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This is it. The final Bat-Year before the Modern Age begins. There aren't many specific stories here because they are mostly be non-continuity pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths tales. However, there is plenty of important stuff that happens during this year that is based upon the framework of those aforementioned tales and therefore, canon. I won't number them, but as usual I will use bullets. So, here we go...
NOTE: Batman defeats Packrat and stops him from activating a shrink bomb aboard Green Arrow's jet (as referenced in Legends of the DC Universe #13).
ANOTHER NOTE: Batman meets enfatuated/pesky journalist Vicki Vale, who desperately wants to find out his secret ID (as referenced in Batman #403). There aren't any specific references to her appearances until next Bat Year, but we must imagine that she trails the Dark Knight on most of his cases this year.
105. "Critical Mass" by Christopher Priest/Ken Lashley (Legends of the DC Universe #13) February 1999
Before we begin, I should mention that writer Chris Priest refers to Superman and Batman as "friends" of the Justice League. They are definitely more than friends; they are members of the JLA. Let's catch us up to speed. Green Arrow has left the JLA in an attempt to find inner peace and become a Buddhist monk. Flash, Zatanna, Hawkman, Aquaman, and Green Lantern have all grown to King Kong size and suffer from dementia thanks to the manipulations of an evil force. Black Canary, Firestorm, and Red Tornado are injured and out of action. Thus, it's up to Batman and Green Arrow (who ditches his monk attire for his fighting togs) to save the day. The duo gets a shrink bomb, previously in the possession of Packrat and joins up with Atom and Superman, who are in the middle of fighting/helping the tortured mutant monster known as Thorak. Eventually, the entire JLA is revived and restored to its prior condition thanks to the shrink bomb and a little secret assistance from former JLA mascot Snapper Carr.
--The early months of Bat-Year Ten are rough for Bruce as the messy "mind-wipe scandal" occurs (as referenced through flashback during the events of Identity Crisis by Brad Meltzer/Rags Morales in 2004 and The OMAC Project by Greg Rucka in 2005). The "mind-wipe scandal" is, technically, a four-part affair. The first part begins when all the JLA members' minds and bodies are magically swapped with the minds and bodies of the Secret Society of Supervillains during a battle with Agamemno. This, of course, is bad because the evil team discovers all of the JLA secret identities. This story is not only referenced in Identity Crisis, but is also re-told in the quasi-canonical The Silver Age (2000) series. (Unrelated to the scandal, Batman begins compiling extensive detailed data on both villains and heroes alike after the original Agamemno encounter. This will lead to further scandal in the future). After reversing the body-swap spell, Zatanna, in a move believed necessary, erases all of the villains' memories regarding the encounter. In past years the League had gotten into a bad habit of erasing villains' memories after their secret identities had been outed. Brainwave, Dr. Destiny, Floronic Man, and Felix Faust had all had their memories blanked several times before.
--The second part of the "mind-wipe scandal" occurs a few months after the Agamemno affair. While the JLA is battling Hector Hammond planet-side, Dr. Light is able to infiltrate the JLA satellite and rape Elongated Man's wife, Sue Dinby (as referenced through flashback in Identity Crisis and The OMAC Project). After being caught in the vile sexual assault by the JLA (minus the big three), Light threatens to hurt the other heroes' families and even makes the reprehensible declaration that he will rape the other heroes' wives as well. The team (still minus the big three) takes a vote and agrees the best course of action is for Zatanna to not only mind-wipe the villain, but to alter his personality to ensure that he never again commits so heinous a crime. Zatanna scrambles Light's brain, turning him permanently into a goofy, harmless supervillain stereotype. However, Batman stumbles upon the team in the midst of scrambling Light's brain. Batman is outraged at the unethical procedure and as his ire grows, the rest of the League is forced to restrain him. Shockingly, they "mind-wipe" Batman (!) and he won't remember the details of this event until much, much later. When he does, you can be rest assured that he will be pissed off. And there is nothing scarier than a pissed off Batman. I should also mention that Zatanna uses her magic to repress Martian Manhunter's memories regarding these events should he ever read their minds telepathically. The scene depicting Batman's mind-wipe is also shown in the "Super Powers" storyline which I've included next on our list.
106. "Super Powers" by Marc Guggenheim/Jerry Bingham (Batman Confidential #50-54) January 2011 to May 2011
This tale overlaps with the end of the previous "mind-wipe scandal" flashback from Identity Crisis and The OMAC Project. As I've already mentioned, when Batman returns to the JLA satellite he is mind-wiped by Zatanna and company. While under mystical hypnosis, Bruce has a fevered flashback to "seven years ago" (should correctly be "four years ago") to his first official JLA mission against Fortas. While under Zatanna's trance, Bruce also has recalls his early training days in China where he was killed by a metahuman named Huairen. Yes KILLED. Apparently, when Bruce was around nineteen or twenty, he died but was immediately resurrected by a metahuman named Ri. We also learn that Bruce, at this time, drank a magical elixir that granted him temporary super-powers, donned a fancy cape-and-cowl costume, assumed the name "Dark Knight," and briefly joined the Zhuguran (the Chinese Justice League). Jeez Louise.
--The third part of the "mind-wipe scandal" occurs mere weeks after Batman's mind-wipe. The exact same group of JLA members who erased the Dark Knight's memory opts to mind-wipe the villain known as The Top (as seen in Flash Vol. 2 #215).
--The fourth and final part of the "mind-wipe scandal" occurs when these same JLA members decide to mind-wipe Catwoman (!), erasing her more villainous traits (as seen in Catwoman Vol. 3 #50).
--When the JSA and JLA meet on the satellite, tragedy strikes. The supervillain known as The Spirit King has secretly taken control of Jay Garrick's body and uses him to surprise attack both teams. The Spirit King is subdued, but not before the death of the original Mr. Terrific (Terry Sloane). All the DCU's heroes attend Mr. Terrific's funeral a few days later. This story was originally told in Justice League of America #172, and is also depicted through flashback in JSA #61.
--For the past year, government secret agent Jason Burr has been fighting against a global terrorist organization/apocalypse cult led by his twin brother Jeffrey Franklin Burr aka Kobra. Finally tracking Kobra's HQ to a Lazarus Pit location in the Himalayas, Jason contacts Batman for assistance. Batman and Jason fight Kobra and his agents, but in the end the vile cult leader orders the execution of his brother. One of Kobra's followers stabs Jason to death. Batman vows to bring Kobra to justice and solemnly returns to the States with Jason's body in tow. This story was originally told in the awesome Kobra series finale from DC Special Series #1 (1976). It is canonically referenced in Faces of Evil: Kobra #1.
--JLA member Red Tornado becomes the JLA’s first casualty. Red Tornado dies during a triple team-up with the JSA and a time-displaced Seven Soldiers of Victory against the supervillain known as The Iron Hand (as referenced in Justice League of America Vol. 2 #0). The Seven Soldiers of Victory each get blasted into different time periods (from their correct time of 1948). The JSA and JLA mix line-ups and travel to each time period to perform rescues. Batman—pictured wearing the wrong costume—teams with Hourman (Rex Mason) and Starman (Ted Knight) to rescue Stripesy (Pat Dugan) from Ancient Egypt (as seen via flashback in Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E. #9 and referenced in Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E. #0). Unfortunately, after being rescued, the majority of the Seven Soldiers cannot return back to 1948 and stay in the present. When the case wraps, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman mourn Red Tornado’s passing (as seen through flashback in Justice League of America Vol. 2 #0). PS. Tornado is quickly revived shortly thereafter. PS. Tornado is quickly revived shortly thereafter. Tornado then dies again during the Crisis later in the year. See, Red Tornado is technically an Air Elemental housed inside an an android body. Whenever he dies, he can be rebuilt and he comes back to life. Tornado will die several more times over the course of the next decade. No big deal. I guess I should explain what Elementals are. In a nutshell, Elementals are beings (usually metahumans) linked to the primary elements of the planet and endowed with the powers of their respective element. There are Earth Elementals, Air Elementals, Fire Elementals, Water Elementals, Plant Elementals, and Lightning Elementals. The forces of creation within the DCU often select a specific individual to represent one or more of the elements. These specific high-ranking Elementals are usually referred to as Avatars.
--Continuing the string of bad luck for the heroes, the League foolishly accepts a one billion dollar donation from the underhanded Tulane Bryce, before Green Arrow realizes this was a big P.R. mistake (as seen in JLA 80-Page Giant #1). Never accept money unless you know it's clean, heroes!
--Bruce and Dick attend a charity event held by wealthy entrepreneur Walter Lanier (as referenced in The New Titans #65).
--Batman goes under the mind-control of an unknown supervillain. Green Arrow painfully shoots Batman in the shoulders with two arrows in order to break the spell. This story is vaguely referenced in Justice League of America, Vol. 2 #4, and most likely references a specific encounter with a specific telepathic-powered villain, but I have no idea which encounter that would be.
