YEAR FOUR

1992[1]

TRBCP Modern Age Year Four Villains

 

40F. Batman: The Long Halloween #4 Conclusion by Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale (1997)
January 1. This scene, from the final page of The Long Halloween #4, spans the literal first few seconds of the new year and shows Batman standing triumphant over a knocked-out Joker, whom he has just recaptured. It’s 12:01 AM and the new year is officially upon us.

41. “Don’t Blink” by Dwayne McDuffie/Val Semeiks (LOTDK #164-167) April 2003 to July 2003
January. In McDuffie’s follow-up story arc to “Blink,” Batman teams up with Blink (Lee Hyland) yet again to take on human traffickers. This tale takes place in winter during a blizzard, thus goes here—in the Long Halloween gap between issue #4 (which ends on New Year’s Day) and issue #5 (which takes place on Valentine’s Day).[2]

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Gotham Knights #7. Batman becomes aware that Alfred and Leslie Thompkins are romantically involved. They have been seeing each other on-and-off for years. The Dark Knight will hold his tongue, choosing not to speak about it at this juncture.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: The Long Halloween #10. Mad Hatter (Jervis Tetch) debuts, but is immediately sent to Arkham Asylum by Batman. In the Modern Age, Mad Hatter has no official origin story, so we must assume a modified version of Batman #49, where he first appeared in 1948.

40G. Batman: The Long Halloween #5-6 by Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale (1996-1997)
February 14-March 17. While Captain Gordon and Harvey Dent visit Wayne Manor to question Alfred about a bogus link between Carmine Falcone and the late Thomas Wayne, Batman confronts Falcone at Gotham Cemetery. Catwoman shows up and interrupts their conversation. Later, Bruce meets Selina for a Valentine’s Day date. During the date, Poison Ivy, disguised as an old beggar woman and under Falcone’s payroll, is able to get close enough to inject Bruce with a poisoned rose, causing him to fall under her spell. Across town, Holiday shoots up Sal Maroni’s restaurant, killing many patrons and all of his top men, leaving behind his signature and a box of chocolates. By March, Bruce, still under Poison Ivy’s spell, rescinds his decree as bank president and allows Falcone to launder his money at Gotham City Bank. Falcone, embroiled in a brutal gang war against Maroni, recruits his recently paroled daughter Sophia Falcone Gigante as added muscle. Later that day, Selina, worried about Bruce, spots him in the clutches of Poison Ivy and follows him home. At Wayne Manor, Catwoman kicks Ivy’s ass and frees Bruce. (Because Bruce was under Ivy’s spell for a full month, Batman has been noticeably absent from the streets for a full month)! A little after midnight on St. Patrick’s Day, Holiday kills a bunch of Maroni’s family, leaving behind the twenty-two and a leprechaun statuette. That night, Batman thanks Catwoman for helping “his friend Bruce.”

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #600. Bruce and Selina share another intimate moment, but Bruce, being who he is, turns down her offer to make their relationship something more serious.

–REFERENCE: In Batman & Superman: World’s Finest #4. Late March. Batman and Superman try to protect Dr. Harrison Grey and his fiancée Savannah Summers from a violent criminal. Ultimately, Dr. Grey dies. Superman and Batman vow to meet every Spring to commemorate the loss and to reflect on each other’s careers as superheroes. (SPOILER: Dr. Grey is secretly still alive, but missing and stricken with amnesia.) This event was originally told in Batman & Superman: World’s Finest #1, but that story is totally out-of-continuity because it is written as if it takes place in Bat Year One. In order for the subsequent World’s Finest issues to correspond correctly with what occurs chronologically, the “death” of Dr. Grey must occur here and now. (Likewise, Batman & Superman: World’s Finest #2 is written as if takes place in Bat Year Two, which makes that story totally out-of-continuity as well. And the same goes for Batman & Superman: World’s Finest #3. Not to mention, both issues #2 and 3 are full of anachronisms no matter where you place them. Thus, after the dust settles, Dr. Grey’s debut becomes merely a reference from Batman & Superman: World’s Finest #4. Admittedly, most of the Batman & Superman: World’s Finest series, even after the first three issues, contains numerous continuity errors. However, every issue from #4 onward can still be placed effectively with only a few caveats, and, therefore, they have been added into the chronology (as you will see in the late Marches of each upcoming year).

40H. 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. In the Batcave, Batman and Alfred ponder who Holiday might be. Meanwhile, 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.

