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Composite Superman!
December 2, 2005 6:16 AM   Subscribe

"I'm greater than Superman and Batman put together! Before I'm through, I'll have them cringing before the might of Composite Superman!" The mighty Composite Superman is brilliant artifact from the Silver Age of comics. A variation on the theme recently resurfaced in print and on television! Just goes to show that you can't keep a gimmick supervillain down. He's even got his own blog! (via Scans_Daily)
posted by grabbingsand (43 comments total)

 
Superman is greater than Batman and Superman combined in much the same way that I am greater than me and "polio me" combined.
posted by I Foody at 6:34 AM on December 2, 2005


Does anyone remember the '60s superhero whose limbs would fall off in times of stress? He always had my vote as the least super hero.
posted by rcade at 6:37 AM on December 2, 2005


Does anyone remember the '60s superhero whose limbs would fall off in times of stress? He always had my vote as the least super hero.

Wasn't there some dude who didn't do anything except talk like a 50's hep cat and snap his fingers a lot?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:40 AM on December 2, 2005


I bet Shakoora The Magician could easily beat Composite Superman.
posted by martinrebas at 6:41 AM on December 2, 2005


Snapper Carr.
posted by grabbingsand at 6:47 AM on December 2, 2005


Holy crap! I never realized they used Snapper as the anchorman on JLU! (You'd think they'd let Creeper do it or something)
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:50 AM on December 2, 2005


"During the Invasion storyline, Carr was among a number of prisoners of the Dominators who were deliberately fired upon to see if any of them would develop superpowers in response."
(from grabbingsand's link)

Was Carr in Iraq at the time? Is Georgie still reading his comics past bedtime?
Mr President, please, it's only a cartoon, put down the tazer.
posted by NinjaPirate at 6:57 AM on December 2, 2005


That blog is no Darthside, the gold-standard of fictional-movie-character blogs.
posted by GuyZero at 7:19 AM on December 2, 2005


That is the geefiest costume of any superivllain, ever, anywhere. But it's cool that they let him win.
posted by lodurr at 7:42 AM on December 2, 2005


Superman is greater than Batman and Superman combined in much the same way that I am greater than me and "polio me" combined.

you sure about that? i'd bet that polio you has developed other abilities to compensate for the limitations imposed on him -- i mean you -- by his disease. for instance, i bet he's bonded with his leg braces and can telekinetically manipulate them to whop you -- meaning you, not him -- upside the head from a safe distance.
posted by lord_wolf at 7:49 AM on December 2, 2005


Imagine the irony if Composite's Batman side was the side that held the Kryptonite that Batman likely carries around with him.

"I'll just throw one of my smoke pellets and- ARGH!"
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:03 AM on December 2, 2005


Oh my Lord ... another coffee explosion on the keyboard after seeing the entry for Joker's Boner. Damn you, Robby Reed!
posted by bclark at 8:26 AM on December 2, 2005


He's even got his own blog!

I wonder how long it will take before this becomes as superfluous as "It's even got its own website!" when talking about a company.
posted by languagehat at 8:37 AM on December 2, 2005


"It's even got its own website!"

It always makes me think of 80s toy commercials. "Comes with it's own carrying case / kickstand / sword and magic helmet!"
posted by grabbingsand at 8:56 AM on December 2, 2005


he's bonded with his leg braces and can telekinetically manipulate them to whop you -- meaning you, not him -- upside the head from a safe distance.
Ha! You need an illustrator lord_wolf!
posted by Popular Ethics at 9:08 AM on December 2, 2005


Composite's crotch must be confused. Which one is it, a red or blue state?
posted by Peter H at 9:24 AM on December 2, 2005


Does anyone remember the '60s superhero whose limbs would fall off in times of stress? He always had my vote as the least super hero.

Ah, good old Arm-Fall-Off-Boy. I never actually read a comic about him, but he was infamous enough that my friends and I used him as a shining example of lame super-heroes. No wikipedia entry, but there are a couple of references scattered around the internets.
posted by flipper at 10:30 AM on December 2, 2005


Ah, good old Arm-Fall-Off-Boy

And here I thought you were referring to Captain Marvel. No, not him , or him . I mean the real Captain Marvel!.

(via the much loved and apparently abandoned Gone and Forgotten.
posted by lumpenprole at 12:07 PM on December 2, 2005


You mean Captain Marvel?
posted by kafziel at 12:08 PM on December 2, 2005


... damn your oily hide.
posted by kafziel at 12:08 PM on December 2, 2005


So why is he known as Arm-Fall-Off-Boy? According to the image in your second link, he introduces himself as "Splitter" and the other guy thinks "Arm-Fall-Off Floyd" would be a better name. (Of course, the scans are so crappy I can't read the captions in the last two panels, so maybe I'm missing something there.)
posted by languagehat at 12:09 PM on December 2, 2005


Arm-Fall-Off-Boy!!!! HEEEEELARIOUS!! WOW..

