Year Ten

(January 2017 to June 2017)

 

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #951. Early January. The Colony makes a couple more back-to-back attempts to defeat the Bat-squad, but they fail miserably, getting permanently ejected from the city. This item takes place three months prior to Detective Comics #951 (“League of Shadows”).

–Super Sons #1[1]
Bruce gives Damian a hard time about doing too much Teen Titan work instead of schoolwork. Angry pop makes Damian promise that he will take his studies seriously, but a bored and insolent Damian ditches-out on Alfred’s home-schooling and heads to snowy Hamilton County instead. Damian disguises himself as Jonathan Kent’s school bus driver and third period substitute science teacher simply to “see how the other half lives.” By the time Damian returns home, Alfred has already ratted on Damian’s truancy. Batman reproaches Damian and issues punishment by grounding him from patrol, going off without the Boy Wonder. Later, with Batman and Superman on unspecified Justice League business, the impertinent Damian sneaks-out and visits Jonathan in Hamilton County yet again. Robin tells Jonathan that they need to investigate recent break-ins and hacking attempts at LexCorp in Metropolis. So it’s 300 miles to Metropolis in the dead of night to LexCorp Tower for Robin and Superboy. Once they get there, they immediately run into Lex Luthor. Meanwhile, in Providence, RI, Kid Amazo—homicidal fourteen-year-old Reggie Meyer—terrorizes his family (The Super-Duffys), folks gifted permanent metapowers from the Amazo Virus. The next day, Robin and Superboy travel to the woods outside of Providence where they confront Kid Amazo, who has been revealed as the LexCorp thief. Kid Amazo splits himself into a bunch of robot versions of Superboy and Robin. The young heroes join a robot version of Kid Amazo’s little sister, Sarah Meyer, to fight the teenage villain. Eventually, Lex Luthor and the real Sarah Meyer join the boys to help defeat Kid Amazo and save the rest of the Meyer family.

[2]

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #954. Batman constructs a laser-lined jail cell in the Batcave.

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to All-Star Batman #7. Batman adds a sonic noise weapon to his glove.

–All-Star Batman #5 Epilogue
Early February. Two months, two weeks, and two days have passed since the end of the main action of All-Star Batman #5. Batman tracks down and defeats the Beast, taking his mask as a prize. Batman then tracks down a hiding Penguin, Great White Shark, and Black Mask. Having a bit of fun, Batman wears the Beast’s mask and rings their doorbell, sending the terrified villains running. Batman busts them with ease.

–Nightwing Vol. 4 #15
Early February. Dick has been living in Blüdhaven for about two-and-a-half months now and has been dating Shawn Tsang (the former super-villain known as Defacer) for exactly 67 days. Nightwing travels to Gotham to assist Batgirl take down corrupt Councilman Abel, who is linked to The Church of Blood and the Madmen. Batgirl fills-in Batman on all the details of the case. Three days later, Dick has dinner with Bruce at Wayne Manor. He tells Bruce that he is dating Shawn and that he is in love with her. Meanwhile, Deathwing attacks Shawn in her Blüdhaven home and kidnaps her. (SPOILER: Deathwing is an evil Dollotron version of Nightwing sent to kidnap Shawn by Professor Pyg and the returning Simon Hurt!)

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #20. Early February. Nightwing and Robin are able rescue Shawn, but Simon Hurt trades up and kidnaps Damian. Nightwing and Shawn—who dons her Defacer gear—go after Damian in Egypt, defeating Deathwing and Simon Hurt to rescue the Boy Wonder. (During this fight, Nightwing gets slashed with the seemingly cosmic-powered “Blade of Nothing,” which causes him to see visions of alternate versions of himself.) Deathwing turns on his master and they fight, disappearing into thin air after stabbing each other with the “Blade of Nothing.” While in Egypt, Batman goes to Blüdhaven and retrieves the flying Batmobile. A few days later, in Blüdhaven, Nightwing and Robin patrol just like old times.

