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Jewel Kryptonite, aka Kryptonite Six.

Action #310 tells how Lori Lemaris and the merfolk of Atlantis are stricken with a strange spotted plague.  Jax-Ur of the Phantom Zone talks Superman into a 24-hour parole, saying he can cure the Atlanteans.  Their quest take Jax-Ur and Superman into Krypton's past, where the criminal drugs Superman long enough to sneak to the nearby Jewel Mountains and treat a huge gem there with a strange ray.  "Because my device has transmuted its elements, this mineral will be transformed into a new form of Kryptonite with incredible powers!"

After their return to Earth and the curing of the Atlanteans, Jax-Ur returns to the Zone, where his plot thickens.  After Superman encounters the Jewel K that has now drifted to Earth, things start blowing up whenever Superman nears them.  To his horror, Superman concludes that "Jewel K may be causing me to detonate any explosive material that I approach!"

Little does he suspect that the explosions of all those oil tanks, sea mines, and rockets have been in fact caused by the Phantom Zoners.  "That chunk of Jewel K in orbit magnifies our mental commands and converts them into energy beams which detonate any explosive material we desire."  Yes, it was all a scheme to blackmail Superman into letting them out of the Zone.  But the Man of Steel tumbles to their scheme and throws the orbiting chunk into the sun.  As he tells Supergirl, "That was a close call!  The power of Jewel Kryptonite might have helped the Phantom Zone criminals take over the Earth!"

If only Superman had also destroyed the first, tiny pieces he'd encountered!  18 years later, in 1982, some Phantom Zoners track down that small piece, hurled into space by Superman long ago.  A few, led by General Zod, escape the Zone.  They then confuse Superman by not fighting him but asking for his help against the Vrangs, an alien race which once enslaved Krypton (as earlier told in Superman #176).  After a long battle (Action #548-549), the Vrangs are finished and the Zoners then turn on Superman.  But he has been ready for this, and manages to return them to the Zone, finishing the saga of Jewel K by pulverizing the last fragment.

 


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