–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #9 and Batman Vol. 3 #19. The Ventriloquist (with Scarface) murders eight people in the so-called “War of Jokes and Riddles,” which also involves Riddler and Batman (and presumably Joker too).
–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #9. Batman learns that several major criminal and terrorist organizations are trying to get their hands on new disruptive multilingual nano-processors (DMNs aka “Daemons”), computers that essentially co-opt and control other computer systems. However, the existence on one powerful enough to take over global computer systems doesn’t exist at this point, and won’t for a few more years.
–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. #2 #1. Batman sets official clearance levels for access into the Batcave/Bat-computer system. Alfred has the highest clearance (“very high”). Dick and Tim are given the next clearance level down (“high”).
–REFERENCE: In Batman Eternal #35-36. Lucius Fox and Batman upgrade the Batmobile with Batman Inc R&D tech, installing tracking devices, emergency computer overrides, and remote-control options. Batman and Alfred also put in secret override codes of their own just in case they need to override the overrides. Lucius and Batman also attempt to adhere Wayne Enterprises’ latest invention, “ultra-heated wire mesh,” to the Batmobile’s outer layer, but it doesn’t take.
–REFERENCE: In Batman Eternal #39. Batman has a few single-man-operated mechs (which look a lot like ED-209 from Robocop) produced for Batman Incorporated.
–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #39. Batman learns about a secret pact that his rogues gallery has formed. Joker, Penguin, Killer Croc, Scarecrow, Bane, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, and Clayface have all agreed to light up an upside-down Batsignal and meet at ACE Chemicals, should Batman ever die.
–REFERENCE: In The New 52: Future’s End #0. Batman meets and befriends super-genius superhero Mr. Terrific (Michael Holt).
–REFERENCE: In Batman Eternal #5. Much to the annoyance and chagrin of Batman, Red Robin sets up multiple “Robin’s Nest” headquarters all over Gotham.
–FLASHBACK: From Batman & Robin Vol. 2 Annual #2. In this issue-ending splash page, Batman, Robin, and Nightwing swing into action.
–REFERENCE: In Superman Unchained #6. A Metropolis mattress company, without the Man of Steel’s endorsement or consent, begins airing a TV ad that shows a fake Superman sleeping on a cloud. Clark tells Bruce that the commercial bothers him. Bruce offers to sue the company on his behalf, but Clark tells him not to bother.
–FLASHBACK: From Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #12. Batman smashes out of a glass holding cell and apprehends the in-prison-again-out-of-prison-again Two-Face once more.
–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #35. Batman begins inquiries into obtaining Hephaestus’ Bind of Veils from the magickal black market. This relic of the Greco-Roman Gods, once used by Odysseus to fool the Cyclops, can be used to cast illusions (misdirection spells) that cause the affected person to live out a scenario that isn’t actually happening in real life. Batman wants this item to add to his anti-Justice League contingency plan, specifically to combat a rogue Wonder Woman. However, he won’t get this rare item until next year.
–REFERENCE: In Catwoman Vol. 4 #1. A sexual relationship begins between Batman and Catwoman. Catwoman still doesn’t know Batman’s true identity—the masks stay on during sex with these two. Writer Judd Winick will tell us in Catwoman Vol. 4 #1, during a controversial Bat/Cat sex scene, that it isn’t their first time engaging in intercourse—they have a routine, implying that they have had dalliances more than a few times. Thus, we can assume that Batman visits (and has sex with) Catwoman regularly for the next month. The Caped Crusader has always had a tumultuous continuous flirtation with Catwoman for years and they even briefly dated once, but this is the first time they’ve been a legitimate hot’n’heavy item. The shared passion of Batman and Catwoman cuts through the tortured nature of their lives. As we learn in Batman Vol. 3 #12, both feel that “the pain goes away” whenever they kiss.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics Vol. 2 #1. Joker escapes from Arkham Asylum, prompting Batman to begin chasing after him. The hunt will last a couple months and end in Detective Comics Vol. 2 #1.
–Legion Lost #3
This story has absolutely nothing to do with Batman as it details the efforts of a few key members of the Legion of Superheroes as they try to make their way back home from 2012 to 3012. However, on the page two and three splash, Legionnaire Tellus maintains a telepathic link to every superhero in the DCU, including Batman, who can be seen swinging around Gotham on patrol. NOTE: As mentioned earlier, but worth re-mentioning, there are at least three versions of the Legion each attached to different universes in the New 52 multiverse. The Legion featured here in Legion Lost (which is the same one featured in Legion of Superheroes Vol. 7 #23) might be from the future of Universe-2. We can infer this thanks to a reference in Legion of Superheroes Vol. 7 #23, which nods to the Superman of their history having been “sent to his doom” by Steppenwolf. This implies heavily that this Legion, in the New 52, hails from Universe-2 since Earth-2 Superman was captured by Steppenwolf before being tortured for years until his eventual death.
–Catwoman Vol. 4 #1-3
Catwoman’s apartment was recently blown up by a gangster named Louis “Bone” Ferryman (leader of the gang aptly known as The Ferrymen). Batman now visits her at her new temporary pad to check up on her—and by “check up on her” I mean have rough, dirty talk, kinky superhero sex with her. Like always, the clothes come off, but the masks stay on. The next night, Catwoman uses the Wayne Foundation Children’s Trust gala as a meeting spot where she will supposedly exchange a stolen painting for a large sum of cash from the Russian mob. In reality, the drop is actually a setup, as Catwoman has also invited a rival Russian mob to the gala hoping that opposing forces will eliminate each other. After flirting with Bruce, who plays fake drunk and acts out his playboy routine to perfection, the disguised Catwoman initiates the chaos and, sure enough, the mobs blast each other to smithereens. Catwoman swings over to her best friend Lola MacIntire‘s home only to find Lola murdered at the hands of Bone and this thugs. Bone beats up Catwoman and ties her to a chair before leaving and ordering his men to kill her. Catwoman frees herself, escapes, tracks down Bone, abducts him to the top of a skyscraper, and proceeds to pummel him with a baseball bat. Batman shows up and stops her from going too far. While they kiss, Catwoman pushes Bone over the edge of the tower, forcing Batman to save him and giving her an opportunity to flee back to Lola’s. At Lola’s, Catowman has a run-in with the GCPD.
–Justice League Dark #1
When the powerful magickal entity known as Enchantress becomes separated from her human host, June Moone, all hell breaks loose. From a small shack in rural America, the confused Enchantress begins unleashing evil energy across the globe. While Batman monitors the situation and chats with Zatanna at Justice League HQ, JL members Superman, Wonder Woman, and Cyborg approach Enchantress’ shack. The trio is easily defeated by a giant ghoulish Enchantress and a tsunami of razor sharp bones and teeth. Despite their combined power, the heroes are completely useless against foes wielding high-level magickal ability. At JL HQ, Batman watches the scene with solicitude and decides it’s time to act. However, knowing that Batman would likely suffer defeat as well, Zatanna casts a spell binding him in vines and goes off to confront Enchantress on her own. Zatanna will eventually be joined by Madame Xanadu (Nimue Inwudu), John Constantine, Deadman (Boston Brand), Mindwarp (Jay Young), and Shade the Changing Man (Rac Shade) to bind June Moone back with the Enchantress, thus preventing global disaster (as seen in Justice League Dark #5).
