Saturday, January 24, 2009

Week of 21 January 2009

(SPOILER ALERT: This post contains spoilers. Don't read it before you've read the comic.)

I did not see any Legion appearances in the DC Universe this week.

However, here's one that long-time Legion fans might want to take a look at:

"Compound Fracture"

In this "Re-Imagined Tale From Yesteryear," the new Composite Superman appears.


The first Composite Superman appeared 44 years ago in WORLD'S FINEST #142 (6/1964). In that story, a down-on-his-luck janitor at the Superman Museum named Joe Meach had an unfortunate accident. He was standing next to the Legion statuettes when lightning struck them and him. Naturally, from this accident he gained the powers of all the Legionnaires. (It made sense at the time.) Meach used Chameleon Boy's shape-changing ability to transform himself into a half-Superman, half-Batman green-skinned freak (the green skin apparently came from Brainiac 5).

Superman and Batman were able to defeat Meach, who conveniently lost all memory of the incident. Later, his powers were restored by a crazy alien named Xan (WORLD'S FINEST #168, 8/1967). Meach gave up his life saving Batman and SUperman,

Much later (WORLD'S FINEST #283, 9/1983) Xan escaped from prison and re-created Meach's powers in himself. For a while he took on the appearance & identity of the Composite Superman, then he went back to his original look and called himself Amalgamax (sounds like an insurance company). The Legion helped defeat Amalgamax.


The new Composite Superman has nothing to do with the Legion. Instead, it is a Frankenstein's Monster-like creature that was an early experiment by Professor Ivo. Ivo made the creature using DNA scavenged from various crime scenes, DNA belonging to members of the Justice League. (One does not ordinarily imagine Batman being careless enough to leave bits of his DNA scattered about.) This time, the creature is a bizarre sewn-together mixture of Batman and Superman, with the abilities of several Justice League members. Its skin is green looks cooler that way? Or maybe because it's been buried for many years, so the green represents rot? (Ewwww...)

This time around, Batman and Superman taunt the poor critter until it literally tears itself in half.

There's a lot more about the history of the Composite Superman, including several other variants, in this Wikipedia article.


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