--Things only get worse for Batman and the League. Next up, the JLA votes not to interfere in a tiny Eastern European country's civil war due to the messy political nature of the situation, despite the fact that genocide is occurring. Batman is furious and quits the team! Bear in mind that Batman also has his own agenda as his good friend Lucius Fox is stuck in the warring nation. Batman immediately teams-up with good friend Black Lightning and, international-incident-be-damned, they crash into Markovia in an attempt to take out the dictator Baron Bedlam. This proves to be difficult. Thankfully, there are a bunch of other superheroes already in Markovia. Batman and Black Lightning join forces with Metamorpho, Katana, Geo-Force, and Halo for the first time. After defeating Baron Bedlam, the Dark Knight officially forms his own anti-JLA vigilante team with the heroes he worked with in Markovia; The Outsiders (as seen in Batman and the Outsiders #1-2 and through flashback in Secret Origins Vol. 2 #6). The Outsiders, with Batman as their leader, will continue on strong for years to come. On the other hand, Batman's resignation has many devastating repercussions for the League; the heavy-hitters all decide its time to disband, so Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Flash all wind up leaving as well. In the end, the JLA is stuck with a weakened line-up featuring Vibe, Vixen, Elongated Man, Gypsy, Steel, and Firestorm, with the big-three senior members replaced by Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, and Zatanna. Not exactly DC's Trinity, eh? Just to further prove how weakened the JLA is at this point, they move their headquarters to Detroit.
--Bruce helps out his newest teenage proteges Halo and Katana by providing them free room and board in the luxurious vacant Wayne Tower penthouse (as referenced in Secret Origins Vol. 2 #6). Halo and Katana will live there for the next year or so.
--There is a great flashback in Justice League of America Vol. 2 #0 by Brad Meltzer (2006) that takes place during this year where Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman meet at Challengers Mountain to discuss the ineffectiveness of this new Detroit-based JLA incarnation.
--Batman and the Outsiders engage in a very public battle against the debuting supervillain team known as The Force of July (as originally told in Batman & The Outsiders Annual #1 and canonically referenced through flashback in DC Universe Legacies #5).
--Batman and the Outsiders battle Agent Orange (as seen in Batman and The Outsiders #3).
–It is also around this time that we witness more evidence of Batman’s disdain for the JLA. In Batman & The Outsiders #22 by Mike W. Barr/Alan Davis (1985), Bruce reveals to the Outsiders that even as a former-member, he still has secret access to and is able to bypass the JLA security system aboard the abandoned, but information-rich ex-satellite HQ. What info are the Outsiders searching for? The origins of Halo’s superpowers, which are linked to the mysterious other-dimensional beings known as Aurakles.
–Still aboard the JLA Satellite, the Outsiders are able to save Halo from the Aurakles, who attempt to take her away to another dimension (as originally told in Batman & The Outsiders #23 and canonically referenced in Secret Origins Vol. 2 #6).
--Although Batman is unaware of it, several of his rogues devise a plot to kill the Dark Knight which involves using Paul Sloan aka the alternate Two-Face. This tale can be seen through flashback in Detective Comics #777-782 (2003) by Ed Brubaker. This is how the story goes. Actor Paul Sloan is hired by Joker, Riddler, Killer Moth, Penguin, Scarecrow, and Mad Hatter to play a pivotal role in a scheme which will supposedly result in Batman's ultimate demise. Two-Face wants nothing to do with the other rogues, so they hire Sloan to become a fake Two-Face, a role which Sloan takes way too seriously. After finding out about the existence of a fake Two-Face, the real Two-Face gets a bit angry, kidnaps Sloan, mutilates him, and leaves him for dead. Scarecrow then saves Sloan's life, only to torture and experiment on him for weeks.
--The Spook makes his return and lures Batman and Robin to Gotham Prison, where he tries to kill the Caped Crusader as a live entertainment for the convicts. The Dynamic Duo easily defeat him (as seen through flashback from Batman: Gotham Knights #46). The Spook will spend four years in Arkham before he is transferred to Blackgate Penitentiary.
--Batman and Robin take down the radioactive green-skinned mad scientist Henry Ross, better known as Professor Radium (as referenced in Infinite Crisis Aftermath: The Battle for Blüdhaven #4). This tale was originally told in Batman #8 (1941).
--Batman tangos with the wicked Queen of Hearts and her husband Jack of Clubs (as seen through flashback in Batman #472).
--Joker and Killer Croc assemble a gang of supervillains including the Getaway Genius, Captain Stingaree, Catman, Mr. Freeze, Tweedle-Dee, and Tweedle-Dum. The villains eventually squabble, thus tearing apart their short-lived union. Batman, Robin, Catwoman, and Talia easily capture several of the bad guys, who have already been beaten-up by Croc (as originally told in Detective Comics #526 and canonically referenced in Batman #703).
--Batman allows the Getaway Genius to escape, which confuses and enrages Robin. The Dark Knight then explains that lately the Getaway Genius has only been stealing chemotherapy drugs. The villain has been diagnosed with cancer and wishes only to prolong his life. Bruce then sets up a health insurance plan for the Getaway Genius, who retires from crime (as seen through flashback in Batman #703).
--Joker steals a jetpack and goes on an airborne killing spree across town. Batman and Robin stop him, but not before 13 deaths. The 14th intended victim, Winslow Heath, is bombed with a lethal dose of Joker Venom, which fails to kill him, but gives him a permanent rictus-grin and pale white skin. Heath's girlfriend was victim #13. After his miraculous survival, Heath delves into a catatonic state in which he will be confined to a hospital bed for over a decade. When he finally recovers, Heath will keep his Joker-esque facade hidden behind a mask and use a newly gained monetary fortune to slowly build a pharmaceutical company. Heath will harbor a secret goal to destroy Batman, whom he blames for both the death of his lover and the creation of so many Gotham supervillains. This tale is told through flashbacks in Detective Comics #867-870.
--The fanatical cultists known as the Hellerites return to Gotham for the first time in nearly two hundred years to reclaim the land of their ancestors. Batman and Robin team-up with Phantom Stranger against the new Hellerites and the summoned ghosts of the old Hellerites. Doctor Thirteen also makes an appearance in this tale, which was originally told in The Brave and the Bold #89 and canonically referenced in Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #5.
--Batman and Robin defeat the thrice resurrecting Death Man (as originally told in Batman #180 and shown through flashback in Batman Incorporated #2). Death Man will later resurface as "Lord Death Man" in Tokyo. Death Man will also inspire a copycat supervillain years later as well.
--Batman and Robin apprehend Penguin and retrieve the stolen Lapis Lazuli Horus Crown (as seen through flashback in Secret Origins 80-Page Giant #1). The event is caught on video and broadcast on live TV. A young Tim Drake, who has been studying the Dynamic Duo for years, watches the footage and determines conclusively that Robin is the former Flying Grayson he watched four years ago at the circus. This flashback incorrectly labels Tim as being nine-years old. He should be eight.
--Dick shows off his new "Nightwing" costume to Bruce (as seen through flashback in Batman #682). Dick won't officially become Nightwing until our next numbered story. In fact, Dick has merely designed a new costume and doesn't even have a name for his new persona yet.
--While Batman #408 contains a flashback which details Batman's termination of Robin after the Joker nearly kills the Boy Wonder, this issue has long since been retconned out-of-continuity. However, the incident with the Joker must have occurred in some form since it is referenced in Batman: Orphans #1 and Nightwing Vol. 2 #134. Acting alone, Robin battles Joker, who nearly kills the Boy Wonder, thus leading to the tense argument in the next bullet note.
--The argument between Batman and Robin continues (as seen via flashback from Nightwing Vol. 2 #134-135). Robin asks once again to be treated as an adult since he will be turning seventeen-years-old in a month. But Batman won't hear it and continues to chastise Robin for taking on Joker solo and nearly getting himself killed. Alfred patches up Dick while the fight heats up in the Batcave. The argument gets so ugly that Dick resigns from his post, hops on a bus, and leaves Gotham! In New York, Dick spends the beginning of summer dating Liu, whom he loses his virginity to! Writer Marv Wolfman tells us that Dick loses his virginity to Liu, but this is highly dubious. Dick definitely has had some sort of sexual relations with both Babs and Starfire by this point. Dick's newest love interest, unfortunately, is in with a bad crowd, including Metal Eddie, leader of the gang known as the Tigers. Under Liu's sexual spell, Dick joins the Tigers, but soon realizes that Liu and Eddie are simply using him to get information about Wayne Enterprises security systems to set up a big score. Broken-hearted, Dick returns home and tells Batman and Alfred about the planned Tiger robbery. Batman and Robin are ready and waiting and easily bust Liu, Eddie, and the Tigers. While the Dynamic Duo is reunited, things are incredibly tense and Bruce no longer trusts Dick (and vice-versa). Robin remains on serious thin ice with his mentor.
--Batman and Robin argue in the Batcave and Dick tells Bruce "You can't keep treating me like I'm twelve anymore!" (as seen through flashback in Batman #713).
