(July 2014 to December 2014)
–Batman Eternal #11-13
In Brazil, Batgirl goes after the vain hunky Gonzolo Dominguez only to run into Scorpiana. After fighting off Scorpiana temporarily, Batgirl questions Dominguez about his link to her jailed dad. Dominguez explains that, because he owed money to the Club of Villains, they “copied” his face and implanted it onto another man, who was present at the train accident. When Scorpiana strikes again, Batgirl is assisted by Red Hood, Starfire, and Gaucho. Meanwhile, back in Gotham, tensions are high between Alfred and Julia. Alfred earns a little of her respect by stitching up her wound. Alfred, with Bruce’s gracious permission, offers a Julia permanent residency at Wayne Manor. Across town at the library, Stephanie Brown researches her dad’s criminal past and is sickened and embarrassed by what she finds. In the process, Steph unblocks a repressed memory of Batman busting her father in their home from years ago. At Gotham Cemetery, Selina visits the grave of Lola MacIntire only to find a letter left there addressed to her from her father, Rex Calabrese. Batman shows up to check on Selina. She tells him to beat it. Batman, posing as a prison guard, then speaks with Jim Gordon en route to his trial. At Gotham General Hostpital, Harper Row sits by her brother Cullen, who is still comatose after having been attacked an infested by a nanite swarm. From his bedside, Harper tracks the movements of Red Robin, who is in the process of interrogating Professor Pyg in his jail cell. When Red Robin realizes that Harper is hacking into his computer system, he shuts her out and decides to visit Wayne Manor to ask about her. At Wayne Manor, Tim barges in on Alfred chatting with his daughter Julia. Alfred pulls him aside and they secretly descend into the Batcave where Alfred tells Tim all about Harper Row. Across town, Gordon’s trial starts with a media frenzy attached to it. Vicki Vale, Joey Day, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, and a disguised Batman are all in attendance for opening statements. Lieutenant Bard tells Vicki that he’s leading a secret plan to stop the gang war. That night, Harvey Bullock calls Batman’s old contact number and Batman meets him and Bard on the roof of the Beacon Tower. Bard tells Batman his big plan, which involves the Dark Knight letting the GCPD “capture” him. In Blackgate, James Junior pays off a crooked guard and visits his father. James Junior plays head games with Jim and reveals that a guard has been bribed to open an exit door for his pop to escape through (if he wants) in a day’s time. Downtown, Lieutenant Bard fools Commissioner Forbes by telling him he has strategized an assault on a suspected Bat Bunker, which is actually a Falcone safe house. Meanwhile, Stephanie Brown keeps posting about her dad’s sinister plot, but no one is listening, except for Internet trolls and Joey Day. But Vicki Vale can’t be bothered with Cluemaster news from her sidekick Joey. Vicki goes on a ride-along with Bard, Bullock, Sawyer, and the GCPD as they “go after Batman.” With the Dark Knight monitoring from the shadows, Bard and his unit bust into a warehouse and arrest all of Falcone’s top men, citing falsely that they are in league with Batman, so as to make the charges stick. At police HQ, Forbes is furious, but cannot release Falcone’s men since Vicki is present and reporting all of the pertinent details. Forbes immediately calls Falcone for instructions, but Vicki and Lieutenant Bard have tapped his phone, exposing him as being in league with the mobster. Across town, Harper Row spies on Red Robin at one of his Robin’s Nest bunkers. Red Robin is able to connect the recent nanite swarms to Batman’s old mentor, Sergei Alexandrov, who currently resides in Tokyo. In the ‘burbs, Stephanie’s troubles continue as a Cluemaster-delivered bomb (left in a package addressed to Stephanie) detonates, killing her best friend.
–Batman Eternal #14-16
Lieutenant Bard shakes-down Mayor Hady, who is forced to disconnect all ties to Falcone lest he expose himself to the long arm of the law. Bard also exposes Commissioner Forbes as a criminal and puts in an anonymous phone call to Penguin, telling him exactly where Falcone is. Penguin goes straight to Falcone’s hideout and kills nearly a dozen of his bodyguards before Bard (along with Vicki Vale) bursts in and arrests both men. In Blackgate, Gordon’s cellmate, Leo, being the only nice dude in Blackgate, gives him a pep talk. At 2:46 AM, Gordon walks toward the open exit door provided to him by his son only to find Batman waiting. Gordon tells him that he was going to re-lock the door. They have a small chat about Bard and about the fall of Rex “The Lion” Calabrese, who was Gotham’s top dog before Falcone. Batman then pays Bard a visit and disapprovingly tells him that his phone call tip-off to Penguin cost the lives of a dozen men. Bard exclaims that Batman needs to update his methods, but Batman disappears into the night without responding. Meanwhile, Red Robin deals with a stowaway Harper Row aboard his jet. In Arkham, Joker’s Daughter captures Scarecrow. I should mention that it has been four days since Jim Corrigan and Batwing were scouting the outside of Arkham and planning on entering its walls (in Batman Eternal #6). What have they been doing all this time? Who knows. Corrigan can sense that something horrendously powerfully evil is lurking underneath Arkham, so maybe he has been prepping this whole time. This SCREAMS continuity error and I’m calling bullshit, but oh well. It’s minor compared to some of the chronic errors this series will contain moving forward. So finally, Corrigan and Batwing enter Arkham and find that the inmates are in control when they see a zombie Magpie (Margaret Pye) manning the secretary desk. After a creepy encounter with The Ten-Eyed Man (Philip Reardon), Corrigan and Batwing find a pillar of blood dripping upward from the floor of Scarecrow’s cell and a floating Scarecrow not far away. A host of zombies swarm the duo and drag Batwing 150 feet below the building, delivering him to Joker’s Daughter. (Note that Batman now becomes aware of the zombies—as referenced in Batman Eternal #17 and Batman Eternal #19—although because Batwing never actually radios him about the encounter, we must assume that Batman is monitoring a video feed from Batwing’s suit.) On the other side of the globe in Tokyo, Red Robin reluctantly teams with a stubborn Harper Row, who wears a blue Grifter-like mask. Back in Gotham, Lieutenant Bard continues rounding up Falcone’s men. Batman meets with Bard again and they decide to be friends after all, shaking hands in approval of each other. In Rio de Janeiro, Batgirl and Red Robin go after the man that surgically altered a criminal to look like Gonzolo Dominguez, Dr. Mangaravite. However, Batwoman, on a case of her own, is already at Mangaravite’s office beating him up. Back at Arkham, zombies drag a captured Corrigan to their master, the weird Mr. Bygone. Bygone claims he works for an even more sinister power that feeds off of the sorrow in Arkham. Meanwhile, Joker’s Daughter uses a beaten-up Batwing’s communication system to send a false message to Batman, telling him that things are fine at Arkham. She then drags Batwing deeper underground where his communication device becomes non-functional. Across town, Batman watches as Lieutenant Bard cleans up more of Falcone’s men. Bard also gets up close and personal with Vicki Vale—they start a sexual relationship. Back in Arkham, possessed Arkham staffer Dr. Achilles Milo serves up Professor Pyg to the sorrow-sucking “tulpa” spirits that have infested the catacombs beneath the building. Batwing breaks free of Joker’s Daughter and fights a zombie-like Maxie Zeus, who has his arm back and seems invigorated with evil strength. After Batwing defeats Maxie Zeus, the tulpas take his unconscious body to be used as the vessel for their master. Batwing then stumbles across Dr. Simon Ecks (also spelled “Simon Echs”), who explains that the evil force actually secretly took over Arkham months ago. Batwing is rejoined by Corrigan and they learn that the demonic spirit master of Arkham is Deacon Blackfire, who is trying to come back from Hell via a Hellmouth underneath Arkham. In Tokyo, Red Robin and Harper Row meet up with Sergei Alexandrov. (Batman Eternal #25 tells us that Red Robin begins combat-training Harper at this point.)
–NOTE: In Batman Eternal #17. Batman isn’t actually in this issue as he is only shown via flashback. Jim Corrigan and Batwing have been trapped underneath Arkham for over twenty-four hours now with no way of communicating with the outside world, fighting an ever morphing maze-like terrain while fighting Deacon Blackfire’s demon hordes. Thanks to a false message sent by Joker’s Daughter, Batman thinks that Arkham is just fine and dandy. Corrgian and Batwing are finally outstripped and dragged into a black mire. Meanwhile, at Wayne Manor, Julia squabbles with her dad. Across town, Batwing’s roommate Rory worries since Luke hasn’t checked in with him or the Fox family for a week.
–Batman Eternal #18-20
In Rio, Batgirl, Red Hood, and Batwoman follow the Club of Villains trail to a sweatshop where child laborers are forced to assemble superhero toys. The trio beats up a bunch of armed guards, but Batgirl is mind-controlled by the leader of the factory, Dr. Falsario. In Gotham, Julia Pennyworth goes to a punk show while Alfred Pennyworth guides Batman and Jason Bard into the sewers beneath the Narrows, where a series of horrific cannibal murders have occurred. Batman has a hunch these murders are linked to the recent evilness going on beneath Arkham, which he thinks has ended thanks to Joker’s Daughter’s recent false report. After a nasty run-in with Killer Croc in the sewers, Batman calms the savage beast, who then joins the Dark Knight and Bard in a search for the real cannibal killer. In Blackgate, Jim Gordon chats with a friendly guard, Officer Leonard, and with his friendly cellmate Leo. Penguin and Carmine Falcone (along with all of their men) are now in Blackgate, which is bad news because the gang war has simply moved into jail. In the prison yard, some of Falcone’s men execute Fishnet Face, one of Penguin’s top men, inciting a huge full-scale riot. Jim Gordon takes charge and beats-up a bunch of Blackgaters, including Penguin henchman Volt. In Rio, Red Hood helps Batgirl regain her senses and the trio of heroes defeats Dr. Falsario, who is confirmed as the man who set-up Jim Gordon (using false mental image projection). Underneath Gotham’s sewers, Killer Croc shows Batman and Bard a bunch of re-animated corpses that he has caught and caged. Batman, Bard, and Killer Croc descend upon the Underground where they come across the Ten-Eyed Man about to sacrifice Jade McKillen. (Jade is the youngest daughter and spawn of the merger of the wealthy mobster McKillen Family and Ibanescu Family. She previously had run away from home to befriend both Killer Croc and Catwoman and to live in the Underground.) Batman, Killer Croc, and Bard rescue Jade from being tossed into an interdimensional portal. Doing so causes the portal to implode. Bard then tries to arrest Killer Croc for a cop murder he committed in Batman and… #23.4, but the cavern collapses and everybody bails. In Blackgate, the riot continues and Gordon is captured by some inmates. Leo returns to his old Rex “The Lion” Calabrese gimmick, popping in lion fangs and rescuing Gordon by literally chewing out the inmates’ throats. The SWAT Team rushes in and quells the riot. Gordon is labeled a hero and earns the respect of Warden Zorbatos. In Brazil, Batgirl chases Dr. Falsario into the jungle only to find him executed by a mystery assassin’s Asian knife. Batgirl regroups with Red Hood and Batwoman, who have collected a bunch of evidence that will hopefully exonerate Gordon. Elsewhere, Stephanie Brown debuts as the costumed vigilante known as The Spoiler!
–REFERENCE: In Batman Eternal #21. Batgirl and Red Hood report on their findings in Brazil and deliver files (and the Asian knife) that might be able to supposedly exonerate Jim Gordon of wrongdoing. However, the evidence falls on deaf ears because Hush and his secret boss have total control of Gotham’s judicial system. Thus, Gordon’s trial continues quite poorly for the defendant.
–Batgirl Vol. 4 #33 Conclusion
Batman makes a brief final page appearance in this issue, receiving a call from Batgirl asking for help to fight Knightfall (Charise Carnes), who is planning a coordinated midnight strike to rid her Cherry Hill neighborhood of all “criminals” (i.e. anyone who opposes her views) via an army of mercenaries. Here’s what led up to this: Jim Gordon tried in vain (via phone) to warn his daughter that James Junior is still alive. Presumably Gordon tried to contact Babs several times since James Junior’s surprise reappearance, but Batgirl was busy in Brazil and, upon returning to the States, has been busy teaming with Huntress and Black Canary against agents of Knightfall, notably Bleak Michael (Michael Drucker). After learning about Knightfall’s planned midnight attack, Batgirl now calls a few people for help—Detective Melody McKenna, secret agent Obscura (Munira Khairuddin), Katharsis (Kulap Vilaysack), and Batman. Batman will be way too busy with the events of Batman Eternal to personally assist, but he does call a bunch of DC’s best female heroes to help Batgirl shut down Knightfall once and for all (as referenced in Batgirl Vol. 4 #34).
