Modern Age (YEAR FIFTEEN) Part Three

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Bat-Year Fifteen Part Three.  Early January 2004 to March 2004.

--Detective Comics #719
--Batman: Shadow of the Bat #73
--Nightwing Vol. 2 #19
--Batman #553
--The Batman Chronicles #16, Part 3
--Azrael #40
--Detective Comics #720
--Catwoman #56
--Robin #52
--Batman: Blackgate - Isle of Men #1
--Batman: Shadow of the Bat #74
--The Batman Chronicles #12
--Nightwing Vol. 2, #20
--Batman #554
--Batman/Huntress/Spoiler: Blunt Trauma #1
--Detective Comics #721
--Catwoman Vol. 2 #57
--Batman: Arkham Asylum - Tales of Madness #1
--Robin #53
"Cataclysm" supposedly begins in late October, but the earliest it seems to fit in our chronology is early January.  A massive 7.6 earthquake and subsequent aftershocks completely destroy Gotham City.  The only buildings left standing are Wayne properties, which have all been constructed with quake-proof engineering.  Ironically, Wayne Manor and the Batcave are completely demolished.  Batman, Nightwing, Huntress, Catwoman, Oracle, Leslie Thompkins, Spoiler, and the GCPD do all they can to save as many lives as they can.  Harold "sees daylight for the first time" since moving into the cave (or so we are told, but this is a blatant error since Harold goes on daytime shopping errands constantly).  Amidst the chaos, Azrael knocks out Bane yet again.  Robin concludes his misadventures in Tbliska and returns home to give aid as well.  Alfred and Harold try to salvage what they can from the Batcave.  Every major villain incarcerated at Blackgate escapes.  Both Two-Face and the Penguin see an ocean of criminal opportunities open up now that Gotham is a wasteland lacking order.  Arkham is somehow miraculously spared destruction, but the inmates still get riled up when they hear the news and go quite madder.  Several of the inmates carve their names (permanently) into the skin of a prison guard. (This is the origin of Jigsaw Man).  Also, the mysterious Quakemaster shows up on the scene (through remote video telecasts) claiming responsibility for the quake.  Batman and company discover that the Quakemaster is really the Ventriloquist/Scarface trying to capitalize on the situation.  The quake was indeed a natural disaster.

--Batman: Bullock's Law #1
This lengthy one-shot details a week-long False Facers investigation by super-cop Harvey Bullock.  Bullock may not do things by the book, and Batman has always taken issue with the detective (as he does in this issue).  However, in the end the Caped Crusader approves of Bullock's methods.  Special thanks to odi on this one.  This story takes place shortly after the earthquake.  Things are a mess, but the city is still functional.

--Batman Villains Secret Files & Origins #1
When an ordinary man is accidentally sent to Arkham, bad things happen.  Meanwhile, Penguin begins making strategic moves to ensure that post-quake Gotham will belong solely to him.  Also, Joker escapes and flees to NYC where he tries to kill hundreds.  Green Lantern Kyle Rayner apprehends the Clown Prince of Crime and escorts him back to Arkham, where Kyle is barely able to withstand the taunts and psychological jeers of the other inmates.

--Batman: Shadow of the Bat #75
--Batman #555
--Detective Comics #722
--Batman: Shadow of the Bat #76
--Robin #54
--Batman #556
Just over a week has passed since the quake.  Over ten-thousand are dead and the count is rising exponentially.  Gotham is a Federal Disaster Area in ruins.  Batman apprehends Mr. Freeze, the returning original Clayface/Ultimate Clayface aka Basil Karlo, and the Ratcatcher, while at the same time continues his massive rescue efforts across what is left of the city.  Batman uses a vast array of different Batmobiles in "Aftershock."  For instance, we see the return of the giant Bat-monster truck, which hasn't been used since The Cult!  These issues deal primarily with petty crimes, looters, the impact of martial law on the populace, saving trapped survivors, and the reuniting of families amidst the aftermath of the catastrophe.  While there are several heartwarming tales, there are just as many gruesome horror stories, including a "we've been trapped for a week and need to eat someone to survive" story.  Meanwhile, Tim reunites with his long term girlfriend Ariana (whom he's dated for over two years now), but the seeds of love are also starting to be sewn between Tim and Stephanie Brown.  With all of the chaos in Gotham, the last thing Robin needs is to be stuck in the middle of a love triangle, right?  Also, Alfred and Harold make the Batcave semi-operational and habitable.  The first part of "Aftershock" then ends on a high note as Bruce vows to Vesper that he will do everything in his power to make Gotham right again.