107. "Nightwing: Year One, Ch. 1-3" by Scott Beatty/Chuck Dixon/Scott McDaniel (Nightwing #101-103) March 2005 to April 2005
The relationship between Dick and Bruce has gotten even more strained. Dick (as Robin) is fired (!) by Bruce following a lost fight with Matt Hagen aka Clayface II. (Hagen will later die during the Crisis on Infinite Earths). After a visit with Superman, Dick is inspired to become Nightwing (!!!). He uses an altered version of the Nightwing costume compared to the one which he briefly showed to Bruce before. Deadman pays Bruce a visit and tells him his former student has gone solo. Bruce doesn't care. While Nightwing takes to the streets (primarily outside of Gotham and usually with the Teen Titans), Batman catches the orphaned delinquent Jason Todd trying to steal the tires off the Batmobile. In the Batcave, Jason quickly breaks out of his binding ropes and steals Dick's old costume! So much for living without a Boy Wonder. Highly impressed, Bruce immediately adopts and begins training Jason to become the next Robin. Chapters 4-6 take place after Jason's training is complete. Batman #408-409 originally told Jason Todd's origin story, but those two issues have been retconned out of continuity by "Nightwing: Year One." Likewise, Secret Origins Vol. 2 #13 tells a lengthy Nightwing origin story, but it has been rendered non-canon.
108. "Black Orchid Ch. 2: "Going Down..." by Neil Gaiman/Dave McKean (Black Orchid #2) January 1989
Batman briefly converses with the Earth Elemental Black Orchid, who is searching for Jason Woodrue in hopes of finding out her own mysterious origins. The Dark Knight tells her to visit Poison Ivy in Arkham. At Arkham, Black Orchid chats with Two-Face, Mad Hatter, and Poison Ivy. Later, Batman instructs Black Orchid to travel south to meet Swamp Thing.
NOTES: Here's what happens next...
--Wonder Woman and Superman visit Batman in the Batcave. Bruce excitedly and happily tells them about his new protege Jason Todd (as seen through flashback in Justice League of America Vol. 2, #0). Bruce has faith that Jason will be the best Robin ever.
--Preston Payne aka Clayface III makes his first appearance. While we are at it, you can probably place the first appearances of the original Black Mask, Electrocutioner, Black Spider, Film Freak, and Firebug right around here.
--Also, genius Barbara Gordon gets her Master's Degree (and it only took her four years to do it)! Not to mention, through a special legislative loophole, Babs, at age twenty, becomes the youngest person ever elected to Congress. She will serve throughout most of the year before stepping down to become the head of the Gotham Library.
--Batman foils the Joker's robbery attempt at the Antique Society during this year (as seen through flashback in the 1990 issue of Detective Comics #617 by Alan Grant/Norm Breyfogle).
--The essential elements of Batman #64 (1951) are made canon when Alan Grant references them in Batman: Shadow of the Bat #8. In the story, which takes place now, Killer Moth kidnaps Bruce Wayne and discovers his secret identity! However, Moth is shot and receives a serious cranial injury. Subsequent surgery saves his life, but at the cost of severe brain trauma and loss of significant portions of his memory, including knowledge of Batman's secret identity.
--Batman captures the super-villain known as Mirage. This event was originally chronicled in Detective Comics #511 (1982), and is made canon when referenced through flashback by Alan Grant in Batman: Shadow of the Bat #15.
--Batman squares-off against The Ten-Eyed Man, a lone rogue member of the mystical Ten-Eyed Brotherhood. Bruce won't meet the Brotherhood until much, much later.
--Batman comes across Wilson and Fiona, a husband and wife scientist duo that has been living in a bomb shelter deep beneath the sub-basement of a Gotham apartment building for nearly twenty years (as referenced in Batman: 80-Page Giant Vol. 2 #1). Batman encourages them to come to the surface, ensuring their safety, but they choose to stay underground.
--The events of post-original Crisis Batman issues #393-394 are out-of-continuity because they were written before the Crisis had ended and failed to reflect its many changes. However, Batman's altercation with the ex-Soviet Cossack madman known as The Dark Rider would have taken place now. The Rider douses himself with liquid plutonium and attempts to swan-dive into the city reservoir before Batman can lasso him in just inches before the leap.
--Barbara Gordon gets engaged to her boyfriend Jason Bard!
--Man-Bat Kirk Langstrom discovers Batman's secret identity! There is no specific tale which tells of this event, but in future stories, Langstrom knows that Bruce is the Dark Knight. In Scott Beatty's Batman: Gotham Knights #45, for example, Langstrom and his entire family know that Bruce is Batman and they have have known for a long time.
--Batman apprehends the supervillain known as The Glass Man (as originally told in World's Finest Comics #28 (1947) and made canon through reference in Robin #153).
109. “Scars” by Kelley Puckett/Jim Balent/Rick Burchett (Batman: Batgirl–Girlfrenzy! #1) June 1998
When Victor Zsasz murders one of Batgirl’s friends, she makes it her personal vendetta to bring the slasher to justice at all costs. Batgirl locates Zsasz’s hideout and takes him down seconds before Batman arrives on the scene for the same objective. The Dark Knight then tells Batgirl that he has an important job in Nepal and wants her help. Batgirl, however, strained from the loss of her friend says no thanks and that she needs a break. Batman’s important job in Nepal is likely the upcoming trip to Ra’s Al Ghul’s Himalayan fortress, which takes place in the next item on the chronology, the quasi-canonical Batman: Son of the Demon. Thus, the end of “Scars” likely overlaps with the beginning of Son of the Demon.
NOTE: Batman knocks up Talia Al Ghul! Of course, Talia keeps the pregnancy a secret from Bruce. The details of this historic conception were originally told in Batman: Son of the Demon (1987), and while the essential elements of this story are canonical, the story itself, as Grant Morrison says, is "kind-of-out-of-continuity" for many reasons. There are flashbacks in Batman #683 detailing this baby-producing romance. I should mention that Morrison wanted to back-engineer the Son of the Demon tale into canonical modern continuity, but made several critical errors due to the fact that he was referencing a story that he hadn't read in a long time. Morrison, in an attempt to fix his mistakes, claimed that any errors in the original story were corrected by Superboy-Prime's reality altering punches in Infinite Crisis. Therefore, I could have included Batman: Son of the Demon as an actual numbered entry on this list, with a side-note explaining that major elements of the story are different due to Superboy-Prime's meddling from the future. However, I've chosen not to since I've listed other quasi-canonical stories (even those rendered so by in-story events) as bullet notes instead. For the purposes of uniformity within this timeline, I'll keep this story listed exactly how it is. So, to reiterate: Batman: Son of the Demon = "kind-of-out-of-continuity" courtesy of Superboy-Prime (with its essential plot elements remaining a part of Batman's canon).
110. "Nightwing: Year One, Ch. 4-6" by Scott Beatty/Chuck Dixon/Scott McDaniel (Nightwing #104-106) April 2005 to May 2005
Nightwing introduces himself to Commissioner Gordon and teams-up with Batgirl. NOTE: Penguin is seen in his Iceberg Lounge being accosted by Nightwing, Batgirl, and Harvey Bullock. We must ignore the location of this scene since Penguin wouldn't own the Iceberg Lounge quite yet. Moving on, Batman sends his new Robin, who has been training for nearly six months, on his final test. Jason must "run the gauntlet" across the Gotham rooftops and confront Two-Face. In this case "Two-Face" is played by Alfred in disguise, while Batman is disguised as one of Two-Face's henchmen. However, Alfred and Bruce put their costumes on too early and en route to the final destination, they are attacked by Killer Croc and his goons, who are trying to start a turf war with Two-Face. Bruce gets shot in the chest and winds up in the care of Leslie Thompkins while Alfred (still disguised as Two-Face) is kidnapped by Croc. Meanwhile, Jason meets Dick and they sure don't get along. But after a short time, the two race through Gotham together and are able to save Alfred and take down Croc. Afterward, Bruce sends Dick his real Nightwing costume (the one he showed him before with the yellow-stripes). ANOTHER NOTE: This story states outright that this is Killer Croc's debut. This is totally untrue. Croc has been around for years. Maybe Scott Beatty means this is the first time Croc has used hired muscle in an attempt to become a legit gangster.
111. "Two of a Kind"/"Second Chance" by Max Allan Collins/Dave Cockrum (Batman #410-411) August 1987 to September 1987
Jason has just finished his training. The new Robin meets Commissioner Gordon and deals with Two-Face. Batman tells Jason that he scored the giant penny during one of the original Dynamic Duo's encounters with Two-Face. This, as we know, is incorrect. He got the penny in a solo confrontation with Joe Coyne.
--December. Batman, Robin, and Wonder Woman visit Superman at the Fortress of Solitude for his birthday. However, Mongul is there and he's already given Superman a gift: the alien Black Mercy plant, which causes its victim to suffer a zombie-like hallucination of his greatest subconscious desire. The heroes rescue Superman, who proceeds to angrily "burn" Mongul with heat vision. This famous tale was originally written in Superman Annual #11 by Alan Moore/Dave Gibbons. And believe it or not, besides a few uses of Black Mercy here and there, this story has never been canonically referenced or mentioned in the Modern Age except for a tiny single panel-within-a-panel from Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #1. But that's all it takes to make it legit.
--Batman shows off his new Robin to Nightwing. During a streetfight with some thugs Dick says Jason is both "reckless" and "a little rough around the edges," but also comments that he makes a fine new Boy Wonder (as seen through flashback in Batman & Robin #23).
