Year 9

(1975)

 

–FLASHBACK: From The Untold Legend of the Batman #1—originally based on Detective Comics #235. One year has passed since the death of Joe Chill. Bruce and Dick clean out the Wayne Manor attic and Bruce finds his dad’s old masquerade bat-costume. Bruce also finds his dad’s diary and film reel of the masquerade—the infamous night where Lew Moxon crashed the party when Bruce was just four-years-old. After reading his dad’s diary and watching the film, Bruce realizes that Joe Chill had been hired by Moxon. An angry Batman and Robin visit Moxon’s advertising agency front in Coast City where they rough up his gang and arrest Moxon, bringing him back to Gotham. Before a judge, Moxon denies having had anything to do with the Wayne murders. He agrees to take a lie detector test and passes with flying colors. Later, Commissioner Gordon reveals that, due to a head injury and possible amnesia, Moxon might’ve been able to fool the test. Batman dons his father’s old costume and confronts Moxon once again in his Coast City office. Upon seeing the costume, Moxon freaks-out and admits that he hired Joe Chill to commit the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne all those year ago. In a panic, Moxon runs out into the street and gets flattened by a truck. With Moxon dead, Batman has finally avenged his parents and brought peace to his family. Back in Gotham, the Dark Knight visits his parents grave for what will be the last time. Batman puts his dad’s old costume on display in the Batcave.

–Batman #215
The third annual Civic Conscience Council gala dinner is held. During the gathering, high-ranking city officials hand out special watches as gifts for the CCC members, including Bruce. These watches, actually special devices invented by crooked CCC member Myron Mycroft, will allow Mycroft to mind-control his peers. Several days later, Mycroft phones the members of the CCC—sans Bruce, who is out patrolling—to brainwash them into doing his bidding. This leads to J Carlyle, Andrew Tim Barclay, and Clem Sterling all purposefully allowing criminals—Jigger, Ears Logan, and Fine-Finger Fowler—full access to their respective homes and businesses, much to the chagrin and confusion of the Dynamic Duo. The next day, while Dick is at school, Bruce makes some calls and discovers that all eleven of his fellow CCC members have willingly let criminals into their lives. After taking a phone call from Mycroft, Bruce mindlessly heads toward the Wayne Research Institute. Robin tails Bruce and watches him help two big name smugglers—that he recognizes, presumably from the Bat-computer crime-files—rob the facility. Robin busts the bad guys and gets Bruce to snap out of his funk. Deducing that one of the CCC members must be the mystery brainwasher, Bruce calls an emergency meeting of the group. He gives each member a bug to wear, so that Batman can monitor any future phone calls. After Mycroft fakes a call and then makes it seem like he is not the mastermind in front of the Dynamic Duo, the secret villain discovers that he has control over Batman as well. That night, Mycroft orders Batman to plant explosives all around the exterior of Wayne Manor and then detonate them. Alfred and Robin watch a mindless Batman dig holes and bury bombs for a few hours, after which they simply dig up the bombs and replace them with harmless pyro and fireworks. Unable to resist, Batman detonates the “bombs” before an ecstatic Mycroft. But when the smoke clears, Wayne Manor is still standing and Batman punches-out Mycroft, sending him to jail.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #88 Part 1. Bruce becomes head coach of the fencing team for the upcoming World Youth Games, to be held in Vienna in a few months’ time. He begins training his crew and will do so on-and-off in the coming months.

–REFERENCE: In Teen Titans #25. Bruce befriends progressive billionaire Loren Jupiter. Bruce introduces the affable Jupiter to Dick.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #85. A state senate seat is up for grabs, prompting the announcement of a special election and new campaigns. Bruce follows the candidates closely and winds up throwing his public support behind an incumbent with tough anti-crime policies, Senator Paul Cathcart. Bruce will work with Cathcart, Cathcart’s son Dr. Edmond Cathcart, Oliver Queen, and the rest of Cathcart’s administration sporadically for the next few months, helping to write and promote a new crime bill aimed at bringing down untouchable gangsters that hide behind “legit” dummy corporations, such as Miklos Minotaur. Bruce will become very close with both Paul and Edmond.

–REFERENCE: In World’s Finest Comics #191. Superman begins teaching Batman the Kryptonian language of Kryptonese. Batman will eventually become mostly fluent.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #384. Batman and Superman secretly build “Hideout X-1,” a clandestine meeting place inside the giant globe atop the Daily Planet Building. The World’s Finest Heroes stock the hideout with food and supplies, planning to use it for meetings or in case of emergency.

–Detective Comics #390
A costumed villain calling himself The Masquerader debuts and spends three nights in a row fighting Batman to a stalemate. Unknown to Batman, the Masquerader is none other than his longtime tailor, Sam Tweed! With no remaining non-ruined costumes, Batman calls Tweed, asking for a fresh set, which the garment-maker delivers to GCPD HQ for pickup. When Robin opens the box in the Batcave, the Dynamic Duo is surprised to see a Masquerader costume mixed in. Batman calls Tweed, who claims he was forced to work for the Masquerader before faking his death over the phone. Soon afterward, Batman faces-off against the Masquerader, who activates hidden filament in Batman’s newest costume, causing the fabric to balloon-up and then constrict, effectively nullifying the Dark Knight’s ability to fight. Batman, however, is able to turn the tables and defeat the Masquerader anyway, sending him to jail. Since Tweed is done being Batman’s costumier, we must assume that Alfred makes the Batman and Robin togs from now on—or that the Dynamic Duo hires someone new. (Robin even jokes about looking through the Yellow Pages for a new needle-worker, but for simplicity’s sake I’m just going to assume that Alfred becomes the new clothier. It’s also amazing that the polymathic genius Batman can do literally almost everything, but he just can’t sew.)

–Justice League of America #72
Superman assembles the JLA at the Secret Sanctuary to show off a rough model of a Martian Manhunter model that he’s sculpted. The Man of Steel tells all that Martian Manhunter will be honored with a statue next to the Washington Monument in DC. Flash says that they should get Picasso to sculpt the real one—a comment that made sense when this was originally published in 1969, but can’t be said after Sliding Time has pushed us to 1974, a year after Picasso’s death. Red Tornado visits from Earth-2, but accidentally destroys Superman’s statue. The JLA is then called by Hawkgirl to Midway City where dozens of people, including Hawkman, have been turned into statues made of salt. After beating up a hippie biker gang, The Gruesome Ghouls, Batman and Flash arrest a suspect, neo-alchemist Marmaduke Mantick, and bring him to the Sanctuary for interrogation. Mantick explains that he accidentally conjured up a demon that used him to gain access to the Philosopher’s Stone, which was on exhibit at a Midway museum. A horde of demons then turned everyone into salt pillars. Mantick says the spell can be reversed, but not for 13 days. A few days later, the Gruesome Ghouls, whose leader has been turned to salt, kidnaps Hawkgirl, demanding that the JLA turn everyone back immediately. Superman simply kicks the shit out of the Ghouls and rescues Hawkgirl. In the quiet days that follow, Bruce presides over Wayne Enterprises meetings. On the thirteenth day of the salt curse, Mantick is unable to change anyone back due to a misreading of some ancient parchments. The JLA has only one option: visit a Hellmouth beneath Midway and battle an army of demons, beyond which exists a healing energy trapped beneath a magick stone. The JLA fights valiantly, but is outnumbered and outmatched, getting defeated by the demon hordes. All hope seems lost, but Red Tornado shows up, sneaks into the Hellmouth, and releases the energy needed to save the salt people. Hal Jordon then seals up the Hellmouth with the demons underneath. After the case is fully wrapped, Red Tornado tries to tell the JLA of a catastrophe—Earth-2 has been totally destroyed by the cosmic being known as Aquarius—but they keep shutting up the “annoying” android before he can speak.

–Detective Comics #391
Bruce visits the Gotham Health Club to get his usual massage from Tim Clark. Tim tells Bruce that he and Ginny are on the rocks due to her new job working for Arnie Arnold, publishers of a food magazine. Arnold and his goons, in the steam room next door, talk about blackmailing restaurants as a part of Arnold’s secret criminal empire. Both Tim and Bruce overhear, which prompts Bruce to dart out to switch into his crimefighting gear. Meanwhile, Ginny shows up at the spa to greet Arnold, with whom she’s been having an affair. Tim sees them together and flips-out, which causes Arnold to pull a gun on him. That night, Batman prevents Arnold’s men from screwing with the dishes at a fancy restaurant, but the restaurant is too scared to press charges. After dinner, Tim confronts Ginny, who has no idea her boss is a racketeer, and tells her what’s up. She accuses him of jealously lying. Tim decides to dress up as Batman and shake-down Arnold and his squad firsthand. The fake Batman is able to expose Arnold as a crook in front of Ginny, but he gets taken down by Arnold’s thugs. The real Batman—having wire-tapped the steam room and planted marked bills at the restaurant to get enough evidence to convict—swings in, saves Tim, and busts Arnold and his gang.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #74. Batman switches out the cumbersome infra-red goggles in his utility belt with the smaller infra-red contact lenses. Technology is improving every day!