–Catwoman Vol. 4 #6
About two weeks have passed since Batman last interacted with Catwoman in Catwoman Vol. 4 #3. Catwoman is in another bind. A group of crooked cops allied with the powerful metahuman Reach has kidnapped Catwoman, who has stolen their cash cache and hidden it from them. When the bad officers try to run Catwoman’s fingerprints, she comes up as a Jane Doe with no record—Batman has wiped her criminal record clean! After getting worked over by Reach (and then working over Reach), Catwoman escapes and grabs the loot, but soon finds herself face-to-face with Batman. Batman lectures her for taking so many risks and for continuing to steal. They fight over the duffel bag of money, but ultimately Batman gives in and lets Catwoman go. Catwoman swings away in tears, knowing that their romantic relationship is over and their friendship has been jeopardized.
–FLASHBACK: In Red Hood & The Outlaws #20, Secret Origins Vol. 3 #5, and Red Hood/Arsenal #6. And also textually referenced in Red Hood & The Outlaws #2, Grayson #12, and Red Hood/Arsenal #3—originally told in “Under the Hood.” April. Over a year ago, Jason Todd was secretly resurrected from the dead. Now, Jason Todd debuts as the super-villain known as Red Hood. Before directly striking, Red Hood makes his presence felt in the Gotham underworld by murdering eight top mob lieutenants and delivering their severed heads in a duffel bag to their bosses. Red Hood then plays head games with both Batman and Nightwing as the heroes deal with Black Mask and some high-tech weapon smugglers. Red Hood then attacks Batman one-on-one, shockingly unmasks, and points a gun at his former mentor, angrily asking him why he hasn’t killed Joker.
–FLASHBACK: From Red Hood & The Outlaws #6 and Red Hood & The Outlaws #26. April. Red Hood’s vengeful assault on Batman continues. As stated above, Jason Todd blames Batman for letting him die and is pissed that Joker is still alive and well. Nightwing shows up and helps the Dark Knight temporarily fend off Jason’s assault.
–FLASHBACK: From Red Hood & The Outlaws: Rebirth #1. April. Red Hood briefly departs from his battle versus Batman and Nightwing to abduct Joker and put a gun to the villain’s head. Batman, with Red Robin, comes face-to-face with Red Hood yet again and manages to stop him from executing Joker. Ultimately, Batman’s fight against Red Hood ends in a stalemate. (Note that the flashback in this issue shows a Robin that doesn’t much resemble Tim, but more resembles Dick. Obviously, this is impossible. This Robin should be the Red Robin variety.)
–REFERENCE: In Red Hood & The Outlaws #1, the “Leviathan web display” in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #3, Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #6, and Grayson #12—originally told in Batman & Robin #4-6. Late April. Red Hood (Jason Todd) immediately returns to Gotham, this time wearing a new-style spandex-and-cape costume. Red Hood’s female sidekick Scarlet—permanently facially-scarred by a grotesque Dollotron mask melted onto her face by the insane Professor Pyg—now debuts along Red Hood’s side as well. The anti-Dynamic Duo makes their presence felt by brutally murdering a room full of gangsters. Standing before Batman, Nightwing, and Robin, Red Hood makes an impassioned speech about doing the job Batman should have done years ago. Red Hood and Scarlet then fight the trio of heroes to a draw. Shortly thereafter, Red Hood and Scarlet upload a series of online videos promoting their brand of justice. The videos immediately go viral and the Bat Family is disgusted. Not long after, Batman, Nightwing, and Robin are in battle against Red Hood and Scarlet again. This second fight pitting Batman/Nightwing/Robin versus Red Hood/Scarlet is specifically referenced in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #6—Jason yells “Batman is dead!” during the fight. After a brief pause in the action, a third round begins and Red Hood gains the upper hand by knocking out the heroes, stripping them naked, and placing them in front of a live webcam designed to switch on if enough folks call a publicly advertised phone number. Of course, our heroes escape, but the fight against Red Hood and Scarlet ends in a stalemate yet again as Eduardo Flamingo appears, forcing everyone to reluctantly team-up against the even greater threat. Scarlet winds up saving Robin’s life from a violent Flamingo assault. Batman and Nightwing defeat Flamingo, while Red Hood and Scarlet leave the scene. NOTE: Batman & Robin #4-6 originally took place during Bruce’s missing time period and featured Batman Dick Grayson and Eduardo Flamingo’s debut. It also ended with Jason going to Arkham. However, in the New 52 things are drastically different. Since Jason has only recently returned (and since he returns well after Bruce returns from his missing time period), this battle must include Bruce as Batman and include Nightwing there as well. Flamingo’s appearance is necessary, but it is no longer his debut, and no longer is this the sequence in which the villain paralyzes Robin. That, of course, has already happened. ONE MORE NOTE: Red Hood & The Outlaws #1 takes place roughly two months after this Red Hood/Scarlet fight against Batman/Nightwing/Robin.
–FLASHBACK: In Red Hood & The Outlaws Vol. 2 #5. Jason Todd—having ditched his spandex costume and returned once more—calms down long enough to have a civil conversation with his former mentor. Jason is back in Gotham for good and Batman accepts this fact. However, the Dark Knight gives the former Boy Wonder a “my city, my rules” speech. Jason scoffs at Batman’s dialogue, saying that some bad guys should be killed. (Note that this flashback mirrors a scene from Red Hood & The Outlaws: Rebirth #1, but it is a separate scene.)
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics Vol. 2 #1. Bruce begins dating the daughter of Mayor Sebastian Hady, journalist Charlotte Rivers.
–Detective Comics Vol. 2 #1-4
Early May—about nine months before Detective Comics #10. Commissioner Gordon is on Batman’s side, but the GCPD, under the orders of the corrupt Mayor Sebastian Hady, has been mandated to shoot the Dark Knight on sight. As the GCPD tracks down Batman, Batman tracks down Joker and watches as he brutally murders the uncle of eleven-year-old Olivia Carr. Batman saves Olivia, but Joker flees. Later that same day, Batman finds Joker again and this time is able to apprehend the villain and send him to Arkham Asylum. However, the new villain known as The Dollmaker literally slices Joker’s face off (Joker wants this to happen for some unknown criterion) and helps him escape. The Dollmaker is Barton Mathis, the son of a serial killer that Gordon apprehended a decade ago. Batman, upon receiving the message regarding what has happened to Joker, quickly deduces that Joker is in cahoots with Dollmaker, and it is further implied that Batman believes the faceless Joker is planning a lengthy hidden “retirement” for some time to come (as mentioned in Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #2). Detective Comics Vol. 2 #2 begins the next morning after Joker’s facial removal and escape from Arkham. During the workday Bruce and Lucius Fox gain a new scientific research partner in Hugh Marder, head of HM Industries. Bruce then takes a break to have sex with the sensual Charlotte Rivers. When the sun goes down Batman is back in action with Commissioner Gordon. However, Batman and Gordon cross paths with Dollmaker and his Texas Chainsaw Massacre-esque patchwork family of “living dolls.” Each member of the fam—Dollhouse (Matilda), Bentley, Jack-in-the-Box, Sampson, and The Gimp—has been surgically altered by Dollmaker and each has a permanent Ed Gein skin mask. Batman eludes the family, but Gordon is detained in the abandoned Mercy Hospital, where his kidney is harvested! Olivia is at the hospital and reveals that she is a member of the Dollmaker’s family, but wants to help. Of course, this is merely a trap and Olivia lures Batman into captivity at Mercy Hospital. Batman is strung up like a puppet and forced to fight “living dolls” that are dressed up as Joker. Penguin’s henchmen, led by his number one man Raju, arrive to watch the scene and offer Dollmaker a suitcase full of gold bars in exchange for Batman. While Gordon frees himself, the Dark Knight fights his way free as well. Dollmaker is phoned by his mysterious boss and told that an escape vehicle is on its way. In minutes, Dollmaker and Matilda ride off in a police chopper. After the Dollmaker affair ends, Bruce takes a short Colorado vacation with Charlotte and little Olivia is sent to Arkham for observation.
–Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #1-7
Batman rushes over to Wayne Enterprises to deliver (as Bruce) a speech at a black tie corporate gala. At the gala, Lieutenant Jack Forbes of GCPD Internal Affairs accuses Bruce’s Batman Incorporated group of being illegally partnered with Commissioner Gordon. Also at the gala, Bruce meets the sexy socialite Jaina Hudson. Meanwhile, a riot breaks out at Arkham when all three hundred inmates are injected with a new strain of Venom by the scantily-clad lingerie-wearing super-villain known as White Rabbit. Batman returns to Arkham and fights several of his rogues, including The Great White Shark, The Key, The Mortician, Mr. Freeze, Clayface, Rag Doll (Peter Merkel), Vortex, The Phantasm, Fright, Philo Zeiss, and Two-Face. A crazed and tumescently musclebound Two-Face pummels Batman until the former begins bleeding from his eyes and passes out. The riot is quelled, but thirty-six inmates escape, among them: Ventriloquist, Zsasz, Clock King (William Tockman), The Cavalier, Clayface, Spellbinder, and The Electrocutioner. The Dark Knight then meets with Gordon, who tells him that Forbes has turned his own officers against him. Across town, Gotham’s superhero community nabs Arkham escapees. Nightwing and Robin apprehend Ventriloquist. Batgirl apprehends Zsasz. Birds of Prey members Black Canary (Dinah Lance), Starling (Evelyn Crawford), and Katana apprehend Clock King. The Cavalier also gets busted. (Batwoman is shown taking down the Cavalier in this arc. However, thanks to a retcon in Batwoman: Rebirth #1, Batwoman has not yet debuted, so Batwoman’s presence must be ignored.) Meanwhile, Batman goes after Clayface, who morphs into a Joker lookalike and allies himself with White Rabbit. Batman knocks-out Clayface aboard a passenger train, but the villain’s massive body pins the Dark Knight to the floor. When Flash shows up to help Batman crawl out from underneath Clayface’s muddy girth, White Rabbit flees. Afterward, Batman threatens Lieutenant Forbes and tells the Internal Affairs man to back off of both Bruce Wayne and Commissioner Gordon. Bruce goes on a date with the seductive Jaina Hudson—um, yeah, Bruce is definitely romantically involved with Charlotte Rivers already, but whatever? Anyway, after his date Batman does a chemical analysis of the new Venom drug and finds a link to Poison Ivy. Batman and Flash visit Ivy’s lab, but find that she has vanished without a trace and has possibly been abducted. Batman contacts Wonder Woman and asks for the Justice League’s assistance in locating Poison Ivy, but the JL is busy apprehending Spellbinder and The Electrocutioner (escapees from the previous week’s Arkham jailbreak). Meanwhile, Commissioner Gordon broods in his crummy apartment and gets vodka drunk. Worried that Forbes is close to outing him as a Batman Incorporated agent and ruining his career, Gordon tries in vain to get through to Bruce’s phone. Batman eventually unearths Ivy’s position on Harmon Island, just off the coast of Gotham Bay. En route via the Batplane, Batman is attacked by a Venom-engorged Deathstroke the Terminator, who destroys the Batplane. The Caped Crusader plummets to the ground below, but is able to land safely. On Harmon Island, Batman is attacked by Scarecrow and injected with Venom. Superman shows up and a fight breaks out between the Venom-ized Batman and the Man of Steel! Superman knocks-out the crazed and confused Batman. After the effects of the drug wear off, Superman departs. Batman then chases after White Rabbit and Scarecrow and is able to collar the latter. White Rabbit then introduces Batman’s next challenge, the one, the only, Bane! Bane, juiced up on super-Venom, starts a knockdown drag-out fight. Batman dodges Bane long enough to rescue Poison Ivy before returning to the fray. The Dark Knight is getting his ass kicked by Bane until Flash saves his life and helps him take down the super-villain, who washes away into the surf. Later, Bruce cancels a date with Jaina Hudson, who we learn has nefarious plans for both Bruce and Batman. We also learn that White Rabbit is actually an avatar double of Jaina. Jaina has the metahuman power to project her White Rabbit alter-ego and to then re-encapsulate her into her own body.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics Vol. 2 #8. Scarecrow made a clean getaway while Batman fought Bane in Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #7. With Scarecrow at large, the Dark Knight cooks up and delivers a new Anti-Fear agent to Commissioner Gordon to combat against any possible future threat.
–REFERENCE: In Batwoman #2 and Justice League Dark #7. Batman didn’t initially approve of Batgirl’s hasty return so soon after regaining her ability to walk, but knowing what Barbara is capable of and how strong she really is, he gives her a spot on the Batman Incorporated roster. I’ve added this here because Batgirl is among the list of Batman Incorporated agents pictured in Batwoman #2 and because she will clearly be a part of the Bat-Family during the upcoming Justice League Dark #7.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics Vol. 2 #5. Batman begins keeping tabs on crook Axel Bellamy.
–I, Vampire #5, Part 1
This first part of I, Vampire #5 intersects with Batman’s third day of constantly monitoring Axel Bellamy. For several months now, good vampire Andrew Bennett, along with vampire hunters Tig Rafelson and Professor John Troughton, has been tracking his ex-lover, the Queen of Blood (Mary Seward), vamp leader of the Cult of the Blood Red Moon. When the Queen of Blood and her followers enter Gotham and massacre an entire train full of people and take the bodies, Batman takes a brief aside from his Bellamy case to check out the scene. The Dark Knight meets Bennett for the first time. They briefly scuffle and Bennett tells Batman that he is a good guy. Batman doesn’t have time for this and takes off to re-track Bellamy.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics Vol. 2 #5. Batman, after meeting Andrew Bennett, immediately returns his attention to surveilling the actions of Axel Bellamy. Noting that the blood-drenched crime scene at the train (from the first part of I, Vampire #5) is a big deal, but being currently too busy to deal with it himself, Batman instructs Alfred to check into the matter, specifically asking him to figure out if Bennett is trustworthy. Bruce, knowing that Charlotte is going to be attending the grand opening of Penguin’s Casino & Hotel later that night with intentions of writing an expose on Penguin, also instructs Alfred to send her a dress with a GPS tracer sewn into it so that he can keep tabs on her.
