Superheroes in the news: Kryptonite, a burrito, a fire and a webslinger

I question the timing: The same day astronomers announce finding an earth-like planet 20 light years from us, kryptonite is discovered.

Warning to Superman: Stay clear of Ottawa. With the help of our very own National Research Council, scientists have identified a mineral with virtually the same composition as kryptonite, the space rock that makes the Man of Steel more like a man of straw.

It all started in Serbia, where geologists working with mining giant Rio Tinto unearthed a drill core of a rock they couldn’t match to any known mineral. So they contacted Chris Stanley, a mineralogist at London’s Natural History Museum…

The composition matched the scientific name written on a case of rock containing kryptonite stolen from a museum by Superman’s arch-nemesis, Lex Luthor, in the film Superman Returns.

“I don’t know of any other instance of something being imagined in fiction and then found in nature,” Dr. Stanley said.

So Canada is a dangerous place if you’re defending Truth, Justice and the American Way? Figures.

Holy set fire, Batman!

Gotham City detectives leaned back against their squad cars to watch Chicago firefighters combat a blaze in a vacant building at 433 Van Buren St. The unlikely scene was caused by an accidental fire on the 14th floor of the building, which plays the part of “Gotham National Bank” in the upcoming Batman sequel.

At first, onlookers were uncertain about the sincerity of the flames. Should they be alarmed, or was this part of the script? It wasn’t. The fire is being blamed on the building’s ancient ventilation units, which caught fire on the top floor. This isn’t the first time the building has burned, but last time, there weren’t movie actors in full costume milling about waiting for their cue.

No one was injured in the incident, and filming for Batman will continue.

What happens when you get Captain America near a burrito? Trouble, amigo.

A doctor in a Captain America costume went from superhero to super villain when he stuffed a burrito in his tights and groped a woman in a bar, cops said.

Dr. Raymond Adamcik — who hails from New Jersey and attended the state’s University of Medicine — was busted Saturday while partying with a group of doctors all dressed as comic-book characters in Melbourne, Fla., according to published reports…

The red-white-and-blue-clad “captain” allegedly staggered up to a woman, pointed out the Mexican delicacy in his spandex pants and grabbed her in a private place.

The erratic Captain gets around.

At least Spiderman is still reliably heroic.

“Spider-Man 3” is a big meal, a kind of opera in which every character — Peter Parker, Mary Jane, Aunt May, Harry — each gets to sing a couple of show-stopping arias.

Thanks to veteran screenwriter Alvin Sargent, by the time this movie is over, we know more about these characters than we ever wanted to.

At the same time, “Spider-Man 3” also has lots of action. A lot of it is computer-generated, but that’s OK. We don’t really expect to see Tobey Maguire swinging from skyscrapers on dental floss-like spider webs.

And the very cool Sandman character, played by a steroidal Thomas Haden Church, would not be possible otherwise.

S3 gets four stars, and it’s already raking it in in Japan where Sony released it prior to the US release.