Modern Age (YEAR FIFTEEN) Part One

This page has not been updated since 2011. For an updated and correct version of this timeline, please redirect to THE REAL BATMAN CHRONOLOGY PROJECT.COM.

This Bat-Year runs from April 2003 to March 2004. Bruce turns 40 in February. April begins with "The Final Night," but the biggest events that occur are "Rock of Ages" and "Cataclysm."   "No Man's Land" will begin at the end of this Bat-Year and will run well into the next year.

This first part details April 2003 to early September 2003.

--Scare Tactics #11
The popular teenage rock band known as Scare Tactics, comprised only of metahumans and monsters, has recently broken up. One of the teens, the lizard mutant Slither, has taken it particularly badly. Not only that, depression coupled with his mutation has caused him to go a bit crazy and lash out at his friends. When Slither turns up murdered, Commissioner Gordon brings in the rest of the band for questioning. Batman leads the interrogations, speaking with werewolf Fang, vampire Scream Queen, and then muck monster Gross-Out. Gross-Out breaks down in tears and confesses to the murder, telling how he put his best friend out of his misery with the mercy killing. Batman and Gordon discuss what should be done, noting that the kids aren't criminals. They decide not to press charges, but put the group in front of an independent review board that will determine their fate. The group leaves GCPD HQ and gets picked up by their manager Arnold Burnsteel, who has just returned from an adventure with Iron Lantern in the Amalgam Universe (hence this story's placement here).

NOTE:  The Amalgam Universe (created at the conclusion of the DC vs. Marvel story-arc) is destroyed (as seen in Dr. StrangeFate #1).  The only survivor of the cataclysm is Dr. StrangeFate (a mash-up of Dr. Fate, Dr. Strange, and Professor X).  StrangeFate is able to hide himself deep within the psyche of Dr. Strange on Earth-616.

--DC/Marvel: All Access #3-4
The follow-up to DC vs Marvel and the destruction of the Amalgam Universe.  When several Marvel characters accidentally breach into the DCU, Access is on the case.  He recruits Jubilee and together they visit Robin in Gotham.  Robin and Jubilee team-up to defeat Two-Face, while Batman defeats Scorpion.  Afterward, Robin and Jubilee smooch a bit and Tim feels bad about cheating on Ariana.  Access can't figure out what is going on with the random inter-dimensional breakdown, but Batman volunteers to accompany him back to Earth-616's New York City to investigate.  In NYC-616 Batman and Access accost Dr. Strange.  Then the X-Men show up and Batman successfully holds his own in a fight against the entire team!  As the sheer manpower of the X-Men eventually begins to overtake the Dark Knight, the JLA bursts onto the scene ready for action.  As the X-Men battle the JLA, Dr. StrangeFate makes his dramatic return and begins merging characters together in an attempt to recreate his lost universe.  The individual X-Men merge with the individual members of the JLA to form a mash-up "X-League."  For instance, Batman merges with Jubilee to become a Batgirl-type character.  In the end Dr. StrangeFate is able to recreate his the original Amalgam Universe as it was, but Dr. Strange is able to contain the entire Amalgam Universe (including StrangeFate) in a tiny pocket-sized sphere, which he will hold onto for safe-keeping.  The "X-League" is un-merged and the JLA returns to Earth-0.

--JLA 80-Page Giant #1 
After the new version of the JLA formed at the end of Bat-Year Fourteen, it has taken around two weeks for their new Watchtower headquarters to be built on the surface of the moon.  While the finishing touches are made on the Watchtower, J'onn disguises himself as a villain and dismantles the entire Secret Society of Supervillains from within.  This issue overlaps with the beginning of "The Final Night" (early April).

NOTE:  After gaining a new healthy body from Neron during Underworld Unleashed, Lex Luthor has since returned to a public life and has been virtually cleared of all criminal charges, claiming that his "son" Lex Luthor II was responsible.  (In actuality, Lex was Lex II, but he is able to fool the world as he usually does).  Lex also gets married for the 8th time to Contessa Erica Del Portenza, CEO of LexCorp.  (His first 7 marriages occur before the debuts of both Batman and Superman).

