This section of the Real Batman Chronology Project highlights each time Golden Age Batman (Pre-original Crisis Earth-Two Batman) has time-traveled to the past (the era before his becoming the Dark Knight). On occasion, Batman travels to the past during a spacetime anomaly, further causing a change in the timeline or in an attempt to fix a change in the timeline. If such an instance occurs, where the time-traveling trip is invalidated due to the reconstruction or return to status quo then obviously it won’t be included on this timeline. Also, this section does not detail the life of Bruce Wayne from the time of his birth up to the time he becomes Batman—I have not added a section like that to the website, and at this time, have no plans to do so.
–~6000 BCE (Stone Age)
Batman #93, Part 3. Bruce and Dick travel back to the Stone Age from 1955 (via the Carter Nichols method) to prove Dr. Sayre’s T-rex cave painting find is legit. In the Stone Age, Batman and Robin meet a caveman named Rog, humanity’s first ever masked superhero: Tiger Man. Batman introduces modern technology into Tiger Man’s repertoire and helps him defeat the evil Borr. In Borr’s cave lair, Batman is shocked to discover an intact T-rex frozen in a glacier. When the glacier melts thanks to an accidental fire, the T-rex comes back to life! However, due to its age and the drastic climate difference, the T-rex dies right away. Batman and Robin then return to 1955 to back Dr. Sayre.
Flashback from Batman #102, Part 2. From 1956, Bruce and Dick travel to Ancient Babylon via the Cater Nichols’ time-travel method in order to solve the ancient mysteries of the Babylonian civilization. In roughly 1044 BCE, Batman and Robin get involved in a small civil rebellion against the evil King Beladin. Batman, who is hailed as the bat god Zorn, helps depose Beladin and return the noble King Lanak to the throne, after which Beladin’s name is stricken from the record books. Bruce and Dick then phase back to 1956.
–5th century BCE
Batman #38, Part 1. From 1946, Carter Nichols sends Batman and Robin to 5th century BCE Athens to participate in the Olympic Games. In Ancient Greece, the Dynamic Duo befriends a group of musclebound Athenians who are at odds with their sneaky rivals from Persia. When Robin and another teenager are kidnapped by the Persian warlord, Byrus, Batman not only participates in the Games, but saves his ward as well. The Dark Knight is also able to prevent the Persians from inciting a civil war between Athens and Sparta. For his accomplishments in the Games, Batman is awarded two olive wreath crowns, which he places in the Hall of Trophies upon returning to 1946.
–Circa 300 BCE
Batman #24, Part 1. In 1942, Bruce is put-under by Carter Nichols and astral projects (via a solid avatar) into Ancient Rome. Dick joins him a bit later and together with a Joker-like man known only as The Jester, the trio fights against the tyranny of Malchio. Batman even competes and wins a Ben-Hur-style chariot race and defeats Rome’s best gladiator, Calvus. Before returning back to 1942, “Batmanus” and Robin are given a hero’s feast.
–Circa 285 BCE
Batman #112, Part 2. In 1957, Carter Nichols perfects a new technology that will supposedly allow him to safely time-travel alone. (The Nichols’ method has always been one of avatar-based astral-projection. This new method actually sends the physical body through time.) After visiting Rome around 275 BCE, Nichols fails to return to his correct time. Batman and Robin enter Nichols’ newest time device and follow his trail back to Ancient Rome. Upon arrival in Rome, Batman is instantly recognized from his prior trip to the era (when he went there from 1942 and was hailed as the hero “Batmanus”). After proving he really is Batmanus, the Dark Knight boards a galley headed for the isle of Rhodes, where Nichols is supposedly held by a tyrant king named Phorbus. Phorbus tells Batman that he will exchange Nichols for future technology. Batman agrees to build Phorbus a weapon but actually builds a getaway hot air balloon. Days later, Batman, Robin, and Nichols phase back to 1957.
Detective Comics #167. In 1948, while at the museum, Bruce, Dick, and Vicki Vale notice a frieze from Ancient Egypt that seems to depict the Bat-Signal. Bruce and Dick go to Egypt approximately 52 BCE using Carter Nichols’ time-travel method to solve the mystery. In 52 BCE, Batman and Robin earn the admiration and intrigue of Cleopatra. Batman and Robin then learn of a plot against the life of the Queen of the Nile and spend a few days protecting her against various assassination attempts. Eventually, the Dynamic Duo knocks-out the villain, but gets trapped inside a pyramid. Before phasing back to 1948, Bruce is able to create a makeshift reflective light signal with a golden scarab, which resembles a Batman symbol. Mystery solved/created/solved. Paradox! Yay!
