"Year One Era" (YEAR TWO)
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Twelve months have passed. Batman's first official year is all wrapped up. He's outed Hugo Strange as a criminal and sent the Joker to Arkham. The story continues, and so does this blog. Technically, this section could be labeled "Batman: Year Two" since these stories literally chronicle Batman's second year of his war on crime. So, forget about the 'tec story-arc Batman: Year Two which involved The Reaper and Joe Chill. It was retconned out of continuity (mostly) by Zero Hour and Infinite Crisis anyway. (We'll address that story in Bat-Year Five). Since 12 stories comprised the beginning of our list, we shall continue at story number 13 (after the opening note)...
NOTE: Bruce Wayne meets Selina Kyle for the first time (as referenced in Batman: The Long Halloween #1). They've already met in-costume on a bunch of occasions, but never in their regular civilian personas. Selina, who will soon falsely establish herself as a notorious Gotham socialite, will become playfully entangled with Bruce. The two will cross paths several times over the course of this second Bat Year, but those meetings aren't specifically referenced, so we will simply have to imagine them appearing randomly on our timeline. Furthermore, Selina will have no idea that Bruce is Batman, but the super-sleuth Dark Knight will deduce that Selina is none other than his feline femme-fatale foe.
13. "Irresistible" by Tom Peyer/Tony Harris (LOTDK #169-171) Sept. 2003 to Nov. 2003
This story takes up about six months of Batman's career, but that's okay since this story focuses more on the rise and fall of Frank Sharp rather than on the Caped Crusader (thus, allowing Batman to undertake many other various cases during this time period). Frank Sharp is a meta-human with the telepathic power of coercion. Despite his incredibly deformed face, he can order anyone to do just about anything simply by shaking their hand. In fact, Sharp pretty much controls The Penguin for months, which is another probable reason why Batman doesn't consider Cobblepot to be that much of a threat yet.
14. "Deja Vu" by Darwyn Cooke (Solo #5) August 2005
This tale overlaps with the previous story and is a canonical re-telling of "The Stalker" by Steve Englehart (originally from Detective Comics #439). Batman chases down a group of robbers after they murder a young boy's parents in front of him. After bringing the villains to justice, Bruce reflects in front of his own deceased parents' portrait and cries. Very powerful in 1974 and Cooke treats the story with respect in 2005.
15. Batman/Catwoman: Trail of the Gun #1-2 by Ann Nocenti/Ethan Van Sciver (2004)
This tale overlaps with "Irresistible" as well and does a great job of developing Catwoman's character. When word of a futuristic prototype smart-gun that fires heat-seeking bullets hits the streets, Catwoman (and every other Gotham thief) begins to salivate. Batman hears that Selina is thinking about stealing the weapon and asks her to help him in an illegal gun-bust in order to teach her about the deadly consequences of unlicensed firearms. Selina, who isn't quite won over yet, heads over to a metahuman dive bar (Gotham's seediest thieves' den) and assembles a crew for the job. Catwoman's team breaks into the shop where the smart-gun is on display only to realize that two separate crews are already there with the same M.O. A bloody gunfight ensues and nearly everyone dies. Catwoman gets blamed for mass murder! In the end Selina is able to shake down one of the other thieves, Gotham's top burglar extraordinaire, Pike Peavy, who publicly proves her innocence. Peavy, on his deathbed, passes the "king of thieves" torch onto Catwoman. Finally, Batman is able to convince Catwoman that guns are not cool. Catwoman ponders whether or not she might be a hero instead of a villain.
16. "Gothic" by Grant Morrison/Klaus Janson (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #6-10)
In "Gothic", Batman defeats Manfred Winchester, a three hundred year-old villain known as Mr. Whisper, who is hellbent on spreading a plague-like disease over Gotham. Oh, did I mention that Mr. Whisper used to be Bruce's childhood boarding school teacher? Moving on, it's probably safe to say that the curious case of Mr. Whisper takes at least a couple weeks to solve, especially since Batman makes two separate trips to Austria (yes, the one in Europe) to gather information about the villain's dark origins.
