Year Sixteen (Part 1)

 

(January 2017 to June 2017)

 

–Trinity Vol. 2 #16 Part 2
January 1. Happy New Year! A snake man acting as a Kobra suicide-bomber has just activated a quantum energy bomb at Bruce’s New Year’s Eve party in Times Square, New York City. While Wonder Woman and Batman defeat two other snake men, Deadshot kills the suicide-bomber. Superman throws the lifeless snake man into the sky where he explodes at a safe distance. Kobra’s threat is over, but, sadly, Deadshot’s daughter Zoe remains missing, having been kidnapped by Kobra earlier in the day. Batman vows to find her.

–Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #1-3 (“A KNIGHT IN NEW YORK”)
A couple months ago, some Earth-IDW characters crossed over to Earth-0. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Batman defeated Shredder and Ra’s al Ghul. Cut to now. The League of Assassins splits into a two-way civil war for control of the organization. Likewise, on Earth-IDW, the Foot Clan falls into separate warring factions. The three-way war involves a faction led by Shredder’s adopted daughter Karai, a faction led by the Foot Clan’s Elite Guard, and a faction led by Bebop and Rocksteady. On Earth-0, Ra’s al Ghul breaks every prisoner out of Arkham Asylum. Batman and Robin learn that Bane is attempting to take over as the new leader of the League of Assassins by accessing a Lazarus Pit hidden beneath Gotham City. Shortly thereafter, Batman and Robin fight a swarm of ninja man-bats and witness Bane emerge from the Lazarus Pit. From Earth-IDW, Donatello uses Harold Lillja’s tech to swap Bane with himself. Batman learns what has happened and spends a full week collecting the parts needed to build an interdimensional portal-making machine. At the end of the week, Batman meets with Ra’s al Ghul while Robin and Donatello team-up to build the Bat-sled and defeat Mr. Freeze. At a Wayne Enterprises lab, Lucius Fox finishes assembling the portal machine. Leaving Batgirl behind to protect Gotham, Batman, Robin, and Donatello go to Earth-IDW’s New York City. There, the heroes meet up with the rest of the Turtles and learn that Bane has taken over the entire Foot Clan. Running low on Venom, Bane kidnaps Dr. Baxter Stockman and orders him to create a synthetic version. Shortly thereafter, all the heroes strike at Bane, who unleashes a Venom-pumped Bebop, Rocksteady, and Foot Soldier crew upon them. During the fight, Stockman gets turned into a mutated fly.

–Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #4 (“A KNIGHT IN NEW YORK” Continued…)
A battle-royale pitting good versus evil ends in a stalemate and with Splinter in a coma. Bane then asserts his public dominance over Earth-IDW’s New York City by making the Statue of Liberty his home base. Donatello, seeing no other option, pumps himself full of Venom.

–Trinity Vol. 2 #17-18 (“NO HOME FOR YOU HERE”)
Wonder Woman still hasn’t been able to access Themyscira, which either completely vanished or was cut-off from Diana’s access long ago. Batman and Superman help her scour the globe in search of the island, but instead of finding the home of the Amazons, the heroes go through an interdimensional portal and wind up in the Dungeons & Dragons-esque jungle world of Skartaris. Wonder Woman is blinded and Superman loses his powers. After defeating a bunch of lizard men, the heroes meet Skartaris’ resident fantasy warrior-hero, Warlord (Travis Morgan)—actually an astral projection of the deceased Warlord, created by his sorceress daughter Jennifer Morgan. Jennifer recruits the Trinity into a war against her arch-rival Deimos. After knocking out Deimos’ winged demon attackers, the heroes discover some American soldiers that have died from old age. After a briefing from an astral projection of Jennifer, the heroes begin their mystical fantasy adventure. Riding unicorns (Batman names his “Biscuits”!), the trio fights werewolves, ape men, lizard men, giant insects, sabertooth tigers, carnivorous tentacled monsters, and underwater plesiosaurs. After hours, they reach Shamballah the Golden, Jennifer’s magickal castle, under siege by thousands of human knights, goblins, orcs, giants, winged demons, and dragon-riders. By the time the Trinity hacks and slashes their way through the Lord of the Rings scene to reach Jennifer, they’ve succumbed to what the American soldiers fell victim to. The Trinity has rapidly aged to their nineties.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 Annual #1. Bruce and Dick purchase an spacious apartment in Keystone City for Flash (Wally West).

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #39. Flash gets permission from the JL to bring his girlfriend Iris West aboard the Watchtower.