--The Final Night #1-2
--Batman #536
--The Final Night #3
--Detective Comics #703
--Legion of Super-Heroes Vol. 4 #86
--Robin #35 Part 1
--The Final Night #4
--Robin #35 Part 2
--Batman #537-538
--Green Lantern Vol. 3 #81
When the mysterious Sun-Eater engulfs the sun and begins to devour it, the Earth goes dark and the end of days seems near. Global temperatures plummet and the sun is on the verge of going supernova.  Lex Luthor decides the best way to convince everyone that he isn't a criminal is to help the world's heroes find a way to save the planet.  Meanwhile, Superman's powers are diminishing rapidly without the yellow light of the sun to recharge him.  As riots begin all over the panicking Earth (aren't people used to this shit yet?) the superhero community buckles down to maintain order.  Superman and Batman travel to Paris to stop Vandal Savage from stealing a portrait of his ex-girlfriend, some chick who posed for some painting named Mona Lisa!  Twenty-seven hours without sunlight and Man-Bat freaks out and heads north because he is afraid he won't be able to control his bloodlust and doesn't want to hurt anyone.  Five days without sunlight and the crime in Gotham is rising, but Batman, Robin, Spoiler, and Huntress are still in control.  The Legion of Superheroes from the 31st Century also assists in the assault on the Sun-Eater.  (Bear in mind this is an alternate Legion than we've met before.  This is the "Reboot" Legion from Earth-247).  Even with the aid of the Legion, with two hours left until the sun explodes all hope seems lost until Hal Jordan returns!  Great stuff here as Superman welcomes him with open arms, but Batman flips-out and can only think of Hal as the insane monster we last saw him as in Zero Hour.  (There is a recapitulation of this Hal Jordan return scene in a flashback from DC Universe Legacies #9, Part 1).   In the end Hal redeems himself and uses the power of Parallax to save the Earth, but at the cost of his own life.  Superman praises Hal as a martyr saying, "I'll always think Hal died a hero."  To which Batman replies coldly, "Too bad that isn't how he always lived."  In the aftermath of "The Final Night," Batman apprehends Man-Bat in Antarctica.  Also, Hal Jordan is given an epic hero's funeral, although Batman isn't happy about it.  Oh yeah, even though the sun is restored, Superman's powers continue to diminish due to the lack of sunlight over the past week.  Eventually, his powers disappear completely.  NOTE:  Years later it will be revealed that Parallax is a separate parasitic entity that had a symbiotic relationship with Hal during this time.  (Hal was indeed insane, but the alien inside of him helped bring out the demons).

NOTE:  Right before his own death, Hal is able to use the power of Parallax to bring the original Green Arrow Oliver Queen back from the dead!  However, Ollie is resurrected without his soul and lives as a mindless homeless man in an alley for years before anyone finds out he is alive.

--Superman: The Wedding Album #1 
Clark Kent and Lois Lane finally get married!  Bruce wishes them the best of luck.  This entire issue depicts the wedding (like an actual wedding ceremony) from beginning to end in detail.  It's really sappy and happy and nothing bad happens.  No bad guys have the stones to crash this wedding. 

NOTE: Superman's powers are restored, kind of.  Kal-El unexpectedly changes into a blue electromagnetic energy being and dons his new cape-less "electric" containment-suit costume (as seen in Superman Vol. 2 #123).

ANOTHER NOTE:  For the first time in two years Tim's father Jack is fully rehabilitated and able to walk again!

--JLA Secret Files #1, Part 2
The new JLA meets the new electrically-powered blue Superman.

--JLA/WildC.A.T.S. "Crime Machine"
The JLA meets the ultimate superhero team from Earth-50, the WildC.A.T.S.  Together, the two teams prevent Epoch aka The Lord of Time from destroying the multiverse.

--JLA #5, Part 1
Metamorpho's funeral is finally held.  The couple week delay after his death before his funeral can be explained because scientists weren't sure at first if the element man was truly dead or just in an "inert state."  More amazing Morrison dialogue during the funeral scene here as Superman sadly comments on how no one has shown up for Metamorpho's funeral when millions came to his.  To which the preacher replies, "People aren't very interested in metahuman funerals anymore, Superman.  Everyone knows you people come back all the time!"  After Metamorpho's funeral it's JLA membership drive time!  Bruce skips the membership drive because he is busy battling an escaped Mad Hatter.  Several candidates show up for the drive including Damage, Artemis, Green Arrow(Connor Hawke), Steel, Supergirl, Plastic Man, Aztek, Guy Gardner, Max Mercury, Tomorrow Woman, and last but not least, Hitman Tommy Monaghan, who shows up only to look at Wonder Woman naked with his X-ray vision!  He does so, and promptly leaves.After a week of initiation tests, the JLA battles the threat of "The If," a gigantic sentient energy-orb capable of mass destruction.

