(January 2013 to June 2013)
–Batman Vol. 2 #7
Batman has just escaped the Court of Owls labyrinth. While Alfred collects the lifeless body of the Talon that Batman has defeated, the Dark Knight is literally electrically shocked back to his senses by Harper Row! Badly injured, Batman struggles back to the Batcave and rejoins Alfred to analyze the body of the Talon, whom they learn is named William Cobb. Later, Nightwing arrives and Batman drops a bombshell: William Cobb is Nightwing’s resurrected great-grandfather! But that’s not all. For over a century, the Court of Owls has been recruiting their Talon agents beginning when they are children by mining its secret training ground, Haly’s Circus (!), for the most talented and athletic kids. Batman punches Dick in the face, knocking out his tooth, which has an owl symbol on it. Dick was scheduled to have been the next Talon, but plans were changed when his parents died and he became Robin instead! Across town, the Court of Owls finishes reanimating all of the Talons and unleashes them upon Gotham. This revelatory scene with Nightwing and Batman is also shown with verbatim dialogue in Nightwing Vol. 3 #7. We also learn in Nightwing Vol. 3 #7 that, because Dick evaded being chosen by the Court, the Court picked a replacement from the circus, but the latter couldn’t hack it and as an adult became the super-villain called Saiko.
NIGHT OF THE OWLS
———————-–Batman Vol. 2 #8
———————-–Nightwing Vol. 3 #8-9
———————-–Batman Vol. 2 #9, Part 1
———————-–Detective Comics Vol. 2 #9
———————-–Batman Vol. 2 #9, Part 2
Batman Vol. 2 #8 takes place immediately following Batman Vol. 2 #7. An unkempt Bruce broods with Alfred in Wayne Manor until 7:30 when an army of Talons assaults the mansion and infiltrates the Batcave. Bruce and Alfred fend off the Talons and are able to steal a microdrive from one of them before holing up in the armory behind a sealed door. Examining the contents of the drive, Bruce and Alfred learn that the Talons are planning on assassinating forty prominent Gothamites on this very night. The Dark Knight then suits up into the toughest Batman costume he owns—an armored variation on his Hellbat suit—and starts a brouhaha with the Talons in his cave. At 7:40 Alfred sends out an alert to all members of the Bat-Family, including Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, and Batwing. Alfred, interestingly enough, includes the Birds of Prey in his call. Before this, the Birds of Prey have not been considered official members of the Bat-Family. I’d warrant that they still aren’t, but this is a big enough deal that any possible allies are alerted. Across town, Talons commit brutal assassinations. Nightwing is able to save the lives of both Mayor Hady and the Deputy Mayor Thomas Kavanaugh, but is ambushed and knifed in the chest by his Talon-regenerated great-grandfather, William Cobb, who has escaped from the Batcave. By 7:51 Batman is still fighting Talons in the Batcave and is losing badly until Alfred drops the temperature below freezing and the Dark Knight gets help from his robot Tyrannosaurus Rex and a swarm of angry bats. Back across town (8:22) a badly injured Nightwing contends with Cobb and is able to lure him into the subway. There, Nightwing defeats the Talon with a burst of liquid nitrogen. Back at Wayne Manor, with roughly a dozen Talons defeated, Batman leaves for Arkham Asylum to save Jeremiah Arkham’s life. Batman arrives at Arkham at around 9:00 and the Talons have already overrun the prison. Jeremiah panics and releases all of the inmates, including Clayface and Black Mask, from their cells. Luckily, the inmates are preoccupied with the Talons and begin an all-out war with them. Batman defeats the Talons and an annoying Black Mask, secures (i.e. punches out) Jeremiah in the Batmobile, and drops the doc off with Nightwing (who has just wrapped up the events of Nightwing Vol. 3 #9). We learn in Detective Comics Vol. 2 Annual #1 that Black Mask escapes during the chaos. At 11:02 Batman arrives at the campaign HQ of Lincoln March only to find him stabbed in the chest. March dies, but not before handing Batman a list containing the names of the Court of Owls, the result of an extensive investigation on the mayoral candidate’s part.
NIGHT OF THE OWLS Continued
———————-–Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #9
———————-–flashback from Birds of Prey Vol. 3 #10
———————-–Batman Annual Vol. 2 #1
———————-–Justice League Vol. 2 #8, Part 2
———————-–Batman Vol. 2 #10-11
Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #9 overlaps with the end of Batman Vol. 2 #9 and picks up where it leaves off. The injured Talon that killed Lincoln March pounces on Batman, but Batman tosses the Talon out the window and it flees. At exactly midnight, Batman joins up with Nightwing, Robin, and Red Robin to discuss their next move. Batman then makes a brief sojourn to collect the Talon that the Birds of Prey have defeated across town. Shortly after 12:45 am, Nightwing and Robin fight Mr. Freeze at WayneTech. Freeze ascends to the penthouse to confront Bruce, but is defeated by Batman and sent back to Arkham. Later, Batman calls in help from the Justice League to defend a cargo plane full of FBI and ARGUS agents from a battalion of Talons. Just like during the JL’s fight against Amazo, Green Arrow shows up in a vain attempt to impress the JL. With the Talons all defeated Batman goes on the offensive. After some expert detective work, the Dark Knight outs the leaders of the Court of Owls as the wealthy Powers Family (owners of Powers Industrial). After shaking down Maria Powers, Batman jetpacks to the Court’s secret hideout only to find the entire organization dead Jonestown-style, seated at a banquet table. (Presumably Joseph Powers is among the deceased.) The next night Bruce chats with Alfred about the unsatisfactory end to the “Night of Owls” and has a startling revelation, realizing that Lincoln March had curiously referenced a picture of Martha Wayne that hangs in Wayne Manor during their conversation a few days ago. Batman travels to Willowwood Home For Children, an abandoned kids hospital with a dark history of abuse. (Batman Eternal #38 tells us that Batman memorizes Willowwood’s layout here.) Sure enough, Batman’s hunch is correct. Lincoln March is alive and well, waiting for him at Willowwood, having taken the Talon revival serum to reanimate himself after his “assassination,” which was actually planned since he was a member of the Court. March confirms what Bruce already knows: the former two-timed the Court, stole their money, and poisoned them at their HQ. But Bruce doesn’t know March’s true identity and is in complete disbelief when the villain tells him. March is Bruce’s brother—Thomas Wayne, Jr! Thomas unveils the Court’s state-of-the-art armored super-villain costume and attacks his dumbfounded brother! (Thomas basically debuts as “Owlman” here, although he never actually calls himself that.) Batman barely survives the epic exposition-filled contest with Thomas, but lives to see another day. Unfortunately, Bruce’s new Wayne Tower #3—currently under construction—crumbles to the ground. Thomas disappears without a trace and Batman places the captured Talons in a cryogenic-chamber beneath Blackgate Prison. A couple days later, a bruised, bandaged, and wheelchair-bound Bruce chats with Dick. Bruce doesn’t believe for a second that March is really his brother. He explains that Thomas Wayne, Jr. was indeed born prematurely when Bruce was three-years-old, following a terrible car accident. However, records show that Junior died within twelve hours. Is March actually a Wayne? Is March simply lying? Or has March been led to believe he is a Wayne by the Court of Owls that trained him? The mystery remains, as do other members of the Court of Owls, who will undoubtedly strike again in the future.
–second feature from Batman Vol. 2 #11
Bruce, still recovering from the events of the “Night of Owls,” accompanies Alfred on a stroll through the private cemetery grounds adjacent to Wayne Manor. They visit the graves of Jarvis Pennyworth, Thomas Wayne, and Martha Wayne and discuss the events of the past few weeks. Will they ever learn that the Court of Owls killed Jarvis and caused the accident that birthed Thomas Wayne, Jr. prematurely? And will they ever know if Lincoln March really is Thomas Wayne, Jr? For now, these questions go unanswered, but Bruce and Alfred are okay with that.
–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 2 #8, Part 2. The JL accidentally booms to Apokolips for the third time. This is the fourth trip to Apokolips for our JLers.
–Justice League Vol. 2 #8, Part 3
It has been “one week” since the “Night of Owls.” The Justice League takes down a bunch of cultists and, once again, Green Arrow shows up unwanted and “helps” the JL. After being ridiculed and shunned by the JL for the third time, Green Arrow is ready to give up. However, Steve Trevor—supposedly on behalf of the JL, but probably not—meets with Green Arrow in private and offers him a different spot on another team. We learn in the second feature of Justice League Vol. 2 #13 that the “team” Trevor is talking about is ARGUS. Trevor tasks Green Arrow with “keeping a lookout for anything that might threaten the JL” on behalf of ARGUS.
–Batman Vol. 2 #12
This item takes place “several weeks” after Batman #1. Harper Row’s gay brother, Cullen Row, has been the constant victim of savage hate crimes committed by a horrible gang of bigoted street thugs. But not tonight. Batman shows up and beats the tar out of the homophobes. Afterward, Harper tells her bro that she has discovered an underground network of “Bat Boxes” that siphon electric power from Wayne Enterprises buildings. Not only that, Harper has upgraded the boxes with her own special touch so that they have a wider range. But the big bombshell is that she can (kinda sorta) track Batman’s every movement! Harper notices power loss on a downtown sewer Bat Box and immediately rushes there to discover Batman shaking down Tiger Shark! (Batman wants Tiger Shark in a bad way because Tiger Shark was the one who let the Talon into Wayne Tower in Batman #3). While Batman has complete control of the situation, Harper lends a small helping hand. The next night, Batman confronts Harper and tells her never to get involved with his affairs again.
–REFERENCE: In Talon #5. Batman, hoping not to foment a war against a probably vengeful but weakened Court of Owls, begins a subtle campaign of trying to draw them out of hiding. Batman will continue this quiet campaign for months to come. We will have to imagine these subtle actions as appearing scattered throughout our timeline.
–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #51. Batman returns to the Alan Wayne Fund-designed buildings that house now abandoned Court of Owls hideouts. He takes a giant golden owl medallion from one and puts it on display in the Batcave.
–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #1, Batwing #20, Batwing #24, Batman Eternal #31-33, Grayson Annual #2, and We are Robin #5. Batman begins building “a myriad” of new secret underground Bat Bunkers all over Gotham City. It is unknown how many Bat Bunkers Batman adds, but as of the end of this year there will be at least four Bat Bunkers (presumably including the original). In addition, Batman builds several safe-houses all over Gotham as well, including both an underground one beneath Gotham Scrapyard and a separate one beneath another junkyard across town. Wayne Enterprises, via its link to Batman Inc, secretly (and illegally) begins constructing seventeen underground weapons caches all over the city as well. (Lucius Fox, who would have disapproved, is kept in the dark about the weapons caches.) Batman stores a detailed list of the location of the bunkers, caches, and safe-houses on the Bat Computer in the protected file labeled “McGregor.”
–REFERENCE: In We are Robin #2. Batman repurposes an old warehouse as an interrogation space.
–REFERENCE: In DC Universe Presents #0 , Justice League International Vol. 2 #8-9, Justice League International Vol. 2 Annual #1, The New 52: Futures End #0-2, The New 52: Futures End #40, The New 52: Futures End #42, and The New 52: Futures End #47. Batman meets with his buddy Mr. Terrific at the latter’s Terrifitech company headquarters. Utilizing Mother Box technology taken from the original JL-forming skirmish with Darkseid, Batman and Mr. Terrific secretly construct and launch the ultimate surveillance device/counter-measure against the ever-rising threat of super-villain metahumans: the super-computer program called Brother I, housed in a satellite that orbits Earth. Brother I is meant to be Batman and Mr. Terrific’s “Big Brother” panopticon from which they will monitor super-human activity all over the globe. Batman programs Brother I to protect all humankind, inserting a prime directive that it cannot take human life. Batman also programs a fail-safe known as the “Palin Protocol” into Brother I, which should control the AI, should it go haywire. However, Brother I quickly gains self-awareness, becomes fully-sentient, and goes completely bonkers, starting an unfortunate (although vague) sequence of events (as referenced in OMAC Vol. 4 #1). The newly rechristened Brother Eye raises hell, but eventually is defeated by the good guys and sent into deep space. (This item goes here because, according to The New 52: Futures End #1, future Batman Terry McGinnis tries to travel back in time to stop the creation of Brother Eye, but accidentally arrives “seven years too late,” winding up in 2020. Seven years before 2020 is 2013.)
–Stormwatch Vol. 3 #2
The cosmic entity known as The Scourge of Worlds takes over the Moon and plans on very, very bad things for planet Earth. Stormwatch, a group of heroes that have furtively controlled the ebb and flow of chaos and order for thousands of years, steps in to intervene. Stormwatch consists of Adam One (Merlin Ambrosius), Martian Manhunter, Jack Hawksmoor, Apollo, Midnighter, Engineer, Jenny Quantum, The Eminence of Blades (Harry Tanner), and The Projectionist (Adele Benson). While Stormwatch clandestinely deals with the Scourge of Worlds, the Projectionist manipulates the global news media into reporting that the anomalies on the lunar surface are the direct result of a small-timer known as The Fox. Batman accompanies the Justice League International to the Fox’s lair and helps take down the confused super-villain. The existence of Stormwatch continues to go unnoticed.
–Justice League International Vol. 2 #6, Part 1
“A couple weeks” have passed since Justice League International Vol. 2 #1—it’s been about four weeks. Batman and Booster Gold apprehend the terrorists that bombed the Hall of Justice back in that issue. Batman offers Booster some words of encouragement as leader of a difficult JLI team. A little later, the UN meets the the JLI to decide whether or not the team should remain active. Ultimately, the decision is made to keep the team going.
–Catwoman Vol. 4 #12
Catwoman, Spark, and GCPD Detective Carlos Alvarez track a series of brutal prostitute murders and kidnappings to a mansion on the outskirts of Gotham. The kidnappings have been committed by Dollhouse, who has played taxidermist and stuffed her victims, positioning them all over the horrible house of macabre. With Alvarez trapped inside the house and Catwoman infiltrating it to confront Dollhouse, Spark gets Batman’s attention by smashing the Bat Signal and turning it into a Cat Signal. (This is the first time the Bat Signal has ever been smashed!) Batman saves the day, although Dollhouse escapes. Later, Selina’s best friend Gwen Altamont, who has learned from Penguin that Spark is secretly a GCPD mole, shoots Spark dead.
–REFERENCE: In Batman and… #28 (“Batman & Two-Face”). Batman delivers a new Bat Signal to the GCPD, replacing the one that Spark destroyed. Thus begins the practice of providing a replacement Bat Signal whenever one gets wrecked.
–Detective Comics Vol. 2 Annual #1
It’s been “nearly a month” since the “Night of Owls.” Jeremiah Arkham and local law officials finally realize that Black Mask is missing from his cell. Meanwhile, at a carnival, Batman takes down a False Face Society member in a bull mask, which turns him onto a quest to seek out Black Mask. After some leisurely horseback riding at Wayne Manor, Batman inserts himself into the middle of a mind-control war pitting Mad Hatter, Tweedle-Dum, and Tweedle-Dee versus Black Mask and the returning False Face Society. Batman is able to end the melee by cracking open Black Mask’s mask, which releases a powerful burst of blinding magickal energy. Afterward, Batman and Gordon chat and the evil mask goes into police storage.