–Wonder Woman Vol. 5 #37
Backstory: Grail re-retrieved her dad (baby Darkseid) after Batman lost him during Dark Nights: Metal. She has spent the last few weeks killing off all the old Greco-Roman gods and siphoning their power into Darkseid, which has caused him to rapidly grow in age. Cut to now: Wonder Woman and her brother Jason watch in shock as a now teenage Darkseid battles the returning Zeus! As the do battle, Wonder Woman and Jason fight with Grail all over the globe. Eventually, in Manila, Darkseid kills Zeus and sucks up his power, returning back to his normal form and age. Amidst the rubble of the city, the Justice League shows up to assist Wonder Woman. Seeing they are outmatched, Darkseid and Grail disappear through a Boom Tube.

–Superman Vol. 4 #39
After Superman bests The Demolition Team (Hardhat, Jackhammer, Rosie, Scoopshovel, and Steamroller), he decides to spread some “Make a Wish”-style cheer, granting some hospitalized cancer kids a visit with the Justice League aboard the Watchtower! With Hal Jordan subbing for Jessica and Simon, the kids meet the team, take a tour, and have a scavenger hunt. One of the items on the list is a photo of grumpy ol’ Batman smiling. All the children snap a pic of the grinning Dark Knight when one of the kids gets him to giggle with a joke. Superman then takes the group onto the lunar surface where they etch their names into moon rocks.

–Batman Vol. 3 #39-40 (“SUPERFRIENDS”)
Wonder Woman meets with Batman atop GCPD HQ and tells him that the Gentle Man is ready for his one day break from fighting the endless hordes of Gehenna. As per a deal they made a few months ago, Wonder Woman and Batman (in a ridiculous-looking armored costume provided by Wonder Woman for this exact task) enter Gehenna, trading places with the Gentle Man, who meets and hangs out with Selina. In Gehenna, Batman and Wonder Woman begin slaying monsters and beasts left-and-right. Years pass for them in the nightmarish world. Meanwhile, Selina and the Gentle Man idly get dinner and fend off a mugger. Selina is shocked when she hears about the difference between Gehenna time and Earth time (and that you don’t age while there). Her hubby-to-be might be returning in 24 hours, but he will be living decades alone with only Diana at his side in Gehenna! After over ten years in Gehenna together (and only hours passing on our primary timeline), a horny Bruce and randy Diana contemplate succumbing to their carnal urges, but they resist temptation and vow to remain platonic. Meanwhile, upon discovering that time is passing exponentially for Bruce and Diana in Gehenna, Selina flips-out on the Gentle Man, who admits that he never told them the full extent of the time deal. After the Gentle Man spends a couple hours with his wife, he returns to Gehenna, allowing Batman and Wonder Woman to return home. By the time they return, Bruce and Diana have spent thirty-seven years in Gehenna together! THIRTY-SEVEN YEARS. Between living through a thirty year nightmare loop in Metal and this thirty-seven year ordeal in Gehenna, Batman has incredibly managed to accrue the life experience and accumulated wisdom of a nonagenarian despite being way younger.

–Mother Panic/Batman Special #1
Batman descends upon the former site of Gather House (a notorious school for brainwashed assassin children), when he hears it is back in operation. Upon arrival, Batman is ambushed and is forced to ingest a milk product that causes his history to be altered. The interdimensional “reality estate” mega-corporation known as Retconn has struck. Retconn is attempting to rewrite the history of entire DCU via a reality-altering lactose beverage that has already been secretly mass-disseminated. In an instant, Batman morphs into “Father Bruce,” an evangelical Christian priest version of Batman that preaches from the “Book of Bat Manners” to his large congregation of Robin-esque child soldiers. With an evil nun—a milk-based construct created by Retconn—by his side, Father Batman begins ushering dozens of children into a cosmic machine that rewrites each kid’s history, turning them into weird sidekick superheroes. When Mother Panic crashes into the new Gather House chapel, which is complete with a Bat-crucifix, Father Batman shows her around and delivers a rip-roaring conservative Born Again sermon, urging her to drink the tainted milk like the children of his flock. Mother Panic watches in awe and horror as the sidekick machine morphs a line of children into oddball superheroes. Notably, seven-year-old Rosie (a girl Mother Panic has saved multiple times before) is turned into the amazing Fennec Fox! Eventually, Mother Panic fights the entire congregation and smashes the milk nun to pieces, causing Batman’s history (and costume) to return to normal. Mother Panic and Batman usher the kids out of the building as Mother Panic burns the place to the ground. While Batman procures safe places to stay for the kids, Violet takes Rosie to her apartment. That night, Cave Carson, having just discovered Retconn’s nefarious plot, sends his cybernetic eye to the Batcave. The eye, via a recording, bears the bad news and begs Batman for help. Upon visiting the Paige mansion to speak with Violet, Batman’s secret ID is immediately outed by Violet’s psychic mom Rebecca, who sees right through his mask. Batman tells Violet about Retconn and recruits her to help him fight against them. Using the cybernetic eye, Batman, Mother Panic, and a stowaway Fennec Fox teleport to parts unknown.

