This is the Great Comic Book Detectives, where readers send in requests for the names of comic books that they remembered reading as kids and I try to find them for them!
Today, reader James C. wrote in about a strange Superboy comic book story that he recalled reading years ago where Superboy lost his powers due to an ugly new costume.
The comic, James, in “The New Adventures of Superboy” #18 from 1981. The story in question, “Day of the Costume Change,” was a back-up story in the comic. It was written by Bob Rozakis and drawn by Kurt Schaffenberger and Dave Hunt.
The story opens with Clark Kent hanging out with Lana Lang and she tells Clark that he really should change his look. You know, mix things up a bit. Sadly, they never decided to do a New Wave or a Punk period for Clark Kent. Instead, Clark is inspired to try to design a new Superboy costume instead with some leftover thread from the rocket that he was sent to Earth in. Thus, he’s limited to the three primary colors of red, yellow and blue.
And THIS is what he came up with!
Don’t get into costume design, Clark! Try journalism when you get older, instead.
So he flew into action, but something went wrong…
His powers kept falling apart on him throughout the day. He finally figured out the answer when some bad guys began shooting at him and he discovered that he actually FELT the bullets! But he only felt the bullets on certain parts of his body – the parts that were covered in yellow!
Therefore, he realized that the yellow costume had been canceling out the yellow rays from the Earth’s sun that gave Superboy his powers…
That doesn’t particularly make sense (especially since Superboy and then Superman never had problems with getting shot on his yellow S on his chest), but hey, it’s at least a novel idea by Rozakis!
Anyhow, James, that is the story that you’re looking for! As an interesting statement about our memories, James initially recalled the issue as being much older. Here’s James’ original request (so you can see what I had to work with):
Hello. I have been trying to locate a particular Superboy story from sometime in the 1960s. The premise of the tale is that Clark was kind of tired of the color scheme of his uniform and decided to change it. The blue parts became yellow, the red parts became blue and the yellow belt became red. During the course of the story, he found it difficult to apprehend criminals and such. His powers were diminished. He eventually figured out that the yellow parts were reflecting the yellow sunlight, so his powers weren’t charged up as before. So, he restored his costume to its original colors.
I don’t really know why this particular story made such an impression. I would like to know exactly what comic book and issue it appeared in. Hope you can help.
Thanks to James for his request and I’m glad I was able to find the issue for him! If anyone else has an issue that they’d like for me to find, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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