That's a really good/horrendous character. I was too much of a Marvel geek to know about the DC universe and their crazy characters.. but that's funny..
posted by pez_LPhiE at 12:10 PM on December 2, 2005


And then there's composite Supergirl
posted by davros42 at 12:24 PM on December 2, 2005


Superman is greater than Batman and Superman combined in much the same way that I am greater than me and "polio me" combined.

Amen, to that brother. Superman must just like to having people around, because the rest of the JLA sure isn't providing much that he couldn't do himself, only infinitely faster and better. Except communicate with fish.

If Chuck Norris' copdog sidekick had all its legs removed and then you glued its mouth shut, you have a vague understanding of how useful the rest of the team was to Superman.
posted by Gamblor at 12:27 PM on December 2, 2005


You're thinking cartoon version Justice League, Gamblor. In the comics, Batman provides the brains. In the cartoon, they're all equally idiotic, so superpowers trump all, advantage Superman.
posted by Bugbread at 12:36 PM on December 2, 2005


Languagehat: from my first link, it's mentioned that he was renamed Splitter in Legionnaires #43, and that he only appeared once under his original name (in Secret Origins #46, natch). I'm guessing the crappy scans are of the Legionnaires reappearance - like pez_LPhiE, I was more of a Marvel geek during my childhood.

Look what you've done: you've made me go and learn more about Arm-Fall-Off-Boy than anyone should be expected to know.
posted by flipper at 12:41 PM on December 2, 2005


Yes, I'm familiar with the comic, but I still fail to see how Superman + any human being > Superman all by himself.

It's like a child saying, "Oh yeah? Well infinity plus one!" What can a human add to Superman to improve him? What does Batman bring to the party except the power to have bullets hurt?
posted by Gamblor at 12:45 PM on December 2, 2005


What can a human add to Superman to improve him? What does Batman bring to the party except the power to have bullets hurt?

Brains. Originially, Superman was the strong one, and Batman was the smart one. He's the world's greatest detective. So while Superman can beat the crap out of anyone, he may need Batman to tell him who to beat the crap out of, and where the crapee may be found.
posted by unreason at 12:56 PM on December 2, 2005


And then there's composite Supergirl

Dude, Batwoman's breasts are far larger than Supergirl's. Composite should be lopsided!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 12:59 PM on December 2, 2005


Gamblor : "I still fail to see how Superman + any human being > Superman all by himself. "

Superpowers + brains > Superpowers without brains?

For example: Superman is as weak as my niece if deprived of the power of the Sun. Batman would probably rig up a pseudo-solar array in case of nuclear winter (ala Dark Knight). Not so much because he's a technical wizard, but he has the superpower of "strategy" and the mutant ability to "think more than 10 minutes ahead". So Superman = dead in WWIII, Superman + Batman = Still kickin' the Russians' asses in WWIII.

It's more like multiplication than addition. Superman is 100. Batman is 5. Superman is better than Batman by a huge margin. But put them together, and they don't add, they multiply. Superbat is 500.
posted by Bugbread at 1:01 PM on December 2, 2005


Point taken. But I've seen comics when Superman, hovering in the stratosphere, singled out Lex Luthor's hearbeat from the other six billion beating hearts on the planet. I've also seen him analyze a person's complete genome just by staring at them really hard. He has no problems finding people or solving mysteries.

I loves me some Batman, but let's be honest: He's a genius because he has to be to get the job done. What other option does he have? Superman, on the other hand, is freakin' Superman.

And if combining other JLAer's powers with Superman's was such an improvement, Amazo would be unbeatable.
posted by Gamblor at 1:14 PM on December 2, 2005


I think unreason provided a much better answer than mine: Superman needs Batman to tell him whose ass to kick, in the event that he goes against a supervillain less prone to self promotion than most of the DC universe. Sure, when they appear on your giant Justice League Rec Room screen to brag about what they've done, what they're going to do, and where their hideout is (which seems to be the norm in DC), you don't need a Batman to go kick their asses. But lord forbid Superman gets targetted by a supervillain who prefers to stay in hiding, or develops a trap that's above the conceptual level of a gradeschooler. That's where Batman comes in. In that kind of situ, think of Batman as a targeting computer, and Superman as the nuclear missile launched by said targeting computer.

