(July 2015 to December 2015)
–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 2 #43. Three weeks have passed since the Caped Crusader’s fatal fight against Joker during the villain’s “Endgame.” Julia Pennyworth finally locates Batman’s dead body. While putting the Caped Crusader in a body bag, the dionesium restarts Batman’s life once again (and for good this time), but his memories are still lost. Alfred takes Bruce home (to Wayne Manor, which is a bad continuity error since Bruce’s home would currently be his downtown apartment) and tells him his entire history. But before Alfred can get to the Batman stuff, Bruce stops him. Alfred does not continue, instead opting to let Bruce live the life he would have had had he not ever become a superhero vigilante. Bruce then disappears for two days only to return on the third day with news that he will take a job that helps needy people in Gotham. Almost as if on cue, Julie Madison re-inserts herself back into Bruce’s life and offers him a job at the Lucius Fox Center For Gotham Youth, of which she is director. Bruce takes the job and will quietly work there, staying well out of the spotlight for the next couple months. Bruce will also shack-up with Julie and re-kindle a romance that dates all the way back to high school.
–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #42, Batman Vol. 2 #45, Batman Vol. 2 #47, and Batman/Superman #24. Bruce begins working with a bunch of children at the Lucius Fox Center, including Duke Thomas, David, Miguel, Olivia, and Radik. While most of the kids at the Youth Center adore Bruce, Duke senses something is off about him and remains more guarded. Duke will soon realize that Bruce is Batman by simply recalling Batman’s mannerisms and behavior patterns from when they interacted during “Endgame” and comparing those mannerisms and behavior patterns to Bruce. Frustrated that Bruce has either abandoned or forgotten his old crime-fighting ways, Duke will give Bruce the cold shoulder for the next couple months.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics Vol. 2 #45 and Batman Vol. 2 #46. In addition to long chats with Alfred about friends and family, a recently returned amnesiac Bruce does a bunch of research to help fill in some of the holes in his memory. Bruce also looks up Julie Madison, learning that her father Mallory, currently serving time for gun-running, was the man that sold the gun to Joe Chill all those years ago.
–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #47. Bruce begins a ritual of sitting on a park bench in a park nearby the Youth Center to think in peace and solitude. He will sit on the bench and contemplate his life from time to time, moving forward on our timeline for the next few months—although these bench breaks will not be visibly shown below.
–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #50. Bruce, along with all of the new kids under his watch, happily writes his name onto one of the walls of the Youth Center.
–Divergence #1 (DC Sneak Peek: Batman)
Mid August. Two months have passed since Batman’s epic “fatal” duel with Joker. With Wayne Enterprises defunct, Powers Industrial CEO Geri Powers takes control of all its business affairs. One of Geri’s first acts is to publicly take control of the Batman property as well. Jim Gordon—with a military haircut, no mustache, and two months of intense training under his belt—becomes the new GCPD Batman in a bunny-looking super-mech suit created by Geri Powers and Daryl Gutierrez. (Geri refers to Gordon as “Commissioner Gordon,” but this is either an error or a slip of the tongue since Maggie Sawyer is commissioner.)
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics Vol. 2 #45. The new Batman begins patrolling every single night. Most of his nightly routine will have to be imagined (as we’ve done in the past for Bruce’s Batman patrolling routine) on our timeline below.
–Batgirl Vol. 4 #41-42
Frankie Charles (aka Operator), Babs’ close friend and her new “Oracle,” guides her to the secret hideout of the techno-cult that worships the evil sentient AI algorithm that once cured both of their paralyses. Before Batgirl can take down the cultists, the new robo-Batman crashes the party. A surprised Batgirl flees the scene while Batman busts everyone. The next day, Babs and her dad go for a walk and a talk. Jim drops the bombshell that he is the new robo-Batman. Later, Livewire emerges from a machine inside the cultists’ HQ and attacks Burnside. Batgirl fights Livewire, but the latter disappears when robo-Batman arrives. Surprisingly, Batman puts Batgirl under arrest (on orders to jail any non-police-sanctioned vigilantes). Batman then shuts down his internal surveillance system so that Powers and the GCPD can’t listen in. He tells Batgirl that he is on her side but he has to at least make it appear that he’s toeing the company line. He also tells Batgirl to lay low for a bit. Later, Batgirl convenes with Frankie and gets a Livewire-trapping device from tech-genius and pal Qadir Ali. The next night, Batgirl wears an insulated suit and helps Batman capture Livewire at a power plant. In the morning, Babs is greeted by her friend and former roommate Alysia Yeoh, who announces that she is engaged to be married!
–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #47. Jim Gordon, as he has done on every Friday for years, continues his tradition of going to Harvey Bullock’s house to play “aggressive GCPD poker.” Now that Gordon is Batman, he may or may not have time to attend these weekly gatherings. If he does, it’ll happen invisibly below on our timeline.
–DC Sneak Peek: Batman/Superman
Superman has lost most of his powers and is a wanted man. (With his secret ID having been exposed to the world by Lois Lane, Clark is now the target of bounty hunters, revenge-seekers, lawyers, government officials, and police, all of whom either want to bust him for various “illegalities” or kill him for personal reasons.) Despite everyone on his tail, Superman tracks two cybernetic-enhanced villains to Gotham. Riding a motorcycle and sporting a jeans and t-shirt look with a crew cut, Superman kicks their asses only to meet and get assaulted by new robo-Batman Jim Gordon! Batman chases Superman and is about to take him down, but a new-styled Lex Luthor arrives to offer Superman assistance.
–Batman/Superman #21, Part 2
The second part of Batman/Superman #21 picks up right where the Sneak Peek: Batman/Superman story leaves off. Superman slugs it out with robo-Batman, but flees when Lex Luthor intervenes. Luthor explains to Batman that he and Superman are checking into a string of recent cybernetic weaponry thefts. Superman visits the Batcave and meets with Alfred, who, wanting Superman to steer damn clear far away from Bruce, turns up his acting game to eleven and puts on an award-winning performance, grieving the death of Bruce. However, despite Alfred’s acting chops, Superman isn’t completely convinced that Bruce is really dead. The next day, Superman calls Lois Lane and they have a strained conversation. Superman then goes back to the Batcave, spray paints a Bat-cycle red and claims it as his own. Shortly thereafter, Superman and robo-Batman are face-to-face once again.
Having received pertinent warrant info from HQ, Robo-Batman tries to place Superman under arrest. They briefly scuffle before reluctantly teaming-up. Not long after, Batman and Superman visit Lucius Fox at one of his private labs, where an energy disturbance has occurred. Fox explains that he has a potentially dangerous miniature sun inside the lab and that a mysterious group known only as Dawn Command has been threatening him. Just then, one of Superman’s arch-enemies, also seemingly responding to the energy source, bursts up through the ground with giant dinosaur-like monsters in tow. It’s Ukur, vile warlord of the magickal underground kingdom known as Imperial Subterranea. Ukur immediately attacks Superman, taking advantage of his weakened state, but Superman is able to reason with him and form a truce. The truce is quickly broken, however, when Batman spears Ukur in the back. An injured and enraged Ukur retreats back underground, vowing to start a war against the surface-people. A pissed-off Superman tells-off Batman and chases after Ukur into Subterranea. There, Superman disguises himself as a missing Subterranean soldier and befriends Angie, a human that lives with the underworlders as part of a group of female prison inmates that escaped above-ground jail to lead a better life with their families underground. Superman comes to realize that Ukur’s people aren’t all bad. Superman is then captured and tortured as an army deserter. Meanwhile, Gordon visits Perry White in Metropolis to talk about Clark. Gordon then talks with Lois Lane (and her bodyguard Metallo) as well. Back underground, Superman (still disguised as a Subterranean trooper) joins ranks and patches Batman in via radio as Ukur prepares for an all out war against humanity in order to obtain the artificial sun. Ukur shockingly introduces his newest partner: Aquaman. The next day, Lucius Fox, Batman, and a team of scientists try to shut down the nuclear sun on an oil rig in the middle of the Atlantic. As Ukur’s army descends upon the rig, Superman unmasks and begins a slug-fest with Aquaman, who claims that he’s joined ranks with Ukur to protect the sea from being poisoned by the artificial sun. (Note that the dialogue here includes a huge continuity error, which makes it seem like Aquaman is interacting with lower-powered t-shirt-wearing Superman for the first time. This cannot be the case.) Superman then saves Ukur from getting blown up by the sun, which begins to heat up to an unstable level. Batman pilots the sun into the sky, but a Dawn Command ship appears and steals it before teleporting away. Ukur’s army—revealed as a bunch of Dawn Command constructs—then disappears as well as Dawn Command shows that it has merely used Ukur as a pawn in its game to take the sun. Defeated and humbled, Ukur and the human-dwellers of Subterranea make a deal with Lucius Fox, who promises to being energy and light underground. An angry Batman then tells Superman to stay out of Gotham. Later, Clark (posing as journalist “Jon Clark”) visits Bruce Wayne in a park outside of the Lucius Fox Center. Clark asks Bruce about his current job and if he’d think about getting back into the good ol’ fight against crime, to which Bruce says no chance. Meanwhile, in Alabama, the leader of Dawn Command—revealed as Vandal Savage!—delivers his stolen sun to his partner, the mysterious villainess known only as Wrath.
–Detective Comics Vol. 2 #41-42
Harvey Bullock has recently been made head of the GCPD’s Batman Task Force, which exists to back up and support the new robo-Batman. When Batman fights the skull-face-painted La Morte gang downtown and they detonate a bomb, Bullock springs into action, departing from his new paramour Nancy Yip. Not long after, Bullock, a reinstated Yip, Renee Montoya, and Batman are in a gunfight against the bad guys. (Unknown to the Batman Task Force, Yip is secretly working for an evil influence and is plotting to kill everyone on the team.) Batman takes out on of the La Morte guys, but takes a RPG blast to the chest that is specifically designed to shut his suit down. Thankfully, the Task Force intervenes and chases off the remaining bad guys. The Task Force then finally meets Batman’s “blimp tech team.” The next night, Commissioner Sawyer leads a meeting where all GCPD officers are in attendance. The entire Force shows a big divide in support for the new Batman. Bullock has a conversation with Montoya that makes him distrust her, an opinion he shares with Yip before they bed down in his apartment. Jim Gordon then visits Bullock and they discuss whether or not he can actually fill the Dark Knight’s shoes. Both are skeptical. Right then, a call comes in and Batman, the Task Force, and the blimp team are in action against La Morte. The Morte guys disable the Bat-suit once again, forcing a brave Gordon to exit his armor.
–Detective Comics Vol. 2 #43, Part 1
Jim Gordon exiting his Bat-armor plays right into the hands of La Morte. Two of the Morte men are captured by the Batman Task Force, but a third absconds with the Bat-suit’s nuclear power-core and delivers it to Joker’s Daughter. Aboard the Bat-Blimp, Batman and his team learn that Yip is a dirty cop when Montoya provides cell phone records linking her to an upcoming attack on the circus. Bullock confronts Yip about it one-on-one and she says she doesn’t have a choice before punching Bullock in the face. The next day, as the GCPD prepares to defend the circus with a sting-trap, Detectives Carlos Alvarez and Tammy Keys tell Bullock and Montoya that they also know Yip is crooked. They also tell them that the Falcones are involved in the Morte power-core theft.
–DC Sneak Peek: Detective Comics, Part 1
Harvey Bullock meets with Jim Gordon and gives him the details of a hairy situation involving his partner Nancy Yip—specifically that Yip is crooked and secretly working against the Batman Task Force. Apparently, according to Bullock, Yip can “bring down the whole department.” Bullock tells Gordon that his only option is to have Nancy killed. Gordon doesn’t disagree. (This entire sequence is also shown shot-for-shot and verbatim in Detective Comics Vol. 2 #43 as a bridge between parts one and two of that same issue.)
–Detective Comics Vol. 2 #43, Part 2
The fugitive La Morte thug meets with his boss, Carmine Falcone’s cousin Stefano Falcone, who has also been controlling Nancy Yip. He is tasked with freeing his arrested comrades, which he does, causing an explosion on the highway in order to stop their prison transport. Jim Gordon and the Batman Task Force are immediately called into action. When the signal for the stolen Bat-suit power-core becomes active, Batman is sent to its location, not far from the Morte escape. There, Batman comes face-to-face with a giant Joker robot (or should we say Joker’s Daughter robot since it it is piloted by Joker’s Daughter herself), powered by the pilfered nuclear core.
–Detective Comics Vol. 2 #44
Batman fights the Joker-Bot, which begins to flee—part of a distraction while Falcone’s Morte crew plans to kill all the cops that didn’t go crooked at the circus (by using the seating chart obtained by the sellout Nancy Yip). Harvey Bullock, Renee Montoya, and Yip ride in the Bat-van and chase after the Joker-bot with dogged persistence. When the van crashes and tips over, Batman saves the officers. With Nancy dazed and trapped in the wrecked van, Bullock and Renee blow it up, seemingly killing Yip in the process. (This entire scene of Bullock, Montoya, and Yip in the van is also shown verbatim in DC Sneak Peek: Detective Comics, Part 2.) Of course, this van explosion death sequence is simply an elaborate ruse. Since Yip is on the obvious outs with the cops and is of no further use to Stefano Falcone, she is basically screwed. Bullock and Montoya blow up the van but secretly usher Yip away to safety where she goes into the witness protection program far, far away. At a construction site, Batman—with help from his blimp team/tech team of Julia Pennyworth (aka “Julia Perry”) and Daryl Gutierrez—causes the Joker-bot to explode. Batman then easily busts Joker’s Daughter. Batman then rushes to the circus and busts the Morte gangsters before they can kill any officers. With Yip gone, Bullock and Montoya become partners. Bullock then meets with Jim Gordon and they have a heart-to-heart.
