"Year One Era" (YEAR SEVEN)


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Before we begin Bat-Year Seven, Batman: Fortunate Son by Gerard Jones/Gene Ha (1999) is definitely out-of-continuity for several reasons. First of all, in it there are at least three 60s record producers that have since gone insane and are committed to Arkham. Also, there is an inmate named Jack Napier that is housed in a cell directly across from The Joker. Jack Napier was the Joker's real name in Tim Burton's first movie and in the original animated series. Talk about strange. Here's another one for ya; Batman hates punk rock. He loathes it. C'mon, my Batman is punk rock.

There is a funny panel in Fortunate Son where Robin is trying to convince Batman that rock and roll is good, and he mentions that Speedy is in a band, to which Batman replies sarcastically, "There's a fine role model." This is funny because Speedy, in his early Teen Titan days, becomes addicted to heroin for a while.  Speedy will also later relapse as an adult.  Okay, I guess it's not so funny.


NOTE:  Catwoman steals the valuable cat statue known as the Pink Mynx from the Gotham Museum.  Batman retrieves the stolen item, but Selina playfully gets away (as seen through flashback in Bruce Wayne: The Road Home - Catwoman #1).


ANOTHER NOTE:  Enter Katherine Kane, the thrill-seeking secret agent femme-fatale (as seen through flashback in Batman, Inc. #4).  Kathy also happens to be the recent widow of Nathan Kane (Bruce's uncle).  Shortly after Nathan Kane's death, Kathy is recruited into the UN secret intelligence organization known as Spyral by one of their top agents, Santiago Vargas (who will later become the superhero known as El Gaucho).  After witnessing Batman and Robin battle the criminal Lew Moxon on live TV, Kathy decides she not only has a huge crush on Batman, but wants a piece of the daredevil action.  Kathy also happens to be under orders to infiltrate the Dark Knight's organization in order to discover his secret identity.


75.  "The Mystery of the Black Bat" by Ed Brubaker/James Tucker (Batman #600, Part 2) April 2002
Bruce and Dick learn about a supposed Civil War hero known as "The Black Bat" whose adventures are vaguely referenced in a 19th Century dime novel.  Hoping to learn more about this mystery man, the Dynamic Duo visit their good friend Professor Carter Nichols to make use of his "maybe machine."  Using Nichols' invention (where one is able to send an avatar of himself into the past, similar to astral projection), the Dynamic Duo travels back to the 1860s and saves an African-American soldier from Confederates.  After getting caught by Confederate soldiers themselves, the Black Bat shows up and saves them.  Afterward, the Black Bat unmasks, revealing himself to be the soldier who was saved by our heroes earlier.  Bruce and Dick return to the present, but wonder if, by some paradox, there was no Black Bat until they went back in time and inspired the rescued soldier themselves.  For anyone doubting the canonicity of this tale, I know this is an anniversary issue homage story, but since Carter Nichols is a canonical Batman character, there is no reason why this story can't be canon.


76. "Faces" by Matt Wagner (LOTDK #28-30) 1992
This legend takes place around two years after Harvey Dent has become Two-Face. In "Faces" Two-Face escapes Arkham with plans to illegally purchase an island off the coast of French Guiana so he can start his own "Deformity Nation," a sovereign state comprised only of hideously deformed freaks. Batman is not really happy about this, so he puts a stop to it before it happens.


77. "Legend of the Dark Mite" by Alan Grant/Kevin O'Neill (LOTDK #38) October 1992
Batman interrogates Bob Overdog, who claims he was abducted by the dwarf-like Bat-Mite and taken to the 5th dimension, a place where magical imps dress up like their favorite superheroes from Earth and act out ultimate cosplay fantasies. This is Bat-Mite's first post-Crisis on Infinite Earths appearance (!), but did it really happen? Only Bob Overdog knows for sure, and he was tripping on a cocktail of mescaline, heroin, coke, opium, and hashish at the time. 


NOTES:

--Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock are unsuccessful in tracking down Roy Blount aka the Peter Pan Killer (as seen through multiple flashbacks from Detective Comics #875).  These flashbacks contain several key errors which must be noted.  First, Gordon has red hair and is referred to as a lieutenant.  Second, Gordon is partnered with Commissioner McKeever.  Who the hell is Commissioner McKeever?  We must assume he is an assistant commissioner or a commissioner from another police force helping out on the case.  And third, Gordon is portrayed as being married to Sarah Essen!  But if we must include her presence, we must ignore any references to their marriage and instead retcon the story so that Sarah and Jim have simply reconnected and are trying to date again.  PS.  Harvey Bullock will be promoted to Detective after this case.