–Batgirl & The Birds of Prey #2
Early February.[3] When a new mystery Oracle (Gus Yale) hits the scene in Gotham, Batgirl is pissed. With the newly reformed lineup of the Birds of Prey—featuring herself, Black Canary, and Helena Bertinelli (no longer working for Spyral and now going by “Huntress“)—Batgirl investigates and finds a connection between the new Oracle and crime bosses Santo Cassamento and Fenice (Huntress’ mom Maria Bertinelli). The Birds of Prey, along with Commissioner Gordon, take Cassamento to a safe-house in the country. Commissioner Gordon argues with Batgirl, who storms off. Back at Batgirl’s Clocktower HQ, Batman—having been contacted by Commissioner Gordon—visits the Birds of Prey and warns Batgirl to be careful. Babs argues with Batman, telling him that the gals don’t need his help, now or in the future. Batman respects her words and leaves. The Birds of Prey then trace Oracle to a server farm on the outskirts of the city. They go there, download information, and escape before a bomb blows the place sky high. Meanwhile, Fenice, having discovered the location of the police safe-house, sends a team of hired snake-themed metahuman rowdies—Lady Viper, Copperhead, Cottonmouth, and Asp—to permanently silence Cassamento.

–Detective Comics #948-949 (“BATWOMAN BEGINS”)
Early February—about a month prior to Detective Comics #954 (“League of Shadows”). Batman is contacted—via Commissioner Gordon and the Batsignal—by Dr. Victoria October, the ARGUS-contracted scientist that runs Monstertown, the contaminated site of Hugo Strange’s monster attacks from last year. Gordon delivers Dr. October’s message, that terrible creatures keep growing out of the quarantined disaster area. Batman and Batwoman visit Monstertown to find that sea gulls are merging with human remains to form horrific beasts. After Dr. October and some ARGUS soldiers zap away the creatures, Dr. October shows Batman security footage of Colony stormtroopers stealing radioactive material from Monstertown. Batman and Batwoman return to the Belfry to find Colony Prime (the Colony’s top man Simon Samuels) attempting to free Jake Kane. The Duo duels Samuels, who thinks he has won when he stabs Batman in the chest. Unfortunately for Samuels, he has been lured into the Mud Room where a computer simulation of a dozen Batwomen overwhelms and confuses him. The real Batwoman kayoes Samuels, who resorts to injecting himself with Monster Venom, which turns him into a monster. In beast-mode, Samuels fends-off the Bat-heroes, crashes through a window, and flees. Batwoman confronts her dad in his cell. Jake finally agrees to tell all, revealing everything he knows about the League of Shadows. (Batman will still remain skeptical about the League of Shadows existence—as referenced in Detective Comics #951.)

–REFERENCE: In Batgirl & The Birds of Prey #7. Early February. Batman busts an escaped Riddler.

