Batman has now been missing for three weeks. With the protector of Gotham gone, crime had exploded all over the great Eastern city. The Police tried their best to contain the madness, but without the Dark Knight’s assistance, they were completely overwhelmed.
A streak of red and blue raced through the sky as Superman hovered over the mess that was Gotham. Normally he left this city to Batman’s care since his heroic partner disliked interference of any kind, but when he received a cryptic message from the Dark Knight saying that he had something important to take care of he was asked to keep an eye on Gotham City.
Superman didn’t expect for things to deteriorate so badly in the few weeks since Batman left. He always heard that crime was the worst in Gotham City than anywhere in the world, but to actually see it was a different story. No wonder Batman used fear as his main arsenal to keep the tides of crime at bay.
His super hearing was bombarded with what seemed like thousands of screams of help. The hero quickly analyzed who needed him first and with a streak, he dove down into the heart of the city. In a darkened alley was a woman who was being mugged by a swarthy man. The man of steel dove down and grabbed the gun away before they even knew he was there. The robber took one look at him and charged with his fists flying. Superman smiled softly as he flicked his finger at the criminal’s forehead and knocked him out cold. He hardly left time for the woman to thank him before he dashed back into the air to stop another crime.
This went on for hours as Superman worked non-stop to halt the crime wave happening in this sprawling Metropolis. It was almost too easy for him since the villains of Metropolis were far more powerful than Batman’s normal foes. The police sirens now rang out for a new reason; to pick up the defeated criminals brought to justice by Superman.
As he looked down to see where he was needed next, Superman blinked in surprise as the bat signal suddenly flashed in the night sky. Did Commissioner Gordan think that Batman was back from his mysterious errand or was the police chief trying to get a hold him?
Within seconds, Superman hovered on the roof of the main Gotham Police Department. Commissioner Gordon stood by the bat signal holding his jacket close to his body to help ward off the cold night air.
“Did you need something Commissioner?” Superman asked as he landed in front of him.
The older man smiled as he held out his hand for the hero to shake. “It’s kind of refreshing to see you coming. Batman tends to come from the shadows and I never know when he comes and goes.”
Superman smiled warmly as he shook the policeman’s hand. “I thought you could use a hand here,” He said. “I hope that me helping is not making your job harder.”
“This is a cakewalk compared to the damage control I have to use for Batman. The man gets the job done, but his help does come with special complications.” Gordon said wryly. “I actually wanted to get your attention for a special reason. It seems The Joker has escaped Arkham Asylum and is looking for you specifically. We received a call from him about 20 minutes ago demanding that you come to the Amusement Mile Park alone. It is obviously a trap.”
The hero shook his head at this new information. He had tangled with The Joker once or twice before and he never seemed to have the problems with him that Batman had. “I’ll take care of it, Commissioner. I’ll have Joker back to Arkham in no time.”
“Be careful, Superman. Batman always said that it is never easy with The Joker and in my experience, with the maniac it is always true.”
“Nothing to worry about,” Superman assured as he leaped in the air.
As the hero flew from sight, Gordon shimmered until he transformed into Txy, the red imp from the 5th dimension. The trap was sprung and soon it would be Superman who would be in trouble.
The Amusement Mile Park was included in pitch black darkness as it went out of business years ago. As Superman approached and landed in the middle of the park, he was ready to activate his x-ray vision to locate The Joker.
The hero blinked in surprise as the park’s lights suddenly all turned on at once. The sudden change from dark to light might have blinded a normal man but it had no effect on the man of steel.
“Took you long enough, Boy Scout!” The Joker cackled with glee as he stepped into view. The Clown Prince of Crime was surrounded by his gang who were all dressed up like deranged clowns.
Superman crossed his arms over his massively muscled chest. “Are you going to make this harder for yourself, Joker? Turn yourself in and no one will get hurt!”
Joker gasped as he overacted and his evil grin grew larger as he pulled out a huge pistol from his purple jacket. “It’s time to say goodnight, Superman!” He said gravely beguiling his forced smile.
The hero watched with an amused look on his face as the clown pulled the trigger. No gun had never been known to hurt him. His only weakness was kryptonite and that had all been destroyed years ago.
