World’s Finest 166 – the future Joker/Muto team

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Jim Shooter joins Swan and Klein for World’s Finest 166 (May 1967), the third and final appearance of the Superman of 2467, who had appeared the previous years in Superman and Action Comics.  His enemy, Muto, returns as well.

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Muto encounters the descendant of the Joker, and we see that insanity clearly runs rampant in that family.

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The story also introduces the Batman of that era, and we see that, for generations, the descendants of Batman and Superman have operated together.  This notion will return many times over the years, in stories about future, even if the specific heroes and times change.

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The story spends a lot of its time on this Batman.  It details his origin, as the man’s parents are killed by the future Joker, and only then does he learn his family’s heritage of masked crime fighting.

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The future Superman and Batman team up to track down Muto and the future Joker.

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This Joker dies at the end of the tale, and perhaps the future Batman retires after this, his quest for vengeance sated.  The future Superman, and Muto, are largely forgotten about after this tale, but do return, in a fashion, in a hallucinatory Superman tale in 2000.

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