Years 0-10

New Age (Post-“Superman Reborn”) Chronology

 

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YEAR ZERO (2001)

 

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #28, Batman Vol. 3 #37, and All-Star Batman #14—originally told in Frank Miller’s “BATMAN: YEAR ONE.” Bruce Wayne, having returned to Gotham after years of training abroad, strategizes a plan to utilize non-lethal tactics to bring justice to evildoers. Bruce vows to never ever use guns in this crusade, no matter what. Unsure of how to specifically enact his vigilante plan, Bruce puts any direct action on hold and continues intense training at Wayne Manor. Part of this training involves kicking through fully grown trees. Bruce will continue his patented tree-kicking technique throughout his life.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #24 and Batman Vol. 3 #34—originally told in Frank Miller’s “BATMAN: YEAR ONE.” Bruce comes up with an actionable vigilante war-plan. With the very reluctant guidance of loyal butler/father-figure Alfred Pennyworth, a disguised Bruce takes to the rough streets of Gotham’s East End to kick ass. He runs afoul of Stan the Pimp and winds up getting stabbed by young orphan Holly Robinson. This leads to a street fight against Holly’s friend, martial arts expert and sex worker Selina Kyle. The injured Bruce fends off Selina and retreats home.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #21-24, All-Star Batman #10-11, Dark Days: The Forge #1, Superman Vol. 4 #25, Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #7, Detective Comics #959, Justice League Vol. 3 #24, Trinity Vol. 2 #11-14, Batgirl & The Birds of Prey #14, Dark Nights: Metal #2, Batman: Lost #1, Deathstroke Vol. 4 #30, and The Brave and The Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman #3. Bruce, inspired by a bat crashing through his window, decides to become a bat-costumed vigilante. Unknown to Bruce, the bat is none other than the Dark Multiverse’s devil-god Barbatos. (Barbatos, as of yet unable to break free from the Dark Multiverse, can and will, on occasion, wield enough power to control a person or animal. Such is the case now.) With a still very reluctant Alfred at his side, Bruce tailors an armored high-tech costume (grey with a black bat chest insignia and purple gloves) designed to strike fear into the hearts of criminals. Second, Bruce constructs a utility belt to wear with his new costume. The utility belt will contain just about anything you can imagine a well-prepared Batman would have, including incendiaries, tranquilizer gun, sonic weaponry, smoke pellets, rope, various carpentry tools, mini grappling gun, protective anti-magick talismans, cellphone, tablet computer, snack bars, a variety of Batarangs, Bat-symbol-shaped headlamp, high voltage tasers, knives, and Penthrane sleeping gas spray.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #21, All-Star Batman #10-11, Dark Days: The Forge #1, Superman Vol. 4 #25, Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #14, Gotham Academy: Second Semester #11, Dark Nights: Metal #1-2, Justice League of America Vol. 5 #14, Justice League Vol. 3 #34, Trinity Vol. 2 #14, and Doomsday Clock #2. With his costume and utility belt complete, Batman is officially born. Underneath Wayne Manor, Bruce and Alfred begin building the Batcave, the ultimate secret cavern lair—complete with garage, several fabulous cars, fully-equipped state-of-the-art crime lab, industrial design studio, medical bay, weapons depot, and training facility. Bruce and Alfred will work on constructing the Batcave over the course of the rest of the calendar year.[1] Among Batman’s weapons are various types of bat-shaped boomerangs called Batarangs. Different Batarangs will have different features, such as the unfortunately-named Bangarang, which is an explosive weapon. Batman also creates a series of special programmable Batarangs that are voice-code activated. For instance, in “Blackout” mode, the programmable Batarang can emit an electromagnetic burst akin to an ion blast. Presumably, as also done in previous comic book eras, Batman heavily secures and camouflages entrances to the Batcave and then uses computer tech to erase any public geological records of the cave, which connects to larger waterways via a series of underground rivers. Batman also installs top-of-the-line holographic 3D surveillance cameras into the Batcave. He also builds multiple hidden passageways from the Batcave to Wayne Manor above—the most famous of which lies behind a grandfather clock in one of the main living rooms. One of these hidden passageways can also be activated from a secret switch inside a bust of Shakespeare in the main living room. (The Shakespeare bust is a cute nod from multiple creators to Batman ’66, in which the Shakespeare bust opened a passageway to the Bat-poles. Until anyone says otherwise, it’s probably a safe bet there aren’t Bat-poles in the New Age.) Also note that Wayne Manor already has several hidden rooms and passageways thanks to a wild design by eccentric occult architect Ambroos Lydecker, who also designed Gotham Academy and Arkham Asylum. Bruce exploits some of these passageways by connecting them to the Batcave. (Gotham Academy is one of Gotham’s most prestigious high schools. Elizabeth Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane—or simply Arkham Asylum for short—is Gotham’s most notorious prison. It is owned and operated by the Arkham family, who also owned the now-defunct Arkham Home in Innsmouth, MA.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #21, Batman Vol. 3 #37-38, All-Star Batman #10-11, Wonder Woman Vol. 5 #22, Detective Comics #959, Detective Comics #967, Detective Comics #973, Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #10, Green Arrow Vol. 6 #29, Nightwing Vol. 4 #32, Doomsday Clock #2, Flash Vol. 5 Annual #1, and Bane: Conquest #10. In regard to his civilian alter-ego, Bruce becomes the head of his family’s wealthy global corporate business, Wayne Enterprises. (His uncle Philip Kane had been running the company since his parents’ deaths.) Bruce immediately hires his friend Lucius Fox to handle day-to-day business affairs. (While unsure of Bruce’s connection to Batman, Lucius will, moving forward, often work on special top secret Bat-related projects.) Bruce and Lucius meet their Board of Directors, which includes Ronald Warner. (Bruce and Ronald will become professionally close over the years, with Warner coming to strongly admire Bruce.) Via its subsidiaries WayneTech and Wayne Industries, the parent corporation has controlling interests in finance, manufacturing, energy, aerospace engineering, tech, R&D, real estate, healthcare, and hospitality. WayneTech owns hotels, factories, refineries, hospitals, and chemical plants all over the world. Via its subsidiary known as The Wayne Foundation, the corporation is involved in charity, medical care, philanthropy, and social activism. Bruce, in order to mask any possible connections to Batman, begins publicly acting as a wild playboy. As part of his dissipation act, Bruce will often feign being drunk, secretly chugging ginger-ale instead of booze. As a famous (and notorious) public persona, Bruce will attend galas and fancy parties, often palling around with pop-stars and models. He will sometimes be followed by paparazzi and will often have his picture taken and published. Bruce will also attend a variety of high-powered business meetings and meet the majority of Gotham’s financial elites. Ironically, in these business circles, Bruce will earn the reputation of being an introvert that doesn’t like to stay out very late—an almost stark contrast to his playboy persona.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #20, Action Comics #980, Detective Comics #958-959, Detective Comics #967, Nightwing Vol. 4 #24, Batwoman: Rebirth #1, Dark Days: The Forge #1, and Superman Vol. 4 #37. In the Batcave, Batman and Alfred set up the incredible Bat-computer, which is secretly linked to all of WayneTech’s satellites and Batman’s costume. Both Batman and Alfred have equal access to this system. Batman immediately begins logging information into a computer database that will hold criminal dossiers for every opponent he will face. While we won’t see Batman logging these dossier entries on our timeline, be aware that he will do this for just about everyone, even for good guys too. Each entry will include holographic 3D photos, weapon info, known associates and affiliations, power info, and last known addresses/locations. In the future, most Bat-Family member costumes will be networked into the Bat-computer system. Also note that Batman will research and log information about super-villains and superheroes that he has never even met. Furthermore, Batman begins maintaining a detailed case-file archive/history on Bat-computer databases. And, last but not least, both Batman and Alfred create special voice-activated override codes, just in case the system gets compromised.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Nights: Metal #1, Detective Comics #965-967, Detective Comics #970, Batgirl Vol. 5 #16, and Bane: Conquest #10. Via the Bat-computer, Bruce and Alfred set up a complex communications system linked to multiple WayneTech satellites and various other computer networks. With this system, Alfred will have multiple encrypted ways of contacting Batman (and vice-versa). Alfred will also be able to contact Batman in case of emergency at any time. Batman and Alfred also set up tiered emergency level priority codes, with “alpha one” being the top tier. The Bat-Family will use this same comm system and priority coding in the future. (In case you didn’t know, Batman’s closest allies will eventually be known as the “Bat-Family.”) In a related note, Batman and Alfred can and will use their complex satellite network/computer network for “eye in the sky” surveillance purposes as well, recording detailed holographic 3D video of pretty much anything unobstructed at ground level. They can and will also be able to utilize this system to hack into pretty much and surveillance camera in Gotham, including those in Arkham Asylum. Furthermore, Batman and Alfred also construct a variety of top-notch sound recording devices to use in the field.

–REFERENCE: In Gotham Academy: Second Semester #11. Bruce begins collecting war-related items (both new and old), ranging from katanas and bō staffs from Feudal Japan to suits of armor from Medieval Europe. Bruce will even collect assault rifles. These things go into an above-ground armory in Wayne Manor, which has both a public entrance and a hidden entrance. Bruce will add to this personal collection over the years and also train with most of these weapons.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #21-26, All-Star Batman #10-11, Action Comics #980, Wonder Woman Vol. 5 #22, and New Super-Man #17. March. Batman goes on his first anti-crime patrol in Gotham. He’s a bit shaky and accidentally fires his grappling gun through a window. Despite strongly disapproving, Alfred acts as field surgeon and tactical point-man, backing Batman’s incipient operations. Batman will begin routine nightly patrols from this point forward. Alfred will constantly stitch-up and repair the broken Batman. We will simply have to imagine these occurrences sprinkled throughout our timeline below.

–REFERENCE: In Superman Vol. 4 #39 and Flash Vol. 5 #39. While doling out vigilante justice, Batman displays the darker aspects of his personality (which come more naturally to him), adopting a grim’n’gritty, grumpy, grouchy, and downright unpleasant demeanor—quite the opposite of his alter ego’s chill party-boy attitude. Over the next few decades, the Dark Knight will come to be known by this brooding disagreeable persona by friends and foes alike.

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #2 and Batman & The Signal #2. Alfred begins the practice of leaving dinner/breakfast out and ready for Batman upon his return from nightly patrol. (Generally, Alfred sets the meal out just prior to midnight.) Alfred will continue this practice for decades to come.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #37. Batman makes several backup Bat-costumes, but, in spite of this, wears the same costume for multiple nights of patrol—something he will do for his entire life. Gross!

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #14 and the second feature to All-Star Batman #14. Batman has known how to pick locks since he was a teenager, but there’s always more to learn in any craft. Thus, Alfred begins teaching the Dark Knight the finer art of lock-picking. He also instructs and helps Batman to surgically sew mini lock-picks into the inside of his cheeks (to use in case of emergency). Alfred will teach Batman many things he learned while in the British military and while working for MI6—including how to use decoys to confuse your opponent while on the battlefield. These lessons will be taught to Batman over the course of the next few years, although they won’t be physically listed on our timeline.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Lost #1. Bruce meets and becomes friends with Gotham City Police Department‘s (GCPD) Commissioner Jim Gordon, who has no idea that he is secretly Batman. While Bruce and Gordon won’t be BFFs, they will always remain on amicable terms.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Lost #1—originally in Detective Comics #27. Batman goes on his first official mission, “The Case of the Chemical Syndicate,” as it will be labeled by the news media. In this case, Batman attempts to solve the murder of industrial tycoon David Lambert. Batman helps Commissioner Gordon on an investigation that points to Lambert’s son as a possible culprit, but soon switches focus to suspect Alfred Stryker, one of Lambert’s partners. At Apex Chemicals, Batman corners Stryker, who grins and leaps to his death in a vat of toxic liquid below. Unknown to Batman, Stryker is none other than Barbatos, playing head games with Batman. From this point forward, every time Bruce looks at his reflection, Barbatos will be staring back at him, watching his every move.

–REFERENCE: In Batwoman: Rebirth #1 and Detective Comics #964. An unknown person is wronged or injured during an unspecified Batman case. They come to blame Batman for their condition. This person will return years later as the evil villain known as “The First Victim.”

–REFERENCE: In Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #7. Batman retires his purple gloves, replacing them with the more standard black fare.

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #13. Alfred is supportive but still extremely wary of Batman’s vigilante mission. (This feeling will never really change.) Hoping to subconsciously give Bruce a glimpse at a better life sans the Bat, Alfred interjects into Bruce’s real estate dealings with WayneTech, suggesting that he purchase properties in beautiful and relaxing vacation locales. Bruce does so and even travels to some of the unspecified sites with Alfred, but he doesn’t take the hint. Alfred will act as a consultant on various WayneTech real estate purchases for the next fifteen years plus, although these purchases won’t be specifically listed on our chronology.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #12—originally told in Frank Miller’s “BATMAN: YEAR ONE.” Batman roughs up the corrupt GCPD Detective Arnold Flass while he attempts a drug deal. Batman later confronts the drug dealer and “convinces” him to cop a plea bargain with District Attorney Harvey Dent, exposing Flass as a criminal.

–REFERENCE: In Blue Beetle Vol. 9 #4. While on patrol, someone snaps a picture of Batman. Gotham’s Dark Knight makes national headlines.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #26. The mainstream media begins to call Batman by various appellations, including “The Dark Knight,” “The Caped Crusader,” “Dark Detective,” and “The World’s Greatest Detective.”

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 5 #25. Batman busts the serial killer known as Birthday Boy (Ray Salinger). Prior to this reference, Birthday Boy was only canon on the Earth-1 timeline as per Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s Batman: Earth One.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #44—and referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #24. Originally told in Batman #1. Batman boards a boat to prevent the theft of a priceless diamond by Selina Kyle, who uses the super-villain name “The Cat.” Batman recovers the diamond and busts the Cat, who is disguised as an old woman. After unmasking the Cat, Batman recovers the diamond, hidden in a bandage around her ankle. Batman instantly falls for the Cat and lets her go free. Later, Bruce realizes that the love he feels for the Cat is legit. He knows that he’s met his equal and there will never be another quite like her. Bruce purchases the diamond that the Cat had attempted to steal on the boat and stores it in a safe place, knowing deep down that one day, he will give it to her.

–Batman Vol. 3 Annual #2 Part 1 Intro
Batman, who had previously been referring to his cars without any specific names, begins calling them “Batmobiles.” The crafty Selina Kyle, with a new gray feline costume and now going by the name Catwoman, discovers Batman’s secret ID, breaks into the Batcave (which is still pretty empty) via the manor above, and steals the primary Batmobile! Alfred alerts a patrolling Batman, who chases after Catwoman, who crashes the Batmobile into Porky’s Bar. Present at Porky’s are owner Porky and the watering hole’s usual offbeat customers, including Silver St. Cloud, Elmer Fudd, Taz, an unnamed guy and his pet frog named Michigan J Frog, Bugs the Bunny, and Yosemite Sam.[2] Batman retrieves the smashed-up Batmobile, in which he finds that Catwoman has left him a mouse. Batman keeps the mouse as a pet in Wayne Manor. (Note that artist Lee Weeks takes special liberties and incorrectly draws Batman wearing his classic underwear-on-the-outside costume in this item.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #25-26, Batman Vol. 3 #31, All-Star Batman #10-11, Detective Comics #959, Detective Comics #967, Dark Days: The Forge #1, Dark Nights: Metal #1-2, and Super Sons #10 Part 2. Batman finishes construction on the Batcave, stocking it with new vehicles. Adding to his collection of cars and bikes, the Dark Knight stocks his underground garage with new tricked-out Batmobiles, a hyper-submarine, a mini-sub, boats, new motorcycles, planes, jetpack gliders, an all-terrain APC, combo jet-ski swamp-mobiles, and a blimp. In case you haven’t already noticed, Batman loves adding the “Bat” prefix to the names of stuff, but now he’ll start doing it with just about everything that belongs to him (including all these vehicles), so get used to it.

–REFERENCE: In Trinity Vol. 2 #8, Superman Vol. 4 #20, Wonder Woman Vol. 5 Annual #1 Part 1, and Super Sons #5. Batman meets Superman (Kal-El/Clark Kent). They discover each other’s secret identities, after which Batman meets Superman’s love interest and intrepid reporter Lois Lane. Despite getting to know one another a bit, Superman and Batman are completely at odds. Batman won’t come to trust Superman (and vice-versa) just quite yet. In fact, Batman and Superman will often get into heated arguments when they cross paths. Most of these fights will happen invisibly, scattered throughout our timeline below.

–REFERENCE: In Trinity Vol. 2 #13 and Justice League Vol. 3 #29. Batman pontificates upon Superman’s origin story, noting how lucky the world is that two benevolent kind-hearted people raised Clark to be a decent human being. Any number of alternatives could have been disastrous. Batman will think about this circumstance of fate quite often over the course of his crime-fighting career. The Dark Knight begins studying Superman very closely, also noting that the Man of Steel typically holds back his full power while in combat, aware of the destructive capability of his Kryptonian abilities. Batman also notes that Superman gets his power from the Earth’s yellow sun, while discovering that red solar rays nullify his power.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #24. Batman first hears what will become Superman’s very public signature catch phrase: “Up, up, and away!”

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #36. Batman, possibly inspired by Superman, coins his own catch phrase, “Vengeance is the night!” which he begins growling at criminals while on patrol. Thankfully, Batman won’t say this very often.

–REFERENCE: In ???. Batman and Superman team-up to bust the debuting Magpie.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #982, Superman Vol. 4 #36-37, and Dark Nights: Metal #4. Batman learns about Superman’s major weakness to Kryptonite. He learns and studies the different types of Kryptonite and their various effects on Superman. There are Green, Red, Gold, Periwinkle, and a few other unknown Kryptonite variations. Batman then builds a data file, detailing how to surmount Superman in the off chance that the Man of Steel turns evil or is mind-controlled by an evil force. Batman will continuously catalog information about Superman, starting now. This information will be stored on the Bat-computer network. Notably, Superman actually gives Batman a Green Kryptonite ring with the expressed idea that he use it against him should he ever get mind-controlled or lose control.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #37. Bruce tells Clark about his ginger-ale-swilling drunk act that fools people into thinking he is wasted at parties. Clark begins doing it too.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #29 and Batman & The Signal #2—and also referenced in Flash Vol. 5 #21, Batman Vol. 3 #25-26, Batman Vol. 3 #28, Batman: The Merciless #1, Detective Comics #969 Part 2, Batman Vol. 3 Annual #2 Part 1 Conclusion, and Batman & The Signal #1. Originally told in “ZERO YEAR.” Batman shuts down The Red Hood and his gang in an epic battle, during which Philip Kane is killed and the Red Hood himself falls into a vat of toxic chemicals. (Of course, the Red Hood will soon return as Joker.) Shortly after the Red Hood fight and presumable Philip Kane funeral, Batman matches wits with the debuting Riddler (Edward Nigma aka Edward Nygma aka Edward Nashton), who debuts by committing a series of big-time heists, leaving public riddle clues/challenges for both Batman and law enforcement before each crime. Batman also deals with Riddler’s femme fatale henchwomen, Query and Echo during these heists. After a very public confrontation with Batman, the Riddler claims victory and takes over the entire city, ruling with an iron fist for weeks while Batman remains in a coma. The injured Batman is cared for and nursed back to health by the Thomas family (Elaine Thomas, Doug Thomas, and young Duke Thomas). Duke is particularly encouraging and inspires Batman to make a dramatic return—wearing a sleeveless costume and riding a steam-powered motorbike. He teams-up with Commissioner Gordon against Riddler. Eventually, Batman fights the super-villain one-on-one, sustaining multiple serious injuries. In the end, Batman wins and punches Riddler’s lights out. While handing Riddler over to Commissioner Gordon, the super-villain, ever-messing with everyone’s heads, orates a cryptic riddle with a smile on his face. Shackled behind Arkham Asylum bars, Riddler will quickly become a police consultant for complex and bizarre crimes, sort of like Hannibal Lecter.