–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #20. An escaped Clayface brushes Bruce’s skin while the latter attends a corporate gala with Damian. Clayface, using his ability to completely replicate others’ DNA, takes and stores Bruce’s DNA “on file” within his system. Clayface has always been able to copy anyone’s DNA to 100% perfection, but now this ability is causing a costly “evolution”/”mutation”: Basil Karlo’s own original DNA is almost totally gone. Clayface, with Bruce’s DNA in storage, begins biding his time for an eventual strike.
–Detective Comics Vol. 2 #10-12
This issue takes place nine months after Detective Comics Vol. 2 #2. Bruce visits Charlotte Rivers in the hospital, where she has been in recovery for the past eight-and-a-half months after getting stabbed by Snakeskin. (Don’t forget, even though it hasn’t been shown on our chronology, Bruce has often visited and supported Charlotte these past months.) At the hospital, Charlotte tells Bruce that she is moving to Paris as soon as she finishes rehab, thus officially ending their relationship. After a tearful goodbye, Batman responds to explosions that rock the city—a group of suicide bombers, each dressed up as Batman, have stolen a case from a radioactivity laboratory. After dealing with the mad bombers, Batman confers with Commissioner Gordon and Harvey Bullock and later traces the case back to HM Industries—why Daniel draws their logo as “H&M” even though it’s simply “HM,” named for head Hugh Marder, is beyond me. The Dark Knight visits HM Industries, located inside Wayne Tower, where he finds Marder trapped in a large hadron collider. Mr. Toxic, behind all the chicanery, then attacks Batman. Batman smashes Mr. Toxic’s helmet off revealing him as Hugh Marder! Mr. Toxic runs off, while a confused Batman watches the other Marder die in his arms. The next day Bruce meets with a scientist at Dunhill Labs, which has suffered a similar incident involving a large hadron collider. In an alley behind the lab, Bruce meets an eccentric former Dunhill employee named Alan Smart, who tells him that Marder is up to no good and has cloned several adult versions of himself, hence the double that Bruce saw yesterday. At the morgue, no less than five Marder clones are shipped in—some of these are the thugs that were dressed up as Batman earlier. Mr. Toxic breaks into the facility, destroys four of the clones, but revives one. And here’s the twist; the revived clone is actually the original Marder whereas Toxic is a clone! Mr. Toxic hands the original Marder a mask that resembles the Golden Age Professor Radium’s helmet. If he takes off the helmet, he will die. Back in the Batcave, Batman analyzes some of the multiple Marders’ radioactive DNA samples, which explode into a viscous bubbling clay-like substance. After controlling the sponge-like chemical, Batman learns that Mr. Toxic is the successful clone of Marder, who due to radical experimentation has become a walking atomic bomb. Batman jetpacks across town to confront Marder and his clone, who merge into an olive-colored blob. Eventually, Batman defeats this Marder-monster and both clones merge back into the original Marder (the “Professor Radium” Marder). This final version of Marder is then hauled off to jail by the Dark Knight. (When we see Marder again—in Justice League of America Rebirth: Killer Frost #1—he will be confined in Belle Reve Prison and will have ditched his Radium helm to return to the gaseous dome-headed Mr. Toxic togs.) It’s also worth noting that Detective Comics #12 contains a second feature that gives us the debut of rookie cop Nancy Strode and tells us that Joker has killed over 300 people. However, Tony Daniel told us that, as of May of last year (the time of Joker’s “face-off” and vanishing act), Joker had killed 114 people. This likely means that 300 is either a continuity error or the GCPD’s indordinately exaggerated number.
–REFERENCE: In Justice League/Power Rangers #3. Following the recent criminal sci-fi incidents, the large hadron colliders in Wayne Tower and at Dunhill Labs both close down, once again leaving the only large hadron collider left at CERN in Switzerland. Bruce oversees (or is at least aware of) the shutdown of the American large hadron colliders.
–DC Universe Presents #0, Part 1
In Metropolis, Batman spies on the privately-funded super-science research group known as Project Cadmus. Ever since Cadmus acquired a Mother Box after Darkseid’s attack in 2008 (at a time when Cadmus was run by Maxwell Lord), they have been trying unsuccessfully to funnel its power into a human host body to create an ultimate warrior called a One Machine Attack Construct (or OMAC). This project, called the OMAC Initiative, was also started by Max Lord in 2008, before Lord was ousted from Cadmus. After yet another failed attempt to create an OMAC, Cadmus leader and Apokoliptian New God Mokkari (actually a double spy for both Darkseid and Max Lord’s Checkmate organization) reports the latest news to Lord. Unknown to all, Lord currently resides within and has joined forces with the sentient satellite Brother Eye, which floats in outer space (having recently been exiled there by Batman). Brother Eye, defeated but not out, uses Checkmate to spy on Cadmus so that it can take over the first successful OMAC once it is completed. Lord becomes aware of Brother Eye’s duplicitousness and prepares to shut it down. But Brother Eye is one step ahead of Lord. Frustrated with Cadmus’ constant failures, the evil AI reveals that it has already sent the OMAC virus out for testing in the form of flu shots all over the world. In Metropolis, unassuming Kevin Kho lines up for a shot. He will soon wind up with the virus in his system. Within days, the virus will fully activate, causing Kho to become the first ever fully-functional OMAC, although he will remain a semi-slave to Brother Eye. (This OMAC tale is a direct precursor to OMAC Vol. 4 #1, which takes place right about now. Also, it is a direct follow-up to the creation and initial defeat of Brother Eye, which puts it right here as well. Unfortunately, the editorial label of “two years ago” makes little sense, unless it means “two years prior to the 2015 publication date of the big Brother Eye-related New 52: Futures End series.”)
–REFERENCE: As seen in Justice League International Vol. 2 #6, Part 2 and referenced in Justice League International Vol. 2 #7. It’s been “weeks” since Justice League International Vol. 2 #6, Part 1. At a crowded ceremony on the steps of the UN Building, Andre Briggs publicly debuts the Justice League International. Just as the team presents itself to the crowd, Lightweaver—working for Breakdown (Roland Norcutt)—detonates a bomb under the stage. Fiery chaos ensues. We don’t see Batman, but he is present, watching the events unfold from the shadows across the street. This leads directly into JLI #7.
–Justice League International Vol. 2 #7-9
A bomb has just gone off at the JLI debut ceremony. Batman swings down to help out. Eventually, the smoke and fire both settle, but the damage is done and boy is it shockingly devastating. Vixen suffers a severe spinal injury, Fire drops into a coma, and Ice breaks both legs. But the worst of the strike happens to Andre Briggs, Emerson Esposito, and Red Rocket who all die in the blast! While Batman flounces-out to search for answers, the JLI solemnly regroups at the hospital where Chairwoman Bao (the UN Security Chief) officially disbands the team. Disgruntled and exasperated, the indignant Booster takes-off on his own only to get attacked by Lightweaver. Thankfully, Batwing comes to his rescue, having been ordered to Gotham by Batman. The anti-UN terrorists, including Lightweaver and Intersek, then reveal their leader as Breakdown. But with both sides regrouping, the battle is put on pause. While Batman, Batwing, and Booster discuss their next move, Godiva, General August, and Guy Gardner are attacked by OMAC (Kevin Kho), who is being mind-controlled by Intersek. Eventually, Batman, Batwing, and Booster join the others and subdue OMAC, who shakes off Intersek’s influence. OMAC then explains that Batman has played a pivotal role in the history of the OMAC technology—the OMAC tech is a construct of Brother Eye, the all-powerful computer program/sentient satellite that the Dark Knight created last year. In the New 52, since Kevin Kho is the first OMAC, Batman actually might not be aware of the link between Brother Eye and the OMAC technology, although he would be fully aware that Cadmus had been working towards creating a functional OMAC for the past few years (as we learned back in DC Universe Presents #0). The JLI, with Batman and OMAC, then travels to Paris to deal with another terrorist action. At the twisted and crumbling Eiffel Tower, our heroes run into a raging Rogue Firestorm (one of a group of evil nuclear-powered metahumans called Firestorms) that is attacking Fury and Firehawk (members of the good Firestorm group). For anyone wondering Fury is the merger of Firestorm Ronnie Raymond and Firestorm Jason Rusch, although Ronnie has been temporarily separated from the merger at this juncture.
–The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men #9
This issue takes place immediately following Justice League International Vol. 2 #9. The JLI (with Batman and OMAC) helps Fury, Firehawk, and Hurricane (the British Firestorm) defeat the Rogue Firestorm in Paris. OMAC absorbs a ton of radiation and goes berserk again, giving cause for Fury and Firehawk to temporarily merge to combat his power. After order is restored, Skeetz alerts the team about another incident requiring their attention back in New York. The JLI, still with Batman and OMAC, hightails it back to the States.
–Justice League International Vol. 2 #10
The JLI returns to NYC, but quickly follows the source of Lightweaver’s energy to Washington, DC. There, Batman leads the JLI into battle against Breakdown, Lightweaver, Intersek, and Crosscut.
–Justice League International Vol. 2 #12
Batman and the JLI attend the funeral of Gavril Ivanovich, better known as Rocket Red. Lightweaver (who was killed in Justice League International Vol. 2 #11) is avenged by his brother Malik, who attacks the funeral attendees using Lightweaver’s same metahuman abilities. Malik is eventually talked down by Batman, who makes him understand that his brother was evil. Afterward, the JLI discusses its future. The team will continue on despite having no UN backing. Batman declines membership, but reveals that the Hall of Justice is being rebuilt with private funding to be their new Washington, DC headquarters. Batwing also declines membership. The new lineup is Booster Gold, Guy Gardner, Godiva, August General in Iron, and OMAC. (Fire, Ice, and Vixen are all still out of commission.)
–Stormwatch Vol. 3 #0
Stormwatch founder Adam One teaches a young Jenny Quantum (the literal Spirit of the 21st Century) about the history of the Century Babies, which he has cultivated for eons. (Adam One is the very famous Merlin the Magician. He has existed since before the Big Bang.) Adam One also warns Jenny not to trust the Earth’s super-heroes and uses his powers to sneak a peek at the members of the Justice League. Before leaving Jenny, Adam One also foreshadows that Stormwatch will soon begin infighting that will lead to something terrible happening—the temporary alteration to the entire timeline and subsequent temporary erasure of the team’s existence!
–REFERENCE: In Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #10. Now single again, Bruce begins dating the dazzling famous Ukranian pianist Natalya Trusevich. While completely in love with Bruce, Natalya soon frustratingly realizes he has a penchant for abruptly running off and cancelling plans when his butler comes calling.
–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 4 #8. Batman rescues Dr. Anisa Williams from a group of would-be rapists, putting the attackers in the ER where the good doctor later treats them.
Batwing fights some pirates off the coast of Africa and spots a missing Chinese nuclear physicist among their captives. During the melee, the pirates’ vessel explodes, seemingly killing everyone except Batwing. Batwing then reports via video teleconference to Batman and Robin. Batman sends Nightwing and Batwing to Beijing to toss the physicist’s apartment for info. While in Beijing, Batwing gets a call from Matu Ba and learns that Ba’s family has just been killed, collateral damage in a political assassination bombing in Nigeria. Nightwing and Batwing are then assaulted by a metahuman called Long, who can transform into a dragon. We (the reader) learn that Penguin is secretly funding the pirates and Long. Nightwing and Batwing defeat Long and, after a quick check-up on Matu in the Congo, fight masked super-villains in Uzbekistan. In Uzbekistan, our heroes learn of Penguin’s link to the affairs at hand—he has sold a nuclear warhead to an unknown party. Back in Gotham, Batman visits Penguin and roughs him up. Meanwhile, Matu is visiting Tundi to lay his family to rest, but Tundi happens to be controlled by a metahuman dictator named Lord Battle and his team of violent homicidal metahumans (aptly named The Blood Storm). The Blood Storm proceeds to shoot Matu in the back. At the Haven in the Congo, Batwing assembles Nightwing and the JLI and plans an invasion of Tundi. With Batman playing long-range general from within the Batcave, the heroes infiltrate the heavily protected country, defeat Lord Battle and the Blood Storm (who only have their powers within the geographic boundaries of Tundi), rescue Matu, and recover Penguin’s nuke.
–REFERENCE: In the “Leviathan web display” from Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #3—originally told in Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes! #1. Batman shuts down St. Hadrian’s Finishing School for Girls outside of London. This so-called “School of Night” is a longtime Spyral training academy that has been infiltrated by Leviathan and turned into their brainwashing facility to create young female super-villains. The school houses Johnny Valentine and is run by the deadly assistant headmistress Miss Hexley, who reports directly to Talia Al Ghul. Of course, Batman still doesn’t know that Talia leads Leviathan.
–FLASHBACK: From Red Hood & The Outlaws #18. Batman appoints a new Wingman as a general in the Batman Incorporated organization. (This flashback is also referenced textually in in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #1 and Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #4). Wingman’s identity is kept a secret from everyone. Only Batman knows who he is. SPOILER ALERT: As we learn in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #4, Wingman is Jason Todd! Bruce has decided to forget and forgive and wants to offer Jason a chance to gain redemption and a spot back in the family.
–REFERENCE: In Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #1—originally told in Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes! #1. Batman and his entire Batman Incorporated group enter into an all-out hot war against Leviathan. Let me remind you that the events of the Modern Age Batman Incorporated series, including Leviathan Strikes, cannot take place exactly as they did with all of the continuity changes in the New Age, but their basic structure must remain intact. Ergo, here’s the canon narrative that crystalizes: Leviathan attacks and attempts to leave the planet in ruins with a series of more-than-nuclear “meta-bomb” blasts that are set to detonate shortly. Following the last of a series of clues involving the Oroboros and Borromean Rings, Batman and his agents swarm upon a Leviathan mobile sea base. Doctor Dedalus (Otto Netz), despite his Alzheimer’s condition, nearly succeeds in Leviathan’s nefarious world-dooming task and also nearly kills Batman and Gaucho, but Robin stops Doctor Dedalus by using lethal force. (SPOILER ALERT: Decades ago, shortly after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, Otto Netz initiated a plan that would essentially allow him to “live forever” by dividing up his lucid consciousness and uploading it into five separate parts. The first three divisions would be assigned to a triumvirate sentient computer algorithm called Spyder. Likewise, as part of the same plan, Otto Netz prepared his two daughters, Kathy Kane and Dr. Elisabeth Netz, via hypnotic brainwashing techniques, to be human host vessels for his consciousness. According to the plan, Spyder/Dedalus will eventually choose the better suited daughter with which to use as a vessel for his return. The Spyder program will secretly run Spyral from this point onward. This is all referenced in Grayson #6, Grayson #14, and Grayson #19.) In London, Batman Incorporated agent The Hood, who has actually been secretly working against Batman Incorporated since its inception, is betrayed and left for dead by his employer Matron. Likewise, in Mtamba, Batwing is attacked by ninja man-bats and left for dead as well. Aboard the Leviathan space platform in Earth’s orbit, the Outsiders are similarly assaulted and presumed dead following a massive explosion. Leviathan gloats over the deaths of so many heroes, but don’t worry; we will soon discover that no one has actually perished. After all is said and done, Batman prevents global destruction. All of Batman Incorporated is shocked when Talia Al Ghul reveals herself as the leader of Leviathan. Before closing out the opening chapter of the Leviathan-Batman Incorporated War, Talia also displays the mutilated severed head of Jezebel Jet (as referenced in the “Leviathan web display” from Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #3) and reveals that she has placed a half-billion dollar bounty on Robin’s head. Again, all of these occurrences originally happened in the Modern Age’s Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes! #1, but are only canon in the New Age since they have been referenced in the New Age’s Batman Incorporated Vol. 2.
