YEAR TWO

1990[1]

 

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #682. Bruce and Alfred visit his parents’ graves. Bruce mentions that he can’t date anymore because it will interfere with his work, suggesting that it’s time to end his relationship with Julie Madison. Alfred reminds Bruce, disgustedly, that Julie dumped him months ago. Alfred shows Bruce a box of unopened letters which Julie has been sending to Wayne Manor for months.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Annual #11, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #167, and The Batman Files—originally told in Detective Comics #58. Oswald Cobblepot aka The Penguin makes his debut and meets Batman (separately as Batman and as Bruce). There is no actual story in the Modern Age that specifically shows the original meetings between Batman/Bruce and Penguin. Matthew Manning, author of The Batman Files, seemed to have been very aware of that fun fact when he wrote the canonical first Bruce/Penguin encounter into his book in 2011. Here’s a synopsis. Bruce, likely to bolster his “playboy” persona, begins on-again-off-again dating rich society gal Linda Page (a nod to the Golden Age and Silver Age). He also sponsors a new wing of the Flugelheim Museum (a nod to Tim Burton’s Batman film), to which Bruce, Linda, and some of her friends visit. While there, Linda gossips, mentioning the rich Vreeland family (a nod to Batman the Animated Series).[2] Oswald Cobblepot also visits the museum, where he makes obnoxious comments to both Bruce and Linda before getting away scot-free with a stolen painting. Presumably, not long afterward, Bruce switches to his crime-fighting gear and shakes-down Penguin, thus officially meeting Penguin as both Bruce and Batman. This immediately leads to another quick confrontation (or possibly multiple confrontations in a row). Despite these head-to-heads, Penguin’s MO is to commit crimes with the façade of appearing like he is running a legitimate business, so he won’t get busted for anything right now. Nor will he really be on Batman’s true crime radar until a bit later. In Batman Annual #11 (which occurs in Bat Year Eleven) it is revealed that the Penguin has been in and out of prison for at least ten years prior to Batman’s debut. It can be assumed that Cobblepot’s outrageous nature (i.e. use of umbrellas and bird-themed crime) develops as a direct result of both the Batman’s presence and the ever-changing nature of super-villainy and “pop-crime” in Gotham. Penguin would have been a notorious quasi-celebrity swindler/club-owner for nearly a decade before Batman’s first appearance. Also, worth noting: Batman will collect a ton of Penguin’s staple trick umbrellas over the course of the next two decades.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #673, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #32-34, and The Batman Files. Batman invents one-man autogyro-copters called Bat-Gyros, which will occasionally (but rarely) get used on certain cases or patrols moving forward. When Robin comes on the scene in a few years, he will rename these things “Whirly-Bats.”

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #23. Bruce visits Dr. Leslie Thompkins. They hang out and she stresses how much she loathes Batman, thinking his vigilantism is reckless and dangerous. Bruce poses for a photograph with Leslie. After developing the photo, Bruce frames it and sends it to her as a gift.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #848-849. Bruce attends a charity ball and chats with childhood friend Tommy Elliot (who will become the villain Hush years from now). Also present at the party; a teenage Peyton Riley (who will become the second Ventriloquist years from now). Tommy and Peyton begin dating.

12A. “Irresistible” by Tom Peyer/Tony Harris (LOTDK #169 Intro) September 2003
January. Batman busts some gun-toting jerks that try to carjack an old lady. Meanwhile, we (the reader) are introduced to Frank Sharp, a born loser who just happens to be a metahuman with the telepathic power of coercion. Despite his incredibly deformed face, he can order anyone to do just about anything simply by shaking their hand. Sharp will spend the next six months using his power to get whatever he wants, at which point Batman will be on him like white on rice. But we’ll get to that in just under six months.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Files. February. Bruce breaks it off with Linda Page. Note that The Batman Files says that Bruce dates Linda Page for months. He couldn’t have dated her for more than a month-and-a-half.

13. Batman: Journey into Knight #1-6 by Andrew Helfer/Tan Eng Huat
February-March. Bruce Wayne officially becomes the Majority Shareholder of Wayne Industries in this first half of this 12-issue mini series, which makes him the Chairman of the Board, much to the chagrin of the corporate heads, especially when the new CEO “sleeps” through every meeting. The first six issues run over the course of three weeks (starting in February and ending in March, since Bruce’s birthday occurs). Batman solves the case of Cary Rinaldi aka The Carrier who spreads a fatal disease wherever he goes. Bruce’s new love interest, Summer Skye Simmonds (aka Summer Simmonds aka Skye Peters), comes into his life. I guess Bruce just can’t let go of the ladies after all.[3]

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics Annual #8. March.[4][5] Batman first encounters Edward Nashton aka Edward Nigma, better known as The Riddler, a super-villain whose schtick is to send clues to the cops before committing a crime. Batman also deals with Riddler’s henchwomen Query and Echo. This “Riddler Year One” story (entitled “Questions Multiply the Mystery”) by Chuck Dixon/Kieron Dwyer is told through flashback from the Riddler’s point of view. Batman versus Riddler comprises a series of five major heists, which are also canonically mentioned in Batman Confidential #25. The Riddler’s first four heists occur in quick succession. (He commits some small-time, non-riddle muggings in there too.) Riddler’s fifth heist is the second part of number four, but the fifth is a charm, so to speak, since Batman finally nabs him—we will see him being jailed in the upcoming epilogue to “Do You Understand These Rights?” (from Batman Confidential #25). Anyway, the five heists are as follows: One, the Riddler’s paltry debut at Everest Theater; two, the Lighthouse Club job; three, the Reservoir Cash Depository job; and four and five, the two-part Stradivarius Kidnapping affair (after which Batman captures him). The second heist, at the Lighthouse Club, occurs at 2:29 am on March 4th (the time and date are part of the riddles), and since “Do You Understand These Rights?” states the Riddler’s crimes are all within the month, we can assume that the two-part Stradivarius Kidnapping is during the final week of March. During one of these encounters with the Riddler, Batman keeps a giant question mark as a souvenir, displaying it in the cave as a trophy (as seen and referenced in Nightwing Vol. 2 #101). Likewise, Batman keeps one of Riddler’s riddle clue notes as a trophy as well (as referenced in The Batman Files).

10B. “Do You Understand These Rights?” by Andrew Kreisberg/Scott McDaniel (Batman Confidential #25 Epilogue) March 2009
Late March. Batman has just apprehended Riddler (following the second part of the Stradivarius Kidnapping plan from Detective Comics Annual #8) and drops him off at GCPD HQ.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: The Long Halloween and The Batman Files—originally told in Detective Comics #259. Late March to early April. The date-themed super-villain Calendar Man (Julian Gregory Day) debuts, publicly claiming that he will commit five crimes in a row (per day), each with a seasonal theme. After Calendar Man bests Batman four times, the Caped Crusader realizes that Calendar Man plans to strike again posing as Maharajah the Magician, a stage performer he killed last year. Batman busts Calendar Man, leaving him for Captain Gordon.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Legend of the Dark Knight #42 and Batman #670—originally told in Batman #181. Spring—LODTK #42 explicitly states that Poison Ivy debuts in the spring. Batman encounters the former female-rockers turned super-villains, Silken Spider, Tiger Moth, and Dragon Fly. Shortly thereafter, Poison Ivy debuts, demonstrating her ability to control both plants and people. Poison Ivy, out to prove that she is the number one female super-villain in Gotham, busts the trio of rival ladies. This leads to Batman busting Poison Ivy. NOTES: The placement of Poison Ivy’s debut is a tricky one. The only post-original Crisis debut tale for Poison Ivy is the definitively NON CANON “Year One Poison Ivy” by Alan Grant from Batman: Shadow of the Bat Annual #3. There are several things that make this story non canon. First, we meet a violently homicidal Pamela Isley. Isley doesn’t start using lethal tactics until later. Her first encounters with Batman are more playful than murderous and it is because of this fact that she is released instead of incarcerated. Second, Gordon is a lieutenant. Third, Batman still doesn’t have the Batmobile yet. Fourth, there are vague references to Christmas coming soon. Fifth, Poison Ivy is shown using former Joker and Penguin henchmen. Ivy could have used Penguin’s henchmen, but using Joker’s henchmen, on the other hand, would probably be unlikely since he doesn’t really use henchmen until later on. And sixth, references in Batman #670 hint at a Poison Ivy origin that involves Silken Spider, Dragon Fly, and Tiger Moth, meaning that Ivy’s origin is likely a modified version of her origin from Batman #181 (or one that combines it with elements of Shadow of the Bat Annual #3). Therefore, despite whether we completely ignore Shadow of the Bat Annual #3 outright or make mere reference to it, Ivy’s first appearance should still be placed here on the timeline, somewhere during the spring months about one year into Batman’s tenure as Gotham’s vigilante hero—(SOTB Annual #3 actually gets this one year in part correct).[6]