–REFERENCE: In Grayson #1. July. It’s been nearly two months since Dick’s false funeral. He has now fully imbedded himself within the ranks of Spyral as “Agent 37.” Using the codename “Birdwatcher,” Dick makes secret contact with Batman, who uses the codename “Mr. Malone.” Dick reports that he has been given special surgical implants called hypnos, which all Spyral agents are equipped with to help them carry out espionage missions. Dick further reports on the nature of Spyral’s missions, giving info about new top agent Mr. Minos and his aide Dr. Elisabeth Netz (Otto Netz’s daughter/Kathy Kane’s sister). A day later, Dick contacts Batman again, but is interrupted by his fellow agent Helena Bertinelli, which forces him to end the conversation early.
While Batman fights the masked motorcycle gang known as The Cycles of Violence, Dick contacts him in secret from St. Hadrian’s, continuing the interrupted conversation that they were having from one night prior. Dick reports that one of Spyral’s current objectives is to retrieve the scattered body parts and internal organs of a deceased cyborg named Paragon. Afterward, Dick and Helena are sent to the English countryside to retrieve Paragon’s cyborg stomach, which is now implanted inside a rogue metahuman THEY agent, Dr. Poppy Ashemoore. (The Hood had been tasked with the mission but failed miserably.) In Leicester, Dick is attacked Dr. Ashemoore, who has super-speed and has cannibalistically eaten several spies that have attempted to bring her in before. When Dick doesn’t follow orders, Helena shows him that she has the ability to render him instantly unconscious at any time via his hypnos. Back at St. Hadrian’s, Otto Netz’s daughter removes the cyborg stomach from Dr. Ashemoore’s body. Dick then has another secret meeting with Batman. Elsewhere, Midnighter, somehow involved in the Paragon affair and having recently fought Dick, plans for a rematch. Meanwhile, Poppy Ashemoore is brought into the fold and made a Spyral agent. (SPOILER: As revealed in Batman & Robin Eternal #1 and Batman & Robin Eternal #3, Poppy Ashemoore actually works for “Mother” and has been sent to infiltrate Spyral. Mission successful.)
–Teen Titans Vol. 4 Annual #3 Epilogue
The Teen Titans have recently disbanded (as shown in the main non-Batman related action of this Annual). The scene important for our chronology is a single splash that shows Batman and Red Robin happily patrolling Gotham with the Dark Knight just like old times. Red Robin will immediately reform the Teen Titans after this.
–REFERENCE: In Gotham Academy Annual #1. While not explicit, the implication in this issue is that Bruce offers a Gotham Academy scholarship to young Warren McGinnis, who will begin school there in the fall. The McGinnis Family has long been close friends with the Wayne Family. SPOILER: Warren will eventually grow up to father Terry McGinnis i.e. Batman from Batman Beyond!
SUPERMAN: DOOMED – INFECTED
————————–Superman: Doomed #1
————————–Action Comics Vol. 2 #31
————————–Superman/Wonder Woman #8
————————–Superman Vol. 3 #31
In the Bahamas, Doomsday appears in a metamorphosed form, bigger and deadlier. In fact, Doomsday is so deadly now that literally everything within a certain radius of him instantly dies from a fatal virus that he emits. After the deaths of over 3200 people, Superman is pissed. After pep talks from Dr. Shay Veritas and his old boss Perry White, Clark prepares for war. Meanwhile, Lois Lane and Lana Lang investigate a bizarre occurrence in the now quarantined Smallville where 539 people recently spontaneously dropped into comas. Doomsday turns up next in Botswana, killing millions of animals. John Henry Irons postpones his Zambian vacation with his niece Natasha Irons to suit up as Steel and take on the monster. Wonder Woman and Superman arrive to assist Steel, causing Doomsday to retreat into a teleportation portal. The Justice League calls an emergency meeting. In the emergency bunker in DC, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg gather. Lex Luthor and Green Lantern attend via hologram. They discuss how Doomsday is hopping all over the planet destroying everything and what must be done. Before leaving to fight Doomsday, Superman gives Batman the key to the Fortress of Solitude. Superman briefly fights Doomsday in Mumbai before flying him to Venus where he fries the creature with heat vision. Thinking Doomsday has been defeated, Superman returns to Earth badly infected with the Doomsday virus. (SPOILER: The gargantuan absolute/über version of Brainiac is responsible for infecting Superman with the Doomsday Virus.) In Smallville, Doomsday reappears, forcing Superman to tear him in half, killing him instantly. The badly infected Superman is immediately escorted into quarantine by several heroes (and Luthor). Batman takes a sample of Superman’s blood, which reveals that the virus is literally turning him into a new Doomsday monster. Superman flies away to be in solitude in Alaska (although he is joined by Krypto). Meanwhile, at Steel’s Virginia metahuman prison known as STEEL, Steel purges himself of any lingering Doomsday virus by bathing-in and becoming physically bonded to liquid steel. Recently elected senator Sam Lane warns Steel that Superman is a threat to global security. Days pass and Superman remains incommunicado with the world. Wonder Woman (as Diana Prince) solicits information about the missing Clark from Cat Grant and Lois Lane, revealing to both of them that she is dating Clark. Wonder Woman then meets briefly with Batman, who tells her to check his Metropolis apartment. At the apartment, Wonder Woman confronts Clark, who has already turned partly into a hideous rock-skinned monster with a bad attitude to match. Batman arrives, but Wonder Woman sends him away. This spat is between lovers. Wonder Woman yells at Clark and tells him to snap out of it. Clark lets out a primordial scream and the virus dies down, becoming inert, but still remaining deep within his system. The prelude to Batman/Superman #11 tells us that Clark is only able to control himself for a moment before going crazy and attacking Wonder Woman and Batman. When Clark regains control again, he turns himself into the authorities. Batman, Wonder Woman, and Steel visit the Fortress of Solitude. There, a Doomsday virus-infected Krypto guides Batman and Wonder Woman into the Phantom Zone to find out how Doomsday got out. In the cold tesseract space, our heroes, along with Ghost Soldier, fight Mongul and Kyrptonian super-criminal Non. Afterward, Ghost Soldier explains that he has just betrayed his employers, the evil organization known as The Tower, a group that has been trying to kill Superman for some time. The first person ever imprisoned in the Phantom Zone, Dr. Xa-Du (The Phantom King), then shows up and explains that the leader of the Tower, the vicious villainess Harrow, used her teleportation powers to enter the Phantom Zone to recruit him in the mission to kill Superman. Xa-Du released Doomsday from a Forbidden Corner, a protective “zone within the zone” for the most dangerous criminals. Once out of the Forbidden Corner, Doomsday easily smashed out of the regular Phantom Zone, causing intense energy rifts that now serve as deadly unstable tears in the reality walls of the space. These tears are amplified by machines placed by Xa-Du. Batman, Wonder Woman, Ghost Soldier, and Krypto chase Non and Xa-Du out of the Phantom Zone and into the Fortress of Solitude where Steel helps the heroes capture the baddies. (Note, as referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #17, that Batman scopes-out and learns about a lot of the Fortress of Solitude’s Kryptonian devices, including healing chambers, during this little adventure in the frozen HQ.) Shortly thereafter, at the former Utah prison that once held Lex Luthor, Luthor, Batman, Cyborg, Ray Palmer, and Shay Veritas (via hologram) study a restrained Superman, who has begun to morph into a new Doomsday. Wonder Woman stands guard outside. Lois Lane arrives, per Superman’s request, and meets with him privately. (If you didn’t know, Lois discovered Superman’s secret ID a few months ago in Superman Vol. 3 #24.) Unknown to everybody, Brainiac has secretly implanted himself within Lois’s mind. (He’s been hiding in there for five years!) Brainiac takes control of Lois long enough to upset Superman, who breaks his binds and flies away angrily to St. Louis. There, the recently reformed Teen Titans (current lineup—Red Robin, Wonder Girl Cassie Sandsmark, Beast Boy, and Raven) are engaged in a losing battle with Detritus. A half-crazed Superman shows up, destroys Detritus, and the flies away. Cyborg tracks Superman from the JLA Space Bunker Satellite (which was recently donated to the team by Luthor).
SUPERMAN: DOOMED – ENEMY OF THE STATE
————————–Action Comics Vol. 2 #32
Superman is quickly morphing into a new Doomsday. Out of control, he burns through hundreds of acres of woodland, forcing the US Air Force to bomb him. Meanwhile, Lana Lang tells Wonder Woman that origins of the recent mass coma in Smallville has been traced to outer space. Elsewhere, at a government facility, Senator Sam Lane and Lois Lane (still being controlled by Brainiac) revive Metal-Zero (aka Metallo). At STEEL, they revive Atomic Skull (Joseph Martin). The US Army then sends Metallo and Atomic Skull (with a multiple megaton payload blast of aerosol Kryptonite) to bring down Superman, whose mere presence has begun to kill everything within a few dozen meters of wherever he goes. The Army’s plan is for all three men to kill each other. Both Steel and Lex Luthor realize and disapprove of what the Army is up to, so Steel begins fighting-off Metallo and Atomic Skull. Superman tries to help Steel, but winds up detonating the aerosol Kryptonite bomb. The massive green cloud envelops Superman and causes him to morph further into a mindless Doomsday monster.
SUPERMAN: DOOMED – SUPERDOOM
————————–Action Comics Vol. 2 Annual #3
————————–Superman/Wonder Woman Annual #1
Superman has turned into Doomsday in a cape—”SuperDoom.” Despite having morphed into a monster, Superman still retains a heart of decency, but an internal battle that will determine whether he pulls out of the darkness or succumbs to it goes on within his mind. Meanwhile, Brainiac has reared his evil head and begun an all-out war against Earth. After fully taking control of Lois Lane’s mind and body, Brainiac leads Metallo, Cyborg Superman, and an army of War of the Worlds-like “nodes” into battle. Taking down Earth’s planetary defenses within minutes, Lois-Brainiac’s node army decimates Metropolis and several other large cities. When Cyborg Superman leads a fleet of Brainiac-controlled space vessels en route to attack Earth, SuperDoom goes to fight him just outside of Mars. Aboard the JL Satellite, Cyborg, Wonder Woman, Flash, and Batman (via holographic satellite from the Fortress of Solitude) detect and discuss the incoming threat Brainiac’s invasion fleet. The “coma zones,” originally just in Smallville, but now also in Metropolis, are directly linked to Brainiac’s invasion. Cyborg tries to fire off a pre-emptive strike via a combined laser grid from all of Earth’s satellites, but Brainiac destroys the entire grid. Steel and Lana Lang contact the JL and explain that they can shut down Brainiac’s stranglehold over the planet by destroying a mere 36% of his nodes. In the Fortress of Solitude, Batman assembles Ghost Soldier, Harrow, Krypto, Lex Luthor (via hologram), and Dr. Shay Veritas (via hologram). This think-tank determines that Brainiac has manipulated everything that has occurred—Brainiac secretly manipulated Harrow’s recent release of Doomsday from the Phantom Zone knowing that Doomsday would infect Superman. Concerned about Red Hood and his “Outlaws” (Arsenal and Starfire) in Gotham, Batman radios his former Robin and tells him to get outta town. SuperDoom returns to Earth to help them fight off some nodes. However, with the Earth’s atmosphere still permeated with Kryptonite radiation, Superman begins to lose even more control of himself and begins to emit more poison from his body. Back in the Fortress, Batman declares that they must get rid of that damn Kryptonite. Luthor says that it is impossible, but Batman says that the captured Dr. Xa-Du can do it. But Xa-Du is crazy super-villain, so it will take some convincing (aka forcing). While Batman, Luthor, Harrow, and Doc Veritas try to steal and use Xa-Du’s metapower “to turn things unsubstantial” on the Kryptonite, Martian Manhunter is able to use his mental powers to temporarily purge the Doomsday virus from Superman in Sao Paolo. While Superman is back to normal for a few minutes, Ghost Soldier and Baka join the Man of Steel and Martian Manhunter to defeat a bunch of nodes. Before long, however, Superman reverts back into beast-mode. In Cambodia, Hawkman and Simon Baz are having trouble with a node until SuperDoom arrives and smashes it up. Wonder Woman then checks in on Batman to make sure his plan is still working (a scene that is shown in both Superman/Wonder Woman Annual #1 and Action Comics Vol. 2 Annual #3). Across the globe, the JL, Swamp Thing, the Teen Titans, Heatwave, Weather Wizard, and members of the Red Lantern Corps (Guy Gardner, Bleez, and Zilius Zox) fight the good fight. (The Red Lantern Corps has recently taken over the Green Lantern Corps’ responsibility as protector of Sector 2814, which includes Earth.) In Metropolis, SuperDoom and Baka destroy a ton of Brainiac’s robots and sever Brainiac’s control over Lois and Metallo. Lois, still with flight ability and telepathy, joins Metallo to continue fighting against Brainiac’s army. In outer space, Steel and Lana Lang fight Cyborg Superman. Eventually, SuperDoom loses complete control of himself and winds up fighting Wonder Woman. Thankfully, Harrow is able to steal Xa-Du’s powers and she eliminates all of the Kryptonite from the atmosphere. Superman is fully restored in an instant and the Doomsday virus disappears! (Xa-Du, as a Kryptonian, gains his full strength back as well, which allows him to easily escape and flee.) Nearly all of Brainiac’s army is defeated, but it doesn’t matter. The real invasion force bursts through an interdimensional stargate—a colossal Brainiac mothership that is larger than the planet Earth itself.
