New Age Salad Days

New Age (“Rebirth” aka Post-“Superman Reborn”) Salad Days[1]

 

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–FLASHBACK: From All-Star Batman #11—and also referenced in Flash Vol. 5 #21 and Batman Vol. 3 #22. Bruce Wayne is born to billionaires Dr. Thomas Wayne and Martha Wayne in Gotham City. Thomas is a gifted surgeon. Both he and Martha run Wayne Enterprises, a mega-conglomerate that deals in almost everything—from manufacturing and engineering to real estate and healthcare. Bruce is cared for by the Waynes and their trusted butler Jarvis Pennyworth. All-Star Batman #11 seems to place Bruce’s birth right around the time of the Falklands War, meaning 1982. This would mean that Bruce is merely 20-years-old when he becomes Batman. However, it is possible (and likely) that the image of the Falklands, which doesn’t specifically have the label of “Falklands War,” is showing some covert British military op years prior to the actual war. If we go with the latter explanation, Bruce’s birth year could be in the range of 1976 to 1982, meaning Bruce could be anywhere from 20 to 26 when he debuts as Batman.

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #11, Dark Nights: Metal #2, and Batman: Lost #1. Bruce is three-years-old. The centuries-old illuminati group known as The Court of Owls causes Jarvis Pennyworth to get into a car accident while transporting a pregnant Martha Wayne. Both Jarvis and Martha survive the crash, but Martha loses the baby, whom she was going to name Thomas Wayne Jr. (Super-villain Lincoln March will later claim that he is Thomas Wayne Jr, having actually survived and lived a secret life away from the Waynes at Willowwood Asylum. Of course, there is no way of verifying whether or not March’s claims are true. All we know is that Martha was pregnant and got in a crash—and there was no baby to speak of following the tragic incident.) Note that the Court of Owls involved in Jarvis and Martha’s accident is merely the local Gotham chapter of the greater international network known as The Parliament of Owls. Within the Parliament of Owls there are many Courts located in major cities across the globe. Also note that the Parliament/Court of Owls is the contemporary evolution of what was once known as The Judas Tribe, an ancient Hath-Set-worshipping cult. The Judas Tribe still exists in the form of a handful of semi-immortal high priests, collectively known as The Strigydae, who work for and worship Barbatos—demon god of the Dark Multiverse. (The Dark Multiverse is the evil mirror version of the local Multiverse, containing various Negative Universes within.) The Judas Tribe itself has origins connected to the Hath-Set-led Bat Tribe, which existed as far back as 3300 BCE and was an evolution of the Miagani Tribe, which formed as a direct result of a time-displaced Batman appearing in 38,000 BCE. Barbatos has been waiting since 38,000 BCE for the birth of Bruce Wayne, whom he knows will one day become Batman. Barbatos has carefully guided his minions—first the Bat Tribe, then Judas Tribe/Strigydae, then Parliament/Court of Owls—for over 40,000 years, manipulating certain events while biding his time. Ever since the Parliament/Court of Owls’ inception, Barbatos has been orchestrating their every move. Now that Bruce is a toddler, Barbatos and his minions secretly watch the child from the shadows. The Strigydae—in league with the Court of Owls—hope to eventually initiate their “Mantling” ritual upon an adult Bruce to achieve Barbatos’ very nefarious goals in the future. These villains will continue to monitor and sometimes manipulate certain aspects of Bruce’s life, moving forward on our timeline—although, these actions won’t be specifically listed. We’ll get into more details of Barbatos’ plan much further down the line.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #975 and Detective Comics #978. Bruce’s uncle (Jacob “Jake” Kane) and aunt (Gabrielle “Gabi” Kane) give birth to twin girls (Katherine Rebecca “Kate” Kane and Elizabeth “Beth” Kane). Young Bruce is introduced to his baby cousins. Over the years to follow, especially as the twins grow older, Bruce will spend some time with Kate and Beth. However, the rest of Martha’s Kane clan, including Jake and Gabi, have long been estranged from the Waynes. This will severely limit the amount of time Bruce spends with his cousins, aunt, and uncle. Thus, he won’t get to know them super well. (Jake, Gabi, and the girls will soon move to Brussels, Belgium, only adding to the estrangement.) Notably, Martha is completely estranged from her other brothers Nathan Kane and Philip Kane (also sometimes spelled “Phillip”). Due to the nature of the estrangement, Bruce will rarely interact with his uncles and won’t get to know them very well. Furthermore, Bruce will never even meet his grandparents on the Kane side of the family, Elizabeth “Betsy” Kane and Roderick Kane.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #23 and Detective Comics #983. A young Bruce poses with his parents for a professional photograph and a painted portrait, both of which he will keep and cherish long into adulthood.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #22. Bruce falls into a cave filled with bats underneath the Wayne Manor grounds. His dad rescues him. (This cave, of course, will one day become the Batcave.)

