YEAR NINETEEN (Part 2)

2007 (May to August)

 

–Justice League Elite #4
Early May. When the totalitarian President of Changsha is assassinated during a JLElite covert op, the JLA believes one of the JLElite is responsible for the unauthorized murder.  Vera Lynn Black (Sister Superior) reveals to the JLA that the real assassin was the metahuman super-agent known as Wolfwood. (This is actually disinformation as we will find out the real culprit later.) Meanwhile, Manitou Raven’s wife, Dawn, cheats on him with Ollie!  The two begin having a secret affair behind Raven’s back.  Also, Major Disaster reveals to his fellow teammates that he is a full-blown alcoholic.  Also, Kasumi (undercover Batgirl) takes her undercover work one step further when she begins sleeping with Coldcast!

–Justice League Elite #6
There is something wicked within the JLElite, but Batman can’t put his finger on it.  After Kasumi (undercover Batgirl) and Coldcast deal with the evil alien group known as The Aftermath, they wind up taking on the JSA in a bloody battle, during which Hawkgirl (Kendra Saunders) is badly injured.  Batman then meets privately with Batgirl.  The Dark Knight tells Cassandra that she is off the case.  Before Cassandra can quit the team, the JLElite is transported to an extra-dimensional vessel owned by the leader of the Aftermath, the aptly named Aftermath, and his associate Wolfwood.

–NOTE: In Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #199-200. The Greco-Roman queen of the gods, Hera, throws a shit-fit and crashes the sky-floating Themysciran Islands back into the sea. Meanwhile, Doctor Psycho has used his secret influence to drum up a ton of anti-Amazonian propaganda across the globe. This leads to the assassination of US Ambassador Darrel Keyes on the steps of the Amazonian Embassy in New York City, which sets off a chain of events that puts Themyscira and the United States on the brink of war.

–REFERENCE: In Wonder Woman #204. Batman busts up a Gotham drug-lab similar to the one he busted up in ‘tec #790 a few months ago.

–Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #203-204 (“BITTER PILLS”)
Diana tasks Bruce with finding out who killed Ambassador Keyes.  Batman studies the surveillance tapes and determines that Doctor Psycho has been causing all of the chaos related to Themyscira as of late.  Wonder Woman uses this vital info to make things right again.

–Justice League Elite #9
Kasumi (undercover Batgirl) and several members of the JLElite are still trapped aboard Aftermath’s space vessel.  The mad alien tyrant had traveled to the Source Wall in an attempt to steal the Worlogog!  In the process, a melee broke out, severely injuring Coldcast and killing both Manitou Raven and Aftermath!  Coldcast and Kasumi wound up getting sent to the Shadow Dimension.  Flash was also injured when he used the Speed Force to teleport hundreds of alien civilians away from the Source Wall into the safety of the Watchtower.  Also, the spirit of Vera Lynn Black’s deceased evil brother, Manchester Black, took over her body and stole the Worlogog!  Cut to now: The JLA deals with the sudden influx of refugees in the Watchtower.  Meanwhile, Cassandra professes her love for Coldcase and reveals that she is really Batgirl.  Together, the lovers battle their way out of the demon-filled Shadow Dimension.  When they get back to Earth, the JLA places Coldcast under arrest for the murder of the President of Changsha.  Recent evidence has proven that Coldcast, not Wolfwood, was responsible for the assassination.  (Again, this is false evidence, but Coldcast is sent to the Slab).

–Detective Comics #784-786 (“MADE OF WOOD”)
May 13. These issues of ‘tec are out of sequence from the rest because this story begins on May 13.  Batman spends the night busting low-life scum, and also runs Riddler’s car off the road just for kicks.  In the morning Jim Gordon stumbles across a corpse with the words “Made of Wood” carved into his chest, dumped in front of Gotham’s “Green Lantern Tribute Statue” (a tribute honoring the Alan Scott GL).  Bruce meets with Alan and they discuss an unsolved string of Gotham serial killings from 1948 that were committed in the exact manner.  The former commish begins his own investigations and winds up on the doorstep of the killer who kidnaps and tortures him.  Bruce does a little investigating of his own and learns that the killer is the grandson of the original killer from the 40s.  Batman and Alan then track him down and rescue Jim.  Afterward, Alan gives Bruce a few trophies to add to his collection: An old signed photo of a young Thomas Wayne meeting Green Lantern and a baseball bat that once belonged to 40s super-villain Sportsmaster.

