Legion of Super-Heroes Re-Read – “Sun-Boy’s Lost Power!” (Adventure Comics #302, November, 1962)

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?”

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Legion of Super-Heroes Re-Read – “The Secret of the Seventh Super-Hero!” (Adventure Comics #290, November, 1961)

At the outset of this story, the reader might be fooled into thinking, “Finally! A Legion story with full participation by seven members!” The splash page, after all, shows Phantom Girl, Chameleon Boy, Brainiac 5 and the three founders all flying into action to hide pieces of a dread weapon.

But it’s not to be. This is a Sun Boy solo story—and really not even that—in which the other Legionnaires make only cameos. They hid the weapon pieces a while back. It all begins with Tom Tanner, Clark Kent’s unknown doppelganger, escaping from reform school and hopping a train to freedom. “Freedom,” in this case, is Smallville, where he learns that he looks exactly like somebody named Clark Kent, whom everyone likes. Apparently, they like him so much that they don’t feel comfortable asking, “Clark, why are you wearing an orange suit like a prisoner would wear?” Hey, maybe they thought it was one of those crazy new fashion trends the kids were into those days.

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