SUPERMAN: DOOMED – LAST SUN
————————–Action Comics Vol. 2 #34
————————–Superman/Wonder Woman #11
————————–Superman: Doomed #2
Brainiac’s mothership has entered Earth’s atmosphere. Batman, from the Fortress of Solitude, detects that Brainiac is about to send out a mind-control pulse, so he tries to warn Red Hood, Starfire, and Arsenal in Gotham. But it’s too late. Millions of people (regular folks and metahumans) immediately succumb to Brainiac’s immense power, all flatlining and turning into mindless zombies. Shortly thereafter the remaining heroes—only Superman, Lois Lane (still with metapowers), Martian Manhunter, Krypto, Metallo, Harrow, Ghost Soldier, Batman, Cyborg, Steel, Lana Lang, Dr. Shay Veritas, and Wonder Woman—regroup on the JL satellite. Using her power to summon and command the dead, Harrow raises up history’s greatest deceased warriors. While Brainiac’s “daughtership” robots are distracted by the army of the dead, Superman, Martian Manhunter, and Wonder Woman attack his mothership. After a calculated strike, the heroes in the Fortress of Solitude (Batman, Lois Lane, Wonder Woman, and Dr. Veritas) combine their tech with the heroes aboard the JL satellite (Lana Lang, Cyborg, and Steel) in an attempt to suck both Brainiac’s mothership and the entire planet Earth into the Phantom Zone! But their plan fails miserably as Brainiac assimilates the ghost army and blows up the JL satellite. Brainiac’s mothership then tries to smash into the much smaller Earth but the combined brute strength of Superman and Martian Manhunter is enough to push the giant vessel back. Superman and Martian Manhunter then destroy a bunch of Brainiac’s elite Collector robots before rescuing Lana Lang and Steel. While they retreat to the Fortress of Solitude, Cyborg is assimilated by the Collectors. In the Fortress of Solitude, the heroes rejoin Batman, Wonder Woman, and Lois Lane and learn that those assimilated by Brainiac eventually die. With no other options left, Wonder Woman recruits Mongul and Non to help the good guys in exchange for Warworld and freedom. Superman taps deep into his unconscious mind, released the Doomsday virus shackled in his psyche, and once again becomes the monster Super Doom. Traveling at near light speed, Super Doom crashes into Brainiac’s mothership. There, Brainiac enters Super Doom’s mind and tells Clark to back down, claiming that he is simply trying to collect enough minds to reshape the universe into a perfect utopia. Brainiac also tells Clark that if his (Brainiac’s) body is destroyed, all of the assimilated people of Earth and other planets will perish. And Brainiac also reveals that Cyborg Superman is Supergirl’s father (and Clark’s uncle) Zor-El. Speaking of Cyborg Superman, Supergirl takes him down inside the Fortress of Solitude. Brainiac, however, manages to assimilate all of the heroes, including Batman. Brainiac then shows Clark visions of a false future 25 years later where Metropolis is safe and Bruce has retired and turned the Batcave into a restaurant. Inside the mothership, Super Doom battles his way to the inner core and meets the man behind Brainiac, an alien scientist formerly known as Vril Dox, who has done every evil act up to this point in an attempt to recreate the universe to bring back his dead family. Super Doom, with Lois Lane’s telepathic help and energy from a Wonder Woman controlled WarWorld, causes Brainiac to release his hold over his captives. Lois immediately loses her powers, but everyone on Earth is A-ok. Clark then saves the day by dragging the mothership, Brainiac’s Vril Dox body, and the remnants of the Doomsday infection into a black hole. From within the dark recesses of the unknown, Brainiac (in his Vril Dox body) is pulled to safely out of the black hole, through the Bleed, and into a realm outside of time and space. He winds up on the “Blood Moon” AKA the sentient planet Telos, home to the gargantuan other über version of Brainiac. Vril Dox Brainiac looks in awe through various crystal windows that show images of previously deleted continuities from the DC Multiverse of yesteryear! Towering above the Vril Dox Brainiac stands the architect and collector of the crystalline worlds, the absolute über version of Brainiac himself. (See the above footnote about the über Brainiac for details.) Meanwhile, Superman is also spit-out onto Telos before eventually being ejected back through a black hole with his memory of the visit completely erased (as seen in Convergence #0). It will take him sixty days to return to Earth (as we learn in Action Comics Vol. 2 #35).
–REFERENCE: In Action Comics Vol. 2 #35. With Superman missing following the events of Doomed, Bruce sets up a WayneTech satellite in Earth’s orbit to send an alert should Superman return. Along with the alert, the satellite with set off a small Kryptonite discharge that will test Superman to make sure he is completely rid of the Doomsday Virus. Bruce also covers for Superman’s secret ID, making a public announcement that the Wayne Foundation has hired Clark Kent on an indefinite overseas assignment.
–REFERENCE: In Batman/Superman #20. In light of Superman’s Doomsday freakout, Batman asks Martian Manhunter to collect a drop from the core of former Kyrpton’s red sun, which the Caped Crusader uses to build a red sun generator, a handheld device that can briefly suppress Kryptonian superpowers.
–Red Lanterns Annual #1
Atrocitus, former leader of the Red Lanterns, has formed a splinter group of evil Red Lanterns (Skallox, Klarn, Dex-Starr, One-Heart, Nayk, Barg, Votun, The Judge, and Sarp) in order to wage war against Guy Gardner’s Red Lantern Corps. Atrocitus’ group now attacks Earth, destroying Baltimore, Paris, the Grand Canyon, Giza, Las Vegas, Shanghai, and Seville. Atrocitus then turns hundreds of humans into crazed, violent Red Lanterns that serve his bidding. In Gotham, the mindless new Red Lanterns start tearing apart the city. Batman fights them off while Guy Gadner shows up to explain what is happening. Bleez uses a Kormoraki “pacifying ray” to temporarily subdue the evil Red Lantern army. Meanwhile, across the galaxy on the planet Styge Prime, Zilius Zox gets mortally wounded by a possessed Rankorr. In his final act, Zilius Zox sacrifices his own life to destroy Atrocitus’ ring-making factory. In Earth’s orbit, Guy Gardner, Supergirl, and Bleez fight Atrocitus and Dex-Starr. Bleez uses her telepathic power to attempt to steal the reawakening new Red Lantern army onto Guy Gardner’s side, but she manages to only convert a mere seven soldiers, whereas Atrocitus uses his own much-stronger telepathic power to wrestle control of the remaining hundreds. (Guy and his pals defeat Atrocitus in the follow-up Red Lanterns #34. Also note that, per Action Comics Vol. 2 #35, the Pyramids of Giza must be rebuilt after Red Lanterns Annual #1 as well.)
————————–Green Arrow Vol. 6 #35
————————–Green Arrow Vol. 6 #39-40
Green Arrow kicks-ass in Star City, but takes a bullet in the arm, prompting his partner John Diggle to take him to Glades Memorial Hospital. The next day, Oliver Queen returns to work as head of the Queen Foundation, a multimillion dollar science and tech company. Shockingly, Lex Luthor and Bruce Wayne are waiting for him when he arrives. The unlikely business partners ask Oliver to join their group and merge the Queen Foundation with LexCorp and WayneTech. Oliver refuses. That night, Oliver’s business assistant and new love interest, Zehra Darvish, chastises him for turning down a lucrative offer. After dinner, Ollie suits-up as Green Arrow and goes to apprehend a computer hacker, who turns out to be the debuting (and friendly) Felicity Smoak. A few days later, millionaire philanthropist John King, father of Speedy (Mia Dearden) and actually secretly a sadistic super-villain who knows Green Arrow’s secret ID, has put a huge bounty on Green Arrow’s head and turned the entire city of Seattle, including the police, against him. Not only that, King has gotten to Zehra and used her to bankrupt Ollie’s company overnight. King has also caused Felicity’s arrest and detainment in a metahuman prison—with Cheetah as her cellmate no less. A pissed-off Ollie confronts and dumps Zehra. That night, with some inside help, Green Arrow breaks Felicity out of the Supermax. A night later, Green Arrow assembles an army to take back Seattle. Green Arrow meets with John Diggle, Felicity, Batman, Arsenal, Lex Luthor, Katana, Naomi Singh, Cupid (Carrie Cutter), and Ollie’s half-sister Emiko Queen. While Green Arrow’s team storms King’s headquarters, Batman pays a visit to the corrupt district attorney and pressures him into pressing criminal charges against King. Green Arrow and Felicity get evidence of criminal wrongdoing on King’s part, but they have to stall releasing it to the district attorney when King threatens to kill Mia. Green Arrow meets King face-to-face and the duke it out in a noir-soaked rain scene. Mia helps Green Arrow take down King, who is exposed and jailed.
–REFERENCE: In Batman: Rebirth #1. Child abuser and former henchman of the Squid, Julian Day, returns as the garish super-villain, Calendar Man. Having shaved and tattooed his head and genetically altered his body so that he literally ages each year until he dies and molts, birthing into a new body every winter, Day brings a seasonal obsession angle to his brand of super-crime. Batman defeats Calendar Man and jails him. Unseen on our timeline, but definitely occurring moving forward, Batman will continuously monitor Calendar Man and communicate with his prison-handlers, eventually learning about the villain’s bizarre genetic alteration and condition.
–REFERENCE: In Legends of Tomorrow #4, Part 3—originally told in Batman #312. Every day for an entire week, an escaped Calendar Man dresses in a different garish costume, each of which represents the day of the week. In these ridiculous get-ups—which include gaudy spandex togs that allow him to play the roles of Odin, the moon, Tiw, Thor, Frigga, and Saturn—Calendar Man defeats Batman six days in a row. Not until he dons his classic goofy red-and-white calendar threads, on the seventh day, is Calendar Man defeated and re-jailed. All of Calendar Man’s goofy costumes will eventually wind up at the Metahuman Museum of Oddities in Atlanta.
–REFERENCE: In Superman Vol. 4 #5. Batman begins his most ambitious project to date (and possibly his most ambitious project ever). With the assistance of an unspecified selection of engineers and meta-powered super-folk, Batman starts building a new unheard-of kind of Batcave—a Batcave hidden in a crater on the dark side of the moon. He will use this base to conduct experiments and tinker with inventions that are far too dangerous to do on Earth. Batman immediately sets up security Bat-drones—likely adapted from the bat camera drones he already uses—that will swarm any unwanted visitors should they infiltrate the bunker. This epic moon-base project will continue in secrecy for the next couple years. We won’t visibly see Batman working on the moon-base on our timeline, but we can imagine him rocketing up there every chance he can to work on its construction in-between listed items, moving forward. (Obviously, certain events, such as Bruce losing his wealth and getting post-death-and-resurrection amnesia, will put the construction of the moon-base on hiatus several times in the upcoming year-plus.)