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #2. Following Riddler’s “Zero Year” takeover and arrest, Batman claims his gaudy green question mark costume for a trophy, which he puts on display in the Batcave. This will be the start of Batman’s trophy collection.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21. Batman obtains a giant penny and puts it on display in the Batcave as a trophy. While unspecified, it is possible that the penny is an art piece created by the recently deceased Philip Kane. Such was the case in the New 52.

–Batman Vol. 3 Annual #2 Part 1 Conclusion
The day after busting Riddler, an injured Bruce lounges at Wayne Manor and tries to make sense of the villain’s last riddle. When a pen goes missing, Alfred jokes about calling Superman for help. Bruce realizes that Catwoman is inside the house again. He chases her, but she hops out the window and gets away. Outside, police and news media have gathered—called to the scene by Catwoman herself in order to make a spectacle. Inside, Catwoman has left Bruce another mouse, which goes in the cage with the other rodent. Bruce immediately installs extra security alarms in Wayne Manor. A few days later, Catwoman breaks into Wayne Manor again, taking Bruce’s mother’s pearl out of the safe to examine it. Batman enters and they talk about their orphan childhoods while flirting with each other. Catwoman sets off one of Batman’s smoke pellets and escapes, leaving another mouse, which gets added to the cage. A few days later, Batman catches Catwoman atop Wayne Manor, trying to break in yet again. He chases her while she tells him that she’s testing him to make him stronger because she wants him to survive his dangerous vigilante quest. Catwoman disappears into the woods, but once again leaves another mouse, which joins the rest of the little squeakers. After some quick detective work, Batman is able to locate Selina’s apartment. There, Bruce and Selina share their first kiss. They jokingly argue about how they first met, debating which encounter—their first meeting out-of-costume on the street or their first meeting in-costume on the boat—is more legit. This debate will be an in-joke that will stay with the duo for decades. Despite being at odds and occasionally warring with one another, Batman and Catwoman will remain on-again-off-again lovers from this point forward. Their intermittent love affair will continue for years to come, although most of it will remain invisible on our timeline. (Also, as before, note that artist Lee Weeks takes special liberties and incorrectly draws Batman wearing his classic underwear-on-the-outside costume in this item.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #23, Trinity Vol. 2 #11, and Detective Comics #965. Batman, having recently worked well with Commissioner Gordon, cements their relationship. The Dark Knight has now earned the trust and confidence of both Gordon and the GCPD. Gordon, specifically, will become one of Batman’s best friends and partners in crime-fighting. We should note that, while Batman will maintain that he “prefers to work alone” throughout his entire career, he will often find himself working with others—including Gordon, multiple Robins, the Bat-Family, various Justice Leagues, Outsiders, and more. A better interpretation of Batman’s concept of “preferring to work alone,” moving forward, will be that Batman “likes to work with others—provided he is in a leadership role.” The best interpretation of Batman’s relationship to teamwork comes from Detective Comics #965, in which Tim Drake says, “Batman needs people.”

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #22 and Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #7. Commissioner Gordon, in conjunction with Batman, creates the Bat-signal, a spotlight bat-symbol that will shine in the night sky both to frighten criminals and as a means of summoning Batman if he is needed by the police.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #971. Batman activates the “red phone,” a crimson-colored cellphone that is a direct “hotline” connection to Commissioner Gordon. If Gordon ever needs to reach Batman, he can on this phone, which Batman will keep in his utility belt from now on.

–REFERENCE: In Green Arrow Vol. 6 #29 and Blue Beetle Vol. 9 #12. Batman begins the habit of ending conversations as soon as he gets the information he needs, doing so by simply vanishing without a trace. Similarly, he begins the habit of surprising people by showing up out of nowhere. He does both of these things with Commissioner Gordon, various law enforcement officials, fellow superheroes, and others. Both of these things will become the Dark Knight’s signature trademarks, moving forward on our timeline.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21. Batman obtains a Tyrannosaurus Rex robot from an unspecified case and puts it on display in the Batcave.

–REFERENCE: In Batwoman: Rebirth #1, Batgirl & The Birds of Prey #18, Detective Comics #973, and Trinity Vol. 2 #21—originally told in Batman #1 Part 2 and “BATMAN & THE MONSTER MEN.” Batman encounters the debuting Professor Hugo Strange, who uses his patented Monster Serum to turn mental patients into hulking “Monster Men” soldiers. Using a specially-developed extra-strength knockout gas, Batman defeats the Monster Men. The Dark Knight will keep reserves of his new knockout gas in his utility belt from this point forward.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21, Batwoman: Rebirth #1, and Batman Vol. 3 #27. Joker debuts, using his patented Joker Venom (aka Joker Juice) gas on victims, which kills them while putting permanent rictus grins on their faces. Joker also leaves his signature, a joker playing card, with each victim. While Batman fights Joker and fends off an attack, store owner Virgil Myers gets gassed. Due to a bizarre allergic reaction, Myers winds up with metahuman powers. (Myers will return years later as the super-villain known as The Mute.)

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #2. In the Batcave, Batman sets up a newspaper clipping cork board dedicated to all things Joker-related. He will add to this board whenever Joker takes any action whatsoever. Not all of Batman’s interactions with Joker will be listed on our timeline below. Since Joker will be Batman’s arch enemy, there are a lot of cases that we must simply imagine sprinkled throughout the chronology.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #29—and also referenced in Dark Days: The Casting #1 and Doomsday Clock #2. Batman fights Joker again, punching him out and putting him behind Arkham Asylum bars. Batman keeps a pair of Joker’s giant dice as a trophy. When he returns to the Batcave to find one of Joker’s signature playing cards, Batman worries that Joker knows his secret ID. Bruce visits Arkham Asylum under the auspices of a Wayne Enterprises business visit, sneaks off, meets with Joker, and shows him the playing card. Joker looks at Bruce, but makes no response or recognition. Even though the connection between Bruce and Batman has to be quite evident, Bruce believes that Joker’s twisted mind works in mysterious ways. He thinks that Joker doesn’t care who he is beneath the mask, and never will—that the madman is incapable of even broaching the subject of Bruce Wayne, for it might ruin his fun. Is this true? Or does Joker have more cunning faculty in regard to this matter than Bruce is willing to admit? Later, Batman enlarges Joker’s playing card and hangs it on display in the Batcave as a trophy.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #29. Batman gets the Bat-costume that his father once wore at a masquerade before he was born. He puts it on display in the Batcave.

–REFERENCE: In ???. Batman defeats the deadly vampire and evil cult leader known as The Mad Monk.

REFERENCE: In the second feature to All-Star Batman #10, Batman Vol. 3 #26, and Detective Comics Vol. 3 Annual #1. Batman, District Attorney Harvey Dent, and Commissioner Gordon team-up to bust key members of the Falcone Family, Gotham’s number one organized mob group, significantly weakening their operational capability. While down, the Falcones are not completely out. They will remain a part of the Gotham Underworld for years to come, led by patriarch Carmine Falcone. Batman, Gordon, and Dent will function as a tight crime-fighting unit from this point forward—that is, until Harvey’s unfortunate accident at the hands of Sal Maroni next year.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #25, Batwoman Vol. 2 #7-8, Detective Comics #964, and Detective Comics #967. Batman fights the debuting Scarecrow (Professor Jonathan Crane), who unleashes his tortured and brainwashed students, including Abigail O’Shay, upon the Caped Crusader. (Abigail will return years later as the super-villain Madame Crow.) Scarecrow also uses his patented Fear Gas on Batman, causing him to have intense hallucinations. Eventually, Batman wins the day. From this point forward, Batman will collect samples of Scarecrow’s Fear Gas, of which there will be a variety of different strains. Both Batman and Alfred will study Scarecrow’s poisons quite often, becoming more than familiar with their effects and chemical makeup.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Casting #1 and Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #36. Dr. Paul Dekker debuts as Crazy Quilt, a gaudy super-villain with knowledge of the occult and bizarre chemical science. Batman puts him behind Arkham bars.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #27. Joker escapes from Arkham Asylum and hires four experts, including aerodynamics whiz Chuck Brown, to help him build the Jokermobile. Joker then kills three of the experts, leaving only Brown alive, before taking his new roadster for a spin. Batman’s Batmobile proves to be the superior vehicle, besting the short-lived Jokermobile, which sends Joker back behind bars.

 

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YEAR ONE (2002)

 

–REFERENCE: In Wonder Woman Vol. 5 #22. Bruce meets Lex Luthor. Presumably, Batman (separately, of course) meets Luthor too.

–REFERENCE: In ???. Superman’s arch rival Brainiac shrinks down and bottles-up whole cities all across the universe, destroying the planets from which he collects. Batman teams-up with Superman to defeat Brainiac.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #976. Dr. Leslie Thompkins discovers Batman’s secret identity and is not pleased. Despite her reservations, she will support Batman and remain one of his closest allies. While we might not see her often on our timeline, Leslie will be a constant presence in Batman’s life, acting as a moral compass for the entire Bat-Family through all their trials and tribulations.

–Detective Comics Vol. 3 Annual #1
Three weeks ago, second-generation superstar Hollywood actor Basil Karlo crashed his car, resulting in first degree burns and severe facial deformity. Thanks to the use of a discontinued experimental gel called Renu (belonging to his deceased dad), Basil was able to temporarily sculpt his face back to normal. Needing more of the product, Karlo travels to Gotham’s Dagget Chemical, run by crook Roland Dagget, to steal more. With a tip from Commissioner Gordon, Batman gets the jump on Karlo and busts him. Batman investigates Dagget and learns that Renu destabilizes neural pathways in its user’s brain, and that Dagget has been experimenting with it on human guinea pigs for decades. Batman then tells Karlo that no one will press charges against him, and that he should go to DA Harvey Dent to assist in giving testimony that will but Dagget away for a long time. The next day, however, Karlo wigs-out and tries to steal the evidence stash of Renu from the courthouse. Some crooked cops shoot at Karlo, causing the entire batch of toxic gel to pour over him. Karlo instantly becomes the shape-changing super-villain Clayface. In a wild rage, Clayface attacks the set of a film in which he was supposed to star. He targets director Veronica St. Clair and leading man Harry Day Jr before dumping a barrel full of Renu onto his girlfriend, production assistant Glory Griffin, which turns her into a deformed clay metahuman as well—only Glory doesn’t have the ability to change shape. (Glory will return years later as a super-villain named Mudface.) Batman then brings Clayface to justice. Presumably, Dagget is brought to justice as well.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #973. Bruce has Wayne Chemical (a sub-branch of WayneTech) clean up after Clayface’s nightmarish debut. He orders his scientists to collect leftover globs of living mud left behind by Clayface at the scene of the crime. Wayne Chemical will continuously store living residuum from Clayface every time he makes an appearance, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #25. Mad Hatter (Jervis Tetch) debuts.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #979 and Batwoman: Rebirth #1. Batman bests the debuting Poison Ivy (Pamela Isley) and rescues permanently injured hostage Guy Mandrake, who will later become the super-villain Mr. Noxious.

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #2. Mr. Zero (Dr. Victor Fries) debuts against Batman. After busting the icy villain, Batman keeps his costume as a trophy, which he puts on display in the Batcave.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #25. Dr. Victor Fries escapes from custody, makes himself a new diamond-powered costume, and changes his name to Mr. Freeze. Despite the new look and new attitude, the same result occurs. Batman busts Mr. Freeze.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #25. Harvey Dent is horribly scarred on half of his face by gangster Sal Maroni (patriarch of the Maroni Family mob organization), who throws acid at him. Damaged both physically and mentally, Dent becomes the murderous super-villain Two-Face. Batman challenges his old friend, bringing him to justice.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #25. Batman defeats The Ventriloquist (Arnold Wesker) and his gun-toting dummy Scarface.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #25. Batman busts Deadshot.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #25 and Detective Comics #969 Part 2. Batman defeats the hulking semi-zombie Solomon Grundy, who is immortal and only speaks in nursery rhymes.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #25. Master assassin Deathstroke (Slade Wilson) debuts, fighting Batman.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #25. Killer Croc (Waylon Jones) debuts.

–REFERENCE: In Batwoman: Rebirth #1, Batman Vol. 3 #25, Batman Vol. 3 #32, Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #35, and Doomsday Clock #2-3. Batman meets super-science husband-and-wife duo Dr. Kirk Langstrom and Dr. Francine Langstrom. Kirk ingests experimental Man-Bat Serum, which mutates him into the human flesh-eating “Man-Bat.” Batman takes-down the raging Man-Bat and restores Kirk to normal. Able to somehow avoid a jail sentences and thankful to Batman, the Langstroms become allies to him. Unfortunately, moving forward, Kirk will be a very unstable and troublesome ally, easily manipulated and prone to control by malevolent forces. He will be in and out of Arkham Asylum as well. Francine, while having better control than her hubby, will turn herself into “She-Bat” on occasion. Also note that, no matter the true relationship between Batman and the Langstroms, the public will come to regard Man-Bat as a menace and one of Batman’s biggest rivals. Extrapolating further on the “true relationship” between the Langstroms and Batman, there exists a dark secret hidden from the Caped Crusader. The Langstroms secretly work for the US Government’s Department of Metahuman Affairs, which has recruited and funded Kirk in an effort to create man-bat metahuman soldiers.

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #22, Batman Vol. 3 #26, and Batman Vol. 3 #30-32. Batman busts Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Batman Vol. 3 #32 mentions that Tweedledee eats human flesh. This is likely an error and the editorial text was supposed to be linked to Man-Bat or Killer Croc. But, hey, it’s there with Tweedledee, so what are you gonna do? My personal headcanon will forever have Tweedledee as a cannibal now.[3]

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #26. Batman busts the horrific serial killer Victor Zsasz.

–REFERENCE: In Batwoman: Rebirth #1 and Batman Vol. 3 #26. Batman defeats Cluemaster (Arthur Brown), but gives him a little more leeway than other criminals when he learns that he is raising a young daughter, Stephanie Brown.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #26 and Doomsday Clock #2. Batman bests the debuting pyromaniac Firefly, after which he keeps his flamethrower gear as a trophy for the Batcave.

–Wonder Woman Vol. 5 Annual #1 Part 1
Batman goes on patrol, which ultimately ends in stitches from doctor Alfred. Meanwhile, Diana of Themyscira makes her public debut at a mall outside of San Diego. (Diana is one of the race of semi-immortal warrior women known as Amazons, who are linked to the Greco-Roman pantheon of gods. Diana’s father is none other than Zeus himself.) With the help of her friends Steve Trevor, Etta Candy, and Dr. Barbara Ann Minerva, the powerful Amazonian foils a terror plot by The Sear Group (aka The Ares Group, human soldiers loyal to the Greco-Roman God of War, Ares). (This debut versus the Sear Group happens in Wonder Woman Vol. 5 #10—”Wonder Woman: Year One.”) When video of Diana hits the mainstream media, Lois, Clark, and photographer pal Jimmy Olsen hightail it to California. As Batman returns home from the next day’s patrol, once again requiring stitches, Alfred directs his attention to the big Diana news on TV. Superman learns that Diana is testing her powers on behalf of the US Army in a Nevada desert, so he goes there. Batman, having acquired the same intel, goes there as well. Wonder Woman gets the jump on the boys, sneaking up on them from behind. The first meeting of DC’s Big Three occurs! Diana offers effusive greetings and tells the male heroes to take ahold of her magick lasso, which they do. Forced to tell their true names, Batman says his is “Batman,” showing that he identifies with that name just as much (if not more) than “Bruce Wayne.” Seeing into Diana’s soul via the lasso, the boys learn that she is pure of heart and has good intentions. Diana will be given the name Wonder Woman by the press a couple days later, after she defeats Ares in battle—as seen in the conclusion of “Wonder Woman: Year One” (Wonder Woman Vol. 5 #14).

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 5 #5, Justice League of America Vol. 5 #27, Justice League of America Vol. 5 #42, Batman Vol. 3 #26, Justice League Vol. 3 #24, Green Arrow Vol. 6 #29, and Suicide Squad Vol. 5 #25. The Justice League forms, making the Secret Sanctuary in Happy Harbor, RI its official headquarters. Its lineup features Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter (J’onn J’onzz), Flash (Barry Allen), Aquaman (Orin/Arthur Curry), and Green Lantern Hal Jordan. Batman learns about the Green Lantern Corps, a universal police force created by The Guardians of the Universe, who live on the planet Oa. Hal is but one of many soldiers in this army. He provides Batman and the rest of the Justice League with a bunch of signal devices that can be used to contact the Green Lantern Corps. The JL also learns all about Themyscira (aka Paradise Island), home of the Amazons, which is led by Wonder Woman’s mother Hippolyta. Furthermore, Aquaman introduces his partner Mera to the other heroes. While Aquaman and Mera act as husband and wife, they technically won’t officially marry until years from now. Presumably, Batman and the other heroes learn all about the undersea kingdom of Atlantis as well. Note that, while Aquaman is an essential part of the JL, he won’t trust surface dwellers for years to come. Also note that the Secret Sanctuary will only be a secret to villains and civilians. As referenced in Justice League of America Vol. 5 #27, the JL will hold meetings with several other superhero teams in the Sanctuary over the course of the next few years. Who these other teams are is beyond me, but just imagine these gatherings occurring on our timeline below. Also note that, from this point forward, all Justice Leaguers will trust their secret IDs with all other members (with some exceptions, of course). It is a serious honor to be on the JL. To be on this team means to be 100% trustworthy.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #33 and Justice League Vol. 3 #34. Each Justice Leaguer is given their own satellite-linked communicator, so they can be reached in case of emergency at all times.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21. Flash finds an instant connection with Batman in the Justice League, as they can talk for hours about evidence and CSI stuff, something the other team members are less versed or interested in.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Casting #1 and Dark Nights: Metal #1. The Justice League meets and creates the official JL Bylaws, a set of rules by which each JLer must live by in order to remain on the team. One of the many bylaws bans the incarceration of dangerous criminals without the JL’s full approval first. Similarly, one of the Bylaws states the the JL must vote on everything before taking any action.