--JLA: Tomorrow Woman #1
Part of the "Girlfrenzy!" series. As the JLA battles "The If," which pops up randomly all over the US to cause chaos, another threat rears its ugly head in the form of the alien monster known as Taint. Taint has tainted the minds of every ten-year-old living thing on the planet, causing them to go into blind murderous rages. As kiddos everywhere go nuts, the JLA meets aboard the Watchtower and comes up with a plan. The team links hands and, with the combined power of Martian Manhunter's telepathic abilities and Tomorrow Woman's mysterious mental powers, is able to give a bolt of pure harmonious energy to electric blue Superman. The Man of Steel is able to use his electric powers to zap Earth, curing all the children and animals of the Taint's curse.

--JLA #5, Part 2
However, Tomorrow Woman winds up sacrificing her own life to stop the gigantic destructive energy-orb known as "The If" and it is revealed that she was actually an android sent by the mad scientists Professor Ivo and Dr. T.O. Morrow to infiltrate the League. Tomorrow Woman, in true cyberpunk fashion, wound up having a mind of her own and was able to defy her evil programming.  Superman watches over yet another quiet funeral to end JLA #5.

--Nightwing Vol. 2 #5
Nightwing is back in Blüdhaven dealing with Blockbuster's goons, most notably Lady Vic.   Bruce Wayne makes a cameo in this issue.  We'll start to see the beginnings of Dick's move to Blüdhaven around now.  Eventually, Nightwing will become the official protector of Blüdhaven.

--The Power of Shazam! #22
Batman travels to Fawcett City and teams-up with Captain Marvel to defeat the villain Lady M.

--Detective Comics #704
This is a one-shot story about the loser criminal Al Gabone, who attempts reform, but just can't catch a break.

--Superboy/Robin: World's Finest Three #2
With Bruce away on official Wayne Enterprises business for the weekend, Robin is on his own. Robin meets Superboy for the first time!  Unfortunately, the Boy of Steel gets seduced by the pheromones of the deadly Poison Ivy. Dick grabs Alfred and Batman's Kryptonite ring and chases Superboy and Ivy to Hawaii. There, Ivy pits Superboy against Robin. Eventually, Superboy shakes off Ivy's spell and teams up with the Boy Wonder to defeat both Poison Ivy and Metallo. Back in Gotham, Batman returns and congratulates Robin and Alfred on a job well done.

--Second Feature from Batman: Gotham Knights #37 (Batman: Black & White)
In this B&W Second Feature, Scarecrow and his henchmen steal a bio-weapon from S.T.A.R. Labs and combine it with his patented fear gas.  Unfortunately, the combo leaks out of its canister and penetrates the minds of both the bad guys and Batman alike.  Batman is able to shake off the effects of the drug and send Scarecrow back to Arkham.

--Batman: Blackgate #1
Batman hears a tip that something big is going down at Blackgate, so he goes undercover as the obese "man who can get anything on the inside" baby-killer known as Shoppie.  Once on the inside, Batman unravels a complicated plan masterminded by the former Cluemaster, Arthur Brown.  Brown plans on escaping Blackgate with Titus Samuel Czonka, Firelfy, Ratcatcher, Dragoncat, Actuary, and a few other buddies.  After a prison riot and cameos from every Blackgate inmate from Gunhawk to the Trigger Twins to Steeljacket, Brown and company make it outside the prison walls where they meet up with the returning Cap'n Fear (!), who has been hired by Brown to boat them off the island.  Fear quickly realizes Batman is on the case and high tails it outta there.  No one passes "Go."  No one collects $200.  They all end up straight back in jail (except for a few lucky ones who actually manage to get away).