--Green Arrow Vol. 3 #134
--Detective Comics #723
--Robin #55
--Nightwing Vol. 2, #23
--Green Arrow Vol. 3 #135
A tip from Talia is enough for Batman to leave his city in turmoil and head to "Upstate Gotham" which could mean Upstate New Jersey, but in this case probably means Upstate New York.  After driving there in the Bat-monster truck (!), he meets up with Green Arrow (Connor Hawke) and they discover the ruins of a Kobra base.  The duo is then attacked by The Brotherhood of the Monkey Fist, an underground martial-arts cult trying to become a major player in the global terror game.  Back in quake-battered Gotham, Robin, Nightwing, and ex-CIA assassin Eddie Fyers battle more Monkeys.  Things get even more complicated when Oracle decides to send her "Bird of Prey" Black Canary on the offensive.  Canary teams-up with Bronze Tiger and heads to the jungles of Southeast Asia to take on the Monkeys head-on.  However, when they get there, hired-hitman Deathstroke is ready and waiting and easily captures the duo!  Eddie Fyers flies out to the Chinese-Burmese border, kicks Deathstroke's ass, and rescues Canary and Tiger.  Cut back to Gotham and we learn that different factions of the Monkey Cult are vying for power and offing each other in an insane quest to see who can kill Green Arrow first as revenge. (Connor has previously bested the Monkey Cult's previous top man, Silver Monkey).  Batman, Robin, Green Arrow, and Nightwing do battle with the spectacular new number one, Paper Monkey, who reveals herself to be Lady Shiva!  Shiva is about to kill Green Arrow when Robin reminds her that he saved her life (in Robin #50) and she owes him.  Shiva honors this debt and leaves.

--Batman: Shadow of the Bat #77
--Batman #557
--Detective Comics #724
--Batman: Shadow of the Bat #78-79
--The Batman Chronicles #16, Part 1
--The Batman Chronicles #14
--Batman #558-559
--Detective Comics #725-726
Roughly two weeks have passed since the quake.  A lot is happening, but things aren't improving.  One-million Gothamites are dead.  Batman meets a crazed science professor that is still teaching to corpses at the ruins of Gotham U.  Ballistic returns to Gotham and teams-up with Batman to destroy a cache of heroin, unaware that the Batman he met before was Jean-Paul.  Batman then does a little late night bulldozing to help speed up the stalled reconstruction process in the downtown sector.  After dealing with the supervillain team-up of Mad Hatter and Narcosis (which results in Narcosis' death), Bruce Wayne fails to convince the city business, financial, and industrial leaders to keep their companies in Gotham.  This initial loss is one of many crippling emotional and economic blows that will serve to doom Gotham's recovery.  In Part 1 of The Batman Chronicles #16 Montoya finds her missing brother, Benny Montoya, and discovers that Two-Face has been a force for good in her neighborhood!  She wins over his trust, takes his coin, and Batman allows Harvey to remain free under Montoya's watch.   In The Batman Chronicles #14 the most badass Alfred tale ever occurs.  Alfie single-handedly takes down an entire troop of Wayne Manor burglars and does it in time to make Bruce his morning eggs!  Across town, Huntress saves some kids. And Montoya has a heart to heart with her brother.  NOTE:  These three Chronicles shorts inexplicably take place in July.  It is still January, so disregard the seasonal references.  As the days go on, death, disease, famine, conflagrations, crime, and the body-count keep on rising.  Hope is fading and a tearful Batman knows it.  As hundreds of thousands leave Gotham in a mass exodus, the Gotham Bridge collapses under the unorganized throng's weight, killing countless more.  At this point Batman has taken to patrolling Gotham in the Bat-monster truck full-time.  The original Dynamic Duo of Bruce and Dick have a long heartfelt chat about their lives.  Dick tells Bruce that he is going to be a police officer in Blüdhaven.  Last but not least, Batman meets with Joker in Arkham to get information leading to the recovery of a kidnapped child.  Supposedly, this occurs on the anniversary of Jason Todd's death, but this cannot be true, not even close, so disregard this mention.

--The Batman Chronicles #15
"Aftershock" is officially over, but the chaos in post-quake Gotham continues.  Green Lantern Kyle Rayner comes to Gotham and finally earns Batman's respect.  Then, Man-Bat saves Oracle's life from home-invaders and they celebrate by flying through the clouds together!  "Aftershock" ends gracefully with the Question meeting and passing on a valuable life-lesson to Huntress; vigilantes need not kill.

--Robin #58
Robin and Shotgun Smith contend with Steeljacket.  Tim breaks up with Ariana and begins dating Stephanie Brown (Spoiler).  Stephanie informs him that she is two-months pregnant (by her ex-boyfriend).  NOTE:  For Stephanie's pregnancy to be realistic chronologically, she must be around five-months pregnant at this point, not two.

