YEAR TWENTY-THREE (P. 2)

2011 (May to August)

 

–Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #13
Early May. Guy Gardner is called to investigate a murder mystery aboard a NASA/US Air Force joint space station in Earth’s orbit.  Much to his annoyance, Batman is already aboard and working the case.  The murder victim is a Wayne Enterprises scientist who was working on a new “space-plane,” so the Dark Knight has taken a personal interest.  While Guy interrogates the crew by asking inane questions, Batman does some actual detective work and solves the mystery with relative ease.  After fingering the suspect as Dr. Tim Owens (actually a secret agent working for the League of Assassins), the villain steals the prototype space-plane and sends the space station hurtling toward Earth.  Guy uses his ring to maximum ability to capture Owens and prevent the station from crashing.

–Batman 80-Page Giant 2011 #1, Part 1
Jade O’Keafe, the teenage drug addict that Bruce befriended a few weeks back, has been clean for three weeks, but winds up relapsing on the Fear Toxin-based drug known as Intrepid, which is being dealt on the streets by a Scarecrow-inspired gang.  After getting in a heated argument with Alfred, who accuses Batman of being “addicted to crime-fighting,” the Dark Knight busts the drug peddlers.

–Batman 80-Page Giant 2011 #1, Part 2
For the past four years, an unnamed government organization (most likely on behalf of the US Armed Forces) has been evaluating new high-tech hand-to-hand combat equipment on the best possible test subject in the world: Batman. Mission number five occurs now as a random soldier is tasked to fight the Dark Knight. Batman easily defeats him.

–REFERENCE: Batman, disguised as an elderly groundskeeper, returns to St. Hadrian’s Finishing School for Girls (as seen via flashback in Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes! #1, Chapter 1) to check up on Batgirl. If you will recall, Batgirl has been inserted at the Spyral training facility (now infiltrated and secretly run by Leviathan) as a mole on behalf of Batman Incorporated.

–Batman 80-Page Giant 2011 #1, Part 3
A lonely (and presumably horny) Bruce lays in his bed and decides to visit Selina with a dozen roses.  But when he arrives on her terrace, he is saddened to see Selina already engaged with a gentlemen caller.  Both men promptly leave.  Later on patrol, Batman discovers that Selina’s date is a criminal and gets in a fight with him.  Catwoman shows up to help bust the bad guy and we learn that she was only “pumping him” for information.  After a sexually tense roll-around on the docks of Gotham Bay, Catwoman playfully pushes Batman into the drink and skips on home.  Sigh.  Catwoman and Batman are so in love.

–NOTE: In Hong Kong, Black Bat (Cassie Cain) and Red Robin are soundly defeated by a ten-year-old metahuman named Cricket (as seen in Red Robin #25).  Tim is severely injured and suffers multiple broken bones, including his arm.  He will be out of action for the next six weeks.

–Batman Incorporated #8
Late spring. Months ago, Bruce told his Bat-Family that Internet 3.0 would be up and running by spring.  And here we are in late spring and Internet 3.0 is up and running!  What is Internet 3.0, you ask?  Well, it’s nothing we haven’t already seen a million times in the DCU already: A virtual web world where your personalized avatar can literally wander through and explore.  While this concept may not be original, Bruce’s Internet 3.0 is state-of-the-art and comes with a special anti-viral program: Babs in a kick-ass avatar version of Batgirl!  We first saw the design for this Batgirl avatar in Batman: The Return #1.  Avatar Batgirl is forced into action when Bruce gives his five main investors a virtual tour of Internet 3.0.  One of his investors, Mr. Tanaka, is actually a sadistic gamer who tries to kill off everyone else using a team of “Internet zombie” avatar henchmen and by morphing himself into a giant monster avatar.  Tanaka intends on stealing the investors’ money after killing them online.  Bruce (while controlling both an avatar of himself and an avatar of Batman) helps Babs and the other investors defeat Tanaka and his cronies.  After the crisis is averted, Bruce and Babs learn that Tanaka was planning on laundering the stolen investors’ money through Mtamba, Africa via a criminal network supposedly led by Jezebel Jet.  That’s right, Jezebel is back—or is she? SPOILER ALERT: She’s actually not, but we’ll get to that soon enough.

–FLASHBACK: Nearly all of Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #11 is a random flashback to a Batman Japan adventure. Jiro Osamu and Lolita Canary (of the Super Young Team) are interrupted by Batman while on an Internet 3.0 VR date—(Internet 3.0 is the only place they can be together and be the same size). From Gotham, Batman alerts the heroes to a situation in downtown Tokyo involving an all-female Leviathan gang consisting of Power Ranger styled bikers. Batman Japan and Lolita Canary eventually infiltrate the biker secret HQ and confront their leader, Lady Tiger Fist, a cyborg warrior woman that has pet robot tigers, whose heads pop off and become her fists. The heroes convince the biker gals to turn on their abusive Leviathan momma and then defeat the super-villain by entrapping her within Internet 3.0.

–Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes! #1, Chapter 1
Stephanie has been enrolled in St. Hadrian’s Finishing School for Girls, a Spyral training academy that has been infiltrated by Leviathan and turned into a brainwashing facility for creating young female super-villains. The school, at the moment, is run by a false Spyral headmistress named Miss Hexley, who secretly reports directly to Leviathan. Dragon Fly, Silken Spider, and Tiger Moth are all teachers at the academy. Steph has done her best—over the course of the past four weeks—to impress and infiltrate the higher ranks of the school. However, Steph is outed as Batgirl and is nearly killed by Johnny Valentine. Batgirl and Batman—who sheds his elderly gardener/groundskeeper disguise—then kick the asses of a bunch of teenage super-villainess wannabes, Valentine, and the school’s false headmistress, Miss Hexley.

