YEAR TEN

(1998)

 

–REFERENCE: In Batman #402. Batman hears about the tragic case of Gotham police officer Tommy Carma, famous for his heroics but also notorious due to multiple police brutality charges. Carma’s wife and child are murdered by a mobster, as Batman learns on the news. Carma will return as a Punisher-like fake Batman super-villain in a year’s time.

–REFERENCE: In Identity Crisis #7. Batman poses with his fellow Justice Leaguers for an official team photo.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Europa #4. Bruce travels to Rome on Wayne Enterprises business. Moving forward on our timeline, Bruce will travel to Rome quite often, although never as Batman. While on these business trips, Bruce will consistently play up his “ignorant American” façade, pretending to struggle while ordering at restaurants. Note that these Italian business trips will happen sporadically on our timeline, but won’t actually appear as listed items on the chronology below.

–REFERENCE: In Secret Origins Vol. 2 #6. Batman meets and befriends Black Lightning.

–FLASHBACK: In JSA Classified #1. Superman’s “cousin” Kara Zor-L arrives seemingly out of nowhere and debuts as Power Girl. Dr. Mid-Nite and Batman, both suspicious, run tests on Power Girl in a failed attempt to figure out where she came from. Kara, who will later adopt the surname “Starr,” has no memories of her past and will believe a couple different versions of her origin until she finally discovers the truth years later. And what is the truth you ask? Well, it’s a bit complicated. Kara is actually from an alternate universe (formerly known as Universe-Two) that is destroyed during the Crisis on Infinite Earths. When the Crisis occurs (in about a year) and Kara’s timeline is erased/altered/merged into the main Universe-0 timeline, she, unlike some of her friends and peers, will miraculously survive with her new debut manifesting as a spacetime anomaly right here and now, hence the reason she literally spontaneously appears. However, whereas many of the DCU characters that were rebooted via the Crisis had their origins completely revamped, Kara, along with a select group of others, is unique because she keeps her alternate universe history intact (although she won’t be able to recall it until later).

–FLASHBACK: From Year One: Batman – Ra’s al Ghul #2. Batman is able to prevent Ra’s al Ghul from launching a “genocide satellite” which would have eliminated the majority of Earth’s population. Batman then tracks Ra’s al Ghul to an oasis hidden deep within the Himalayas. At this secret location, the Dark Knight witnesses Ra’s al Ghul meet with a Tibetan monk who chants a rhythmic Buddhist mantra repeatedly. After this encounter Bruce makes this Himalayan oasis a protected Wayne Tech research site, but won’t return to the site for ten years. We will learn ten years later that the strange Buddhist mantra phonetically converts into the chemical formula for creating a Lazarus Pit! NOTE: Batman is incorrectly drawn by Paul Gulacy. He should be wearing the yellow-insignia costume.

–REFERENCE: In Superman/Batman #31—originally told in Detective Comics #311. The ultra-powerful, but quasi-retarded midget alien named Zook appears on Earth (stranded from an alternate universe). He’s really annoying and everyone hates him except for J’onn, who decides to keep him as a pet/sidekick. Zook becomes a JLA team mascot for a short time, but is always in the way. Batman constantly berates the little guy.

–FLASHBACK: From Superman/Batman #31. When the JLA prepares for a fight with Weapons Master (Xotar), Batman holds an official team meeting to discuss strategy against the super-villain. Zook keeps interrupting and saying dumb things like, “Zook help too!” Batman angrily tells J’onn, “For God’s sake, keep that thing quiet!” Batman also surely says many other obscenities which aren’t fit for little Zook. Tired of Batman’s insults, Zook leaves the universe. (SPOILER: Zook will return for revenge in 12 years!)

–REFERENCE: In Superman/Batman #31. The JLA defeats Weapons Master.

–REFERENCE: In Hero Hotline #5. Batman reluctantly poses for a photo with Superman and Wonder Woman. Shortly thereafter, the photo is developed, signed by the heroes, and given to World War II hero Tex Thompson (who was a famous superhero in his own time, known as both Mr. America and Americommando). Thompson hangs it in his home alongside other “celebrity” hero pictures. NOTE: Hero Hotline #5 is the famous issue that references Dr. Manhattan’s (yes, THAT Dr. Manhattan of Watchmen fame) only trans-dimensional visit to the Modern Age DCU proper, which occurs after the events of Watchmen (specifically in Bat Year Eleven after Captain Atom has debuted).

–REFERENCE: In Deadman Vol. 2 #1—originally told in The Brave & The Bold #86. The Sensei, possessed by the demonic spirit Jonah, orders his League of Assassins agents to inject a magickal poison into Deadman that causes the ghost hero to act strangely and attack Batman. Eventually, Deadman regains some control and takes over the body of his brother Cleveland Brand. Batman and Deadman (in Cleveland’s body) travel to the mystical Tibetan city of Nanda Parbat in hopes of finding an antidote to the poison. On the slope of a Himalayan peak, Batman and Deadman fight and defeat the Sensei before entering Nanda Parbat. In the golden walled city, Deadman’s master, the goddess Rama Kushna, not only cures him but also puts him back into his old body, healthy as new! Boston Brand is back alive, but the catch is that he can’t leave Nanda Parbat or he will return to a normal state of death and become Deadman again. Batman and Cleveland order Boston to bed-rest to recover from the effects of the poison combined with being quasi-living again.

105. “Return… To Forever!” by Andrew Helfer/José Luis Garcia Lopez (Deadman Vol. 2 #1) March 1986
Three days have passed since our previous entry. Boston Brand, sick of recovering in Nanda Parbat, decides he’d rather be a ghost and protect the people he cares about back in the States than stay alive but trapped forever within the walls of Rama Kushna’s mystical city. Batman and Cleveland Brand try to stop Deadman from leaving, but he won’t hear any of it. Boston exits the city and becomes a ghost once again. Batman, Deadman, and Cleveland return to America. There, the Jonah-possessed Sensei’s machinations lead to the tragic murder of Cleveland. (After Cleveland’s death, Rama Kushna and Deadman exorcise Jonah and defeat the Sensei, as seen in the Batman-less Deadman Vol. 2 #4).

–REFERENCE: In Batman Incorporated #4—originally told in Detective Comics #485. Ra’s al Ghul mounts his forces and strikes against the Sensei, prompting a brief civil war between the two ninja factions of the League of Assassins. When the war spills into Gotham, Kathy Kane (the retired Bat-Woman) mysteriously gets involved. Ra’s al Ghul sends a warning message to Bruce that Kathy may be in danger. Bruce fights off League henchmen at Kathy’s circus and sure enough, his former fiancée is being held captive. After being blindsided by Bronze Tiger and getting knocked unconscious, Bruce awakens to discover that Kathy has been stabbed to death! Bruce never finds out what her involvement was in the League war or who was actually responsible for murdering her. Ra’s al Ghul will quickly regain full control of the League of Assassins after this and we won’t see the Sensei for over a decade. When he eventually returns, Ra’s will welcome the traitor back into the fold, but some leopards never change their spots. SPOILER ALERT: Kathy Kane isn’t really dead. Her murder is actually an elaborately orchestrated ruse perpetrated by herself, the Spyral organization, and Talia. We won’t see Kathy again for fourteen years. During this time period, Kathy will ascend the ranks of Spyral and become its leader, all the while secretly keeping tabs on Batman’s every movement.[1]

–REFERENCE: In Blackest Night #1. The JLA defeats elderly 1940s science villain Brainwave (aka Brain Wave).