--In the Batcave, Batman gives Jason some sage words of wisdom regarding the need to stay calm and adapt to any situation while in battle (as seen through flashback in Batman & Robin #24).
--Batman and Robin (Jason) defeat Mr. Freeze (as seen in Booster Gold Vol. 2 #14). During the confrontation, although neither Batman nor Robin see it happen, Booster Gold quickly appears from twelve years into the future (Bat-Year 22) and borrows Freeze's ice gun, which he needs in order to fix damage done to the timestream by an army of Starros. After fixing the timestream in the future, Booster returns the ice gun and no one is the wiser, except for a confused Freeze, who thinks a "magic hand" temporarily stole his weapon.
--Batman meets supervillain/erotic snake-dancer Tiki Rivera (as referenced in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #209).
--Joker is on the loose again. Batman warns Jason about the dangers of Joker and not to take him lightly (as seen through flashback in Red Hood: Lost Days #6).
--Joker takes over the 70s nostalgia TV game-show "Hold 'Em or Fold 'Em" and takes an entire studio audience hostage. The Clown Prince of Crime executes numerous contestants until Batman and the GCPD end the bloody madness (as seen through flashback in Joker's Asylum: Joker #1). This flashback is narrated entirely by Joker himself, so much of it may be apocryphal. However, its basic elements are most likely canonical.
--Scarecrow has escaped Arkham and has now been posing as a legit psychiatrist for the past several months. The evil Dr. Crane trails one of his young patients to a teenage slumber party. Just like a Wes Craven movie, Scarecrow terrorizes the party-goers as terrifyingly as he can until Batman shows up and cleans his clock (as seen through flashback in Joker's Asylum: Scarecrow #1). This flashback is narrated entirely by Joker himself, so much of it may be apocryphal. However, it's basic elements are most likely canonical.
--Batman and Superman have their yearly Springtime meeting. However, the events of Batman & Superman: World's Finest #6 are out-of-continuity. Dick is not only still Robin, but he is still in college, which are both totally wrong.
--Looker joins the Outsiders (as originally told in Batman & The Outsiders #31).
--Batman and Robin are videotaped defeating Scarecrow in battle (as seen through flashback in DC Universe Legacies #5).
--Nightwing busts some joyriding car-jacking punks (as seen through flashback in Batman #713). One of them escapes, but right into the waiting arms of Batman. Bruce and Dick learn that the young punk is Kevin McNulty, son of a former Riddler henchman. Dick is concerned about the boy, but Bruce couldn't care less.
--Selina's estranged brother Karl Kyle appears as a new criminal called King of Cats (as originally told in Batman #69 and canonically referenced in Seven Soldiers: Bulleteer #3). Karl Kyle's publicity stunt will be a one time affair that will land him in jail for the better part of a decade, following which we won't really see or hear from him.
--Batman gets captured and blindfolded by Killer Moth, but still manages to take him and four henchmen down (as referenced in Harley Quinn #10).
--Batman ups the credibility of his Matches Malone character by running with and earning the trust of the Two-Bear Brothers, Nixon Two-Bear and Kennedy Two-Bear (as referenced in Harley Quinn #9). Matches will stay close associates with the Two-Bears for the next decade.
--The events of Tales of the Teen Titans #50 occur now. Bruce and Dick attend the wedding of Donna Troy. There is also a canonical flashback in Justice League of America Vol. 2 #0 which shows more details from this wedding.
112. "The Revenge of the Reaper!" by Mike W. Barr/Jerry Bingham (DC Retroactive: Batman - The 80s #1) October 2011
The Reaper (the "Batman Year Two" version) is back, but who is wearing the costume this time? Batman fears that Rachel Caspian is avenging her father's death, but after a violent battle at McSurley's Bar (!) the Dynamic Duo learns that there are actually two Reapers now: the respective son and daughter of two rival mobsters. The Reapers had planned to embezzle all the money from their mob families and split town. We also learn that new Gotham DA Samuels is in league with the Reapers. In the end Batman figures everything out with ease, defeats all the villains, and saves the threatened life of Rachel Caspian. Rachel and Batman part ways with Rachel revealing that she knows his secret identity.
113. The Crisis on Infinite Earths #1-12 by Marv Wolfman/George Perez (1985)
"Worlds will Live. Worlds will die. And the universe will never be the same." This was the famous tag-line for the epic, time-altering, crossover "maxi" series that changed Batman's (and everyone else's) world forever. This is the shocking event that "erased" a 46 year history and replaced it with the previous 112 stories and bullet notes that comprised the entirety of the previous "Year One Era"/Silver Age entries on this blog. If you didn't read the introduction to this blog, please do so to understand the full scope of what the original Crisis is all about. Narrative-wise, here's what goes down in a nutshell. While Batman battles the Joker, he witnesses a disturbing vision of a dying Flash. But that's just the beginning. The mysterious Pariah arrives on Earth with startling news; the multiverse exists and multiple versions of Earth are being destroyed by a godlike entity known as The Anti-Monitor, who has successfully outmatched his rival, The Monitor. As many Earths die, the chaos edges closer and closer to destroying all that exists. DC Universe Legacies #5 contains a lengthy flashback which shows the heroes' initial response to the catastrophe at its outset. When the heroes of the primary DCU learn that universes are getting destroyed, Pariah sends several groups to try to defend multiple Earths (as seen in Legends of the DCU: Crisis on Infinite Earths #1, which takes place in between Crisis on Infinite Earths #4 and Crisis #5). Batman and others briefly travel to Earth-D, but are unable to stop its destruction. Eventually, the heroes all gather at the HQ of the Monitor where they are fully briefed on the dire situation by Pariah, Alexander Luthor, Jr. (of the already destroyed Earth-3), and Harbinger. There are several Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover issues that show Pariah and Harbinger's large "gathering of the superhumans," including the prominent Infinity, Inc. #22. Following a colossal multiversial war, all the superheroes of the multiverse stand together and win the day.But at what cost? Well, at the cost of their own collective history. The past is erased and everything Batman ever knew is replaced with the tales you've read about in this very blog thus far (sort of... Don't forget that many of the cosmic historical changes that take place during The Crisis on Infinite Earths are altered yet again later in Zero Hour, Infinite Crisis, and to some extent Final Crisis, so the stories you've read about in this blog so far reflect those changes which occur later). To reiterate, Crisis on Infinite Earths merges an almost infinite number of Earths (and their collective histories) into one single Earth (Earth-1 at the time, but later re-christened "New Earth" and later "Earth-0" following Infinite Crisis). While one main "New Earth"/"Earth-0" universe is created, the multiverse IS NOT destroyed. There are still multiple universes that exist outside of the main DCU, such as the Marvel U, Wildstorm U, numerous Elseworlds Universes, the new Antimatter U (home of the Morrison/Quitely Crime Syndicate), and many more. These various alternate universes remain unaffected by the Crisis on Infinite Earths (and we'll see them in the years to come). Furthermore, Infinite Crisis will later spawn the creation of 52 main universes that will each have unique and complex histories. Thus, those 52 main universes also technically exist at this point and are also unaffected by Crisis on Infinite Earths, although we won't learn about them in detail until after Bat Year Twenty (i.e. after Infinite Crisis).
So there you have it. The original Crisis occurs and then life is back to normal, I suppose. The Bat Family has a brand new history and they are none the wiser. From Batman's perspective, The Crisis didn't change anything historically. In fact, Batman simply remembers it as just another evil planetary threat dealt with. Sort of. In the days following the Crisis, the history of the primary Earth in the DCU "settles" and certain specific occurrences which took place during the Crisis are slowly phased out. For instance, Supergirl dies, but in the aftermath of the cosmic spacetime anomaly, she winds up having never existed! Similarly, many of our heroes mourn the loss of of their friends, but within the short span of twenty-four hours, these friends--like Supergirl, Earth-Two Dick Grayson, or Helena Wayne--will simply cease to exist and vanish from memory. Earth-Two's Power Girl is a special case. She will retain her past history/origins from Earth-Two (although they will be blocked from her memory) despite the fact that Universe-Two's timeline is completely erased. Power Girl's "re-debut" will then anomalously appear a year prior to the Crisis.
The most important death during Crisis (and one that NO ONE forgets) is the death of the Flash, Barry Allen. Barry, who had been living in the 30th Century at this time, learns of the evil Anti-Monitor's plot and travels back to the present to face him, only to be captured, tortured, and murdered. Barry's spirit goes to Heaven, but his soul remains within the Speed Force. (The Speed Force is the extradimensional power source/realm from which Flash draws his metahuman abilities. Think "The Force" from Star Wars when Obi-Wan dies and becomes "one with the Force." It's a similar concept.) Very rarely but every once in a while Barry's soul that resides within the Speed Force will return to help Wally West during dire times.
While I'm mentioning Barry Allen and the original Supergirl, I should mention that after the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, several heroes exile themselves in an Eden-like pocket universe; Superman (Kal-L) and Lois Lane of former Earth-2, Alexander Luthor, Jr. of former Earth-3, and Superboy (Superboy Prime) of former Earth-Prime. These characters will watch as the "Earth-0" DCU unfolds over the next decade and when they don't like what they see, you can better believe there will be hell to pay.