–Batman Eternal #21-23
Jack Forbes is officially stripped of his commissionership and sent to Blackgate. Mayor Hady appoints Jason Bard as the new Commissioner of Police. Shortly thereafter, Gordon is found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced accordingly with a life term. Meanwhile, Falcone’s lawyers work-up an extradition for him to return to Hong Kong, where he will basically go free. Before Falcone leaves, Batman, having finally discovered that the knife used to execute Dr. Falsario belongs to Falcone, roughs him up and demands answers. Falcone says that he merely had been taking advantage of the situation in Gotham and that a secret villainous mastermind is really behind all that has occurred. Batman then visits Bard, gives him a flash drive with the evidence needed to exonerate Gordon, but tells Bard that he doesn’t trust the new commish. At Wayne Manor, a security alarm goes off as Alfred and Julia are having a chat. Alfred locks Julia in a panic room and goes to intercept the intruder. The intruder, Hush, reveals himself as the mastermind behind everything and injects Fear Toxin into Alfred. By the time Julia gets to her father’s side, he is convulsing in agony, but manages to give her the secret code to get into the Batcave. Across town, Commissioner Bard goes to Blackgate, but instead of releasing Gordon, he releases The Architect (Zachary Gate) on the orders of Hush. Bard has been working for Hush since the beginning. After Alfred is safely in the hospital, Julia returns to Wayne Manor 24 hours later. There, she descends into the Batcave and learns Bruce’s secret. Batman vid-phones into the Batcave and gets the scoop from Julia before heading to the Beacon Tower to take on the Architect, who has taken hostage the workers that are reconstructing the building as a part of the Wayne Enterprises Gentrification Project. With Julia guiding him from the Batcave, Batman rescues the helpless victims and sends the lead architect, Andrew Trondsen, zip-lining across to the safety of a nearby skyscraper. Unfortunately for Trondsen, Hush is waiting and quietly executes him. Batman realizes that the Architect is working for the very man responsible for Gordon’s downfall and Alfred’s hospitalization: his old foe Hush. While Batman fights the Architect, Catwoman gets in the middle of a new gang war for Gotham’s top crime dog—Tiger Shark versus the Ibanescu Family (led by paterfamilias Dragos Ibanescu)—to fill the void left by Penguin and Falcone. Afterward, Catwoman is escorted by Jade, via a secret underground tunnel, inside Blackgate. There she reluctantly chats with her estranged father, Rex Calabrese, who asks her to become a crime kingpin and unite all of Gotham’s underworld in order to save lives. Catwoman accepts before leaving to drop Jade off into the care of Leslie Thompkins. At the Beacon Tower, before escaping, the Architect reveals his true part in Hush’s plan, to use the tower as a giant resonator that starts a small but powerful earthquake. that destroys a portion of the city surrounding the Beacon, although the Beacon itself remains standing above the wreckage. Commissioner Bard visits Mayor Hady and tells him it is time to call in the National Guard and declare martial law in Gotham, citing that the new gang war has erupted, Arkham is “haunted,” a nanobot virus is now spreading in the Narrows, and a villain-caused earthquake has leveled a chunk of the downtown area.
–Batman Eternal #24
August—roughly two weeks have passed since Batman Eternal #23. Spoiler secretly listens-in on her dad Cluemaster as he meets with his mystery partner (SPOILER: It’s the money man, Lincoln March). Cluemaster reveals that his team is subtly causing mass chaos all over Gotham: Signalman is causing traffic gridlock; Rat Catcher is causing piping problems and is leaking deadly pathogens into the water supply; The Prankster (Oswald Hubert Loomis) is causing blackouts; and Lock-Up is working with GCPD moles to ready a new “Big Brother” security blanket. The mystery partner (SPOILER: It’s Lincoln March) tells Cluemaster to end any communications with Lock-Up but continue with the rest as usual. Meanwhile, at the Gotham Gallery of Modern Art, Batman fights what appears to be a ghost that has some connection to Arkham’s Dr. Simon Ecks. Batman defeats the ghost, but then is unable to contact Batwing. On the outskirts of Gotham, Cluemaster chases after Spoiler, who leads him out of the city limits and right into the hands of an untainted group of state troopers, who immediately arrest the villain.
–Aquaman Vol. 7 #32
Batman goes on an unspecified mission with Aquaman and escorts him (in the Batplane) home to Atlantis. Aquaman is shocked to discover that Batman knows the secret location of his undersea kingdom.
–Detective Comics Vol. 2 #27, Part 5
Early September. On the anniversary of his parents’ deaths, Batman is given an It’s a Wonderful Life treatment by the Phantom Stranger, who shows him what the world would have been like had his parents survived that fateful night. Bruce would have happily married Natalya Trusevich (!) and had a son. Unfortunately, Scarecrow-inspired and Joker-inspired gangs would have taken over the city and paralyzed Commissioner Gordon. Likewise, Dick would have been in jail, wrongfully accused of killing his parents. See, Bruce needed to become Batman.
–Catwoman Vol. 4 Annual #2, Part 1
Batman battles Catwoman atop a roof, but then they join forces to quell a raging gang fight against the dangerous Sons of Forster Lane gang. Eiko Hasigawa, heiress to the throne of the powerful Yakuza-linked Hasigawa Family mob organization, spies on Catwoman from afar with keen interest.
September 8–first day of school in Geneva, Switzerland. Batman only appears for a brief few minutes in this issue, but here is the lead up. Mr. Minos tasked Dick, Helena, and two other agents to retrieve Paragon’s eyes, which were in the hands of The Old Gun, an assassin that, following the brutal murders of his kids, underwent surgery to make it so that he literally sees through a pair of pistols. Dick, Alia (Agent 8), Helena, and Tiger (Agent 1) faced-off against the Old Gun in Kuala Lumpur. Once again, Dick refused to use lethal force, which allowed the Old Gun to escape. Cut to the present. After getting chewed-out, Dick secretly contacts Batman and confirms that Mr. Minos basically knows every superhero’s secret ID, including his. Dick asks Batman to search the Bat Computer for any info regarding the Old Gun. A quick search shows that the Old Gun has another son that is set to begin pre-school in Geneva. Thus ends Batman’s involvement in this issue as he immediately returns to the events of Batman Eternal. The next day, Dick will build rapport with the Old Gun, who will hand over Paragon’s eyes only to get shot by a spying Agent 8. The Old Gun will retaliate by gunning her down with his final breath. Back at Spyral HQ, Mr. Minos will order Helena to find out who has been sending secret transmissions.
–Batman Eternal #25-26
September 8-9. At the Gotham Gazette building, Commissioner Bard strong-arms Vicki Vale into publishing a news story stating that the city government under Mayor Hady has failed and that terrorist attacks are imminent. Within 24 hours, chaos reigns over Gotham as its citizens go into a panic. Julia Pennyworth hacks into Blackgate security, revealing that Commissioner Bard was responsible for releasing the Architect, prompting Batman to visit Bard at his home. Meanwhile, Red Robin (now finished training Harper Row and returned from Japan) and Red Hood visit a comatose Alfred at the hospital. Concurrently, Gordon finally gets to speak with Babs on the phone. They have a strained conversation and refer frustratedly to the fact that despite the evidence needed to exonerate him having been found, his release has still inexplicably been denied. Batman crashes into Bard’s apartment only to find a Hush holographic video feed. Hush berates Batman and then detonates a bomb from long range, completely demolishing the building. Red Robin, Red Hood, and Batgirl rescue Batman. Across town, Commissioner Bard convinces Mayor Hady to declare martial law and call in the National Guard. As Julia patches up an injured Batman in the Batcave, Batman addresses Red Hood, Red Robin, and Batgirl. Red Robin mentions that “Death of the Family” happened “months ago.” Since it happened SIXTEEN MONTHS AGO, this is a mega huge continuity error (or the genius Tim is really bad at math). After sending his Bat-Family to deal with the riots in the streets, Batman and Julia visit Alfred at the hospital. There, Batman tells Julia all about Hush. Meanwhile, Spoiler breaks into Kane County Correctional Facility to gloat in front of her incarcerated dad and give him a much-deserved punch in the head. But Cluemaster shows that he has a few tricks up his sleeve even from behind bars. Spoiler tries to upload Hush’s secret plans to the internet, but Cluemaster’s associates block her post and put up a $100,000,000 bounty on her head instead. Only two hours after Batman and Julia visit Alfred, Hush (as Dr. Tommy Elliot—and with his face fully restored) has Alfred transferred to Arkham Asylum into the direct care of the maniacal Joker’s Daughter.
–Batman Eternal #27-28
September 9-10. Batgirl kidnaps, shakes-down, and interrogates the corrupt Commissioner Bard. Meanwhile, Jade McKillen is returned into the custody of her uncle, Dragos Ibanescu. Underneath the Narrows in Gotham’s Underground, Killer Croc wails on some of Deacon Blackfire’s soldiers (normal humans from Arkham that have turned into infectious demon zombies). Killer Croc then crashes into Leslie Thompkins’ Child Services office in search of Jade. Across town, Batman and Catwoman team-up to fight Ibanescu’s henchmen, the Whisper Gang, and the Ferrymen. Afterward, Catwoman argues with Batman and they part ways on bad terms. Ibanescu forces Jade to lead Louis “Bone” Ferryman (leader of the Ferrymen) to the apartment of his arch-rival Catwoman. Batman then runs across Eduardo Flamingo and easily takes him out. Pinned to Flamingo’s costume is a note from Spoiler telling him about a Twitter feed, used by fans and criminals alike, that tracks his every movement. Later at Noonan’s Sleazy Bar (!), Red Hood beats up some random goons before leaving to meet up with Batgirl. Meanwhile, Bone has taken a beaten-up and restrained Catwoman to the Moffat Building where he plans on publicly executing her in front of a bunch of sickos, including Ibanescu and Tiger Shark. Batman lets Flamingo go in order to follow him to Hush’s “rat’s nest,” which leads him to the Moffat Building just in time to witness Killer Croc tearing the place apart looking for Jade. In a chaotic scene, Ibanescu accidentally shoots Jade dead. Across town, Batgirl continues torturing/interrogating Commissioner Bard, but Red Hood stops her from doing something too brash (by doing something brash himself). As the sun comes up, Red Hood says goodbye to Batgirl and rejoins Starfire and Arsenal to travel into outer space. Meanwhile, a dejected Catwoman rebuffs Batman’s offer of a shoulder to lean on, instead breaking into Blackgate and accepting her dad’s offer to become the new “queenpin of crime.”
–Gotham Academy #1
September 10—first day of school in Gotham. Bruce only appears for an hour tops in this issue, but here is the lead in. It has been a busy day at the prestigious Gotham Academy for both teachers (like Professor Achilles Milo, who is shown) and students alike. Freshman Mia “Maps” Mizoguchi missed her first day orientation, after which hard-ass Headmaster Hammer appointed her a special chaperone in her best friend sophomore Olive Silverlock, the kinda sorta girlfriend of Maps’ older brother Kyle Mizoguchi. Cut to now. The first day of school ends and Maps and Olive skip an assembly featuring Bruce Wayne (who very briefly attended Gotham Academy) as keynote speaker. After examining a closed-off supposedly haunted wing of the building, Maps nearly falls to her death but is rescued by Olive—an episode that is witnessed by the entire student body, including Bruce. Shortly thereafter, Bruce and teacher Isla MacPherson make sure Olive is okay before returning to important events in Batman Eternal. Olive immediately hunkers-down with her dorm roommate Lucy Hunt, who swears she has just seen a ghost. A glowing evil eye peeks-in on the girls through a crack in the wall. SPOILER: This is Killer Croc, who has found a cozy hiding place. As we will see in Gotham Academy #4, Croc appears wearing broken chains on his legs and an Arkham jumpsuit. Why he’d be wearing chains and an Arkham suit makes little sense at this point on our timeline unless we assume that Croc was very recently arrested and then immediately escaped from Arkham’s temporary stadium housing. Also note that the Bat Signal is shown in the night sky and the Academy kids even make mention of it. The Bat Signal would not be in use at the moment, so this is either a continuity error or someone else is lighting up a makeshift Bat Signal (as Selina Kyle will later do).