42. “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.

43. “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).

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Dark Victory #2. Batman considers revealing his secret ID to Harvey Dent, but ultimately decides not to.

40I. 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.

44A. “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 synopsis. 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.

40J. 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. (This acid-throwing scene is also shown via flashback in Teen Titans Spotlight #13.) At the hospital, Dent freaks-out, kills his surgeon, and runs away, completely shattered.

4oK. 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.

44B. “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.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #69. August. This flashback occurs ten months prior to the main action of Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #69-70. Batman fights a gang of thieves led by a man named Vince. One of Vince’s men, Crown, turns on Vince and saves Batman’s life, allowing the Dark Knight to defeat Vince. Vince, Crown, and the rest of the crew go to jail.

45. “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.

46. “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.

40L. 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!

40M. 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.

47. “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.

40N. 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. Batman explains his strange comment by recalling that Two-Face killed people with a Holiday-style gun on Halloween. The X-Mas epilogue to The Long Halloween #13, which doesn’t feature Batman, insinuates that either Alberto committed none of the murders OR that Alberto, Gilda, and Harvey were each responsible for some of the murders. If you read every bit of the Long Halloween text and systematically pull apart the mystery narrative bit by bit, the only truly logical answer is that Alberto was the sole Holiday killer. Despite Gilda muttering to herself that she herself did some of the murders, Gilda is nuts and couldn’t possibly have pulled them off. 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 Batman #577.

[3][4]

–REFERENCE: In Legends of the DC Universe #12. The Long Halloween is finally over. Batman teams up with Oliver Queen aka Green Arrow. There is a first encounter with Green Arrow shown in LOTDK #127-131 by Denny O’Neil/Sergio Cariello (2000). However, the story is out-of-continuity because Batman is wearing the wrong yellow-oval costume. Furthermore, in this story, which supposedly occurs at the beginning of Batman’s third year in costume and pre-dates the formation of the JLA, Ollie has already given up his vast fortune. The problem is that Ollie doesn’t give up his fortune until after the JLA has formed. We know this because Ollie originally bankrolls the JLA. We also know this because Ollie doesn’t switch to his goatee look until after he gets rid of his big bucks. So, “The Arrow & The Bat” must occur in an alternate universe.

48. “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.

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to Detective Comics #782. November 25—the anniversary of Batman’s parents’ deaths. Batman continues his annual tradition, placing two roses at the site of his folks’ double murder.

49. “Bad” by Doug Moench/Barry Kitson (LOTDK #146-148) Oct. 2001 to Dec. 2001
Bad Jordy is a metahuman with super-strength and a multiple personality disorder. This combo leads to him killing a lot of people. The story is about eighty pages long and I’d say about forty pages are dedicated to Batman’s long conversation with a shrink which contains dialogue that reads as if it’s been taken straight from a college psychology text book. The other forty are dedicated to Batman getting the shit kicked out of him, but then eventually defeating Jordy.[5]

[6]

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).[7]

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #40. Batman interrogates and threatens money laundering mob bookkeeper Raymond Gallagher. A distraught Raymond kills his wife and commits suicide. Raymond’s son, Steven Gallagher, begins plotting revenge.

 


<<< PREVIOUS: YEAR THREE <<<
| >>> NEXT: YEAR FIVE >>>

  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: Welcome to Bat Year Four. The conclusion of The Long Halloween takes up much of this year. It also functions as the canonical origin detailing Harvey Dent’s transformation into Two-Face. Originally, the excellent Batman Annual #14 (1990) was the official Two-Face origin story, remaining canon for nearly seven years until it was replaced by The Long Halloween in 1997. To this day, scholars and fans alike argue about which is the better Two-Face origin. Some purists refuse to replace Annual #14 with The Long Halloween, citing it as utter blasphemy. These stories can’t coexist since they contradict each other in many ways, so no matter how your personal cookie crumbles, I’ve chosen to go with DC’s official version of events, which definitively has The Long Halloween as canon above all else.
  2. [2]HEARTHESNAP / COLLIN COLSHER: “Don’t Blink,” according to the script, says that Lee Hyland has been missing for four months prior to the start of the tale. So, if “Blink” originally takes place in winter of Year Two, the earliest “Don’t Blink” could possibly occur would be in May of Year Two, but that doesn’t fit into the timeline correctly, especially since “Don’t Blink” occurs during winter time as well. Thus, “Don’t Blink” must take place here and now.
  3. [3]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.

