Year 1

 

(1967)[1][2]

–FLASHBACK: From The Untold Legend of the Batman #1, Batman with The Boy Wonder Sunday News Strip 8/13/1967, and Batman #200. Twenty-year-old Bruce Wayne has recently graduated with a degree in criminology.[3] Bruce is also a millionaire philanthropist and heir to control of Wayne Enterprises, an industrial and tech corporation that has construction and mining subsidiaries. (The Wayne Fuel Corporation—as seen in Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane #59 Part 3—is one of the more notable subsidiaries.) Vowing to rid Gotham of its criminal underworld as revenge for the murder of his parents back when he was just a boy, Bruce ponders the best way to strike fear into the hearts of evil. He has his answer when a bat flies through his window. This event, coupled with the memory of a masquerade bat-costume his father once wore, prompts Bruce to become a costumed vigilante. Bruce tailors some scary crime-fighting togs and becomes Batman. (Batman’s costume is modeled primarily from Thomas Wayne’s old bat-costume, but also inspired by historical texts detailing bat-shaped glider wings once worn by Bruce’s medieval ancestor Lancelot Wayne—as gleaned from a reference in Detective Comics #306. The bat has clearly been an important symbol representing the Wayne Family for a very long time.) Be aware that Batman will wear his black-insignia costume and his yellow-oval costume interchangeably until the publication date of 1964 when he will go permanently with the latter. The concept of Batman using both the black-insignia costume and yellow-oval costume in his early days is canon via The Untold Legend of the Batman #1-3 and Detective Comics #350 Part 1.

–REFERENCE: In The Untold Legend of the Batman #1-3, Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder Newspaper Strip 5/30/1966 to 3/17/1967, Detective Comics #362, Detective Comics #368, Batman #196 Part 1, Batman #196 Part 2, Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder Newspaper Strip 1/11/1968, Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder Newspaper Strip 6/1/1968, Batman #199 Part 2, Justice League of America #60, Detective Comics #373 Part 1, Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder Newspaper Strip 11/7/1968, Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder Newspaper Strip 11/19/1968, and Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder Newspaper Strip 4/24/1969. Batman, still prepping for his first patrol, creates his patented utility belt, which is complete with various helpful accouterments. We will rarely (if ever) see specific alterations to the utility belt on our timeline, but just know that Batman will, moving forward, continuously stock his utility belt with a very wide variety of stuff—smoke bombs, lasers, explosive pellets, liquid oxygen, catnip, body temperature-reduction pills, skeleton keys, a sponge, divining rod, nuclear batteries, sunglasses, a variety of different contact lenses, various powders, earplugs, nasal filters, a mini-spy camera, makeup kit, silver iodide pellets, a watch, radio transmitter, microphone, mobile communicator device, and much more. If you can imagine it (or even if you can’t), it’s probably in there or will be at some point. The belt is also be equipped with an emergency proto-GPS tracking device that will allow Batman’s location to be ascertained via the Bat-computer. Batman also creates a thermal heating system for his costume that can be switched on and off via a controller on his utility belt. After finishing his utility belt, Batman tests all his equipment.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #208. Bruce proposes to his longtime girlfriend Julie Madison. She says yes and they become engaged to be married.

–REFERENCE: In The Untold Legend of the Batman #1. Bruce officially assumes his throne as head of Wayne Enterprises. With this prestigious position comes several other minor roles. Bruce’s other responsibilities include sitting on the board of directors for the Gotham Gazette newspaper company (as mentioned in a reference in World’s Finest Comics #80), acting as a trustee for the Gotham Science Foundation (as mentioned in a reference in Batman #111 Part 2), sharing part ownership of a steel mill (as mentioned in a reference in Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane #59 Part 3), and owning controlling interest in the Wayne Trust Company Bank (as referenced in Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 6/9/1969). Note that, moving ahead on our timeline, Bruce—as the head of Wayne Enterprises—will have a near constant engagement with the company’s business, finance, and tech dealings. This will be done mostly to keep up appearances, but will still take up a lot of Bruce’s time in-between Batman cases. We won’t see much of this activity on the timeline below, but, suffice to say, we should imagine it occurring invisibly as we move forward.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #306. I hate when querulous people complain that Bruce Wayne doesn’t spend his money to help those in need, choosing only to fund his private militarized war on crime. This simply isn’t true. As we learn in ‘tec #306, Bruce now starts several charity drives, designed specifically to help the needy. He will continue to head charities on-and-off for the next several years (although we won’t actually see these unspecified charity drives listed on our timeline).

–REFERENCE: In The Untold Legend of the Batman #2, Batman #164 Part 1, Detective Comics #366, Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 7/16/1967, Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 8/15/1967 to 8/17/1967, Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 8/14/1968, Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 11/14/1968 to 11/15/1968, Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 2/4/1969, and Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder Newspaper Strip 4/24/1969. Bruce begins construction on the Batcave, the underground cavern beneath his palatial mansion home of Wayne Manor. Despite the Batcave being a work in progress, Batman will immediately begin operating out of it, filling it with various crime-fighting tools and numerous vehicles (cars, boats, planes, helicopters, sub-orbital rocket, etc…). All of these vehicles will have futuristic tech that no one else has yet, including autopilot capability. Batman also constructs a state-of-the-art crime lab with high-tech detective equipment, science equipment, and a rogue’s gallery police catalog inside the Batcave. Batman will also include detailed files on acquaintances and fellow heroes, but will make sure, for security purposes, that there is no information about himself in the files. Batman also wirelessly connects his utility belt microphone to a tape recorder in the crime lab. Batman then adds to the Batcave multiple roadway exits for the Batmobile, one that goes through a barn on the outskirts of the Wayne property line and one that goes through a false rock wall a few miles away. The barn also has a retractable roof through which the Batcopter can land. These entries and exits are all built with security systems and alarms, complete with self destruct mechanisms that can be detonated either via a key in the Batcave or by secret buttons in Wayne Manor. Note that the Batcave also includes an entry to a connected underground river that runs into Gotham Bay. This river is one of the longest underground waterways in the world, so keeping it hidden is no small task. We can assume that, aside from sophisticated camouflaging means, Batman uses his vast resources to erase geological history records in order to keep this secret safe.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #141, World’s Finest Comics #149, and World’s Finest Comics #168. Batman puts various alarms inside Wayne Manor that will go off should anyone enter the Batcave.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #133 Part 2. Batman constructs a variety of boomerang weapons that he calls “Batarangs.” These weapons, which do all sorts of tricks and serve many different purposes in the field, are stored on a neat display in the Batcave. We will have to imagine Batman using the Bomb Batarang, Flashbulb Batarang, Magnetic Batarang, and others randomly on our timeline. (Obsessed with his motif, Bruce will add a “Bat” prefix to the name of just about every weapon, tool, or vehicle he uses in his crime-fighting mission.)