–Batman Eternal #29-31
September 10. At Arkham Asylum, Deacon Blackfire’s demon army (which includes many transformed Arkham inmates) tortures the still-captured Batwing and Jim Corrigan. At her hideout, Joker’s Daughter receives a mysterious purple letter telling her to continue to do Hush’s bidding. Clearly a fake Joker letter, an angered Joker’s Daughter decides it is high time she betrayed Blackfire and broke out on her own. Batwing finally gets communications working for the first time in TWO MONTHS (ever since Joker’s Daughter sent Batman a false message from him) and immediately radios Batman. (Again, the whole pacing and timing of Batwing and Corrigan’s Arkham mission in direct relation to everything else that happens in Batman Eternal seems to be one giant continuity error.) Batwing reports that Blackfire is using Arkham for sinister purposes and also delivers a coded message that Riddler had scrawled onto his cell wall. While Julia decodes Riddler’s riddle, Batman takes on a GCPD riot squad. Batwing then attempts to save Corrigan’s life from Blackfire, which causes Arkham to erupt in a towering green blast of Hellish energy, decimating the entire building. A beam of pure evil energy blasts from Arkham Asylum straight up into the Earth’s atmosphere, knocking a plane out of the sky in the process. While Batman assists in the plane’s safe landing, Deacon Blackfire, still controlling Maxie Zeus’ body, declares premature victory. Corrigan turns into the Spectre and vanquishes Blackfire and his demon hordes with a relative snap of his fingers. Arkham then sinks over a hundred feet into the crumbling caverns beneath it, swallowing hundreds of inmates and staff (including Corrigan, Batwing, and Alfred), and injuring and killing an unknown number of people. Despite all of this, the GCPD still attempts to arrest Batman, who swings down into the crater where Arkham used to be. Down below, Joker’s Daughter attacks Batman atop a heap of rubble. While Batman defeats Joker’s Daughter, Mr. Freeze, Clayface, Victor Zsasz, and Imperceptible Man crawl out of the Arkham crater and attack a bunch of cops. This prompts Batman to ascend back to the top and defeat the villains. Meanwhile, Julia hacks Arkham’s computer system and learns that her dad was committed by Hush the day prior. Downtown, crooked cops pursue Spoiler right into the waiting arms of Hush. While Batman races downtown himself, Alfred teams-up with Bane (!) to fight a swarm of demons as the duo treks through the disaster site and into the adjoining sewer tunnels. Alfred leads Bane right to one of Batman’s substations/weapons caches, activating a defense mechanism that knocks-out Bane with sleeping gas. Alfred logs back online and cheerfully greets both his daughter and Batman via radio.
–Batman Eternal #32
September 10. Batman saves Spoiler’s life from Hush and the latter two flee in opposite directions. Batman then saves Batwing, pulling him out of the Arkham crater. Alfred tearfully reunites with Julia in the Batcave before checking himself into the care of Dr. Leslie Thompkins. Batman discovers that Hush has accessed his secret McGregor Files, which list the exact locations of each of his Bat Bunkers, weapons caches, and safe-houses across Gotham. Meanwhile, Hush meets with Commissioner Bard and gives him new directives. Bard hands the McGregor Files over to Vicki Vale, exposing the Wayne Enterprises-built weapons caches to the public via the Gotham Gazette. Hush, using Alfred’s DNA and a sliced-off fingerprint, then enters one of the Bat Bunkers and detonates the entire stockpile of explosives right below a strategically placed National Guard/GCPD Swat squadron, killing a bunch of soldiers and cops. Curfew falls over the city.
–Batman Eternal #33, Part 1
September 11. It is the morning after Batman’s weapons cache disaster. Gotham’s public is venomous towards Wayne Enterprises for having put secret dangerous weapons depots all over their city. Batman and Julia depart to secure all seventeen of the depots. While entering the first, they are interrupted by a new GCPD Swat super-soldier, but only briefly as Batman easily takes him down. Batman and Julia then split up to cover more ground. I’ve split up Batman Eternal #33 into two parts to accommodate Batman’s check-in call with Dick from Grayson #4, which takes place a full day after Grayson #3 and mentions specifically that Julia is out-and-about securing the weapons caches.
September 11. Since Batman is only in this issue for a few minutes, let’s get caught up to speed. Two days after the Old Gun affair (from Grayson #3), Dick substituted a lollypop for a CSI swab, collecting microscopic evidence off the floor at Spyral HQ—with plans to send said evidence back home to Batman in the States. Then, after stealing a Paragon hard-drive from Checkmate, Dick and Helena returned to St. Hadrian’s, but not before Dick filled-in Batman on the details and overnight-mailed the lolly-swab to him in Gotham. Cut to now. While Julia Pennyworth is out securing the Dark Knight’s secret downtown weapons caches (as seen in Batman Eternal #33), Batman receives Dick’s package and returns to the Batcave to conduct tests on the lolly. Batman discovers tiny microscopic nanite machines designed to clean-up any traces of DNA or fabric that come off of Mr. Minos. These micro-machines apparently are swarming all over Spyral, both cleaning-up and collecting info. Dick then has another encrypted radio chat with Batman before the latter returns to events in Batman Eternal #33. The rest of Grayson #4 does not involve Batman, but it is interesting enough to continue a synopsis. Dick will play tag with some of the St. Hadrian’s students, horny co-eds (including star student Lotti Duff) who want a piece of the sexy side of man-beef that is Dick Grayson. After a jovial run around campus, Headmistress Helena will put a stop to the shenanigans. After getting chewed-out by Mr. Minos, Dick is punished by being forced to teach a gymnastics class while appearing, thanks to hypnos-tech and Fraulein Netz’s imagination, as both physically unremarkable and homosexual in the eyes of the young ladies of St. Hadrian’s. Later that night, Helena will play some sexy catch-me-if-you-can games with Dick too.
–Batman Eternal #33, Part 2
September 11. While securing more weapons caches, Bruce takes a phone call from a disappointed Lucius Fox, who tells him that his secrets will bring a devastating backlash against Wayne Enterprises. Meanwhile, Julia enters another weapons cache and runs straight into Hush, who is inside.
–Batman Eternal #34
September 11. Picking up right where Batman Eternal #33, Part 2 ended, Hush fights Julia Pennyworth, nearly killing her and detonating another of Batman’s weapons caches. Batman rushes to the scene and saves Julia’s life. Meanwhile, Mayor Hady and Commissioner Bard freak out about the second explosion and bring the hammer down on Lucius Fox. With Julia unconscious but safe in the Batcave, night falls over Gotham. Batman confronts Hush at another weapons cache beneath Martha Wayne Foundation Hospital. Batman beats-up a Batman-helmet-wearing Hush in an epic slug-fest. However, the victory is soured when Alfred patches in a live news feed. Lucius announces that the federal government has seized control of Wayne Enterprises. All of the company’s foreign and domestic holdings are also seized. Bruce has just lost his company. Batman takes an invitation card, the same one given to Carmine Falcone, out of Hush’s pocket. The card is from Hush’s boss (meaning there is another real Big Bad of this arc).
–REFERENCE: In Batman Eternal #35. September 11. Batman puts Hush into a holding cell inside the Batcave.
–REFERENCE: In the second feature to All-Star Batman #6. September. Batman prepares for Riddler to attack the city on the anniversary of his Zero Year attack. Sure enough, as he does every year (whether he is in prison or not), Riddler initiates a new pre-planned puzzle-themed strike on Gotham in commemoration of Zero Year. Since the reference to the anniversary attacks in the second feature to All-Star Batman #6 is vague and does not give specifics, we don’t know what this attack entails. Nor are we told whether or not Batman is able to stop Riddler’s plot.
–REFERENCE: In Arkham Manor #1 and Batman Eternal #35. Bruce has already lost control of his company. Now, the unthinkable happens as well. Bruce also loses his ancestral home in the worst way possible. Ever since Arkham Asylum’s recent destruction, all of Arkham’s inmates have been temporarily housed in a stadium downtown. Mayor Hady uses the power of eminent domain to turn the now government-owned Wayne Manor into “Arkham Manor,” the new permanent home for Gotham’s craziest super-villains. Bruce is given the legal option of allowing contractors to turn his house into a prison or to allow bulldozers to raze the place and build a new facility. Bruce takes the first option. He then puts his remaining valuables into storage, except for a painting of his parents, which goes down into the secret Batcave below. Batman, putting a positive spin on things, cites that an emotional attachment to the house was making him weak anyhow. Plus, Batman will be able to keep closer tabs on the bad guys locked up in Arkham. For security, Batman and Julia Pennyworth being cementing-up all connections between the Batcave and the manor. Note that Bruce has lost his home, but won’t actually physically move out Wayne Manor for over a month.
–REFERENCE: In Gotham Academy #4. Bruce visits Gotham Academy to check up on Olive Silverlock, but winds up having an undisclosed “moment” with teacher Isla MacPherson. (Bruce is simply checking-up on Olive.)
–Gotham Academy #4-6
The abandoned and supposedly haunted North Hall of Gotham Academy gets sealed-off by Headmaster Hammer and Achilles Milo after Olive Silverlock, Maps Mizoguchi, Pomeline Fritch, and Colton Rivera break into it the night prior. In the morning, Olive overhears a visiting Bruce Wayne awkwardly chatting with Isla MacPherson. Olive then slips on some wet leaves and literally falls into the arms of the mysterious Tristan Grey (secretly a man-bat that has been following her around). After interrogating a boy named Eric Jørgensen, who drew the weird North Hall symbol on a notebook, Olive learns that the symbol is hidden all over campus. That night, Olive discovers that a ghost pertaining to a string of recent sightings has actually been a fake, made up by Pomeline’s boyfriend Heathcliff Ray to make Pomeline feel better—(Pomeline has been frustratedly trying to summon the ghost of Millie Jean Cobblepot and has been failing to do so for a long time). Later, Maps discovers a hidden room behind Olive’s dorm wall. Olive goes behind the wall to discover Killer Croc, who has escaped from custody and has been living there for the past few days. Killer Croc explains that he promised Olive’s mom that he’d check up on her (before Arkham collapsed and put Olive’s mom into a coma). Olive surmises that Croc must have been living in the Academy’s walls ever since the collapse of Arkham Asylum, but based upon Croc’s other appearances in Batman Eternal after the collapse of Arkham, this obviously cannot be true. Croc runs off. The next day, Olive, Maps, Pomeline, and Colton make a map of the underground tunnels that run between campus buildings and formulate a plan to find Croc. The next day, the foursome ditches both a school dance and Kyle Mizoguchi thanks to some help from Warren McGinnis (who will later father Terry McGinnis years down the road, in case you forgot). After gathering weapons, they head toward North Hall. Olive is startled by a man-bat and shoots it with a crossbow, revealing Tristan, who explains his Langstrom Virus condition. Tristan also tells Olive that he witnessed her, in the summer, sleepwalk into North Hall and accidentally set it ablaze with her latent pyrokinetic ability, a genetic gift from mom. Tristan flies off when Maps jumps out of the bushes. Olive, Maps, Pomeline, and Colton then enter North Hall and deliver food to a happy and grateful Killer Croc. Then Batman crashes into the building and begins fighting Killer Croc. Olive starts a fire to save Croc, who returns the favor by saving her. They talk about Olive’s mom before Croc departs. Later, Batman confronts Olive and asks for the missing diary of Millie Jane Cobblepot, but Olive denies having it. The next day, Lucy tells Olive that she will be transferring to a school in Metropolis. At lunch, Olive, Maps, Kyle, Colton, and Pomeline discover the arcane symbol they’ve seen everywhere is an old Arkham Asylum monograph. They decide to form a “detective club” to delve deeper into the hidden connections between Arkham and Gotham Academy. Meanwhile, Damian Wayne (!) steals the diary of Millie Jean and returns it to his dad, who has just finished enrolling him as a new student at Gotham Academy!
–Action Comics Vol. 2 #35
Early October. Sixty days have passed since the end of Superman: Doomed. Superman, after traveling through several Black Holes and across the vast expanse of the universe, finally returns to Earth where he gets immediately zapped with Kryptonite and scanned for traces of the Doomsday Virus by Bruce’s WayneTech satellite. Supergirl greets Superman and fills him in on the details of the battle against Brainiac. Superman begins the reconstruction sequence for the Fortress of Solitude, which will take forty days to complete. In Smallville, Lana Lang (now dating John Henry Irons) tells Clark that her parents died during Brainiac’s invasion. After that, Clark visits Bruce at Wayne Manor. Bruce deduces that Superman’s powers are temporarily weakened from his journey and tells Clark to take a vacation. That night, a depressed but coy Clark writes a biting blog article dissing Superman. In the morning, Lois Lane (having now lost her memories of Superman’s secret ID thanks to Brainiac) bursts through the door and scolds Clark for writing the piece. Just as Clark had planned, Lois writes a pro-Superman article (for a readership that is much, much greater than Clark’s, boosting the Man of Steel’s approval rating back upward. Meanwhile, in Smallville, Lana’s parents terrifyingly rise from their graves courtesy of Ultra-Humanite.
–Deathstroke Vol. 3 #4-5
Recently, Deathstroke was made young again thanks to the magick of I-Ching. Now, he’s involved in a convoluted plot featuring the “Dead Bastards,” a secret hit squad that works for the CIA and Interpol. One of the Bastards, Red Fury (Kendal James), having already captured and drugged Deathstroke’s pal Bronze Tiger, introduces her teammates—The Spanish Inquisitor (Victor Ruiz), Angelica, and I-Ching—who fill Deathstroke in on the latest spook scoop. The CIA and Interpol want Deathstroke to help the Bastards eliminate his evil and powerful father Odysseus (Charles Henry Wilson) and capture his dangerous son Jericho (Joseph Wilson), who is in Gotham, hiding out with his deadly sister Ravager (Rose Wilson). Knowing that Odysseus has partnered with the Lady Shiva-led League of Assassins, the Bastards send a brainwashed Bronze Tiger—complete with false information about having murdered Deathstroke—back to the roost. Odysseus and Lady Shiva make plans to depart for Gotham. Meanwhile, Deathstroke arrives in Gotham and asks Harley Quinn (also visiting Gotham) to help locate his kids. Harley double-crosses Deathstroke and leads him straight into the waiting fists of Batman. Deathstroke and Batman fight until Harley levels the building with a stack of bombs. Harley tells Deathstroke that his daughter Ravager works for Penguin (who is currently in prison). This prompts Deathstroke to ride off with Harley on a Vespa. Batman crawls out from the rubble in time to see them depart. Across town, Ravager and Jericho are confronted by Odysseus, Shiva, and Bronze Tiger.