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #961. Bruce meets Dr. Leslie Thompkins, who will remain a close friend for decades and become a mother-figure to him.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman #3-5. Bruce gets an Irish nanny named Dora, who will work for the Waynes for a short while. She will tell Bruce many Irish folktales, fairytales, and myths, and tell him all about the magick of the Faerie Folk. Bruce also learns about some Irish-American history, specifically about an eccentric Gaelic cult—known as “The Gotham Druids”—that existed in Gotham years ago.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #959. While Bruce’s dad finishes a late shift, Bruce’s mom takes Bruce to the top of the hospital. She gives him words of inspiration and shows him the city lights from high above, noting each visible neighborhood. For the next few years, Martha will often take Bruce atop the hospital (although we’ll have to imagine these occurrences scattered invisibly below). Young Bruce will familiarize himself with the location, look, and vibe of many Gotham neighborhoods, growing to truly love the city in which he resides.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #982. A new subway line is planned in Gotham, but due to bureaucratic red tape it will never get finished. Bruce, despite being a young boy, will pay attention to this infrastructural failure with keen interest. For the rest of his life, Bruce will be very interested in urban planning, transportation, and all things city-related in this vein.

–FLASHBACK: In Batman Vol. 3 #29—and also referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #29. Martha Wayne tells Bruce, “When all is lost, have dinner—a traditional nine course French dinner.” (Jarvis is a culinary master that can deliver such a dinner.) Martha’s staid motto is that the Art of Eating, when done right, can save one’s soul. Young Bruce scoffs at this seemingly ridiculous bourgeois ideology, but a nine course French dinner is had nevertheless. And wouldn’t you know it? After fancily filling his belly, Bruce will feel tip-top. Moving forward on our timeline, Bruce will often roll eyes at his mom’s haute-cuisine-solves-everything mantra, but, he will find comfort in his mom’s idea, the food, and company kept in the years to come. (Upon his arrival in America, Alfred will continue his father’s work by cooking nine course French dinners for the Waynes and various party guests. Alfred will also continue to, on occasion, cook nine course French meals for Bruce long into his adulthood.)

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #10, All-Star Batman #13, and Batman: Prelude to the Wedding Part 2 – Nightwing vs Hush #1. Being the only kid not intimidated by the Wayne fortune (due to his own family’s vast fortune), young Tommy Elliot approaches Bruce in school and befriends him. (Tommy’s mom and dad are famous but troubled Gotham couple, Roger Elliot and Marla Elliot.) Bruce and Tommy quickly become best friends, hanging out often at Wayne Manor where the boys bond over their shared interest of strategy board games. Bruce also accompanies Tommy and his family to the Elliots’ beach house in the Florida Keys. Sadly, Bruce watches as a deep rage grows within Tommy, who hates his neglectful parents and begins to jealously resent Bruce for having such a loving mom and dad. Eventually, with confused hate in his heart, the unhinged Tommy secretly severs the brake line of his parents’ car, causing an accident that kills his father and permanently injures his mother.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #958-960. Bruce goes on unspecified travels with his parents, during which time he befriends young Zatanna Zatara, daughter of stage magician (and secret legit magick user) John Zatara, who is on tour. Bruce will hang with the Zataras every so often (although invisibly on our timeline), moving forward. Note that these hangouts will not be in Gotham—we are not told the details of where Bruce and Zatanna see each other, but we can presume that they see each other in random cities where the Zataras are on tour.