NOTE:  Diana becomes mortal again, losing her godhood, but becoming Wonder Woman once again (as seen in Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #136-139).

--Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #140-141 ("TRINITY 98")
Diana is Wonder Woman again!  DC's Holy Trinity is reunited, this time against Diana's blood-relative, the demigod Oblivion. Oblivion is able to manipulate Diana's invisible plane into growing into a massive blob that destroys most of Gateway City. In case you didn't know, Diana's invisible plane is actually a sentient shapeshifting creature known as a Lansarian morphing crystal, a member of the Lansarian Ring species. Diana was long ago psychically bonded to her plane, but now Oblivion is using that link to subdue Diana and use the crystal for his bidding. Eventually, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman defeat Oblivion. The crystal then morphs into Wonder Woman's new sentient floating fortress, Wonderdome! Oh, and if you strive for accuracy, you could rename this story "Trinity 2004."  Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #159 contains a flashback to these events as well.

--Martian Manhunter Vol. 2 #0 
J'onn meets with Superman and Batman at the Watchtower before departing on a brief pilgrimage to visit his homeland of Mars.

--Green Lantern Vol. 3 #103
Kyle Rayner is accidentally transported to the 31st Century of Earth-247.  The Legion of Superheroes (the "Reboot" Legion of Earth-247) is able to send Kyle back to his correct Earth, but actually send him back ten years too early.  Kyle winds up in Bat-Year Five and meets a young Green Lantern Hal Jordan.  Kyle is able to get his time device to work properly and returns to Year Fifteen, and he brings Hal with him!  The JLA is shocked and happy to see a young version of their old friend, but the rejoicing doesn't last long when Hal learns of the evil deeds he will commit as Parallax later in his life.  Hal decides that no matter what his future has in store, he must live it.  Using the power of the rings, Hal is returned to his correct time and everyone's memories of this event are erased completely.  The only evidence that Hal ever made this trip to the future is a single copy of his power ring, which Kyle passes on to Earth-0's first female Lantern, Green Lantern Jade (Alan Scott's daughter).

--Young Justice: The Secret #1  
The current incarnation of the Teen Titans has outgrown their name and is now simply known as The Titans.  When Robin, Superboy, and Impulse team-up to save the metahuman girl known as Secret from a DEO lab, the seeds are laid for a new teenage superhero team to fill the void.

--JLA: World Without Grownups #1-2
The teenage villain known as Bedlam transports all the adults on Earth to an alternate reality, Robin, Superboy, and Impulse team-up yet again to deal with the crisis.  After successfully returning everyone back to the correct reality, the three teens decide to officially become the superhero team Young Justice.

--Young Justice #1
Young Justice sets up shop in the old Justice League Secret Sanctuary in Rhode Island where they accidentally re-activate a dormant Red Tornado.  Red Tornado becomes the team's elder mentor and with his guidance, new members will soon be added.

--Chase #7-8 ("SHADOWING THE BAT")
The DEO sends their top agent to Gotham on a mission to unearth the secret identity of Batman.  The charismatic and beautiful Cameron Chase meets with Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson, but there's someone else in the room that stands out as a hero-type more than Bruce and Dick; Alan Scott!  Alan is a hero alright, but he's no Batman.