--Detective Comics #705-707
During the events of "The Final Night" Riddler had paid off an Arkham orderly to break his wrist so that he could be transferred to Mercy General Hospital.  Now Riddler easily escapes from the hospital while his lovely henchwomen Query and Echo bust Arthur Brown (Cluemaster) out of his parole hearing at the courthouse. For those wondering, Query and Echo have been around forever, like since Bat-Year One, but they never really developed into fully-fleshed out characters until now.  Anyway, Riddler straps remote controlled bombs to the Cluemaster's chest and forces Batman and Robin to haul him all around town solving a bunch of riddles.  If they fail to solve the puzzles, the Cluemaster will explode.  Think Die Hard With a Vengeance.  With Oracle's help (and Brown's) the Dynamic Duo are able to discover the Riddler's secret location and stop him.

--Batman: The Hill #1
Batman takes down the criminal Demitrius Korlee, who controls all of the Black Gotham ghetto known as The Hill.  Batman uses a ton of subterfuge and espionage tactics in this issue, including feeding Korlee disinformation and then luring him to a fake Batcave.  This story takes two weeks to wrap up and actually overlaps with the next five stories on this list.

--The Batman Chronicles #7
Superman and Batman investigate a cold death-row case in order to save someone's life at the eleventh hour.  Their investigations tell a tale that neither one expected.  In the end, the duo is able to get the inmate's case appealed, but she dies before the news can reach her executioners.  Meanwhile, Dick and Donna Troy meet up and have a long chat about life, love, and whatever.  In the final part of the issue Tim and Connor Hawke (the new Green Arrow) reminisce about their mentors in action.  We see a flashback to an old Batman/Ollie Queen team-up from two years ago.

--Batman Plus #1
Supervillain Cheshire has just detonated nuclear bombs in Qurac, virtually destroying the entire nation.  In retaliation Quraci nationals led by the KGBeast kidnap her.  Who cares, right?  Well, Arsenal cares because Cheshire is the mother of his child.  Arsenal is Roy Harper.  You may know him better as former Teen Titan, Speedy!  Anyway, Roy travels to Blüdhaven and asks Dick to ask Batman to help him out.  Batman and Arsenal team-up and travel to Zurich, where Arsenal takes out the Beast, while Batman converses with Cheshire and solves the case.  Unknown to Roy, his daughter had been kidnapped by the Beast as well and Chesh was being blackmailed for a ton of cash.  Back in the states, Nightwing saves the child.  Good read, especially if you are into some amazing Roy banter.

NOTE:  Dick tells Batman that he is permanently moving to Blüdhaven (as seen via flashback in Nightwing Vol. 2 #75).  Batman is sad to see him leave, but Dick assures him it is for the best.

--Batman: Phantom Stranger
Common criminals seek the mystic secrets of the 10 thousand year-old Lemurian civilization.  The Phantom Stranger shows up and asks for Batman's assistance after an ancient Lemurian power-ring is stolen from a tomb.  At the conclusion of the story, Batman and the Stranger are able to stop the criminals.  Jon Konik (remember him from way back in 'tec #614?) dons the power-ring and we learn the mystic secret of the Lemurians; "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."  Shit, that's the golden rule.  Words to live by.

--Batman #539
Peter Ostine is a grave-robber that makes sculptures out of human bones.  After he gets arrested, he chokes on a chicken bone and dies.  Sweet irony.

--Batman: Shadow of the Bat #59-60 ("KILLER KILLER")
Can Scarface really talk?  Does the dummy have a life of its own?  (Yes, as we will find out eventually).  The Ventriloquist's main man Rhino has been trying to get the dummy to speak for months unsuccessfully.  But in issue #59, Scarface talks!  It is vague on whether or not Rhino (who has been practicing how to throw his voice) makes him speak or if Scarface actually talks.  We do learn that Scarface was originally carved from a gallows tree, thus linking the dummy to supernatural origins.  In either case, Rhino busts the Ventriloquist out of jail and reunites him with Scarface.  Scarface's big return mission?  To kill his bad luck charm, an albatross.   Yes, a bird.  Meanwhile, "The Killer Killer" Lenny Carnell tries to assassinate the Penguin in order to take over his operations.  Batman captures Carnell and Rhino, but the Ventriloquist and Scarface get away.

--Batman: Scottish Connection
Bruce and Alfred (and the paparazzi) travel to Scotland to attend the ceremonial burial of Bruce's 600 year-old Scottish ancestor.  Batman encounters the masked Scottish terrorist Fergus Slith, who uses the ancient secrets of the Templars to give himself and his henchmen metahuman strength.  Slith then tries to kill everyone in sight using various methods until his sister, Sheona Slith, kills him, but loses her life in the process.  Not a great script, but the Frank Quietly art makes this one-shot worth checking out.