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #14. Bruce sees a Zorro movie and becomes obsessed. His parents purchase a Zorro costume and toy sword, which Bruce will wear and play with quite often.

–FLASHBACK: From All-Star Batman #14—and also referenced in All-Star Batman #11-14, Dark Nights: Metal #2, Super Sons #10 Part 2, and Batman & The Signal #2. Jarvis Pennyworth dies under mysterious circumstances. (The Court of Owls has secretly assassinated him.) Shortly thereafter, Jarvis’ son Alfred Pennyworth—a former soldier, MI6 secret agent, theater actor, mechanic, and gourmet chef—moves into Wayne Manor to replace his father as butler of the estate. Alfred meets an eight-year-old Bruce. (According to panels in Scott Snyder’s All-Star Batman #11, which are admittedly vague and open to interpretation, Alfred is roughly nineteen or twenty years older than Bruce.) Like his pop before him, Alfred will care-for and help raise Bruce. Alfred’s moral code and values (and his passion for dramaturgical arts) will rub off on young Bruce over the years.

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #12. Eight-year-old Bruce sees a show about spelunking and attempts to imitate by rope-ascending to the ceiling and then rappelling down from a chandelier. This results in a bad scapular injury that will leave a permanent scar and require weeks of bedrest. During this time, Alfred reads to Bruce Robinson Crusoe, which the boy comes to love (except for the ending).

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #36. Alfred, in addition to cooking gourmet meals, begins making his specialty snack—mini cucumber sandwiches—for Bruce. He will make these sandwiches for Bruce every week, long into his adulthood.

–REFERENCE: In Deathstroke Vol. 4 #31. Bruce poses for a photo with his mom and dad. This photo, developed and framed, will stay in Bruce’s possession for the rest of his life.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #44. Bruce begins riding horses. He will become an expert equestrian in the future.

–FLASHBACK: From Trinity Vol. 2 #16, Doomsday Clock #2, Deathstroke Vol. 4 #31, Batman Vol. 3 #47, and Suicide Squad Vol. 5 #43—and also referenced in Flash Vol. 5 #21-22, All-Star Batman #10, Batman Vol. 3 #24, Batman Vol. 3 #45, Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #7, Batman Vol. 3 Annual #2 Part 1 Conclusion, Detective Comics #975, and Detective Comics #984-985. Bruce’s parents are brutally murdered. This iconic moment will forever traumatize the boy and eventually shape the justice-fueled vigilantism of his eventual costumed alter-ego. Thanks to New Age ridiculousness, however, the story isn’t as cut and dry as it once once. Here’s our synopsis. Thomas and Martha Wayne take Bruce to see the 1940 film The Mark of Zorro at the Monarch Theater on Park Row. (Note that Trinity Vol. 2 #16 incorrectly, anachronistically, and hilariously shows The MASK of Zorro on the marquee instead.) As the movie nears its climax, several time-travelers—Booster Gold, Skeets (who immediately gets destroyed), and an adult “Bat-point” Bruce Wayne—arrive atop the theater’s roof from the alternate “Bat-point timeline” future. Booster, hoping to restore the correct timeline, has to undo a past mistake in which he previously went back in time and saved the Waynes from being murdered. (You just can’t mess with time like that. The Waynes, unfortunately, must die.) As the original Booster and Skeets arrive, the former is accidentally gunned to death by Bat-point Bruce. The Waynes, leaving the cinema below, only decide to go down a dark Park Row alley because they hear the gunfire above and are trying to avoid it. This, of course, leads them directly to smalltime crook Joe Chill, who murders Thomas and Martha before young Bruce’s horrified eyes. From the roof above, Bat-point Bruce also watches the murder of his parents as it unfolds before his younger self. Distraught, Bat-point Bruce commits suicide. With the timeline rebooted to its correct state—with Thomas and Martha dying on what will come to be known as Crime Alley—Booster Gold and Skeets return to the future, hauling with them the time-anomalous corpses from the rooftop. A shell-shocked Bruce takes a pearl from his mother’s necklace, which Chill was trying to steal. Bruce will keep this pearl, regarding it as priceless, long into adulthood. Despite having living relatives on the Kane side of the family (notably his two uncles and Aunt Gabi), the orphaned Bruce is left in the primary care of Alfred. This is partly due to the fact that the Kanes have long been estranged from the Waynes. Dr. Leslie Thompkins will also care for Bruce time-to-time as well. A funeral is held and the Waynes are buried in a Gotham cemetery. Alfred begins the tough challenge of raising a troubled boy that has lost everything. A bit overbearing as a result, Alfred will constantly tell Bruce what to do for the next decade-plus, although Bruce will rarely listen. Notably, Bruce’s uncle Philip Kane takes full control of Wayne Enterprises, but everything else—a vast fortune, multiple properties (including Wayne Manor), a couple Learjets, and a small fleet of cars—goes to young Bruce. Alfred retains power of attorney over the estate until Bruce is of age.[2]