–Detective Comics Vol. 2 #5-7
Detective Comics Vol. 2 #5-7 takes place weeks after Detective Comics Vol. 2 #4. Ever since Joker’s face was literally sliced-off by Dollmaker, a large pro-Joker/anti-Batman Occupy-like protest group has gathered in Gotham’s Old Grant Park. A rumor has bruited that Joker’s mutilation was at the hands of the Dark Knight. Not only that, many believe that Batman has even murdered Joker, since the villain hasn’t been seen in weeks. Meanwhile, Batman, continues his third night of tracking Alex Bellamy. While spying on a drop-off meeting between Bellamy and Russian mobsters, a clown-masked newcomer shows up, murders the crooks, and steals their loot. The clown-masked villain is Charlotte River’s long-lost twin sister Jill Hampton, better known as the super-villain Jill Chase. Batman chases Chase, but the latter gets away, exchanging the stolen bills for a VIP entry card into Penguin’s brand new Iceberg Casino & Hotel. Chase needs the VIP card, which she acquires from crime-boss Mr. Mosaic, in order to infiltrate and scam the casino with her partner Snakeskin (Jack Houston), who has the ability to shape-shift his face. Unknown to Snakeskin, Chase is actually helping Penguin eliminate some visiting super-villain competition in exchange for Penguin supporting her dad Mayor Hady’s reelection campaign. Meanwhile, at Penguin’s Iceberg Casino & Hotel, Charlotte begins snooping around in an attempt to locate evidence of Penguin’s latest secret criminal activity. Instead, Charlotte is surprised and disconcerted to run into her super-villain sis. Elsewhere in the casino, Penguin holds a meeting with the aforementioned colorful visiting metahuman baddies Hypnotic, Mr. Combustible, Mr. Toxic (pejoratively referred to as “The Gas Man” by Hypnotic), Imperceptible Man, and one unnamed other. Across town, Batman beats on some thugs and learns that Chase has killed Bellamy, Raju, and several other gangsters. Batman hightails it over to Penguin’s casino, and upon entering, witnesses a psychotic Snakeskin stab Charlotte! Snakeskin then traps the Dark Knight and the blood-soaked unconscious Charlotte inside a giant ice machine shaft—(Penguin’s casino is built on a man-made iceberg in Gotham Harbor.) Alfred rams the Bat-Sub into the casino, allowing Batman to escape and deliver Charlotte into medical care. Batman then calls in a bomb threat, which causes the GCPD and Coast Guard to swarm Penguin’s casino and order an evacuation. During the evacuation, Snakeskin tries and fails to assassinate Penguin. Meanwhile, Batman confronts Chase and then meets Mr. Toxic, Hypnotic, Mr. Combustible, and the other newbs face-to-face and tells them that Penguin isn’t their ally. While Batman beats the stuffing out of the new guys, Chase meets with Penguin in his secret bunker beneath the casino. Naturally, Penguin double-crosses Chase and authorizes his henchwoman Lark to shoot her. Before Lark can pull the trigger, Batman busts in and takes down Lark, Penguin, and Chase. Later in prison, Chase is visited by Mr. Mosaic, who tells Chase that her father has sent for a top attorney to represent her case. The attorney enters, but reveals himself as Snakeskin, hired by Penguin to kill her.
–I, Vampire #5, Part 2
Batman confronts Andrew Bennett and his partners (having received detailed information from Alfred about Bennett) and reluctantly joins them in the quest to stop the Queen of Blood. The victims from the train are still missing and a dozen more Gothamites have gone missing in the past thirty-six hours. Our heroes unearth the missing persons in the basement of the old Gotham Court House, but by the time they get there the Queen of Blood has turned them all into her vampire slaves.
–I, Vampire #6
Batman, Andrew Bennett, Tig Rafelson, and John Troughton fight a horde of vampires. Bennett is able to kill the vamp who sired the recently abducted dozen Gothamites, thus transforming them back to human—this is possible to do provided the sire is slain within seventy-two hours after turning a new vamp. Unfortunately, its been longer than that since the train victims were turned, so the vampire hunter crew has some serious slaying to do. However, Batman stops Bennett and company from killing the Queen of Blood, citing that even vampires deserve real justice instead of execution. During a brief calm brought about by Batman’s plea, a crazed Tig betrays Bennett, spikes him through the heart, and decapitates him! As Bennett’s body crumbles to ash and his soul is sucked into Limbo, the most powerful vamp of them all rises from the abyss—the original vampire, Cain!
RISE OF THE VAMPIRES
——————––Justice League Dark #7
——————––I, Vampire #7
——————––Justice League Dark #8
Cain takes control of the Queen of Blood’s vampire army and turns them loose on the whole city, prompting Batman to call his troops—Robin, Nightwing, and Batgirl—and assign them to different fronts. Eventually, Shade the Changing Man, Madame Xanadu, and Zatanna join Batman, Tig Rafelson, and John Troughton atop the Gotham Courthouse where the bloody slaughter continues. Batman leaves to help Nightwing and Robin fight vampires across town. Meanwhile, Shade, Zatanna, Rafelson, and Troughton are joined by the Queen of Blood, who decides to switch sides. Xanadu projects herself to the Astral Plane to seek help, while John Constantine and Deadman attempt to bring back Andrew Bennett from Limbo—Bennett is the key to defeating Cain. On the Earthly plane, things are going bad. Gotham is completely overrun with vampires. Batman is cornered. Shade panics and exiles himself in the Realm of Madness. Zatanna and Xanadu are pretty much magickally tapped-out. Constantine and Deadman return from Purgatory empty handed. When all hope seems lost, Bennett, who didn’t want to return at first, has a change of heart and uses all of his afterlife powers to come back from the (un)dead. Oh, for anyone wondering, Batman isn’t featured in the finale of “Rise of the Vampires.” Suffice to say, Bennett reunites with the Queen of the Damned, takes over the vampire army and defeats Cain. Bennett, with new-found powers due to his visit to Purgatory, erases the entire world’s memories of the vampire attack on Gotham except for all heroes present—so, I’m not sure if Batman’s memory of “Rise of the Vampires” is erased or not. Also, Constantine’s supernatural team has thus far avoided giving themselves an official name, but they will eventually reflect their series title and reluctantly become the Justice League Dark.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics Vol. 2 #10. Bruce’s inamorata Charlotte Rivers was recently very badly injured by Snakeskin in Detective Comics #7. (We won’t see her again until Detective Comics Vol. 2 #10, where she will be receiving the last of a string of surgeries. Based upon time references in Detective Comics Vol. 2 #10, which tells us that nine months pass between Detective Comics Vol. 2 #2 and Detective Comics Vol. 2 #10, we can infer that Charlotte will be in and out of hospitals for the better part of the next eight-and-a-half-months.) Bruce visits her at the hospital now and will remain “persistently” faithful to her for the next eight-and-a-half months, visiting her as often as he can (invisibly on our timeline), despite the fact that she will grow more distant and depressed as time goes on.