–All-Star Batman #6-7 (“ENDS OF THE EARTH”)
Early February to mid February. Mr. Freeze steals a bunch of cryogenically frozen people, moves them to an Alaskan research facility he has taken over, and publicly threatens to release bacterial ricin spores that will bring a new ice age to the entire globe. Batman tells the military to hold off an aerial strike to give him time to bring Mr. Freeze down on his own. After constructing a new super-heated arm gauntlet suit and forging heated-copper Batarangs in the Batcave, the Dark Knight injects a disease into his own body, which will raise his body heat to an extreme temperature. (A reference in the second feature to All-Star Batman #7 tells us that Lark helps Batman out with these prep tasks prior to his fight with Mr. Freeze.) Batman then flies to and trudges through the snowy Alaskan tundra where he does battle with an army of warriors seemingly made out of frozen diamond dust. (These henchmen are the folks that were brought out of cryogenic sleep, turned into mindless zombies by Mr. Freeze.) Batman fends-off Mr. Freeze’s soldiers, but his arm gauntlets overheat, burning his arms badly and ruining the new costume. Subdued by the cryo-zombies and shivering in his bare feet, Batman is forced to listen to a typical prattling Scott Snyder-penned villain monologue. Batman tries to reason-with and calm the voluble Mr. Freeze, interrupting Freeze to mention the villain’s wife Nora and the loving relationship they shared together. (These lines of dialogue by Batman seem to directly contradict Scott Snyder’s own origin story for Mr. Freeze from Batman Vol. 2 Annual #1, in which it was revealed that Nora was never Mr. Freeze’s actual wife and their relationship was a false reality that only existed in his mind. There are three possibilities regarding what is going on here. One, Snyder is committing a huge continuity error. Two, this is a retcon. Or three, Batman is fucking with Mr. Freeze and playing along with his twisted dark fantasy in order to reason with him and gain the upper hand. I’m going with the latter, because the first two options are messy as hell.) Mr. Freeze then inserts himself into a cryogenic chamber to wait for the new ice age utopia. Of course, the disease within Batman’s system cranks-up, heating up him enough to take action. Seeing that Batman can now ruin his plans, Mr. Freeze exits his pod only to get pummeled and thrown into another pod by the imperturbable Caped Crusader. A bloody, overheated, and disease-ridden Batman climbs inside with Mr. Freeze and watches with a shit-eating grin as the military planes swoop in and obliterate the part of the facility containing the ice spores. In this moment, Batman realizes that the military planes actually belong to special strike force that has followed him to Alaska in an attempt to bring him down along with Mr. Freeze. (SPOILER: This strike force is a group of Ra’s al Ghul’s League of Assassins ninjas dressed up as Blackhawks.) After bringing in Mr. Freeze, Batman does a little digging and realizes that these “Blackhawks” have been tracking him ever since his last encounter with Two-Face. A couple days later, Batman thinks the threat of bacterial infection is over, but his old friend Lilith Seguro contracts the “magnaporthe grisea” virus from some of Freeze’s spores in Washington State. Soon after, the virus begins to spread like wildfire. With plans to go to Poison Ivy for help, Batman tailors a special anti-spore costume that also doubles as an anti-Poison Ivy costume as well—complete with wax lips. (A reference in the second feature to All-Star Batman #7 tells us that Lark helps Batman out with these prep tasks prior to tracking down Poison Ivy.) Batman tracks Poison Ivy—wearing an awesome new outfit—to Death Valley where she is conducting radical botany experiments in the desert. Realizing that the “Blackhawks” aren’t far behind and are targeting both he and the plant-themed villainess, Batman warns Poison Ivy and asks for her help to stop the virus from spreading. She reluctantly agrees and kisses him, thinking that she has taken control of his mind in the process. Batman plays along and pretends he is under her spell and together they fight a squadron of “Blackhawks.” During the fight, Batman becomes disturbed when the “Blackhawks” use a very familiar stealth body armor technology—a tweaked version of his own Bat-tech. Surprised and exasperated, Batman demands to know how they got it and who sent them. Giving no answers, the soldiers get punched-out. With her experiments destroyed in the melee, a sad Poison Ivy creates a special flower from which Batman can synthesize an anti-spore that can stop the spread of the virus in Washington. Before Batman leaves, Poison Ivy makes Batman promise to not let any health agency name the virus after patient zero, little Lilith. Batman rushes to Washington, synthesizes an anti-spore, cures all, and complies with Poison Ivy’s wishes. The Dark Knight and Lark also use the same anti-spore to slow the spread of vegetative death that has travelled in a 500-mile-wide wave across the Pacific Northwest. Batman then does some more digging on the Blackhawks, learning that the group has been defunct for years, meaning this must be new version of the organization. (He doesn’t yet realize that the Blackhawks are real, and that this is a fake version of the group.)

–REFERENCE: In Batgirl & The Birds of Prey #10. Mid February. Nightwing’s motorcycle is destroyed while he and the Birds of Prey fight the metahuman shapeshifter Gemini DeMille in Gotham—(as seen in Batgirl & The Birds of Prey #8). After healing up from minor injuries, Nightwing visits Batman and borrows one of the Dark Knight’s old motorcycles to replace his. Nightwing will use this bike for a few weeks.