--JLA #23, Epilogue
--DC One Million #1
--Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1,000,000
--Nightwing #1,000,000
--DC One Million #2
--Batman #1,000,000
--Detective Comics #1,000,000
--JLA #1,000,000
--DC One Million #3
--Catwoman #1,000,000
--Robin #1,000,000
--Young Heroes in Love #1,000,000
--DC One Million #4
DC One Million begins with the epilogue of JLA #23, which takes place a month after the Star Conqueror invasion in that same issue.  So, we should be in late January/early February.  Diana has been back for a couple of weeks now, but now returns to the JLA full-time, replacing her mother, Hippolyta, who retires as Wonder Woman. Just after this happens, the Justice Legion-A (the Justice League from the 853rd Century) shows up in the Watchtower.  JL-A member Hourman (who we met during "Rock of Ages"!) explains that Superman (i.e. our Superman/Clark Kent) is still alive in the 853rd Century and remains in solitude at the center of the sun.  Superman, or Superman-Prime as he is referred to in the 853rd Century, is finally returning to Earth amidst great fanfare and celebration.  Therefore, the JL-A has come to invite the original Superman and friends to attend the ceremony.  After the android Hourman sends the core JLA members to the 853rd Century, he immediately malfunctions, simultaneously trapping our heroes in the distant future and releasing a deadly global nano-virus across the entire Earth.  But who is responsible?  Immortal Vandal Savage is alive and well in the 853rd Century and has teamed-up with stellar super-computer/sentient sun Solaris to concoct a plan in which the JLA and JL-A are switched and every Superman to ever have existed will be killed off.  So far, so good.  Back in the 21st Century, the Batman from the 853rd Century meets Nightwing, Robin, and Alfred.  He teams-up with Tim and Dick to apprehend Query, Echo, Slyfox, and Firefly.  Future Batman then realizes that the only way to stop Solaris in the 853rd Century is to construct Solaris now!  The JL-A and remaining members of the JLA begin constructing the gigantic artificial intelligence, but it is revealed there is a traitor in their midst; the JL-A Starman!  853rd-C-Starman has been hired by 853rd-C-Solaris to secretly bury a Kryptonite bullet deep beneath the surface of Mars.  Solaris is completed, goes online, and immediately uploads the nano-virus into its own system, saving Earth from certain doom.  However, Solaris is a giant evil sun-machine and poses a completely new threat.  Starman, realizing the error of his ways, expels Solaris from the galaxy, but sacrifices his own life to do so.  But how do the heroes of the 21st Century save the future and bring back their friends?  Huntress has a plan, but well get to that in a bit.  In the 853rd Century, each JLA member goes through his own unique ordeal.  Bruce winds up on the prison planet of Pluto where he learns from Robin, The Toy Wonder (a robot Robin) that this era's Batman is warden over the entire prison.  Bruce also learns that the 853rd Century Batman knocked him out, extracted his soul, and sent it to the future.  In layman's terms, Bruce's body is unconscious on the Watchtower, while his soul has been inserted into a cloned body in the 853rd Century.  Bruce is forced to battle his way past deadly obstacles and against futuristic versions of Arkham's craziest villains.  Eventually, Batman is able to reunite with his fellow teammates at the JL-A headquarters on Jupiter.  Solaris digs up the Kryptonite bullet and fires it at Superman-Prime just as he emerges from his solitude within the core of the sun.  But don't worry, Huntress' plan has worked!  Back in the 21st Century, she came up with the idea to bury a Green Lantern power ring on Mars instead of the Kyrptonite bullet.  Instead of shooting Superman to death, Solaris hands him the greatest weapon imaginable.  Our heroes return home triumphant.  NOTE:  John Fox is the time-traveling Flash from the 853rd Century.  However, Fox is originally from the 27th Century.  Wally first met him on a time-traveling adventure of his own two years ago.

--JLA #24-26
A side-story which occurs during DC One Million is that Vandal Savage nukes the city of Montevideo, Uruguay.  Now, fearing a possible weakness to nuclear attack, the US government creates its own superhero team known as the Ultramarine Corps.  Crazed US General Wade Eiling tricks the new team into battling the JLA in a skirmish which pretty much destroys all of Pheonix, AZ.  Eiling then permanently transfers his consciousness into the body of the invulnerable, immortal sasquatch-esque body of the Shaggy Man.  Eiling shaves his new body clean, calls himself The General (even though there already is a villain named the General in the DCU), and tries to eliminate Batman, Huntress, and Plastic Man.  The JLA eventually teams-up with the Ultramarines and helps expel the General into deep space.  The Ultramarines then create a massive floating city known as Superbia over the ruins of Montevideo.  Superbia is granted status as its own independent nation comprised of superheroes.  The new International Ultramarine Corps will act as a preemptive global peace-keeping force, but unlike the JLA, they are willing to kill the bad guys.  The British version of Batman known as Knight is on the team.  Oh, in a side-note, the New Gods learn that the greatest threat that Earth will ever face, Mageddon, is coming in two months time.  In another side-note, J'onn takes a leave of absence from the team and his replacement is our android buddy from the 853rd Century, Hourman!  Hourman warns of an oncoming attack from the inhabitants of the 5th Dimension.

--DC 2000 #1-2
T.O. Morrow travels back to 1941 in order to spread modern technology across the globe way before its time.  The JLA travels back to 1941 and teams-up with the Golden Age JSA to stop Morrow.  When the JLA returns after a successful mission, the JSA in 1941 will have no memories of this event.  NOTE:  This story is only called DC 2000 because it was written in 2000.  Since we are in story-year 2004, we can think of this tale as "DC 2004."

--JLA #27
Clark, Bruce, and J'onn decide to incorporate the idea of having reserve JLA members available or "on-call" at all times.  When Amazo attacks and begins totally thrashing the League, Superman calls in the reserves.  And boy, are there are a ton of JLA reserves.  The total new number of team members including all of the reserves is now 35!   