–REFERENCE: In Batman: The Long Halloween #1 and The Batman Files. Bruce Wayne meets Selina Kyle out-of-costume for the first time. They’ve already met in-costume on a bunch of occasions (and once when Bruce used his scarred-up war vet disguise), but never in their regular civilian personas. Selina, who has falsely established herself as notorious Gotham socialite “Marguerite Tone,” becomes playfully entangled with Bruce. (Selina will drop the fake name almost immediately after using it.) Selina and Bruce will cross paths several times over the course of this second Bat Year, but those meetings aren’t specifically referenced, so we will simply have to imagine them appearing randomly on our timeline. Furthermore, Selina will have no idea that Bruce is Batman, but the super-sleuth Dark Knight eventually deduces that Selina is none other than his feline femme-fatale foe. (While there is a distinct possibility that Batman knows Catwoman’s secret identity right from the start of Year One, there is actually no definitive indicator that Batman learns it 100% until Year Seven’s Batman Confidential #17. Batman’s interactions with Catwoman—and Bruce’s with Selina—are coy enough to keep things deliberately vague on our timeline’s first six years. Therefore, there is an argument to be made for both cases and things are hazy enough in the comics that it’s hard to say for certain.) No matter what, though, at some point this year, Bruce and Selina begin on-again-off-again dating each other.[7]

14. “Deja Vu” by Darwyn Cooke (Solo #5) August 2005
This tale is a canonical re-telling of “The Stalker” by Steve Englehart (originally from 1974’s Detective Comics #439). Batman chases down a group of robbers after they murder a young boy’s parents in front of him. After bringing the villains to justice, Bruce reflects in front of his own deceased parents’ portrait and cries. Very powerful in the 70s and the legendary Cooke treats the story with respect in 2005. (Although, we should ignore Cooke’s poetic license of placing Wayne Manor by the seaside.)

15. Batman/Catwoman: Trail of the Gun #1-2 by Ann Nocenti/Ethan Van Sciver (2004)
This tale does a great job of developing Catwoman’s character. When word of a futuristic prototype smart-gun that fires heat-seeking bullets hits the streets, Catwoman (and every other Gotham thief) begins to salivate. Batman hears that Selina is thinking about stealing the weapon and asks her to help him in an illegal gun-bust in order to teach her about the deadly consequences of unlicensed firearms. Selina, who isn’t quite won over yet, heads over to a metahuman dive bar (Gotham’s seediest thieves’ den) and assembles a crew for the job. Catwoman’s team breaks into the shop where the smart-gun is on display only to realize that two separate crews are already there with the same MO. A bloody gunfight ensues and nearly everyone dies. Catwoman gets blamed for mass murder! In the end Selina is able to shake down one of the other thieves, Gotham’s top burglar extraordinaire, Pike Peavy, who publicly proves her innocence. Peavy, on his deathbed, passes the “king of thieves” torch onto Catwoman. Finally, Batman is able to convince Catwoman that guns are not cool. Catwoman ponders whether or not she might be a hero instead of a villain.

16. “Gothic” by Grant Morrison/Klaus Janson (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #6-10)
In “Gothic,” Batman defeats Manfred Winchester, a three-hundred-year-old villain known as Mr. Whisper, who is hellbent on spreading a plague-like disease over Gotham. Oh, did I mention that Mr. Whisper used to be Bruce’s childhood boarding school teacher? Moving on, it’s probably safe to say that the curious case of Mr. Whisper takes at least a couple weeks to solve, especially since Batman makes two separate trips to Austria (yes, the one in Europe) to gather information about the villain’s dark origins.[8]

–FLASHBACK: From The Batman Chronicles #10. Batman busts some random crooks. An unnamed gangster witnesses the bust, which strikes the fear of the Bat into him. He tells his three partners in crime to be weary of Gotham’s protector, but sure enough, the Dark Knight sends them to jail in quick succession. When rival mobsters kill the unnamed gangster’s family, he comes to think Batman is responsible and becomes a vagrant recluse living on the streets of Gotham.

17. “Stalking” by Lee Marrs/Eddy Newell (LOTDK #107-108) June 1998 to July 1998
Early summer. A highly-trained motorcycle-driving assassin goes on a murder spree to avenge the death of her husband, a criminal who had been killed years ago by Captain Gordon.[9]

12B. “Irresistible” by Tom Peyer/Tony Harris (continued) (LOTDK #169-171) September 2003 to November 2003
June. Frank Sharp’s rise to power continues as he uses his metahuman abilities to win favor with the campaigning Mayor Gill. Batman watches from the shadows as Sharp manipulates not only the mayor, but also landlords, contractors, and developers for his own personal gain. After a few days of surveillance, Batman confronts Sharp, intimidating him without even saying a word. Angered, Sharp uses his powers on Penguin, essentially taking control of his operations. After a few days of Penguin kowtowing to Sharp for no apparent reason, Penguin’s henchmen take it upon themselves to eliminate the newcomer. Batman, who has been monitoring Sharp constantly, swings in and saves his life just as the hoods are about to execute him. Later, Sharp’s influence gets Mayor Gill kidnapped by gangsters, causing Batman to intervene and save his life as well. Two weeks later, Bruce (as Bruce) confronts Sharp at a club, threatening to expose him. Sharp shakes Bruce’s hand and orders him to jump off a balcony, which Bruce promptly does. But of course, he’s Batman so he lands safely. After a visit with Sharp’s parents, Batman confronts Sharp one last time and sends him to Arkham. Bruce then visits Sharp at Arkham and reunites him with his estranged mom and dad.

18. “Hot House” by John Francis Moore/P. Craig Russell (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #42-43) February 1993 to March 1993
“Hot House” depicts Poison Ivy’s second encounter with Batman. Gordon references Batman’s first encounter with her as happening “last spring.” While the term “last spring” seems to imply spring from the previous year, we must take Gordon’s reference to mean the most recent spring, or in this case, three-and-a-half months ago. Thus, this seems like an appropriate place to put “Hot House” onto our timeline. In the tale, we learn that Ivy was released from a mental hospital shortly after her first encounter with Batman and is now working at Gotham University. Has she really reformed? No way, Jose. “Hot House” plants the seeds (no pun intended) for the future of Pamela Isley; she’s manipulative, seductive, and downright crazy. Overall, “Hot House” takes about a week to wrap up. The story ends after Batman travels to Seattle to interrogate one of Ivy’s former colleagues. Notably, both Dr. Jason Woodrue and Green Arrow are mentioned in their conversation, although Batman has yet to meet either of them. Also note that Bruce pisses-off his unnamed blonde date in “Hot House.” For the purposes of our timeline, this is Summer Skye Simmonds. It fits nicely in the time frame and double-functions as their official break up.

19. Batman: Journey into Knight #7-12 by Andrew Helfer/Tan Eng Huat (April 2006 to November 2006)
Early June-early September. Issue #7 of Journey into Knight begins “four months later” after issue #6. In a highly elaborate storyline (not a necessarily good one, mind you) Journey into Knight reveals that the higher-ups at Wayne Industries had climbed the corporate ladder by utilizing a criminal scheme that involved kidnapping, faking deaths, actual murder, arson, hypnotism, and many other felonies. Anyway, now that Bruce has settled into his role as CEO of the company, these guys stand to lose everything. Thus, the bad guys hypnotize Bruce (with the help of metahuman villain Sister Lailah) and he goes crazy and tries to kill someone. Bruce becomes a fugitive! This won’t be the last time Bruce becomes a fugitive! But knowing that Bruce will talk once he snaps out of the trance, they catch him, dope him up, and secretly incarcerate him in Arkham Asylum! This won’t be the last time Bruce is incarcerated in Arkham! To add to the chaos, Joker, unknown to the outside world, has assumed control of one of the Arkham wings and acts as Bruce’s personal “doctor,” keeping him trapped and drugged for THREE MONTHS. If we don’t assume that this “three months” has since been retconned down to a more reasonable number, then Batman is out of commission from mid-June to September. This technically is a possibility on our timeline, although it isn’t a paradigm. Either way, pick your own poison. Eventually, Bruce gets out, is cleared of all charges, and we see a fully-recovered Batman out-and-about two weeks later.[10]

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #598. Batman builds and secretly imbeds a master password program that he can use to override all internal security for WayneTech’s computer systems. This gives him unlimited access to WayneTech’s computers.

20. “Testament” by John Wagner/Chris Brunner (LOTDK #172-176) December 2003 to April 2004
The first of many violent/homicidal Batman-inspired criminal gangs emerges now. The gang known as “Rough Justice” burglarizes Wayne Manor and stumbles upon Bruce’s journal, which gives away his identity as Batman! Luckily for Bruce, the whole gang is killed before anyone finds out. Captain Gordon does manage to procure the journal, but opts not to read it, and instead returns it to Batman safely.[11] [12]

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #673—and also referenced in Batman #665. So much unbelievable shit has gone down recently, Batman decides to begin keeping a log of any bizarre events involving metahumans, supernatural occurrences, aliens, and anything else seemingly beyond the realm of human comprehension. With the ever-changing and growing face of super-crime in Gotham, Batman worries about his own sanity, especially since he gets drugged so often during combat. Therefore, Bruce and Alfred begin compiling this intensive log, which is known as “The Black Casebook.”

–FLASHBACK: From the B&W second feature to Batman: Gotham Knights #47. Batman chases after an escaped Riddler, first on foot, then in the Batmobile.

