Monday, June 1, 2020

LEGION TOYS: Composite Superman (DC Direct)

One night Superman Museum janitor Joseph Meach was struck by a wave of energy that came from a bolt of lighting having hit a collection of statuettes representing the Legion of Super-Heroes. He awoke with the combined abilities of each of the Legionnaires! With his newfound powers he became a one-man Legion of Super-Heroes! Introduced in action figure form in the DC Direct DC Comics First Appearances Series 3 line, here is the most hated character on all of the Who's Who Podcast:  Composite Superman!

As usual, the sculpt is where the DC Direct figures tend to shine. Unlike Mattel, this sculpt appears to be unique to the Composite Superman action figure. The face sculpt perfectly splits the right sided Superman face from the 's' spit curl into a Silver Age Batman face on the left side of the figure. Even the Superman S shield and Batman Yellow Oval Bat Logo have sculpted symbols on the figure's chest. The musculature is well defined and the rubbery plastic cape drapes nicely along his backside. The details of Superman's belt loop and belt buckle, along with Batman's belt buckle and Utility Belt capsules are all individually sculpted and look fantastic. The Bat scallops on the gloves are nice and pointy along with the sole Bat-Ear on the left side of the head sculpt. I really dig the sculpt  of the figure and prefer this First Appearance look to a later release of Composite Superman which is designed to look like the art styling of Ed McGuiness.

There are 15-points of  articulation that I count on Composite Superman. Head can rotate 360 degrees. Arms can lift slightly up and rotate 360 degrees. There are joints at the elbowsand the fist on Superman's side can rotate as well. The glove on the Batman side is supposed to rotate, but it feels somewhat stuck and I feel like I would break the figure if I attempted to rotate it 360 degrees. Legs move up and back, but if you move them back the figure tends to suffer extreme paint rub. Finally the knees rotate at a 90 degree angle to complete the articulation. I would say the most useful articulation on this figure would be the shoulders and the Superman fist. Most of the leg articulation, in my opinion, is fairly useless. It also has the dreaded T-Crotch, which even makes it difficult to place the figure in a seated position.

The Paint Applications are fairly successful. The Superman Blue and Batman Gray on the arms, chest and legs is fairly flat, but fit the first appearance completely. The green skin, yellow belt and red belt loop on the Superman side are the same. On the Batman side the black and blue on the face are flat and the yellow on the Utility Belt side is a different hue from the Superman belt, which is a great touch. The red and blues on the cape, boots and Bat-Glove have more of a glossy look to make them pop. The black hair on the Superman side also has the same glossy look. Even the Superman and Batman chest logos split down the middle have that glossy red, yellow, orange-yellow and black glossy paint to make the logos stand out. The white in the eyes and black for the eyebrow and pupil on the Superman side are employed with precision. The yellow "S" shield on the rear of the cape is a little too low for my taste, but it looks just fine. There are some really minor paint chipping or bleeding issues at the top of the belt buckle, where you can see some of Superman's blue bleeding through or underneath Batman's belt buckle when there is chipping. But that split right down the middle is outstanding. The sculpt combined with the well placed paint application really sells the idea you are looking at a combined being.

For the most part, I like this figure. He's pretty low on articulation by today's standards, but has more than most DC Direct figures. The sculpt is great, but the cape feels like it could have been made out of better materials. As a display piece, the figure is top-notch. However, if you want it to do a dance off with your Marvel Legends or high-end Mafex figures, you'll be sorely disappointed.


  1. Maybe I'm a bit of a contrarian, but I've always kind of liked the character. Could have been executed better, ok, much better. But the idea of a bad guy with THAT much raw power is pretty scary.

  2. The first Composite Superman story was an interesting character study of a man with no ability at foresight or self-criticism given the power of a God. In the end he lost not so much through the Deus Ex Machina of his powers wearing off, but through his own failure to examine his own random good luck -- five minutes spent analyzing his circumstances with Brainiac 5's computer mind could have told him his power would need a recharge. Steal the statuettes (replacing them with decent counterfeits), charge a capacitor with a lightening bolt or two, leave instructions for yourself in case your memory glitches in the depowering (as happened). He could have rules the world; instead he's back sweeping floors. None of the sequels had half as much to offer.