NOTE:  The Kingdom #1-2 occurs now.  Technically this is an Elseworlds tale, but was written by Mark Waid as an attempt to make all Elseworlds titles canon by linking them to current canonical chronology.  This story was written so that the specific events of the future tale, Kingdom Come by Mark Waid/Alex Ross, would link to current Modern Age continuity.  However, the events which take place during Kingdom Come have since been retconned to have taken place on an alternate Earth (Earth-22).  Likewise, several of the characters/details have been slightly retconned as well.  Therefore, my summary here tells of what should most likely occur in our chronology at this point based upon those aforementioned retcons.  Here we go.  In the mid 2040s on Earth-22 a horrible nuclear disaster occurs in Kansas, shortly after Earth-22 Superman has retired (as seen in Kingdom Come).  In The Kingdom the sole survivor of the Kansas disaster blames Superman for the tragedy because he had ceased to be the Earth's savior anymore.  This survivor becomes the godlike supervillain known as Gog and begins traveling backwards through time, murdering Superman over and over and over.  Eventually Gog gets to a point in the Earth-22 timeline where Earth-22 Diana and Clark have born a child.  Gog kidnaps the child, keeps traveling backward, and crosses through the Bleed until he reaches Earth-0 (our main DCU Earth), 2004.  Meanwhile, the Linear Men (led by Waverider), whose job is to keep the time continuum on one true path in an attempt to preserve one single continuity, are freaking out trying to fix everything.  However, Linear Man Rip Hunter has a different idea.  Hunter gathers up the old Diana, old Clark, old Earth-22 Bruce Wayne, and several other Earth-22 heroes from the 2040s (including Ibn al Xu'ffasch, the Earth-22 version of adult Damian Wayne).  With his troop of heroes, Rip takes them to Earth-0, 2004.  Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman meet their alternate future selves!  Together, the heroes are able to defeat Gog and everyone returns to their correct time eras and Earths.  Before the story ends, however, Rip's big reveal is the existence of Hypertime.  Hypertime, in layman's terms, is the interweaving of alternate reality timelines (i.e. Elseworlds/alternate Earth tales) in and out of the primary canonical DC timeline.  In theory, Hypertime allowed for a lot of chronological inconsistencies to be explained with ease by writers and editors.  However, Hypertime is a pretty lame "easy-out" for explaining said inconsistencies and also serves to annihilate the concept of having a single well-defined, clean chronology.  While Hypertime may exist in some form or another, it definitely isn't what Hunter explains to us in The Kingdom.  In fact, DC editors have since fully disavowed the concept of Hypertime.  So, basically, I think this story takes place canonically, but the emphasis placed upon Hypertime must be lessened (it needn't be completely eliminated as DC editors would have us do) and the many retcons must be factored in. Another huge retcon is that the heroes, despite meeting their Earth-22 counterparts, never learn the full details of Earth-22′s history—when Superman meets the Superman of Earth-22 later on (in Justice Society of America Vol. 3 #11) this history will all be explained to him for the first time. We also learn (in Justice Society of America Vol. 3 #13) that the time-travelling Gog chooses Magog—the principal villain of Kingdom Come—as his hand-picked successor, inspiring him to cause all the chaos that happens on Earth-22.

--JLA: Foreign Bodies
Kobra is able to somehow shuffle the JLAers' minds and bodies.  Batman's mind winds up in Superman's body, and vice-versa.  Green Lantern's mind is in J'onns body.  Aquaman's mind is in Wonder Woman's body.  Flash is in Steel's body.  Steel is in Green Lantern's body.  You get the picture.  Everyone is able to master their new powers (or lack thereof), defeat Kobra, and make everything back to normal.  There is a great part which foreshadows the "Enemies Among Us" storyline from Superman/Batman which will occur years later.  When asked what it feels like to have Superman's powers, Bruce says, "Exhilarating. Dangerous. The temptation to fall back on the powers instead of relying on skill, training, and intellect could easily lead to an erosion of judgment."  And how.

--Nightwing Vol. 2 #28
Nightwing is training to be a Blüdhaven police officer.  Meanwhile, the corrupt BPD Lieutenant Dudley Soames gets his head twisted around 180 degrees by Blockbuster, survives, and becomes the gun-slinging supervillain known as Torque.  Bruce, as usual, checks in on Dick.

NOTE:  The flashback story from JLA/Hitman #1-2 takes place now.  When a manned NASA probe returns from Pluto infested with "Bloodlines" parasites, Batman recruits Hitman Tommy Monaghan for help due to his experience with the xenomorph-like creatures.  The probe crashes into the moon, knocking out power in the Watchtower and incapacitating the League.  Tommy, however, is able to kill all of the aliens all by himself.  Even though Tommy saves the JLA, they turn him over to Gotham police for the various murders he has committed in the past.  The GCPD kindly lets Tommy walk.