–FLASHBACK: From Red Hood & The Outlaws #18. Following Talia’s recent coming-out as head of Leviathan, a teary eyed Jason Todd, in his Wingman garb, tells Batman that he’s failed him as a general of Batman Incorporated. Batman calms him, telling him not to apologize and that he’s knows he’s made the right choice. This flashback scene takes place during a chaotic hallucination that Jason has while comatose after getting his face burned at the conclusion of “Death of the Family.” Thus, I’m not even sure if it should even go on the timeline (especially since Red Hood & The Outlaws #17-18 is a total mess continuity-wise). However, if it is a canonical scene, it probably goes right about here.
–REFERENCE: In Red Hood & The Outlaws #17. Damian creates an alternate costume for a coinciding alternate superhero identity known as Redbird. Damian makes his Redbird identity known to Batman and other members of the Batman Incorporated team, including Wingman. Of course, Wingman still keeps his own identity secret. (Since Damian dies in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #8 and Batman Inc #8 is linked to a continuous story that starts with Batman Inc #1, his appearance as Redbird in issues #3-4 cannot be his first. Therefore, the debut of Redbird must occur before the “Death of the Family” arc since Redbird is referenced in the “Death of the Family Aftermath” issue Red Hood & The Outlaws #17. Furthermore, since Damian dies in Batman Inc #8, the entire Batman Inc series must take place after “The Death of the Family,” which features Damian prominently.)
–Worlds’ Finest #8
The dictator of the Middle Eastern country Kufra, Ibn Hassan, puts a billion euro hit on Huntress. In New York City, Huntress (Helena Wayne) gets shot, but is saved by her bestie from Krypton-2, Power Girl (Kara Zor-L). Power Girl, who has adopted the name Karen Starr, has been exiled from her universe to this universe along with Helena. Power Girl travels to Kufra to interrogate Hassan. In Gotham, an angry Batman tells Alfred that Damian has gone “too far afield by himself” and needs to be talked to. What Batman refers to here is Damian’s unauthorized solo mission (in the recent Worlds’ Finest #6-7). During that mission, Damian met his Earth-2 “sister” Huntress. Batman doesn’t know about Huntress yet and won’t for some time.
–REFERENCE: In Batman and… #20. Ethiopian snipers attempt to collect Talia’s bounty on Damian’s head. The sniper assassins fail and retreat back to Africa.
–Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #10-15
April. CONTINUITY ERROR ALERT: This arc takes place around Christmas and New Year’s Eve. However, since Bruce is seen with his new love interest Natalya Trusevich (and has been dating her for some time), this arc must take place well after Detective Comics #10 where Charlotte Rivers breaks up with him. This arc must also occur before Damian’s death. Therefore, the entire Christmas/New Year’s Eve setting, which bears absolutely nothing towards the plot anyway, must be ignored. Ugh. Onto a synopsis. Someone has been kidnapping kids, scaring them half to death, and then dumping them back on the streets in a catatonic state. After a sexual reprieve at Wayne Manor with his girlfriend Natalya, Bruce kicks the crap out of a thug involved with the recent abductions. Batman is so focused on the case that he neglects and alienates those closest around him, including Damian and Natalya—the former who gets bummed out, and the latter who dumps Bruce. Meanwhile, across town, the kidnapper reveals himself as Scarecrow and kidnaps both Commissioner Gordon and another child. Bruce meets with Natalya and they make-up and get back together. Batman then tries to rescue Gordon from Scarecrow only to get abducted and shot up with Fear Venom. The insane Scarecrow then casually releases Gordon, wanting to focus more on Batman. The Fear Venom in the Caped Crusader’s system causes him to undergo a series of nightmarish (and terrifyingly calm) hallucinations about the past and present. While chained to an upright table, Batman’s hallucinations increase in intensity. After at least one night in the captivity of Scarecrow, Batman finally regains composure and frees himself from his state of languor. In a bloody scene, a dazed and confused Batman takes a scythe to the chest but manages to shoot a grappling hook through Scarecrow’s jaw. Batman, Scarecrow, and his young victim barely escape before the house explodes. A seriously injured Dark Knight stumbles through the streets until Robin rescues him. After a night’s rest, Batman watches as Gordon interviews Scarecrow’s victim at GCPD HQ. Across town, Scarecrow visits Penguin to check on the status of a specially commissioned zeppelin designed by the villain. Penguin tells Scarecrow it will soon be ready. A couple days later, Scarecrow flies his zeppelin over a parade (ignore the X-Mas stuff), releasing tons of Fear Venom onto the thousands of observers below. Batman realizes, as things get quickly out of hand (with Scarecrow dumping Fear Venom from his zeppelin onto Gotham parade-goers below), that the antidote to the new strain of Fear Venom is within his own bloodstream, since he’s already fought off the Venom during his last encounter with Scarecrow. In a suicidal maneuver, Batman hooks IVs into his veins and flies over Gotham Square, literally draining his own blood via transfusion into the aerosol diffuser of the Batplane. Batman saves the day and and autopilots back into the Batcave with no palpable blood pressure and no pulse. Batman flatlines, but Alfred is able to restart his heart with a defibrillator. A few days later Bruce eats dinner with Damian and rests his wounds. On the eve of Natalya’s big piano performance (ignore New Year’s Eve), Batman busts Scarecrow. Bruce then attends Natalya’s performance and spends a happy night with her.
–Justice League Vol. 2 #9-12 (“THE VILLAIN’S JOURNEY”)
Soon after beating the tar out of an escaped Mad Hatter and saving a Gotham judge, Batman broods in the Batcave and takes a gander at his Flashpoint father’s letter (the one delivered to him by Flash in Flashpoint #5!), which is on display in a glass case. When he hears word of an escaped Key busting back into Arkham to start a riot, he messages Superman and they venture to the asylum. At Arkham, Batman, Superman, and Cyborg quell the bedlam and find a shaken Key, who claims that he has been tortured by someone called “Graves” who forced him to reveal a bunch of info about the Justice League’s weaknesses. In Keystone City, Graves has also gotten similar info from Weapons Master. Meanwhile, in Washington, DC, Graves kidnaps Steve Trevor and begins brutally torturing him as well, demanding entrance to the Watchtower. In case anyone forgot, “Graves” is David Graves, who was saved by the JL during Darkseid’s debut attack on Earth and then wrote a book hailing the heroes as benevolent gods. However, four years ago Graves and his entire family were stricken with a fatal and debilitating disease (thanks to delayed effects of inhaling radioactive Apokaliptian ashes during Darkseid’s first attack). When his family died, Graves slowly began to go mad and resent the superheroes for not being able to cure his illness. Thus, Graves—eventually able to heal himself and gain superhuman powers from the Asuras demigods atop the mystical Mount Sumeru in the Himalayas—descended into the super-villain we now see today. After mining other villains for info, Graves makes a surprise head-on attack against the JL aboard the supposedly impenetrable satellite HQ. Graves then torments Trevor’s sister Tracy in Washington, DC. Outside of Tracy’s home, the JL argues amongst themselves and both Green Lantern and Superman each get in separate destructive fistfights with a hot-headed Wonder Woman. Graves broadcasts the dissenting JLers trashing suburban DC via live video on TV, phones, and the internet. In a panic, Cyborg booms the team back to their HQ where cooler heads finally prevail. The JL then booms to Graves home in Maine where they learn his origins by reading his journals. The JL then booms to the “Valley of Souls” at Mount Seruba where they face what appear to be numerous spirits of dead loved ones, including the spirit of Trevor. However, these spirits are merely evil ghouls called Pretas. Working on behalf of the trickster demigods, the Pretas haunt Mount Seruba and pretend to be deceased close relatives, friends, or lovers. Graves, however, believes the Pretas are real ghosts and is caught off guard when he realizes he’s been duped by the demigods. A badly beaten Trevor shoots Graves, allowing the JL to defeat and apprehend him. A day later, Wonder Woman visits Trevor in the hospital and they discuss several things, including a recent case involving Cheetah and Trevor’s condition. Wonder Woman essentially dumps Trevor for a second time when she fires him as the team’s liaison to the US Government, citing that the job is too dangerous for him. An angry Trever tells her to get lost—which she does, right into the waiting arms of Superman. The Man of Steel and Wonder Woman share their first kiss atop the Lincoln Memorial! Meanwhile, aboard the Watchtower, the rest of the JL argues as a huge wave of global media backlash continues against them. Batman chastises Aquaman for being involved with The Others, his other superhero team that comprises only underwater heroes. As the fight climaxes, Hal Jordan decides its time to quit and tenders his resignation! At Belle Reve Prison in Louisiana, Amanda Waller befriends the jailed Graves.
–NOTE: In Justice League International Vol. 2 Annual #1, Part 1. This item overlaps with the previous Justice League Vol. 2 #12. Batman is not involved, but it is important, especially since it leads directly into Justice League International Vol. 2 Annual #1, Part 2, which does include Batman. Here’s what happens. The JLI has been inactive for about two months. However, having now recently regained the support of the UN, the JLI returns and takes out Central African warlord Aki Mukassa, who kills himself with a suicide bomb after getting nabbed by Batwing (David Zavimbe). Back in Washington, DC, Booster introduces his team to its newest members, Blue Beetle (Jamie Reyes) and The Olympian (Aristides Demetrios). While Booster and Guy argue and Beetle learns that he’s joined the JLI instead of the JL, Brother Eye, from deep space, retakes complete control of OMAC and uses him to attack the JLI, nearly defeating the entire time until Booster saves the day and takes him down. A comatose Kevin Kho is ejected from the OMAC body, which is vaporized. Afterward, a panicked Modern Age Booster Gold—wearing an ARGUS uniform—appears and claims that if Booster doesn’t prevent Superman and Wonder Woman from hooking up, some very bad things will happen, including the erasure of their very existence. But of course, it’s too late. As they speak, Superman smooches Wonder Woman a mere mile away at the Lincoln Memorial (as seen in Justice League Vol. 2 #12). Modern Age Booster goes willingly back into the timestream and current-primary-Earth Booster unwillingly fades into the timestream where he will remain trapped for a long time. The JLI is effectively no longer a team. (What’s the deal with the Modern Age Booster and our Booster? The former has time-traveled from a point roughly two years in the future. No spoilers until Convergence time, though!)
–Justice League International Vol. 2 Annual #1, Part 2
Batman visits Kevin Kho in a STAR Labs medical ward in Detroit. Kho, now under the care of Cyborg’s father, Dr. Silas Stone, has just been separated from his OMAC body thanks to Booster Gold, but now lies comatose. As Batman leaves STAR Labs, a red eyeball appears on every television screen. Brother Eye has a chilling message for his creator: Brother Eye has a new mystery programmer and he is coming to destroy Batman at some unknown point in the future! (SPOILER ALERT: The mystery programmer is the über version of Brainiac, but we won’t see his attack until two years from now, which means that Brother Eye’s threat is quite premature.)
–Green Lantern Vol. 5 #0
Arab-American Simon Baz is interrogated by US and British government agents at Guantanamo Bay after getting accidentally involved in a bombing, which resulted in his quick arrest as a suspected terrorist. From hundreds of miles away (in the pages of Green Lantern Vol. 5 Annual #1) the Guardians have disavowed the Green Lantern Corps and reawakened the “First Lantern,” Volthoom, who remains imprisoned in a Guardian-protected “Hidden Space” jail far across the universe. The Guardians use the power of the “First Lantern” to stimulate the creation of a grotesque “Third Army” that will supposedly bring peace and law to the cosmos, starting with the elimination of the Green Lanterns. By beginning this horrific process, the Guardians have caused the Green Lantern power rings across the galaxy to go a little funky. Not to mention, the Guardians (with Black Hand) have just killed Hal Jordan and Sinestro (now a Green Lantern), exiling their spirits to a black bardo called the Dead Zone. Sinestro’s ring, with its master dead, shoots its way to Baz and, despite an error message, turns him into a new Green Lantern! Cyborg intercepts a phone call from Guantanamo to Amanda Waller in the Pentagon, gets all the pertinent details regarding the situation, and immediately reports to Batman.
–Green Lantern Vol. 5 #13-14
Immediately following Green Lantern Vol. 5 #0 Amanda Waller reports the news about Simon Baz directly to President Barack Obama who, much to the chagrin of Waller, decides to alert the Justice League. A confused Baz flies back to Dearborn, Michigan and talks with his sister. Meanwhile, the Guardian’s Third Army grows as its soldiers continue assimilating more humans into gross monster-like warriors. In Dearborn, the Justice League accosts Baz, who tries to explain his situation. When Batman tries to remove Baz’s ring, a construct of Sinestro angrily springs to the ring’s defense. Even though Baz wants the JL’s help, the ring won’t allow it and the new Green Lantern is is forced to flee. Baz then meets with his sis again and vows, via the power of his ring, to prove to the world that he isn’t a terrorist. Deep in “Hidden Space,” the mysterious “First Lantern” (Volthoom) remains chained within a Guardian-protected prison. Elsewhere, the spirits of Hal Jordan and Sinestro remain trapped in the dark, desolate limbo wasteland known as the Dead Zone. (Hal Jordan and Sinestro will eventually return from the dead, as seen in Green Lantern Vol. 5 15-#20. Hal Jordan will help destroy Volthoom, while Sinestro will return to his old evil ways).
–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 2 #17-18. Cyborg tells Batman that he has assembled a database of nearly every super-human on the planet, which he calls “The Grid.” Batman and Cyborg discuss the idea of reaching out and recruiting new members for the Justice League.
–Justice League Vol. 2 #13-14 (“THE SECRET OF THE CHEETAH”)
Five days after Superman and Wonder Woman kissed for the first time and also five days since Hal Jordan quit the JLA, Wonder Woman fights her arch-enemy Cheetah (Barbara Minerva) in Central Park, New York City and gets roughed-up. Concerned, Batman and Aquaman break into an ARGUS medical facility to talk with Steve Trevor, who tells them that back in the day Barbara, Diana, and he were friends and associates working in the Mythological Wing of ARGUS. Trevor further reveals that a few years ago Barbara was accidentally cut by an ancient Amazonian blade known as the Godslayer that turned her into the vampiric cheetah-like host of an evil goddess of the hunt and the super-villain she is today. So it’s off to the Congo for the JL to track down Cheetah and bring her to justice. I know Trevor said it was an Amazonian blade, but the Congo definitely seems like the place to go since cheetahs are native to Africa and not Themyscira (or South America, for that matter). Maybe there was some intel placing Cheetah’s last known whereabouts in the Congo. Anyway, in the jungle, Cheetah bites Superman and turns him into an evil vampire cheetah man! Meanwhile, back in the States, Amanda Waller officially removes Trevor from his duties as ARGUS liaison to the JL (as seen in the second feature of this issue). Dejected, Trevor hits a bar but is soon joined by Green Arrow. The duo plan something big, but we don’t learn what it is just yet. In the Congo, the San Tribe cures Superman while Aquaman devises a successful plan that captures Cheetah. Cheetah is placed in solitary confinement at Belle Reve Prison and despite being locked in a cell manages to contact a mystery boss who informs her that Black Manta will be coming for her. (SPOILER: The mystery boss is Alfred Pennyworth from Earth-3, who has already clandestinely recruited a few villains—including Cheetah, Black Manta, and Bane—into what will soon become known as the Secret Society.) Aboard the Watchtower, the JL learns the truth about Barbara Minerva and the cheetah goddess. The cheetah goddess didn’t make Barbara evil; Barbara is a career criminal that “befriended” Steve and Diana in order to gain access to the Godslayer knife and usurp its power. Afterward, Superman and Wonder Woman go on a date in Smallville and get to know each other a bit better. Batman, via tracker and satellite video, watches from the Batcave with interest as Superman and Wonder Woman smooch in a Kansas cornfield. What a creep!