NOTE: Some big names on Batman's Rogues Gallery appear for the first time right about now. Both The Mad Hatter and Killer Croc could have made their debuts anytime within in the past chronological year, and like I've said before in regard to The Riddler, Poison Ivy, and others, there are several flashbacks in various issues detailing the origins of Jervis Tetch and Waylon Jones. Oh, and Dr. Double X is not a very important villain, but he would have fought the Dark Knight around this era as well.
17. "Hot House" by John Francis Moore/P. Craig Russell (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #42-43) February 1993 to March 1993
"Hot House" depicts Poison Ivy's second encounter with Batman. Gordon references Batman's first encounter with her as happening "last Spring," so this seems like an appropriate place to put this in our time-line. In the tale, we learn that Ivy was released from a mental hospital shortly after her first encounter with Batman and is now working at Gotham University. Has she really reformed? No way, Jose. "Hot House" plants the seeds (no pun intended) for the future of Pamela Isley; she's manipulative, seductive, and downright crazy. Overall, "Hot House" takes about a week to wrap up. The story ends after Batman travels to Seattle to interrogate one of Ivy's former colleagues. Notably, both Dr. Jason Woodrue and Green Arrow are mentioned in their conversation, although Batman has yet to meet either of them.
18. "Stalking" by Lee Marrs/Eddy Newell (LOTDK #107-108) June 1998 to July 1998
It's summertime and a highly-trained motorcycle-riding assassin goes on a murder spree to avenge the death of her husband, a criminal who had been killed years ago by Captain Gordon. Thanks to HearTheSnap on this one!
NOTE: Batman encounters the former female-rockers turned supervillains, Silken Spider, Tiger Moth, and Dragon Fly (as originally told in Batman #181 and referenced in Batman #670). Batman doesn't apprehend these criminals. An escaped Poison Ivy, out to prove that she is the number one female supervillain in Gotham, busts these ladies instead.
19. Batman: Journey into Knight #7-12 by Andrew Helfer/Tan Eng Huat
Issue #7 of Journey into Knight begins "four months later" after issue #6 which puts us in June. In a highly elaborate storyline (not a necessarily good one, mind you) Journey into Knight reveals that the higher-ups at Wayne Industries had climbed the corporate ladder by utilizing a criminal scheme that involved kidnapping, faking deaths, actual murder, arson, hypnotism, etc... Anyway, now that Bruce has settled into his role as CEO of the company, these guys stand to lose everything. The bad guys hypnotize Bruce (with the help of meta-human villain Sister Lailah) and he goes crazy and tries to kill someone. Bruce becomes a fugitive! Bet you never knew it happened to him more than once, eh? But knowing that Bruce will talk once he snaps out of the trance, they catch him, dope him up, and secretly incarcerate him in Arkham Asylum! Bet you never knew Bruce was committed more than once, eh? To add to the chaos the Joker, unknown to the outside world, has assumed control of one of the Arkham wings and acts as Bruce's personal "doctor," keeping him trapped and drugged for THREE MONTHS. If we don't assume that this "three months" has since been retconned down to a more reasonable number, then Batman is out of commission from mid-June to September. This technically is a possibility, although it isn't ideal. Either way, pick your own poison. Eventually, Bruce gets out, is cleared of all charges, and we see a fully-recovered Batman out-and-about two weeks later.
20. "Testament" by John Wagner/Chris Brunner (LOTDK #172-176) Dec. 2003 to April 2004
It should come as no surprise that the first of many violent/homicidal Batman-inspired criminal gangs emerges now. The gang known as "Rough Justice" burglarizes Wayne Manor and stumbles upon Bruce's journal, which gives away his identity as Batman! Luckily for Bruce, the whole gang is killed before anyone finds out. Captain Gordon does manage to procure the journal, but opts not to read it, and instead returns it to Batman safely.
NOTE: So much crazy shit has gone down recently, Batman decides to begin keeping a log of any bizarre events involving metahumans, supernatural occurrences, aliens, and anything else seemingly beyond the realm of human comprehension. With the ever-changing and growing face of super-crime in Gotham, Batman worries about his own sanity, especially since he gets drugged so often during combat. Therefore, Bruce and Alfred begin compiling this intensive log, which is known as "The Black Casebook" (as mentioned in Batman #665 and seen through flashback in Batman #673).