–Justice League of America #73-74
Red Tornado has been sitting in the Secret Sanctuary for almost two weeks, waiting on pins-and-needles to tell the JLA that Earth-2 has been destroyed! Finally, the JLA listens to him and is shocked at what they hear. The evil sentient energy of Universe-2’s star Aquarius traveled to Earth-2 a couple weeks ago and defeated the JSA—Starman, Earth-2 Wonder Woman, Dr. Mid-Nite, Green Lantern Alan Scott, Dr. Fate, Earth-2 Superman (who has recently rejoined the team), Red Tornado, and Black Canary—and Larry Lance (Black Canary’s detective husband). Aquarius the destroyed this entire planet, leaving only the JSA and Larry alive in a protective bubble created by Dr. Fate. Upon hearing the news, the JLA travels to the former location of Earth-2. For the first time ever, the Supermen of two worlds meet! Aquarius mind-controls the JSA and has them attack the JLA. For the first time ever, it’s Superman versus Superman in an epic outer space fight. The others pair off and fight as well, with Batman matching up against Dr. Mid-Nite. Eventually, the weakened and crazed JSA succumbs to the JLA, prompting Aquarius to form an energy death ball and throw it at Black Canary. Larry jumps in front of the blast, sacrificing his life to save his wife’s. The resultant explosion re-creates the entire planet, returning it to how it was before Aquarius arrived. No one—except for the heroes that fought Aquarius—even realizes that the world had been destroyed. The next day, the heroes mourn the tragic passing of Larry, honoring him with a funeral and burial ceremony. Aquarius shows up to mock them and then darts through a portal to Earth-1. The Green Lanterns team-up (!) and goad Aquarius into following them into Universe-3 (aka the Antimatter Universe/the Negative Universe). There, Aquarius is pulverized by antimatter meteors. Back on Earth-2, all the heroes gather to celebrate. A depressed Black Canary decides she can’t bear to live on without Larry by her side. And here’s where the crazy shit happens—as referenced in Justice League of America #219-220. Black Canary’s daughter, Dinah Lance, has been comatose since she was an infant. Basically braindead, Yz has kept her alive and cared for her in the 5th dimension for the past 17 years or so. Thus, the JSA and Superman agree to allow the depressed Black Canary to basically commit suicide by transferring her mind, soul, and memories into the vessel of her braindead roughly 18-year-old daughter. Black Canary will be able to rest in peace with her deceased hubby in the afterlife while her daughter will get to live for the first time. Yz does his magick and the transfer is complete. Black Canary dies and a new Black Canary is born. Having no clue that she is actually Black Canary’s daughter stuck with mom’s memories, Dinah picks-up right where her mother left-off at the end of the Aquarius affair. However, instead of wanting to die, the depressed Dinah decides she wants to move to Earth-1 permanently. Superman brings Dinah Lance to Earth-1. Only Superman and the JSA will know the truth about Dinah. She will go on thinking that she is 45-year-old Dinah Drake when in fact she is 18-year-old Dinah Lance. My guess is that young Dinah will be led to believe that she, like so many of the other Earth-2 heroes, has been granted extended youth, when in fact she hasn’t. (This entire Aquarius affair is also shown via flashback from Justice League of America #75, Justice League of America #219-220, DC Comics Presents #30, DC Special Series #10 Part 3, and Green Lantern Vol. 2 #78.)

–Flash #192
While en route to a US destroyer in the Atlantic to do a ride-along in a US military submarine, Flash runs by Batman and Robin, who are on their routine patrol in Gotham. Flash winds up being late for the sub’s departure, missing the trip entirely. When the sub goes missing, Flash is blamed and bears the burden of guilt. Eventually, Flash discovers that Soviet antagonist Captain Vulcan captured the sub. Flash defeats Vulcan and his troops, rescuing the ship and its passengers.

–Detective Comics #392
Batman goes after Scap Scarpel and his righthand man Angles Moore. Feeling the heat, Moore contacts Batman, asking for leniency if he turns tables and provides evidence against his boss. The next night, Moore meets Batman and attempts a murderous double-cross. They wrestle each other into the ocean, and when only Moore comes out of the drink (and holding Batman’s mask, no less), Scarpel assumes that his man has killed the Dark Knight. Unknown to Scarpel, Batman has switched places with Moore and is wearing a Moore mask to impersonate him. The next evening, Scarpel and “Moore” get a dining bill that has a Bat-symbol stamped on it. On subsequent nights, the “ghost of Batman” haunts Scarpel and a scared-acting “Moore” in various ways. Eventually, Batman unmasks and busts a shocked Scarpel.

[1]

–REFERENCE: In Ambush Bug #3. Bat-Mite shows up to give Batman a hard time as usual, making the Dark Knight cough-up coffee through his nose. Suffice to say, Batman ain’t pleased. This will be the last time Bat-Mite visits Batman! The Caped Crusader might not miss you, but we surely will.

–Action Comics #384
Superman sets a meeting with Batman at their new Daily Planet globe hideout. But before they can meet, Superman is accosted by two floating space costumes, each of which has been possessed by the deceased spirits of their previous alien owners, rivals Aabur-Z and Nz-2. Not long after, Clark unwittingly puts on the Aabur-Z suit, which turns him into an evil criminal. After trying to sink a ship (which Supergirl saves), the possessed Clark tries to help fugitive crook Mark Peron by hiding him in the Daily Planet globe. Batman arrives for their meeting and sees Peron, whom he recognizes from crime-dossiers. Batman busts Peron immediately. Meanwhile, Aabur-Z, angry at Clark, gets the attention of various lawmen, putting the heat on himself/Clark. Clark puts his Superman costume on over the Aabur-Z suit, but, still under the alien’s control, he runs amok and gets arrested. Perry White, wearing the Nz-2 suit and possessed by Nz-2, shows up and starts fighting Superman/Aabur-Z! The Man of Steel strips Perry and puts the Nz-2 suit overtop his Aabur-Z suit and Superman costume. He then flies to a sun of a distant solar system and burns the suit-alien-spirits into oblivion. Returning to Earth, Superman collects the waiting Perry, who is still in his underwear.

–World’s Finest Comics #191
Batman and Superman are summoned to a military base in the US Southwest by the Chief of Pentagon Intelligence, General Hill. As they arrive near the base, the heroes see Superman’s parents discussing committing a crime! Jor-El and Lara fade away as Batman and Superman approach them. Batman and Superman then visit the base to find that General Hill has gotten into a car accident and lies in a coma. The World’s Finest Heroes then decide to investigate the Jor-El and Lara thing by going back in time to Krypton before it exploded! Superman flies himself and the Dark Knight to early 1940s Krypton where they suppress a student riot in Kryptopolis before meeting and getting dinner with Jor-El and Lara! After trailing Jor-El and Lara to a secret cave, the heroes witness them teaching criminal techniques to students. They soon learn the lessons are for a mission to the backwards island nation of Bokos, where one must constantly commit crimes or be banished. Jor-El and Lara hope to infiltrate Bokos and steal the petrified body of Calox, an alien Jesus Christ-like superhero figure that ruled over Krypton during the planet’s Stone Age. On Bokos, Batman switches costumes with Calox, pretending to be a revived Calox himself. Meanwhile, Superman sneaks the real Calox out of Bokos, taking him to his parents in Kryptopolis. There, Batman and Superman fade-out and find themselves back at the Southwestern US military base in 1975. General Hill, out of his coma, greets the heroes, explaining that his scientists have created an experimental time vortex machine. Batman and Superman immediately realize that it was this vortex machine that temporarily brought the latter’s parents to Earth and which brought them back to Earth. Knowing that the time vortex will send Batman and Superman back to Krypton, General Hill hastily destroys the $22 million machine. Umm, Superman definitely could have returned using his powers, no? Oh well.

