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 is Bat-Year Fifteen Part Two which runs from early September 2003 until early January 2004.
--Batman: Scarecrow 3D
Batman and Robin take on Scarecrow in amazing 3D! Standard fare (except for the 3D). Special thanks to Ivan on this one.
--Detective Comics #712-713
Cybernetics expert Nathan Finch kidnaps his boss' daughter and holds her for ransom. Batman is able to save the girl, but Nathan falls into the Gotham River and nearly drowns. An underworld crime-doctor is able to save his life, but replaces Nathan's arms and legs with cybernetic limbs. Nathan recovers and develops his own arsenal of detachable body parts. Thus, Gearhead is born. Just another crappy villain for Batman to wail on.
--Batman Secret Files & Origins #1
While chasing down a mugger, Batman recalls the death of his parents. Meanwhile, Alfred and Tim have an adventure of their own in the Batcave. Later, Lucius Fox confronts Bruce about missing Wayne Enterprises tech (i.e. some Bat-tech). Bruce throws him off the correct trail, or does Lucius know more than he's letting on?
--Superman Vol. 2 #126
Superman retrieves the Kryptonite ring from Batman in order to test it on himself now that he has new electromagnetic powers. He finds that he is immune to Kryptonite (for now). Lex Luthor is able to outsmart Superman, do the old switcheroo, and get the Kryptonite ring back!
Bane has resurfaced yet again. Eager to please Batman, Az asks if he can take on Bane personally. Batman says yes, but Az decides instead to leave town with his quasi-girlfriend Lilhy. Az will then change his mind and go fight Bane in Florida after all, with negative results.
--Nightwing Vol. 2 #12
Ever since Nightwing re-located to Blüdhaven he has quickly become the city's official protector. He squares-off against Tad Ryerstad, who operates as the anti-Nightwing and cleverly calls himself Nite-Wing. Batman makes a cameo.
--Batman: Child of Dreams
This 338-page manga tome was originally released in two parts in Magazine Z. The first part features Batman in his yellow-oval costume, which is correct. However, the second part shows him wearing his post No Man's Land outfit, which is wrong. A TV news crew from Tokyo, led by producer Nagai and reporter Yuko Yagi, travel to Gotham with intentions on doing a piece on Batman. There, they converge on a Two-Face hostage situation. Batman saves the day and busts Two-Face. En route to prison, Two-Face literally combusts and mummifies as a result of a rapid spontaneous progeria—it’s not the real Two-Face! The real one is still locked up in Arkham. Later, Alfred and Bruce happen to be driving by Yuko while she is about to be mugged. Bruce saves her life. The next day, Batman captures a fake Penguin and a fake Riddler, both of which convulse and mummify like the fake Two-Face. Later, Bruce and Yuko have a dinner date at Wayne Manor—Bruce is suspicious of Yuko and her crew and wants to feel her out (remember, Bruce is currently dating Vesper Fairchild). The "date" is interrupted when a fake Joker appears in Gotham Park. The faker bests Batman, detonates a bomb that showers “Fanatic” pills all over the city, then escapes. A chemical analysis shows the Fanatic pills are what has been causing people to imitate supervillains and then mummify via super-quick progeria. Batman then meets with the real Joker in Arkham—supposedly he's been incarcerated for "over a year," but that is impossible. Although, it has been over six months at this point. Batman then re-tackles the fake Joker, who has abducted and knocked-out Yuko. Batman saves her and the fake Joker mummifies. Yuko wakes up in Batcave. En route back to her hotel, they run into a fake Batman. Batman defeats the imposter and unmasks him as Nagai. Batman realizes a mastermind has been monitoring everything the whole time. The Dark Knight then follows the trail of the villain to a pharmacaeutical company owned by Yuko’s uncle, Kenji Tomioka. In Tokyo less than a week later, Bruce is in on "official Wayne Enterprises business.” Bruce (along with Yuko) has an awkward meeting with Tomioka, then goes on another dinner date with Yuko at night. The next day, goes on another "date" with a frustrated Yuko to get info about her uncle. The day after that, Yuko is drugged with a non-lethal dose of Fanatic and morphs into a fake Catwoman who fights Batman. Batamn defeats and sedates her then Rushes to Tomioka Pharmaceuticals to confront the mastermind. There, a giant Batman museum has been erected, and the villian reveals himself as Tomioka, a super fan who not only knows Batman's secret ID, but who wants to collect Batman's corpse as a trophy so he can replace him as the "new Batman." Tomioka also has a life-size replica of the Batcave—built based upon plans drafted from secret video taken from a hidden camera placed on Yuko by the fake Joker before she was taken into the real Batcave. Tomioka has also injected himself with a cocktail of power-enhancing drugs and some of Bruce’s DNA (gathered after his fight with Nagai) and wears an armored steampunk-looking Batman costume. They fight, Batman wins, Tomioka dies, and the entire structure blows up. The next afternoon, Yuko steals a kiss from Bruce, who returns to Gotham.
