Every Sunday morning we showcase a classic comic cover, complete with compelling commentary, for your cordial contemplation. It’s the Classic Comic Cover Corner!
World’s Finest #142 – June, 1964
Cover Art by Curt Swan
The Internets have been ablaze over the past few days about the news that Ben Affleck has been cast as Batman in the upcoming (as yet untitled) Superman/Batman film. But did you know that Affleck has also played Superman before? It’s true! Well, technically, he played George Reeves (who played Superman in the 50’s television show) in the 2006 film, “Hollywoodland.” But before Affleck, has any one person ever been immersed in the combined might of both Superman and Batman?
If you answered, “yes,” you’re right. In World’s Finest #142, writer Edmond Hamilton gave birth to “The Composite Superman,” a villain that not only has the powers of Superman and Batman, but those of the entire Legion of Super-Heroes. At first he just wants to partner-up with the World’s Finest, and blackmails them with revealing their true-identities if he’s not allowed to be part of the team, but he really just wants to show them up then dominate the world.
How did the Composite Superman get all of his powers? He was just a disgruntled janitor at the Superman Museum until lightning struck a super trophy room and he absorbed the super-powered energy that was released. Oh, the ever-rewarding lucky lightning-strike, is there anything it can’t do? I’m not certain what good absorbing Batman’s power does for Composite Superman, as Batman has no powers, but it makes for a cool costume nevertheless.
As for Affleck, I might as well take this opportunity to weigh-in on the casting controversy. I hated the decision to cast Michael Keaton as Batman, Hugh Jackman as Wolverine and Heath Ledger as The Joker, and those all turned out to be really good choices. I think Affleck is getting a bum rap and I don’t feel that he was that bad in Daredevil. Additionally, I don’t think that Christian Bale was that great in Nolan’s Batman trilogy. I think that Affleck will do fine and that he is actually the least of the problems with upcoming film.
The biggest issue to be concerned with regarding the Superman/Batman film is that Warner Bros. is desperate and trying to jam too much into the Man of Steel sequel. They have not even established the Clark Kent character yet and already they are introducing Bruce Wayne and Batman. It’s a dangerous recipe for disaster that all the super-powers in the world won’t save them from.