--Batman #540-541
--The Spectre Vol. 3 #51
Batman deals with the Spectre in the first two issues, and disapproves of god's methods.  The Joker causes trouble in the third after gaining the Spectre's divine powers.  The Spectre gets his powers back when he temporarily gives the Joker something he's never ever had before; a conscience.  The guilt trip puts Joker into a temporary state of catatonia.  Oh, and Bruce meets radio talk-show host/journalist Vesper Fairchild and they begin dating!

--Batman: Shadow of the Bat #61
Batman stops assassins who try to kill a stool-pigeon.  Meanwhile, a boy learns to love his stepfather.

--Batman/Wildcat #1-3
Who is the better pound-for-pound fighter in the DCU?  Ted Grant aka Wildcat fights Batman in this tale, and we almost find out.  For anyone who doesn't know, Grant is a long-time JSA member, former boxing heavyweight champ, and one of the many men who trained a young Bruce Wayne long ago. Anyway, in this story promoter Ernie Chubb organizes a televised meta-human MMA tournament and hires Lock-Up to kidnap all the participants.  The main contestants are KGBeast, King Snake, Panara, Monsoon, Killer Croc, and Steeljacket.  Eager to impress his retired mentor, Hector Ramirez dons the Wildcat costume and enters the tourney.  He is promptly pummeled to death by Croc.  Batman and the original Wildcat rush to the scene where they are captured themselves and tricked into squaring-off against one another.  They never finish the fight, however, and instead team-up and take out all of the bad guys.  Wildcat decides to officially come out of retirement.

--Azrael #29-31
When love of Jean-Paul's life, Lihly (former member of the Order of St. Dumas), begins dating another man, Azrael leaves town to do some soul searching.  In Europe, Az runs into Ra's Al Ghul who asks Jean-Paul to become Talia's husband!  Jean-Paul accepts and things are going smoothly until Ra's learns about Jean-Paul's mind-programming by the Order.  Ra's ain't cool with anyone who has ties, past or present, with the Order.  Jean-Paul is sent packing.  Still aimless, Az meets up with Batman who assigns him to investigate a small-town cold case involving a vampire.  Azrael defeats the vampire with ease.  I love how Bruce is constantly getting Jean-Paul out of his hair.

--The Batman Chronicles #8, Part 1
Ra's Al Ghul sends Talia to kill Bruce Wayne once and for all.  Talia doesn't want to kill her beloved, but she doesn't have a choice.  Batman battles League ninjas in the ruins of the old Arkham Asylum and is eventually knocked unconscious.  Talia points a gun at Bruce's head, but cannot pull the trigger.  Instead, she kisses him and leaves to face the wrath of her father.

NOTE:  Batman discovers the mutilated body of a teenage boy, who was murdered by a group of demons known as The Innocents.  The Caped Crusader vows to avenge the boy's death (as referenced in Batman: The Book of Shadows).

--Detective Comics #708-710 ("THE DEATH LOTTERY")
Gunhawk was one of the lucky inmates to escape during the events of Batman: Blackgate #1.  But since his escape, he has gotten sloppy as a hitman, missing targets left and right.  It's gotten so bad that Bunny leaves him.  When a hit is put out on the richest men in Gotham, the distraught assassin goes after the biggest fish, Bruce Wayne.  Gunhawk misses and hits Lucius Fox in the arm instead.  The gigantic payoff for the Gotham hit-list is also enough to lure Deathstroke (!) out of retirement.  But when Deathstroke arrives in Gotham he realizes he'd rather kill Gunhawk instead.  Batman takes out Deathstroke (who is wearing his new crappy blue costume) and the latter berates the former for letting Gunhawk escape.  Batman calmly takes the sniper rifle in his arms and blasts the weapons right out of Gunhawks hands, allowing the cops to arrest him.  Afterward, Batman adds Deathstroke's signature sword to the Batcave trophy room.