–REFERENCE: In Super Sons #9. The Justice League begins logging detailed information about all its meetings and cases, building a database of dossiers on the various people they have encountered. This is the start of a reoccurring event not visibly listed on our timeline, in which they will add to this database archive constantly.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Nights: Metal #3 and Titans Vol. 3 #19. Despite having just helped form the Justice League, Batman is plagued with thoughts of the danger that metahumans—good or bad—could potentially pose to the world. The Dark Knight does his best to suppress his concerns. Always the pre-planner, though, Batman can’t help but think of ways to both neutralize and utilize his metahuman friends’ powers to benefit his own personal war on crime. Batman won’t take any direct anti-metahuman action or make any anti-metahuman contingency plans at this juncture, but, unable to really shake his paranoia, he will in the future.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21. The Justice League defeats Starro the Conqueror.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #976. The Justice League defeats the debuting Despero.

–REFERENCE: In Trinity Vol. 2 #12. The Justice League purchases properties in major cities all over the world to use as emergency safe-houses. In Gotham, for example, the JL sets-up at least one brownstone apartment building as a safe-house.

–REFERENCE: In Super Sons #10 Part 2. Batman and Alfred already use a tiered emergency level priority code system, with “alpha one” being the top tier. The Justice League now initiates a tiered system as well, but one that uses a simple numbered order. “Class-1” is the highest priority alert.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #25-26. April to early May. Batman is “coming off his first year” in costume and Riddler has been imprisoned for almost a year. When Joker escapes from jail and kills fourteen people, Batman puts police alerts on locations all over Gotham but is unable to find the Clown Prince of Crime. By the time Commissioner Gordon and the GCPD locate Joker at a comedy club, the morning sun has risen over Gotham. Batman, having patrolled all night long, has gone home to sleep. While the Dark Knight slumbers, Joker kills a dozen more and then blows up the place, calmly walking away while shooting cops left-and-right. Meanwhile, Riddler escapes from Arkham, intrigued by the method to Joker’s madness. After some more brutal killings, Joker ascends to the penthouse of a skyscraper. There, Riddler confronts him and gets shot in the stomach for his trouble. Riddler survives, but the bullet in his belly becomes his casus belli. Batman tries to chase after Joker, but both Joker and the bleeding Riddler escape. While Joker murders a family in the suburbs, Riddler gets life-saving surgery from underground doctor Jamie Knowles (the doctor that fixes-up Joker in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman movie!), which leaves him with a scar that he turns into a question mark on his chest. After brutally murdering Knowles, Batman and Commissioner Gordon examine the crime scene. Upon hearing Riddler is alive, Joker calls Carmine Falcone and tells him to execute Riddler. Carmine is scared enough of Joker to immediately send his men after Riddler, who immediately goes to Poison Ivy for help. When Carmine’s men strike in the park, Poison Ivy wraps them up with vines. (As referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #43, Riddler executes the men tangled in the vines and then tells Ivy that her vines strangled them to death. Not the killing type, Ivy is traumatized by what she thinks she has done. Batman arrives to examine the dead men, immediately seeing that they’ve been shot to death.) Batman also learns from Gordon that one of the deceased was an undercover cop. Joker shows his frustration by murdering Carmine’s mother and Carmine’s top men and then shooting Carmine in the arm. Joker then usurps Carmine’s assistant, Oswald Cobblepot, making him his own assistant instead. Not long after, both Riddler and Joker recruit super-villains into their respective folds. Riddler’s team includes Two-Face, Scarecrow, Clayface, Firefly, Victor Zsasz, Killer Croc, and Deathstroke. Joker’s team includes Oswald Cobblepot, Solomon Grundy, Man-Bat (Kirk Langstrom), Cluemaster, Deadshot, Mad Hatter, Tweedledum, Tweedledee, Mr. Freeze, and the Ventriloquist (with Scarface). These two factions begin warring with each other for weeks, which leads to dozens of innocent deaths. The mainstream media outlets begin to call this carnage “The War of Jokes and Riddles.”

–Batman Vol. 3 #27
Early May—(Batman Vol. 3 #32 specifically tells us that Riddler kills Chuck Brown’s son on May 6). Batman shakes down Chuck Brown, asking him to get Joker’s phone number in an effort to find out his location to end “The War of Jokes and Riddles.” Brown reaches out to Deadshot, who gives him a number, but it winds up being untraceable. Batman then orders Brown to set up a one-on-one meeting with Joker (which will be a staging ground for an ambush). Brown calls Joker and sets up a face-to-face, but Riddler finds out and has Clayface kidnap Brown to learn details of the meeting. As revealed in Batman Vol. 3 #32, it is at this time that Riddler begins a campaign of manipulating Brown as part of a longer con. Batman shakes down Brown yet again and learns that Joker and Riddler are both planning to be at the meeting. A day later, Batman gets in the middle of a battle-royale including Solomon Grundy, Scarecrow, Killer Croc, Riddler, Joker, and Brown. As punishment, Joker straps an explosive device to Brown’s body and tells him his son Charlie will die unless he suicide bombs Batman at their next meeting. Batman puts Charlie into police protection, after which Brown realizes the bomb on his chest is fake anyway. Despite being under protection, Riddler is able to poison young Charlie to death. As referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #32, Batman and Chuck are both by poor Charlie’s side at the time of his passing. Batman tells Brown he will avenge his son’s death. A distraught Brown becomes the gaudy Kite Man, returning to offer his services to Joker.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #28-29—and also referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #24. Early May to June. The “War of Jokes and Riddles” continues with Joker’s army taking over the Upper West Side and Riddler’s army taking over the Upper East Side, turning the park into a war-zone and causing dozens of innocent lives to be lost. Batman and Commissioner Gordon are helpless and watch the city fall apart for a week or so. Gordon meets with both villain armies, asking what they want. Both sides say they want Batman. Gordon then reports back to Batman, telling him that he has contacted the federal government for military support. When Kite Man is forcibly ejected through a skyscraper window, Batman saves his life. The Dark Knight then confronts Catwoman, who is robbing a Maroni Family safe. In a sexy reprieve from the war, the Cat and the Bat get it on. Later, Deadshot and Deathstroke begin a solo war against each other. Batman apprehends them both, but not for five bloody days, which results in 62 deaths. An angry Batman pummels Deadshot so mercilessly that he nearly dies in the hospital. Afterward, Gordon reports to Batman, telling him that two Army Special Forces units were completely wiped-out by Joker and Riddler. After more bodies pile up, Bruce takes a page out of his mom’s playbook, calling a truce and arranging a meeting at Wayne Manor, during which both sides will share in a nine course French dinner and negotiate an end to the conflict. As Gotham’s worst villains hover around while Alfred waits the table, Bruce tells Joker and Riddler to convince him which side should get to kill Batman. Bruce explains that whoever makes the best case gets one billion dollars, which should be sufficient enough to give the winner the advantage to win the war, thus ending the carnage. After they state their cases, the villains and their crews leave as Bruce says he will send his answer and the prize money later via Commissioner Gordon.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #30 and Batman Vol. 3 #32. June. The “War of Jokes and Riddles” continues with Batman joining forces with Riddler’s army in exchange for Riddler ordering his men not to kill any more people. (We are never told if Bruce declared Riddler the billion dollar winner, but somehow Batman has thrown-in with his team.) Batman then meets with Riddler, who convinces him to capture Kite Man last. (Riddler needs Kite Man on the playing field as part of his longer plan to claim victory over Joker.)

–Batman Vol. 3 #30
June. Wearing a Riddler arm band, Batman fights Kite Man, Tweedledum, Tweedledee, and Oswald Cobblepot’s penguin commandos—straight out of Tim Burton’s Batman Returns film. (Cobblepot, clearly wanting to fit in and influenced by the costumed lunatics that surround him, has decided to become the The Penguin, showing a penchant for aquatic fowl-themed villainy.) The Caped Crusader punches-out Kite Man (but leaves him free as per Riddler’s order) before apprehending the Tweeds. Batman then neutralizes the Ventriloquist by stealing away Scarface. Next, the Dark Knight shoots Man-Bat out of the sky with Batplane missiles. Meanwhile, Scarecrow takes out Cluemaster. After that, Batman easily takes down Mr. Freeze and then Mad Hatter. Only Kite Man, eyewitness to each of these defeats, remains standing on Joker’s side. (The whereabouts of Penguin and Solomon Grundy are unknown.) Before long, Batman finally brings in Kite Man, who is interrogated by both Riddler and Batman.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #31-32. June. The “War of Jokes and Riddles” continues. Kite Man secretly becomes Batman’s man on the inside, delivering the location of Joker’s hideout atop the skyscraper penthouse where the war started. Batman sends Catwoman to spy on Joker, who nearly kills her. Batman then tricks Riddler into soliciting Kite Man’s help to break into Joker’s penthouse. Batman instructs Kite Man to build and offer special kite-gliders for Riddler’s army, only they don’t know that they are rigged with jet-propelled inverse parachutes. (Kite Man installs one on Firefly’s flight suit.) After Riddler and his crew crash in and easily take down Joker, Kite Man activates his parachutes and all of Riddler’s men go flying up into the sky where they are detained on the Bat-Blimp, which is piloted by Alfred. Riddler then angrily punches-out Kite Man and faces-off with Batman and Joker. Batman, the superior fighter, takes down both men. Furious at the Riddler for the loss of life his war has caused, and especially for killing Kite Man’s son so sadistically, Batman decides that Riddler must face ultimate justice. The Dark Knight grabs a knife and attempts to stab Riddler, but Joker blocks the would-be fatal thrust with his hand, saving Riddler’s life. Tickled by the idea of the hero losing his cool and playing executioner, Joker laughs hysterically. Joker, Riddler, and Kite Man all go to Arkham. The war is over.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #25-26 and Batman Vol. 3 #32. June. Immediately following the “War of Jokes and Riddles,” Batman is shaken to the core. He is not only extremely troubled by the massive collateral damage caused by the war, but also ashamed by his own attempted murder of Riddler. Batman is also deeply disturbed at the fact that Joker stopped him, feeling as though, in a sense, the Clown Prince of Crime will now and forever more have an emotional stranglehold over him. Batman, hoping to move on, reaffirms his vow to never use lethal force. Despite this reaffirmation, the Caped Crusader will be haunted by his own actions for the rest of his crime-fighting career. Batman then retraces the steps of all parties involved in the war, trying to make sense of it all. Batman studies victim dossiers, watches recordings, interviews witnesses, and collects evidence. He also visits and interrogates each imprisoned villain that took part in the conflict.

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #2. Penguin matches wits with Batman, adding signature trick umbrellas to his eccentric bird-villain gimmick. After their confrontation, Batman collects several of Penguin’s umbrellas and puts them on display as trophies in the Batcave.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #958 and Gotham Academy: Second Semester #10. Due to existing in the same wealthy socialite circles, Bruce (as Bruce Wayne) officially meets the detestable Penguin. Their paths will cross many times over the course of the next decade, but Penguin will have no idea that Bruce and Batman are one and the same.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #10—also referenced in Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #6-11, Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #1, and Trinity Vol. 2 #16. Originally told in “THE SAGA OF RA’S AL GHUL.” Batman deals with the threat of the League of Assassins—led by Ra’s al Ghul, who desires to “purge” the planet via a drastic reduction of global population using any means necessary. Also known as “The Demon’s Head,” Ra’s al Ghul has stayed alive for centuries due to the life-extending powers of bathing in the magickal Lazarus Pits. (Lazarus Pit liquid also has the dangerous tendency to drive people mad with rage and power.) Ra’s al Ghul has come to dominate the global underworld by using an army of ninja assassins and the cult-like devotion of the Ubu Clan. (Ra’s al Ghul’s right hand man is the leader of the Ubu Clan, who simply goes by Ubu.) Impressed by his new adversary, Ra’s al Ghul enacts a plan to partner the Dark Detective with his daughter, the beautiful and intelligent Talia al Ghul. Ra’s al Ghul wants the “perfect detective,” Batman, to bathe in the Lazarus Pits and carry on his legacy. The Caped Crusader immediately becomes infatuated with Talia and they begin a whirlwind affair. Eventually, a shirtless Dark Knight sword-fights Ra’s al Ghul in the Sahara Desert. Batman defeats Ra’s al Ghul with some help from Talia. Batman and Talia then share a romantic night and conceive a child. The conception, birth, and existence of the child will be kept a secret from Bruce for years to come. Batman and Talia’s tumultuous on-and-off-again love affair will continue for the next couple months before fizzling out entirely. Also note that, while not specifically listed moving forward on our chronology, Ubu #1 will be at Ra’s al Ghul’s side for pretty much all of his appearances—and Ubu will get his ass kicked by Batman pretty much every time they meet.

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #10-12 and Super Sons #5. Worried about Bruce’s well-being, Alfred is still reluctant about his quest to fight crime. In spite of this solicitude, Alfred throws his full support and devotion to his surrogate kin, someone he raised as a boy and truly loves as a father loves a son. Alfred is already aware of Bruce’s intensity and commitment to the cause, a laser focus that occupies nearly every second of both their waking lives. Often, Alfred will be the only confidant in Batman’s world, guiding him through turbulent times and providing a voice of reason. Alfred’s scaffolding will give Batman both encouragement but also help him show necessary restraint when engaging in generally reckless endeavors. Despite this, Batman will often frustratingly ignore Alfred’s advice.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman #1. Bruce begins the habit of lifting free-weights when deep in thought (or when bored) in the Batcave. He will do this for the rest of his life.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 5 #8—originally told in Batman #332-335 (“THE LAZARUS AFFAIR”). Batman follows Talia al Ghul in a wild goose chase across the globe, eventually winding up on the mysterious Infinity Island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. After Batman and Talia defeat various attacking warriors in a strange compound, Ra’s al Ghul emerges from the shadows. Infinity Island is a League of Assassins stronghold. Talia joins her father, revealing that everything has been a setup just so Ra’s al Ghul could have a rematch against the Dark Knight. Shortly thereafter, Batman and Ra’s al Ghul square-off one-on-one with the Caped Crusader gaining victory yet again as most of Infinity Island is blown up in a volcanic eruption.

 

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YEAR TWO (2003)

 

–REFERENCE: In Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #1. Batman fights Ra’s al Ghul at several Lazarus Pit sites, during which the Dark Knight destroys the life-enhancing pools. Batman vows to destroy all Lazarus Pits in the world. (It is unknown how many there are in total.) While we won’t see this quest on our timeline, we must imagine that, every once in a while, Batman finds a Lazarus Pit and destroys it.

–REFERENCE: In Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #3 and Deathstroke Vol. 4 #30—originally told in “VENOM” (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #16-20). Feeling inadequate after being unable to save a girl from kidnappers, Batman begins taking the super-steroid known as Venom (the drug that Bane will pump into his own veins years later). On Venom, the Dark Knight quickly becomes a raging jacked-up hulk and easily takes down the kidnappers. Alfred, disgusted and disappointed in Bruce’s drug use, resigns from his post! After a couple weeks of nonstop Venom dosing for patrols, the heavily-addicted Batman burns-out and breaks-down. In tears, he calls Alfred and convinces him to come home. With Alfred’s support, Batman quarantines himself in the Batcave and quits cold-turkey.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #976. The Justice League defeats the debuting Kanjar Ro.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #968. Batman links a majority of his Bat-vehicles into the Bat-computer network. Only a handful of fighter jets remain “analog.”

–REFERENCE: In Titans Vol. 3 Annual #1, Superman Vol. 4 #20, Super Sons #5, and Nightwing Vol. 4 #24. The Justice League defeats the creation of Professor Anthony Ivo, the evil android known as Amazo.

–NOTE: Referenced in Teen Titans Vol. 6 #6, Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #7, and Trinity Vol. 2 #16. Damian al Ghul is born from an artificial incubation womb. (The fetus was removed from Talia al Ghul’s body many months ago and transferred into the high-tech sci-fi incubator.) Talia will keep the boy’s existence a secret from his father Bruce. Damian will be raised by the League of Assassins and spend his entire youth training to be a killer.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #33. While on an unspecified Justice League mission, Flash becomes nervous and loses his cool. Batman, hoping to motivate his friend, shouts, “Just run faster!” Sure enough, Flash is inspired and regains his sangfroid, helping to save the day. From this point onward, Batman will often say this “just run faster” line to Flash to pump him up.

–REFERENCE: In Trinity Vol. 2 #8. Batman helps Superman defeat his arch-rival, the 5th Dimensional imp Mr. Mxyzptlk.

–REFERENCE: In Red Hood & The Outlaws Vol. 2 #20. Batman defeats the debuting Calendar Man (Julian Day).

–REFERENCE: In Batwoman Vol. 2 #6 and Green Arrow Vol. 6 #29. Batman meets and befriends GCPD Detectives Harvey Bullock and Renee Montoya.

–REFERENCE: In ???. Batman defeats the debuting Cavalier.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #39. Batman defeats the debuting Signalman (also commonly written-out in two separate words as “Signal Man”).

–REFERENCE: In ???. Batman defeats the debuting Catman.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #38. Batman defeats the debuting Zebra Man (also known as “Vortex”).

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Casting #1. Batman outfits one of his Batplanes with a metal extending arm that can grip things via a claw at its end. This silly-looking thing seems to be a nod to Superman’s Supermobile, a jet that has a metal extending arm with a fist at the end of it.

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to Mother Panic #1, the second feature to Mother Panic #5, and the second feature to Mother Panic #7—originally told in LOTDK #156-158 and LOTDK #164-167. Batman meets and saves the life of Lee Hyland (Blink), a metahuman conman who is completely blind, but can see through the eyes of any animal or person he touches. Shortly thereafter, despite Blink using his powers to steal from people’s bank accounts, Batman saves the villain’s life a second time. Afterward, Batman lets Blink go, encouraging him to use his powers for good. Blink promises to do so.

–REFERENCE: In Trinity Vol. 2 #9. During an unspecified Justice League mission, Flash takes hold of Batman and uses his powers to vibrate them through a wall. Batman does not like the experience and lets Flash know. While we won’t see every instance of this practice moving forward on our timeline, Flash will use this move in conjunction with Batman multiple times in the future, much to his chagrin.

–REFERENCE: In ???. The Justice League defeats the debuting Dr. Arthur Light.

 

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YEAR THREE (2005)

 

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 4 #32—and also referenced in Flash Vol. 5 #21, Nightwing Vol. 4 #21-23, Nightwing Vol. 4 #43, Detective Comics #965, and Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #6. Bruce visits Haly’s Circus with an unnammed date. There, they witness the Flying Graysons (Mary Grayson and John Grayson) fall to their deaths during a trapeze act. Nearly fourteen-year-old Dick Grayson is orphaned. Boy genius Tim Drake is on-hand in the audience, watching with his parents, Jack Drake and Janet Drake. Circus performer and bodyguard to Mary Grayson, Richard aka Mr. Numb, is also on hand. (He will later become the super-villain Raptor years down the road.) Upon learning that the trapeze act was sabotaged by crook Tony Zucco, Bruce legally adopts Dick as his ward. Before long, Bruce reveals his dual identity to Dick, vowing to bring Zucco (who has gone into hiding) to justice. Batman then draws up a training regiment and study program, immediately implementing it with Dick in order to prepare him to become his sidekick. This training will last six months. Note that Batman will teach Dick (and all future Robins) everything that he has learned. Furthermore, everything Batman teaches Dick will also later be taught to all future Robins too. These teachings will come to be known as the “Robin Training Protocol.”