21. "Secrets of the Batcave: Dinosaur Island" by Graham Nolan (The Batman Chronicles #8, Part 3) Spring 1997
This quick little tale could easily have taken place a bit earlier, but I put it in here because we have never seen the Batcave dinosaur yet, but it will start showing up repeatedly from this point on. In "Dinosaur Island" we learn how the giant T-rex winds up as a trophy in the cave. Batman defeats Stephan Chase, vile owner of "Dinosaur Island", a theme park complete with robotic fighting cavemen and mechanical dinosaurs.
NOTES: Since we are including the "Dinosaur Island" story here, we might also want to include the origin stories for the other Batcave trophies, such as the giant penny. From this point on, Batman will collect many versions of his Bat-Vehicles, other various over-sized stage props, carved marble statues, a wardrobe of alternate costumes, and framed pictures of his superhero allies. While Batman definitely and canonically collects all of the wacky items in the cave, most artists' renditions will, for simplicity's sake, usually only include the iconic T-Rex and the penny. However, pencillers like Brian Bolland, Graham Nolan, and Marshall Rogers love drawing the cave with as many trophies as possible. Here is a list of a few specific cases which result in trophies and also take place at this time.
--Contrary to popular belief, the giant penny was a trophy from the encounter with the "Penny Plunderer" aka gangster Joe Coyne, not from an encounter with Two-Face. The Batman Chronicles #19 has a good Penny Plunderer story, although it's non-canon because Robin is in it.
--After the events of "Mad Monk", Batman kept The Monk's tattered shroud. Since he is starting a trophy room, he puts the shroud on display. Similarly, he will put The Riddler's giant question mark on display as well.
--Batman's second encounter with the Joker occurs around this point, after which Batman will proudly display a giant playing card alongside the other trophies. Since we know that Batman goes in disguise as a black man during one of his early encounters with The Joker (as seen in Batman #589), we might as well assume that he dons blackface (sigh) during this giant playing card adventure.
--Batman's first memorable encounter with the Penguin will earn him a life-size Emperor Penguin prop.
--The Case of the Prophetic Picture takes place. Anyone who commissions a portrait by the famous Gotham artist Pierre Antal Vangild winds up dead. Bruce has his picture painted to solve the case and then hangs it in the cave. (Original story from Detective Comics #42).
--Batman will also shut down some Opium runners around this time with the help of an inside man, who sacrifices his life to help The Dark Knight. As a tribute to his fallen friend, Batman displays his good luck charm, a Little Buddha statue. (Original story from Detective Comics #39).
--Batman adds a giant nickel to his giant coin collection (as referenced in Flash Vol. 2 #210). This is from an unspecified case.
22. "Good Cop... Bad Cop" by Andrew Kriesberg/Scott McDaniel (Batman Confidential #29-30) July 2009 to Aug. 2009
This is the sequel to "Do You Understand These Rights?" and features Geoff Shancoe aka Bad Cop, a Gotham policeman who's life was ruined by the Joker in the aforementioned story-arc. Shancoe escapes from Arkham and winds up in a pretty messy scene with Jim Gordon and a little Barbara before Batman saves them.
Technically, this is the first chronological appearance of Barbara Gordon. She is probably twelve years-old here and she refers to Jim as her "dad". At this point, Jim wouldn't have adopted her yet and she would still have been living with her parents in the suburbs of Chicago. To explain this situation I would assume that Babs is simply visiting Jim, and since her father was constantly suggesting that Babs live with Jim in Gotham (as seen in Batman: Gotham Knights #7), Babs has already taken to calling Jim "dad" instead of "uncle". Of course, we'll find out later that Jim had an affair with his brother's wife or possibly dated her right before his bro did (it's complicated), so she's likely his actual daughter anyway... but that isn't for a very long time.