–All-Star Batman #8-9 (“ENDS OF THE EARTH” Conclusion)
Late February to Early March. Weeks after the end of All-Star Batman #7, Batman and Lark return to the Pacific Northwest to make sure the anti-spore cure to the vegetative death is still holding steady. When Batman traces the “Blackhawk” tech to a mansion owned by the Mad Hatter in the Mississippi Delta, he goes there immediately. Lark goes missing shortly thereafter. At the Mad Hatter’s place, Batman fights and defeats several “Blackhawks” disguised as Batwoman, Red Hood, and Nightwing. Batman then plants explosives all around the house before entering to confront Mad Hatter. A hallucinatory chemical fills the air, strong enough to work on Batman despite having blockers in his system. As the chemicals take hold, Batman remembers meeting Jervis Tetch for the first time. The Dark Knight becomes convinced that that his entire life as a costumed crimefighter has been a mind-controlled VR fabrication, courtesy of Mad Hatter. Batman has a vivid hallucination that he is fighting his greatest rivals—he is actually fighting more disguised “Blackhawk,” who take him down and strap him to a chair. Despite being confused and seeing wild images all around him, Batman manages to detonate the explosives by remote. The Dark Knight snaps out of his funk, kicks “Blackhawk” ass, and then trashes Mad Hatter, who reveals the name of the real Big Bad: Ra’s al Ghul. Back home, Batman combines some Mr. Freeze tech with Mad Hatter-tech to create a hallucination-inducing weapon to use against Ra’s al Ghul. With a final touch from Poison Ivy, the weapon is ready to use. Batman, now aware that the “Blackhawks” are fake, does some more investigation into the real organization, getting hints that they might actually still be covertly active. He attempts to reach out through secure channels, but does not get a response. Batman also learns that Ra’s al Ghul has his hands on DMN tech that he could use for evil means. When the “Blackhawks” threaten to execute Duke, Batman then calls up Catwoman for help in saving him and they hightail it to Washington DC. There, the “Blackhawks” chase after Catwoman, who is disguised as Batman thanks to stolen “Blackhawk” camouflage tech, to the Washington Monument. There, eco-activists have gathered to protest the government’s lack of response to stopping the slow spread of the vegetative death spot in the Pacific Northwest. A tuxedo-wearing Ra’s al Ghul blows up the Bat-cycle with a sniper rifle, but Catwoman escapes to safety with help from Alfred. Inside the Washington Monument, Batman has already infiltrated Ra’s party. He wings Ra’s al Ghul in the noggin with a champagne bottle that has been rigged with lifted Mad Hatter tech. It makes Ra’s al Ghul witness a vivid hallucination where he destroys the Eartha and murders Batman. While Ra’s al Ghul is out, Bruce prevents the League of Assassins from using a DMN tech weapon that would have destroyed all planetary infrastructure. By the time Ra’s al Ghul comes back to reality, Bruce has won the day. He gloats by lighting up the sky with a portable Batsignal, placed by Catwoman. Ra’s al Ghul, defeated, leaps from the top of the Washington Monument. Bruce jumps after him, but the villain is carried away by ninja man-bats. The real Blackhawks make their presence known, as Lady Blackhawk appears just in time to catch Bruce, saving his life. Duke is able to free himself and the threat ends. (Note: Lady Blackhawk is Kendra Saunders, former Hawkgirl.)[4]

