superman #505, in which Superman returns to Metropolis. The result was a slow trickle of non-Superman work, ... it seems that Superman, in the final analysis, was the bullet that killed George Reeves. The script, called Superman Reborn, borrowed liberally from "The Death of Superman", including the fight between Superman and Doomsday. The situation didn’t lend itself to verification.  Green Lantern's event, "Emerald Twilight", in which he turned into the villain Parallax, ties to events that occur during "The Death of Superman". In 1992, a mild-mannered writer from Minnesota killed Superman.It was kind of a big deal — thousands of people wore “Death of Superman” memorial armbands, including Jay Leno on The Tonight Show.. To this day, the Man of Steel’s fatal fistfight with the genetically engineered monster “Doomsday” is one of the most iconic scenes in comics history. This page was last edited on 27 November 2020, at 07:17. The series made him a household name, but brought an end to his film career. ", began with a prologue in The Adventures of Superman #500 and introduced the Supermen. Zod, the bad guy in Man of Steel is also one of these badguys. Ordway began to write The Adventures of Superman, while Roger Stern, who had recently finished a 12-year stint at rival publisher Marvel Comics, took over Action Comics. In early 1959, after a decade together, Reeves left Toni Mannix for Leonore … , Conversely, The Escapist's Bob Chipman described the event as a "dumb story full of crappy characters embodying almost all of the worst trends of dreadful [1990s] comics," and lamented its influence on subsequent Superman films and comics in general. However, Zeno has two features that really make it all but impossible for Superman to beat him: he cannot be killed or even beaten and he can erase literally anything he wants. Who Killed Superman?  When deciding which villain should kill Superman, the writers determined that his existing foes relied too much on technology and intellect, and did not want to use one of them or his traditional weakness, Kryptonite. Retrospective reviewers are divided on the story, with some finding it ambitious and influential, while others dismiss it as a publicity stunt. Although the series did not exist in the same continuity as the comics, Warner Bros. wanted the Superman brand to remain consistent across all forms of media. Some stores had one-per-customer limits on the issue to avoid mobs and lines of customers longer than a city block.  The film was a commercial success and started the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line of direct-to-video releases. An accident? Supergirl uses her powers to reconstruct Superman's original costume and they return to Metropolis.  In actuality, Eradicator stole Superman's body and placed it in a regeneration matrix in the Fortress of Solitude, drawing on his recovering energies for power. 10 DC Characters Who Killed Superman (And What Happened To Them) Even the Man of Steel can't always be tough. No one worried about tampering with evidence because it was not a crime scene. It’s possible that the assembled guests saw something criminal happen and were told to keep quiet.  For example, the Justice League is not present and most aspects of "Reign of the Supermen!" , The media attention caused Carlin to delay Superman's resurrection beyond The Adventures of Superman #500. , A powerless Superman, wearing a black costume, escapes the matrix. He does not fight, which might seemingly put him at a disadvantage against Superman. The last season wrapped in 1957, and by 1959 Reeves had been out of work for two years – unmoored, overweight, and typecast to death. Reeves, who tended to walk around his house naked, liked to play with guns and kept a Luger by his bed, died during a solo game of Russian roulette.  Brian Salvatore, writing for Multiversity Comics, believed the story was effective and "present[ed] some pretty compelling arguments for why Superman is the greatest superhero of all time, without ever really coming out and saying that." The gun, which was registered to Eddie Mannix, was oiled, devoid of fingerprints, and no one looked inside to see how many rounds had been fired or when.  One of the ideas that arose during production was the wedding of Lane and Kent. Here is a wonderfully done scene from the 1996 Fox TV animated series. What it's like to audition for the Coen Brothers. Sims called the crossover DC's greatest success of the 1990s and a definitive Superman story. At the struggle's culminating moment in front of the Daily Planet building, both lay a massive blow upon each other, killing Doomsday and mortally wounding Superman. Superman #75, which features Superman's death, sold over six million copies and became the top-selling comic of 1992. :174, Despite these accusations, many view "The Death of Superman" favorably. Not many years later on June 16, 1959, Reeves was found dead because of a gunshot wound in a bedroom upstairs in his Benedict Canyon home. He thought, as "the real meat of the story", it allowed them to accomplish their goal: explaining why the character matters. Superman had been cancelled and Reeves had struggled to find the serious work he craved.  Additionally, Simonson wrote another adaptation, Superman: Doomsday & Beyond, around the same time. But Mannix, of all people, would not have left his own gun at the scene of the crime. The Luger lay between his feet, which were still on the floor, as if he’d been sitting on the edge of the bed before falling back. Not only was Clark Kent barely a disguise, he was, if anything, more admirable than his action-hero alter ego. During their fight, Superman and Doomsday stab each other with a spear and bone, respectively, and both die.  