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 2 #0. The JLA starts a pool on which of its members will be the first to tie the knot. Bruce is picked to wed last, with Ollie following in second, and Diana third. Superman isn’t involved in the gambling.

–FLASHBACK: From Secret Origins Vol. 2 #23. The JLA faces-off against The Secret Society of Super-Villains—which includes The Wizard, Gorilla Grodd, Floronic Man, Blockbuster, Star Sapphire (Debbie Darnell), Reverse-Flash (aka Professor Zoom aka Eobard Thawne), Psycho-Pirate, Mist, and Rag Doll. The JLA defeats the new villain team in a quick succession of battles that take place on Earth, on remote galactic locations, and in alternate dimensions.

–REFERENCE: In JLA #119. Catwoman, along with a few more baddies, joins the Secret Society of Super-Villains. Batman finds out when he obtains a photo of her with the team. This photo goes into his scrapbook.

–REFERENCE: In JLA #115. The JLA defeats Matter Master.

–REFERENCE: In the quasi-canonical Silver Age miniseries and JLA #46. Silver Age was done mainly as a tribute to the Silver Age era of comics and, therefore, contains enough continuity errors to make it unplaceable on our timeline. However, its basic narrative is canon thanks to a reference in the “Tower of Babel” story from JLA #46. Here’s what happens right now: Catwoman joins the Injustice League—not to be confused with the Injustice Gang or Secret Society of Super-Villains, which are both two entirely separate teams. (Although, Catwoman is also a member of the Secret Society.) The IJL comprises leader Agamemno, Lex Luthor, Joker, Black Manta, Chronos, Dr. Light, Felix Faust, Mr. Element, Penguin, and Sinestro (and now Catwoman too). The JL encounters and fights the IJL.

–REFERENCE: In Batman & Superman: World’s Finest #4-10. Late March. Batman and Superman, as they do every year, meet to commemorate the death of Dr. Harrison Grey.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #598. Bruce becomes a major financial backer of Mr. McAteer‘s Family Finders Incorporated, a detective agency that specializes in locating lost friends and family. While not listed on our chronology, Bruce will aid and assist Family Finders many times over the course of the next two years or so.

–REFERENCE: In the B&W second feature to Batman: Gotham Knights #42. Having had more up-close engagement with Gotham’s skyline, rooftops, and Gothic architecture than just about anyone else over the past decade, Batman has, by this point, become quite familiar with the city’s many skyscraper gargoyles. The Caped Crusader constructs a secret locked compartment in one of the gargoyle statues, which can be used for storage while he is out on patrol.

–REFERENCE: In Legends of the DC Universe #13. Batman defeats Packrat and stops him from activating a shrink bomb aboard Green Arrow’s jet.

106. “Critical Mass” by Christopher Priest/Ken Lashley (Legends of the DC Universe #13) February 1999
Before we begin, I should mention that writer Priest refers to Superman and Batman as “friends” of the Justice League. They are definitely more than friends; they are founding and current members of the JLA. Let’s catch us up to speed. Green Arrow has left the JLA in an attempt to find inner peace and become a Buddhist monk. Flash, Zatanna, Hawkman, Aquaman, and Green Lantern have all grown to King Kong size and suffer from dementia thanks to the manipulations of an evil force. Black Canary, Firestorm, and Red Tornado are injured and out of action. Thus, it’s up to Batman and Green Arrow (who ditches his monk attire for his fighting togs) to save the day. The duo gets a shrink bomb, previously in the possession of Packrat and joins up with Atom and Superman, who are in the middle of fighting/helping the tortured mutant monster known as Thorak. Eventually, the entire JLA is revived and restored to its prior condition thanks to the shrink bomb and a little secret assistance from former JLA mascot Snapper Carr.

–REFERENCE: In Green Lantern: Circle of Fire #1. The JLA meets human space adventurer and champion of the extraterrestrial Rannian race, Adam Strange. The Rannians are called as such because they live on the distant planet Rann. Adam Strange is able to travel back and forth from Earth and Rann via a bizarre Zeta-Beam technology that only he has mastered.

–REFERENCE: In the quasi-canonical Silver Age mini-series, JLA #46, and Identity Crisis. April. The next few months of Bat Year Ten are rough for Batman as the messy four-part “mind-wipe scandal” occurs. The laters parts of the “mind-wipe scandal” will be told primarily via flashbacks from Identity Crisis and The OMAC Project, but before we get there, the first part of the scandal occurs when Agamemno’s Injustice League manages to swap minds and bodies with the Justice League—as seen in the Silver Age mini-series. (As mentioned above, the basic narrative events of the Silver Age mini-series are canon thanks to a reference in the “Tower of Babel” story from JLA #46, but the whole 2000 series was done mainly as a tribute to Silver Age era comics and, as a result, contains enough continuity errors to make it unworthy of actual number placement on our timeline.) All you need to know is that the JLA is able to switch back to their correct bodies and minds to defeat Agamemno. This body/mind swap is the direct catalyst that will cause Batman to begin collecting detailed info on his superhero pals and to begin formulating contingency plans in case something like this should occur again. Batman’s distrust of his friends is a mere twinkle in his eye at this point, but it will continue to grow as the years roll on. The pages of Identity Crisis reveal that JLA member Zatanna has mind-wiped villains before, erasing their memories of certain delicate cases, especially ones like this where secret identities are exposed. In past years the League had gotten into a bad habit of erasing villains’ memories after their secret identities had been outed. For example, Floronic Man, Matter Master, Felix Faust, Brainwave, and Dr. Destiny have all been wiped before, although Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman had no knowledge of it, nor will they know about the wipes that occur following the Agamemno affair now. (We must assume the villains are wiped by Zatanna and we must also assume that Batman thinks that part of the magick switchback involved the natural erasure of secret identity knowledge.)

–NOTE: In a flashback from Catwoman Vol. 3 #50. The opening part to the “mind-wipe scandal” concludes with the secret mind-wipe of Catwoman by Zatanna and company, completely erasing Selina’s more villainous traits. Selina’s mind-wipe, like the others, is done in secret from Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, but Selina is given special care aboard the satellite, presumably because she is close to Batman and because she was the sole female member of the Injustice League.

