Years 31-40

GOLDEN AGE (EARTH-2) BATMAN YEARS 31-40

 

1969-1978: Retirement Continues

 

(1969)

–REFERENCE: In Wonder Woman #296 Part 2. Helena begins gymnastics training on the uneven parallel bars with Bruce as her teacher.

 

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(1970)

–NOTE: In Flash #123. This issue doesn’t feature Batman or any of the Bat-Family, but it is the seminal “Flash of Two Worlds” story that fully introduces the concept of the multiverse to DC. This superb and influential tale, which originally took place in 1961 but has been retconned to 1970 thanks to Silver Age time-sliding, features Earth-1’s Flash (Barry Allen) accidentally vibrating through the Bleed from Earth-1 to Earth-2![1] There, Barry meets Jay Garrick, the Earth-2 Flash, who has been officially retired since 1949 (inactive as a hero since 1951). (Batman has been retired for 10 years at this point). All of Jay’s adventures as Flash on Earth-2 have appeared as comic books written by Gardner Fox on Earth-1, so Barry knows all about him. The Golden Age Flash comes out of retirement to team with the Silver Age flash to defeat the original Thinker, The Shade, and The Fiddler. Afterward, Barry returns to Earth-1 and Jay decides to stay un-retired.

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(1971)

–REFERENCE: In Wonder Woman #271 Part 2. Bruce begins teaching special lessons to Helena, including dropping serious knowledge about the various evils of which mankind is capable. These lessons will continue (randomly and invisibly moving forward on our timeline), but will ultimately aid in influencing Helena to one day become the Huntress.

–NOTE: In Flash #137. Batman isn’t in this one, entitled “Vengeance of the Immortal Villain,” but it is important nevertheless. (This item was originally published in 1963, but was retconned to 1971 via Sliding-Time.) Earth-1’s Flash (Barry Allen) decides to breach through the multiversial Bleed to revisit his inspiration, Jay Garrick (the Earth-2 Flash). There, Barry finds that certain members of the old Justice Society of America (Flash, Dr. Mid-Nite, Wonder Woman, Hawkman, The Atom, Johnny Thunder, Yz, and Green Lantern) have come out of retirement to deal with the threat of the immortal Vandal Savage. Savage captures the Justice Society, leading to their rescue by the two Flashes. Vandal Savage is then defeated by the combined might of the heroes. On Earth-2, this version of the Justice Society decides to come out retirement. Barry returns to Earth-1.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #55-56. Bruce and Dick are told all about Flash’s recent amazing multiversial experience and the return of the JSA.

–NOTE: In Justice League of America #21-22 (“CRISIS ON EARTH-1 & CRISIS ON EARTH-2”). This item was originally published in 1963, but was retconned to 1971 via Sliding-Time.) Batman isn’t involved in this item, but it’s important because it starts a wave of annual multiversal crises that will plague the heroes of multiple Earths for years to come. The Fiddler, The Icicle, and The Wizard travel through the Bleed to meet Earth-1’s Chronos, Felix Faust, and Dr. Alchemy. They form the first ever inter-multiversial super-villain team, The Crime Champions. On Earth-1, the Crime Champions defeat the Justice League of America—Earth-1 versions of Superman, Batman, The Atom, Aquaman, Flash, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, and Wonder Woman. After the Crime Champions kidnap Flash (Barry Allen) and bring him to their secret hideout in the Bleed-space between universes, they go to Earth-2 and also defeat the Justice Society of America (with Black Canary filling in for Wonder Woman, Hourman subbing for Johnny Thunder, and Dr. Fate subbing for Dr. Mid-Nite). The Crime Champions then kidnap Flash (Jay Garrick). (Note that the Justice Society mentions that they haven’t had an official meeting in twelve years, but thanks to retcons, this should read twenty years.) Eventually, the JLA is defeated for a second time and imprisoned inside their own Secret Sanctuary HQ. Using Earth-1 Merlin’s crystal ball, the JLA summons the JSA, which breaks through the dimensional barrier and appears on Earth-1! (This summoning scene is also shown in a flashback from The Multiversity Guidebook.) Eventually, the heroes defeat the Crime Champions.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #29-30, Justice League of America #37-38, and Justice League of America #55. Bruce and Dick hear all about the amazing “Crisis on Earth-1 and Earth-2.” Despite staying semi-retired, Batman becomes an honorary member of the JSA. Likewise, Mr. Terrific, Starman, Black Canary, Dr. Fate, and Wildcat all come out of retirement to join their old JSA teammates full-time.