–Red Robin #26
June 23-24. Tim has been recovering from the beating he took at the hands of Cricket for the past six weeks. The whole time Tim, the master of convoluted schemes that involve the most ludicrous trickeration known to man, has been planning the assassination of Captain Boomerang, the villain who murdered his dad.  Red Robin lures Boomerang out of hiding with a complex set of baits that involve taking advantage of STAR Labs, creating a fake Black Lantern energy container, and setting up a meeting with Mr. Freeze.  However, Tim has second thoughts and actually winds up saving Boomerang from Freeze.  Tim then has another change of heart while fighting Boomerang. Although he contemplates murder yet again, Tim ultimately spares the villain’s life.  Dick and Damian show up and congratulate Tim for not giving into the temptation of revenge.  Bruce shows up and has a different sentiment, chastising Tim for even considering using lethal force.

–REFERENCE: Since the finale of Batman Incorporated Volume 2 is officially the final entry of the Modern Age (before Flashpoint!), we must add the rare New 52 story arc that Batman Inc Vol. 2 references: Tomasi’s Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #1-8. Of course, we needn’t (and shouldn’t) add those eight issues in as they are. They are merely referenced to—all we need know is that Henri Ducard’s evil son, Morgan Ducard aka “Nobody,” murders Batman Inc member Ravil. In return, Nobody is killed by Damian, after which he promises never to kill again. Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #1 tells us that the murder of Nobody occurs before Chapter 2 of Leviathan Strikes, which puts it right here on our timeline. Oh, the other thing to take away from the reference to Tomasi’s New Age arc is that Bruce gets Damian a dog named Titus.

–Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes! #1, Chapter 2
Bruce meets with Lucius Fox and they discuss the diamond that was taken from Dr. Sivana’s lab (way back in Batman Incorporated #1). The gem is constructed of a metamaterial that is basically a form of unknown renewable energy source. Lucius also informs him that the full army of Batman Robots is ready for action. Batman Incorporated is finally ready to attack Leviathan head-on. Batman (Bruce), Batman (Dick), Robin, and Red Robin converge on a Leviathan oil tanker far out at sea. Gaucho is already on the ship somewhere. The heroes also send out a message to all other Batman Incorporated members available to go to the site as well. Upon infiltrating the ship, the Bat-Family is trapped within a deadly labyrinth. Batman (Bruce) is dosed with an experimental drug that induces early onset Alzheimer’s instantaneously. As the Dark Knight becomes separated from his group, he stumbles through the labyrinth and his mind begins to fade. Doctor Dedalus, on board the ship, is able to taunt Batman and pry precious secrets about Batman Incorporated from the struggling hero. Dedalus starts a twenty minute countdown clock and declares that every five minutes Batman Incorporated members will die. The clock hits fifteen and in Mtamba, Batwing and his comrades are overwhelmed. At ten, the Hood is seemingly assassinated in London by his superior, Matron, who claims his loyalty to Spyral and the legitimate headmistress of St. Hadrian’s i.e a living and breathing Kathy Kane! Meanwhile, Batman (Dick), Red Robin, and Robin knock out some masked attackers, who turn out to be Dark Ranger and Nightrunner. Both had arrived at the Leviathan ship, per Batman’s orders, but were captured and immediately brainwashed by Dedalus. After going through several rooms containing fake Dedaluses, Batman (Bruce) finally reaches the real deal. But Gaucho is there and reveals himself as a double-agent still working for his old Spyral boss after all these years. Gaucho punches the unsuspecting Dark Knight to the ground. Dedalus detonates an explosive on the ship, which causes the vessel to begin sinking to the bottom of the ocean. Concurrently in Earth’s orbit, the Outsiders, per Batman’s request, investigate the Leviathan satellite HQ. There, they are not only shocked to discover a cackling Lord Death Man, but a countdown clock that reads “five minutes.” The satellite explodes. Back aboard the sinking ship, Dedalus reveals that when the countdown reaches zero, several meta-bombs strategically placed across the world will detonate causing global death and massive damage. Dedalus then orders Gaucho to administer a poison to the Caped Crusader. Gaucho has a change of heart and betrays Dedalus, giving Batman the antidote to the Alzheimer’s drug. A surprisingly deft Dedalus then stabs Gaucho in the throat with a knife engraved by Hitler, and then attempts to shock Batman to death with an electric prod. Robin enters the room just in time to save his father by throwing the Hitler knife into Dedalus’ head, killing the villain. A nervous Damian mutters, “Father. I’m sorry. He was going to kill you.” Great stuff. Meanwhile, Oracle takes control of the army of Bat Robots via Internet 3.0 and they raise the ship out of the sea. Batman, Batman, Red Robin, Robin, and a nearly dead (but surviving) Gaucho make their way to the inner sanctum of the ship. Behind a sealed door, Bruce finds on display the severed head of Jezebel Jet and a ringing red telephone. Bruce knows who the head of Leviathan is. He picks up the phone and hears the voice of pure evil, the voice of Leviathan: Talia Al Ghul. Talia tells Bruce that the war is now started and that there is a half-a-billion dollar bounty on Damian’s head. Talia hangs up the phone from her secret location, inside the Monarch Theater on Crime Alley in Gotham City. She has dealt a huge blow and shock to Batman Incorporated in one foul swoop, controls all of Leviathan and the League of Assassins, and rules the dictatorship of Mtamba. With the mysterious Heretic as her right-hand man, Talia will stop at nothing to destroy Bruce and his Family.[1]

–NOTES:

Dick retires his Batman costume and becomes Nightwing again (as mentioned in Batman: Gates of Gotham #5 and Justice League of America Vol. 2 #60). We will see that Dick has returned to his Nightwing persona in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #1.