--Batman: The Book of Shadows
Batman learns that the demons known as the Innocents have murdered and possessed the bodies of a bunch of already evil Occultists.  The Innocents are also responsible for the murder of a teenage boy which occured a week earlier.  When Batman is able to locate the demons (who very much resemble Dragon Ball Z villains), they capture him and are able to summon their dark master, the monstrous, tentacled anime-like beast known as The Archon.  The Archon merges with his demon followers and makes all kinds of threats until Batman lowers him into molten metal Terminator 2 style, destroying the creature.

--Superboy & The Ravers #8, Part 2
Superboy and his teenage superhero team, The Ravers, end a cross-country road trip in Gotham City. Despite searching for Batman, they are unable to locate him. The teens do, however, run into a recently escaped Two-Face, but they don't recognize him. Batman winds up swinging by on patrol and just misses everyone. This little addendum to Superboy & The Ravers #8 functions as a direct prelude to the upcoming "Janus" story-arc.

--Batman: Shadow of the Bat #62-63 ("JANUS")
The masked vigilante known as Janus begins killing Two-Face's men and thwarts his plans at every turn.  But who is Janus, and why is he targeting Two-Face?  The answer:  Janus is Harvey Dent!  The explanation: When the evil Two-Face half of Dent's brain takes over Dent's mind completely, Dent's "good" half creates a separate alter ego in a last ditch effort to survive.  This new personality manifests itself as Janus.  Batman unravels the mystery and sends poor escaped Harvey back to Arkham.  Oh, before discovering that Janus and Two-Face were actually one-and-the-same Batman and Robin had suspected that the new vigilante was Alfred!   Alfred had been acting very suspicious as of late, but only because he was secretly taking ballroom dancing lessons in order to impress the fairer sex (probably Leslie Thompkins).  Oh, Alfie!  

--Batman #542-543 ("FACELESS")
Mailman Jospeh Zedno goes postal and begins killing the people on his mail-route and cuts their faces off.  Bruce goes on a daytime date with Vesper Fairchild, but has to cancel their nighttime rendezvous in order to catch the hackneyed serial-killer known as Faceless.

--Batman: Shadow of the Bat #64
Jason Blood (sometimes vessel for the demon Etrigan) tricks Batman into exorcising the hundred year-old ghosts of newlyweds who were slaughtered by an evil demon. 

--The Batman Chronicles #9, Part 2
Mr. Freeze participates in a fake-hostage extortion scheme, which Batman and Commissioner Gordon see right through.

--Detective Comics #711
Bruce Wayne wins some sort of humanitarian award and handles some criminals at the ceremony.

--Batman: Shadow of the Bat Annual #5
--Batman Annual #21
--Robin Annual #6
--Detective Comics Annual #10
--JLA Annual #1
"Pulp Heroes" was a DC Annual crossover which featured unrelated one-shots, each in a specific formal style or pulp genre.  For example, SOTB is a noir detective story featuring Joe Potato, Poison Ivy, and an ancient artifact which creates plant-zombies and giant plant-monsters.  The Batman Annual is an Asian-crime drama where Batman travels to Tibet to foil the plans of the evil Green Dragon, Lung Wang.  For the second time in his career Batman battles a "Tulpa," a conjured-up Tibetan homunculus.  In the spaghetti Western-themed Robin Annual the Trigger Twins are transferred to a prison in Texas, but escape from a work-detail with help from a criminal posing as their long lost sister.  The trio mounts a posse and travels to Gotham where they literally have a high-noon showdown in a Wild West amusement park.  The villains are defeated by Robin, Huntress, Nighthawk, Gotham County Sheriff Shotgun Smith, and U.S. Marshal Ohiyesa Smith (ancestor of the original Pow-Wow Smith).  This tale occurs while Batman is in Tibet.  The 'tec Annual is written in the style of an old 60s war pulp.  When a bunch of Americans, including Lucius Fox, are kidnapped by Cell Six terrorists in the Latin American country of Hasaragua, Batman rescues everyone in gung-ho fashion.  The JLA Annual has two stories.  First, J'onn leads an investigation into the murder of an alien in a small town.  Second, the Brain Trust sets up an energy field around NY which will destroy the city if any metahuman powers are used.  Batman leads a team of Green Arrow, Green Lantern, and Flash into NY and they stop the villains without using any powers.  There is also a WWII pulp-themed LOTDK issue, but it takes place in the Year One Era.