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(1972)

–NOTE: In Justice League of America #29-30 (“CRISIS ON EARTH-THREE”). Again, this note has nothing to do with Batman, but it does let us know the ongoing status of the Justice Society of America—as will the following note. Earth-3’s Crime Syndicate of America—featuring Ultraman, Superwoman, Power Ring, Johnny Quick, and Owlman—capture and imprison the JLA before opening a wormhole to Earth-2 with plans to attack the Justice Society of America next! Sensing the dimensional breach, Dr. Fate alerts his JSA teammates—Hawkman, Dr. Mid-Nite, Starman, and Black Canary. The JSA is able to communicate with the JLA at its Earth-3 prison using Dr. Fate’s magick, but they are unable to free their friends. The CSA crashes onto Earth-2 and is initially defeated, but winds up claiming victory in the end. After imprisoning the JSA on Earth-3 with the Earth-1 heroes, the presumptuous CSA releases the JLA and challenges them to a battle on the neutral ground of Earth-2. (This battle is also shown via flashback from Convergence: Crime Syndicate #1.) After the JLA stands victorious, they imprison the CSA in the Bleedspace between Earth-2 and Earth-3. Back on Earth-3, the JLA frees the JSA and everybody returns home.

–NOTE: In Justice League of America #38 Part 3. Earth-1 Johnny Thunder, a lowlife gangster, is able to capture and control Yz the Thunderbolt, using him to go back in time to erase the existence of the Justice League of America (including newest recruit Earth-1 Hawkman), turning Earth-1’s timeline into an Earth-A (A for “alternate”) timeline, complete with his own evil version of the JLA, the Lawless League. The Justice Society of America crosses through the Bleed and defeats the Lawless League, giving bad Johnny no choice but to undo all his terrorism via a djinni wish. In an instant, the entire adventure is whisked away into oblivion and the timeline reverts back to normal. At stories end, everything is returned to normal. Yz the Thunderbolt, breaking the fourth wall, tell us (the reader) that only he retains memories of “The Crisis on Earth-A.”

–NOTE: In Showcase #60. The Spectre returns from a 27 year absence, rejoining with host Jim Corrigan.

 

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(1973)

 

–NOTE: In Justice League of America #46-47. This is another non-Batman-related (but important) item, detailing the “Crisis Between Earth-1 and Earth-2!” arc. It’s hard to believe that Bruce stays dutifully retired and uninvolved when so many of his old pals keep coming out of retirement to join these reoccurring interdimensional conflicts. I guess Bruce really is dead serious about having hung up his crimefighting togs. Anyway, Wildcat (Ted Grant) comes out of retirement to rejoin the Justice Society of America, and Sandman and the Spectre both rejoin the JSA as well. Soon afterward, the Justice League of America visits the JSA. Notably, Wildcat and the Spectre meet Earth-1 Batman. Shortly thereafter, an unknown force causes people to phase in and out between Earth-1 and Earth-2. Several heroes swap places, and Earth-1 super-villain Blockbuster switches with Solomon Grundy. The Spectre is whisked away by Universe-3’s Anti-Matter Man. The Spectre sees that Earth-1 and Earth-2 are about to merge in what will be a catastrophic collision. Growing to gigantic size, the Spectre—from within the Bleed—literally holds both planets apart. Earth-1 Batman joins the JSA to fight Blockbuster on Earth-2. Meanwhile, on Earth-1, Ray Palmer shuts down his lab assistant Enrichetta Negrini‘s invention, which had been the cause of all the interdimensional-swapping. As more conflicts break out, Dr. Fate uses his magick to allow the heroes of two Earths to venture into the Bleed. While standing atop the back of a Godzilla-sized Spectre, the heroes wage war against the seemingly invulnerable King Kong-sized Anti-Matter Man. After an epic cosmic battle, all’s well that ends well.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #55. (This item was originally published in 1967, but was retconned to 1973 thanks to Time-Sliding.) Robin is invited to become a member of the JSA! Bruce plans to attend his swearing-in ceremony, but is unable to when a “special case” comes up, forcing him to suit up as Batman for the first time in a while. Batman tells Robin to give his apologies and best wishes to the JSA. While Batman goes on this unspecified action, Robin is sworn-in by Wonder Woman, Hawkman, Wildcat, Mr. Terrific, and Hourman. Robin’s first mission winds up being a multiversial experience as the JSA teams with members of the JLA (Earth-1 Superman, Earth-1 Green Lantern, Earth-1 Green Arrow, and Earth-1 Flash) to defeat one-shot villains Gem Girl, How Chu, Money Master, and Smashing Sportsman. Presumably, Robin tells Batman all about it afterwards.