–Detective Comics Vol. 2 #8
Scarecrow sends a message to Batman via Commissioner Gordon that says someone will get hurt unless the Dark Knight helps him retrieve the Anti-Fear agent, which has been stolen from a disease control lab by Catwoman. Batman locates and subdues Catwoman, who has been dosed with Fear Gas. Once she calms down, she points Batman in the direction of crime-boss Digger Jones. After Batman interrogates (i.e. beats up) Jones, the crook says that he is working for a higher authority, who supposedly has a kidnapped young boy trapped at a warehouse on Dearborn Street. But before heading there, Batman confronts Scarecrow, who has been tailing him, and has a few choice words before taking-off. At the Dearborn Street address, Batman finds that there is no kidnapped victim. He beats up on some Scarecrow henchmen and their boss Eli Strange, son of Hugo Strange, who has masterminded a robbery attempt at the Dearborn Street warehouse from a remote location. Eli goes to jail and Batman never even knows that Hugo was involved.
–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics Vol. 2 #16. The anti-Batman, pro-Joker protesters that have been gathered at Old Grant Park ever since Joker’s face-off routine are still camped out. Only now, a myriad of violent Joker-inspired gangs have joined the Occupy-esque movement. Batman flies overhead in the Batplane and takes snapshots using high-tech facial recognition software in order to catalog these potentially crazed future villains. Among the protestors are the following clown-themed gangs: Die Laughing, Joy Buzzers, Best Medicine, The Cut-Ups, Funny Bonez, and Punchline; and the solo arsonist known as Rodney “The Torch” Spurman.
–REFERENCE: In Superman/Wonder Woman #13. June. Bruce purchases a typewriter that was previously owned by Ernest Hemmingway. He gives it to Clark for his birthday. (Superman’s birthday has long supposed to have been in June, hence my placement of this item here. Geoff Johns once said Clark’s b-day was in December, but I’m going with the more classic June.)
–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #14. The Victoria Cat, a stuffed animal, is stolen from the Gotham Museum of Fine Art by Catwoman. Batman is unable to locate the Victoria Cat nor is he able to link Catwoman to the crime. Catwoman, over the course of the next four years, will fill the toy with diamonds from various heists. Batman will continue to investigate the Case of the Missing Cat for a while to come, but he won’t crack it.
–Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #8
When a group of subway passengers massacre each other, Batman (with Alfred’s guidance) investigates and runs across Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee. When more Gothamites begin randomly acting out of character, including a senator who pulls a Bud Dwyer and blows his own brains out on live TV, it’s not long before the Dark Knight links the antics to the mind-control technology of the Mad Hatter. After being forced to see an in-house shrink by IA jerk Lieutenant Forbes, Commissioner Gordon helps the Caped Crusader bring the the Mad Hatter to justice. The Tweeds escape.
–FLASHBACK: From Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #11. Nearly all of Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #11 is a random flashback to a Batman Japan adventure. Jiro Osamu and Lolita Canary (of the Super Young Team) are interrupted by Batman while on an Internet 3.0 VR date—(Internet 3.0 is the only place they can be together and be the same size). From Gotham, Batman alerts the heroes to a situation in downtown Tokyo involving an all-female Leviathan gang consisting of Power Ranger styled bikers. Batman Japan and Lolita Canary eventually infiltrate the biker secret HQ and confront their leader, Lady Tiger Fist, a cyborg warrior woman that has pet robot tigers, whose heads pop off and become her fists. The heroes convince the biker gals to turn on their abusive Leviathan momma and then defeat the super-villain by entrapping her mind within Internet 3.0.
–REFERENCE: In Batwing #24 and Batwing #26. Batman recruits the newest member of Batman Incorporated in Rome, Italy: sleeper agent/sexy spy gal Pippi Giovanni. Pippi takes over the costumed legacy of her deceased father and becomes the brand new Legionary!
–FLASHBACK: From Batman Incorporated Special #1. Man-of-Bats and Red Raven (formerly “Little Raven”) trail their arch rival Coyote to Gotham. Atop a tall skyscraper under construction, the Native American Dynamic Duo busts Coyote just in time for Batman to pick him up in the Batplane.
–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #35. Bruce begins construction on an anti-JL war-bot, the most expensive one-man weapon ever made, which will have specific methods of dealing with each Justice Leaguer (should they come under enemy control or go rogue).
–FLASHBACK: From Batwing #1-2. Mid July. In Tinasha, Democratic Republic of Congo, Batman and Batwing apprehend Blood Tiger and find a gangster hideout filled with chopped-up corpses. At the Haven (Batwing’s HQ), Batman, Batwing, and Batwing’s trusted assistant Matu Ba learn that one of the victims was ex-superhero Earth Strike, a former member of The Kingdom (Africa’s short-lived version of the Justice League). David returns to his police precinct to find twenty-three of his fellow officers dead by the hand of newcomer Massacre, who has an axe to grind with ex-members of the Kingdom. Massacre stabs David, nearly killing him. David will be comatose for the next two weeks, and when he awakens Matu Ba will claim that Batman has been tracking Massacre for that entire time. Batman probably does go after Massacre for a bit in Africa, but since Massacre goes off the radar pretty quickly and Batman is a busy dude, we can probably assume that the Dark Knight doesn’t literally spend the entire next two weeks devoted to this case.
–REFERENCE: In Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #18. Batman stops Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee (and presumably the Mad Hatter) from robbing Gotham Trust. During the botched robbery, which results in several deaths, Batman permanently injures Tweedle-Dee’s face, causing his jaw to be wired shut for two months.
–REFERENCE: In My Greatest Adventure Vol. 2 #2—originally told in Weird Worlds Vol. 2 #2. After a suspicious explosion that kills several people at a chem lab outside of Gotham, Batman decides to investigate. Batman briefly tangles with Garbage Man (Richard Ethan Morse), one of the victims of the explosion that has turned into a Swamp Thing-like trash monster as a result. The Dark Knight is able to collect a sample of Garbage Man’s disgusting muddy hide.
–Hawk & Dove Vol. 3 #6
Hawk and the new Dove (Dawn Granger)—the Avatars of War and Peace, respectively—trail Blockbuster, who is being controlled by the occult villainess known as Necromancer, to Gotham. Batman and Robin meet the crime-fighting duo and reluctantly team-up with them to defeat Necromancer and Blockbuster. (This issue is also shown via flashback in Grayson Annual #2.)
–My Greatest Adventure Vol. 2 #2-3
For a couple weeks now, Batman has been investigating an explosion at a chem lab that killed several people. Batman, searching for those responsible for the deaths, attacks Garbage Man in a Gotham Alley. They briefly fight before the Dark Knight realizes that Garbage Man is one of the good guys.
–My Greatest Adventure Vol. 2 #6
Garbage Man seeks revenge against those who tried to kill him (and accidentally turned him into the monster he is now). Batman runs tests on Garbage Man’s DNA and also links the chem lab murders to corporate tycoon Ivan Manchester, head of Titan Corp. Batman and Garbage Man confront Manchester in his palatial mansion and tell him that the jig is up and he’s going to see jail time for what he’s done. Immediately after Batman and Garbage Man leave, Manchester commits suicide.