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #360 Intro. Batman begins familiarizing himself with underworld lingo. Batman will keep up to date with all the latest street slang from here on out.

–REFERENCE: In referenced in World’s Finest Comics #164. Batman vows to uphold a strict no killing rule. While he will act with extreme violence, Batman will only fight crime using non-lethal methods.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #169 and Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 7/14/1967. Batman constructs a camouflaged runway on the outskirts of the Wayne Manor property. This concealed runway will allow Batman to land and store the Batplane outside of the Batcave, if needed, in the future. They will also sometimes park the Batmobile there as well.

–FLASHBACK: From Justice League of America #37 and Batman with The Boy Wonder Sunday News Strip 8/13/1967—originally told in Detective Comics #27. Batman finally goes on his first ever street patrol and completes his first mission, “The Case of the Chemical Syndicate,” which reveals his existence to the public. In this case, Batman busts some crooked gangsters linked to a chemical factory. From this point forward, Batman will be referred to by various nicknames, including “Dark Knight,” “Caped Crusader,” “Dark Detective,” “Masked Manhunter,” and “World’s Greatest Detective.”

–FLASHBACK: From The Untold Legend of the Batman #3. Batman continues to announce his arrival to the public by apprehending wanted bank robbers and leaving them each with a note for the Gotham City Police Department (GCPD) Commissioner James Gordon. Batman immediately goes onto the GCPD’s Most Wanted list. In spite of this, he will continue busting criminals and leaving them with notes for the cops.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #256. Batman busts crook Pete Cole.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #367. Batman begins recording all of his patrols and adventures in full detail. These “official case-files” are stored in the Batcave.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #350 Part 1. Batman encounters his first ever costumed super-villain, the regal-themed Monarch of Menace. Using a variety of gimmicked weapons and gaudy medieval-dressed henchmen, the Monarch of Menace makes a fool of Batman and the police, not just once, but several times in a row. After defeating the inexperienced Dark Knight multiple times, the Monarch of Menace disappears without a trace.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #366. Bruce attends a Gotham Garden Sports Show with Commissioner Gordon and famous sports writer Fred Tinney, after which the trio helps nightwatchman John Kobler bust crook Doc Hastings.

–FLASHBACK: From The Untold Legend of the Batman #2. Bruce attends a Haly’s Circus show in the Newtown section of Gotham. During the trapeze act, aerialists John Grayson and Mary Grayson fall to their deaths, orphaning their only child, ten-year-old acrobat Dick Grayson.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #129 Part 2. Batman confronts CC Haly, owner of Haly’s Circus, and tells him that the trapeze ropes that failed and killed the Graysons had been deliberately rigged. Haly tells Batman that racketeers had been threatening him lately. Nearby, a distraught Dick is comforted by his friend Sando the Strongman. Later that very same night, after gathering evidence, Batman busts the Grayson killers—racketeers from the Zucco Mob (led by Boss Tony Zucco).

–FLASHBACK: From The Untold Legend of the Batman #2, Batman with The Boy Wonder Sunday News Strip 8/13/1967, and Batman #200. Late on the same night of the Graysons’ deaths, Dick overhears more Zucco Mob members threaten CC Haly yet again. Dick tries to lash out, but Batman calms him down. Both Batman and Dick now know with utmost certainty that the death of the Flying Graysons was foul play orchestrated by Boss Zucco. In fact, Batman has already arrested those responsible for the actual murders. But in spite of the incriminating information at his disposal, the Dark Knight knows it will still be very hard to link Boss Zucco directly to the crime. Seeing a bit of himself in the orphaned Dick, Batman takes the boy under his wing and agrees to help him get revenge. But first, they will need to gather evidence and build a stronger case against Zucco. (The scene where Batman and Dick talk about partnering-up occurs in the Batmobile. However, in a flashback from Batman #129 Part 2, the scene incorrectly happens at the circus.) That night, Dick swears a special oath of dedication to Batman. The very next day, with consent from Dick’s closest relatives (including his Aunt Harriet Cooper), Dick becomes Bruce’s legally adopted ward.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #129 Part 2. Dick begins an extensive and strenuous training session, starting with judo lessons and crime detection classes. As referenced in Batman #189, Batman goes over the “rules of soldier combat.” Not sure how many rules there are or what they are, as we only learn Rule #2: “Call out if separated or obstructed from view of your partner while fighting in the field.” In a reference in The Untold Legend of the Batman #2, we are told that Dick’s training lasts “months”—I’m not sure how long that is supposed to be, but for the sake of time-compression and the need to accommodate a ton of stories in this first year, I’m going to say that it is a mere three months. Batman will teach Dick everything he knows. While Dick trains, Batman begins his case against Zucco.

–REFERENCE: In The Untold Legend of the Batman #3. During Dick’s training period, Batman continues busting small-time crooks and leaving them tied-up with notes attached.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #360-361. Batman begins training Dick in escape artistry. Batman tells Dick that there is no such thing as an inescapable trap.