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #7. Alfred accompanies young Bruce to the cemetery in the pouring rain. Bruce grieves by the side of his parents’ tombstone.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21, Dark Days: The Casting #1, Dark Nights: Metal #1-2, Batman: Lost #1, and Detective Comics #978—originally told in Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #5. Alfred takes a depressed Bruce on a trip outside of Gotham to help clear the boy’s mind. Meanwhile, an amnesiac adult Bruce from the 21st century appears in Gotham thanks to Darkseid’s time-displacing Omega Sanction. Adult Bruce gets involved in film noir-esque family-related intrigue, specifically a sinister plot hatched by the criminal organization known as The Black Glove—which includes members Simon Hurt, John Mayhew, Carter Nichols, Marsha Lamarr, and others. While the amnesiac Bruce, manipulated into joining the Black Glove, waits in the wings, Marsha meets with Roderick and Betsy Kane, delivering them slanderous information about Martha and Thomas Wayne. Roderick doesn’t believe a word of it, but thanks to the heinous actions of Hurt, the elderly Kane patriarch is fully-incapacitated in an iron lung, in which he will spend the rest of his life. (Note that the Betsy and Roderick will both die a couple years after this item, in close proximity to one another. Bruce will not attend their funerals.) Later that evening, a confused Bruce is forced into taking part in an occult demon-summoning séance held by the Black Glove. The ritual will supposedly summon the demon Barbatos. (Hurt has long mistaken Darkseid’s Hyper-Adapter for the real Barbatos.) When Nichols betrays the Black Glove during the ritual, Bruce is able to use his Omega energy to activate a prototype time machine of Nichols’ own design, escaping to 100 Billion CE aka Vanishing Point, mere moments before the total destruction of the universe and the literal End of Time. Note that Hurt is actually Bruce’s great(x5) Uncle Thomas Wayne, endowed with quasi-immortality from a similar occult ritual performed in 1765. During the 1756 ritual, Hurt believed he had come into contact with Barbatos, hence his desire to do so again here. However, Hurt had actually mistakenly come into contact with the defeated Hyper-Adapter as it was falling backward through time. Although, unknown to Hurt, the real Barbatos was watching and manipulating everything, using Hurt and company to initiate the first rites of his own “Mantling” ritual. After all the Black Glove chaos ends, young Bruce returns home to Gotham with Alfred, having no clue any of the wild stuff even went down while they were away.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #35. Suffering from severe depression, a ten-year-old Bruce attempts suicide (by slashing his wrists). After recovering, Bruce vows to one day war against all criminals in an effort to avenge his parents.

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #10—originally told in All-Star Batman #1-5 (“MY OWN WORST ENEMY”). Following his suicide attempt, a depressed Bruce is sent to live in a hospital for troubled youth, The Arkham Home, in Innsmouth, Massachusetts. Bruce only stays there for a couple months before returning to Alfred’s care at Wayne Manor, but during this time he meets and befriends a young Harvey Dent.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #975. Bruce begins having nightmares about his parents’ deaths. He also begins having “good dreams” where he violently hunts down and kills the man responsible for murdering them. These nightmares and dreams will occur for Bruce for years to come.