–REFERENCE: In Deathstroke Vol. 4 #19. Batman tells Dick that criminals are a “superstitious and cowardly” lot.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #24. Batman continues training Dick, telling him to always take advantage of your surroundings while in combat. Batman also tells Dick that most criminals are unable to focus on anything other than themselves, which is a weakness that can be exploited.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #30-32. Batman continues training Dick, teaching him investigative skills. The Dark Knight tells his ward that detective work is “breaking things apart to put them back together”—meaning one must view the greater picture as a bunch of smaller puzzle pieces that must be put together in the correct way in order to solve the mystery. He also stresses that being a hero means helping and protecting everyone, even sometimes bad people who are undeserving.

–REFERENCE: In New Talent Showcase 2017 #1 Part 3. Batman continues training Dick, who has come to regard his mentor as being quite grumpy. Batman tells Dick a few pointers: never take on problems that aren’t worth taking on; always realize that physical pain is only really in your mind; always attack assailants head-on if civilians are in danger; in limited combat space, use your opponent’s body against himself; never get cocky; everyone needs a family to rely on; there’s no problem that doesn’t have a solution; and always rescue babies and children first.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #43. Batman continues training Dick, impressing upon him that in their line of work, they must be ready to respond to a call at all times, meaning they can never take a day off. He will stress this idea (and practice what he preaches) for decades to come.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21. Batman deals/interacts with the US government’s primary organization that deals with metahuman, superhero, and super-villain affairs: the DEO. Batman also deals/interacts with the private sector’s equivalent in STAR Labs. He meets STAR Labs scientist Dr. Silas Stone.

–FLASHBACK: From the second feature to Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #17—and referenced in Batman Vol 3 #42. Batman meets and chats with Joker’s primary Arkham psychiatrist, the genius neurologist Dr. Harleen Quinzel. This flashback is just a single image from a title splash page attached to this second feature.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21. The Justice League defeats The Demons Three. Afterward, they put the Green Bell of Uthool, the Silver Wheel of Nyorlath, and the Red Jar of Calythos, which hold the Demons Three, into the Trophy Room. Hal Jordan calls the Trophy Room the “Hall of Lost and Found.”

–REFERENCE: In Green Arrow Vol. 6 #25 and Green Arrow Vol. 6 #29. Green Arrow (Oliver Queen) meets and joins the Justice League. Although, unlike other recruits, he won’t make very strong connections with anyone else on the team, often acting as an uncertain ally of sorts. Upon learning each other’s secret identities, Green Arrow and Batman fail to connect despite both being mega-rich playboys in their alter-egos. Batman and Green Arrow just don’t get along very well, nor will they in the future. (Note that this is the same in the New 52, but decidedly different from the Silver and Modern Ages where Batman and Green Arrow were close friends.)

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Forge #1 and Dark Nights: Metal #1. Hawkman (Carter Hall) joins the Justice League. The JL also meets his wife and crime-fighting partner Hawkgirl (Kendra Saunders). Both Carter and Kendra are immortal, having existed in some form for thousands of years, constantly reincarnated as different champions of justice. Their current incarnations—Thanagarian-armored soldiers—are simply the latest in a long line of Hawk-related warrior gimmicks. Unlike many of the other heroes, Hawkman and Hawkgirl won’t share their secret IDs or history with the hero community.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 5 #5. The Justice League meets and works with The Atom (Professor Ray Palmer). Presumably he joins he JL.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 5 #5, Suicide Squad Vol. 5 #18, and Suicide Squad Vol. 5 #21-23. Batman (and possibly the Justice League) defeat Eclipso, an evil supernatural force that inhabits the body of Dr. Bruce Gordon (no relation to the Gordons of Gotham).

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 5 #5. The Justice League meets and works with Black Canary. Presumably she joins the JL.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21-22. The Justice League meets and teams-up with heroes from an earlier generation, including Hourman (Rex Tyler), Star-Spangled Kid, Starman (Ted Knight), Flash (Jay Garrick), Johnny Thunder, Yz, and others. After this unspecified mission, the Justice League puts Starman’s Gravity Rod and the costumes of Hourman, Star-Spangled Kid, and someone else (possibly Dr. Mid-Nite, the original Atom, or Wildcat) into the Trophy Room. Note that these characters were all members of the decades-old superhero team known as the Justice Society of America. However, thanks to the cosmic meddling of Dr. Manhattan, the existence of the JSA has either been erased or blocked from the world’s collective memory… for now. Until things change, the old JSA members that engage with the JL members in this item simply appear as retired heroes from an earlier generation with no connection to the JSA. This will change, though! Also note that Jay Garrick and the Lightning Elemental Yz (likely due to their powerful connections to lighting and the Speed Force) have been totally erased from everyone’s memory and imprisoned outside of time and space by Dr. Manhattan. (Justice League Vol. 3 #41 insinuates that some old-school superheroes in the vein of the JSA might simply be from fictional media within the real world of the DCU. 1940s styled Wonder Woman memorabilia and Jay Garrick Flash memorabilia are both purchasable in the DCU. Plus, there are movies, TV shows, cartoons, and comic books loosely based on real heroes and made up ones within the DCU. Thus, it’s not that far-fetched to re-think of any problematic New Age JSA references as being references to fictional media stuff. For example, maybe some of the JSA costumes on display in the trophy room are gifts from the cast of a live action TV show, meaning that those uniforms merely come from fictional characters. I’m just giving us an out in case we really ever need one!)

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21. The Justice League defeats Matter Master and keeps his wand as a trophy for the “Hall of Lost and Found.”

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21, Nightwing Vol. 4 #21, Nightwing Vol. 4 #37, Teen Titans Vol. 6 #8, Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #7, Harley Quinn 25th Anniversary Special #1 Part 4, Detective Comics #965, and Batman Vol. 3 #33. Dick Grayson completes his training and becomes Batman’s sidekick: Robin. Batman designs a bright costume for Robin, secretly imbedding a hidden camera into its breastplate (and into the breastplates of each spare costume as well). From these cameras, Batman can (and will) monitor Robin when he gets out of his line of sight or does anything solo. The cameras will also save video footage and archive cases on the Bat-computer. (Note that, while it won’t be listed on our timeline moving forward, Batman will have the inveterate tendency to embed hidden cameras on every future Robin’s costume—and presumably other Bat-Family members—in order to keep tabs on them. It is thanks to these secret costume cams, for instance, that Batman will be able to log and view all of Robin’s future Teen Titans cases.) Robin goes on his first official patrol with the Caped Crusader at his side. The newly formed “Dynamic Duo” (as Batman and Robin will quickly be labeled) becomes the immediate scourge of Gotham’s underworld. The news media immediately labels Robin as the “Boy Wonder,” “Teenage Typhoon,” “Young Daredevil,” “Living Hurricane,” and “Hard-Fisted Little Scrapper.” Note that Dick quickly realizes that part of his “job” as Batman’s sidekick is to mellow out the grim n’gritty attitude of the Dark Knight. Dick will be quite good at this, putting a smile on Batman’s face quite often by making near-constant jokes while on patrol. This concept, of Robin being the “light that brightens the darkness,” will get passed down the line to each new Robin. Note that Dick is emotionally damaged at this juncture, especially with the recent deaths of his parents. For Dick, being a crime-fighting jester of sorts is his only outlet to deal with his loss.

–REFERENCE: In ???. Batman and Robin bust Tony Zucco.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #26. Batman tells Robin to never use real names when out in the field. This is a tough thing to remember and something that Batman will consistently have to remind Robin, moving forward on our timeline, while on patrols and completing missions.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #24. Batman assigns Robin ongoing homework to read the criminal records and info sheets for all masked super-villains, even crooks that neither he nor Batman have met before. Both Bruce and Dick will do this practice for the remainder of their crime-fighting careers, constantly keeping up to date on all things in the hero-villain community, whether it affects them directly or not. Batman also teaches Robin how to turn any object within reach into a weapon, encouraging him to continue training himself in this regard, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #971. Batman introduces Robin to Commissioner Gordon, who does not approve of a child fighting in the Dark Knight’s war on crime. Gordon makes his views on child safety very clear to Batman. The Commish will never fully accept minors battling alongside Batman, but he will come to respect Robin (and the other future Bat-Family kids to come).

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #44—originally told in Batman #62. Batman and Robin go after Catwoman, who debuts a new purple-and-green caped-dress costume. She shows her callous evil side to the Boy Wonder, evading capture. Soon afterward, the Dynamic Duo finds themselves chasing after Catwoman again. This time, however, she shows a completely different side of her persona, initially eluding the Dynamic Duo but then backtracking to save the Dark Knight’s life from a collapsing building. During the implosion Catwoman is knocked unconscious. When she comes-to, Catwoman vows to leave her criminal days behind. Convinced, Batman lets her go free. Selina winds up opening a pet shop in Gotham.

–FLASHBACK: From Titans Vol. 3 #19. Batman and Robin go on an unspecified mission with the Justice League, after which Batman formally introduces the Boy Wonder to the team. Afterward, Batman tells Robin that, when he grows up, he will one day lead the JL.

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 4 #35, Nightwing Vol. 4 #37, and Nightwing Vol. 4 #39. It’s been less than a month since Dick debuted as Robin. Batman and Robin go on an unspecified mission and the green Boy Wonder messes up bad, which puts him in the Dark Knight’s dog house. Shortly thereafter, an anti-gambling activist known as The Judge (the immortal founder of Blüdhaven, Jacob De Witt) uses mental powers to force random folks to kill three casino developers at Gotham City Hall. A gold casino chip is left on each victim as a calling card. While Dick trains in the Batcave, Batman quickly learns the Judge is responsible and has fled to Blüdhaven (less than an hour away by car). Batman and Robin to Gotham’s sister city and team-up with Blüdhaven’s own baseball-themed resident superhero, Baby Ruthless (Lucy Weatherton), against King Sturgeon, a TMNT-style shark-mutant villain that wears a pro wrestling title belt around his waist. A pro wrestling shark! Batman, Robin, and Baby Ruthless then fight the Judge and his henchmen aboard a ship, but the Judge escapes scot-free. Robin, worried that Batman will be upset with his failure, runs away and hides in the Justice Tree, an over 700-year-old tree marking the site of the Blüdhaven’s first colonial court held by Jacob De Witt. Batman gives his sidekick a pep talk and all is right in the world again. Before departing for Gotham, Batman and Robin follow-up on the Judge case and learn all about the history of Blüdhaven.

–REFERENCE: In Bane: Conquest #10—originally told in Batman #14. Batman and Robin investigate the mysterious shooting death of super-sleuth Dana Drye, proving that her murder was actually a suicide. Afterward, Batman and Robin put Drye’s diary in their Hall of Trophies.

–FLASHBACK: From Justice League of America Vol. 5 #22. Batman designs and builds the dual-seated Batmobile convertible (the one from Batman 66). The Dynamic Duo takes it out for a spin.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 5 #20—originally told in Detective Comics #50. Batman and Robin defeat the acrobatic super-villain team known as The Three Devils.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #38. Batman and Robin bust pharaoh-themed super-villain King Tut.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #29. Batman leaves on unspecified business, putting Robin in charge of protecting Gotham while he is gone. Before leaving, Batman jokingly says, “Keep the lights on until I get back.” Moving forward on our timeline, Batman will similarly leave Robin in charge of protecting Gotham every once in a while, and each time Batman will deliver that very same line.

–REFERENCE: In Batwoman: Rebirth #1, Dark Days: The Forge #1, Detective Comics #958, and Detective Comics #975—originally told in Batman & Robin Eternal. Batman and Robin chase Scarecrow to Prague, where they learn he has connections to an international crime-boss called Mother. The near-immortal Mother orphans children and then turns them into brainwashed playthings for the rich and powerful, including the sinister Sacred Order of St. Dumas, a violent Christian cult that was once a part of the Knights Templar in Medieval Times. Noting the strangeness and danger involved in this case, Batman begins recording all details and thoughts pertaining to the matter at hand. He stores this secret information, a series of “Shadow Files,” on a secret “Shadow Drive” associated with the Bat-computer. Bruce will record information about his most top secret cases on the “Shadow Drive” for years to come. Not even the highest-ranking members of the Bat-Family will have access. Soon after learning about Mother’s operations, Bruce arranges a meeting with Mother, meeting both the villainess and her top assassin David Cain (aka “The Orphan”). Bruce, outed as Batman, orders a new Robin via her process (as part of a con to expose and bring her down). In Cairo, Batman and Robin bust Scarecrow. Batman fights and defeats both Mother and Cain, but is forced to watch a live video feed from Gotham that shows Cassandra Cain (David Cain’s young daughter) attacking young Harper Row’s small-time crook parents, Miranda Row and Marcus Row. (Harper is Mother’s young “chosen heir” for Batman. Cassandra, on the other hand, has been brainwashed and tortured by her dad into becoming a child soldier.) Miranda is brutally murdered while terrified Marcus runs away. In Cairo, Mother escapes when local law enforcement arrive. Back home, the Dark Knight builds a file on Harper Row and her brother Cullen Row, filled with details about their lives. He will keep tabs on the Rows for years to come.

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 4 #23 and Nightwing Vol. 4 #31. Batman and Robin defeat the massively powerful but mindless Blockbuster (Mark Desmond), who is controlled by his devious brother Roland Desmond.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #37. Bat-Mite, a magickal imp from the 5th Dimension (where Mr. Mxyzptlk comes from), very publicly bothers Batman and Robin while they are on an unspecified case. Bat-Mite adores Batman and even wears a mini Bat-costume. Eventually, the annoying Bat-Mite poofs back to his home realm.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #44—originally told in Detective Comics #203. Selina Kyle has quietly worked at her new pet shop for a little while now, with no inclinations of returning to costumed thievery. However, when an insulting series of articles are printed in the Gotham Gazette that poke fun of her time as a kitty-themed villainess, Selina is furious. When some cheap hoods harass Selina in her own store, Batman is there to shoo away the jerks. Batman tells Selina not to take the criticism and harassment personally. But for Selina, it’s too much to bear. Selina re-dons the purple-and-green caped Catwoman costume and commits a series of daring public heists, disappointing the Dark Knight. Eventually, Catwoman, now a wanted criminal again, goes off the grid.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #27 and Detective Comics #967. Kathy Webb-Kane, daughter of notorious ex-Nazi Otto Netz (Dr. Dedalus) and ex-wife of Bruce’s long-deceased uncle Nathan Kane, becomes Bat-Woman. She goes on adventures with Batman and Robin, even debuting her own sidekick, Bat-Girl (Bruce’s cousin Bette Kane). Batman and Bat-Woman become lovers, but the relationship is ill-fated. Bat-woman breaks up with Batman and the female Dynamic Duo retires from crime-fighting.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #36. Dr. X (Simon Echs) and his symbiotic partner Double X—together known simply as Dr. Double X—fight the Dark Knight and Boy Wonder. Echs winds up behind Arkham bars.

–REFERENCE: In Batman/Elmer Fudd #1. Bruce begins dating the gorgeous Silver St. Cloud. She falls madly in love with Bruce, but breaks up with him upon discovering that he is Batman. Wanting a less-complicated (and safer) partner, she begins dating Elmer Fudd. Unknown to Silver, Fudd is actually a hitman.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #44—originally told in Batman #197.
Catwoman debuts yet another new costume, this one a skin-tight kelly green affair complete with cat’s eye goggles. In her new duds, Catwoman attempts to play superhero—via staged altercations with her own henchmen, who pretend to fight her. Catwoman even fights side-by-side with Batman and Robin. Later, she meets privately with Batman and asks him to marry her! Batman turns her down. In response, Catwoman captures the legit heroes, trapping them on an intense sound-blasting “Cataphonic Cat’s Cradle” platform in her “Catacombs” hideout. Batman and Robin escape and bust Catwoman.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #21-23—originally told via flashback from Nightwing Vol. 4 #11. The Dynamic Duo busts neophyte “art terrorists” The Pigeon (Beatrice Butler) and her teenage sidekick Defacer (Shawn Tsang).

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 4 #32. Batman and Robin bust three random baddies and swing away into the Gotham night.

–Batman/Elmer Fudd #1
Silver St. Cloud wants to leave her boyfriend Elmer Fudd because she has just learned that he is a hitman. Seeing a parallel to how she left Bruce due to his secret profession, Silver starts an elaborate ruse to mess with both Fudd and Bruce. Silver fakes her own death, leaving clues that lead Fudd to a bar they used to hang-out in called Porky’s Bar. There, hitman Bugs the Bunny, as per Silver’s orders, tells Fudd that Bruce Wayne put the hit on Silver. Fudd, who already hates Bruce for having dated Silver, goes into a rage. He sneaks into a fancy gala at Wayne Manor, shoots Bruce with a shotgun, and makes a hasty retreat. But of course, Bruce ain’t dead. Batman—incorrectly shown wearing his classic underwear-on-the-outside costume (because Lee Weeks loves to draw him that way)—ambushes Fudd at his apartment and they fight. Eventually, they decide to team-up when they realize that something ain’t right about Silver’s murder. Batman and Fudd go to Porky’s where they beat-up Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Sylvester, Tweety, Marvin, Taz, Daffy, and a guy who owns a frog named Michigan J Frog. Silver then makes her dramatic appearance and tells off her exes before departing for good. Porky serves up three carrot juice cocktails for Batman, Fudd, and Bugs.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #44—originally told in Batman #256. Batman and Robin work a murder case at the circus. Coincidentally, an escaped Selina Kyle has been working at the circus under a fake identity in an effort to free the captive tigers. When Batman and Robin dig around, Selina is exposed. Debuting yet another new costume (a red, black, and blue thingy), Catwoman fights Batman, rides one of the Siberian big cats like a pony, prompting Batman to chase after her on horseback. Batman busts Catwoman then returns to flush-out and apprehend the circus murderer with Robin.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #20, Bug! The Adventures of Forager #1, Super Sons #5, Gotham Academy: Second Semester #12, Flash Vol. 5 Annual #1, and Batman Vol. 3 #44. Batman tailors and a new blue-and-grey with yellow oval insignia costume. Starting now, Batman will begin using this yellow oval costume. He puts his old costume on display in the Batcave.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #33 and Flash Vol. 5 Annual #1—originally told in Superman #199 and Flash #175. Millions, including Batman and Robin, watch on live TV as Superman competes against Flash in a UN-sponsored charity race across the globe. They tie. Shortly thereafter, Reverse-Flash (aka Professor Zoom aka Eobard Thawne) and Abra Kadabra kidnap the JL and force Flash and Superman into having a rematch, only this time they race through the whole expanse of the universe. Upon returning home, again in a dead heat, Superman and Flash bust the villains and save their friends. Superman and Flash will have many more races over the course of the following years, although none will be quite as public as these first two.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #39. Batman defeats the debuting False Face.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #21, Flash Vol. 5 #21, Titans Vol. 3 Annual #1, Titans Vol. 3 #19, Nightwing Vol. 4 #21, and Deathstroke Vol. 4 #19. The Teen Titans debut, helping out in the New England town of Hatton Corners. The team features the sidekicks of the Justice League, including Robin, Speedy (Roy Harper), Aqualad (Garth), Wonder Girl (Donna Troy), and Kid Flash (Wally West). The Teen Titans make their HQ on a small island in Hatton Corners. Batman does not approve of Robin’s new venture and makes it known to his sidekick.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #958. Killer Moth (Drury Walker) debuts and is busted by Batman.