–Superman/Batman #13 Epilogue
Superman officially introduces Kara Zor-El aka the new Supergirl to the entire DCU superhero community.

–the second feature to Detective Comics #789-792 (“THE TAILOR”)
When a super-villain in a high-tech suit hijacks a train, Batman believes the baddie is wearing one of the Tailor’s designs.  The Tailor helps Batman bring down the villain, but only after he realizes that his daughter is one of the hostages.  Afterward, the Tailor denies involvement. Batman can’t prove anything so he lets him walk. In actuality, the Tailor’s old super-villain team known as Mayhem is out to get him. The Tailor is able to deal with his former friends without Batman’s help (as seen in the second feature to ‘tec #793-794). Note that, while the Tailor definitely continues his costume-designing operation, there is no evidence that Batman continues using his services from this point forward. Also, with the Tailor now having been more exposed, Batman probably wouldn’t want to continue using his services anyway.

–Justice League Elite #10-12
Coldcast has been incarcerated in the Slab for a week now, but Cassie is able to find out that Menagerie was the real person responsible for his crime.  In Seattle, Major Disaster joins AA after a failed suicide attempt.  Meanwhile, Manchester Black has returned to life (by taking over his sister’s body) and, through use of the Worlogog, has gained control over a cosmic being called Eve, whom he has freed from the Source Wall.  Using Eve, Black levels all of London, killing thousands.  The JLA enters London and gets their asses whipped by Black and Eve.  Things are looking bleak until Green Arrow (Ollie), Kasumi (Cassie), an escaped Coldcast, and Dawn (who now has her late husband’s powers) show up to turn the tide.  The heroes are able to expel Black from his sister’s body, thus stopping the threat of Eve.  Dawn is also able to use her magick to restore most of London and return every civilian casualty back to life!

–Detective Comics #791-793 (“THE SURROGATE”)
After a pop-star L’Shea‘s pregnant sister is shot with a bullet made of ice, Leslie Thompkins takes the injured woman into her care. L’Shea’s husband ordered the assassination attempt, and when L’Shea finds out she’s pissed, but she’s no saint either. L’Shea wants the baby! The pop star has her bodyguards kidnap her sister and Leslie. Oh, did I mention that Mr. Freeze is the head of the all-Black “Hill Gang” now? Batman tracks all the crooked people involved in this case into a warehouse, where Mr. Freeze sends in three goons wearing spare Freeze suits equipped with freeze-guns.  When L’Shea’s sis goes into labor, Batman and Leslie have to act fast.  Batman has delivered a baby before, but he’s never done a C-section—until now.  The baby is saved and Batman kicks Freeze’s ass with enough time for some bonding with Leslie afterward.

–Batgirl #47-50
Batman and Robin are investigating the kidnapping and murders of several models.  Batman tells Cassie not to interfere in the case, but Batgirl takes it upon herself to apprehend the ringleader behind the kidnappings (one-shot villain Doll Man) anyway.  After returning to Oracle’s headquarters, Bruce tells Cassie that the kidnappings were a part of a much larger operation, one linked to the distribution of the designer drug “Soul” (put out on the streets by the Lost Girls months ago in Batgirl #46).  Her interference has ruined a monthlong sting that Batman had been orchestrating.  In fact, the Dark Knight is so mad, he fires Batgirl!  Cassie turns in her uniform, but steals one of Barbara’s old Batgirl costumes and swings into the night.  Riots have broken out across the city due to a massive influx of “Soul” on the streets. While quelling rioters, Batgirl runs into the Lost Girls and discovers their leader (and the creator of “Soul”) is none other than Dr. Death!  When the Caped Crusader shows up, Dr. Death exposes both Batman and Batgirl to “Soul,” causing them to go into a rage and start pummeling each other. Robin eventually beats an antidote out of Dr. Death, but the Boy Wonder never gets the chance to use it on the heroes. Thankfully, they come-to on their own after leaping from the Gotham Bridge into the water below. Calmed, Bruce hugs Cassie, expresses his love for her, and invites her back into the family. Robin then finds the cured Batman and Cassie and all ends well.

–Justice League Elite #12 Epilogue
A week after Machester Black’s attack on London, the JLElite captures the traitorous Menagerie and delivers her to the JLA.  When Superman tells Vera Lynn Black that the JLElite is officially disbanded and was a “failed experiment,” Vera responds by telling him that the experiment isn’t over.  Superman seems confused, but lets it slide.  In Montana, Vera meets with Naif al-Sheikh to discuss the secret continuation of the JLElite.