    Also, Teen Titans Spotlight #13 also shows a flashback to the origin of Two-Face, which is completely wrong.

  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER: 1992’s “Faces” by Matt Wagner (from Batman: Legend of the Dark Knight #28-30) starts off with a flashback to Two-Face escaping Arkham, seemingly for the first time after having become Two-Face. We’ve already established that The Long Halloween and Dark Victory replace a ton of old Two-Face stuff, and this three-issue Wagner story is no exception. The main reason that “Faces” is non-canon is because it requires a spot where Two-Face is absent for TWO FULL YEARS following his first escape from Arkham. This unfortunately, NEVER HAPPENS in Batman’s early years (or really ever, for that matter). Two-Face shows up in just about every single year, and usually multiple times at that. We could just simply ignore Two-Face’s two year absence and keep this story on the timeline. However, it is such an essential plot point of Wagner’s narrative that we really shouldn’t. “Faces” just doesn’t fit.

    Or does it? “Faces” is one of those stories that can work, but only with a modified narrative. The Real Batman Chronology Project has dealt in such actions in the past, but I’m hesitant to do it with this story for the reasons listed above. However, our resident Batman scholar/historian Tiptup Jr 94 has a decent summarization (below) of how it could work, should you choose to go in a different direction.

     

    TIPTUP JR 94: Here is how “Faces” is canon, requiring only a few tweaks. Almost immediately after the conclusion of Long Halloween and the “Steps” storyline (LOTDK #98-99, which features Two-Face) Harvey Dent escapes, as depicted in “Faces” Part 1 (aka the opening flashback from “Faces”).

    In Robin #0 in the mid-90s, it’s said that the DA who immediately succeeded Harvey was Alrdich Meany, who was later killed in the double-gallows incident. But from Dark Victory, we know Janice Porter followed Harvey. However, The Essential Batman Encyclopedia treats Meany as semi-canonical (while acknowledging the discrepancy with Robin: Year One) and suggests that Porter followed both Dent AND Meany in rapid succession. So here’s my theory:

    Harvey escapes and begins planning his Isle D’urberville scheme. At some point prior to the beginning of Dark Victory, Harvey kills Aldrich Meany and is returned to Arkham. Throughout the events of Dark Victory, Harvey is planning his Isle D’urberville scheme behind the scenes in addition to all the other stuff he’s doing. Then, right after Dark Victory’s conclusion, the rest of the “Faces” storyline happens mostly as told. However, Harvey would have to escape Arkham rather quickly for his appearance in Robin: Year One.

    And if you don’t like the Aldrich Meany angle, we can just imagine that Harvey was returned to Arkham for any other reason. Still, this is how I’m looking at things.

    It’s pretty astounding that this story has the gall to have Two-Face off the map for two entire years, and while that’s certainly the intent and implication, I don’t think there’s a point where Batman explicitly says he hasn’t seen Two-Face AT ALL during this time, although at one point he asks a thug about “his movements of the last two years”; perhaps Batman just figured that Harvey started planning something around that time, and is still carrying it out since he hasn’t resurfaced since the end of Dark Victory?

    At any rate, the post-Zero Hour/Infinite Crisis time waves have made these early Legends stories malleable enough to make such inferences.

  5. [5]LUKASZ / COLLIN COLSHER: “Bad” goes here because it takes place while Gordon is still a captain. Other things of note in the story: Gordon uses the Batsignal but “can’t even sanction [Batman’s] existence.” Gordon even ignores one of the SWAT guys that mentions Batman’s presence. (That same SWAT guy also doesn’t believe Batman is real.) Also, the shrink, Dr. Sabra Temple, is shocked when meeting Batman face-to-face, previously having thought the “Bat-Man” was a myth. Even at this early point in his career, most folks know that Batman is a real thing. The editorial treatment of Batman as a myth is primarily due to post-Zero Hour retcons that were later undone. HOWEVER, the idea that “Bad” goes as early as possible still remains. I’d love to put “Bad” even earlier than this, but Batman and Dr. Temple discuss Two-Face, so this arc definitely takes place after Two-Face has debuted.
  6. [6]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. For one thing, 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.

  7. [7]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.

13 Responses to YEAR FOUR

  1. Fabio says:

    Great TRBCP’s staff, 🙂
    I am an Italian guy (for this reason, please forgive my lame english) who is following you from almost a year! Leaving out the obvious and deserved congratulations for the glorious work done on these pages, I’ve some questions about the continuity… more specifically about a character, Harvey Bullock.