21. “Secrets of the Batcave: Dinosaur Island” by Graham Nolan (The Batman Chronicles #8 Part 3) Spring 1997
This quick little yarn could easily have taken place a bit earlier, but I put it in here because we have never seen the Batcave dinosaur yet, but it will start showing up repeatedly from this point on. In “Dinosaur Island” we learn how the giant T rex winds up as a trophy. Batman defeats Stephan Chase, vile owner of “Dinosaur Island,” a theme park complete with robotic fighting cavemen and mechanical dinosaurs. Afterward, Alfred suggests that Batman should start an official trophy collection. In disguise, Alfred purchases the T rex at a police auction. The Dark Knight has already collected a few super-villain items here and there, but the acquisition of the T rex signifies the true start of Batman’s “Hall of Trophies.” We’ll see over the years that Batman will majorly get into prize collection. Note that Alfred mistakenly refers to Jim Gordon as “Lieutenant” in this item, whereas Gordon should correctly be “Captain.”

–REFERENCE: In Batman: The Killing Joke. September. Batman has just started building his Hall of Trophies, so he will be trying to collect as much as possible now. Contrary to popular belief, the giant penny is a trophy from the encounter with the “Penny Plunderer” aka gangster Joe Coyne, not from an encounter with Two-Face. The Batman Chronicles #19 has a good Penny Plunderer story, although it’s non-canon because Robin is in it.

–REFERENCE: In Robin Vol. 2 #13. September. We already know that, thanks to Robin Vol. 2 #13, Batman kept the Monk’s tattered shroud after the events of Mad Monk. Since he is now building his trophy room, the Caped Crusader puts the shroud on display.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 2 #101. September. Batman continues building his trophy room by putting the Riddler’s giant question mark on display.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: The Killing Joke. September. An encounter with the Penguin earns Batman a life-size Emperor Penguin prop and the villain’s signature top hat.

–REFERENCE: In Robin Vol. 2 #13—originally told in Detective Comics #42. September. The Case of the Prophetic Picture takes place. Anyone who commissions a portrait by the famous Gotham artist Pierre Antal Vangild winds up dead. Bruce has his picture painted to solve the case and then hangs it in the cave.

–REFERENCE: September. Originally told in Detective Comics #39, this trophy item tale, like the question mark above, is referenced in an unknown issue or diagram from some unknown issue. If anyone can help out here, it would be much appreciated. Batman shuts down some Opium runners with the help of an inside man, who sacrifices his life to help the Dark Knight. As a tribute to his fallen friend, Batman displays his good luck charm, a Little Buddha statue.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 2 #210. September. Batman goes on an unspecified case and adds a giant nickel to his giant coin collection.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #589—and also referenced in Booster Gold Vol. 2 #21 and The Batman Files. Late September. Batman’s second encounter with the Joker occurs, after which Batman proudly displays a giant playing card alongside the other trophies. Batman also keeps some bloody Joker playing cards (regular size), which the super-villain will use as his signature calling cards from now on. Since we know that Batman goes in disguise as a black man during one of his early encounters with the Joker (as seen in Batman #589), we might as well assume that he dons blackface (sigh) during this giant playing card adventure. (The giant playing card trophy is referenced inBooster Gold Vol. 2 #21 while the regular size playing card trophies are referenced in The Batman Files.)

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #137 and Batman Annual #19. Late September. Jonathan Crane debuts as Scarecrow. The 100% canonical LOTDK #137 specifically flashes-back to the quasi-canonical Batman Annual #19. One of the reasons Batman Annual #19 is merely quasi-canonical is because Two-Face makes an appearance—and, of course, Two-Face wouldn’t be around yet. Batman Annual #19 was written two years before Long Halloween was published and made officially canon, thus it didn’t know any better than to exclude Two-Face from the narrative. Another reason it is problematic is because of a bogus reference to Fontana ChemCorp.[13] However, despite its quasi-canonical status, the basic plot elements remain the same. Scarecrow starts scaring Gotham University professors to death. Soon afterward, Batman learns the sickening terror of Fear Gas, but recovers quickly to defeat Scarecrow in a corn field. The corn field scene is the one specifically flashed-back-to in LOTDK #137. Others list “Choices,” which occurs later this year, as Scarecrow’s debut story, but that simply isn’t possible. And Year One: Batman/Scarecrow by Bruce Jones/Sean Murphy is another Scarecrow origin tale, but Robin is in it, so that story is non-canon. Year One: Batman/Scarecrow does, however, like Batman Annual #19, retain some canonical material despite its non-canon status. It details flashbacks to Scarecrow’s family, specifically his poor mother Karen Keeny-Crane and his wicked grandmother that raised him, Marion Keeny. While nothing in the main action of Year One: Batman/Scarecrow is canon, the Crane Family flashbacks within are canon-legit thanks to DC Universe Holiday Special 2009, which highlights Karen Keeny-Crane and Marion Keeny in a Year Ten Deadman Christmas story titled “Unbearable Loss.”[14] Batman Villains Secret Files #1 (October 1998) has a messy quasi-canonical timeline that gives a history where Scarecrow debuts pretty early, definitely before Two-Face. While much of the Batman Villains Secret Files #1 must be ignored, this fact can be taken as gospel.

22. “Good Cop… Bad Cop” by Andrew Kriesberg/Scott McDaniel (Batman Confidential #29-30) July 2009 to August 2009
This is the sequel to “Do You Understand These Rights?” and features Geoff Shancoe aka “Bad Cop,” a Gotham policeman who’s life was ruined by the Joker in the aforementioned story-arc. Shancoe escapes from Arkham and winds up in a pretty messy scene with Jim Gordon and a little Barbara before Batman saves them. Technically, this is the first chronological appearance of Barbara Gordon. She is probably twelve-years-old here and she refers to Jim as her “dad.” At this point, Jim wouldn’t have adopted her yet and she would still have been living with her parents in the suburbs of Chicago. To explain this situation I would assume that Babs is simply visiting Jim, and since her father was constantly suggesting that Babs live with Jim in Gotham (as seen in Batman: Gotham Knights #6), Babs has already taken to calling Jim “dad” instead of “uncle.” Of course, we’ll find out later that Jim had an affair with his brother’s wife or possibly dated her right before his bro did (it’s complicated), so she’s likely his actual daughter anyway… but that isn’t for a very long time. We also see the debut of Renee Montoya training at the police academy and learn that The Ventriloquist (and his living dummy Scarface) has been apprehended by the GCPD. Batman won’t actually meet The Ventriloquist and Scarface for about another ten years![15]

23A. “Wings” by Chuck Dixon/Quique Alcatena (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Annual #5) 1995
Early October. LOTDK Annual #5 (“Wings”) replaced Secret Origins Vol. 2 #39 as the official Modern Age Man-Bat origin story. “Wings” starts right after the time when Batman begins his trophy displays in the Batcave and will run on-and-off for the next ten months. Batman battles the gang of masked acrobatic thieves called The Ridgerunners (aka The Blackout Gang from Secret Origins Vol. 2 #39) three times in a row, and three times in a row Batman is defeated. Elsewhere, Dr. Kirk Langstrom and his girlfriend Francine Lee work on a genome project involving bats.

24. “Flyer” by Howard Chaykin/Gil Kane (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #24-26) November 1991 to January 1992
October. “Flyer” is the official 18 month-in story (as opposed to the out-of-continuity LOTDK #71-73 “Werewolf” tale).[16] Batman mentions his recent strange encounters with both Hugo Strange and Mr. Whisper. This story also has a direct tie-in to Miller’s “Year One” and here’s how: In Miller’s “Year One” Batman uses an ultrasonic technology to bring a flock of bats to his location, which functions as a chaotic black cloud to mask his escape from the law. “Flyer” reveals that one of the GCPD officers, Curtis Eisenmann, was seriously injured during this memorable Miller scene. Eisenmann’s mother, Birgit, who happens to be a psychotic ex-Nazi scientist, decides to turn her paralyzed son into Darth Vader, giving him a flying cyborg body and razor sharp teeth to exact revenge on Batman. Enter a homophobic Nazi cyborg with an Oedipus complex. Wait, it gets better. After Curtis captures Batman, his mom reveals her thoughts that the Dark Knight is the perfect über-man. The plan all along was for Batman to father her child! After some electrical torture to loosen up Bats for the sexual ride of his life, Oedipal-Curtis decides his mom’s plan of action is just too damn creepy and betrays her. Batman barely escapes with his life and the Eisenmanns perish in an explosion.

25. “Playground” by James Robinson/Dan Brereton (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #114) January 1999
October. This story, like “Flyer,” also takes place roughly eighteen months into Batman’s career. The Dark Knight travels to Chicago and gets his ass totally handed to him by the murderous villain known only as Rhodes. The killer is about to claim victory when he’s mobbed by a bunch of homeless people. Talk about deus ex machina.

23B. “Wings” by Chuck Dixon/Quique Alcatena (continued) (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Annual #5) 1995
Late October. Weeks after his last confrontation with the Ridgerunners/Blackout Gang, Batman confronts them again, and once again gets bested. Meanwhile, Kirk Langstrom injects a bat DNA serum of his own invention into his bloodstream, giving him increased hearing ability. Kirk and Francine then announce their engagement, but the serum takes further effect, turning Kirk into a monstrous bat creature. Man-Bat goes into hiding.