We also see the debut of Renee Montoya training at the police academy and learn that The Ventriloquist (and his living dummy Scarface) has been apprehended by the GCPD. Batman won't actually meet The Ventriloquist and Scarface until the Modern Age, about ten years later! (Special thanks to O-Neo Nerd on this one!)
23. "Wings" by Chuck Dixon/Quique Alcatena (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Annual #5) 1995
"Wings" starts right around the time where Batman begins his trophy displays in the cave. This tale is about the first appearance of Man-Bat and functions as his Year One story. "Wings" takes almost ten months to complete, but focuses primarily on Dr. Kirk Langstrom more so than Batman. The Dark Knight will tackle the Blackout Gang several times over the next ten months. So while this epic unfolds, it is safe to assume that the next dozen or so stories on our list overlap it. By the end of the story Kirk has learned Batman's secret identity and Bruce has gained an ally, albeit a highly unstable and monstrous one. LOTDK Annual #5 replaced Secret Origins Vol. 2 #39 as the official Modern Age Man-Bat origin story.
24. "Flyer" by Howard Chaykin/Gil Kane (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #24-26) November 1991 to January 1992
"Flyer" is the official 18 month-in story (as opposed to the out-of-continuity LOTDK "Werewolf" tale). Batman mentions his recent strange encounters with both Hugo Strange and Mr. Whisper. This story also has a direct tie-in to Miller's Year One and here's how... In Miller's Year One Batman uses an ultrasonic technology to bring a flock of bats to his location, which functions as a chaotic black cloud to mask his escape from the law. "Flyer" reveals that one of the GCPD officers, Curtis Eisenmann, was seriously injured during this memorable Miller scene. Eisenmann's mother, Birgit, who happens to be a psychotic ex-Nazi scientist, decides to turn her paralyzed son into Darth Vader, giving him a flying cyborg body and razor sharp teeth to exact revenge on Batman. Wait, it gets better. After Eisenmann captures Batman, his mom reveals her thoughts that The Dark Knight is the perfect uber-man and the plan all along was for him to father her child! After some electrical torture to loosen up Bats for the sexual ride of his life, Oedipal-Curtis decides his mom's plan of action is just too damn creepy and betrays her. Batman barely escapes with his life and the Eisenmanns perish in an explosion.
A homophobic Nazi cyborg monster man with an Oedipus complex. Only the great Howard Chaykin could have pulled this off.
25. "Playground" by James Robinson/Dan Brereton (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #114) January 1999
This story also takes place exactly 18 months into Batman's career. The Dark Knight travels to Chicago and gets his ass totally handed to him by the murderous villain known only as Rhodes. The killer is about to claim victory when he's mobbed by a bunch of homeless people. Talk about deus ex machina.
26. "Choices: A Tale of Halloween in Gotham City" by Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special #1) December 1993
This tale was renamed "Fears" in the TPB. It's Halloween weekend and the debuting Scarecrow has been wreaking havoc for a week straight. By night, Batman battles the crazed villain and defeats him. By day, Bruce is seduced by a beautiful femme-fatale, only to realize that she is a con-artist who's only after his cash.
There is a slightly odd part where Gordon mentions his wife by name and Batman seems to not remember who she is at first, but I think this slip-up can be chalked up to the fact that Bats hasn't slept a wink in over three days.
If placing the first appearances of Poison Ivy, Riddler, and Penguin into this chronology was difficult, then placing the first appearance of Scarecrow is almost impossible. We can assume "Choices" is Scarecrow's debut since, up to this point, Batman hasn't mentioned Scarecrow once, but since Joker, Hugo Strange, Riddler, Poison Ivy, Mad Hatter, and Killer Croc have all emerged, one would guess Jonathan Crane wouldn't be too far behind. I know there are a ton of flashbacks to his origin out there in various Bat-Family books, but many of them are contradictory. Batman Annual #19 by Doug Moench/Bret Blevins/Mike Manley (1995) has a decent Scarecrow Year One tale, but it takes place after Harvey Dent has already become Two-Face, so therefore it cannot be canon. Although, here's a small caveat for Annual #19: The only error in it is that Two-Face already exists. So, if you choose to ignore it, then this story works perfectly. Year One: Batman/Scarecrow by Bruce Jones/Sean Murphy is just plain awful, plus Robin is in it, so that story is out too. Anyway, I think it's safe to assume Scarecrow's first encounter with Batman takes place in "Choices."
