An Alternate Future

As long as comic book universes exist, there will always be an infinite number of alternate timelines. Normally, the Real Batman Chronology Project doesn’t pay them much attention, but The New 52: Futures End series is a rare exception that warrants examination. This so-called Futures End Timeline (aka the “Brother Eye Future”) takes place on a dystopian Earth where multiple Batmen (including Bruce and Terry McGinnis) fail to stop Brother Eye from ravaging the planet. This future world, beyond the Futures End series itself, was further fleshed-out by multiple one-shot spin-offs, including Scott Snyder’s Batman: Futures End #1 and Detective Comics Vol. 2 #27.

The main premise of The New 52: Futures End series (the series that details most of the “Brother Eye Future”) is that 2050 Terry McGinnis gets sent back in time by 2050 Bruce in an attempt to change the course of history so that the “Brother Eye Future” cannot come to pass. Terry fails in his task, but the mission gets passed onto 2020 Tim Drake, who winds up seemingly succeeding, causing Brother Eye’s destruction in 2015, before getting hurled thirty-five years into the future. Of course, Brother Eye’s “demise” was a ruse—thanks to security fail-safes and bizarre anti-time anomaly contingencies put in place by Brother Eye at Terrifitech. Despite this, Tim’s very action of time-traveling to attempt to destroy Brother Eye causes a butterfly effect of chronal variance/erasure, essentially providing a blank slate where the “Brother Eye Future” used to be. In an instant, the Futures End Timeline goes from being a possible primary timeline to being a defunct non-possibility. However, several of the Futures End characters, due to various “chronal walls” and other such nonsense, are able to remain in existence (i.e. live-on on the primary timeline while keeping their memories of their original home Futures End Timeline). These characters, all technically alternate timeline characters—Brother Eye, Bruce Wayne, Tim Drake, Mr. Terrific, Madison Payne, The Atom, Coil, and The Key—keep their Futures End Timeline memories when the world is reset/erased at the end of The New 52: Futures End. They become, in a way, the last paradoxical remnants of the Futures End Timeline.

As stated before, DC has had a ton of alternate timelines. However, because the Futures End Timeline had nearly 150 single issues devoted to fleshing it out, it warrants a permanent record here on the Real Batman Chronology Project. Not only that, but this timeline also details the defeat of Brainiac during Convergence.

Below is the alternate erased timeline of The Futures End Timeline, starting at 2015 and going until Vanishing Point. The entire New 52 timeline prior to the “NOW” scene in The New 52: Futures End #47 remains the same as on the primary Earth-0 timeline. Had Tim Drake not went back in time to confront Brother Eye (in the “NOW” scene from The New 52: Futures End #47) events would have unfolded as they appear below.[1]

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2015

 

–REFERENCE: In Batman/Superman: Futures End #1 and The New 52: Futures End #0-52. The citizens of Earth-0 go to war against the Darkseid and his armies of Apokolips, who have followed the citizens of a ravaged Earth-2 to Earth-0. Brother Eye is directly responsible for having opened an interdimensional portal through which the Earth-2 refugees and Darkseid’s armies came to Earth-0. Casualties and destruction are heavy. The Teen Titans are defeated in Europe. Tim is badly injured and decides to fake his own death and go into hiding. Batman begins keeping a detailed journal about the war as soon as it starts. Eventually, Earth-0 wins the war. Many Earth-2 refugees are secretly imprisoned. NOTE: We don’t know exactly when the Earth-2 War happens. Batman/Superman: Futures End #1, with its nonsensical “Four Years Later” tag, seems to place the conclusion of the war just prior to the main action in The New 52: Futures End (i.e. 2020). Contradictory to this, The New 52: Futures End #28 says that the Earth-2 War occurs “years” before The New 52: Futures End. In addition, The New 52: Futures End #29 and The New 52: Futures End #43-44 state outright that the Earth-2 War happened “five years ago,” meaning 2015, which makes perfect sense since that is the publication date for the end of The New 52: Futures End series and Earth-2: World’s End titles. Therefore, while content is fine, any and all time references in Batman/Superman: Futures End #1 should be summarily ignored.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman/Superman: Futures End #1. At the climax of the Earth-2 War, Superman argues with Batman, who dons his nano-mesh suit for the first time. Superman destroys the Batcave and attacks Batman.

–REFERENCE: In Batman/Superman: Futures End #1 and The New 52: Futures End #0-52. Earth-0 defeats Earth-2. Superman furtively retires to Africa, leaving his secret identity of Clark Kent to be buried in a false funeral. Batman is left broken, battered, and comatose, with multiple injuries, including a broken spine. When Bruce finally awakens months later, he is wheelchair-bound, but personally oversees various reconstruction projects. Six months after his final brutal encounter with Superman in the Batcave, Bruce attends a memorial service for those killed during the war. Bruce dons a mech-suit and cleans up the Batcave, citing the need for a hero now that Superman has gone AWOL. When Metallo breaks out of his satellite prison, Batman visits Toymaster for some high-tech equipment. Using a Toymaster constructed super-suit, Batman visits Steel and Krypto at the Fortress of Solitude, but he is churlishly and aggressively turned away. Two days later, Batman fights Metallo in Texas. Batman defeats Metallo, but re-injures his spine and goes into another coma. Months later, when Bruce awakens, Alfred tells him that his spine is permanently damaged. Once again confined to a wheelchair, Bruce returns home and burns his journal, which has lots of entries about his former pal Superman.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Futures End #1. Details are sketchy. Batman, paralyzed following his fight with Metallo, is miraculously restored to fighting capability thanks to the implanting of a robotic replacement spine and various other cybernetic fix-ups.

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2016-2018

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2019[2]

 

–REFERENCE: In Batman & Robin: Futures End #1. The Dark Knight takes-in Duke Thomas and makes him his newest Robin, starting the teen on a six month training program.

–REFERENCE: In Batwing: Futures End #1. Batwing takes control of Batman Incorporated, which is still funded by Batman. (Two new members—Cassandra Cain aka BlackBat and the Scandinavian KingBat—join the organization.) Under Batman’s orders, Batwing builds a massive fake criminal empire—called “Leviathan” no less. With this new Leviathan, Batwing will manage to eliminate virtually all illegal weapons sales globally. Meanwhile, Batman has Batwing oversee the secret construction of an underground prison on Dinosaur Island. The prison will be used to hold a ton of international super-villains at the end of the lengthy Leviathan sting operation.[3]

–REFERENCE: In Batwoman: Futures End #1. Vampire Batwoman Kate Kane and her dark anti-hero group called The Unknowns—consisting of Clayface, Ragman, and Jason Blood/Etrigan—reform and recruit Kate’s twin sister Elizabeth Kane (former super-villain Alice) into the fold. Batwoman and Elizabeth (now called “Red Alice“) both become aware of Batman’s secret ID as Bruce Wayne.

–REFERENCE: In Batman & Robin: Futures End #1. Duke Thomas, the new Robin, finishes his training. While not shown on our timeline, it is explicitly stated that every time Batman goes up against a “next-level psycho,” he leaves Robin behind. This means that Duke won’t get invited on the big cases, hence the reason we won’t see much of him below. Any activity that Batman takes with Robin must be sporadically and invisibly imagined below.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Futures End #1, Part 1. Batman might not have anything to do with this item, but he definitely is aware of it and follows the news about it closely. Lex Luthor buys out a South American cartel and has them destroy all of Dr. Niles Caulder’s cloning research, specifically a genetic breakthrough known as the Caulder Component, which allows one to create programmable clones. The cartel steals the research, murders dozens of bio-geneticists, and then delivers the remaining Caulder Component to Luthor. Unknown to Bruce and the rest of the superhero community is that Luthor immediately uses the Caulder Component to start cloning an army of Supermen in a secret LexCorp lab.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Futures End #1. Batman has been operating with a cybernetic spine and other replacement body parts for years now. But now his body cannot take the strain of constant crime-fighting and Batman knows that fatality is imminent. Seeking to prevent his own death, Batman seeks out the life-preserving tech of his own WayneTech company, Will Magnus, Ted Kord, and Mr. Terrific. When they all fail, Bruce becomes obsessed with obtaining Niles Caulder’s genetic duplicating “Caulder Component,” which can supposedly act as a cure-all as well. Unfortunately, the Caulder Component is under lockdown inside LexCorp.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics: Futures End #1. Details are sketchy. For reasons unknown, Batman reluctantly orchestrates a full pardon for the Riddler, who immediately builds a corporate empire complete with a question mark tower in downtown Gotham. Riddler also designs a brand new escape-proof Arkham Asylum, which is built on an island just outside of Gotham.

–REFERENCE: In The New 52: Futures End #11. The Justice League—Batman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Aquaman, Flash, Arsenal, Zatanna, Stormguard, Firestorm, Vostok, and Dawnstar—get involved in a mini-New 52 version of the “mind-wipe scandal” from the Modern Age. The details are sketchy—based only on a single line of dialogue in this issue, so I won’t speculate. Suffice to say, some version of Zatanna erasing super-villain memories and altering their personalities via magick occurs and shakes up the JL, although not as catastrophically as in prior incarnations of the event.

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2020[4]

 

–Batman: Futures End #1, Part 1
January. Batman is frail and dying thanks to chronic injuries and the impending failure of his cybernetic spine. The Dark Knight now plans an infiltration of LexCorp to retrieve the Caulder Component, which can save his life. Alfred begs Bruce to retire, citing that heroes—like Batwing, Red Hood, Robin, Bluebird, Batwoman, Red Robin, Bête Noire and her League of Batgirls,[5] Strix, Nightwing, and more—can easily combine to match his crime-fighting efforts. (Note that Dick would currently still be working for Spyral, but it is possible that he’d be doing double duty at this point.) But Bruce is stubborn. Using a special suit that literally holds his injured body together and uses a variety of weird tech, including the Allen Protocol, which allows him to vibrate through objects like Flash, Batman breaks into LexCorp. After making it past several insane security failsafes and enduring the taunting of a pre-recorded Lex Luthor holographic message, Batman stumbles into the Superman cloning room. Batman is horrified to see numerous clones in early stages of pre-development. Just as Batman napalms the entire lab, a fresh Bizarro attacks. Luthor’s final failsafe eliminates Bizarro and nearly kills Batman, but the Dark Knight escapes with the Caulder Component, returning home to Alfred. Batman passes out and flatlines. Alfred is able to save his life. Bruce is stuck with a cane while he recovers and will be out-of-action for months to come.