26. “Terror” by Doug Moench/Paul Gulacy (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #137-141) January 2001 to May 2001[17]
Late October. “Terror” is the Hugo Strange-featured follow-up to “Prey.” I originally had this tale much later, but it should correctly go here with one big caveat: the mention of Two-Face must 100% be ignored—it is an out-and-out continuity goof. However, “Terror” goes here for a bunch of reasons. First, Moench’s narrative heavily insinuates that this takes place not that long after “Prey.” Second, the relationship between Catwoman and Batman is much too cat-and-mouse to go later, as in she is still a fugitive on the GCPD’s radar more-so than a menace that has been put on the back burner. Plus, if Bats and Selina were star-crossed lovers at this point, “Terror” completely forgets this aspect and the kiss in the alley reads as one of their first embraces. Third, “Terror” seems adept at being Scarecrow’s first foray out of Arkham after he has fully embraced his role (before he gets all “macabre’d-up” in “Choices” and Long Halloween. Thus, in a sense, “Terror” functions as an important character-developing moment tantamount to what the effect of his capture in Batman: Madness: A Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special would have been were it canon. And fourth, “Terror” directly references Scarecrow’s initial defeat in the corn field (from his debut a week ago), making this his second official appearance. Phew. Now onto the synopsis! The deranged Hugo Strange returns and frees Scarecrow from Arkham in order to use him as a pawn against Batman. Instead, Scarecrow turns on Strange by impaling him on a spiked metal weather vane, leaving him for dead. The self-proclaimed Master of Fear then goes on a killing spree in an attempt to murder all the “jocks” who picked on him in high school. Neato! Batman very reluctantly teams up with Catwoman and together they bring Dr. Crane to justice. But that’s not all. The Cat/Bat team (and Crane) are stunned when Strange makes a dramatic resurrection. Turns out he was stuck with the weather vane impaled straight through his chest for three days and, despite massive exsanguination, survived by eating live rats! Jesus. “Terror” is also notable because Gordon finally paints the bat symbol onto the Batsignal. He had previously been using a cloth cutout of a bat and placing it over the spotlight. Also, Bruce does a massive upgrade of Wayne Manor’s security during this tale.[18]

27. “Choices: A Tale of Halloween in Gotham City” by Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special #1) December 1993
Halloween weekend. This tale was renamed “Fears” in the TPB. The month of the Scarecrow continues! Jonathan Crane is already on the loose again (we must assume he never makes it to Arkham or escapes immediately following “Terror”) and has been wreaking havoc for a nearly a whole week. By night, Batman finally battles the crazed villain and defeats him. By day, Bruce is seduced by a beautiful femme-fatale named Jillian Maxwell, only to realize that she is a con-artist who’s only after his cash. There is a slightly odd part in “Choices” where Gordon mentions his wife by name and Batman seems to not remember who she is at first, but I think this slip-up can be chalked up to the fact that Bats hasn’t slept a wink in over three days.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Files. Late October. Batman is tickled by the fact that Batman Halloween costumes are among the most popular and sought-after costumes this holiday season.

[19]

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #65. Joker escapes from Arkham, but Batman puts him right back. This is Batman’s third encounter with the Joker. (The Man Who Laughs/”Do You Understand These Rights?” combo counts as the first while the fight that nets the giant playing card is numero dos).

28. “Infected” by Warren Ellis/John McCrea (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #83-84) June 1996 to July 1996
“Infected” is a short story by Warren Ellis where two U.S. soldiers have been injected with a test serum designed to make them into metahuman super-warriors capable of shooting bone fragment bullets out of their bare hands. After being dosed with the formula, they go insane, escape, and begin rampaging through Gotham. One of the soldiers eventually commits suicide while the other gets an infection and becomes a walking-plague like threat. Batman winds up taking him down with a cattle prod and a gun, yes you heard me right, a gun! Relax, he uses the gun to shoot at and disarm the renegade soldier’s bone spewing hands, not to kill him.

29. “The Sleeping” by Scott Hampton (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #76-78) October 1995 to December 1995
In “The Sleeping”, Bruce Wayne is injured in a car accident and goes into a coma for two weeks. While in the coma, Bruce (as Batman) enters a surreal realm that resembles Hell, battles a demon-like creature called a Soul Eater, and learns what his life would have been like had he not become a superhero (he falls in love, marries, etc). We never learn the name of the strange land that Bruce is astrally projected into, but it is possible that he enters “The Dreaming” from Gaiman’s The Sandman series or some dark side-realm connected to The Dreaming. There is also a notable line in “The Sleeping” where Bruce mentions having previously “played mind games with” The Joker and Scarecrow, indicating that they are two of his most cerebral adversaries to date. I should also mention that Batman will meet another Soul Eater in roughly fifteen year’s time (as seen in Batman: Gotham Knights #17).

30. “Tao” by Alan Grant/Arthur Ranson (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #52-53) October 1993
“Tao” is a short story where Batman exerts his dominance over the Triads (specifically the Chinese mob) in Gotham. We also see flashbacks to his training in China where he trained with the priestess Shao-La and dealt with her rivals H’Sien-Tan and Dragon. There is a nice splash page that has contains a mural of all of Batman’s main rogues, past, present, and future. Everyone seems appropriate, except for the guy at the top. Who is that? Dracula? Also, I think The Spook is in there. Not exactly big time. UPDATE: “Dracula” is indeed Carmine Falcone, as was pointed out to me. Good eye!

31. “Terminus” by Jaimie Delano/Chris Balacho (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #64) September 1994
“Terminus” is a one-night story which inventively depicts The Terminus Hotel, a metaphorical inferno where murderers spend their last days before entering their final destination; Hell. This isn’t so much a Batman story; it’s more of a psycho-analysis or character study of the criminal mind. Pretty cool stuff.

32. “Turf” by Steven Grant/Shawn McManus (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #44-45) April 1993 to May 1993
One of the first LOTDK stories to deal directly with race. “Turf” is about police brutality and hate crimes committed by members of the GCPD. When a string of African-Americans are beaten and killed by racist cops, the higher-ranking GCPD officials sweep it all under the rug, but Batman and Gordon aren’t satisfied. They want justice, and you can better believe they get it.

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to Detective Comics #782. November 25—the anniversary of Batman’s parents’ deaths. Batman continues his annual tradition of placing two roses on Crime Alley on the anniversary of his folks’ murders.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #701 Part 1. Alfred begins serving Batman what will become his favorite soup: mulligatawny. While we won’t see more mulligatawny notes on our timeline, know that this is Bruce’s soup of choice and he will get it quite often.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 3 #14. Batman gives Superman a sound piece of investigative advice: “Always question everything.”

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #618 and Batman #678. Bruce puts his father’s old bat-costume, which was once worn at a masquerade party before Bruce was born, on display in the Batcave.

33. “Blades” by James Robinson/Tim Sale (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #32-34) June 1992 to July 1992
December. Hands down, one of the best LOTDK stories ever written. This story takes place about twenty months into Batman’s crusade and lasts for a little over a week. In “Blades” we are introduced to Hudson Pyle aka the original Cavalier (not the villain who uses the same name and similar costume years later). The Cavalier has been on the scene for a mere week, but quickly becomes Gotham’s most beloved swashbuckling superhero, not only because of his genuine effectiveness against crime, but because he embraces the public eye as well. He even apprehends the Riddler (who we must assume has escaped from incarceration). However, when his girlfriend is blackmailed by a crime-boss named Randolph Salt, The Cavalier is forced to commit petty crimes to protect her. He winds up being outed as a criminal and eventually murders Salt. After a duel with an exhausted Batman, who has just captured the serial-killer Mr. Lime, The Cavalier sacrifices his own life by charging into a hail of police gunfire. There is a nice panel in issue #3 of “Blades” where Batman refers to his three toughest foes so far. Can you guess who they are? Our list is making even more sense as we move along—the three are the Joker, Hugo Strange, and the Riddler.

[20]

–FLASHBACK: From Batman/Huntress: Cry for Blood #4. Christmas. Batman crashes the holiday party of mob boss Junior Galante. A sixteen-year-old Helena Bertinelli attends the party and is awed and inspired by the Caped Crusader. Helena will one day become the crime-fighter known as Huntress.

34. “Favorite Things” by Mark Millar/Steve Yeowell (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #79) January 1996
Christmas. It’s still holly jolly X-mas time! Criminal gangs, like the Joker-inspired Joy Boys and the—well, the chess-inspired Chess Men are running amok all over Gotham. In fact, the Chess Men have gone one step too far; they’ve stolen a very precious possession from Wayne Manor. What is it, you ask? Information leading to the secret identity of Batman? No. A nuclear device? No. Ultra-high-tech Bat gadgetry? No. A toy train that was given to Bruce as a child? You got it! Oh, Mark Millar, your attempt to pull on our heartstrings has failed miserably. [21]

35. “Blink” by Dwayne McDuffie/Val Semeiks (LOTDK #156-158) Aug. 2002 to Oct. 2002
Batman meets and befriends Lee Hyland, a metahuman conman who is completely blind, but can see through the eyes of any animal or person he touches. In this tale, rich folks are having snuff films made (think 8mm) and Hyland, who will later don the name Blink, is witness to the crimes.