One final note: Batman meets John Constantine sometime during the Crisis on Infinite Earths (as referenced in the pages of Hellblazer and Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for Swamp Thing #1). He also meets Shade the Changing Man (as referenced via flashback in Suicide Squad #16). Constantine and Shade are both noteworthy not only because they are friggin’ awesome, but because they are two of the few characters that will retain a complete knowledge of the pre-Crisis DCU.
Ok, continuing onward. When need be, I will refer to our primary DCU Earth as "Earth-0" from this point forward, since this chronology reflects the up-to-date changes made to the multiverse following Infinite Crisis and Final Crisis. It's a bit confusing, I know, but there's no time to dwell. Let's move on!
And move on we shall! Dick is Nightwing. Jason is Robin. Barbara is still Batgirl. Jim is still the commissioner. Batman is the leader of the Outsiders. Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, and Zatanna are the senior members of the JLA. The Modern Age is officially upon us! (Technically, we've been in the Modern Age this whole time, but now that the Crisis is over, we are officially Modernized story-wise as well). And the new era begins (specifically for Batman) with Batman #401 by Barbara Randall/Trevor Von Eeden. (It would/should have started with Batman #392, which was the first Batman issue to be released after the original Crisis. However, the storyline that takes place from Batman #392 through Batman #399 was written before the original Crisis had concluded, so it didn't reflect any of the changes that had occurred. Also, Batman #400 is an out-of-continuity anniversary special, so obviously that doesn't count either). We'll pick up with Batman #401 (following both the funeral of Barry Allen and the Modern Age JLA story that precede the issue) a bit later, but first there are some nerdy things you should know...
Stay tuned! There's always more to add and more to fix and more and more and more. I'm going to continue the chronology, but from this point on time is measured a bit differently in the DC Universe. In layman's terms, the next twenty+ years are "compacted" or "compressed" in a sense. Despite the unique nature of time in comic books in general (and I'll be sure to explain much, much more in the next post) our chronology will continue in the same detailed year-to-year format. So have no fear! The chronology will still be comprehensive... and believe me when I say COMPREHENSIVE. So, see you soon!! Same Bat Internet!! Same Bat Blog!!
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.
The Dynamic Duo is famous! The adventures of the Justice League and Teen Titans have made Batman and Robin internationally known. We are "officially" in Batman's ninth year. There are a few important notes to start off this year.
--First, Bruce and Alfred move into a penthouse atop the Wayne Enterprises building and its underground bunker becomes Batman's new main base of operations (as seen through flashback in Batman #682). As they close down the Batcave in preparation for the big move, Alfred shares a fiction story he has written about what the world would be like if Bruce never became Batman.
--Shortly thereafter, Dick (who is 15-years-old now and will turn 16 this summer) leaves Gotham to attend Hudson State University in upstate New York (as seen through flashback in Batman #600). Dick, like Barbara, is really smart and begins college at a very young age.
--As the "Penthouse Year" starts, so signals the end of the Silver Age and the beginning of the Bronze Age. Bruce starts things off by initiating the Wayne Enterprises-funded Victims Incorporated Program (as referenced in Batman, Inc. #6). Victims Inc functions as a service which provides assistance to those who have lost loved ones at the hands of Gotham crime. The program also solves cold murder cases that the GCPD has been unable to crack. Victims Inc, however, is short-lived due to the dangerous exposure it places upon Wayne Enterprises.
--While quite bi-polar when it comes to mood swings and criminal habits in general, Joker begins his descent into the dark side. Pop-crime is dead. When the Clown Prince of Crime robs the Gotham National Bank, he decides to kill dozens of hostages, including his own henchmen, out of sheer boredom. Batman arrives seconds too late to save even a single soul (as seen through flashback in DC Universe Legacies #5).
--Batman and Robin will soon meet ultra crime-boss Rupert Thorne, but before they do they deal with his brother Matthew Thorne aka The Crime Doctor, an underground surgeon for injured mobsters.
--Steve Englehart's brilliant "Dark Detective" storyline (also known as "Strange Apparitions") from Detective Comics #469-476 occurs during the onset of the "Penthouse year." Technically, this Bronze-Age storyline was wiped from existence after the events of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, but references in Legends of the Dark Knight #132-136, Batman #600, Detective Comics #825, and Batman: The Last Angel make the basic elements of its plot not only completely relevant, but mostly canon as well. In "Strange Apparitions" several important things happen: We meet Dr. Phosphorus for the first time; Robin deals with Penguin; Deadshot—in his new outfit—takes on Batman in an epic battle; and a new mob led by Rupert Thorne rises and falls (the supposed "ghost" of Hugo Strange drives Thorne insane). A single-panel flashback in Deadshot #1 shows Deadshot versus Batman from this episode. But, perhaps the most important part of all is Silver St. Cloud. Silver is probably, besides (arguably) Julie Madison, Bruce's first real-deal serious love-affair in comics. Englehart details their relationship with inspiration and it builds to a point where Silver finds out Bruce is Batman. Like Miss Madison, Miss St. Cloud decides she has to leave. (A one-panel flashback detailing Silver's departure is shown in the opening montage of Batman #600). I should also mention that the Joker's "laughing fish" story was originally part of this collection as well, but it actually takes place in Year Six. The impact of "Strange Apparitions" eventually leads to "Siege" (LOTDK #132-136) towards the end of this year. Originally, there was another sequel by Englehart in 2005 entitled Batman: Dark Detective. Englehart, in interviews, refused to specifically place the six-issue miniseries, saying that it should have pleased fans of any era by being able to fit into any era. Oddly enough, the story includes Commissioner Akins and takes place when the GCPD are hunting the Bat Family, which specifically places it right after "War Games" in Year Nineteen. However, Two-Face is featured heavily in Batman: Dark Detective, yet during that time Harvey was surgically repaired and sort of rehabilitated. Thus, Dark Detective cannot really be considered canon, which is shame because it's so great. In an attempt to make Dark Detective more placeable Englehart doesn't refer to Commissioner Akins by name. His officers merely refer to him as "sir." Furthermore, Englehart never clearly states what era the story is taking place in and doesn't tell us why the GCPD is chasing after Batman. However, all signs, including the publishing date, seem to put this story smack dab right after "War Games," which (as stated above) makes it impossible to place and therefore non-canon. For more information regarding the canonicity of Dark Detective, check out about_faces' Livejournal entry (linked to the awesome We Believe in Harvey Dent Blog).
--The New Teen Titans form from the ashes of the old Teen Titans team (as originally told in New Teen Titans #1 and canonically flashed-back to in Secret Origins Vol. 2 Annual #3—bear in mind that not all of Secret Origins Vol. 2 Annual #3 is canon, but the flashbacks to the formation of the New Teen Titans are for sure). The New Teen Titans is bankrolled by Dr. Silas Stone (Cyborg's dad) and features Robin, Beast Boy (Changeling), Raven, Kid Flash, and Wonder Girl. Raven visits the JLA to ask for support with the new team, but she is mistaken for a villain due to her dark aura and gets no help at all. Afterward, the Titans recruit Cyborg and Starfire to their team.
--One of the New Teen Titans' first fights is against Deathstroke the Terminator (Slade Wilson) and his son Ravager (Grant Wilson), as referenced in numerous comics, including Secret Origins Vol. 2 Annual #3. Ravager dies in battle, further fueling what will become Deathstroke's lifelong ire for the Titans. Meanwhile, Booster Gold time-travels from 2010 (Bat-Year 22) back to this point on the timeline in order to prevent future supervillain Black Beetle from altering history by killing the Titans. Booster, as he often does, plays dress-up, knocking out Deathstroke and wearing his costume during the skirmish, ensuring that the Titans win. Booster (as Deathstroke), before fleeing, whispers to a confused Dick, "Embrace your heritage. Guide Damian." Very cool. Later, Booster lets Raven in on the secret and she helps implant memories of the battle, including his son's death, into Deathstroke's head so it will seem to him as if he was always there, thus ensuring the future timeline is corrected entirely. Booster then returns back to 2010 when all is fixed (as seen in Booster Gold Vol. 2 #21-24).
97. "Night of the Bat" by Len Wein/Bernie Wrightson (Swamp Thing #7/Batman Hidden Treasures #1) December 1973
I know this story was written in 1973, but it was re-printed in December 2010, and there is no reason why this shouldn't be canon. Alec Holland has just been turned into Swamp Thing (!) recently and makes his first trip to Gotham in an attempt to track down the man responsible for his horrific transformation. Not only that, the same villain has kidnapped his friends, Abigail Arcane and Matthew Cable. (Abby will later marry Matthew and then marry Swamp Thing. Matthew will later die and become a raven in the Dreaming). Batman, who co-incidentally is tracking the same criminal, has his first clash with Swamp Thing, who has not yet re-mastered the powers of speech. Wayne Foundation executive Nate Ellery is revealed as the baddie that both Swamp Thing and Batman are after. Ellery, after being outed as leader of the criminal organization known as The Conclave, falls off a penthouse balcony to his grisly death. A new Chief O'Hara also makes an appearance here albeit drawn very small and from a great distance away. This must be the original O'Hara's younger relative (also seen in Batman #700 as "Officer O'Hara") who has now been promoted.
