April 1992 to March 1993
42A. Batman: The Long Halloween #7-9 by Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale (1996-1997)
April 1-June 21. Chapter Seven of The Long Halloween begins on April Fool’s Day aka the first day of Batman’s fourth year in costume. This thrilling second half of Long Halloween is enough of a shift change from its first six chapters—Falcone will eventually die, Holiday will be shockingly exposed, and Two-Face will be born—that I’ve given it a new number on our timeline. Batman and Alfred ponder who Holiday might be in the Batcave, while Gordon and Dent ponder the same thing at GCPD HQ. Elsewhere, Carmine Falcone and Sophia Gigante press Riddler for answers, but the nervous super-villain has little to offer. Upon exiting Falcone’s office, Riddler is shot at by Holiday, but left alive, prompting the utterance of, “When does a killer…not kill?” On Mother’s Day, Batman visits with Calendar Man at Arkham, but is too late to prevent the escape of Scarecrow. Bruce then visits Crime Alley to pay tribute to his mother, but Gordon shows up with a warrant for his arrest—the police think he’s linked to Carmine Falcone because his father saved Falcone’s father’s life long ago. Bruce runs, but is eventually nabbed, charged, and jailed. At the other side of the city, Sophia Gigante finds a connection between Holiday’s twenty-two caliber pistols and a shop in Chinatown. Sophia visits the shop, but Holiday has already been there. The owner is dead next to a .22 and some flowers. Bruce sits in jail for over a month before his trial begins in mid-June. The trial ends on Father’s Day—the jury acquits Bruce in minutes. On the same day, Holiday murders Sal Maroni’s father. Shaken to the bone, Maroni turns himself into police and is jailed.
43. “Family” by James D. Hudnall/Brent Anderson (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #31) June 1992
Late June. Bruce notes how Alfred hasn’t had an official vacation in over three years, so he sends him off to Corto Maltese for a week in the Caribbean. Big mistake. Alfred is kidnapped and tortured by terrorists. Bats flies down, rescues Alfie, and kicks some major ass. End of story. This is the first canonical comic book reference to the island of Corto Maltese, Frank Miller’s invention featured in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman film.
44. “Idols” by James Vance/Dougie Braithewaite (LOTDK #80-82) February 1996 to May 1996
Late June. A Batman-themed novelty store has opened in Gotham and it’s all the rage, so much so in fact, that kids are killing each other for the expensive merchandise. I mean, wouldn’t you kill for a pair of Nike Air Batmans? Not to mention, a serial-killer is in town and he’s wearing a fake Batman costume. This Bat-insanity leads directly into the formation of several violent Bat-Gangs (that we’ll see in the upcoming “Faith” story-arc).
42B. Batman: The Long Halloween #10 by Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale (1996-1997)
July 4. While Bruce and Selina share a sexy moment at Wayne Manor, Holiday murders the city coroner. Dent apologizes to Batman for going after Bruce and they examine the crime scene with Gordon. Batman then recaptures Scarecrow and an escaped Mad Hatter, both of whom, he learns, have been unleashed upon the city by Carmine Falcone.
45A. “Faith” by Mike W. Barr/Bart Sears (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #21) August 1991 to October 1991
July 5-July 28. “Faith” is an important story that takes up about a month (early July until early August) of Batman’s career and overlaps with The Long Halloween. It is definitely canon, but contains two continuity errors. First, Leslie is working in a hospital full-time and doesn’t yet have her private clinic—she had her private clinic before Bruce even became Batman. And second, Gordon uses the cloth cutout Batman symbol to shine the Batsignal into the night sky—he stopped using this method two years ago. Moving on to the synposis: Recovering drug-addict John Ackers winds up in the care of Leslie Thompkins, who helps him rehab. While Ackers rehabs, Batman takes to the streets as he always does, stopping a terrorist bomber on July 9. Ackers checks himself out of the hospital on the 10th and, by the 20th, has formed a vigilante militia known as The Bat-Men, directly inspired by his favorite hero. On the night of July 28th Batman is in a tough spot against some drug dealers (led by the vile Costas) until the Bat-Men assist him.