NOTE: The events of Batman: It's Joker Time! #1-3 take place now. The story is a flashback narrated by the Joker. Joker has been incarcerated at Arkham Asylum for over six months now, and during that time radical Dr. A.W. Pynch has been treating him with a unique experimental method. He's forced Joker to watch The Barry Dancer Show (basically a Jerry Springer analogue) for twenty-four straight weeks 24-7 without interruption. Joker is finally able to escape, but due to the treatment, he is a catatonic, drooling shell of his former self. As luck would have it, a Goth TV (Gotham TV Studios) camera crew discovers the aimless Joker and decides to put him as a guest on The Barry Dancer Show. On live national TV, Joker comes face-to-face with his tormentor for the last six months; Barry Dancer in the flesh. Joker snaps and tries to kill Barry, but security is able to restrain the clown and put him in a cell. Ratings are through the roof, so the show keeps on filming, with Joker as the star attraction. Meanwhile, Goth TV's lawyers have the situation tangled up to the point where Batman nor the GCPD are legally allowed to intervene. As the daily show continues on, Joker tells a story about his troubled childhood where his mother murders his policeman father and he himself is involved in the accidental deaths of his mother and uncle. Joker also tells a re-imagined version of the Red Hood incident which spawned him. Of course, as always, we must take these stories with a grain of salt since Joker is constantly spewing forth lies regarding his past. Joker is then able to seduce a network executive named Cassandra Hahn and in doing so is able to take over as host of the show! Things come to a head when Joker drops Barry Dancer and Cassandra Hahn into a vat of chemicals. Batman is able to fish them out of the soup and get them to the hospital, but the Joker escapes scott-free. The conclusion to this story happens a week later.
--Aztek, The Ultimate Man #10
Aztek helps the JLA defeat Amazo and earns a spot on the official roster!
NOTE: Batman learns of the appearance of “Resurrection Man,” a metahuman hero that can supposedly reanimate himself after death (as referenced in Resurrection Man #7). Curious, Batman begins logging each reported sighting of Resurrection Man into a database. The Dark Knight won’t actually meet him for a few months.
--Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #125
Wonder Woman has been critically injured during a confrontation with the King of Hell, Neron. In an effort to wish her well, many heroes visit the comatose Wonder Woman at a hospital in Gateway City, including a secret visit by Batman. However, tragedy rears its ugly face and Diana succumbs to her wounds. You heard it correctly: Diana dies!
NOTE: In the pages of Flash Vol. 2, Flash is seriously injured. Combined with the recent death of Wonder Woman, Flash's injury leaves the JLA in a temporarily weakened state.
--JLA #9, Epilogue 0
This epilogue from JLA #9 takes place exactly one month after the JLA's altercation with the Key. From a secret location, shadowy figures send out the JLA Revenge Squad to battle the JLA. The JLA Revenge Squad contains an evil "hard holographic light" version of each JLA member. Who's pulling the Revenge Squad's strings?
The JLA easily defeats the Revenge Squad in Star City (with a few civilian casualties), but they still don't know who created this puppet anti-league or when they will strike again. We (the readers) learn that the creators are none other than the re-assembled Injustice Gang led by Lex Luthor! Meanwhile, in deep space J'onn senses that a terrible cosmic wave of destruction and reality-altering power is headed toward the Milky Way Galaxy. Genesis will be upon us shortly.
NOTE: The epilogue from Batman: It's Joker Time! #3 occurs now. It's been a week after Joker dropped media-moguls Barry Dancer and Cassandra Hahn into a chemical bath. Upon waking up in the hospital Barry and Cassandra are completely insane psychopaths. They don supervillain costumes, go by the team-up name of The Video-Raptors, and go on a homicidal killing spree before Batman apprehends them. From a secret location, Joker laughs at his creations. PS. While Joker is loose at the end of this tale, we must assume that Batman does indeed catch him shortly thereafter since Joker is incarcerated in Arkham at the beginning of our next story.
--Batman #544-546 ("THE MAJOR ARCANA")
Alfred meets Vesper and he approves! Meanwhile, the Joker tries to summon the devil through an Occult ritual. Peaked by curiosity, the demon Etrigan shows up instead! Etrigan serves as Joker's bodyguard while the Harlequin of Hate turns a bunch of people into crazed versions of himself using a new version of his deadly chemical. This new "Joker juice" is a precursor to the chemical he will use in "Last Laugh" a bit later. Anyway, Batman has a long chat with Etrigan and convinces the demon that Joker is his enemy, not his friend. Etrigan then tries to kill Joker, but Batman saves his life. Unsure if Batman's actions have better served the side of good or the side of evil, Etrigan returns to Hell.
