Year Fourteen

(2016)

 

–REFERENCE: In Dark Nights: Metal #2—originally told in “TRINITY WAR.” When the promise of great danger arises in the form of the godlike Pandora and the return of her terrible box of myth, the heroes are assembled at the supernatural House of Mystery by The Phantom Stranger to discuss a plan of action. After Batman, Katana, and Deadman briefly visit Heaven, they rejoin the rest of their fellow heroes. However, the good guys fight amongst themselves over control of Pandora’s Box before winding-up fighting against a large group of super-villains known as The Secret Society. Eventually, the box goes into the hands of Secret Society leader Earth-3 Alfred Pennyworth, who uses it to open an interdimensional gateway that allows his Crime Syndicate brethren to come to Earth-0 and defeat all the heroes with ease.

–REFERENCE: In Titans Vol. 3 Annual #1, Nightwing Vol. 4 #22, Nightwing Vol. 4 #28, Red Hood & The Outlaws Vol. 2 #13, and Batman Vol. 3 #33—originally told in Forever Evil. The Crime Syndicate and Secret Society take over the Earth, defeating most of the Earth’s heroes. Lex Luthor, thinking of himself as the last possible savior of the planet, suits up and activates a clone of Superman known as Bizarro. Batman and Catwoman bring the injured Cyborg to his father Dr. Silas Stone. Concurrently, Superwoman (a couple weeks pregnant) tells Ultraman that Owlman plans on betraying the Syndicate. Lex and Bizarro join with Captain Cold, Black Adam, and Black Manta to form an anti-Syndicate League. Things look bleak until Sinestro kills Power Ring, whose ring immediately shoots off in search of a new host. Batman, Catwoman, and Sinestro join Luthor’s group and infiltrate the HQ of the Crime Syndicate where they find and rescue Nightwing from a death trap. While Nightwing’s life is saved, his secret ID as Dick Grayson is exposed and the entire world believes he is killed. Captain Cold releases another Syndicate prisoner, Earth-3’s Alexander Luthor, who is the father of Superwoman’s unborn child. While Alexander and Superwoman team-up to defeat the Crime Syndicate, Cyborg and Batman are able to free the heroes. Alexander then fights Lex, who realizes he has the same voice as his attacker and calls down the magick lightning of “Mazahs.” Alexander is struck and killed. Lex, with help from his team, defeats Ultraman as well. With most of the Crime Syndicate dead and Earth saved, Lex is hailed as a hero. Luthor retires his bright green war-suit, going with a new hero model. Later, the Dark Knight tells Dick that he has a new mission for him. Dick will remain “dead” to the world (including the members of the Bat-Family) in order to go deep undercover as a Spyral secret agent. The Bat-Family mourns Dick’s “passing.” A small private funeral is held with Bruce, Alfred, and Babs. Dick joins Kathy Kane’s Spyral—working directly under Mr. Minos and Helena Bertinelli while teaming with The Tiger King of Kandahar as his partner. (Minos is an AI construct sleeper agent implanted into Spyral by Max Lord.) Dick immediately begins secretly reporting back to Batman, telling him that Tiger King is the best intel man in the world. Dick will continue to report to Batman in secrecy, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In Titans Vol. 3 Annual #1—originally told in Justice League Vol. 2 #30-34. Following the events of Forever Evil, Lex Luthor rides the media whirlwind of positive PR, having been Presidentially-pardoned and been declared a superhero on the front pages of newspapers across the globe. Lex asks to join the Justice League, but they deny him. In Portland, OR, the deceased Power Ring’s power ring finds its next host: Jessica Cruz. In Gotham, Luthor visits Wayne Manor and confirms that Bruce is Batman. The JL and the current Doom PatrolProfessor Niles Caulder, Robotman (Cliff Steele), Negative Man (Larry Trainor and symbiote Keeg Bovo), Elasti-Girl (Rita Farr), and Element Woman—both go to Portland to deal with an out-of-control new Power Ring. There, the Volthoom soul entity inside Power Ring’s ring tells Cyborg that his goal is to bring The Anti-Monitor to Earth-0. (The Anti-Monitor is one of the few characters cosmically powerful enough to have survived across multiple comic book reboots. This is indeed the Anti-Monitor from the original-Crisis. Same guy!) A spike of Jessica’s green energy is enough to alert the Anti-Monitor to the location of the ring on Earth-0. Batman talks down Jessica and takes the ring onto his own finger, easily suppressing the evil within. Later, Flash teaches a nervous Jessica—the new Power Ring—how to control her power ring and how to suppress the Volthoom soul sliver inside.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #960. Batman discovers the existence of the League of Shadows for a third time, but, for the third time, Ra’s al Ghul captures the Dark Knight and magickally mind-wipes his memories about it.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Forge #1. Looker, Windfall, and Atomic Knight join Batman’s secret Outsiders team. The Outsiders will continue going on unspecified missions and investigating the “dark energy” signature found in geological anomalies across the globe.