————————–Wonder Woman Vol. 4 #36
————————–Wonder Woman Vol. 4 #38-40
On Paradise Island, an Amazonian political council argues about the effectiveness of Wonder Woman’s reign as queen, questioning her loyalties and her radicalism. (Wonder Woman has recently allowed the Amazonian males to return to Themyscira, a very unpopular move.) Clyemne and Wonder Woman’s own aunt Derinoe call for a change in leadership while Wonder Woman’s friend Dessa defends her. Meanwhile, after mysterious unnatural disasters level villages in various parts of the world, the Justice League assembles. Shazam, Captain Cold, and Luthor are not present and Flash notes how nice it is with Luthor not being around. Each Justice Leaguer pairs-off and visits the disaster sites. We don’t see where Batman goes (possibly Ecuador), but we do see Wonder Woman and Aquaman have a brief altercation with Swamp Thing in Thailand. Wonder Woman and Aquaman then have a heart-to-heart. She mentions that Clark has “only just finished overcoming Doomsday.” Wonder Woman returns to Paradise Island to learn that her mom, Hippolyta, has died—her magick clay statue form has melted and crumbled. Later in London, Wonder Woman has a horrible nightmare featuring the death of many of her fellow Amazons. Wonder Woman’s half-sister Strife (the Greco-Roman Goddess of Discord also known as Eris) secretly watches her dream. Diana has a chat with her bestie Hessia before rejoining the JLA when another village is leveled in Peru. In Peru, Batman, who has finally learned that Wonder Woman is the new God of War, questions whether that is a good thing or not. At the base of a volcano, Superman comes across a bizarre cavern filled with deadly insects. Meanwhile, on Paradise Island, the council votes to dethrone Wonder Woman as their queen. Derinoe introduces the new queen, a brainwashed Donna Troy! Donna Troy, the original Wonder Girl who has been missing for the past several years, has now just been conjured forth from an occult ritual performed by Derinoe. (As revealed in Titans Vol. 3 Annual #1, Donna was originally shaped from magick clay to be a weapon used against Wonder Woman, but the Amazons turned her good and gave her false memories of being born and raised as a normal Amazonian gal.) Back at the bug cavern, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman come across all the missing villagers, all dead and gooey and strung-up like an HR Giger art-piece. Wonder Woman sword duels and angrily stabs the culprit, a weird bug man. (This fight is also shown via flashback from Wonder Woman: Rebirth #1.) With the bug man in custody aboard the JL satellite, Batman scolds Wonder Woman for striking first without asking questions. Later, after chatting with the spirit of her mother and the male Amazons, Wonder Woman meets and fights Donna Troy in a very public confrontation. The fight is curtailed and Dernioe gives Wonder Woman two days to prepare for a final rematch. After long conversations with Dessa and Superman, Wonder Woman rejoins the JLA to enter the cave home of the queen hive of the bug-people. There the skeletal leader of the bug-people reveals that their long dormant alien race (which crash landed on Earth millions of years ago and went into stasis) was revived when Wonder Woman herself recently killed and buried the evil First Born (Zeus and Hera’s first child). Meanwhile on Themyscira, Donna Troy and a small band of followers brutally slaughter a bunch of defenseless Amazonian males.
–FLASHBACK: From Batman & Robin Eternal #22. Batman and Robin train in the Batcave and the Boy Wonder nearly falls over a cliff, forcing the Dark Knight to save his life. An embarrassed and self-deprecating Robin compares himself to the other previous Robins, but instead of dissing himself, disses his father’s training methods. Batman removes his mask and calmly addresses his son, telling him the value and differences of each prior Robin. He tells Damian that it’s not his job to train perfect soldiers. Batman says that even he too makes mistakes and that he only wants to protect and offer support to his boys in hopes they will each find their own path.
–REFERENCE: In flashback from Robin: Son of Batman #1. Robin trains in the Batcave and receives a message from Batman telling him to take the night off while the Dark Knight patrols Gotham solo. Alfred makes Damian an ice cream sundae, but Damian feeds it to Titus. Ravi, caretaker of Al Ghul Island, calls Damian and tells him that his giant man-bat monster Goliath has escaped. Damian goes to Al Ghul Island, collects his pet, and decides that he will go on a yearlong globetrotting adventure quest—a year of atonement for all the sins he committed while being raised by the League of Assassins. (In reality, Robin’s quest will take around eight months to complete, ending on the very day of the public announcement of Batman’s “death,” two weeks after “Endgame.” Robin will return to Gotham two months after that, making his full time abroad add up to about ten months.) Meanwhile, in Gotham, Nobody’s daughter (Maya Ducard) takes up his mantle to become Nobody II and vows revenge on her father’s killer: Robin.
–REFERENCE: In Batman Eternal #35 and Arkham Manor #1. Two days before Batman Eternal #35. Bruce hands the keys to Wayne Manor over to Jeremiah Arkham. Contractors immediately begin morphing the house into a prison. Bruce moves into a city apartment owned by Alfred.
–REFERENCE: In Infinity Man & The Forever People #4. Bruce moves Bat-Cow to her new home at a Wayne Enterprises dairy farm in Ventura, California.
–Detective Comics Vol. 2 #35-36 (“TERMINAL”)
October—this arc occurs in specifically in autumn. As far as our timeline is concerned, this story functions as the last time Bruce spends a bit of his personal wealth before losing it entirely. Alfred encourages Bruce to take a vacation here, citing that one is long overdue. Alfred also probably senses that there is nothing they can do to stop the banks from freezing his accounts in the very near future. Thus, the mini vacation acts as one final reprieve/hurrah before the moolah goes away. Onto the synopsis. Unluckily for Alfred, but luckily for Bruce, a plane crashes at the airport just as they are about to depart for vacation. Batman cancels his plans and checks out the plane, which is filled with mummified and skeletal corpses, victims of a weird chemical weapon that causes rapid aging. Batman, who complains of nagging injuries (suffered during Batman Eternal), orchestrates a quarantine with the Port Authority. An international terrorist named Magnus Magnuson appears on a live TV feed and takes credit for the attack, citing that he wants all US troops out of the Middle East or millions will die. Batman contacts Dick Grayson, who is in the middle of assisting in a Spyral torture session in Belarus, and tells him to drop everything to focus on Magnuson. A rapidly aging Batman then gets info on the attacked plane, learning that the source of the outbreak came from a corpse being transferred in the hold. In Minsk, Dick visits a seedy nightclub and confronts Magnuson’s S&M girlfriend. After some making-out and some kinky spy dialogue, Dick learns that Magnuson is at the Gotham Airport and that the antidote is flowing through his bloodstream. Back in Gotham, Batman punches out some asshole CDC guy in a hazmat suit and calms dying airport security man, Chief Ed Boar. After a quick chat with Dick, Batman finds Magnuson, shocks him with a taser, collects his blood, and cures everyone. Bruce and Alfred then take a very short but much-needed out-of-the-country tropical vacation. Bruce leaves behind a one-way ticket to Hawaii for Chief Boar.
–Batman Eternal #35-36
An editorial note tells us that two weeks have passed since the fall of Hush in Batman Eternal #34. This is an out-and-out error. A full SIX WEEKS has to have passed if Batman Eternal is to truly take us to mid January by Batman Eternal #47 (which gives us the specific date in that issue). Bruce meets with Lucius Fox to discuss the details of the collapse of Wayne Enterprises. Things are as dire as they seem. Lucius, having just met with Bruce’s lawyers, glumly reports the bad news. Since the majority of Bruce’s assets were tied to Wayne Enterprises, Bruce has now officially lost his personal wealth and family fortune and his bank accounts have been frozen. Lucius also notes the government has raided and shut down the entire R&D Division, including anything Batman Incorporated related. He also tells Bruce that he will fully cooperate with Commissioner Bard. Julia then checks-in with Bruce from the Batcave, citing that Arkham construction is going on above her in the mansion and that Alfred is resting, still feeling weak ever since his stay at the asylum. Three hours after his meeting with Lucius, Batman purposefully drives into a Bard-designed trap, hoping to confront him one-on-one. However, Batman underestimates the trap. While sad Bullock and sad Sawyer stand idly by, Lucius, using Batman Inc tech, helps a crazed Commissioner Bard remote-control the Batmobile, which Batman is behind the wheel of. The Batmobile rockets into the top of Wayne Tower, crashing through the building before plummeting down from forty stories and exploding on the sidewalk below. Across town in one of Red Robin’s Nests, Harper Row tends to her comatose brother, who must have been moved to the Nest at some point. He has been in a coma for about three months now! Red Robin interrupts to alert her about Batman’s situation. Meanwhile, in Detroit, Vicki Vale and Joey Day dig up some dirt on Jason Bard in his hometown, learning about his troubled past from a bartender named Frank. Frank explains that Bard’s partner got killed on duty thanks to a Batman-copycat, causing Bard to vow revenge on the real Batman. The very night of his partner’s death, Bard (still covered in his partner’s blood for dramatic effect) was recruited by a pre-Hush Tommy Elliot to set into motion the plan that would ultimately unfurl itself as the nefarious plot against Batman and Gordon in Batman Eternal—meaning that Elliot and whoever he was working with set up Bard to become susceptible to wanting to join them then and there. If it seems like I’m having trouble explaining this in a succinct fashion, this is because all of Batman Eternal is a conglomeration of total nonsense garbage stories. Seriously, why does Bard immediately blame Batman for a Batman-copycat that wasn’t even really responsible for his partner’s death? And how does Elliot (even assuming this is all a set-up to snare Bard) know that Bard will be on board with his evil plan, especially mere HOURS after the death? Have they been scoping for a psychological profile of a person that will undoubtedly be willing to move across the country to engage in a highly illegal, convoluted plan to discredit and possibly murder two people he barely even knows? And since this would have had to been before Elliot scarred his face and became Hush, so if a long-game plan was in motion, why did he become Hush and jump the gun? Because he was antsy? Or maybe just plain crazy? This is all so stupid it makes my brain hurt. Moving on. After hearing the sordid tale, Vicki accepts a phone call from Commissioner Bard, who gloats about having taken down Batman. Vicki dumps him. Batman, having escaped the fiery wreckage of the Batmobile unscathed, arrives to punch Bard in the face. Batman, Red Robin, Red Hood, and Batgirl (in her brand new hipster Burnside costume) then threaten Bard and tell him to right all the wrongs that he’s done—or else. Back in the Batcave, Batman briefs his Bat-Family and tells them to start figuring out who Falcone and Hush were working for. Elsewhere, Riddler chuckles to himself and claims that he knows the answer.
–Batman Vol. 2 #34
In a Newsarama interview in July 2014, Scott Snyder said Batman #34 takes place after Eternal‘s end right around the time of “Endgame,” but this can’t be right at all. Here are a few things to consider. Batman #34 has to take place before Arkham Manor‘s “A Home For the Criminally Insane” since the Meek appears in that arc. In turn, “A Home For the Criminally Insane” must occur before Hush escapes his imprisonment in the Batcave, which happens in Batman Eternal #47. Here’s what else Batman #34 shows us. Jim Gordon is still in prison, Selina Kyle is a “kingpin,” and the GCPD is still gunning for Batman. One error to note: A single panel (with no text) shows an out-of-prison Penguin. He won’t get out of Blackgate until Batman Eternal #50. Okay, onto a synopsis. Dr. Leslie Thompkins contacts Batman and alerts him that one of her free-clinic patients has gone missing. After a cursory investigation, Batman unearths that many of Leslie’s patients have been abducted and murdered over the past few months. After tracking down the serial killer, who calls himself The Meek, and setting a lure, Batman poses as Leslie (using his digital face-altering tech) and gets the jump on the bad guy in Leslie’s home. With the assistance of orderly Eric Border (SPOILER: Border is Joker in disguise), Batman sticks the Meek into an empty Arkham Manor cell, which just happens to be the cell normally reserved for the Joker. (The single shot of Arkham from the outside clearly resembles the old Arkham Asylum, which is a continuity error since Arkham should be in Wayne Manor at this point.) The next day, Harvey Bullock lets Batman examine the “potter’s field” on the outskirts of Gotham where the serial killer has dumped dozens of corpses.