--Starman Vol. 2 #33-34
Because of his altercation with the Joker, Batman is a little late for an appointment in Opal City. Solomon Grundy has recently reincarnated as a superhero (every time he dies he usually reincarnates as a mindless homicidal brute) and has helped save Opal from destruction. In the process, he is badly injured. The heroes of Opal want to preserve this good version of Grundy. Thus, Ted Knight, the original Starman (now retired), has asked Batman to accompany the Floronic Man, whose expertise may be able to save Grundy's life, to Opal. The Floronic Man is able to create a mystical vegetable which when eaten allows the heroes to enter Grundy's mind. Batman and Floro enter Grundy's twisted consciousness along with Ted's son (the new Starman Jack Knight) and the original Green Lantern Alan Scott now called Sentinel. Ted Knight even enters Grundy's mind to provide assistance, but in the end, the good "Solly Grundy" dies. Grundy will eventually be reborn with his usual monstrous nature.
--Starman Vol. 2 #35, Part 1
--Robin #46Genesis picks up right after Starman #34. Batman bids his friends Alan Scott, Ted Knight, and Jack Knight adieu. Before driving the Floronic Man back to Arkham, Batman tells Jack that his favorite Woody Allen movie is Crimes and Misdemeanors! When the Caped Crusader arrives back in his home city he learns that many of Earth's superheroes have lost their powers. Batman further learns that the cause is a cosmic force known as the "Genesis Wave" or "Godwave." According to theory, the Godwave was originally created by the Big Bang and swept through the cosmos helping spawn the original gods. The Godwave had apparently also swept through the universe a second time (thousands of years ago) creating the first ever metahumans. Now, the Godwave is making a historic reality-altering third pass and not only are metahumans losing their powers, regular humans are going insane and committing suicide in record numbers. Darkseid wants desperately to harness the power of the Godwave and travels to the edge of the known universe in attempt to achieve his goal. The heroes (minus Batman who stays in Gotham in order to prevent as many suicides as he can) follow Darkseid in an attempt to stop him from breaking through the Source Wall, which protects and houses the secrets of the Godwave/The Source. The heroes are able to defeat Darkseid and restore reality to the status-quo. NOTE: Remember Darkseid's quest for the Anti-Life Entity way back in Bat-Year Eleven during Cosmic Odyssey? We still don't know it yet, but we will later find out that the Anti-Life Entity is linked to the Godwave, as they are both a aspects of the evil half of the cosmic deity known as the Source. (The Source has a good half as well). The Source Wall protects the Source. It is through knowledge and study of the Source that one can gain access to the mathematical formula known as the Anti-Life Equation. We will also later learn that the Source Wall exists at the edge of each universe in the multiverse and operates as as the first barrier between gaining access to an alternate universe (although there are other means of traveling to alternate universes such as Boom Tube technology, metahuman speed/vibrational/teleportation abilities, etc...). And of course, let's not forget The Bleed also exists beyond the Source Wall, a tesseract space which serves as the final blank void/highway between universes. This information will all be relevant a few years later during Countdown and Final Crisis. Trust me.
--The Spectre Vol. 3 #62
This is a quick interlude in-between Genesis and Rock of Ages. While the heroes were dealing with the Genesis Wave, the Spectre had been on a quest to speak directly to God face-to-face. This quest ends with the fifth and final death of the Spectre's human host, Detective Jim Corrigan. Many superheroes mourn Corrigan's passing.