–FLASHBACK: From Batwing #5. Late August. This event takes places about three weeks after David awakes from his coma following being stabbed by Massacre (and roughly five weeks after Batwing #1). After several more encounters with Massacre and the assassinations of more former Kingdom members, Bruce returns to Tinasha and decides to try to lure Massacre into a trap by funding a new museum honoring the history of the Kingdom—built inside the team’s old HQ, The Citadel. At the grand opening gala—which Bruce personally hosts with the Kingdom’s old chief and weapons designer Josiah Kone—Massacre doesn’t take the bait, but sends a bunch of hired henchmen who successfully bomb the building. Batman and Batwing rescue as many people as they can, take down the skull-masked goons, and learn that Massacre is in Egypt stalking another ex-Kingdom hero.
Late August. Batwing #6 picks up where the six-week-long flashback story from Batwing #1-5 leaves off. Technically, the first ten pages of Batwing #6 are also a part of the flashback story. Batwing defeats Massacre in Giza, Egypt, saving the life of ex-Kingdom hero Steelback (Daniel Balogun). Massacre, slightly injured, makes a clean getaway. Later, Batman and Batwing interrogate Steelback and learn that the final two Kingdom members, Razorwire (Moses Gowon) and Staff (Kofi Ironsi), live in Gotham City, USA. Batman immediately contacts Alfred, Nightwing, Robin, and Batgirl and orders them to begin searching for Razorwire and Staff. Batman then hops into the Batplane with Batwing and Steelback and begins flying back home. Nightwing and Robin locate Razorwire and Staff at a safe-house outside of Gotham, but they are anything but safe. Nightwing and Robin watch in horror as Massacre, with the aid of Steelback’s old armored robot mech, murders the African superheroes. During the brutal melee, our heroes learn two awful truths; first, Massacre is Batwing’s long lost brother, Isaac Zavimbe, and second, that Josiah Kone is his master, responsible for the deaths of all the ex-Kingdom members. Kone is apprehended, but Massacre goes missing following the explosion of the Steelback mech. Later, Batman consoles Batwing in the Batcave.
–REFERENCE: In the second feature to All-Star Batman #6. September. As he does every year (whether he is in prison or not), Riddler celebrates the anniversary of his Zero Year attack by initiating a new pre-planned puzzle-themed strike on Gotham. Since the reference to the anniversary attacks in the second feature to All-Star Batman #6 is vague and does not give specifics, we don’t know what this attack entails. Nor are we told whether or not Batman is able to stop Riddler’s plot.
–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 2 #37. Batman invents a spiffy hazmat uniform to use on cases involving radiation, chemicals, or viruses. Robin gets his dad to officially call the new costume the “Haz-Bat Suit.”
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics Vol. 2 #38. This item occurs two years prior to Detective Comics Vol. 2 #38. A tech genius calling himself Moneyspider hacks into Wayne Enterprises’ airtight computer system. Batman tracks Moneyspider and exposes him as pre-teen prodigy Lonnie Machin. Feeling sorry for both Lonnie and his down-and-out stripper single mom Greta Mitchell, Bruce decides not to press charges. But since someone needs to take the fall for the hacking, Batman goes in disguise mode and takes the rap for the crime as Matches Malone. From this point on, Batman will keep secret tabs on Lonnie (which will occur invisibly and periodically moving forward on our timeline).
–Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 Annual #1
October 31. Halloween. Wanting to spare himself the usual craziness involved with All Hallow’s Eve, Batman sends false invitations to Mad Hatter, Penguin, and Scarecrow, which brings each villain to the old abandoned Arkham Detention Facility for Youth. Despite the fact that Bruce spends a leisurely and relaxing time in bed the entire night, Mad Hatter, Penguin, and Scarecrow are convinced that the Dark Knight is hunting them within the confines of the facility’s property. All night long, the three scaredy-cats scare each other half to death, running from shadows.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics Vol. 2 #30. Batman promises Robin he will add a special installment onto the boy’s motorbike. This is merely lip service, however, since Batman will never actually get around to doing it.
–NOTE: In Grayson #12—originally told in Teen Titans Vol. 2 #88-89. Nightwing convinces the recently formed second incarnation of the Teen Titans to hang out with Robin for a few hours. The Teen Titans are a new team of roughly thirteen-year-old heroes led by Red Robin. The group’s lineup features Kid Flash (Bart Allen/Bar Torr), Solstice, Bunker, Skitter, the new Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark), and Danny the Street. Robin meets and chills with the teenage heroes, but they all hate the egotistical Boy Wonder’s guts. (Be aware that since this Easter Egg reference is to a Modern Age story that features a Teen Titans group that does not exist/never existed in the New 52, for the purposes of our current timeline, this little item has to be re-contextualized to instead include the New 52 version of the Titans, which has just recently debuted. Furthermore, in the Modern Age version of this story, Dick was still Batman at the time. Of course, Dick is no longer Batman at this juncture; he is Nightwing.)
–Justice League International Vol. 2 #1-5 (“THE SIGNAL MEN”)
Andre Briggs (Head of United Nations Intelligence) and his assistant Emerson Esposito form the Justice League International, a superhero team composed of metahumans that have publicly-known identities and answer directly to the UN. The JLI comprises: team leader Booster Gold (USA), Green Lantern (Guy Gardner—USA), August General in Iron (Fang Zhifu—China), Vixen (Mari Jiwe McCabe—Zambesi), Rocket Red (Gavril Ivanovich—Russia), Fire (Beatriz Bonilla de Costa—Brazil), Ice (Tora Olafsdotter—Norway), and Godiva (Dora Leigh—England). At the first team meeting at the Hall of Justice in Washington, DC (former home to the Justice League), a predictably angry Gardner storms out of the room when he learns that Booster is leader. Outside, Batman, who has appointed himself as secret liaison between the JL and JLI, tries to convince Gardner to give Booster a chance. Batman then joins the team on their first mission, searching for a missing UN research team in Peru. In Peru, the JLI battles rock creatures and a 500-foot-tall robot that rises from under the ground. Back in DC, unnamed anti-UN terrorists bomb the Hall of Justice, leveling the building. After a quick fight against the rock men in Peru, Booster orders a retreat and the JLI flees home. Booster’s computerized assistant Skeetz alerts the team that three more giant robots have emerged. The team splits into pairs and goes off to tackle the robots. Eventually, the entire JLI is captured and teleported back to Peru. There, the Thanos-like cosmic warlord Peraxxus reveals himself as the culprit behind the appearance of the giant robots, called Signal Men. Peraxxus further reveals that eons ago an ancient and now extinct alien race stationed dormant Signal Men on various planets in order to chronicle their development. Peraxxus now controls all of the Signal Men and has been slowly traveling the universe and using his colossal warriors to strip planets of their natural resources, and in the process, obliterate them completely. As the Signal Men begin to tear the entire planet asunder, the JLI breaks free, busts into Peraxxus’ orbiting spacecraft, beats him in a showdown, and cuts off the ship’s power. Defeated, Peraxxus bolts into deep space. His ship crashes on Earth and the Signal Men are destroyed.