[2]

–The Brave and The Bold #85
It’s special state senatorial election day. Bruce’s man, Senator Paul Cathcart wins re-election, keeping his seat. With only days until the voting for a crime bill that Cathcart is sponsoring, the jubilant senator celebrates victory with Bruce and his constituents. But a shot rings out and strikes the senator down. He’s stabilized and rushed to the hospital, but remains in a coma. The governor calls Bruce at the hospital and asks him to finish Cathcart’s term in office! Meanwhile, new-look Oliver Queen—sporting what will become his signature goatee—has a business meeting to discuss a contract-bidding war that he’s currently in with Miklos Minotaur, after which some of Minotaur’s hired goons try and fail to assassinate him. Bruce works out in the gym with Dr. Edmond Cathcart and tells him that he can’t take over for his father because he’s Batman! Later, Edmond has a business meeting with Ollie that quickly turns into a psychiatric consultation. Ollie reveals that he is Green Arrow and says that he is thinking of lacing up the crime-fighting boots for good. That night, Batman and Green Arrow—wearing a brand new costume to match his goatee—discover that Edmond has been kidnapped. In the morning, Bruce accepts the governor’s proposal and is sworn-in as a state senator, just in time to vote yes for Cathcart’s crime bill. Then it’s off to the Mediterranean for Batman and Green Arrow to take on Minotaur head-on. There, they rescue Edmond, but Minotaur escapes. Ollie sets up a party at a US Embassy, but alters the facade of the building to disguise it before inviting Minotaur. Once inside, Ollie punches him out and has him legally arrested (since he is technically on American soil). Back in the States, Bruce takes-out a would-be assassin and places his yes vote for Cathcart’s crime bill, which passes thanks to him. Ollie decides to stay both a businessman and superhero. Senator Cathcart comes out of his coma, allowing Bruce to resign his senate seat, which goes back to Senator Cathcart. Edmond does hypnosis to make himself forget the secret IDs of Batman and Green Arrow.

–Justice League of America #122
In the Arctic, an escaped Dr. Light makes himself appear as an ice giant and summons the JLA. The JLA defeats and imprisons the “ice giant” in the Fortress of Solitude. After reverting back to normal, Dr. Light steals some amnesium and uses it to not only learn the secret IDs of every JLAer, but to scramble their brains so that they each think they are someone else! Only Superman and Aquaman remain unaffected, so they trail their discombobulated brothers back to the States. Dr. Light takes out a confused Green Arrow, who thinks he is Ray Palmer. Bruce, thinking he is Oliver Queen, goes to Star City but gets attacked by a mob that is under the influence of Dr. Light’s “hate-lite.” Meanwhile, Hal Jordan, believing himself to be Barry Allen, visits Barry’s father-in-law Ira West, who calls the cops on him. Hal gets taken down by Dr. Light as well. Ray Palmer, thinking he’s Hal, also gets taken down by Dr. Light. Barry, thinking he is Bruce, simply goes and idly hangs out at Bruce’s “apartment” for a bit. (Note that Bruce hasn’t moved into the penthouse yet, so this is wrong. While Bruce might have some sort of pad set up in the city since he owns a lot of property, this is likely a continuity error and should be treated as such. Barry should have been hanging at Wayne Manor instead.) Aquaman avoids Dr. Light’s death-trap and starts a chain-reaction of each hero saving the next hero’s life. Superman fights Dr. Light, but gets subdued by his “Kryptonite-lite.” The rest of the JLA fights Dr. Light inside the Fortress of Solitude, eventually detaining him in one of Superman’s interplanetary zoo cells. Afterward, the JLA decides that all team members will now be completely open about secret IDs, moving forward. Presumably, Dr. Light is mind-wiped.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #83. Now that the JLA has decided to be open about secret IDs, they decide to share their secret IDs with the Teen Titans as well.

–The Brave and The Bold #83
This item must take place after The Brave and The Bold #85 and Justice League of America #122, hence placement here. When millions of gallons of crude are stolen from Bruce’s Zenith Oil Corporation, Batman and Robin are on the case, quickly discovering re-routed pipelines that connect to a tanker ship. After a losing battle against the thieves, an oil soaked Batman returns home with Robin. At Wayne Manor, Bruce and Dick are shocked to find a seventeen-year-old hellion, Lance Bruner, running amok in the house. Alfred delivers legal documents, signed by both Thomas Wayne and a Professor Bruner (Lance’s dad, who was Thomas’ best friend), that make Bruce the legal guardian of Lance in the event of the his father’s death. Sure enough, Professor Bruner has kicked the bucket, so here the teen is. After Lance settles-in, Batman continues working the oil hijacking case, putting Lance under Dick’s watch. Lance is every bit the delinquent that he appears to be, stealing cash from Wayne Manor, spray-painting on police vehicles, and crashing Bruce’s new car right after it is purchased. Of course, Dick takes the rap for all these malfeasances. Bruce takes Lance to a Zenith board meeting where the other stockholders threaten to force Bruce’s resignation if the bandits aren’t busted soon. The next night, Dick brings Lance out to party at a dance club with Donna Troy, Roy Harper, and Wally West! Lance shits on everything and disses Dick and his “square” friends, leaving to go off on his own. The next day, Bruce receives a ransom letter demanding $50k for the safe return of a kidnapped Lance! The next day, Kid Flash spots Lance depositing $25k into a Gotham bank. Bruce chews out Lance, demanding to know where the money came from, but Lance simply tells him that it was a legacy from his father. Later, while the Teen Titans hang out in the Wayne Manor billiard room (!) and listen-in, a representative from the State Correctional Department meets with Bruce and reveals that Lance is a reform school and military school dropout, who has a lengthy juvenile criminal record. When the rep turns-out a warrant for Lance’s arrest, Lance admits to being a bad seed, even copping to the bogus kidnapping ransom. He begs Bruce to give him another chance and prevent the arrest from happening. Bruce decides to expedite Lance’s adoption paperwork, which allows the teen to avoid jail and remain at Wayne Manor. In the days that follow, Lance puts on a goody-two-shoes act and even begins hanging out with the Teen Titans (in their civilian identities, of course). While Batman and the Teen Titans bust up more of the oil thieves, a snooping Lance discovers the Batcave, learning who his adopted dad and brother really are! But not only has Lance discovered the secret identities of Batman and Robin, he’s also snooped enough to discover that Grantland Stark (a Zenith Board Member) is secretly behind the oil hijackings. Lance meets with Stark and tells him he will sell him the secret IDs of Batman and Robin for $100k. As Batman and Robin get closer to the top of the oil hijacking food chain via their ongoing investigation, they wind up getting captured aboard a deep-sea oil rig by Stark and his cronies. With Lance watching, the Teen Titans make the save, but Robin gets knocked-out and falls into Lance’s boat. Inspired by Robin’s heroism, Lance sees the error of his ways. He switches clothing with Robin and enters the fray dressed as the Boy Wonder, eventually taking a fatal bullet to save Batman’s life. Lance dies in a teary-eyed Batman’s arms. A few days later, Lance is buried on a Wayne Manor plot and funeral ceremony is held. Bruce, Dick, Alfred, and the Teen Titans attend. This story is pretty damn mind-blowing as it gives us the death of Batman’s legit adopted son!

–NOTE: In Justice League of America #75. Oliver Queen loses his company and fortune thanks to the swindling of crooked businessman John Deleon.

–Superman’s Girl Friend Lois Lane #99-100
Batman, Lois Lane, and Lana Lang are invited to guest on a live TV show celebrating the upcoming National Superman holiday. A week or so later, in a Gotham TV studio, a crude host interviews them about their relationships with Superman, polling the crowd to see who is really Superman’s lover. Backstage, Lana and Lois argue and come to blows, forcibly separated by production assistants. (We don’t even see Batman’s part on the show, but with stuff like that, who really needs to?) Later, Lois meets up with Lana to apologize for her behavior. As they drive over a bridge in a rainstorm, the car skids off the road and into a river below. Only Lois is able to crawl from the wreckage. In shock, she hitchhikes to the Gotham Hotel. In the morning, Superman takes the still dazed and confused Lois to the site of the accident where her car, along with Lana’s corpse, is fished out of the drink. Lois is immediately arrested for suspicion of murder and thrown in the clink! Shortly thereafter, Bruce visits Lois and tells her that Batman will help. After switching outfits, Bruce arrives again, but this time as the Dark Knight, telling her that he will do all he can to help, including acting as her defense attorney. Later, after a pre-trial with a grand jury, DA Danton informs Batman and Superman that a murder-one trial will proceed. In an unprecedented move, DA Danton asks Superman to be the special prosecutor! It’ll be Batman versus Superman—in court, for the life of Lois! The next day, while Batman meets with his client, Superman shows up and tells a sobbing Lois that he believes she is guilty. The day afterward, Lois gets special permission to accompany Batman to Lana’s funeral. There, Lana’s mom, Sarah Lang, screams furious obscenities at Lois. A week or so later, the fast-tracked trial of Lois Lane begins. Superman and DA Danton calls various witnesses for the prosecution. With things looking bleak, Lois ignores Batman’s urging for her to plead insanity. Lois is then called to the stand. Superman grills her so hard that she slaps him in the face and agrees to take a lie detector test. In front of the jury, Lois fails the test. After final statements, the jury goes into deliberation. That night, Batman, re-examines the evidence and sees that Lana’s diary has been tampered-with. Batman and Superman dig up Lana’s corpse and discover that it is an android replica! They also discover that the polygraph machine has been rigged. Further investigation links the Lana android to a desert in Libya. Superman rushes there to find a group of alien androids playing a strange game of “human chess.” They’ve been manipulating everything that has occurred since National Superman Day. Superman rescues the real Lana, held captive in a UFO, which causes the alien androids to flee. Just as the jury is about to deliver its verdict, Batman arrives with Lana android’s corpse to stall things. Superman then arrives with the real Lana and the case is thrown out.

