–REFERENCE: In Batman #673 and Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #32-34. Batman invents one-man autogyro-copters called Whirly-Bats, which will occasionally (but rarely) get used on certain cases or patrols moving forward.
–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.
–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.
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, comes into his life. I guess Bruce just can’t let go of the ladies after all.
–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics Annual #8. March. Batman first encounters Edward Nashton aka Edward Nigma, better known as The Riddler. He also deals with his henchwomen Query and Echo. This “Riddler Year One” story by Chuck Dixon/Kieron Dwyer is told through flashback from The Riddler’s point of view. These encounters are comprised of 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 Bats 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. I also wanted to mention that 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).
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: Legend of the Dark Knight #42. Spring—LODTK #42 explicitly states that Poison Ivy debuts in the spring. 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. And 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. 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).
–REFERENCE: In Batman: The Long Halloween #1. 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 will soon falsely establish herself as a notorious Gotham socialite, becomes playfully entangled with Bruce. The two 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.
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 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 1974 and Cooke treats the story with respect in 2005.
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.
–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.
–REFERENCE: In Batman #670—originally told in Batman #181. Batman encounters the former female-rockers turned super-villains, Silken Spider, Tiger Moth, and Dragon Fly. Batman doesn’t apprehend these criminals. An escaped Poison Ivy, out to prove that she is the number one female super-villain in Gotham, busts these ladies instead.
11B. “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.
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! Bet you never knew it happened to him more than once, eh? 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! Bet you never knew Bruce was committed more than once, eh? To add to the chaos the 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.
–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.  
–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 in the cave. Batman defeats Stephan Chase, vile owner of “Dinosaur Island,” a theme park complete with robotic fighting cavemen and mechanical dinosaurs.
–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. Late September. Batman’s second encounter with the Joker occurs, after which Batman proudly displays a giant playing card alongside the other trophies. 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 in Booster Gold Vol. 2 #21.)
–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #137 and Batman Annual #19. Late September. Scarecrow (Jonathan Crane) debuts. 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 non-canon is because of a bogus reference to Fontana ChemCorp. However, despite its definitively non-canonical status, the basic plot elements remain the same. 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.” 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!
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. Meanwhile, we (the reader) meet Dr. Kirk Langstrom and his girlfriend Francine Lee, both of whom are working 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). 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. Wait, it gets better. After Eisenmann captures Batman, his mom reveals her thoughts that the Dark Knight is the perfect uber-man and the plan all along was for him 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. A homophobic Nazi cyborg monster man with an Oedipus complex. Only the great Howard Chaykin could have pulled this off.
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
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.
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, 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 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.
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.
–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.”
–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. 
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.
- 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.↩
- 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.↩
- Credit to VALHERU on the date, details, and breakdown of Detective Comics Annual #8 in relation to Batman Confidential #25.↩
- LANE McD: In Detective Comics Annual #8 (“Questions Multiply the Mystery”), the story 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)↩
- 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.↩
- 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.↩
- 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.↩
- 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.↩
- LUKASZ: The blonde date Brucie pisses-off in “Hot House” could very likely be Summer Skye Simmonds! Fits nice in the time frame.↩
- 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.↩
- VALHERU: “Testament” (LOTDK #172-176) takes five days—Rough Justice’s rampage is four days, and then 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. But other than that, the only clues we have to placement 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.↩
- 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.”↩
- TIPTUP JR 94: In the non-canon 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)!↩
- 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.↩
- O NEO-NERD: The Batcave dinosaur is shown in Batman Confidential #29, hence its placement after the start of Bruce’s trophy-collecting phase.↩
-  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.↩
- Credit for both the correct placement and narratological details of “Terror” goes to HEARTHESNAP.↩
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.↩
- 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 for a ton of reasons. 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, Leslie Thompkins doesn’t know Bruce is Batman in the story—she would have known his identity. And third, 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.↩
- 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…↩
- 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.↩