Batman permanently switches from his yellow-oval costume back to a more traditional black Bat-symbol costume (as we will see in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #1).

Batgirl, Oracle, and BlackBat will not be shown or mentioned in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 at all. Thus, we must assume they are sent by Batman to go on special assignment for the duration of the Modern Age. Sorry ladies (and sorry fans of these ladies). Bummer.

Commissioner Gordon dyes his hair and mustache red again (as we will see in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #3). He did this a lot in the Year One Era, so it should come as no surprise that he’s doing it again, especially since he’s getting older.

–FLASHBACK: The following is all taken directly from Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #1-5. A sniper named Goatboy attempts to kill Robin, hoping to collect on Talia’s bounty. The villain fails, but evades capture. Meanwhile, Talia and the mysterious and powerful Heretic strong arm Gotham’s underworld 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. In San Francisco, behind a secret wall in a sex shop lies Batcave West (!), complete with an Outsiders “Hall of Trophies,” where Batman Incorporated members regroup following the recent Leviathan battle. Wingman gathers the troops—Batwing, Hood, Gaucho, Freight Train, Looker, and Halo—and we learn that the world believes that all of these heroes have perished. Katana and Metamorpho, who has changed his name to “Element Man,” are no longer active members of the Outsiders. While the details are not given, we must assume that they were injured enough in the satellite blast that they cannot continue the war against Leviathan. Back in Gotham, while the Dynamic Duo fights some Mutants, Goatboy puts a bullet in Robin’s head! Of course this is a ruse and Damian is fine. Talia isn’t fooled so easily and meets with her father, Ra’s Al Ghul, who tells her to stop her war against Batman. Talia takes over her father’s empire and puts him under house arrest. Meanwhile, back in Gotham, Batman dons his Matches Malone guise and, along with Dick dressed as Batman and an undercover Gaucho, Hood, and Freight Train, pumps the local bar scene for information regarding Leviathan. Afterward “Malone” visits a mansion owned by Leviathan only to get captured by new bizarre League Assassins and Goatboy. Sick of playing dead, Robin dons a “Redbird” costume and goes to rescue Batman. At the Leviathan house, Batman Inc defeats the weirdest assortment of League Assassins ever assembled. Goatboy gets killed in the process. Afterward, Wingman unmasks, revealing himself as Jason Todd! Batman then tells Damian that in order to end the war between Leviathan and Batman Inc and to avoid global carnage, Bruce has decided that the only course of action is for him to return into his mom’s care. Batman tells Damian the whole of his Thogal/Omega vision (his future vision shown in Batman #666, Batman #700, and Batman Inc Vol. 2 #5). Meanwhile, some Batman Inc members are lured to the Leviathan HQ at Crime Alley where a bomb explodes seemingly killing them all.

–FLASHBACK: The following is all taken directly from Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #6-10. Batman, with a bunch of GI Bat-Robots and the GCPD, goes to Crime Alley. Inside a building, Batman chats with Talia via radio and fights Leviathan agents. At the top floor, Batman’s agents lie bloody and battered. Back at the Batcave, Jason rallies the troops—including Red Robin, who debuts his new “razor-wing” costume. Alfred gives Damian a pet cat, which he names Alfred. Back across town, Talia explains that Batman must choose between the Damian’s death or the destruction of Gotham. Talia also explains that the Otto Netz’s “Oroboro” is not only a weapon, but also a new energy source that will cause the global power shift. The Heretic then murders Knight and beats-down Batman, who is taken away by ninja man-bats. At Batcave East (underneath an oil refinery), the Hood betrays Batman Inc for the second time, pledging his loyalty to Spyral and taking-out Wingman. Red Robin 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. Leviathan soldiers then take over Wayne Tower. Thanks to a report from Traktir and Spidra in Yemen, Damian confirms that the Heretic is none other than an adult clone of himself. Atop Wayne Tower, the Heretic throws a safe (with Batman trapped inside) into the penthouse pool. Robin saves Nightwing and Gordon and heads to Wayne Tower. Robin and Nightwing then team-up to fight the Heretic. The Heretic kills Damian. Batman, Nightwing, and Red Robin all fight off the Heretic and flee to safety with Damian’s corpse. The next day a solemn funeral is held to lay Damian to rest at the Wayne Cemetery plot. Bruce swears revenge, orders Alfred to take a vacation, and tends to his own multiple wounds. A week later, across the pond in London, Beryl becomes the new Knight. Back in Gotham, with Leviathan still in control of Wayne Tower, looting and riots continue across the city. The media reports that Leviathan has struck against Wayne because of his public link to Batman Incorporated. Leviathan contacts Mayor Hady with an ultimatum. They demand the shutdown of Batman Inc, the arrest of Bruce Wayne, and the banning of the Batman brand from the city or else the city will crumble. Mayor Hady complies with the demands, citing that Batman Inc has essentially operated as a sanctioned private paramilitary venture that has disregarded US laws in order to do so. Batman Inc goes underground. A day later, 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 are Oroboros bombs at each location where a Batman Inc member has been recruited. Elsewhere, in a Spyral base, original Bat-Woman Kathy Kane (!), the Hood, and a gang of St. Hardian’s girls hold Jason Todd hostage. 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, Talia demands that the Dark Knight surrender. Batman prepares for his confrontation with Talia by acquiring some Man-Bat Serum from Dr. Langstrom and by getting the Suit of Sorrows from Azrael. Batman dons the magickal armor, injects himself with Man-Bat Serum, and suits up into a flying combat robot suit.