–REFERENCE: In Batman & Robin: Futures End #1. A cane-addled and recovering Batman (Bruce Wayne) and Alfred monitor the activities of the al Ghuls and their version of the League of Assassins (which still exists but has been quiet ever since Black Canary took over the main faction and re-dubbed it as the Red League—in Birds of Prey: Futures End #1). The al Ghuls currently have cloning tanks and control one active Lazarus Pit that Batman is aware of.

–Batwing: Futures End #1
Batman green-lights Batman Incorporated’s ongoing sting mission to commence with its final phase. Posing as super-villain “Corvus Corax,” Batwing meets with the most notorious international criminals on the planet—Lion Mane, Wood Ape, Cat, Mouse, Father Gunn, Marabunta Queen (of the Marabunta Army), Shinjuku (of the Tokyo MechaStomp gang), Rakkesh, Charlie Caligula, Pitbull, and some others. “Corax” organizes them and plans for a strike against the Leviathan monopoly on global crime (which is actually a fake organization run entirely by Batman Incorporated). On Dinosaur Island a few days later, the villains all fall into Batman’s trap. Batman Inc rounds-up all the villains and incarcerates them in the vast underground prison built on the island.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Futures End #1, Part 2. May. Nearly five months have passed since Batman: Futures End #1, Part 1. Thanks to the Caulder Component, Bruce recovers from his near fatal injuries (related to multiple chronic injuries and a deteriorating cybernetic spine). Hobbled with a cane and still out of action for the next handful of months, Bruce and Alfred initiate a huge new plan. Bruce ensures that there will always be a Batman when needed in the future. Using the Caulder Component, Bruce creates a fetal clone of himself! The Caulder Component system allows one to grow a clone that can go from fetus to adult in mere months. Bruce plans to give the clone memory implants of everything he himself experienced from his own birth until when he decided to become Batman at age 25. Thus, when the clone is eventually switched-on, he will be a nearly perfect replica of Bruce with the same animus to become a hero. As we learn in Detective Comics Vol. 2 #27, Part 7, Caulder Component clones be stored indefinitely in suspended hibernation until needed. Although, after activation, there is a finalization (aka “actualization”) period of two years before the clone is ready to awaken.

–The New 52: Futures End #0 Epilogue
In the year 2050, Brother Eye has taken over the planet and killed most of the heroes. With so much loss of life already caused by Brother Eye, Batman (Bruce Wayne) begins thinking about ways to reverse all that has occurred and constructs a one-way time-traveling belt. In a last stand, Batman (Bruce) is brutally injured by Brother Eye’s cyborgs. A bloody and disfigured Batman (Bruce) commands his protege Batman (Terry McGinnis) to travel back in time using the time-belt to prevent the creation of Brother Eye in 2013. He also tells Terry to make sure to avoid him (Bruce) in the past at all costs (as referenced in The New 52: Futures End #32). However, the time-jump misfires and puts Terry here in 2020, seven years too late. With his guide, a sentient computer created by Bruce that has the personality of the late Alfred Pennyworth (simply called ALFRED), Terry sets out in an attempt to fix the broken future.

–The New 52: Futures End #1-3
May. Batman (Terry McGinnis) and ALFRED adjust to their surroundings in 2020, quickly realizing that one of Brother Eye’s cyborgs (formerly the villain Plastique) has traveled back with them. Terry destroys the cyborg as a Google Glass dude catches him on video for the internet. So much for staying hidden. Terry then hides the remains of cyborg-Plastique. Meanwhile, Brother Eye pulls Stormwatch out of the Bleed and kills the entire team! (SPOILER: Brother Eye is being controlled by Brainiac, who is preparing for his Convergence strike.) In North Carolina, Grifter executes some aliens that pose as humans—a task he has been doing for some time. In Manhattan, Jason Rusch gets an emergency Justice League alert from Green Arrow, who has a lab in Seattle. Unfortunately, Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond don’t get along—Ronnie has little to no interest in being a superhero anymore. By the time Jason finds him, forces a Firestorm merger, and then flies to Seattle, it’s too late. Green Arrow’s lab has been blown up in an explosion and Ollie is dead! A couple days later, Ollie’s funeral is held in Seattle, attended by dozens of heroes—the largest gathering of heroes since the Earth-2 conflict from five years ago, although Batman (Bruce) no-shows because he knows that—SPOILER ALERT—Green Arrow has actually faked his own death in order to raise a secret anti-Cadmus army. At the mournful gathering, most of the heroes don’t get along with each other. Mr. Terrific, now one of the world’s richest men and the most famous media mogul/public superhero on Earth, chats with his top man Nathan before making a gaudy entrance and mocking Aquaman, reminding the hero that he turned down his offer to join the Justice League. Tensions remain high as the funeral concludes. Firestorm and Arsenal get into a fistfight on live TV. Meanwhile, in Charlotte, an aging King Faraday tracks Grifter’s every action, cleaning up the messes he leaves behind. Elsewhere, a bearded Tim Drake, now owner of a NYC bar called The Wounded Duck, watches the recaps of the funeral fighting with keen interest. In Metropolis, Lois Lane receives a package containing a warning note with a numbered code written on it, a red arrowhead, a little green pyramid, and a book of matches from The Wounded Duck. Batman (Terry) breaks into the birthplace of Brother Eye, Mr. Terrific’s “Terrifitech HQ,” located in NYC’s famous Flatiron Building. Terry fights Terrifitech security, but ultimately retreats. In Nunavut, Canada, Frankenstein smashes up a SHADE insectoid cyborg that resembles the Brother Eye cyborg tech from the evil future that Terry comes from. Meanwhile, Ronnie has kept Jason trapped inside the Firestorm matrix for days and refuses to let him out, claiming that he will control Firestorm permanently. In Camden, NJ, Grifter meets his partner Justin at their HQ, where they plan more alien executions and consider eliminating the meddling Faraday. In New York, Mr. Terrific watches the security footage of Terry. Terry disguises himself as a homeless man for recon purposes and panhandles around the outside of the Flatiron Building. Lois Lane visits The Wounded Duck and discovers that the former Red Robin, believed to have been killed with his fellow Teen Titans during the Earth-2 War, is its owner.

–The New 52: Futures End #5-7
The third Wednesday in June. “Weeks” have passed since the death of Green Arrow. Mr. Terrific publicly debuts Terrifitech’s latest gizmo: the uSphere—a floating smartphone/tablet that literally is a backup of your brain. Millions watch the event, including Batman (Bruce), Alfred, Batman (Terry), Tim Drake, Cyborg, and the villains Coil (Edward Dutch) and The Key. Meanwhile, in Maryland, King Faraday has captured and paralyzed Grifter. Faraday gives Grifter an ultimatum: remain paralyzed for the rest of his life and be publicly shamed as an insane serial killer OR get healed and become a pawn totally obedient to the Global Peace Agency, the anti-metahuman division of Cadmus in charge of detaining and registering all “illegal aliens” from alternate Earths. With no choice, Grifter joins and goes to Cadmus Island to train. In New York, Ronnie Raymond finally lets Jason Rusch out of the Firestorm Matrix, where he had been trapped for weeks. Jason and Ronnie part ways, vowing never to become Firestorm again. At Columbia, Jason rejoins his graduate professor Dr. Yamazake, who tells him that he has made a super-science breakthrough. Meanwhile, in a Kansas cornfield, two folks named Midge and Tommy show John Constantine strange alien crop circles. Later, Terry (still in homeless man disguise) spies on Coil, the Key, and Plastique as they plan their own infiltration of the Flatiron Building. Meanwhile, Mr. Terrific is able to determine that the homeless man that has been snooping around outside his HQ is definitely the new Batman. High above Manhattan, in the miniaturized Ant Farm sphere, Frankenstein is recruited back into SHADE by Father Time, the Atom, and Amethyst. SHADE’s mission is to figure out how and why Stormwatch were killed and bring down whoever was responsible. The Atom explains that he and Mr. Terrific have turned the Phantom Zone into a pocket universe that can be used as a worm hole to travel vast expanses of space in mere minutes. In a miniature spaceship, the Atom, Amethyst, and Frankenstein enter the Phantom Zone, but the ship malfunctions and grows to normal size, causing the Phantom Zone prisoners—including Black Adam—to spot and attack them. The SHADE team escapes and soon makes it to the location of the Stormwatch massacre. Meanwhile, at The Wounded Duck, a drunk Ronnie Raymond sexually harasses Tim Drake’s girlfriend, Madison Payne, resulting in Tim promptly punching him and ejecting him from the bar. Lois Lane enters and accuses Tim of being the former Red Robin, much to the surprise of Madison. Tim eighty-sixes Lois as well. On the street, King Faraday attempts to make contact with Lois, but he is stopped by the new masked-version of Superman. (Clark Kent has been missing ever since the Earth-2 War and Billy “Shazam” Batson has secretly taken of the mantle of Superman.) In Metropolis, Madison visits Lois Lane’s Fast Lane news office to ask her about Tim’s past. However, they wind up arguing about Madison’s father, Maxwell Payne, who went to jail as a profiteer during the Earth-2 War thanks in part to a series of exposés that Lois wrote. In Pittsburgh, site of one of the worst battles of the Earth-2 War, we learn that Ronnie has been dealing with the death of his mom, who died in the conflict. On Cadmus Island, Grifter recovers from injuries and is put on a team with Deathstroke and a mysterious young girl named Fifty Sue. In Madison Square Park, Coil, the Key, and Plastique continue planning their Terrifitech break-in as Terry continues to monitor them. Mr. Terrific confronts Terry, who is forced to flee, leaving behind the Plastique cyborg.