–DC Sneak Peek: Gotham By Midnight
When a bunch of torn-up corpses appear on a Gotham street, the GCPD and robo-Batman (Jim Gordon) investigate only to witness evil ghouls burst forth out of the bodies. Despite his powerful new suit, Batman is frozen by the spirits. After recovering, Batman immediately visits Jim Corrigan for help. Corrigan begins assessing the situation and, after seventy scary hours, he assembles the “Midnight Shift” and goes to war against the zombie ghouls parading across the city.
–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #43. Bruce Wayne watches on the TV news as new Batman (Jim Gordon) battles criminals.
–Catwoman Vol. 4 #43
The struggle for mafia power has reached an apotheosis with various gangs and mobs choosing sides between either Selina Kyle’s Calabrese Family or Black Mask’s syndicate. While the Free Men join up with Selina, the Hasigawas have allied themselves with Black Mask. Likewise, Penguin (now leading the Forster Lane Gang) has left Selina for Black Mask as well, although he is always secretly plotting for his own independent goals. When Black Mask informs Eiko Hasigawa of plans to cut ties with and eliminate Penguin and the Forster Lane Gang, she immediately suits up as Catwoman, grabs Spoiler, and heads out in an attempt to minimize damage. By the time they get to Forster Lane, most of the gang has been decimated and Lewis is badly injured. While Spoiler helps Lewis to the hospital, Catwoman (Eiko) confronts Black Mask face-to-face. Black Mask confuses Eiko for Selina and shoots her in the chest! Meanwhile, Selina dons her own Catwoman costume and takes to the streets, leaving the Family in the hands of her cousins Ward and Antonia Calabrese. Ward and Antonia try to recruit Penguin into the fold. Penguin agrees to join them, but only if Selina is killed. Meanwhile, Catwoman (Selina) stalks Detective Tammy Keys, who has possession of a key to a safety deposit box that may contain information as to the whereabouts of the missing Batman. But before Selina can strike, the new robo-Batman (Jim Gordon) attacks her and attempts to arrest her. Selina flees and winds up running smack-dab into a bearded Bruce Wayne at the Lucius Fox Center For Gotham Youth. After a short chat, Selina returns home to find that Antonia is now aware of her Catwoman identity. Across town, Killer Croc drags a badly injured Eiko underground and saves her life.
–REFERENCE: In Batman & Robin Eternal #3. Bruce’s post-“Endgame” disappearance and tragic amnesia becomes public knowledge. A city-sponsored event called “Gotham Embraces You” is planned as a tribute and re-welcoming to one of Gotham’s greatest sons, Bruce Wayne. Set to occur in the Beacon Tower in a week’s time, Bruce (probably very reluctantly) agrees to attend.
–We are Robin #3
Alfred, after both disguising himself and going by the online alias of “The Nest,” has recently started remotely organizing and operating a large group of teenage vigilantes in Robin-themed attire. This group—collectively known as Robin—is now tasked by a disguised Alfred to defuse bombs planted on the subway tracks by homeless people (who are secretly being drugged and manipulated by a Court of Owls Talon). While being remotely guided by Alfred and their own “Oracle” (a girl named Shug), the key Robin members of the “Middleton Robin Cell”—Duke Thomas, Isabella “Izzy” Ortiz, Troy Walker, Andre “Dre” Cipriani, Riko Sheridan, and Daxton “Dax” Chill (Joe Chill’s son!)—successfully defuse bombs until only one remains. Meanwhile, more possessed people start a rebellion above ground, prompting nearly a dozen fresh Robin members to emerge to fight for peace. Robo-Batman shows up to quell the insurrection as well, but doesn’t discriminate between the Robin gang and the mind-controlled rioters, much to the chagrin of the heroic teens. Back underground, Duke’s crew departs, except for Troy, who selflessly stays behind in a brave but reckless attempt to defuse the final bomb. He fails and winds up getting blown to smithereens. Watching via security cams from the Batcave, a dejected Alfred mourns the death of Troy and says that it is time for him to come out of the shadows and be a physical presence for the youngsters of Robin.
–Grayson #12, Part 1
Dick, having just defected from Spyral, travels to Gotham and meets up with Alfred, who fills in Dick on the happenings of the past several months. Dick learns all about Bruce’s amnesiac condition. Dick, with wig and fake beard, then disguises himself as “Mr. Sparrow” and has an audience with Bruce in Bruce’s apartment home. They chat and Bruce tells Dick that he is happy, despite having lost most of his memory. Just then, Spyral head (Agent Zero) crashes through the window, knocks-out Bruce, and attacks Dick, demanding he return to the organization. She gives Dick twenty-four hours to return or she will reveal to the public all the secrets of the Bat Family. Dick comes up with a spy-plan to prevent this from happening while gaining the upper hand on Spyral. But he’ll need help. With Alfred as his go-between, Dick meets with Red Hood and Red Robin, and then Batgirl. Dick also meets with Damian, who has finished his atonement quest, but still remains overseas. All of the Bat Family are shocked to see Dick alive and well. Dick, knowing that Agent Zero is listening in, delivers fake mementos with a hidden “Cluemaster Code” acronym message telling each person to break their gifts open. Sure enough, each item contains instructions, which each Bat Family member follows. Damian, Goliath, and Maya Ducard capture the Hood and obtain his secret Spyral access username and password. Red Hood and Red Robin then break into Spyral headquarters and access the organization’s mainframe. Meanwhile, Batgirl breaks into Checkmate headquarters and makes it seem like it Checkmate hacked into Spyral, thus covering the Bat Family’s tracks. From the super-computers of these mega-spy agencies, our heroes are able to give Dick secret control over his hypnos.
–Grayson Annual #2
Dick, still in Gotham, pops his hypnos (now under his control) back into his eyes and takes a dive off of Beacon Tower. The lower-powered T-shirt-wearing Superman, mistaking him for a suicide jumper, tries to save him, but quickly realizes that it’s none other than his old pal. After a brief and happy reunion, a bunch of Fist of Cain warriors attack, hoping to murder the outed Superman with newly acquired metahuman powers. After a Mad Max-style chase with the Fist of Cain members on the abandoned Hudson Highway, Superman and Dick run into their newest recruit: Blockbuster. The heroes retreat to Bruce’s former safe house hidden in the Gotham Scrapyard. Stuck inside as the villains surround them, Superman has no choice but to call Lex Luthor for help. From his office in Metropolis, Luthor builds a hypothalamus inhibitor, attaches it to a drone, and teleports it to the junkyard. The drone activates the device, stripping the Fist of Cainers of their abilities. Superman and Dick then easily take them out, leaving them in the custody of robo-Batman and the GCPD. Elsewhere, the amnesiac Bruce sits pensively as Alfred attends to him in his apartment. Dick departs for Qatar to meet with Agent Zero.
–NOTE: In Grayson #12, Part 2. (This is basically the final page/epilogue to Grayson #12, which occurs now.) Dick returns to Spyral home base in Qatar and de-encrypts Agent Zero’s hypnos, revealing Luka Netz (aka Kathy Kane) as the woman behind the face-masking tech.
Batman/Superman #25 seems to take place right after Batman/Superman #24, but it cannot since it has to take place after Grayson #12 and Grayson Annual #2 since it features a Dick well aware of Bruce’s condition. Synopsis: Despite his most recent interaction with Superman, robo-Batman still doesn’t trust him. Batman reaches out to the Bat Family and tells them to keep away from Superman. Batman, Julia, and Daryl continue to track Superman, who flies after some Dawn Command barbarians using a commandeered Bat-glider. After fighting the barbarians using a remote-controlled Bat-chopper, Superman is taken out by Vandal Savage. A beaten-up Superman is saved by Batgirl and taken to the Batcave. There, Batgirl hacks into an ARGUS database and learns that Vandal Savage has a bunch of ancient warriors that he’s kept in suspended animation, which he continuously takes out of frozen abeyance as he needs them. These warriors make up most of the Dawn Command. Batgirl and Superman then travel to Siberia, the site of a nuclear weapons decommissioning site. From a distance, the heroes watch as Vandal Savage lords over the local townsfolk, whom he has forced to pull the nukes out of the ice. With the job not yet done, Vandal Savage tells them he will return in seven days. Superman tells Batgirl that they will prepare for his return. Dick Grayson and Red Hood arrive, having been invited by Batgirl, to help out. The heroes help the Russian townsfolk pull out the nukes to keep up appearances. While Red Hood gathers weapons, Batgirl tries to build a teleporter that can send Vandal Savage away when he returns. And Dick uses his Spyral resources to build new identities for the Russians. When the heroes get too close to an ice shelf not far from the nuke site, a bunch of Vandal Savage’s Shadow Monsters rise up and attack. The heroes are joined by Batman, who arrives in his Bat-blimp to angrily take down the Shadow Monsters. After the Shadows are all destroyed, Batman reveals that he first began tracking this shady nuke site, which has links to several Gotham murders, back when he was a regular policeman. Batman clears away the ice to reveal the real secret of the nuke site: a giant Nazi flying cannon, now powered back into commission by the stolen artificial sun. Rather than wait the rest of the week for Vandal Savage to come to them, the heroes opt for the element of surprise. Batman and Superman teleport into Vandal Savage’s headquarters in the North Sea with fists a-blazing. After destroying Vandal Savage’s teleportation device (with a bomb after having teleported back to Siberia), the heroes continue their plan. Six hours later, Vandal Savage and his men arrive and are ambushed once again. Vandal Savage winds up exploding with the Batgirl-rigged Nazi weapon, but surely has survived to fight another day. Finally having earned Batman’s trust and respect, Superman gets a firm handshake from the robo-Dark Knight.
–Batman Vol. 2 Annual #4
During Joker’s “Endgame,” Jeremiah Arkham went insane again and murdered a bunch of people, causing his subsequent incarceration (as highlighted in Arkham Manor: Endgame #1). Cut to now. Arkham Manor is shuttered and most of the patients are moved to a dangerous metahuman wing in Blackgate. Arkham Asylum, in any form, is no more. Geri Powers legally returns Wayne Manor back to Bruce. The last three prisoners—Riddler, Clayface, and Mr. Freeze—are personally escorted to Blackgate by Robo-Batman and Harvey Bullock. Later that day, Bruce visits the mansion with Alfred, Julie Madison, and Geri. Geri explains that she could have made a ton of money on Arkham Manor. But in spite of the badgering of the Powers Industrial Board of Directors and her avaricious nephew Derek Powers, Geri felt returning it to Bruce was the right thing to do. As they stroll the house, Riddler, Clayface, and Mr. Freeze attack, hoping to get revenge against Bruce for supporting Batman’s anti-crime operations for so many years. (Clayface had sent off replicas of the villains with Batman in the morning, while Riddler put a communications signal block around the property.) Alfred briefly drags Bruce into the safety of a security tunnel, but Mr. Freeze takes the former out. Riddler then messes with Bruce’s already confused head and points a gun at a helpless Alfred, Julie, and Geri. Bruce shoots out the signal blocker and defeats all three villains by himself. Batman then returns to escort the real villains to Blackgate.
–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #45. Bruce has Wayne Manor back in his possession, but he hasn’t moved back in. Bruce visits Wayne Manor and tries on his old suits in order to try to remember the life he once had. However, Bruce feels nothing but emptiness.
–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #45. In the aftermath of Joker’s “Endgame,” Gotham city officials dumped Joker’s parade floats into a junkyard adjacent to the Lucius Fox Center. Bruce checks out the battered Batcave Tyrannosaurus (with lipstick) and several damaged Bat-vehicles. Disturbed by them, he asks Alfred to make some calls to get them removed. However, the city refuses and the items remain.
–Detective Comics Vol. 2 #45-46
By this juncture, Bruce has already regained ownership of Wayne Manor, but is still living at his fancy downtown apartment. At his apartment, Bruce looks at old picture albums from when he was a kid. Alfred talks to Bruce about his parents, but he is interrupted by the arrival of the Justice League—specifically Superman, Wonder Woman, Shazam, Aquaman, Cyborg, and Flash. Alfred reminds Superman about their last chat regarding Bruce’s condition, saying it occurred “several days ago.” However, their last actual chat seen in a comic was from Batman/Superman #21, Part 2, which happened about three-and-a-half weeks ago. Either this is an error or, more likely, Alfred is referring to a separate second conversation that has occurred “off panel.” Despite the protests of Alfred, Bruce agrees to meet with his former teammates. Wonder Woman puts her lasso around Bruce and verifies that he really doesn’t recall anything from his previous life. Saddened but satisfied, the JL departs. Meanwhile, Jim Gordon’s first night off in three weeks is cut short when Mad Hatter uses his tech to mind-control two fighter pilots to strike over Kane Bay with F-15 jets. Robo-Batman is on the case, but gets surprising assistance from the JL. Afterward, the JL inducts the new Batman onto the team! They immediately teleport to a snowy tundra landscape where a mystery is afoot: a murdered 200-foot-tall, 200-year-old skeleton has appeared out of nowhere. In a nearby cavern, the team finds another monster corpse and a bunch of human corpses. Then, a living razor-toothed monster attacks, trapping the JL—except Batman and Cyborg—in aqueous humour that it expels from its mouth. Batman deduces that the monster is the baby of the two monster corpses, left in the cave to fend for itself after the deaths of his parents and then having survived on the remains of its parents and various doomed hikers and spelunkers over the years. Cyborg projects a hologram of the monster’s monster mom onto her corpse, which causes it to calm down and release the Justice Leaguers. Cyborg notes that the feral monster only has minutes left to live thanks to being unable to breathe properly in Earth’s atmosphere. When a major earthquake hits El Salvador, the JL immediately departs. Batman stays behind to comfort the big monster as it dies. Steve Trevor and ARGUS arrive to collect all the dead bodies.