–FLASHBACK: The following is taken directly from Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #11-13. A jacked-up Batman charges into battle. Following a random Chris Burhnam scripted Batman Japan interlude flashback, Batman attacks the Heretic head-on, gaining the upper hand after activating an invisibility function on his suit. Meanwhile, at the Spyral HQ, Nightwing, Red Robin, Knight, and Wingman learn that Kathy Kane is one of the leaders of Spyral! Wingman explains that Spyral (which includes Hood and the St. Hadrian’s girls) is actually in league with Batman Inc! Knight and Nightwing show up just in time to help Batman restrain the Heretic, whose mask gets smashed off to reveal the face of a twelve-year-old Damian. The Heretic flees 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, Talia has a sword battle with Batman and they kiss passionately. Talia poisons Batman. Meanwhile, the combined forces of Batman Inc and Spyral face off against Leviathan all over the globe. Wingman rushes into the Batcave with the Oroboros weapon activator. Talia thinks Jason will help her, but instead he helps Batman and reveals that the Oroboros weapon has been deactivated. With the antidote to the poison running into his veins, Batman exclaims that his meta-material (the invisibility diamond stuff) will work as a better energy source for the world. Kathy Kane then shoots Talia dead! Batman is shocked to see Kathy, let alone leading a cell of a spy cartel. Kathy disappears and says that Bruce won’t see her again. Shaken, Bruce buries Talia in a grave next to Damian’s.

THE DARK KNIGHT & THE DEVIL’S DAUGHTER
——————–Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #1 Intro
——————–Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #13

A few days after Talia’s death, Bruce and Alfred stand in the pouring rain and mourn over the graves of Talia and Damian (as seen in the opening scene of Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #1). Exactly one month has passed since the beginning of Batman Incorporated Vol. 2. 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). 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 when his parents were killed—a huge revelation, which means that in the Modern Age Gordon was a rookie in Gotham before going to Chicago and then returning to Gotham for Miller’s “Year One.” (This is the first time in any continuity—aside from Chris Nolans Batman Begins film—that Gordon is placed at the scene of the Wayne murders.) They 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. Since there was no “Zero Year” in the Modern Age, this has to be a reference to No Man’s Land. Eventually, the US Government drops all charges, thanks to Kathy and Spyral. 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 Wayne Tower, Batman makes his triumphant return, taking on random thugs and dealing with a Poison Ivy case. Batman will go on, because he must, but he will do it as he started, grim and alone, for this is how things must be. Elsewhere, Ra’s Al Ghul begins rebuilding the League of Assassins. Without access to a Leviathan Pit (they are all dried up), Ra’s begins slowly harvesting Lord Death Man’s “Lazarus blood.” Ra’s reveals that all of Talia’s fetal Damian clones are still intact in a science fictiony “nursery” lab. According to Ra’s, these “Sons of Batman” will be the Caped Crusader’s undoing. THE END. Well, the beginning and the end. The oroboros cycle completes itself only to begin again. The meta-commentary of Morrison’s grand epic concludes with the message that Batman is eternal. His stories will never end. The Modern Age comes to a close, but Flashpoint rockets us into a new continuity. Eventually, something else will rocket us into the future again. Batman will never die.

–Batman Incorporated Special #1
This issue functions as a slight reiteration of the end of Batman Inc Vol. 2 #13—the idea here is that Batman will live on forever, no matter what. Batman ponders what to do with the Batman Incorporated venture now that it has ultimately failed and resulted in the deaths of many people, including his own son and former lover. The Dark Knight solemnly sits in the Batcave and reviews some old Batman Inc 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 can no longer legally operate Batman Inc in the United States. Therefore, any continuation of Batman Inc will have to happen overseas—in Africa, South America, and parts of Europe.

–REFERENCE: In Convergence: Batman and Robin #1. Damian is resurrected. No details are given.

[2]