42C. Batman: The Long Halloween #11 by Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale (1996-1997)
August 2. Carmine Falcone’s birthday. Batman questions Riddler about the night he was shot at by Holiday. Carla Viti accuses Carmine Falcone of being Holiday. Gilda Dent accuses her husband of being Holiday. Meanwhile, the Sal Maroni trial has gone on for weeks and the Boss himself is finally called into the witness stand. The unthinkable horror then occurs. ADA Vernon Fields, who is actually in the mob’s pocket, gives Maroni a vial of acid. Maroni throws the acid at Harvey Dent, permanently scarring half his face, and simultaneously releasing a plethora of inner demons that Dent had been keeping suppressed for years. At the hospital, Dent freaks-out, kills his surgeon, and runs away, completely shattered.
42D. Batman: The Long Halloween #12, Part 1 by Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale (1996-1997)
August 3. Harvey Dent has just been horribly facially scarred, killed a man, and gone into hiding. Batman then meets with Gordon, who tells him they have enough evidence to prove Dent is Holiday. Batman refuses to believe and questions Falcone, then Catwoman, and then Gilda Dent in a failed attempt to locate his scarred friend.
45B. “Faith” by Mike W. Barr/Bart Sears (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #22-23) August 1991 to October 1991
August 8-10. The Bat-Men have become increasingly violent in recent weeks, starting near riots in the streets, as they fight wars against drug cartels. Gordon finally brands them outlaws even though Batman still supports them. Batman goes after Costas, who gets shot in the shoulder by cops and winds up handcuffed to a hospital bed a day later. At the hospital, John Ackers and the Bat-Men try to execute Costas, but Batman intervenes, stopping them. For his trouble, Batman gets shot three times by Ackers as Leslie Thompkins looks on in horror. The Bat-Men kidnap Costas and take off. Meanwhile, Leslie unmasks Batman and learns that he’s Bruce! Leslie, upon discovering Bruce’s dark secret, cannot believe that he has been “hiding it all these years.” “All these years” implies that he’s been Batman for some time… maybe like almost four years or so? The timing of this story works superbly. Leslie saves Bruce’s life and pulls the bullets out of him. The bloody Dark Knight rushes to the Bat-Men HQ and fights his way in, but seconds late to save Costas, who gets bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat courtesy of Ackers. Batman then intimidates the entire militia and brings Ackers to justice. Afterward, Leslie talks about her disapproval of the Batman, but says she will always support Bruce. In future stories, Leslie will become not only one of Batman’s most trusted and allies, but act as a moral compass for him time and time again. As loving as she will become, Dr. Thompkins will often criticize his methods, especially his endangerment of children.
46. “The Darkness” by Darren Vincenzo/Luke McDonnell (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #115) February 1999
August. Someone has been killing boaters on the Gotham River and it turns out that someone is a Gollum-like, feral river-man who has a penchant for precious shiny gold lockets. That’s all I’m going to say about this one.
47. “Dirty Tricks” by Dan Abnett/Danny Lanning/Anthony Williams (LOTDK #95-97) June 1997 to August 1997
August. This is a pretty lame tale that takes about a week to wrap up. Bruce is stunned when The Magician, a magical super-villain that he first met during a training session in Romania years ago, resurfaces in Gotham. After some investigative work, Batman discovers that there had been several Magicians scattered all over Eastern Europe by the CIA to carry out covert missions that were tantamount to war-crimes. Like before, the current Magician is actually several men wearing the same costume. This time, however, the government is not involved as the criminals have simply stolen the CIA technology.
42E. Batman: The Long Halloween #12, Part 2 by Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale (1996-1997)
September 1. Harvey Dent has been hiding in the sewers with Solomon Grundy for a month now. Batman questions Calendar Man about Dent and the Holiday killings. Later, Holiday breaks into the courthouse holding cell area and murders Sal Maroni, revealing himself as Alberto Falcone in the process! Alberto faked his own Holiday murder on New Year’s Eve. Alberto is Holiday!
42F. Batman: The Long Halloween #13, Part 1 by Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale (1996-1997)
September 1-5. Alberto Falcone, who faked his death nine months ago, has just revealed himself as Holiday, murdering Sal Maroni in the process. Batman, who is present, disguised as a prison guard, immediately beats the tar out of Holiday and apprehends him. A few days later, Batman and Gordon look on as an unhinged Alberto chats with his dumbfounded dad.