–Gotham by Midnight #11-12
Ikkondrid the Betrayed returns, raising up all dead that have been unjustly killed in Gotham. Swarms of zombies, ghouls, and ghosts and Ikkondrid—with a giant body made up of corpses—attack the city. While Midnight Shift members Lieutenant Sam Weaver, Sergeant Rook, and Kate Spencer team up against zombies, robo-Batman helps Commissioner Sawyer and SWAT blast zombies on the other side of town. Likewise, Dr. Szandor Tarr uses his meta-powers to destroy the living dead. Commissioner Sawyer tells a stunned Batman that Jim Corrigan has been charged with killing two cops and therefore cannot be called on for help. A pissed-off Batman reminds Sawyer of a rule he instituted when he was commissioner: never fuck with the Midnight Shift’s affairs, even if if looks like they are doing something illegal. Thankfully, Corrigan and Lisa Drake show up anyway to team with Sergeant Brenda McGrath and Sergeant Ivan Duretti against zombies as well. Unfortunately, Corrigan has lost control of the Spectre, which manifests and begins causing as much destruction as Ikkondrid. All hope seems lost until a giant female Spectre appears out of nowhere! The spirit of Sister Justine has become Heaven’s anti-Spectre, “The Redeemer of God.” While the three giant figures clash over the Gotham skyline, Batman is struck by lightning and forced out of his robo-suit to fight zombies hand-to-hand. The Redeemer comforts the angry Ikkondrid while Corrigan appeals to the Spectre. Together, the Redeemer and the Spectre cast the healing light of forgiveness over Gotham. The zombies and ghouls are given peace and return to the afterlife. Ikkondrid slumbers as well. The sun rises as the Spectre returns to his host body within Corrigan.
–Detective Comics Vol. 2 #48-50 (“THE BRONZE AGE”)
Batman, sans his robot-suit (which is currently in the repair shop), patrols the rainy Gotham rooftops, pausing only to check-in via phone call with daughter Batgirl. Batman then finds a murder victim dressed up as George Washington. Batman takes a Revolutionary War musket-ball shot in the back, but manages to plug the killer—who is sniping from the shadows—with some razor-Batarangs before passing out. Daryl and Julia rescue Batman, who later checks out the murder victim with Harvey Bullock in the morgue. The victim, missing a bone, is identified as a prominent Gotham firefighter. Batman then departs quickly to join Daryl and Julia in the Bat-blimp to observe another murder victim, this one dressed up as famous astronaut Alan Shepard, hanging atop Wayne Tower. Batman collects the body and examines it in the morgue with a forensics expert and Harvey Bullock. This victim is also missing a bone. Later, a Gotham police drone spots possible serial killer-related activity in a park. Batman bungee jumps down to the park where the serial killer, wearing a mask, is about to burn his next victim, who is dressed up as Joan of Arc and has already suffered the loss of one of her metacarpals. Batman chases off the killer and saves the girl. Afterward, he spies on Babs to make sure she is okay. Meanwhile, at a Woodcrest Cemetery hideout, the killer wears a historical mask and creepily monologues in front of an assemblage of bound-and-gagged abductees. Not long after, the killer steals some horses, dresses up his victims as Civil War soldiers, and sends them—still bound-and-gagged—trotting down a crowded city thoroughfare. Batman and Bullock continue their investigation, but get nowhere fast. Meanwhile, the mystery killer cooks a stew out of the human bones he’s collected. The killer continues his methodology, making up a canine to play the role of Balto and dumping its corpse at the zoo. Our heroes realize that the killer has been dressing his victims up like famous statues in Gotham parks. Batman tranquilizes a polar bear and collects the pup for his team to analyze. After a visit to the Balto statue, Batman realizes that all the statues referenced by the killer are exactly one mile from a statue of Saint George. Soon after, this leads Batman and the GCPD to the killer’s safe-house where he—dressed as Saint George—is about to execute two more people, revealing his plan to complete an occult ritual that will summon Lucifer so that he can fight him. Batman crashes the party and substitutes for the devil, defeating and arresting “Saint George.”
–REFERENCE: In the second feature to All-Star Batman #6. September. Riddler, as he does every year (whether in prison or not), initiates a new pre-planned puzzle-themed strike on Gotham in commemoration of his original Zero Year attack. Presumably, robo-Batman Jim Gordon deals with this attack. 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 event entails. We are also not told if robo-Batman Jim Gordon is able to successfully deal with Riddler’s assault.
–Detective Comics Vol. 2 #51-52 (“OUR GORDON AT WAR”)
An old Army buddy of Jim Gordon’s approaches him outside of his apartment and tells him that all the members of their old unit are being murdered in a big inside-job cover-up. The old buddy says that it all has something to do with an evil Amun-Set cult temple the unit once found in the Afghani desert years ago. Before he can say more, a cultist representing Amun-Set kills him and then commits suicide. The next morning, Gordon checks in with the coroner and sees that the killer’s body is missing strips of flesh that were clearly purposefully removed in ritualistic Amun-Set fashion. After making a few calls, Jim travels to a US Army base in Afghanistan to meet up with old chums, who tell him that they’ve recently been targeted by cultists. After donning the Batman costume and snooping around base, Jim—in civilian clothes—tails the shady Colonel Stone into town and interrupts his secret meeting with an Amun-Set cultist, who immediately attacks Jim and stabs him. Stone shoots the bad guy dead, but warns Jim that the Amun-Set cult wants revenge for when their unit accidentally desecrated their temple. Jim knocks-out Stone and heads back to base. That night, as Batman, Jim interrogates Stone and gets coordinates of the location of the Amun-Set temple. The next morning, Jim contacts Julia and Daryl to let them know he is in Afghanistan. He then crashes his jeep en route to the temple. After phoning Julia and getting dug out of the sand by a US Army unit, Jim collects a robo-Bat-suit, which is rocketed to his exact location in a metallic capsule from a satellite. Batman and the Army unit enter the Amun-Set temple, rescue their captured comrades, and shoot up a bunch of cultists. Entering a larger chamber filled with corpses and thousands of skulls, they discover more cultists and Amun-Set himself, a mummy wearing bandages made from strips of human flesh. Amun-Set fights Batman using mummy-strength, but Batman sets his corpse factory assembly line ablaze. When Amun-Set also catches fire, the marines machine-guns him into pieces. The marines then bury the entrance to the temple. Back in the States, Jim delivers two pairs of Army god tags to the bereaved.
–Gotham Academy #8
Sybil Silverlock hasn’t been seen or heard from in about ten months (ever since she went missing during Arkham Manor). Police find some bogus evidence and—despite that fact that she is still missing (and actually still alive)—finally pronounce her officially deceased, prompting a funeral service. Amnesiac Bruce, likely reminded by Alfred of his relationship to Olive Silverlock, attends the funeral and offers generic condolences to the bereaved. Later, Kyle Mizoguchi witnesses Tristan Grey turn into his man-bat form while being attended to by new science teacher Kirk Langstrom. Since there have been a series of animal attacks all over Gotham Academy campus as of late, Kyle tries to warn Olive, but she brushes him off to attend a therapy session with Hugo Strange. Kyle then meets with his sister Maps and learns all about the secret tunnels and hidden passageways that are all over campus. Maps and Kyle chase after Tristan only to find him injured by the real animal attacker, werewolf Coach Humphreys. While Dr. Langstrom helps Tristan, Olive and Kyle share a tender canoodle. Olive then sends Kyle away and finds a letter from her mother, who returns to greet her daughter, alive and well as the villainous Calamity.
–Red Hood/Arsenal #3-5
(This arc seems to leads directly into “Robin War,” but fits better a couple days before it starts instead. It also shows the first meeting of Red Hood and Jim Gordon Batman, which is pre-Batman & Robin Eternal #1.) Red Hood and Arsenal have recently set up shop in Los Angeles as vigilantes for hire. But unknown to Red Hood, Arsenal has gone so far as to blow all their cash to purchase advertisement space on billboards around town and have an online commercial made featuring old video of Batman fighting Red Hood. After seeing the commercial online, Washington DC power broker Tara Battleworth, who had been setting them up with jobs, visits them in dudgeon and terminates their relationship. Without any money or clients, the duo settles for a gig in Detroit working for a villain called Underbelly. Upon meeting Underbelly—a horrific murderous amorphous blob monster that is the living embodiment of evil—Red Hood fills him with lead. After a brief fight against the monster, Red Hood and Arsenal track Underbelly to Gotham. While Arsenal builds a special arrow to defeat Underbelly and meets with his old pal Killer Croc, Jason reunites with an old friend as well, Gabby Christensen. Later, Red Hood and Arsenal run into robo-Batman, earning his ire right off the bat. They spar until Underbelly shows up. Batman reveals that the GCPD has been after Underbelly for years. Red Hood, Arsenal, and Batman then fight Underbelly together. The monster villain reveals his origin and nature—he exists as a psychic hive mind manifestation in dozens of cities across America, having been born as a combination of a bunch of Arkham Asylum patients’ evil thoughts that had been contained in a bizarre sci-fi lobotomy machine, which was broken by Joker years ago. Arsenal uses a special arrow to destroy Underbelly. Afterward, Batman reluctantly lets Red Hood and Arsenal walk. Meanwhile, on the Isle of Capris, the mysterious Sera Phina has resurrected a bunch of people that Red Hood has killed in the past, including Palette, Suzie Su, and members of the Mime Army. Giving themselves the awful emo-band name “The Hero Manifesto,” the group plans on getting revenge against Red Hood in the near future.
–Batman & Robin Eternal #1
Spyral sends Dick Grayson and Dr. Poppy Ashemoore (also spelled “Ashemore” thanks to errata) to Gotham on a top secret mission to prevent a dirty bomb from being detonated at a Gotham State University gala. Dick gets distracted by a techno-futurist weapons designer running amok and chases after him while calling Red Robin and Red Hood for backup. The three former Robins easily take down the bad guy. Meanwhile, Batman (Jim Gordon) chases after Bluebird, who makes a mockery of both he and the Batman blimp support team for hours. Eventually, Batman corners Bluebird, but she shorts out his suit and skips away. Concurrently, Dick (with Poppy guiding him) goes to Gotham State University to check up on the dirty bomb situation. There, a bunch of brainwashed gun-toting children call out Dick by name, make reference to Batman having “thrown him away and replaced him as Robin by paying for a better model,” and shoot at him. Dick takes a bullet, but leaps out the window and runs, just as David “The Orphan” Cain arrives and tells Dick that “Mother is tidying up her mistakes.” Dick returns to Poppy, who claims allegiance to “Mother” and shoots at him as well. Batman takes off on his motorcycle only to get stopped by Cassandra Cain, who kicks his ass, says only the word “Mother,” and hands him an old Bat-flash drive. Across town, David Cain arrives at Harper Row’s apartment and threatens her life, stating that she is the “key.” Dick goes to the Batcave and puts the flash drive into the Batcomputer. The drive contains a long list of names, including Jason, Tim, Harper, Cassandra Cain, his own, and many more. It also automatically plays a pre-recorded holographic message. A worn Batman tells Dick that something sinister happened with a villain named Mother back when they chased Scarecrow around the globe years ago. The message tells Dick directly that if he is watching this it means that Cassandra has delivered the drive because he is not around and Mother has returned. Before the message can continue, it cuts out.
–Batman & Robin Eternal #3-4
Having just fought-off David Cain at Harper Row’s apartment (with Cassandra Cain having sliced off her dad’s foot with a sword) and learned about the existence of Mother’s name-list, the Bat Family—Dick, Red Robin, Spoiler, and Harper—converges upon Noonan’s Sleazy Bar, where Red Hood fights Cassandra Cain. At the bar, the Bat Family pries them apart and tells Jason that Cassandra is a good guy. Meanwhile, Poppy Ashemore literally eats her Spyral nanites to go off the grid, giving full proof to Helena Bertinelli and Frau Netz that their cannibal science-agent is officially working for “Mother.” (Poppy mentions that she joined Spyral “a few months ago,” but it’s been over a year.) The Bat Family then regroups inside the Batcave and watches Batman’s cut-off video regarding “Mother.” Dick introduces Helena to the Bat Family via comm-link and the Spyral “Matron” tells them that Spyral’s “Agent Zero” worked a mission twenty-five years prior involving the mysterious “Mother,” a human-trafficker of genetically-engineered child soldiers of her own design. (Not sure if Helena is referencing Kathy Kane or Otto Netz here. While 1990 is the very earliest Kathy could have joined Spyral, this would eliminate any previous spying for other organizations, which was a thing in the Modern Age.) Helena also reveals that traced phone calls have placed Poppy in communication with someone at the Beacon Tower, site of a current gala event honoring Bruce Wayne. At the event, Bruce is invited into the kitchen where dozens of brainwashed party-goers attack him with axes. Dick saves Bruce by fighting off the attackers. He is soon assisted by Batgirl and the “Middleton Robin Cell” (Duke Thomas, Izzy Ortiz, Dre Cipriani, Riko Sheridan, and Dax Chill). After defeating the mob, Dick chats with the Robin gang and Bruce. Red Robin then alerts the entire Bat Family to the fact that all of the axe-wielding attackers at the gala were sleeper designer humans from Mother’s list, having been originally created by Mother and activated Battlestar Galactica-style without even ever knowing their true history. Bluebird and Cassandra take-off while Red Robin, Red Hood, and Spoiler chat in the Batcave. Panicked that he and the other former Robins might be Mother-designed sleepers as well (since their names were on the list), Dick pays a visit to the Drake household. Meanwhile, Red Robin receives a phone call from his actual mother, Janet Drake. This leads to a nasty confrontation between Dick and Red Robin at the Drake residence.