–REFERENCE: In Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 3/16/1969. Batman stresses the importance of being kind to animals to Dick. He tells his ward never to kill animals for sport either.

–FLASHBACK: From The Untold Legend of the Batman #2 and Batman #200. Dick’s training continues for a couple more months.

–REFERENCE: In The Untold Legend of the Batman #2, Detective Comics #237, and Batman #117 Part 2. Multiple rumors abound that Bruce Wayne could be the mysterious Batman. In order to throw the public off the correct trail, Bruce amplifies his lazy socialite persona in order to convince prying folks that there is no way he could possibly be Batman. Bruce’s spoiled, polo-playing playboy persona will be a main part of his secret ID for his entire career. In building-up this carefree rich boy façade, Bruce will befriend a ton of random high society types (many of whom we must simply imagine appearing on our chronology over the course of this year).

–REFERENCE: In Batman #98 Part 2 and Batman #117 Part 2. Part of Bruce’s attempt to pump-up his decadent Richie Rich character includes joining the elitist Millionaires’ Club, a Gotham club for the wealthiest-of-wealthy only. As also referenced in Batman #98 Part 2, Bruce, realizing the public already links him with Batman, openly reveals that, while he doesn’t know who the Caped Crusader is, they are close friends. NOTE: While not specifically shown or referenced in Batman #98 Part 2, we can assume that Bruce meets his fellow Millionaires’ Club Committee members, Upton and Connors (as referenced in Batman #117 Part 2).

–REFERENCE: In Batman #134 Part 2. Bruce continues to bolster his rich playboy image by joining the Sportsmen’s Club. Bruce befriends and introduces Dick to some of the club’s members, notably wealthy importer Tod Allen. Bruce also introduces Dick to some high-society types, including the vapid Freddy, Don Eagle, and Perry Wren.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #311. At the Sportsmen’s Club, Bruce meets member Thomas Blake, who departs for a long gig hunting and trapping big cats in India.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #304. Bruce continues to ramp-up his socialite playboy image, joining yet another prestigious “rich man’s organization,” the Pharaoh Club. Bruce, because of his vast wealth, is made a high-ranking member of the “Rules Committee,” getting to decide who gets to be in the club. He meets other Pharaoh Clubbers, genius scientist Professor Colton and millionaire with false teeth Phipps. Bruce will randomly (and invisibly) attend the Pharaoh Club’s lounge going forward on our timeline, keeping in close touch with the reclusive workaholic Professor Colton.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #158 Part 2. Bruce joins another rich organization, the Explorer’s Club. He meets and befriends fellow member Matt Carter.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #150. Bruce meets and befriends a man named Carson at one of his club organizations.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #373 Part 1. Bruce meets and befriends billionaire Ralph Porter and Osgood Harris.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #166 Part 2. While on the continuing topic of bolstering his wealthy socialite credibility, Bruce now throws what will be the start of many fancy parties and galas at Wayne Manor. Bruce will hold these parties for decades to come. While the vast majority of these shindigs won’t actually be seen on our timeline, Bruce will always use the same trusty catering service.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #111 Part 2. In the Golden Age, Bruce Wayne and Commissioner Gordon were very close friends and the Commish indulged Bruce’s “amateur interest” in criminology on more than one occasion. However, in the Silver Age, Bruce and Gordon have a slightly different relationship. While it remains true that Bruce and Gordon are “old friends,” having known each other for years (as referenced in Detective Comics #249), Gordon now comes to regard Bruce as nothing more than a rich idler, buying into his playboy persona hook, line, and sinker. Thus, despite their history, Gordon personally downgrades his relationship with Bruce from legit “friend” to mere “acquaintance.”

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #360 Intro. Batman invents a new radar detector called the “seismokon,” which he installs in the Batmobile. This device acts as a long range motion-detector, able to scan for activity in commercial buildings after business hours have ended. The seismokon soon leads him to a robbery in progress being committed by gangster Gunshy Barton and his cronies. Batman easily busts them. Note that the seismokon will be a permanent feature in the Batmobile. Thankfully, the seismokon will rarely be referred to by its ridiculous name—more often it will simply be called “radar,” “sonar,” or “Bat-radar.” Or, as referenced in Batman #190, it will sometimes be called a “sonar-oscillator.”

–FLASHBACK: From The Untold Legend of the Batman #2—and also referenced in Batman #200. Dick’s training ends. Batman gives him a showy costume similar to the one he once wore when he was a pre-adolescent kid training with Harvey Harris. Batman also reveals that he now has enough evidence to go after Boss Tony Zucco. The Boy Wonder, Robin, is officially born. A day later, Batman and and his new sidekick bust Tony Zucco and send him to Death Row.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #166 Part 1, Detective Comics #362, and Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 11/5/1968 to 11/6/1968. Batman and Robin begin patrolling nearly every single night, prepping their anti-crime movements and actions based off of maps of Gotham that have been divided into “patrol sectors.” They will use this method going forward. Likewise, Batman and Robin begin to familiarize themselves with Gotham’s every nook-and-cranny, from the rooftops to the sewers and everything in-between. From this point forward, Batman and Robin will constantly be aware of infrastuctural alterations to the cityscape, including new construction or specific changes to residential, industrial, and commercial zones. Furthermore, Batman and Robin begin to familiarize themselves with the landscape and terrain outside of the city limits as well, learning trail routes, waterway maps, and what types of rock make up nearby sediment walls and mountains.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #129 Part 2. Batman and Robin patrol the city and officially become the scourge of the Gotham underworld—colloquially known as the “Dynamic Duo” almost right from the start.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #168. Batman and Robin make it a rule to always wear their seatbelts when in the Batmobile.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #129 Part 2. Right from the start of his very first patrols with Batman, Robin makes an annoying habit of trying to impress Batman with bad puns while fighting bad guys.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #192 Part 2. Batman and Robin assign a secret meeting place in a tunnel in a city park where they should convene for the start of their patrols on nights when they don’t begin at the Batcave. This secret meeting place will be necessary because of both Bruce and Dick’s busy civilian schedules that will interfere with their crime-fighting schedules. For example, Bruce will sometimes have appointments and Dick will have school functions.