–Justice League Vol. 3 #34-36 (“THE PEOPLE VS JUSTICE LEAGUE”)
February 15-21. Alfred makes an exhausted Bruce promise he will get a full night’s rest for three nights in a row. Of course, this doesn’t happen, as Batman barely sleeps at all, only copping some ZZZs here and there in the Batmobile. On day three, Alfred begs Bruce to sleep, even telling him he will push back his Wayne Enterprises duties, but Bruce refuses to listen. Batman goes into action when his JL communicator signals an alert. Cyborg gives him the rundown—a possible alien invasion fleet heading toward earth, an Islamic terrorist kidnapping in New York City, and an Earthquake in El Domingo. Barely listening to Cyborg, Batman splits the JL into groups and sends them into action. The Dark Knight himself goes with Wonder Woman and Aquaman to NYC, where the heroes disguise themselves as civilians and use new holographic tech to create a fake MTA bus with fake people riding inside of it. From their lookout spots, the heroes see the terrorists holding nuns hostage in an apartment, which is surrounded by FBI agents and cops. Things go awry thanks to the cops. The terrorists are defeated, but one of them steals Wonder Woman’s sword and uses it to murder a nun. Meanwhile, Cyborg tells Aquaman to hightail it to El Domingo because it is a seaside town. (Cyborg had mentioned this to Batman earlier, but Batman ignored him and claimed Aquaman for his group.) In deep space, Superman and the Green Lanterns realize the alien invasion threat was just a false alarm. Later, Clark visits a pooped Bruce, who has fallen asleep on the Wayne Manor staircase. Bruce apologizes for screwing-up, to which Clark tells him that it’s okay to pass the torch of leadership every once and a while. The next day, Wonder Woman retrieves her sword from the police while a disguised Batman oversees. Glenn Gammeron, an old bounty-hunting acquaintance of Martian Manhunter’s, then arrives at the JL Watchtower and explains that a deadly alien cockroach—with the ability to control other roaches—is loose and hiding in San Francisco. Flash, Kid Flash, Cyborg, the Green Lanterns, and Glenn soon find themselves fighting a towering swarm of alien cockroaches, eventually singling out the alien bug and containing it. Back at HQ, the whole JL watches a viral video of the nun’s death, which is playing on every news network. A day later, a subpoenaed Superman speaks before a US House of Representatives committee, which addresses whether or not the JL has committed civil rights violations or other illegalities. The House also asks the age old question of why the JL won’t share its teleportation tech with the public. At its conclusion, the committee determines that the JL’s new charter will be defensive only, meaning even if there is a crisis they can take no action without the consent of the nation or nations involved. Immediately afterward, a fake Batman (Joshua Christian) publicly murders the congresswoman that was leading the committee. Nightwing meets with Bruce to discuss a plan of action, but Bruce says nothing can be done before teleporting to the Watchtower to deal with an international incident. Even though a US nuclear spy-submarine has been sunk in Chinese waters, Bruce tells the team they can’t help due to their new charter. A defiant Aquaman assists the sub anyway, citing that he is acting not as a JL member but as a sovereign head of Atlantis. While Wonder Woman and Bruce argue aboard the Watchtower, US sailors aboard the sub argue with Simon Baz, and Aquaman argues with everyone else. Eventually, the US and Chinese governments broker a deal that allows the German navy to tow the downed sub to international waters. When Cyborg locates the fake Batman in East St. Louis, the real Batman realizes that the faker has been listening-in on their JL communications. Batman sends a disguised Simon Baz to confront the fake Batman, but Simon is outed, taken down, and kidnapped.