–REFERENCE: In Mother Panic/Batman Special #1. Gotham socialite Rebecca Paige meets young Bruce and notes how tragically sad he is, having gone through so much trauma.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21. A teenage Bruce tries to recover the gun that was used to murder his parents, but he is unable to find it.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #960. Bruce shows an early aptitude for all things crime-fighting related, learning how to use a lock-pick.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #959. Bruce and Zatanna share a brief teenage romance. This affair happens outside of Gotham. We are not told the location of this event, but we can presume that it occurs in one of the random cities where the Zataras are on tour.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: The Merciless #1. Teenage Bruce dates fellow high school co-ed Julie Madison for an undetermined amount of time.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 Annual #2 Part 1 Conclusion. Bruce begins closely following the Gotham Knights Major League Baseball team. He will remain a lifelong fan.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #975. January. Bruce’s younger twin cousins (Kate Kane and Beth Kane) and his aunt (Gabi Kane) are kidnapped and held for ransom in Brussels, Belgium. Bruce’s uncle (Jake Kane), a military colonel working with NATO, leads a rescue mission, but it gets botched. Horrific tragedy befalls the Wayne-Kane Family yet again. Kate is saved, but Gabi is killed and Beth goes missing. (Beth will later be incorrectly presumed dead.) Shortly thereafter, a funeral is held for Gabi. Bruce and Alfred attend. At the funeral, Kate asks Bruce is the pain of loss will ever go away. Bruce responds, saying that it hasn’t for him and that he has dreams of killing their killer. Kate tells Bruce that they should actually kill the men responsible. (Bruce’s uncles—Philip and Nathan—are likely in attendance at Gabi’s funeral. Note that Uncle Nathan probably dies at some point near the end of this Salad Days section, but it is highly unlikely that Bruce attends his funeral. Also note that, prior to his death, Uncle Nathan will marry the much younger Kathy Webb, who will one day become Bat-Woman and become romantically involved with Bruce.)

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #11, Detective Comics #959-960, and Batman Vol. 3 Annual #2 Part 2. Bruce, at sixteen-years-old, ends high school early and leaves Gotham to go on a long martial arts training adventure all over the globe. This training will last for years before he returns. For most of his training, Bruce will remain incommunicado, even with Alfred. One of the primary motivators for Bruce’s training, besides wanting to defeat evil and avenge his parents’ murders, is knowing that the more steps he takes to push himself, the more lives he can eventually save. This concept will stay with (and haunt) Bruce for the rest of his life. He will forever be training to be the quintessential warrior—to be stronger, smarter, faster, better.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #985. Sixteen-year-old Bruce gets his driver’s license. With access to his family’s large collection of vehicles (including various sports cars), Bruce will quickly become an expert driver.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 Annual #2 Part 2 and Justice League Vol. 3 #38. Sixteen-year-old Bruce travels to a remote wilderness where he trains for a full year with a master called The Memory of the Mountain, learning to encode his own senses onto his mind. During this tenure, Bruce will often steal cigarettes for his chain-smoking master, learning how to disguise himself in order to do so. At the end of the year, Bruce has exceeded his master. Justice League Vol. 3 #38 makes mention that Batman can withstand/ignore intense pain or temperature via sheer will power and state of mind. It is likely that Bruce first learns this trick with the Memory of the Mountain. It is also likely that he will enhance this ability through training for the rest of his life.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #27, Detective Comics #967, and Detective Comics #978. Mary Elizabeth “Bette” Kane is born to Bruce’s uncle Philip and an unnamed partner. It’s highly probably that Bruce travels to Gotham to meet his new baby cousin Bette. It’s also highly likely that they won’t have many more interactions with each other, moving forward. Baby Bette will eventually grow up to become the original Bat-Girl (and a few other superheroes after that too).