36. “Pulp Heroes” by James Robinson/Steve Yeowell/Russ Heath (LOTDK Annual #7) 1997
Batman’s investigations into a murder lead him to the countryside where he learns about the WWII pulp adventures of Steve Savage aka Balloon Buster. This is basically a tribute to 1940s pulp heroes and how they influenced Batman’s career.

 


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  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: Welcome to Bat Year Two. There is a follow-up to Miller’s “Year One” from Detective Comics called “Batman: Year Two,” but it has long been retconned as non-canon via Zero Hour and Infinite Crisis—(although, parts of it have since been retconned back). So, forget about “Batman: Year Two,” which involves The Reaper. We’ll address the canonical remnants of that story a handful of years down the road. If you haven’t already, please read the INTRODUCTION TO THE “YEAR ONE ERA” for essential information regarding how my chronology is different than most others in regard to the placement of Two-Face’s debut, Robin’s debut, and the JLA’s debut.
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: An important note about Bruce’s sex life. Matthew Manning’s The Batman Files attempts to include and order Bruce’s lovers during this early time period of his crime-fighting career. It does so via a tabloid newspaper article. Because of this, the information given comes from an unreliable narrator. Coupled with the fact that The Batman Files already has a dubious canonical status, we must take the tabloid writer’s order and lengths of Bruce’s love affairs with a grain of salt. The tabloid list is given in the following order: Viveca Beausoleil, Julie Madison, Skye Peters, Jillian Maxwell, Julie Madison, then Linda Page, which overlaps with Selina Kyle until Bruce officially breaks it off with Linda. (Note that the addition of Linda is simply Manning’s Easter Egging. She never appeared in a single Modern Age comic book.) In order for our timeline to work correctly, especially with Penguin’s debut (since The Batman Files links Penguin’s debut to Bruce dating Linda), the correct order of Bruce’s love affairs should be: Viveca Beausoleil, Julie Madison, Linda Page, Skye Peters, then Selina Kyle, which continues in an on-again-off-again fashion, briefly overlapping with Jillian Maxwell.
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: According to our chronology, Journey into Knight #1-6 should take place around 1990, so technically there is some sort of primitive Internet (which is mentioned in-story). Topical references to the Internet (and other things) are added by DC editors in an attempt to make Batman seem younger and more contemporary. I think there is a “Year One Era” story (maybe even Journey into Knight) which mentions the TV show American Idol. These topical references must be taken with a grain of salt.

    VALHERU: Journey into Knight seems the most out-of- or at least fuzzily-in-continuity of the “Year One Era” storylines and specificity may be in vain. JIK #1-6 seems to work better in November, but Bruce’s birthday must place it in February.

    ACE FACE: There are many problems trying to fit Journey Into Knight into the continuity. For example, there are some superficial problems, like Gordon telling Batman to call him “Jim,” Gordon’s rank being “lieutenant” throughout, and the lack of a Batmobile. But a bigger problem for me is that, despite this story supposedly occurring in Year One, Bruce is to visit the family solicitor on his birthday, which means the first part of this story must be in February. According to Year One, Batman doesn’t make an appearance until April, this must be the following February. The second part of the story then occurs four months later (about June?) putting it right into Year Two, not Year One. Bruce is then locked up in Arkham for three months taking the story to at least September. However, the biggest problem, I think, is the private wing in Arkham. In “Do You Understand These Rights?” Arkham has only just re-opened with the Joker as patient zero, so if the second half of Journey Into Knight is really written as if it is still in Year One, the Wayne board members could not have been there all that time. Also, I find it hard to accept the ease with which the Joker can be allowed out of his cell to act as Bruce’s doctor–where are all the “real” Arkham staffers? This man is an extremely dangerous and manipulative murderer!

    COLLIN COLSHER: Okay, here is the full rundown on Journey Into Knight. Bruce’s birthday does occur, so issues #1-6 must take place in February/March. The superficial continuity issue of Gordon telling Batman to “call him Jim” unfortunately must be ignored. Batman has been calling Captain Gordon “Jim” ever since Batman & The Monster Men—which brings us to the error of referring to Captain Gordon as Lieutenant Gordon throughout Journey into Knight. Writer Andrew Helfer is simply wrong on both of these points. Also, there is no Batmobile in Journey into Knight. Why Helfer chose to omit the vehicle is beyond me. Furthermore, in order for Journey Into Knight to jibe with other stories about Joker and Arkham, including The Man Who Laughs and “Do You Understand These Rights?”, its second half (issues #7-12) has to begin in June of Year Two. In regard to the ease with which Joker is allowed to act as Bruce’s doctor for such a lengthy period of time, we must assume that the corrupt Wayne board of directors has a strong influential hand in this.

  4. [4]Credit to VALHERU on the date, details, and breakdown of Detective Comics Annual #8 in relation to Batman Confidential #25.
  5. [5]LANE McD: Detective Comics Annual #8 is only canon as long as you ignore one Two-Face reference in the Riddler’s line of dialogue: “I wasn’t going to play second fiddle to the Joker or Two-Face or any of the wannabes.”(73) Two-Face wouldn’t have debuted by this point on our timeline. Since this is the definitive Modern Age Riddler origin, we must ignore that quote.
  6. [6]LANE McD: To avoid any confusion, SotB Annual #3 is collected into a TPB entitled “Batman: Four of a Kind.”

    VALHERU: The Poison Ivy story in SotB Annual #3 appears as if it is in mid December of Year One. If it were canon, it would be definitely after the debuts of the Joker and Penguin—(Penguin debuts sometime in early December)—since Ivy’s goons worked for both of them, and since Alfred keeps adding things to Bruce’s Christmas list (a Batmobile and a spectrometer). Not sure I’d throw it out of continuity entirely, but I agree that enough of it doesn’t quite fit that it’s suspect.

    COLLIN COLSHER: SotB Annual #3 is definitively non-canon, but you could use it as a sort of skeletal framework that represents Poison Ivy’s debut (if you ignore the killings and other continuity errors). Even if one were to enter into such a dubious practice, the SotB Annual #3 as a whole has too many errors to deem it canonical. It contains enough legit continuity goofs that there’s no way it can be canon.

  7. [7]SELVÅRV STIGÅRD: The significant event of Bruce Wayne meeting Selina Kyle socially is conspicuous in its absence from the Modern Age Batman mythos. In Miller’s “Batman: Year One” they fight (seemingly) without any idea of who the other one is. Later in that story, and then in Her Sister’s Keeper, Mad Monk, “Prey,” and “Terror,” they encounter each other as Batman and Catwoman. Then in The Long Halloween, Bruce and Selina already know each other well enough to dance and start dating. In one sense, it’s intuitive that these two have been flirting and getting to know each other for more than a year, but none of it has been as their “real” identities. The first time DC publishes anything depicting Bruce meeting Selina (socially, without masks or other disguises, and without punches and kicks) is the scene at Johnny Vitti’s wedding (in The Long Halloween #1), and they’re already on a familiar, first-name basis.

    COLLIN COLSHER: It’s true that there never was any scene in any issue or even a flashback which showed Bruce and Selina hitting it off (or even simply meeting) in their regular civilian IDs in the Modern Age. The Long Halloween is indeed the first time we see them interact chronologically. The Long Halloween implies that Selina and Bruce have a prior relationship (outside of the relationship between Batman and Catwoman). Thus, we have to assume that this relationship begins sometime after the end of Batman’s first year and before The Long Halloween starts. Since I’ve added a buffer year in between Miller’s “Year One” and The Long Halloween, the entirety of Year Two could conceivably feature the growth of their out-of-costume relationship (or, for simplicity’s sake, it could very well start here).

    TIPTUP JR 94: In Legends of the Dark Knight #1, Bruce’s text-box monologue seems to suggest he was aware that the prostitute he fought on March 11 was Selina Kyle. Thus, a strong indicator that he might also have always known her identity as Catwoman immediately upon her debut in Year One. However, it is interesting to note that The Long Halloween and Dark Victory both craftily avoid outright confirmation that Batman knows who Catwoman is. He seems to almost definitely not know at Johnny Viti’s wedding, and it’s equally unclear at the Falcone wake that opens Dark Victory. When Selina leaves Bruce her letter, he reads it in her voice – “soft, yet strong — not at all like Catwoman’s low and sultry sound.” (Though that could be interpreted multiple ways.) In issue #7 Bruce and Alfred seemingly discuss Catwoman and Selina as if they’re different people. Bruce never calls her or thinks about her as Selina and doesn’t seem to put the pieces together when Catwoman resurfaces at the end. I’m sure this was an intentional choice, it’s just… kind of strange. In Batman Confidential #17 (Year Seven), Barbara knows Selina is Catwoman (therefore, so does Bruce), making it the earliest confirmed instance of Bruce knowing—LotDK #1 notwithstanding.

