Salad Days

New Age (Post-“Superman Reborn”) Salad Days






–FLASHBACK: From All-Star Batman #11—and also referenced in Flash Vol. 5 #21 and Batman Vol. 3 #22. Bruce Wayne is born to billionaires Dr. Thomas Wayne and Martha Wayne in Gotham City. He is cared for by the Waynes and their trusted butler Jarvis Pennyworth. Note that All-Star Batman #11 seems to place Bruce’s birth right around the time of the Falklands War, meaning 1982. This would mean that Bruce is merely 20-years-old when he becomes Batman. However, it is possible that the image of the Falklands, which doesn’t specifically have the label of “Falklands War,” is showing some covert British ops years prior to the actual war. If we go with the latter explanation, Bruce’s birth year could be in the range of 1975 to 1982, meaning Bruce could be anywhere from 20 to 27 when he debuts as Batman.

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #11. Bruce is three-years-old. The secret illuminati group known as The Court of Owls causes Jarvis Pennyworth to get into a car accident while transporting a pregnant Martha Wayne. Both Jarvis and Martha survive the crash, but Martha loses the baby, whom she was going to name Thomas Wayne Jr. (Super-villain Lincoln March will later claim that he is Thomas Wayne Jr, having actually survived and lived a secret life away from the Waynes at Willowwood Asylum. Of course, there is no way of verifying whether or not March’s claims are true. All we know is that Martha was pregnant, got in a crash, and there was no baby to speak of following the tragic incident.) A few weeks later, the Court of Owls assassinates Jarvis.

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #11. Jarvis’ son Alfred Pennyworth moves into Wayne Manor to replace his father as butler of the estate. Alfred will care-for and help raise Bruce. (According to panels in Scott Snyder’s All-Star Batman #11, which are admittedly vague and open to interpretation, Alfred is roughly nineteen or twenty-years-older than Bruce.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #22-23. A young Bruce poses with his parents for a professional photograph and a painted portrait, both of which he will keep and cherish long into adulthood.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #22. Bruce falls into a cave filled with bats underneath the Wayne Manor grounds. His dad rescues him. (This cave, of course, will one day become the Batcave.)

–REFERENCE: In ???. Bruce meets Dr. Leslie Thompkins, who will remain a close friend for decades and become a mother-figure to him.

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #10. Bruce becomes best friends with young Tommy Elliot, hanging out with him often. Hating his parents, the troubled Tommy secretly severs the brake line of the Elliot’s car, causing an accident that kills his father and permanently injures his mother.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #958. Bruce befriends and spends quality time with young Zatanna Zatara, daughter of stage magician (and secret legit magick user) John Zatara. Bruce and Zatanna will remain close and hang out quite often (although invisibly on our timeline), moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21-22, All-Star Batman #10, Batman Vol. 3 #24, and Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #7. Thomas and Martha Wayne are tragically murdered by smalltime crook Joe Chill, leaving young Bruce in the primary care of Alfred. Dr. Leslie Thompkins will also care for Bruce time-to-time as well. A funeral is held and the Waynes are buried in a cemetery in Gotham. This is a stark difference from all previous comic book ages. Previously, the Waynes were buried in the family plot attached to Wayne Manor. In the New Age, this is no longer the case and there is no family plot. Alfred begins the tough challenge of raising a troubled boy that has lost everything. A bit overbearing as a result, Alfred will constantly tell Bruce what to do for the next decade-plus, although Bruce will rarely listen.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #7. Alfred accompanies young Bruce to the cemetery in the pouring rain. Bruce grieves by the side of his parents’ tombstone.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21—originally told in Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #5. An amnesiac 21st century Bruce, thanks to Darkseid’s Omega Sanction, gets trapped in the time period shortly after the murders of his parents. While young Bruce is on a trip with Alfred, time-traveling adult Bruce gets involved in film noir-esque family-related intrigue, including an occult demon-summoning ritual held by the criminal organization called The Black Glove—including members Simon Hurt, John Mayhew, Carter Nichols, and others. When Nichols betrays the Black Glove, Bruce is able to use his Omega energy to activate a prototype time machine of Nichols’ own design, escaping to 100 Billion CE.

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #10—originally told in All-Star Batman #1-5 (“MY OWN WORST ENEMY”). A depressed Bruce is sent to live in a hospital for troubled youth, the Arkham Home, in Innsmouth, Massachusetts. Bruce only stays there for a couple months before returning to Alfred’s care at Wayne Manor, but during this time he meets and befriends a young Harvey Dent.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21. A teenage Bruce tries to recover the gun that was used to murder his parents, but he is unable to find it.

–REFERENCE: In ???. Teenage Bruce dates fellow high school co-ed Julie Madison for an undetermined amount of time.

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #11. Bruce leaves the States to go on a long training adventure overseas. This training will last for years before he returns to Gotham. For most of his training, Bruce will be incommunicado, even from Alfred.

–REFERENCE: In Superman Vol. 4 #25. Bruce learns how to throw boomerangs and shurikens.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 5 #8 and Superman Vol. 4 #25. Batman begin studying body language and facial micro-expressions, learning the ability to “read” someone to tell if they are lying or not.

–REFERENCE: In Bane: Conquest #2. Bruce begins studying world mythology and many different languages. He will eventually become fluent in various languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, Dari (Persian), and Latin.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Forge #1. Bruce, while training abroad, meets and befriends tech-savvy businessman Lucius Fox.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #24. Bruce trains with master detective and bounty hunter Henri Ducard and his son Morgan Ducard.

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #11. Bruce returns to Gotham unannounced, surprising Alfred at Wayne Manor. A brash and headstrong Bruce, “unfocused and daring the world to kill him” as Alfred describes, tells his loyal friend about his training and all his plans to fight crime.