"The Composite Superman!": This story is reprinted from World's Finest #142.
DC Special Series #23 is an issue of the series DC Special Series (Volume 1) published in 1981.
Appearing in "The Composite Superman!"
- Composite Superman (First appearance) (Flashback and main story)
- Legion of Super-Heroes (Flashback only)
- Brainiac 5 (Flashback only)
- Mon-El (Flashback only)
- Saturn Girl (Flashback only)
- Sun Boy (Flashback only)
- Bouncing Boy (Statue only)
- Chameleon Boy (Statue only)
- Colossal Boy (Statue only)
- Cosmic Boy (Statue only)
- Elastic Lad (Statue only)
- Element Lad (Statue only)
- Invisible Kid (Statue only)
- Light Lass (Statue only)
- Lightning Lad (Statue only)
- Matter-Eater Lad (Statue only)
- Phantom Girl (Statue only)
- Shrinking Violet (Statue only)
- Star Boy (Statue only)
- Supergirl (Statue only)
- Triplicate Girl (Statue only)
- Ultra Boy (Statue only)
- Gotham City
- North Pole
Synopsis for "The Composite Superman!"
This story is reprinted from World's Finest #142.
When Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson go down to the Batcave in order to respond to the Bat-Signal, they are shocked to find a message in the Batcave from some unknown intruder telling the Dynamic Duo that they know all their secrets and orders them to appear at Black Mountain the next day at noon. When Superman visits his Fortress of Solitude, he finds that the Fortress has been entered and a similar note has been left for him to find as well.
The next day they are shocked when they are confronted by a being that is half Superman and half Batman. Calling himself the Composite Superman he shows off that he has the powers of all the current members of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Using his telepathy, the Composite Superman had learned the secret identities of both Batman and Superman and has come to blackmail the two heroes into allowing Composite Superman become their third partner. However, instead of working with the two heroes, the Composite Superman instead works to upstage them in an attempt to prove that he is better than the world's greatest detective and the Man of Steel.
Unknown to the heroes is that Composite Superman is in reality Joe Meach, an utter failure in life who wanted nothing more but to be remembered as somebody important. After being saved from a sloppy attempts at attempting to be a record high diver by Superman, Joe was given a job as caretaker at the Superman Museum. Cleaning up a place that is a homage to the world's greatest super-hero did nothing to change Joe's outlook on life except for the fact that he has become resentful of Superman and Batman's accomplishments. One night while cleaning in a room where trophies of the Legion of Super-Heroes were stored, lightning strikes the trophies and bombards Joe with strange energy. Amazingly, Joe gains the powers of all the Legion members. Inspired by his vendetta, he changes his shape into a composite Superman/Batman form and seek to upstage both Superman and Batman.
Suspecting Composite Superman's true motives, Batman and Superman stage a meeting for their "partner" to overhear and witness as Composite Superman eliminates robot duplicates of Superman and Batman. However, Composite Superman has seen through this ploy and threatens that if Superman, Batman or Robin go out in public in their costumed identities again he will reveal their secret identities to the world. Despite this, the three heroes resolve to find some way to defeat Composite Superman.
Their enemy spends the next few days building himself his very own fortress and begins plotting world domination. Finding the location of his fortress, Superman and Batman infiltrate it and face down Composite Superman. Although the villain easily over powers the two heroes, they note that with each attack his powers become weaker. Noticing this as well, Composite Superman returns to the Superman Museum to once more bombard the Legion statues with lightning in an attempt to restore his powers. However, he arrives too late and his powers wear off entirely. Finding that his memory of his experiences as Composite Superman fading, Joe attempts to write it down but doesn't finish in time to provide a full explanation. Later, with his memory of his experiences entirely gone, Joe comes across the half-finished message and wonder what he was trying to communicate and decide to keep the note for the time being. Meanwhile, Superman and Batman give up their search for Composite Superman, finding that he has disappeared for the time being.
Appearing in "The Menace of the Mechanical Octopus"
- mechanical octopus operators
- Mechanical Octopus
- Trick Arrows
Synopsis for "The Menace of the Mechanical Octopus"
This story is reprinted from World's Finest #97.
A skyscraper office is robbed of priceless jewels by a criminal in a giant flying mechanical octopus. Green Arrow and Speedy try to stop the crook but he gets away. Later, they are signaled to another attack this time of a rail car, Green Arrow and Speedy are once again bested by the mechanical octopus. Taken prisoner, Green Arrow and Speedy are taken to the crooks undersea base, where they use blowtorch arrows to get out of their cells and destroy the mechanical octopus before it can be used to rob a ship.
Appearing in "The Day That Aquaman Lost His Powers"
- Captain Toby
Synopsis for "The Day That Aquaman Lost His Powers"
This story is reprinted from World's Finest #137.
Aquaman and Aqualad are hard-pressed to deal with a band of scuba-diving pirates when a shot of strange fumes from an undersea dragon-urn depletes their super-powers. But a second dose of the fumes restores Aquaman's powers, and he takes the opportunity to catch the crooks and then restore Aqualad's powers as well.
Appearing in "The Has-Been Superman!"
- Leaper (Single appearance)
- Mr. Socrates (First appearance)
Synopsis for "The Has-Been Superman!"
This story is reprinted from World's Finest #178.
While on an intergalactic mission, Superman is dosed with a strange chemical and upon returning to Earth, he realizes that he has lost his powers. His friends, Batman and Robin try to help Clark Kent lead a normal life, but the restless hero can't give up his crime-fighting crusade. Inspired by The Dynamic Duo and Green Arrow, Clark adopts the secret identity of "The Nova", a human hero who uses his special cape to fight crime.
The Nova has his first encounter with Batman and Robin but he is easily defeated by the Caped Crusader, but after learning of Clark's honest purpose, Batman and Robin allow him to continue his work as The Nova. Unfortunately, during one of his heroic activities, Nova is unable to defeat some criminals, as he can't bring himself to use his full strength, due to the force of habit. This mistake costs Nova a great defeat and as he lies unconscious, he is taken to the secret hideout of the criminal mastermind called Mr. Socrates. The villain informs Clark that he knows his secret identity as Superman and also as the Nova and Socrates blackmails Clark into working for him against Batman and Robin, leaving Clark no option but to agree.
Appearing in "Superman's Perfect Crime"
- Horatio Socrates (Dies)
- Lex (Final appearance)
- Alfred Pennyworth (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "Superman's Perfect Crime"
This story is reprinted from World's Finest #180.
Superman, who was using the alias Nova after he lost his powers, was captured and brought to the secret hideout of the notorious criminal known as Mr. Socrates. The villain uses some special technology and places a device inside Superman's neck, which allows him to control the hero. Using him as his new henchman, Socrates commands Superman to fight against his most dangerous enemies, Batman and Robin.Superman lures Batman and Robin into a trap in a construction site, where he plans to eliminate the Dynamic Duo. Fortunately, Batman and Robin's fighting skills are far superior than Superman and they win the fight. Taking Superman to the Batcave, Batman and Robin learn about the device inside Superman's body and they try to remove it, but Superman regains cosciousness and escapes in the Batmobile. In the meantime, Socrates has managed to track down the signal from Superman's device and he learns the secret location of the Batcave.
Batman and Robin track down Superman in the Bat-Copter and they follow the former hero into a testing ground for short missiles. In the meantime, Socrates and his henchmen have found the Batcave and they place a deadly bomb in the Batcave's elevator in order to eliminate Batman and Robin. Moments later, Batman and Robin return and they attack the intruders with help from Superman, who has managed to avoid the effects from the mind-controlling device, thanks to Jimmy Olsen's Signal Watch. Mr. Socrates tries a desperate move and steps into the elevator, activating the bomb and killing himself with his own trap.
Finally, Socrates' henchmen are rounded up and Superman decides to drop the Nova identity and remain Superman, even without his powers. The Dynamic Duo decide to train Superman to become a great hero.
- No special notes.
- No trivia.