–The New 52: Futures End #9-10
Lois Lane charters a small plane with her friend Buck and flies over the coordinates given to her, but she is unable to spot the cloaked Cadmus Island below. Down below, Deathstroke and Fifty Sue give Grifter a tour of the Cadmus internment camp, which holds a bunch of super-humans that were residents of Earth-2, including Mr. Miracle, Huntress, and Power Girl. Meanwhile, Madison visits her father in a Metropolis prison. While there, Rampage attempts to free inmate Ethan Boyer. Superman (Billy Batson) shows up and saves Madison’s life, but Rampage makes-off with Boyer. At the Flatiron Building, Mr. Terrific studies the cyborg remains of Plastique and chats with Brother Eye in his lab. (SPOILER: Brother Eye, which has helped Mr. Terrific build the uSphere, is secretly being controlled by über Brainiac, who is on his way to Earth with Convergence plans in mind.) In Manhattan, ALFRED tells Batman (Terry) that Brother Eye was deactivated during the Earth-2 War and put into Mr. Terrific’s personal use. In deep space, the Atom severs Hawkman’s arm and attaches it to an armless Frankenstein. Hawkman, startled, then wakes up and reveals that he is basically immortal due to his Nth metal blood. Hawkman grows a new arm and then gets a Stormwatch beacon alert, meaning that another team member is still alive. SHADE, meanwhile, secretly continues to monitor their actions from Earth. Back on Earth, Superman over-aggressively attacks Boyer’s former genetic experimentation lab, but Lois Lane is on-hand to calm him down and tell him that he ain’t there no more. At the Wounded Duck, Terry introduces himself to the Key, Plastique, and Coil and offers to help them break into Terrifitech. When the Key gets feisty, Terry hits him with the Tonga Deathless Grip, a move only Bruce knows. Tim sees the move and confronts Terry, realizing that he is the “new” Batman he saw on YouTube. Terry realizes that his bartender must be a Bat-Family member. He and the trio of villains leave in a hurry. On Cadmus Island, a cloaked OMAC (the original OMAC) beats the crap out of Grifter. In Vancouver, the “deceased” Green Arrow’s half-sister Emiko Queen flushes-out Big Barda, who had been in hiding ever since the Earth-2 War. Emiko wants Barda to help defeat Cadmus and end government oppression of alien refugees.

–The New 52: Futures End #13-14
Thirteen weeks have passed since Green Arrow’s death. A down-and-out Captain Cold robs The Wounded Duck at gunpoint. Tim purposefully downplays his crime-fighting ability because Madison is present. Later that night, a troubled Mr. Terrific chats with Brother Eye (still secretly controlled by über Brainiac), saying how worried he is about the cyborg tech he took from the new Batman. Meanwhile, on Cadmus Island, Grifter and Fifty Sue sneak into the subbasement levels of the complex and find a bunch of OMACs and non-superhumans from Earth-2 in a secret lab. In Gotham, Tim tracks down Captain Cold, kicks the shit out of him and takes back what he stole. With Terry’s Batman having gone viral and with Mr. Terrific publicly branded the new Batman a threat to Earth’s security, the Key, Coil, and Plastique decide to sever ties with Terry. Plastique knocks him out. A day later, in Montreal, Emiko tells Big Barda that her husband, Mr. Miracle, along with a bunch of other Earth-2 folks, are alive and being held captive by Cadmus. They are then attacked by Fifty Sue (actually a tangible astral projection of her own split consciousness) and Deathstroke, who are serving a GPA arrest warrant on Barda, who is a wanted “illegal Earth-2 alien.” (To be precise, Barda is from Apokolips but was a resident of Earth-2.) Barda and Emiko defeat Deathstroke and Astral Fifty Sue. In Manhattan, Terry comes-to and starts fighting the Key and Coil. Plastique has a change of heart and brings Terry back into the fold. On Cadmus Island, Grifter and Fifty Sue crash into the secret lab and take down several OMACs. After killing a lab tech, Fifty Sue demands to know about “stealth OMAC” technology. Earth-2 Lana Lang fills her in on the details. Meanwhile, in Metropolis, Lois Lane fondles the green pyramid sent to her in the mail months ago. Lois sees a vision of the aftermath of the Earth-2 War, specifically the capture of many Earth-2 heroes (including Earth-2’s Lois Lane—Red Tornado) by OMACs.

–The New 52: Futures End #18-19
It has been “weeks” since Futures End #11-12, putting us at about 16 weeks since Green Arrow’s faked death at the start of The New 52: Futures End series. John Constantine tracks down Clark Kent in Ethiopia, where he has been living a quiet life as a farmer ever since the Earth-2 War. Constantine begs Clark to become Superman again and tells him that Brainiac is coming. Meanwhile, in Metropolis, the masked Superman gets walloped by Rampage and Lois Lane learns the truth—Billy Batson has been playing the role in the real Superman’s absence. With Billy injured, Stormguard rushes onto the scene and takes down Rampage. Stormguard then takes Lois to the JL satellite and begs her not to publish the truth about Billy as Superman. In the Pacific, Emiko Queen, John Diggle, and Big Barda sail to the former Outsiders Island (now called Green Arrow Island). Waiting to greet them is none other than Ollie himself! Green Arrow’s secret anti-Cadmus strike team is finally ready for action. Meanwhile, on Cadmus Island, Brother Eye (still Brainiac-controlled) has emerged and taken over all the OMACs and Earth-2 prisoners via mind control. Brother Eye forces King Faraday to do his bidding while Deathstroke, Lana Lang, and Grifter escape into a cave. Fifty Sue, on the other hand, confronts Brother Eye head-on. Concurrently, in New York City, Batman (Terry) leads his team of the Key, Coil, and Plastique into Terrifitech, but all hell breaks loose. Terry and Plastique escape, but Coil and the Key are captured and turned into Terrifitech slaves. Meanwhile, Superman (Billy Batson) begs Lois not to run the story about him behind the mask. In the wreckage of Stormwatch’s Carrier in deep space, a Storm Lord appears before the Atom and commands him to become the new leader of a new Stormwatch. On Cadmus Island, Fifty Sue strikes up a deal with Brother Eye to spare the lives of Grifter, Deathstroke, Lana Lang, and Power Girl. In New York, Tim closes up his bar and reads the shocking news about Superman and Shazam, published by Lois.

–Batman: Futures End #1, Part 2
September. Nearly nine months have passed since Batman: Futures End #1, Part 1. And about four months have passed since Bruce initiated his Caulder Component clone. Bruce, still with a cane, has spent the last nine months recovering from the combination of having had his spine shattered by Metallo and having barely infiltrated a deadly LexCorp HQ. With Bruce’s clone nearly at adult size, Bruce and Alfred begin downloading all of Bruce’s memory data from his first 25 years into said clone. Of course, Bruce won’t activate this clone for about another 45 years from now (as we see in Detective Comics Vol. 2 #27, Part 7). Presumably, Batman now makes a full recovery from his injuries thanks to the restorative powers of the Caulder process (it’s not just for clones!).

–Batman & Robin: Futures End #1
After the success of the Caulder Component cloning process (so far), Batman begins the cloning process for several more future versions of himself—placing a set of Bruce fetuses in hibernation jars in the Batcave. Soon after, Batman gets word that the Heretic has shockingly returned to Gotham and has killed some Wayne Enterprises employees. Not wanting Robin (Duke Thomas) involved, Alfred distracts the Boy Wonder by sending him to fight the lame Seaside Rats and Modbod back-to-back. Meanwhile, Batman—in his nano-mesh suit—confronts the Heretic, but gets wailed-on pretty badly. Robin disobeys orders and saves Batman’s life. The Heretic self-destructs and burns to a crisp, but Batman is able to get and send a DNA sample to Alfred. We are never told whether or not this Heretic is actually Damian, but Teen Titans: Futures End #1—which occurs in 2019—tells us that there are multiple Heretics, all “Sons of Batman” Damian clones, which will come out of the woodwork shortly after this. The Heretic in this story is but one of several Damian Clones—some good and some evil.

–Detective Comics: Futures End #1
Calendar Man has been able to take control of Arkham Island and is demanding the complete shutdown of Gotham’s power grid à la Riddler’s “Zero Year” or else hostages will start getting killed. Calendar Man also demands that the presence of the man “responsible for destroying his family.” Batman (Bruce) once separated Calendar Man’s abused son from him, but the Dark Knight really knows that Calendar Man’s wife died during “Zero Year” (thirteen years ago, NOT eleven as Calendar Man says). With this info, Batman knows that Calendar Man actually wants revenge against Riddler. With this in mind, Batman dons an alternate costume (needed to strap onto his Green Goblin-esque Bat-Glider) and crashes into Riddler’s downtown tower. Piquing Riddler’s interest in the Calendar Man case by talking about the villain’s plan to upstage his old “Zero Year” scheme, Riddler decides to help Batman bypass the security system to Arkham Island. After infiltrating the compound, Batman turns a surprised Riddler over to Calendar Man and the crisis ends.

–REFERENCE: In Batwoman: Futures End #1. Vampire Batwoman Kate Kane has gone insane and become violently murderous. Batwoman’s twin sister Elizabeth Kane (aka Red Alice) goes to Bruce and asks for help in bringing her sis to justice. Bruce gives Red Alice a sonic device that can stun Kate temporarily. Batwoman’s former Unknowns team of Red Alice, Clayface, Ragman, and Jason Blood/Etrigan then strikes against the vampire queen in Gotham. Seeing no other option, Red Alice uses Bruce’s sonic device and then nets her sis. Red Alice then reluctantly puts a stake through Batwoman’s heart, turning her to a pile of ash.

–The New 52: Futures End #22
Late September—Ron Raymond mentions that it is September and a new football season has begun. At Columbia University, Jason Rusch chats with Madison Payne, who tells Jason that she broke up with Tim—(a few days ago, Tim told her the truth about his past as Red Robin, so she dumped him). Jason then deals with more anger as Dr. Yamazake rants about the hypocrisy of superheroism. Down the street at The Wounded Duck, a sober and repentant Ron Raymond apologizes to Tim. Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, Justin—worried about his partner Grifter at the hands of Cadmus—meets up with his other superhero pal, Voodoo (Priscilla Kitaen), who assembles a team (Banger, Mash, and King Faraday’s niece Mercy) to infiltrate a Cadmus penthouse. After fighting to the top, Cadmus’ top brass Frank Rock reveals that he has been expecting them and was using their infiltration as a test to see if they are Cadmus/GPA material. In New York City, Batman (Terry) chats with Plastique about his horrible future. ALFRED tells them that Brother Eye is currently active on Cadmus Island. In deep space, Amethyst, Frankenstein, and Hawkman remain trapped in a weird energy cell (where they have been for over two-and-a-half months now!), captives of Brainiac robots and a Brainiac-assimilated Engineer. The Engineer takes her captives and ushers them through a doorway. Beyond the threshold stands the towering other über-Brainiac, who welcomes them to the “Blood Moon” (aka über-Brainiac’s sentient planet Telos). The Atom and Black Adam arrive in an attempt to rescue the others.