–Batman & Robin Eternal #6
Dick puts Harper Row and Cassandra Cain into a safe-house. Standing in the rain outside of the Lucius Fox Center, Dick then watches as a blankly happy Bruce Wayne and Julie Madison screen movies with some kids. Dick opts not to confront Bruce and instead schedules a meeting at St. Elijah’s with Red Hood and Red Robin. The latter no-shows, still angry with Dick for having visited his parents. At the church, Dick and Red Hood find a secret child-soldier training room in the basement that has been hidden there for years. Dick tells Red Hood that he is headed to Prague before departing to pick up Harper and Cass. Mother’s spies tell her that the Bat Family is headed to Prague. (Note that “Robin War” will interrupt Dick’s plans and force him to delay his trip to Prague by two or three days.)
————————–Robin War #1
————————–Detective Comics Vol. 2 #47
Late September. A random Robin gang member stops a liquor store thief but gets caught in the middle of a gunfight that leaves the thief and a cop dead. A day later, Gotham is in an uproar over the Robin gang and they are officially outlawed as part of an emergency laws passed by corrupt Councilwoman Noctua, who is secretly orchestrating a “Robin War” on behalf of the Court of Owls. A crackdown on Gotham’s youth occurs immediately, affecting Robins and non-Robins alike. Duke Thomas is arrested, but escapes custody and calls a meeting of all Robin gang cells at Aparo Gym. There, Duke speaks to a hundred or so Robins until the real Robin (Damian Wayne) arrives to kick some of their asses. (Damian has just returned to Gotham from a ten month “atonement quest” stint overseas.) Councilwoman Noctua sends robo-Batman, against his will, to break up the meeting. Most of the Robins flee, leaving Damian to meet and take on robo-Batman for the first time ever. Damian shocks the robo-Bat-suit and defeats the new Dark Knight! Red Hood and Red Robin arrive to greet and scold Damian. Red Robin also puts in a call to Dick Grayson, who drops his Spyral case and heads right to Gotham. Later, the Robin who was involved in the shooting that brought about the “Robin Laws,” gets brutally murdered by a Court of Owls Talon. Dick arrives in Gotham the next morning and organizes an underground “meeting of the Robins” with the plan of rooting out all of the Robin Gang members that are too unworthy or unskilled to actually effectively fight crime. Dick also meets with robo-Batman and lets him in on the plan, going so far as to give him a live wire so he can listen in to the proceedings with Julia Pennyworth. Dick doesn’t tell anyone else that his real plan is to get all the Robins (including the former Robins and current Robin) arrested for their own safety. At the meeting, which includes hundreds of Robins, Dick gives a motivational speech and the former Robins and current Robin begin a training course, complete with real world missions in the city, each led by a former (or current) Robin. Afterward, only four of the Robin gang members are deemed worthy: Duke Thomas, Dre Cipriani, Dax Chill, and Izzy Ortiz. Dick sends the other Robin gang members back to the abandoned subway stop where they are immediately rounded up and jailed. Likewise, as per Dick’s plan, Red Hood, Red Robin, and Robin are jailed too. Damian and Izzy are specifically nabbed by robo-Batman. Before Duke is jailed, Dick tells him to tell the others to wait for the right moment to break out of jail. Ummm this plan makes no sense? All the Robins are incarcerated in The Cage, a makeshift SuperMax prison masterminded by Councilwoman Noctua. Batman and Harvey Bullock visit the Cage and are disturbed by the violation of civil rights that is the juvenile detention center. Batman then checks out the apartment of the cop whose murder triggered the “Robin War” only to find Dick already rummaging around there. The two fight and Dick learns that Jim Gordon is the man under the Batman mask. (They’ve worked together already to take down Vandal Savage in Batman/Superman, but Dick never saw the new Batman unmasked.) Dick and Batman share their common suspicion that the inciting incident was likely a setup, vowing to team-up to find out who is responsible. Meanwhile, in the Cage, a Court of Owls Talon enters with a small army of henchmen.
ROBIN WAR Continued…
————————–We are Robin #7
————————–Robin: Son of Batman #7
————————–Robin War #2
Dick and Batman (Jim Gordon) break into Councilwoman Noctua’s office to dig up dirt on her. Meanwhile, at the Cage, the Talon forces Red Hood and Red Robin to fight each other. The former Robins use their duel as an opportunity to break all the Robin gang members out of their cells. The Robin army kicks ass and ascends to the Gotham rooftops only to run into a bunch of “Elite Talons.” The heroes fight the Talons while Dick fights Talons across town as well. Riko Sheridan leads Red Hood, Red Robin, Robin, and some other Robin gang members to the tunnels underneath Gotham Academy where they discover a Talon “hatchery.” Meanwhile, Councilwoman Noctua sends Batman to the Gotham Academy tunnels, where the robo-Dark Knight smashes up the whole operation and kicks major ass. Dick agrees to meet with the Court of Owls and is escorted to their Labyrinth where he comes face-to-face with Lincoln March! March takes down Dick and reveals that the Gotham Academy “hatchery” has been sacrificed on purpose as part of a trap. The Court been attempting to blackmail Dick into joining their ranks (since Dick was supposed to have become a Talon years ago), but they’ve settled on an alternate Robin. Back at Gotham Academy, Damian reveals himself as the replacement “Gray Son” and newest agent of the Court of Owls, having joined them in order to halt the chaos in Gotham and to protect his amnesiac father from the Elite Talons. Damian then single-handedly takes down Red Hood, Red Robin, and the five members of the “Middleton Robin Cell.” The war between the rest of the Robin gang and the Elite Talons spills onto the front steps of Gotham Academy and then erupts into bedlam as Batman and the GCPD arrive. Amidst the chaos, Duke Thomas fights Damian one-on-one and tells him that he knows Batman is Bruce Wayne and that he now knows that the Boy Wonder is Batman’s biological son. After a pep talk, Damian comes to his senses and sheds his owl mask. The Robins join forces with the cops and Batman to defeat the rest of the Talons. Effective immediately, the Robin Laws are repealed and Batman shakes Damian’s hand. Back at the Court Labyrinth, Dick punches out Lincoln March, who tells Dick that everything that has happened has happened according to his plan. In order to prevent the Court from striking again, Dick reluctantly agrees to join their organization. Later, Dick meets with Red Robin, Red Hood, and Robin in the Batcave. Duke quits the Robin gang and then hangs out with Damian. Dick then returns to the Labyrinth where he is sworn-in as a member of the High Court of Gotham, learning that there exists a Parliament of Owls, with secret members all over the globe.
–Batman Vol. 2 #41-43 (“SUPERHEAVY”)
Late September to early October. In Gotham’s Little Cuba, Commissioner Sawyer takes-on a giant translucent giant that appears to be made of electricity. The Bat-blimp appears high in the sky, complete with its Batsignal that shines downward. With his tech team of Geri Powers, Julia Pennyworth (still going with the pseudonym “Julia Perry” in order to mask both her and her father’s connections to Bruce), and Daryl Gutierrez piloting the blimp and monitoring his actions, robo-Batman dives down to the earth below. Batman fights the creature and quickly realizes that it is merely an avatar projection being controlled from somewhere close by. Batman finds the culprit, Precious Precious, a member of the Whisper Gang, who has abducted a famous retired baseball player in an attempt to rob him. Ditching his robo-suit, Batman reveals his sleeker, skin-tight Bat-costume underneath. He enters the victim’s home and takes out Precious. Elsewhere, someone walks by a park bench and notices a bearded Bruce Wayne idly sitting. A couple days later, Jim Gordon meets with daughter Babs, who gives him nicotine patches. Later, when Precious Precious dies in police custody, Batman meets with Commissioner Sawyer, who reveals that several crooks that Jim has busted in the past, including Precious Precious, have been fed radioactive pill-seeds that have given them metahuman powers, but at the cost of their lives. After Julia and Daryl show off the new giant Bat-Truck and detail the brand new Batman-App, which acts as a modern Batsignal, Batman and his team are called in to fight Gee Gee Heung, leader of both the Gotham Triads and Devil Pigs and recent recipient of the power to control all building materials courtesy of a meta pill-seed. After sacrificing the Bat-Truck to defeat Heung, the villain succumbs to the fatal aspect of his powers, but not before revealing the mastermind behind the pill plot, a strange man named Mr. Bloom. (Batman—neither Bruce nor Jim—has never met Mr. Bloom, who seemingly hasn’t been active since Year One.) Back at HQ, Julia tells Jim that another Bat-Truck is in the works and also reveals that she used to work with the previous Batman as well. Meanwhile, Bruce clocks in to work at the Lucius Fox Center For Gotham Youth and watches as some of his kids dump dirt into the the junkyard adjacent to the Center (as seen via flashback from Batman Vol. 2 #45). A few hours later, Jim visits Bruce at the Lucius Fox Center. Gordon asks Bruce, due to the latter’s prior link to Batman Inc and his knowledge of Batman technology, to help him fight a more private war on crime, one less guarded by the rigid and sometimes ineffective interests of the GCPD. Gordon leaves one of Mr. Bloom’s seeds with Bruce as well. Meanwhile, outside the youth center, Alfred and Clark Kent spy on Bruce. Alfred finally tells Clark the truth about what happened to Bruce following Joker’s “Endgame”—how Bruce was resurrected thanks to the dionesium in his system, but without his memory of ever having been Batman. In the Batcave, Alfred gives Clark more details of Bruce’s resurrection. Clark says that they should tell Bruce the truth, to which Alfred shoves a Kryptonite ring in Clark’s face, reminding him that not only are Bruce’s memories of being Batman erased, but so is all of his combat and detective training too. Alfred refuses to allow his surrogate son to return to a life of danger and obsession. Alfred then shows Clark Bruce’s unfinished Batman-cloning machine, which would have created Batmen until the end of time. We are treated to some cool Greg Capullo flash-forwards to possible Batmen of the distant future, but these are “What Ifs” that will never come to pass (or even more likely some of the visuals from Bruce’s botched VR simulations). Later, with Julia’s help instead of Bruce’s, Batman—sans his big robot suit—sneaks into a fish hatchery to look for dirt on Mr. Bloom. There, a bunch of Devil Pigs attack Batman, but he easily dispatches them. However, one of the gang-bangers drops Batman into an industrial incinerator. Outside, Julia gets violently taken out. Back across town, Bruce and Julie close up shop and head home, leaving a precocious young Duke to steal the Bloom seed. Elsewhere, Penguin meets privately with Mr. Bloom and shoots the newcomer dead. Mr. Bloom immediately rises up, kills all of Penguin’s henchmen, and stabs Penguin in the gut, resulting in the latter’s hospitalization.
————————–Batman Vol. 2 #45
————————–Batman Vol. 2 #46, Part 1
Early October. Batman escapes the incinerator only to get mobbed by Devil Pigs. Daryl Gutierrez (with an injured Julia at his side) activates the Bat-suit’s autopilot mode, sending the robot in to rescue Batman. Meanwhile, in the junkyard adjacent to the Lucius Fox Center, Bruce and Julie examine the damaged Bat-vehicles and the lipstick-smeared Tyrannosaurus rex. The next day, at Powers Industrial, Geri Powers gives Jim Gordon a tour of a huge factory-lab space that will soon open as a science museum. After showing Jim a Collider (of the Large Hadron variety), Geri shows a two-ton mini Batarang made of a brand new element (batmanium) that Powers Industrial has created. Geri then fires Jim, citing his botched fight against the Devil Pigs, which was all over the news. Geri tells Jim that he must publicly resign at a formal presentation later in the evening. At police HQ, Duke Thomas visits his old family friend Daryl Gutierrez and shows him the Bloom seed and his “Middleton Robin Cell” button-pin. Despite having quit the Robin gang, Duke insists that he should be robo-Batman’s Robin! Just before nightfall, Bruce unveils the fruit of a few hours of hard labor outside of the Lucius Fox Center: he’s turned the Bat-junk into a playground, complete with a Tyrannosaurus rex slide! At Powers Industrial, Geri gives a speech before a crowd of onlookers. Mr. Bloom, having commandeered the Bat-blimp, crashes through the window and kills over a dozen people. Batman, out of his robo-suit, fights Mr. Bloom—a scene also shown via flashback from Batgirl Vol. 4 #47. Batman and Julia use the Bat-blimp’s electro-magnet to trap Mr. Bloom, but the latter escapes. Concurrently, in the Batcave, Alfred seemingly smashes Bruce’s cloning machine (the one thing that might be able to restore Bruce’s memories) with an axe. Later that night, Bruce and Julia share an intimate (and sexy) moment at Julia’s apartment. Julia nervously tells Bruce that her convict gun-running dad Mallory Madison—who coincidentally sold the gun that was used to murder Bruce’s parents long ago—will soon get paroled. Bruce says he doesn’t care and proposes marriage! Sexy sex continues.