--JLA #11-15 ("ROCK OF AGES")
In three days time Lex Luthor's so-called "corporate takeover" of the JLA is in full effect. His Injustice Gang which comprises the Joker, Ocean Master, Mirror Master, Circe, and Dr. Light has neutralized the entire team except for Batman who discovers that Luthor is the man behind it all. Batman recruits Plastic Man into the JLA to assist him and begins his offensive against Luthor. However, Luthor has an ace up his sleeve. He holds the mystical all-powerful artifact known as the Philosopher's Stone, which has the capability to threaten all existence. New God Metron shows up and tricks Green Lantern, Flash, and Aquaman into taking a trip through space and time to the distant realm (near the end of time) known as Wonderworld. (I could take 50 pages to fully describe the infinite nature and near incomprehensible scale of what is going on here, but instead I'll keep it simple). Our traveling heroes meet the android Hourman from the 853rd Century, who explains, "This is the first time you have met me, but not the first time I have met you. The next time you meet me will be the first time I meet you." This will make so much goddamn amazing sense when we get to "One Million" that your head will spin with delight. Anyway, back on Earth Batman pays-off Mirror Master to betray Luthor. Meanwhile, our wayward heroes, Green Lantern, Flash, and Aquaman, travel back in time, but wind up in an alternate future in the year 2018 where Darkseid has discovered the Anti-Life Equation and has turned Earth into a global concentration camp. An aged and rugged Bruce Wayne has just escaped from eight years of torture, but can still kick serious ass. This Dark Knight of 2018 meets with the trio and explains that fifteen years ago in a JLA battle with Luthor's Injustice Gang (i.e. the story we are currently reading!), Superman destroyed the Philosopher's Stone, unknowingly releasing the deadly power which Darkseid was able to harness and use to take over the world. Our time-traveling heroes realize that they need to get back in time to stop Superman! As they find themselves hurtling back towards present day, the 2018 version of Batman is able to help defeat Darkseid, but not before being struck and killed by an Omega Beam! If this shit wasn't practice for Final Crisis, I don't know what is. I'll say it again; amazing. The time-travelers are able to stop Superman at the last second, thus preventing the dark future portrayed in 2018. For a sec, Joker gets his hands on the Stone, but J'onn uses his telepathy to rearrange the information in the Joker's brain, making him temporarily sane. In this moment, Luthor convinces Joker to use the power of the Stone to make it so that the Revenge Squad's attack on Star City never occurred, thus clearing Luthor of any criminal charges. Metron takes the Stone and reveals that in its alternate aspect known as the Worlogog, a fraction of the Source exists within. And if you don't know, even a fraction of the Source is some serious shit. After contemplating the scope of what has occurred, senior members Batman, Superman, and Aquaman decide to disband the JLA! The events which have just happened are too much for the heroes to comprehend. Nothing, and I repeat, nothing has shaken the DCU more than this, and the JLA plans to take a step back, figure out what to do next, and begin an intensive re-recruitment campaign. If you are wondering, 3 months will pass before the JLA officially re-assembles (not counting the events of Paradise Lost). Until then, we move on as crime never rests in Gotham City.
--Resurrection Man #7
Batman shakes-down some gang members who have just killed a John Doe. Later, Batman intervenes during a shootout, but another John Doe is murdered. Later still, an escaped Killer Croc takes hostages at a burger joint and kills several people, including another John Doe. After busting Croc, Batman learns that each John Doe had the exact same description and the first two bodies have mysteriously disappeared. The Dark Knight realizes that the same man has been killed three times, yet somehow regained life. He rushes over to the morgue and witnesses Resurrection Man (Mitch Shelley) come alive! Shelley has the power to resurrect himself shortly after death, each time gaining a new random metahuman ability. Startled, Resurrection Man fights Batman and flees. Later, during a labor dispute that turns into a full-fledged riot, Resurrection Man shows his true heroic colors and helps Batman bring peace to the mob. Batman thanks Resurrection Man and gives him high praise as a superhero.
--Detective Comics #714-716
Detective John Jones (aka J'onn J'onzz aka Martian Manhunter) of the Denver PD tracks criminal Wiley Dalbert to Gotham, but is unable to apprehend the crook because Dalbert has teamed-up with Firefly. J'onn's only weakness is fire. J'onn immediately calls Batman and Robin for help and they are able to corner Dalbert. As soon as the trio is about to arrest him, Wiley vanishes. It is revealed that Dalbert is actually a 27th Century physicist traveling backwards through time with the goal of reaching the "simpler, better times" of the 19th Century. In issue #716 a crook's scheming puts the life of his wife and child in danger and he dies saving their lives. The crook's spirit re-tells the tale as Gordon and Batman cannot understand the horrible nature of the criminal mind.
--Batman #548-549 ("THE PENGUIN RETURNS")
Ugh. The combination of Doug Moench and Kelley Jones is one of the worst writer/artist combo in the first fifteen Bat-Years. Bruce and Vesper share their first kiss and Vesper reveals that she is in love with him! Haven't they been dating for a couple months? Why are they acting like 13 year-olds courting in the 19th Century? Also, Penguin decides he needs to return to campy crime to "get it out of his system." Moench/Jones devolve the character as best they can and Cobblepot starts committing trick-umbrella heists left and right until he is caught by Batman. Because there is no admissible evidence (even though there actually is) Penguin gets off scott-free and returns to his life running the casino. Terrible. Let's move on.
--JLA: Paradise Lost #1-3
While Zauriel actually introduces himself to his true-love Shannon Coyne at the end of JLA #9, it has apparently taken him these past two months plus to get in her good graces (as this story takes place on November 1st). Asmodel has forged an alliance with Neron in Hell and they have amassed an army of demons and fallen angels. While Neron's army attacks Heaven, Asmodel (while possessing the body of a five year old boy) nearly kills J'onn. In his nearly-dead state J'onn is able to join in the war between Heaven and Hell. Zauriel stops his own heart for several minutes to enter the fray as well. Asmodel then joins the battle too, but after he attack begins to falter, Neron betrays the fallen angel and the war ends. Shannon then goes off with her boyfriend, so Zauriel decides to set up his own floating superhero headquarters above Los Angeles (with God's full support). In the end, Aquaman tells Zauriel that the big three are meeting to discuss the official re-assembling of the League. Zauriel is added to the JLA roster!