–The New 52: Futures End #26-28
Late September—this issue specifically tells us that Green Arrow’s funeral was “four months ago” (in May). Mr. Terrific schedules a meeting with Bruce Wayne to discuss uShpere technology. The former greets the latter at a New York airport, but Bruce plays up his playboy persona and drives off with a model on his arm, stating that he will meet with Terrific later. Meanwhile, at Columbia University, Dr. Yamazake, having found out that Jason Rusch is Firestorm, angrily fires him and bans him from his lab. When Madison Payne visits Dr. Yamazake looking for Jason, the doc realizes her father is the famous convicted war profiteer that might have aided in causing the death of his wife. An unhinged Dr. Yamazake kidnaps Madison with plans of using her as test subject in his scientific breakthrough: a teleportation machine. Elsewhere in New York, Batman (Terry), Plastique, and ALFRED plan to recruit Tim Drake to help them fight Brother Eye. Meanwhile, on Cadmus Island, Brother Eye (still Brainiac-controlled) has complete power, but his influence cannot reach beyond the island thanks to fail-safes created by King Faraday. Fifty Sue mocks Brother Eye, citing that she can destroy him at any time. Brother Eye, hoping to manipulate the young metahuman, shows Fifty Sue video footage of Deathstroke betraying her and agreeing to help Brother Eye expand his reach off of the island. Bummed-out, Fifty Sue becomes confused as to who her friends really are. Back in New York, Batman (Bruce) tells Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond the truth about Green Arrow’s fake funeral. On Green Arrow Island, Green Arrow prepares to go to war alongside Big Barda, Emiko, Red Arrow (Earth-2 Oliver Queen), Katana, Shado, Kodiak, Onyx, The Butcher, John Diggle, and some other Outsiders Clan warriors. In Metropolis, Lois Lane is taken by surprise in her own apartment by Tim, who tells her that the red arrowhead belongs to Red Arrow and that the coordinates she checked out before are legit. These have all been clues pointing to Green Arrow’s secret attack on Cadmus’ secret island. On Cadmus Island, Deathstroke, Grifter, and Lana Lang plan to attack Brother Eye, who (thanks to Brainiac) has the ability to replicate the DNA of any metahuman. War breaks out across the island as a Brother-Eye-possessed Huntress fights Mr. Miracle. Lois parachutes into the cloaked war-zone below. She flees from OMACs and runs into her badly damaged alter-ego from Earth-2, Red Tornado. As night falls over New York City, Batman (Terry) breaks into Tim’s apartment only to run into Batman (Bruce) in his nano-mesh-suit! Bruce punches and threatens Terry, but Plastique rescues Terry by blowing up the whole apartment. After a quick fight versus Bruce, Terry grabs Plastique and rockets away. In Las Vegas, Fifty Sue meets with the former Sgt. Rock and King Faraday, forming an anti-Brother Eye strike team consisting of Cadmus’ newest recruits: Voodoo, Banger, Mash, and Mercy. In New York, Jason Rusch finds out that Dr. Yamazake has lost his mind, while the doc himself, at Columbia, forces Madison Payne into his experimental teleportation machine. Madison becomes the new Firestorm with Jason trapped inside of her. Ronnie is killed by Dr. Yamazake, who gains magnetic powers.

–The New 52: Futures End #32-34
Let’s get caught up to speed. Green Arrow’s strike force has just blown up Cadmus Island. Power Girl, Big Barda, Red Tornado, and Deathstroke all died. Lois Lane broke the shocking story to the public a day later. Green Arrow chose to remain “dead.” Brother Eye is thought destroyed as well, but has actually managed to survive by uploading himself into a cell phone. Okay, onto a synopsis. In New York, Plastique and Terry stay on the down-low, eat pizza, and begin to make a flirtatious connection. Meanwhile, Bruce finally meets with Mr. Terrific and warns him not to release the uSphere to the public. Mr. Terrific laughs-off Bruce and immediately announces its release via a live global video feed. This was Brainiac’s idea (fed to Mr. Terrific through Brother Eye), of course. In Oakland, Earth-2 Lana Lang officially files with Earth Registry along with Grifter, who goes from “Cole Cash” to “Earth-2 Cole Lang.” On the ruins of Cadmus Island, Fifty Sue vows revenge against Brother Eye for allowing Deathstroke to have been killed. In New York, Dr. Yamazake becomes the super-villain Dr. Polaris and the new Firestorm (Madison Payne) tries to figure out how to get Jason Rusch out of her body. In Earth’s orbit, the Atom, Frankenstein, Amethyst, Black Adam, Hawkman, and the Engineer return, having finally escaped Brainiac’s clutches. But before they can land on Earth, Father Time reels them onto SHADE’s Ant Farm with a tractor beam. There, Father Time demands they turn over the Engineer or face the wrath of several captured giant alien monsters and a small contingent of Humanids. The heroes refuse and begin a big battle. The Atom shrinks down and enters Father Time’s skull, meeting the actual Father Time, a microscopic creature that clings to its host’s brain. Meanwhile, King Faraday and Frank Rock detain Ethan Boyer at a Las Vegas motel and use Fifty Sue as his prison guard. Fifty Sue overhears Justin, also staying at the same motel, talking to Cole on the phone. After knocking out Justin, Fifty Sue excitedly speaks to Cole. In New York, Batman (Terry) and Plastique have ALFRED run diagnostics to locate Brother Eye, but nothing comes up. Brother Eye beams from cell phone to cell phone until he uploads himself into cyborg-Plastique’s remains inside the Flatiron Building. Meanwhile, at Columbia University, Dr. Polaris attacks the new Firestorm. Back on the Ant Farm, the Atom causes Father Time’s host body to turn into an amorphous blob, a mix between his schoolgirl form and his previous old man form. The Atom then enlarges the microscopic tentacled brain-hugger that his Father Time and rips him out of the host body. Father Time tries to warn everyone that the Engineer is still under Brainiac’s control, but no one believes him. Meanwhile, a Humanid shoots Frankenstein, injuring him badly. In Vegas, Fifty Sue sends Justin to tell Voodoo, Mercy, Banger, and Mash that Cole is alive and well. At the Cadmus penthouse, Faraday and Rock brief Cole, Lana, Fifty-Sue, Ethan Boyer, and Justin about a new mission—to retrieve the metahuman DNA vault, which sunk to the bottom of the ocean when Cadmus Island was destroyed. In New York, ALFRED notifies Batman (Terry) that Brother Eye is online inside the Flatiron Building. ALFRED also notifies Terry that Batman (Bruce) has hacked into his system and now knows a bit more about what’s going on. Nearby, Brother Eye’s Batman/Joker Cyborg arrives from thirty-five years in the future to attack Plastique!

–The New 52: Futures End #35-37
Tim Drake helps Firestorm fight Dr. Polaris. Firestorm tears Dr. Polaris apart and then passionately kisses Tim, which is quite interesting for Jason, who is still sharing a body with Madison. In the Cadmus penthouse in Vegas, a bratty Fifty Sue freezes everyone in the building except for Earth-2 Lana Lang. They have a nasty argument, but Lana takes charge, acting as a mother figure, and slaps the petulant eight-year-old. Lana decides to adopt Fifty Sue, making her promise not to kill anymore. Rock and Faraday send Fifty Sue to the former site of Cadmus Island to search for the sunken DNA vault. Fifty Sue does so in a teleportation flash and returns to Rock, Faraday, Lana, Cole, et al with the giant vault in tow. The sheer weight of the DNA vault causes it to crash through the building and to the ground below. Mercy tries to use her “touch of death” power to kill Fifty Sue–this assassination having been ordered by Faraday and Rock to occur as soon as the vault was recovered—but Fifty Sue vanishes along with Lana, Cole, and the vault. In outer space, the Atom takes control of both SHADE and Stormwatch as the Creature Commandos, Hawkman, and Engineer take the Humanids and Dr. Belroy into custody. Father Time, in his true alien state, is put into a chemical jar. Black Adam departs, leaving a fatally injured Frankenstein with the Atom and Amethyst aboard the Ant Farm. The Nth metal within Frankenstein has caused him to become alive again, which has resulted in his inability to take a laser blast like he used to. In other words, Frankenstein is dying! Amethyst takes Frankenstein and they leave to search for magick to save his life. In New York City, Plastique flees from Bat-Joker. After Batman (Terry) saves Plastique and receives a kiss as a reward, Batman (Bruce) fights Bat-Joker. Bat-Joker takes down Batman (Bruce), but realizes that killing him would erase their very existence as well, so they refrain, allowing Batman to escape unscathed. Amethyst and Frankenstein travel to the House of Mystery to consult the Justice League Dark (Zatanna, Madame Xanadu, and Deadman), but they can’t find a cure. When John Constantine (in astral form) enters the room, Amethyst snaps and guts him like a fish with her sword. (Amethyst hates Constantine because he sealed off her home of Gemworld forever when Darkseid attacked it five years ago.) Constantine is painfully sent out of the House of Mystery and back to his corporeal body in Smallville. There, Constantine chats with Midge and Clark Kent, telling them that Smallville is and always has been hotspot of magickal and cosmic evil. Concurrently, Firestorm boards the Justice League satellite to ask Stormguard and Superman (Shazam) if she can use their teleportation tech to separate herself from Jason. Back at the House of Mystery, Constantine’s astral form re-materializes and tells Amethyst to take Frankenstein to Castle Frankenstein. When Dr. Polaris causes a ruckus in downtown Metropolis, Superman (Shazam) and Stormguard fight him. In New York City, Brother Eye (actually Brainiac) tells Mr. Terrific that he is watching him. In New York, Batman (Terry) and Plastique hide on the roof of The Wounded Duck. There, a passionate Plastique and nervous Terry get sexual, with Terry revealing that he’s a virgin! A creepy peeping Batman (Bruce) spies on Plastique as she takes Terry’s v-card. After Terry and Plastique finish having sex, Terry suits up as Batman and swoops down to talk to Tim as he arrives. Bat-Joker shows up too and tries to kill Batman (Terry), prompting Batman (Bruce) to intervene.