–FLASHBACK: From Identity Crisis and The OMAC Project—originally told in Justice League of America #166-168. April. The dust has barely settled from the Agamemno affair and the mind-wiping of Catwoman, but the “mind-wipe scandal” continues into its dastardly second act. Once again, all the JLA members’ minds and bodies are magickally swapped with the minds and bodies of evildoers. This time the Secret Society of Super-Villains does the body-switching, specifically the Wizard, Floronic Man, Star Sapphire, Reverse-Flash, and Blockbuster. This swapping, of course, is bad because the evil team discovers all of the JLA secret identities. After reversing the body-swap spell, Zatanna, in a move once again believed to be necessary, erases all of the villains’ memories regarding the encounter. The close proximity between the Agamemno affair and this Secret Society body swap will cause Batman’s paranoia to slowly grow, further convincing him of the need to gather info on and build contingency emergency plans to fight his friends should they lose their minds/bodies again.

–REFERENCE: In The New Titans #65. Bruce and Dick attend a charity event held by wealthy entrepreneur Walter Lanier.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 2 #4. Batman goes under the mind-control of an unknown super-villain. Green Arrow painfully shoots Batman in the shoulders with two arrows in order to break the spell. This story reference in Justice League of America Vol. 2 #4 is very vague and most likely references a specific Silver Age encounter with a specific telepathic-powered villain, but I have no idea which encounter.

–REFERENCE: In Faces of Evil: Kobra #1—originally told in the Kobra series finale from DC Special Series #1 (1976). For the past year, government secret agent Jason Burr has been fighting against a global terrorist organization/apocalypse cult (the Kobra Cult) led by his twin brother Jeffrey Franklin Burr aka Lord Naga-Naga (better known simply as Kobra). Finally tracking Kobra’s HQ to a Lazarus Pit location in the Himalayas, Jason contacts Batman for assistance. Batman and Jason fight Kobra and his agents, but in the end the vile cult leader orders the execution of his brother. One of Kobra’s followers stabs Jason to death. Batman vows to bring Kobra to justice and solemnly returns to the States with Jason’s body in tow.

–FLASHBACK: From JLA 80-Page Giant #1. Continuing the string of bad luck for the JLA, the heroes foolishly accept a one billion dollar donation from the underhanded Tulane Bryce, before Green Arrow realizes this was a big PR mistake. Never accept money unless you know it’s clean, heroes!

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #777-782 (2003). Although Batman is unaware of it, several of his rogues devise a plot to kill the Dark Knight which involves using Paul Sloan aka the alternate Two-Face. This is how the story goes. Actor Paul Sloan is hired by Joker, Riddler, Killer Moth, Penguin, Scarecrow, and Mad Hatter to play a pivotal role in a scheme which will supposedly result in Batman’s ultimate demise. Two-Face wants nothing to do with the other rogues, so they hire Sloan to become a fake Two-Face, a role which Sloan takes way too seriously. After finding out about the existence of a fake Two-Face, the real Two-Face gets a bit angry, kidnaps Sloan, mutilates him, and leaves him for dead. Scarecrow then saves Sloan’s life, only to torture and experiment on him for weeks.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #682. Dick shows off his new “Nightwing” costume to Bruce. Dick won’t officially become Nightwing until our next numbered story. In fact, Dick has merely designed a new costume and doesn’t even have a name for his new persona yet.

–REFERENCE: In Infinite Crisis Aftermath: The Battle for Blüdhaven #4—originally told in Batman #8 (1941). Batman and Robin take down the radioactive green-skinned mad scientist Henry Ross, better known as Professor Radium.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Gotham Knights #46. The Spook makes his return and lures Batman and Robin to Gotham Prison, where he tries to kill the Caped Crusader as a live entertainment for the convicts. The Dynamic Duo easily defeat him. The Spook will spend four years in Arkham before he is transferred to Blackgate Penitentiary.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #569. Batman doesn’t know that Catwoman has been mind-wiped of her criminality, but he sure notices a change in her personality as a result. Seeing a kinder, more heroic side to Catwoman, Batman has high hopes that she’s seen the light and turned over a new leaf. While he doesn’t fully trust Catwoman to be a full-fledged hero, he does believe in her and care for her deeply. Because of this, the Dark Knight—hoping to work with Catwoman and encourage her—finally reveals his secret ID to her as a gesture of good will.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #703—originally told in Detective Comics #526. Joker and Killer Croc assemble a gang of super-villains including the Getaway Genius, Captain Stingaree, Catman, Mr. Freeze, Tweedle-Dee, and Tweedle-Dum. The villains eventually squabble, thus tearing apart their short-lived union. Batman, Robin, the recently mind-wiped Catwoman, and Talia easily capture several of the bad guys, who have already been beaten-up by Killer Croc.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #703. Batman allows the Getaway Genius to escape, which confuses and enrages Robin. The Dark Knight then explains that lately the Getaway Genius has only been stealing chemotherapy drugs. The villain has been diagnosed with cancer and wishes only to prolong his life. Bruce then sets up a health insurance plan for the Getaway Genius, who retires from crime.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #867-870. Joker steals a jetpack and goes on an airborne killing spree across town. Batman and Robin stop him, but not before thirteen deaths. The 14th intended victim, Winslow Heath, is bombed with a lethal dose of Joker Venom, which fails to kill him, but gives him a permanent rictus-grin and wan white skin. Heath’s girlfriend was victim #13. Despite his miraculous survival, Heath delves into a catatonic state in which he will be confined to a hospital bed for over a decade. When he finally recovers, Heath will keep his Joker-esque façade hidden behind a mask and use a newly gained monetary fortune to slowly build a pharmaceutical company. Heath will harbor a secret goal to destroy Batman, whom he blames for both the death of his lover and the creation of so many Gotham super-villains.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #5—originally told in The Brave and the Bold #89. The fanatical cultists known as the Hellerites return to Gotham for the first time in nearly two hundred years to reclaim the land of their ancestors.  Batman and Robin team-up with Phantom Stranger against the new Hellerites and the summoned ghosts of the old Hellerites. Doctor Thirteen also makes an appearance in this tale.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Incorporated #2—originally told in Batman #180. Batman and Robin defeat the thrice resurrecting Death Man. Death Man will also inspire a copycat super-villain years later. Following that, Death Man will later resurface as “Lord Death Man” as well.

–FLASHBACK: From Secret Origins 80-Page Giant #1. Batman and Robin apprehend Penguin and retrieve the stolen Lapis Lazuli Horus Crown. The event is caught on video and broadcast on live TV. A young Tim Drake, who has been studying the Dynamic Duo for years, watches the footage and determines conclusively that Robin is the former Flying Grayson he watched four years ago at the circus. This flashback incorrectly labels Tim as being nine-years old. He should be eight.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Orphans #1 and Nightwing Vol. 2 #134. Late May. While both Batman #408 and Batman #416 contain similar flashbacks that detail Batman’s termination of Robin after the Joker nearly kills the Boy Wonder, these flashbacks have long since been retconned out-of-continuity. However, the incident with the Joker must have occurred in some form since it is also referenced in both Batman: Orphans #1 and Nightwing Vol. 2 #134. Robin, acting alone, battles Joker, who nearly kills the Boy Wonder, thus leading to the tense argument in the next bullet note.

