Superman wakes up discovering himself imprisoned in a cell of Arkham Asylum wearing his black and silver Kryptonian battle costume, having no idea of how and when he got here. After breaking his chains he escapes from his cell, which prompts an emergency call to the J.L.A. by Warden Solomon Grundy.
He learns from a poster on street that he is here for murdering Lex Luthor and that doesn’t make any sense to him because Superman doesn't kill. His old enemy Mr. Mxyzptlk shouts to him for hearing him out but is interrupted when the imp is hit by a train before the Man of Steel could even hear him.
As he was wandering around Meflopolis, Bizarro appears to apprehend him on behalf of Joker League of Anarchy. A fist fight breaks in between them where the hero was repeatedly pummeled by the impish being and ended up crashing through Lane Corp building when his enemy unleashed his heat breath on him.
Superman begs for help to take down Bizarro and look up to see a megalomaniac Lois Lane standing beside him. She does help him . . . getting caught by her fierce pet hounds until he is taken away.
Jimmy Olsen is Bizarro's pal Gravedigger Lad, who takes care of his Graveyard of Solitude, where Huntress, Nightwing and Robin are buried. The grey goliath attempted to drown Big Blue but a fish-headed Aquaman with an axe for an arm interrupts them, only to be freezed by ice vision.
Bizarro drops Superman at Arkham on care of Warden Grundy and while he was leaving, someone from not afar screams in pain. Through the streets of Meflopolis, Mxyzptlk was hurriedly running before getting squashed by an iron safe.
|Superman – Emperor Joker | Comics|
In a religious temple around town, Niece Matrix receives a vision of Superman that prompts her to scream and priest Perry White came in to see her hovering with flaming wings. It's not a secret anymore that this is a warped version of reality they are dwelling in and the Man of Steel is routinely escaping from Arkham every night now.
This time, he promises himself to not get caught and came across Lois in a helicopter. She took him to a hidden bunker of her for doctors to examine him and locked up behind electric fields.
In Watchtower, Poison Ivy was ranting on Bizarro about how stupid he is and then her tune changes when he arrives. Big "B" goes out seeking the escapee along with Scorch right away. Seeing him coming to them, Lois frees Clark and told him to leave but right before that they share a kiss. On his way, he is confronted by Mr. B and his fiery partner, giving him a hard time.
Supes managed to get free and Matrix appears to him as Earth Angel moments before he is caught and swallowed by Jimmy Olsen, who has become a giant Turtle Boy after getting bit by The Turtle during his fight with The Flab.
He wakes up in S.S. Arkham under the care of a superhuman telepath Skizm; a member of J.L.A. Big Blue stumbles onto John Henry Irons, who started to make sense and they two eventually broke out of the joint. While Irons try to work out his suit, cowboy gunslinger Bounty from Joker League of Anarchy arrives to take them in but is taken care of by Superman.
Bizarro too joined the party soon for Steel and Superman to beat him in wits. Lois then came to their rescue and picked the heroes up to help, after a powerless Mxyzptlk gave them hints to find out the anomaly of this weird reality and regain control.
Throughout a series of more bizarre events and a face-off with living weapon Ignition, Superman finally remembers the abnormality of this reality, which is The Joker, who has tricked Mr. Mxyzptlk into giving his power and has re-shaped entire reality in his own maniacal image, now claiming himself as Emperor Joker!
Apart from spreading chaos, the Clown Prince of Crime also had another sinister agenda of keep torturing his arch-nemesis; The Dark Knight to death and have him experience that over and over for an eternity.
Superman – Emperor Joker (Comics) DC Wikia
|He Who Laughs Last!|
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01. Superman V2 160
02. Adventures of Superman 582
03. Superman - The Man of Steel 104
04. Action Comics 769
05. Emperor Joker 01
06. Superman V2 161
07. Adventures of Superman 583
08. Superman - The Man of Steel 105
09. Action Comics 770
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Superman – Emperor Joker
A one-shot titled "Emperor Joker" was also released to highlight the main theme of the story. Many new characters were created for an entire new depiction of reality and many of the existing ones got a twist of their roles to fit in this quirked universe. Ignition and Scorch were one of those who debuted during the event and they made it to New Earth reality after everything was reverted back.
|The Dark Knight Lives Again|
Various renowned writers like Joe Kelly (Justice League Elite, Our Worlds at War), Mark Schultz (Aliens – Apocalypse, Aliens – Havoc) and Jeph Loeb (Batman – Dark Victory, Batman – Hush) has came up forging a bizarre story of The Joker ruling the universe.
Also on board were artists Carlo Barberi (Deadpool – Suicide Kings, Ororo – Before the Storm), Doug Mahnke (Batman – The Man Who Laughs, Black Adam – The Dark Age), Duncan Rouleau (Superman – Ending Battle, Metal Men), Ed McGuinness (Superman/Batman – Public Enemies, Superman/Batman – With a Vengeance), Scott McDaniel (Batman – Dead to Rights, Batman – Impostors) and Todd Nauck (Legion of Superheroes, Teen Titans) to create this remarkable tale.
One of the biggest aspects of "Emperor Joker" event was how the Justice League of America turned into a team of maniacs called Joker League of Anarchy. Advertisement of Wonder Woman starring in porn "Amazon Women Behind Bars" was a bit subtle pun that could easily go unnoticed. Replacement of Superman's arch-rival Lex Luthor with his love of life, Lois Lane as a ruthless businesswoman was also interesting.
Revelation of what really is going on with Steel, Supergirl and Superboy had unique takes that had the touch of fun. Special appearance from Darkseid, Harley Quinn and Spectre was also quite noteworthy.
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