–The New 52: Futures End #38
Bat-Joker fights Batman (Bruce), Batman (Terry), Tim Drake, and Plastique on the streets of Manhattan. Terry tells Bruce that he has been sent back in time and then immediately departs for the Flatiron Building with Plastique. Bat-Joker chases after them. Meanwhile, Stormguard, Superman (Billy Batson), and Firestorm fight Dr. Polaris, who demands that the Justice League should share its teleportation tech with the world. Surprisingly, Firestorm (the Madison Payne part of Firestorm) says she agrees with Dr. Polaris. Madison tells Dr. Polaris that she will share the tech publicly if he agrees to help split Jason Rusch from her body. Dr. Polaris agrees and departs for the JL Satellite with Firestorm. Meanwhile, Fifty Sue has brought Lana Lang, Cole Cash-Lang, and the Cadmus meta-DNA vault to the safe isolation of the Sahara Desert via teleportation. When Cole speaks out of turn, she teleports him to Antarctica. Concurrently, Amethyst drags a dying Frankenstein to his ancestral home in the Carpathian Mountains. Inside Castle Frankenstein, where Frankenstein hasn’t been for years, the heroes are shocked to find a bunch of cyborg-animal guards and the original master of the house: Frankenstein’s creator, the roughly 242-year-old Victor Frankenstein! (Amethyst and Frankenstein kill his pop and reclaim his castle right away, as seen in The New 52: Futures End #39.)

–The New 52: Futures End #40-42
Nearly three weeks have passed since The New 52: Futures End #38. In Smallville, Midge is killed by corn monsters who are led by a mysterious occult voice that brings news of Brainiac’s arrival. (Apparently Smallville is a nexus to the spirit world and Brainiac’s arrival is causing some weird ju-ju to happen.) John Constantine fights the corn monsters while Superman leaves to confront Brainiac. Meanwhile, the Atom, Hawkman, and the Engineer alert the Justice League of Brainiac’s impending attack. As the complete JL team (which now includes Wildfire and Equinox) meets aboard the satellite to speak with the Atom, Brainiac takes control of the Engineer (again) and assaults the Atom and Hawkman. A giant über-Brainiac spacecraft appears in Earth’s atmopshere and begins blasting New York City with lasers. In Manhattan, Batman, Plastique, and Tim Drake run through destruction towards the Flatiron Building. Batman tells them that there is no way Brother Eye is supposed to be able to take human life due to his original programming, but once inside the Flatiron Building, the heroes are shocked to see dead Terrifitech employees strewn about the lobby. (Obviously, Brother Eye has gone way rogue, but Brainiac’s influence/control has altered his prime directives as well.) In outer space, the JL witnesses the possessed Engineer build a colossal Brainiac skull-satellite. On Earth, Brainiac robots dig deep into the planetary crust and laser cut the perimeter of Manhattan. The giant Brainiac himself rises up over the borough as an impenetrable geodesic dome of energy encases it. The real Superman makes his angry return to confront him head on. In outer space, the Atom, Hawkman, and the JL storm towards the Brainiac skull satellite, which emits red energy and a screeching sound that penetrates the minds of the heroes in Lovecraftian fashion. Hawkman flies directly into the satellite only to witness a crimson Convergence vision of various Earths from various previously erased continuities! The heroes are shocked as Hawkman falls lifeless out of the Brainiac skull’s maw and then proceeds to phase through all of his previous incarnations of the Hawkman character from previously deleted continuities before vanishing completely. Inside Terrifitech, Tim chews-out Batman (Bruce) before the latter scoots upstairs to confront Mr. Terrific. Meanwhile, the Brainiac (via Brother Eye) vocally gloats at Mr. Terrific as the energy dome engulfs all of Manhattan. The Dark Knight finds a shaken and broken. Mr. Terrific, who says, with a crazed smile on his face, “Bruce, I’m so glad you’re here to witness this.” Mr. Terrific rants about having conversed with god, which nets him a punch in the jaw from Bruce, who then initiates his “Palin Protocol,” a program designed to control a rogue Brother Eye. Mr. Terrific reminds Bruce that Brother Eye was damaged during the Earth-2 War and won’t respond to old protocols anymore, but Bruce is insistent that the “Palin Protocol” will work. Plastique hangs with Tim while he reactivates the Flatiron Building’s elevators. As Superman (Clark), Superman (Shazam), Firestorm, and Dr. Polaris fight the towering über Brainiac in Manhattan, the rest of the heroes fight a losing war in outer space as the Atom shrinks down to avoid a laser blast and Wildfire gets injured. Dr. Polaris helps Firestorm, Superman, Lois Lane, and Shazam (who reverts back to his old Shazam costume) deal with the chaos. Terry fights Bat-Joker as Brainiac spheres rain down all around them. Meanwhile, inside the skull-shaped Brainiac satellite, a subatomic-sized Atom stares at a geodesic wall of windows, through which can be seen numerous pieces of deleted timelines from the DC multiverse, collected and saved by Brainiac before each was erased by a continuity-altering event like the original Crisis or Infinite Crisis! (Why is über Brainiac here? This timeline ain’t long for the primary chronology. He wants this version of Manhattan for Convergence games.) And at the center of it all, the Engineer is strapped-into the mainframe, providing a living power source for the satellite. The Atom cuts the Engineer free, simultaneously rescuing her and disabling the satellite’s power, which causes giant Brainiac’s scooping-out of Manhattan to stop and his spheres to plummet like a meteors. One of the spheres crashes right into Bat-Joker, allowing Terry to defeat him. Every single TV screen in Manhattan blips on with the eyeball sign of Brother Eye visible in its center. Without Brainiac’s control over him, Brother Eye is free and proudly declares, “EYE AM HERE TO PROTECT YOU.”

–The New 52: Futures End #43-45
The real Superman reunites with Lois Lane. Inside the Flatiron Building, Batman talks with Mr. Terrific and the now independent Brother Eye. Tim Drake, Plastique, the Key, and Coil are attacked by a reanimated cyborg-Plastique. Batman (Terry) helps Plastique defeat her evil cyborg doppelgänger. Terry and Plastique celebrate with a smooch. Outside, giant Brainiac uses reserve power to patch-in to his “transference/terraforming” system and manually continues severing the domed Manhattan from the rest of planetary crust. Brainiac regains control of the city inside of an impenetrable energy dome and begins to literally pilot it away. Inside Terrifitech, Batman pleads with Mr. Terrific to do something as the Brother Eye will only respond to him. Mr. Terrific says, sheepishly, “I need help.” While the Justice League saves lives, Superman furiously punches giant Brainiac, hitting him so hard that the Man of Steel briefly phases into incarnations of himself from previously deleted continuities. Meanwhile, Terry and Tim form a partnership while Bat-Joker recovers from injury. Mr. Terrific snaps out of his funk and helps Batman and the Atom come up with a plan. Using millions of uSpheres, the Atom attacks giant Brainiac, infecting him with Brother Eye. Defeated and confused, giant Brainiac shrinks down to tiny size, allowing the Atom to literally encapsulate the wee villain inside a uSphere. Superman catches the falling domed Manhattan, saving the day. Dr. Polaris detaches Brainiac’s drilling machine from the Earth’s crust and Superman tosses it into the sun. All the heroes help with the rescue effort. In Switzerland, Frankenstein dies. Concurrently, King Faraday and Ethan Boyer (knowing that Brother Eye will soon strike) sets-up shop in a Cadmus underground bunker, known as Command D, in upstate New York. Voodoo says her goodbyes only to get knocked-out by Frank Rock, Banger, Mash, and Mercy, who enter Command D and taker her along. In the Flatiron Building, Brother Eye reasserts his authority and refuses to obey his “fathers.” Resurrecting all of the dead Terrifitech employees as cyborg zombies, he sics them on Batman (Terry), Plastique, the Key, and Coil.

–The New 52: Futures End #46-47
Brother Eye begins its takeover of the planet. Batman (Bruce) and Mr. Terrific attempt to authorize a self-destruct mechanism, but Brother Eye rejects it. Batman (Terry) swoops in and spills the whole enchilada about his terrible future. At the Command D, Frank Rock awakens to a startling pair of intruders: Fifty Sue and Earth-2 Lana Lang. Lana reveals that she has the metahuman ability to use the powers of any insect on the planet, using this ability to temporary paralyze Rock and then threaten him to never send any Cadmus agents or assassins after her, Sue, or Cole ever again. After teleporting back to Vegas, Fifty Sue and Lana join their other “new family” members, Cole and Justin, for a happy dinner. Fifty Sue reveals that she’s hidden away Cadmus’ DNA vault in a secret place. In the Flatiron Building, Atom begins fiddling with Terry’s time-jump belt, hoping he can get it to work one more time. Meanwhile, Firestorm rushes to the Flatiron Building to help out, but Brother Eye’s cyborg-zombies have already overrun the entire structure. Terry fights alongside Plastique, the Key, Coil, and Tim Drake until Bat-Joker enters the fray with a hail of bullets. Bat-Joker grapples with Terry and they both plummet from the top of the building. As they fall, the Batman-half of the weird hybrid-cyborg apologizes to Terry and releases him. Bat-Joker falls to its death. Terry uses his boosters to avoid splatting on the sidewalk too, but instead violently hurls himself crashing back towards the Flatiron Building. ALFRED tells Terry, possibly for the first time ever, that he is afraid. After slamming into the Flatiron Building, a broken and bloody Terry is collected by Tim and delivered to Plastique. Terry says his goodbyes and dies in his lover’s arms. Batman is dead! Tim takes Terry’s Batman costume and becomes the new Batman! Tim rescues Bruce, Mr. Terrific, the Atom, and Plastique from Brother Eye’s zombie horde. (Presumably Coil and the Key are rescued as well, although we don’t see them.) ALFRED and Tim scheme together and tell Bruce that only someone roughly the same weight as Terry can use the time-jump belt, meaning only Tim can make the jump. The Atom summons Firestorm to power the time-belt. Tim is shocked to see that Madison is the new Firestorm when she arrives. They kiss and have a serious talk about Tim’s decision to go back in time to stop Brother Eye. As Brother Eye completely takes over the entire planet, Firestorm drains out all of her powers to teleport Tim back to five years prior (2015), a point specifically when Brother Eye is about to help the refugee heroes from Earth-2 escape the horrors of the Earth-2 War by opening a portal from their shattered world to Earth-0. Tim explains that opening the portal will lead to Darkseid getting through, which in turn would lead to the bad future where a corrupted Brother Eye rules the world. Convinced, Brother Eye decides to deny them entry and self-destruct. Before he does, he says that his demise will erase Tim’s timeline (aka this very “five years later” timeline). Despite the inevitability of Tim’s timeline coming undone, Brother Eye claims he can still save Tim and return him to Madison. Brother Eye sends Tim (and ALFRED) thirty-five years into the future of the reformatted timeline. The actions of Brother Eye in 2015 effectively end this future timeline. For our purposes, of course, the timeline doesn’t really end; it merely switches from having been a “primary Earth” timeline to an “alternate Earth” timeline. For the purposes of this timeline, we must ignore Tim’s trek back to 2015 and ignore Brother Eye’s destruction.