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 2 #134-135. Late May. The argument between Batman and Robin continues. Robin asks once again to be treated as an adult since he will be turning seventeen-years-old in a month. But Batman won’t hear it and continues to chastise Robin for taking on Joker solo and nearly getting himself killed. Alfred patches up Dick while the fight heats up in the Batcave. The argument gets so ugly that Dick resigns from his post, hops on a bus, and heads back home to New York City with every intention of never coming back to Gotham again! In New York, Dick spends the early part of summer dating Liu. Writer Marv Wolfman tells us that Dick loses his virginity to Liu, but this is highly dubious. Dick definitely has had some sort of sexual relations with both Babs and Starfire by this point. Dick’s newest love interest, unfortunately, is in with a bad crowd, including Metal Eddie, leader of the gang known as the Tigers. Under Liu’s sexual spell, Dick joins the Tigers, but soon realizes that Liu and Eddie are simply using him to get information about Wayne Enterprises security systems to set up a big score. Broken-hearted, Dick returns home and tells Batman and Alfred about the planned Tiger robbery. Batman and Robin are ready and waiting and easily bust Liu, Eddie, and the Tigers. While the Dynamic Duo is reunited, things are incredibly tense and Bruce no longer trusts Dick (and vice-versa). Robin remains on serious thin ice with his mentor. Another dubious bit by Wolfman: He places this flashback as occurring less than ten years ago. Realistically, it must occur here and now, making it take place eleven years ago instead. Nightwing Vol. 2 #134-135 really sets the tone for the complete deterioration of Bruce and Dick’s relationship that will continue to happen over the course of the rest of the year.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #713. Batman and Robin still aren’t getting along and things are only getting more strained as the days go by. Batman and Robin argue in the Batcave and Dick tells Bruce “You can’t keep treating me like I’m twelve anymore!”

107A. “Nightwing: Year One, Ch. 1-3” by Scott Beatty/Chuck Dixon/Scott McDaniel (Nightwing Vol. 2 #101-103) March 2005 to April 2005
June. The relationship between Dick and Bruce has gotten even worse as of late. And the shit finally hits the fan. Robin is fired (!) by Bruce following a lost fight with Clayface II (Matt Hagen). (Hagen will later die during the Crisis on Infinite Earths.) After a visit with Superman, Dick is inspired to become Nightwing! He uses an altered version of the Nightwing costume compared to the one which he briefly showed to Bruce before. Deadman pays Bruce a visit and tells him his former student has gone solo. Bruce doesn’t care. While Nightwing takes to the streets (primarily outside of Gotham and usually with the Teen Titans), Batman catches the orphaned delinquent Jason Todd trying to steal the tires off the Batmobile. In the Batcave, Jason quickly breaks out of his binding ropes and steals Dick’s old costume! So much for living without a Boy Wonder.  Highly impressed, Bruce immediately adopts and begins training Jason to become the next Robin.  Chapters 4-6 take place after Jason’s training is complete, roughly six months later. Batman #408-409 originally told Jason Todd’s origin story, but those two issues have been retconned out-of-continuity by “Nightwing: Year One.”[2]

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Shadow of the Bat #34. Dick meets with Batman and hands over his Robin costume. (This flashback supposedly occurs before Dick goes to college, but obviously that is totally incorrect.)

–REFERENCE: In 52 #25. Batman busts a new gangster named Lawrence Loman, who calls himself The Squid.

–REFERENCE: In 52 #25. Batman defeats Sewer King, a super-villain that lives in the sewers beneath Gotham and rules over a small army of orphaned child soldiers. Sewer King is a canon immigrant, having only appeared previously in the DC Animated Universe.

–FLASHBACK: From Identity Crisis and The OMAC Project. July. The third part of the “mind-wipe scandal” occurs a few months after the Secret Society body swap affair. While the JLA is battling Hector Hammond planet-side, Dr. Light is able to infiltrate the JLA satellite and rape Elongated Man’s wife, Sue Dibny. After being caught in the vile sexual assault by the JLA (minus the big three), Light threatens to hurt the other heroes’ families and even makes the reprehensible declaration that he will rape the other heroes’ wives as well. The team (still minus the big three) takes a vote and agrees the best course of action is for Zatanna to not only mind-wipe the villain, but to alter his personality to ensure that he never again commits so heinous a crime. Zatanna scrambles Light’s brain, turning him permanently into a goofy, harmless super-villain stereotype. However, Batman stumbles upon the team in the midst of scrambling Light’s brain. Batman is outraged at the unethical procedure and as his ire grows, the rest of the League is forced to restrain him. Shockingly, they mind-wipe Batman (!) and he won’t remember the details of this event until much, much later. When he does, you can be rest assured that he will be pissed off. And there is nothing scarier than a pissed off Batman. I should also mention that Zatanna uses her magick to repress Martian Manhunter’s memories regarding these events should he ever read their minds telepathically. The scene depicting Batman’s mind-wipe is also shown in the “Super Powers” storyline which I’ve included next on our list.

108. “Super Powers” by Marc Guggenheim/Jerry Bingham (Batman Confidential #50-54) January 2011 to May 2011
July. This tale overlaps with the end of the previous “mind-wipe scandal” flashback from Identity Crisis and The OMAC Project. As I’ve already mentioned, when Batman returns to the JLA satellite he is mind-wiped by Zatanna and company. While under mystical hypnosis, Bruce has a fevered flashback to “seven years ago” (should correctly be “three years ago”) to his JLA mission against Fortas. While under Zatanna’s trance, Bruce also recalls his early training days in China (when he was nineteen or twenty-years-old) where he was killed by a metahuman named Huairen. Yes KILLED. Apparently, Bruce died but was immediately resurrected by a metahuman named Ri. We also learn that Bruce, at this time, drank a magickal elixir that granted him temporary super-powers, donned a fancy cape-and-cowl costume, assumed the name “Dark Knight,” and briefly joined the Zhuguran (the Chinese version of the Justice League, which actually pre-dates the JLA by several years). Jeez Louise.

–NOTE: In a flashback from Flash Vol. 2 #215. August. The fourth and final part of the “mind-wipe scandal” occurs mere weeks after Batman’s mind-wipe. The exact same group of JLA members who erased the Dark Knight’s memory opts to mind-wipe the villain known as The Top.

–REFERENCE: In Wonder Woman Vol. 3 #2—originally told in The Brave & The Bold #193. Batman teams with Nemesis (Tom Tresser) for the second time to take on a bunch of international terrorists, including high ranking members of the Council. In a climactic battle, the leader of the Council is killed (seemingly ending the Council’s reign of terror). After a helicopter crash during the fight, Nemesis goes missing and is presumed dead. In actuality, the Council continues its secret dealings. Nemesis will turn up worse-for-wear but alive in a Russian prison next year.