–Justice League Vol. 2 #7
When David Graves steals a mystical artifact known as the Orb of Ra from Army scientist Samuel Street, Street is morphed into the ravenous symbiote-like creature known as Spore. The Justice League booms to Baltimore and suppresses Spore, who tries to kill his ex-wife. Afterward, as he does following every non-confidential JL case, Steve Trevor addresses the media on behalf of ARGUS and the JL. After that, Trevor meets with high-ranking US congressmen and congresswomen for a debriefing. The senators angrily grill Trevor about his past sexual relationship with Wonder Woman and also stress a yen to have more control over the JL. Trevor then video chats with a haughty JL aboard the Watchtower and fields numerous superficial and trivial niggles. Batman tells Trevor that the JLI is a complete joke and he wants them shut down—this seems a bit harsh coming from Batman, but he is probably just be messing with Trevor’s head and hiding his connection to the other team. Afterward, an overworked and dejected Trevor chats with his assistant Etta Candy. Trevor, down in the dumps not only because of his stressful career, also reveals that he harbors a deep unrequited love for Wonder Woman. Elsewhere, David Graves, aware of Trevor’s growing frustrations and depression, begins formulating a plan to bring down the JL by manipulating the lovelorn ARGUS liaison.
–Batman Vol. 2 #1-2
Batman goes to Arkham to arrest crooked guard Dan Matthews. There, Matthews opens all the locks, setting loose all of Gotham’s madmen, including Clayface, Black Mask, Two-Face, Killer Croc, Mr. Freeze, Riddler, Professor Pyg, Scarecrow, Eduardo Flamingo, Ventriloquist, Zsasz, Phosphorus Rex, and Sumo. Batman quells the Arkham riot with the aid of Nightwing, who uses new EMP holographic mask technology to pose as Joker. (As referenced in Grayson #13, Luka Netz aka Kathy Kane, keeping tabs on Batman for Spyral, secretly watches the Dark Knight and Nightwing deal with the rogues riot.) Later at Wayne Manor, Bruce (with Alfred, Dick, Tim, and Damian) addresses the media (including Vicki Vale) regarding an update to his ongoing citywide reconstruction program—a gentrification and renewal project that has been going on for the past year. Bruce reveals the latest addition to the gentrification plan, which involves the building of a new downtown skyline and a revamped transit system. Young punk-rocker cum electrician cum Batman-fan Harper Row is also in attendance (as seen via flashback in Batman Vol. 2 #12). As is Bruce’s longtime pal and chief architect of the project, Brian Wade. Bruce also meets mayoral candidate Lincoln March, who is set to run against corrupt incumbent Sebastian Hady in next year’s election. Batman then joins Harvey Bullock in an examination of a John Doe murder victim that has been stabbed to death multiple times with knives containing owl insignias. Along with the corpse is a message claiming that Bruce Wayne will soon die. The next day Batman deals with some small-time helicopter-flying thieves, finds more owl evidence on the John Doe, and then meets with March in a penthouse atop the Old Wayne Tower. Bruce and March are interrupted by a Talon, one of a group of killer assassins that represent the Court of Owls. The Talon stabs both March and Bruce and also tackles the latter through a window. Bruce lands on a gargoyle, but the Talon falls all the way to the ground below. EMTs pronounce him dead, but the super-villain wakes-up in the ambulance and escapes.
–Justice League Vol. 2 #8, Part 1
This item occurs about “one week” before “Night of the Owls” (and in the two-day gap between Batman #2 and Batman #3). In a meeting with Steve Trevor, Congress demands that an eighth member be added to the Justice League, preferably one that they can control. Meanwhile, the Justice League defeats Amazo with a modicum of unnecessary assistance from the cocky Green Arrow. Green Arrow then asks to join the team, but the JL isn’t quite ready to accept any new teammates. The JL gives Green Arrow the cold shoulder and booms away.
–Batman Vol. 2 #3-4
Two days have passed since Batman #2. After pumping the notorious Whisper Gang for Talon info and then beating the crap out of them, Batman returns to the Batcave. There, Alfred and Batman discuss a well-known Gotham legend that has spawned famous nursery rhymes and folk songs about a shadow society called the Court of Owls, which has supposedly secretly run Gotham since colonial times using enforcers called Talons. Alfred also reveals that Bruce’s great-grandfather Alan Wayne had suffered from owl paranoia shortly before suffering a mysterious drowning death in the sewer. Bruce also recalls, when he was a boy, venting his frustrations over his parents’ deaths by exploring the Court of Owls myth. (Bruce also investigated the Court of Owls myth in his teenage years—as seen in Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #0—but gave up believing in the group’s existence when he learned that Joe Chill, acting alone, randomly killed his parents.) Later that night, Batman discovers a hidden room in Old Wayne Tower, previously used as a training room for the Talon of the 1890s. Upon further investigation, all twenty Gotham skyscrapers designed by Alan Wayne (or architects working under the “Alan Wayne Trust for Assisting Young Architects” fund) have hidden owl bases, all previously used by different Talons over the course of the past one-hundred-fifty years. In one of the buildings, Batman finally locates the current Talon’s hideout, which has been in use since 2006. However, Batman trips a booby trap and the place goes up in flames. Back at home, Batman autopsies the skeletal remains of Alan Wayne and learns that he was stabbed in the same fashion as the John Doe. While perusing the sewer location where Alan had perished, the Dark Knight is ambushed by the Talon, knocked through a wall, and falls into a complex labyrinth designed by the Court of Owls.
–REFERENCE: In Grayson #13. Batman, trapped in the Court of Owls labyrinth, is swarmed by an overwhelming number of Court of Owls members—all wearing creepy owl masks. Spyral’s top undercover agent Luka Netz (aka Kathy Kane), wearing an owl mask as well, secretly watches as Batman is overrun, injured, and drugged. It is also worth noting that someone takes a photograph of this unbalanced fight, which winds up getting leaked onto the internet at some point in the future.
–Batman Vol. 2 #5-6
An injured and drugged Batman spends the next eight days (!) trapped in the elaborate Court of Owls labyrinth. After Batman is broken, exhausted, and hallucinating, the Talon enters, literally stabs him in the back, and presents him to the Court of Owls, which seemingly includes families and at least one young child. (This faction of the Court is led by one of the oldest and richest Gotham couples, Joseph and Maria Powers—but Batman won’t discover their identities quite just yet.) The Dark Knight musters up his remaining strength, catches the Talon off guard and defeats him in a fight. Batman is then able to blow his way out of the labyrinth and washes to freedom, along with the Talon, via an underground waterway. Back in the labyrinth, the eldest matriarch of the Court calls for the revival of all the previous generations of Talons (which they have in coffins, ready for reanimation).