THRONE OF ATLANTIS Part 1
———————-–Justice League Vol. 2 #15
———————-–Aquaman Vol. 7 #15
———————-–Justice League Vol. 2 #16
Superman and Wonder Woman finish their date in Smallville (picking up right where Justice League Vol. 2 #14 left off). In Gotham, Batman is assisted by Aquaman and Mera in capturing some Scarecrow henchmen wearing crow masks. In an instant, giant tidal waves begin decimating and flooding all of the major East Coast cities. Shocked, Aquaman tells Batman that Atlantis is attacking the surface, following a war plan that he came up with years ago. Our heroes will soon learn that someone has duped the Atlanteans into believing that they have been deliberately attacked by the US Navy, causing this horrible retaliation. Batman, Aquaman, and Mera save as many lives as they can in Gotham, while Superman and Wonder Woman cut another date short to save lives in Metropolis. Mera does her best, using her powerful water-based powers, to clear the flooding from the Eastern seaboard. In Boston, Aquaman confronts his brother, King of Atlantis, Orm Marius. Aquaman argues with Orm, while simultaneously fighting with Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman over letting him handle the situation alone. Orm, disgusted, raises up his entire Atlantean army and knocks-out all four heroes, sending them spiraling through whirlpools to the bottom of the ocean. Meanwhile, Cyborg brings Aquaman’s mentors Dr. Stephen Shin and Nuidus Vulko aboard the Watchtower to help monitor the situation. At STAR Labs in Detroit, Cyborg goes under the knife of his father to replace his only remaining organic lung with a breathing apparatus that requires no oxygen. Before heading into the surgery room, Cyborg calls in some back-up reinforcements from the Grid, including Hawkman, Element Woman (Emily Sung), Black Lightning, Black Canary, Firestorm, and Vixen (now recovered from her horrific spine injury from last year).
THRONE OF ATLANTIS Part 2
———————-–Aquaman Vol. 7 #16
———————-–Justice League Vol. 2 #17
While Cyborg’s “Grid” heroes—including Hawkman, Element Woman, Black Lightning, Black Canary, Firestorm, and Vixen—fight Orm’s army, Aquaman helps Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman, who are stuck inside pods in an ancient Atlantean temple at the bottom of the Mid-Atlantic Trench. Aquaman is swarmed by vicious Dagon-like creatures before being assisted by Mera and the upgraded Cyborg. The heroes emerge from beneath the sea just in time to learn that the mastermind behind the war and the release of the creatures is none other than Vulko, who has done all of this in order to get Aquaman to reclaim his place as leader of Atlantis. The war rages wildly until the combined might of the heroes controls the situation. The good guys also get a little secret help from the debuting Atom (Rhonda Pineda). (SPOILER ALERT: The Atom is actually Atomica, an evil super-villain from Earth 3 posing as a hero.) Orm surrenders and Aquaman becomes King of Atlantis once again, leading the heroes and the Atlantean Army to defeat the trench monsters. Afterward, Vulko and Orm (dubbed “Ocean Master” by the press) are imprisoned. Aquaman debates giving his leadership role over to his wife—but ultimately decides to lead his people (in Aquaman Vol. 7 #17). Later, Batman tells the JL that it’s time to increase their ranks. In Washington, DC, Amanda Waller pitches the idea of building a “Justice League of America” to Steve Trevor, citing that the Atlantean attack is enough of a reason to do so. (Trevor won’t be fully convinced until a later similar conversation occurs about a eight months later in Justice League of America Vol. 3 #1—that conversation, however, will include a detailed report containing images of Superman and Wonder Woman kissing, which will be enough to convince Trevor.) Elsewhere, a secret super-villain (duh, it’s Earth-3 Alfred) begins recruiting new key members to add to his evil team.
–Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #10-12 (“TERMINUS”)
This arc takes place “a few weeks” after the death of Otto Netz. Bruce, Dick, Tim, Damian, Alfred, and Titus gather at Wayne Manor to pose for a family portrait. (Batman Vol. 2 Annual #4 shows us that Bruce also poses for a solo portrait as well.) Of course, Damian and Tim bicker the whole time and nearly come to blows as the latter chastises the former for murdering both the Spook and Otto Netz. (Bruce has decided not to tell anyone except Alfred about Nobody’s murder.) Later, Robin summons Nightwing, Red Robin, and Red Hood to a rooftop in Gotham and declares himself as the best Robin of them all, claiming that he will attack each of the former Robins and defeat them embarrassingly to prove it. Later, an angry Red Robin confronts Robin in the Batcave. Robin taunts Red Robin by revealing that he has been monitoring his Teen Titan activities and has hacked into his private data files. (If you are keeping tabs, Red Robin’s current Teen Titans lineup remains the same except for the latest big addition of Superboy onto the roster.) Robin and Red Robin fight, tearing apart the Batcave, until Robin gets Red Robin to admit that he (Red Robin) has at least thought about killing before. Infuriated, Red Robin storms-off on his motorcycle. Meanwhile, across town Terminus assembles a motley group of revenge-starved crooks that Batman has interacted with in the past, including Scallop, Bat Head, Bootface, and Smush. Robin then continues his assault on the former Boy Wonders by striking at Red Hood in his Gotham safe house. Robin bests the surprised Jason Todd and steals his signature crimson helmet. Later, when Terminus’ anti-Batman team begins terrorizing the city by branding Batman symbols onto people with fiery irons, Batman and Robin kick their crazed asses. Bombs then detonate all over Gotham’s downtown as Terminus makes his dramatic debut wearing a giant mech-suit. Batman, wearing his Hellbat-inspired mech-suit, is soon joined by all his former Robins—Robin, Nightwing, Red Robin, and Red Hood—to take down Terminus and company, albeit amid a ton of collateral structural damage. In defeat, Terminus launches a nuclear warhead toward Gotham, but Batman rockets into the sky and forces the missile into the ocean. Afterward, Nightwing gives an escrima stick to Robin and tells him not to bother attacking him—after all, he’s already proven himself by being awarded the Robin costume.
–Detective Comics Vol. 2 #13
On Tuesday, Bruce donates money to the Orthodontic Association and Batman ironically knocks some thug’s teeth out. The flashback from the second feature of Detective Comics Vol. 2 #13 shows Batman responding to the Bat Signal in the Batplane. This flashback also takes place less than a week before the upcoming attempt on Bruce’s life by the Ghost Dragons, so we can assume that it is depicting Tuesday night’s adventure. On Wednesday, Bruce pays off the student loan debts of a bunch of orthopedic surgeons and then suits up as Batman to break some thug’s bones. A few days later, Batman (at Alfred’s strong exhortation to hurry up) races to make a very important gala event—the opening of the Martha Wayne Wing of the Neville Community Center. However, a jealous Penguin has decided that he wants the new wing to be named after his mom instead. Penguin has hired the notorious Ghost Dragons to simultaneously assassinate Bruce before he can dedicate the new wing and keep Batman occupied with multiple robberies across the city. A bit overwhelmed, the Dark Knight has Nightwing take care of the robberies while he takes out his own would-be assassin. By the time Bruce shows up late to the gala, Penguin has already forced the directors of the community center to accept his donation by threatening them with murder. Bruce witnesses the new ell dedicated as the “Esther Cobblepot Wing.” Satisfied with embarrassing and upstaging Bruce, Penguin calls off his assassins. However, there’s one big problem: The Ghost Dragons, once hired, never relent. The opening flashback from Detective Comics #14 (which takes place the next day) forms the direct continuation from the Ghost Dragon attack in ‘tec #13. Penguin seizes an opportunity and kills the Ghost Dragon assassin, not only saving Bruce, but earning himself the label of hero!
DEATH OF THE FAMILY
————————–Batman Vol. 2 #13
————————–Batman Vol. 2 #14, Part 1
Batman Vol. 2 #13 begins immediately after Penguin saves Bruce’s life from the Ghost Dragon assassin. It’s been about a year since Joker went missing after getting his face sliced off. Joker now returns to Gotham with a murderous bang. He steals back his face, makes a public TV appearance (not showing his face), executes John Claridge (the son of his first victim Henry Claridge), and kills nineteen GCPD officers right under the noses of Commissioner Gordon and Batman. Batman confronts someone dressed in Joker’s old Red Hood outfit at ACE Chemicals, but it isn’t Joker, it’s actually Harley Quinn, who distracts the Dark Knight. Meanwhile, Joker, with his face literally tied-on like a mask, enters Wayne Manor, attacks Alfred with a hammer, and kidnaps him! Batman returns home to discover via audiotape that Alfred is the captive of his arch-enemy. The tape also leaves a clue threatening Commissioner Gordon. Batman #14 cuts off here and is split into two parts in order to give room for the events of Batman & Robin #13-14 and Detective Comics #14-15.
–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics Vol. 2 #14. This event occurs the morning after Bruce’s altercation with Penguin and the Ghost Dragons (which is also the same morning after the return of the Joker). Bruce and Damian discuss Penguin and Poison Ivy. Damian references Joker’s attack on the GCPD. Damian also asks where Alfred is, but Bruce dodges the question. Alfred, of course, has just been abducted by Joker. Bruce, at this point, has opted not to tell anyone about Alfred’s abduction yet.
–Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #13-14
It’s still the morning after Alfred’s abduction. Batman and Robin rocket into Earth’s orbit to monitor one of the Batcave’s information satellites, view a spectacular solar eclipse at close range, and have a heart-to-heart. Back on the Earth’s surface, Batman and a Joker-weary Commissioner Gordon investigate a supposed zombie uprising in a Gotham cemetery. Meanwhile, Damian easily fights off a mutant frog-monster assassin trying to earn the League of Assassins’ $500 million bounty on his head. Shortly thereafter, Damian is swarmed by “zombies” and dragged into a subway station where a group of cultists prepare a cannibalistic feast. But these ain’t no real zombies; they are a mob of Gothamites that have been chemically altered by Joker! Batman joins Robin and they defeat the fake zombies. Afterward, Bruce scolds Damian for his impetuousness and recklessness. Despite the rocky path they’ve often tread, this argument ends with a touching teary-eyed father-son embrace.
–Detective Comics Vol. 2 #14-15
The night after Bruce’s encounter with the Ghost Dragons and Penguin (and the abduction of Alfred), Batman tries to apprehend Poison Ivy, who attempts to murderously sabotage one of Penguin’s environmentally-unfriendly pharmaceutical companies. Ivy has recently split from the Birds of Prey and returned to her more villainous ways. At the factory, Poison Ivy kisses Batman, causing him to lose a step and hallucinate an image of his girlfriend Natalya. Ignatius Ogilvy (Penguin’s number one henchman) then takes Poison Ivy prisoner and then departs leaving Batman struggling to regain consciousness. Clayface then crashes into the factory looking for his “wife.” It is revealed in the flashback second feature to ‘tec #14 and in ‘tec #15 that Ivy recently broke Clayface out of Arkham, put him under her seductive spell, and brainwashed him (with organic implants) to think they are married and in love. Ogilvy buries Ivy alive in a graveyard per Penguin’s orders. Across town, Batman fights Clayface, returns to the Batcave to figure out how the super-villain has been controlled by Ivy, and goes back to “deprogram” him. Dressed in his fancy red and gold Haz-Bat Suit, Batman hoses Clayface down with herbicide, eliminating Ivy’s influence. Clayface retreats into the sewers and plans revenge against Ivy (as shown in the second feature of ‘tec #15). Meanwhile, Joker meets with a nervous Penguin and they depart for Arkham Asylum. Back at the graveyard, Ogilvy digs up Ivy, saving her life. Ogilvy then declares himself “Emperor Penguin,” stating that he no longer works for Penguin, believing that his former boss’ days are numbered due to the reappearance of the Joker.
DEATH OF THE FAMILY Continued…
————————–Batman Vol. 2 #14, Part 2
————————–Batman Vol. 2 #15
A full day has now passed since Alfred’s abduction. Batman decides to tell Commissioner Gordon about it. Gordon, having already been poisoned by Joker, begins bleeding out of every pore, but Batman is able to get him to the hospital in time to save his life. Batman then tells Nightwing about Alfred, but says that they are to keep his abduction a secret from the rest of the Bat-Family so that everyone will keep their emotions in check as they duel the Joker. Nightwing questions whether or not Joker knows their secret IDs, but Batman states his belief that Alfred was simply targeted because of his public link to Batman Incorporated. At the Gotham Reservoir, site of their first face-to-face encounter, Batman confronts Joker, who blows the dam and poisons the water supply. Joker also restrains the Dark Knight, claims that he knows the secret IDs of the entire Bat-Family, and that they will all be dead within seventy-two hours. As the GCPD surrounds the area, snipers working for Joker begin shooting at them. Batman gets knocked into the reservoir and loses consciousness. Luckily, members of the Bat-Family save him and stop the spread of the poison in the water. While Batman is unconscious and convalescing in the Batcave, some other Bat-Family spin-off titles in the “Death of the Family” arc take place (including Catwoman Vol. 4 #13-14 and portions of Suicide Squad Vol. 4 #14-15). When Batman wakes, Nightwing has assembled Robin, Red Robin, Red Hood, and Batgirl for a meeting. Bruce learns that Joker has targeted all of them and also that his family knows that Joker has taken Alfred. Bruce still tries to tell them that Joker doesn’t know who they are, but they remain highly skeptical.
H’EL ON EARTH
———————–Superman Vol. 3 #15
———————–Superboy Vol. 5 #16
———————–Superboy Vol. 5 Annual #1
———————–Superman Vol. 3 #16
———————–Superboy Vol. 5 #17
———————–Supergirl Vol. 6 #17
———————–Superman Vol. 3 #17
Note that despite this arc running through seven issues, its narrative only spans a few hours! H’El is a Kryptonian explorer sent by Superman’s father Jor-El (shortly before Krypton blew up) on a mission to safeguard all of the accumulated sciences and culture of the Kryptonian race. After having spent years in exile H’El has now become aware of the existence of Superman, Supergirl, and Superboy. H’El has seduced Supergirl to his side with promises of the revival of Krypton. H’El plans to reset space and time to before Krypton was destroyed using a “Star Chamber,” but at the cost of the destruction of the entire Solar System. H’El and Supergirl have taken over Superman’s Fortress of Solitude, a heavily fortified sentient structure with an elaborate crystal AI brain. Superman (wearing his old T-shirt costume while Superboy borrows his regular armored costume) and Superboy pump Lex Luthor for information at the gigantic one mile-deep Utah prison designed specifically to hold only him. Afterward, Superman calls in the Justice League for assistance and they converge on the North Pole. There, the heroes fight numerous Kryptonian Worker Drone robots and various other insane defenses as they work their way to H’El’s location at the center of the Fortress. Superman and Superboy are sucked into a Dali-esque pocket dimension via a machine in the Fortress trophy room. In the pocket dimension, Superman and Superboy fight various monsters and the exiled intergalactic killers Blastor and Lasara before returning back to Earth to rejoin the JL. Despite having been gone for quite a while, only about two minutes of time have passed on Earth. The JL and Superboy continue to fight horrific alien creatures that are housed in the Fortress zoo until Superman and Superboy finally reach Supergirl and H’El, who have completed construction of the doomsday device that will bring back Krypton but destroy the Solar System. H’El teleports himself, Supergirl, and the entire Fortress to a glacier miles away, leaving the stunned JL members behind. H’El activates the Star Chamber, which begins its destructive sequence. Deep in the Himalayan mountains, a bizarre alien-like herald, sensing the possible end of everything, summons his master, the gigantic godlike cosmic-powered being known as Oracle of the Timeless. As the sun begins to burn out and the Solar System begins to collapse into itself, Batman and Cyborg retreat back to the Watchtower to rejoin Flash. Meanwhile, H’El tears Superman’s armor off of Superboy, essentially fatally wounding him in the process. The dying Superboy gets thrashed by the lovestruck Supergirl, who still believes H’El’s cause is benevolent. Wonder Woman comes to Superboy’s aid, but time is running out. As Batman coordinates various rescue efforts across the globe from high atop the Watchtower, Wonder Woman fights Supergirl and finally makes her see that the resurrection of Krypton will be at the cost of the destruction of Earth. Superman is summoned to the mysterious Oracle of the Timeless in deep space, but can’t make heads or tails of the silent cosmic sphinx. Jetting back to Earth, Superman joins Superboy, Supergirl, Wonder Woman, and Dr. Shay Veritas against H’El. Supergirl defeats H’El (at great physical harm to herself) by jagging him in the chest with a sharp shard of Kyrptonite. The Star Chamber is destroyed, saving the Solar System and sending the injured H’El backward through time to Krypton, twelve years before its destruction!