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #10-11, Detective Comics #958-959, Detective Comics #978, Nightwing Vol. 4 #24, Dark Days: The Forge #1, Superman Vol. 4 #37, Trinity Vol. 2 #14-15, and Harley Quinn 25th Anniversary Special #1 Part 4. Already an autodidactic polymath, Bruce begins studying all forms of science—from chemistry and physics to biology and medicine. He will study all sciences for the rest of his life, eventually becoming a master in multiple fields. Relatedly, Bruce learns emergency first aid and begins studying and all there is to know about the human body. Bruce begins studying explosives engineering and how to diffuse all manner of bombs. Also relatedly, Bruce begins learning aerospace engineering, electrical engineering, computer engineering, carpentry, construction, architecture, industrial design, and auto mechanics—just to name a few!

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #959-961—and also referenced in Detective Comics #959-960 and Trinity Vol. 2 #17. Bruce travels to Las Vegas, where the Zataras have recently taken up permanent residence. In Vegas, Bruce asks the Zataras to train him in the art of magick, which he doesn’t even really believe in. John Zatara tells Bruce that he must learn the minor tricks of stage magic before he can learn magick proper. Bruce immediately begins studying, but is terrible even at the basics. While practicing sleight of hand, Bruce chats with a roughly 16-year-old Zatanna. (Zatanna says she was 17 in Detective Comics #960, but contradicts herself and says 15 in Detective Comics #961. So let’s just say she was around 16. It’s hard for me to recall my teenage years with clarity too.) Despite Zatanna’s guidance, Bruce is unable to master legerdemain. Later, Zatanna takes Bruce through a portal and gives Bruce a tour of her father’s magick collection. She performs some spells before showing him the ancient Gnosis Sphere (aka “The God Machine”), with which one can communicate with the dead or obtain answers to unanswerable questions. Bruce is curious, but he and Zatanna are interrupted by a returning John, who is in the middle of a meeting with Ra’s al Ghul, who is trying to recruit him into the League of Assassins! An angry John scolds Zatanna for showing Bruce such a dangerous item. He then immediately mind-wipes Bruce, making him forget he ever saw it! On the way out, a dazed and confused Bruce accidentally bumps into Ra’s al Ghul. Ultimately, Bruce trains with the Zataras for a bit, but he never masters the true art of magick. The main knowledge Bruce obtains from this venture is learning about a few simple items that can ward off certain dark spells. For the rest of his life, Bruce will regard magick very negatively.

–REFERENCE: In Superman Vol. 4 #25 and Nightwing Vol. 4 #24. Bruce learns how to use a variety of weapons, including boomerangs and shurikens. Bruce also begins teaching himself to use his surroundings to his advantage while in combat—to use any item within reach as a weapon.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #24. Bruce begins studying criminology, criminal psychology, and jurisprudence.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 5 #8 and Superman Vol. 4 #25. Batman begins studying body language and facial micro-expressions, learning the ability to “read” someone to tell if they are lying or not.

–REFERENCE: In Bane: Conquest #2, Bane: Conquest #9-11, All-Star Batman #12, Deathstroke Vol. 4 #30, Harley Loves Joker #2, and The Brave and The Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman #4. Bruce begins studying world mythology and many different speaking languages. He will eventually become fluent in various tongues, including Mandarin, Spanish, Portuguese, Dari (Persian), Latin, Gaelic, French, and the Argot of the Ancient Sea People.

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #12, Dark Nights: Metal #1, and Trinity Vol. 2 #17. Bruce studies military personnel, materiel, and tactics, familiarizing himself with all types of naval, land, and air methods of warfare. He also studies military history from all throughout time and all over the world. As part of his education, Bruce visits at least one aviation museum.

–REFERENCE: In Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #2. Bruce, already studying various scholarly pursuits, adds Chinese history and Chinese archeology to his curriculum vitae. He will study these interests for his entire life.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Forge #1. Bruce, while training abroad, meets and befriends tech-savvy businessman Lucius Fox.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #24. Bruce trains with master detective and bounty hunter Henri Ducard and his son Morgan Ducard, learning various fieldcraft techniques.