--Anarky #1-4 ("METAMORPHOSIS") 
Anarky is back and he has invented a device which will "de-brainwash" every human on Earth of all social constraints that society has placed upon the individual.  Say goodbye to mass mediated culture and right-wing hegemony!  In order to power his machine, Anarky successfully meets with Etrigan and collects the essence of his madness.  Anarky then successfully meets with Darkseid (!) and collects the essence of his evil.  After collecting the essence of Batman's purity, the machine is ready to go.  However, Batman damages the machine and it effects only Anarky, who learns the lesson that good cannot be forced upon the masses; the masses must learn good by themselves.  And thus, Anarky's metamorphosis into a genuine left-wing philosophical anti-hero is complete.

--Robin #45
Robin deals with that pesky General again.  Batman and Huntress make cameos.

--The Batman Chronicles #10
Part 1 is a prose story about a 14 year-old's desire to snap a picture of Batman.  In Part 2 an old crook crook tells a young up-and-comer how his life was ruined by Batman.  The newb is scared straight.  In Part 3 Batman helps a distraught man recover his pet from dog-nappers.  It's probably best to disregard the snow in this last story as it is a little early for it in our timeline.

The JLA (minus Batman who is busy with the previous two entries) meets former angel turned superhero Zauriel who helps the team fight the angel Asmodel.  Asmodel and his army of angels attempt to succeed where Lucifer failed so long ago.  That's right, Asmodel is rebelling against God!  However, God doesn't even intervene.  There's no reason to when the JLA is standing in Asmodel's way.  Meanwhile, Neron, king of Hell, eager to take advantage of the situation and add to the chaos, causes the moon to begin plummeting toward Earth.  Superman is able to use his new powers to create electromagnetic poles on the lunar surface which keep the moon in place.  But Neron has one more trick up his sleeve, he awakens the villain known as the Key (who has been in a coma for almost ten years) and sicks him on the JLA.  Batman returns to the Watchtower just in time to be attacked by the Key and rendered unconscious (along with the rest of the team).  The Key then administers neuro-chemicals to each JLAer which cause each to have a "dream flu" or structured hallucination.  For example, Superman thinks he is the Green Lantern protector of Krypton.  Batman thinks he is old and married to Selina; Tim is the new Batman; and his son Bruce Junior is the new Robin.  Wonder Woman thinks she is a female Indiana Jones fighting Nazi-zombies.  There is a brilliant moment where Bruce realizes that their "reality" is a fabricated simulation.  Superman can't believe it, but Batman explains, "I appear to be a fit man in his 60s, but the blood pressure and heartrate I'm experiencing would fit the profile of a much younger, and very probably unconscious man."  Amazing.  Actually, I could write an entire term paper on how cool/complex this story is, so you should read it if you can.  In the end, Green Arrow (Connor Hawke) defeats the Key and saves the day.  He becomes the newest JLA member as a reward!

--Batman: Shadow of the Bat #65-68
Commissioner Gordon is arrested for corruption and money laundering!  Batman is hunted by the GCPD and the Batmobile is impounded!  A financial crisis has struck Gotham!  Bruce Wayne is accused of abusing his son David!  Wait, what!?  Bruce doesn't have a son named David and Gordon is clean as a whistle.  So what's happening?  When small-time crooks Marlon "The Cheat" Dall and Des Connor realize that they can combine their weak metahuman telepathic abilities together, they concoct the biggest scam they can imagine.  Using their combined power, they begin hypnotizing everyone in sight and eventually Gotham is in turmoil and the duo has gained over $200 million in less than 24 hours.  Once Batman catches on, he is able to bust the bad guys and return everything to the status-quo.  Issue #68 is a Halloween story, but it's still late spring/early summer, so let's just go ahead an ignore the holiday.  The tale is about a serial killer who has drowned one victim every year for the past nine years on the anniversary of the day he took acid and hallucinated visions of the grim reaper.  Batman prevents him from killing number ten.

NOTE:  Batman bumps into Kate Kane, who is able to stop her own mugger without Batman's help (as seen through flashback in Detective Comics #859).  Kate will become Batwoman in about five years time.


  1. For Chronicles #9, the Freeze story "Just Desserts" is part 2 of the book. Part 1 is "Photo Finish" from Year 7.

    Amazing job on this, by the way. Its great to move along a solid timeline instead of back and forth for a change.

  2. Much thanks to The Don! The correction has been made --CC