–FLASHBACK: From World’s Finest Comics #141. Despite having already officially debuted, Robin’s training with Batman will continue. Batman now works with Robin to further enhance his already strong acrobatic skills.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #344, Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder Daily Newspaper Strip 8/22/1966, and Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder Sunday Newspaper Strip 2/26/1967. Batman and Robin begin learning sign language from an unnamed Native American medicine man. The daily news strip says the sign language teacher is Sioux whereas the Sunday strip says he is Cherokee. But, hey, in 1960s racist-as-hell comic book world, them Indians are all basically they same right? Ugh. Anyway, these lessons will go on for weeks, albeit invisibly on our timeline below. By the end of their lessons, both Batman and Robin will know sign language fluently.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #371. Batman and Robin begin learning the challenging lumberjack sport of log-rolling. They will become experts, of course.

–FLASHBACK: From The Untold Legend of the Batman #2. Ex-British soldier, trained medic, and thespian Alfred Pennyworth shows up at the doorstep of Wayne Manor. Alfred explains to a stunned Bruce and Dick that his late father Jarvis was once in the employ of Thomas Wayne as a butler. Alfred goes on saying that he will now offer his services to the Wayne Family. Alfred becomes the new butler of Wayne Manor!

–REFERENCE: In Batman #191 Part 2 and Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 2/26/1969. Alfred shows off his talents as a chef, cooking fabulous culinary masterpieces for Bruce and Dick. (Bruce loves everything except for caviar and alcoholic beverages.) Alfred puts his secret recipe files in a safe behind a locked cabinet door. Alfred will cook special meals for Bruce and Dick for decades to come.

–FLASHBACK: From The Untold Legend of the Batman #2 and The Best of DC #14. Batman and Robin clash with the criminal known as The Red Hood outside of the Monarch Playing Card Company. The Red Hood falls into a vat of toxic chemicals, becoming The Joker! Joker immediately debuts and gives the GCPD a bunch of headaches. Likewise, while Batman has yet to meet them, we are told that Catwoman (Selina Kyle) and Dr. Death (Karl Helfern) have both debuted and are running circles around the GCPD. Note that Catwoman is alternately known as “The Cat” at this point.

–FLASHBACK: From The Untold Legend of the Batman #3. After a few more criminals are left tied up with notes on them, Commissioner Gordon finally spots the elusive and mysterious Batman.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #117 Part 1. A few days after Commissioner Gordon views Batman in action for the first time, Batman meets and fights Joker at his gaudy hideout and knocks the villain out with a giant playing card.

–FLASHBACK: From The Untold Legend of the Batman #3. Batman, having just met and apprehended Joker for the first time, drops him off in front of police HQ.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #122. Batman returns to clean-out Joker’s hideout. He decides to keep Joker’s giant playing card, the reverse side of which displays Joker’s enlarged face. This card goes on display in the currently under-construction Batcave.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #471—originally told in Detective Comics #36. Batman meets, defeats, and jails the vile Dr. Hugo Strange.

–REFERENCE: In Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts Mini Comics #1. Batman constructs a secret tunnel leading from an abandoned house on the edge of his property line into the Batcave.

–REFERENCE: In The Untold Legend of the Batman #2. Bruce and Dick fully finish the Batcave. Batman and Robin then go on a mission at an amusement park and get a huge animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex, which they place into the Batcave as a trophy along with Joker’s giant playing card. From this point forward, Batman and Robin will collect a ton of trophies and add them to their “Hall of Trophies.” Many of the origins of these trophies, specifically a variety of guns, explosive devices, cannons, and stabbing weapons taken from baddies they bust, will not be explicitly shown on our timeline. We’ll just have to imagine Batman and Robin taking a bunch of these trophies during and after each unlisted case. The same goes for random medals and plaques that the Dynamic Duo will receive from this point forward.

–REFERENCE: In The Untold Legend of the Batman #1. Bruce puts his father’s bat costume on display in the Hall of Trophies.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #208 and The Best of DC #14—originally told in Batman #1 Part 3. As referenced in The Untold Legend of the Batman #3, the capture of Catwoman (aka The Cat) now takes place, one week after the capture of Joker. Batman and a disguised Robin nab a disguised Catwoman aboard a yacht when she tries to steal a priceless necklace.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #116. Batman and Robin bust “likable” criminal Vance Collins, member of the Jackson Mob. Collins gets served a couple year sentence in prison.

–REFERENCE: In The Untold Legend of the Batman #3. A week has passed since Batman apprehended Catwoman. Batman now captures Dr. Death. Shortly after that, Batman saves Commissioner Gordon’s life. Later, the Dark Knight finally confronts Gordon face-to-face for the first time in the latter’s office. The Caped Crusader convinces Gordon of his well-intentions and they form a partnership.

–FLASHBACK: From The Untold Legend of the Batman #3. Batman visits Commissioner Gordon at his home. Unknown to the two, Jim’s teenage daughter Barbara “Babs” Gordon watches them. Babs immediately develops a crush on the strong and mysterious Batman. Inspired by this visit, Babs begins training in the martial arts. While Babs appears to be drawn in her late teens, she is only 13-years-old here. In fact, Babs is a super-genius. Despite her extremely young age, she is already an early-enrollee at Gotham University. By the time Babs is 19-years-old she will have gotten a phD and become a librarian at Gotham Public Library.

–REFERENCE: From Batman #208—originally told in Batman #3. Catwoman (aka The Cat) escapes custody and strikes again, this time wearing a furry black cat mask that covers her entire head. Batman and Robin defeat her yet again, putting her behind bars. Since we know that Batman nets a catapult as a trophy from an early encounter with Catwoman (as referenced in Batman #94 Part 2), we must assume that it happens here and now.