–NOTE: In Secret Origins Vol. 2 #20. Late August. Genius Barbara Gordon, who has just recently turned twenty-one-years-old, gets her Master’s Degree from Gotham University! Not to mention, Barbara has been campaigning to become the youngest Congresswoman in the history of the state.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #472. Batman tangos with the wicked Queen of Hearts and her husband Jack of Clubs.

–FLASHBACK: From JSA #61—originally told in Justice League of America #172. September. When the JSA and JLA meet on the satellite, tragedy strikes. The super-villain known as The Spirit King has secretly taken control of Jay Garrick’s body and uses him to surprise attack both teams. The Spirit King is subdued, but not before the death of the original Mr. Terrific (Terry Sloane). All the DCU’s heroes attend Mr. Terrific’s funeral a few days later.

–FLASHBACK: From Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E. #9 and Justice League of America Vol. 2 #0—and also referenced in Justice League of America Vol. 2 #0 and Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E. #0. JLA member Red Tornado becomes the JLA’s first casualty, dying during a triple team-up with the JSA and a time-displaced Seven Soldiers of Victory against the super-villain known as The Iron Hand (as referenced in Justice League of America Vol. 2 #0). The Seven Soldiers of Victory each get blasted into different time periods (from their correct time of 1948). The JSA and JLA mix lineups and travel to each time period to perform rescues. Batman—pictured wearing the wrong costume—teams with Hourman (Rex Tyler) and Starman (Ted Knight) to rescue Stripesy (Pat Dugan) from Ancient Egypt (as seen via flashback from Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E. #9 and referenced in Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E. #0). Unfortunately, after being rescued, the majority of the Seven Soldiers cannot return back to 1948 and stay in the present. When the case wraps, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman mourn Red Tornado’s passing (as seen through flashback in Justice League of America Vol. 2 #0). PS. Red Tornado is quickly revived shortly thereafter. Tornado then dies again during the Crisis next year. See, Red Tornado is technically an Air Elemental housed inside an an android body. Whenever he dies, he can be rebuilt and he comes back to life when the Elemental returns. Tornado will die several more times over the course of the next decade. No big deal.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #209. Batman meets super-villain/erotic snake-dancer Tiki Rivera.

109. “Black Orchid Ch. 2: “Going Down…” by Neil Gaiman/Dave McKean (Black Orchid #2) January 1989
Batman briefly converses with the Earth Elemental Black Orchid, who is searching for Jason Woodrue in hopes of finding out her own mysterious origins. The Dark Knight tells her to visit Poison Ivy in Arkham. At Arkham, Black Orchid chats with Two-Face, Mad Hatter, and Poison Ivy. Later, Batman instructs Black Orchid to travel south to meet Swamp Thing.

–REFERENCE: In Secret Origins Vol. 2 #28. Black Spider debuts against Batman.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #492. Film Freak debuts and is promptly put in Arkham Asylum by Batman.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #690. The pyromaniac super-villain Firebug debuts and battles Batman.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #617. Batman foils the Joker’s robbery attempt at the Antique Society.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Shadow of the Bat #8—originally told in Batman #64 (1951). Killer Moth kidnaps Bruce Wayne and discovers his secret identity! However, Moth is shot and receives a serious cranial injury. Subsequent surgery saves his life, but at the cost of severe brain trauma and loss of significant portions of his memory, including knowledge of Batman’s secret identity.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Shadow of the Bat #15—originally told in Detective Comics #511 (1982). Batman captures the super-villain known as Mirage.

–REFERENCE: In 52 #30. Batman squares-off against The Ten-Eyed Man, a lone rogue member of the mystical Ten-Eyed Brotherhood (aka “The Ten-Eyed Tribes of the Empty Quarter” aka “The Ghost Tribes of the Ten-Eyed Brotherhood”). As mentioned in Batman #673, Bruce once spent six months training with the Ten-Eyed Brotherhood in North Africa, years before becoming a costumed superhero. Superman #710 references Bruce’s long-ago training with the Ten-Eyed Brotherhood as well, although it gives a contradictory three month length instead of six.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: 80-Page Giant Vol. 2 #1. Batman comes across Wilson and Fiona, a husband and wife scientist duo that has been living in a bomb shelter deep beneath the sub-basement of a Gotham apartment building for nearly twenty years. Batman encourages them to come to the surface, ensuring their safety, but they choose to stay underground.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #515—originally told in Batman #393-394, which was published immediately following the original Crisis. Despite the post-Crisis publication date, Batman #393-394 is out-of-continuity because it was written before the Crisis and failed to reflect its many changes. Here’s what goes down. Batman has an altercation with the ex-Soviet Cossack madman known as The Dark Rider. The Rider douses himself with liquid plutonium and attempts to swan-dive into the city reservoir before Batman can lasso him in just inches before the leap.

–NOTE: In Secret Origins Vol. 2 #20. Early November. Babs is elected to Congress! At age twenty-one, she becomes the youngest person ever elected to Congress in the history of the state. She will serve for roughly five months before stepping down early to become the head of the Gotham Library, where she has worked on-and-off for the past few years.

–NOTE: In a reference in Birds of Prey #1 and a reference in Batgirl: Year One #9. Barbara Gordon gets engaged to her boyfriend Jason Bard!

–REFERENCE: In Robin #153—originally told in World’s Finest Comics #28 (1947). Batman apprehends the super-villain known as The Glass Man.

110. “Scars” by Kelley Puckett/Jim Balent/Rick Burchett (Batman: Batgirl—Girlfrenzy! #1) June 1998
When Victor Zsasz murders one of Batgirl’s friends, she makes it her personal vendetta to bring the slasher to justice at all costs. Batgirl locates Zsasz’s hideout and takes him down seconds before Batman arrives on the scene for the same objective. The Dark Knight then tells Batgirl that he has an important job in Nepal and wants her help. Batgirl, however, strained from the loss of her friend says no thanks and that she needs a break. Batman’s important job in Nepal is likely the upcoming trip to Ra’s al Ghul’s Himalayan fortress, which takes place in the next item on the chronology, the quasi-canonical Batman: Son of the Demon. Thus, the end of “Scars” likely overlaps with the beginning of the Son of the Demon flashback.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #683 and Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #2—based on Batman: Son of the Demon (1987). Batman travels to the Himalayas on a Ra’s al Ghul case. There, the Dark Knight impregnates Talia al Ghul! Of course, Talia keeps the pregnancy a secret from Bruce. Despite the fact that Batman: Son of the Demon is a post-Crisis story and its essential narrative elements are canonical, the story itself, as Grant Morrison says, is “kind-of-out-of-continuity,” making it, at best, worthy of a mere reference note.[3] The flashbacks in both Batman #683 and Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #2 put at least the baby-producing romance part of Son of the Demon into continuity. Morrison wanted to back-engineer the Son of the Demon tale into canonical modern continuity, but made several critical errors due to the fact that he was referencing a story that he admittedly hadn’t read in a long time. Morrison, in an attempt to fix his mistakes, claimed that any errors in the original story were corrected by Superboy-Prime’s reality altering punches in Infinite Crisis. Therefore, technically we could include Son of the Demon as an actual numbered entry on this list, with a side-note explaining that major elements of the story are different due to Superboy-Prime’s meddling from the future. However, I’ve opted not to since I’ve already listed other quasi-canonical stories (even those rendered so by in-story events) as bullet notes instead. So, to reiterate: courtesy of Superboy-Prime, Batman: Son of the Demon equals “kind-of-out-of-continuity” (with its essential plot elements remaining a part of official canon thanks to a couple of legit flashbacks in other titles).