________________________________________________________________________

 

Early 2020s to the End of Time

 

–Early 2020s CE
Reference in The New 52: Futures End #47. Brother Eye, who took over the planet in 2020, continues to plague the entire world with his cyborg zombie army. We must assume that major human victories are made against Brother Eye in the early 2020s (in order to accommodate all the other stories on this list), making it so that Brother Eye still has a negative impact on the planet, but his global control is significantly lessened. We can assume that the war with Brother Eye versus humanity will continue on for the next twenty years (in the background) until the evil AI finally fully pillages the Earth and enslaves all metahumans. (This won’t happen until the 2040s—see the note about The New 52: Futures End #36 below for details.)

–mid 2020s CE
Green Lantern Vol. 5 #20. This flash-forward details Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris not only getting married, but also having a child shortly thereafter. Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman meet Martin Jordan—the Dark Knight declares that the baby is beautiful.

–mid 2020s CE
Reference in Detective Comics Vol. 2 #27, Part 7 and Batman Vol. 2 #35. Duke Thomas becomes the superhero known as Lark. Also note that the Lark and Bluebird costumes are shown on display in the future Batcave (in Detective Comics #27), clearly legacy versions of the originals—the originals belonging to Harper Row and Duke Thomas, respectively). The apocryphal flash-forward from Batman’s Scarecrow drug induced trip in Batman #35 shows Batman teaming with Bluebird (Row) and Lark (Thomas). Combine these bits of apocrypha together and you can conjecturally assume that Thomas becomes the original Lark—hence placement of this item here. (Because of the vagueness of these references, this item could possibly go earlier.)

[6][7]

–Circa mid 2020s CE
Damian: Son of Batman #1, Part 1—and also referenced in Damian: Son of Batman #2. Batman semi-retires, giving up the mantle of the Bat back to Dick Grayson, who becomes Batman once again, taking a roughly nineteen-year-old Damian as his Robin. (In the Modern Age, Damian was fourteen-years-old, but this cannot be the case in the New 52.) Also, Jim Gordon retires and becomes a priest after his daughter Barbara Gordon inexplicably and horrifically loses the use of her legs again. Batman (Dick) and Robin (Damian) investigate a mass grave about which a bunch of Joker-fish are strewn. When Dick examines the fish, a bomb goes off killing him instantly. (The immediate aftermath of this death scene is also shown in single panels in Batman #666 and Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #5, although, it looks quite different.) Soon after, a funeral is held at Wayne Manor, presided over by Father Jim Gordon. In attendance are Bruce, Alfred, Damian, and unidentified white female (maybe Sonia Zucco?), an unidentified black male (maybe Lucius Fox, Lucas Fox, or Duke Thomas?), and Babs.

–Circa mid 2020s CE
Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #5
—originally referenced in Batman #666. Shortly after the death of Dick Grayson, the grieving Damian is manipulated into making a deal with the devil (aka Simon Hurt)—Damian’s soul in exchange for the ensured survival of Gotham. The nitty gritty details of the deal are never fully revealed, but it is implied that Damian receives a “healing factor” or semi-immortality in the process. However, this deal will eventually come back to haunt Damian down the road. Unknown to Damian, Hurt’s manipulation runs even deeper since he works for Talia, who is secretly the one responsible for Dick’s death.

–Circa mid 2020s CE
Damian: Son of Batman #1-4
. Weeks after Dick Grayson’s death, Damian visits his mother Talia and grandfather Ra’s al Ghul. Talia and Ra’s al Ghul discuss Damian’s history (although, Talia curiously neglects to mention his death at the hands of the Heretic and resurrection thereafter), after which they encourage him to become the next Batman. Back in Gotham, Damian learns that many super-villains have falsely claimed responsibility for murdering Batman. A pissed-off Robin goes out and murders both Mr. Freeze and Killer Croc and nearly kills Jackanapes (one of Joker’s original henchmen). After a chat with Father Gordon, Robin kills rookie villain Chipmunk. Back in the Batcave, Bruce (now in his forties and slightly graying) flips-out and confronts Damian about the murders. Bruce and Damian begin a brutal fistfight with each other, during which Bruce winds up getting accidentally gutted by a grappling hook. Alfred rushes in to stabilize Bruce and orders Damian to leave. After chatting with Father Gordon, the Damian decides to become the new Batman! After donning an adult version of his “666 costume,” Damian heads to the recently abandoned Arkham Asylum when he gets a report of activity there from a police drone. A clue at Arkham leads him downtown into battle with Professor Pyg and his Dollotrons. Pyg kicks Damian’s butt and blows him into the Gotham River. Alfred collects the unconscious Damian and brings it back home. After performing life saving surgery on Damian, Alfred slumps over and ingloriously dies. (Note that Alfred’s tombstone says 2014, which should obviously be ignored. Also note that, because we will later see Alfred alive and well again on this timeline, Alfred must either NOT die here or get resurrected shortly thereafter. Probably the latter.) Damian soon recovers from injury but begins talking to his pet cat, Alfred II, which he hallucinates as sounding just like Alfred. Talk about a coping mechanism. Damian, as Batman, returns to the streets and takes down newcomer Sharptooth, Jackanapes, and an unnamed simian pal. Later, Bruce, still recovering from his own injury, gets kidnapped by his in-house nurse, who turns out to be a disguised Impostor Joker. This prompts Damian to march into a nest of super-villains to attempt a rescue. The young new Batman fights and defeats Phosphorus Rex, a newbie named Tomahawks, Jackanapes (again), Weasel, and a bunch of ape-men. He then saves his dad and kicks the crap out of Impostor Joker. After Damian and Bruce leave, the real Joker appears and kills Impostor Joker. Damian chats with kitty Alfred and then takes to the streets to make his tenure as the new Batman official, starting with the arrest of weird super-villain Snickers the Cat-Man.

–Circa mid 2020s to late 2020s CE
References in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #5, Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #10, Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #13, and Damian: Son of Batman #1-2—originally told and referenced in Batman #666 and Batman #700. Batman (Damian Wayne) spends the first three years of his tenure as the Caped Crusader booby-trapping the entire city of Gotham to become his own personal weapon. Furthermore, Damian activates a new Brother-I satellite and uses it as his ultimate surveillance guide. (Be aware this is not Brother Eye—this is a totally separate AI. Brother Eye would currently be at war with humanity, as per The New 52: Futures End #47-48.) Damian’s main rogues gallery consists of a pastiche of veteran villains and wild new rogues, which he regularly puts away in a reopened super-security version of Arkham Asylum. Damian puts away both Jackanapes and The Sphinx in the new Arkham. No specific details are given, but Damian also becomes partly responsible for the death of Jim Gordon, which puts him at odds with Gotham’s new Commissioner of Police, Barbara Gordon. When former Azrael (Michael Lane) returns to Gotham obsessed with destroying the now twenty-two-year-old Batman at the behest of his master Simon Hurt, Damian responds by confronting Lane head-on. Damian is riddled with bullets and set on fire but survives, thus confirming his “healing factor”/near invulnerability obtained from his deal with Hurt. Much to the dismay of Commissioner Gordon, Damian executes Lane. Later, Max Roboto (another of Joker’s original henchmen) and 2-Face-2 take over Gotham’s new artificial climate control system, causing it to rain Monster Joker Venom all over the city. The majority of Gotham’s citizens are morphed into crazed Jokerized zombies. The double-faced villain also kidnaps an infected infant named Terry McGinnis. Batman watches as a time-traveling Professor Carter Nichols appears from the past (2011) and, in a twisted form of suicide, murders his older self. 2011 Nichols, distraught at his life of failure thanks to Simon Hurt, has time-traveled to now, killed his older self, and then sent that body back to 2011 so that the authorities (and Hurt) will think he is dead, thus providing him with a free and unhindered life in this future. Batman rescues tiny Terry, gives him an anti-venom, and defeats the baddies. Joker’s joke book also makes an appearance, but like its previous two appearances, it’s just a MacGuffin.

–Circa early 2030s CE
Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #5. The date is conjectural. With most of the planet in chaos (thanks to the actions of Batman’s rogues and the ongoing Brother Eye war), Batman and Commissioner Babs fight off the entire populace of a government-quarantined Gotham, which has been Jokerized with a brand new strain of Joker Venom. Damian and Babs try to hold off the Jokerized citizens from a barricaded Arkham Asylum, but a rescued infant brings the virus within their walls. (Note that the infant shown in here isn’t Terry McGinnis, especially since Baby Terry was given a dose of anti-venom and this baby is believed to have a natural immunity.)[8] Babs then gets infected and blasts Damian in the spine with a shotgun. (Damian’s “healing factor”/near invulnerability allow him to continue on.) Per Talia’s orders, Simon Hurt (who has ascended to the highest levels of American government) authorizes a US Government nuclear strike on Gotham, killing nearly everyone and wiping-out the whole city.[9] Damian’s “healing factor”/near invulnerability also allows him to survive the nuclear strike. Note also that we never see Barbara Gordon killed either, meaning we can assume that Damian rescues her and purges the Joker Juice from her system.

–2030s CE
Referenced in Detective Comics Vol. 2 #27, Part 3. If we are to truly believe that Dick Grayson was the Batman that died (instead of Bruce Wayne) to usher in the age of the dark 666 Future, then we must assume Dick is now resurrected somehow and now returns to his former role as Nightwing.

