"Year One Era" (YEAR EIGHT)
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Ok, so Batgirl is eighteen and fighting crime without Batman's blessing. Robin is about to turn fifteen (this summer) and doesn't have to ride in the Batmobile anymore. Motorcycle! (Actually, Dick has been driving his motorcycle for over two years already). And Batman and Catwoman are practically doing it on the rooftops of Gotham. Check, check, and check. Here we go!
NOTE: Dick and Babs go on a secret date for burgers and shakes while Batman is away on unspecified JLA business in outer space (as seen through flashback in Nightwing Annual #2). This flashback says that both Dick and Babs are 16-years-old. However, Babs is three-and-a-half years older than Dick, so he's 14 (soon to be 15 this summer) and she's 18. Their date is interrupted by a police call involving Crazy Quilt. Batgirl and Robin go after Crazy Quilt, but the villain traps them in a safe. Batman returns from space, apprehends Crazy Quilt, and saves the teenage heroes. Oh, and Robin gets a boner. Seriously.
91."Snitch" by Robert Loren Fleming/David G. Klein (LOTDK #51) September 1993
Batman travels to New Orleans and teams-up (!) with the mysterious supernatural Ragman against hitman/vigilante Victor Singleton. This is the first time Batman works with Ragman, but it won't be the last.
92. "Sanctum" by Dan Raspler/Mike Mignola (LOTDK # 54) November 1993
Beautiful Mignola art for this dark occult story. Batman chases a serial killer named Novice Lowther into a cemetery and they duke it out on top of a mausoleum. Lowther winds up stabbing Batman pretty badly in the chest. In the process the madman gets kicked off the roof, and is impaled on the spiked gate below. Batman passes out and meets the hundred-year-old ghost of a murderer who attempts to feed on his soul. The ghost also accuses Batman of murdering Lowther. Eventually, Batman is able to fend off the ghoul and wakes up covered in blood. Was it all just a fever-dream? We may never know. The story ends with Bruce feeling guilty about Lowther's death, but re-affirming himself that the death was accidental.
93. "All the Deadly Days: Chapter One" by Dale Eaglesham (Batman 80-Page Giant #3) July 2000
The Calendar Man is loose and Batman and Robin take him and his cronies down with relative ease.
94. "Last Call at McSurley's" by Mike W. Barr/Alan Davis (Batman: Gotham Knights #25/ Batman: Black & White) March 2002
Batman (in disguise) frequents a local dive bar called McSurley's (run by the scummy McSurley) every night for a week and is able to gather valuable information that both stops crime and saves lives. When the bar is threatened with foreclosure, Bruce anonymously donates ten thousand dollars to its owner to keep it afloat.
--Batman and Robin encounter the supervillain known as Falseface (as originally told in Batman #113).
--Batman and Robin deal with the popcrime antics of the supervillain team-up of Two-Face, Clayface, Dr. No-Face, and Falseface (as referenced in Batman #700).
--Batman and Hal Jordan argue during a random JLA mission (as seen through flashback in Blackest Night #0). This is the beginning of a very rocky relationship that the two will have for rest of their lives. Bruce and Hal HATE each other.
--Batman deals with the villain known as Wrath around this time (as originally told in Batman Special #1 (1984) and canonically referenced in Batman Confidential #13).
--The Case of Matuchima occurs (as seen in Detective Comics #437). Several criminals don the Mask of Matuchima, the death god of the Xochipecs. The mask injects them with a drug giving them super-human fighting ability until their hearts burst. After the case is closed, Batman displays a giant replica of the mask in the trophy room of the cave.
--Batman and the JLA battle the evil "god" known as Titus (as seen through the flashback story told in JLA Classified #51 and JLA Classified #53-54). Titus transports the JLA to the moon and is beating the team pretty savagely until Selene, Goddess of the Moon, interferes and helps the JLA achieve victory. Afterward, the team buries the corpse of Titus on the moon. In case you were confused, JLA Classified #50-54 takes place late in Bat-Year 18. The flashback story that includes Batman (the one right here on our list) is told in JLA Classified #51, #53, and #54.
--The events of Batman #237 (1971) are made canon when Tony Daniel references them in Batman #692. In this story, which occurs now, Dr. Gruener aka The Reaper, a crazed Jewish concentration camp survivor, dresses as the grim reaper and goes on a killing spree. In the end, The Reaper falls off a cliff, supposedly to his death. In actuality, he is cryogenically frozen, so we'll see him return many years later in Batman #692. Bear in mind, this Reaper is NOT the Reaper from the "Batman: Year Two" story detailed in Detective Comics #575.
--Booster Gold and his sister Goldstar (Michelle Carter) time-travel from the year 2010 (Bat-Year 22) to right now in order to fix an error on the time-stream (as seen in Booster Gold Vol. 2 #11-12). What is the error, you ask? Well, the 27th Century physicist/thief Wiley Dalbert has been slowly traveling backwards through time with the goal of reaching the "simpler, better times" of the 19th Century. Along the way, he has been stealing a ton of loot, so that he will be rich once he reaches his desired era. (Batman won't actually meet Wiley until Bat-Year 15). Wiley hires Killer Moth to steal some museum artifacts for him, which Moth does, but Batman, Robin, and Batgirl send Dalbert to jail. It turns out, Dalbert's time-traveling plays a pivotal role in the creation of Batman. Dalbert is supposed to travel to the 19th Century and found a hospital, which coincidentally points Dr. Thomas Wayne's career in a specific direction, which in turn, leads to his death in Crime Alley, which of course, leads to birth of the Dark Knight. SO, armed with this knowledge, Booster travels back in time (the first time he actually fails to fix the error, knocking out Moth and playing the role of the villain). The second time, however, is a charm. SO, with the confusing back story out of the way, HERE IS WHAT HAPPENS. Booster and Goldstar (from the year 2010) time-travel to now (Bat-Year 8), break into the Batcave and steal the Batmobile. They then steal a Batgirl costume from Barbara Gordon. Booster (dressed as Elvis Presley) and Goldstar (as Batgirl) wind up fighting Killer Moth at the museum, but they make sure that Wiley Dalbert steals the goods and gets away scott-free. The Carters then travel back to their correct time, thus, re-ensuring that Bruce will become Batman like he was supposed to. Afterward, Alfred tries to explain to the Dynamic Duo that a weird supervillain named "Booster" stole the Batmobile.