 

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YEAR FOUR (2005)

 

–NOTE: In a reference in Titans Vol. 3 #20-21. Green Arrow learns that his sidekick Speedy has become addicted to heroin. The superhero community does its best to support Speedy, who goes into rehab. Batman isn’t directly involved in this item, but he definitely hears all about it.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #961—originally told in the Batman The Animated Series TV show. A robotics company called Cybertron creates the towering sentient stationary AI known as HARDaC (Holographic Analytical Reciprocating Digital Computer), which goes rogue and builds several human-like replica androids in an attempt to kill and replace their real counterparts. Batman defeats the replicants, including a Batman android, and shuts down HARDaC for good. (Years from now, an inert HARDaC will wind up the property of Luke Fox’s company FoxTech.)

–REFERENCE: In Titans Vol. 3 Annual #1 and Flash Vol. 5 #21. The Justice League defeats The Key. Afterward, they put his Keyblaster weapon into their Trophy Room.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #14. The Justice League defeats the playing card-themed super-villain group known as The Royal Flush Gang (King, Queen, Ace, Jack, and Ten).

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21. The Justice League defeats Toyman (Winslow Schott). Afterward, they put his toy box into their Trophy Room.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21. The Justice League defeats Dr. Destiny. Afterward, they keep his costume with the original Materioptikon attached, placing it into their Trophy Room.

–REFERENCE: In ???. Batman and Hawkman defeat the debuting Gentleman Ghost (the spirit of villain Jim Craddock).

–REFERENCE: In Batgirl & The Birds of Prey #11 and Batgirl Vol. 5 #14. Summer. Commissioner Gordon’s daughter Barbara “Babs” Gordon moves to Gotham from Chicago. Soon after, she debuts as Batgirl, piquing the interest of the Dynamic Duo. Batman and Robin meet Batgirl and team with her on several unspecified missions to test her mettle.

–REFERENCE: In Batgirl Vol. 5 #14-17. Summer. Batman upgrades his field sound recording equipment. Shortly thereafter, Batman and Robin easily discover Batgirl’s secret identity as Barbara Gordon. They learn all about her life, including how her deadbeat mom led to her moving from Chicago to Gotham to live with her dad, Commissioner Gordon. When students at Babs’ new high school (where Babs is a new freshman attending summer school) begin acting crazy, Batman puts Robin on lookout duty at the stadium. There, he runs into Batgirl, who is also working the case. Later, Robin and Batgirl hit it off romantically as they patrol together. They learn that Mad Hatter—along with Babs’ friend Ainsley Wells—is using nanotechnology to cause the students’ madness. Robin and Batgirl bust Mad Hatter while the drug-addicted Ainsley winds up in a mental hospital. After the case wraps, Dick and Babs share their first awkward kiss.

–REFERENCE: In Batgirl & The Birds of Prey #11 and Batgirl & The Birds of Prey #19. Having earned the trust of the Dynamic Duo, Batgirl becomes an official member of the newly formed Bat-Family. Not only that, but Batman shares his secret ID with Batgirl as well. Batman impresses upon Batgirl (and reminds Robin) the importance of maintaining her secret ID, even keeping it hidden from close friends and family. Batman will stress the importance of maintaining a secret ID to all members of the Bat-Family throughout his entire career.

–REFERENCE: In ???—originally told in The Brave & The Bold #78. The snake-themed villain known as Copperhead debuts and is defeated by Batman, Batgirl, and Wonder Woman.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #979-980. The Justice League defeats the tyrant ruler of WarWorld, Mongul.

–REFERENCE: In ???. The Justice League defeats Ultra-Humanite.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #978 and Wonder Woman Vol. 5 #25. Having fought side-by-side for a few years now, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman have become very closely bonded. From this point forward, their bond will only grow. This trio—from which almost every important thing that occurs in the DCU will center—will now be known as the Trinity. The Trinity decides to make their secret meeting spot, where they will meet on occasion (invisibly and randomly, moving forward), at the Nevada desert site where they all first met.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Nights: Metal #3. Batman already has emergency codes and alerts for both his Bat-Family and the Justice League, so what’s one more? Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman come up with a simple emergency cipher code in form of an alphabetical Trinity acrostic. If ever in a dire situation, Batman can alert Superman and Wonder Woman using two words that begin with their first names. For instance, “carpe diem” could be used since the first letter of “carpe” equals “C” for “Clark” while the first letter of “diem” equals “D” for “Diana.”

–REFERENCE: In ???. The Justice League defeats the debuting Vandal Savage.

–REFERENCE: In Wonder Woman Vol. 5 #1. The Justice League defeats Wonder Woman’s former best friend and now metahuman rival, The Cheetah (Dr. Barbara Ann Minerva).

–REFERENCE: In Dark Nights: Metal #2. The Justice League learns of the existence and location of Gorilla City, a cloaked Central African metropolis (near the Atlantic Ocean) filled with talking apes. They defeat Gorilla Grodd, ruthless terrorist from Gorilla City.

–REFERENCE: In Titans Vol. 3 #11 and Teen Titans Vol. 6 #8. Batman isn’t directly a part of this item, but he definitely monitors the situation via hidden Robin cam. Deathstroke and his son Ravager (Grant Wilson) attack the Teen Titans (Robin, Speedy, Wonder Girl, Kid Flash, Aqualad, and new member Omen). Thanks to unstable new powers given to him by the criminal organization known as HIVE, Ravager has a heart attack during battle and drops dead. Deathstroke takes his son’s corpse and leaves the scene, blaming the Teen Titans for his death. Batman monitors all of this via hidden camera.

 

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YEAR FIVE (2006)

 

–FLASHBACK: From Gotham Academy: Second Semester #12—and also referenced in Gotham Academy: Second Semester #9-12. Batman busts pyrokinetic super-villain Calamity (Sybil Silverlock), who claims that the ghost of Amity Arkham, one of the long deceased matriarchs of the notorious Arkham Family, has been possessing her. Batman defeats Calamity and rescues her young daughter, Olive Silverlock. Afterward, the trauma of this event causes all Olive’s memories of her mom as Calamity to become deeply repressed. Bruce puts Olive into an orphanage where he will watch over her for years to come. Batman also does research on Amity Arkham, discovering that the Silverlock Family has a long history of mental illness, is related to the Arkhams, and is linked to Penguin’s ancestor Millie Jane Cobblepot. Bruce meets with Penguin, who brings a lockbox that once belonged to Millie Jane, at Wayne Manor. The lockbox contains information and items pertaining to Millie Jane, Amity, Ambroos Lydecker, and the cabalist tome known as “The Old Book of Gotham.” Bruce swipes the lockbox and puts it into a vault in Wayne Manor. Later, he studies the contents of the lockbox and realizes the importance of Gotham Academy to Gotham’s occult history. Bruce buys his way onto the Board of Directors of the prestigious school so he will always be linked-in and able to keep tabs without arising suspicion.

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #2-3. Batman meets and befriends element-altering superhero Metamorpho (Rex Mason), teaming with him on an unspecified mission. Batman and Metamorpho will remain close over the years to come, and the public will come to regard Metamorpho as one of Batman’s primary allies outside of the Justice League and Bat-Family. Unfortunately for Batman, he won’t know the secret truth behind Metamorpho. Like Kirk Langstrom, Metamorpho (and even Metamorpho’s supposed arch-rivals) are secret agents working for the US Government’s Department of Metahuman Affairs. Despite maintaining a public origin story about having gotten his powers via magickal means while exploring in Egypt, Metamorpho actually was given his powers by the DMA.

–FLASHBACK: From Wonder Woman Vol. 5 #35—and also referenced in Titans Vol. 3 Annual #1 and Superman Vol. 4 #37. The Justice League learns of the New Gods, defeating the evil New God Darkseid and his army of Parademons. Afterward, Batman studies the physiology of a dead Parademon. He also learns about the New Gods’ sentient computers/wormhole-opening devices known as Mother Boxes. Batman keeps a Mother Box for study as well.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 3 #39. After Joker gains access to the Secret Sanctuary in Happy Harbor, the Justice League decides to abandon its headquarters for a new one. The JL constructs and launches an orbiting satellite HQ, known simply as the JL Satellite.[4]

–REFERENCE: In Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #12. Zatanna Zatara joins the Justice League.

–REFERENCE: In ???. Firestorm (Ronnie Raymond) joins the Justice League.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21. The Justice League teams-up with Sargon the Sorcerer, a veteran magick user and legendary hero of yesteryear, to defeat Starbreaker. Afterward, Sargon retires and gives his costume to the JL. It goes on display in the Trophy Room.

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #4. Batman defeats Professor Achilles Milo, who uses hallucination-inducing chemical attacks against him. Not long after, Milo turns Olympic athlete Anthony Lupus into a werewolf. Batman busts Milo and the werewolf.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Nights: Metal #1-2, Nightwing Vol. 4 #29, and Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #38. Billionaire John Mayhew attempts to recruit Batman and Robin onto a new team of international heroes dubbed The Club of Heroes. Of the recruits are the so-called “Batmen of All Nations,” including Wingman (Benedict Rundstrom), El Gaucho (Santiago Vargas), Man-of-Bats (William Great Eagle), Little Raven, The Legionary (Alphonso Giovanni), The Musketeer (Jean-Marie), and The Ranger. Once assembled, this Club of Heroes venture will fail immediately. The team doesn’t get along and disbands in less than a half hour. Shortly thereafter, during an encounter with Spyral agents, the Dark Knight is sprayed with a gas weapon that causes a vivid hallucination. Batman lucidly dreams that he is on a distant planet known as Zur-En-Arrh, where he is endowed with super-powers and gets to meet his perfect alien double, who wears a garish purple-and-red bat costume. Not long after, Dr. Simon Hurt implants post-hypnotic suggestions into Batman’s psyche while the Dark Knight is undergoing sensory deprivation tests. Hurt is actually Thomas Wayne, Bruce’s great(x5) uncle born in the 1700s, endowed with quasi-immortality. During these sensory deprivation tests, Hurt is able to psychoanalyze Batman and literally hear in detail about all of the Dark Knight’s hallucinations, new and old—(Batman has been drugged by Scarecrow, Achilles Milo, and Joker before and was recently drugged by Spyral). Using dialogue specific to Batman’s most recent hallucination, Hurt implants the trigger word “Zur-En-Arrh” into Batman’s brain. Once this word is uttered, Bruce will “shutdown” and lose all memory of having ever been a crime-fighter. After a lengthy period of sleep-deprivation in an isolation chamber, Batman temporarily believes Robin has died as a result of an alien encounter (another vivid hallucination). Afterward, Batman forgets ever meeting Hurt thanks to hypnosis. Hurt also blocks all of Batman’s memory of him using hypnosis. Batman then begins suffering blackouts and night terrors as a result of his sleep-deprivation testing. Things get so bad that Batman is defeated by a group of ape-masked rookie gangsters known as the Gorilla Gang (Ceasar, Joe, Bingo, Magilla, King, and one unnamed other), Troubled, the Dark Knight considers retirement. However, Batman shakes the cobwebs out as best he can, summoning up enough courage to bust the Gorilla Gang in a rematch. Immediately thereafter, Hurt sics three substitute Batmen (cops Josef Muller, Branca, and Michael Lane) against a groggy and confused Batman, who still easily defeats them. Hurt blocks Batman’s memory of the fight against the substitutes and then sends the Dark Knight on his way. Batman still has no memories of ever meeting Simon Hurt or of fighting his substitute Batmen. Hurt will retrain (and sadistically torture) his substitute Batmen for years before unleashing them upon Gotham again.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #27. While Batman fights Bronze Tiger, Kathy Kane is supposedly killed during a fight between rival factions of the League of Assassins, one of which is led by The Sensei (Ra’s al Ghul’s father). In actuality, Kathy has faked her own death in order to focus on running Spyral, her international spy organization that was once run by her dad Otto Netz. Batman mourns the loss of Kathy. Later, Batman befriends Bronze Tiger, despite his connections to the League of Assassins, finding a genuine mutual respect between he and the adept martial artist.

–REFERENCE: In Trinity Vol. 2 #12 and Deadman Vol. 5 #1-6—originally told in Strange Adventures #214-216, The Brave & The Bold #79, The Brave & The Bold #86, and Deadman Vol. 2 #1-2. Batman meets and befriends Deadman (the superhero spirit of Boston Brand, deceased circus trapeze artist and former friend of the late Flying Graysons). Boston was recently murdered by the Sensei’s top man/League of Assassins agent Hook. He was then turned into an undead hero with the power to inhabit and control anyone’s body, living or dead, by the goddess Rama Kushna and the cosmic-powered Tatsinda. After Boston’s assassination, the Sensei’s men follow-up to find Boston’s identical twin brother, Cleveland Brand, masquerading as Boston at the circus. Sensei, believing that Hook has botched the hit, executes Hook for his supposed failure. Shortly thereafter, the Sensei orders League of Assassins agent Willie Smith to inject a magickal poison into Deadman that causes the ghost hero to attack Batman. Eventually, Batman, a recovered Deadman, and Cleveland fight the Sensei in the mystical Tibetan city of Nanda Parbat, home to Rama Kushna. There, the Sensei is defeated.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #1000 Part 9—originally told in Detective Comics #311 and Superman/Batman #31. A goofy not-so-bright minuscule alien named Zook gets stranded on Earth. Even though Zook is really annoying, Martian Manhunter decides to keep him as a pet/sidekick, making him an official Justice League mascot. Zook is immediately troublesome and constantly in everyone’s way, especially Batman, who lets the little guy have an honest earful. With his feelings hurt, Zook leaves Earth for good, moving to the 5th Dimension.

–FLASHBACK: From Bug! The Adventures of Forager #1—originally told in Cosmic Odyssey #1-4. Darkseid has long searched for The Anti-Life Equation, the cosmic sentient mathematical formula with which one can dominate all life. Now, Darkseid thinks he’s finally found it, but in actuality he has only discovered half of it in the form of the Anti-Life Entity, which, now stirred-up, threatens to destroy everything. (The other half of the Anti-Life Equation lies within the numinous entity called The Source.)[5] Unable to control the Anti-Life Entity, Darkseid asks for the aid of his rivals, the “good” New Gods of the interdimensional planet of New Genesis (opposite of Apokolips, home to the Darkseid and the evil New Gods). After forming a truce, the New Gods recruit Earth’s top heroes to save the multiverse. Batman and Forager save Earth. Superman and Orion save Thanagar. Lightray and Starfire save Rann. Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern John Stewart fail to save Xanshi. In the end, the heroes prevail, but Forager falls in battle, going into a dormant state akin to death. (The heroes will all assume Forager is dead.) Orion makes a racist/classist comment about the fallen Forager, so Batman punches Orion out!

–REFERENCE: In Super Sons #5 and Superman Vol. 4 #37. Batman and Superman finally find a mutual respect for each other. Realizing that have a lot in common, Bruce and Clark become best of friends. Batman now begins sharing most of his case-files and crime-reports with Superman. Likewise, Superman agrees to do the same. Both the Caped Crusader and the Man of Steel will continue to share information at regular intervals, moving forward. Over time, their friendship will grow to be one of the strongest bonds in the DCU. Despite the camaraderie, trust, and mutual respect, Batman and Superman will still butt heads and fight each other quite often. Most of these fights will happen invisibly, scattered throughout our timeline below.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #976 and Action Comics #978—originally told in “THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN.” Doomsday debuts, dispatching the Justice League (sans Batman and Superman) with ease. Superman fights Doomsday solo and is killed by the monster. The world mourns. The Eradicator, Steel, and Cyborg Superman rise up to replace the deceased Man of Steel.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #976 and Action Comics #978—originally told in “THE RETURN OF SUPERMAN.” Cyborg Superman reveals his evil nature, teaming with Mongul to fight Hal Jordan and wipe the hero’s hometown of Coast City off the map with a nuclear explosion. Thanks to Kryptonian technology, Superman comes back from the dead—complete with a black costume and long hair. The resurrected Superman defeats Mongul and Cyborg Superman. The world celebrates the Man of Steel’s return. Shortly thereafter, Clark gets engaged to Lois. Wedding invitations are sent out to friends, including Bruce.

–FLASHBACK: From Action Comics #978. Bruce attends the wedding of Lois and Clark, who are happily married.

–NOTE: Referenced in Action Comics #978 and Super Sons #5. Superman switches to his Mandarin/Nehru collar costume (based on his look from the New 52).

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #978. Superman goes on unspecified business with Batman before returning home to his wife Lois, who reveals she is pregnant!

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21. The Justice League acquires a Kirby Dot (!), which goes into the JL Trophy Room.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #23 and Dark Nights: Metal #2. Batman meets and befriends the Plant Elemental known as Swamp Thing (Alec Holland). The Caped Crusader and several other heroes learn the exact location of the headquarters of the Parliament of Trees deep in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest. (It is possible that the heroes visit, but this is not confirmed.) Swamp Thing is a key member of the Parliament of Trees, the ancient elder Plant Elementals that keep watch over and control all plant life and flora on Earth. At the Parliament of Trees’ HQ, there grows a natural plant-killing exfoliant, which local tribesman destroy in order to protect their “plant gods.”

–REFERENCE: In Trinity Vol. 2 #12. Batman meets the cockney chain-smoking British wizard, arcane history buff, and magick expert John Constantine, who also happens to be currently dating Zatanna. Batman teams-up with both Constantine and Zatanna on an unspecified case.

–REFERENCE: In Bane: Conquest #6, Bane: Conquest #9-10, and Nightwing Vol. 4 #30. The Justice League defeats the global terrorist organization/apocalypse cult known as Kobra, which has existed since around 3000 BCE. The Kobra Cult is led by Lady Eve and Jeffrey Franklin Burr, who goes by “Lord Nāga-Naga”, “Lord Nāga,” “Lord Nāja-Naja,” or simply “Lord Kobra.” (Every Kobra leader has used some form of either “Lord” or “Lady” as a title since the time of the Pharaohs.) Nearly every international criminal organization on the planet (and the North Korean government) has ties to the Kobra Cult. The hierarchy of Kobra is fairly complex, but it works as follows. There are multiple subsections or splinter cells i.e. different “Houses.” In each House there are low-level members are called “Lanceheads” and their higher-ups—either “Nāgas” or “High Lords.” The top tier, which rules all Houses (and all of Kobra), is reserved for one dictator-like “chosen” cult leader.

–REFERENCE: In ???. Batman fights the debuting Captain Stingaree.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #41. Batman fights the debuting Colonel Blimp.

–REFERENCE: In ???. Batman meets The Spectre.