98. "The Cat and The Bat" by Fabian Nicieza/Kevin Maguire (Batman Confidential #17-21) July 2008 to November 2008
Batgirl must have done something to get in the good graces of Batman, because in this story we learn that Batman has gotten over her lack of training and put his faith in her, having made her an "official" member of the Bat-Family. Batgirl finally meets Catwoman and they sure don't get along. After a nude brawl at the Gotham Hedonist Society (!), the sirens are forced to team up against the Russian mob. We see some great Maguire renditions of all of the Arkham inmates and after cameos from both Batman and Robin, our tale comes to a close.
I just wanted to note that there is some pretty loose writing here by Nicieza in regard to continuity. Technically, most of the inconsistencies can be explained away, but when Babs refers to her dad as the "newly minted" commissioner, that's just plain wrong. He would have been the commish for at least three years now, but oh well. Maybe it still "feels" new to her.
99. "Terror Times Three!" by Len Wein/Tom Mandrake (DC Retroactive: Batman - The 70s #1) September 2011
A new high-tech Terrible Trio arrives in Gotham hellbent on chaos and robbery. The new Shark, Vulture, and Fox claim they have bought the franchise from the original villains. After tangoing with the new badguys, Batman supposedly learns two of the originals are still in jail, while a third is dead. The Bat-computer seldom delivers incorrect info, but the third original member is definitely still alive because we will see him later on down the road. Back to our story at hand, after the new Terrible Trio successfully robs the Marine Society Charity Ball, Bruce baits the team by holding a charity event high atop the Wayne Enterprises Building in his own penthouse suite. Alfred, Lucius Fox, and Batman easily apprehend the villains. Lucius is saddened to learn that the new Vulture is none other than his own son (from a previous marriage) Timothy Fox. In a backstory, it is mentioned that evil billionaire Gregorian Falstaff is attempting to buy out Wayne Enterprises. We also learn that Talia Al Ghul (!) was behind the new Terrible Trio. We'll meet her in our next story.
100. "The Saga of Ra's Al Ghul" by Denny O'Neil/Neal Adams (1987)
"The Saga of Ra's Al Ghul" was originally from Detective Comics #411, Batman #232, Batman #235, Batman #240, and Batman #242-245, which were all erased from history after the events of The Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1985. However, every single panel of every page of this classic story is in-continuity (except for Batman #242) and the tale is referenced constantly in modern continuity, so its major elements are definitely canon. And if you are having problems with me including a pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline on the list instead of just mentioning in in a note, have no fear. You see, we can include this storyline because it was collected and re-released in 1987, therefore making it officially a part of Batman's modern continuity. Ok, so maybe the DC editors didn't release the collected edition to make it official, but it totally works for me. And really, who's to say they didn't?
In "The Saga of Ra's Al Ghul" the treacherous League of Assassins has reared its mysterious head once again. Batman's investigations into the secret criminal empire take him to the Far East where he battles with one of the League's operatives, Dr. Darrk. It is during this confrontation that Bruce first meets the woman who will mother his child, Talia Al Ghul. After returning to the States, Batman learns that Robin has been kidnapped from Hudson University. He frantically swings over to the Batcave, only to find that Talia's father and leader of The League of Assassins, Ra's Al Ghul, is already there waiting for him and knows his secret identity. (Ra's is accompanied by a member of the Ubu tribe, a cult of warriors loyal to the death to the League of Assassins). Ra's then informs Bruce that Talia has also been kidnapped. Reluctantly, Bruce teams-up with Ra's and they head out across the globe in search of the missing persons. Batman deals with numerous deadly situations and eventually rescues Robin. Turns out Ra's and Talia set-up Batman, but he knew the whole time and played along anyway. But why did they set him up? Because Ra's wanted to make sure that Batman was a worthy successor to lead the League and to wed his smitten daughter, of course.
Not long after their first encounter, Batman meets Talia yet again after she attempts to execute a traitor to the League of Assassins in Louisiana.
The third meeting between Talia and Batman comes shortly thereafter when a prominent U.S. Army scientist is murdered and his brain is removed from his skull. Ra's has a vested interest in the case, so he sends his daughter to team-up with Batman on the investigation. Together, they catch the murderer, but Batman learns that Ra's had cut out the man's brain in order to learn the government secrets hidden within. There's a lot of weird sci-fi stuff going on here with a re-animated talking brain, sodium pentathol, reverse-sodium pentathol, and more. Maybe Bruce was having a Joker toxin/Scarecrow gas related freak-out while this escapade was going on. Although, we do meet the head scientist of the League of Assassins, Dr. Moon, and whenever he makes future appearances, strange things always occur.
The final arc of "The Saga of Ra's Al Ghul" is the most famous. However, issue #242 includes some totally incorrect Matches Malone stuff. Malone's anachronistic re-appearance and death are both totally wrong and couldn't have happened. For these reasons this single issue is definitively non-canon, so if you read this storyline either skip issue #242 or disregard the Malone parts. Anyway, our classic tale continues in issue #244 with Batman assembling a team of civilians (yeah, weird, I know) and hunting down Ra's. After finally tracking him down, Batman learns the secret of The Demon's Head; the Lazarus Pits have been keeping him alive for hundreds of years! Batman duels Ra's in the desert as Talia looks on. Epic.
The "Saga of Ra's Al Ghul" ends with a wrap-up issue (#245) where Batman solves a case involving two gangsters that are backing rival corrupt mayoral candidates. After closing the investigation, Batman jets down to South America where he is miraculously discovered wandering in the South American jungle--thus "reviving" Bruce Wayne from his faked plane crash death. Special thanks to Renaud Battail on this one!
101. "Dark Messenger of Mercy!" by Len Wein/John Calnan/Dick Giordano (Batman #307 / Second Feature from DC Retroactive: Batman - The 70s #1) January 1979
This 1979 Batman issue was canonized after being republished in 2011. Batman solves the Agatha Christie-esque whodunit mystery of the "Gold Coin Killer," a serial murderer called Limehouse Jack, who blacks out every night and kills homeless people by giving them poisoned gold coins.
102. "Duel" by Denny O'Neil/Jim Aparo/Keith Giffen/Joe Quesada/Tom Lyle/Dan Speigle/James Blackburn/Michael Golden (LOTDK Annual #1) 1991
Batman is extraditing The Joker back to the U.S. when their plane crashes in the snow-capped Korean mountains. Batman hallucinates for three days due to a concussion, but still manages to successfully drag a tied-up Joker back to civilization through a thick blizzard.
103. "Siege" by Archie Goodwin/James Robinson/Marshall Rogers (LOTDK #132-136) August 2000 to December 2000
I really wish there were more stories from the penthouse year. This is a good one. Bruce has been in living in the Wayne Enterprises Tower aka Wayne Foundation Building for almost a year now, and for anyone who is interested, Goodwin gives us some really profound insight into Bruce's psychology behind wanting to leave Wayne Manor. We also see some wonderful flashbacks to Gotham in the 1920s with Bruce's grandfather, Jack Wayne, and his ousted young rival, the future mercenary, Col. Brass. I should mention that there is NO Jack Wayne in Bruce's family tree. Jack would have to be either Bruce's grandfather Patrick, grandfather Benjamin, or great-grandfather Kenneth. It is highly possible, however, that one of these men went by the nickname Jack. In "Siege" we also witness the return of Silver St. Cloud (!) as the famous publicist comes back to Gotham to organize a gun convention for the aforementioned Col. Brass. However, it turns out Brass is using the gun convention as a front to start an all out war on Gotham. This all out war functions as a distraction so Brass can achieve his real goal; revenge against the Wayne family by destroying Wayne Manor. Of course, Batman stops the seventy-five-year-old madman, but not before the love of his life, Silver St. Cloud, leaves yet again. At the conclusion of "Siege," Bruce decides it's time to move back into Wayne Manor.
There is also a notable flashback sequence to the infamous masquerade scene where Thomas Wayne wears the original Bat-costume.
104. "TreasureQuest" by Dan Jurgens/Mike Norton (Metamorpho: Year One #6) February 2008
The JLA tests Metamorpho's abilities and finds out if the newcomer is a bad guy or a good guy. For the test, each member of the JLA dresses up as Goldface and attacks Metamorpho, who handles himself with grace and effectively demonstrates his prowess as a superhero. Afterward, the JLA offers Metamorpho membership on the team, but Metamorpho declines!
MANY NOTES: Here's what else happens this year...
--One of the flashbacks from Batman: Absolution occurs now. It's taken Batman two years to track down terrorist bomber Jennifer Blake. He tries to apprehend her in Missouri, but she escapes. Blake will then go off the radar for the next eight years. I should mention that Batman is wearing the wrong costume in this flashback! He should be wearing the yellow-oval costume. Even though this is a pretty bad error, this flashback definitely takes place here and now.