NOTE: Batman: Ghosts: A Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special by Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale (1995) and Batman: Madness: A Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special (1994) are both really awesome, but are out-of-continuity for a ton of reasons. If you'd really like me to list them just ask and I shall.
ANOTHER NOTE: From Halloween until February there is a gap (from The LOTDK Special to "Going Sane"), so I have filled the gap with a whole bunch o' Confidential and LOTDK stories from the Collected LOTDK trades that are a bit shorter and could have easily taken place during this time period in any order. The stories are as follows...
27. "Infected" by Warren Ellis/John McCrea (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #83-84) June 1996 to July 1996
"Infected" is a short story by Warren Ellis where two U.S. soldiers have been injected with a test serum designed to make them into meta-human super-warriors capable of shooting bone fragment bullets out of their bare hands. After being dosed with the formula, they go insane, escape, and begin rampaging through Gotham. One of the soldiers eventually commits suicide while the other gets an infection and becomes a walking-plague like threat. Batman winds up taking him down with a cattle prod and a gun, yes you heard me right, a gun! Relax, he uses the gun to shoot at and disarm the renegade soldier's bone spewing hands, not to kill him.
28. "The Sleeping" by Scott Hampton (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #76-78) October 1995 to December 1995
In "The Sleeping", Bruce Wayne is injured in a car accident and goes into a coma for two weeks. While in the coma, Bruce (as Batman) enters a surreal realm that resembles Hell, battles a demon-like creature called The Soul Eater, and learns what his life would have been like had he not become a superhero (he falls in love, marries, etc). We never learn the name of the strange land that Bruce is astrally projected into, but it is possible that he enters "The Dreaming" from Gaiman's The Sandman series or some dark side-realm connected to The Dreaming.
There is also a notable line where Bruce mentions having previously "played mind games with" The Joker and Scarecrow, indicating that they are two of his most cerebral adversaries to date.
I should also mention that Batman will meet another Soul Eater in Bat-Year Seventeen (as seen in Batman: Gotham Knights #17).
29. "Tao" by Alan Grant/Arthur Ranson (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #52-53) October 1993
"Tao" is a short story where Batman exerts his dominance over the Chinese mob in Gotham. We also see flashbacks to his training in China where he trained with the priestess Shao-La and dealt with her rivals H'Sien-Tan and Dragon.
There is a nice splash page that has contains a mural of all of Batman's main rogues, past, present, and future. Everyone seems appropriate, except for the guy at the top. Who is that? Dracula? Also, I think The Spook is in there. Not exactly big time. UPDATE: "Dracula" is indeed Carmine Falcone, as was pointed out to me. Good eye!H'Sien-Tan predicts The Dark Knight's future and it's filled with rogues.
30. "Terminus" by Jaimie Delano/Chris Balacho (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #64) September 1994
"Terminus" is a one-night story which inventively depicts The Terminus Hotel, a metaphorical inferno where murderers spend their last days before entering their final destination; Hell. This isn't so much a Batman story; it's more of a psycho-analysis or character study of the criminal mind. Pretty cool stuff.
31. "Turf" by Steven Grant/Shawn McManus (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #44-45) April 1993 to May 1993
One of the first LOTDK stories to deal directly with race. "Turf" is about police brutality and hate crimes committed by members of the GCPD. When a string of African-Americans are beaten and killed by racist cops, the higher-ranking GCPD officials sweep it all under the rug, but Batman and Gordon aren't satisfied. They want justice, and you can better believe they get it.
32. "Blades" by James Robinson/Tim Sale (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #32-34) June 1992 to July 1992
Hands down, one of the best LOTDK stories ever written. This story takes place about twenty months into Batman's crusade and lasts for a little over a week. "Blades" takes place in December.