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(1974)

 

–NOTE: In Justice League of America #64-65. Another multiversal conflict—sans a still happily retired Batman, of course. Evil Earth-1 scientist TO Morrow inserts his own creation—the android Red Tornado—into the Justice Society of America lineup. In doing so, Morrow is able to manipulate the team’s defeat and cause their apparent deaths. Morrow then hops back to Earth-1 and defeats the Justice League of America too, putting them in states of suspended animation. Red Tornado, gaining autonomy, travels to Earth-1 where he—along with Earth-1 Steve Trevor, Midge, Jean Loring, Earth-1 Mera, and Earth-1 Hawkgirl—frees the JLAers. The heroes of two worlds then bust Morrow and his faceless android henchmen. After the case wraps, the JSA offers team membership to Red Tornado.

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(1975)

 

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #72-75, Justice League of America #219-220, DC Comics Presents #30, DC Special Series #10 Part 3, and Green Lantern Vol. 2 #78. This event was retconned, thanks to Sliding-Time, from 1969 to 1975. As usual, Batman isn’t a part of this item, although he technically gets killed and reborn (along with all of Earth-2 and its inhabitants) during this crazy multiversal conflict. Onto a synopsis. First, Superman officially rejoins the Justice Society of America! Not long afterward, the evil sentient energy of the star Aquarius travels to Earth and defeats the JSA—Superman, Starman, Wonder Woman, Dr. Mid-Nite, Green Lantern Alan Scott, Dr. Fate, Red Tornado, and Black Canary—and Larry Lance (Black Canary’s detective husband). Aquarius then destroys the entire planet, killing everyone and leaving only the JSA and Larry alive in a protective bubble created by Dr. Fate! Red Tornado escapes through the Bleed to Earth-1 to ask for help. By the time the Justice League of America listens to the annoying android, nearly two weeks have passed! The apologetic JLA then 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 Earth-1 Batman matching up against Dr. Mid-Nite. Eventually, the weakened and crazed JSA succumbs to the JLA, prompting Aquarius to throw an energy death ball 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. 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. 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 really crazy shit happens. 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 ever since. 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 to Earth-1. Only Superman and the JSA will know the truth about Dinah.

–The Brave and The Bold #84
This item was originally published in 1969, but retconned to 1975 thanks to Sliding-Time. Bruce befriends the curator of the Gotham Museum, a man named Wyatt. Shortly thereafter, when aging ex-Nazi, Klaus Von Stauffen, phones the Gotham Museum to set up a meeting with Wyatt in an attempt to steal a French statue from the 1940s, a suspicious Wyatt gets Bruce on the case. At the museum, after hours, Von Stauffen surprises Bruce and Wyatt, pistol-whipping the latter. Von Stauffen reveals that the statue contains all of his hidden melted-down Nazi gold from the war. Thankfully, a now elderly but still-active Sgt. Rock has been trailing Von Stauffen. He jumps out of the shadows and kayos the Nazi scumbag. Later, Bruce finishes a journal entry about this case, one that he first wrote way back in 1944.

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(1976)

 

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(1977)

 

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(1978)

 

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  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: The Bleed is the tesseract space that exists in-between/separates all the universes in the Omniverse. Marvel Comics refers to the Bleed as “The Superflow.” The terminology is quite menstrual in nature, but what cosmic magick isn’t, right?

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