--Jim Gordon's seven year-old son, James Junior, has been living primarily with his estranged wife Barbara in Chicago since their divorce.  James Junior joins Jim, Babs, Sarah Essen, and Babs' friend Bess on a mini-vacation at a cabin in the woods outside Gotham (as seen through multiple flashbacks from Detective Comics #875).  Unfortunately, James Junior is a psycho child with various pathological issues.  James Junior winds up supposedly murdering Bess, although her body is never found.  From this point on James Junior will enter into various mental institutions, psych wards, and boarding schools before leaving town in his teenage years.  I should mention the egregious continuity errors within the flashbacks before moving on.  First, Gordon is shown with red hair.  It should be gray.  Second, Babs looks a bit too young.  Third, Gordon is married to Sarah Essen.  They don't get married for another six years!  In fact Sarah shouldn't even be in this story.  But if we must include her presence, we must ignore any references to their marriage and instead retcon the story so that Sarah and Jim have reconnected and are trying to date again.  If this is the case, this relationship must end quickly since we won't see Sarah again until Bat-Year 13.

 --Batman meets Argentinian superhero El Gaucho (as referenced in Batman Inc. #3).  Gaucho has been heavily inspired by the Dark Knight and has nothing but respect for him.  However, Gaucho also meets Bruce Wayne and can't stand the wimp.  I should also mention that Gaucho himself is a national hero in Argentina and will serve as the personal inspiration for the superhero team known as Súper Malón, basically an Argentinian version of the Justice League (as referenced in The Flash Annual #13). 

--Billionaire John Mayhew attempts to recruit Batman and Robin into a new team of international heroes dubbed The Club of Heroes.  One of the main members of this team is the original Knight, essentially the British version of Batman.  Knight's son Cyril Sheldrake (who is also his sidekick known as Squire) will later become the second Knight and one of Batman's trusted allies in the future.  Wingman, El Gaucho, Man-of-Bats, and Little Raven are also members of the team along with several other international heroes that have been directly inspired by Batman.  These heroes are affectionately (and jokingly) referred to as "The Batmen of All Nations" by the press.  Anyway, once assembled, this "Club of Heroes" venture will fail immediately.  The team doesn't get along and disbands in less than a half hour (as seen through flashback in Batman #667-669 by Grant Morrison).

 --Batman battles the Riddler and his henchmen as they try to rob the Gotham Art Museum.  Riddler escapes, falls in love with an art student, and goes "straight" for the next couple of months following the heist (as seen through flashback in Joker's Asylum II: Riddler #1).  This flashback is narrated entirely by Joker himself, so much of it may be apocryphal.  However, it's basic elements are most likely canonical.

--Kathy Kane, in dramatic fashion, publicly debuts as Bat-Woman, not only helping apprehend the homicidal jewel thief, Jimmy the Jackdaw, but also saving Batman's life.  Robin doesn't like it, but Batman is very impressed (as seen through flashback in Batman, Inc. #4).  Later that night, Kathy meets Bruce for the first time (out of costume) at a socialite ball.  (Bruce had long been estranged from the Kane side of his family, so it is not surprising he is now only meeting his deceased uncle's former wife).  I should also mention that Bat-Woman is also canonically referenced Batman #655 and 52.

--It's Batgirl time! Finally, Barbara Gordon debuts as Batgirl (probably inspired by the recent debut of Bat-Woman). For a great flashback to her first adventure check out Arkham Asylum: Living Hell by Dan Slott/Ryan Sook (2003) where she encounters the strange Humpty Dumpty.  Batgirl's first public appearance is a well-documented fight against Killer Moth (as documented through flashback in Secret Origins Vol. 2 #20, a reference in Batman: Batgirl, and a reference in DC First: Batgirl/Joker #1). Batman is present at the Killer Moth case.  Batgirl: Year One by Scotty Beatty/Chuck Dixon (2003) has some really good Batgirl information and background in it, including the debut of Condiment King, but to place it contradictory-free into this chronology would be almost impossible. With that being said, it is hard to say whether or not the Batgirl: Year One mini-series is canon or not.



78. "Photo Finish" by Devin Grayson/Duncan Fegredo (The Batman Chronicles #9, Part 1) Summer 1997
One of my favorite Batman stories of all time. Devin Grayson is a master at writing about the relationship between Batman and Catwoman.  Her depiction of the pair goes beyond innuendo, and borderlines on pure sex/erotica.  In "Photo Finish" Batman and Robin are chasing down Catwoman.  Batman tackles the runaway thief, putting her in a very compromising position. He then orders Robin to leave, so that he can um... er... "interrogate" her one-on-one. The bummed Robin cartwheels away into the night and runs into Batgirl for the very first time. They team-up (!), stop some burglars, and get pictures taken in a photo booth! The end. Great stuff.