But, yeah, Amazo does look like he could kick some ass.
posted by Bugbread at 1:21 PM on December 2, 2005


But lord forbid Superman gets targetted by a supervillain who prefers to stay in hiding...

Horseshit. When you're ready to have a serious discussion about comparing a flying, man-shaped, invulnerable alien in red and blue tights with a crime-fighting, genius, martial-arts-using orphan who spends his time with young boys and old English men, then you know where to find me.
posted by Gamblor at 1:42 PM on December 2, 2005


Whoa, man, I'm not comparing Superman and Batman as equals. In a mano-a-mano, Batman's dead meat. But consider this: Batman is the only DC character who (highly probably) regularly carries around some Kryptonite just in case. He's smarter than basically every supervillain that has ever fought Superman.

In a fight between Superman and Batman on a nude beach, Batman's teeth will soon be collected by schoolchildren as "some kinda weird shells I found in the sand". With preparation, Batman might win, but only if he had the advantage of surprise. So, yeah, Superman would kick Batman's ass 9 times out of 10. But perhaps (just perhaps) if Superman had had the intelligence of Batman, he wouldn't have died back in 1993.
posted by Bugbread at 1:56 PM on December 2, 2005


And then there's composite Supergirl

G-damnn I love Arthur Adams work. Back when I was a kid I revered him like others revere Kirby.
posted by Peter H at 1:58 PM on December 2, 2005


...if Superman had had the intelligence of Batman, he wouldn't have died back in 1993.

Touché, my friend.
posted by Gamblor at 2:07 PM on December 2, 2005


That's true. Batman didn't die in '93. He did, however, get his back broken (in what, '94?). That's almost as bad.
posted by graventy at 2:15 PM on December 2, 2005


That's true. Batman didn't die in '93. He did, however, get his back broken (in what, '94?). That's almost as bad.

By a man who always wears spandex overalls, even. Not a high point. Of course, Superman had a mullet at the time, so things were tough all over.
posted by COBRA! at 2:17 PM on December 2, 2005


graventy : "That's true. Batman didn't die in '93. He did, however, get his back broken (in what, '94?). That's almost as bad."

And, again, if Batman had Superman's powers, that would probably not have happened either. I'm certainly not making the case that Batman is better than Superman overall. Just that he had an aspect that he could contribute to Superman that would improve Supes.

Superman is level 100.
Batman is level 5.
Combine them, and they multiply to 500.
Pit both of them individually against a level 50 supervillain, and Superman only needs to roll a 2 to hit. Batman needs to roll several 20s in a row.
That's all.
posted by Bugbread at 2:20 PM on December 2, 2005


Lobo would beat the crap out of all three of them.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:45 PM on December 2, 2005


bugbread : "Pit both of them individually against a level 50 supervillain..."

Yes, well, there's the kicker. Say some supervillain, like...Lex Luthor in a battlesuit or something, challenges the heroes in some way. Superman will rush right in and use brute force. Batman, given time, will take away his foes' advantage.

One of the more interesting Batman books I've read was early into the most recent JLA incarnation. The rest of the good guys are evil-ified or Batman was having a bad day or something, and he took them all down one by one. They're all more powerful than he is, but given time, he can take them out. (Of course, knowing this, if I were Superman and I turned evil, I'd kill him before I did anything else. I can catch the Flash later.)
posted by graventy at 7:12 PM on December 2, 2005


I hate myself for writing this.
Superman is basically an average guy who just happens to be insanely strong; read Dark Knight Returns, and watch him get ordered around by Ronald Reagan. Batman is a psychopathic, paranoid genius- he's so nuts, he not only carries Kryptonite, but he keeps secret files on all of his friends, so he can kill them if they go rogue. And these are his friends and co-workers!
Yeah, if they were fighting naked in a sunny desert, Superman would win. But every time they fight each other- in New Frontier, in Dark Knight, in Hush...Batman always ends up either winning or letting Superman know that he COULD kill him before backing down.
Also, consider this- going in to any one of those fights, Superman is expecting to wipe his feet with the guy, and Batman probably assumes, quite reasonably, that he could end up as paste at the end of the day. And yet Batman still occasionally fights the strongest, most invincible man on Earth. He must wear special Bat-Support-Underwear so he doesn't collapse on account of his two enormous balls.
Well...I've just shown myself to be a giant dork. Thanks, all! I'll be over here, you know....not having casual sex.
posted by 235w103 at 11:00 PM on December 2, 2005


Thanks, all! I'll be over here, you know....not having casual sex.

Ha!
We love you anyway 235w103 (In a platonic, useful-in-comic-threads kind of way).
posted by Popular Ethics at 9:31 AM on December 4, 2005


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