--Barbara Gordon, madly in love with Dick, goes to visit him at Hudson University, only to discover that he's already in a relationship with Teen Titan teammate Starfire (as seen through flashback in Nightwing Annual #2). Dick and Starfire will date on-and-off for a few years.
--Barbara Gordon begins dating former GCPD cop (now private investigator) Jason Bard.
--When the JLA learns that Teen Titan member Raven, whom they already don't trust due to her dark magickal aura, is the biological daughter of the evil demon Trigon, they go after her. This prompts the Teen Titans to battle with the JLA! Eventually, the Titans are able to convince the JLA that Raven is a hero at heart. This event is shown in a single-panel flashback from the quasi-canonical Secret Origins Vol. 2 Annual #3.
--Epoch (The Lord of Time) escapes from prison in the 853rd Century and travels to the present where he encounters Batman, Superman, and Robin. Using advanced technology, Epoch is able to trap the heroes in an Omega Barrier. With the big guns out of the way, Epoch is also able to defeat the Outsiders, Teen Titans, and the JLA. Things look bleak until Supes, Bats, and Robin escape their obsidian cube jail and kick Epoch's ass (as seen through flashback in Superman/Batman #79-80). I should mention that there is a cool two-page splash with shows Epoch fleeing into the future and getting his ass kicked by several future versions of the "World's Finest": an adult Damian Wayne and Connor Kent in the 2030s; Brane Taylor (Batman), Elna Kent (Superwoman), Kent Shakespeare (Superman), and Thomas Wayne (Robin 3000) in the 3000s; Unknown Superman and Batsman in the 46th Century; and finally Superman and Batman of Justice Legion-A in the 853rd Century. Pretty damn cool!
--Much to the disappointment of Bruce, Dick drops out of college and moves to New York City. Robin splits time between leading the Teen Titans in the Big Apple and backing-up Batman in Gotham.
--Evil billionaire Gregorian Falstaff has been trying to ruin Wayne Enterprises by any means necessary for several weeks now (as referenced in DC Retroactive: Batman - The 70s #1 and originally told in Batman #322). Falstaff, secretly backed by Ra's Al Ghul, is accidentally killed by Talia Al Ghul during a scuffle with Batman, thus ending his reign of terror.
--Batman fights Maxie Zeus for the first time.
--The JLA battles the Ultra-Humanite.
--Flash and Batman team-up to face Carl Bork (as originally told in The Brave & The Bold #81 and canonically re-told in Power Company: Bork #1).
--Batman encounters Victor Zsasz for the first time. Zsasz's first appearance in the comics isn't until Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1 by Alan Grant, which takes place in Bat-Year Thirteen. In that issue, Jeremiah Arkham says that Zsasz has killed 47 people. However, if we are to truly believe the tally marks on Zsasz's body, he's killed hundreds, which would make it seem like he's been around for at least a couple years. Therefore, I've placed him here.
--Superman's "cousin" Kara Zor-L arrives seemingly out of nowhere and debuts as Power Girl (as seen via flashback in JSA Classified #1). Dr. Mid-Nite and Batman, both suspicious, run tests on Power Girl in a failed attempt to figure out where she came from. Kara, who will later adopt the surname "Starr," has no memories of her past and will believe a couple different versions of her origin until she finally discovers the truth years later. And what is the truth you ask? Well, it's a bit complicated. Kara is actually from an alternate universe (formerly known as Universe-Two) that is destroyed during the Crisis on Infinite Earths. When the Crisis occurs (in about a year) and Kara's timeline is erased/altered/merged into the main Universe-0 timeline, she, unlike most of her friends and peers, will miraculously survive with her new debut right here and now. However, Kara is truly unique because most of the DCU characters that were rebooted via the Crisis had their origins completely revamped whereas she keeps her alternate universe history intact (although she won't be able to recall it until later).
--The flashback that occurs in Batman & Superman: World's Finest #5 occurs. Batman and Superman team-up with Batgirl and The Thorn against the criminal organization known as The 100. Batgirl meets Superman for the first time. Commisioner Gordon also meets Superman for the first time as acting commissioner. Barbara makes it seem like he hasn't been commissioner for very long, but it's definitely been a couple years.
--Batman is able to prevent Ra's Al Ghul from launching a "genocide satellite" which would have eliminated the majority of Earth's population. Batman then tracks Ra's Al Ghul to an oasis hidden deep within the Himalayas. At this secret location, the Dark Knight witnesses Ra's Al Ghul meet with a Tibetan monk who chants a rhythmic Buddhist mantra repeatedly (as seen through flashback from Year One: Batman - Ra's Al Ghul #2). After this encounter Bruce makes this Himalayan oasis a protected Wayne Tech research site, but won't return to the site for ten years. We will learn ten years later that the strange Buddhist mantra phonetically converts into the chemical formula for creating a Lazarus Pit! NOTE: Batman is incorrectly drawn by Paul Gulacy. He should be wearing the yellow-insignia costume.
--Catwoman joins the Secret Society of Supervillains aka The Injustice Gang as a part-time member.
--The ultra-powerful, but quasi-retarded midget alien named Zook appears on Earth (stranded from an alternate universe). He's really annoying and everyone hates him except for J'onn, who decides to keep him as a pet/sidekick (as originally told in Detective Comics #311). Zook becomes a team mascot for a short time, but is always in the way. Batman constantly berates the little guy.
--When the JLA prepares for a fight with Weapons Master, Batman holds an official team meeting to discuss strategy against the supervillain. Zook keeps interrupting and saying dumb things like, "Zook help too!" Batman angrily tells J'onn, "For God's sake, keep that thing quiet!" Batman surely says many other obscenities which aren't fit for little Zook. Tired of Batman's insults, Zook leaves the universe (as seen in Superman/Batman #31). (SPOILER: Zook will return for revenge in 12 years!)
--Batman reluctantly poses for a picture with Superman and Wonder Woman, which is signed and given to World War II hero Tex Thompson (who was a famous superhero in his own time, known as both Mr. America and Americommando). This framed picture can be seen in Hero Hotline #5, the famous issue which references Dr. Manhattan's (yes, THAT Dr. Manhattan of Watchmen fame) only trans-dimensional visit to the DCU proper, which occurs after the events of Watchmen.
--The Sensei (Ra's Al Ghul's second-in-command and his actual biological father) tries to seize control of the League of Assassins from Ra's Al Ghul, prompting a brief war between two ninja factions. When the war spills into Gotham, Kathy Kane (the retired Bat-Woman) mysteriously gets involved. Ra's Al Ghul sends a warning message to Bruce that Kathy may be in danger. Bruce fights off League henchmen at Kathy's circus and sure enough, his former fiance is being held captive. After being blindsided by Bronze Tiger and getting knocked unconscious, Bruce awakens to discover that Kathy has been stabbed to death! Bruce never finds out what her involvement was in the League war or who was actually responsible for murdering her. This epic and mysterious death scene was originally told in Detective Comics #485 and made canon when referenced in Batman, Inc. #4). Ra's Al Ghul will quickly regain full control of the League of Assassins after this and we won't see the Sensei for over a decade. When he eventually returns, Ra's will welcome the traitor back into the fold, but some leopards never change their spots. SPOILER ALERT: Kathy Kane isn't really dead. Her murder is actually an elaborately orchestrated ruse perpetrated by herself, Spyral, and Talia. We won't see Kathy again for fourteen years.
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.
Ok, so Batgirl is eighteen and fighting crime without Batman's blessing. Robin is about to turn fifteen (this summer) and doesn't have to ride in the Batmobile anymore. Motorcycle! (Actually, Dick has been driving his motorcycle for over two years already). And Batman and Catwoman are practically doing it on the rooftops of Gotham. Check, check, and check. Here we go!
NOTE: Dick and Babs go on a secret date for burgers and shakes while Batman is away on unspecified JLA business in outer space (as seen through flashback in Nightwing Annual #2). This flashback says that both Dick and Babs are 16-years-old. However, Babs is three-and-a-half years older than Dick, so he's 14 (soon to be 15 this summer) and she's 18. Their date is interrupted by a police call involving Crazy Quilt. Batgirl and Robin go after Crazy Quilt, but the villain traps them in a safe. Batman returns from space, apprehends Crazy Quilt, and saves the teenage heroes. Oh, and Robin gets a boner. Seriously.
91."Snitch" by Robert Loren Fleming/David G. Klein (LOTDK #51) September 1993
Batman travels to New Orleans and teams-up (!) with the mysterious supernatural Ragman against hitman/vigilante Victor Singleton. This is the first time Batman works with Ragman, but it won't be the last.
92. "Sanctum" by Dan Raspler/Mike Mignola (LOTDK # 54) November 1993
Beautiful Mignola art for this dark occult story. Batman chases a serial killer named Novice Lowther into a cemetery and they duke it out on top of a mausoleum. Lowther winds up stabbing Batman pretty badly in the chest. In the process the madman gets kicked off the roof, and is impaled on the spiked gate below. Batman passes out and meets the hundred-year-old ghost of a murderer who attempts to feed on his soul. The ghost also accuses Batman of murdering Lowther. Eventually, Batman is able to fend off the ghoul and wakes up covered in blood. Was it all just a fever-dream? We may never know. The story ends with Bruce feeling guilty about Lowther's death, but re-affirming himself that the death was accidental.
