Joseph Meach was a high diver who had fallen on hard times. In an attempt to draw publicity to himself, Meach set up a water tank on a sidewalk in Metropolis and dove off a building. Unbeknownst to Meach, the plastic tank he used was leaking, leaving only an inch of water; Meach would have died if not for the intervention of Superman. The Man of Steel, upon learning of Meach's misfortunes, obtained a job for him at the Superman Museum, where Meach was employed as a custodian. Meach's bitterness did not subside, and being surrounded by artifacts and mementos of Superman's career directed his anger towards Superman.
One night, as Meach was sweeping in front of a series of statuettes depicting the Legion of Super-Heroes, a bolt of lightning passed through an open window and struck the display. The statuettes, which were actually miniature lifeless duplicates of the Legionnaires, unleashed an energy blast that struck Meach. Meach discovered that he was endowed with the combined powers of the Legion members. Determined to defeat Superman and Batman, Meach used his shapeshifting power to turn his skin green and form a costume that was half Superman's, half Batman's, along with a lead-lined Bat-mask to prevent Superman from using his x-ray vision to discover his true identity. Calling himself the Composite Superman, Meach told the heroes that if he was not allowed to join their team, he would expose their secret identities, which he learned via telepathy. The Composite Superman then created situations for Superman or Batman to handle, but which he intentionally sabotaged to humiliate the heroes. When Superman and Batman deduced Meach's evil intentions, the Composite Superman forced the team to retire or he would expose their identities. The World's Finest heroes soon discovered that the Composite Superman's intent was to rule the world. Although they were unable to defeat Meach, who used his vast array of powers to keep the duo at bay, the Composite Superman was defeated when his charge of powers turned out to be temporary. Meach reverted back to human form with no knowledge of his activities as the Composite Superman.
The Composite Superman reappeared a few years later. An alien villain named Xan came to Earth to avenge his dead father, a criminal who was captured and imprisoned by Superman and Batman. Xan studied the Composite Superman and decided to restore Meach's powers by recreating the accident that endowed him with superpowers. The Composite Superman soon captured Superman and Batman and tried to kill the team. Meach's powers wore off before he could accomplish this though, and soon Xan appeared explaining why he wanted Superman and Batman to die. Xan then fired a lethal energy blast at the heroes, but a remorseful Meach intercepted the blast, which killed him instantly.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
In terms of abilities and raw power, the Composite Superman was one of the most powerful enemies Superman and Batman ever faced. The Composite Superman possessed numerous special powers, derived from various Legion members:
- The ability to grow to giant size (Colossal Boy)
- The ability to shrink (Shrinking Violet)
- The ability to divide into three people (Triplicate Girl)
- The ability to fire lightning bolts (Lightning Lad)
- The ability to generate heat and light (Sun Boy)
- The ability to make things super-lightweight (Light Lass)
- The ability to make things super-heavy (Star Boy)
- The ability to eat any form of matter (Matter-Eater Lad)
- The ability to turn invisible (Invisible Kid)
- The ability to inflate into a large ball (Bouncing Boy)
- The ability to stretch any part of his body (Elastic Lad)
- The ability to shapeshift (Chameleon Boy)
- Telepathy (Saturn Girl)
- 12th level intelligence (Brainiac 5)
- Magnetic powers (Cosmic Boy)
- X-ray vision that could see through anything, even lead (Ultra Boy)
- The ability to transmute elements (Element Lad)
- The ability to phase through solid matter (Phantom Girl)
In addition to all of Superman's powers (derived from Supergirl), the Composite Superman's strength and invulnerability levels were three times as powerful as Superman's because Legionnaires Mon-El and Ultra Boy were invulnerable and possessed super-strength.
- In Impulse #56 Crayd'll, a nanotech computer belonging to Bart Allen's archenemy Inertia, accesses Young Justice's files and uses information on Robin and Superboy to become a "composite Superboy", with the half-and-half, green-skinned appearance of the original. Crayd'll intended to access information on the other members of Young Justice, but Impulse tricked him into downloading a music CD instead, turning him into Superboy's favourite rap artist.
- In Superman/Batman #6 Hiro Okamura creates a spaceship in the form of a mecha version of the Composite Superman. In Superman/Batman #25, a new Composite Superman Batman was created when Mister Mxyzptlk merged the Supermen and Batmen of several alternate realities together. Startled to be joined together, Batman mentally exclaimed to Superman "Clark, your mind races, I never knew." to which Superman replied "And yours Bruce, is so dark.". This ended when the battle was over, and all the Batmen and Supermen who didn't "need to be here" were sent away (leaving only the normal DCU Superman and Batman).
- On the comedy show Robot Chicken, in the episode "Easter Basket", there was a Christmas sketch featuring Dragon Ball Z characters. One of the villains in the sketch is a creature who is half-Santa Claus and half-Frosty the Snowman, and was called Composite Santa (voiced by Christian Slater). Composite Santa was beaten when his snowman half was melted, making the Santa-half vulnerable. In the episode "In a DVD Factory," his origin is explained as a mad scientist (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) had his henchmen gather the DNA samples of Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman to create Composite Santa Claus. Composite Santa Claus then shoots the mad scientist and his henchmen. After drinking milk and eating cookies, Composite Santa Claus goes on a rampage on Christmas. An anchorman reports that Composite Santa Claus has been apprehended and is standing trial before a United Nations Tribunal. In "Saving Private Gigli," Composite Santa Claus is among the Robot Chicken characters assembled by Seth Green and Matthew Senreich to fight for Season 5 in the opening Saving Private Ryan parody of this episode. Composite Santa Claus' snowman half dissolved in the water while the Santa Claus half was bombarded by bullets.
- 8 Appearances of Joseph Meach (Earth-One)
- 2 Images featuring Joseph Meach (Earth-One)
- Quotations by or about Joseph Meach (Earth-One)
- Character Gallery: Joseph Meach (Earth-One)
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