–Late 5th century CE
Batman #36, Part 4. From 1946, Bruce and Dick are sent to Medieval England (by Carter Nichols) to investigate the history behind the mysterious Sir Hardi Le Noir, a lesser known knight in King Arthur‘s round table. Upon arrival in Arthurian Britain, Batman learns that no one has ever heard of Hardi Le Noir. Batman then proves he is honorable by besting one of Arthur’s best men in combat. Arthur then sends Batman, Robin, Sir Lancelot, and others to rescue Merlin, who has been jailed by Queen Morgan Le Fay. Batman, Robin, and Lancelot are able to rescue Merlin and capture the evil Sir Mordred, but Morgan Le Fay escapes. Afterward, Arthur knights Batman and bestows upon him the title of “Sir Hardi Le Noir,” creating a time paradox worthy of of a Bob Kane/Bill Finger Batman comic.
–Batman #115, Part 3. After archeologists in 1958 discover an ancient giant slingshot, watch pole, and underground huts belonging to the mysterious Zoto civilization that existed for a short time around 700 CE somewhere in the Middle East, Bruce and Dick become very interested in the Zotos. After meeting with Carter Nichols, Bruce and Dick go back in time from 1958 to 700 CE to meet the Zotos. There, as Batman and Robin, they learn that the Zotos have been warring against an actual race of mythical giants that live in a nearby valley. Batman blows a large glass bottle, plants himself inside of it, and floats downriver into giant territory. There, Batman pretends to be a genie working on behalf of the Zotos. Using various modern technologies like voice amplifiers, mirrors, parade balloons, and laughing gas, genie-Batman is able to put the fear of god (or fear of the Zotos) into the race of hundred-foot-tall monster men. Before phasing back to 1958, Batman leaves a dummy Batman inside the bottle to fool the giants.
–Early 10th century CE
Batman #49, Part 3. In 1948, Bruce purchases a thousand-year-old Arabian rug at an auction that appears to have the Joker’s face on it. Curious as to the origins of the carpet, Bruce and Dick travel–via the Carter Nichols method–to 10th century Baghdad. In Baghdad, the Dynamic Duo matches wits with a master thief known as The Crier, a green-haired bleached-skinned dead-ringer for Joker, except this version is constantly sobbing instead of laughing. The Crier and his henchman kidnap Robin, but Batman soon finds him in a mountain hideout that looms over the city thanks to the Boy Wonder’s creation of a fake Bat-Signal. Meanwhile, the Crier sets the Tigris River ablaze with oil and starts a loot-and-plunder campaign. Batman and Robin create a makeshift glider that looks like a flying carpet and glide into the city below to apprehend the Crier. Afterward, Batman realizes that the rug they bought in 1948 is the very rug they used as a glider, and it has the image of the Crier on it. Back in 1948, Batman puts the Crier’s rug into the Hall of Trophies.
World’s Finest Comics #79. In the year 1955, Carter Nichols sends Bruce and Dick to Baghdad in the year 955 CE to learn about a mystery surrounding a mythic “magnetic mountain.” Sure enough, the mountain is real—a magnetized meteorite on the outskirts of the city. However, the Dynamic Duo finds out the hard way that strong magnetic fields disrupt Nichols’ metahuman abilities and modern technology. Batman and Robin are stuck in the past! Batman, Robin, and Aladdin (of 1001 Arabian Nights fame) are arrested after being accused of being three of Ali Baba’s “Forty Thieves.” The Caliph orders the trio to perform a magick act, lest they be executed. Robin desperately rubs on a plain old oil lamp and Superman appears just in the nick of time to act as a “genii.” (Superman has used his Golden Age time-travel ability to make this rescue). Aladdin’s rival, Abdullah (actually Ali Baba), takes the lamp and commands Superman to grant him several wishes, all of which Superman does, but with a Monkey’s Paw type of catch each time. Meanwhile, the Forty Thieves kidnap Robin, forcing a rescue by Superman and Batman. The Man of Steel then blasts back to 1955 with Batman and Robin.
Batman #52, Part 2. In 1949, Bruce and Dick view a thousand-year-old tablet in a museum of “the disgraced coward Viking” Olaf Erickson, who happens to be a dead-ringer for Bruce. So of course, it’s off to time-travel via the Nichols method. In Norway, 990 CE, Bruce and Dick learn of Erickson’s shameful un-Asgardian behavior. Naturally, Batman switches places with Erickson and completes three feats of strength to redeem Erickson among his people. Batman and Robin then accompany the real Erickson on an expedition across the Atlantic to Vinland (North America) to war against the natives there. After helping the Vikings presumably slaughter a bunch of natives, Batman and Robin phase back to 1949 where they dig up some new runes at the spot of the battle. These new artifacts complete the tale on the museum tablet and praise Erickson as a hero.
