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Cover Date: October 2000
Cover Price: US $ 2.25
Issue Tagline: and the Truth shall set them Free!
Format: Color; Standard Comic Issue; 32 pages
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The Reign of Emperor Joker
Part 2 of The Reign of Emperor Joker, continuing from Superman #161.
After Superman saves an old friend, they attempt to destroy Emperor Joker through faith, but Lois' bargain with the Joker is revealed, leading to an explosive end.
Superman buries Batman, having found him dead, but after Superman flies away, Batman comes back to life and bursts out of the ground. Superman hears this and comes back. Batman explains that Joker tortures and kills him every night, and brings him back the next night to do it again. Right on cue, clown minions come to fight Batman.
Meanwhile Lois has betrayed Steel and given him to Joker. To test her, Joker kills Steel before her, and attempts to find out what she really wants.
Supergirl and Superboy's fate is revealed - they were killed by Ignition's nuclear blast, and now are in this world's version of Hell. Satanus offers them a reality of their own, in exchange for their souls. Although Superboy is tempted, Supergirl reminds him they need to help Superman and they are returned to Earth.
Superman continues to fight back the clowns with Batman, and Superman convinces him to have hope that they can defeat the Joker. In doing so, Joker City becomes Gotham City for a moment, which Joker can feel. Superboy and Supergirl are returned to them. Batman realizes they broke Joker's will through faith. Supergirl claims their faith can let her transport them in to the Joker's soul, but Emperor Joker appears at that moment.
He calls Lois a Judas and gives her to Superman, then transports his evil JLA and the original JLA to a colosseum to fight for his pleasure. But Supergirl, using some of Mr. Mxyzptlk's magic, does transport Superman and the others in to the Joker's soul, intending to use faith to stop him. However, Lois reveals that she is working with Joker when she produces a Kryptonian ring, hurting Superman physically and emotionally.
As Joker laughs, having destroyed their faith, he destroys the universe, and remakes it with the heroes transformed in to pets, and Lois as his new Empress.
Superman: Emperor Joker (2000) TPB
Superman: Emperor Joker (2000) TPB (2016 Edition)
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