–Justice League Vol. 3 #37-38 (“THE PEOPLE VS JUSTICE LEAGUE” Continued)
February 21-23. Realizing that the fake Batman has been in the Watchtower and likely knows every JLer’s secret ID, Batman orders Cyborg and Flash to sweep the satellite and run some diagnostic tests on some of the tech design. Meanwhile, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Hal Jordan, and Martian Manhunter defeat Shaggy Man. Afterward, Batman and Jessica Cruz investigate Simon’s disappearance in East St. Louis. Jessica narrowly avoids getting blown up. On the other side of town, Simon is able to escape and report in that the fake Batman, a deranged JL fan, is on the move now dressed as Hal Jordan. After tracing the suspect satellite designs to the worker that originally installed it aboard the Watchtower and then running some background checks, Cyborg learns the true identity of the fake Hal: Joshua Christian. Wonder Woman (disguised as lawyer Regina Cole), Aquaman (disguised as an anti-JL talk show host), Batman, and the Green Lanterns ambush Christian—who they are now exclusively referring to as “The Fan“—on the set of a live debate program. Nonplussed, the Fan uses the JL transporter to teleport his foes away to different locales. Batman zaps to Nepal where he is collected by Jessica. Aquaman, as seen via flashback from Justice League of America Vol. 3 #39, gets zapped to the desert. There, the dried-out Aquaman gets lectured by the Fan (amazingly dressed like Jason Momoa), who gives him a hydration suit (a nod to Aquaman’s old-school blue costume from the Modern Age). Shortly thereafter, the JL decides to hold a meeting—with Batman in absentia—to discuss both the Fan and the Caped Crusader’s recent off-game performance. Using encrypted holographic satellite projection, the team chats with Clark in his Daily Planet office. The words are harsh, with Wonder Woman heavily criticizing Batman juggling the JLA, Bat-Family, and JL all at once. Ultimately, the heroes decide to suspend the Dark Knight from active duty! Aboard the Watchtower, Superman and company deliver the tough suspension news. Batman accepts his fate, saying he will take a few weeks off from the JL to chill out and to deal with the Fan. Meanwhile, a LexCorp astronaut accidentally crashes a spacecraft into the Watchtower. Flash barely survives bringing the astronaut’s corpse into the satellite. Before departing, Bruce is approached in the locker room by a forward Jessica, who gives him a very sensual kiss on the mouth! In his last act before leaving, Bruce appoints Cyborg as the new chairman and leader of the JL.

–Justice League Vol. 3 #39 (“JUSTICE LOST”)
February 24. Another House of Representatives Committee Hearing is held to address possible crimes of which the JL might be guilty. Cyborg, as new chairman, is present with government-appointed lawyer Regina Cole, whom Wonder Woman recently disguised herself as. While Victor answers questions, dozens of protestors dressed up as Batman picket outside the Capitol Building. Meanwhile, in Estes Park West, Arkansas, the JLA attends to a derailed train carrying toxic chemicals. In Portland, Jessica avoids human contact, still mortified and confused about having kissed Batman. After wrapping up with the House Reps, Cyborg accompanies Martian Manhunter and Regina Cole to the Watchtower. Martian Manhunter then departs with both Green Lanterns on a special unspecified mission. The JL (sans Cyborg) teams up with the JLA to clean up the train wreckage safely, but unfortunately, both teams wind up only helping a rich white neighborhood while totally neglecting a poorer black neighborhood. Out of the heroes, only Batman seems aware of the mistake (but only after the fact). No matter what, the optics are bad and Twitter gives both teams sweet hell as only Twitter can. Hoping to fix the situation with his presence, Cyborg teleports down, leaving the increasingly suspicious Regina Cole aboard the Watchtower all by herself. Uh oh.

–Bane: Conquest #2-3 (“THE SWORD”)
Note that Bane: Conquest might be non-canon. The only way it fits on our timeline is if King Faraday, who is featured in later issues, is cured of his Red Wave infection and has escaped Amanda Waller’s custody. (Faraday’s return from being decades off the grid and his current status is reflective of recent events in Suicide Squad Vol. 5 #27-32.) While surfing the deep web, Batman learns about the threat of a new terror cult led by the enigmatic Damocles. Batman shakes down Damocles’ man Chango (Lester Belloquet) before following Damocles’ trail across four continents. In Mumbai, Batman confronts Damocles and his cult, only to get captured, stripped of his Bat-costume, exposed as Bruce Wayne, sent to a Quraci stronghold, and then put behind bars in a secret Romanian prison. Bruce and the other prisoners are fed drugged-food to keep them weak. After two days trapped in Damocles’ prison, Bane—also defeated by Damocles—gets thrown in the brig as well. Bruce and Bane discuss their situation and mythology, citing that Damocles was a courtier to Dionysius, meaning he likely has a superior he answers to. The next day, both Bruce and Bane are interrogated by the doyen of torture, Damocles’ man Quan. Later that night, Bane smashes his way out of the prison wing. Bruce and Bane fight their way through dozens of guards until they recover their costumes. (Notably, Monkey Fist Cult costumes are on display, meaning that Damocles has defeated members of their group as well.) A truce is formed, but Bane vows to kill Batman last. While Bane breaks every bone in Damocles’ body, Batman takes a subtler approach when confronting Damocles’ master, “Dionysius,” a deformed little person with a mini-tank for a body. Batman walks and talks with Dionysius until Bane shows up and attacks the Dark Knight. Dionysius rockets away in an attempt to escape, but Bane tackles him down the side of a mountain slope. While Batman escapes the prison in a commandeered helicopter, Bane forms an alliance with the sweet-talking Dionysius. Bane throws Dionysius into a cat-carrier and meets up with Zombie, Bird, and Trogg.