–World’s Finest Comics #192-193
While rescuing a train full of passengers in the Central European dictatorship of Lubania, Superman is attacked by the Nazi-esque Lubanian military and shot with a synthetic Kryptonite ray. Superman becomes a powerless fugitive in the Right Wing nation. After ditching his Superman clothes, the Man of Steel attempts to walk out of Lubania, but gets chased by bloodhounds. Thankfully, he makes it to the US Embassy—or so he thinks. Superman quickly realizes that the Embassy is fake and gets outta dodge. Colonel Koslov, head of Lubanian secret police, then sends a fake radio message to Superman, telling that Batman will be parachuting into Lubania to rescue him soon. Koslov then has a dozen or more of his soldiers—all dressed-up as Batman—parachute down around the Lubanian capital. Superman is confronted by one of the fakers, but is able to take him down, stealing his Bat-costume to wear as a disguise. Not long afterward, the real Batman parachutes into Lubania and joins Superman only for both heroes to get captured. Batman and Superman are thrown into a concentration camp where they are tortured, starved, and humiliated for days on end. By night, the weakened heroes attempt to dig an escape tunnel. When news of the capture and imprisonment of America’s greatest heroes hits home, the West and the rest of Europe goes into an uproar. More days of sadistic torture pass in the camp until Perry White is granted a press visit. Perry watches in utter disbelief as both the escape tunnel and an attempt to scale a barbed wire fence both miserably fail. Then, Koslov’s master plan—”Operation Holocaust”—kicks into high gear. Batman and Superman are thrown into a secret underground cell. A fake Superman and Batman—Steelman and Cowlmask—stage a dramatic “escape” in front of Perry, who returns to the States with them. The fake heroes are given a huge “welcome back” parade and meet with top military officials, including President Ford. The Lubanian spies send a ton of top secret American information back to Koslov. Meanwhile, more horrible days pass in the camp. Upon learning that Superman’s powers are being repressed by a synthetic Kryptonite ray, a nearly broken Batman and Superman paint their faces with house paint, hoping to confuse whoever controls the ray. Sure enough, the plan works and Superman gets his powers back just as Batman is about to be executed. Superman levels the camp and flies with Batman to the States. In Washington DC, Steelman and Cowlmask are about to detonate a bomb that will kill the President and other military leaders. The real superheroes arrive and shut down their sinister plot.

–The Brave and The Bold #86
The femme-fatale Lotus and Willie Smith, a League of Assassins (aka Society of Assassins) hitman, poison Deadman and hypnotize him into believing that Batman is his enemy. Deadman then attacks Batman, who is just wrapping up a racketeering bust in Gotham. After Batman fends-off Deadman, making him snap back to his senses, the befuddled ghost hero flies away. Batman immediately visits the proprietor of Hills Brothers Circus (where Boston Brand was killed), Lorna Hill. There, Batman sees Boston’s twin brother Cleveland Brand performing in his sib’s place. Deadman enters Cleveland’s body, but botches a trapeze act, forcing Batman to make the save. Deadman (in Cleveland’s body) and Batman are then approached by Vashnu (Deadman’s mystic pal from the circus), who says they must urgently go to Nanda Parbat. Deadman, still under the effects of the poison and brainwashing, says he wants to kill Batman, so Batman simply says that he can after the trip. Seemingly sated, Deadman agrees. Batman and Deadman (still in Cleveland’s body) take a Bruce Wayne-chartered jet to Nanda Parbat. There, League of Assassins troops, currently in the middle of an invasion of Nanda Parbat, shoot at the parachuting heroes. Once inside the city walls, Deadman becomes corporeal (thanks to Rama Kushna) and collapses, feeling the full effects of the poison in his system. While Nanda Parbatan guard Taj-Ze cares for Boston, Batman and Cleveland take down thirty League of Assassins men on the snowy slopes of the mountainside, eventually grabbing Willie Smith. The Sensei, leader of the League of Assassins, confronts Batman, but the Caped Crusader doesn’t know who he is and simply tells him to beat it! Back inside the city walls, Deadman recovers from his poisoned condition thanks to an antidote gotten from Willie Smith. Moving forward, Deadman will only remain corporeal within the magickal walls of Nanda Parbat, existing as his good ol’ ghosty self everywhere else. (This item is also shown via flashback from Phantom Stranger Vol. 2 #39.)

–Justice League of America #75
The partial narrator of this item is the highly-unreliable storyteller Black Canary, who tells us that merely one week has passed since the Aquarius affair. This cannot be true. It’s been nearly three months since the Aquarius affair. (A full month—enough time for Oliver Queen to grow his goatee—passes in-between the Aquarius affair and the time Ollie loses his fortune, which also happens a full month before this item. With the inclusion of other stories, we can throw in an extra month, thus adding up to a grand total of around three months. Sorry, Black Canary, get your memory checked! Pun intended, since all her memories are completely false anyway.) Onto a synopsis. The Justice League gathers as Superman declares a motion to admit Black Canary onto the Justice League of America. As the JLAers get into a heated argument, Black Canary unwittingly knocks them all down with an accidental ultrasonic scream. Batman assumes that she has gained mutant powers from the encounter with Aquarius. Superman agrees in order to hide the truth—that this Black Canary is actually the daughter of the original Black Canary and has had sonic scream powers since birth. Meanwhile, Ollie, depressed about his financial situation, visits a new psychiatrist, who uses an experimental device that accidentally releases his aggressive id as a sentient construct. The Green Arrow id enters the Secret Sanctuary and creates sentient construct ids of each JLer, except for Superman. The Man of Steel, hoping to inspire his friends, quickly turns one of his Superman Robots into a fake id construct of himself. A quick fight ends with Superman walloping the robot. Motivated, the rest of the JLA tracks down their id constructs and fights them in Star City. Green Arrow bests his doppelgänger, which causes all the copycats to fade away. Afterward, Black Canary is officially made the newest member of the JLA—although the team won’t publicly announce her membership yet. Green Arrow and Black Canary record all that has occurred for the Justice League archives. (This story is also shown via flashback from Justice League of America #219 and referenced in Justice League of America #76.)

–The Brave and The Bold #87
May. Bruce purchases a Formula One car and decides to enter it into the Monaco Grand Prix with himself behind the wheel (because his life isn’t already exciting enough, right?). Bruce obtains a racing license and then familiarizes himself with the new car, his pit crew, and rival drivers, especially the German-born Willi “The Widow-Maker” Van Dort, son of Nazi super-villain General Van Dort. (“Van Dort” is also spelled “Von Dort.”) In Van Dort’s last seven races, an opposing driver has crashed and died. As Bruce preps on the day of the big race, he spots Diana and I-Ching in the audience. Bruce introduces himself and chats with them, shamelessly flirting with Diana. (No longer a JLA member, Diana still doesn’t know that Bruce is Batman.) After Bruce achieves pole position in the qualifiers, Van Dort orders his pit crew to sabotage the car. Bruce catches them red-handed, but fakes getting beaten-up when Diana and I-Ching arrive to help. But Bruce fakes a bit too much and winds up getting brained with a wrench, leading to a bad concussion, which bars him from competing. Diana gets a special license from Princess Grace Kelly herself, allowing her to replace Bruce in the competition! Undaunted, Bruce switches to his Bat-gear, complete with a specially-made Bat-helmet, and “takes over” for Bruce. The race starts and its not long before Van Dort begins using Speed Racer-esque tricks in attempts to crash Batman. Diana and I-Ching drive ahead of the racers in, taking out Van Dort’s goons. At the end of the race, one of Van Dort’s men accidentally causes Van Dort to crash into a fiery fatal wreck, which allows Batman to claim victory! Afterward, Diana is arrested by the Monaco police force for having accidentally taken someone else’s car. Batman tells Diana that Bruce Wayne will post her bail if she goes on a date with him (with Bruce). Diana agrees. We don’t get to see it, but presumably, Bruce and Diana go on that date. It’s also likely that Bruce reveals that he is Batman to her on the date.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #393. Bruce and Dick meet and befriend the wealthy Winslow Family—Mr. Winslow, Mrs. Winslow, and teenage daughter Deena Winslow. Bruce and the Winslows decide to purchase adjacent luxurious beachfront estates in Ocean Point, which they plan to spend time at this summer. Of course, Batman will be occupied with patrols and other Batman-related things and won’t get out to Ocean Point for the first time until Labor Day weekend.