48. “Freakout” by Garth Ennis/Will Simpson (LOTDK #91-93) Feb. 1997 to Apr. 1997
This story is insane. There is a strain of highly-concentrated LSD being distributed through fake medical clinics by evil-hippie weirdo Doctor Freak, who dresses up like Sgt. Pepper. The people given the LSD2000, as he calls it, either die or are killed by his henchmen. Then the bodies are collected and their blood is drained into a large pool in which Doctor Freak bathes. See, the LSD is still active in the drained blood so he gets a super-high acid rush from swimming in it. Batman winds up tracking him down, but accidentally falls into the pool and starts tripping balls. In fact, he trips on acid for an entire issue and is somehow still able to capture Freak while hallucinating. In the end, Freak is lobotomized in Arkham. Highly entertaining stuff, although I will say that Ennis shamelessly rips-off the whole blood-bathing thing from Batman: The Cult. It’s also worth mentioning that there is a side plot where two New York City private investigators are looking to get revenge on Freak for some shit that went down wrong in Vietnam. Not only do these PIs come off like something out of a bad buddy-cop movie, they are ultra-violent and do things like crush people’s legs with their pink Cadillac. Oh, I almost forgot. Alfred talks about this one time he did shrooms when he was young. Amazing.
42G. Batman: The Long Halloween #13, Part 2 by Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale (1996-1997)
October 31. Alberto Falcone is sentenced to death, but will eventually be declared insane and sent to Arkham. Harvey Dent makes his dramatic debut as Two-Face, breaking out a group of super-villains from Arkham and swarming Carmine Falcone’s mansion. Two-Face, alongside Joker, Mad Hatter, Scarecrow, Solomon Grundy, Poison Ivy, Penguin, and Catwoman, confronts Falcone and tells him his time as the kingpin of Gotham has come to an end. The era of super-villainy has officially begun! Just as Two-Face unveils his lucky/unlucky silver dollar, Batman crashes in and beats down on his rogues gallery, opting to let Catwoman flee. Two-Face says hello to the Dark Knight and shoots Falcone dead. During the melee, Sophia Gigante falls off a balcony, putting her in a permanent wheelchair. Two-Face then knocks out Batman and traverses to the other side of the city where he murders ADA Vernon Fields, the man who gave Maroni the acid that burned half his face off. The ultimate trio of Gotham lawmen then meets on final sad time on the roof of the GCPD building. Two-Face turns himself in and goes to Arkham, but not before cryptically saying that there were two Holiday killers. The X-Mas epilogue to The Long Halloween #13, which doesn’t feature Batman, lets us in on the secret, although no one will ever know. Crazy Alberto was lying about being Holiday. Gilda Dent committed the first half of the murders and Harvey did the second half. Also, while this isn’t specified in The Long Halloween, we know that Bruce keeps Harvey’s original silver dollar coin and displays it in the trophy room of the Batcave because we’ll see it there in the future.
–NOTE: The Long Halloween ends and we can move on now. It’s a Bat-fact that Batman first teams up with Oliver Queen aka Green Arrow sometime after the debut of Two-Face, so this seems like an appropriate place to insert the first appearance of Green Arrow. This first encounter with Ollie Queen is well documented in LOTDK #127-131 by Denny O’Neil/Sergio Cariello (2000), however, while the plot is effectively canonically correct, the story is out-of-continuity because Batman is wearing the wrong yellow-oval costume.
49. “Steps” by Paul Jenkins/Sean Phillips (LOTDK #98-99) Sept. 1997 to Oct. 1997
A prostitute snaps and starts killing other prostitutes. An autistic boy is the only witness. Batman visits Two-Face at Arkham for the first time.
50. “Loyalties” by John Ostrander/David Lopez (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #159-161) Nov. 2002 to Jan. 2003
After Jim Gordon and Batman bring down the one-shot villain, Atilla, Jim’s Chicago past comes back to haunt him. A bunch of crooked cops kidnap Jim and his family (wife Barbara and son James Junior) and drag them to Chi-town where Jim is tortured in front of their very eyes. Batman travels to the Windy City and is able to rescue the captain. The future Batgirl, Barbara Gordon (currently living with her mom Thelma in Chicago), is in this story and is probably around fourteen-years-old, although she is incorrectly drawn as if she is older (maybe she’s an early bloomer). While Batman saves Gordon and his family, a panicked Thelma winds up in a fatal car accident. A few continuity error notes: Thelma is incorrectly referred to as Jennifer in this story—maybe she is going by her middle name? Also, at the conclusion of this tale, Jim tells Batman that he has separated from his wife. This may be true, but it is misleading since this certainly isn’t their final separation. Furthermore, this story is written as if Roger (Babs’ dad) has been dead for a while. This cannot be the case. Roger should still be alive. He could, however, be absent due to a problem with alcoholism (as shown in Secret Origins Vol. 2 #20).