–Detective Comics Vol. 2 #16-17
As Emperor Penguin begins inciting violence across Gotham (making it look like Joker is responsible), all of the Joker-inspired gangs in the city are going buck wild due to the reemergence of their idol. Batman begins a quick sweep and apprehends as many of the lunatics as he can at various locations. However, the worst of the bunch, a group known as The League of Smiles (led by The Merrymaker), has only just reared its ugly head. Batman soon realizes that all of the League of Smiles members are former patients of the supposedly deceased Dr. Byron Merideth. After taking down a cross-dressing circus strongman at Merideth’s office, Batman converses with Gordon and Bullock at the morgue and discovers that Merideth’s corpse is not actually Merideth. At the Gotham Children’s Hospital, Batman exposes the Merrymaker as Merideth in front of his minions and reveals that Merideth had merely been using his ex-patients as pawns in an attempt to murder his ex-wife and her lawyer.
–Suicide Squad Vol. 4 #19
Batman makes the tiniest appearance (temporally and literally) in this issue, showing up in a very small panel and only staying for a few minutes. Amanda Waller’s Task Force X (better known as the Suicide Squad) is a rotating group of super-villains forced to carry out secret missions for the US government. Waller’s team of Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Yo-Yo, Voltaic, and King Shark attack Gotham’s Chinatown mob boss Red Orchid and her Chain Gang thugs at her penthouse HQ. The goal is not only to bring down Red Orchid, but to rescue the kidnapped Kurt Lance (Black Canary’s ex-husband). After the penthouse gets blown-up by Deadshot, Waller regroups with her team in the basement of the building. Just as Batman arrives on the scene, the Suicide Squad makes a quick getaway into the sewers only to be accosted by The Unknown Soldier.
DEATH OF THE FAMILY Continued…
————————–Batman Vol. 2 #15, Conclusion
————————–Batman Vol. 2 #16-17
Batman learns that one of Joker’s snipers is an Arkham guard. Batman also learns the horrific truth that Joker has been in control of Arkham for days, maybe even weeks. The Dark Knight visits Arkham and enters a hellish nightmare where a flaming horse runs wild, the inmates are all loose and attack him, and a patchwork tapestry of dozens of mutilated still-living people hangs on display (courtesy of Dollmaker). After easily dispatching Mr. Freeze, Clayface, and Scarecrow, Batman enters Jeremiah Arkham’s office and finds Joker and his royal entourage; Penguin, Two-Face, and Riddler. Among them are a few people dressed up as Justice League members, who are each forced to electrocute themselves to death by Joker. Batman quickly gains the upper hand, but Joker shows a video of the defeat and capture of the Bat-Family, which causes the Dark Knight to surrender. Joker orders Batman to sit in an electric chair. The Caped Crusader complies and gets fried into unconsciousness. When he wakes, Joker has the entire Bat-Family bound and gagged deep within the bowels of the Batcave! Alfred is alive and well, albeit completely Jokerized. Joker unveils some silver dishes containing the supposed sliced-off faces of each Bat-Family member. However, it’s all a trick. The Bat-Family’s faces are fine. Batman breaks free of his restraints and begins pummeling Joker. Meanwhile, the Bat-Family gets dosed with a new strain of Joker Venom and begins fighting each other. Joker winds up falling into the catacomb rivers beneath the Batcave and his washed away. At the other end of the cave, the Bat-Family shakes off the effects of the Venom and stops fighting. The next day, everyone recuperates and reflects on all that has happened. Bruce explains the complicated nature of Joker’s mind when it comes to the secret ID of Batman. Bruce says that Joker basically knows the Bat-Family secret identities, but he is so crazy that he doesn’t (and never did) care who was beneath the mask, mentally blocking out the information. Bruce Wayne isn’t important to the crazed Clown Prince of Crime; only Batman matters. Each Bat-Family member then tells Batman that while they were captured, Joker revealed some deep, dark truths about all of them, and as a result tension is high and trust is at an all time low.
–Red Hood & The Outlaws #17-18
Red Hood & The Outlaws #17 obviously takes place right after “The Death of the Family” and sometime before Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #1-8 (where Damian dies). Jason, Dick, Damian, Alfred, and Bruce all unwind at Wayne Manor following the recent Joker chaos. Starfire and Arsenal (formerly Speedy) then meet up with Jason at Wayne Manor. While Nightwing hides from his ex (Starfire) and Robin play-fights with Arsenal, Jason meets with Bruce in the Batcave and they have a touching heart-to-heart. Alfred tells Jason that he always has a place in the family. Jason then puts on his Red Hood helmet, which has been rigged by Joker to play a holographic taunt and deliver an agonizingly painful acid face wash. Batman dashes upstairs and rips Jason’s helmet off, but it’s too late. Jason’s face is burned and he is unconscious. During this issue, Jason not only reflects upon what happened with Joker but also on his recent time as the Wingman of Batman Incorporated, mentioning Damian’s time as Redbird (which we see in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #3-4). However, this is a massively huge continuity error unless we assume that both Damian dresses as Redbird before Batman Inc #3 (since it runs continuously until Damian’s death in issue #8) and also that that is what Jason is talking about. In any scenario, there is no way Jason can be referencing Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #4 (as the editor’s note implies) since it takes place after this issue! A few hours later, Jason is nursed back to health by Alfred as Bruce watches on. Alfred determines that the acid won’t cause any permanent physical damage, but Jason remains comatose. While under, Jason has vivid hallucinations of Joker, his former mentor in the City of the All-Caste, his friends dying, and a scene featuring himself as Wingman talking to Batman. When Jason wakes, Bruce is still sitting by his side and they embrace as father and son. Jason will begin a series of blood tests with Alfred that will last for almost four months (as referenced in Batman and… #20). These tests will ensure that there are no lingering effects from the Joker Toxin face wash.
–Batman & Robin Vol. 2 Annual #1
Batman defeats a young kid who joyrides in a military mech-suit. The next day, Bruce, via video, is challenged to a global scavenger hunt by Damian. Bruce agrees and immediately departs with Alfred for London, the supposed location of Damian. In reality, Damian is still in Gotham. He dons a self-made Batman costume (a mini version of his costume from the Batman #666 future) and hits the streets to work a case and bust some random costumed super-villain ass. In a hotel in London, Bruce finds Damian’s first “gift,” a picture that Bruce’s mom painted when he was a little tot. Damian, using a green screen to pretend to be in Barcelona, live video chats with Bruce, and tells him to get to Spain. While Bruce and Alfred catch up on some heartwarming bonding time, Damian puts on his 666 costume and kicks some more butt in Gotham. In Barcelona, Bruce, following Damian’s instructions, finds a picture of his parents on their honeymoon and visits the exact spot the picture was taken. Back in Gotham, Damian sends more instructions to his dad, this time to go to Greece. Then, lil’ Bat-Damian defeats the same military mech-suit Batman defeated two days prior, only this time it’s being operated by the previous user’s father. Damian also apprehends the criminal’s metahuman partner, The Weasel (who we’ve only seen before in the Batman #666 future)! The next day, in Greece, Bruce finds the stone tile that his father used to write a marriage proposal to his mother on. Damian flies to London and meets with his pop. Bruce is overjoyed and filled with love in regard to Damian’s wonderful scavenger hunt. Bruce and Damian then watch Alfred perform Shakespeare at the Old Globe Theater before returning home to Gotham (at the express request of Alfred, who can’t stand London or his ex-girlfriend anymore).
–Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #17
After a hard night’s work patrolling Gotham, Batman and Robin return home. Bruce, Damian, Alfred, (and Titus) all go to sleep for the night. Damian has a multi-layered nightmare featuring a creepy twin and his entire family dead. Alfred has a nightmare about Joker’s antics during the “Death of the Family” arc that turns into a good dream where he blows Joker’s head off with a shotgun. Bruce has a nightmare featuring his parents, a giant paper boat, and most of his rogues gallery. Upon waking, Bruce checks up on Damian, who has drifted into a much happier dream where he gleefully fights crime with his dad.
–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 2 #19. A second version of The Reaper debuts. This Reaper is clearly drawn as the Judson Caspian version of the character (originally from the Modern Age’s “Batman Year Two” arc). I’m not sure what Caspian’s New Age origin is, but is must be decidedly different. Batman #19 tells us that this Reaper has beef with the Falcone Family, which is interesting because the majority of the Falcones were either jailed or kicked out of Gotham in 2008. We are also told that some of the Falcones have gathered in Gotham for a funeral wake, meaning one of the family has passed. Batman and Robin defeat the Reaper, who attempts to poison everyone at the Falcone Family wake.
–FLASHBACK: From Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #1-5. It’s been over a month since Talia Al Ghul dramatically revealed herself as leader of Leviathan. Our story begins five days after the conclusion of “Death of the Family” and roughly one month prior (actually to Gordon and the GCPD showing up to arrest Bruce Wayne—but we’ll get to that later. Here in the present, Batman and Robin chase down some goat-masked henchmen who try to set up Robin for an assassination ambush by their boss, sniper extraordinaire Goatboy, who hopes to collect on the Leviathan bounty. The assassination fails, but Goatboay gets away. Meanwhile, across town at a secret meeting, Talia and her right hand man, the mysterious and powerful Heretic (aka “Fatherless”), strong arm Gotham’s weirdest corporate, social, and criminal leaders to turn over their operations to Leviathan. Batman and Robin manage to stop a shipment of poisoned meat from entering Gotham’s markets—and take one of the healthy bovines as a pet, which Robin dubs Bat-Cow! Unfazed, Talia’s ninja man-bats drop the corpse of one of Gotham’s top mobsters in front of the Dynamic Duo to send them a message that she means business. In San Francisco, behind a secret wall in a sex shop lies Batcave West (!), complete with an Outsiders “Hall of Trophies,” where the main Batman Incorporated members have been hiding out since their seemingly fatal battle against Leviathan. Wingman gathers the troops—Batwing, Hood, Gaucho, Freight Train, Looker, and Halo—and we learn that the world, including Leviathan, believes that all of these heroes have perished and Batman wants it to stay that way for now. Back in Gotham, the Dynamic Duo stops some Mutant Gang members, under Leviathan orders, from delivering more tainted beef. However, while Robin deals with the Mutants, Batman spots Goatboy and confronts him. Despite the heat from the Caped Crusader, Goatboy is able to put a bullet in Robin’s head! Of course this is a ruse and Damian is fine. Talia, who isn’t fooled so easily and sees right through the trickery, then meets with her father, Ra’s Al Ghul, who as usual reprimands his daughter and tells her to stop her war against Batman. Talia effectively takes over her father’s empire and puts him under house arrest. Instead of being upset, Ra’s Al Ghul seems to finally have garnered genuine respect and admiration for Talia. A few days later (nearly a week since Damian’s faked death), Batman dons his Matches Malone guise and, along with an undercover Gaucho, Hood, and Freight Train (or is this Batwing?), pumps the local Gotham bar scene for information regarding Leviathan, which now has secret agents operating within the judicial system, the GCPD, the school system, and the food distribution industry. Nightwing plays Batman for a one-time gig while “Malone” questions some crooks. Later, in the Batcave, Nightwing goofs around by wearing a cape, combining Batman’s fighting togs with his own. After “Malone” interrogates Goatboy, Batman—still in his Malone guise—visits a mansion owned by Leviathan only to get ambushed and captured by new bizarre League Assassins, including Goatboy himself. Sick of playing dead, Robin knocks-out Alfred, dons his Redbird costume, and goes to rescue Batman. At the Leviathan house, Batman Inc—including Redbird, Gaucho, the Hood, Wingman, Nightwing, Batwing, Knight, Squire, Red Robin, and Freight Train—engages in a battle royale against the weirdest assortment of League Assassins ever assembled—including the Seven Men of Death, Alpha, Tzin-Tzin, Sportsmaster, Ojo, Shrike, Mad Dog, Aron Aromowitz, the Turnip Twins, Kitty Kumbata, Wam Wam, and a host of other super-villains we’ve never seen before. Matches quickly becomes Batman again and leads the charge as the heroes decimate the bad guys with relative ease. Goatboy gets killed in the process. Afterward, Wingman unmasks in front of all, revealing himself as Jason Todd! Despite victory, Damian senses an ominous pall hanging over everyone’s heads and asks his dad what’s going on. Bruce has another revelation: In order to end the insane war between Leviathan and Batman Incorporated and to spare Gotham (and the world) the carnage of what might happen, Bruce has decided that the only course of action is that Damian must return into the care of his mom. Why? Bruce tells Damian the whole of his vision of the apocalyptic dark 666 Future of Gotham if the boy should ever grow up to become Batman. (This is the future from Batman #666, Batman #700, the questionably canonical 666 Future dream sequence from Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #5, and the possibly apocryphal Damian: Son of Batman miniseries.) Despite the shocking story, which involves the deaths of everyone in Gotham, Damian vociferously exclaims that no one, not even Batman, can know the future for certain. Meanwhile, Knight, Squire, Batwing, and the Outsiders are all lured to the Leviathan HQ at Crime Alley, where a bomb explodes seemingly killing them all.