--Alfred is "killed" by the Tri-State Gang (as originially depicted in Detective Comics #328). Bruce and Dick mourn Alfred's passing (as seen through flashback in Batman #682). However, Alfred isn't really dead. He's become host to the supernatural supervillain known as The Outsider. Robin, Batgirl, and Man-Bat team-up to defeat the Outsider and return Alfred back to safety (as referenced in Nightwing Annual #2). I should mention, while current canon does recognize Bruce and Dick mourning Alfred's supposed death and current canon does recognize Robin, Batgirl, and Man-Bat defeating the Outsider, there isn't a canonical version of anything in-between. Originally, Alfred was dead in the comics from 1964 to 1966. The Outsider plagued Batman for two years before it was revealed that Alfred was the Outsider. Alfred then bathed in a "regeneration machine" and was restored to his old self, alive and well, although he had no memories of his time spent as the Outsider. In current canon, we must assume, as I've presumed above, that the whole Outsider affair lasts only a couple days. I should also mention that after the Outsider affair, the rest of the Bat-family votes not to reveal what has happened, feeling that Alfred couldn't handle the horrible truth (as mentioned in Batman #683).
--Following the Alfred/Outsider affair, Dick tells Babs that he loves her, but she pretends that she is sleeping. Meanwhile, Dick's relationship with Bruce begins to sour (as seen through flashback in Nightwing Annual #2).
--Bruce and Dick's relationship will further sour when the Teen Titans botch an investigation related to the murder of prominent doctor Arthur Swenson (as seen via flashback in the quasi-canonical Secret Origins Vol. 2 Annual #3). Batman chews out Robin and influences the JLA to temporarily suspend the Titans, banning them from wearing their costumes! The Titans don drab grey outfits and become a citizen's patrol, eventually solving the case and re-gaining the right to wear their true uniforms.
--Batman stops Joker's scheme to rob the Sea Plane Display in Gotham Bay (as seen through flashback in Batman #682). Joker has enlisted the aid of Gaggy, Eraser, Penguin, Catwoman, and a myriad of silly clown thugs to help him.
--The team of Joker, Riddler, Mad Hatter II (Hatman), Scarecrow, and Catwoman discover Professor Nichols "Maybe Machine." The villainous team has plans to force Batman and Robin to go back in time to do their bidding in the past. First up is Catwoman, who makes Batman travel to ancient Egypt, where he battles winged warriors to retrieves the secret combination to a locked stolen museum piece. Before anyone else gets a turn, Batman and Robin break out of their restraints and take out the bad guys. Commissioner Gordon and Officer O'Hara (related to BUT NOT Chief O'Hara, who is already dead) bust in and make the proper arrests. A despondent Professor Nichols looks over his destroyed lab and tells Batman that he will clean up himself (as seen through flashback in Batman #700). Nichols takes apart his "Maybe Machine" and will become a reclusive hermit after this. As I've mentioned on an earlier post, Nichols runs afoul of Simon Hurt, which is the main reason the former delves into relative obscurity.
--Joker captures Robin and holds a knife to his throat (as seen via flashback in Nightwing Vol. 2 #62). Batman crashes through a window to rescue the Boy Wonder.
--The flashback which occurs in Batman & Superman: World's Finest #4 occurs now. Batman travels to Metropolis to meet Superman and they deal with Intergang and discover Project Cadmus. The premise behind this series is that Batman and Superman meet in the Spring of every year to commemorate the death of Dr. Harrison Gray, an innocent victim that the duo carelessly allowed to die. The label "Year Four" in the title of this issue implies that this is the third anniversary of this meeting. As for the first three issues of this series, they just can't be considered canon since issue #1 clearly takes place in Bat-Year One, and issues #2 and 3 are full of anachronisms no matter where you place them. However, we must assume that Dr. Gray "dies" in Bat-Year Five to allow for the necessity of these Springtime meetings.
95. Batman: Batgirl by Kelley Puckett/Matt Haley (1997)
Batman goes missing, forcing Batgirl to go head-to-head with Joker for the first time! Joker captures Batgirl and begins offing his own henchmen. Batman returns and saves the day, but not before taking a bullet to the scalp and slipping into unconsciousness. Batgirl takes down Joker and Batman goes into the care of Leslie Thompkins. This story is also shown via flashback in DC First: Batgirl/The Joker #1, which gives us the relative timeframe for when this story takes place.
96. "Joker Tips His Hat!" by Ed Brubaker/Stefano Guadiano (Batman #600, Part 3) April 2002
With Batman out of town on unspecified JLA business, Robin and Batgirl are left alone to protect Gotham against an escaped Joker who has stolen Mad Hatter's mind-control technology. Robin and Batgirl are not only able to sneak in a quick kiss, but they put Joker behind bars as well!