–REFERENCE: In Seven Soldiers: Bulleteer #3—originally told in Batman #69. Selina’s estranged brother Karl Kyle appears as a new criminal called King of Cats. Karl Kyle’s publicity stunt will be a one time affair that will land him in jail for the better part of a decade, following which we won’t really see or hear from him much.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn #10. Batman gets captured and blindfolded by Killer Moth, but still manages to take him and four henchmen down.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn #9. Batman ups the credibility of his Matches Malone character by running with and earning the trust of the Two-Bear Brothers, Nixon Two-Bear and Kennedy Two-Bear. Matches will stay close associates with the Two-Bears for the next decade-plus.

–REFERENCE: In JLA Incarnations #4. Things have been quite horrible for the JLA so far this year. In addition to the “mind-wipe scandal”/sexual assault cover-up and the death of Red Tornado, some other bad things occur now. Black Canary grieves over the recent death of her mom Dinah Drake Lance (the original Black Canary). Barry Allen’s fiancée Fiona Webb has left him and he is on trial for the murder of Reverse-Flash (Professor Zoom aka Eobard Thawne).[4] Hal Jordan can no longer be relied upon due to his commitment to the Green Lantern Corps. And Batman and Aquaman have simply become angry at the world. All of this baggage comes out as rage and combativeness during regularly scheduled JLA meetings–meetings which Superman and Wonder Woman have stopped attending.

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to Detective Comics #782. November 25—the anniversary of Batman’s parents’ deaths. Batman places two roses at the Crime Alley murder site.

–REFERENCE: In Secret Origins Vol. 2 #6. Lucius Fox visits the tiny Eastern European country of Markovia. During his visit, civil war breaks out between the ruling royalty led by Prince Brion Markov and a wannabe dictator Baron Bedlam. Bedlam’s army commits mass genocide overnight. Fearing for his friend’s safety (and sickened by the injustice of war), Batman proposes intervening in the conflict. However, the JLA votes not to interfere due to the messy political nature of the situation. Batman is furious.

111. “Balance” by John Ostrander/Val Semeiks (JLA Incarnations #4, Part 1) October 2001
The JLA satellite detects alien entry into Earth’s atmosphere, but the JLAers are all too distracted by their own problems to properly investigate. This allows a legit alien invasion force, led by the intergalactic warlord Koll, to park unnoticed just outside the planetary orbit. Meanwhile, the JLA meets for their regularly scheduled gathering and the usual bickering occurs. Batman quits the team in dramatic fashion! (While the rest of the superhero community fights Koll’s invasion force, Batman turns his attention to the Markovian Civil War.)

–FLASHBACK: From Secret Origins Vol. 2 #6—originally told in Batman and the Outsiders #1-2. Batman, having literally just quit the JLA, teams-up with Black Lightning and, international-incident-be-damned, they crash into Markovia in an attempt to take out Baron Bedlam. This proves to be difficult. Thankfully, there are a bunch of other superheroes already involved in the Markovian conflict. Batman and Black Lightning join forces with Metamorpho, Katana, the amnesiac Halo, and Prince Brion Markov, who has just been turned into the superhero Geo-Force by Dr. Helga Jace.  After defeating Baron Bedlam, the Dark Knight officially forms his own anti-JLA vigilante team with the heroes he worked with in Markovia: The Outsiders. The Outsiders, with Batman as their leader, are the newest, toughest crime-fighting team.[5]

–REFERENCE: In Secret Origins Vol. 2 #6. Late November. Bruce helps out his newest teenage proteges Halo and Katana by providing them free room and board in the luxurious vacant Wayne Tower penthouse. Halo and Katana will live there for the next year or so. Bruce also sets up a secret identity for Halo to use and begins investigating her past in an effort to help her recall her origins.

–FLASHBACK: From DC Universe Legacies #5—originally told in Batman & The Outsiders Annual #1. Batman and the Outsiders engage in a very public battle against the debuting government-sanctioned asshole superhero team known as The Force of July (Major Victory, Lady Liberty, Mayflower, Silent Majority, and Sparkler). The Force of July is directly overseen by the US Government’s American Security Agency (ASA) and liaison Abraham Lincoln Carlyle.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Shadow of the Bat #47—originally told in Batman and The Outsiders #3. Batman and the Outsiders battle Agent Orange.

–FLASHBACK: From The Outsiders #21—originally told in Batman and the Outsiders #17-18. Ancient Egyptian wizard Ahk-Ton turns a mind-controlled Metamorpho against Batman and the Outsiders. Batman exposes Metamorpho to the meteor that originally gave him powers to restore his pal. The Outsiders then defeat Ahk-Ton.

–FLASHBACK: From Secret Origins Vol. 2 #6—originally told in Batman and the Outsiders #22-23. Batman and the Outsiders discover that Halo’s powers and past are linked to the mysterious other-dimensional beings known as The Aurakles. (She is one of them, but trapped in human form.) When Dr. Helga Jace helps Halo regain all her memories, the Aurakles are alerted and they aren’t happy. When the Aurakles attempt to take Halo away to their dimension, Batman and the Outsiders are able to save her and defeat them.

–NOTE: In the conclusion to JLA Incarnations #4. While the Outsiders are here to stay as a tight unit that is firing on all pistons thanks to Batman’s leadership, the same can’t be said for the JLA. Batman’s resignation has devastating repercussions for the League. Despite having banded together (without Batman) to successfully defeat Koll and his alien hordes two weeks ago, the JLA is in shambles. Aquaman voices his disgust with the League and orchestrates the immediate dismantling of the team. In quick succession, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Flash all wind up leaving the JLA. Without this core of key players centering the lineup, the JLA officially disbands. Aquaman immediately announces that he will re-found a new JLA with allies he can actually rely on. A day later, Aquaman delivers on his promise. The new JLA is stuck with a weakened lineup featuring Vibe, Vixen, Elongated Man, Gypsy, Steel, and Firestorm, with the “Big Three” senior members replaced by Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, and Zatanna. Not exactly DC’s Trinity, eh? Just to further prove how weakened the JLA is at this point, they set up a new headquarters in Detroit. (The satellite was completely destroyed by Koll.) NOTE: The formation of the new Detroit-based JLA, according to JLA Incarnations #5, takes place “weeks” before The Crisis on Infinite Earths, hence placement here.