–The Brave and The Bold #88 Part 1
With only a month to go until the World Youth Games in Vienna, the American athletic association tasks Bruce with recruiting retired undefeated heavyweight champ Ted Grant as the coach of the boxing team. Not only is Ted bankrupt and living in squalor, but he’s more-or-less retired his career as crimefighter Wildcat as well. (Earth-2’s Ted Grant is doing much better than Earth-1’s.) Bruce pays off two dudes to attack him (Bruce) outside of Ted’s tenement, which prompts the depressed Ted to spring into action, punching them out and accepting the coaching gig.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #217. Dick wins his high school decathlon.

–REFERENCE: In Teen Titans #25, Batman #217, and Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 9/5/1970. Dick gets accepted to Hudson University.

–Teen Titans #25
Dick, Donna, Roy, and Wally go to a discotheque and watch scantily clad go-go dancers gyrating in cages while a live band plays. One of the dancers, a telepath named Lilith Clay, approaches the foursome and gives them a cryptic message, saying death is in the Teen Titans’ future. After the club, Dick and company stumble upon protestors picketing outside of a packed auditorium, in which Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Arthur Swenson is about to speak. Sensing that trouble is brewing between the hippies and the Right Wingers out front, the heroes switch into fighting gear. The same goes for sibling teen heroes Hawk (Hank Hall) and Dove (Don Hall), who are present. Sure enough, a riot breaks out and the teen heroes begin throwing fists Someone in the crowd pulls a revolver and shoots Swenson. Swenson is rushed to the hospital but dies. The Justice League confronts the Teen Titans and tells them there must be repercussions for their failure, but they want the Titans themselves to pick their own punishment. Later, Lilith and her father, Bruce’s billionaire pal Loren Jupiter, approach the Teen Titans (and Hawk and Dove). The Titans, Hawk, and Dove then go to Jupiter’s mansion where he offers them a new vision of where the Titans should go via a unique proposition: vow to become pacifists, reboot the team, and train with him. Wonder Girl, Speedy, Kid Flash, Hawk, and Dove are down, but Robin says no. He reveals to the team that he’s been accepted to college. With all that’s happened, Robin sees this as a good a time as any to quit the Titans! After Robin walks, the others are ushered to a high-tech HQ on the 13th floor of a skyscraper. There, the new Teen Titans lineup—which now officially consists of Wonder Girl, Speedy, Kid Flash, Hawk, Dove, and Lilith—ditch their costumes and switch to drab grey matching speed-suits. They immediately begin Jupiter’s intense survival training. Thus, begins the Jupiter era for the team. (This story is also told via flashback from Teen Titans #27).

–FLASHBACK: From The Untold Legend of The Batman #2. Early June. Dick graduates high school.

–REFERENCE: In Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 8/27/1970. Bruce reads about the murder of local man Ben Harris, who leaves behind a wife and two kids. He can’t help but be sadly reminded of his parents.

–REFERENCE: In Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 7/16/1970. Batman meets low-level crook Jolly, who will now be on his radar, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 7/16/1970. Bruce, in his role as head of Wayne Enterprises, meets and does business with Brooks Dulin, the head of Dulin Enterprises.

–Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 3/20/1970 to 9/7/1970 (“The Circus is Still Not For Sale”)
Note that this arc supposedly picks up right where the last arc left off, but that is simply impossible. Any references to Batman having recently broken his back must be ignored. Onto a synopsis. Batman and Robin are special guests of the owners of the traveling Fiore Family Circus—Pete and Rosa—and their daughter Violetta. The Fiores let the Dynamic Duo play around on the trapeze, but the rope snaps, sending them to the nets below. The Fiores then tell our heroes that someone has been sabotaging their shows lately. The Fiores don’t mention that their own ringmaster, Mr. Whipp, has been aggressively pushing for them to sell the circus to him. The next night, Bruce and Dick go to the circus and enjoy the show. They notice strange behavior from both Whipp and a man named Anders. Later, after some more trapeze training at the circus, the Dynamnic Duo joins the Fiores for dinner. Batman saves them when the oven—rigged by Anders—nearly torches their trailer. The next day, Batman and Robin drive along with the circus as it moves on from Gotham to Daletown, about 90 minutes away. En route, the brakes on the Fiore’s trailer—again rigged by Anders—go out, prompting Batman and Robin to make another save. While Robin fixes the brakes, Batman dusts for and photographs fingerprints, delivering the film to a State Police colonel. Later, in Daletown, the crew sets up the circus tents. A villain hiding in the rafters throws down a heavy spotlight in an attempt to crush Robin and Violetta below. Whipp, proving himself a hero, pushes them out of the way, getting hit himself. While Robin busts the baddie, Batman speaks to a fading Whipp, who, before dying, reveals that he had been blackmailed by loan sharks to help sabotage the circus in an attempt to purchase it for cheap. Batman instructs Pete to sell the circus to Bruce Wayne, which he does. The State Police then calls Batman, telling him that they’ve made some arrests based upon the fingerprint information. At State Police HQ, Batman observes the suspects—Anders and known mobster Lewis “Hands” Bragen. After the circus is officially signed over to Bruce, he soon is visited by a higher-up from Dulin Enterprises, who wishes to purchase the circus from Bruce. Now knowing that Dulin Enterprises is the front business for the mafia organization going after the Fiores, Bruce concocts the next part of his plan. As Batman, he goes into a few underworld haunts and spreads news that he’s looking for a fugitive named Flint Stern, who is a complete fabrication. Before long, “Stern” (a disguised Batman), gains an audience with Brooks Dulin, who hires him to kill Bruce! However, not fully trusting the newcomer, Dulin sticks one of his men, Nick, to tag along with him. Using a cypher, Batman is able to get a message to Robin, prepping him. Nick watches as “Stern” machine-guns Bruce (actually a dummy) to death at Wayne Manor. With Commissioner Gordon, medical doctors, and lawyers onboard with the ruse, Bruce’s “death” goes public and a fake will is publicly released, stating that the Fiore Circus goes to Dick with the provision that he never sell it. (Note, that it is specifically mentioned that Dick is still 17-years-old here, hence placement of this entire arc just prior to his 18th birthday.) After Batman taunts Dulin, he panics and begs “Stern” for protection. Bruce then proceeds to pretend to be a ghost, haunting Dulin on consecutive nights. Eventually, Batman reveals himself, but gets into a fight with Dulin’s bodyguard, Brute. While Batman kayos Brute, Robin busts Dulin. Afterward, Batman and Robin celebrate victory, but lament the fact that Robin will soon be heading off to college at the end of summer. Bruce then meets with Pete and returns ownership of the circus to him. Bruce also tells Pete he has a very important question to ask him. The question, as we learn in the next Batman news strip arc, is regarding Whipp’s family. However, like so many other Batman news strip arcs, this one cannot go seamlessly into the next storyline (even though it appears to do so). This arc ends definitively with the 9/7/1970 strip. Therefore, thanks to our retcon, we don’t know what Bruce asks Pete, but it definitely isn’t anything about Whipp’s family.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #217. Summer. Dick turns 18-years-old. (Note that The 1976 DC Super Calendar gives Dick’s birthday as November 11, but that is wrong. Dick, as implied in Batman #217, turns 18 not long before he leaves for college.)