  8. [8]ISIAH: “Gothic” goes in Year Two because the gangsters in the story are scared of Batman at this point, he seems like he is just starting out, and with no evidence of anything else going on, no Robin, no Oracle, no Nightwing, this seems like a good fit.
  9. [9]HEARTHESNAP: In regard to the placement of “Stalking”: First, our main antagonist resorts to bellowing out that she has “NO IDEA” of the existence of Batman and does not even remotely know who he is. While it is possible that she is simply ignorant, this seems unlikely. Secondly, in LOTDK #108 both the opening page and page ten of the story itself shows Baby James Gordon as an infant (as opposed to the young boy we will later see in stories like “Loyalties”)—Baby James is still young enough (and drawn as such) that Jim can raise him up over his head like a small tot and warrant being buckled into a car seat while drooling on himself. And thirdly, we must assume that since Jim bemoans about having shot so many criminals in his past, the death of the motorcycle killer’s husband likely took place in Chicago. This fact would also ply credence to our anarchist being ill informed of Batman’s doings in Gotham.
  10. [10]COLLIN COLSHER: This is already mentioned in a footnote linked to Journey Into Knight #1-6, but it is apropos to Journey Into Knight #7-12 so I will reiterate. All of Journey Into Knight contains the error of referring to Captain Gordon as Lieutenant Gordon. Writer Andrew Helfer is simply wrong about this. Also, there is no Batmobile in Journey into Knight. Why Helfer chooses to omit the vehicle is beyond me. Furthermore, in order for Journey Into Knight to jibe with other stories about Joker and Arkham (including The Man Who Laughs and “Do You Understand These Rights?”) its second half (issues #7-12) has to occur right here in Year Two. In regard to the ease with which Joker is allowed to act as Bruce’s doctor for such a lengthy period of time, we must assume that the corrupt Wayne board of directors has a strong influential hand in this. And as I’ve already mentioned above, it is possible for there to be a three month gap of non-action for Batman from mid-June to September to account for Bruce’s three month-long incarceration. Of course, it’s not ideal, but it is technically feasible.
  11. [11]VALHERU / COLLIN COLSHER: “Testament” (LOTDK #172-176) takes five days—Rough Justice’s rampage is four days, not including the next-day coda with the new deputy commish. And because we’re dealing with deputies, we can assume that this is during Grogan’s commissionership when Gordon hadn’t yet become a “political” force in the GCPD. An editorial note says that this item occurs “many months” into Batman’s career, which is a bit misleading since it has been well over a year at this point. The only legit clues we have to placement, besides the aforementioned deputy stuff, are that a) Gordon and Bats are “friends,” so we’re after Miller’s “Year One”; b) there’s a Batmobile, so after Year One; c) there’s a Batsignal, so after Year One; but d) it’s before Gordon’s promotion to commissioner (or deputy, for that matter). (There’s also the fact that Bruce’s card says he’s President and CEO of Wayne Industries, which fits after Journey into Knight.) Though “Testament” could theoretically be concurrent with “Shaman” in December of Year One, it just feels like a calendar-Year Two tale.
  12. [12]MiTT3NZ: Batman still keeps a journal in Journey into Knight #7-12, so “Testament” seems to come after it. Although, he could well pick up his writing again following “Gothic” which could also signify the first entry of “The Black Casebook,” which he begins writing “on-case” in the following story, “Flyer.” Thus, the journal in the second half of Journey into Knight could actually be “The Black Casebook!”

    LUKASZ: MiTT3NZ suggests that the journal entries Bruce wrote in 2nd part of Journey into Knight (issues 7-12) could be “The Black Casebook.” However, that probably is not true since there was nothing supernatural about that story. And also Bruce’s entries are very personal and inspired by his father’s suggestions to write down his thoughts and problems. Despite being on wrong on these points, “Testament” should still go after Journey Into Knight #7-12. It seems reasonable that even if Bruce decided keeping a journal was too dangerous he still would take Thomas Wayne’s teachings to heart and keep a “safer” journal for special purposes: “The Black Casebook.”

  13. [13]TIPTUP JR 94: In the quasi-canonical Batman Annual #19, Fontana ChemCorp is said to have enjoyed a monopoly in Gotham’s chemical market until three other companies arrived on the scene. It is implied this happened recently. In The Man Who Laughs, Ace’s Gotham plant is said to have opened twenty years before Year One. In Batman #682, Apex Chemicals is said to have been bought out by Ace after supplying Doctor Death. One other company is mentioned in Batman Annual #19: “AlchemCorp,” and while Ace and Apex could have been the other two, they certainly weren’t new to Gotham. Unlike the Two-Face mention, this detail is more crucial to the story and even harder to overlook. I thought I’ve seen Axis Chemicals mentioned somewhere in the post-original Crisis world as well, but for the life of me can’t remember where. Oh, and don’t forget Wayne Chemical and Morrison Chemical (from Batman/Scarecrow 3-D #1)!
  14. [14]TIPTUP JR 94 / COLLIN COLSHER: “Unbearable Loss” (from DC Universe Holiday Special 2009) occurs in Year Ten because it takes place specifically around Friday, December 25. If we go by the real-world calendar, this places the tale either in 1992, 1998, or 2009. Since “Unbearable Loss” is clearly a Year One Era story it cannot take place in 2009. And since it is a Deadman story, it cannot take place in 1992, which is before his debut. 1998 i.e. Year Ten it is. “Unbearable Loss” is canon, but it contradicts information from other titles. First, in Batman: The Long Halloween, Batman says “Jonathan Crane strangled his mother years ago. On Mother’s Day.” Second, Batman does research on Jonathan Crane in Batman Annual #19 and determines that both of Crane’s parents are dead. Because “Unbearable Loss” makes it so that Karen Keeny-Crane is alive and well, we must assume that any references to Crane’s parents being dead (from The Long Halloween and Batman Annual #19) are therefore incorrect or erased via retcon. Or we can assume that the story of Scarecrow strangling his mom is widely believed to be true, with even Batman buying the bogus story as well—in both Annual #19 and still again in The Long Halloween. In a related note, the “Cold Case” story from Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #201-203 claims that Jonathan Crane was teaching criminal psychology at Gotham University as early as 1968. This cannot possibly be true as it would make Jonathan and Karen way older than they appear.
  15. [15]O NEO-NERD: The Batcave dinosaur is shown in Batman Confidential #29, hence its placement after the start of Bruce’s trophy-collecting phase.
  16. [16] COLLIN COLSHER: The LOTDK “Werewolf” story is non-canon because “Flyer” replaces it on the timeline. Plus, the werewolf in that tale isn’t even a real werewolf. It’s a lame Disney animatronic thing the villains use to scare people.
  17. [17]Credit for both the correct placement and narratological details of “Terror” goes to HEARTHESNAP.
  18. [18]
    HEARTHESNAP: On an alternate version of this timeline, “Madness” obviously could have been Scarecrow’s first comic appearance (if it were canon), which still would make “Terror” his second appearance—mainly because of his characterization and his belief that Batman is the biggest bully around town. However, if we were to follow this alternate chronology, we could surmise that Scarecrow was sullied back into Arkham on at least two different occasions up to this point and thus, he would have a little bit more character clarity—but alas, Scarecrow is whackadoo, so his personality often shifts randomly. No matter how you spin it—Crane’s origin is one of the muddiest in all of the Modern Age. Also, a point of consideration for those reading in chronological order: Never assume things you may already know about future stories.
  19. [19]COLLIN COLSHER: Batman: Ghosts: A Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special by Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale (1995) and Batman: Madness: A Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special (1994) are both really awesome, but are out-of-continuity. The Madness: Halloween Special is non-canon, first, because it takes place right after Babs is adopted by Jim Gordon. On our chronology, that doesn’t occur until early Bat Year Five (in April or May, not at Halloween). Second, James Junior is still a baby (which makes sense if it goes here, but not if it’s during the time when Babs first gets adopted by Jim). James Junior should therefore more correctly be around four or five-years-old.

    The Ghosts: Halloween Special is non-canon mainly for one reason. It tells the story of how Bruce decides to establish the charitable Wayne Foundation. In Ghosts, Bruce is visited by the “ghosts of Halloween’s past,” a nightmarish and eye-opening experience that convinces him to create the Foundation. However, this story was rendered non-canon when it was replaced by Batman Confidential #6, where Bruce decides to start the Wayne Foundation after meeting Lex Luthor. If Ghosts was canon, it would take place during the exact same Halloween weekend as Choices (the first Halloween Special by Loeb/Sale). It is a safe assumption, however, that Bruce still reconnects with Lucius Fox on Halloween of Bat Year Two and hires him.

  20. [20]COLLIN COLSHER: “Destiny” by Mark Kneece/Bo Hampton from LOTDK #35-36 (August 1992) was the very next story released after “Blades.” In the story, Batman meets the Norwegian superhero known as The Viking. After a visit to the local library, they learn that, according to Norse folk-legend, their respective ancestors supposedly once fought alongside one another against the forces of evil. So, naturally, they team-up and travel to Norway to take on an evil and monstrous waste management company that is dumping toxic materials underground. I use the words “evil” and “monstrous” to describe the company, not because I am a staunch and militant environmentalist, but because the executives are literally a bunch of deformed, hunchbacked, homicidal kidnappers. Hell, they even have a dungeon! So, anyway, this legend is definitively non canon, not because it’s a bad story, but for a couple other reasons. First of all, Batman is too well known. It seems highly unlikely that people in a remote part of Norway would know so much about him. Plus, Zero Hour probably would have canceled out wacky stories like this. Another reason this tale is non-canon; it ends with Batman setting off a bomb which floods a cave, drowning all the villains. Seems a bit out of character!? Furthermore, the Norse folk-tale relates the history of an ancient Viking version of Batman known as “The Bat Man.” This Viking Bat Man is supposed to be Bruce’s ancient ancestor. Yeeaahhh. Moving on…
  21. [21]MiTT3NZ: “Favourite Things” connects well to Bruce’s “nothing from his childhood should be moved” belief stemming from Journey into Knight.