MANY NOTES:

--Batman injures his ankle while trying to apprehend criminal Curt Briggs.  While Bruce is sidelined Bat-Woman mistakes the amnesiac Briggs for Batman, gives him the Dark Knight's cape and cowl, and begins fighting crime with him!  When Briggs regains his memory, Bat-Woman realizes the error of her ways and takes down the poser-Batman (as originally told in Batman #105).  Afterward, Batman accuses Bat-Woman of nearly exposing his secret, to which Bat-Woman responds by kissing him (as seen through flashback in both Batman #682 and Batman, Inc. #4).  Bat-Woman not only begins assisting Batman on regular patrols starting now, but the she and Batman enter into a serious sexual relationship as well!

--Bat-Woman debuts her sidekick Bat-Girl (Bette Kane) around this time (as seen through flashback in Batman, Inc. #4).  Yes, it's true.  There are two Batgirls out there at once!  The Dynamic Duo begins going on routine vigilante patrols with Bat-Woman and Bat-Girl.

--Robin tells Batman that he doesn't trust Bat-Woman or Bat-Girl.  Batman hints that wedding bells might be in his future in regard to Bat-Woman (as seen through flashback in Batman #682).

--After another outing with Bat-Woman and Bat-Girl an angry Robin returns to the Batcave complaining of Batman's love affair with Kathy (as seen through flashback in Batman, Inc. #4).  Robin also complains that the new "Bogus Batgirl" keeps forcing herself upon him.  The Boy Wonder then discovers Batman and Bat-Woman "in flagrante delicto" inside the Batmobile!  Bruce informs Dick that he and Bat-Woman are engaged and even uses the term "Bat-family!"  I should note that Batman and Bat-Woman are legitimately very much in love with one another, although despite all the hot sex and engagement Bruce still hasn't revealed his secret identity to her!     

--A naughty 14 year-old Robin tries to drive the Batmobile and winds up backing into and demolishing a giant nickel in the Batcave (as mentioned in Flash Vol. 2 #210).  The nickel, like half of the weird trophies Batman owns, was a prize received from an unspecified case.

--The events of Detective Comics #355 (1966) occur now.  Batman defeats Telman Davies aka The Hooded Hangman!  This story was first canonically referenced by Joe Casey in Superman/Batman #70 (2010).

--Following a Dynamic Duo team-up with Bat-Woman and Bat-Girl, a famous photograph (which can be seen in Batman: The Killing Joke) is taken which includes Batman, Robin, Commissioner Gordon, Bat-Woman, Bat-Girl, Alfred, Ace, and Bat-Mite.  This suggests that on this wild adventure, Batman finally meets Bat-Mite, thus proving that Bob Overdog wasn't as crazy as we thought after all. 


79. "Folie a Deux" by Kelley Puckett/Terry Dodson (Legends of the DC Universe #10-11) November 1998 to December 1998
Barbara Gordon has just turned 18 years old and has enrolled at Gotham State University. According to canon, Batgirl graduated high school way early at age 16 and immediately began some sort of early-entry college program. Now that she's 18, Babs is continuing her education and moving on campus.  Anyway, Commissioner Gordon has a pretty good idea that his daughter is Batgirl, but is scared to approach her about it, so he never does. Batman, on the other hand, does approach Batgirl and warns her to quit the superhero game, saying that without proper training she will get killed. Babs agrees and they strike up a deal; Batman will begin training Batgirl as long as she puts the costume away until he deems her ready. Sounds like a good deal, except Commissioner Gordon is put into a terrifying hostage situation that week and Batgirl feels she has no choice other than to break her vow. She saves her dad, but thus ends her training and earns Batman's ire.


NOTE:  The Joker begins using his first sidekick, the circus midget known as Gaggy, around this time.  He will use Gaggy on and off for several years.  Most of these adventures are shown through flashback in Gotham City Sirens #6.


ANOTHER NOTE:  The anti-corporate terrorist group known the Children of Maya blow up a Wayne Enterprises building, killing hundreds.  Terrorist bomber Jennifer Blake goes into hiding, eluding Batman's capture.  The Dark Knight vows to apprehend her some day (as seen through flashback in Batman: Absolution).


80.  "Halloween Past: Trick and Defeat" by Art Baltazar/Franco Aureliani/Sergio Carrera (DCU Halloween Special 2009) December 2009
Bruce and Alfred throw the Halloween Charity Ball at Wayne Manor.  Killer Moth (his first appearance since being apprehended by Batgirl earlier in the year) shows up and tries to rob the party.  Moth is busted when he answers the door for two trick-or-treaters dressed up as Superman and Batman.  After making fun of their costumes, the trick-or-treaters (actually Robin and Batgirl) knock out Moth and save the day.