–The Brave and The Bold #88 Part 2
Bruce and Ted Grant travel with the American youth fencing team and youth boxing team to the World Youth Games in Vienna. Bruce is there for a dual purpose—to coach his boys and to go on a top secret government mission as Batman. While learning about the city and touring the athletic campus, Ted is accosted and threatened by the Soviet boxing coach, heavyweight bully Koslov the Hammer. Later, Batman meets with British and American military officials, who task him with retrieving data regarding the launch of a Soviet military satellite base from freelance spy Kurt Schimmerling. Upon returning to the athletic village, Bruce finds that Koslov and Ted have been going at it ever since he left. Koslov eventually challenges Ted to a match, but Ted refuses. Bruce urges Ted to fight, but he just won’t budge. Later that night, Batman chases after Schimmerling. Ted switches to his Wildcat gear and helps Batman, but the spy gets away. Batman then approaches Ted (who is back in civilian garb) and tells him to fight Koslov in the ring. Batman then picks a fight with Ted and they begin slugging it out! Ted gets the victory—after which Batman claims he took a dive to boost Ted’s confidence. Did you really, Bats? Emboldened, Ted agrees to publicly fight Koslov in a couple days’ time. A couple days later, Batman searches Schimmerling’s apartment and finds a ticket to the Grant-Koslov match. Upon departing, Batman is knocked-out by Soviet spies and restrained in the hold of a ship. Not long after, the big fight happens. During one of the rounds, the lights in the arena go out thanks to a timed fuse-blowout set by Batman earlier. (Batman didn’t think Ted could beat Koslov and was going to step in during the darkness and kayo him in Ted’s place. Way to play fair, Dark Knight. Jeez!) Anyway, in the darkness, Ted knocks out Koslov but no one can see. Sensing that Koslov has something to do with disappearance of both Batman and Bruce, Ted carries Koslov through the darkness and out of the back of the stadium, loading his dizzy body into the sidecar of his motorcycle. Koslov admits being in league with the Soviet spies and leads Ted to Batman’s location. Ted, still in his boxing gear (gloves and all) wails on the spies and rescues Batman. Ludicrously, Ted, Koslov, and Batman return to the arena before the lights come on. When the lights do come back on, Ted and Koslov are back in the ring and simply resume their fight! Ted goes down, prompting Batman to initiate another pre-planned assist—throwing into the ring a Batarang with the words “has been” etched into it. With berserker rage fueling him, Ted hops up and kayos Koslov. At the far end of the crowd, Batman swoops down and busts Schimmerling, retrieving the satellite launch data. The next day, Ted and Bruce oversee their respective youth sport teams. We aren’t told who wins, but judging by the patriotic theme of this issue and Bruce’s nonchalance about cheating, we can assume that the USA teams are victorious.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #217 and Batman #226. Aunt Harriet, having lived with the boys for over three years now, finally moves out of Wayne Manor and into her own place.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #217 and Detective Comics #394. Bruce thinks about the future. Since times have changed and Dick will be leaving for college once the summer ends, Bruce preps for a new beginning for Batman. He has a construction crew begin turning the top floor offices of the Wayne Foundation Building into a lavish residential penthouse, complete with a swimming pool rooftop gardens. Construction will continue for the rest of the summer. In secret (and likely with the help of his friends in the Justice League), Bruce has a special elevator connected to the sub-basement of the tower, which begins to be remodeled into a new crime-fighting base of operations quite similar to the Batcave. This Bat-Bunker will be under construction throughout the summer as well. Bruce’s tentative plan? To move Bruce and Batman into the city once Dick eventually departs for school. This way, Batman can be truly Gotham-based and Bruce won’t have to neglect as much Wayne Foundation work.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #394. Bruce hires Miss Atkins as his new personal secretary at the Wayne Foundation.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #394. Batman learns all about big-time gambler Chance Collins.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #396. Bruce begins employing hip Nan Owens as the primary Wall Street broker for Wayne Enterprises. Bruce also meets Nan’s boyfriend, 22-year-old Wall Street finance genius (and now overnight millionaire) Rory Bell.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #77. Batman and the Atom are invited to perform at a charity event, scheduled in a few months’ time. Meanwhile, Joker escapes from jail and adopts the disguised persona of “John Dough.” Joker, in this alter-ego and using a parasympathetic nervous system projector, will quickly rise to national prominence as an anti-superhero activist, gaining followers in the thousands.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #397. Batman builds a battery-powered undersea sled, complete with infrared vision scope. He stores it at an abandoned pier in Gotham Harbor.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #397. Bruce reads an article in a magazine about the fabulously wealthy Orson Payne, a billionaire that lives in seclusion in a castle on an island off the Gotham coastline.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #217. Bruce begins reading what will be an inspiring series of social justice articles by Gotham Gazette reporter Marla Manning. Manning’s articles will highlight the other victims of unsolved murders—friends and families left behind. Inspired, Bruce sets up initial plans for a congressional lobby, funded by the Wayne Foundation, to campaign for a state-funded assistance program to help the victims. Bruce’s lobbyist group will be a tough venture and won’t get very far thanks to the bureaucracy of government.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #217. Construction finishes on Bruce’s new penthouse apartment atop the Wayne Foundation Building. Likewise, construction also finished on the secret Bat-Bunker below.

–Detective Comics #393
Late August. The Civic Conscience Council decides to help a troubled teen by providing him guidance and care for a full calendar year. Each member of the CCC will lend a hand in different ways, acting as a periodic “big brother.” Teenage delinquent Skeet Callum is chosen for the program. Not long after, the Winslows tell Bruce and Dick they’ll be at their Ocean Point estate for Labor Day weekend, encouraging them to come to Ocean Point as well. Bruce, Dick, and Alfred make plans to go to the beach for what will be Dick’s final weekend before leaving for college. After the Winslows have departed, Batman and Robin patrol, noticing that the Winslow Mansion is being robbed. After a scuffle (during which Batman strangely calls Robin “Robbie”), the thief takes off in the Batmobile, but leaves behind a can opener zip-tab that has a combination etched into it. After cops retrieve the abandoned Batmobile, the boys get their car back. In the morning, Bruce, Dick, and Alfred head to Ocean Point. But first, Bruce reveals that, as per his CCC mentorship program, they’ll be taking Skeet along for the trip. In Ocean Point, everyone attends a big party at the Winslow’s beach house. In Mrs. Winslow’s bedroom, Bruce finds the other half of the zip-tab and a jostled safe. Bruce accuses Skeet of the crime, which he denies before running off. Later, Dick finds an injured Skeet on the shore. Skeet says that Deena was signaling the yacht of partygoer Aristide Naxos before she attacked him with a surf board. While Dick night surfs to distract Naxos’ crew, Batman sneaks aboard his yacht and finds Deena (the actual zip-tab safecracker) handing over jewels to Naxos. Deena, wanting her parents’ attention, teamed-up with master thief Naxos in an attempt to rob them. Batman busts Naxos and takes both he and Deena back to shore. (NOTE: We won’t see Skeet again, but we can assume that Bruce continues sporadically mentoring him on-and-off for the next year or so.)

–Batman #217
Early September. A weepy Bruce and teary Alfred say farewell to Dick, who is all packed up and ready to ship off to Hudson University. Extra-emotional himself, Dick opts to take a taxi to New Carthage, New York instead of having a long goodbye with his father-figures. (The scene of Dick leaving is also shown in Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder News Strip 9/14/1970 to 9/16/1970 and via flashback from The Untold Legend of the Batman #2.) Bruce then reveals his plans to move to downtown Gotham to Alfred. (Just as Batman has been calling Robin “Robbie,” Bruce now starts calling Alfred “Alf.” So mod.) They pack and close-up shop at Wayne Manor. A week later, at their new penthouse home, Bruce tells Alfred to read some Marla Manning articles, citing her focus on the friends and families of murder victims as a big inspiration. With his congressional lobby group stalling at the state capitol, Bruce decides to take matters into his own hands, starting his own special assistance program for the friends and family of unsolved murder victims in Gotham. Alfred names the venture the “Victims Incorporated Program” (VIP). Bruce sets out to help the focus of Manning’s latest article, Dr. Susan Fielding, whose husband has recently been killed. Bruce visits Dr. Fielding, gives her a big interest-free loan and tells her that Batman is on her husband’s murder case. Batman then meets with Dr. Fielding before going out to a bunch of underworld haunts and, in various disguises, spreading the word that Dr. Fielding has sketch-identified her husband’s killer. This lures the killer, hoping to silence Dr. Fielding, back to her home. Batman ambushes him and chases him away, but not before taking a bullet in the arm. At police HQ, Batman and the police are able to deduce that Stub Sartel is the man they are after. While Bruce mends his busted wing and cancels all upcoming Wayne Foundation appointments to hide his injury, the police bust Sartel. News of Bruce/Batman’s VIP venture goes public. Afterward, Bruce rests up and recuperates his arm, taking a week or so off to fully heal.

[3]

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #397. Bruce hires a professional cleaning lady named Cathy Valance to regularly clean-up the penthouse. Bruce notices that she has a penchant for leaving the TV on after she wraps-up.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #394. Bruce hires a full staff for Victims Incorporated. VIP staffers begin taking on various cases, lightening Bruce’s personal load immediately.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #394 and Detective Comics #396. Batman notifies Commissioner Gordon of his move to the city. He also retires the Batmobile (putting into storage in the Batcave) and switches to an unmarked blue-and-yellow sports car, to which he affixes official diplomatic license plates, courtesy of Gordon. The plates will allow him to run red lights and speed without any hassle from the cops. Batman soups up his new roadster with various high-tech accoutrements. The car has tinted mirrored windows, is virtually indestructible (crash-proof and bulletproof), and can be controlled via remote control using a device in the Caped Crusader’s utility belt.

–Batman #217 Epilogue
Bruce is confronted in his office by Dakota Jones, a one-eyed Native American that has beef with VIP. An angry Jones puts a gun to Bruce’s head.