--Resurrection Man #21
Resurrection Man helps the JLA defeat Major Force, but then turns down an invitation to join the team.

--Catwoman Vol. 2 #64-65 ("HINTS AND ALLEGATIONS") The Joker escapes from Arkham, puts on blue lipstick for some reason, and torments Catwoman for a full week, injecting her with Joker venom. Batman gives Catwoman the anti-venom and helps her bust Joker.

--Young Justice #5-6 
Secret, Arrowette, the new Wonder Girl, and Impulse have all joined Young Justice.  The JLA helps the young team defeat Despero.

--JLA/Titans #1-3
After Titan member Cyborg (Vic Stone) dies, he is brought back to life by the alien race known as the Technis.  However, Vic has a new Techni body, goes by the name Cyberion, and has very little of his humanity left.  Vic travels to Earth from the Techni planet, kidnaps the Titans (old and new, including obscure members like Flamebird aka Bette Kane aka the former Bat-Girl), and puts them into artificial simulations, similar to what the Key did to the JLA recently.  After the Titans are rescued, the JLA decides that there is nothing left of Vic within Cyberion, and thus he must be destroyed.  The Titans don't believe this and begin a fight with the JLA!  Eventually, Vic's consciousness is fully restored and his mind is downloaded into the war-suit known as the Omegadrome.  NOTE:  Nightwing will later reveal that he has a clone of Vic Stone and Cyborg gets his old body back!   Hmmm... Nightwing has clones, eh?  Oy vey.

NOTE:  Ever since the quake, Oracle has been burdened with a lot more responsibility than she's ever had before.  Not only that, Oracle has been running her "Birds of Prey" operations with Black Canary for over a year now.  Therefore, to keep an eye on her, Bruce has bugged Oracle's apartment headquarters with hidden cameras and audio recording devices.  Batman and Alfred spy on Babs from an alternate underground "Batcave" amidst the rubble of downtown Gotham.  (Batman will use a variety of these makeshift bases during NML).  Batman secretly oversees Oracle's handling of an overseas affair in Rheelasia, which involves Black Canary, Jason Bard, and Robin taking on Jackie Pamerjanian, Hellhound, and Blockbuster.  This incident leaves Jason Bard permanently blind.  After this, Canary deals with The Ravens and Kobra.  All of this stuff takes place in Birds of Prey #2-5.   

--Birds of Prey #6
Bruce believes that Oracle is doing a good job and decides to stop the surveillance on her apartment. However, Bruce is surprised to learn that Oracle knew about the spying the whole time, and has been listening in on Batman while he listens in on her!  Oracle continues to orchestrate her "Birds of Prey" missions with primary operative Black Canary.

--Azrael: Agent of the Bat #47-49
--Batman: Shadow of the Bat #80
--Batman #560
--Detective Comics #727 
--Batman #561
--Detective Comics #728
--Batman: Shadow of the Bat #81-82
The post-quake situation keeps getting worse. Only one Washington congressman is fighting for more relief funds for Gotham, but he is murdered by the cult leader/rock star/"sexiest man in America"/Gotham-hater Nicholas Scratch. Scratch gets away scott-free with the murder and gives an anti-Gotham speech on live television.  Scratch also sends Firefly, Dynamiteer, Tumult, and a bunch of assassins to cause chaos in Gotham. After both the House and Senate vote to end all relief funding, Mr. Wayne goes to Washington to fight for the city he loves in front of Congress.  Bruce gives one of the best damn speeches I've ever seen his character give, but alas, it isn't enough.  The city is doomed.  Meanwhile, due to a mass exodus out of the city, Arkham is heavily understaffed.  Even the secondary psychos who've never even fought Batman before are getting worked up (i.e. Wax Man, Pinhead, Vox, Jigsaw Man, Witch, Vernon Jamson, Solly Bean, and Wild).  Eventually, the inmates are running the asylum and Jeremiah Arkham has no choice but to release all of them.