–FLASHBACK: From Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #6-8. May 23-24. The main action from Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #6-8 continues and picks up right where issue #5 leaves off. I’ve simply split up the synopsis for aesthetic/readability purposes. Batman, with a bunch of GI Bat-Robots, goes to Crime Alley where the GCPD has set up a perimeter. Inside, Batman chats with Talia via radio and fights Leviathan agents. Outside, ninja man-bats fight a chaotic aerial war versus GI Bat-Robots. At the top floor of the building, Batman’s agents lie bloody and battered, nearly all dead except for Batwing and Knight. Knight manages to revive the heartbeat-less Squire with a shock from his taser. Back at the Batcave, Jason rallies the troops and prepares to engage Leviathan. Alfred gives the grief-stricken Damian a new pet cat, which he names Alfred Pennyworth. Back across town, Talia explains that Batman must choose between the death of Damian or the combined destruction of Gotham and collapse of the US economy. Talia also explains that the Otto Netz’s “Oroboro” is a new energy source that she controls and that will replace all others, causing this global power shift. The monstrously hefty Heretic enters the scene, murders a bunch of hostages, and snaps Knight’s neck, killing him instantly. As a teary-eyed Squire pounds on Heretic to no avail, the villain beats-down Batman and tosses him through a window. An unconscious Dark Knight is taken away by ninja man-bats. At Batcave East (underneath an abandoned WayneCorp oil refinery), the Hood betrays Batman Inc for the second time, pledging his loyalty to Spyral and taking-out Jason with an electric shock. Red Robin chases after Batman, but is nearly blown to bits by yet another bomb. Back at Crime Alley, a school bus full of Leviathan brainwashed children attack Nightwing, Batwing, and Commissioner Gordon with knives and spears. Talia, the Heretic, and a small army of Leviathan soldiers take over an undefended Wayne Tower (not to be confused with the similar but decidedly different original Alan Wayne/Cyrus Pinkney-designed Old Wayne Tower in the Corolla Building). Thanks to a report from Traktir and Spidra (who are also under Leviathan assault in Yemen) sent to Batwing, Damian confirms that the Heretic is none other than an adult clone of himself. Atop the Wayne Enterprises skyscraper, the Heretic throws a locked safe (with Batman trapped inside) into Bruce’s penthouse swimming pool. Damian convinces Alfred to let him attempt a rescue of his father. Alfred agrees. Robin suits up in his armored rocket-suit, saves Nightwing and Gordon, and heads to Wayne Enterprises HQ, where Red Robin (with front desk girl Ellie) is battling Leviathan’s best. Robin and Nightwing then team-up at Wayne Tower to fight crazed kiddies and more Leviathan soldiers. The Heretic enters the lobby, dispatches with Nightwing, and brutally murders Robin, who dies a hero’s death. Batman, escaped from the safe, shows up a second too late to save his son.
–FLASHBACK: From the Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #9, Part 1 Introduction. May 24. Damian has just been brutally murdered. Batman, Nightwing, and Red Robin all join forces, fight off the Heretic, and flee to safety with Damian’s corpse and the Oroboros energy source/weapon-activator.
–FLASHBACK: From Robin Rises: Omega #1. May 24. A devastated Batman, Nightwing, and Alfred stand over the lifeless bloody corpse of Damian in the Batcave.
–FLASHBACK: From Grayson #20. May 24. This small panel is quite vague and hard to decipher. But it is definitely a point-of-view shot from Dick’s perspective, depicting Batman, in the Batcave, holding a domino mask, presumably Damian’s.
–FLASHBACK: From Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #9, Part 1. May 25. A day after Damian’s death, Bruce, Dick, Tim, and Alfred hold a solemn funeral and lay Damian to rest at the Wayne Cemetery plot. Bruce swears revenge and also orders Alfred to take a vacation until his affairs are settled with Leviathan (partly a punishment for allowing Damian to show up at Wayne Tower in the first place). Across the pond in London, Knight is given a hero’s funeral parade—with the Royal Family in attendance. Beryl watches the funeral live on TV and weeps. (Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #9 makes it seem like Beryl takes up the mantle of Knight immediately following the British funeral service of her former mentor. However, Batman Incorporated Special #1 shows us that she doesn’t become the new Knight until a full week afterward. Therefore, there is a week-long ellipsis in the middle of Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #9, hence why I have split it into two separate parts). With Leviathan’s control of Wayne Tower well into its second day, looting and riots continue across the city. The media reports that Leviathan struck against Wayne because of his public link to Batman Incorporated. Leviathan contacts Mayor Hady with an ultimatum. Talia demands the shutdown of Batman Incorporated, the arrest of Bruce Wayne, and the banning of the entire Batman brand from the city within eight hours or else Gotham will crumble. Mayor Hady addresses the media and says that he will immediately comply with the demands, citing that Batman Incorporated has violated the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act (an actual real life thing, BTW)—essentially operating as a sanctioned private paramilitary venture but disregarding various US laws while doing so. Batman and his entire organization are outlawed!
–Nightwing Vol. 3 #18
This issue states that it’s been two weeks since Joker burned down Haly’s Circus in “Death of the Family.” This is dead on the money. It has been exactly two weeks. Batman meets with Dick and tells him that the Dealer has reared his ugly head in Gotham and is auctioning-off memorabilia from “Death of the Family,” including false teeth traps and Dick’s father’s circus outfit. A pissed-off Nightwing busts up the Mirror House auction, but his father’s costume gets burned when the entire place goes up in flames. The next day, Dick visits Damian’s grave and places the former Boy Wonder’s favorite video game on the marker. Dick then visits his friend, Sonia Branch (daughter of Tony Zucco, the man who killed the Flying Graysons). Sonia drops a bombshell—Tony Zucco faked his own death and is alive and well in Chicago!
–Batgirl Vol. 4 #18
Gotham’s Finest bust and interrogate the remnants of Joker’s gang while Batgirl deals with the debuting Firebug. Batman, still looking “like hell” following what has just occurred in Batman Inc, meets with Commissioner Gordon and tells him that Robin is dead. Gordon immediately calls Babs and tells her the terrible news. Batgirl uses her sadness to motivate her, tracking down Firebug and easily busting him. Afterward, Batgirl reluctantly begins a war against her psychotic serial killer brother, James Junior.
–Worlds’ Finest #10
During the middle of a war campaign against business rival Michael Holt (aka superhero Mr. Terrific), Power Girl learns that Damian has died. She immediately tells Huntress, who is devastated. Huntress visits Damian’s grave at Wayne Manor, but makes a quick getaway when she spots Batman coming her way.
–Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #18
Bruce and Alfred continue to mourn the death of Damian. Bruce gears up for his nightly patrol, but can’t help but be haunted by the image of his lost son. Fueled by rage and sadness, Batman apprehends nearly a hundred criminals over the course of a single night—some regular crooks, but many weird costumed villains as well. Note that the entire Bat-Family is outlawed at the moment, but Gordon stubbornly still turns on the Bat Signal. Of course, with all that has gone down recently, Batman does not respond to the Signal, although he does drop the crooks off at GCPD HQ. Back home, Batman finds a letter among Damian’s things. The letter, addressed to Bruce and from Damian, says that Talia “gave him life” but his dad “taught him how to live.” Bruce breaks down in angry tears, clutching the oddments of his son’s fighting togs.
–NOTE: In Teen Titans Vol. 4 #18, Part 1. Batman is not featured in this issue, but the first part occurs now and shows Tim sharing a cry with Alfred about the loss of Damian in the Batcave.
–NOTE: In Batman Incorporated Special #1. Seven days after the funeral of the Knight (and Damian), Beryl officially becomes the new Knight.
–FLASHBACK: From Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #9, Part 2. June 2-3. In England, Beryl introduces herself as the new Knight to Dark Ranger before heading to Gotham with him. Meanwhile, behind closed doors, Prime Minister David Cameron, with an aide, discusses the possibility of there still being an active Lazarus Pit somewhere. It has been just over a week since Damian’s funeral (and Knight’s funeral). Batman Inc, having been made illegal about nine days ago, now officially goes underground. In an undisclosed location, Nightwing, Red Robin, Knight, and Dark Ranger touch base via satellite link-up with Gaucho, Man-of-Bats, Red Raven, Batman Japan, and Nightrunner. In the process, they learn that there is a super Oroboros bomb in each location where a Batman Inc member has been recruited. Elsewhere, in an undisclosed Spyral base, original Bat-Woman Kathy Kane (!), the Hood, and a gang of St. Hardian’s girls hold Jason Todd hostage. In the Batcave, Batman tends to his still unhealed facial wounds and utters a primal scream at the loss of his son.
–FLASHBACK: From Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #10-13. June 4-5. With Leviathan controlling all of Gotham and making outrageous ultimatums that keep the National Guard and GCPD at bay, Talia visits her father in Switzerland to brag about her achievements. However, Ra’s laughs, doubting her ability to finish the job. Returning to a Gotham where Batman is public enemy number one and the Bat Signal has just been destroyed, Talia liquidates some of her own men before demanding that the Dark Knight surrender to her by eleven o’clock. In the Red Hook section of Gotham, Red Robin, Nightwing, Knight, and Dark Ranger locate Jason and bust in to rescue him. There, the Hood tries to explain the complexity of his latest betrayal, stating that Spyral may not be working with Batman Inc, but they are definitely against Leviathan. With his surrender deadline quickly approaching, Batman prepares for his confrontation with Talia across town. First, he acquires some Man-Bat Serum from the office of the inventors of the stuff, Dr. Kirk Langstrom and his wife Dr. Francine Langstrom—this scene is obscurantist, showing the cops interrogating Kirk, who denies both meeting or harboring the Caped Crusader. Batman, meanwhile, is perched outside on a window ledge, making his presence known by punching the lead detective in the face and then swinging away as the officers shoot at him. In order to jibe with continuity, we must assume that Batman doesn’t actually meet the Langstroms face-to-face yet, since his ostensible first meeting with them will occur in Detective Comics Vol. 2 #19. Thus, in this scene, he has stolen the serum and antidote just prior to the Langstroms and police entering the room. Batman then meets with Azrael and borrows the Suit of Sorrows! Nearly eleven o’clock, Batman dons the magickal armor underneath his costume, injects himself with Man-Bat Serum, and suits-up into a flying combat robot-suit. As Rain falls over Gotham, the jacked-up Batman charges into battle. But first, random Chris Burhnam scripted Batman Japan interlude flashback to the early days of Batman Inc! Okay, back to the action at hand: Batman attacks Leviathan head-on, turning the ninja man-bats back into regular humans with an Anti-Serum. Batman then turns his attention to the Heretic. They battle each other violently, with Batman gaining the upper hand after activating a photonic invisibility function on his suit. Meanwhile in Red Hook, Nightwing and Red Robin converge on Knight and Wingman’s location only to find them healthy and well. Kathy Kane finally reveals herself as the top agent of Spyral! Wingman explains that Spyral, being at the top of the international intelligence community, has been monitoring the situation the whole time and is actually ready to assist Batman Inc versus Leviathan! Knight and Nightwing show up just in time at Wayne Tower to help Batman restrain the hulking Heretic. The villain’s mask gets smashed off to reveal the face of a ten-year-old Damian. The Heretic flees back to Talia, who promptly decapitates him, declaring that she can make Damian clones anytime she wants. (As we will find out in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #13, Talia secretly already has a “nursery” of many cloned Damians that she is rearing.) Talia then blows up Wayne Tower and departs. Later, a sword-wielding Talia (wearing a unique Bat-themed costume of her own) confronts Batman inside the Batcave. The have an obligatory sword battle and kiss passionately. Talia poisons Batman during their duel. Meanwhile, the combined forces of Batman Inc and Spyral (and Lone-Eye Lincoln!) face off against Leviathan all over the globe. Gaucho obtains the Oroboros energy weapon activator and passes it off to Wingman, who rushes into the Batcave. Talia thinks Jason Todd will help her, but instead he helps Batman and reveals that the Oroboros bombs have been deactivated. With the antidote to the poison running into his veins, Batman exclaims that his photonic meta-material (the invisibility diamond stuff) will work as a better energy source for the world. Kathy Kane makes her dramatic return into the Batcave and shoots Talia dead! Batman is legitimately shocked to see her alive, let alone at the top of a secret international spy cartel. Kathy disappears and says that Bruce won’t see her again.
–REFERENCE: In Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #13. June 6. Bruce buries Talia in a grave next to Damian. Batman presumably makes a patrol of the city to make sure the chaos of recent days has subsided.
–REFERENCE: In Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #13. June 7-12. Distraught about all that has happened as of late, Batman chooses to remain inactive for the next few days. (In Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #13, Gordon, after arresting Bruce, says that no one has seen Batman or the Bat-Family “for days”—specifically, about six days, hence the six days of inactivity here.)
–Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #1
June 12. Bruce and Alfred stand in the pouring rain and mourn over the graves of Talia and Damian. Bruce tells Alfred that Batman is done for good. Gordon arrives with a warrant for Bruce’s arrest (for involvement in murder, treason, and terrorism linked to the Batman Inc-Leviathan War).
–Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #13
June 13-16. At GCPD HQ, the arrested Bruce chats with Commissioner Gordon about all that has happened. Bruce talks about his relationship with Talia (without spilling the beans about his secret ID). Bruce also mentions how a rookie cop Gordon was on-hand with Leslie Thompkins after his parents were killed—a huge revelation, meaning that Gordon was a rookie in Gotham after a short cop stint in his hometown of Chicago. Notably, this is the first time in any continuity (outside of film) that Gordon is placed at the scene of the Wayne murders. Bruce and Gordon also talk about how the city is in chaos—a chaos not seen since Zero Year—due to the aftermath of the Batman Inc-Leviathan conflict. During their conversation, a note gets passed into the room that reveals that the US Government has dropped all charges and that a mystery woman has posted Bruce’s bail. Kathy Kane has used her Spyral connections to help out Bruce. Before letting Bruce leave, Gordon tells him that Gotham needs Batman. Back at Wayne Manor, Alfred ushers Bruce to the Wayne Cemetery plot where Talia’s and Damian’s bodies have been exhumed and taken. The next day, as reconstruction begins on the badly damaged Wayne Tower, Batman makes his triumphant return, taking on random thugs and dealing with a Poison Ivy case. Elsewhere, Ra’s Al Ghul begins rebuilding the League of Assassins. Without access to a Lazarus Pit, Ra’s begins slowly harvesting Lord Death Man’s “Lazarus Blood.” Ra’s swears revenge for the death of his daughter and reveals that all of her Damian clones are still intact and growing. According to Ra’s, these “Sons of Batman” will be the Caped Crusader’s undoing. And with that, Morrison’s epic comes to its satisfying end, or beginning if you will. The meta-commentary of the oroboros is completed as the snake starts eating its tail all over again. Batman’s world has crumbled yet again. The hole in his heart is re-gouged once more. Shaken to his core, Batman is right where he started. Sure he still has some overseas Batman Inc agents to monitor, but Batman Inc in America is toast. Likewise, his Bat-Family has fallen apart at the seams. Batman will still honor his obligations to the Justice League, but he’s back to the old school loner he once was years ago.
–REFERENCE: In Batman and… #24. June 16. Since the graves of Talia and Damian will be shown (ostensibly) closed in various other upcoming books, we can assume that Bruce has the graves covered with a tarp but left open underneath. Bruce orders Alfred to leave the graves open as a reminder that Ra’s Al Ghul is out there and he has the corpses of his son and baby momma.
–REFERENCE: In Batman and… #28 (“Batman & Two-Face”). Mid June. Batman delivers a new Bat Signal to the GCPD, replacing the one that was wrecked by the GCPD when Batman Inc was outlawed.
–Batman Incorporated Special #1
Batman ponders what to do with the Batman Incorporated venture now that it has basically failed. He sits in the Batcave and reviews some old case files and then decides not to archive them, presumably meaning that Batman Inc will continue on in some form. We should note, however, that Batman probably cannot legally operate Batman Inc in the United States. Therefore, the continuation of Batman Inc will only happen overseas—in Africa, South America, and parts of Europe. Although, as we will see in the coming months, Batman will pretty much cut ties with most Batman Inc members all together, choosing to focusing on solo work instead.