–NOTE: “It all changes here!”  So says the cover tagline, and it is true.  Flashpoint doesn’t feature Batman (not the version of Batman we’ve been following, anyway).  But Flashpoint is important to our chronology because it signifies the end of the Modern Age and the conclusion of this timeline.  Yes, dear readers, this is the end, the final entry.  Flashpoint, for the purposes of the main story and in relation to Batman, takes place in the following order:
——————–flashback from Flashpoint #5
——————–Flashpoint #1-3
——————–Flashpoint #4, Part 1
——————–Flashpoint: Batman Knight of Vengeance #2-3
——————–Flashpoint #4, Part 2
——————–Flashpoint #5
Here we go.  Barry Allen finally discovers that Reverse-Flash/Professor Zoom (Eobard Thawne) was responsible for the murder of his mother many years ago.  Angry and distraught, Barry travels back in time using the Cosmic Treadmill in an attempt to prevent his mother’s death.  This is a terrible and brash idea that results in serious consequences.  The entire DCU and its history are altered severely through a massive reality-shattering butterfly effect.  After his time trek, Barry awakens in a world where his mother is alive again but literally everything is different: Barry is powerless, a giant war between Amazons and Atlanteans is ravaging the Earth; Kal-El’s spaceship originally crashed in Metropolis and he has been held captive by the government ever since, thus never becoming Superman; Cyborg is the main superhero on Earth; and most importantly, Bruce was the one who was killed by Joe Chill in Crime Alley, causing his father Thomas to become Batman and his mother Martha to become the Joker.  The dark Thomas Wayne Batman, not opposed to using lethal force, meets with Cyborg and the other superheroes, who try to recruit him into getting involved in the Amazonian-Atlantean War (as also shown in Flashpoint: The Outsider #1).  Batman declines.  Meanwhile, a frantic de-powered Barry incorrectly believes that his arch-nemesis Thawne is responsible for altering reality.  Struggling to maintain his memories of what the DCU is supposed to be like, Barry visits the Batcave and is shocked to learn that Thomas Wayne is Batman and that Bruce is dead.  A preoccupied Batman (currently working on the kidnapping case of Judge Harvey Dent’s twins by the Joker—as seen in Flashpoint: Batman Knight of Vengeance #1) kicks the shit out of Barry, but eventually hears him out and buys his story.  While remaining skeptical, Batman assists Barry on the roof of Wayne Manor where Barry straps himself to a lightning rod during a thunderstorm.  After two painful and skin-scorching strikes, Barry regains his Speed Force powers and becomes the Flash once again.  Flash tells Batman that there is still a chance he can make the world right, something Batman is on board for, even at the cost of his own existence since he hates the “World of Flashpoint” and would do anything to gain a universe where Bruce is alive.  Batman and Flash join up with Cyborg and break Kal-El out of his prison.  However, a scared and emaciated Kal-El, who has never seen the light of day before, flies away in terror.  After escaping from Kal-El’s government guardians, the heroes regroup at the home of several children who combine to form Captain Thunder (Captain Marvel in the “World of Flashpoint”).  The Earth’s heroes decide its time to join forces and stop the Amazonian-Atlantean War once and for all.  But first, Batman has to save Judge Dent’s kids and bring his wife to justice.  Oracle (a crippled Selina Kyle, who replaces the never-born Barbara Gordon in the “World of Flashpoint”) sends an alert to Commissioner Gordon and Batman that Joker is at Wayne Manor.  Gordon shows up first but is killed.  Batman rushes to his home and does battle with the crazed Joker.  He tries to explain that there is now a way to change reality so that Bruce will have survived instead of them.  This seems to calm Martha—until she learns that Bruce becomes Batman, which sends her laughing backward and spiraling to her death at the bottom of the Batcave.  Thomas rejoins the rest of the superheroes and flies the group in the Batplane to the front-line of the war in England (as also shown in Flashpoint: The Outsider #3).  In London, the heroes engage in a brutal and bloody battle with both Amazons and Atlanteans alike.  Thawne (like Barry, also aware of the original DCU) shows up and reveals that it was Barry, not he, who inadvertently changed the universe.  Thawne fights Barry, but is killed by Batman.  Batman, in turn, is killed by the Enchantress, but not before giving Barry a handwritten letter to give to Bruce, should Barry be able to revert everything back to normal.  After leaving the battle behind Barry says goodbye to his mom and bursts into the timestream again.  This is where things get really abstruse.  First, Barry is able to locate himself (at the point where he was using the Cosmic Treadmill earlier to save his mom).  However, without the original aid of the Treadmill to do so, Barry simply uses the Speed Force to haphazardly travel through time, an act which results in even more anomalies.  Then Barry fights himself as he travels back through the timestream, causing the Speed Force to go all kablooey even more, which causes time itself to go all wacky too.  As he stumbles through time Barry is addressed by a mysterious hooded godlike female entity (named Pandora) who explains that the “history of heroes was shattered into three long ago, splintered to weaken your world for their impending arrival.”  Not quite sure what that means, but Pandora is referencing the Vertigo Universe (the parts that don’t overlap with the DCU proper), the Wildstorm Universe, and the main DCU.  The “World of Flashpoint” fades from existence (although Barry retains all memory of it) and the three aforementioned universes merge and reform into one new DCU with a brand new history.  The previous twenty-three years of Batman’s career are erased and replaced with something new.  Barry wakes up and immediately visits the Batcave.  Bruce is indeed wearing the cape and cowl again.  Barry then explains all that has happened and delivers Thomas’ letter to a teary eyed Dark Knight.  The chaos and alteration done to the DCU has been corrected, but not properly.  This ain’t our Caped Crusader any more.  This ain’t our old DCU either.  Different costumes, different histories.  The Modern Age is over.