81.  Batman: War on Crime by Alex Ross/Paul Dini (1999)
Batman cleans-up crime in the notorious Bayside District of Gotham, makes a positive influence on a young juvenile delinquent, and outs one of his corrupt Wayne Industries executives to the police.


82.  "Never Say Die" by Dwayne McDuffie/Denys Cowan (Batman: Gotham Knights #27/Batman: Black & White) May 2002
Former Penguin henchman Do-Boy kidnaps a youngster and holds him hostage.  Batman crashes in through a window and saves the kid.


NOTE:  Bruce and Dick celebrate Thanksgiving with Bruce's Aunt Agatha (as seen through flashback in Batman #656).  Aunt Agatha was around quite a lot in Batman's pre-original Crisis world.  However, here, Aunt Agatha makes a rare (and possibly only) appearance for the holidays.  I'm assuming Aunt Agatha dies shortly after this as she is quite old in age and we never see her again.


ANOTHER NOTE: Green Arrow meets with Batman and asks him to locate his son, Connor Hawke.  Ollie was has been a deadbeat dad for years now and has no idea where Connor and his baby momma currently live.  Batman reluctantly agrees to help, but doesn't make it a top priority (as seen through flashback in Green Arrow and Black Canary #5).  It is around this time that Green Arrow appoints Roy Harper as his young sidekick Speedy, and gives up his quest to find Connor.


83.  "The Bat and The Beast" by Peter Milligan/Andy Clarke (Batman Confidential #31-35) September 2009 to December 2009
This story starts with a flashback to twelve years ago, which is fine and dandy, except for the fact that it takes place in post-Soviet Russia.  Twelve years ago would have been around 1984, so we would have definitely been back in the U.S.S.R. for that one.  Ignoring the error in the flashback, we can move on to our tale.  When a top Russian mobster known as The Tsar tries to detonate a nuclear bomb in Gotham, Batman throws a wrench in his plans.  The Tsar retreats to Moscow with his bomb in tow, but Batman follows him home.  In Russia, Batman terrorizes the criminal underworld and gets on the bad side of the corrupt Moscow police.  The Caped Crusader then battles The Tsar's secret weapon, a metahuman sasquatch-man known as The Bear.  Afterward, Batman learns that the nuclear bomb is a fake and The Tsar has lured Batman out of his hometown in an attempt to kill the hero while he is out of his natural element.  In the end, the Dark Knight is able to defeat the poor, misunderstood Bear, and send The Tsar to prison for good.


84.  "Batman A-Go-Go" by Mike Allred/Lee Allred (Solo #7) December 2005
Riddler and his "Aquarian Liberation Army" try to burglarize a Gotham party.  Batman and Robin easily stop the villains, but not before Batman gets konked on the noggin and has a bizarre Adam West/Burt Ward 60s TV-style campy dream in which Dick commits suicide.


85.  "Work That's Never Done" by James Patrick/Steve Scott (Batman Confidential #49) December 2010
An inside look at the master detective at work.  Like Sherlock Holmes meets CSI meets Law & Order.  The Dark Detective solves a double homicide and rescues a kidnapped orphan from a psycho.  All in a days work.


86.  "Broken Nose" by Paul Pope (Second Feature from Batman: Gotham Knights #3 / Batman: Black & White) May 2003
Short B&W Paul Pope story where Batman gets his nose broken for the first time (!) by robotic armored supervillain Mabuse.  Batman gets patched up by Alfred, who notes that it is astonishing that in over six years as Batman Bruce has never had his nose broken before.  Batman then defeats Mabuse, drags him out of the robo-suit and breaks his nose!  Even Stevens.


87. Huntress: Year One #4-6 by Ivory Madison/Cliff Richards (August 2008 to September 2008)
Helena Bertinelli, now twenty-one-years-old, becomes the costumed vigilante known as Huntress. Huntress travels to Gotham to avenge the murder of her entire family by the criminal known as Omerta, who works for Nino Angelo's mob. Huntress tracks Nino Angelo to a huge party being held at Wayne Manor. The party is a setup where Bruce can get more info about Angelo's operations while Batgirl and Alfred listen in on wire taps. But of course, Huntress doesn't know about the sting and crashes the soiree, much to the chagrin of Bruce. Batgirl tries to take down Huntress, but gets her ass kicked, also to the chagrin of Bruce. Before continuing the synopsis, I should mention that at this point Batman would not have been working with Batgirl. However, we must assume that she has gotten back in his good graces since she is indeed working with him again here in Huntress: Year One. Of course, by the end of this story, Batgirl will have gotten canned yet again. Moving on, Batman later confronts Huntress and tries to apprehend her, but Catwoman shows up and saves Huntress. Later still, after unearthing a plot by Gotham's corrupt mayor and the Angelo family (one that ultimately never gets linked to the mayor in the end), Huntress assaults Nino Angelo, her former lover Tony Angelo, Omerta, and the Italian crime lord known as The Pope. Just when things look bleak for Huntress, she gets assistance from Batman, Batgirl, and Catwoman and takes her revenge on Omerta by cutting out his tongue. Afterward, Huntress tells Batman that she will stay in Gotham permanently whether he likes it or not.  PS. In Huntress: Year One #5, Catwoman tells Huntress that she and Batman have been playing "cat and mouse" games for three years.  If we assume that by this she means that they first developed a sexual tension/playfulness in their relationship three years ago then maybe it makes sense.  Bear in mind that Catwoman and Batman have known each other for over almost seven years at this point.