--Batman: Poison Ivy
Batman vs. Poison Ivy in a pretty normal Poison Ivy tale. Disregard Ivy's flashback recollections to her early years. They are incorrect. Special thanks to Ivan on this one.
NOTE: The Olympian Gods make Diana (the deceased Wonder Woman) the Goddess of Truth. Diana's mother, Hippolyta, becomes the new Wonder Woman. Hippolyta travels back to the 1940s and joins the JSA, fighting alongside the team for eight years before returning to present day. Interestingly, this means chronologically (due to the time-traveling) that Hippolyta was Wonder Woman before Diana! Yet technically Hippolyta is the 3rd Wonder Woman (Artemis filled in for Diana briefly as the 2nd). I love stuff like this. Back to this moment in our timeline; after returning from the 1940s Hippolyta joins the JLA, filling in the void left by her daughter.
--Batman: Shadow of the Bat #69-70 ("THE SPIRIT OF 2000")
An supernatural entity which feeds off of the psychic emanations of doomsday cults uses Malochia as its human vessel. The anachronistically named "Sprit of 2000" has given Malochia a vast amount of apocalyptic power, which the madman is more than happy to use. Every single end-of-the-world conspiracy theory begins to occur all at once. Batman visits the fortune teller named Cassandra (who helped him way back in 'tec #617) for advice, but winds up getting assistance from the new Dr. Fate, who is a punk-rock version of Dr. Fate that simply goes by Fate. Batman and Fate enter the alternate dimension known as the Otherworld and confront the Spirit while Cassandra telepathically enters Malochia's mind. The trio is able to stop the apocalypse. NOTE: We should retcon/rename this story's villain to "The Spirit of 2012" which would make a lot more sense since this tale takes place in 2003. This retcon isn't even much of a stretch since Oracle mentions the Mayan calendar ending in 2012 in this very story.
NOTE: The Scarecrow has total control over the small Gotham suburb of Greenvale. For the past several weeks, Scarecrow has secretly kept the residents dosed with fear gas and has played god with them mercilessly. Batman finally finds out about it and is able to arrest the madman. Every resident of Greenvale is to scared to testify, except for grad student Becky Albright. With her conviction Scarecrow goes back to Arkham. (As seen through flashback in Scarecrow (Villains) #1).
--Nightwing Vol. 2 #13-15
Batman comes to Blüdhaven to help Nightwing in his crusade against crime in Gotham's sister city. Things aren't easy in Blüdhaven because Blockbuster runs both the organized crime and the police department in the city.
Cassius Clay aka Clayface V is only about one year-old, but his body has already aged physically to that of a teenager. His mind, however, is still functioning at the level of an infant. Since his capture by the government, Cassius has been studied by the secret organization known as the Department of Extranormal Operations (DEO). During experimentation, Dr. Peter Malley takes a sample of Cassius' skin, which accidentally merges with the doctor. Malley is transformed into a monstrous walking clay glob with the infantile consciousness of Cassius. Thus, Clay-Thing aka Clayface VI is born! Determined to find his lost parents, Clay-Thing marches toward Gotham. The new Clayface manages to make it all the way to Arkham, but Batman and DEO Agent Cameron Chase team-up to stop him. NOTE: Following the events of this story, Cassius Clay, while technically not a criminal and far too young to be sentenced as such anyway, is sent to Arkham Asylum, which has the proper containment units to properly hold the potentially dangerous creature.
--Detective Comics #717-718
Batman battles Gearhead for the second time.
--Batman: Shadow of the Bat #71-72
Issue #71 is like an episode of Law & Order. After a ton of suspects are interrogated Batman solves the mystery of who killed Joe Dell. In issue #72 Batman puts some criminals behind bars including Crazyface Burrell, Edmund Gryzl, and the one-shot costumed supervillain known as Drakken.
Each time the Ragman kills an evildoer, his soul is trapped within the rags of the supernatural patchwork costume. Now the Ragman has killed so many evildoers that the evil souls have taken over the Ragman entity. Rory Regan (vessel for the Ragman) returns to his hometown of Gotham in hopes of escaping the Ragman. But when Neo-Nazis threaten his Jewish community, Regan becomes Ragman and begins murdering the skinheads. The insanity reaches a climax when the evil rags grow sentient on their own and no longer need a human host! Instead, the rags fly around like a swarm of locusts, killing every "evil" person along its path. In the end, influenced by a pep-talk about Jewish mysticism and love for God, Regan is able to regain control of Ragman and aid Batman in bringing the Nazis to justice. Bruce also finally tells Vesper that he loves her! Also, the bats in the Batcave are restless and bright lights can be seen through the cracks and crevices of the cave. This is ominous foreshadowing for the oncoming earthquake which we will see in a couple weeks.