–FLASHBACK: From Justice League of America Vol. 2 #0—originally told in Tales of the Teen Titans #50. Bruce, Dick, and Diana attend the wedding of Donna Troy and Terry Long. (Superman is security.) At the wedding, Bruce makes peace with Dick, Diana, and presumably Clark too. He hasn’t gotten along with them all year, but is finally ready to bury the hatchet.

–FLASHBACK: From Justice League of America Vol. 2 #0. Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman put aside their differences and meet up in spite of their recent disagreements. At Challengers Mountain, the Big Three discuss the ineffectiveness of the new Detroit-based JLA incarnation.

–FLASHBACK: From Justice League of America Vol. 2 #0. Now that Wonder Woman and Superman have recently been getting along with Batman again, they visit Batman in the Batcave where Bruce excitedly and happily tells them about his protege Jason Todd. Bruce has faith that Jason will be the best Robin ever.

–REFERENCE: In Convergence: Batman and Robin #2. Batman continues training Jason, teaching him, among other new things, the team-up move known as the “Sprang-Aparo Combination.”

107B. “Nightwing: Year One, Ch. 4-6” by Scott Beatty/Chuck Dixon/Scott McDaniel (Nightwing Vol. 2 #104-106) April 2005 to May 2005
December. Nightwing introduces himself to Commissioner Gordon and teams-up with Batgirl. NOTE: Penguin is seen in his Iceberg Lounge being accosted by Nightwing, Batgirl, and Harvey Bullock. We must ignore the location of this scene since Penguin wouldn’t own the Iceberg Lounge quite yet. Moving on, Batman sends his new Robin, who has been training for nearly six months, on his final test. Jason must “run the gauntlet” across the Gotham rooftops and confront Two-Face. In this case “Two-Face” is played by Alfred in disguise, while Batman is disguised as one of Two-Face’s henchmen.  However, Alfred and Bruce put their costumes on too early and en route to the final destination, they are attacked by Killer Croc and his goons, who are trying to start a turf war with Two-Face.  Bruce gets shot in the chest and winds up in the care of Leslie Thompkins while Alfred (still disguised as Two-Face) is kidnapped by Killer Croc. Meanwhile, Jason meets Dick and they sure don’t get along. But after a short time, the two race through Gotham together and are able to save Alfred and take down Killer Croc. Afterward, Alfred sends his real Nightwing costume (the one he showed Bruce before with the yellow-stripes). ANOTHER NOTE: This story states outright that this is Killer Croc’s debut. This is totally untrue. Killer Croc has been around for years. Writer Scott Beatty was trying to make reference to the fact that Killer Croc was linked to Jason Todd’s debut as Robin in the Silver Age. However, what worked in the Silver Age does not fly in the Modern Age, even as a cute Easter Egg. For the purposes of our current timeline, we must assume that Beatty means this is the first time Killer Croc has used hired muscle in an attempt to become a legit gangster.

112. “Two of a Kind”/”Second Chance” by Max Allan Collins/Dave Cockrum (Batman #410-411) August 1987 to September 1987
December. Jason has just finished his training. The new Robin meets Commissioner Gordon and deals with Two-Face.  Batman tells Jason that he scored the giant penny during one of the original Dynamic Duo’s encounters with Two-Face. This, as we know, is incorrect. He got the penny in a solo confrontation with Joe Coyne.

–FLASHBACK: From Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #1—originally told in Superman Annual #11 by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. December. Batman, Robin, and Wonder Woman visit Superman at the Fortress of Solitude for his birthday.  However, Mongul is there and he’s already given Superman a gift: the alien Black Mercy plant, which causes its victim to suffer a zombie-like hallucination of his greatest subconscious desire. The heroes rescue Superman, who proceeds to angrily “burn” Mongul with heat vision.

–NOTE: In a reference in New Teen Titans Vol. 2 #13. Batman has nothing to do with this item, but the important “Judas Contract” episode burdens the New Teen Titans. Deathstroke’s son Jericho joins the Titans.

–FLASHBACK: From Catwoman Vol. 3 #83—originally told in Batman #386 and Detective Comics #553. Batman and Robin defeat Black Mask (Roman Sionis) and his False Face Society. During the fight, a large fire erupts and Black Mask’s mask fuses to his face. (Thanks to site contributor SPURPLE on the placement.)

–REFERENCE: In The Outsiders Annual #1—originally told in Batman and The Outsiders #25-27. Halo joins a hippie commune only to learn it’s actually a front for the Kobra Cult. Batman and the Outsiders rescue Halo and prevent Kobra from starting a nuclear holocaust.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 2 #3. Batman teaches a defensive maneuver to Black Lightning. We can assume that Batman regularly trains his other Outsiders as well.

–FLASHBACK: From Christmas With the Super-Heroes #2. December—a couple days before Christmas. Dick meets with Alfred in the Batcave and gives him another one of his old Robin costumes. Bruce, preoccupied with studying evidence for an unspecified case, mostly ignores Dick, but they do chat briefly before Dick departs. Alfred puts the Robin costume on display in the Batcave. Dick is wearing a Hudson University sweater in this scene, but don’t be fooled; he dropped out last year. Later that night, Batman returns home from patrol in an injured condition. Alfred puts decorating the Batcave for X-Mas on hold to tend to the Dark Knight.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman & Robin #23. Batman shows-off his new Robin to Nightwing. During a street-fight with some thugs, Dick says Jason is both “reckless” and “a little rough around the edges,” but also comments that he makes a fine new Boy Wonder.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #416. Despite having just given Jason the stamp of approval in regard to talent and crime-fighting ability, Nightwing has a few choice words about Jason once the new Boy Wonder departs. Nightwing gets in Batman’s face and accuses Batman of using Jason as a replacement for him, to which the Dark Knight takes great offense and makes a strong denial. This argument will cause Batman and Nightwing to basically cease communication with one another, except for a couple of quick exchanges, for the next ten-and-a-half-months!

–FLASHBACK: From Joker’s Asylum: Scarecrow #1. Scarecrow has been loose for the past several months and during that entire time has been posing as a legit psychiatrist in a small town outside of Gotham. The evil Dr. Crane trails one of his young patients to a teenage slumber party. Just like a Wes Craven movie, Scarecrow terrorizes the party-goers as terrifyingly as he can until Batman shows up to clean his clock. This flashback is narrated entirely by Joker himself, so much of it may be apocryphal. However, its basic elements are most likely canonical.