 

 

And there you have it! I’ll be tweaking things, adding things, getting rid of things, and re-editing summaries until the end of time, so keep on checking out the site!  If you see any mistakes or things missing or anything at all (or if you just want to say hello) leave a comment or E-mail me at therealbatmanchronologyproject@gmail.com.
-CC

 


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  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: Flashpoint was published shortly before Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes! #1, Chapter 2, ending the Modern Age and rewriting the entire chronology for a “New Age.” Thus Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes! effectively forms the final Modern Age Batman story published prior to the 2011 reboot. But Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes! ends with a cliffhanger—the first strike in what promises to be a brutal war. Several things are left unfinished. Did Batwing and the Outsiders really die? It wasn’t explicitly shown. And of course, there is the unfinished question of the war itself. However, the story continues in the new continuity! But how can this be, you might ask? Doesn’t a ton of stuff get retconned in the new continuity, including the details of this “Leviathan” story arc? It’s true and it would have been nice to wrap this wonderful story up before the reboot, but the proper timing just wasn’t in the cards. HOWEVER, the story still officially continues (according to Batman Incorporated Absolute Edition) with Batman Incorporated Vol. 2, thus ending the Modern Age AND simultaneously occurring in the New 52! This amazing exercise in making an arc work in TWO SEPARATE continuities at the same time requires copious asterisks, bullet points, and footnotes. Nevertheless, the wily Grant Morrison did his best to make it function correctly. Therefore, the exciting conclusion to the Batman Inc-Leviathan War will be listed below. Additional notes below (and some scattered earlier) are my attempt to reflect/explain any drastic continuity changes that appear in the second volume of Batman Inc, so that a reading of the New Age Batman Inc volume, for the purposes of giving the Modern Age a proper/official ending, can be done without any retcons or alteration of the text or images as they appear (despite the fact that volume two simultaneously occurs in the New Age).
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: Right before the multiverse-altering cosmic event known as Flashpoint, another cosmic event called Convergence happens in the blink of an eye. While Flashpoint is included on this quick list for obvious reasons, Convergence is worth mentioning as well because it features Earth-0 Batman and the Bat Family. Although, thanks to how things play out at its conclusion, we might regard it as something that happens outside of normal space-time that is then erased from having ever happened at all. Furthermore, there are multiple possible scenarios—of utmost importance—regarding the end of Convergence, due to the stupidly complex and disastrously ambiguous nature of the narrative. Depending on personal interpretation, we can either keep Convergence here as a tiny blip of a note and move on OR we can go with DC’s idea, which seems to be that Convergence causes the total erasure of the Modern Age. Here is what goes down:

    –REFERENCE: In Convergence #0-1 and Convergence: Speed Force #1. The über Brainiac, or possibly someone else, causes a “chronal disturbance” to appear over Gotham, which brings a large number of heroes to the city. The über Brainiac then “collects” Gotham City, literally digging it up and putting an impenetrable energy dome around it, mere moments before Flashpoint erases the Modern Age timeline. Gotham is placed, along with other stolen cities from alternate chronologies, onto the sentient planet Telos, who exists outside of time and space. Besides Batman and his Bat Family, several other non-Gothamites, including members of the disbanded final incarnation of the JLA, Flash (Wally West), Superman, Lois Lane, and Jimmy Olsen are present in Gotham at the time of its “collection,” thus placing them in the same boat as the others. Brainiac and Telos use special tech to depower any metahumans under the domes they collect. No one under the dome will have any idea how or why they have come to be prisoners. Nor will they even realize their city has been removed from an about-to-be dead timeline and taken to an interdimensional planet removed from normal space-time.

    –REFERENCE: In Batman and Robin: Convergence #1 and Convergence #2. Batman (along with everyone else) will live trapped under the dome for the next calendar year. Telos will provide energy and limited resources while Poison Ivy will use what is left of her chemicals to maintain gardens and urban farms—under the direct protection of Batman and the GCPD—to feed the hungry. Batman, alternating between his old black insignia costume and his Batman Inc yellow-oval model, will regularly patrol the streets of Gotham with Damian, even despite the strange conditions.

    –FLASHBACK: From Convergence: Speed Force #1. Flash (Wally West) visits with Batman to brainstorm ideas about how to get through the dome wall. Batman is at a loss and can offer no help.

    –REFERENCE: In Convergence: Batman and Robin #2. Batman trains Damian, teaching him, among other things, the “Sprang-Aparo Combination.”

    –REFERENCE: In Convergence: Titans #2. With Batman’s assistance, Arsenal constructs a hidden defense network, comprised of various remote-controlled weaponry all over Gotham.

    –REFERENCE: In Convergence: Nightwing & Oracle #2. Bruce builds a high-tech motorcycle called the Rocketwing and gives it to Dick for his birthday.

    –Convergence: Batman and Robin #1-2
    It’s been exactly one year trapped under the dome. Penguin, Mr. Freeze, Kirk Langstrom (now stuck in Man-Bat form), Black Mask, and Penguin attempt to wrestle control of Gotham’s largest urban farm away from its caretaker Poison Ivy. Batman and Robin make the save with a surprising assist by Red Hood (Jason Todd) and Scarlet—neither of whom have been seen since Gotham went under the dome. Back in the Batcave, a jealous Damian tells-off his dad for accepting the help of Jason once again. Damian runs off on his own to fight Red Hood and Scarlet. Batman chases after him and breaks up the fight just as a towering voice thunders through the entire dome. Telos has taken initiative and decided to start a fighting tournament that includes all of the captured domed cities. (Brainiac was defeated, as seen in The New 52: Futures End, while attempting to collect another city, thus giving the abandoned Telos free reign to carry on his master’s mission as he sees fit.) All of the domes on Telos are lifted, all powers are re-granted, and Telos himself declares that only being the last warrior standing will spare destruction for one’s respective city. (Telos’s declaration is also shown in Convergence #1.) The dome walls have barely disappeared before the pre-Zero Hour ExtremistsDeath Angel, Brute, Carny, and Meanstreak—attack! Batman, Robin, Red Hood, and Scarlet defeat the Extremists. Afterward an earthquake rumbles across all of Telos. (Note that this is supposed to be the earthquake caused by the fall of Skartaris from Convergence #5, but this story definitely occurs before Convergence #2, so either it is a separate quake or a continuity error.) Batman then chats with Superman before departing with his boys.

