Superman and the Metal Men team up to battle Chemo in “Sun-Stroke!”
Unseasonably hot Autumn weather drives the citizens of Metropolis to the seashore. A woman swoons in the oppressive heat. Behind her, the seas literally begin to boil. Rising up out of the churning waters comes Chemo. Panicked beach goers flee before him. Contemptuously, Chemo spits upon the sand, fusing it into glass with his chemical fire. Cutting a glass path in the sand, Chemo advances on the city of Metropolis. Not far away, the Metal Men are engaged in a game of tennis. Gold and Platinum begin arguing over the game winning point, when Tin spies Chemo lumbering over the horizon. The Metal Men charge Chemo. Midway through their attack, their responsometers begin malfunctioning. Chemo shrugs them off, then topples a skyscraper skeleton down upon them, burying the team under tons of steel debris. The Metal Men survive thanks to Iron. By the time they dig themselves out, though, Chemo has tunneled underground and departed. Rather than pursue the chemical leviathan, the Metal Men instead opt to address the problem with their faulty responsometers.
Clark Kent is covering the maiden flight of a brand new aircraft. Suddenly, the plane is jeopardized by an enormous waterspout. Kent feigns air sickness, then changes into his costumed identity, Superman. The Man of Steel exits the plane, then tries to use his heat vision to evaporate the waterspout. Inexplicably, his heat vision fades out, just as a second waterspout forms. Forced to change tactics, Superman flies at super-speed around the first water spout, directing it to collide with the second, dissipating them both. Superman heads to S.T.A.R. Labs, in Metropolis, to consult with Doctor Jenet Klyburn, regarding his power loss. To Superman's surprise, Klyburn informs him that he's not the only super-hero experiencing problems with their powers. Klyburn introduces Superman to the Metal Men. The Man of Steel finds himself suddenly surrounded by the robot admirers. Klyburn reveals that, several days ago, a magnetic beam was directed at the sun, from somewhere on Earth. The magnetic bombardment dramatically increased sunspot activity on the sun's surface, while also producing a series of enormous solar prominences. The changes in the sun are directly affecting both Superman and the Metal Men. Superman resolves to trace the magnetic beam back to it's origin point. With his super senses diminished, he requests assistance from the Metal Men.
In his secret observatory headquarters, Ira Quimby, the criminal genius better known as I.Q., awaits the arrival of Chemo. The chemical horror burns it's way inside the observatory. Chemo lurches at I.Q., but stops at I.Q. voice command. I.Q. reflects on his last encounter with Hawkman and Hawkwoman, his inevitable incarceration, as well as his latest escape. Discovering that basking in the sun's rays served to increase his mental acuity, I. Q set out to increase the intensity of the sun's rays. While the desired effect of increasing his genius was accomplished, the first thing his even more astonishing intellect revealed was his previous miscalculations. His tampering with the sun threatened to cause the star to go nova, requiring I.Q. to come up with a plan to reverse the damage he had done. To this end, I. Q. summoned Chemo. I.Q. intends to fire Chemo into the sun, using the monster's chemical make-up to stabilize the star. Superman and the Metal Men close in on I.Q, arriving too late to stop him from firing Chemo into the sun. Looking over I.Q.'s equations, Superman angrily scolds the super-"genius" for not triple checking his figures. Firing Chemo into the sun will actually cause the star to go nova. Superman flies into orbit, overtaking the cannon fired Chemo, taking the impact himself, before it can hit the sun. Superman lapses into unconsciousness, as the impact sends Chemo hurtling back down to the observatory. The chemical horror reconstitutes it's body, as a half dozen human sized Chemo's. I. Q. finds he cannot control multiple Chemos. They surround him, and, dousing I.Q. with chemicals, turn him to stone. The Metal Men each square off with an individual Chemo. Though they put up a valiant fight, all fall to Chemo's chemical fire. With the Metal Men defeated, the six Chemos reconstitute back into it's normal gigantic form. Superman arrives to confront the enormous chemical horror. Chemo's efforts to kill the Man of Steel cause the creature to begin overheating. With steam pouring off Chemo's glass structure, Superman hurls the creature into orbit. Chemo explodes, forming a chemical screen across the Earth, shielding it from the intense solar radiation coming off the sun. Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Superman repairs the Metal Men, earning not only their gratitude, but also Platinum's affections.
- Chapter One: "A Titan Stalks the Streets!"
- Chapter Two: "Water, Water, Everywhere...!"
- Chapter Three: "The Man Who Murdered the Sun!"
- Chapter Four: "Is This the Way the World Ends?"
- Epilogue: "After the Brawl is Over...!"
- Hawkman and Hawkgirl flashback cameo headshots from Hawkman #7.