Batman is abducted by a UFO piloted by little grey aliens while chasing after the Chemical Gang. What!? Really? Not exactly. Bruce is so convinced that he was abducted and implanted with an alien chip that he attends a UFO convention to meet with expert Dr. Franklin Selly. His visit with Dr. Selly only raises more questions. After then being accosted by the mystical and mysterious Kook, who warns of a diabolical alien plot to eliminate humanity, Batman doesn't know what the hell is going on. Turns out that the Chemical Gang works for the Kook (who is actually Dr. Selly). During his initial encounter with the Chemical Gang, Batman is drugged with Selly's invention known as Cosmosis, which causes detailed alien-themed hallucinations that can last for days. Selly's goal is to release Cosmosis all over Gotham so that everyone will believe in aliens because if people don't believe in them then they won't be prepared for invasion (he's crazy). Once Batman discovers what's going on, he is able to stop Selly's plan.
NOTE: The Scarecrow has been loose from Arkham for two weeks now and he wants revenge against Becky Albright, the young woman who testified against him a month ago, resulting in his last incarceration. Even though she is safely under Batman's watchful eye, the Dark Knight can't be there for her all the time, so the Scarecrow attacks her on the subway train and doses her with fear gas. There's a great scene where a Guardian Angel (those guys who guard the subways) is easily discarded by the Master of Fear. Anyway, Scarecrow learns that Becky's greatest fear is based upon memories of kids teasing her because she had horrible scoliosis as a child. With tears in his eyes, Scarecrow lets Becky go, relating his troubled childhood to hers. (As seen in Scarecrow (Villains) #1).
--Batman: Gordon of Gotham #1-4
Gordon finally tells Batman the story of how his police career was tainted in Chicago, forcing him to start over in Gotham fifteen years ago. Gordon's story is complicated, mired with corruption on all levels, and involves both the Irish assassin known as Cuchulain and the bent politician Harcourt Greene. Why has Gordon decided to reveal the secrets of his past now? Because Cuchulain and now Presidential candidate Greene are in Gotham. Gordon brings both crooks down solo.
--Nightwing and Huntress #1-4
Batman is out of town for a week and leaves Dick in charge of Gotham. He teams-up with Huntress and over the course of the week they take down corrupt cops, criminal Boss Malfatti, and crook Frankie Black. Oh, yeah I almost forgot. Dick and Helena have sex! Boy is Oracle pissed off/jealous when Dick tells her. Dick and Helena won't hook up again, but there will always be a sexual tension between them from now on that is interesting to watch. Funny how Bruce is celibate with Vesper, but Dick always has time for love. If the Dark Knight must have a boring sex life (by choice), I'm glad Nightwing balances work with pleasure.
NOTE: One of the flashbacks from the opening montage of Batman #600 takes place now. Bruce and Vesper get in a fight because he never spends enough time with her. In this instance, Bruce makes up the excuse that is is playing golf with the President of the United States. I should mention that Vesper is incorrectly drawn with very short hair, which is a hairstyle she never has.
--Batman: Toyman #1-4
Toyman and Stiletto (not the mustachioed gangster Stiletto, but the half-nude sexy villainess Stiletto) kidnap a deaf child named Tyler. Issue #2 is told entirely from Toyman's twisted perspective. Issue #3 is told entirely from the deaf child's perspective, so it has no dialogue or onomatopoeia words in it. Issue #4 is told entirely from Batman's point of view. At one point the injured Batman is too weak to stitch himself up, so he has Tyler do it for him! In a very ambiguous and strange ending, the Dark Knight is able to capture Toyman, but Stiletto escapes with the child.
--The Batman Chronicles #13
Three GCPD tales. First, Montoya and sexist detective Eddie Blazak capture Harpoon Man, a guy who harpoons people to death while wearing a wetsuit and snorkel. Second, Bock solves a murder mystery and in the process finds out that an old friend isn't such a good friend. And third, Bullock teams-up with Sheriff Shotgun Smith to recover a stolen artifact from museum burglars.
This is the follow-up/sequel to Abduction. The doctors at Arkham were able to rehabilitate the Kook as soon as they flushed the Cosmosis out of his system. We learn that the Kook is a psionic-powered metahuman whose abilities were being amplified by the Cosmosis in his system, and thus were causing his insanity. When a woman comes to Batman with claims that her scientist father was murdered by the government because of top secret info he was going to release regarding Area 51, the Caped Crusader goes to the best UFO expert he knows for advice; Dr. Selly. The Kook is reluctant to help out as he no longer believes in an alien conspiracy, but does so anyway. Batman and the Kook team-up and travel to Nevada where they discover that the US government does indeed have a fully operational secret base at Area 51. After infiltrating the base, our story ends vaguely, and poses the unanswered question; are there little grey men with giant black eyes that abduct and probe rednecks in an attempt to gather information which will lead to the destruction of humankind? Here's my answer: Probably not and who cares.