–REFERENCE: In The Untold Legend of the Batman #1—originally told in Detective Comics #226. Batman receives a package in the mail at Wayne Manor from his old mentor Harvey Harris. The package contains the old proto-Robin costume Bruce wore while training with Harris when he was a boy. A letter accompanying the package explains that Harris had deduced his young protégé was Bruce Wayne. Only in the event of Harris’ death, which has recently occurred, was the Robin costume and letter to be sent to Wayne Manor.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #471—originally told in Batman #1 Part 2. Batman encounters the villainous Hugo Strange, who has escaped from jail. Strange uses his Monster Serum to turn asylum patients into hulking beasts that attack Batman. Batman defeats the “monster men” and fights Strange, who takes a dive off a cliff into a river, seemingly dying in the process. (Of course, Strange is fine and we will see him again very soon.)

–FLASHBACK: In Batman #208—also referenced in Batman #496. Originally told in Detective Comics #40. Bruce and Dick visit Julie Madison on the set of a film she is starring in. When a series of murders occur on set, Batman and Robin quickly swoop in and bust the killer, actor Basil Karlo (aka Clayface). (Note that this flashback is a literal reprinting of Detective Comics #40, but it is cleverly “told” by Mrs. Chilton, thus making it canon.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman #471—originally told in Detective Comics #46. Hugo Strange makes a miraculous return and strikes at Batman and Robin again. And like before, Batman winds up knocking Strange off of a cliff into an ostensible watery grave. However, Strange is indeed still alive and we will see him again a little further down the winding path.

–REFERENCE: In Best of DC #10—originally told in Detective Comics #58. Going by the alias “Boniface,” rookie criminal Penguin (Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot) kills the head of a large racketeering operation with a machine gun umbrella. After taking over the criminal empire, Penguin starts a huge stealing spree. In his first confrontation with Batman, Penguin doses the Caped Crusader with gas from a trick umbrella, frames the Dark Knight as a thief, then kidnaps him. Eventually, Robin is able to rescue his partner. The Dynamic Duo is recovers the stolen goods and proves Batman’s innocence, but Penguin gets away. Batman puts a giant stuffed penguin and a giant umbrella, commemorating his first fight against Penguin, into the Hall of Trophies (as referenced in World’s Finest Comics #86 and referenced in World’s Finest Comics #122).

–REFERENCE: In Batman #99 Part 1. Batman and Robin immediately have a rematch versus Penguin, who begins a daily war against the Dynamic Duo that will last for the next month-and-half. (In Batman #99 Part 1, which happens roughly one-and-a-half months from now, Batman will say that he’s taken on many Penguin cases. Thus, we must imagine that the ornithocentric villain will constantly spar with the Dynamic Duo in-between listed reference notes and issues from now until Batman #99 Part 1.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman #208—originally told in Detective Comics #49. Julie Madison breaks up with Bruce, calling off their engagement.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #496—originally told in Detective Comics #49. Clayface (Basil Karlo) escapes from jail and attempts to kill Batman, Robin, and Julie Madison. The Dynamic Duo defeats Clayface, who winds up in an insane asylum.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #359. Jim Gordon introduces his daughter Barbara to Bruce Wayne. Bruce regards her as a mousey type, not thinking much of her. He will think of her that way for years. Bruce and Babs will encounter each other via Jim for years to come, but we won’t see these encounters listed on our timeline.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #208—originally told in Batman #62 Part 1 and Detective Comics #203. Super-villain Mr. X breaks Catwoman out of the slammer and recruits her into the fold. Batman and Robin capture Catwoman, who initially eludes the Dynamic Duo but backtracks to save the Dark Knight’s life from a collapsing building. During the implosion Catwoman is knocked unconscious. Batman nurses Catwoman back to health in the Batcave and when she awakes, she finally reveals her true identity as Selina Kyle. Not only that, Selina claims that she has been suffering from split-personality disorder for the entire duration of her criminal career. Naturally, Batman, Robin, and Commissioner Gordon buy this cockamamie story and pardon Selina for all of her previous crimes.[4] Catwoman then helps Batman and Robin bring Mr. X and his gang to justice. Afterward, Selina retires from costumed chicanery. But, Catwoman’s plan to get a clean record and live happily ever after doesn’t last very long. Shortly thereafter, an insulting article is printed in the Gotham Gazette that pokes fun of her crimes as Catwoman. Enraged, Selina re-dons her costume and commits a series of daring public heists, ruining her clean “amnesia” record and officially becoming a super-villain again.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #208—originally told in Batman #5 Part 4. Batman runs into his old society friend Linda Page, who has become a nurse. When the Logan Brothers, Mike and Tommy, hold-up a bank, Batman goes to question Linda, who was once friends with them. At Linda’s pad, Batman discovers that she has been taken hostage by the brothers. Batman and Robin rescue Linda and bust Mike, who was responsible for the crime. Tommy goes straight, having learned his lesson. Bruce begins dating Linda.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #280. Batman busts thief Paul Strobe, who has robbed his business partners Henry Hayes, Barker, and Jenkins. Batman, Hayes, Barker, and Jenkins all testify in court. Strobe is sentenced to a short term, but vows revenge.

–FLASHBACK: From both World’s Finest Comics #94 and World’s Finest Comics #271. Batman and Robin bust some crooks that mention their accomplices have gotten hold of some Kryptonite in Metropolis. Knowing that Kryptonite is the weakness of the world’s most famous superhero, Superman, our heroes take a trip to his hometown. (Superman is Kal-El, the former Superboy who is a now all-grown-up “Man of Steel”.) In Metropolis, the Dynamic Duo arrives just in time to see some baddies spray Superman with liquid Kryptonite. Batman and Robin save Superman and wash off the green goop. Afterward, Batman and Robin meet Superman for the first time and vow to partner up as a trio. Batman disguises himself as Superman and confronts the villains, who spray him with Kryptonite to no effect. The real Superman then gets the jump on the confused evildoers and takes them down.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #164. Superman shares his personal values with the Dynamic Duo, verifying that he too has a strict no killing code when it comes to handling the war on crime.