–REFERENCE: In Deathstroke Vol. 4 #20 and Deathstroke Vol. 4 Annual #1. Batman meets Earth-2’s most powerful hero, the Kryptonian Power Girl (Kara Zor-L/Karen Starr).

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #17, Harley Quinn 25th Anniversary Special #1 Part 4, and Batman Vol. 3 #42. Joker’s longtime therapist Dr. Harleen Quinzel, having fallen in love with the super-villain, breaks her “Puddin” out of Arkham Asylum, becoming his girlfriend and sidekick Harley Quinn. Batman busts Joker and Harley, who will remain on-and-off partners for years to come. Note that Harley, one of DC’s quirkiest and most over-the-top characters, seemingly has a preternatural awareness that she exists inside a comic book. Of course, unlike most others, Harley’s uniquely-wired brain can more than handle the weight of this knowledge.

–Harley Quinn 25th Anniversary Special #1 Part 4
Atop a roof with a Batman parade float filled with enough sleeping gas to knock out the entire city, Batman and Robin fight Joker, Harley Quinn, and a bunch of henchmen wearing funny costumes. While Batman and Joker duke it out, Robin takes on Harley one-on-one for the first time. She messes with his head and is able to knock him out with a baseball bat. Feeling bad, she stops the sleeping gas bomb detonator from going off. Joker escapes, but Batman nabs Harley. Robin gets all the credit for stopping the gas bomb and Harley goes to jail.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #35. Late August. Dick, despite only being sixteen-years-old, reveals to Bruce and Alfred that he’s been accepted into an early entry program at Hudson University in New Carthage, NY. Dick immediately moves to New Carthage and begins his collegiate studies. He will travel back and forth from New Carthage to Gotham to perform his Robin duties.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #969 and Detective Comics #972. Batman runs afoul of the corrupt political leader of Gotham, Mayor Hamilton Hill. Despite discovering Mayor Hill’s corruption, Batman won’t be able to prove it. Mayor Hill will be a slightly irksome thorn in Batman’s side for the next few years (although these on-and-off-again clashes won’t be specifically listed on our timeline). Note that while Batman has had the love of the police, he’s never been embraced by city government. Mayor Hill’s opposition is just the start of a rocky relationship between the Bat-Family and City Hall that will last for the next decade-plus.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #44—originally told in Batman #355. When Bruce goes on a few dates with famous photojournalist Vicki Vale, a jealous Catwoman—back in her purple-and-green dress outfit—runs Bruce and Vicki off the road in her Catmobile. Thinking Bruce will come to her apartment to confront her, Catwoman leaves a clue hinting that she will be at a downtown warehouse. But Bruce stays with Vicki, who has suffered injuries, at the hospital for two days. Robin, visiting from college, offers to help bring Catwoman in, but Bruce tells him to stand down—it’s personal, he’s got to do this alone. Soon after, Batman goes head-to-head with the pissed-off Catwoman, who frustratingly exclaims both her love and hate for the Dark Knight as they duke it out. Eventually, unsure of what their relationship has become, the Bat and the Cat simply hug in tears.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #978, Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #20, Super Sons #5, and Batman Vol. 3 #44. Batman retires his blue-and-grey with yellow oval costume, putting it on display in the Batcave. The Dark Knight tailors a new grey-and-black costume and a darker version of the yellow oval costume, replacing the blue with black. Since we’ll see flashbacks of Batman wearing both of these costumes in the next five years to come, we have to assume that he goes between these two costumes during this duration (from now up until the events of “Hush”).

–FLASHBACK: From Super Sons #5. Batman and Superman get in a bad argument about an unspecified topic. Batman gets so heated that he punches-out Superman.

–Swamp Thing Winter Special #1 Part 2
After Solomon Grundy kidnaps a seemingly metahuman baby in Gotham, Batman is on the case. A cursory investigation points the Caped Crusader in Swamp Thing’s direction, so he travels to Houma, Louisiana to visit the plant elemental, who has just finished checking-in on his pal Matthew Cable. Batman and Swamp Thing team up to bust some poachers and talk about the abducted child. This item is Len Wein’s final work, which was meant to have been the start of the seventh volume of Swamp Thing (picking up where Wein’s own Volume 6 ended). Because Wein died shortly after writing it, there is no follow-up. Suffice to say, we can assume that Batman and Swamp Thing kick ass and solve the case.

–FLASHBACK: From Action Comics #978. When arms dealers attempt to assassinate a nine-month-pregnant Lois, Superman takes his wife to the safety of the Fortress of Solitude. While Batman guards the perimeter, Wonder Woman helps deliver the baby: Jonathan Samuel Kent. After Jon is born, Lois and Clark take sabbaticals from the Daily Planet and move to California to raise their kid right. Superman also builds a second Fortress of Solitude in the Himalayas and switches to an all-black costume, deciding to keep out of the limelight while raising his son for a few years to come. Superman will switch interchangeably between his black costume and his regular costume for the next decade.

–REFERENCE: In DC Holiday Special 2017 #1 Part 2. Bruce meets and befriends Edward Brandon and his wife Mrs. Brandon. They will hang out from time to time, although we won’t see these hangouts on our timeline below.

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to Mother Panic #11-12. Batman saves the life of late night radio talk show host Danny Ruby. Unknown to Batman, Danny Ruby is a teacher at Gather House, an experimental boarding school in Gotham that turns its students into obedient cybernetic assassins. (This item goes here because we know Gather House burns down ten years prior to Mother Panic/Batman Special #1.)

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #39. December. Having completed his first semester at Hudson University, Dick decides to enter Hudson’s undergraduate law program, which requires him to move to Blüdhaven to attend Hudson’s branch campus located there.

–REFERENCE: In Deathstroke Vol. 4 #19. This item occurs one year after Grant Wilson’s death. Robin meets with Deathstroke alone and enters into a secret pact with the killer. In exchange for Robin befriending and providing his young daughter Rose Wilson with the Bat-Family’s positive values, Deathstroke will stop trying to kill the Teen Titans, going so far as to turn his long-running lucrative contract with HIVE into a “Lazarus Contract,” effectively canceling out any hits he is working on for them. Shortly thereafter, Dick befriends Rose. Presumably, Batman monitors all of this via hidden Robin cam. Dick will meet with Rose regularly, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In Titans Vol. 3 #21-22 and Justice League of America Vol. 5 #27. The Brotherhood of Evil (Monsieur Mallah, The Brain, Garguax, and Madame Rouge) debuts, but the Justice League can’t be bothered by what they deem as a mere annoyance rather than a legitimate threat. Thus, the snubbed Brotherhood instead gets its collective ass handed to it by the Teen Titans and the rookie superheroes known as the Doom PatrolProfessor Niles Caulder, Robotman (Cliff Steele), Negative Man (Larry Trainor and symbiote Keeg Bovo), and Elasti-Girl (Rita Farr).[6] Note that the Doom Patrol makes the now-unused Happy Harbor Sanctuary its headquarters, but only for a brief stint.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #21, Flash Vol. 5 #21, Titans Vol. 3 Annual #1, and Nightwing Vol. 4 #21—originally told in Titans Hunt #6-7, DC Universe: Rebirth #1, and Titans Vol. 3 #2-3. The current lineup of the Teen Titans—Robin, Wonder Girl, Aqualad, Speedy, Omen, Cave Boy (Gnarrk), Hawk (Hank Hall), Dove (Don Hall), Herald (Mal Duncan), and Kid Flash—fight their rival Mr. Twister. Tragically, Mr. Twister murders Dove. In order to defeat Mr. Twister and save the day, the Titans are forced to allow the world to undergo a global mind-wipe. This complete memory erasure, done by Omen, causes not only the defeat of Mr. Twister, but also causes the Teen Titans to become erased from the collective memories of the entire world. The world won’t recover these lost memories for years. Also note that Kid Flash not only gets erased from everyone’s memory but he also goes missing, trapped within the Speed Force, exiled there by his rival Abra Kadabra, who takes advantage of the chaotic situation. As referenced in Green Arrow Vol. 6 #23, Speedy has a falling out with Green Arrow, changing his name to Arsenal and going solo, roughly a decade prior to Year Fifteen. It is likely that Speedy becomes Arsenal immediately after this Mr. Twister item, hence placement here at the end of Year Five.

 

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YEAR SIX (2007)

 

–NOTE: Referenced in Justice League Vol. 3 #33, Deathstroke Vol. 4 #27, Nightwing Vol. 4 #39, and Teen Titans Vol. 6 #17. While most of the young superheroes have gone their separate ways following the erasure of the memory of the Teen Titans, a select few young heroes meet up and found a crime-fighting team as if fate was bringing them together. Robin (team leader), Changeling (Garfield Logan), Raven (Rachel Roth), Cyborg (Victor Stone), Wonder Girl, and Starfire form what they believe to be the first ever Teen Titans. Really, this is a “New Teen Titans,” but no one remembers the original incarnation.

–REFERENCE: In ???. Batman and Alfred decide to move their operating HQ into the downtown Wayne Tower (aka Wayne Foundation Building). There, the Bat-operations occur in a hidden underground “Bat-Bunker” HQ that contains secret exits, entrances, and elevators. (The Bat-Bunker is likely constructed with a lot of metahuman assistance.) Meanwhile, civilian residency takes place in the penthouse suite, which is secretly connected to the Bat-Bunker below. This downtown move only lasts for a very short time before Batman and Alfred move back into Wayne Manor.

–REFERENCE: In Super Sons #15. The Justice League faces off against the Injustice League (Agamemno, Lex Luthor, Joker, Black Manta, Chronos, Dr. Light, Felix Faust, Mr. Element, Sinestro, Penguin, and Catwoman).

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21, Nightwing Vol. 4 #21, Nightwing Vol. 4 #39, and Detective Comics #965. Dick has a bad falling out with Batman and quits his position as Robin. After Dick’s abjuration of the Dynamic Duo partnership, Batman puts the Robin costume on display in the Batcave.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #7, Red Hood & The Outlaws Vol. 2 #12, Red Hood & The Outlaws Vol. 2 #18, Batman Vol. 3 #33,Detective Comics #968, and Nightwing Vol. 4 #39—originally told in Batman #408-409. Batman meets juvenile delinquent Jason Todd when the latter boldly attempts to steal the wheels off the Batmobile! Batman catches him red-handed, but gives the spunky kid a break. After a lengthy conversation, Batman returns Jason to the boy’s home at a neighborhood orphanage—Faye “Ma” Gunn‘s Home For Wayward Boys. Unknown to the public, Ma Gunn is a criminal. Jason soon contacts Batman and helps him bust Ma Gunn. Seeing promise in Jason, Bruce makes the troubled teen his legal ward. Shortly thereafter, Bruce reveals his superhero secret and offers Jason the position of being Batman’s new sidekick. Jason then starts on an intensive six month training course. Despite the fact that Dick and Bruce aren’t on good terms at the moment, Dick meets Jason and they become fast friends.

–REFERENCE: In Trinity Vol. 2 Annual #1. The Justice League meets the ancient demon Etrigan, who has a symbiotic relationship and is bonded with the immortal mage, Jason Blood.

–REFERENCE: In ???. Batman fights the debuting Dr. Phosphorus.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #38. Batman fights the debuting Film Freak.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #39. Batman defeats the debuting Ten-Eyed Man (Philip Reardon).

–REFERENCE: In ???. Batman defeats the debuting super-villain known as The Spook.

–REFERENCE: In New Talent Showcase 2017 #1 Part 1. Batman continues training Jason Todd, telling him that, in hostile environments, they must operate quickly and efficiently, making sure to focus on fighting and not talking. Batman also tells Jason about all his rogues, giving advice for each. For instance, he tells Jason to always appeal to the Harvey Dent side of Two-Face when engaging with him. Batman also tells Jason that he’ll never be alone, no matter what.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #36. Batman busts the debuting Maxie Zeus.

–NOTE: Referenced in Deathstroke Vol. 4 #27 and Nightwing Vol. 4 #39—originally told in “THE JUDAS CONTRACT.”
Terra (Tara Markov) briefly joins the Teen Titans, but is outed as a double-agent working for Deathstroke. (She is also outed as having an unsettling quasi-sexual relationship with the much older Deathstroke.) Shaken to their core, the Teen Titans disband shortly thereafter.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #35 and Nightwing Vol. 4 #39. Much to the disappointment of Bruce and Alfred, Dick drops out of college.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21, Nightwing Vol. 4 #21, Nightwing Vol. 4 #39, and Detective Comics #965. Dick becomes the superhero Nightwing, wearing a modified version of his dad’s Flying Grayson outfit, which he wore once before while working a recent Judge case in Blüdhaven.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #7 and Red Hood & The Outlaws Vol. 2 #12. Jason Todd’s training ends and he debuts as the new Robin.

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #10. Batman defeats the debuting Black Mask (Roman Sionis) and his False Face Society. Note that the False Face Society has nothing to do with Batman’s rival False Face.

–REFERENCE: In Red Hood & The Outlaws Vol. 2 #14 and Batman Vol. 3 #45—originally told in Superman Annual #11. Batman, Robin, and Wonder Woman visit Superman at the Fortress of Solitude. However, upon arrival they discover that Mongul has burdened Superman with Black Mercy, an alien plant that causes its victims to undergo zombie-like hallucinations of their greatest subconscious desires. The heroes rescue Superman, who proceeds to angrily burn Mongul with heat vision. Note that Batman and Superman will tell the story of the Black Mercy vision to their fellow superhero friends quite often, moving forward. The story will serve as an anecdote: No matter how dark the world may be, the alternatives could always be worse, even if appearances seem to imply otherwise.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #36. Batman busts the debuting Black Spider.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #44—originally told in Detective Comics #565. Catwoman plays on the side of good, teaming-up with Batman to track down axe murderer Roy Spivey. As they investigate, Batman talks with Catwoman—who is now wearing another new costume, this one a skintight purple with black thigh high boots—atop the roof of a Gotham building. They discuss their on-again-off-again relationship. Batman says they are drifting apart, asking her what is wrong. Catwoman, with tears running down her cheeks, says “Nothing… Everything.” Batman winds up busting Spivey on his own.

 

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YEAR SEVEN (2008)

 

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Forge #1, Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt #1, Dark Days: Metal #6, Justice League Vol. 3 #39, and Justice League of America Vol. 5 #28—originally told in The Crisis on Infinite Earths. Bear in mind, this is a very altered version of the original Crisis on Infinite Earths. Furthermore, certain parts of it have been removed by Dr. Manhattan. Here’s the synopsis. Pariah arrives on Earth with startling news: a “Crisis” has begun! The omniverse (aka multi-multiverse) is slowly being destroyed by a powerful super-villain known as The Anti-Monitor (Universe-3’s Mobius), who has successfully outmatched his rival brother, The Monitor, a cosmic being tasked with watching-over and protecting the local DC multiverse. (The Anti-Monitor and the Monitor were spawned by the Overmonitor aka Overvoid, an omnipotent and infinite-sized living void that existed prior to and originally incubated/cared for the multiverse. Confusingly, the Monitor is also sometimes called “The Over-Monitor.”) Thousands of universes (and lives) are erased in one fell swoop. Entire timelines, such as those home to an alt-Lex Luthor named Alexander Luthor Jr, an alt-Superboy named Superboy-Prime, and an alt-Superman named Kal-L, are lost forever. As the wave of destruction gets nearer and nearer to the local DC multiverse, the Monitor is fatally wounded and disappears into the ether. Despite his condition, the Monitor is able to create and raise golden interdimensional tuning towers on multiple Earths. These tuning machines act as antennas designed to both delay the wave of destruction and draw surviving universes into a safe haven by aligning their vibrational planes. With the erasure wave slowed, all the heroes are whisked away to the Monitor’s HQ by Harbinger, who briefs them on how to defeat their opponent. Eventually, all the superheroes of the multiverse band together to fight against evil. Spread out across multiple universes, the heroes witness chaos and villainy like never before. Notably, the living chemical bomb known as Chemo is dropped onto an alternate Earth’s New York City, leveling it completely. Despite suffering casualties and losses (including the destruction of the JL Satellite—don’t worry, the trophies are saved!), the heroes defeat the Anti-Monitor and win the day. Batman keeps one of the Monitor’s interdimensional tuning towers for study. Due to its massive size, Batman definitely has some metahuman help in securing and transporting the tower—although not from Superman, since the Man of Steel won’t be aware that Batman is keeping one. Instead of telling Superman about his plans and knowing that he would likely disapprove, Batman simply asks the Man of Steel to construct a giant room for him under his Fortress of Solitude in the Arctic. Batman then puts the tuning tower in the impenetrable underground room and seals it up, making Superman promise to never to look inside. After showing his trust by agreeing, Batman uses some unknown means to shoot the room’s only key into the sun. With the crisis officially over, the dying Monitor, as his last living act, creates the first of what will become an entire race of Monitors to secretly protect the multiverse in his absence.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #21 and Nightwing Vol. 4 #43. Bruce gives Dick a watch for his 18th birthday.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 5 #5 and Justice League of America Vol. 5 #8-9. Batman meets and teams-up with Vixen. They form a close bond, learning each other’s secret IDs in the process. Bruce tells Vixen all about the death of his parents and how he became Batman.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 5 #8. Batman encounters the global criminal organization known as SKULL, tech brokers that “hoard progress” using an army of robot soldiers. SKULL is notorious for bartering world-changing tech in exchange for political influence. Batman shuts down the organization, putting its financial backer behind bars.

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #3. Batman learns that Kobra has turned one of its henchwomen, Sondra Fuller, into Lady Clayface aka Clayface II. Not long after, Batman fights and busts Lady Clayface. Unknown to Batman, Lady Clayface’s true origin has nothing to do with Kobra. In actuality, she has been given powers by the US Government’s Department of Metahuman Affairs.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #41—originally told in Superman Vol. 2 #9. Batman isn’t involved in this caper, but there’s no doubt that he hears about it. Joker tries his luck in Metropolis, kidnapping a bunch of people and putting them in lead-lined coffins all over the city. Despite being unable to see through lead with his x-ray vision, Superman simply scans the city and goes to each location where he can’t see, rescuing everyone.

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #10 and Bane: Conquest #8—originally told in “TEN NIGHTS OF THE BEAST.” Batman fights deadly Russian assassin The Beast (aka Anatoli Knyazev aka KGBeast). In order to evade capture, the Beast severs his own hand. Despite immediately resurfacing with a weaponized robot hand, Batman still defeats him.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21, Justice League of America Vol. 5 #7, Mister Miracle Vol. 4 #1, and Blue Beetle Vol. 9 #11-12. When the Justice League disbands, Batman joins scheming Max Lord‘s new Justice League International venture, which includes Martian Manhunter, Booster Gold, Big Barda, Mr. Miracle, Rocket Red (Vladimir Mikoyan), Fire (Beatriz da Costa), Ice (Tola Olafsdotter), Dr. Fate, Shazam, Green Lantern Guy Gardner, Black Canary, Dr. Light (Kimiyo Hoshi), and Blue Beetle (Ted Kord). This team will go on a variety of missions, some of which will simply have to be imagined on our timeline below. (NOTES: First, Max Lord is also head of the secret government organization known as Checkmate. Second, Vladimir Mikoyan is merely one—#7 to be exact—of several Rocket Reds, Russian soldiers in high-tech combat-suits. Third, Booster Gold, a hero from the future, is always accompanied by his floating robot companion Skeetz. Fourth, Dr. Fate is linked to the immortal magick demigod known as Nabu, who is a charter member of the cosmic Lords of Order. Fifth, Mister Miracle is often accompanied by his diminutive chain-smoking manager Oberon Kurtzberg. And sixth, Blue Beetle, unlike in the Modern Age, is merely a part-time member of this team that only will interact with Batman a few times. From these team-ups, the Dark Knight will regard Blue Beetle as a highly-intelligent-but-emotionally-immature second-rate superhero.)