–second feature to All-Star Batman #6-9 (“THE CURSED WHEEL” Part Two)
March.[5] Batman catches wind that Riddler is getting ready to initiate a Year Zero anniversary attack (six months early, so it must be his first attempt at a half-anniversary attack). Before Riddler can initiate another one of his long-ago pre-planned strikes on the city, the Dark Knight goes to question the villain at Arkham. While the Batman interrogates Riddler, Lark takes a stroll and is surprised to find Daryl Gutierrez behind bars. Ever since Mr. Bloom’s attack on Gotham, Daryl has been deformed, mentally scarred, and permanently endowed with the meta-power to alter living tissue. After a brief chat, Daryl seemingly uses his powers to attack Lark while also berating him verbally. Batman intervenes and knocks Daryl backward using a sonic weapon in his glove. Two days later, Batman and Lark are engaged in Riddler’s deadly anniversary game, which has commenced even though he is behind bars. Lark is attached to a winch and is being lowered in front of an apartment building by Batman via a computer tablet, on which he is forced to play a crossword puzzle. The crossword puzzle on his screen coincides with the apartment—each window of the building functions as a box of the puzzle. Terrified tenants, strapped to bombs, hold word cards in front of the windows. The heroes make a mistake and the building explodes. Later, Batman orders a beat-up Lark to rest up. The very next day, Lark goes out solo and interrogates an Arkham nurse named Frank Marin. Batman catches wind of Lark’s actions and also interrogates Marin as well, finding him to have no connections to the Riddler. Later that night, Lark runs a simulation in the Belfry’s Mud Room, practicing against a digital Riddler. Batman talks to a troubled Lark, who worries that he won’t live up to Batman’s expectations or find his way like the other sidekicks have. Questioning himself, Duke re-evaluats everything and ditches his codename “Lark,” which never suited him very well. Later, back at Wayne Manor, a pensive and restless Duke sits with Titus in one of the living rooms, unable to sleep in the dead of night. As the sun rises, Alfred enters Duke’s room to find him gone. When Riddler strikes again with another puzzle-bomb riddle game, Batman takes on the challenge solo, but fails once again. The building explodes, but Batman is able to save several children from the flaming hell. Duke goes to the Lucius Fox Center to meet old pals Julie Madison and Izzy Ortiz. He asks Julie for a job and then chats with his former Robin Gang teammate. Izzy excitedly tells him how jealous she is that he gets to sidekick for Batman. Duke tells her that he isn’t cut out for it, to which Izzy gives him a heartwarming pep-talk. Duke realizes how Riddler is able to direct his puzzle-bomb games from his Arkham cell—he has an accomplice in Daryl. Duke rushes back to Wayne Manor, but when he enters, he is surprised to find Daryl and his Jokerized parents waiting for him! In the heart of Gotham, Riddler’s next deadly puzzle begins as Batman stands before a packed Mercy Hospital, rigged to blow. Duke presses a secret panic button, allowing Batman to listen-in as he confronts Daryl, who is confirmed as Riddler’s partner. Turns out all the victims in the Riddler’s bombings were terminal cases that volunteered to play in the deadly game of chance—if Batman saved them, Daryl would have used his metapower to heal them. Daryl then tells Duke that he (Duke) has a unique physiology, possibly non-human or metahuman. Duke has no idea what he is talking about, which pisses Daryl off. Duke’s mom’s eyes glow yellow as she attacks Daryl, shocking him with a taser. Duke’s eyes glow yellow as well, with his vision appearing akin to a bright version of Daredevil’s vision, as he punches out Daryl. Meanwhile, Batman solves Riddler’s puzzle.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #950. Mayor Sebastian Hady has a heart attack, nearly dies, but survives. Bruce hears about Hady on the news.