    Looking at your list, you’ve suggested to “delete” from the telling of some stories (“Catwoman: Year One” and “Two-Face: Year One”, this latest is considered by you out-of-continuity) elements relating this character; details such as the appearance or the assignment of the degree of detective, who had not yet happened.
    In this regard, I would ask you: where would you place the appearance of Bullock in the chronology of events? And his “promotion” as a Detective? Exist some contemporary tales that tell (or re-tell) these two facts? And if not, why shouldn’t you considered in continuity the two notes that I mentioned? They contradict some statement read in other stories (if yes, what stories)?

    I apologize for the length of the message and the number of these very-nerdy-requests… I hope to be answered. 😛

    Greetings from the land of Pizza, Pasta, Tomatoes… and Carmine Falcone, of course!

    • Collin Colsher says:

      Hi Fabio! Thanks for the high praise. I’d pat my “staff” on the back, but this project only has a staff of one; me!

      I’m glad you reminded me about Harvey Bullock in the Modern Age. His first appearance is in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #105, which occurs in Modern Age Year Two. I had neglected to include this issue since Batman does not appear in it. However, it is super important and does make mention of what Batman is doing at the time, so I have now included it. When Bullock debuts, he is already a sergeant, but not yet a detective. Thus, his appearances in Catwoman: Year One and Two Face: Year One where he is a full-fledged detective cannot be canon. Later, in Year Seven, I have placed the troublesome Scott Snyder flashback from Detective Comics #875, which despite its own flawed continuity, contains a canonical reference to “Officer Bullock.” Obviously, Bullock is still a sergeant at this point (Year Seven), but since we next see Bullock as a Detective in Nightwing: Year One (Modern Age Year Ten), we can assume that Bullock is promoted sometime in Year Seven (or possibly Eight or Nine or Ten, if you prefer).

      Hope this answers your questions! My Italian isn’t so hot, but grazie mille!

      Best,

      Collin C

  2. Steve says:

    Hi Collin,

    Loving the chronology so far and, having now read the Long Halloween for a second time, I’m getting a full sense of the history of the Bat! One quick question…I absolutely love the panel in The Long Halloween where Two Face is surrounded by a rogues gallery of super villains but, as yet, I’ve not come across Penguin, Solomon Grundy or Mad Hatter in your chronology and yet here they are having been, it appears, been sprung from Arkham (except Solomon Grundy who one assumes is just tagging along with Two Face). What should I read as an intro to The Penguin and Mad Hatter (origin story or an earlier story where we see them get captured) and what issues shows Batman’s first encounter with Solomon Grundy?
    Cheers
    Steve

    • Hi Steve,

      Penguin never really got a proper Modern Age re-debut or origin story. The Modern Age must simply make reference to his original ‘tec #58 debut (albeit amended to fit in the Modern Age). The first chronological canonical references to Penguin’s Modern back-story can be found in Batman Annual #11 and Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #167. There is a pretty detailed not regarding all of this in Year One.

      The same goes for Mad Hatter. The only references, since none really exist, must come out of a modified version of Batman #49, where he first appears.

      Grundy’s first appearance with Batman is actually in Long Halloween, which hints that they’ve met at least once before. We know that Grundy has been a longtime resident of Gotham, having fought Alan Scott decades ago. Batman would be very aware of him. There were a bunch of pre-Crisis Batman vs Grundy stories, any one of which could possibly fit (albeit modified) as some version of Batman’s first Modern encounter with Grundy.

      Thanks,

      CC

  3. Rhett Khan says:

    In the first year of the original Legends of the Dark Knight book, when answering a reader’s question about continuity, the editor wrote something along the lines of “Legends of the Dark Knight stories do not necessarily fit into any continuity.”

    I’d have to go look through back issues, but I believe a subsequent editor answered a continuity question by explaining that the book was called LEGENDS of the Dark Knight, and since they were “legends,” any continuity errors were the fault of the narrator.

    I don’t know if that helps.

    • Definitely helps. This is an important distinction to be sure, Rhett. And something I absolutely kept in mind as I compiled this list. I agree with the editorial statement, and we should all keep in mind that Legends operates a bit differently than other series. But the less caveats or notes I have to include, the neater the chronology, which is why I tend to lean towards auditing all of the issues, including Legends, with the utmost scrutiny. Continuity judgement is then made with that relentless eye for scrutiny wide open.