–Robin Vol. 2 #124-125
June 1. It’s been three mopey months for Tim Drake. Tim has been down in the dumps  ever since his February 28 fight with Johnny Warlock—Tim still mistakenly believes he murdered Warlock during that fight. Tim has even been too depressed to go out as Robin, besides a few jaunts here and there.  When Jack Drake visits Tim at school, he becomes suspicious of his son after learning about a myriad of lies that Tim has been telling him.  Jack rushes home, searches Tim’s room and discovers both the Boy Wonder’s journals and his Robin costume.  An enraged Jack speeds over to Wayne Manor and puts a gun to Bruce’s head!  Bruce eventually talks him down, but when Tim comes into the Batcave and sees his dad waiting for him, things get even uglier.  Tim has been contemplating quitting as Robin for several months now, but had changed his mind after a talk with Stephanie earlier in the day.  But now that his dad knows his secret, Jack refuses to let his son be Robin anymore.  Father and son have a long talk and in the end, it is decided—Tim retires as Robin!

–NOTE: In Aquaman Vol. 6 #15. After an earthquake, San Diego sinks into the Pacific Ocean. Re-christened “Sub Diego,” the obliterated urban center is revived as an underwater city and inhabited by Atlanteans. This event doesn’t involve Batman, but it’s a pretty huge DCU event worth mentioning.

–Detective Comics #794-795 (“MONSTERS OF ROT”)
Since the events of ‘tec #793, the Hill Gang has lost leadership and L’Shea has left town for good.  Batman appoints Orpheus as the Hill’s new enforcer.  Meanwhile, a deadly sentient-plague known as The Mugre enters Blüdhaven and Gotham (carried over by illegal Santa Priscan immigrants).  The Mugre, at one point, manifests itself into a giant coagulated mass of cockroaches.  This cockroach scene is so similar to a scene from Joker: Last Laugh, it borders on plagiarism.  Anyway, Batman teams with Blüdhaven’s own female warrior, Tarantula, and Orpheus to quell the plague and destroy it.  After the threat of the Mugre is resolved, Batman decides that Orpheus isn’t strong enough to control the Hill all by himself.  The Dark Knight sends his buddy Ollie Queen halfway across the globe to recruit Ollie’s friend and former League of Assassins member Onyx into the Bat-Family.  Onyx brings her superb martial arts expertise to Gotham and officially partners with Orpheus.

–the second feature to Detective Comics #796
The second feature to ‘tec #796 picks-up where the second feature to ‘tec #795 leaves-off. In order to give Orpheus and Onyx more street cred, Batman and Batgirl have a fake fight with them at Penguin’s Iceberg Lounge. Every underworlder and mobster worth knowing gets a front-row seat as the superhero battle-royale leaves Penguin’s club in shambles. Mission accomplished.  I should note that Onyx is a unique character because she is the only costumed vigilante that Batman willingly allows to operate independently in Gotham (the other being Catwoman).

–REFERENCE: In the “War Games, Act One” arc. Batman devises a top secret plan (albeit a hypothetical one) in which he could, as Matches Malone, unite all of Gotham’s underworld, therefore putting all criminal activity under the control of Orpheus, who would be a puppet for the good guys. Batman immediately realizes that this dangerous plan is not realistic and files it away. This will come back to haunt the Dark Knight once “War Games” comes around in a few months, but we’ll get to that later.

–Batgirl #51
Bruce funds a Gotham art project which turns two whole city blocks, which have been untouched since NML, into a veritable lush garden of Eden. However, the garden begins to spread past its two-block limit, and its flora begins emitting pheromones that cause people to revert to a crazed, feral state. Batgirl enters the park to confront Poison Ivy, who is obviously behind the scheme.

–REFERENCE: In Batgirl #52. Batman has an unspecified mission with the JLA.

–Batgirl #52
Batgirl takes down Poison Ivy and puts an end to her “Garden of Evil.”  Batman swoops in, having missed all the action due to having been with the JLA at the time.