    –Convergence #2
    Several New Age (New 52) Earth-2 heroes—Superman (Val-Zod), Batman (Thomas Wayne), Yolanda Montez, Dick Grayson, Green Lantern (Alan Scott), and Flash (Jay Garrick)—were spared death at the hands of Darkseid by being ripped away by Telos just as Apokolips destroyed their home planet. However, since their timeline technically hasn’t been erased, these heroes have no domed city to protect and have decided to wage war directly against Telos. After splitting up, Batman (Thomas Wayne) and Earth-2 Dick Grayson break into the Batcave and meet Alfred. Earth-2 Dick Grayson views Oracle on a video screen, which moves him deeply since he was married to his world’s Barbara Gordon until her recent death during the Earth-2 Apokoliptian War. In a touching scene, Earth-2 Thomas Wayne ascends into Wayne Manor and meets Bruce face-to-face. After a heartfelt alternate lost father/alternate lost son reunion, Bruce gives Thomas a Batmobile and the latter departs with his Dick Grayson in tow. Meanwhile, the other New Age Earth-2 heroes run into magick man Deimos (of Skartaris).

    –NOTE: In Convergence #3. New Age Earth-2 Batman (Thomas Wayne) and New Age Earth-2 Dick Grayson fight against White Knight, The Absence, Victor Zsasz, Eduardo Flamingo, Riddler, Professor Pyg, Old King Coal, Man-Bat (Kirk Langstrom), and Simon Hurt. Overwhelmed, Earth-2 Batman detonates a suicide-bomb on his belt, killing himself to take out the villains. Everyone is seemingly killed except for Dick and Langstrom. I’d venture a guess that White Knight and Simon Hurt might have survived the detonation too. Joker then appears and shoots Dick in the spine, paralyzing him instantly. Telos arrives and immediately kills Joker, referring to him as a “vile creature” and a “plague in every timeline.”

    –Convergence: Nightwing & Oracle #2
    Nightwing, Oracle, and Black Canary defeat Flashpoint Hawkman and Flashpoint Hawkwoman, saving Gotham from their assault and providing a much needed albeit brief period of calm for the city. Immediately afterward, an impromptu wedding ceremony is held. After an earthquake (caused by the fall of Skartaris in Convergence #5) disrupts the festivities, things settle and Dick and Babs tie the knot! Bruce, Clark, Lois, the whole Bat Family, and many other heroes are present for the ceremony.

    –Convergence #8
    Deimos has taken control of Telos and forced him out of limbo space into New Age Universe-0. On Telos, a huge war between villains and heroes erupted, leading to pre-Zero Hour Parallax Hal Jordan murdering Deimos, an action that has turned Telos into a giant bomb that will detonate and destroy the multiverse. Modern Age Batman and his Bat Family join dozens of other heroes as pre-Crisis Earth-2 Dr. Fate and Telos fill-in the onlookers on the situation at hand. New Age Earth-0 Booster Gold, a revived Waverider, and Goldstar appear and do the only thing that can save everyone; they release über Brainiac from captivity. Brainiac reveals his true history and comes to understand the error of his ways. In deep space of New Age Universe-0, New Age Earth-0 Superman and New Age Earth-0 Supergirl watch helplessly. Brainiac takes control of Telos and explains that he will reset the universes to appear as they did right before he stole their respective cities. But in order to do this, the original Crisis must be re-fought in such a way that the multiverse doesn’t collapse as it originally did in the year 1986 of the Golden and Silver Age timelines. All of the key players of the first Crisis are sent back. Then pre-Zero Hour Hal Jordan, Silver Age Flash, Silver Age Supergirl, Superman, Lois Lane, (and their newborn baby Jonathan Samuel Kent) volunteer to help fight in the original Crisis—meaning the Golden Age/Silver Age version of the Crisis and NOT the Modern Age version. Brainiac sends them back. While their battle is definitely 12-issues worthy of chaos, only seconds pass for the heroes and villains on Telos. (Also, it is important to note that despite changing the events of the original Crisis, the very act of doing so allows Brainiac to reset everything back to DC multiversial status quo—well, for the New Age, at least.) With their mission to the original Crisis a success, all the displaced heroes and villains (and normal citizens) are sent back to the moment right before they were gobbled up by Brainiac’s domes. It is not specified if the thoughts, memories, and occurrences of the year under the dome remain intact, but odds are that they do not. Does Convergence count for Modern Age Earth-0 Batman? Or was this blip on the timeline something that was created by Brainiac and Telos only to be erased? Well, for the Modern Age, things are even wilder than that. Convergence likely completely erases the Modern Age in its entirety. More on that below.