World’s Finest Comics #42. In 1949, Bruce and Dick visit a festival in Chinatown and are surprised when an ancient firework from 1275 is set off and appears to sparkle with the image of Batman’s face. So it’s off to Ancient China, via Carter Nichols’ time-traveling method, to solve the mystery. In old Cathay, Batman and Robin help stop Marco Polo’s power-hungry political rival, Bahung, from taking over his province. Later, Batman, Robin, and Polo stop Bahung and his army from overthrowing Kubla Khan. The final battle occurs after Batman and Robin phase back to 1949, so they never actually find the mystery Batman firework. However, upon their return to 1949, the Dynamic Duo checks the history books and learns that Khan set off “special fireworks” during his battle with Bahung that scared Bahung’s army into retreating. While the book isn’t sure of what images the fireworks displayed in the sky, Bruce and Dick know that it was the face of the Dark Knight.
–13th century CE
Detective Comics #116. From 1946, the Dynamic Duo visits 13th century England where they meet Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men! Batman and Robin gallantly assist Robin Hood and his outlaws to defeat the Sheriff of Nottingham. Batman brings a pile of medieval weaponry back to 1946 as collectables.
Batman #46, Part 3. In 1948, Carter Nichols reads a historical report about a magician called “Batman” that supposedly was active in Milan, Italy in 1499. Thus, Bruce and Dick time-travel to 1499 using the Nichols method and get involved in a rivalry between gluttonous dictator Gian Trivulao and Leonardo Da Vinci! Batman aids Da Vinci and even poses as the great polymath while the latter plans the downfall of Trivulao. Eventually, Batman and Robin end Trivulao’s reign and help Da Vinci launch one of his intricate flying machines in the process. As Da Vinci soars, the Milanese citizens note that his winged device resembles a bat and refer to him as “Batman.” The mystery of the Batman of 1499 is solved–it’s Leonardo Da Vinci! Before Leo can properly thank the Dynamic Duo, they phase back to 1948. In 1948, Batman puts some 15th century Italian garb on a mannequin, which he proudly displays in his Hall of Trophies.
Batman #32, Part 4. In 1946, Nichols uses his avatar projection hypnosis method to send the Dynamic Duo a little over three-hundred years into the past to France where our heroes meet the Three Musketeers and the Comte d’Artagnan. In the world of pre-Crisis Earth-Two, The Three Musketeers was not a fictional story by Alexandre Dumas, but instead, a true historical biography of the real Musketeers. Batman and Robin assist the Musketeers and help them in battle. However, the Dynamic Duo’s mere appearance causes time to change, and d’Artagnan is injured. When d’Artagnan gets injured, Batman disguises himself as the famous swashbuckler and fills in. Using their knowledge of the events of Dumas’ biography, Batman and Robin attempt to recreate events so that everything stays relatively the same. Writer Don Cameron does an impressive League of Extraordinary Gentlemen-style retelling of Dumas’ The Three Musketeers with Batman and Robin as part of the cast. In the original Three Musketeers text, the fair Lady Constance is poisoned to death. Batman, preferring a happy ending, decides to save Constance in this version, thus altering history and Dumas’ book before returning home to 1946. As Dick notes back in the present, Dumas, in 1844, decided not to include the appearances of Batman and Robin in The Three Musketeers, most likely because it probably seemed too crazy.
Batman #125, Part 2. When the Gotham Art Museum’s John Kirk gets accused of forging a new Verillo painting and adding it to the museum collection, Batman and Robin travel via the Carter Nichols method from 1959 to 1642 Venice, Italy. There, Batman and Robin witness Verillo paint the picture in question but then refuse to authenticate it. Batman and Robin then return to 1959.
Detective Comics #205. While installing some new electric cables into their Bat-Cave crime lab (in 1954), Batman and Robin dig up a three hundred-year-old piece of pottery that has a mysterious inscription about a man with a double identity. Curious, Bruce and Dick travel to 1654 via the Carter Nichols method. There, Batman and Robin meet colonial lawman Jeremy Coe, who battles Huron and Algonquin warriors. When Coe is injured he leads the Dynamic Duo underground to his secret “Bat-Cave,” named after the bats, of course. While Coe rests, Batman turns the cave into a mirror of the modern day cave, complete with a trophy room. Batman then disguises himself as a Native American by painting his skin red and donning Indian garb. Racist redface Batman’s disguise washes away in the rain, but he, Robin, and Coe still manage to save the colony from a native siege. Batman and Robin then return to 1954.