–A young Japanese girl named Yuko Yagi and her family are attacked by muggers while on vacation in Gotham (as seen via flashback in Batman: Child of Dreams). Batman saves them.
–Batman interrogates and threatens money laundering mob bookkeeper Raymond Gallagher (as seen through flashback in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #40). A distraught Raymond kills his wife and commits suicide. Raymond’s son, Steven Gallagher, begins plotting revenge.
–The flashback from Batman: Gotham Knights #7 takes place now. Bruce walks-in on Alfred making out with Leslie Thompkins! (This is no surprise to Bruce since he’s already known about Alfie and Leslie for quite some time. Duh, he’s Batman.) Alfred and Leslie have been on-again-off-again lovers for many years.
–Several flashbacks from Batman #582-583 take place now. One of Bruce’s best friends, Jeremy Samuels, also happens to be head of Wayne Enterprises Security and one of Batman’s best information gatherers. In private conversation, Samuels makes mention, in regard to the loss of Bruce’s parents, that he would go insane if he were to lose his own family. Wouldn’t you know, tragedy strikes when Samuels’ wife and child are killed in an accident. Distraught and alone, Samuels turns to reckless crime and winds up getting shot and incarcerated. (Samuels will serve time for twelve years until getting out on parole in Bat Year Sixteen). I should note that the flashback from issue #583, which takes place in Bat Year Sixteen says that it occurs “over ten years ago.” This is correct, but misleading. It does indeed occur over ten years ago, twelve years ago to be exact.
–NOTE: Barbara Gordon will be officially adopted by Jim Gordon after her dad Roger (Jim’s younger brother) dies from complications during an operation related to alcoholism. Barbara’s mom Thelma was killed in an automobile accident only weeks earlier (in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #159). These events are highlighted in the quasi-canonical Secret Origins Vol. 2 #20. In that issue Roger dies several years after Thelma. However, in order for our chronology to work smoothly Roger and Thelma must die mere weeks apart. Also, the car accident death of Thelma depicted in Secret Origins is quite different than how it went down in LOTDK—the LOTDK version is the correct one.
-  COLLIN COLSHER: Like in the previous year, The Long Halloween overlaps with a bunch of stories. Thus, it’s been split up into parts to accomodate appropriately. ↩
-  COLLIN COLSHER: Two-Face: Year One by Mark Sable/Jesus Saiz (September 2008 to October 2008) is a Year One tale that shows the later events of The Long Halloween from Harvey’s perspective. The first issue contains some really good stuff that can be read in addition to The Long Halloween. However, this story is OUT OF continuity since we see the incorrect “first appearances” of Detectives Harvey Bullock and Maggie Sawyer, which are both very premature. (Bullock might be around already, but not as a detective yet). Not to mention, the second and final issue of Two-Face: Year One gets even wackier. In the issue we see Crispus Allen, Man-Bat, and other characters that are totally out of place. There is also a scene where Batman deals with both Two-Face and Joe Coyne at the same time, which also doubles as an origin story for the giant Batcave penny. This is obviously wrong, especially since Batman already had the penny on display as a trophy before the events of The Long Halloween. With all of these strange occurrences, let me reiterate that this entire story, which was released in-part to promote the film The Dark Knight, is totally non-canon.
Another quick note, Teen Titans Spotlight #13 also shows a flashback to the origin of Two-Face, which is completely wrong. ↩
-  COLLIN COLSHER: An important postscript that goes here. Catwoman #38-40, which would have taken place here, is unfortunately non-canon. The story’s name, entitled “Catwoman Year Two,” is a misnomer. It was originally named as such because it was meant to be a follow-up to Frank Miller’s Year One. This story, post retcons, should really be called “Catwoman Year Four.” But aside from that, why is it out? Issue #38 has a ton of wrong information in it, including references to Batman and Catwoman’s relationship as being brand new, the cops referring to Joker as a brand new criminal, the Batcave complete with a full array of anachronistic trophies, and the post-Zero Hour mandate of Batman as an “urban myth” in full-effect. Interestingly enough, these problems are not mentioned or referenced in issue #39 or #40. However, since the story is a complete whole, we cannot/should not just ignore the first issue and read the second two as canon.