    –NOTE: As seen in Convergence #8 but further fleshed out in Superman: Lois & Clark #1, time and space literally “reset” following Superman, Lois, baby Jon, alternate Hal, Silver Age Flash, and Silver Age Supergirl’s trek back to change the original Crisis. During this period of “resetting,” the Modern Age gets erased completely. Brainiac allows these heroes to travel to any place of their choosing on the New Age timeline. Thus, Superman and Lois, unable to return to an erased Modern Age and hoping to preserve their baby son’s existence, go to early Year One of the New Age where they take alternate identities and live a relatively quiet and secretive life with baby Jon. The Silver Age Flash, Silver Age Supergirl, and alternate Hal disappear into points unknown. But what are the ramifications of all this insanity!? Since the story is so bizarrely poorly constructed, ignoring the physical parameters of narrative continuity, we have two real options, neither of which are particularly satisfying—although, the Real Batman Chronology Project has reluctantly given in and accepted the former option, which will be explained presently. OPTION ONE: By going back to fight in the original Crisis and then choosing to live in the New Age, Superman, Lois, pre-Zero Hour Hal, Silver Age Supergirl, and Silver Age Flash cause the massive incomprehensible erasure/upheaval of the Modern Age timeline. OPTION TWO: These heroes become mere copies of their former selves in order to NOT mess up any prior timelines. If you should choose to subscribe to the latter copy idea, then we’d need to include the creation of those copies here and now as part of our narrative synopsis.

    In OPTION ONE, which has basically been validated by writer Jeff King, Lois and Clark cannot return to the pre-Flashpoint period on the Modern Age timeline (right before Gotham was domed up) because it simply ain’t there no more. Thus, the Modern Age timeline becomes a pre-Convergence version, since all of DC’s Modern Age publishing history gets wiped away. This also means that the Lois and Clark that wind up on the New Age timeline are indeed the legitimate actual Modern Age versions of those characters (as opposed to copies).

    OPTION TWO lies in not buying into a version of events where DC’s Modern Age publishing history is wiped away. This means that Lois, Clark, alternate Hal, Silver Age Supergirl, and Silver Age Flash cannot be their original versions after Convergence. They are instead, for all intents and purposes, exact copies—post-Convergence Superman (copy of Modern Age Superman), post-Convergence Lois Lane (copy of Modern Age Lois Lane), post-Convergence Parallax Hal Jordan (copy of post-Zero Hour Hal Jordan), post-Convergence Flash Barry Allen (copy of Modern Age Barry Allen), and post-Convergence Supergirl (copy of Silver Age Supergirl). If one were to go with option two, these heroes in boldface, because they are copies, would appear as brand new characters upon debuting in the New Age, leaving the originals to continue existing in the Modern Age, which would then remain intact—(see Modern Age Future). Why would Modern Age Lois and Modern Age Clark choose not to return to their correct Modern Age timeline? Well, for one thing, returning to their own timeline would have erased birth of their son, who was conceived and born under the dome. Thus, choosing to live in the New Age keeps him alive.

    Both of these options suck. I personally like the latter option a little better, but King’s interviews have hinted at a reality where the first option seems to be canon. Again, I say “seems to be” since this is honestly one of the most nonsensical story arcs in the history of comics. Despite it all, as stated above, the Real Batman Chronology Project has reluctantly gone with King’s supposed version of things—the second option that erases the Modern Age. This is why the Modern Age has the tag “pre-Convergence” attached to it on this site.

11 Responses to YEAR TWENTY-THREE (P. 2)

  1. Chip says:

    I’m planning on having the new volume of Batman, Inc actually be the final part of the modern age Batman. They’re saying most of Morrison’s plans are unchanged – it would be mostly cosmetic and minor details changed. If we do see a lot of the New 52 changes show up (like Babs as Batgirl again), well…maybe they actually happened at the end of this age — it will be the final story, after all.

    And maybe it won’t fit so nicely, but at least the option’s still there for now.

  2. Collin Colsher says:

    Having “Batman Inc Vol. 2” end the Modern Age (and simultaneously occur in the New 52 Age) certainly is an option–although, one that would most likely require copious amounts of asterisks, bullet points, and footnotes. We’ll see how that goes–I’m not ready to make any bold moves like that until the series is over and I’ve carefully read it and reread it. In all honesty, I don’t see the Real Batman Chronology Project taking that route, but I’m super-duper interested, when all is said and done, to peruse your timeline, Chip!

  3. BatfanReborn says:

    I was looking through some old descriptions on comicvine.com and it seems you are missing a few:
    Green Arrow#14: stops off to give GA some advice and new-tech arrows.
    Doom Patrol#20,
    SupermanBatman#80
    Booster Gold#40
    and Power Girl#20
    That would be totally complete, as far as I can tell, post-Bruce return.
    Also, JL Generation Lost and Gotham City Sirens have a lot of other Bat appearances though I assume they are flashbacks (apologies if you already put them somewhere- I haven’t checked.)

    • Collin Colsher says:

      Thanks! I never read that GA issue before, but it will be added shortly. Doom Patrol #20 is on the Dick Grayson list. The action in S/B #80 takes place in Year Nine. Booster #40 doesn’t really have a true Batman appearance–just a recap of Booster’s history where the original Giffen JLI lineup is shown. Power Girl #20 will also be added. I’ll triple check the JL: GL and GCS issues, but I think they are included where Batman is present via notes and flashbacks.

  4. BatfanReborn says:

    Hey Collin, I just read Batgirl 22 and Leviathan Strikes and noticed that Steph has been in England for a month when LevStr kicks in, meaning BG22 should be placed at least before Inc#8 and possibly earlier. In fact Oracle mentions Steph has been sending her e-mails from the school in that issue and it’s hard to imagine Bruce doing virtually (pun intended) nothing for a whole month in that time

  5. BatfanReborn says:

    Also, I think Catwoman referring to Dick’s ‘secret’ in GCSirens IS wrapped up in #26 in that she knows that he manipulated the events that formed the group. This resolves it in my view and I believe it was the writer’s intention.

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