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Forge #1. Batman, having now worked closely with both Mr. Miracle and Big Barda, gains even more insight into the world of the New Gods. Mr. Miracle gives Batman a special method of communicating with both he and certain New Gods, should the Dark Knight need their assistance in the future.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21—originally told in Millennium. Manhunter Robots—originally a failed venture created by the Guardians of the Universe prior to the Green Lantern Corps—activate sleeper agents embedded within the superhero community in an attempt to take control of Earth. Notably, Rocket Red reveals himself as an evil Manhunter, attacking the JLI from within. After the Manhunters are defeated and the Earth is saved, Vladimir Mikoyan’s Rocket Red #7 suit goes into the JL Trophy Room.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #957-958. Batman encounters Lady Shiva—Cassie Cain’s mother—for the first time.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #980 and Suicide Squad Vol. 5 #26-27. Batman meets government official Amanda Waller and learns some information about her clandestine program Task Force X, which controls the super-villain covert-ops team known as The Suicide Squad. (Task Force X has existed in secrecy since the 1940s and has been operated by the US Government since that time.) Waller’s current Suicide Squad operations are based out of the Belle Reve Federal Prison in Louisiana.

–FLASHBACK: From Harley Quinn 25th Anniversary Special #1 Part 2. Batman, Robin, and Batgirl bust Joker and Harley Quinn on Harley’s birthday. (This flashback—a memory narrated by Harley herself—is impossible to place error-free because it supposedly takes place at a time period where: one, Harley is still dating Joker; two, Harley will still be dating Joker a year from now; three, Batgirl is active; and four, Batgirl is wearing her Burnside costume.) So, how do we handle this one? It’s gotta go right here, obviously prior to the events of “The Killing Joke,” which means the Burnside costume has to be outright ignored.

 

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YEAR EIGHT (2009)

 

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #10. Bruce and Alfred visit Miami. Alfred takes notice of the construction boom that is going on in the city.

–REFERENCE: In ???. Batman takes in the diminutive mute hunchback Harold Allnut, a genius inventor and tech whiz. Harold lives temporarily in the Batcave, creating new costume upgrades and vehicles for the Bat-Family. Shortly thereafter, Harold leaves to live on a farm in New England.

–REFERENCE: In Mother Panic #4, Mother Panic #8, and Detective Comics #969 Part 2. Batman fights the debuting Ratcatcher (Otis Flannegan), and knocks him unconscious before sending him off to prison. Ratcatcher will cross paths with the Bat-Family every once in a blue moon, and when he does, he will usually team with other villains. However, these super-villain team-ups won’t physically appear on our timeline below, so we’ll have to just imagine them sprinkled throughout the chronology.

–REFERENCE: In Red Hood & The Outlaws Vol. 2 #8. Batman busts Cornelius Stirk, a cannibal serial killer with mental-projection powers.

–REFERENCE: In New Talent Showcase 2017 #1 Part 2. Batman and Robin defeat the martial arts master King Snake (Sir Edmund Dorrance).

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #39—originally told in Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1-4 (“THE LAST ARKHAM”). Dr. Jeremiah Arkham takes over his family’s business, becoming the head of the infamous private prison known as Arkham Asylum. In order to find out how Victor Zsasz keeps escaping, Batman goes into the belly of the beast, imprisoning himself with Jeremiah Arkham’s permission. Batman fights a bunch of his rogues, including newcomer Amygdala (Aaron Helzinger), before figuring out Zsasz’s escape route and busting him.

–REFERENCE: In Trinity Vol. 2 #12, Detective Comics #965, Detective Comics #968, and New Talent Showcase 2017 #1 Part 1—originally told in “A DEATH IN THE FAMILY.” Robin is brutally murdered by Joker, who beats him to death with a crowbar. A funeral is held and Batman puts the second Robin’s tattered costume on display in memoriam in the Batcave. The Dark Knight is emotionally shattered by Jason’s passing. (From this point forward, Batman will still take on young sidekicks, but he will question whether or not he’s helping or ruining their lives. Batman will be plagued with these thoughts for the rest of his life.) Unknown to the Bat-Family, Talia al Ghul digs up Jason’s corpse and revives him via Lazarus Pit. Jason, angry at both Batman’s failure to save him and his non-lethal position in regard to punishing Joker, won’t make his return for a couple years, choosing to train for the perfect revenge in the meantime.

–REFERENCE: In Batgirl & The Birds of Prey #11 and Doomsday Clock #2—originally told in The Killing Joke. Joker shoots Barbara Gordon in the spine, permanently paralyzing her. Batman brings Joker to justice at an abandoned amusement park.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21 and Doom Patrol/Justice League of America Special #1—originally told in Justice League International #19-21. Big Barda, Martian Manhunter, and the Green Lantern Corps go on a mission to deep space to rescue Mister Miracle from the interstellar villain Manga Khan. Meanwhile, Lobo joins the JLI, but is outed as a double-agent working for Manga Khan. He is kicked off the team and his hook and chain are put into the Justice League Trophy Room. Eventually, the whole JLI chases Manga Khan to Apokolips. After a fight against Manga Khan and a bunch of Parademons, an annoyed Darkseid teleports everyone away.

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #2—originally told in Invasion. Several intergalactic alien races form a military alliance with the goal of eradicating all metahuman life on Earth (the planet deemed most threatening because it has the most metahumans). Secretly, The Dominators, evil leaders of the alien alliance, want to replicate the metagene and create their own super-warriors. During the alien invasion, human scientists become aware of the metagene that causes superpowers, which exists in around 12% of the population. After several nations fall under alien control, hundreds of heroes, including Batman, gather at a superhero summit to determine a plan of coordinated action. Eventually, the war is won and the alien alliance is defeated, but not before the Dominators detonate a “Gene Bomb.” The resulting massive energy explosion causes global death to aliens and humans alike. Interestingly, the Gene Bomb also causes some people to gain super powers.

 

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YEAR NINE (2010)

 

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #965—and also referenced in Batwoman: Rebirth #1, Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #7, and Detective Comics #967. Originally told in “A LONELY PLACE OF DYING.” Batman, increasingly haunted by Jason’s death, becomes reckless to the point of sloppy—barely surviving regular patrols, losing fights, and badly hurting low-level opponents. After Batman struggles to defeat a pathetic copycat Ravager, the autodidactic Tim Drake, a boy-genius that has followed his favorite hero’s career (and been secretly stalking Batman) for most of his life, makes his presence known. Having long ago deduced the secret IDs of Batman and his first two Robins, a worried Tim approaches Dick at the circus and begs him to become Robin again to re-inspire his old mentor. Dick takes Tim to Wayne Manor and he explains his story to he and Alfred. Nightwing then teams-up with Batman for the first time to take on Two-Face. During the fight, the heroes wind up in dire straits. Tim dons Dick’s original Robin costume and gets a ride to the crime scene from Alfred! Tim, who has trained since he was very young, is able to bust Two-Face and save the lives of both Batman and Nightwing. Afterward, Bruce allows Tim to begin training to become the new Robin. Tim will train for the next six months.

–Wonder Woman Vol. 5 #22
This item occurs exactly eight months and seven years since Wonder Woman first left Themyscira. Wonder Woman volunteers to participate in a date auction for charity in Las Vegas. In attendance are Bruce—in full playboy persona, surrounded by women—and Lex Luthor. Both men bid top dollar, but Dr. Veronica Cale winds up spending the most dough, winning the date. Veronica secretly wants to analyze Wonder Woman’s powers on behalf of her organization Godwatch. After dinner, Veronica tells a sob story that leads Wonder Woman into battle against human-traffickers. During the fight, Veronica scans Wonder Woman’s metapowers and magick lasso. The next day, Wonder Woman visits and scolds Veronica, having learned that she is connected to the Cheetah and is up to no good.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Nights: Metal #1—originally told in Starman #9-10. Batman meets and teams-up with latest and fourth incarnation of Starman (host vessel Will Payton combined with the spirit of previous Starman Prince Gavyn). Together, Batman and Starman defeat Blockbuster. Unknown to Batman, Starman works for Hawkman and Hawkgirl, specifically on their ongoing thousands-of-years-old investigation into the mystery behind the origin of Nth Metal and its link to the Dark Multiverse.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #957, Detective Comics #963, and Detective Comics #971—originally told in Detective Comics #609-609 (“ANARKY IN GOTHAM CITY”). Batman defeats teenage left wing anti-hero Anarky (Lonnie Machin), who hides beneath a large red cloak, holding his mask on a stilt above his head, in order to make himself look taller and hide his age.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Lost #1—originally told in Batman #452-454 (“DARK KNIGHT, DARK CITY”). Riddler, possessed by Barbatos, tricks Batman into going through a series of syncretist rituals that lead him to a hidden tomb. There, Batman witnesses hazy vision of 1765 in which several prominent figures, including Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Wayne (Simon Hurt), engage in an occult ritual to summon Barbatos. Hurt sacrifices a young woman named Dominique and considers the summoning a success, coming into contact with the defeated Hyper-Adapter in bat form (which he mistakes for the actual Barbatos). Hurt feasts upon the flesh of the Hyper-Adapter, which endows him with extended life/semi-immortality. Unknown to Hurt and company in 1765, Barbatos has used them as part of an opening rite of his “Mantling” ritual. The City of Gotham is now prepped to become the place of his arrival in just over 250 years’ time. After the vague and confusing flashback vision ends, Batman can’t quite make sense of it. Despite having just witnessed the origin story of Simon Hurt and a key part of Barbatos’ plan, Batman has no clue what this hallucinatory trip was all about. Nevertheless, the Caped Crusader finds the skeletal remains of Dominique and gives her a proper burial.

–REFERENCE: In Doom Patrol/Justice League of America Special #1—originally told in Justice League Quarterly #2. Skyscraper-tall cosmic designer Mr. Nebula—a former student of Manga Khan’s—arrives to give Earth a gaudy makeover, vomiting up a colossal mess that Batman and the other superheroes are forced to clean up.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #964, Detective Comics #967, and Detective Comics #970—originally told in Detective Comics #618-621 (“RITE OF PASSAGE”). Anarky (using the codename “Moneyspider”) is able to strike from Juvenile Hall, using his hacker skills to online-transfer a ton of cash from big businesses and international banks to charitable organizations. Thanks to some ace detective work by Tim Drake, Batman is able to trace the hacks to Moneyspider, putting a stop to Anarky’s illegal (albeit revolutionary) scheme. However, with this bit of good news comes unfortunate bad news. Tim’s parents, millionaire industrialists Jack Drake and Janet Drake, have been kidnapped by The Obeah Man. Batman flies down to Haiti to save them, but is only able to rescue Jack. Janet dies and a funeral is held.

–REFERENCE: In Batwoman: Rebirth #1, Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #7, Detective Comics #965, and Detective Comics #975. Tim finishes his training and becomes the third Robin. Tim will be the most hopeful Robin yet, focused on social justice more than any other superhero before. He will often speak to Batman about progressive ideas that involve new methods of crimefighting in regard to organization and logistics in an attempt to influence his mentor just as much as the Caped Crusader has influenced him.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #974 Part 2. Batman tells his new Robin how similar they are in personality and drive. This is definitely true as Tim is more like Bruce than the previous Robins. Batman, with admiration, will often remind Tim how alike they are, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #972—originally told in Batman #486. Batman defeats one-shot super-villain Metalhead, a spiky maniac wearing an all-black S&M ensemble.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #23—originally told in Batman #487. Batman saves Commissioner Gordon’s life from master assassin Headhunter, whose MO is to put two bullets in each victim’s head at close range. After fighting and chasing after him, Batman busts Headhunter, taking notice of an extremely rare white caiman crocodile tooth necklace that the super-villain wears.

–REFERENCE: In Batgirl & The Birds of Prey #11-12. Barbara Gordon, paralyzed from the waist down and confined to a wheelchair, decides that she’s not done being a superhero. She becomes the Bat-Family’s resident super-hacker and information-dispatcher, Oracle. As Oracle, Babs also leads her own superhero group known as the Birds of Prey, which features Black Canary and rotating cast of other female heroes.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21. The JLI disbands. Several items are placed into the JL Trophy Room, including: one of Blue Beetle’s Bug-ships, some of Big Barda’s weapons (including her original Mega Rod), Dr. Fate’s helmet (a replica or one of several?), and Skeetz’s original shell. Shortly thereafter, a new Wonder Woman-led Justice League is formed (sans Batman or Superman, but featuring mostly ex-JLI members).

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 5 #7—originally told in “BLOODLINES.” The Bat-Family fights the Xenomorph-like Bloodlines Parasites (Angon, Gemir, Glonth, Lissik, Pritor, Slodd, and Venev), which suck people’s spinal fluid out of their bodies, which either kills them or turns them into metahumans with random powers. Lissik and Venev create the super-villain Terrorsmith, who is defeated by Wonder Woman’s Justice League. All the heroes combine to defeat and kill the Bloodlines Parasites.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #15—and also referenced in Bane: Conquest #1-2. Originally told in the “KNIGHTFALL,” “KNIGHTQUEST,” and “KNIGHT’S END” story-arcs. New super-villain Bane (King Snake’s son) makes his presence known publicly in Gotham, threatening Batman. After releasing all of Arkham’s inmates, Batman and the Bat-Family wear themselves down re-jailing all of them. Batman defeats Bane’s top henchmen Bird, Trogg, and Zombie, before finally taking on Bane himself. Pumped full of Venom, Bane crushes a weakened Batman, breaking his spine. Bane instantly becomes the king of the Gotham Underworld. We have to assume that, due to the severity of his spinal injury, Batman is out of action for an extended period. But as he did in the Modern Age and New 52, the Caped Crusader must make a recovery faster than normal. Some metahuman healing power, magick, or science fiction-type event must occur, helping Bruce heal up in mere months. After re-training his body, Batman has a return match with Bane and defeats him.

–REFERENCE: In Trinity Vol. 2 #13. Following his victory over Bane, Batman begins fine-calibrating the chemical darts for his tranquilizer gun, noting how many are necessary to take down specific foes. For instance, three darts are (or should be) enough to take down Bane.

–REFERENCE: In Bane: Conquest #2. Batman fights the underground martial arts gang known as The Monkey Fist Cult (aka The Brotherhood of the Monkey Fist), which is led by the deadly assassin Silver Monkey.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #22. Batman and Nightwing defeat Gorilla Grimm, who runs a Gotham smuggling operation selling high-tech Gorilla City weapons on behalf of his boss Gorilla Grodd.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 5 #21—originally told in Aztek: The Ultimate Man #6-7. Batman tracks an escaped Joker to Vanity, OR. There, the Caped Crusader teams with Aztek to defeat Joker.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21 and Justice League Vol. 3 #39—originally told in JLA #1-4 (“NEW WORLD ORDER”). The Justice League disbands. In its place, the team reforms as the Justice League with a new stronger “Big Guns” lineup—Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, and Aquaman (who has a temporary prosthetic harpoon hand, having recently lost his hand in battle). The first threat they deal with is the White Martian group known as The Hyperclan (Armek, Protex, Primaid, and ZüM). After defeating the Hyperclan, the JL keeps the robotic head of Armek, along with the costumes of Protex, Primaid, and ZüM. All of these items will wind up in the JL Trophy Room. Following the defeat of the Hyperclan, the new JL constructs a massive HQ on the moon known as The Watchtower.

–REFERENCE: In Bane: Conquest #9 and Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #39. Batman busts husband-and-wife assassin duo Gunhawk (Liam Hawkleigh) and Bunnyhawk.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #36. Batman busts the cowboy-themed sibling robbers known as The Trigger Twins (Tod Trigger and Tad Trigger).

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21 and Dark Days: The Forge #1—originally told in JLA #11-15 (“ROCK OF AGES”). Lex Luthor threatens the Justice League with the cosmic-powered Philosopher’s Stone, alternately known as the Worlogog, in which part of the Source resides. Metron introduces the JL members to the android Hourman from the 853rd century and shows them how to deal with Luthor. Plastic Man officially joins the JL roster, helping to defeat Luthor on his very first mission with the team. Afterward, the Worlogog goes into the JL Trophy Room.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21—originally told in JLA: Paradise Lost. Fallen angel Zauriel and the Justice League get stuck in the middle of a war between Heaven and Hell as the fallen angel Asmodel teams with Neron (King of Hell) to battle the empyrean seraphim. The war ends when Neron begins infighting with Asmodel. Afterward, Zauriel becomes the newest member of the JL. Zauriel’s original cloak and flaming sword will eventually go into the JL’s Trophy Room.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21—originally told in JLA #16-17. The new “Big Guns” Justice League is taken down by the debuting Prometheus, who infiltrates Watchtower security. Catwoman, while attempting to steal from the Watchtower, winds up saving the day, defeating Prometheus, who retreats to Limbo.

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #22-25. Batman encounters The Wonderland Gang, a Lewis Carroll-inspired crime group that includes Mad Hatter, Tweedledum, Tweedledee, The Carpenter (Jenna Duffy), The Lion, The Unicorn, The Walrus, and March Harriet (aka March Hare). The Carpenter is responsible for constructing the gaudy hideouts of most of the super-villains in Gotham.[7]

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21—originally told in “DC ONE MILLION.” The Justice Legion-A (the Justice League from the 853rd century) appears in the Watchtower to invite the JL to a ceremony that will see Superman (still alive in the 853rd century and godlike) awaken from a long hibernation inside the sun). But thanks to the scheming of Vandal Savage and Solaris, the JL gets trapped in the future while a nano-virus spreads across the entire present day Earth. With Batman stuck in the future, the Batman of the 853rd century teams-up with Nightwing, Robin, and Alfred to take down some baddies, including Firefly. Future Batman realizes the only way to stop Solaris in the future is to construct the evil AI now, which they do, saving the present day. In the 853rd century, Batman winds up on the prison (dwarf) planet of Pluto where he learns from Robin The Toy Wonder (a robot Robin) that this era’s Batman is warden. After the JL defeats a bunch of future villains, Solaris is tricked—thanks to the JL’s machinations in the past—into giving a Green Lantern power ring to the sun-emerging future Superman, who uses it to defeat Solaris for good. After the ceremony, our heroes return to present day. Future Hourman decides to live in the present day, joining the JL for a brief spell. Considered a nuisance by Batman, Hourman mostly interacts with other heroes, using his massive ornate Timeship to go on time-traveling adventures. At the end of his JL tenure, Hourman’s Timeship goes into the JL Trophy Room.

