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Cover Date: October 2000
Cover Price: US $ 3.50
Issue Tagline: None.
Format: Color; Standard Comic Issue
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The Reign of Emperor Joker
This one-off is a bridge between the Superman: Arkham story (finishing in Action Comics #769) and The Reign of Emperor Joker story, starting in Superman #160.
Faced with the truth of who has twisted the world, Superman and Steel must find the last remaining heroes and band together against the Emperor Joker.
In JLA moon headquarters, Steel, Superman, and Mr. Mxyzptlk attempt to get back to Earth. Ignition, on the surface of the moon, blasts their spaceship with all of his power. Lois, on her way to the moon, saves them as they land in Smallville.
Back on Earth, Supergirl is attacked by flying Joker fish, but Superboy shows up to save her. Supergirl convinces him that they need to find Superman - their only hope.
Emperor Joker is alerted by Bizarro and Dr. Skizm that Superman could rally others to his cause, and now would be a good time to fight back. Having already killed many heroes, Joker decides to finally be rid of Superman and the other heroes still alive. However, Lex Luthor, his court jester whom he's kept secret, blames Joker for thinking too small, giving Joker a new idea.
Meanwhile in Smallville, Mr. Mxyzptlk explains what happened. He was bored of fighting Superman, so he decided to give Joker a small amount of his power and have him torment Superman instead. However, Joker tricked him in to revealing his secret imp name, thus granting the Joker most of Mr. Mxyzptlk's powers, allowing the Joker to remake the world in his image. Determined to stop the Joker, Superman decides to find the other still living heroes.
Tracking them to the original JLA Earth headquarters, Superman finds skewed and twisted versions of Aquaman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Martian Manhunter, Plastic Man, and Green Lantern. Suspiciously, there's no mention of Batman's whereabouts. Being criminals in this world, they fight Superman, Steel, and Lois. When Supergirl and Superboy crash in to the building, Superman saves them all before the building can crush them, convincing everyone he's not a criminal and that they should listen to him. However, they're still not convinced they should help him, but they leave Superman with hope.
Watching from his throne, Emperor Joker laughs, and Lex Luthor berates him for letting them have hope. The Joker laughs and kills Lex, stating that this isn't the beginning of the end - it's the end of the beginning.
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