–REFERENCE: In Titans Vol. 3 Annual #1—originally told in Justice League Vol. 2 #35-37 (“THE AMAZO VIRUS”). Neutron attacks LexCorp, causing the sentient Amazo Virus to become accidentally released. Within twenty-four hours, the virus has spread all over the United States, causing those infected to manifest random metahuman powers before dying. It isn’t long before Batman and Superman come face-to-face with “patient zero,” Lexcorp scientist Dr. Armen Ikarus. Batman, Neutron, Ikarus, and several infected Justice Leaguers rise up as evil metahumans. Lex creates an anti-virus vaccine out of Superman’s blood. The vaccine cures all except for 3% of the infected, who keep their powers, including Ikarus, who becomes the new Amazo. Afterward, Hal Jordan starts training Power Ring (Jessica Cruz).

–REFERENCE: In Superman Vol. 4 #22. Batman upgrades the Batmobile, giving it new defense systems. Batman also builds the Hellbat-suit, a heavily armored anti-Apokoliptian mech-costume designed for heavy combat. The Hellbat-suit is integrated into the Batmobile’s computer system, allowing its wearer to summon the car via remote control and to utilize the car’s defense and auto-driving features with voice-verification.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Forge #1. Batman disbands the Outsiders and forms a new version of his covert-ops team, featuring Martian Manhunter, Grace ChoiThunder (Black Lightning’s daughter), Catwoman, Francine Langstrom, Green Arrow, ReMAC, The Creeper, Owlman (Roy Raymond Jr), Freight Train, and Olympian. The Outsiders will continue going on unspecified missions and investigating the “dark energy” signature found in geological anomalies across the globe.

–REFERENCE: In Superman Vol. 4 #21-22 and Super Sons #8—originally told in “The Hunt for Robin”/”Robin Rises.” Damian and Talia are stolen from their graves by Ra’s al Ghul, who takes them to a Lazarus Pit under Nanda Parbat with the goal of resurrecting them using a magickal sliver of the Chaos Shard, a crystal from Apokolips. Batman tracks attempts to take back his deceased family members, but they are immersed in the Lazarus Pit. Glorious Godfrey and Kalibak, looking to retrieve the crystal, steal Damian’s casket with his body still inside. This prompts the Batman to don the Hellbat-suit and travel to Apokolips. On the fiery planet, Batman kicks ass and gets Damian, who is resurrected thanks to the power of the shard! The Bat-Family celebrates the return of Damian. In the Himalayas, Talia is resurrected as well.

–REFERENCE: In Green Arrow Vol. 6 #32—originally told in Detective Comics Vol. 2 #31-32. Batman beats the crap out of the aptly-named sumo-wrestling super-villain Sumo, who is running a child slavery ring.

–REFERENCE: In Batwoman: Rebirth #1, Batwoman Vol. 2 #2, and Detective Comics #957—originally told in Batman Eternal. Batman meets Alfred’s daughter, British secret agent Julia Pennyworth, while on a case in Hong Kong. When Julia is injured by a gangster, Batman brings her to Wayne Manor, where she becomes a temporary resident, eventually discovering Bruce’s secret. Julia quickly becomes a member of the Bat-Family, remotely guiding Batman from the Batcave, helping them uncover a devious plot masterminded by Cluemaster. Estranged by her father’s criminality, Stephanie Brown becomes the superhero Spoiler, helping the Bat-Family against a bunch of super-villains being manipulated by her dad. Longtime Bat-fan Harper Row takes it upon herself to become the superhero Bluebird, assisting the Bat-Family as well. Batman reluctantly accepts her help. In the end, Cluemaster’s scheme to put Gotham in ruins is foiled.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 3 #21 and Nightwing Vol. 4 #23—originally told in “POWER AND GLORY.” Clark Kent meets Alexis Martin and Vincent, super-scientists working for The Infinity Corporation. (SPOILER: The Infinity Corp crew is from the future and Alexis Martin is actually Alexis Luthor, Lex’s daughter.) Using Kryptonian “Stones of Forever.” Vincent shows Superman ominous visions of the future. In Metropolis, the Justice League fights Parasite, who has been unleashed by Jane Jones (another member of the Infinity Corporation). Afterward, the Infinity Corporation’s HQ completely vanishes. (The HQ can travel through time to hide itself.) Shortly thereafter, a massive spacecraft appears, out of which emerges the Kryptonian sun god Rao. Thanks to Rao, all across New York, people instantly begin feeling deep love and affection. Even incurable ailments are healed. The global populace is open to Rao’s incursion on Earth, except for the skeptics, Batman, Cyborg, and Aquaman. Simultaneously, Flash and Green Lantern wind up on Krypton 250,000 years in the past where they meet Rao (who is benevolent and has not yet been corrupted). Batman and Cyborg learn that evil Rao is harnessing power and energy from the network of docile humans via the combination of the “Stones of Forever” and his own “Stones of Life.” Their healthy and happy state is forced and fatal. The heroes, using Parasite, are able to defeat evil Rao and strip him of his powers. Superman nearly dies in the exchange. In retaliation, evil Rao’s Dwalu warriors and a time-displaced army of ancient Kryptonians attack Earth. The JL and Infinity Corp are able to fend-off the assault. Angered at what his future self has done, good Rao murders evil Rao—committing suicide by time-traveling to the future and killing his older self. The Forever Stones and Life Stones are stored inside Infinity Corps HQ. Significantly de-powered due nearly being killed by Rao, Superman will go through a short period wearing jeans and a Superman t-shirt instead of his normal costume, starting now. Once his powers fully return, Superman will return to his normal threads.