MANY NOTES:

--Bruce ponders about how all of Gotham's super-crime has turned into "pop-crime" (as seen through flashback in Batman #682).  Bruce mentions how he is tired of playing games with quizmasters, clowns, and circus people.  He trained to be a soldier, goddamnit!

--The JLA defeats Starbreaker and stops him from plunging the Earth into the sun (as seen through flashback in Justice League of America Vol. 2 #29).  This is one of the earliest times we see Ollie with what will become his signature goatee.

--Access (the temporary "cosmic monitor" of both Universe-0 and Universe-616 aka the Marvel Universe) accidentally time-travels from Bat-Year 15 while attempting to correct a multiversial spacetime anomaly (as seen in Unlimited Access #2).  Access and his companion Daredevil (!) briefly meet Batman before vanishing back into the timestream.  The Dark Knight's memory of this event quickly fades away.

--After Batman and Robin save the visiting President of Mantegua (a tiny Latin American Republic) from an assassination attempt, the grateful Prez tells them of the horrible crime problems in his nation and begs the heroes to visit.  Batman and Robin not only visit, but offer to train Mantegua's first ever hometown superhero, the "Bat-Hombre."  Unfortunately, the Bat-Hombre is a double-agent working for criminal mastermind El Papagayo (translated as "The Parrot").  Eventually, the Dynamic Duo outs the Bat-Hombre and brings Papagayo to justice (as originally told in Batman #56 (1949) and made canon through reference in Batman, Inc. #3 (2011)).

--Batman and Bat-Woman have their penultimate "extraplanetary adventure" which includes a drug-induced hallucination involving an evil alien named Karn and an alternate dimension complete with dragon-monsters and winged bird-people (as seen through flashback in Batman #682 and Batman, Inc. #4).  This psychotropic gassing is orchestrated by Spyral.  In an intense fear induced by the drugs, Batman and Bat-Woman kiss passionately.  Afterward, Kathy meets with the head of her intelligence organization, who not only chastises her for failing to learn Batman's secret ID, but gives her shit for sleeping with and getting engaged to a man who she doesn't even know.  The head of Spyral reveals his own true identity: the Nazi war criminal Doctor Dedalus.  Dedalus shockingly also reveals that he is Kathy's biological father!  

--Batman is transformed into a rampaging King Kong-like "Bat-creature" by some crooks using a bizarre transmogrifying laser.  Robin reluctantly teams-up with Bat-Woman to stop the bad guys and revert Bruce back to normal (as referenced in Batman, Inc. #4 and originally told in Batman #162).

--Shortly after the adventure of the "Bat-creature" Kathy Kane, ashamed of her secret ties to Spyral and Doctor Dedalus, breaks-up with Bruce (as seen through flashback in Batman, Inc. #4).  She teaches him the "tango del muerte" and they part ways for good.  Bruce is devastated.

--Bruce, after having his heart broken by Kathy, goes into a deep depression (as seen through flashback in Batman #682 and Batman, Inc. #4).

--During Batman's first encounter with Dr. Achilles Milo, the Dark Knight is sprayed with a gas weapon which causes a vivid hallucination.  Batman lucidly dreams that he is on a distant planet known as Zur-En-Arrh, where he is endowed with super-powers and gets to meet his perfect alien double, who wears a garish purple-and-red bat costume (as originally told in Batman #113 and referenced in Batman #679).