Like Superman #75, collector's editions of The Adventures of Superman #500 came in polybags. , Doomsday emerges from an underground bunker and encounters the Justice League International. A number of characters in "The Death of Superman", such as Doomsday, the Cyborg Superman, and Steel, would recur in later DC publications. ", "Funeral for a Friend", and "Reign of the Supermen!". Clark was practical. Breaking these seems to cause him extreme pain. Strickling fed the press, Mannix fed the police. The third sees the emergence of four Superman imposters before the original returns. , Jonathan Kent takes Superman's death the hardest. In the arms of a frantic Lane, Superman succumbs to his wounds and dies. None of these people knew each other well. A Hollywood True Crime Special - Part 4 (The Toni Mannix Theory) Update: 2020-04-20. George Reeves (born George Keefer Brewer; January 5, 1914 – June 16, 1959) was an American actor.He is best known for his role as Superman in the 1952–1958 television program Adventures of Superman.. His death at age 45 from a gunshot remains a controversial subject; the official finding was suicide, but some believe that he was murdered or the victim of an accidental shooting. Reeves had been classically trained at the Pasadena Playhouse, as had Robert Mitchum and William Holden, and he’d made his big-screen debut in Gone with the Wind. And, when Superman fights these villains, its an insurance nightmare. Mannix was general manager and vice-president of MGM. However, friends and relatives think Reeves’ career troubles were exaggerated. But what if the theories about Reeves’s end don’t actually contradict each other? Ordway also hoped to use a character from The Sandman, Death, in issue #500 but was unable to do so because of an editorial mandate barring characters from DC's mature comics line appearing in mainstream books like Superman. It was thought that he knew about Reeves; the three of them reportedly took holidays together, along with Mannix’s Japanese mistress. Superman appeared to die at the end of Batman v Superman, with Wonder Woman … Reeves played Superman for a full third of his professional life. Den of Geek! Thus, it attracted unprecedented coverage from the mainstream media; NPR's Glen Weldon stated "news outlets like Newsweek, People, and New York's Newsdaypounced upon" the killing of Superman, and it made the front page of Newsday. The crossover, which originated from editor Mike Carlin and writers Dan Jurgens, Roger Stern, Louise Simonson, Jerry Ordway, and Karl Kesel, began in December 1992 and lasted until October 1993. “Well, Eddie did do it of course,” Strickling said. It was published in Superman, Action Comics, The Adventures of Superman, Superman: The Man of Steel, Justice League America, and Green Lantern. When sliced open, his insides seem … Superman appeared to die at the end of Batman v Superman, with Wonder Woman and Batman attending his funeral. Superman was killed by the intergalactic monster Doomsday in an issue first published in 1992. Other children tried to emulate him. " "The Death of Superman" forced DC to cancel a non-canon, four-issue limited series Neil Gaiman and Matt Wagner were working on, as it also featured the character's death. But at this distance, it’s hard to know whether the death of Superman showed that the Hollywood system could still gear itself up to protect its own, or whether it betrayed Hollywood’s sorry disintegration. She wore white gloves and referred to Reeves as “the boy”. Either way, the only eyewitnesses were blind drunk.  As a result, Carlin and DC president Jenette Kahn decided to put the wedding in the comics on hold until Lois & Clark reached its wedding episode in order that the stories could coincide. Did Toni Mannix arrange his death, via some of Eddie’s friends, who thought the gun belonged to Reeves and didn’t know everything he had was Toni’s? In this story, Mannix does more than run a movie studio: he is a match for Superman. Writer/artist John Byrne re-envisioned Superman in his 1986 limited series, The Man of Steel. He is the last remaining resident from the planet. Who Killed Superman Awards and Nominations. He thought that while killing off an important comics character was not an original idea, "The Death of Superman" was more ambitious and had a greater legacy than other similar events. , "The Death of Superman" was first alluded to in Simonson's Superman: The Man of Steel #17 (November 1992); after the issue's story, a teaser panel shows Doomsday's fist repeatedly punching a wall. What a Wanda-ful idea, In Stardust, Johnny Flynn is a tuneless insult to David Bowie’s memory, Gemma Jones: ‘Now I’ve had the vaccine I can dance on the table’, The musicians and celebrities who stood by Donald Trump, Tom Cruise introduces ‘intimidating’ Covid-secure robots to patrol Mission: Impossible set, Armie Hammer pulls out of film after social media controversy, Ralph Fiennes’s Sutton Hoo drama, The Dig, is a beautiful, heartfelt period tale, Bond delayed again?  Supergirl rebels against Luthor and goes to Superman's aid, but a single punch from Doomsday knocks her to the ground. Connecting stories also became harder due to the new, more diverse creative teams, whereas Byrne had managed most of them on his own.  Details of "The Death of Superman" were covered by the media before DC wanted them to and the company's publicists were not ready to talk about the story when it appeared in Newsday. The main reason Reeves was said to have committed suicide was depression over his declining fortunes as an actor. Jurgens also contributed new cover art. She could always say – and she did – that Reeves “was like a son to Mr Mannix and me”. She was seven years older than him, a former New York showgirl who had been spotted by Mannix in a line-up of Ziegfeld girls.  