–Robin: Son of Batman #9
An unseasonably early overnight snowfall blankets Gotham in white. In the morning, Robin watches from the shadows as his father and Julie Madison play with a bunch of kids on the Lucius Fox Center playground, which now is equipped with the gaudy Tyrannosaurus rex slide. (Note that the snow will completely melt in a few hours, as per “Superheavy.”) Once night falls, Robin stalks his Bruce to his apartment and watches him sleep before departing for patrol. Robin easily defeats Bathead, Scallop, and Smush. Underneath Gotham Harbor, Robin then encounters Wonderfox and Snowfox destroying Morgan Ducard’s remains at the very site of Ducard’s murder at the hands of the Boy Wonder. Robin fights them and learns that they previously were working with Maya Ducard before she left them to go straight. Goliath returns to Robin and helps him fend-off the villains. As the sun comes up over Gotham, Robin makes Goliath his official sidekick, complete with a swearing-in ceremony, before they both go to the Batcave to hang with the the other Bat-pets.
–Batgirl Vol. 4 #47, Part 1
Babs, having met with Spoiler and Bluebird the night before (in a scene that functions as the prologue to this issue), now (three mornings after Mr. Bloom’s major attack) meets with her beat-up dad at a coffee shop to talk about corruption within the GCPD. Back at her apartment, roomie and crime-fighting partner Frankie Charles tries to convince Babs that their couch-crasher Greg is a creepy weirdo that has to go. Babs talks her down, but she should listen because Greg is secretly a horrible villain called The Fugue—(real name Vinton Burwell)—that wants to ruin Batgirl’s life. (The second half of Batgirl Vol. 4 #46 does not feature Batman and overlaps with our next “Superheavy” entry. It shows Batgirl and Spoiler, disguised as cops, infiltrating GCPD HQ with the help of Bluebird and Frankie. Afterward, they witness the some test flights of Geri Powers’ Bat-mechs. Then Babs meets up with Luke Fox, who has all but stopped being Batwing and has begin a shaky love affair with Babs.)
–Batman & Robin Eternal #24-25
Mother has returned and brainwashed children all over the globe. In different places across the planet, Bat Family members fight evil kids. While Dick travels to Mother’s frozen ice palace in the Arctic Circle, Batgirl fights in Paris and calls for backup. Concurrently, Robin and Goliath fight in London, Red Robin fights in Moscow, Batwoman fights in Dubai, Black Canary fights in Mexico City, Katana fights in Kuala Lumpur, Calvin Rose fights in Shanghai, Catwoman fights in Sydney, Helena Bertinelli and Spyral agents fight in Tokyo, Batman (Jim Gordon), Duke Thomas, and Spoiler fight in Gotham, and Red Hood fights in Toronto. (These battles in various cities are also shown in the second feature to Batman Day – Batman: Endgame Special Edition #1.) Midnighter and Cullen Row, from Midnighter’s “Junction Room” HQ, coordinate the logistics of the war. Meanwhile, Bluebird and Cassandra Cain are both being held captive in Mother’s palace. Mother, having just turned-on and injured David Cain, confronts Bluebird and tells her that the world must suffer in order to grow stronger, hence her brainwashing of the Earth’s children. Mother tells Bluebird that Batman has failed her and beckons her to become her partner instead. Before Dick can enter the palace, the current Azrael (Jean-Paul Valley) of the Order of Saint Dumas arrives with plans of killing Mother. (Azrael is distraught at having learned the fact that he is not God’s “chosen warrior” and merely was one of Mother’s designer child soldiers.) Dick and Azrael fight. Concurrently, Mother’s elite Orphans, multiple highly-trained assassin replacements for David Cain, strike at each Bat Family member across the planet. Midnighter teleports to Spoiler, who is watching over Scarecrow and forcing him to concoct a “Trauma Toxin” strain of Fear Gas that can undo Mother’s brainwashing. They trade places, with Midnighter sending Spoiler to Tokyo to help out. Back at the Arctic palace, Mother produces a restrained Cassandra and tells Bluebird to execute her, but of course Bluebird refuses. With all of the Bat Family members struggling with the Orphans, Cullen comes up with a new plan. Each Bat Family member pushes their respective Orphan foe into Midnighter’s teleportation doors, dropping each one right into Midnighter’s lap. Midnighter versus twelve deadly assassins? Advantage Midnighter. With the Orphans handled, the Bat Family members destroy Mother’s brainwashing transmission towers in each city. Cullen teleports Scarecrow’s Trauma Toxin to each city and they disperse the gas, curing all of the kids. Meanwhile, Dick, having defeated Azrael, enters Mother’s palace and confronts her face-to-face. (The main action of Batman & Robin Eternal #26 immediately follows and shows all of the Bat Family, sans Jim Gordon and Duke Thomas, converge on Mother’s palace to defeat her once and for all. David Cain sacrifices his own life to help the good guys kill Mother.)
————————–Batman Vol. 2 #46, Part 2
————————–Batman Vol. 2 #47-48
Three days after Mr. Bloom’s major attack, Geri Powers reveals to Jim and Commissioner Sawyer a warehouse replete with prototype robo-Bat-mech costumes, which she plans to ship out as a crime-fighting army across the US. Geri asks to test the robots against Mr. Bloom down on Blossom Row, but Jim asks Commissioner Sawyer for one more chance. Sawyer agrees and sends him out to take on Mr. Bloom on his never-before-used Batmobile-cycle. Meanwhile, Bruce clocks into work and learns from a co-worker that Mr. Bloom is hiding out nearby. In Gotham Bay, Duke Thomas—in brand new Robin gear—breaks into Penguin’s newly constructed New Iceberg Lounge hoping to find info on his missing parents. The injured Penguin—flanked by associates Great White Shark, Ventriloquist (with Scarface), and Black Mask (wearing his terrifying new leather bondage-zipper skull mask)—enters and orders his men to catch the intruder. On Blossom Row, Batman exits his robo-suit to confront Mr. Bloom, who is able to control the robo-suit (thanks to a transmitter he stuck on the suit earlier) to make it attack Batman. Batman winds up blowing up his own robo-suit and destroying all of Mr. Bloom’s seeds before they can release their spores and “regrow the city.” Batman then busts Mr. Bloom. Meanwhile, Duke Thomas escapes from Penguin’s casino only to run into more of Penguin’s henchmen. Bruce, having checked the data history on his computer at work, arrives to rescue Duke using a baseball bat. In the subway, Duke, having long ago realized the truth, tells Bruce that he is Batman! Duke stands in front of an oncoming train, forcing Bruce to instinctually save him at the last second. Duke and Bruce talk, during which Duke receives a text message from Daryl telling him he has news about his parents. Batman, Daryl, and Julia transport Mr. Bloom to jail in the Bat-Truck, but are ambushed by a small army of identical Mr. Bloom doppelgängers, former gang members—including Precious Precious’ brother Luscious Precious—that are obsequious to Mr. Bloom based upon the promise of power and turf. Concurrently, Bruce goes to his thinking spot on his favorite park bench and contemplates whether or not he really could be Batman. An amnesiac Joker arrives and sits down next to him! Joker talks to Bruce, who is still floored by the revelation that he is the original Batman. Joker tells Bruce that he’s been watching him for months, sitting alone on the park bench. Joker explains that he too was a victim of “Endgame” and then proceeds to put a gun in his mouth, threatening suicide. Meanwhile, downtown, Mr. Bloom grows two-stories tall and grasps Batman (Jim Gordon) in his grotesque hand as he boringly monologues about how greatly antipathetic he is to the corrupt infrastructure of Gotham, including the police. The Mr. Bloom doppelgängers run amok all over the city. Mr. Bloom explains on live TV that he has hidden metahuman-power-endowing seeds all over the city, which prompts masses of people to search for them. As explosions and riots spread across the city, Geri Powers orders her army of Bat-Gundams to go into action. Joker, startled by the chaos, abandons his suicide attempt. Bruce runs to the Youth Center to check on everyone. Julie and the kids are safe, except for Olivia, who has implanted a seed into her arm in a misguided attempt to become a superhero. The seed causes her to become grossly disfigured. Across town, Duke Thomas visits a hospital where his parents—having just been found—are being held. Unfortunately, they are permanently Jokerized. (This scene is also shown in We are Robin #8.) At Powers Industrial, a the large Collider goes wild and begins to explode. Downtown, Mr. Bloom brutally assaults an already badly injured Batman. Bruce rushes to Wayne Manor and kicks in the locked door, demanding a teary-eyed Alfred to open up the Batcave for him.
–Batman Vol. 2 #49-50 (“SUPERHEAVY” Continued…)
Alfred tries to stop Bruce from entering the Batcave, but eventually falls to his knees and gives in. In the cave, Bruce and Alfred look over the damaged cloning machine, the only means of returning Bruce’s memories. Upon hearing the word “activate,” the cloning machine kicks on and Bruce is able to locate and run “The Alfred Protocol,” which will allow him to use the device. Bruce convinces Alfred to operate the machine, despite the fact that previous test simulations have only proven to be fatal. After five or six harrowing attempts to re-inject Bruce’s memories back into himself, each resulting in a traumatic near death experience in which Bruce “lives and dies” as an alternate version of Batman, Alfred refuses to go on. Julie Madison enters the Batcave, revealing that she’s always known Bruce’s secret identity as the Dark Knight. Knowing what is at stake, Julie takes over the machine and zaps Bruce one more time. Bruce suffers complete brain death (and his beard falls out), but immediately comes back to life with all of his old memories intact (except for memories from “Endgame” until now). In any case, the original Batman is back! Batman puts on his new costume and heads downtown where Mr. Bloom and his doppelgängers attack Commissioner Sawyer and her Bat-mech soldiers, Julia Pennyworth, and a very injured Jim Gordon. As Mr. Bloom gets larger and larger, feeding off the energy in the seeds in the populace of Gotham, his energy increases and causes the nearby Collider at Powers Industries to explode into a black star. He also takes over the Bat-mechs. Batman arrives with his new suit and some new toys and kicks ass like old times. He greets Jim and handcuffs him to a helicopter, telling him to get to a hospital. Meanwhile, Duke Thomas chats with Daryl Gutierrez aboard the Bat-blimp, telling him about his permanently Jokerized parents, whom he had found earlier in the morning. Daryl reveals that he invented the meta-power seeds years ago in hopes that either he or his cousin could become superheroes. After that failed miserably, a mystery person stole his tech, bastardized it, and became the Mr. Bloom villain we see today. Daryl also reveals that he has put a seed into his own body and begins to become unhinged and deformed. Duke scraps with Daryl and punches him out. As the erupting Collider’s “black hole sun” begins to engulf Gotham, Batman finally confronts Mr. Bloom, who activates one of his metahuman powers with the snap of his fingers. Mr. Bloom not only gains control of the Bat-mechs, but also gives the Bat-mechs instant paint jobs that make them look like members of Batman’s rogues gallery. Jim Gordon, having snubbed going to the hospital, flies his helicopter overhead and destroys the mechs with missiles. Batman runs into a giant Bat-mech done up in Joker meta-paint. Batman is able to commandeer the Bat-mech, which loses its garish Joker paint job when Mr. Bloom takes off toward police HQ. As the now hundred foot-tall Mr. Bloom, who now has vines stretching out of his back all over the city, tries to kill Jim Gordon, Batman—in the giant Bat-mech—fights him in a scene straight out of Neon Genesis Evangelion. Amidst a backdrop of corpses and an ever-growing ball of deadly “strange sun” energy, the city crumbles as stark raving mad citizens of Gotham become deformed with meta-power. Duke flies the Bat-blimp into the dire scene and blasts Mr. Bloom with missiles. Jim puts on another robo-Bat costume and, with Duke’s help, uses the magnetic dampener (which was used against Mr. Bloom before) on the Bat-Blimp to ensnare Mr. Bloom. Batman (Bruce) swings across the blinding-white sky and rescues Duke, who falls from the blimp. The citizens of Gotham (including Daryl), having already seen Batman’s giant mech and now witnessing confirmation of his return, begin ripping the seeds out of their bodies. (The second feature to All-Star Batman #6 tells us that Daryl, despite removing his seed, winds up deformed, mentally scarred, and with permanent meta-powers. Poor Daryl winds up imprisoned rather quickly.) Without his followers to suck energy from, Mr. Bloom loses his power. The nearly dead Jim, lights up a cigarette and uses batmanium to stop the “strange sun” and to destroy Mr. Bloom once and for all. Later, Bruce meets with Duke at the hospital where his parents are being held and makes Duke a secret offer. As we learn in Batman: Rebirth #1, the secret offer is for Duke to train under the Dark Knight to become a full-time Bat Family member and superhero. Of course, this is a huge decision, one that Duke won’t make until months from now. Batman, having been filled-in (by Alfred) on the blank memories that are now lost to him, namely his recent love affair with Julie Madison, revisits the Youth Center, now in ruins, and moves the pink dinosaur slide into the center of the building. Julie Madison finds the dinosaur later and knows that Bruce has thanked her in this quiet way. Around three weeks later, Jim recovers in the hospital. Geri Powers, now in charge of a police division in addition to her tech company, tells Jim that she has shuttered the Batman program. Harvey Bullock and Julia tell Jim that Maggie Sawyer has stepped down as Commissioner to head the Special Crimes Unit, meaning Jim will once again become Commissioner. On the fire escape of the hospital, Jim meets with Batman, who thanks him for his service.
–REFERENCE: In Robin: Son of Batman #11. Batman gets updated on the current state of affairs in the DCU, notably learning about Damian’s exploits of the past few months and learning that Talia Al Ghul has resurrected and is now the dictator of Bialya.
–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #3. Continuing to update himself on everything that he missed, Batman reads about a new medication called Vasoprine, which was used in a botched attempt to cure victims of Joker’s mass Jokerization during “Endgame.” Vasoprine looked to have initially worked, but symptoms quickly returned after a short time.