–Detective Comics #394
Bruce fights and disarms Dakota Jones. Calmed, Jones explains that he was a CanAm race car driver and main rival to the Wayne Racing Team until he was shot in the eye during the most recent race. Having been approached and offered a job by Victims Incorporated earlier in the week, Jones took it as a personal insult and proof that the Wayne Racing Team was responsible for shooting him. Bruce tells Jones he will personally investigate the matter. Batman examines the racetrack and his driver Scoot Hansen’s race car, discovering a bullet casing inside. Batman then overhears Chance Collins and his henchmen discussing how they had Jones shot from a hidden remote-controlled retractable gun they secretly installed in Hansen’s car. Batman is overwhelmed by the thugs, but Jones arrives to save the day with a tomahawk. Jones then hops in Hansen’s car and chases after Collins around the track. Both cars crash, leading to Collins’ death. Afterward, Bruce puts in a good word for Jones with the racing commission, which will hopefully allow him to race professionally again.

–the second feature to Detective Comics #394-395
Batman comes home from patrol to find that Dick has sent him a letter from college. Batman and Alfred read the letter, which tells them about Dick’s first day at school, during which he got involved in a student protest and then got abducted by fake cops, who were hired by the protestors to make the dean look bad. Eventually, Dick exposed the shady methods of the protestors, bringing calm back to Hudson’s campus.

–Detective Comics #395
Bruce, along with other rich socialites from all over the globe, is invited to a special weekend-long party at the lavish estate of Juan and Dolores Muerto in Mexico. This strikes Bruce as odd because, upon research, he finds that the famed Muertos are notorious recluses that can’t stand attention. A week later, as the odd festivities kick-off in the Muerto cemetery, Bruce switches to Batman gear to examine the mansion grounds. When a hot air ballooning guest named Pedro Valdes is attacked by trained falcons, Batman saves his life. Rejoining the party in his tux, Bruce chats with the Muertos. When Valdes is shot at by snipers, Batman fights the would-be assassins and their trained wolf-dogs. Later, Batman spies on the Muertos, who are in conversation with Valdes. The Muertos reveal themselves to be immortal, thanks to the power of some magickal Sybil flowers. Valdes reveals himself to be a Mexican law enforcement agent, looking to bust the immortals. The whole party had been thrown just to expose Valdes. Batman swings into action, but soon winds up inhaling the flowers, hallucinating, and getting captured along with Valdes. After escaping and saving Valdes, Batman burns the entire crop of immortality flowers. The Muertos freak out and revert to their true ages (around 132 and 135-years-old), falling—as emaciated corpses—into their own open graves.

–Justice League of America #77
Early Autumn. John Dough (Joker in disguise) uses his parasympathetic nervous system projector to manipulate a disgruntled Snapper Carr into joining his popular anti-superhero crusade. Snapper lures Batman and the Atom away from a charity event and into an ambush. Batman is tied-up and placed into a death trap within the new Trump Satellite in Gotham City Square. (Yes, just like 1970s NYC, Donald Trump also had his grubby little mitts all over the 1970s Gotham. It’s fitting that a Trump structure would be a death trap, and in a story featuring a fear-mongering bigot that riles up the ignorant masses, no less.) While Atom reports news of Snapper’s betrayal to the rest of the team, Dough gets information on how to access the Secret Sanctuary from Snapper. Joker then disguises himself as Batman and visits the JLers, saying that Dough released him and has invited them to a speaking engagement at Golden Stadium. At the sold-out engagement, Joker activates his projector, which causes his rabid followers to cheer on Snapper’s hate speech. In the crowd, several men attack Black Canary, accusing her of being a communist. When a riot breaks out, the JLA, affected and weakened by yet more sci-fi tech, flees the scene. Using his projector in Washington DC, Joker influences a Senate Subcommittee to bring up criminal charges against the JLA. The Caped Crusader escapes his Trump trap. Realizing that Dough is Joker, Batman arrives just in time to interrupt his monologue before the impromptu Senate hearing. After throwing firebombs, Joker flees. The JLA then confronts Snapper about his betrayal, but Snapper defends his actions, saying he’s sick of being the team’s under-appreciated mascot. I guess Snapper’s betrayal wasn’t completely due to the projector after all? The JLA soon finds themselves fighting Dough inside their own Sanctuary. They take him down and unmask him as Joker. Afterward, Green Arrow tells his teammates that, thanks to this debacle, they’ve got to fix their reputation with the public and get a new base of operations.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #78. The Justice League shuts down the Secret Sanctuary. Afterward, the JL—sans Green Arrow for some reason—meets and plans their new HQ. Using Thangarian tech, the JL opts to take to the stars, beginning construction on a huge satellite HQ that will rest in Earth’s orbit. Obtaining permission to use various rooftop spaces across the US, the JL plans to install teleportation tubes (also of Thanagarian design) that can transport team members up to the satellite. Construction on the new satellite will only take a couple weeks, so we must assume that the meta-powered building ability of Superman will be operating at full capacity for this project.

–Batman #219 Part 1
Bruce reads a proposed congressional bill by the illustrious Senator Lincoln Webster. The bill, while tough on crime, would slash all government funding to new programs, including the Victims Inc Program. Bruce then visits the state capitol to lobby for public VIP funding. (He refers to it as his first venture into the murky world of politics, but this is hardly his first rodeo, so maybe he means first visit to Washington on behalf of VIP.) Bruce meets with Senator Webster and Governor Putnam. (The last state governor, Morris, only lasted two-and-a-half years for unknown reasons. Putnam has only recently replaced him.) Despite their differences, Bruce agrees to accompany Senator Webster back to Washington DC. While en route, their commuter flight is hijacked by Cuban terrorists, who wish to detain the senator so he can’t vote to pass his crime bill. Bruce switches to Batman gear, but can’t stop the terrorists, who land the plane in a remote location. Bruce rejoins the senator, who fakes a heart attack to get the terrorists to put the plane back in the air. Bruce then startles the terrorists with his Batman costume, inflated with flotation devices, before taking them down in his civvies. “Batman” gets sucked out of the wheel well upon landing in DC, making it look like the Dark Knight vanished from the plane. With the terrorists behind bars, Senator Webster’s bill passes. Bruce doesn’t get any funding for VIP, but he appreciates the bill anyway.

–Detective Comics #396
Batman busts smalltimer Sharf and his two henchmen (aka “The Lucky Three”), though they all wind up walking free. A few days later, Bruce meets with the studio executives of Seven-Star Pics, a major Hollywood production company. Bruce approves a Wayne Enterprises merger (i.e. buyout) of Seven-Star Pics. After reading about his pal, hot young “Wolf of Wall Street” Rory Bell, in a magazine, Bruce calls up Rory’s girlfriend (who also happens to be both Rory and Wayne Enterprises’ broker), Nan Owens, to chat about the Wayne/Seven-Star deal. Meanwhile, Sharf and his goons stick-up Rory and force him to use his influence to sway the market in favor of their brand new publicly-traded corporation, which they aptly have named Lucky Three. Rory’s big purchase of Lucky Three stock, while simultaneously unloading all his stock in Wayne Enterprises, causes a rumble in the market that is particularly devastating to Wayne Enterprises. With WE stock in the toilet, Bruce meets with Nan. Together, they realize that Rory is in trouble. Batman is able to track down Rory and the Lucky Three at a gas station. There, Batman and Rory fight the baddies. The Dark Knight fools and defeats them using the remote control function on his new car. Presumably, WE stock goes back up.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold #89. Bruce is appointed as one of Gotham’s newest City Councilmen. This is an appointment likely voted upon by Mayor Hayes and other city council members to fill a recently vacated spot. Presumably, Bruce will help with governmental policy and meet with City Council on-and-off, moving forward.

–Batman #220
Bruce reads the latest Marla Manning article, about a municipal contract worker named Tom Sloane who was killed via car bomb in his own driveway. Shortly thereafter, Tom’s sister, Sandra Sloane, visits Victims Inc for financial support. Shortly after that, Marla Manning herself visits Bruce at the Wayne Foundation. She tells Bruce that her life has been threatened after digging deeper into Tom’s death and finding some links to a demolition company that was trying to raze his property. Bruce looks into his own VIP file for Tom only to find that it’s been cleaned out. When Batman visits Sandra’s apartment, he finds a gun pointed at her head and chases the baddie away. Batman then visits Nova Demolition Company and winds up fist-fighting its president, ex-Army sergeant Zachary Nova, to a stalemate. Batman returns to Marla and tells her to publish news that she knows who Tom’s killer is. The next day, after reading Marla’s news in the paper, Nova calls her and tells her that she’s bluffing—that only he knows who the real killer is (himself). Nova demands a meet-up to exchange information for a cool $5K. As night falls over Gotham, Batman trails Marla to the meeting spot. Inside a phone booth rigged to explode, Batman—having presciently brought a bombproof recorder and inflatable dummy of himself—listens-to and records Nova’s pre-recorded murder confession. After darting away, the booth explodes. Nova emerges, thinking he’s killed Batman, but Batman plays his recording, which spooks him. The Caped Crusader then busts Nova, who had been blackmailing Tom for demolition contract bids from the city—until Tom refused to participate any longer, resulting in his untimely death.