–Detective Comics #950[6]
March—three months after the Bat-squad permanently ejected the Colony from Gotham (according to Detective Comics #951). Batman stalks a child trafficking ring that has set up shop in Gotham, but is unable to locate their secret HQ. Later, Batwing convinces a reluctant Batman to help him build a sleeker and more-improved form-holding device for Clayface. Batman and Batwing create the new tech. Heading back out on patrol, Batman makes Batwing promise that he (Batman) can deliver the gift to Clayface. A couple days later, a lonely Orphan (Cassandra Cain) visits the Gotham Metropolitan Ballet in the wee hours of the morning to watch the early-bird dancers practice. After accidentally spooking ballet star Christine Montclair, Cassie flees to Harper and Cullen Row’s apartment. Feeling alienated, unable to fully communicate with her friends, and still tortured by the memories of her dark past, Cassie takes off once again only to spot the Batsignal shining in the 5 am sky. Cassie listens in as Batman meets with Commissioner Gordon and Mayor Hady. The corrupt political leader of Gotham tells Batman that his recent heart attack (from a week ago) has made him see the light. Hady tells Batman that he wants to be a good person and do the right thing from now on. Batman then catches up with Orphan as she finishes-up infiltrating and easily demolishing the child trafficking ring that Batman had been unsuccessfully going after for days. Batman tries to debrief with Orphan, but she bails, sensing that her mentor doesn’t fully trust her due to her murderous past. Batman closes out the child trafficking case solo. Meanwhile, in the Belfry, Batwing can’t wait anymore. He delivers the new shape-holding tech to Clayface. Batwing explains that while he will now be able to stay in normal Basil Karlo mode for up to twelve hours, he must limit his time not spent as his usual amorphous blob-monster self or possibly lose all of his Basil Karlo DNA permanently. A depressed Cassie returns to the Belfry, but it just further fuels her doleful state of mind. She stops by the ballet before going back home to Harper’s pad. From a rooftop, blocks away, Lady Shiva spies on Cassie. Back at the Belfry, Batwing and Azrael spar against giant Bat-robots in the most difficult Mud Room simulation, beating it thanks to an alteration of the background setting. Afterward, Jean-Paul talks about theology and his strange history to an incredulous Luke. Jean-Paul then shows Luke an AI android project he has been working on. Luke is dumbfounded to view the seemingly impossible tech specs of the Suit of Sorrows, which Jean-Paul has linked to a dormant robotic shell. After Jean-Paul and Luke depart, the android receives an energy signal that brings it to life. This fleeting spark of energy signifies that, somewhere in Europe, the Sacred Order of St. Dumas has just activated its newest Azrael, a deadly android called Ascalon.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #951. Batman begins regular meetings with the reformed Mayor Sebastian Hady, who spills the beans on every corrupt official in Gotham. Overnight, crime drops to its lowest level in years. These meetings will continue for a couple days.

–Detective Comics #951-953 (“LEAGUE OF SHADOWS”)
Batman programs a new simulation—involving an army of kung fu Penguins—into the Mud Room computers. The next day, while the Bat-squad trains using it, Batwoman chats with Batman via radio. Batman tells Batwoman that he’d lose in a fight to Orphan if they every really went no holds barred. Batman suggests they take Orphan to the ballet in a week’s time. Then, on a tip from Mayor Hady, Batman swings into a penthouse apartment looking for dirt on corrupt judges. Inside, Batman finds a bloody Mayor Hady, crucified to the wall with thirteen bat-handled blades. (This is the handiwork of Lady Shiva.) Before Hady dies, he tells Batman that it was the League of Shadows that tortured him. The setup begins as cops enter and blame Batman for the mayor’s assassination. Batman flees, takes a bullet in the arm, and hightails it back to the Belfry. There, Batman and Batwoman talk to Jake Kane about the League of Shadows. Jake tells them that Gotham is in for chaos if the League of Shadows is in town. Jake also defends his actions while in charge of the Colony, saying that his murdering a few hundred people would have prevented the thousands of deaths that the League of Shadows will likely now be responsible for. When two TV news reporters drop dead of Joker Gas and reports come in of Joker Gas-induced rioting in Adams Square Park, the Bat-squad is on the case. As soon as the Bat-squad descends down into the rioting crowd, they all stop and turn towards the heroes. The crowd—all with dead black eyes—is under the League of Shadows’ control. While the Bat-squad fights in the park, Cassie peels-off and confronts Shiva atop a roof. Shiva easily defeats her and reveals to her that she is her mother. Shiva then kicks Batman’s ass, tells him the city will die, and then takes-off with her men and a kidnapped Batwing and Azrael. When more Joker Gas attacks hit, a panic washes over the city. Huge fires erupt in all corners of Gotham. Commissioner Gordon is put into protective custody in Blüdhaven. The Dark Knight is made public enemy number one with GCPD ordered to shoot to kill. Jeez, haven’t Gothamites learned anything over the years? Batman asks Duke to cross-reference the Colony’s drone targets from their initial strike with names from the Bat-computers database, which he does before rendezvousing with Batgirl on the other side of the city. Batwoman talks to her dad, who warns her that Shiva is pure evil and way too dangerous to mess with. Cassie, listening-in on the conversation, is brokenhearted that she has come from such vile stock. In tears, she runs into Batman’s arms. The Dark Knight can only hug the poor girl in silence. Later, Renee Montoya brings Commissioner Gordon back to Gotham to meet with Batman and Batwoman. After a heartfelt talk with Clayface, Cassie heads out into the night only to run into Batman. She angrily fights him, but he refuses to counter attack, getting beaten-up pretty roughly. The League of Shadows infiltrates the Belfry, takes down Clayface, and stabs Batwoman in front of her dad’s cell. Cassie meets her mom in the very public Times Square of Gotham, where they fight. Cassie refuses to counter attack her mom and gets thrashed. After getting a panicked call from Alfred, Batman rushes to the Batcave to find Ra’s al Ghul and a loyal Ubu soldier waiting for him.

