The heroes and villains of the DC Universe are among the most powerful creatures in modern fiction. While Superman and Wonder Woman may be world-renowned for their fantastic powers, the New Gods’ powers are beyond the capabilities of most heroes and antagonists and are rarely feared for their powerful cosmic powers like Darkseid.
However, every superhero has something that hurts them as much as kryptonite hurts Superman, and the same is true for the New Gods. And in the case of Darkseid, Orion, and their fellow cosmic gods, that substance is called radion.
The Jack Kirby-created New Gods are powerful cosmic beings from the worlds of New Genesis and Apokolips, engaged in an endless and ageless war. Heroes like Superman and Wonder Woman can barely withstand the powers of creatures like Darkseid and Highfather, making any story involving the News Gods even more impactful and bombastic. They are so powerful that they can warp the entirety of reality around their true form, as Darkseid did in the climax of Grant Morrison, J.G. Final Crisis by Jones, Carlos Pacheco, Marco Rudy and Doug Mahonk.
Although the New God may be technically invulnerable and immortal, the mysterious substance known as radion actually poses many dangers to the New God. All New Gods are suspicious of Radion’s influence, which essentially acts as its own form of Kryptonite. Exposure to Radion can be toxic to any New God, from a minor power like Lighter to a New God King like Highfather. Radion has been used as an element of weapons for years, giving the ability to hurt each other in battle while giving new Gods a chance.
Although Radeon has been around since 1971’s The Forever People #1, its most notable presence in recent decades was during the events just before Final Crisis, before it played a major role in the crossover. After a massive war between the New Gods, the forces of Apocalypse are finally able to gain control of the anti-life equation. With Darkseid finally winning the “War in Heaven,” the God of Evil — along with many other New God spirits — fell into the post-Crisis DC Universe and took mortal form. As Darkseid’s machinations begin to affect the world more and more, the villain eventually arranges the death of his son Orion, who would otherwise one day be defeated and depose Darkseid. Orion was hit by a time-displaced radion bullet, eventually dying at the hands of Metropolis detective Dan Turpin in Final Crisis #1.