–REFERENCE: From Detective Comics #949. (Note that this reference incorrectly lists this item as happening two years prior to Year Nine. We are three years prior to Year Nine.) The new Batwoman (Bruce’s twenty-seven-year-old cousin Kate Kane) quietly debuted a little over a month ago. Remotely guided by her dad Jake Kane, Batwoman now begins spying-on, trailing, and shooting video of Batman while he goes on patrol. Batman becomes aware of someone tailing him immediately, but can’t get a fix on who it is. Batwoman’s tailing of Batman will continue for weeks to come.
–Detective Comics Vol. 2 #18-20
Arkham Asylum has been restored to its fully functioning level—for the first time since the Joker ran the show nearly five weeks ago—in the capable hand (and hook) of security head Aaron Cash. Batman returns to Arkham and busts a few heads to keep things in line. All the inmates are accounted for except for Victor Zsasz. Despite the fact that Batman wants Penguin, who has been languishing in Arkham for nearly five weeks, to stay incarcerated, the villain gets to walk. When Penguin gets home, he realizes that Ignatius Ogilvy (aka Emperor Penguin) has stolen all of his assets, estates, money, and criminal empire. Back at the family plot outside of Wayne Manor, Alfred and Bruce mourn the passing of Damian by the boy’s graveside. Bruce takes his mind off the tragedy by patrolling and kicking some ass. When shots are fired at the Iceberg Casino, Batman responds and finds Penguin shooting up the place in an attempt to get to Emperor Penguin. Batman punches out Penguin as the cops arrive to cuff him. Penguin laughs and says that his lawyers will have him free in no time. However, ironically, Zsasz (hired by Emperor Penguin) has murdered Penguin’s attorneys. Penguin gets hauled-off on charges of criminal trespass and vandalism. Batman remarks on how the charges may be lesser than Penguin deserves, but they’ll stick and he’s going to Blackgate Prison. For the only the second time in his career, Penguin gets a legit jail sentence! In Penguin’s former office, Emperor Penguin meets with former League of Assassins/Leviathan agent Anya Volkova, who delivers him a vial of Man-Bat Serum! The next day, Batman then starts re-examining corpses of Victor Zsasz’s cold case John Doe/Jane Doe victims in an effort to “make sure nobody is forgotten.” It’s no surprise that Batman would be so keen on finding closure for these victims so shortly after the death of his own son. Also, Zsasz is still loose, so this action also makes sense in that regard. While examining old Zsasz cases, a man-bat virus hits a city block in Gotham, turning hundreds of normal citizens into ravenous man-bats. Batman tries to contact the Bat-Family, but gets no response because things are very rocky in the fam due to the continued fallout from “Death of the the Family” and Damian’s recent death. Nightwing, who is actually still on decent terms with Batman, doesn’t respond because he is literally motorbiking on his way to Chicago (having found out a month ago that Tony Zucco is alive and hiding out there). Batman takes down a bunch of man-bats, including an infected GCPD Officer Hector Melendez, and then finds the cause of the contagion, a man-bat version of Victor Zsasz, who was tricked into unleashing the Man-Bat Serum by Emperor Penguin. Batman then takes down man-bat Zsasz. (Batman receives some help from Batwoman in this issue, but Batwoman’s appearance must be ignored. Thanks to a retcon from Batwoman: Rebirth #1, Batwoman has not yet debuted.) Kirk Langstrom and Francine Langstrom then show up, explaining that they created the Man-Bat Serum, but it was stolen years ago (first by Talia Al Ghul to make her ninja man-bat army, and then by Anya Volkova, who delivered it to Emperor Penguin, who tricked Zsasz into using it now). Since the virus is DNA specific and an airborne pathogen, Kirk reverses the man-bat disease the only way he knows how, by switching the pathogen to effect only his DNA. Everyone in Gotham is cured, but Kirk becomes a man-bat and flies off. Kirk had previously created an aerosol antidote for his Man-Bat Serum (as referenced in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #10), but we must assume it is ineffective against this new strain. As Zsasz is hauled back to Arkham, he tells Batman about Emperor Penguin. Batman then swings into the night and its business as usual, beating up hoods. Meanwhile, Francine decides to take the Man-Bat Serum as well! (We learn in the second feature of Detective Comics Vol. 2 #21 that Francine quickly locates her husband and brings him back home safely.) Elsewhere, Emperor Penguin collects on a big haul, having used the chaos created by the outbreak to rob Gotham blind. Emperor Penguin’s lieutenant, Mr. Combustible, acting as a mole, meets with Penguin in Blackgate and fills him in on every move that Ogilvy has made thus far. Penguin, hoping to get out of jail early, orders Combustible to threaten the judge presiding over his trial, which begins in the morning. Oh, and last but not least for ‘tec #19, there is a backup section of the issue that details Bane (!) as he trains an army with the intention of warring with the Court of Owls, something that will be followed-up on very soon in the upcoming Talon #7. The next morning, a Gotham court judge, having been threatened by Mr. Combustible the night before, drops all charges against Penguin, who walks free. After shaking down Mr. Mosaic, Batman goes after Ogilvy, crashing onto his property with the Tumbler (from the Nolan Batman films). But Ogilvy has a trick up his sleeve, having taken Man-Bat Serum, Venom, and a Poison Ivy-created metahuman cocktail. The hairy blue-skinned super Ogilvy beats the tar out of Batman and leaves him for dead, hanging from a tree. Penguin arrives just in time to save Batman’s life, allowing the Dark Knight to re-fight Ogilvy and bring him to justice.
First, a slight caveat. In Talon #5 Batman and Nightwing mention Joker’s actions during “Death of the Family” but don’t mention Damian’s death. Odd, but we probably should disregard it. Damian’s death would be a touchy subject at this juncture. Moving on. For the past couple months, a former Talon gone good named Calvin Rose, has been warring against the remnants of the defeated Court of Owls (with the assistance of his mentor Sebastian Clark and friend Casey Washington), who is the heir to the throne of the security company empire known as Securitus. Batman and Nightwing review Rose’s activities (although they don’t know who he is) and watch some blurry security footage of Rose fighting the Butcher of Gotham, a Talon named Felix Harmon. Elsewhere in Gotham, Rose stalks the Grandmaster of the Court of Owls, a dangerous undertaking. He infiltrates the Court’s HQ on Securitus Island, but runs into three Talon guards and is captured by them. Meanwhile, in Uptown Gotham, Felix Harmon brutally murders a family just for kicks, which draws the attention of Batman and Commissioner Gordon. Harmon is about to attack Batman, but his boss tells him to stand down, recalling what happened the last time the Court dealt with the Dark Knight. On Securitus Island, Rose is delivered to Grandmaster John Wycliffe. In a Total Recall moment, Wycliffe explains to Rose that everything he has done in his war against the Court has actually been strategically manipulated by the Court itself. Not only that, his mentor Sebastian Clark is only leading him against the Court because he was the Grandmaster that was ousted and marked for death following his botched “Night of Owls” offensive! Just as Rose is about to be executed, one of Wycliffe’s Talons goes rogue, saves Rose’s life, and helps him fight off the other Talons. After escaping, Rose rushes to make sure Casey is okay, but gets literally tied-up by Batman, who warns him that fighting the Court of Owls is bad for everyone. Before Batman can haul-in Rose, he escapes and gets away scott-free. Luckily, Casey (and her young daughter Sarah Washington) have fled to safety. However, Rose doesn’t fare so well. Clark is waiting for him with his new partner, Bane! Bane promptly snaps Rose’s neck, instantly killing him.
–Detective Comics Vol. 2 #20, Epilogue
This epilogue occurs in the Batman-less gap between Talon #7 and Talon #11. A few nights after the conclusion of Detective Comics Vol. 2 #20, Bruce and Alfred swing by the Penguin’s child center, where Penguin has generously changed the name back to what it was intended to be: The Martha Wayne Children’s Center. Penguin chats with Bruce, saying that he doesn’t want to be a target anymore and that Bruce can keep Gotham’s adoration, while he will gladly return to the shadows of his criminal empire. Spying from high atop a building, a six-armed mystery femme-fatale named Penumbra, who has a history with Bruce, mutters to herself that she is in Gotham to kill some people. Meanwhile, in Blackgate, Ogilvy murders the Boss to become the top dog on the inside. Imprisoned but jubilant, Ogilvy changes his name to “Emperor Blackgate.”
Six days have passed since Talon #7. Casey Washington has just escaped from the Court of Owls and purposefully gets arrested by the GCPD to put herself in the safety of their custody. Her daughter Sarah is being held by the Court of Owls against her will. Escaping from yet another cell, Casey gets to the top of the GCPD HQ and activates the Bat Signal. Unfortunately, Felix Harmon (The Butcher of Gotham) shows up and begins beating her to a pulp, ripping off her right arm and gouging out one of her eyes. Batman soon arrives and defeats Harmon, who then flees the scene. Meanwhile, a resurrected Calvin Rose, along with fighting-pals Anya Volkova, Joey, and Edgar, charges headstrong onto the isle of Santa Prisca, home to his murderer Bane. Bane still has it out for the Court of Owls (and doesn’t much like Rose either). Rose is eager to get sweet revenge against both Bane and Bane’s partner, Sebastian Clark (Rose’s former mentor). The foursome engages with Bane’s jacked-up-on-Venom soldiers (Malicia, The Professor, and Brute) and defeats them. With Bane subdued, Rose and company jet back toward the States in a plane. Rose radios Casey that Bane is planning on invading Gotham with a small private army, but the message is intercepted by Batman. Meanwhile, back on Santa Prisca, an angry Bane tells Clark that the invasion is canceled due to the embarrassing defeat at the hands of Rose. Out of nowhere, the enigmatic leader of the Secret Society shows up and offers Bane membership on his team. Bane swats aside Clark, terminating their relationship, and joins up with the Society. (SPOILER ALERT: Who is the leader of the Society? It’s none other than Earth-3 Alfred Pennyworth)! Back in Gotham, Batman takes Casey into the care of Lucius Fox, who is an old family friend of the Washingtons. Batman and Rose search in vain for the new Court of Owls stronghold and Batman chastises Rose for all the negative things that have occurred. Batman then sends some GI Robots (!) to check out Santa Prisca, but the Secret Society has used magick/other metahuman means to make the entire island vanish without a trace in order to protect their newest recruit. Across town, a couple days later, Harmon joins forces with Sebastian Clark and they vow to destroy John Wycliffe’s Court of Owls and all of Gotham along with it.
–Talon #14, Part 1
Over twenty-four hours have passed since Talon #12. Calvin Rose attempts to rescue the kidnapped Sarah Washington at Gotham’s Orchard Hotel, which has been rigged with explosives by Sebastian Clark (as seen in Talon #13). A three-way war goes on inside the hotel as the John Wycliffe’s Court of Owls Talons fight against Clark and Felix Harmon, who also fight against Rose and company. With a true-death serum running through is undead veins, Rose gets manhandled by Harmon, but gets assistance from his team of Joey, Edgar, Anya Volkova, and a cyborg-limbed Casey Washington. Casey blasts apart Harmon’s body. Sarah, brainwashed by Sebastian Clark, slits Rose’s throat and departs for the roof with Clark as the Court Talons all retreat. On the roof, a dying and completely skinless Rose confronts Clark. Batman then intervenes, notifying everyone that he has been monitoring the situation the whole time. The Caped Crusader beats the stuffing out of Clark, citing revenge for his time spent in the Court labyrinth, and demands to know any information regarding the whereabouts of Lincoln March. Clark goes to Blackgate and a comatose Rose immediately goes into dialysis to get the death serum out of his system. As mentioned in Talon #14, Part 2, Batman puts the already regenerating body of Harmon on ice in a special facility on Securitus Island. Batman also arranges for the brainwashed Sarah to undergo deprogramming with Leslie Thompkins.