–The Brave and The Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman #1
Tír na nÓg, a magickal city nestled in the heart of Faerie and home to the Celtic gods, is under siege, plagued by war and civil unrest. Cernunnos Cernach (Celtic god of fertility and the hunt, and distant cousin to the Greco-Roman gods) visits a vacationing Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor, asking the former for help. After finishing up sexy time with Steve, Wonder Woman goes to Faerie and finds that Elatha, the god king of Tír na nÓg, has been murdered. Simultaneously, Batman notices that everyone in Gotham’s Irish Quarter is locked in a haunted trance and goes to investigate. Reverberations from Tír na nÓg’s chaos reach the Dark Knight shortly after he enters the Irish Quarter and, he too, falls into a trance like the others.

–Bane: Conquest #8
Bane is at war with Kobra. Bane, Zombie, Bird, and Trogg (remotely guided by Dionysius) chase after sexy Kobra agent Valentina, who escapes them with the new Naja-Naja—an infant that has supposedly been reincarnated as the new leader of Kobra—in hand. Valentina delivers the baby safely to high-ranking Kobra member, Rampo. Over the course of the next week, Kobra soldiers systematically destroy all of Bane’s drug-running and crooked political organizations across the globe. In the Batcave, Batman studies the global crime war closely, noting certain patterns. He tells Alfred that they must take a trip. Bane, eager to recruit new blood to help him fight Kobra, recruits the Beast (aka KGBeast) in Russia.

–Batman Vol. 3 #41
Poison Ivy hasn’t really been a full-fledged super-villain since around the time of “Death of the Family,” which was three years ago. In fact, for the past couple years, she’s acted more like a superhero than a baddie. But when Poison Ivy achieves power like she’s never had before, it’s just too much to resist. By tapping into the Green in a new way, Poison Ivy is not only able to discover the secret IDs of every single superhero on Earth, but she is able to mind-control the entire populace of the planet as well! Bruce wakes up in bed in a panic, realizing that his mind is about to succumb to Poison Ivy. Bruce punches-out an already mind-controlled Alfred and runs into the Batcave. There, Bruce injects his anti-Poison Ivy serum into both himself and Selina. When they awake, Batman and Catwoman are safe from Poison Ivy’s influence. Batman tries to attack plant-zombie Alfred, but Poison Ivy blocks the punch with the face of a mind-controlled Flash (Barry Allen). Speaking through Alfred, Poison Ivy taunts Batman and Catwoman, telling them that she now controls all 7.6 billion people on Earth.

. . .

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #2. Late June. Geneticist Dr. Helga Jace and a team of international scientists publicly release preliminary findings as part of an ongoing study into what they call the “Supermen Theory.” Jace and company have reason to believe that the concentration of worldwide metahumans existing primarily in the United States isn’t a random occurrence. Jace also releases findings that show that the proliferation of superhuman activity over the past fifteen years—especially in America—has been the direct result of a secret US government program. Jace claims further that many US superheroes and super-villains alike are actually government agents, playing out predetermined roles, or lab experiments designed to be living weapons of mass destruction. Jace releases Department of Metahuman Affairs classified documents that supposedly prove that Metamorpho was created by the US government and has been secretly working with his “arch-rival” Simon Stagg and all of his other rogues, playing out a false hero-villain narrative for years, in order to mask their connection to the government. Deeply troubled by this news, especially since Batman has worked closely with Metamorpho, Bruce begins putting massive amounts of money into metagene research at Wayne Enterprises. He also purchases Dayton Labs.

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