–FLASHBACK: From Dark Nights: Metal #2—and also referenced in Dark Days: The Forge #1, Dark Days: The Casting #1, Dark Nights: Metal #2, All-Star Batman #11, Detective Comics #959-961, and Batman: The Merciless #1. Originally told in “ENDGAME.” Bruce begins constructing his “Final Invention,” a cloning machine made out of Promethium, the mystical metal that comprises Cyborg’s body. Bruce’s cloning machine, if completed, would theoretically ensure that there would always be a Batman in the future. Bruce plans to clone himself and give the clone memory implants of everything he himself experienced from his own birth until when he decided to become a superhero. Thus, a new almost-perfect replica of Bruce can be created and activated every 27 years like clockwork. While the cloning function of the machine is still in its infancy and not anywhere close to being ready, the memory siphoning portion is completed. Bruce hooks-in and uploads all his memories to date. A data-personality map of Bruce’s mind is stored into a high-tech computer system attached to the machine. Batman also designs and tailors a new costume that has an altered chest insignia and purple on the underside of his cape (but will save it for later). Soon after, Joker attacks the Justice League, neutralizing them. The Clown Prince of Crime then Jokerizes all the citizens of Gotham and once again reaffirms his knowledge of Batman’s secret ID by luring the Dark Knight into a Crime Alley stage-set. There, a Jokerized and drugged-up Joe Chill is forced to reenact the death of the Waynes, except with teenager Duke Thomas’ parents (Mr. Thomas and Elaine Thomas) as substitutes. Batman saves the elder Thomases, but they get permanently Jokerized into a grinning catatonic state. Batman flees with Duke in his arms. Batman then deduces that Crazy Quilt has helped Joker. Batman fights Crazy Quilt, who monologues in fustian about he and Joker having found the mythical immortality compound Dionesium. Crazy Quilt mentions that Dionesium first granted immortality to Vandal Savage, who encountered it in its “rawest form” (i.e. the defeated Hyper-Adapter spiraling backward through time)! Crazy Quilt also notes that Ra’s al Ghul’s Lazarus Pits are filled with a weaker “corrupted” version of Dionesium. He also uses the word “Barbatos” interchangeably with the word “immortal” several times! After defeating Crazy Quilt, Batman visits the remnants of the Court of Owls. They tell him that Electrum is nothing more than an “imperfect version” of Dionesium. Batman begins to question whether or not Joker might be hundreds of years old. The Dark Knight then assembles the Bat-Family for the fight of their lives. The Bat-Family teams-up with Batman’s deadliest rogues to combat Jokerized people in downtown Gotham. Batman fights Joker solo in a bloody brawl, during which the Dionesium in Joker’s bloodstream enters Batman’s bloodstream. Batman eventually ends Joker’s threat and saves the city, but both men are killed. However, they are both immediately resurrected as amnesiacs thanks to the Dionesium in their systems. (Originally, in the New 52, all of Bruce’s scars were healed thanks to the Dionesium. However, a reference in All-Star Batman #12 tells us that this is not the case in the New Age. Bruce’s scars remain. Also note that this entire fight and getting Dionesium into Batman’s bloodstream has been manipulated and orchestrated by the Court of Owls, who are doing the bidding of the Strigydae high priests of Barbatos’ Judas Tribe as part of their ongoing “Mantling” ritual.) Joker, totally cured of his insanity, wanders the streets of Gotham. Batman wanders aimlessly into the nearby forest. The Bat-Family mourns the loss of Batman, but soon find him. Bruce is taken-in by Alfred, who refuses to tell him about his past as Batman, hoping he can live a normal life now. With reports of Batman’s death hitting the mainstream news outlets fairly quickly, the GCPD, along with tech entrepreneur Geri Powers (owner of Powers Industries), builds a one-person-controlled Batman-robot mech to replace the Dark Knight. Jim Gordon steps down as commissioner to pilot the mech (which has a semi-sentient Batman AI that has been programmed with the Dark Knight’s positive morals). Gordon becomes the new Batman! Maggie Sawyer replaces him as commissioner. With an ops team of Julia Pennyworth and Daryl Gutierrez (a friend of Duke’s) backing him up, robo-Batman takes to the streets for regular patrols. Meanwhile, Bruce takes a job at Lucius Fox Center For Gotham Youth and begins working with and dating Julie Madison.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #27—originally told in We are Robin and Robin War. A teenage superhero group that idolizes Robin—aptly calling itself “Robin”—forms in Gotham. Their numbers range into the dozens, but a specific Robin members of the “Middleton Robin Cell”—Duke Thomas, Isabella “Izzy” Ortiz, Troy Walker, Andre “Dre” Cipriani, Riko Sheridan, Shug, and Daxton “Dax” Chill (Joe Chill’s son!) take charge as leaders. After teaming with Robo-Batman (Jim Gordon) and the Bat-Family to stop the resurgent Court of Owls, the Robin gang is vitiated, outlawed, and impelled to disband. Only Duke keeps his Robin gear and continues to play superhero afterward. Afterward, Dick learns about the existence of the Paliament of Owls and is sworn-in as a member. (He hopes to bring the group down from within.)