–REFERENCE: In Nightwing: Rebirth #1. Dick updates Batman on all things Spyral related, filling him in on all that has happened while the latter was out of action. Dick also tells Batman about the new menace of the Parliament of Owls, revealing that his sworn-oath to them is only an illusion. Dick means to fool the organization in order to eventually bring them down from the inside.
–Robin: Son of Batman #11-13
Robin (with Goliath) travels to Gorilla City to confront the evil Lu’un Darga, the ancient cult rivals of the Al Ghul family. Recently, the Lu’un Darga has raided Robin’s vault and stolen several artifacts, including the Helm of Solivar, which will grant ultimate power once returned to its place of origin in Gorilla City. In the city, Robin assists the Gorilla-men against the warring Lu’un Darga. This action sets off an alarm in the JL Watchtower, alerting Flash and Batman to both the conflict and Robin’s involvement. Meanwhile, the new dictator of Bialya, Talia Al Ghul (along with League of Assassins ninjas and a kidnapped Maya Ducard), watches from the outskirts of the city, having tracked Robin. Young Suren Darga, son of the former ruler of his clan (Den Darga of Und’urr), reveals himself to be Robin’s foil and the new leader of the group. Robin fights Suren until their duel is interrupted by Batman, Talia, and Maya. While Talia fights Suren, Batman and Robin reunite for the first time since the former’s return. Suren places the Helm of Solivar onto its pedestal and a burst of lightning energy courses through his body. Maya tackles Suren and they both disappear with a poof as Suren teleports away. Robin asks his parents to set aside their differences for him. For the first time since the birth of their son, Talia and Batman join forces for the same cause. Robin tells them that the last artifact that Suren has stolen from him originates from Dinosaur Island. Batman, Robin, Talia, and Goliath immediately converge on the prehistoric habitat where they find Maya, mistakenly left for dead but with her full body weight trapped against a pressure release bomb. While Batman defuses the bomb, Robin, Talia, and Goliath go after Suren. At the center of a volcano, Robin confronts Suren, who produces the final stolen artifact, the Eye of the Sleeper, which will reignite the Lu’un Darga magick and end all life on Earth if tossed into the volcano. The volcano leads to the Lazarus Heart, which has long fed Lazarus Pits across the planet via tributaries that start at the Earth’s core. The Lazarus Heart volcano is the very reason that dinosaurs stayed alive on Dinosaur Island. As demonic worms spiral out from the depths below, Suren throws the Eye of the Sleeper into Lazarus Heart opening, causing a dark magick tree to erupt forth. As Batman, Talia, Goliath, and Maya arrive to help Robin, the Boy Wonder convinces Suren that, like himself, he has become a tool for his family, constantly needing approval. Touched at having made a real human connection for the first time in his life, Suren uses his power to stop the Lu’un Darga destruction. Robin immediately punches out Suren. Batman and Talia begin quarreling while Robin embraces Goliath and Maya, referring to them as his family. An hour later, on Talia’s yacht, Talia and Batman engage in a private discussion. Robin, rather than let his mom use a captive Suren for her own devious plans, decides to set him free. Batman successfully convinces Talia to let the kids escort Suren to Gotham, where he will meet up with them later. Batman then goes to the Watchtower. At a roadside BBQ joint, Lu’un Darga warriors strike, but fall dead. Using her apparently magickal helmet to scan the exiting life energy of the warriors, Maya tracks their spirits as they are sucked away by an unknown force. Led by Maya, Goliath flies all the way to Den Darga’s temple in Russia. There, the heroes find a Suren’s dad, Den Darga, who chastises his son for his failure. Suren turns on his dad and helps the heroes fight him. Robin takes out the source of Den Darga’s power, killing him and ending his threat, but the Boy Wonder sacrifices his own life to do so! Maya, using her helmet, spots Damian’s spirit drifting away and calls out to him. Suren uses his magick to return Damian’s spirit to his body and he is instantly resurrected. Batman, worried because the kids haven’t arrived in Gotham on time, radios in. As does an angry Talia. A cheery Robin tells his parents that all is fine. Robin flies off on Goliath with Maya and Suren.
–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #51. Batman retrieves his pink dinosaur slide and damaged giant Joker playing card. He repairs them and restores them both to their original conditions before returning them to their places as trophies in the Batcave.
–Batman & Robin Eternal #26 Epilogue
Early November. Harper Row visits her mother’s grave and is visited by Batman, his first meeting with her after having returned. Batman has been filled-in by the various members of the Bat Family about all that has occurred with Mother. The Dark Knight chats with Harper and Harper tells Batman that she’s going to put Bluebird on hold to go to college at Gotham Technical Institute. Batman tells her that Bluebird has earned his respect and is always welcome in Gotham. Just as Harper leaves, Cassandra Cain hops down from the trees above. Batman tells her that she too can leave the vigilante life. But Cassie’s life is fighting. She adopts the codename Orphan and Batman agrees to take her under his wing. Later, Batman meets up with Dick, who is still affiliated with Spyral and in his super-spy digs. Dick is casing some criminals from a distance. All the former Robins—Damian, Red Hood, and Red Robin—join them. Batman and his sons take down the crooks together.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #935. Bruce sets up Cassandra Cain with her very own apartment in Gotham.
REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #1. Batman prepares special messages for all of “his boys” to be given to them in the unfortunate event of his death. Oddly, he doesn’t tell anyone about them or how to access or distribute them.
–REFERENCE: In We Are Robin #12, Batman Vol. 2 #51, and Batman: Rebirth #1. Bruce officially moves back into Wayne Manor and also legally regains control and access to some of his penthouse apartments. While Bruce does not yet reacquire his position at Wayne Enterprises, nor does he fill up his bank account right away, the reacquisition of some of his properties restores his place among the wealthy elite and provides a springboard from which to catapult back into his former status-quo as rich playboy. Bruce asks Lucius Fox to use every available legal resource to regain his wealth and company. Fox and a team of lawyers will begin their case now, but they won’t be able to actually win it all back for over six months from now.
–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #51. Batman learns that Alfred’s hand has been preserved and saved by Julia. He uses Crazy Quilt’s “healing stitch” to reattach Alfred’s hand. (Note that Bruce tells Alfred that the reattached hand is someone else’s and that Julia was not able to save his original, but this is almost definitely a joke, and Alfred even regards it as such.)
–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #51. Batman begins a quotidian routine once again, which will cutely include daily energy shakes mixed by Alfred.
–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #935. Batman upgrades the entire Bat-Computer system.
–NOTE: In Batman Vol. 2 #51. Arkham Asylum is rebuilt with brand new security features that are designed to prevent the revolving door breakouts of the past decade. Jeremiah Arkham is once again put back in charge. When we last heard from Jeremiah he had been incarcerated for committing several murders (as mentioned in Arkham Manor: Endgame #1). Obviously, these murders must have been a frame-up and Jeremiah has now been exonerated.
–REFERENCE: In the second feature to All-Star Batman #2. Batman begins a huge undertaking: the construction of a secret underground tunnel leading from the Batcave to downtown Gotham. Batman, presumably with some help from a bunch of folks, including metahumans, will continue building this tunnel for the next calendar year (unseen on our timeline, of course).
–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #5. Batman encounters The Wonderland Gang, a Lewis Carroll-inspired crime group that includes Mad Hatter, the new Tweedle-Dum (Dumfree Tweed), Tweedle-Dee, The Carpenter (Jenna Duffy), Lion, Unicorn, Walrus, and March Hare (aka March Harriet).
–REFERENCE: In Superman Vol. 4 #10. Modern Age Superman begins secretly stalking and spying on Batman from a distance. He will continue to do so unnoticed for several months to come.
–FLASHBACK: From the second feature to Suicide Squad Vol. 5 #1. The evil crime-cult known as Kobra kidnaps Deadshot’s daughter, Zoe Lawton, and blackmails him into accepting a risky hit on Bruce Wayne. Seeing no other option, Deadshot contacts Batman via the Gotham underworld and asks him for help. For the sake of his daughter, Batman agrees to assist, but only if there is no killing. Deadshot and Batman kick ass and rescue Zoe, but, of course, Deadshot kills a bunch of dudes and Batman throws him back into the waiting arms of Belle Reve Prison.
–REFERENCE: In Green Lanterns #17. Alfred undergoes hypnosis to implant a trigger phrase into his subconscious. This post-hypnotic trigger phrase—a line from a John Donne poem—will return Alfred back to his senses should he ever get mind-controlled. Presumably, Batman does this with all key members of the Bat Family. It is unknown if Batman gets a post-hypnotic trigger phrase. If so, let’s hope it’s not “Zur-En-Arrh.”
–Justice League Vol. 2 #41-43 (“THE DARKSEID WAR”)
Darkseid strikes at his opponents first by sending Kanto and Lashina to execute Myrina Black (Grail’s mother) on Earth-0. But with Myrina’s whereabouts unknown, Kanto and Lashina go about their hunt Terminator-style, killing everyone who has the same name. The string of dead Myrinas draws the attention of the Justice League, Steve Trevor, Hal Jordan, and Power Ring who all investigate a Myrina murder scene. With rumors abound regarding Darkseid’s war plans, Mr. Miracle sneaks onto Apokolips looking for info only to get attacked by Darkseid himself before fleeing. Meanwhile, Superman, Lex Luthor, and Captain Cold visit Neutron, who still suffers from “Amazo Virus” injuries and has been transferred from ARGUS to LexCorp due to a recrudescence of various cancers in his body. (Unlucky dude has been dealing with Amazo Virus complications for nineteen months now.) Back at the JL investigation, Grail uses Flash’s body as an interdimensional gateway, literally appearing from his mouth to attack the heroes. Grail systematically defeats each hero before opening a portal through which the Anti-Monitor arrives. At LexCorp, Lena Luthor shoots Lex several times as a shocked Superman looks on. (Lena is either an agent working for Darkseid or has simply gone made due to accessing a Mother box. Either way, she slips into a coma right after shooting Lex.) Elsewhere, Mr. Miracle fends off an assault from Kanto and Lashina before being recruited to kill Darkseid by a griffin-riding Myrina Black. Superman and Lex are boomed to Apokolips where the former heals up the latter with heat vision. On Earth, Metron appears to rescue the JL from the Anti-Monitor and Grail, booming the heroes away to the Rock of Eternity. In Myrina’s hidden temple in Athens, Myrina explains to Mr. Miracle that she has never seen eye-to-eye with the other Amazons, but wants the destruction of Darkseid. Myrina further explains that she had Darkseid’s baby knowing full-well that the child would one day return to fight him—along with the Anti-Monitor. When Mr. Miracle responds by claiming that her battle is a lost cause since Darkseid supposedly cannot die, Myrina lashes out and tries to kill Mr. Miracle for his lack of faith. Mr. Miracle booms away to safety. Inside the Rock of Eternity, Wonder Woman rips Metron out of the Mobius Chair. Batman leaps into the throne and is inundated with the cosmic knowledge of the New Gods. Becoming a Bat-God of sorts, the Dark Knight learns a wealth of hidden information, including the true identity of Joker! (SPOILER: As we learn in Justice League Vol. 2 #50, there are three Jokers!) The only thing the chair cannot reveal is information about the Anti-Monitor. Batman tells everyone about Myrina Black moments before Mr. Miracle booms into the Rock of Eternity and tells the heroes they must find a way to get the Anti-Monitor off Earth. The chair tells Batman to search the depths of the multiverse for information regarding the Anti-Monitor. Hal Jordan volunteers to accompany Batman on this mission and they depart. Meanwhile, on Apokolips, Superman’s powers fade away since there is no sunlight. The weakened Man of Steel and Lex Luthor fight off swarms of Apokoliptian slaves and Parademons. Back on Earth, Grail enacts an occult ritual to summon her father. The heroes from the Rock of Eternity boom to Earth only to witness the arrival of Darkseid and his entire Apokoliptian army. The heroes get caught in the middle of an all-out war between Darkseid’s forces and the Anti-Monitor’s Shadow Demon brigade. Concurrently, on Apokolips, Lex throws Superman into a fire pit hoping that it will give him solar energy, but instead it causes him to turn evil.