–Arkham Manor #1-3 (“A HOME FOR THE CRIMINALLY INSANE”)
November. Gotham is facing an early snowfall and we are told specifically that it isn’t yet Thanksgiving, making is likely a few days before the holiday. This series also takes place specifically before Hush, who is shown in captivity in Arkham Manor #4, escapes in Batman Eternal #47. Here we go. Batman broods in the Batcave before violently taking his frustrations out on an unnamed petty thug. Afterward, Bruce shrugs-off the advances of a high-handed unnamed paparazzo and then shares a whisky drink with Alfred. Later, Batman visits Arkham Manor to help Harvey Bullock investigate the double murder of two inmates, but they find no leads. Batman and Alfred then erase the police records database of a recent deceased crook. Batman takes the dead man’s identity and goes undercover as Arkham Manor’s newest inmate: Jack Shaw. Within hours, “Jack” attends his first group therapy meeting along with Scarecrow, Amygdala (recently transferred from Blackgate), Seth Wickham, Mr. Freeze, and the Meek. Eric Border (secretly the Joker in disguise) interrupts to announce that Victor Zsasz has gone missing. Later that night, a wheelchair-bound John Doe is admitted to Arkham. Batman thinks he is suspicious. After hours, Batman—still as “Jack”—checks in on comatose metahuman inmate Calamity (Olive Silverlock’s mother Sybil). Then, Batman (as Batman) tells Border to keep an eye on the wheelchair man, who he has deduced is a burnt-out Clayface (actually a lost living fragment of Clayface). Returning to his Jack persona, Batman witnesses the near-murder of Wickham from afar. He runs into Wickham’s room to corner the shadowy agile assailant, but an orderly clunks him on the head. (SPOILER: The mystery man is the debuting Spider.) Border runs in, but the killer has hidden himself away. Later, Batman disguises himself as an orderly and sneaks about his former home searching for the killer. Outside, Wickham, while being transported to a hospital, falls into a sinkhole, prompting Border to rescue him (and likely dose him with Joker Venom). Back inside, Batman fights the spidery mystery villain but the latter escapes again. Batman then finds Zsasz, barely alive, having been tortured by the mystery man. Across town, Wickham kills the EMTs and runs away. At Arkham, Border doses the wheelchair-bound Clayface fragment with Joker Venom and turns him into Clownface. Border muses aloud to himself that Joker is ready to return, citing that he will be coming back in a few days, an insinuation that he’s going to start his “Endgame” attack on Batman in Batman #36. However, that timeline seems way off. Maybe Joker holds off because Eternal‘s craziness ramps-up and he wants Batman’s undivided attention?
–Arkham Manor #4-6
Clownface runs amok at Wayne Manor, causing Sybil Silverlock to awake from her coma and escape. Batman, still posing as “Jack Shaw,” recruits Mr. Freeze to help him take on Clownface. Batman then rescues the injured petty thug that he violently beat up a day ago and Jeremiah Arkham. Mr. Freeze freezes Clownface to defeat him. Batman knocks-out Jeremiah Arkham and runs outside. Mr. Freeze opts not to escape, citing that he’s got nowhere else to go. Back in the Batcave, Batman puts his Batman costume on while being heckled by Hush from his cell. Batman re-enters the asylum (this time as Batman) and tells Jeremiah Arkham that he now knows who the mystery killer is. The spidery villain scuttles through the walls as Batman tells Jeremiah to lock down the building. The Meek finds Joker’s calling card in his cell, left there Joker himself, but no one will listen when he tries to tell them. Batman finds the weird villain and beats the crap out of him in front of the whole Arkham populace. The villain refuses to speak, instead biting off his own tongue and spitting it at Batman. Once “Spider,” as Batman calls him, is locked up, Jeremiah Arkham looks him over and realizes that he is one of the day-laborers that helped adapt Wayne Manor into Arkham Manor. Batman then goes after Seth Wickham at his family’s apartment only to find them murdered. While Batman trails Wickham, Alfred radios-in and tells the Dark Knight that there is a way to legally get back possession of Wayne Manor. But Batman can’t chat about that at the moment as he recaptures Wickham. Batman then, at the urging of Dr. Arkham himself, bugs every cell in Arkham Manor in order to keep tabs on the inmates. He also links to every security camera in the building. A few days later, after Bruce calls in a favor with the Wayne Foundation, Jack Shaw’s corpse (the real Jack Shaw whose name Batman had borrowed to go undercover) gets an official military burial. Dr. Arkham, meanwhile, allows for the opportunity for Batman to use Jack Shaw’s identity in the future by lying and saying to Harvey Bullock that Shaw has been contacting him via phone. After Shaw’s funeral, Bruce tells-off the same paparazzo from the other day and then decides not to sign the challenge-of-seizure paperwork that would return legal possession of his home, citing that Gotham is safer with Wayne Manor as Arkham’s permanent residence. Clownface is taken to STAR Labs for holding. Back to business as usual, Batman spies on the Arkham inmates.
–Batman Eternal #37
Roughly six weeks have passed since Batman Eternal #36. (We need this huge passage of time, which seemingly should be a much shorter ellipsis than it is, in order for things to be reconcilable later on i.e. take us into January 2015 by the end of Batman Eternal as the narrative states outright.) At Selina’s hidden underground Egyptian Nightclub casino, which was set up about two weeks ago, a Ghost Dragon attempts to kill Selina, but she easily disposes of him. Meanwhile, Luke Fox and Rory discover that their apartment is now haunted (thanks to some bad Arkham juju/Corrigan magick being stuck inside the Batwing armor). Batman, hoping to locate escaped Arkham inmates, gets some info from Noonan’s Sleazy Bar leading him to a known human-trafficker. But the lead is a dead end and Batman departs after a chat with both the human-trafficker and Killer Croc. Selina appears afterward (the last time she wears her Catwoman costume) to recruit Croc. On the other side of town, Bane, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze, Clayface, and Joker’s Daughter hideout in an abandoned restaurant and form a team. Catwoman uses a kitten with a camera-collar to spy on them. Downtown, Commissioner Bard tries to apologize to Bullock and Sawyer, but they won’t hear a word of it. Later, Selina lights up a makeshift Bat Signal and Batman comes calling. She tells him that she knows how to round-up all of the Arkham escapees.
–Grayson Annual #1
Batman isn’t shown in this issue, but he does appear off-panel. Dick contacts Batman and briefs him on an upcoming Spyral mission to retrieve Paragon’s skin in Ireland from some mobsters connected to the super-villain St. Francis and an old criminal contact that knows Matches Malone from back in the day. Dick tells Batman to vouch for him (as Malone) should the Irish mob vixen call him. I won’t get into the nitty gritty details of Dick and Helena’s successful dupe of the Irish mobsters, but during the affair, the phone call is made to Malone, who vouches for Dick’s alter-ego of Rob “Rock” McGinn.
Dick has been kidnapped by Midnighter and imprisoned aboard the cloaked “Godgarden” satellite in Earth’s orbit. There, an seemingly cosmic-powered old lady called The Gardener watches over Dick. (Paragon, whose body parts Spyral has been collecting these past months, was originally created to destroy the Gardener.) The Gardener tells Dick that, within the hour, the Fist of Cain plans on killing thousands at a rock concert in Tel-Aviv, an act she has personally orchestrated in order to scare the world into ending the proliferating “super-human arms race.” Grayson reasons with the benevolent Gardener, reminding her that even a good cause isn’t worth the cost of thousands of lives. Gardner sees the light and sends both Dick and Midnighter to stop the massacre. At the Silence By Sin concert, the heroes join Helena Bertinelli and Mr. Minos to prevent the band (who, despite being one of the most famous bands in the world, are Fist of Cain cultists) from using Paragon’s brain to kill everyone. Dick takes the brain into Spyral custody. Later, Dick has a secret phone call with Batman and fills him in on the details of the case. Both Dick and Helena’s memories of Mr. Minos having been present are erased. It is revealed (to the reader) that there are multiple identical doppelganger Minoses running about in order to hide and protect the real deal. Meanwhile, Midnighter leaves the employ of the Gardener.
–Batman Eternal #38-40
A couple days have passed since Batman Eternal #37. In Blackgate, Rex Calabrese tells Jim Gordon that he should break jail, especially since everybody knows he is innocent. Gordon says he won’t. He respects the law too much! Meanwhile, Batman glides into Willowwood Hospital where the Arkham villain team is holed up. There Bane, who has fallen under Poison Ivy’s spell, is led into a trap by Ivy. Killer Croc ambushes Bane and defeats him in combat! Batman easily captures Joker’s Daughter, Mr. Freeze, Scarecrow, and Clayface. Back at the abandoned restaurant hideout, Ivy meets with Selina Kyle and collects a briefcase of cash, her prize for selling-out the Arkham baddies. Concurrently, down-and-out Commissioner Bard realizes that everything he has done has been wrong—(this guy flip-flops more than politicians during re-election campaigns). Bard visits Gordon at Blackgate and says that he will try to help make things right again. At the Egyptian Nightclub, Selina celebrates her victory over the Arkham villains with her new bodyguard, Killer Croc. Later, Batman gives Riddler code (given to him by Batwing three weeks ago) to Red Robin for deciphering. Red Robin successfully deciphers the code as a riddle that says Riddler knows who the Big Bad is. Julia reminds Bruce that he’s lost everything, except for a few properties that were purchased off-the-books. Batman then realizes that Riddler is holed up at Bruce’s Bullseye Casino Resort in the snowy Pineskills. Batman flies up to Miller Mountain and engages Riddler in a game that involves more riddles and following a series of packages lining a mountainside. Meanwhile, back in Gotham, the Arkham escapees are en route to Blackgate when their prison transport is ambushed and the guards are killed. In a parking garage, the escapees are joined by Firefly, Lock-Up, a freed Cluemaster, Signalman, and Rat Catcher. Selina Kyle is also present, having been invited by the mystery Big Bad. ED-209-style Bat-mechs enter the room and a fleet of Bat-vehicles and weapons are unveiled. Over a loudspeaker, the Big Bad tells the villains that all of Batman’s arsenal is at their disposal. On the slope of Miller Mountain, Batman roughs-up Riddler, who says he hates the mystery Big Bad and wants to help Batman, but refuses to say who it is. Riddler’s packages explode, sending an avalanche pouring over both he and Batman. At the Gotham Gazette home office, Warren White and Vicki Vale begin to put together some of the pieces of the mystery themselves, but an intern named Patrick enters, shoots Warren, and tries to shoot Vicki. But Vicki is a badass and knocks the assassin out. Cut back to the villain meeting—an obstreperous Selina refuses to join up with the merry band of psychos, which results in Firefly blowing up her limo and leaving her for dead. But Selina is a badass and easily escapes, reuniting with Killer Croc and getting details about the huge hundred mil bounty on Spoiler’s head from another of her henchmen. Selina departs to nab Spoiler. Meanwhile, Jim Corrigan finally escapes from the tunnels underneath Arkham Ground Zero, crawling out of a sewer drain with an unconscious Maxie Zeus in tow. Corrigan can’t be too sure, but he states that he thinks it has been about two weeks since Arkham collapsed. For all of his magick genius, he’s way off. It’s been over FIVE WEEKS! Corrigan looks up at the Gotham skyline to see multiple explosions. The villains have begun bombing the city using Batman’s old vehicles. Meanwhile, a bunch of teens with glowing eyes wander the streets like scary zombies, victims of the nanovirus outbreak.
–Batman Eternal #42
In downtown Gotham, Mad Hatter (working on behalf of the mystery Big Bad) has constructed a large tower machine that controls the nanovirus outbreak. With Red Robin, Red Hood, Batgirl, Cullen Row, and dozens of teenagers under his spell, Harper Row is Gotham’s only hope. Harper becomes Bluebird, donning a cool costume and anti-nano barrier. As Bluebird heads toward Mad Hatter’s location, Stephanie is captured by Killshot and delivered to her mom Crystal, who takes her back in and claims that she wants nothing but the safety of her child (which is a lie). Downtown, Bluebird successfully defeats Mad Hatter, undoes his spell over everyone, and destroys the tower machine. Batman, having just returned from the Pineskills, swoops in and finishes off Mad Hatter. Later, Harper chats with an impressed Red Robin. At the Brown household, Selina breaks-in, ties up momma Brown, and kidnaps Stephanie.
