Wella, the German hair products company, markets a green hair gel in the US called Kryptonite. However, DC Comics, the creator and rights holder of Superman, has launched a lawsuit against Wella for its use of the Kryptonite name. Does this mean DC Comics will get shirty with the US bike lock maker which has been known by the ‘K’ word since the 1970s? PLUS: Kryptonite change combo lock pre-sets to 0005

Kryptonite hair gel attacked by Superman

A spokeswoman from the Kryptonite Corporation refused to be drawn, saying ‘no comment’ to every question from bikebiz.co.uk, both emailed and over the phone.

What is known is that DC Comics filed a lawsuit against Wella in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Wednesday, tring to stop the US arm of the German wigs-to-hairwax company from using the Kryptonite name on the pot of green gunge that gives an “acrylic shine that is excellent for smooth, chunky spikes or textured styles."

According to the lawsuit, DC Comics first used the ‘K’ word in 1943 during an episode of The Adventures of Superman on US radio. The Scarlet Widow obtained a chunk of Kryptonite from Superman’s home planet and used it to supress his super-human powers.

"Green, glowing kryptonite, a fragment of the planet on which Superman was born, has the power to rob the Man of Steel of all his strength when he comes within ten feet of it," intoned the narrator of the 15-minute radio serial, one of the most popular of its day.

Wella has been marketing the green gel since January. It’s known as Flubber in the UK.

When asked whether DC Comics had filed a similar lawsuit against the Massachusetts-based Kryptonite Corporation, a press spokeswoman said:

“Unfortunately, I can’t comment on your question.”


Kryptonite’s RCLII, RCLIII, Krait Combo and KryptoLok Combo locks have all changed to a preset of 0005. These items originally had 0000 as the preset.

Peter Zane, vice president of Kryptonite, said:

“Kryptonite is well aware that the standard preset for every type of combination lock on the market, be it luggage or a U-lock, is preset to all zeros. Thieves know it, too. We also realize that the majority of people do not take the time to reset their combinations becoming a prime target for thieves who check this combination first. [We] picked five because it is the furthest number away from 0 on the dial so as not to have a thief stumble upon the new combination by checking one number to either side of zero.

“And dealers were losing money because kids were scrambling the preset 0000 combinations as a prank and rendering the lock useless. This should put a stop to that problem.”


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