–Detective Comics #397
With the Gotham City Marine Festival scheduled to start in a couple days, Bruce decides to sponsor an art exhibit, paying for some famous paintings to be put on display at the marina. After making his selections, a mystery buyer reaches out to Miss Atkins inquiring about purchasing one of the paintings. Bruce tells Miss Atkins to tell him they aren’t for sale. A night into the festival, Batman engages with some frogmen, who shoot him in the arm with a spear gun and make-off with one of the paintings. Soon after, Batman tracks the frogmen to the palatial castle estate of Orson Payne. Inside, Payne not only admits to hiring the frogmen thieves, but also admits that he’s stolen a bunch of art—all of it depicting his long lost love, a semi-famous opera singer named Catarina, who went missing decades ago. Payne also reveals that his castle is full of death traps, which Batman then fights his way through. After Payne loses his marbles and jumps out of a window, Batman saves him and has him committed to a mental hospital. Later, Bruce realizes that his cleaning lady, Cathy, is the object of Payne’s obsession, the former opera starlet Catarina! She went off the radar decades ago to avoid Payne’s advances and is more than happy to be Cathy the Cleaning Lady now.

–The Brave and The Bold #89
Dick comes home to Gotham for a long weekend break from college. For the first time in 150 years, the ascetic religious sect known as the Hellerites return to Gotham. Led by their leader Josiah Heller, supposed descendant of the original Josiah, the Hellerites claim reparations, demanding ownership of the city’s largest park and all surrounding real estate. As panic spreads over the city, protestors march (both for and against the Hellerites). At a City Council meeting, Bruce addresses his fellow council members and Mayor Hayes (who is drawn with hair, when we’ve only seen him bald before, so make of that what you will), telling them that he will donate the Wayne Foundation (sans his penthouse) and adjacent properties to the Hellerites as reparations. Later, Batman spies Josiah, who has moved into a building next to the Wayne Foundation, in a confrontation with The Phantom Stranger, who has come to issue a warning to the Hellerites from the great beyond. Soon, the ghosts of long dead Hellerites begin to appear all over Gotham. The Phantom Stranger tries to talk to Batman about what is going on, but Batman doesn’t believe him. Nor does the Phantom Stranger’s anti-occult rival Dr. Terence Thirteen, who shows up and knocks him out. After investigating the brownstones adjacent to the Wayne Foundation, which he gave to the Hellerites, Batman starts to see clues of something fishy going on. After a computer background check at police HQ, Batman learns that Dick is a descendent of the Hellerites! At the penthouse, Dick, along with all other male descendants of the Hellerites, turn into mindless warlocks, subservient to the original leader of the Hellerites, Josiah Heller, who appears in ghost form. The deceased Josiah reveals that the current day Josiah is an impostor—a crook, who isn’t actually his descendent. Soon after, Batman and the Phantom Stranger fight the ghost of Josiah and a possessed magick-powered Dick. A sheriff from the current day Josiah’s home state arrives, revealing that the fake prophet is actually fugitive criminal Karl Loftus, who has amnesia and actually thinks he is Josiah. The Phantom Stranger restores Loftus’ memory, which causes the spirit of the original Josiah to rescind back into the netherworld along with all the other Hellerite ghouls. Dick and all other true descendants are restored back to their normal states. Batman and the Phantom Stranger bust Loftus. The Hellerites then return back to their land out West.

–Detective Comics #398
Bruce flies to Hollyood to finalize the Wayne Enterprises merger with/buyout of Sever-Star Pics. On the plane, Bruce reads a book called Corporate Structure of Film Studios and gets into an altercation with the person sitting next to him in first class: Maxine Melanie, author of the newly released In People of Out City, a trashy already best-selling novel about Hollywood’s biggest names and their sordid affairs (using thinly veiled pseudonyms, of course). Upon learning that The In People of Out City has been optioned by Seven-Star, Bruce enters his meeting with the studio in a huff, exclaiming that he’ll call off the merger if they make the film. Cooler heads prevail and they urge Bruce to read the book before making such a harsh judgement and rash decision. Bruce goes to an LA book store to pick up the publication only to run into Maxine, who is doing a book-signing, yet again. Someone disguised as an old lady murders Maxine with a poison-tipped pen before running away, accidentally leaving behind an advance copy of Maxine’s book. Bruce takes the copy and rejoins the Seven-Star higher-ups. Not long afterward, husband-and-wife actors Loren Melburn and Dorian Spence, both skewered in Maxine’s book, both confess to the murder. (They mistakenly believe that the other has committed the crime and want to take the rap on their behalf.) Batman visits Melburn and Spence, who both maintain that they killed Maxine, before visiting a third suspect, Rod Drake, another actor that was skewered in the book. Batman and Spence then expose Drake as the real killer. Presumably, the Seven-Star Pics deal goes through. Whether or not Bruce gives the green-light for the adaptation of The In People of Out City is unknown, but my guess would be that he approves.

  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: Batman and Robin in The Cheetah Caper, a pocket-sized prose-and-picture book written by George S Elrick, was released by Whitman Publications in 1969 as a part of its Big Little Book series, which also contained mini-books featuring Disney characters, Looney Tunes characters, Lassie, and Popeye. This fun title, now infamous for its ridiculous picture captions, mostly involving the Dark Knight doing various things with snakes, is unfortunately non-canon. Just like the off-brand Alfred to Zowie alphabet book, the ultra-campy Cheetah Caper seems to feature the Adam West/Burt Ward Batman 66 characters. The Cheetah in this tale isn’t even the Cheetah we are familiar with. It’s an old costumed foe of Batman’s that can run a three-minute-mile and constantly craves peanut butter.
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: The Brave and The Bold #84 by Bob Haney, Neal Adams, Joe Kubert, Ben Oda, and Murray Boltinoff, published around this time on our chronology, is non-canon, taking place on both the Earth-B timeline and Earth-1 timeline instead.
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: The Batman with Robin the Boy Wonder news strips, which have always had continuity issues when put alongside the actual comics, begin to do an extra-strange thing with the 9/8/1970 to 1/8/1971 strips (entitled “Everything will be Different”). “Everything will be Different” might as well be a meta-signifier for the news strips transitioning from being canon to existing in their own continuity. From this point onward, everything certainly is different for the news strips Because of this, the main narrative of “Everything will be Different” is non-canon. For example, the 9/10/1970 to 9/12/1970 strips mash-up Dick’s move to college with Bruce’s start-up of the Victims Inc Program into a combined narrative that doesn’t match the official narrative in Batman #217. Some parts overlap, but other parts just don’t jibe. In the 9/10/1970 to 9/12/1970 strips, Bruce, Alfred, and Pete continue their discussion about Mr. Whipp’s family in Pete’s trailer. During their talk, Bruce and Alfred come up with the name “Victims Incorporated Program” for the first time. Obviously, this happens in Batman #217. While similar, Bruce and Alfred coin the name at the Wayne Foundation Building by themselves, not in Pete’s trailer with Pete present. This non-canon portion continues with Bruce and Dick discussing their impending split-up due to Dick going to college, which doesn’t match the way things go down in the main-line comics either. More big problems arise with the 9/17/1970 to 9/22/1970 news strips, which re-show—almost shot-for-shot and dialogue-verbatim—Bruce and Alfred’s transition from Wayne Manor to the Wayne Foundation Building from Batman #217. However, the writers add Bruce talking about Victims Incorporated, which he wouldn’t have come up with yet. Therefore, just like the 9/10/1970 to 9/12/1970 strips, the 9/17/1970 to 9/22/1970 strips are non-canon. Moving further along, the 9/23/1970 to 1/8/1971 strips tell a lengthy tale that features Bruce solving a VIP case wherein which he helps Madeleine Whipp to find her son Jeff. This investigation intertwines with a case that Dick is working on at Hudson University. We get the debut of Professor Kirk Langstrom, who turns himself into Man-Bat. However, the new strip debut of Man-Bat is decidedly different from his debut in Detective Comics. For this rather large reason, the 9/23/1970 to 1/8/1971 strips must be non-canon. If you’d like to include Bruce’s VIP case with the Whipps in your own personal headcanon, feel free—but be sure to ignore the Man-Bat and Hudson U stuff. For the intents and purposes of this site, there’s really no way any of the main narrative of “Everything will be Different” can remain canon.

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