–REFERENCE: In ???—originally told in JLA: Earth 2. After meeting Alexander Luthor, the number one superhero of the Antimatter Earth aka Earth-3, the Justice League helps him fight their Earth-3 counterparts: the evil Crime Syndicate of Amerika (dictator Ultraman, his cuckolding partner Superwoman, drug-addicted Johnny Quick, Batman’s counterpart Owlman), and Hal Jordan’s counterpart Power Ring. (Power Ring’s cosmic ring contains a sliver of “First Lantern” Volthoom’s soul, making the ring itself a sort of evil sentient Volthoom entity.) After fighting to a stalemate on both Earth-0 and Earth-3, the two teams reluctantly join forces to defeat Brainiac.

–FLASHBACK: From Justice League Vol. 3 #37. The Justice League, with Hal Jordan and Martian Manhunter, defeat Shaggy Man in East St Louis. During the tumultuous battle, the heroes save a teenager named Joshua Andre Christian (aka Diesel aka Deez). One of Deez’s unnamed friends suffers severe injuries to his legs when falling debris hits him. Note importantly that this flashback shows just about every hero wearing incorrect anachronistic costumes. Ignore all their looks.

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #2. The Wayne Enterprises Board of Directors orders Bruce to take a psych exam. Bruce is honest during the session, raising many red flags about his state of mind. After putting the Board at ease, the Board demands, for insurance purposes, that Bruce take an annual psych exam. Lucius Fox has Bruce agree to the terms.

–REFERENCE: In Titans Vol. 3 Annual #1 and Justice League of America Vol. 5 #21—originally told in JLA #36-41 (“WORLD WAR III”). Aztek becomes the newest member of the Justice League. Batman defeats Prometheus in one-on-one combat. The Dark Knight then joins the JL to ward off the threat of that planet-sized cosmic being known as Mageddon. Eventually, Mageddon is defeated, but Aztek is killed in battle.

 

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YEAR TEN (2011)

 

HARLEY LOVES JOKER
———————-––the second feature to Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #18-19
———————-––the second feature to Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #22
Early to mid January. While others celebrate the New Year’s Eve Ball dropping, Joker and Harley Quinn rob a department store jewelry vault of its contents. Joker pauses to give Harley a new stolen fur coat as a gift. Later, Batman visits the crime scene and finds Harley’s old coat, which he shows to live TV news reporter Summer Gleason. At night, Joker and Harley watch the news and see the glaring evidence of their crime on display to the world. Not only that, but Harley has written their secret lair’s address on the label. Batman smashes through the window to arrest the duo, but they get away by siccing their pet hyenas (Bud and Lou) on Batman and then blowing up the building. A week or so later, Harley visits her pals, the Carpenter and March Harriet, who are in the middle of a hotel/spa robbery with their Wonderland Gang partners, Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Harley hires the Carpenter to fix up a new hideout for she and Joker. Across town, Commissioner Gordon meets with Bruce to tell him that a new Brazilian villainess called The Grison has stolen WayneTech R&D files. Joker, disguised as a cop, listens-in. Later, the Carpenter begins renovating an abandoned joke shop for Harley and Joker.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Forge #1. Batman meets the techno-whiz and supposed “world’s smartest man” Mr. Terrific. They quickly become close, sharing each other’s secret IDs. Batman and Mr. Terrific will share a close friendship for years to come.

–REFERENCE: In Titans Vol. 3 Annual #1. Batman encounters Superman’s arch-rival Metallo.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #30. Batman defeats the debuting mutant whale super-villain called Orca.

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #10 and Nightwing Vol. 4 #29—originally told in Arkham Asylum: Living Hell. Crook Warren White is sentenced to Arkham Asylum where he is immediately tortured by nearly every single one of his fellow inmates (sans the benevolent but creepy Humpty Dumpty). Shortly thereafter, a full-scale prison riot occurs, during which demons and zombies are unleashed. Amid the chaos, Arkham’s chief of security Aaron Cash loses a hand courtesy of Killer Croc. Meanwhile, thanks to the brutality of the sadistic mimic known only as Jane Doe, White turns into The Great White Shark. He will eventually go on to become one of Batman’s wiliest rogues. Cash, Jeremiah Arkham, Jason Blood/Etrigan, and the Great White Shark team-up to defeat the supernatural threats and quell the riot. Batman arrives to clean-up the mess and secure the area.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 5 #22—originally told in JLA #47-49. Tsaritsa (aka “The Queen of Fables”) transforms all of New York City into a gigantic enchanted forest filled with monsters. Meanwhile, fairytale characters from books and TV begin coming to life all over the world. The Justice League visits the Immateria dimension where they learn a shocking truth: Tsaritsa is The Evil Queen from Snow White, which is a true historical story! The factual existence of both Tsaritsa and Snow White was magickally erased and they were turned into fictional fairy tale characters long ago. Eventually, the JL defeats the returning Tsaritsa by trapping her in a US tax code manual. She eventually gets “cast beyond the mirror,” winding up trapped in another dimension.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #969 and Deathstroke Vol. 4 #30—originally told in “OFFICER DOWN.” Commissioner Gordon is shot by gangster-posing-as-cop Jordan “Rich” Reynolds. While Gordon is in the hospital, the Bat-Family works the case. Batman, blinded by the personal connection to the case, argues with Alfred over how to proceed. Things get so heated that Alfred quits! Later, the Bat-Family busts Reynolds. Afterward, Gordon’s injuries are severe enough that he decides to step down as commissioner. Michael Akins (formerly a GCPD Chief) replaces him as the new commissioner! Akins meets with Batman and they don’t exactly hit it off. Despite not getting along with the Bat-Family, Akins will reluctantly use the Batsignal from time to time, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In Supergirl Vol. 7 #16—originally told in “OUR WORLDS AT WAR.” Imperiex Prime, a cosmic destroyer from the future, who has already annihilated several other planets, attacks Earth. In the so-called “Imperiex War,” dozens of heroes band together to fight Imperiex and his army of Imperiex Probes. After Imperiex unleashes a sentient virus upon the ranks of the heroes, Nightwing and Oracle travel through time to stop it at its source. Eventually, Darkseid and a returning Doomsday team-up with the heroes to defeat the combined threat of Imperiex and Brainiac. Despite victory, hundreds of thousands have perished.

–REFERENCE: In Deathstroke Vol. 4 #30. Alfred returns to his post.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21—originally told in JLA/Avengers. One of the original Guardians of the Universe, Krona, begins destroying planets. Soon, several beings from the DCU inexplicably crossover to Marvel’s Universe-616 and vice-versa. The Universe-616 cosmic entity known as The Grandmaster materializes on the Watchtower and explains the only way to save the omniverse is to collect 12 items of power, spread across Universe-0 and Universe-616. After the Justice League tours Earth-616, the JL and The Avengers throw down in Earth-0’s Metropolis, but soon realize they are on the same side and begin collecting the needed items. Eventually, it is revealed that the Grandmaster, Krona, and Metron have been scheming together. Krona gathers the items of power and alters reality dramatically. The heroes of two universes join once more in a realm between universes to defeat Krona, trapping him in a Cosmic Egg, which is then stored for safekeeping in the Watchtower. The JL bids the Avengers farewell and the two teams return to their respective universes. The Spectre undoes Krona’s damage.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #44. Batman retires his grey-and-black with yellow oval costume, putting it on display with the other yellow oval costume in the Batcave. He tailors and switches to a grey-and-black with black Bat-symbol insignia costume, which he begins wearing now.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #44—and referenced in All-Star Batman #10 and All-Star Batman #13. Originally told in “HUSH.” One of Bruce’s closest childhood friends, Dr. Tommy Elliot, returns to Gotham and becomes the super-villain known as Hush. Armed with knowledge of Bruce’s identity as Batman, a disfigured Elliot wraps bandages around his face and, as Hush, strikes the surprised Caped Crusader, first by hiring Poison Ivy to mind-control Killer Croc and Catwoman, who debuts another new costume—all black leather with goggles. Killer Croc and Catwoman attack Batman, but the Dark Knight is able to free the minds of those she has held captive. Batman then nurses his wounds and regroups with Catwoman and Alfred in the Batcave. Before heading out to take on Poison Ivy, Batman and Catwoman make out! The Bat and the Cat successfully take down Poison Ivy, who briefly manages to control Superman’s mind. After a bunch of mind games, Hush reveals himself in grandiose fashion. In the end, Batman successfully defeats Hush but learns a sobering truth about his old friend. Years ago, a young Tommy cut the brake cables on his parents’ car, resulting in their untimely deaths. Tommy tells Bruce that he has no regrets about killing his parents, only wishing that he would have done it at their favorite family getaway in the Florida Keys instead of in Gotham.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21. Following the events of the original Crisis a couple years ago, superhero cum cosmic historian Harbinger recorded the “History of the DC Universe” and stored the information in a small satellite. Harbinger soon became accepted into the Amazonian tribe on Themyscira, at which time the updated “History of the DC Universe” recording was transferred into the mystical Universe Orb. Cut to now. The Universe Orb is moved to the Justice League Trophy Room, likely given to the JL for safekeeping by Wonder Woman.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #22. Batman and Nightwing go undercover as biker gang members to bust street racing super-villain Thrill Devil.

–FLASHBACK: From Batwoman: Rebirth #1 and Batwoman Vol. 2 #6. Twenty-four-year-old Kate Kane (Bruce’s cousin) fights off a mugger and meets Batman. The encounter with the Caped Crusader inspires Kate to become a masked vigilante for the next few months. After that, Kate will go on a nearly-three-year training adventure all over the globe, after which she will become the new Batwoman.[8]

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #960. While battling the League of Assassins, Batman discovers a great conspiracy, a secret war that has impacted global politics and socio-economic conditions at the highest levels imaginable for hundreds of years. Batman comes face-to-face with The League of Shadows—an elite group within the League of Assassins that wields greater power and poses as a greater threat. The League of Shadows, consisting of an army of sleeper cells hiding in plain sight, has been secretly responsible for the largest acts of terror in human history. Ra’s al Ghul and the League of Shadows capture Batman and wipe his mind of all knowledge of the organization via magickal means.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #967. Robin’s dad, Jack Drake, dies. A funeral is held. Just like Batman and Nightwing, Robin is now an orphan. Bruce adopts Tim, becoming his legal guardian. Originally, this death happened in Identity Crisis. Since the canonical status of Identity Crisis is up in the air, we don’t really know how Jack dies in the New Age.

–REFERENCE: In ???—originally told in “DEATH AND THE MAIDENS.” Nyssa Raatko al Ghul kills her father Ra’s al Ghul and takes over the League of Assassins alongside her sister Talia.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #34. Batman encounters Talia al Ghul’s elite League of Assassins fighting unit, several dozen warriors collectively known as The Silent Soldiers of the Pit, who have cut out their own tongues and sworn allegiance to Talia and Talia alone.

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #2. Bruce has his annual Wayne Enterprises psych exam, during which he constantly lies to pass with flying colors.

 

  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: This footnote about construction projects in the DCU was previously mentioned in the Modern Age and New 52, but it applies to the New Age as well. As stated, Bruce and Alfred will all but finish their massive Batcave undertaking in less than a year. On our New Age timeline, we will see numerous instances of skyscrapers and superhero (and villain) headquarters being built to completion in a matter of months or even weeks or days. Battle damaged buildings, flooded natural disaster zones, and entire metropolitan infrastructures devastated by nuclear holocaust or alien attack will sometimes get fixed up in no time flat. Unlike in our reality—where One World Trade Center took over seven years to top-out—the DCU is a place of magick, metapower, and sci-fi technology. Put these things together and things get built quickly. We also cannot ignore trigger-happy writers, eager to return things to status-quo, to add new toys to the sandbox, or to just plain get on with their stories. Simply put, be prepared to suspend your disbelief when it comes to the speed of building and reconstructing things in the DCU.
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: A note about the Looney Tunes characters in New Age DC Comics, as per Tom King and Lee Weeks’ Batman/Elmer Fudd #1, which canonizes them in the New Age. Unlike all the other 2017 DC/Looney Tunes crossover comics, Batman/Elmer Fudd is the only one that doesn’t take place in the New 52. In the New 52, the animal Looney Tunes characters are not cartoons but still resemble some form of beast or anthropomorphized animal. However, in the New Age, the animal Looney Tunes characters are all reverse-anthropomorphized. Likewise, the cartoony human Looney Tunes characters are all grim and gritty versions of themselves. Furthermore, they all hang out at a Gotham dive bar called Porky’s (where Silver St. Cloud also hangs out). Thank the twisted mind of writer Tom King for all of this.
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: In the Modern Age, Tweedledum and Tweedledee were cousins Dumfree Tweed and Deever Tweed, respectively. When Dumfree died, Deever’s twin brother Dumson took over as the new Tweedledum. In the New 52, that was altered and reversed by writer Scott Snyder so that the original Tweedledum and Tweedledee were Dumson and Deever. Dumson was later replaced by Deever’s twin brother Dumfree as the new Tweedledum. It’s confusing, I know. Basically, based upon this history, we can’t be certain of which pair of Tweeds we are dealing with here in the New Age. It could be Dumfree and Deever or Dumson and Deever. All we know is that, by the time Doomsday Clock comes around in about fifteen years, the duo is definitely the twins—Dumfree and Deever.
  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER: In the opening sequence of Justice League Vol. 3 #39, the Fan makes fun of the JL’s previous Watchtower incarnation on the moon (originally created at the start of Morrison’s “Big Guns” JLA run). There are other references in other New Age books to the Hall of Justice and other previous JL satellite HQs, but this added reference to the lunar Watchtower speaks to a richer, fuller (and more complete) history of JL HQs. Therefore, using this little reference in Justice League Vol. 3 #39—combined with the other reference clues—as a foundation, I’ve canonized the complete JL HQ history. This includes all story moments that relate to the JL’s HQs, including the creation and destruction of multiple Watchtowers, which you will see further down the road on our chronology.
  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: The Source (and Anti-Life) exists/resides beyond the cosmic barrier known as The Source Wall, which exists at the edge of each universe and operates as as the first barrier between gaining access to an alternate universe (although there are other means of traveling to alternate universes, such as Boom Tube technology, metahuman speed/vibrational/teleportation abilities, and weird sci-fi devices). Also beyond the Source Wall exists the Bleed, a tesseract space that serves as the final blank void/highway between universes. Notably, the Source Wall has trapped many adventurers that dared attempt breaching through to the other side. These imprisoned explorers appear as gigantic stone idols attached to the face of the Source Wall.
  6. [6]COLLIN COLSHER: An interesting note about Elasti-Girl aka actress Rita Farr. Doomsday Clock #3 tells us she was born in 1954 to Rachel Drake and Frank Farr, who was cheating on wife Barbara Stanwyck at the time. This makes Elasti-Girl 52-years-old. Despite her age, we can assume her elastic powers allow her to look way younger than she actually is.
  7. [7]COLLIN COLSHER: In the Modern Age, the Tweeds were the secret leaders of the Wonderland Gang. In the New 52, they were merely “foot soldiers” in the group. In the New Age, it is strongly implied in Harley Quinn 25th Anniversary Special #1 Part 2 that Mad Hatter is leader of the Wonderland Gang, but we still don’t know which pair of Tweeds are in the group. It could be Dumfree and Deever or Dumson and Deever.
  8. [8]COLLIN COLSHER: Despite being published before “Superman Reborn,” 2017’s Batwoman: Rebirth #1 gives us the official post-“Superman Reborn” version of Batwoman’s past. Here is Batwoman’s timeline of key events:

    Age 20 – Kate is kicked out of West Point for being gay.
    Age 21-22 – Kate becomes a wild party girl abroad.
    Age 23 – Kate’s alcoholic “lost year.” She returns to Gotham.
    Age 24 – Kate meets Batman and sobers up.
    Age 24-27 – Kate trains.
    Age 27 – Kate debuts as Batwoman.

10 Responses to Years 0-10

  1. Austin Eaton says:

    Shouldn’t the reference about the Club of Heroes in Year 12 say originally told in “The Black Glove”?

    • A minor editing quibble, but let me do my best to explain. Adding in “originally told” information is a relatively new concept for this website, something I’m trying for the current reboot timeline. Seems to make sense since so much material is pure retroactive referencing—even stuff that literally was published a year ago.

      In regard to “The Black Glove,” that title was only a trade paperback title. There was no arc that was titled “The Black Glove.” It was a bunch of Grant Morrison issues linked together. Because this site doesn’t really deal with trades as such, I am not using the title “The Black Glove.” However, you make a good point and I will add in the original issue numbers. Thanks for brining it to my attention.

      In regard to this portion of Morrison’s arc, I’m sure it is in-continuity since it ties into so much of Batman’s other canonical mythos, but technically there hasn’t been a direct reference to it yet in the “New Age”/”Rebirth”/”post-Superman Reborn” era. Keep your eyes peeled.

      • Austin Eaton says:

        That reasoning makes perfect sense and I suspected the trade title situation. Thanks for responding so quickly and adding the issue numbers. I like the “originally told in”s since they provide a sort of reading order even though stories like Knightfall happened a lot differently.

  2. Austin Eaton says:

    It seems like maybe DC is slowly making most of Batman: Year One as possible canon piece by piece.

    • Ha, sure seems like it, right? Actually, this speaks to the current climate of superhero comics. We are in a heavy retro-themed “Easter Egg Hunt Era,” especially with DC Comics. More than ever, writers are dropping in winks and nods at trivial ephemera from comic books (and TV) of yesteryear. The references are flying fast and furious, getting sprinkled like confetti across the entire line of titles. The reference to Arnold Flass in Miller’s “Year One” is but one example of many. Jurgens, Tynion, Snyder, and Orlando LOVE their Easter Eggs. There are so many lately, they are getting hard to spot/figure out without the aid of annotations or an encyclopedic knowledge of comic book continuity. (Thankfully, most of these references aren’t the focal point of the stories.)

      Don’t get me wrong, I love Easter Egg hunting too; I just hope that comics don’t devolve into nothing more than Easter Egg hunting.

  3. Hugo M says:

    “–Batman Vol. 3 Annual #1 Part 1 Intro” That issue is about Bruce’s dog Ace. Catwoman and mouse issue (by Lee Weeks) is in Annual #2.

  4. Simon davis says:

    Its so confusing! In this continuity is year one his origin or is it still
    zero year?

    • It’s a mix. Here’s what’s been canonized in the New Age (Rebirth Era)—and in this order, basically the “New Age Year Zero”…

      -From Miller’s “Year One”: Bruce returns home from training abroad, kicks trees, plans his war on crime.
      -From Miller’s “Year One”: Bruce has first fight with Selina and Holly in the East End.
      -From Miller’s “Year One”: Batman works with Harvey Dent, helping him bust Arnold Flass.
      -From Snyder’s “Zero Year”: Batman busts Red Hood; Philip Kane dies; Riddler debuts, takes over Gotham for weeks while Batman remains in coma; and Thomas family helps Batman, who returns and helps Gordon defeat Riddler.

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