Is this real?
No, even a little less than normal, as these two issues of World's Finest Comics contain an "imaginary story", a story with familiar casts, but willing to shake up the status quo....now, these are set on alternate Earths.
Let's take a look at how things change and progress here!
The Has-Been Superman!
But, why is Superman taking on this new identity and what happened to his powers?
Superman, piloting a space ship into a dimensional rip in space caused by a super cobalt bomb, goes searching for lost aircraft there. Finding an odd cavern, Superman finds alien machinery which coats his craft in a eerie white goo that shuts his systems down.
Superman tries just living life as Clark Kent, reporter, but then, after covering an archery exhibition by Green Arrow and Speedy, gets the idea to create his own non-powered costumed hero identity.
Superman's Perfect Crime!a Giant, filled with fascinating reprints), World's Finest Comics #180 (November, 1968) has an even bigger shocker of a cover by Neal Adams, to reflect the shocks within the story by Cary Bates, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito.
After a quick splash page and recap, the story gets down and dirty with Mr. Socrates revealing his plans for Superman's new heroic identity of Nova....to wipe out Batman! Superman scoffs at Socrates' plans, but his thugs work Superman over again. Batman, checking on Clark to find him not home, leaves him information on Horatio Socrates, and wonders where his now non-super friend could be.
Batman and Robin are concerned about Socrates (a millionaire criminal computer expert, that had his eyesight damaged in a fight with Batman), when over the radio, the Dynamic Duo hear of a crime spree in Gotham by Nova!
The pair head to a construction site where he was spotted, finding Nova in his Superman costume, planning to kill Batman until they take him down, and back to the Bat-Cave.