Detective Comics #136. It’s time paradox time! In 1948, the Gotham Museum directorate chews out one of its curators for purchasing a treasure map that supposedly once belonged to Captain Henry Morgan. Bruce is flabbergasted when he looks at the map and realizes that it is in his own handwriting! However, Bruce has no recollection of ever penning it. Thus, its off to Carter Nichols who sends Bruce and Dick to 1667 to solve the mystery. In 1667, Batman and Robin soon find themselves in captivity aboard Captain Morgan’s pirate ship in the Caribbean. After several piratey adventures and swashbuckling duels, Morgan employs Batman as his servant, threatening to kill Robin unless the Dark Knight obeys. On an island off the coast of Florida, Morgan buries his treasure and forces Batman to draft a map! Batman, however, draws the map incorrectly so that Morgan will never be able to find his booty again. Back in 1948, Bruce, Dick, and the museum curator dig up the treasure using Batman’s map as a guide.
World’s Finest Comics #82. From 1956, Clark, Bruce, and Dick jaunt back to 1669 Italy via the Nichols time travel method. There, Superman, Batman, and Robin join forces with d’Artagnan and the Three Musketeers to assault the Fortress of Pignerol where the Man in the Iron Mask is being held. (NOTE: WFC #82 completely ignores the fact that Batman has met and befriended d’Artagnan and the Musketeers before. This is completely wrong.) When the Man in the Iron Mask is moved to the Bastille, Batman and Robin sneak into King Louis XIV’s quarters at Versailles and accidentally knock him out. This allows Batman to pose as King Louis to gain entry into the prison. Inside the Bastille, the Man in the Iron Mask removes his helmet to reveal none other than Superman! Superman had smashed into the Bastille earlier in the day, rescued the real prisoner, Count Ferney, and replaced him. Once the real King Louis arrives, Superman explains that Ferney’s jailer, Bourdet, is the real criminal. King Louis puts Bourdet in the Iron Mask and sentences him to life in the Bastille. Our heroes then phase back to their correct time. As we’ve learned before, on Earth 2, Alexandre Dumas was not a novelist, but a historian and biographer. However, Dumas’ tale of the Musketeers’ rescue of the Man in the Iron Mask, who in his story was revealed as Louis XIV’s twin brother, must either be pure incorrect speculation or Dumas’ first flight of fancy into fiction writing.
Batman #79, Part 2. In 1953, the Dynamic Duo tries to bust criminal Walter Fraley, who has a bunch of stolen gold, but he claims that he has discovered the long-lost legendary treasure of Captain Lightfoot. Bruce and Dick visit Professor Carter Nichols and go back in time to Colonial Gotham City in 1753. There, as Batman and Robin, they meet the domino masked Captain Lightfoot (Abel Adams) who has been fighting the vile Hugo Vorney, a merchant that has been ripping off Indians and inciting them to violence. Batman, Robin, and Captain Lightfoot expose Vorney and send him to jail. Batman and Robin then learn that Captain Lightfoot’s legendary treasure is an official document stating that Captain Lightfoot is a hero of the colonies, not gold. Back in 1953, Batman and Robin dig up the document and bust Fraley.
Batman #44, Part 3. In 1948, Bruce hosts a party and shows off portraits of his ancestors, including the black sheep of the family, Silas Wayne (accused of being a criminal in Philadelphia in 1787). Bruce and Dick visit Professor Carter Nichols and jaunt to 1787 to try to prove Silas’ innocence. In old Philadelphia, Batman and Robin meet both Silas and Ben Franklin and eventually prove that Silas is not a dandy highwayman. But for overwrought narrative reasons, Franklin and Silas, the only men who know Silas is innocent, cannot reveal the truth until a future date. Unfortunately, Franklin and Silas will eventually take the secret to the grave. And before the Dynamic Duo can obtain the written proof that Silas is not a robber baron, they phase back to 1948. In 1948, Bruce now notices a change in the frame of the portrait of Silas Wayne–there is now an inscription by Franklin that contains a hidden compartment, in which is a letter exonerating Silas.