93. "All the Deadly Days: Chapter One" by Dale Eaglesham (Batman 80-Page Giant #3) July 2000
The Calendar Man is loose and Batman and Robin take him and his cronies down with relative ease.
94. "Last Call at McSurley's" by Mike W. Barr/Alan Davis (Batman: Gotham Knights #25/ Batman: Black & White) March 2002
Batman (in disguise) frequents a local dive bar called McSurley's (run by the scummy McSurley) every night for a week and is able to gather valuable information that both stops crime and saves lives. When the bar is threatened with foreclosure, Bruce anonymously donates ten thousand dollars to its owner to keep it afloat.
--Batman and Robin encounter the supervillain known as Falseface (as originally told in Batman #113).
--Batman and Robin deal with the popcrime antics of the supervillain team-up of Two-Face, Clayface, Dr. No-Face, and Falseface (as referenced in Batman #700).
--Batman and Hal Jordan argue during a random JLA mission (as seen through flashback in Blackest Night #0). This is the beginning of a very rocky relationship that the two will have for rest of their lives. Bruce and Hal HATE each other.
--Batman deals with the villain known as Wrath around this time (as originally told in Batman Special #1 (1984) and canonically referenced in Batman Confidential #13).
--The Case of Matuchima occurs (as seen in Detective Comics #437). Several criminals don the Mask of Matuchima, the death god of the Xochipecs. The mask injects them with a drug giving them super-human fighting ability until their hearts burst. After the case is closed, Batman displays a giant replica of the mask in the trophy room of the cave.
--Batman and the JLA battle the evil "god" known as Titus (as seen through the flashback story told in JLA Classified #51 and JLA Classified #53-54). Titus transports the JLA to the moon and is beating the team pretty savagely until Selene, Goddess of the Moon, interferes and helps the JLA achieve victory. Afterward, the team buries the corpse of Titus on the moon. In case you were confused, JLA Classified #50-54 takes place late in Bat-Year 18. The flashback story that includes Batman (the one right here on our list) is told in JLA Classified #51, #53, and #54.
--The events of Batman #237 (1971) are made canon when Tony Daniel references them in Batman #692. In this story, which occurs now, Dr. Gruener aka The Reaper, a crazed Jewish concentration camp survivor, dresses as the grim reaper and goes on a killing spree. In the end, The Reaper falls off a cliff, supposedly to his death. In actuality, he is cryogenically frozen, so we'll see him return many years later in Batman #692. Bear in mind, this Reaper is NOT the Reaper from the "Batman: Year Two" story detailed in Detective Comics #575.
--Booster Gold and his sister Goldstar (Michelle Carter) time-travel from the year 2010 (Bat-Year 22) to right now in order to fix an error on the time-stream (as seen in Booster Gold Vol. 2 #11-12). What is the error, you ask? Well, the 27th Century physicist/thief Wiley Dalbert has been slowly traveling backwards through time with the goal of reaching the "simpler, better times" of the 19th Century. Along the way, he has been stealing a ton of loot, so that he will be rich once he reaches his desired era. (Batman won't actually meet Wiley until Bat-Year 15). Wiley hires Killer Moth to steal some museum artifacts for him, which Moth does, but Batman, Robin, and Batgirl send Dalbert to jail. It turns out, Dalbert's time-traveling plays a pivotal role in the creation of Batman. Dalbert is supposed to travel to the 19th Century and found a hospital, which coincidentally points Dr. Thomas Wayne's career in a specific direction, which in turn, leads to his death in Crime Alley, which of course, leads to birth of the Dark Knight. SO, armed with this knowledge, Booster travels back in time (the first time he actually fails to fix the error, knocking out Moth and playing the role of the villain). The second time, however, is a charm. SO, with the confusing back story out of the way, HERE IS WHAT HAPPENS. Booster and Goldstar (from the year 2010) time-travel to now (Bat-Year 8), break into the Batcave and steal the Batmobile. They then steal a Batgirl costume from Barbara Gordon. Booster (dressed as Elvis Presley) and Goldstar (as Batgirl) wind up fighting Killer Moth at the museum, but they make sure that Wiley Dalbert steals the goods and gets away scott-free. The Carters then travel back to their correct time, thus, re-ensuring that Bruce will become Batman like he was supposed to. Afterward, Alfred tries to explain to the Dynamic Duo that a weird supervillain named "Booster" stole the Batmobile.
--Alfred is "killed" by the Tri-State Gang (as originially depicted in Detective Comics #328). Bruce and Dick mourn Alfred's passing (as seen through flashback in Batman #682). However, Alfred isn't really dead. He's become host to the supernatural supervillain known as The Outsider. Robin, Batgirl, and Man-Bat team-up to defeat the Outsider and return Alfred back to safety (as referenced in Nightwing Annual #2). I should mention, while current canon does recognize Bruce and Dick mourning Alfred's supposed death and current canon does recognize Robin, Batgirl, and Man-Bat defeating the Outsider, there isn't a canonical version of anything in-between. Originally, Alfred was dead in the comics from 1964 to 1966. The Outsider plagued Batman for two years before it was revealed that Alfred was the Outsider. Alfred then bathed in a "regeneration machine" and was restored to his old self, alive and well, although he had no memories of his time spent as the Outsider. In current canon, we must assume, as I've presumed above, that the whole Outsider affair lasts only a couple days. I should also mention that after the Outsider affair, the rest of the Bat-family votes not to reveal what has happened, feeling that Alfred couldn't handle the horrible truth (as mentioned in Batman #683).
--Following the Alfred/Outsider affair, Dick tells Babs that he loves her, but she pretends that she is sleeping. Meanwhile, Dick's relationship with Bruce begins to sour (as seen through flashback in Nightwing Annual #2).
--Bruce and Dick's relationship will further sour when the Teen Titans botch an investigation related to the murder of prominent doctor Arthur Swenson (as seen via flashback in the quasi-canonical Secret Origins Vol. 2 Annual #3). Batman chews out Robin and influences the JLA to temporarily suspend the Titans, banning them from wearing their costumes! The Titans don drab grey outfits and become a citizen's patrol, eventually solving the case and re-gaining the right to wear their true uniforms.
--Batman stops Joker's scheme to rob the Sea Plane Display in Gotham Bay (as seen through flashback in Batman #682). Joker has enlisted the aid of Gaggy, Eraser, Penguin, Catwoman, and a myriad of silly clown thugs to help him.
--The team of Joker, Riddler, Mad Hatter II (Hatman), Scarecrow, and Catwoman discover Professor Nichols "Maybe Machine." The villainous team has plans to force Batman and Robin to go back in time to do their bidding in the past. First up is Catwoman, who makes Batman travel to ancient Egypt, where he battles winged warriors to retrieves the secret combination to a locked stolen museum piece. Before anyone else gets a turn, Batman and Robin break out of their restraints and take out the bad guys. Commissioner Gordon and Officer O'Hara (related to BUT NOT Chief O'Hara, who is already dead) bust in and make the proper arrests. A despondent Professor Nichols looks over his destroyed lab and tells Batman that he will clean up himself (as seen through flashback in Batman #700). Nichols takes apart his "Maybe Machine" and will become a reclusive hermit after this. As I've mentioned on an earlier post, Nichols runs afoul of Simon Hurt, which is the main reason the former delves into relative obscurity.
--Joker captures Robin and holds a knife to his throat (as seen via flashback in Nightwing Vol. 2 #62). Batman crashes through a window to rescue the Boy Wonder.
--The flashback which occurs in Batman & Superman: World's Finest #4 occurs now. Batman travels to Metropolis to meet Superman and they deal with Intergang and discover Project Cadmus. The premise behind this series is that Batman and Superman meet in the Spring of every year to commemorate the death of Dr. Harrison Gray, an innocent victim that the duo carelessly allowed to die. The label "Year Four" in the title of this issue implies that this is the third anniversary of this meeting. As for the first three issues of this series, they just can't be considered canon since issue #1 clearly takes place in Bat-Year One, and issues #2 and 3 are full of anachronisms no matter where you place them. However, we must assume that Dr. Gray "dies" in Bat-Year Five to allow for the necessity of these Springtime meetings.
95. Batman: Batgirl by Kelley Puckett/Matt Haley (1997)
Batman goes missing, forcing Batgirl to go head-to-head with Joker for the first time! Joker captures Batgirl and begins offing his own henchmen. Batman returns and saves the day, but not before taking a bullet to the scalp and slipping into unconsciousness. Batgirl takes down Joker and Batman goes into the care of Leslie Thompkins. This story is also shown via flashback in DC First: Batgirl/The Joker #1, which gives us the relative timeframe for when this story takes place.
96. "Joker Tips His Hat!" by Ed Brubaker/Stefano Guadiano (Batman #600, Part 3) April 2002
With Batman out of town on unspecified JLA business, Robin and Batgirl are left alone to protect Gotham against an escaped Joker who has stolen Mad Hatter's mind-control technology. Robin and Batgirl are not only able to sneak in a quick kiss, but they put Joker behind bars as well!