–Detective Comics #954-956 (“LEAGUE OF SHADOWS” Conclusion)
Batman fights off the Ubu and cages Ra’s al Ghul, who reveals that he has mind-wiped Batman’s memories of the League of Shadows. Meanwhile, at the Belfry, Ulysses Hadrian Armstrong and Colony Prime lead what is left of the Colony into the undefended base, freeing Jake Kane, Cooper, and Dom. Armstrong steals Red Robin’s costume. In the Batcave, Ra’s al Ghul explains that Shiva, in control of the League of Shadows, has gone rogue. Only by teaming-up will they be able to stop her. Batman releases Ra’s al Ghul, who paralyzes Batman with a strange ancient dust. The Demon’s Head shocks Batman by revealing that he learned the mind-wipe technique from one of the Zataras. Shiva and the League of Shadows enter the Batcave. Batman has been played. In exchange for his defeat, capture, and delivery as a prisoner, Shiva has agreed to end her conflict with the League of Assassins. While the Colony prepares to strike at Shiva and company using a horrific nano-swarm napalm chemical, Cassie—having been rescued and motivated by Christine Montclair—infiltrates the League of Shadows’ underground HQ, which holds a thermonuclear bomb and the captive Bat-squad. Cassie defeats over 200 warriors all by herself (!) and frees the Bat-squad before once again coming face-to-face with her mom. The Bat-squad battles the tenacious Shiva, who brags about being willing to go further than Ra’s al Ghul ever dared. When Colony drone-cameras verify that Batwoman is still alive, Jake calls off the attack. Ra’s al Ghul arrives, shoots Lady Shiva, and deactivates her bomb. With her dying breath, Shiva whispers into her daughter’s ear. Ra’s al Ghul and his man-bats then depart with Shiva’s corpse. Later, a badly injured Batwoman and Batman rest, recover, and regroup, discussing plans for the future of the Bat-squad in light of all that has occurred. A full week passes with Batman off the radar until he re-meets with Kate. Batman tells Kate that they’ll need to use magick to defeat Ra’s al Ghul. Later, Bruce, Kate, and Cassie go to the ballet to unwind.

–the second feature to Adam Strange/Future Quest Special #1
Batman and Catwoman play a game of “catch me if you can,” running across rooftops and alleys of Gotham. Catwoman runs into a universally-displaced Top Cat (from one of the DC Hanna-Barbera Earths). After a brief chat, the slick anthropomorphic kitty offers to distract the Dark Knight while Catwoman hides. Batman runs into Top Cat and is startled by his strange cartoonish cat appearance. Top Cat tells his story and how he came to be stuck on Earth-0, also saying how his friend Benny is missing. Batman offers to help him find Benny, but Top Cat declines. Batman then takes off.

[7]

–The Fall and Rise of Captain Atom #6
Captain Atom (Nathaniel Adam) was last seen in December 2012 before he vanished without a trace. Where has he been these past five years? Captain Atom was exiled back in time to 1994. He lived a quiet life from 1994 to 2000, until finally getting brought back to the present day, just recently. However, part of Captain Atom’s power has been given to the evil Max Thrane, who has become the nuclear-powered anti-Captain Atom known as Ultramax. Ultramax kidnaps Captain Atom’s 17-year-old son, Genji Sato, and demands that Captain Atom and his associates, General Wade Eiling and Professor Heinrich Megala, face him or the kid dies. General Eiling and Captain Atom fight and defeat Ultramax, who goes into a coma. Later, Megala secretly confirms to Eiling that Genji has genetic metahuman powers from his dad. Later still, Nathaniel text messages with the mystery person that connected him and his estranged son. Elsewhere, the Justice League (along with recently reincarnated Hawkman, who died in the recent Death of Hawkman series) gather with keen interest to watch the TV news reports about Captain Atom’s triumphant return. Note that Superman is drawn wearing the wrong colored boots.