–REFERENCE: In Batwoman: Rebirth #1 and Detective Comics #958—originally told in Batman & Robin Eternal. When Mother returns—along with David Cain and new Azrael (Jean-Paul Valley Jr)—to threaten the entire planet, a group of heroes join forces to fight her. Dick returns to the fold, revealing to the Bat-Family that he is alive and well. Dick leads Robo-Batman (Jim Gordon), Helena Bertinelli, Batgirl, Red Robin, Robin, Red Hood, Spoiler, Cassie Cain, Duke Thomas, Bluebird, Cullen Row, and Midnighter to fight Mother and her brainwashed soldiers across the globe. Dick talks down Azrael, causing him to see the error of his ways. Likewise, David Cain betrays Mother, sacrificing his own life to end hers (and her threat).

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Forge #1, Dark Days: The Casting #1, Dark Nights: Metal #2, and Batman: The Merciless #1—originally told in “SUPERHEAVY.” Geri Powers shows Jim Gordon a Collider (of the Large Hadron variety) in one of her science facilities. She reveals that, with this Collider and decades of development, Powers Industrial scientists have developed a brand new bizarre element—the darkest-colored and heaviest metal known to man. In honor of the hero of Gotham, they’ve named it Batmanium! (Unknown to Geri, the Court of Owls—mostly via the prior owners of Powers Industrial, Geri’s Court of Owl member parents—has been funding the creation of this new element with the sole purpose of its use as the final metal needed in the “Mantling” ritual to summon Barbatos and his minions through Batman’s body.) Shortly after the Batmanium reveal, new super-villain Mr. Bloom attacks Gotham, spreading grotesque metahuman powers to Gotham’s citizens via bizarre seed capsules. Robo-Batman (Jim Gordon) fights the debuting Mr. Bloom, but is defeated. Duke Thomas, having deduced that Bruce Wayne is Batman, talks to him, jogging part of his memories. Against a saddened Alfred’s wishes, and with Julie Madison now knowing his secret and present, Bruce uses the memory data-personality map from his unfinished cloning machine to irradiate himself with Promethium rays, returning himself back the good ol’ Dark Knight we know and love. As Bruce’s memories return, lingering Dionesium in his body causes him to witness a vision of alternate versions of himself dying on other timelines. Donning his recently designed new costume, the real Batman returns and kicks Mr. Bloom’s ass. Using the strange mystic powers of Batmanium, robo-Batman delivers the finishing blow on Mr. Bloom. Most of Gotham is then returned to normal, although Daryl Gutierrez remains trapped with a deformed body and metahuman powers that make him evil. Daryl goes into Arkham Asylum. Gordon retires as Batman, returning to his position as commissioner. After the Bat-Family fills-in Batman on all that he missed while he was an amnesiac, the Dark Knight researches the mysterious Dionesium. Later, Bruce offers Duke a spot in the Bat-Family. Cassie Cain officially joins the Bat-Family, taking the superhero codename “Orphan.” Bluebird retires as a crime-fighter, choosing to go to college instead. Bruce, back in his full-time role as Batman, ends his relationship with Julie.