10 Powerless Characters Who Have Defeated Superman
10. The Joker - Action Comics #719
Though, yes, the Joker managing to defeat Superman by making him accidentally kill his wife and child in Injustice is cool, and it does result in the Man of Steel losing all moral code, this isn't the biggest victory the clown has managed over DC's biggest hero. Why? Because it doesn't take place in the canon DC universe - whereas there's a similar story that very much does.
Enter Action Comics #719, a strong contender for inspiring Injustice itself, not to mention a fantastic story in its own right. When the Joker poisons Lois Lane, Superman becomes slightly more irate than in his usual dealings with the jester, aware that there is currently a time limit on saving the love of his life. The alabaster jester is also aware of this, and so offers the hero a choice.
He can save Lois by injecting the Joker with the same poison, which will make the clown's blood into the cure, but this will come at the cost of the Joker's life, meaning Kent will be directly responsible for killing him.
Batman and Superman get into a huge fight over this, before rushing back to Lois' bedside to see her last breaths - only for her to wake up upon the cusp of death. Realising the whole thing was the world's most painful prank, Superman suddenly becomes aware that the Joker almost made him compromise everything he stands for, leaving him for than a little shaken.