–Robin Vol. 2 #126
July 1. Stephanie Brown has been training ever since getting her leg-cast removed a month ago.  She’s been active as Spoiler for the past six days.  Tim has been adjusting to normal life ever since being forced into early retirement by his father a month ago.  Meanwhile, Johnny Warlock has sent the female assassin known as Scarab into Gotham with a mission to kill Robin.  However, Warlock and Scarab don’t know who Robin is, or let alone that he has retired, so Scarab has been murdering athletic teenage boys that match the correct profile.  Stephanie then sews her own shoddy Robin costume, dons it, and breaks into the Batcave.  Batman finds her and instead of punishing her, he agrees to allow her to become his new sidekick.  That’s right, we have a brand new Robin, the Girl Wonder!  Alfred is shocked, and scolds Bruce, telling him he is simply endangering Stephanie in order to lure Tim back.  Of course, Bruce denies this.  Next is the part where we have to do some MAJOR retconning.  This issue has Batman train Stephanie for about four months before they go on patrol together.  This issue also supposedly takes place from October through January.  Like we’ve already established, it is definitely July, so ignore the snow.  The four months of training must be ignored and replaced with maybe four days of training.  This may seem like a huge adjustment, but it really isn’t much of stretch when you examine the situation closer.  Stephanie has been a superhero for years already, and has already spent months training one-on-one with Batman prior to this.  It wouldn’t be that improbable to take Stephanie out as Robin relatively right away.

–Teen Titans Vol. 3 #13
Tim retired as Robin over a month ago, but I guess he’s been too embarrassed to disappoint his fellow Teen Titans, because he still hasn’t told them!  When Tim misses yet another Titans meeting, Connor (Superboy) flies to Gotham and runs into the new female Robin.  Conner doesn’t believe Stephanie is the new Girl Wonder.  A heated argument ensues until Batman steps in and backs up his new sidekick.  Connor asks Batman for the prior Robin’s contact info, and Batman tells him to piss off.  The Dynamic Duo swings into the Gotham night, headed directly for ‘tec #796.

–Detective Comics #796
The fourth Robin is very different than her predecessors, and it’s not just because she’s a girl.  Stephanie still has a lot to learn.  Her first official mission with Batman involves the return of Victor Zsasz. This is a tall order, and Zsasz puts up a better fight than I’ve ever known him to be capable of.  But in the end, the Dark Knight and the Blonde Wonder take him down hard.

–Batgirl #53
Early August. Batgirl meets the new female Robin.  While Batman is busy fighting a gang of dudes that look like they are wearing Mister Miracle face-paint, the Bat-ladies are on their own as they try to stop Penguin from selling illegal guns.  Penguin’s dubious henchmen are using their young seven-year-old daughters as unknowing smugglers.  Cass and Steph bust the gun-runners and send their mules to foster care.  Afterward, Steph angrily punches out Penguin, knowing that the villain’s hands are clean of the whole affair as usual.

–REFERENCE: In Robin Vol. 2 #127. Batman takes down the gang known as The Jolly Rogers, which has been torching Gotham landmarks recently. Afterward, the Jolly Rogers then change their name to The Masked Nasties and Batman takes them down again.

–Batman: Gotham Knights #59
August.  Mr. Freeze attempts to bring about eternal winter in Gotham.  Batman apprehends the villain after a 12-hour ordeal.

–Robin Vol. 2 #127
August 16 to August 18. Stephanie has been Robin for 46 days.  Batman and Robin take down the Masked Nasties, who have again changed their name, this time to Bloodbath Incorporated. The arsonists tell Batman that they’ve been hired by mob boss Henry Aquista. Aquista has also hired the long-inactive super-villainess Tiger Moth (!), who Batman and Robin easily apprehend.  While Batman investigates Aquista’s motives, Tim reads about the appearance of a new female Robin in the newspaper. It’s been a month-and-a-half and he still doesn’t know!?  Tim calls Steph and demands a meeting.  However, when Batman learns that Scarab has been murdering Tim Drake lookalikes, the Dark Knight calls Stephanie into action.  Batgirl then meets with Tim, having been sent by Bruce to protect him.  Meanwhile, the Dynamic Duo gets their asses kicked by Scarab. 

–Robin Vol. 2#128, Part 1
August 18 to August 31. Batman and Robin regroup following their total defeat at the hands of Scarab. Tim, jealous of Steph’s Robin role, chats with Batgirl about his feelings. On August 21st (Steph’s 50th day as Robin) Batman and Robin go after Scarab again. Batman, despite donning his armored super-costume, still gets his ass kicked!  During the fight, Batman is left blind.  Damn, Scarab is good.  Stephanie disobeys orders and tries to help Batman, but the Girl Wonder winds up getting nabbed by Scarab, who tells the sightless Caped Crusader that she will kill Robin unless she is allowed a safe escape in the Batplane.  Batman has no choice but to comply. After this embarrassing defeat, Bruce spends the rest of August completely blind and under the care of Alfred at Wayne Manor.

 


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