This adventure is still labeled as “In the 21st Century.” I guess that lasted as long as Jerry Siegel wrote the book.
Sun Boy is honored by the Mayor of Metropolis with a statue. “<Gulp!>–I’m thrilled!” he says. Then he melts it.
To be fair, he melts it because it’s about to fall on a bunch of people. Still, you melt the metal statue in order to protect people, destroying months of work… when your teammate with magnetic powers is standing next to you. And everyone thinks it’s brilliant! Where is the bastard people streak now? Or, to paraphrase Ellen Ripley, “Did IQs just drop sharply while I was away?”
After melting down the statue, Sun Boy loses his powers. Fair karma, but no explanation is ever really given. He assumes they just “wore off,” so he goes into a “clubhouse room which contains an atomic reactor,” and exposes himself to raw radiation. Said radiation… hurts. (I can’t. I just can’t even…) Then he has himself lowered into a volcano…
As you do.
It’s all no go. Even Ultra Boy’s flash vision and Superboy’s heat vision can’t help, so Sun Boy is expelled from the Legion. His only solace is watching his pals on the porta-monitor from home—until Bouncing Boy comes and takes that away, because it’s “Legion property.”
I… I… I… REALLY????!!!!! Ya can’t do a brother a solid and let him keep the stinkin’ Radio Shack surplus TV monitor?
Meanwhile, the evil Kranyak, clad in his striped prison uniform, escapes from custody by turning to gas and floating through the steel bars. John Forte again shows a very brick-and-mortar version of the future, with the villain escaping from a brick-built prison. Kranyak, knowing Sun Boy is powerless, tortures him by telling him he’s going to kill the Legion now. (Because, of course, 16 other super-powered heroes can’t possibly protect themselves from this tool in a leather football helmet. They’re doomed without Sun Boy.)
Sun Boy, really motivated now, charters a ship and flies off into space to allow himself to be blasted by a dragon with flame breath, because only heat generated by an animal can restore his power.
Um, dude… heat is heat.
The explanation for why Superboy and Ultra Boy’s heat powers couldn’t fix Sun Boy is classic—they just happened to have been replaced by robots, because they were busy elsewhere. They had to send robots to the club meeting, because they couldn’t miss it. I mean, what exactly is a robot going to do in your stead that, say, a well-written note wouldn’t accomplish? I can’t call this one cleverly plotted. It’s just a silly contrivance that could have been left out by having Superboy and Ultra Boy miss the meeting.
In this story, it occurred to me that Sun Boy had lost the permanent glow he had had during his first few appearnaces. Checking back, it seems that was abandoned after “The Secret of the Seventh Super-Hero.”
Ultra Boy still has only the one power. Other Superboy-clone Star Boy has still not been seen since his first appearance.
Bastard People Count – at least one, and that’s whoever it was decided that an ex-member can’t keep a bloody miniature TV at home.