When a magical imp from the 5th Dimension attacks Earth (as a result of Triumph's actions), the JLA teams-up with the few remaining JSA members to combat the evil, reality warping imp named Lkz.  However, the combined might of both teams is nothing compared to the sole power of the lightning imp, until 15 year-old J.J. Williams harnesses the power of another lightning imp, YzMEANWHILE, Captain Marvel and Green Lantern travel into the 5th Dimension for help and get the trickster Qswp to come back with them.  MEANWHILE, Zauriel embarks on a quest to revive the inert Spectre.  MEANWHILE, Batman and Aquaman defend the Watchtower against Triumph and the mind-possessed Ray and Gypsy.  Who is Triumph you ask?  Well, Triumph was an original founding member and leader of the JLA, but on an early JLA mission Triumph was transported to dimensional limbo for several years and when he returned no one had any memories of his existence.  Triumph was bummed that no one remembered him when he came back, but joined the JL Task Force and tried to make an impact as a hero anyway.  However, his depression grew and he wound up trading his soul to Neron in exchange for the lost years in limbo.  Cut to the present; Triumph is one mean asshole that hates the JLA.  Batman, Aquaman, Steel, and Superman take down Triumph.  The Spectre then arrives and freezes Triumph in a block of ice where he is imprisoned on the Watchtower.  J.J. Williams becomes J.J.Thunders and joins the JSA making him the youngest team member (he's 15, the rest are in their 70s).

--Hourman #1
Hourman (from the 853rd Century) annoyingly shows up at the Watchtower because his "time-vision" is freaking out.  The JLA takes him to talk with Batman, who is in the middle of apprehending the Mad Hatter.  Batman is equally annoyed with Hourman and pawns him off on the original JLA mascot, Snapper Carr.

NOTE: As seen in the distant future tale from 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 (including Batman from Bat Year Seven!), the 27th and 853rd century Flash (John Fox) runs on the Cosmic Treadmill to return everyone to their correct universes and times.

ROAD TO NO MAN'S LAND Continued...
--Batman #562
--Detective Comics #729
--Batman: No Man's Land Secret Files and Origins #1
--Batman: No Man's Land #0, Part 1
Not only has the infamous city of Gotham (which is viewed nationwide as a breeding ground for corruption, insanity, and social unrest) lost government relief funding, as a result of an executive-level loophole in US national security law, it is decided that Gotham will be shut down permanently.  The city will no longer exist.  Anyone not out of the city by the end of a certain time period will be cut off from society, and will no longer be considered a US citizen. In the final days before the shutdown, Nicholas Scratch unleashes Gearhead on the city, causing even more chaos.  Scratch's secret reign of terror also results in the assassination of Mayor Grange.  When the countdown ends, every bridge leading into the city is demolished by the army and the city is closed off from the rest of the world.  Many important players such as the Jim Gordon, Sarah Essen-Gordon, Oracle, Huntress, Bullock, and Montoya elect to stay in Gotham.  Nightwing makes a permanent move to Blüdhaven.  Tim and his dad move to Keystone City.  As of February 3, Gotham is "No Man's Land."  Bruce (with Alfred), defeated and depressed, travels to Monaco and spends a sad night with Talia taking care of him.

NOTE:  For the next three months, Batman will be incommunicado with Dick, Tim, Barbara, and pretty much everyone else that remains in Gotham while he plans a suitable return strategy.  When Batman finally returns to the beleaguered city, No Man's Land will have been in effect for 100 days.  We will next pick up the "No Man's Land" tale in Batman: No Man's Land #1, which starts on the 93rd day of No Man's Land i.e. early May of Bat-Year Sixteen.  Here is what happens in Gotham during the first 93 days of isolation from the world.  Oracle has become not only the main source of information in NML, but has become the chronicler of events.  Without law and order (or supplies or food) Feudalism and a barter system have emerged in Gotham.  Gangs/tribes have formed and taken over their own distinct territories.  Each gang or tribe is in constant warfare with the others.  Spray-paint tagging has become the best means of marking territory.  Black Mask, Scarface, Two-Face, the GCPD, and Huntress all control their own sectors.  Poison Ivy (who is actually being controlled by Clayface) runs all of Robinson Park.  The Street Demonz and their rivals The LoBoys also control large sectors of the city.  The Penguin is the richest man in Gotham now (so to speak), having turned his sector into the "Casablanca" of NML; the ultimate black market.  This is some real post-apocalyptic shit going on.  All bridges are down, communication is primitive, and the army patrols the city borders.  Nothing gets in our out.  Batman will remain out of sight for the rest of Bat Year-Fifteen (besides appearing with the JLA a few times).

--JLA: Superpower
Young superhero Anataeus joins the JLA.  Shortly after joining, he winds up quitting after the League refuses to interfere in the affairs of a small country called Kirai, where a corrupt dictator is abusing the populace.  Remember when Batman quit the JLA for the exact same reason?  Now the shoe is on the other foot, but this time, Batman agrees with the rest of the team.  Anataeus doesn't form a group of "outsiders" though.  Instead, he busts into Kirai and executes their corrupt president.  The powerful Anataeus then battles the entire JLA to a draw.  (Kirai will fall into bitter civil war after the death of the president and thousands will die.  Realizing the consequences of his actions, Anataeus will commit suicide a few weeks later).