- COLLIN COLSHER: Batwing receives the alert call as shown in Batwing #9, in which Batman is not featured. In this issue Batwing saves Lucius Fox’s life at a Batman Incorporated gala and apprehends one of the Talons. Likewise, Batman is not featured in Batman and Robin Vol. 2 #9, which shows Robin respond to the call and save the life of an army general. Batgirl Vol. 4 #9 shows Batgirl respond to Alfred’s alert and take down a Talon. The same issue also has Commissioner Gordon turn on the Bat Signal only to realize that it has been replaced with an Owl Signal. Batgirl later helps the Birds of Prey take down another Talon in Birds of Prey Vol. 3 #9. Red Hood & The Outlaws #9 shows Red Hood (who is constantly monitoring all Bat-Family transmissions), Starfire, and Arsenal talk down a Talon and non-lethally take down his target, Mr. Freeze. We learn that the Court of Owls has used Mr. Freeze’s technology to reanimate their warriors. Catwoman and Spark, although they don’t receive Alfred’s call, defeat a Talon and save Penguin’s life in Catwoman Vol. 4 #9.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: The Talon in Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #9 that kills Lincoln March is the same Talon Batman first encountered years ago.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: The second feature from Batman Vol. 2 #10 gives us some background on Thomas Wayne Junior. The Court of Owls were threatening Martha Wayne when Bruce was only several-years-old and she was pregnant with Thomas Junior. The Court caused a car accident—Alfred’s father Jarvis Pennyworth was driving the car—that resulted in Thomas’ premature birth. As adumbrated by the official records, it is unknown whether or not Thomas actually died after twelve hours or if he secretly wound up at Willowwood. In either case, eventually Willowwood lost its funding and March grew up in a hellhole where children were subjected to abuse. He was finally later “rescued” by the Court of Owls and recruited into their system. The continuation of the second feature in Batman Vol. 2 #11 tells us that Jarvis Pennyworth was mysteriously violently killed—i.e. murdered by the Court of Owls—a few weeks after the car accident.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: In the first part of Justice League Vol. 2 #8, which occurred about two weeks ago, Cyborg showed concern that the JL was overdue for an accidental boom jump to Apokolips (it happens roughly once every thousand jumps). Hence, the reason for the addition of this note.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: Originally, in the pages of The OMAC Project, Brother Eye gained self-awareness thanks to Max Lord and then swarmed the planet with thousands of Observational Meta-human Activity Constructs (OMACs) before being defeated. This was not only devastating as many innocent humans were killed, but also caused much of the superhero community to backlash against Batman for his involvement in creating such a horrible paranoid thing in the first place. It also resulted in the death of Max Lord at the hands of Wonder Woman. However, in the New 52 none of it goes down like that. All we know for sure is that Batman and Mr. Terrific secretly built Brother I, which then turned into the bastard bad Brother Eye and then was defeated (possibly by using the “Palin Protocol”) and exiled into deep space. We know definitively that Max Lord, in the New Age, never learns who created Brother I. And we also know with 100% certainty that, in the New Age, Max Lord was never a part of the JLI, nor did he ever kill a Blue Beetle. We also know that while Brother I went nutso and caused a bad situation, it didn’t result in the direct loss of human life thanks to superheroics. So, basically, almost all of The OMAC Project narrative has been stripped bare for the New Age.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: In previous publishing eras, OMAC was an acronym for “One Man Army Corps” then “Observational Meta-human Activity Constructs” then “Omni Mind And Community.” But that has all been replaced and updated to “One Machine Attack Construct.”↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: I also thought it relevant to remark that Part 1 of The New 52 #1, while not featuring Batman, occurs shortly after this note. It goes here because in the issue Steve Trevor and ARGUS are fully aware of Talia Al Ghul’s recruitment activities for Leviathan. Also in this part of the issue, Pandora steals her famous box back from the Black Room at ARGUS HQ. Trevor also chats with a concerned Etta Candy about all the property destruction done during Amazo’s recent attack and how lawsuits were a fait accompli—to which Trevor tries to calm Etta by reminding her that Green Arrow was blamed for the mess.↩
- BATFAN REBORN: DC Universe vs. Masters of the Universe series, which could have possibly taken place here, is non-canon, as per interview statements made by both Dan Didio and Keith Giffen.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: The only adjunct action, which is actually messier if you can believe it, is to split Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #5 in two in order to place Red Hood & The Outlaws #17-18 right before the final page conclusion where Leviathan blows up the Batman Inc team in a shelter on Crime Alley. Many other chroniclers have done exactly this, but with the same “an error has been made” memorandum attached. It’s really up to your discretion.↩
- TIPTUP JR 94: “The Villain’s Journey” has to take place before “H’el on Earth” and “Death of the Family,” since “H’el on Earth” has a flashback to Superman and Wonder Woman’s kiss and refers to them as “lovers” and “beloved.”↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: The conclusion of Justice League Vol. 2 #12 gives us several flash-forwards to: the JL fighting Cheetah, the JL being challenged by Aquaman and his entire Atlantean army, the JL fighting Shazam, the JL exposing a possible traitor among its ranks, the JL divided thanks to Pandora’s “Trinity War,” and the formation of a new JL team—the Martian Manhunter-led Justice League of America.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: “Throne of Atlantis” takes place immediately after Justice League Vol. 2 #14. It also supposedly occurs “a few months” before Justice League Vol. 2 #29, which is a part of Forever Evil. A “few months” here is dead wrong. “Throne of Atlantis” actually occurs OVER A YEAR PRIOR to Forever Evil to be exact.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: Aquaman: Rebirth #1 correctly places “Throne of Atlantis” specifically in 2013.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: Green Arrow, Goldrush, Shazam, and Zatanna are also shown on Cyborg’s Grid-list in Justice League #16. However, none of these heroes show up to help out against Orm.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: While the Atom’s assistance here is a secret to most, the Atom is noticed by Cyborg and will be added to his “Grid list” shortly.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: Superboy is a clone named Kon-El, who has the DNA of three people from an alternate future timeline: Superman and Lois Lane and their son Jon Lane Kent. This alternate timeline is also known as “The Intended Timeline.”↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: The flashback from the second feature of Detective Comics Vol. 2 #13 shows Penguin’s number one henchman, Ignatius Ogilvy, as he does prep work for the upcoming robberies that will distract Batman later in the week.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: Having “Death of the Family” here allows it to dovetail more smoothly with Batman Inc #1-8, which is clearly what DC editorial wants. Nightwing Vol. 3 #18 tells us that Damian’s death (in the upcoming Batman Inc Vol. 2 #8) occurs roughly two weeks after “Death of the Family” ends. Scott Snyder also tells us “Death of the Family” starts “about a year” after Joker’s disappearance, hence placement here. Note that Gordon’s opening lines in “Death of the Family,” where he talks about auguries, including the “early snows blocking [the river’s] mouth,” are merely references to earlier in the year.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: Harley Quinn has been forced to play this role by Joker (as depicted in Suicide Squad Vol. 4 #14). Joker also breaks Dick’s former lover Raya Vestri out of Blackgate and holds her hostage (as seen in the conclusion of Nightwing Vol. 3 #14). The kidnapping of Raya occurs shortly before the upcoming kidnapping of Alfred.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: Damian specifically says something about Joker’s “recent attack on the GCPD.” The attack was, of course, definitely more than recent. It was a night prior.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: Batman & Robin #13-14 take place after Batman #13. The Joker is on the loose and has kidnapped Alfred. Batman knows about Alfred’s kidnapping, but hasn’t told anyone about it.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER / LISONBEE: An actual solar eclipse occurred on November 13, 2012. This would have provided a specific date for “Death of the Family” had the arc taken place in November 2012. However, we must be in May 2013 at this point. We should always remember that real-life events that happen in our reality don’t necessarily coincide with what goes on in the fictional DCU.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: Detective Comics Vol. 2 #14 takes place after Batman #13. The Joker is on the loose and has kidnapped Alfred. Batman knows about Alfred’s kidnapping, but still hasn’t told anyone about it.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: While not that important, in the second feature to Detective Comics #14 we seem Roman Sionis behind bars wearing what looks like his signature skull mask. Obviously, he would never be allowed to wear his powerful magick mask while in custody. Not to mention, his mask is currently in an evidence locker at GCPD HQ. This must be a fake mask that the docs at Arkham are allowing him to wear in an effort to keep him calm.↩
- BATFAN REBORN / COLLIN COLSHER: Lobdell’s ostensible version of things places “H’El on Earth” right in the middle of “Death of the Family” (right before Red Hood & The Outlaws #14 where Joker abducts Red Hood and Red Robin). This means, “H’El on Earth must go here, which actually totally works since “H’El on Earth” takes place during the day and only lasts a few hours (despite it being seven issues long). Likewise, Superman Vol. 3 #13, a prelude to “H’El on Earth” (that does not feature Batman), also definitively takes place during “Death of the Family,” giving us more reason to put “H’El on Earth” right here.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: It’s been “a few days” since Joker’s return (specifically three days to be exact). While Batman deals with the League of Smiles in Detective Comics Vol. 2 #16-17, Joker abducts Red Hood and Red Robin (as seen in Red Hood & The Outlaws #14-16, the conclusion to Teen Titans Vol. 4 #14, and Teen Titans Vol. 4 #15-16). Joker also abducts Batgirl, Nightwing, and Robin as well (in Batgirl Vol. 4 #14-16, Nightwing Vol. 3 #15-16, and Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #15-16). Thus, these abductions must take place following the main action of Batman Vol. 2 #15, but before Batman arrives at Arkham at the issue’s conclusion.↩
- DCJOKERZ17: Detective Comics Vol. 2 #16-17 must be after Batman Vol. 2 #14-15 since, in the morgue, Bullock references Gordon’s “beat-down” from Batman #14. These issues take place next to (simultaneous with) the other tie-ins where the Bat-Family gets abducted, such as Teen Titans or Batgirl.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: The epilogue to Detective Comics Vol. 2 #17, which features Ingatius Ogilvy declaring his ultimate control over Penguin’s criminal empire, takes place after the main action of Batman Vol. 2 #15.↩
- TIPTUP JR 94: Batman & Robin Vol. 2 Annual #1 takes place after Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #14, where Robin gives his dad Martha Wayne’s pearl. Since Batman & Robin #14 is a part of “Death of the Family,” this means Batman & Robin Vol. 2 Annual #1 occurs after “Death of the Family.” Furthermore, Damian’s being alone here while dad travels overseas jibes very well with Damian’s appearances in Nightwing #17. Also note that this Annual takes up five days on our timeline.↩
- TIPTUP JR 94: The Reaper is the last villain Damian faces before the start of Batman Incorporated Vol. 2, the arc that will ultimately lead to his death. This is a playfully direct bit of foreshadowing on the part of the writer Scott Synder.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: During the huge battle scene Wingman seems as if it is his first time seeing Redbird ever. However, thanks to the reference in Red Hood & The Outlaws #17, this cannot be their first interaction as Wingman and Redbird. Thus, the way Wingman reacts must simply be because he didn’t expect Damian to be there in any capacity.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: The Wayne Tower featured in Batman Incorporated is the Wayne Tower that houses the original Bat Bunker in its sub-basement and has the rooftop swimming pool. This is the same Wayne Tower shown in “Zero Year” and the one in which Bruce lived for a month or two in Year Two. (This building originally debuted in the Modern Age during Bruce’s “Penthouse Year.”) The other Wayne Tower (the historical Old Wayne Tower) is located in the Corolla Building and is designed in the classic Pinkney style. Several sources on the web seem to link these two buildings and list them as one and the same. This might be the case in the Modern Age, but in the New Age they are definitely separate. Bruce had attempted to build a brand new Wayne Tower #3, but it was destroyed by Lincoln March in Batman Vol. 2 #11.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: There’s been a lot of Internet rumbling about how anyone who dies can simply be revived in a Lazarus Pit. First of all, Batman Inc #9 tells us there are supposedly no active Lazarus Pits left (although it hints-at at least one hidden one, which we later learn is a reference to several “mystical-type Lazarus Pits”). But beyond that, I think people forget that the Lazarus Pit makes you insane. Let’s take a look at what we know about the Lazarus Pits (as teased out from the Modern Age). Ra’s Al Ghul has used the Lazarus Pit to prolong his life for ages, and he’s pretty psychotic (even for someone who has probably built up a tolerance). When we have seen him emerge from the Pit, Ra’s Al Ghul is particularly unhinged. For example, consider Jason Todd. He was always a bad dude, but he was over-the-top evil for years after taking a dip in the Pit. Nora Fries (Mr. Freeze’s wife) was revived in a Pit once and emerged as a violent crazed metahuman monster. Likewise, as proof that the Pits tend to revert you back to your original state, Joker was put in a Pit and came out temporarily sane! Bane had a similar experience with the Pit as well, becoming extremely benevolent and honorable afterward. It requires no great conceptual leap to suspect that submerging Damian in the Pit would have unhealthy and dire consequences that might not be worth the risk. Batman knows that while Damian would be alive, the boy’s more carnal aspects—aspects cultivated by murderous ninja training—would probably be the prevalent traits expressed, trumping or even erasing all the “good” within him. Bruce, in the Modern Age, was also confronted with the prospect of his parents being revived via the Pit, but fought tooth-and-nail to prevent it from happening. I can’t imagine his opinion on the matter would change in regard to his son.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER / BATFAN REBORN: As mentioned above, we know definitively from Batman Incorporated Special #1 that Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #9 is split in twain with an ellipsis in the middle. Thus, the second part of Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #9 won’t pick up for a week. During this period, several “Requiem” issues take place, which follow immediately below. Note that Batman has beat-up hamburger face from fighting, but but uses makeup to mask his injuries (as we see him do in Batman Inc #9, Part 2). We also have to chalk-up the fact that Batman seems healed from his puffy face in the “Requiem” tales because artists were probably not told to draw Bruce that way.↩
- BATFAN REBORN: Helena’s “He’s really down there?” comment in Worlds’ Finest #10 serves as a prompt for Karen to X-ray the grave, which places this issue before the grave is robbed at the conclusion of Batman Incorporated Vol. 2.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: On the other “Requiem” issues. Catwoman #18 must occur much later because it is linked to other Catwoman and JLA stories. Red Hood & The Outlaws #18 actually is attached to Red Hood & The Outlaws #17 and is the conclusion to “Death of the Family,” so it must occur EARLIER and has nothing to do with Robin’s death. Batman #18 has to take place much later because Wayne Tower is fine and Bruce is back in his Wayne Enterprises office. Detective Comics #18 has to go later because the Bat-Family clearly isn’t illegal/outlawed in it. Unfortunately, ‘tec #18 is written as if it goes right here with the other “Requiem” issues. This is simply an error.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: Sorry for the SPOILER, but Francine will be revealed, later this year, as a corporate spy named Felicity Lee. Felicity only courted and wed Kirk on the orders of her bosses, who were after the secrets of his bat research. Yes, the New 52 takes one of the strongest and endearing couples/marriages of yesteryear and turns it into a crock of bullshit/a total sham in one fell swoop. Sigh.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: The damage to Wayne Tower is extensive but mostly cosmetic. We know this because the re-construction of the damaged parts, following Batman Inc #13, will not take long.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: 2017’s Batwoman: Rebirth #1 gives us a retconned version of Batwoman’s past that slides her debut later on the timeline and sightly alters her historical chronology. Despite the fact that Batwoman had her own solo series right at the outset of the New 52 reboot in 2011, Batwoman: Rebirth #1 manages to reboot Batwoman with surprisingly little continuity-error-collateral. Only a few stories are affected. However, companion issues Detective Comics #948-949 attempt to slide her debut as late as Year Seven. This is an impossibility. Year Six, where we have Batwoman’s debut, is the absolute latest her debut can go without completely destroying our timeline. According to Batwoman: Rebirth #1, here is Batwoman’s timeline of key events:
Age 20 – Kate is kicked out of West Point for being gay.
Age 21-22 (Year 0-1) – Kate becomes a wild party girl abroad.
Age 23 (Year 2) – Kate’s alcoholic “lost year.” She returns to Gotham.
Age 24 (Year 3) – Kate meets Batman and sobers up.
Age 24-27 (Year 3-6) – Kate trains.
Age 27 (Year 6) – Kate debuts as Batwoman.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: Detective Comics Vol. 2 #18 APPEARS to take place immediately following “Death of the Family,” but since it takes place after Damian’s death, shows that the GCPD is not hunting the Bat-Family, and has an editorial note that tells us it occurs shortly prior to the Batman-less Talon #9 (which is linked to a continuous story spanning Talon #5-14), it has to occur here instead. Likewise, editorial tells us that Detective Comics Vol. 2 #19-20 takes place shortly before Talon #7, which is also linked to the same continuous story that spans Talon #5-14. Hence, its placement here too.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: A notable difference about Kirk Langstrom’s debut from previous continuities: Langstrom is no longer the first person to become a man-bat. A few years ago, while Kirk and Francine Langstrom were perfecting their “atavistic gene recall serum,” which is meant to cure deafness, several test subjects turned into man-bats (as we learn via flashback in Detective Comics #19). At some point (maybe even before this) Mr. Bloom got his hands on the Serum and mixed it into his chemical cocktails, dosing at least one person with the stuff (as seen in Batman Vol. 2 #44). Talia Al Ghul then stole the Langstrom formula and forced her soldiers to overdose, thus creating ninja man-bats next. As we see in ‘tec #19, which is the New Age debut of Kirk and Francine Langstrom, the outbreak that occurs in Gotham is (at least) the third wave of man-bats. Thus, Kirk is far from the original man-bat anymore.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER / DIEGO BARCELO: The Bane section of ‘tec #19 has a glaring continuity error. Via flashback, ‘tec #19 shows that Bane was en route to Gotham to enact the same vile plan his Tom Hardy counterpart unleashes in the film Dark Knight Rises, but a bunch of Talons stop him claiming that “a night of owls is about to descend.” The same flashback continues, showing Bane later fighting Batman in Dark Knight #7. This ostensibly tells us that the “Night of Owls” (including the tie-in issue of Dark Knight #9) occurs before Bane’s last fight with Batman in Dark Knight #7. This is impossible. Issue #9 cannot happen before issue #7.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: Talon #5 through the first part of Talon #14 tells a continuous story that lasts roughly ten days. Batman isn’t present in issues #8-10 (which spans 5 days) or issue #13 (which spans a day). An editor’s note tells us that Talon #9 occurs very shortly after Anya Volkova delivers Man-Bat Serum to Emperor Penguin in Detective Comics #18. The Bane sequence in Detective Comics #19 tells us that ‘tec #19 occurs shortly before Talon #7. Since Talon #5-14 tells a continuous tale, this explains the placement of this Talon arc right after Detective Comics #18-19.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: An editor’s note in Talon #11 tells us that Ra’s Al Ghul will next appear in a future arc of Red Hood & The Outlaws. We will indeed see Ra’s Al Ghul in an upcoming Red Hood arc that opens with Batman and… #20 and directly follows with Red Hood & The Outlaws #19-27. Ra’s Al Ghul appears in issue #24.↩