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Cover Date: October 2000
Cover Price: US $ 2.25
Issue Tagline: Fallen Idols
Format: Color; Standard Comic Issue
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The Reign of Emperor Joker
Part 3 of The Reign of Emperor Joker, continuing from The Adventures of Superman #583.
The Joker transforms the heroes he turned in to pets back in to humans, and forces Superman to star in a propaganda film intending to convince the others to follow Joker's law. His goal: break Superman, and kill all hope of rebellion.
Emperor Joker laughs over having remade the universe such that the former heroes were reformed as pets, and Mr. Mxyzptlk was reformed in to a formless blob of protoplasma. But, growing bored with the animals, Joker decides to turn the heroes back in to humans, and gives Enigma (an alternate Riddler) Mr. Mxyzptlk, who remarks that Joker's world is starting to fall apart.
Joker then forces Superman to start in a propaganda film about following Joker's law. During the film, Lex Luthor (revived from earlier being killed by the Joker) begins to whisper to Lois that this isn't the way for her to win - Joker can never be trusted, so she must side with Superman.
Meanwhile Superman fights Joker's powers, forcing a different ending to the propaganda film - rather than be broken psychologically, he attacks and dies instead. Batman, who is forced to watch the film beside the Joker, laughs that Superman won't let Joker know what can break him. Realizing that Batman must know what would break him, Joker orders Skizm to use his powers to look in to Batman's mind.
Superman is transported to space where he meets the Spectre, who knows who Superman really is - Clark Kent, and not a criminal. The Spectre uses his last remaining energy to warn Superman that Joker's tampering with reality will soon destroy all of time and space.
Superman is then returned to the propaganda film. Joker had rewritten the ending after gaining information about Superman from Batman, and puts Lois Lane in the film, who realizes Lex was right. Joker's forced film ends up killing Lois, intending to break Superman, but Batman fed him that information knowing it would do the opposite - resolve Superman against Joker.
The original JLA, watching the film, realizes that the Joker can be beaten, and in doing so break the Joker's hold over them and gain back their normal costumes and guises. Having gained back their hope, they prepare for battle against the Joker.
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