--It's around this time that Dr. Simon Hurt implants post-hypnotic suggestions into Batman's psyche while he's undergoing sensory deprivation tests (as seen through flashback in Batman #673-674).  (SPOILER ALERT:  Dr. Hurt is actually Thomas Wayne, Bruce's great(x5) uncle born in the 1700s, endowed with quasi-immortality due to an encounter with a Hyper-Adapter.  If you are totally confused by this, don't worry.  This is a complicated story which we really won't have to deal with until much, much later).  Moving on, during these sensory deprivation tests, Hurt is able to psychoanalyze Batman and literally hear in detail about all of the Dark Knight's hallucinations, new and old.  Specific to one of Batman's most recent hallucinations, Dr. Hurt implants the trigger word "Zur-En-Arrh" into Batman's brain.  Once this word is uttered, Bruce will "shutdown" and lose all memory of having ever been a crime-fighter.  (In any case, we won't hear the word "Zur-En-Arrh" for fifteen years, but when we do... Oh, boy).  Anyway, after ten days of sleep-deprivation in an isolation chamber, Batman temporarily believes Robin has died as a result of an alien encounter on Mars (another vivid hallucination).  Afterward, Batman has sporadic blackouts for two weeks and even considers retiring.  Dr. Hurt also begins training his three replacement Batmen; Josef Muller, Michael Lane, and Branca.  (Several GCPD officers tryout for the program, but only these three are selected).  Dr. Hurt will spend the next nine years secretly studying the psychology of Batman, while training his own trio of Batmen.  Meanwhile, Batman forgets ever meeting Hurt thanks to hypnosis.  Through Grant Morrison's masterful back-engineering, we can view many of these "hallucinogenic" experiences Batman goes through during this time period by reading old issues of Golden Age Batman, like Batman #113, Batman #136, and a few others.  Morrison also reveals that many of Batman's adventures around this time were clouded by a drugged-induced haze due to the after-affects of years of toxic gas poisoning from villains like the Joker and Scarecrow.  For example, Batman also deals with the case of the "Rainbow Creature" around this time (as originally told in Batman #134), which is another complete hallucination.

--A very young Nick Pierce watches Batman and Robin get captured at the hands of the Riddler at the Gotham Museum.  Batman and Robin eventually escape and apprehend Riddler across town later in the day (as referenced and seen through flashback in Batman 80-Page Giant 2011 #1, Part 6).  Inspired by the dashing confidence and style of the Riddler, Nick will become the supervillain known as The Falcon when he grows up.

--A flash-forward of sorts occurs (as seen in DC One Million 80-Page Giant #1). A spacetime anomaly occurs where JLA members from various times and universes are sucked from their home locations and times and randomly appear in the Justice Legion-A's HQ on Jupiter sometime in the 85,270s (853rd century). During a huge battle royale featuring amazing alternate universe characters from all over, including various Batmen from various times and alternate universes, the 27th and 853rd century Flash (John Fox) runs on the Cosmic Treadmill to return everyone to their correct universes and times. The parties involved in this brief event won't even be able to comprehend what has just occurred.

--Batman and Robin defeat Black Mask (Roman Sionis) and his False Face Society (as seen via flashback in Catwoman Vol. 3 #83). During the fight, a large fire erupts and Black Mask's mask fuses to his face.

----While on patrol, Robin exclaims his undying love and devotion for crime-fighting and tells Batman that they will be a team "forever" (as seen via flashback in Nightwing Vol. 2 #75).

--This is a very important note! This is the time when Batman adopts his yellow-oval costume; you know, the one with the yellow oval around the bat symbol on his chest. The yellow contrasts with the rest of his dark costume making it a perfect target for gunmen to aim at.  Therefore, the yellow target lessens the chance that Batman will take gunfire to the face or arms and that is fine with him since he is wearing several inches worth of bulletproof Kevlar and armored-plating under that target.


88.  Teen Titans Year One #1-5 by Amy Wolfram/Karl Kerschl (March 2008 to August 2008)
A 14 year-old Robin has already met and befriended Kid Flash (Wally West), Aqualad, and Speedy (the other JLA sidekicks).  When a cosmic entity known as The Antithesis takes over the minds of the JLA, the youngsters, along with debuting Wonder Girl (Donna Troy), take charge and save them!  They band together and form the Teen Titans, with Robin as their leader.  Batman doesn't approve at first, but eventually respects Dick enough to encourage his leadership of the new team.  Teen Titans Year One is a re-working of the Titans' origin battle versus the Antithesis as seen via flashback in Secret Origins Vol. 2 Annual #3.  Obviously, the new version replaces the old.  Also, the main flashback from Flash Vol. 2 #210 overlaps with this tale.  It shows Wally's first nervous meeting with Batman when Dick gets caught sneaking him into the Batcave.  Batman should be wearing his yellow-insignia costume in this flashback, but he isn't.  Flash: The Fastest Man Alive #2 also shows a single-page flashback to this time period that depicts Batman holding Robin by the cape and delivering him back to a terrified group of Titans.  Not sure exactly what is going on here, but again, Batman should have the yellow-oval costume instead of the original black bat symbol.