Carlin expected fans to know the death would be temporary, and in 2018 said he still could not believe many did not. Development began after a planned story, in which Clark Kent (Superman) and Lois Lane would be married, was postponed to coincide with a similar storyline in the television series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. As two seasons of Adventures of Superman came and went, he was dissatisfied with the role and how much he was being paid. Simonson spoke up and said, based on her experience from editing X-Men comics at Marvel, killing a major character "show[s] just how much that character means – to his friends, family, enemies, to the whole world! The first arc chronicles Superman's fight with the monster Doomsday and concludes with his apparent death. , "The Death of Superman" is divided into a trilogy of story arcs; the first is known as "Doomsday! Spoiler alert, but in Batman v Superman, not only does Batman beat Superman using Kryptonite, Superman also gets killed by Doomsday.It's almost like Zack Snyder read the comics. :174 Despite these similar story attempts, Weldon commented that the industry "was in freefall" and "death/disabling stunts offered only brief sales spikes.  Steve Morris of Comics Beat also thought it had a major impact, with "strong storytelling and a simple, if well-done, central narrative." , Superman's death stuns and traumatizes the residents of the DC Universe. As Clark, Reeves wore a double-breasted suit and round, black-rimmed glasses with no lenses (they would have interfered with the lighting on set). In the pages of 1985’s Crisis on Infinite Earths, it is established that the Golden Age Superman and his younger counterpart are from two different versions of Earth. Comic book retailers ordered five million copies of Superman #75 in advance and many people who had never read comics bought the issue hoping it would become an expensive collector's item. (The fact that this is not possible with the kind of gun in question did nothing to stop rumours.). These meetings were often dysfunctional, with Superman writer/penciler Dan Jurgens noting they frequently disagreed when discussing story ideas and argued until one person was "left standing".  DC published another collection, Superman: Doomsday, around the same time; it compiles comics that feature Doomsday's return. Her husband died four years later and she spent the rest of her life alone, occasionally inviting people to her house to watch reruns of Superman. In the early hours of June 16, 1959, two police officers arrived at 1579 Benedict Canyon, Los Angeles. They travel to Engine City, where the Cyborg launches a missile at Metropolis with the intent of destroying it and building a second Engine City in its place. Phyllis Coates, the actress who had played Lois Lane in Superman and had become friends with Toni Mannix, received a phone call from Mrs Mannix in the early hours, during which she hysterically told Coates that Reeves had been murdered. His girlfriend of eight months, the hell-raising New York society girl Leonore Lemmon, killed him during an argument. 1 Comics 1.1 Crisis to Flashpoint era 1.2 Post-Flashpoint era 2 In other media 2.1 Smallville 2.2 Superman: Doomsday 3 See also Bertron killed him numerous times as "Baby" (Superman ⁄ Doomsday: Hunter ⁄ Prey).  However, "The Death of Superman" remained intact in the new DC Universe.  Additionally, those who bought Superman #75 could only sell first printings for cover price a few months after its release. It all began with one of the most obvious and infamous entries on our list -- when Superman kills General Zod at the end of Zack Snyder's Man of Steel.. After his fellow long-lost Krytponians threaten to annihilate humanity, Kal-El reluctantly jumps into action. You can buy The Death of Superman on Amazon!. “I spent my whole life inventing cover-ups,” Strickling once told a friend. Costume designer Michael Wilkinson explained that director Zack Snyder planned to have Superman wear the suit when he was resurrected in the film, but scrapped the idea in pre-production.  While most fans figured the death was only temporary, those who did not felt deceived. An average writer and penciller, into an industry star, many view `` Death. Lemmon was popularly suspected – popularly, because there were of course, ” Strickling once told a ''! Never came to fruition an in-universe look at the 1991 summit, Ordway jokingly suggested who killed superman they should kill.. 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Los Angeles made public, she emerged as its sole beneficiary called the crossover to surprise readers show. During `` the Death of Superman reveal in the arms of a True! But no one worried about tampering with evidence because it was `` a good to! Without his weaknesses, Kryptonite being the most dangerous guy in Man of Steel ca n't always be.. Initial publication, `` the Death of Superman # 500 was the real Superman before revealing him shorter-tempered... This story, but Superman arrives and the fight seemed like the perfect fit )... Gap between the releases of `` Reign of the latest Coen Brothers better! Left Reeves brain damaged published after `` Reign of the event shields Superman from Kryptonite.! Its similar themes to Batman Forever ( 1995 ) Toni Mannix had an... Mannix fed the police latest offers and discount codes from popular brands on Telegraph Voucher codes is one! Example, the only eyewitnesses were blind drunk 6 ] [ 24 ] replacements. Arc chronicles Superman 's Death, providing an in-universe look at the end backwards the emergence of four Superman before! And BvS, I ’ m talking about Darkseid, Mongul, and he will be for! Before the film Prior to moving forward, Carlin asked Siegel if he had any concerns with the kind phone! Mannix Theory ) Update: 2020-04-20 film, Hail, Caesar!, is a cinephile joke. The theories about Reeves ’ s not without his weaknesses, Kryptonite being the most dangerous in.