"Superman's Joker": Since the city of Metropolis was attacked by Brainiac, the people of the city have been working to make things better. Given how much the people look up to Superman, two men - Chuck and Buddy - dres
- I know a little something about this kind of thing, Clark. You're not dealing with a rational person. There's... nothing here to make sense of. You've got yourself a Joker.
- — Batman
Synopsis for "Superman's Joker"
Since the city of Metropolis was attacked by Brainiac, the people of the city have been working to make things better. Given how much the people look up to Superman, two men - Chuck and Buddy - dress up as Superman and Batman to visit and entertain the children in the Metropolis City Center Hospital. Lois Lane has observed this elastic ability to bounce back, and wonders if maybe the people of Metropolis are just ready to cheer again.
Superman and his friends, meanwhile, are rescuing a pair of Orcas who got separated from their pod, and Superman muses that he's not used to happy endings, lately. Suddenly, an explosion kills one of the whales instantly, staining the ocean water red with its blood. Before Superman can even react, each of his allies - Supergirl, Krypto, and Steel - are shot. Fortunately, none of their wounds are fatal, but Superman is worried that whatever hit them was too fast for him to see.
At the hospital, a shot takes Chuck, dressed as Superman, by surprise. He tries not to show his pain and shock in front of the children, maintaining the persona of Superman. He stumbles out into the hall, and collapses on the floor.
Later, at the morgue, Lois can't get anything out of the intake officer for her story on what happened to Chuck. Clark Kent arrives, and reports that the whale's head had inexplicably exploded without any trace of projectile, gunpowder, or explosives. Grumpily, Lois warns that if he had stuck to Superman, he might have more to show for his investigation. Slyly, Clark slips the police report out of Lois' bag and discovers how Chuck had heroically tried not to scare the children in the hospital ward. Moved, he leaves without a word.
As Superman, he meets with Batman, and Bruce notes with interest that Superman is unusually silent. While he prefers the quiet, it worries him. Together they investigate the scene of Chuck's death, but they can see no sign of any damage, besides the hole in the window. They are surprised when one of the children steps out and comments that he'd thought Superman was dead. Superman assures him that he's fine, and the boy comments that he saved the beanbags that Chuck was juggling for him. Softening, Superman entertains the other children by juggling for them, just as Chuck had. From them, he learns that they had seen some kind of bug in Chuck's chest wound.
In the Batcave, Batman explains that whoever did this must have hated Superman more than even Lex Luthor. Going after Clark's friends - and a completely innocent man wearing a Superman costume - suggests that the perpetrator wants to send a message; to toy with his enemy. He warns Clark that whatever he thinks, he may never understand why this happened. Whoever did this is not a rational person, and his motivations will not make sense. This person is someone like the Joker - a remorseless and insane murderer.
With experience in this regard, Batman suggests that they monitor everyone whom the enemy might know has a connection to Superman. They must prepare as much as possible - and while they may see success, they can't prepare for everything. Some people might die. Superman thinks back on all of the crimes the Joker committed against Bruce, and how they changed him, and comments that he doesn't want to be like his friend. Bruce responds that he doesn't want to be the way he is either.
Suddenly, Batman's computer's glitch, and the images on it are replaced with video feeds of all of those whom Superman cares about. Bruce realizes that these are not his cameras. A voice rings out through the Batcave explaining that he now knows exactly how to hurt Superman. On the computer's screens, they see images of a speech by Lex Luthor in Metropolis, a concert in Seoul Plaza, and a Khandaq peace conference. Each of these is interrupted when the same super-speed attacks take down prominent figures at each event.
Appearing in "Superman's Joker"
- Lex Luthor
- Hector Hammond (On a TV or computer screen)
- Cyborg Superman (On a TV or computer screen)
- The Joker (Flashback only)
- Hiro Okamura (On a TV or computer screen)
- Lana Lang (On a TV or computer screen)
- Perry White (On a TV or computer screen)
- Superboy (On a TV or computer screen)
- Jimmy Olsen (On a TV or computer screen)
- Chuck (Dies)
- Jason Todd (Flashback only)
- Barbara Gordon (Flashback only)
- Nightwing (Flashback only)
- Robin (Flashback only)
- Red Robin (Flashback only)
- Metropolis City Center Hospital
- Gotham City
- Seoul (On a TV or computer screen)
- Kahndaq (On a TV or computer screen)