89.  Catwoman: Defiant by Peter Milligan/Tom Grindberg (1992)
This is a weird one.  The crime-boss known as Mr. Handsome is madly in love with Catwoman, so much so that he sends his goons to kidnap her.  Even with Batman's protection, Selina is nabbed, chained, and thrown in an abandoned mineshaft which contains a sci-fi cannibalistic ogre creature.  Mr. Handsome's botched plastic-surgery-faced wife, Mary, shows up out of nowhere and saves Selina, but Mary seemingly falls to her death in the mine.  Selina rushes into Mr. Handsome's chamber to kick some ass, but what a twist (!); Mr. Handsome is Mary!  Batman shows up on the scene and helps Catwoman, who nonchalantly points him into the mineshaft (without informing him about the ogre).  Our story ends with Batman in an arm-sling, smiling, and shaking his head.  Oh, Catwoman.  Oh, you.  


90.  "No Escape" by Paul Kupperberg/John Watkiss (Batman: Gotham Knights #29/Batman: Black & White) July 2002
The Riddler forces escape artist extraordinaire Max Dodge (who coincidentally trained Batman in the art of escapism) to ensnare Batman into an inescapable death trap.  Batman is able to escape, but Max dies after getting shot by one of Riddler's henchmen.


NOTES:

--The JLA throws their mascot Snapper Carr a party for passing his high school final exams (as seen via flashback in Hourman #16). This flashback gives us a caption that says it takes place a few years before Snapper quits his position with the JLA. This can’t be true. This must happen mere weeks before.

--Dr. Light debuts and is defeated by the JLA (as seen via flashback in Secret Origins Vol. 2 #37).

--The Joker, posing as the head of an anti-metahuman advocacy group, tricks JLA mascot Snapper Carr to turn on the team and join his ranks (as seen via flashback in Hourman #16). Snapper not only reveals the location of the JLA’s secret sanctuary in Happy Harbor, Rhode Island to Joker but also gives him the keys! Joker steals a bunch of weapons from the sanctuary trophy room and uses them against the JLA during a battle outside of Arkham Asylum. Joker is defeated and incarcerated by the JLA.

--Batman and Robin defeat Joker at a soup factory (as seen via flashback in Nightwing Vol. 2 #62).

--Batman teaches Robin how to use guns, citing the need to respect and have expert knowledge of the weapon they hate the most (as seen via flashback in Nightwing Vol. 2 #33).

--Deadshot (Floyd Lawton) makes his debut as a tuxedo-wearing, domino-masked crime-fighter, but he is eventually exposed as the criminal fraud he really is by Batman.  This Deadshot origin story is lifted directly from Batman #59 and shown in a canonical flashback in Deadshot #1.

--As seen via flashback in Secret Origins Vol. 2 #22, Batman helps Manhunter (Paul Kirk) defeat an army of Paul Kirk clones to seemingly shut down the vast criminal enterprise known as The Council, an organization that has existed clandestinely for hundreds of years.  Of course, the Council isn't shut down, but we won't see or hear from them again until Bat-Year 22!

--Batman and Robin foil the robbery plans of the Riddler yet again (as seen through flashback in Batman #713).  The Dynamic Duo meets Henry McNulty, one of Riddler's henchmen whose son will follow in his criminal footsteps years down the road.

--Batman and Robin apprehend the thrill-seeking Terrible Trio, which consists of The Shark (Sherman Shackley), The Vulture (Gunther Volper), and The Fox (Warren Fisk).  This story was  originally chronicled in Detective Comics #253 (1958), but is referenced in Detective Comics #832.  The Terrible Trio is also referenced in the Brian Bolland story entitled "An Innocent Guy," which was originally printed as a Batman: Black & White Second Feature.

--Snapper Carr, having betrayed the JLA after being tricked by Joker a few weeks ago, sits dejectedly in the no-longer secret sanctuary in Happy Harbor (as seen via flashback in Hourman #8). The JLA tells him it was an honest mistake, but Snapper decides to permanently leave his post as honorary member/mascot.

--With Snapper Carr gone, the JLA sits around and sulks (as seen via flashback in Hourman #16).  They miss the little guy!

--Since the JLA's HQ in Rhode Island was compromised a few weeks ago (thanks to Snapper Carr), the team moves its headquarters to an orbiting satellite in the Earth's atmosphere.