In "Blades" we are introduced to Hudson Pyle aka the original Cavalier (not the villain who uses the same name and similar costume years later). The Cavalier has been on the scene for a mere week, but quickly becomes Gotham's most beloved swashbuckling superhero, not only because of his genuine effectiveness against crime, but because he embraces the public eye. He even apprehends the Riddler (who we must assume has escaped from incarceration). However, when his girlfriend is blackmailed by a crime-boss named Randolph Salt, The Cavalier is forced to commit petty crimes to protect her. He winds up being outed as a criminal and eventually murders Salt. After a duel with an exhausted Batman, who has just captured the serial-killer Mr. Lime, The Cavalier sacrifices his own life by charging into a hail of police gunfire.
There is a nice panel in issue #3 of "Blades" where Batman refers to his three toughest foes so far, and can you guess who they are? Our list is making even more sense as we move along... the three are The Joker, Hugo Strange, and The Riddler.
NOTE: "Destiny" by Mark Kneece/Bo Hampton from LOTDK #35-36 (August 1992) was the very next story released after "Blades". In the story, Batman meets the Norwegian superhero known as The Viking. After a visit to the local library, they learn that, according to Norse folk-legend, their respective ancestors supposedly once fought alongside one another against the forces of evil. So, naturally, they team-up and travel to Norway to take on an evil and monstrous waste management company that is dumping toxic materials underground. I use the words "evil" and "monstrous" to describe the company, not because I am a staunch environmentalist, but because the executives are literally a bunch of deformed, hunchbacked, homicidal kidnappers. Hell, they even have a dungeon!
So, anyway, this legend is not canon, not because it's a bad story, but for a couple other reasons. First of all, Batman is too well known. It seems highly unlikely that people in a remote part of Norway would know so much about him. Plus, Zero Hour probably would have canceled out wacky stories like this. Another reason this tale is non-canon; it ends with Batman setting off a bomb which floods a cave, drowning all the villains. Seems a bit out of character!? Furthermore, the Norse folk-tale relates the history of an ancient Viking version of Batman known as "The Bat Man". This Viking Bat Man is supposed to be Bruce's ancient ancestor. Yeeaahhh. Moving on...
ANOTHER NOTE: Christmas, Bat-Year Two. Batman crashes the holiday party of mob boss Junior Galante (as seen through flashback in Batman/Huntress: Cry for Blood #4). A sixteen year-old Helena Bertinelli attends the party and is awed and inspired by the Caped Crusader. Helena will one day become the crime-fighter known as Huntress.
33. "Favorite Things" by Mark Millar/Steve Yeowell (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #79) January 1996
It's still Christmas time! Criminal gangs, like the Joker-inspired Joy Boys and the--well, the chess-inspired Chess Men are running amok all over Gotham. In fact, the Chess Men have gone one step too far; they've stolen a very precious possession from Wayne Manor. What is it, you ask? Information leading to the secret identity of Batman? No. A nuclear device? No. Ultra-high-tech Bat gadgetry? No. A toy train that was given to Bruce as a child? You got it! Oh, Mark Millar, your attempt to pull on our heartstrings has failed miserably.
34. "Blink" by Dwayne McDuffie/Val Semeiks (LOTDK #156-158) Aug. 2002 to Oct. 2002
Batman meets Lee Hyland, a meta-human who is completely blind, but can see through the eyes of any animal or person he touches. In this tale, rich folks are having snuff films made (think 8mm) and Hyland, who will later don the name Blink, is witness to the crimes.
35. "Pulp Heroes" by James Robinson/Steve Yeowell/Russ Heath (LOTDK Annual #7) 1997
Batman's investigations into a murder lead him to the countryside where he learns about the WWII pulp adventures of Steve Savage aka Balloon Buster. This is basically a tribute to 1940s pulp heroes and how they influenced Batman's career.
NOTE: Batman exposes a terrorist cell of French or possibly Algerian origin (as referenced in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #106). Batman’s investigation leads to army intervention, which leads to the deaths of several members of the cell. Their leader will later try to get revenge by breaking Joker out of Arkham and attempting to blow up an oil tanker in Gotham.