–Superman #76
A flashback from World’s Finest Comics #271, which shows Superman #76, retroactively made Superman #76 the definitive Earth-1 Batman/Superman story where they learn each others’ secret IDs. Superman #76 is not canon on Earth-2—only on Earth-1. Onto a synopsis. After capturing the criminal Gell on behalf of Commissioner Gordon, Batman and Robin return home. Dick goes on vacation upstate to visit his relatives while Bruce takes his own vacation aboard the cruise ship Varania. As fate would have it, Daily Planet reporter Clark Kent is also going on vacation aboard the Varania and is made Bruce’s roommate! Clark is actually Superman. Duh. When a diamond thief sets fire to the docks, Bruce and Clark are forced to change into their superhero togs, revealing their secret IDs to each other! On the docks, Batman not only meets intrepid young reporter Lois Lane, but saves her life! With the crook and diamonds hidden aboard the ship somewhere, Lois joins Bruce and Clark on the trip. Batman and Superman team-up for the first time ever to investigate the crime, all the while playing bizarre mind games with Lois and doing performances for the cruise-goers. Eventually, Batman and Superman nab the villain, John Smilter. Later, with Lois suspicious that Bruce and Clark might be the World’s Finest duo, Superman flies Batman at super-speed to he can make an public appearance in Gotham and shoots him right back to the ship so he can show himself off as Bruce. Bruce then disguises himself as Clark so that Superman can fool Lois even more. Upon returning to the docks, Lois meets Robin.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #241. Batman shows off the Batcave to Superman for the first time and Superman shows the Dynamic Duo the Fortress of Solitude for the first time. In this reference, Batman mistakenly says that he and Superman first “shared” each other’s secret IDs with one another. Obviously, this is wrong. They didn’t share—they found out each other’s IDs by accident on the cruise ship Varania.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #155-156. Batman and Superman team-up on an unspecified case. Now that they are fully acquainted, the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel will go on tons of cases together, the majority of which we simply will not see on our chronology. We won’t see them because they’ve never been written about, only referenced. Specifically, Batman and Superman, by early Year Seven, will have gone on 1,000 cases together. We can infer from this information that, beginning now and moving forward, the World’s Finest Duo will combine forces to go on a whopping roughly 180 cases a year. Basically, just imagine that Batman and Superman hang out pretty much constantly in-between our official bulleted chronological items. Also note that Superman immediately begins keeping a numbered catalogue of all the cases that he goes on with Batman. Note that the Man of Steel will keep at least one trophy after every single one of these future team-up adventures, many of them bizarre tech items that might not even directly relate to the cases they get involved in.

–FLASHBACK: From The Untold Legend of the Batman #2. Several weeks after his debut, Alfred awakes to the sound of someone calling his name from the bowels of Wayne Manor. Alfred follows the noise and winds up in the Batcave. There, Batman and Robin have just returned from patrol, but Batman is badly injured. Alfred performs surgery and saves Batman’s life. Entrusted with the knowledge of their secret, Alfred becomes a loyal member of the Bat-Family.

–REFERENCE: In Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 8/15/1967 to 8/17/1967. Batman gives Alfred the key required to activate the self destruct mechanism on the secret Batmobile entrances to the Batcave.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #237. Bruce makes Dick and Alfred the primary beneficiaries in his will.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #99 Part 2. Batman states publicly that he has never used a gun and he never will.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #165 Part 2. October 31—Halloween.[5] Precocious teenage college student Patricia “Pat” Powell, hoping to meet her mega crush Bruce Wayne, dons a pirate costume and trick-or-treats at Wayne Manor. Sure enough, Pat meets Bruce, although Bruce cannot see her face thanks to a pirate mask.

–World’s Finest Comics #71
WFC #71 is a direct follow-up to Superman #76. It is non-canon on Earth-2 because of this and also because it violates the retcon that Clark and Lois were married on Earth-2. WFC #71 is also said to take place “many months” after Superman #76, but due to the compression of the grandfathered-in Golden Age stories into this first year, WFC #71 must occur less than a month after Superman #76 instead. Batman and Robin travel to Metropolis where they engage with bad guys that have retrieved a chunk of Kryptonite from the ocean. The baddies use a military helicopter to shoot down the Batplane, prompting Superman to rescue the Dynamic Duo. However, Lois Lane sees Clark change into his Superman costume, so Batman and Superman decide to switch roles in order to fool her. While Superman (dressed as Batman) gets knocked-out by Kryptonite, Batman (dressed as Superman) uses a plethora of tricks—including punching out trained timid lions, putting glue in his hair to make it “unbreakable,” lifting inflatable “heavy” objects, and “flying” with the assistance of hot air balloons—to fool Lois. After a few days, Batman (still dressed as Superman) takes down the crooks responsible for incapacitating Superman. Meanwhile, Lois finds the down-and-out Man of Steel (who is still wearing a Batman costume). After some more trickery, Lois is so confused as to who is who that she comes to believe that neither man can possibly be a superhero at all.

–FLASHBACK: From World’s Finest Comics #81. Batman and Robin are first to detect a massive tornado (i.e. hurricane) heading toward the Eastern Seaboard. They alert Superman, who manages to spin the hurricane back into the sea.

–FLASHBACK: From World’s Finest Comics #76. Gotham’s Mayor Alan Dent[6] and the Gotham City Council campaign against the Metropolis City Council for the rights to host the upcoming World Electronics Convention. Outside the Gotham Convention Center, the heads of the City Councils meet with Superman, Batman, and Robin. It is decided that, at a date to be determined, Superman will switch places with the Dynamic Duo for a 24 hour period. During that time, whoever completes more “civic-service exploits” will win the rights to hosting the World Electronics Convention for his home city.