–REFERENCE: In Batman Eternal #48. Batman, who already has the remote ability to tap into Batwing’s costume via the Bat-computer, adds a similar fail-safe to Bluebird’s costume (possibly without her knowing). Batman adds a similar fail-safe to Red Robin’s costume as well (almost definitely without him knowing)—although it is possible that Red Robin’s fail-safe override has been secretly installed for a while already.
–Detective Comics #37-40 (“ANARKY”)
December 24-29—specifically starts on Christmas Eve and also specifically takes place “a few months” after Detective Comics #34 (around six months to be exact). Anarky returns and executes corrupt business exec Jeb Lester at Wayne Tower. Meanwhile, Batman apprehends an escaped Mad Hatter, Tweedle-Dum, and Tweedle-Dee. Near Mad Hatter, Batman finds several skulls belonging to children, which he takes back to the Batcave for analysis. There, Batman discovers that they have been decomposing for around six years, meaning that Jervis Tetch had been secretly killing kids even before his debut as Mad Hatter. Bruce, Alfred, and Titus then hike through the snowy forest on the outskirts of Gotham and Alfred delivers his X-mas present—Wayne Manor lit up with holiday lights. (Don’t forget that this is Arkham Manor, so this either a huge continuity error or Alfred has gotten permission to dress up the mansion in spite of its current loony bin status simply to give Bruce a moment of joy.) At police HQ, Harvey Bullock and Nancy Yip talk about how shitty Gotham is. Yip chastises Bullock for obsessively mapping out anarchy symbol graffiti for the past few months. Bullock, Yip, and Batman investigate the scene of Lester’s murder with Lucius Fox guiding them. All of a sudden, the building’s computer systems lock down and a bomb goes off, burning a giant anarchy symbol into the façade of the structure. Batman makes sure no one gets hurt. On Christmas morning, Anarky announces that he has erased the digital footprint of everyone in Gotham, making it so all police records, bank records, and credit debt are completely erased. Blank masks have also been sent to nearly every household, including what appears to be Wayne Manor (where Alfred receives one). Again, shady continuity here since this should be Arkham Manor at this point. Anarky tells Gotham that social revolution has begun, and all should decorate their masks and fight oppression. The next morning, Councilman Sam Young pledges support to Anarky, claiming there is method in his madness, especially compared to the right wing Mayor Hady. Bullock exclaims his support for Young, but then asks about his connection to Lester, which results in the brush-off. Batman goes in disguise as Matches Malone and visits the strip club where Greta Mitchell works. Behind the building, Matches chats with Lonnie Machin (aka Moneyspider). Matches questions him about Anarky, citing that only he could have helped someone gain access and control of Wayne Tower. Machin admits to the hack job, but says he gave the info to Lester, not Anarky. Batman then visits Mad Hatter in Arkham and questions him about the dead kids he found under ice. Later, at the Gotham National Bank, several hoodlums don their decorated masks and pull off a bloody robbery. Batman crashes into the middle of a shootout between cops and robbers. Innocent bystander Machin gets shot by Detective Yip, causing the onlooking crowd to immediately blame both Batman and the cops for his death. A comatose Lonnie is rushed to the hospital and stabilized. Bruce and Alfred visit him there. The next day, Internal Affairs tells Detective Yip to blame Batman for Lonnie’s shooting or it’ll be her badge. Atop the GCPD HQ building, while standing next to the still-trashed Bat Signal, Yip tells Bullock the news and he’s not happy about it. A day later, Batman meets with Bullock and tells him that Jeb Lester’s murder is linked to Mad Hatter’s six-year-old child killings via Congressman Sam Young. The investigation takes the duo to an abandoned boarding house in the mountains north of Gotham. There, Batman and Bullock fight some of Anarky’s masked citizens, revealing that his blank mask Christmas presents are infused with Mad Hatter tech. The riots are being caused by mind-control. With a knife in his shoulder, Bullock points Batman to a portrait on the wall, revealing that Jervis Tetch was a groundskeeper that terrorized and killed the kids at the boarding house, including a young Anarky. Anarky and his army break Mad Hatter out of prison with vengeance in mind, bringing him back to the blue house. While Batman saves Mad Hatter from execution and fights Anarky, Alfred remotely guides the injured Bullock to sever the mask signal that is emanating from a top hat within the house. Alfred tries his best to quell the city riots with a vaguely conservative speech (through a commandeered mask signal) directed at the rioters, but it fails. As Batman punches off Anarky’s mask, revealing Congressman Sam Young behind it, Bullock puts on the chapeau and switches off the citywide madness. Young, defeated, explains that, years ago, Jeb Lester sold off kids to Jervis Tetch at the blue house, including his sister, who became Tetch’s first “Alice” victim. The next morning, Bullock recovers in the hospital and Lonnie Machin, alive and well, checks-out of the hospital. Alfred chats with Bruce atop Arkham Manor, as they take down the X-mas lights. When night falls, Batman is back on patrol.
- COLLIN COLSHER: As per info gleaned from Batman Eternal #21, there must be a month-long gap in-between Batman Eternal #20 and Batman Eternal #21. Why? In Batman Eternal #21 several things are specifically mentioned regarding the extended passage of off-panel time from the previous issue. First, Julia Pennyworth will say that it has been “weeks” since she moved into Wayne Manor. Likewise, Carmine Falcone will say that he should have been extradited to Hong Kong “weeks ago.” And last and most importantly, Bullock will say that Gordon and Forbes both went to jail within a span of “some months.” The addition of the month-long gap makes Julia, Carmine, and Bullock’s statements all valid. Several items fill up a good part of the gap below: a Batman Eternal #21 note, Batgirl Vol. 4 #33, Grayson #1-2, a Teen Titans Annual note, the Superman: Doomed saga, Red Lanterns Annual #1, Green Arrow Vol. 6 #35, Batman: Rebirth #1 note, a Calendar Man note, and a note about Batman’s moon-base project.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: Here we go again with another Batgirl continuity error. Batgirl #33 specifically takes place after James Junior meets with dad in Blackgate in Batman Eternal #13 AND specifically during a period where Penguin, Carmine Falcone, and Jim Gordon are in prison and Jack Forbes has been charged with corruption. However, Batgirl #33 also takes place right after Batgirl #32, which is a constraining factor. The problem here is that Gail Simone tells us the linked Batgirl #32-33 occurs roughly TEN DAYS after Batgirl #24, in which Jim Gordon shoots Ricky Gutierrez. This is nuts. Batgirl #24 is a part of the “Wanted Arc” that is linked to Batgirl #23, which occurs at the latest NINE MONTHS AGO. This means Batgirl #32-33 must be at minimum AROUND EIGHT-AND-A-HALF MONTHS after Ricky gets shot—not TEN DAYS.
BATFAN REBORN: The “ten days ago” comment is ludicrous. That sentence can only be read to fit correctly if we take it to mean that the lawsuit was raised ten days ago. As mentioned before, Marguerite Bennett wrote Batgirl #30, which moved the Batgirl timeline ahead by a significant amount of time. I’ve theorized that Simone ignored this time-jump (as she had ignored Guy Fawkes’ time-jumps earlier in the series), thus causing the confusion we see here. If we ignore Bennett’s Batgirl #30 (and Forever Evil too) then and only then could we conceivably have a ten day period between Batgirl #24 and Batgirl #33. In further regard to the “ten day” comment in Batgirl #33, I think Simone hoodwinked editor Mark Doyle, sneaking this past the new guy on the job! For one thing, the “Wanted” arc has a tie-in with the Nightwing Annual, which means Dick is indeed months away from his “death” in Forever Evil, a fact acknowledged in Batgirl #30 by Bennett. (That acknowledgment surely won’t be in the Omnibus.)↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: Dialogue in Superman: Doomed tells us that Brainiac’s last assault on Earth (from Action Comics Vol. 2) was five years ago. It was actually much closer to six years ago.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: The Superman villain Brainiac (Vril Dox) with whom we are familiar in the New 52 is merely an emanation (unknowingly so) of the real Brainiac, a towering Galactus-esque cosmic being that exists outside of normal time and space on a sentient planet called Telos (AKA “The Blood Moon). This ubiquitous über Brainiac’s main purpose is to travel through the cosmos, collecting artifacts (including whole cities) from timelines shortly before they become extinct or altered due to chronal-spacetime anomalies. From the reader’s perspective, these anomalies are major retcon events like the original Crisis, Zero Hour, or Flashpoint! The über Brainiac has seemingly been collecting since the dawn of creation—watching, waiting, and striking as the DC multiverses shift and reset over and over. Every incarnation of Brainiac (from the New 52 Vril Dox to the 1990s Batman The Animated Series Brainiac to the Silver Age Brainiac from the 1960s) has been a mere emanation of the one true Telos-residing über Brainiac. Think of über Brainiac as the herald for the impending erasure of all superhero universe timelines. Pretty cool concept.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: Action Comics Vol. Annual #3 and Superman/Wonder Woman Annual #1 literally overlap each other completely from beginning to end, simply showing different parts of the story and different perspectives. Both issues share a common scene featuring Batman in the middle of their narratives and both issues end on the exact same cliffhanger.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: Continuity error here. Batman says that Red Hood and Batgirl “just found” the knife. This is not true. They found the knife almost SIX weeks ago.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: Cluemaster makes a reference that Labor Day is approaching. This is actually dead on the money. My calculations put Batman Eternal #24 in August, less than a week before Labor Day!↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: As per info taken from Gotham Academy #3, there is a roughly two week gap in-between Batman Eternal #24 and Batman Eternal #25. This gap exists because Gotham Academy #3 tells us specifically that Arkham Asylum gets destroyed in the summertime (aka early September/summer break before school starts). Thus, the last possible place that event (shown in Batman Eternal #29-31) can go is in very early September. Also Detective Comics #35-36 take place before Bruce has lost his personal money, so we need a gap to accommodate that Autumn tale. I’ve put several items that seem to fit well in this gap.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: These issues take place during a time when Achilles Milo is still working at Gotham Academy, so they must appear prior to his outing as a criminal in Batman Eternal #44.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: This item takes place months after Ra’s Al Ghul’s disappearance in “Robin Rises.” Lady Shiva has since become leader of the League of Assassins. Ra’s Al Ghul will soon return to reclaim his throne (as referenced in Batman Eternal #46).↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: “War-Torn” takes place after “The Hunt for Robin”/Robin Rises Saga, which depicts Wonder Woman’s mother.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: Technically, Titans Vol. 3 Annual #1 is non-canon on the New 52 timeline since it occurs definitively after “Superman Reborn.” However, the answer to the longstanding New 52 mystery surrounding Donna’s true origin is still the same answer, so that bit should remain a fact in New 52 continuity.↩
- NICK SMILES: There has to be a gap between Batman Eternal #42 and Batman #28/Batman Eternal #43. Selina seems to keep Stephanie sedated for some time—she wasn’t so much interrogating her as keeping her on ice for Batman—and she has enough time to obtain and change Steph into her Spoiler costume—(Steph is captured in track pants and a top)—and then set her up in the Egyptian Club. Furthermore, in Batman #28 Harper mentions having received what surely must be additional training from Batman’s sidekicks, which could only have occured since Batman Eternal #42. Also, I can’t imagine Bats taking her on a mission without at least some additional basic training.
COLLIN COLSHER: We can’t assume an Arkham Manor gap between Batman Eternal #42 and Batman #28/Batman Eternal #43 without dabbling in two things I execrate: conjecture and unsubstantial evidence. Unfortunately, with Batman Eternal‘s nonsensical time-flow (i.e. its stubborn insistence in slowing down narrative while paradoxically stating that large amounts have time have transpired PLUS the fact that we are supposedly in mid January by issue #47) we’ve got to make as many LENGTHY gaps and ellipses as we can, even if it feels wrong. The Eternal writing team sure didn’t leave any room for any other stories or logic when it comes to passage of time in its own narrative. We already knew that Harper Row trained with Red Robin (and possibly Sergei Alexandrov) in Tokyo—as mentioned earlier in the pages of Batman Eternal. But if we are talking semantics here, the plural sideKICKS, does imply that Red Robin or Batgirl had a hand in the training as well, leaving prospective room for an immediate gap prior to her first mission. In order to fully accommodate passage of time, however, this gap must span around ONE MONTH, which means that Selina keeps Stephanie Brown captive although well taken-care-of all while not allowing Steph see who her captor is or to know where she is being held. Seems a bit improbable, but then again, the entire Eternal narrative has been improbable since Day One. The gap must exist, so therefore it does.↩