–Justice League Vol. 2 #44-45 (“THE DARKSEID WAR” Continued…)
Mobius Chair Batman and Hal Jordan boom to the ravaged Earth-3 in search of information regarding the Anti-Monitor. Upon arrival, Batman belittles Hal—a scene also shown via flashforward from Divergence #1 (DC Sneak Peek: Justice League). Batman learns that the Anti-Monitor killed everyone on the planet in order to garner the energy needed to face Darkseid. From there, Batman and Hal travel to the Universe-3 planet Qward, birthplace of the Anti-Monitor. Back on Earth-0, the war rages as the Anti-Montior’s forces clash with Darkseid’s forces. Grail fends-off Kalibak by burning his eyes, then turns toward fighting Wonder Woman. Steppenwolf fights Mr. Miracle. Power Ring tries to corral both armies using her ring, but Darkseid summons the Black Racer, a New God that is an aspect of Death. The Black Racer easily slashes through Power Ring’s construct and then slashes the Anti-Monitor as well. Meanwhile, on Apokolips, a re-powered but evil Superman attacks Lex Luthor. In Universe-3, upon reaching Qward and easily dispatching a legion of Qwardian Thunderers, Batman and Hal Jordan find their way to the Anti-Monitor’s secret lair. There, Batman learns that his real name is Mobius, creator of the very chair in which he sits. Batman sees a vision of the creation of the positive-matter universe (Universe-0) and the creation of the anti-matter universe (Universe-3) and learns that the latter was born out of the essence of the Anti-Life. Mobius discovered the Anti-Life, touched it, and was imbued with the power of the sentient Anti-Life Equation, which now fuels him and runs through his veins. On Earth-0, the heroes look on in horror as the Anti-Monitor fuses Flash into Black Racer, making Flash the new “New God of Death.” He flings Flash like an arrow through Darkseid’s guts, killing the dark god! Darkseid drops like a sack of potatoes as Shazam’s magick goes wild. While Barry struggles internally with his new role, having the thoughts of Black Racer competing with his own thoughts in his mind, Shazam becomes the “God of Gods,” inundated with the voices of several gods that now newly represent the facets of his power—S’ivaa, H’ronmeer, Anapel, Zonuz (Yuga Khan), Ate, and Mamaragan (Wizard Shazam). Kalibak, Lashina, Steppenwolf, and Kanto attack the remaining heroes. Meanwhile, Grail and Myrina watch the massive Anti-Monitor become enveloped in primordial flame as he reverts back to his original Mobius form. Black On Apokolips, evil “God of Strength” Superman beats up Luthor and departs for Earth. The rebel group known as The Forgotten People (led by the female warrior Andora), picks up Luthor, mistaking him for the prophesied hero that would arrive to save Apokolips on the eve of Darkseid’s death. Despite the prophecy clearing hinting at Superman as the great hero, Luthor deceptively plays the role. On Qward, “God of Knowledge” Batman tells Hal that Darkseid is dead and that all the Parademons are flying to attack the original source of the Green Lantern Battery’s power—the former location of Oa at the center of the universe. Batman then booms back to Earth. Back on Apokolips, the Forgotten People strap Luthor into a bizarre device. Andora explains that Darkseid’s “Omega Effect” is returning. If Luthor is the true hero he claims to be, his body will absorb the Omega Effect via the machine. Sure enough, the subsumption of Omega energy turns Luthor into the powerful new “God of Apokolips.”
–REFERENCE: In Justice League: The Darkseid War – Batman #1. Mobius-Chair Batman aka “God of Knowledge” returns to Gotham and begins what will be a several-day purge of Gotham’s criminal element, arresting tons of people for crimes they haven’t yet committed Minority Report-style.
–Justice League: The Darkseid War – Green Lantern #1
Hal Jordan arrives at the center of the universe too late to prevent the deaths of every single Green Lantern and all of the Guardians of the Universe at the hands of mindless Parademons. (Don’t forget about the previous footnote. We are on planet Mogo, not Oa.) A pissed-off Hal fights over a million Parademons by himself, but the battle is hopeless against those odds. A lone floating Mother Box, having guided the Parademons to Oa and now having merged itself with the vast energy of the Central Power Battery, beckons for Hal to become its new god. Facing death, Hal accepts. His ring becomes a “Mother Ring” and he becomes the New God of Light, gaining near omnipitence in the process. From Earth, Mobius Chair Batman senses Hal’s transformation and communicates with him telepathically, approving of the choice. Using his new god powers, Hal restores all life and sends the Parademons back to Apokolips. Hal also witnesses everything that Batman is about to do on Earth and thinks it’s all a bad, bad idea. Wanting free human choice and feeling sick with power, Hal separates and destroys the Mother Box from his ring, becoming a regular non-god-powered superhero again. He immediately departs for Earth with hopes of talking sense into Batman.
–Justice League: The Darkseid War – Batman #1
A pissed-off Jim Gordon castigates Batman atop the GCPD headquarters, but Batman scoffs and goes on patrol, continuing his 48-hour purge of crime in Gotham. First, the Caped Crusader sends some armed thieves to Antarctica. Then he drops a wife-beating would-be murderer on Paradise Island with the misandrist Aleka. After that, Bruce gets personal. He visits Joe Chill in prison and fucks with his head to an extent that the murderer will always be messed-up for the rest of his life. Batman then returns home to Alfred in the Batcave. Alfred notes that Batman, who hasn’t eaten in days, has begun bleeding from his ears, nose, and mouth. Alfred tells Batman that he is addicted to the chair, to which Batman feebly attempts and fails to get up out of it. Undeterred, Batman turns his attention to the big Bat-computer screen, which fills with images of the Joker—all taken directly from various famous comic book covers over the past several decades. (These covers are in no way indicators of canonical reference for the New 52.)
–Justice League Vol. 2 #46-48 (“THE DARKSEID WAR” Continued…)
While Big Barda joins Mr. Miracle (her newlywed husband), Cyborg, and Power Ring on Earth with plans on breaking into Belle Reve Prison to speak with Ultraman and Superwoman, the out-of-control evil Superman jealously attacks Steve Trevor before a surprised Wonder Woman. Meanwhile, Hal Jordan arrives in Gotham and Grail collects the Anti-Life that escapes from the Anti-Monitor’s body. She becomes the “Goddess of Anti-Life.” Hal chats with Batman inside ACE Chemicals for a bit before they depart to help Wonder Woman fight the raging Superman. Wonder Woman abates Superman using her Lasso of Truth, but Batman reveals that Superman is slowly dying. Meanwhile, Cyborg, Big Barda, Mr. Miracle, and Power Ring break into Belle Reve to talk to an emaciated Ultraman and Superwoman, who is nine months pregnant. Earth-3 Volthoom takes control of Power Ring, turning her evil. The evil Power Ring then taps into Cyborg’s system, reviving the Grid and giving the villainous AI control over Cyborg’s body. With Power Ring and the Grid back, Superwoman blasts Big Barda and Mr. Miracle with heat vision, bringing about the return of the Crime Syndicate. However, Owlman detonates his way into Belle Reve and tells her that the Crime Syndicate must team up with the Justice League against a greater threat. Elsewhere, the Anti-Monitor is reborn as his original self. Encompassed by an army of Shadow Demons, Mobius emerges from his cocoon, having shed the Anti-Life Equation from his body. Grail steals the Anti-Life Equation and booms away. Shortly thereafter, the heroes meet with the Crime Syndicate at LexCorp to discuss a truce and plan of action. In exchange for helping fight Mobius, the Crime Syndicate promises to later restore Cyborg if they can put Grid into a permanent new body. Superman and Wonder Woman also reluctantly give Ultraman a chunk of Kryptonite, which restores his powers. In Gotham, a wave of continuity-erasing energy washes across the city streets, accompanied by a deadly swarm of Shadow Demons. The League does its best to prevent casualties. Mobius then arrives, demanding his chair back from Batman. Hal summons the Green Lantern Corps, which arrives in full force to attack Mobius head-on. During the chaos, Grail booms onto the scene to kidnap Steve Trevor. Mobius fights off his attackers and murders Ultraman. Things look bad until the super-powered Lex Luthor arrives with an army of Parademons at his disposal. Meanwhile, Superwoman begins to go into labor on the battlefield.
–Justice League Vol. 2 #49-50 (“THE DARKSEID WAR” Concluded…)
Lex Luthor and Mobius blast at each other Dragon Ball Z style, blowing up huge chunks of Gotham in the process. The Crime Syndicate tells the heroes that Superwoman’s baby is the only thing that can defeat Mobius. Batman, from his Mobius Chair, confirms this to be true. Meanwhile, Jessica Cruz and Victor Stone remain trapped inside the Green Realm within the Power Ring, where they are confronted by the Power Ring Corps. Mister Miracle and Big Barda help in the fight against Mobius, but Big Barda realizes that, with Darkseid dead and all of the Parademons on Earth, now is the best time to free all of the slaves of Apokolips. After a passionate conversation with her husband, she booms back home to start a revolution. Superman, guided by Batman, grabs ahold of Mobius and erupts with a solar-flare. The explosion completely wipes away the Apokoliptian negative-energy that had consumed his body. Myrina Black, Grail, their griffin, and a shackled but now god-powered Steve Trevor boom back to Earth just as Owlman helps Superwoman deliver a healthy baby boy. Grail commands Trevor to attack Mobius. Trevor shoots Mobius with an energy beam, which instantly vaporizes and kills him. The heroes—including John Stewart and key members of the Green Lantern Corps—fight Grail and Trevor. Superwoman holds up her baby and says “Mazahs,” which steals both Lex Luthor’s god-powers and the Apokoliptian negative-energy and gives them to the baby. Grail then murders Superwoman, takes the baby, and sucks up some God of Death powers from Flash, releasing the Black Racer. Grail takes Shazam’s power into the baby as well. As Flash runs from the Black Racer, a fissure opens, releasing original Kid Flash Wally West! (He’s been trapped in the Speed Force ever since being exiled there by Abra Kadabra during the Mister Twister mind-wipe episode from years ago.) Jessica Cruz escapes from the Green Realm only to be struck by the Black Racer. Sated at having taken a life (actually Volthoom’s and not Jessica’s), the Racer departs. As the heroes continue to fight, Batman reveals that the mythical “chosen one,” the first man to set foot on Themyscira, is not Trevor. Grail immediately removes Trevor’s powers and gives them to the baby. The baby, now with all the god-powers, is instantly reborn as an adult Darkseid, but subservient to Grail. Batman learns, from the Mobius Chair, that the only way to defeat Darkseid is to sever the Anti-Life Equation from him. And only Grail can do this. Hal Jordan puts his power ring on Batman’s finger, which gives him the will power to get out of the chair. Just as Grail and Darkseid have the upper hand, Big Barda returns, having made a pact with the evil New Gods to fight Grail. As Kalibak, Steppenwolf, Kanto, the Female Furies (Lashina, Stompa, Mad Harriet, and Bernadeth), and Big Barda attack, Owlman hops in the vacant Mobius Chair. Grid releases Cyborg. Then Owlman and Grid boom away. After a pep talk from Myrina Black and Wonder Woman, Grail sees the error of her ways. Myrina sacrifices her own life to help Grail rip the Anti-Life out of Darkseid. Grail, Darkseid, and the Anti-Life Equation disappear without a trace. With her dying breath, Myrina tells Wonder Woman that the “chosen one” is her twin brother, Jason. Jessica Cruz is given a power ring and becomes a new Green Lantern. Big Barda, owning up to her end of the bargain, leaves her husband Mister Miracle and booms away with the evil New Gods. Elsewhere, Grail holds the baby Darkseid and vows to love him and raise him to love others. Good luck with that. Lex Luthor fashions a new war-suit for himself and, using his own Mother Box, returns to Apokolips, where a civil war is about to break out. Ardora’s Forgotten People army hails Luthor as “Superman” and fastens a Superman “S” onto their new leader’s chest plate. Meanwhile, at STAR Labs, Superman gets tested by Silas Stone and Vic Stone and learns that his condition from earlier has, in fact, not gone away. He is truly dying. (Superman will conduct various test in an attempt to find a cure for his condition over the course of the next couple months.) In the Batcave, Batman ponders what he has learned about the identity of Joker—the fact that there are three of them. Hal Jordan visits and Batman gives him the respect he deserves. Batman tells Jordan about the three Jokers and vows to figure out the mystery. On the moon, Mobius-Chair Owlman meets with Metron, but Dr. Manhattan arrives and kills them both!
–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 2 #50. While nothing specific is said regarding Batman’s follow-up to learning about the three Jokers deal, I refuse to believe that he doesn’t freak out a little and go on a rabid investigation. Thus, I’ve added this note immediately after “The Darkseid War.” Batman goes on a rabid quick (but thorough) investigation. Of course, he strikes a bunch of dead ends.
–DC Rebirth: Holiday Special #1, Part 3
December 21-24. When the deputy mayor is found dead, Batman begins an investigation, which includes locking himself up in the Batcave to study evidence. A couple days later, Detective Chimp visits Batman and Alfred to ask for help solving a case. An Los Angeles mall Santa’s “dog” (aka reindeer) has been kidnapped and taken to Gotham. Batman says he can’t work any other cases until he solves the deputy mayor’s case. Detective Chimp shows off his chops and solves the case in an instant. Batman and Detective Chimp spend the night scouring the city until they wind up at a bar filled with holiday workers. The kidnapper, a crook dressed up as one of Santa’s Little Helpers, takes off running, but is quickly busted. When the red-nosed reindeer is rescued, Detective Chimp leaves a message with his mall Santa pal, who miraculously and uncannily appears upon Wayne Manor’s doorstep to claim his little buddy. Could it be? Could it really be the REAL Santa Claus? Anyway, Detective Chimp, wearing one of Bruce’s boyhood sweaters, spends the night before X-mas Eve at Wayne Manor tippling bourbon with Bruce and Alfred.
–Batman Vol. 3 Annual #1, Part 3
December 24-25. Harley Quinn, bearing cookies and candy, attempts to break into the GCPD HQ to make amends with the cops on Christmas Eve. Batman stops her and drives her home to Coney Island. Harley can’t see through combination of the Batmobile’s tinted windows and the snowy blizzard outside the car and is so distracted by singing holiday carols during the entire ride, she doesn’t even realize that Batman has driven her several hours right to her doorstep. Waiting for her are her pals Poison Ivy, Big Tony Delfini, Goat Boy, Egg Fu, and Nathan the Dachshund. Batman then returns to Gotham, which has had a lull in criminal activity for a change. (Note that this item goes here due to Harley’s appearance. Batman is wearing the wrong costume and Commissioner Gordon is drawn with the wrong color hair, but this is Neal Adams on pencils and colors, so I’m surprised any of it made sense.)