–World’s Finest Comics #72
When the Heavy Weapons Gang, which uses anti-tank guns to smash up armored cars—previously stopped by Superman in Metropolis—shows up in Gotham, it’s Batman and Robin’s turn to beat them up. Batman, Robin, Clark Kent, and Lois Lane go to a Metropolis prison’s Death Row to interrogate two of the nabbed gangsters, but after the Dynamic Duo departs, the gangsters pull off a daring escape and take Clark and Lois as hostages. Despite being unable to change into Superman, Clark discreetly uses his powers to alert Batman and Robin to their location, inside a huge stone fortress. Unlike Superman of later comic book ages, the Silver Age/Earth-1 Superman can use his x-ray vision not just to see through things, but also as a type of “telekinesis vision.” This early version of “tactile telekinesis” is shown in WFC #72 as Clark types a typewriter and throws rocks using his eyeball power. Superman eventually joins Batman and Robin to defeat the crooks. Lois accuses Clark of being Superman, but Batman throws her off the trail. Later, in the Batcave, Superman reassembles the Heavy Weapons Gang’s gun-making machine for the trophy room.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #76. Commissioner Gordon starts using the Batsignal to summon Batman. When the Batsignal is turned on, an alarm goes off in the Batcave as well. Furthermore, via a one-way radio communicator, the GCPD can send detailed recorded information to Batman directly in the Batcave (as referenced in Batman #152).

–World’s Finest Comics #76
This item takes place “weeks” after the flashback where opposing city councils decided to pit Batman versus Superman. As stated, the respective city councils of Gotham and Metropolis decided their hometown heroes should switch places for 24 hours in order to contest for the right to host the World Electronics Convention. Now that day has come. Whoever can complete more “civic-duty exploits” will win the contest. In Gotham, Superman completes four exploits: Busting some helicopter crooks, dealing with a broken gas main, quelling a thunderstorm by holding a lightning rod, and building a Founding Fathers Memorial. In Metropolis, Batman alters the Superman-signal atop the Metropolis Police Department building into a Batsignal and begins his day. The Dynamic Duo busts some crooks at the ice ballet, catches an escaped convict, stops a gangster in a tank, removes the damaged cars from the tank battle, and then performs a circus routine for charity. Batman and Robin win 5 to 4! But why was Batman trying so hard? Because a scientist is bringing a new device that emits Kryptonite rays to the convention. Later, Superman then reveals to Lois that he fixed some potentially dangerous damage in the Batcave ceiling, which should have tied the score at 5. Superman flies to Gotham and immediately loses his energy when he nears the K-machine. Thankfully, the machine malfunctions and falls apart. With the score tied, it is decided that the convention should take place in both cities. After a few hours in Gotham, Superman literally lifts the convention center off of its foundation and flies it to Metropolis.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #77. Batman, Superman, and Robin take on the debuting super-science-villain known as Professor Pender.

–World’s Finest Comics #77-78
Superman, Batman, and Robin attack Professor Pender in Metropolis. The science-villain tries to zap himself with a newly invented machine of his own design, but accidentally zaps Batman instead. Before the machine is destroyed, the Dark Knight is endowed with all of Superman’s powers for 24 hours! Pender grabs the machine’s power tube and shoots Superman with a “de-powering ray.” (In actuality, Pender has doused Superman’s costume with Kryptonite dust, making him extremely tenuous and powerless). With Superman rendered powerless, Super-Batman soups up the Batmobile as a Supermobile and fashions a Supercave for him. While the impotent Superman bluffs crooks in Metropolis, Bruce adjusts to his superpowers at Wayne Manor and then performs Superman-esque feats all over Gotham. Eventually, Superman realizes that the K-dust is on his costume, switches into a clean uniform, and regains his strength. Superman, Super-Batman, and Robin then bust Pender and smash up his power tube, which can never be replicated apparently. Afterward, Lois seems convinced that the heroes did a simple costume switcheroo (as they love to do).

While Batman and Robin fight against the Varrel Mob (no connection to the Golden Age villain Jim Varrel) in Gotham, they spot a Batsignal in the night sky emanating from Metropolis. Superman summons Batman to his city via a long distance Batsignal of his own design. There, the Man of Steel explains that someone has been publicly exposing his secret ID as Clark Kent using blimps, graffiti, marquees, songs, and more. Batman puts the Varrel case on hold and starts investigating Superman’s case instead. At the opening of a new Aquarium designed by Superman, Bruce disguises himself as Clark to fool the public as usual. Eventually, Batman learns that someone has been filling in for him during his absence in Metropolis. What’s the deal? Superman had heard that the Varrel Mob was going to ice Batman, so he started exposing himself to lure Batman to the safety of Metropolis! Back in Gotham, Superman (dressed as Batman) takes down the Varrel Mob.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #163 and Batman #94 Part 2 (where the giant penny is first shown). Batman deals with an escaped Joker and puts a stop to his “Bad Penny Crimes.” With Joker back behind bars, Batman collects a giant penny, which goes into the Batcave as a trophy.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #69. Bruce reads about the death of famous mad scientist Dr. Elijah Carruthers, who had a reputation for being a mysterious and eccentric figure. Unknown to all, Carruthers has faked his death to live a secluded life in the countryside. We won’t see him again for a while.