--This is a wild one, but it's canon thanks to a reference in Justice League of America Vol. 4 #58.  In the tale (originally told in The Brave & The Bold #115) Batman tracks down a kidnapped girl to the secret HQ of criminal Buggsy Cathcart.  But Buggsy is prepared and has the place wired, so when the Dark Knight tries to break into the building he gets a lethal jolt of electricity.  Batman drops like a leaf and Buggsy and his thugs quickly dump his body.  Minutes later, Batman is discovered by Gordon's men (thankfully) and rushed to the hospital where they learn he is brain dead!  Enter the Atom, who shrinks down, enters Bruce's brain and is able to re-animate him enough to control his lifeless body.  Like a puppeteer living inside Bruce's brain, the Atom marches the zombie Batman back to Buggsy's hideout, saves the girl, and returns him to the hospital.  The Atom is then able to work his mojo inside Bruce's brain and actually revives him!  That's right; Bruce was clinically brain dead for at least half an hour, but somehow Atom zombifies him and then revives him!  Awesome.   

--Batman and Robin detain a feisty Poison Ivy, who manages to make-out with the Dark Knight!  This is seen in a one-panel flashback from Neil Gaiman's contribution to Secret Origins #36.  Most of this great story is bullshit canon-wise since it is narrated entirely by Ivy, who is spinning a wild yarn for a reporter.  However, we can assume this encounter went down as such. 

--In one of their rare calm moments aboard the JLA satellite HQ, Hal Jordan chats with Batman about how they both witnessed the deaths of their fathers (as seen through flashback in Blackest Night #0).  "No wonder we're both screwed up," says Hal, trying to start a friendly conversation with his rival.  "Speak for yourself," mutters a disdainful Bruce.  HATE.

--The mad Dr. Achilles Milo turns famous Olympic athlete Anthony Lupus into a werewolf.  Batman bests both Milo and his werewolf (as originally told in Batman #255 and seen through flashback in Batman #683).

--Batman deals with the case of The Gargoyle now (as seen through flashback in Batman #477-478 by John Wagner).

--The events of the flashback issue of LOTDK #37 occur now. Batman trains rookie cop Mercedes Stone in his style of vigilante martial-arts, only to see her killed shortly thereafter.

--The snake-themed villain known as Copperhead debuts this year too.

--Batman stops the Joker's "five-way revenge" scheme (as referenced in Batman #683, shown through flashback in Trinity #18, and originally told in Batman #251).  Joker kills off five of his former henchmen, including Charlie "Bigger" Melvin. Batman, during this ordeal, also tries to save a wheelchair-bound hostage (one of Joker's other former henchmen) from a shark tank death trap (as seen through flashback in Batman #683).

--Batman and Robin defeat the murderous Rafferty Brothers (as seen in Batman #12 (1942)).  Afterward, Bruce keeps one of their bullet-proof vests as a trophy and displays it in the cave.

--Jim Gordon watches his daughter in action as she apprehends Scarecrow.  Afterward, Batman chats with Jim (as seen through flashback in Booster Gold Vol. 2 #5).

--Batman and Superman meet for the second annual Springtime commemoration of the death of Harrison Gray.

8 comments:

  1. I was wondering, how did you decide on your Bat and The Beast placement? There are a few things in it besides the post-soviet russia thing:

    1. A reference to 9/11
    2. Batman seems uncomfortable outside of gotham, so I'd assume this is before JLI
    3. Batman is still relatively unknown
    4. Jim Gordon is commissioner and with very white hair, so this isn't too early.
    5. Batman is wearing his non-yellow circle outfit.

    Easiest would be to say its out of continuity, but assuming we HAVE to place it, does this placing work?

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  2. "One of my favorite Batman stories of all time. Devin Grayson is a master at writing about the relationship between Batman and Catwoman. His depiction of the pair goes beyond innuendo, and borderlines on pure sex."

    Devin Grayson is a female.

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  3. AHH duh. This is terrible of me to take away from one of the few FEMALES who get a chance to make their mark in a male-dominated industry. Devin Grayson is indeed female and one of the best writers in the biz today! Thanks for the correction--changes will be made! --Collin

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  4. OH, and Ian, "The Bat and the Beast" is a tough one (and very probably could be out-of-continuity), but in my (often futile) attempt to try to make everything fit I guess we'll keep it here... or just continue to IGNORE IGNORE IGNORE :-) -Collin

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  5. Hi, I discovered a tiny mistake, felt like telling you: in the paragraph about Dr Milo, you say that the adventure on zur-en-arrh happens in Batman #134 while it actually happens in #113, #134 is about the rainbow creature adventure

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  6. Thanks a bundle, guyomeprime. Changes have been made.

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  7. hi collin i noticed something in huntress year one batman tells batgirl she's fired while she is supposed to still be working alone and didn't get batman's approval yet and in photofinish u said that robin runs into batgirl for the first time while they are seen working together in DCU halooween special :D

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    1. Good calls on both. I will shift some stuff around and add some notations. We'll have to ignore Batman's yellow-oval costume in "Chronicles #9" and I'll have to add a special caveat note regarding Batgirl working with Batman in "Huntress: Year One." Thanks, Moataz.

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