–NOTE: In Action Comics #976. The multiverse-shattering “Superman Reborn” wraps, effectively killing the New 52 timeline. Thanks to the meddling of Mr. Mxyzptlk and the undefined seemingly-cosmic powers of Superboy, the spirits of the deceased New 52 Superman and New 52 Lois Lane merge with Modern Age Superman and Modern Age Lois Lane. A new merged timeline, which combines both Modern and New 52 histories of these characters, is created in an instant. If you thought Convergence was clunky and slapdash, Action Comics #976 is right in that vein (although, ironically, “Superman Reborn” inadvertently cleans up some of Convergence‘s leftover mess and loose ends). The impact of the cosmic merger is huge. Mxy and Superboy have re-written the DCU timeline. When you fuck with a continuity linchpin like Superman, you fuck with the entire history of the DCU. The New 52 is officially over.

  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: In Super Sons #2-3, “Amazo Virus” is said to have occurred “last year” according to Damian. However, “Amazo Virus” occurred in May of 2014, meaning it actually happened TWO YEARS and EIGHT MONTHS AGO. Way to be way off, Robin.
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: General Mills Presents Justice League #1-4 are some of the coolest and most charming Justice League stories released in the first half of 2017. They would go here, but, unfortunately, these breakfast cereal insert mini-comics are non-canon.
  3. [3]NICK SMILES: A note on the placement of Batgirl & The Birds of Prey #2, which is part of the “Who Is Oracle?” story-arc in issues #1-6. Batgirl & The Birds of Prey #7 is set on Valentine’s Day, and is stated to occur a week after the “Who Is Oracle?” story-arc. Also, when Babs attempts to text Dick, she gets an alert on her phone that Nightwing is in a relationship. Therefore, the Batman appearance in Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #2 must be fitted into Year Ten after Nightwing Vol. 4 #15 (but before at least a week-and-a-half before Valentine’s Day).
  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER: The revelation of former Hawkgirl Kendra Saunders as Blackhawk head Lady Blackhawk comes from the New Age’s Dark Nights: Metal #1 and is relevant to Scott Snyder’s larger “Dark Days/Dark Nights” arc. In that arc, Kendra trades-in the Hawkgirl moniker for the Lady Blackhawk role after her hubby Hawkman disappears into the void of the Dark Multiverse. This, of course, is non-canon in—and has no bearing on—the New 52. Therefore, we must assume that Kendra, here, has recently assumed the Blackhawk leadership position for reasons other than a Hawkman disappearance. Maybe it was a career opportunity she just couldn’t pass up?
  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: Lark mentions that he’s been Batman’s sidekick for nearly a year, which puts us in March. This arc also takes place after “My Own Worst Enemy” and “Ends of the Earth.” HOWEVER, of course there is a continuity error to speak of. This arc supposedly occurs on the anniversary of Riddler’s “Year Zero” attack. But that happened in September. And it ain’t September. Since Riddler enacts one of his patented “Year Zero” anniversary attacks in this story, we must assume that Riddler is doing a special half-anniversary attack six months early for some stupid reason.
  6. [6]COLLIN COLSHER: Note that this item includes Detective Comics #950 Part 1 and Detective Comics #950 Part 2, which go back-to-back. Detective Comics #950 Part 3 is a flashback to months ago.
  7. [7]COLLIN COLSHER: Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye #5-6 takes place on our timeline now. These two issues contain the excellent backup second feature “Super Powers” by Tom Scioli. This mini-arc, which includes an appearance by Batman, is so damn amazing it is actually too good for this continuity. In fact, the unfortunate truth is that it’s non-canon. Scioli-verse is the best, though.

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