--Superboy Vol. 3 #60
--Superboy Vol. 3 #65
Big Barda booms into the Watchtower with a badly beaten Superboy, who dies in front of the entire JLA (sans Batman). Everyone freaks out until Superboy walks into the room. What's going on? The Superboy that died is from another Earth and had come to Earth-0 via a special "Hypertime-Jacket" to warn of a threat against the entire multiverse by yet another evil alt-Superboy known as Black Zero. The heroes go to Project Cadmus—(Superboy works for Cadmus)—to examine the deceased alt-Superboy and determine that only a Superboy can wear the jacket and travel through the multiverse to stop the threat. After Superboy confers with The Hairies, a group of Cadmus-engineered super hippies who have developed genius-level intelligence and transport technology beyond the understanding of humans, the young hero meets with the rest of his peers, including Batman. Batman and Superman talk about their recent adventure from The Kingdom #1-2 and convince Superboy to go on the multiverse-hopping mission. Superboy randomly blasts into the multiverse, first winding up on an Earth where Robin is dead and Superboy acts as Batman's sidekick. (Superboy will bounce through a few different realities—gaining help from the Challengers of the Unknown and Rip Hunter—before making things right and returning back to Earth-0).  When Superboy returns to Cadmus after defeating Black Zero, he surprises top Cadmus officials who are in the process of hiring a new metahuman replacement since they figured the Boy of Steel was never coming back.  Superboy is then debriefed by Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman. NOTE: Superboy Vol. 3 #60-65 places a lot of emphasis on the concept of Hypertime (see note about The Kingdom above for details). We must ignore this emphasis and think of Superboy's alternate reality journey as having little to do with Hypertime and more to do with simple travel of the wider, previously unknown parts of the multiverse.

--Superman: The Man of Steel #86
This is the beginning of the Dominus affair.  Superman seems to have gained some sort of pre-cognition and is acting like he's amped-up on speed.  Superman has also constructed a Brother-Eye-like satellite with which he can spy on the entire superhero and supervillain community, including Batman and Robin.  What is going on, you ask?  We'll soon find out.

--Adventures of Superman #565-566
The villain Dominus has recently entered Superman's mind and shown him the possible nuclear horror that could befall humanity if the Man of Steel is not more vigilant.  Thus, under the secret influence of Dominus, Superman becomes extremely authoritarian.  Now, using Kryptonian technology within his Antarctic Fortress of Solitude, Superman creates hundreds of Superman Robots which patrol the Earth 24-7.  Superman places the entire planet under his own personal martial law.  Obviously, the populace isn't happy about this.  Superman is not only branded an enemy of the people, the UN declares war on him!finally forcing the intervention of his superhero friends, including Batman.

--Action Comics #753
Lex Luthor's own superhero team, The Supermen of America, aren't able to contain Supes and a ton of collateral property damage occurs in Metropolis.  Batman then attempts to use his Kryptonite ring on Superman, but realizes it has been switched for a fake.  (Luthor has the genuine K article).

--Superman: The Man of Tomorrow #13 
The JLA are officially called in by the government to apprehend the Man of Steel.  Using GL's ring, Batman and Green Lantern are able to create synthetic Kryptonite which nearly kills Superman.  The team then winds up fighting an army of Superman Robots.

--Adventures of Superman #567
Superman's Fortress of Solitude has just been leveled by Lex Luthor. Superman finally comes to his senses and realizes that Dominus has been using him. While Batman and Oracle lead a coordinated global attack against the Superman Robots, Superman saves Lois and confronts Dominus amidst the rubble of his former fortress. Dominus amps up his power and declares himself "Superman Rex." Superman and Dominus do battle.

--Superman: King of the World #1
Supes rejoins his JLA teammates, defeats the army of Superman Robots, and then defeats Dominus for good.  Superman is okay again, but will the Earth ever trust Superman again?  Or for that matter, will Bruce ever trust him again?


  1. Man, sorry again for stepping in, but while I find DC2000 amusing, quite some dialogues in that story by the JSA members are fun as hell, the story may be set maybe next to JLA#26 and before JLA#27, also because Hourman is in it and is incorrect to be before dc 1 million.
    Hitman and the JLA is a fun story too.
    This part of the year is kind of hard to place stories of the JLA and Batman because of all the chaos coming to Gotham, not mentioning in the Batverse we haven´t seen a batplane yet like the one in the JLAverse.

  2. As usual, good call on "DC 2000." Yeah, it's tough around the Post Quake-era, but it does all manage to fit (even if you have to suspend your disbelief a bit). And maybe Bruce only brings out the really crazy Bat-tech to impress his fellow teammates? Thanks odi!

    --collin c