    BLUEXY: In “Favorite Things” there is a frame showing the Batcave with both the dinosaur and the giant penny. Thus, it must go after the acquisition of these trophies.

39 Responses to YEAR TWO

  1. Lukasz says:

    MiTT3NZ suggests that the journal entries Bruce wrote in 2nd part of Journey into Knight could be “The Black Casebook”. It doesn’t fit IMHO as there was nothing supernatural about that story. And also Bruce entries are very personal and inspired by his father’s suggestions to write down his thoughts and problems. Therefore I would suggest placing ‘Testament” after it. Seems reasonable that even if Bruce decided keeping a journal is too dangerous he still would take Thomas Wayne’s teachings to his heart and keep a ‘safer’ journal for special purposes: “the Black Casebook”.

    BTW that blonde date Brucie pissed off in “Hot house”. Could it be it’s Summer Skye? Fits nice in the timeframe 😉 What do You think?

  2. tiptupjr94 says:

    A small comment about your first footnote on Bruce and Selina meeting: in Legends of the Dark Knight #1, Bruce’s text-box monologue seems to suggest he WAS aware that the prostitute he fought on March 11 was Selina Kyle. Not completely sure if that could be canon, but I just thought I’d mention it.

    Besides the Two-Face reference, I’d like to point out another aspect of Batman Annual #19 that is irreconcilably non-canon: Fontana ChemCorp is said to have enjoyed a monopoly in Gotham’s chemical market until three other companies arrived on the scene. It is implied this happened recently. In The Man Who Laughs, Ace’s Gotham plant is said to have opened twenty years before Year One. In Batman #682, Apex Chemicals is said to have been bought out by Ace after supplying Doctor Death. One other company is mentioned in Batman Annual #19: “AlchemCorp,” and while Ace and Apex could have been the other two, they certainly weren’t new to Gotham.

    Unlike the Two-Face mention, this detail is more crucial to the story and harder to overlook. I thought I’ve seen Axis Chemicals mentioned somewhere in the post-Crisis world as well, but for the life of me can’t remember where.

    • tiptupjr94 says:

      *Oh, and don’t forget Wayne Chemical! Jesus, how many chemical companies can one city have?

      • Nice commentary and astute observations. I will make notes of everything and be sure to give you credit!

        Thanks!

        • tiptupjr94 says:

          Heh, there’s also a Morrison Chemical Co. in Batman/Scarecrow 3-D #1.

          Anyway, I just found out something surprising: apparently Year One: Batman/Scarecrow DOES retain a bit of canonicity in the post-Infinite Crisis DCU.

          The evidence comes from DC Holiday Special 2009, which is currently free on Comixology (I’ll post a link below.) In it, there is a Deadman story entitled “Unbearable Loss.” This story features Scarecrow’s mother Karen and shows and references his great grandmother and the events of Jonathan’s childhood, all of which is from Year One: Batman/Scarecrow. So, it seems as though some of the details of Jonathan’s early life from that story actually do retain a bit of canonicity.

          However, this Deadman story forces us to make a few unique retcons. It takes place around Christmas; specifically a newspaper with a Scarecrow headline is shown with a date of Friday, December 25 (1992, 1998, 2009.) Deadman saves Karen from dying and at the end of the story she is still alive. However, in Batman: The Long Halloween, on Mother’s Day of what can be Year Three at the earliest (I’ll get to my opinion on this later) Batman says “Jonathan Crane strangled his mother years ago. On Mother’s Day.” Batman Annual #19 also states both of Jonathan’s parents are dead.

          (And this all plays into the slippery slope of post-Infinite Crisis retcons, of how the EVENTS of the old stories are canon but the details might not be. We know the EVENTS of The Long Halloween and Dark Victory are still canon but we don’t know exactly how or what the timeline is like.)

          Still. IF the timeline of The Long Halloween and Dark Victory stand unaltered, it is my personal opinion that The Long Halloween starts in Year Two and not Year Three. I respect that you disagree and I won’t ask you to change anything on your site, but even if TLH starts in Year Three, that means Jonathan strangled his mom on Mother’s Day of Year Two. Which means the Christmas in DC Holiday Special 2009’s Deadman story has to take place in Year One. Which means the Scarecrow is most likely the first post-Joker supervillain Batman faces. Batman Villains Secret Files #1 (Oct 1998) supports this view, but that timeline is such a hot mess that I know it’s a bit shaky.

          Still, I think the evidence is solid. I look forward to your thoughts.

          Also, the “Cold Case” story from Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #201-203 claims that Jonathan Crane was teaching criminal psychology at Gotham University in 1968. Batman Annual #19’s chronology indicates Jonathan became a professor at around the age of 22, and I *believe* the other Year One story insinuates Karen had Jonathan when she was relatively young. Still, she would had to have been born in the 1930s at least for all this to work. Her somewhat youthful appearance in DC Holiday Special 2009 almost definitely nullifies ALL of this, and at any rate, there’s no way in hell Jonathan Crane was born in the 1940s.

          So um… yeah. Is the death of Jonathan’s mother explicitly reaffirmed in a post-Infinite Crisis story? “Unbearable Loss” could possibly go anywhere, but it does seem to be written as a Year One story… It’s interesting that this is such a clusterf*ck. Ohhh, DC.

          Anyway, here’s the issue: comixology (dot) com/DC-Holiday-Special-2009/digital-comic/655100

          • Hey, I haven’t read Year One: Batman/Scarecrow in years, nor have I thought about it. I’ll have to dig up a copy and re-read it before I return any thoughts.

            • tiptupjr94 says:

              Haha, okay. I first read it and 2012 and then stumbled on that holiday story a couple days ago and I was like… wow. Honestly, I thought it (Year One) was decent. And plus there’s art by SEAN MURPHY.

              (!)

          • Ok, so my first thought is that Boston Brand doesn’t become Deadman until much later than Year One. In fact, on my timeline I have Deadman debuting in 1997. That means its either 1998 or 2009, if we are to stick to the TRUE dates (which we might not necessarily need to do).

            My second thought is that BOTH Batman Annual #19 and Long Halloween totally contradict Scarecrow’s origin tale from Year One: Batman/Scarecrow, which was published, from what I understand, NOT as a retcon, but more as a way to monetarily capitalize on the fact that Scarecrow was soon to appear in Nolan’s first Batman film as a main villain.

            I definitely agree with you that “Unbearable Loss” connects directly to Year One: Batman/Scarecrow, though. And “Unbearable Loss” is canon, so that means Scarecrow’s family (at least his grandmother and mom Karen) are canon (even if Year One: Batman/Scarecrow as a while remains non-canon. We can probably assume that any references to his parents being dead (from Long Halloween and Batman Annual #19) are therefore incorrect or erased via retcon. Or maybe we can assume that the story of Scarecrow strangling his mom has widely believed for years, with even Batman buying the bogus story as well—in both Annual #19 and still again in Long Halloween. With that in mind, I’d then probably place “Unbearable Loss” in 1998. The 1968 statement in “Cold Case” must be ignored as well.

  3. Andrew says:

    Hey, just curious, but why do you say Madness takes place in the spring of Year Five?

    • Hi Andrew. Madness revolves around Babs getting into trouble after first getting officially adopted by her dad Jim and moving to Gotham permanently. Babs doesn’t get adopted until after Long Halloween has ended (and by my account, after follow-ups “Loyalties” and Secret Origins). That all happens in Year Four. Therefore, if Madness were canon, it would have to go early in Year Five. It’s been a long while since I’ve read Madness, though. So, if I’m missing anything, please let me know!

      • Andrew says:

        Well, what made me curious about it is that it distinctly takes place on Halloween night. The story doesn’t necessarily have anything much to do with Halloween, but Babs argues with Jim about wanting to go out by herself because it’s Halloween.

        By the way, always surprised and very grateful for how quickly you respond to question.

  4. Andrew says:

    Does the Black & White feature from Gotham Knights #7 fit in anywhere? I don’t see it mentioned anywhere.

    • It takes place in Year 16 Part 2, Andrew. Some of the B&W second features from Gotham Knights occur immediately after the issues to which they are attached. Thus, for some of these great B&W stories, you simply have to look at each summarized listing of Gotham Knights and see if the B&W is also listed with it.

      I now realize this is a bit annoying, so I will likely change things so that each canonical B&W tale is better highlighted and easy to find. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

  5. Eric Agner says:

    I am a huge fan of your work and I give you an A+ for the effort and result. But one thing… couldn’t Zatara have taught Bruce to throw his voice off during the years he was away in Gotham?

    • Thanks Eric. Always nice to meet a new fan of the Project. The reason John Zatara’s voice-throwing training was in Year Two is because it takes place twenty years prior to ‘tec #827. This made me notice that ‘tec #827 actually takes place in Year 21, so this item SHOULD go in Year One instead.