–early 2040s CE
Flashback in Detective Comics Vol. 2 #27, Part 7. This smart Scott Snyder/Sean Murphy special story is dope. The destroyed Gotham undergoes major reconstruction into what will soon become Neo-Gotham.[10] Bruce is in his late fifties now but still goes on patrol as Batman every once in a while, despite being semi-retired and despite the continued success of other veteran heroes in the half-rebuilt soon-to-be Neo-Gotham. For example, Red Robin, Nightwing, and Damian are still active. With the city having been relatively “quiet and at ease for a while,” the “old and tired” Bruce thinks about serious retirement and plans for the future. He finally makes the decision to ready the hibernating clone of himself that he constructed using the Caulder Component over twenty years ago. This clone has memory implants of everything Bruce experienced from his own birth until when he decided to become Batman at age 25. Thus, Bruce decides that when the city “stirs” again, he will be ready to activate the start of the clone’s two year finalization process (aka “actualization” sequence). With Gotham having a low crime rate and with Terry McGinnis to eventually become the new Batman, it is highly unlikely that Bruce would start the creation process just yet, but he is now ready to if necessary.

–early 2040s CE
Referenced in Batman Vol. 2 #20, Batwing #19, Superman Unchained #2, The New 52: Futures End #0, The New 52: Futures End #47, Batman Beyond Vol. 7 #1, and Batman #700.[11] As referenced in Batman #700, Bruce trains a teenage Terry McGinnis to be the new Batman (aka “Batman Beyond”) protector of the newly rechristened Neo-Gotham, which, at this point, still has major widespread damage but is under rapid reconstruction. The New 52: Futures End series also postulates a future where Terry is the new Batman as of 2050, but where Bruce is also still simultaneously acting as Batman and and a future where Alfred is dead, replaced by a computer version called ALFRED that has been designed by Bruce. The New 52: Futures End #10 tells us that Bruce teaches Terry the Tonga Deathless Strike.

–2040s
Referenced in The New 52: Futures End #36. Brother Eye finally fully takes over the entire planet after putting Mr. Terrific under house arrest and turning nearly all metahumans into his mindless cyborg army. Batman (Bruce), Batman (Terry), and presumably Damian, Tim, and others fight a guerrilla-style war against Brother Eye’s hordes. (In The New 52: Futures End #36, Terry mentions that he loses all semblance of a normal upbringing in his late teen years/early twenties thanks to constant training and fighting during this time.)

–late 2040s CE
Batman Vol. 2 #20, Batwing #19, and Superman Unchained #2—originally seen in Batman #700. A gray-haired Bruce guides Batman (Terry McGinnis) into battle against the vile Joker-themed gang known simply as The Jokerz. (Note that the identity of Terry’s guide in Batman #700, in the Modern Age, is meant to be an older Damian. However, since the guide is never explicitly named and bears a resemblance to both an elder Damian and an elder Bruce, it technically could be Bruce. For the purposes of the New 52 timeline, it makes more sense if this is Bruce.)

–2050 CE
The New 52: Futures End #0, The New 52: Futures End #12, The New 52: Futures End #20, The New 52: Futures End #23, The New 52: Futures End #34
, and The New 52: Futures End #37. Ever since Brother Eye took over the planet and has turned nearly all metahumans into his mindless cyborg army several years ago, the war has raged on intensely. Now, a gray-haired Batman (Bruce) and roughly twenty-two-year-old Batman (Terry) make their last stand in the Batcave as evil cyborg-versions of Knight, Squire, Gaucho, Man-of-Bats, and Batwing attack. Batwing slices Bruce’s arm clean off. Unable to move and covered in blood, Bruce sends Terry (and ALFRED) back in time in an attempt to prevent this horrific Brother Eye future from happening. Batman is captured and put on life support at Brother Eye’s prison, which has been Joker’s home for at least a year. Cyborg Lobo, Cyborg Frankenstein (with Black Canary’s face sewn into his chest), and Cyborg Congorilla escort Joker into Batman’s cell, which prompts insane laughter from the Clown Prince of Crime. Brother Eye tells Mr. Terrific, who has been held captive in the Flatiron Building for some time, that Bruce has sent Terry back in time. Brother Eye does a radical surgical procedure on Bruce that literally rips knowledge of Bruce’s time-travel out of his brain. A few days later, Brother Eye introduces to Mr. Terrific a newly created abomination: Bruce has been merged with Joker and turned into a cyborg monster hybrid with a Janus-like swivel head. Bruce, who still retains his own mind, is now forced to share a hideous robot body with Joker, who also shares half control of its functions. Brother Eye tells the shocked Mr. Terrific that Cyborg Bat-Joker will be sent back in time to eliminate Terry. Shortly thereafter, Bat-Joker is sent back to 2020. NOTE: We are never told how, but somehow, some way, all the wrongs done by Brother Eye are righted, as evidenced by the future stories attributed to this timeline below.

–June 2056 CE
Detective Comics Vol. 2 #27, Part 3
. This brilliant story by Peter Tomasi and Ian Bertram is apocryphal, so we can either treat it with canonical respect or toss it. Up to you. I’m including it because, technically, there is a way of reading it so that it fits. And here it is. A gray-haired Red Robin, gray-haired Nightwing (obviously having been resurrected some time ago), a gray-haired Damian (now around fifty-one-years-old and in his Batman costume), Commissioner Barbara Gordon (now with the restored use of her legs for the second time), and a roughly 75-year-old wheelchair-bound Alfred (he’d be 95 if he didn’t lose twenty years thanks to a death and subsequent resurrection), all gather in the Batcave to wish Bruce a happy 75th birthday! When the Batsignal lights up the night sky, the veteran heroes skedaddle, putting the party on pause. Despite being long-retired, Bruce puts on a yellow-ovaled Batman costume and serves a geriatric can of whoop-ass to some of Neo-Gotham’s weird new super-villains. Later in the Batcave, Barbara, Dick, and Tim question Bruce about the night’s record number of felony arrests and supposed multiple sightings of a rugged old Batman kickin’ ass. Bruce laughs it off.

–mid 2060s CE
Reference in Detective Comics Vol. 2 #27, Part 7
. The date is totally conjectural. Presumably, a crime-wave washes over Neo-Gotham, giving Bruce, now in his eighties, good cause to activate the finalization sequence on his Batman-cloning Caulder Component machine. After two years of “actualization,” Bruce’s first clone comes awake and is debriefed. Bruce explains to the new Batman that he must incinerate the entire Batcave and destroy anything in it—essentially, the new Batman will have his own set of gadgets, allies, rogues, and trophies, being Batman only in name alone. The only item to remain is the enlarged Joker card. Bruce further instructs his clone that, in twenty-five year’s time, if the city is swelled with rampant crime and villainy, he must begin the actualization sequence for a new clone to replace him. But if the crime-levels are low and it is unnecessary to begin activating a new replacement Batman, he must wait until things get bad again before doing so. In the eventuality of the birth of a new Batman, Batman must pass the torch and relay the exact information Bruce has just given him now before dying (presumably by suicide or some natural sci-fi clone death process). Thus, the cycle of endless Batmen can continue as such.

–2060s to 2207 CE
Detective Comics Vol. 2 #27, Part 7. The first of Bruce’s cloned Batmen is a robot-suit-wearing Dark Knight that enlists a robot-suit-wearing female Robin to help him fight bizarre new rogues. Scott Snyder tells us that there are nine cloned Batman as of Bat Year 200, which is the year 2207. We don’t know how long the tenure of each of these nine Batmen lasts, nor do we know when each begins his term—(we don’t know if they all survive the full twenty-seven year terms, nor do we know if each Batman activates the next one immediately or not). The next Batman we are shown is a Dark Knight that operates a towering Gundam-like mech in battle against an equally towering Court of owls Gundam-like mech. A gray-haired Superman is on hand to assist, so we can assume that the second cloned Batman debuts around the late 2080s. So, in-between the years 2100 and 2207 we have seven consecutive cloned Batman operating in Gotham (probably with some gaps in-between some of their debuts). We are only shown three other cloned Batmen. First, a Mad Max-style Dark Knight with a red-headed Boy Wonder driving a muscle car away from weird Road Warrior-esque villains and a horse-headed ninja robot. Second, a Batman Beyond-ish Dark Knight with a Black Boy Wonder, both riding hover-boards and fighting re-hashes of Mr. Freeze and Clayface. And third, an Ancient Japanese-influenced Dark Knight—(he wears a kimono when not in action and teams with Japanese-themed versions of Bluebird and Lark)—takes on arch rogues Backwards Man and Harvest. He uses a wide variety of Bat-vehicles and obtains a giant robot shark as his main “T. Rex” prize in his massive Batcave. This Batman also loses an eye and an arm in battle somehow. This Batman, appearing as though he has been Batman for the full 25 years and maybe has been waiting a few years after that, begins the actualization process in 2205, presumably after a meteor strikes Earth and destroys part of Gotham. By the time the tenth cloned Batman awakens, the city is ironically, in relative peace. Despite this fact, Batman debriefs the new Batman as all the others have done before him. The Batcave is torched (except for the Joker card), the current clone dies, and a new Batman moves forward in Bat Year 200, starting immediately to deal with a “Lion-Man” that attacks Gotham. We can assume that this cycle of cloned Bruce Wayne Batmen ends eventually, but who knows when?—we might never know.

–Circa 3000 CE
Batman #700
—(Again, if Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #5 is canon, then the distant futures shown in Batman #700 would have to be canon in some form as well since the two issues are intrinsically linked). The intergalactic tyrant known as Fura decimates Earth (or at least Gotham) using a horde of deadly robot warriors. The Batman of this era (Brane Taylor) and his nephew Robin (Ricky Taylor) lead an uprising that ends Fura’s brutal regime and restores order.

–Circa 85,280 CE
Batman #700
—(Again, if Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #5 is canon, then the distant futures shown in Batman #700 would have to be canon in some form as well since the two issues are intrinsically linked). In the city of Nugothotropolis Megurb (the merging of the ever-growing former Metropolis and former Gotham), Batman and Robin the Toy Wonder (the Dynamic Duo of the 853rd century) battle against an entire legion of united super-villains.

–Circa 100 billion CE (The End of Time)
Flashback from Robin Rises: Omega #1—originally told in Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #6. 2011 era Bruce Wayne, via Carter Nichols’ time-portal from 1990, arrives at Vanishing Point, the last place that exists a mere hour before the total destruction of the universe and the literal End of Time. The Bush Robot Archivists that oversee Vanishing Point completely restore all of Bruce’s lost memories, capture the Hyper-Adapter, and quarantine the beast, albeit only temporarily. Knowing that the Hyper-Adapter will escape at any moment and that the creature is linked to his own body/mind, Bruce comes up with a plan. Bruce has the Archivists once again strip his memory blank (in an attempt to sever the mind-link between he and the Hyper-Adapter). Bruce then has the Archivists give him immense power via a bizarre hybrid Archivist/cyborg Bat-suit before traveling back to the present via a time-sphere. Back in 2011, cyber-Batman defeats the Hyper-Adapter, which metamorphoses into a giant primordial bat, an animal consistent with the man it had been linked to. The giant bat then retreats backward through time. It appears in 1765 where it endows Simon Hurt with extended life and in 38,000 BCE where it is killed and worn as a costume by Bruce.