ANOTHER NOTE: It is around this time that we should include the first appearances of both Solomon Grundy and Julian Day aka The Calendar Man.
36. "Rules of Engagement" by Andy Diggle/Whilce Portacio (Batman Confidential #1-6) Feb. 2007 to Aug. 2007
This is the first official meeting between Lex Luthor and Bruce Wayne and it's filled with over-the-top robots, cyborgs, and explosions. This is like I, Robot meets Batman (not good). Anyway, we also meet Lucius Fox, who will later become Bruce's most trusted and beloved business partner. And there is also a good scene where Batman shows Alfred that he has Joe Chill's gun. Bruce took the gun out of police evidence and has had it for some time now. Oh, Bruce also officially switches the Wayne Foundation's focus from business ventures to charitable aid for the poor and destitute. Prior to this, Wayne Enterprises had been split into two sub-divisions; Wayne Industries (which focused on industry) and the Wayne Foundation (which focused on real estate, R & D, acquisitions, etc...). Also noteworthy: Luthor introduces an army of GI Robots, retooled US Army tech which hasn't been used since Vietnam. Bruce will later co-opt these GI Robots many years later for his Batman Incorporated venture.
NOTE: It is around this time that Bruce becomes majority owner of his company and no longer has to answer to shareholders (as referenced in Superman/Batman #85). It also means that Bruce no longer has to defraud anyone at a felony level when he steals tech to use on his war on crime. From now on he will truly be stealing from only himself.
ANOTHER NOTE: Batman visits the Middle East to shut down a terrorist organization called El-Kar’isha (as mentioned in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #105-106). While the Dark Knight is away, Captain Gordon and Sergeant Harvey Bullock prevent an escaped Joker–allied with a French (possibly Algerian) terrorist–from blowing up an oil tanker in Gotham.
37. "Going Sane" by J.M. DeMatteis/Joe Staton (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #65-68) November 1994 to January 1995
Is this really in-continuity!? What a question! Who the hell knows? Certainly not I. Some consider this story to be one of the highlights of the entire LOTDK series. Some even refer to it as a classic. Well, if it is a part of continuity, here's how and where and why...
First of all, I should mention that since Batman's initial encounter with The Joker in "The Man Who Laughs"/"Do You Understand These Rights", we must assume that the latter has escaped Arkham and battled the Dark Knight on two more occasions. And we must assume so because Batman tells us this history on page one. We do know that Batman receives the giant playing card from one of those fights. So, including those encounters, this makes "Going Sane" Batman's fourth official dealing with The Joker. In any event, "Going Sane" takes us into our third Bat-year, running from February through August.
In this controversial storyline, Batman tracks The Joker 200 miles north of Gotham to a small town. During their fight, Batman is injured to such an extent The Joker believes he is dead. Batman's apparent death is such a shock to Joker's system, he regains some semblance of sanity, as there is no antagonizing force to torment his evil nature. After some plastic surgery, hair dye, and a steady diet of pills for his skin condition, The Joker (as Joseph Kerr) starts his new straight life. Six months go by and Joe Kerr has a nice apartment, a job, and even a loving fiance! Wait a minute... where's Batman, you say?
After he is left for dead, Dr. Lynn Eagles stumbles upon the injured Batman and takes him into her care. Luckily for Batman, Dr. Eagles was one of the many attempted rape victims that he had saved randomly in the past. Thus, feeling indebted to him, she decides not to inform any authorities, to treat him personally from her home, and also to keep his identity a secret. Bruce realizes that this may be his way out of the hard life he's chosen. He's injured enough that he may never be able to function as a crime-fighter effectively again and he's in a calm little town where no one knows who he is. In fact, Bruce is so set on this idea that he doesn't even contact Alfred for months! (Poor Alfie!) By the time Bruce has recovered and in the process of rehabbing all of his injuries, several months have passed. Bruce realizes that his destiny lies with the mantle of the Bat (and also that he's been a dick to Alfred) and heads back to good ol' Gotham.
Eventually, Joe Kerr learns that Batman is back on the scene and he's right back to being super-psycho Joker (much to the dismay of his unsuspecting fiance).