ACE FACE: Further reasoning on why “Catwoman: Year Two” doesn’t fit. Firstly, it seems to generally contradict The Long Halloween in regard to the relationship between Bruce and Selina, as the former shows no knowledge that Catwoman is Selina. Also, Gordon is commissioner. But my main continuity concern is actually with the silliness of the story, including when Catwomen frees the Joker. Catwoman is portrayed as being pretty stupid. And not only that, but I would have thought the security around such an evil killer would be a bit better if he went to court on appeal. Furthermore, “Her Sister’s Keeper” is a good canonical intro to Catwoman that exposes another big inconsistency within “CW: Year Two.” In “Her Sister’s Keeper” Selina has a sister but in “CW: Year Two” she says she is an only child. So generally, I don’t think Catwoman #38-40 fits. ↩
-  HEARTHESNAP: If one assumes that Roger does die before “Loyalties” (since in “Loyalties” Babs yells at Thelma Jennifer Gordon regarding her husband’s death, which surmounts the reader to expect Roger has passed for at least a long length of time, like maybe even a few years) it follows that during the flashback period in Secret Origins Vol. 2 #20 Barbara is in probate waiting to be adopted. In regard to Jim’s statement about separation at the end of “Loyalties,” it is true that this specific separation will not be the last one, but considering the familial impact of “Loyalties” (which includes Thelma Jennifer getting stuck and killed in a car crash) it would make loads of sense to take a little bit of a marital break.
COLLIN COLSHER: Both “Loyalties” and Secret Origins Vol. 2 #20 contradict each other. My advice to readers is to follow my chronology, which attempts to mesh the two together: Roger Gordon is virtually absent from “Loyalties” due to his problem with alcoholism and Thelma Jennifer Gordon dies of a car crash during that same story. Afterward, Babs continues to live under the care of Roger until his death in Secret Origins, at which time, Jim finally officially adopts her. But if that doesn’t seem kosher to you then you can always view it this alternative way: Roger died a while ago (either earlier in this year or possibly even before that), then “Loyalties” occurs as is (minus the continuity problems, of course), followed by a Secret Origins where we must retcon the narrative to erase any references to Roger caring for Babs after the death of Thelma (since he’s already kicked the bucket). Then, Babs is in probate until Jim adopts her. Basically, one story has Roger die first and then Thelma, and the other story has Thelma die first and then Roger. Why has DC decided to muck this up? Who knows. Anyway, pick your poison. ↩
-  COLLIN COLSHER: It seems apropos to repeat the footnote from “Loyalties” here. Both “Loyalties” and Secret Origins Vol. 2 #20 contradict each other. My advice to readers is to follow my chronology, which attempts to mesh the two together: Roger Gordon is virtually absent from “Loyalties” due to his problem with alcoholism and Thelma Jennifer Gordon dies of a car crash during that same story. Afterward, Babs continues to live under the care of Roger until his death in Secret Origins, at which time, Jim finally officially adopts her. But if that doesn’t seem kosher to you then you can always view it this alternative way: Roger died a while ago (either earlier in this year or possibly even before that), then “Loyalties” occurs as is (minus the continuity problems, of course), followed by a Secret Origins where we must retcon the narrative to erase any references to Roger caring for Babs after the death of Thelma (since he’s already kicked the bucket). Then, Babs is in probate until Jim adopts her. Basically, one story has Roger die first and then Thelma, and the other story has Thelma die first and then Roger.
HEARTHESNAP: I also meld both “Loyalties” and Secret Origins Vol. 2 #20 together, but DC is just cuckoo when they do stuff like this. I’m reminded of the Mr. Freeze continuity fiasco in regard to his origins as presented by DC. Though sometimes each contradicting version features a very good narrative, the multiple stories form a messy jumble continuity-wise. When reading/building the Real Batman Chronology Project’s timeline, though, it can become a tad bit confusing the way “Loyalties” and Secret Origins Vol. 2 #20 are presented, but DC sure did not help matters. In any case, I take “Loyalties” as canon. In my opinion, the Secret Origins series not only functioned similarly to Elseworlds stories, but also wrecked a lot of DC comic continuity. For the most part I believe we should ignore the majority of the Secret Origins series unless it is something directly referenced by other canonical stories. ↩