      Of course, if you personally take the “twenty years ago” that Batman mentions as a more approximate “AROUND twenty years ago” then it could occur earlier. But I’ve taken it as an exact “twenty years ago,” hence my placement.

      • Eric Agner says:

        Ah I see. Thank you. I was just curious because in another comic (I believe) and in the animated series Zatara trained him pre Batman so I was just confused. But I understand now.

        • Ahh that is totally true! I’m sure since Paul Dini produced the Animated Series ep you are referring to AND wrote Detective Comics #827, he sure is referencing that (and making it canon in the comics).

          And I’m realizing that the “20 years ago” can still work… Bruce can train with Zatara in the middle of his training scenes in Batman #404 (Miller’s “Year One”)!! I will make the according changes.

          • Eric Agner says:

            I know I’m going to sound like a pain and sorry ahead of time. But the comic it says was “young” Bruce Wayne was trained by Zatara. Which the “around” would really have to take place. I’m sorry I didn’t read Detective Comics 827. Does it say 20 years ago or around 20 years ago? And again my apologies about the contining comic comeback. They are so confusing sometimes. However they are so great.

            • Yes, ‘tec #827 says specifically that Bruce learns how to throw his voice from Zatara “twenty years ago,” which places that occurrence shortly before Bruce becomes Batman i.e. making Bruce an adult at the time. I guess this differs from the Animated Series (Batman & Robin Adventures/Superman Adventures) comics? Does this differ from the TV episode? I haven’t read the Animated Series issue in question (which I’m assuming is Batman & Robin Adventures Annual #2) and it’s been nearly two decades since I’ve seen the episode.

              • Eric Agner says:

                No wait it was another comic that had NOTHING to do with animated series. Also Wikipedia said the same thug about Zatara. He trained him young.

                • Well, Bruce sorta grew up with Zatanna, so he learned a lot of tricks from the master magician Zatara family quite young. This is true in pretty much every continuity. Maybe we can understand this all to mean that Bruce learned a ton of stuff at a young age from John Zatara, but he only learned how to throw his voice later as an adult.

                  • Eric Agner says:

                    That’s a higher chance

                    • Eric Agner says:

                      Only issue now is how can Bruce learn Ventriloquism in 1 and a half weeks.

                    • HE’S BATMAN THAT’S HOW.

                      Haha, I kid I kid, you raise a good point. Technically, there are a few weeks of free time where Bruce could be learning such a thing (among other things) from John Zatara. Maybe I will update the page to reflect that.

                    • Eric Agner says:

                      Also I’m sorry for the bother. I’ve only been a DC fan for 2 years. And I know some but I am still learning and trying to understand things.

                    • Hey, you are ahead of the curve already! Don’t bang your head against the wall too often though—there will be a multitude of things that simply don’t add up in the world of DC. We just make the most sense of what we’ve been given. Having fun and being entertained should still be at the top of your reasons for reading (which I’m sure they are). Otherwise, it’ll become a struggle. I always keep that in mind as I’m reading any superhero comics.

                      Nice to have you officially among the “divers hands” that have assisted in this Chronology Project.

  6. JOSIAH says:

    Hello eric and I think eric made a great
    Point I am also a new comic fan and it does say young bruce but also zatara trained him when he was batman is what I thought because there was nothing that I found abot young bruce

    • Eric made a bunch of great points, I agree as well. I think we have it the way it should be now. It’s hard to say for sure whether or not Dini was making part of his Animated history canon for the Modern Age comics. It’s even harder to say anything with clarity since things weren’t exactly crystal regarding Zatara’s training of Bruce in the Animated timeline. The cold hard fact is that Zatara trains Bruce twenty years prior to ‘tec #827 (Year 21). Based upon that one cold hard fact (plus whatever coojectural information we choose to add), I think early Bat Year One fits the bill. In the Animated Series TV episode “Zatanna,” Bruce studies with Zatara before donning the Batman costume (although he does so in the middle of his overseas training, which can’t possibly be the case in the Modern Age).

      • Eric Agner says:

        Thanks for agreeing to the point. And I believe you are right Collin. I believe. Bruce probably went to Zatara for escapology when he was younger. However few laters returned to learn Ventriloquism.

  7. Sir Toitlesworth says:

    Hello I just wanted to say I am looking forward to reading the timelines on this website. Can’t wait for learning about the different timelines!

  8. Kordarus says:

    I am really confused about what i read on this page about the Killer Croc reference, Mad Hatter debut and Dr X / Double X…

    To begin with this, i started a project to collect this time line of yours and reading this in that chronology. This is quite a big project i have to say, but these day it’s easier to buy CBR files than it is to find the paper comic book at decent price.

    Anyway i am at this stage of my project and you state that Mad Hatter, Killer Croc and Double X debut are on year two following some flashback that you mention. I tried to get that information elsewhere on the web, but couldn’t find any references at all about that, since all the reference i get for the first encounter against batman refer to Batman and Robin fihghting them. And i think your time line place Robin debut around year six if i’m not mistaken.

    Maybe you can help me understand what you mean in those reference to differents flashback and if it is not too much trouble for you to point me where i should look to get those issue that seem like important events if i want to follow that time line.

    Thank you for this huge work you did by the way, this is one of the most interesting work on Batman i found on the web so war, keep your great work my friend.

    • Hi Kordarus! I’m surprised no one brought this up before. Mad Hatter, Killer Croc, and Dr. Double X are three villains that I lumped together early on in the timeline-building process with hopes of later adding in more information as to their Modern Age origins. Clearly this never occurred and these three characters have sat in Year Two. Part of the reason for this is that these three characters don’t have origin stories in the Modern Age. They simply show up or are already around, meaning that their origins have to be inferred based upon that. I’ve now, per your query, gone back and shuffled things around/fixed things a bit. We first see Mad Hatter chronologically in Long Halloween #10, so I’ve slid his debut closer to that. Killer Croc isn’t seen chronologically until Gotham After Midnight #7, so his debut goes shortly before that. And Dr. Double X goes after Robin has debuted, as you stated. He’s never even seen in any Modern Age Batman comic (one that is canon, anyway)—Double X only appears in a few non-Batman-related items, making his debut a canonical reference from those appearances. Make sense?

      There are likely a bunch more super-villain debuts that are listed as REFERNCES but have no specific issues linked to them. This is, again, because there is no specific Modern Age origin tale for said characters. However, since every character shows up/appears for the first time in SOME SPECIFIC COMIC ISSUE (either narrative-chronologically or by publication date), that issue can definitely hold the reference and should be attached to the note. I’ll try my best to go back and fix these items on the timeline.

      Thanks for your support and patronage, Kordarus!

      • Kordarus says:

        Oh i get it now. That make lot of sense, i was just puzzled about that, i tried to find something related to this subject on the web, but i failed and now i understand why hehe…

        Anyway thank you for this quick reply, i really appreciate this.

  9. Rebel says:

    Hey Collin – as always great work. One slight correction I think – when in #22 above you make reference that Barbara Gordon’s Dad suggesting she live in Gotham with her uncle Jim I think you meant Gotham Knights #6 and not #7.

    Also, I believe it’s been recon’d but in parallel we can check out Secret Origins #20 as well for some early Babs info, right?

    Thanks.

    • Yes, GK #6 for sure, sorry about that. And Secret Origins Vol. 2 #20 is sprinkled throughout the timeline and is a great resources for all things Babs related. 🙂

      Thanks, Rebel.

  10. Rebel says:

    Also – for the Poison Ivy reference regarding her debuting last Spring (after 10b) – I think you meant LOTDK #42 – Hot House (references Jim Gordon asking Bats ‘what did she call you when you put her away “last spring’); believe the reference to LOTDK #79 regarding Poison Ivy debuting in Spring Year 2’was a typo (no poison Ivy reference in Favorite Things).

    Site is incredibly helpful and I got hung up on this and the above mention Early Babs reference and hoped you could correct these so others don’t have the same problem.

    Thanks again.

  11. tiptupjr94 says:

    Something I recently noticed about Batman discovering Catwoman’s identity… I finished re-reading The Long Halloween and Dark Victory, and unless I missed or have forgotten something, they craftily avoid outright confirming that Batman knows who Catwoman is. He seems to almost definitely not know at Johnny Viti’s wedding, and it’s equally unclear at the Falcone wake that opens Dark Victory. When Selina leaves Bruce her letter, he reads it in her voice – “soft, yet strong — not at all like Catwoman’s low and sultry sound.” (Though that could be interpreted multiple ways.) In issue #7 Bruce and Alfred SEEMINGLY discuss Catwoman and Selina as if they’re different people. Bruce never calls her or thinks about her as Selina and doesn’t seem to put the pieces together when Catwoman resurfaces at the end.

    I’m sure this was an intentional choice, it’s just… kind of strange. In Batman Confidential 17, Barbara knows Selina is Catwoman (therefore, so does Bruce) so is that the earliest confirmed instance of Bruce knowing, LotDK #1 notwithstanding?

    • Hey, tip. Good question! I’ll add your insights to the footnote about this topic. The first instance—LOTDK #1 notwithstanding—where the Bat-Family knows that Catomwan is Selina Kyle 100% is definitely in Batman Confidential #17. Thanks for drawing my attention to this fact.

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