  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: One more thing that is of utmost importance to both understanding the Futures End Timeline and quieting nitpickers. The Futures End Timeline obviously never comes to pass. This is the very reason I’ve labeled it an alternate future. Furthermore, one of the White Elephants of the post-Futures End in-canon Batman Beyond narrative is that when alt-Tim Drake comes to the revamped primary timeline, there isn’t a primary Tim Drake already there when there most definitely would/should be. Batman Beyond Vol. 7 #12 reveals that the primary Tim Drake went missing after a Titans mission “decades before” Terry even became Batman. This erases the paradox. We also learn that Bruce became obsessed with finding him and devoted all of his time to the case (which is a great reason for Bruce to be absent for most of Damian’s tenure as Batman 666).

    In most of (if not all of) comics history, alternate future stories work in the following way: the primary future is terrible, so possible versions of heroes go back in time to prevent it from happening, which, upon doing so successfully, they effectively erase themselves (making themselves definitive “alternate future characters”) to change the primary future. The whole Futures End experiment was truly unique in that it featured an almost opposite scenario. A primary non-alternative character (in this case a primary Terry McGinnis Batman), goes back in time and alters the primary timeline. This means that, at its inception and time of publication, the Futures End Timeline was indeed the primary timeline. But when altered (actually by Tim Drake after Terry dies), the Futures End Timeline ceases to be primary and becomes alternate. Brother Eye even says as much to Tim—telling him outright that his timeline and everything he knows will be gone. (Only using his “chronal-wall” magick does Brother Eye save a handful of Futures End characters for the primary timeline.)

    So, to reiterate, Terry technically does indeed go back on the primary DCU timeline, but after all is said and done the timeline winds up getting morphed into a secondary/defunct/alternate timeline, which you are now reading about on this very page.

    The final nail in the coffin, so to speak, is Batman Beyond Vol. 7 #15, in which we learn that Tim’s actions at the end of The New 52: Futures End cause Terry’s death to be undone on the primary timeline. This is definitive proof that the Futures End Timeline is totally categorically alternate non-primary material.

  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: Note that the Batman-less Teen Titans: Futures End #1, like The New 52: Futures End, is listed as taking place “five years later” yet occurs specifically in 2019 instead of 2020.
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: Seems like heroes have gotten prison-happy in the late twenty-teens. It is unknown if Batman was directly involved, but a year or two ago—following a Despero attack on New York—his Justice League, the Queen Foundation, SHADE, and Terrifitech joined their talents to build a secret prison known as “The Gulag” on Mars with J’onn J’onzz as it’s warden. The sketchy details of the Gulag are mentioned in Justice League United: Futures End #1.
  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER: The main action of this story occurs “five years later,” which means “five years after the Earth-2 War,” which occurs in 2015. Note that in Detective Comics: Futures End #1, Calendar Man mentions that his wife died during Riddler’s Zero Year “eleven years ago.” Eleven years prior to 2020 is 2009. Zero Year was in 2007. So the “eleven years” comment cannot be correct.
  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: It’s worth noting that Bête Noire is Barbara Gordon and her League of Batgirls is comprised of Stephanie Brown, Tiffany Fox, and Cassandra Cain. In 2017, James Gordon Junior caused the death of Barbara’s husband on their wedding day, causing her to leave the Batgirl mantle and go underground, taking down criminal empires from within, before eventually training with Bane and becoming Bête Noire. This is all detailed in the lovely Batgirl: Futures End #1 by Gail Simone.
  6. [6]COLLIN COLSHER: Batman & Robin Vol. 2 Annual #1 features the debut of Damian Wayne’s 666 costume, albeit a kid version of it. This reference can be used as a means of canonizing the 666 Future, a dark dystopia where an adult Damian becomes Batman—shown and referenced in a questionably canonical dream sequence from Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #5, Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #10, Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #13, the possibly apocryphal Damian: Son of Batman #1-4, Batman #666, and Batman #700. (The latter two are Modern Age stories.) While there is no 100% confirmation that the 666 Future is canon the New 52, there is an argument to be made that it should be canon based upon the fact that it has a direct antecedent in the canonical Batman Incorporated series. Since the 666 Future cannot be verified as canon or non-canon definitively, it is really up to the reader to include or not include these events. I have no doubt that Grant Morrison wrote his opus deliberately so that the text can be read different ways. Oh, and also feel free to include Morrison’s “666 Future” but exclude Andy Kubert’s Damian mini-series, which is one step even further removed from the possibility of being canon for reasons we will detail below. Or exclude the 666 Future sequence from Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #5, which technically is only a dream and cannot be verified as a definitive outcome. Or keep it all. Hell, it’s really up to you. Listed below is the ultimate composite version pieced together from all possible manifestations of the 666 Future. It includes Batman #666, Batman #700, the questionably canonical dream sequence from Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #5, and the could-be-apocryphal Damian: Son of Batman #1-4.

    Since there is no legitimate way of knowing one true version of the 666 Future, we can only choose from a mathematical set. In this instance, we have a set of four elements: the four stories that show the 666 Future. A set of four elements has 2-to-the-4th-power subsets, including the empty set (in which we decide that the 666 Future doesn’t happen at all). Therefore, we can have: 1) nothing; 2) A or B or C or D; 3) AB or AC or AD or BC or BD or CD; 4) BCD or ACD or ABD or ABC; 5) ABCD. The answer to the mathematical problem is 16 possible combinations. Again, feel free to go with whichever one of these combos you’d like. Selecting a smaller subset certainly decreases the amount of errors and caveats, but nevertheless I’ve chosen the maximum combo set of ABCD, if only to prove that technically it can be done. Though, in no way should my choice influence your personal decision.

  7. [7]COLLIN COLSHER: Confused about the 666 Future? Let me help aid in your decision making (or confuse you further, mwahahaha)! Technically, the entire foundation of the 666 Future is grounded in a dream/vision that Bruce has. Based upon this fact, we can’t really know for sure if the dream/vision is a set-in-stone reality, not a reality, or merely a possible outcome. Furthermore, because Damian is heavily involved in the dream, things get murkier since clones are pretty easy to come by. There are a few major schools of thought on the subject of the 666 Future. Most folks take the easiest route, the dogmatic approach, either ruling-out the 666 Future completely as non-canon or choosing to include all mentions and details of it as canon. Some, like comic scholar Rikdad, take a more agnostic approach, acknowledging that any combination of possible 666 Futures could exist. Others, like site contributor Eric Agner, figure that the entirety of the 666 Future is canon EXCEPT FOR the 666 sequence from Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #5 because it is the only part of the 666 Future that is definitively sandwiched between narrative that explicitly regards it as a mere dream. Agner also posits a theory that, because Batman #666 is packaged with the Damian: Son of Batman trade paperback, DC’s intention is to legitimize both as New 52 canon, thus also adding-in the closely tied Batman #700 into the mix (albeit with some caveats), but leaving Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #5 out in the lurch. This model also requires some caveats for the smooth insertion of the sometimes problematic Damian: Son of Batman series. My conceptualization of the 666 Future is a compromise version of the timeline that takes ALL into account. The main four glimpses of the 666 Future are seen in Batman #666, Batman #700, Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #5, and Damian: Son of Batman #1-4. There’s no denying that some form of Batman #666 and Batman #700 should be canon, albeit with some slight caveats. It seems that the Damian: Son of Batman series should be canon as well, although due to its possible apocryphal nature, a bunch of caveats are required (even MORE than were required to include the prior two 666 issues). The possibility also exists that the 666 sequence from Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #5 could be a definitive future as well, although its canonical status, despite actually having less need for caveats than Damian: Son of Batman, is still highly dubious due to its context—as a dream that Bruce is detailing—within its own narrative. Because there is no 100% dead-on correct version of the 666 Future, I’ve put everything on my chronology, if only to prove that it can be done and for the sake of completeness. I’d rather place something on my timeline with a caveat that it might not be canon rather than miss something entirely. And based upon the information given, it is a relatively easy process to disregard items one feels should be non-canon while reading the timeline below.
  8. [8]ED: Any conundrum surrounding Terry McGinnis is easily solved: While Terry appears as the infected baby in Batman #700, the baby in Batman Inc #5 simply ISN’T Terry. Events play out like this:
    1) Damian rescues infant Terry and gives him an antidote (made from Max Roboto’s saliva) which cures the Joker Venom poisoning.
    2) Damian returns the baby to his parents, who live (or move) outside the city limits of Gotham.
    3) The Joker Venom infecting Gotham mutates. The new strain is immune the antidote Damian created in Batman #700.
    4) Desperate to find a cure to this new strain, Damian locates a baby with natural immunity. (Unlike infant Terry, who showed the symptoms of Joker Venom infection, this baby shows no symptoms.) This leads us into Batman Inc Vol. 2 #5.
    5) Gotham is bombed and everyone killed, except for Damian, who is immortal (or invulnerable or has a “healing factor”).
    6) Damian spends the next couple decades rebuilding Gotham City, eventually helping to train Terry McGinnis (who was not in Gotham when it was bombed) to be the new Batman.
  9. [9]COLLIN COLSHER: The nuking of Gotham occurs right after the presidential tenure of Beth Ross has ended, as detailed in Prez Vol. 2 and the second feature to Catwoman: Election Night #1. Prez Ross would never have let this happen.
  10. [10]ERIC AGNER: As mentioned in Batman Beyond Vol. 7 #1, this alternate timeline’s Gotham City was indeed “virtually obliterated” and remained so up until Terry McGinnis’ time as Batman. This is likely a reference to the destructive actions of Brother Eye, but could, for the purposes of this timeline, be a reference to the nuclear conclusion of Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #5.
  11. [11]COLLIN COLSHER: The first six New 52 issues listed as references all postulate a Batman Beyond Future. The Modern Age Batman #700 is linked to Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #5, meaning that, if the latter is canon, some version of the former must be as well.

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