Detective Comics #135. Carter Nichols, while time traveling to 1816 Switzerland (from 1948) in order to learn the true history of Frankenstein, runs into trouble and summons the Dynamic Duo to his aid. Nichols, who has mastered his metahuman ability to time-travel and send others through time via avatar projection, is able to hone-in on Batman and Robin in 1948 Gotham and pull them away to 1816 Switzerland. Once Batman and Robin arrive in 1816, Nichols explains that Dr. Victor Frankenstein’s hulking assistant, Ivan, had suffered an injury. Nichols administered adrenaline to bring Ivan out of a coma, and Ivan recovered, but as a mindless slave. Shortly after that, Frankenstein’s rival, Count Mettern, assumed control of Ivan and unleashed him upon the local village as “Frankenstein’s Monster” in a ploy to ruin Frankenstein. Let’s hear it for another awesome Nichols time paradox! Caught up to speed, Batman and Robin stop the monster and help him regain his senses. However, upset at the damage he has done, Ivan goes after Mettern and they both wind up seemingly dead after a chemical explosion. Afterward, Batman and Robin explain the crazy events to Mary Shelley, who decides to re-write it into a science fiction tale! It’s worth noting that while Frankenstein’s Monster aka The Frankenstein Monster aka Spawn of Frankenstein aka Frankenstein is a long-running and important character in later comic book ages, he is a mere one-shot character on Earth-Two. Interestingly, in the Golden Age, Frankenstein’s Monster isn’t even an undead patchwork behemoth–he is nothing more than a big guy named Ivan that has been doped up by Nichols.
–February 1854 CE
Batman #89, Part 1. Batman and Robin (from 1955) travel to the American South, 1854 to prove that Commissioner Gordon’s great-grandfather Captain John Gordon was not a criminal as history believes he was. In 1854, Batman and Robin join Captain Gordon’s traveling steamboat vaudeville show. After several days on the Mississippi River tour, Batman and Robin prove Captain Gordon’s innocence at a New Orleans Mardi Gras celebration. The heroes then return to their correct time.
Batman #58, Part 2. An acquaintance of Bruce’s in 1950, Rex Spears III, had a great grandfather that struck it rich in a California gold mine in 1854, but on his way back East vanished without a trace. When Lorenzo Bagg III, the relative of Lorenzo Bagg I, a friend of Rex Spears I, turns up with a branding iron that used to belong to Spears III’s great granpappy, a mystery is born in 1950. This is a perfect opportunity to screw with the past, so Bruce and Dick visit their old pal Carter Nichols and shoot to 1854. After fighting Mexican bandits and meeting the original Spears and Bagg, Batman learns that Spears had gotten bitten by a rattlesnake. With his last breath of energy before dying, Spears marked a secret spot where the money was hidden using the aforementioned branding iron. After his death, a rock-slide covered the spot permanently—until now! Back in 1950, Bruce, Dick, Spears III, and Bagg III dig up the gold. Afterward, Bruce puts the branding iron into the Hall of Trophies.
Batman #98, Part 1. In 1956, Simak steals blueprints for designing a sonic raygun drafted by Jules Verne. Batman and Robin time-travel via the Nichols method to Paris in the year 1900. There, they meet Verne, fill him in on what’s happening, and get him to design a defense for the sonic ray. Verne then accompanies the Dynamic Duo back to 1956 to help defeat Simak! Afterward, the famous writer returns to 1900.
- COLLIN COLSHER: In Star Spangled Comics #71 Robin (Dick Grayson) goes on a solo Carter Nichols time-travel adventure from the late 1940s to One Million BCE, where he interacts with cavemen and dinosaurs. Obviously, cavemen and dinosaurs did not co-exist. However, comic books won’t really acknowledge or be aware of this scientific fact until the mid 1950s. So, any comic that explicitly centers around the interaction between cavemen and dinosaurs is definitively non-canon. This includes Star Spangled Comics #71, the history of which closely resembles Ray Harryhausen’s One Million BC. Due to the timeframe of Star Spangled Comics #71, the cavemen Dick meets in the issue must be some form of Homo antecessor, and yet they have a much more advanced language system than the actual H. antecessor species would have had. Furthermore, there is no way, even on fictional Earth-2, that dinosaurs could have survived the mass extinction event that eliminated them at the climax of the Mesozoic Era. Sorry, fans of cheesy 1940s caveman-dinosaur tales (and some weird Christians). Science RULES ALL.↩
- COLLIN COLSHER: In Star Spangled Comics #73, Robin (Dick Grayson) goes on a solo Carter Nichols time-traveling adventure from the late 1940s to late 1790s Italy where he ousts famed occultist Cagliostro Giuseppe “Beppo” Balsamo as a charlatan and a thief.↩