--Batman 80-Page Giant #1-2
Bruce Wayne is a hopeless layabout by day and a Riddler apprehender by night. Penguin acquires Two-Face's prize coin, until Harvey gets it back. Bullock is a fatass who can't stop eating. Huntress continues to be more ruthless than Batman and Robin want her to be. Gordon goes undercover wearing a wire in a pool-hall to ensnare a boastful cop-killer. Rhino has separation anxiety while he's locked up in Blackgate and the Ventriloquist and Scarface have been returned to Arkham. In Gotham, all the major players and shakers are always busy. Moving on, Two-Face plays Russian Roulette with Batman, accidentally knocks himself out, but winds up escaping anyway. The Riddler flees from Arkham and plays his deadly games with Huntress. Croc, Mad Hatter, and the Ventriloquist (with Scarface) also escape from Arkham to party at Penguin's casino. Batman and Robin quickly ship them back to the asylum. When Poison Ivy creates vicious dog/plant hybrids and sics them on Batman, Catwoman is there to combat the canines with felines. Speaking of Selina, she recalls the time she went to NYC and battled a bunch of Texas Chainsaw Massacre-esque kitty torturers. Next, Two-Face hires Deadshot to kill Batman, but Deadshot fails in his task. Batman then apprehends Two-Face, who lands over a hundred unmarked "good" coin-flips in a row.
--Batman: Seduction of the Gun #1
This is the "let's try to be responsible and talk about the real dangers of guns" issue that DC put out this year. Tim goes 21 Jump Street as a freshman at a dangerous inner-city high school in order to protect a young girl. He fails in his mission and she dies in a pretty gruesome panel. Batman and Robin square-off against the ultra-violent gang called the New Zealot Nation in this gory issue. Guns ain't no joke, kids. I've placed this issue here because it is the last possible place it can go where it is even remotely feasible that a 13 year-old Tim could convincingly pose as a high-schooler.
--DC Universe Holiday Bash #1, Part 7
Bruce and Alfred celebrate X-mas together.
--Scarecrow (Villains) #1
Scarecrow confronts Becky Albright and asks her to become his sidekick, The Mistress of Fear. He even has a sexy female Scarecrow costume ready to go. Becky turns him down and the spurned Scarecrow tries to kill her. Batman swoops in and saves the day as usual.
--JLA Secret Files #2, Part 1
The big three (Superman, Batman, and Aquaman) have met and decided to have one final membership drive before re-assembling the JLA. Too many cameos to name.
About three months have passed since JLA #15. It is late December and the media is invited to the lunar Watchtower for a global broadcast/press meeting announcing the new official JLA lineup. The new team consists of Superman, Batman, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Plastic Man, Zauriel, Huntress, Steel, and Oracle. But just as the new team introduces itself, the newcomer Prometheus reveals that he has infiltrated the Watchtower and proceeds to systematically take out each JLAer one-by-one. After kicking everyone's ass (I won't go into details because you should really read this for yourself if you haven't), Prometheus is about to claim victory when Catwoman saves the day! Catwoman had also sneaked onto the Watchtower to see what she could steal, but decides to play hero when things get ugly. After Selina's interference, the JLA is able to rebound and regain control of the base. Prometheus escapes to his house in Limbo. At the conclusion of the story the acting Highfather of New Genesis (and a living embodiment of the Source), Takion, arrives at the Watchtower and appoints Big Barda and Orion as Earth's official New God Protectors. By default, they become members of the JLA as well.
NOTE: The JLA fights an epic battle against a horde of super-villains, including Joker and Epoch (as seen in a single-panel flashback in Legion of Super-Heroes Vol. 5 #1).
When Nobel Prize-winning physicist Julian September invents the "Engine of Chance," the laws of probability begin to breakdown. Global catastrophe begins to occur and the reality of the past, present, and future is altered significantly. For example, the U.S. has lost the Revolutionary War and Bruce Wayne's parents were never killed, so there is no Batman! As the "probability cancer" spreads, normally minute coincidences become near-impossibilities on a universal scale, and vice-versa. The natural order of the world begins to battle against all of the radical changes, threatening all life on Earth. Just as DNA is the building block of life, linked photons are the building blocks of synchronicity (according to the DCU). The remaining JLAers shrink down to a molecular level with the help of the Atom and are able to reconnect the severed photon chains, thus restoring the planet back to its status-quo. At one point in the story J'onn says the JLA has existed for nearly a decade. Ten years? Sounds absolutely perfect for our chronology as I have the first appearance of the Justice League occuring in Bat-Year Six!
