Another rarity in comics from this era, Star Boy murders a man in self-defense in Adventure 342 (Match 1966), in a story by Edmond Hamilton, with art by Curt Swan.
Kenz Nuhor is a rejected suitor of Dream Girl, who blames Star Boy for that. He hunts down the hero, and equips himself with a shield that reflects Star Boy’s density increasing power, so Star Boy simply incapacitates himself. In desperation, Star Boy grabs a gun and kills Nuhor before Nuhor can kill him.
Star Boy is acquitted by the Science Police, who have no problems accepting his self-defense explanantion, but Brainiac 5 is having none of it, and holds a trial among the Legion to determine whether his explanation is adequate justification for breaking the Legion code against killing.
Superboy acts as defense council for Star Boy, believing that the Legionnaires who are not, like him, invulnerable should have the right to defend themselves this way in extreme circumstances.
Brainiac 5 leads the prosecution, and uses a nifty little model to illustrate how Star Boy could have saved himself, using his powers on the tree Nuhor stood under, without killing him.
The vote is close, 10-9. Invulnerable heroes Mon-El and Ultra Boy support Superboy’s side, agreeing with his views, while most of the female Legionnaires do as well. But their views are kind of appallingly attributed to voting to acquit Star Bay because of his romance with Dream Girl.
Jimmy Olsen even gets to vote, and votes guilty. What a jerk. And as Star Boy gets expelled as a result of this, we can all blame Jimmy Olsen for it.
Although he gets booted from the Legion, Star Boy is accepted into the Subs, which Dream Girl has recently joined as well.
As a side note, early in the story another hero is rejected by the Legion and sent to the Subs, Color Kid. Just hate spelling it that way, but it’s his name so I will follow the spelling the comic uses and not call him Colour Kid as I so desperately want to.
In such a usually positive and light-hearted series, this story comes as a real shocker. And there is no obvious right or wrong decision on Star Boy’s plea of self-defense. A landmark for the Legion.