- COLLIN COLSHER: Here are the notes regarding placement of the “Return of Jason Todd Saga”: Things are extra confusing thanks to writer James Tynion IV contradicting writer Scott Lobdell. What do I mean? First, here’s fact number one: Red Hood & The Outlaws #2 (written by Lobdell) tells us that when Jason gets resurrected as a mindless zombie, his Lazarus bath quickly follows, which is in turn quickly followed by the start of his All Caste/League of Assassins trainings. We can take this sequencing and first fact as gospel. Okay, here’s fact number two: Red Hood & The Outlaws #2 also tells us that Jason was resurrected and started his training “a year-and-a-half ago.” Since RH&TO #2‘s in-story narrative occurs here in 2012, that makes “a year-and-a-half-ago” to be in early 2011. Okay. But here is incompatible “fact” number three: Red Hood & The Outlaws #26 (written by Tynion) tells us that Jason’s resurrection and start of his training happened “one year ago.” Since RH&TO #26‘s in-story narrative occurs in 2013, that means “one year ago” is 2012. Hmmm. When does Jason get resurrected and begin his training? Which is correct? Is it in early 2011 or early 2012? It’s messy. I’d love to lean toward the latter Tynion version (2012) because later references seem to more often correctly trump or retcon prior ones and also because the early Lobdell issues of RH&TO seemed to be chock-full of sketchy information. HOWEVER, the foregoing Tynion version fails to account for the time needed to fit in Jason’s trainings. In this rare case, we have to go with Lobdell’s fuzzy-math. Early 2011 it is.
After running through all that gobbledy-gook, here’s what things look like: Jason gets resurrected and Lazarus bathed somewhere in early 2011. Following eight months of All Caste training with Ducra, Jason then trains for eight months with Lady Shiva and the League of Assassins (as we learn in Red Hood & The Outlaws #26) before debuting right now on our timeline. Fun fact (as learned in Red Hood & The Outlaws #20): Among the other students training with the League of Assassins alongside Jason at the time were Bronze Tiger (Ben Turner) and Cheshire (Jade Nguyen).
We must also assume, as was the case in the Modern Age, that the Bat-Family, in early 2011, was kept in the dark about Jason’s resurrection by a meddling Talia. Also, originally in the Modern Age, Jason was initially revived as a mindless zombie due to a reality-altering punch delivered directly to the walls of the multiverse by Superboy-Prime. This reality-punch has been rendered non-canon in the New 52, but unfortunately, we still haven’t been told exactly how Jason was able to come back to life.
One last thing. In the Modern Age, the details of Jason’s return were highlighted in the “Under the Hood” arc and in the Red Hood: Lost Days series—the New 52 seems to mirror ultra-compressed and significantly altered versions of those stories. Not only that, the entire “Jason Todd Returns Saga” takes place, as you can see, much more recently on the New 52 timeline.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: In Detective Comics Vol. 2 #1, Batman seems unfamiliar with Joker’s murderous methodology, questioning if Joker always removes his clothing before slaughtering someone. Strange, no? I guess we can assume that while Batman has dealt with Joker for six years (which includes his time as Red Hood), he still hasn’t quite figured him out despite an extensive knowledge of the criminal mind. At one point, Batman says “I’ve tried and always failed to get into the Joker’s mind.” Joker obviously isn’t your average criminal brain. Batman also usually has found Joker’s murder victims after the fact and rarely has caught him in the act bloody red-handed. Batman even says in Batman Vol. 2 #13 that “Joker normally doesn’t do his own dirty work” and strikes from afar.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: Dollmaker, as we will learn in Catwoman Vol. 4 #12, is the son of Toyman and father to Dollhouse.↩
- K. CODY HUNT: Detective Comics #1-4 tell a continuous narrative, so those issues are linked. Likewise, The Dark Knight #1-7 also tell a continuous narrative, so those issues are linked as well. Thus, the first ‘tec arc can (and should) go entirely before the first Dark Knight arc.
COLLIN COLSHER: Another couple of notes about Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #2. Note #1: Writers Paul Jenkins and David Finch have Alfred make reference to Game 5 of the World Series in Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #2. Now, this could be taken in two different ways. One, as a joke made by Alfred, which would mean nothing to the narrative or placement of this issue. Or two, as a literal topical reference which would place our story in November. I’d lean toward the former. And last but not least, note #2: Batman, in Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #2 mentions that Scarecrow is at large. Alfred responds by explaining that Scarecrow was recently in Arkham, but was only incarcerated there briefly, meaning he must have escaped prior to Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #1.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: In this brooding scene from Dark Knight #4, Gordon tries in vain to call Bruce and mumbles about his face still “looking like hamburger” as a result of his recent interactions with Dollmaker. Gordon also mentions Batman’s confrontation with Forbes as occurring “last week.” Originally, I thought this dialogue inferred that the Dollmaker fight (from ‘tec #4) happened mere days ago and Batman’s confrontation with Forbes (from Dark Knight #3) took place a literal week ago—and the timeline was quite complicated to accommodate. However, “last week” can simply mean “last week” and the Dollmaker incident could still have taken place before Dark Knight #1.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: Why is this here? All of the other Bat books tie-in to “Night of Owls” with their respective ninth issues. In a sense, every book in the Bat-line goes from its own #1 through #8, pauses for the Owls arc in Batman #1-8, then continues with #9 onward. If this first Batman Vol. 2 arc went any earlier, then the bulk of all Batman-line stories (pre-issue #9s) would have to be moved prior to it as well, leaving a grossly fat 2011 and a bare bones 2012.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: Sumo is named in Detective Comics Vol. 2 #14. Despite looking exactly like the villain Big Top (who also exists in the New 52), Sumo is a brand new character created by Andy Lanning and Dan Abnett for their Resurrection Man series and used by Scott Snyder in this issue.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: The actual Joker isn’t in this story, but the fact that Dick poses as him is quite interesting. Joker hasn’t been seen or heard from ever since getting his face sliced off by Dollmaker. The Arkham inmates, and Gordon, would thus, initially think Joker was finally returning thanks to Dick’s skulduggery. Of course, all parties will discover shortly thereafter that Joker is still missing and still lacking a face.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: HUGE SPOILER: Lincoln March is Bruce’s younger brother Thomas Wayne, Jr.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: Old Wayne Tower, also known as the Corolla Building, was designed by Alan Wayne in the classic Pinkney style and built in 1888. This tower is a historical building and has not really been used for Wayne Enterprises business for quite some time. The current functioning Wayne Tower, also known as the Wayne Foundation Building, is the skyscraper that houses the original Bat Bunker in its sub-basement and has the rooftop swimming pool. (This is the same Wayne Tower shown in “Zero Year,” Batman Vol. 2 #1, Batman Inc Vol. 2, and in which Batman operated out of in Year Two. It originally debuted during Bruce’s “Penthouse Year” in the Modern Age.) Several sources on the web seem to link these two buildings and list them as one and the same. This might be the case in the Modern Age, but in the New 52 they are definitely separate.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: In this first part of Justice League Vol. 2 #8 Cyborg shows concern that the JL has boom jumped 1,056 times since their last trip to Apokolips. The Boom Tubes accidentally take the JL to Apokolips once every thousand jumps on average, so they are due for the malfunction to occur again soon. Therefore, I’ve added the note about the JLA accidentally booming to Apokolips for the third time a little on down the road.↩