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The hero known as Joe Public was originally a phys ed teacher at Gotham City High School. He became a vigilante after one of his students was killed by some bad Ecstasy at a party.
He sought out the local drug kingpin known as "Happy Jack," as he was responsible for the drug ditribution near Joe's high school. Unfortunately, Batman was after Happy Jack as well, and Joe accidentally ended up fouling up Batman's plans, allowing Happy Jack to flee.
Joe managed to track down Happy Jack later that night, but they both ended up falling victim to the alien parasite known as Gemir, who fed on their spinal fluid. However, while Happy Jack perished from the attack, Joe survived Gemir's bite and gained strange new powers. He soon found that he could absorb the strength and energy from people around him, which allowed him to become strong enough to be a match for Gemir. Joe then teamed up with Batman and Pagan, and together they were able to rebuff Gemir, driving him from Gotham.
Later on in his superhero career, Joe would end up encountering Azrael, as well as the Martian Manhunter. He also joined the Justice League Task Force.
Powers and Abilities
Joe Public has the ability to absorb the strength and energy of others around him. This manages to grant him considerable strength and durability but it unfortunately causes great fatigue to the people he gathered the strength from. Joe's powers are also proximity based, which causes him to lose his additional strength the farther he gets from the people he gained it from. He also seems to be able to absorb some energy based abilities as seen in his battle against Corrosive Man.