–Batman #94 Part 2
Alfred wears the Batman costume just for kicks while he cleans the Batcave. While dusting, Catwoman’s catapult bonks him on the noggin and he goes out like a lamp. When he awakes, Alfred has temporary amnesia and thinks he is Batman! Bruce and Dick, worried that any sudden shock will do permanent damage, decided to play along. Bruce tells Alfred that he really is Batman and that he is the butler. A pathetic Alfred version of Batman accompanies Robin on a mission—Robin locks Alfred in a room, allowing the real deal to solve the case. The next day, a similar ruse is enacted so that Batman can successfully aid in escorting a test flight of a new jet. A day later, they do it again so that Batman can protect a jet-powered yacht. During the yacht gig, Alfred gets bonked on the dome once more, this time by would-be thieves, and regains his memory.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #81. Batman and Robin bust the Slaney Mob. Crimelord Slaney goes to prison, but the rest of his gang walks for lack of evidence.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #234, DC Super-Stars #14, and The Best of DC #14—and also referenced in World’s Finest Comics #173 and The Untold Legend of the Batman #1. Originally told in Detective Comics #66. Batman is on-hand in the courtroom when Gotham’s District Attorney, Harvey Dent, gets a vial of acid thrown in his face by gangster Sal Maroni. (Maroni actually wants to disfigure GCPD Detective David Davis, but gets Dent by mistake.) Scarred both physically and emotionally, Dent becomes the insane super-villain Two-Face and challenges Batman and Robin, who bring him to justice. Note that DC Super-Stars #14 places this item as occurring “fifteen years” prior to its date of occurrence (fifteen years prior to 1979). However, that would put Two-Face’s debut prior to Batman’s debut. This is an error. Two-Face’s debut should be “twelve years” prior to DC Super-Stars #14 instead of fifteen.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #152 Part 3. Batman and Robin meet and befriend elderly mineralogist Luke Haley and military medic Dr. Robbins.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #150. Batman studies genius mathematician Von Sedlitz’s Theory of Games.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave & The Bold #71. Batman befriends wealthy Native American business tycoon John Whitebird. Batman and Whitebird will hang out from time-to-time, albeit invisibly, moving forward on our chronology.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #192 Part 1. In Batman #192 Part 1, editorial narration says that on “occasions when he is called upon to mend broken hearts, the Caped Crusader is most sympathetic.” This means that Batman now gets involved in the romantic struggles of some troubled couple, helping them. Bet you didn’t know Batman was a love guru too! The implication is that Batman will help other couples along the way, moving forward, although we (sadly) won’t see this physically appearing on our timeline.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #367. Bruce has last will and testament written out by his unnamed attorney. It is likely that Dick and Alfred are made primary and secondary benefactors.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #196 Part 1. Batman busts crooks Joey Tolliver, Hank, and Kenny.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #199 Part 1. Batman and Robin familiarize themselves with the specs of all manner of personal and commercial vehicles in Gotham, also familiarizing themselves with license plates and license plate letter coding.

–REFERENCE: In The Untold Legend of the Batman #1. Batman busts an unnamed crook, who will later become one of Joe Chill’s henchmen.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #364. Bruce befriends millionaire Kevin Jackson and meets the entire Jackson Family at their mansion on Millionaire’s Row, a wealthy suburb of Gotham. Bruce will hang out with the Jacksons from time to time, although we won’t see these hangouts on our timeline.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #363. Batman and Robin find that a villain has put a tracking device on the Batmobile. Using their Bat-tech, they jam its signal. Every once in a while (although generally unseen on our timeline, moving forward), Batman and Robin will find a tracer, tracker, wire, or bug attached to their Bat-vehicles. It will be standard procedure to jam the signal immediately.

 

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  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: Some reputable timelines, including the 5 Earths Project, place Batman’s Earth-1 debut in 1970. Others place it in 1969. I, however, have given some extra breathing room (two or three years, depending on which other timeline you are comparing mine to) in order to fit-in various canonical stories, Golden Age references, and retcon details that I feel are essential to the chronology. See the Intro to the Earth-1 Chronology for details.
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: The Silver Age/Earth-1 Batman chronology operates like a normal calendar, running from January to December each year.
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: Rationale for Bruce’s age: The Untold Legend of Batman #1 tells us that Bruce starts college at age 18. The 1976 DC Calendar and Batman Family #11 tell us Bruce’s birthday is in February. This means the earliest Bruce can start school realistically is in a June-beginning summer trimester. Assuming genius Bruce goes full-time summer, fall, and spring sessions, he could graduate after completing eight trimesters, which would make him twenty-years-old when he graduates in December 1966. Therefore, he will be twenty-years-old when he becomes Batman, but turn twenty-one in two months’ time (in February). Denny O’Neil also once famously said that Earth-1 Bruce Wayne became Batman before he turned 21. True! (Note that Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 2/28/1969 gives birthdates for Batman, Robin, Aunt Harriet, and Alfred, but they are either incorrect or were later retconned by the 1976 DC Calendar).
  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER: The Best of DC #14 shows Catwoman’s origin story and reveals that Selina Kyle does indeed suffer serious amnesia after surviving a plane crash, a terrible event that occurs shortly before she starts her criminal career. While the accident and resultant amnesia are factual, we have no way of knowing whether or not her split-personality story is bullshit or not. Odds are, however, that it’s totally made-up. Furthermore, Batman #208 seems to lean toward the idea that it’s made-up.
  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: Batman #165 Part 2 tells us specifically that its narrative occurs on Halloween. However, readers of the Real Batman Chronology Project should be aware that, moving forward, certain items might have a specific time or month attached to them, yet have nothing in their texts that give any information in regard to time or month. Usually, if something has a specific month listed beside it and does not have a reason why listed along with it, it has to do with its chrono-spatial relationship with other stories (which may give much more detailed information). Unfortunately, a lot of my specific month listings might not have a “reason why” attached). However, no matter what, there is always a reasoning behind my attachment of a precise month to a story. The process of timeline-building is very exhaustive. Obviously, topical references and editorial notes are taken into account, but so are in-story clues and dialog as well. Then, once I have a bunch of items placed relatively where I think they go, I cross-check each story with every other story on my timeline to make sure that they aren’t contradicting each other.
  6. [6]COLLIN COLSHER: In Year 16 of the Golden Age timeline, a mayoral election is being held (as originally referenced in Batman #85). We don’t learn anything about who is running, nor do we see any of the candidates. We only see a banner that says “Vote for Alan Dent.” Subsequently, in Batman #87, we were introduced to a new unnamed mayor. I took the liberty of applying the Alan Dent name to him. I see no reason to alter that for the Silver Age.

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