  4. Darkmaster006 says:

    “–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.”
    I don’t think it’s genuinely a good move to leave this out of continuity just for a costume when there’s a lot of argues we can make to place this in continuity like:
    -Alfred misplaces the costume. (He’s Alfred so he wouldn’t but well haha)
    -Bruce had nostalgia and wanted to use this costume.
    -Bruce thought it was necessary for this mission to wear this costume.
    -They were out of black symbol costumes due to repairs or washing.
    And there’d be a lot more, so I think it’s wrong to place this OOC when it can be IC, what d’you think?

    • Hey Dark,

      Upon further review, there are other continuity issues that make “The Arrow & The Bat” non-canon. In this story, which supposedly occurs at the beginning of Batman’s third year in costume and pre-dates the formation of the Justice League of America, Ollie has already given up his vast fortune. The problem is that Ollie doesn’t give up his fortune until after the JLA has formed. We know this because Ollie originally bankrolls the JLA. We also know this because Ollie doesn’t switch to his goatee look until after he gets rid of his big bucks. So, it seems to me that “The Arrow & The Bat” occurs in an alternate universe.

      And in regard to the yellow-oval costume. Batman doesn’t even have a yellow-oval costume until Year Seven, so it would be impossible for any of the scenarios you mention to work.

      I will, however, make these additional notes above.

      • Darkmaster006 says:

        I was wondering because you wouldn’t be really willing to get a history out of continuity just for the costume, as long as I know and think, who knows. Anyways, that cleared the issue a bit, and it does make sense to not be in continuity, subsequently, and even knowing that there isn’t in a 90% percent, leads me to the questions: Is there a issue/story that gives us the first encounter of Batman and Green Arrow? Or even flashback, at the least?
        I would assume this, but I don’t lose anything by asking, do I?
        Oh, and thanks for clearing the yellow-oval costume problem.

        • As far as I know there isn’t one. All we know is that Batman meets Green Arrow early in his career (I’ve put it after Long Halloween) and mirrors his tactics and style (albeit with an arrow theme instead of a bat theme). Unfortunately, there are a bunch of Modern Age events that never got the official treatment they deserved. This is but one of many.

  5. Andrew says:

    Hi there! I’m not sure if you’ve answered this before but how do you reconcile the previous relationship Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle have in The Long Halloween with the fact that they are seeming to meet for the first time (post-Crisis) in Knightfall?

    I also wanted to ask about All-Star Batman and Robin. I know it’s a little crazy, but if you skip “Episode 5” it works out for a pretty decent Dick Grayson origin while Preserving Gordon’s Captain rank through the end of Batgirl: Year One.

    • This problem is addressed in a footnote attached to Batman #499.

      In Batman #499 Bruce and Alfred board a plane for South America to search for information on Bane. Selina Kyle tries to make her way on to that plane. The dialogue between Alfred, Bruce and Selina makes it sound like Alfred has no idea who Selina is and Bruce has only met her once.
      Alfred says: “Good Lord, who are you and how did you get–”
      Selina says: “My name is Selina Kyle, Mr. Wayne– We met at a charity function and I desperately need to reach Santa Prisca immed–”

      When Batman #499 originally came out in 1993, Bruce and Selina really had only interacted (out-of-costume) one or two times prior to this and definitely not romantically. When The Long Halloween was published in 1996, it retconned this so that Bruce and Selina did have an intimate relationship outside of their Batman/Catwoman relationship. Thus, even after a lengthy period of non-communication—like ten years from The Long Halloween—Selina would not have responded as she does in Batman #499. We have to ignore that dialogue thanks to the retcon.

      To reiterate, Bruce and Selina had no relationship history in the Modern Age comics from 1986 into the mid 90s. The Long Halloween created their relationship history via retcon in 1996.

      As far as the All-Star B&R goes, it sounds a bit dubious, especially since the All-Star Earth has its own continuity. But i’ll re-read it and give you a better response.

      Thanks Andrew!

      • Thanks for giving me reason to re-read the long unfinished All-Star B&R. Here’s my better response: There’s no way this is canon for the mainstream DCU timeline, nor could it ever be. If you’d like to know why, I’ll give you the long long very long list. 🙂

        Although, now that I’m reading your comment again I’m not sure if that is what you were suggesting in the first place. Was it?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *