The Composite Superman was one of the earliest enemies of Superman, Batman, and Robin to succeed at defeating all three heroes every time they encountered one another, although he had a last-minute change of heart and sacrificed his life to save those whom he once would have destroyed.
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 dived off a high 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 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.
- Power Replication: 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:
- Size Alteration: The ability to grow to giant size (Colossal Boy) and shrink (Shrinking Violet).
- Bio-Fission: The ability to divide into three people (Triplicate Girl)
- Electrokinesis The ability to fire lightning bolts (Lightning Lad)
- Pyrokinesis: The ability to generate heat and light (Sun Boy)
- Density Control: The ability to make things super-lightweight (Light Lass) and super-heavy (Star Boy).
- Matter-Digestion: The ability to eat any form of matter (Matter-Eater Lad)
- Invisibility: The ability to turn invisible (Invisible Kid)
- Transformation: The ability to inflate into a large ball (Bouncing Boy)
- Elasticity: The ability to stretch any part of his body (Elastic Lad)
- Metamorphosis: The ability to shapeshift (Chameleon Boy)
- Telepathy: (Saturn Girl)
- Enhanced Intellect: (Brainiac 5)
- Magnetic Manipulation: (Cosmic Boy)
- Enhanced Vision: Composite Superman could see through anything, even lead (Ultra Boy)
- Molecular Reconstruction: The ability to transmute elements (Element Lad)
- Phasing: The ability to phase through solid matter (Phantom Girl)
- Superhuman Strength: Strength three times as great as that of Superman (Supergirl, Mon-El, Ultra Boy)
- Invulnerability: Resistance to harm three times as great as that of Superman (Supergirl, Mon-El, Ultra Boy)
- This version of Composite Superman, including all history and corresponding appearances, was erased from existence following the collapse of the original Multiverse in the 1985–86 Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series. Even though versions of the character may have since appeared, this information does not apply to those versions.
- 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).
- 12 Appearances of Joseph Meach (Earth-One)
- 3 Images featuring Joseph Meach (Earth-One)
- 1 Quotations by or about Joseph Meach (Earth-One)
- Character Gallery: Joseph Meach (Earth-One)
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