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #5—originally told in Batman Confidential #50-54. Bruce trains in China, where he trails serial killer Huairen. The killer fatally wounds Bruce, but he’s saved by a metahuman named Ri. Bruce joins Ri’s super-team known as The Zhuguan, which features other members Guanxi, Dao, and Sudu. As a member of the Zhuguan, Bruce drinks from a magickal elixir that grants him temporary invisibility powers. Calling himself “Hei An Wushuh” (aka “The Dark Knight”), Bruce helps take down Huairen.

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #11-12. Bruce returns to Gotham unannounced, surprising Alfred at Wayne Manor. Bruce takes over his parents’ estate, moving into the palatial mansion. A brash and headstrong Bruce, “unfocused and daring the world to kill him” as Alfred describes, tells his loyal friend about his training and all his plans to fight crime. He will have many objectives, but the primary mission will always be to make sure no one is hurt like he was when his parents were killed.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 Annual #2 Part 1 Conclusion. Bruce puts his mother’s pearl into a safe in Wayne Manor.

  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: Some very important rules before we get going with the New Age chronology. As before, flashbacks are included in a specific way. If a flashback is first revealed—let’s say in Bat Year 15, hypothetically—the flashback may or may not be mentioned in Bat Year 15, but the actual events that occur in said flashback will be placed one the timeline exactly when they originally occurred through bullets listed as “flashback.” Similarly, story references will be listed as unnumbered bullet “references.” Therefore, any “references” or “flashbacks” occur chronologically at the spot where they are situated on the timeline. Any character names (or group names) highlighted in red denote the first appearance of a reoccurring character (or group). Some of these red items may appear only once in the Bat-verse but appear elsewhere throughout the DCU, which is why they have been highlighted as well.

    One more thing. As also already stated earlier on the website, just about everyone eats, shits, sleeps, brushes their teeth, watches TV, and goes to the office. Believe it or not, Batman does all these things too. He’s human just like you and me! However, this kind of mundane everyday stuff won’t be on our timeline. Usually, anyway.

  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: How old is Bruce when his parents are murdered in the New Age? Tom King’s Batman Vol. 3 #35 implies that he was ten-years-old—in it, Selina Kyle says that Bruce made a vow to avenge his parents at that age. (Emphasis on “implies.” Just because Bruce makes the vow at age ten, doesn’t necessarily mean that his folks didn’t die a couple years earlier.) King’s Batman Vol. 3 #20 (a New 52 issue with “Rebirth” trade-dressing) also similarly implies that Bruce was ten-years-old at the time. As does King’s Batman Vol. 3 #12 (a New 52 issue with “Rebirth” trade-dressing), which reveals that a ten-year-old Bruce attempted suicide at some point following his parents’ passing. Scott Snyder’s All-Star Batman #3 (another New 52 issue with “Rebirth” trade-dressing) depicts the first meeting of a young Bruce Wayne and young Harvey Dent. This scene occurs shortly after Bruce’s parents have been murdered. The boys are drawn (by John Romita) as if they look to be eight to ten-years-old. A contradiction arises with James Tynion’s Detective Comics #943 (also a New 52 issue with “Rebirth” trade-dressing), which tells us that Bruce was eight-years-old.

    What does it all add up to? First, all the New 52 with “Rebirth” trade-dressing items listed above should be regarded as non-official or merely quasi-canonical references because they were published prior to the post-“Superman Reborn” reboot. So, keep that in mind when weighing their value. Also keep in mind whether or not something is implied or specifically stated. The latter obviously has more weight.

    King gives us three vague implied answers of ten-years-old, only one of which is officially from the post-“Superman Reborn” New Age—making two out of the three merely quasi-canonical. Snyder gives us a vague answer—again non-official/quasi-canonical—that could be read as eight or ten-years-old. And Tynion delivers another vague implied answer—and also non-official/quasi-canonical—of eight-years-old. Basically, this tells me Thomas and Martha died when Bruce was either eight or ten. It’s still a bit too early to tell, but it seems like, with King helming the main Batman title, ten might be the winning number. Stay tuned.

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