--Impulse: Bart Saves the Universe
Impulse (Barry Allen's grandson Bart Allen) makes his debut and decides to annoyingly introduce himself to as many members of the superhero community as he can, including Batman, who does not appreciate it one bit. Amazingly enough Impulse defeats Extant in this one-shot, in a sense, actually saving the universe.
NOTE: The flashback involving Batman's team-up with Impulse to take on the Joker takes place now (as seen in Impulse #50).
--Starman Vol. 2 #43
Starman Jack Knight asks the JLA to assist him on a quest to locate the former Starman Will Payton. The JLA wishes him well, but Jack departs into deep space alone.
--Batman & Spider-Man: New Age Dawning
Access has screwed up again and Earth-0 has temporarily merged with Earth-616. Similarly to when Batman last teamed-up with Spider-Man, the two heroes (and everyone else) come to temporarily believe that their worlds are one and the same and always have been. This time, Spidey and the Dark Knight battle an even greater threat than Carnage and Joker. Wilson Fisk aka The Kingpin has allied himself with Ra's Al Ghul and Talia! Nevertheless, Spidey and Batman win out in the end and save the day.
NOTE: Unlimited Access #1-4 takes place here and now. Access successfully ends the Batman/Spider-Man "crossover" by returning everyone back to their correct universes. Access then muses about how being a "cosmic monitor" for two worlds is hard work. However, Access is bad at his job and the two universes are even more mixed up than they were before. In fact, the Universe-0 has begun to amalgamate with Universe-616 (again)! Access is really bad at his job; so bad that in his attempts to fix everything, the "cosmic monitor of to worlds" begins screwing with time as well. Access even travels back to the early days of Batman's career and accidentally introduces him to Daredevil. At one point Access merges different characters from different times together in order to fight the combine d threat of Darkseid and Magneto. When the dust settles, everything and everyone is returned to its proper place and time and the heroes defeat the bad guys. In the end Access realizes that his very presence causes the two universes to merge. Realizing this, Access, as his final act makes everyone in Universe-0 forget about the existence of Universe-616, and vice-versa. Access then flies off into the cosmic unknown never to be heard from again. The DCU will cross paths with the Marvel U again in the future, but they will have forgotten any of their previous encounters.
ANOTHER NOTE: Superman splits into Superman Red and Superman Blue and both of his energy halves help to rid the world of the Millennium Giants. After the battle, the two halves merge and the electromagnetic energy they share is dispersed, thus returning Superman's original body and powers! Supes goes back to wearing the classic red and blue with the big yellow S on his chest! (As seen in Superman Forever #1).
--JLA #22-23, Part 1
One of the Star Conquerors is back and controls the entire population of the Earth by putting the global population to sleep and then manipulating their dreams. However, the JLA and all residents of Blue Valley (where the creature attacked before) stay awake because of an immunity developed due to the previous exposure to the monster. Dream of the Endless (!) comes to the Earthly plane to assist the heroes. Superman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman (who is awake because she was on the moon during the attack) enter the Dreaming to confront the alien parasite. Meanwhile, an invasion force of thousands of leviathan Star Conquerors prepare to enter Earth's atmosphere. Batman and the rest of the JLA hold off the monsters on Earth and eventually both halves of the League are able to send a false message out to the invasion force warning them to turn back. Thus, the invasion is halted. Everyone wakes up and no one remembers a thing except for the JLA and the residents of Blue Valley. Back in the Dreaming, Dream adds a bunch of live Star Conquerors to his treasure chest, which contains various trophies that reference some awesome Neil Gaiman Sandman tales.
--Red Hood: Lost Days #2
Jason Todd (who has just been rejuvenated in a Lazarus Pit) secretly returns to Gotham. While Batman is tackling some mercenaries, Jason plants a bomb underneath the Batmobile. Batman drives off, but the troubled Jason realizes that he wants revenge against his former mentor face-to-face and decides not to detonate the device. Jason then returns to Talia's side and begins training. Batman still has no idea that Jason is alive.
–Fruit of the Loom® Presents
Part One of this promo comic, entitled “Batman: Too Many Jokers!” features the Dynamic Duo taking down Joker during a diamond heist. Joker tries to complicate the situation by having all of his henchmen dress up as fake Jokers. Naturally, Batman spots the real deal immediately and busts him.
Tim is traveling abroad when he gets tangled up with King Snake and Lady Shiva in the war-torn Tbliska (somewhere in Eastern Europe). Batman checks in with him long distance to make sure he's okay. Robin is just fine and actually winds up saving Shiva's life by using CPR.