The villain pulled the trigger and a green flag came out of the pistol. The colorful word “Bang” was imprinted on the flag.
“Is that the best you got, Joker?” Superman asked his voice dripping with amusement. “I must say I am disappointed.
“Oh no!” The Joker said as his eyes grew wide with fright. “Did I pull out the wrong gun? What am I going to do now?”
His eyes narrowed as he pulled the trigger again. The flag feels to the ground at the pole supporting it shot from the gun like an arrow loosed from a bow. Aimed right in the center of the “S” on Superman’s chest, it raced towards its target.
Superman easily caught the arrow and gasped as his entire body seemed to tingle. In fact, his body started to glow a gentle pink as looked down at the innocent looking arrow. “What is this?” He gasped softly.
“Just evening the odds, Super Baby!” The Joker said laughing. “Boys, why don’t we show our Blue Boy Scout how we do things in Gotham!”
His thugs rushed forward and Superman tossed aside the arrow as he grimly looked at the Joker’s gang. The first threw a punch towards his face that the hero easily caught before knocking him unconscious. As the man of steel fought, he noticed that he was getting a little tired. His reflexes started to slow down and his strength was fastly fading. By the time, Superman was fighting the last thug, he was breathing hard from the exertion.
“It’s time to end this Joker!” Superman demanded as he hid his fatigue and walked over to the grinning madman.
“Oh, it’s only just begun, Supes!” The Joker said laughing.
As the hero reached to grab the smirking villain, the Clown Prince of Crime grabbed Superman’s hand. His joy buzzer came to life and thousands of volts of electricity shot into the unsuspecting hero’s body.
Normal this was something that he wouldn’t feel, but this time Superman cried out as pain wracked his now vulnerable body. He slowly falls to his knees as his invulnerability faded away with each passing second.
The Joker laughed as he kicked Superman right in the chest sending the weak hero to land on his ass. “What’s wrong, Super Baby? You looked a little pooped!”
The hero tried to get up to his feet but he was savagely knocked down by the crowbar in Joker’s hand. The crowbar should have bent or shattered from hitting the most powerful man in the world, but instead, it was Superman who felt the pain of the blow.
“Where is all your power? Your smug confidence?” The Joker taunted as he danced around the hero as his crowbar struck several places on his body.
Superman growled as he tried to catch the crowbar with his fist. Instead, his hand was batted away as he became more and more mortal. He had never dreamed to be overpowered by someone like the Joker. The humiliation hurt as much as the crowbar in his hand.
Dancing with glee, the Joker looked up when the sounds of police sirens grew louder and louder. “Sorry I can’t stay and play, but I have a city to destroy!”
The madman turned and ran away just as the police car pulled up next to the fallen hero. Superman tried to shake the cobwebs from his head as he weakly got up to his hands and knees. He had no idea what The Joker did to him, but he felt as weak as a baby.
One of the police officers shook his head as he helped the helpless hero to his feet. “Aren’t you a little old to be playing dress up?” He asked sarcastically.
“I know what this looks like Officer,” Superman explained. “But I am Superman. I was trying to apprehend Joker but he somehow managed to elude me.”
“Is that so?” The policeman said with an amused smile. He reached over and pinched the hero’s nipples through his blue shirt causing Superman to flinch in pain. “You don’t look so super to me.”
“You have to believe me, I am Superman. I met with Commissioner Gordon 20 minutes ago and he asked me to look for The Joker.”
“You don’t say!” The cop said smirking. He looked to his partner who was coming out of the car. “It looks like we have another nut job here. The sap thinks he’s Superman.”
His partner shook his head in disgust. “Why does Gotham always get the nutjobs?”
“I AM Superman!” The hero insisted.
The cop had enough as he took out his cuffs and bound Superman’s wrists. “I think we better take him to Arkham.”
Superman grunted in pain as he poured all of his strength into breaking the cuffs around his wrists. For the first time, the steel refused to bend to his superior strength. Instead, his now frail body was held tight.
“Please believe me!” He begged as he was escorted to the police car. As much as he struggled, Superman was no match for the two cops as they shoved him in the back seat. All he could do was sit there as he was taken to the last place that he wanted to be in his current condition, Arkham Asylum.