 


<<< PREVIOUS: YEAR NINE <<<
| >>> NEXT: “POST YEAR ONE” ERA INTRO >>>

  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: Very few people will know that Kathy is still actually alive. Batman and his inner circle will have absolutely no idea. One of the few privileged enough to keep this secret will be Kathy’s closest and dearest relative, her niece and former sidekick Bette Kane. We know this based upon small mentions in the Beast Boy series and Teen Titans Vol. 3 series. Speaking of Bette Kane, she will soon move to Los Angeles and, in a few years, join Titans West as Flamebird.
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: Site contributor BRAD offers the idea that Batman #408-409 AND “Nightwing: Year One” can both be canon and not contradict each other. However, I feel the opposite and must remain adamant about my regard for the former as out-of-continuity for several reasons. In Batman #408-409 Batman catches Jason stealing the wheels off the Batmobile and they have a long discussion, after which they shake hands and Jason enters Ma Gunn’s School for a few days before being recruited as Robin. We see Batman driving Jason to the Batcave for the first time and offering him the job of Robin on the final page of issue #409. In “Nightwing: Year One,” Jason is caught stealing the wheels the exact same way, but Batman is much harsher on the terrified thief, tying him up, gagging him, and dragging him to the Batcave, after which Jason escapes and wears Dick’s old Robin costume (as opposed to the other version where he is offered the job and given the costume). Secret Origins Vol. 2 #13 also incorrectly mirrors the latter version from Batman #409. Now, I supposed one could invent a mash-up version of both of these events that kinda sorta works, but I feel it would be too much of a stretch.
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: Son of the Demon, as Morrison states, isn’t fully non-canon; it’s “kind of out of continuity.” The details that Morrison admits to screwing up are many. A change in location and a change in how Damian was conceived are the obvious ones that Morrison himself is quick to point out. But in truth there are a couple more errors, including, most blatantly, the ending where Damian winds up adopted by a foster family.
  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER: Here is the Barry Allen story, taken straight from The Life Story of the Flash #1 (1997), for those interested. Over a year ago, Barry’s wife Iris West Allen was murdered by Reverse-Flash. Barry, recently became engaged to girlfriend Fiona Webb, but when Professor Zoom (Eobard Thawne) threatened to kill Fiona just like he did Iris, Flash ditched his own wedding to fight for his bride’s life. He successfully defeated Professor Zoom, snapping his neck and killing him the process. Unfortunately for Barry, Fiona didn’t know he was the Flash and thought Barry simply left her standing at the alter. The marriage was kaput. To add insult to injury, Flash was officially charged with murder. (The trial will force Flash to unmask publicly, but he will be acquitted. Immediately after the trial ends, Iris will return—having been plucked from death by the sci-fi wizardry of her 30th century parents. Barry and Iris will reunite and decide to live in the cozier, happier 30th century.
  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: I will only reference a few Outsiders books this Bat Year because the first 31 issues of the Batman & The Outsiders series (which would have fit mostly into this Bat Year) take place BEFORE Crisis on Infinite Earths. Therefore, most of these issues are simply pre-Crisis reference materials. According to my research, only the issues I’ve listed are the stories that have been canonically referenced in the Modern Age. This actually makes sense because everything’s been mega-compressed this year, meaning the Outsiders don’t debut until late November, meaning further that their abridged Modern adventures leading up to the Crisis all happen in quick succession (in the span of a little more than one month). Batman and the Outsiders Annual #2 and Batman and the Outsiders #28-32 were all written around the time of the original Crisis, making things confusing as to their placement. However, since we know for a fact that Looker doesn’t join the Outsiders until after Batman leaves the team in the Modern Age, logic dictates that anything prior to Batman and the Outsiders #32 (where Batman quits) has to be pre-Crisis. Some sources list Batman and the Outsiders Annual #2 and Batman and the Outsiders #28 (both published in December 1985) as the first post-Crisis Outsiders stories, but this cannot be true.

9 Responses to YEAR TEN

  1. Vince says:

    In note #5 you mention World’s Finest by Gibbons/Rude as being one of your essentials, but I can’t seem to find it in the actual chronology anywhere. I’ve never read it, just where it fits in the chronology, if it is indeed canon.

    • Collin Colsher says:

      Its listing in note #5 is incorrect. The story takes place at the end of Year Twelve (since Babs can be seen in a wheelchair in it).

  2. Jonathan Davis says:

    Excellent scholarly work and what a fun rabbit hole of Batman lore to tumble down into. Also, great use of exclamation points. !

    I’ve recently picked comics back up with the New 52. Now I’m going back in time and snagging up random mish-mashes of our favorite hero’s life. Project Omac, Face the Face, etc. My next goal will be to read Greg Rucka’s run on Detective Comics…where I go from there, who knows. At least I’ll have a guide through seven layers of Batman hell, I mean chronology (!).

    Thanks for all the hard work. I am sure I’ll be reading more to come in the future.

  3. Jonathan Davis says:

    Woops, in note #6 you state that “Blades” was written by Loeb but it was James Robinson.

  4. Brad says:

    In your note on Nightwing Year One you say that Batman 408-409 (Jason Todd’s origin) were reconned out. Couldn’t they simply be a different point of view on the same tale, one from Dick & the latter from Bruce?

    • Hey Brad,

      Not sure if they are different points of view, or completely different versions of events. In Batman #408-409, Batman catches Jason stealing the wheels off the Batmobile and they have a long discussion, after which they shake hands and Jason enters Ma Gunn’s School for a few days before being recruited as Robin. We see Batman driving Jason to the Batcave for the first time and offering him the job of Robin on the final page of issue 409. In Nightwing Year One, Jason is caught stealing the wheels the exact same way, but Batman is much harsher on the terrified thief, tying him up, gagging him, and dragging him to the Batcave, after which Jason escapes and wears Dick’s old Robin costume (as opposed to the other version where he is offered the job and given the costume). Now, I supposed you could invent a mash-up version of both of these that kinda works, but I feel it’s too much of a stretch.

      I will put a note regarding this, however, on the site!

      Thanks, Brad. And make sure to spread the word about the Real Batman Chronology Project all over the web!

  5. John says:

    Shouldn’t Barbara have gotten her Master’s at age 19? Isn’t she only two years older than Dick, who only turned 17 a month or so before? Thanks in advance 🙂

    • Their ages are a confusing thing, no? Originally, (as far as I can tell) Babs was always about two years older than Dick (in both the Silver/Bronze Age and Modern Age). This was the case for decades until Nightwing Annual #2 (2007) retconned things so that Babs and Dick share the exact same age. However, I have disregarded that rather late and unnecessary retcon because it really muddles things up and contradicts decades worth of continuity for no real narrative reason.

      “Folie à deux” by Kelley Puckett/Terry Dodson (from 1998’s Legends of the DC Universe #10-11) overlaps with Batgirl: Year One, which I have in Bat Year Seven. “Folie à deux” also tells us that Babs has recently turned 18-years-old, mere months after debuting as Batgirl. This means that in Bat Year Ten (at least according to my version of things), Babs is 20-years-old and turns 21. Furthermore, this means that Babs and Dick are not two years apart. They should be roughly just under four-years apart. The only way that Dick and Babs can remain the classic “two years apart” is to have Dick start as Robin two years later, but that doesn’t seem like a good move for the narrative of the chronology.

      So, yeah, it’s not a perfect science, and there are multiple answers that could be correct, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

      Thanks, John!

Leave a Reply

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