- COLLIN COLSHER: Note that Julia must take Batman’s utility belt and give it (and its contents) to Alfred at some point because Alfred will have some of those contents, notably the Kryptonite ring, in upcoming stories.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: The in-canon All-Star Section Eight mini-series takes place now. Batman is shown in a couple issues, but only in the drunken hallucinations of Gotham’s resident alcoholic wannabe-superhero, Sixpack. To be fair, Sixpack did save Gotham from interdimensional monsters that one time.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: The new costume Aquaman already met and interacted with lower-powered t-shirt Superman, way back in the pre-“Endgame” Aquaman Vol. 7 #47-48.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: In Robin: Son of Batman #6—in which Damian ends his atonement quest, and which coincidentally also ends on the day that news of Batman’s apparent death is made public, two weeks after Joker’s “Endgame”—Damian makes the claim that he is going right back to Gotham. However, this cannot be true, since Damian still apparently has yet to return at this point, nearly seven weeks later. I guess he decided to keep globetrotting with Maya Ducard and Goliath after all.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: The Jeremiah Arkham “Endgame” murders must have been a frame-up because the doctor, fully exonerated, will be placed in charge of Arkham when it is rebuilt at the end of the year (as seen in Batman Vol. 2 #51).↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: The entire Gotham Academy series is written as if it occurs in one single school year. This, however, is an impossibility. There must be a significant ellipsis between Gotham Academy #1-7 and Gotham Academy #8. During this ellipsis, which doesn’t seem to even exist, a summer must happen and a new school year must begin anew. There’s really no other way around this. Also note that Gotham Academy: Endgame #1, despite being published shortly before Gotham Academy #7, takes place in the ellipsis period, specifically during Joker’s “Endgame.”↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: Gotham Academy #12, a prelude to “Robin War,” which occurs several days before “Robin War,” takes place in early Fall, shortly after the Autumnal equinox. “Robin War” must also take place, at the earliest, after Batman & Robin Eternal #4, where Dick learns about and meets the Robin gang, including Duke Thomas, for the first time. However, since Batman & Robin Eternal is a continuous arc there isn’t much room for “Robin War.” We have to assume that Dick cancels his trip to Prague at the end of Batman & Robin Eternal #6 in order to take two or three days to clear up the “Robin War situation.” Also be aware that a weird editorial caption at the conclusion of the Batman & Robin Eternal series makes it seem as though “Robin War” occurs after Batman & Robin Eternal ends. Not only is the editorial note worded oddly and hard to interpret in the first place, but there is no way this is possible. Too many things happen that place “Robin War” right where we have it on our timeline. These things, among others, include: Damian returning for the first time after having left ten months prior for his atonement quest, the Robin Gang disbanding at the end, Duke having yet to discover his parents, a Red/Hood Arsenal prelude that definitively occurs before Batman & Robin Eternal, and the simple consideration for the ordered and cardinal numbering of titles.
And one more final note. Detective Comics Vol. 2 #47 takes place out-of-numerical-order from the rest of Detective Comics.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: Batman & Robin Eternal #7-23 (which does not feature Bruce Wayne or Jim Gordon) continues from this point, overlapping with the beginning of “Superheavy” and then leading up to Batman & Robin Eternal #24-26, which exists in a short break within the text of “Superheavy.” Dialogue by Tim Drake in Batman & Robin Eternal #15 implies that a couple weeks pass in-between Batman & Robin Eternal #10 and Batman & Robin Eternal #15. Unfortunately, this ellipsis doesn’t seem to exist. Besides the two to three day break for “Robin War,” there are no narrative breaks in the continuous Batman & Robin Eternal story-arc. Although, Harper Row must make her appearance in Batgirl Vol. 4 #47 before Batman & Robin Eternal #17, creating a short daylong break in-between that issue and the previous issue. Batgirl Vol. 4 #47 contains a bogus editorial note that places the issue “before Harper’s globetrotting in Batman & Robin Eternal.” No issue numbers are given with the editorial note. We must take this to mean simply, “before Harper goes to Saint Hadrian’s in Batman & Robin Eternal #17“. Also note that the end scene of Batman & Robin Eternal #14 seemingly depicts Dick going to Saint Hadrian’s with Harper and company in tow. However, since Harper appears in Batgirl Vol. 4 #47, she has to go to Gotham for a day first, before joining everyone in England. Also, all of Batman & Robin Eternal #7-23 seems to span the course of two-and-a-half weeks (if you include Tim’s mystery ellipsis), but in order for it to fit neatly into our timeline, it must be closer to merely one week.
So, to reiterate: Batman & Robin Eternal #7-16 continues from this point, overlapping with the beginning of “Superheavy,” leading directly up to Batgirl Vol. 4 #47, which occurs in a break within “Superheavy.”↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: Both Batman Vol. 2 #41 and Divergence FCBD Sneak Peek tell us “Superheavy” starts three months after “Endgame” and one month after Jim Gordon’s debut as Batman. Technically, that would place us in mid September. However, Robin War definitely occurs before the conclusion of “Superheavy,” and since Robin War specifically takes place soon after the autumnal equinox (as per Gotham Academy), this also places the start of “Superheavy” in late September. This is an error to be sure, but a quibble of a week or two doesn’t seem to have a drastic effect on our timeline in this instance. To reiterate “Superheavy” starts over three months after “Endgame” and over one month after Jim Gordon’s debut as Batman.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: Usually, I don’t post links or fulminations in my synopses, but the amazing blog “Next Stop: The Immolation Station” has a brilliant disquisition about Alfred’s attitude here. The article specifically addresses Alfred’s hypocrisy following Bruce’s post-“Endgame” memory loss: Alfred vehemently doesn’t want to put Bruce back in danger (in Scott Snyder’s Batman) but simultaneously arms and trains dozens of youngsters he doesn’t know to go into that very same danger zone (in Lee Bermejo’s We Are Robin). Maybe Alfred’s mentality changed somewhat following both the death of Troy Walker and the “Robin War,” but the fact is, at this point on our timeline, Alfred is still covertly supporting—and, by default, encouraging—the former Robin Gang members, many of whom are products of a much lower socioeconomic class. This paints a very offensive picture, where a White super-privileged vigilante opts to step out of the line of fire and substitute Child Soldiers of Color instead. But why does this seemingly glaring ugliness appear in the pages of DC Comics? As always, it has everything to do with bad continuity and writers and editors not communicating with each other.
Alfred is a beast of a certain nature in Snyder’s story arc whereas he is quite the opposite in Bermejo’s story arc. Snyder’s Alfred is the loving father figure, with a desperate but pure heart. Bermejo’s Alfred is the resolute defender of the city, dedicated to the cause of a fallen comrade. These two versions of Alfreds are both correct versions of the character based upon what we’ve come to know over the course of decades. So neither Snyder nor Bermejo are at fault for highlighting those traits specifically. But when the two versions align as part of the same post-“Endgame” narrative, where Bruce has lost his memories and Alfred must decide how to deal with it, not only do characterization contradictions arise, something much more disconcerting occurs as well. Narratively speaking, the lack of communication between Snyder and Bermejo (and their editors) has turned the normally benevolent, paternal, and affable Alfred Pennyworth into a schizophrenic and deviously conniving Right Wing maniac. This sick Army Dad needs to keep the fight alive at any cost and with any strangers that are willing (or persuadable), but he’ll be damned if it is his own kin’s flesh and blood being spilled out on the streets. But hey, Alfred’s an emotional fella who’s gone through a lot of shit, eh? Sheesh.
But beyond bearing directly upon character development, narrative flow, and plot-holes, this is a prime example of just how important continuity really is when it comes to serialized storytelling. Bad continuity can turn something innocuous into something highly offensive i.e. racist, classist, sexist, etc… Bad continuity can even turn a great set of stories into an objectionable combo nightmare. CONTINUITY MATTERS!↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: This issue contains an editorial note that places it “before Harper Row goes globetrotting in Batman & Robin Eternal.” This is a bogus editorial note. What it can only mean in the correct context of our ongoing multiple narratives is “before Harper Row goes to Saint Hadrian’s as seen in Batman & Robin Eternal #17.” This also means, as stated above, that Harper does not directly go with her peers to Saint Hadrian’s (as implied at the end of Batman & Robin Eternal #14), but instead comes home to assist Batgirl in Batgirl Vol. 4 #47 (here and now).↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: Batman & Robin Eternal #17-23, which does not feature Bruce Wayne nor Jim Gordon, picks up right here (following Batgirl Vol. 4 #47) and spans only a single day, leading directly into Batman & Robin Eternal #24, which is next on our list.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: Note that in Catwoman Vol. 4 #45, which has occurred quite recently, Black Mask was nearly killed by Catwoman and only survived thanks to Penguin’s intervention. Black Mask, in exchange for his life, gave up all his mob power and territory to Penguin and promised him he would leave Gotham. Thus, Black Mask’s kowtowing here makes sense. We must assume, however, that Penguin changed his mind about Black Mask leaving town, probably thinking Black Mask would better serve him as a lieutenant.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: We are Robin #8 shows us that Duke, at least a day ago, had already been looking in psychiatric hospitals for his parents The same issue shows Duke finding his Jokerized parents. This means the interlude where Daryl messages him must occur in-between the two We are Robin #8 sections that feature Duke’s search. Moreover, we never see what Daryl’s message is, but for it to fit in with We are Robin #8‘s narrative, Daryl’s message probably isn’t their exact location, but rather a list of possible locations that Duke has yet to have checked.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: A dreaded editorial note, mentioned earlier, places this epilogue “one month after the events of Batman Vol. 2 #50 and Robin War.” These damn editorial notes are bonkers, man. First of all, if we are to assume when they say “Batman Vol. 2 #50” they mean the main action (and not its conclusion, which occurs weeks afterward) then that places us in early November. The editorial note also makes it sound as if “Robin War” might actually go after the end of Batman & Robin Eternal or even after Batman Vol. 2 #50, neither of which are possible. So, I’d take this annoyingly unnecessary editorial note with a grain of confusing salt. In fact, I think it merely is an advertising note from the top brass, telling readers to “jump-on” and read those stories before you continue onto the “Rebirth” titles. All you need to know is that this Batman & Robin Eternal #26 Epilogue occurs one month after the main action of Batman Vol. 2 #50. (It also occurs pretty close to a month after “Robin War” as well since “Robin War” is only about one week prior to Batman Vol. 2 #50 anyway. Plus, the main action of Batman & Robin Eternal #26 happens immediately before, if not during, Batman Vol. 2 #50 as well. Basically, these items all happen in-and-around the same time period, so a month later is relatively a month later irrespective of how you spin it.)↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: In the Modern Age, Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee were cousins Dumfree Tweed and Deever Tweed, respectively. When Dumfree died, Deever’s twin brother Dumson took over as the new Tweedle-Dum. In the New 52, that has been altered and reversed by writer Scott Snyder. Thus, the original Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee, in the New 52, are Dumson and Deever. It is unknown if Dumson has died, but he has been replaced by Deever’s twin brother Dumfree as the new Tweedle-Dum. Also of note: In the Modern Age, the Tweeds were the secret leaders of the Wonderland Gang. In the New 52, they are referred merely as “foot soldiers” for the group.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: Jenna Duffy, an acquaintance of Harley Quinn, has been around for a couple years prior to this—as revealed in Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #12.↩
- NICK SMILES: Suicide Squad Vol. 5 #3 tells us that its main story, “The Black Vault,” takes place in the immediate aftermath of “Darkseid War.” Suicide Squad Vol. 5 #3 also reveals that the back-up stories in issues 1 through 4—including this Deadshot flashback—take place immediately prior to “The Black Vault.” This means that this Deadshot flashback probably takes place immediately prior to “Darkseid War.” (This also means that Suicide Squad: Rebirth #1 is chronologically the earliest “Rebirth” story.)↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: “Darkseid War” is a prelude to “The Final Days of Superman” and DC Universe: Rebirth #1, so it has to go here. Biologically-speaking and rationally-speaking, “Darkseid War” SHOULD take place nine months after the “Forever Evil,” in which Superwoman was shown as a few weeks pregnant. This means that “Darkseid War” SHOULD go almost a full calendar year ago! However, I guess we just have to presume that the anti-matter Amazonian gestation period is NINETEEN MONTHS instead of nine? Or maybe the science-and-magick-wizards at Belle Reve were preventing her birth from taking place? Oy vey. Also note that Darkseid first began preparations for his war against the Anti-Monitor nearly eight months ago (during Convergence). I guess it’s taken him a while to get going. But hey, you want to cover all your bases, right? Two more messed-up things: Batman is wearing his wrong pre-“Endgame” costume and Cyborg is incorrectly drawn with his old look. These egregious errors are the price writers pay for doing extremely decompressed storytelling where an arc begins a full year prior to its end. Error alert on maximum high!↩
- COLLIN COLSHER / NICK SMILES: Continuity error here. This issue is shown to take place on Oa. However, Oa was destroyed by Relic in Green Lantern: New Guardians #24, which occurred early in Year 7. Since then, the sentient planet Mogo has moved close to Oa’s former position, with the broken fragments of Oa floating nearby. Either Mogo is being referred to as “Oa” or that this is another out-and-out continuity error. (It’s likely an error.)↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: The narration boxes, narrated by Detective Chimp himself, clearly state that this holiday tale takes place at Christmastime prior to date of publication in December 2016, hence the reason for its placement here in December 2015 instead. Technically, this tale could also have been listed as a flashback on our chronology, but it works just as well as a regularly bulleted item.↩
- NICK SMILES: As mentioned in Superman Vol. 3 #51, Superman begins conducting innumerable comprehensive tests on himself, figuring out the details of his fatal condition, which was revealed to him at the end of “Darkseid War.” He will test his condition for the next two months-plus.↩