Modern Age (YEAR TWENTY-THREE)
April 2011 to August 2011
Ra's Al Ghul has manipulated Azrael, The Crusader, and Fireball to attempt to destroy Gotham. The so-called "Angels of Death" nearly succeed, but Dick, Red Robin, and Catwoman are able to make Az see the error of his ways. Bruce, who is on unspecified business (in costume) in Hong Kong, presumably business that has to do with Cassie Cain, calls Dick to make sure everything is okay.
--Batman, Inc. #5 Epilogue
This epilogue is actually the prologue to Batman, Inc. #6. Bruce travels to Africa with his newest recruit David Zavimbi aka Batwing. Bruce and David not only discover the tracer that Damian placed on the Heretic months ago, but come across a Leviathan camp that is brainwashing child soldiers.
--Justice League: Generation Lost #24, Epilogue
It's been two weeks since Max Lord was forced to restore everyone's memories about his past. Max, from a secret location, records and uploads a public address via a viral Internet video in which he states that there are some good metahumans out there, but there are also many which cannot be trusted, supervillain or superhero. Max claims that everything he's ever done has always been in the best interest of humanity and he will continue to monitor metahumans from the shadows as the leader of the rogue Checkmate organization. Batman watches the video with Booster and then reveals that, despite their mission having ended, the JLI will continue on as a team! Will Batman be in the lineup? You bet!
--Secret Six #36
The antihero/supervillain team known as the Secret Six has plans to assassinate Red Robin, Batgirl, Catwoman, and Azrael in Gotham. However, a double-crossing Penguin alerts the hero community about the Six's arrival in town. The Six (Bane, Catman, Deadshot, Jeannette, Ragdoll, and Scandal Savage) along with King Shark and Knockout take a bunch of Venom pills and make their glorious last stand. However, they are easily defeated by what seems to be the largest gathering of collected heroes since Final Crisis. So yeah, it's eight villains versus Batman, Batman, Robin, Red Robin, Superman, Superboy, Steel, Dr. Light, Obsidian, John Stewart, Red Tornado, the Birds of Prey, the JLA, the JSA, the JLI, and the Teen Titans. Overkill, anyone? Great issue though.
--Batman: The Dark Knight #1-5 ("GOLDEN DAWN")
When Bruce's childhood friend and college sweetheart Dawn Golden is kidnapped, the Dark Knight begins an investigation. Several days into the case Batman confronts a Venom-ed up Killer Croc and kicks his ass. Batman learns that Croc was definitely involved in Dawn's abduction, and is pointed in the direction of the Penguin. At Penguin's newest club, Batman finds hard evidence in the form of Golden's amulet necklace (actually a talisman that makes Bruce go a bit nutty for a moment, so much so that he beats the stuffing out of Penguin and breaks his arm and leg). We'll get to why Golden wears a crazy magical amulet in a bit. Moving on, Croc immediately escapes from police custody, comes to Penguin's aid, and pummels Batman into unconsciousness. Meanwhile, an unnamed young girl breaks into the Batmobile and takes it for a joyride, much to the chagrin of Alfred who monitors the entire carjacking and even speaks directly to the child. The girl eventually runs off, but not before returning the Batmoblie to Batman, who has just escaped being strapped to a chair covered with bombs. The Caped Crusader has not only evaded death, but has located Dawn. En route to her apartment Dawn explains what has happened to Batman. Dawn's father, Aleister Golden, was an evil Occultist and leader of a secret society who wanted to gain ultimate power by sacrificing his only daughter when she reached a proper age. Thus, her whole life had been ruled by her father, including his forcing her to constantly wear magical amulets. When Aleister died years ago, Dawn thought she was finally free from his oppression. However, Aleister has now returned from Hell in demon form, having possessed Ragman! After slaughtering random hobos to bolster his power, Aleister-possessed Ragman tried and failed to kidnap his daughter, so he hired Penguin (who hired Croc) to do it for him. Penguin apparently had a personal stake in the matter because he was trying to date Dawn, but she spurned him. Anyway, back to the present. Sensing the presence of an unnatural demon possession on Earth, Etrigan confronts Aleister-possessed Ragman and they do battle in the Gotham sewers. Blaze, current Queen of Hell, takes interest that an ex-officer of the netherworld is messing with a currently employed demon and appears on the mortal plane to watch the fight. After Etrigan defeats Aleister/Ragman, an impressed Blaze recruits the former and offers him his rhyming strength powers back if he chooses to serve her bidding. Etrigan accepts the offer and Blaze sends him to fight Batman. At Dawn's apartment, Dawn is kidnapped yet again by a swarm of miniature demons working for Aleister. Etrigan and Blaze show up just in time to attack Batman, thus preventing him from going after Dawn. Eventually, Etrigan remembers that Bruce is kinda-sorta his friend and betrays Blaze. The "Demonic Duo" then goes after Dawn together and easily sends Aleister back to Hell. However, they are too late to save Dawn, who becomes another one of Bruce's exes that gets chucked into the proverbial fridge. Oh, and if you were wondering about the random young girl that stole the Batmoblie? Check out the Epilogue two bullets down. Oh, I should also mention that the corrupt Mayor of Gotham, Sebastian Hady, has it out for Gordon and, with assistance from his crony Lieutenant Forbes, tries to frame Gordon by planting a stash of Venom in his office. This little side-story isn't followed-up, but we must assume Batman (or even Gordon himself) proves his innocence. We will see Hady continue his persecution of the commissioner when he tries to frame Gordon for murder in the upcoming Batman Incorporated #6 as well.
--Outsiders Vol. 4 #39-40
Markovia is under attack by several neighboring countries. Geo-Force, along with several Outsiders still loyal to him, only add to the carnage in an attempt to repel the invaders. Meanwhile, the rest of the Outsiders, led by Amanda Waller on behalf of the US government, infiltrate Markovia with orders to bring down Geo-Force. The result is an all-out war between two separate Outsider teams! Bruce flies into Markovia, hacks into NORAD and disables Waller's ability to nuke the country, and quells the two rival teams. Meanwhile, Geo-Force, realizing he has been manipulated by supervillain Veritas and his ex-wife Geode, uses his full-power to end the armed conflict once and for all. A jaded Geo-Force then expels his former teammates and seals off his entire country. On the plane ride home Batman muses about what to do with the remaining thirteen Outsiders. NOTE: As we will see in Batman, Inc. #6, Batman chooses to keep only five members for the new Outsiders lineup: Halo, Looker, Katana, Metamorpho, and Freight Train.
--Batman: The Dark Knight #5, Epilogue
In the "Golden Dawn" story arc, a mysterious young girl stole the Batmoblie, but we never learned why. Here's the scoop. The girl's father used to work for WayneTech. A group of unnamed criminals, knowing that all of Batman Inc's gadgetry comes from WayneTech, tried but failed to force information, specifically schematics on the Batmobile, out of the girl's dad. Thus, the little techno-genius/hacker extraordinaire decided to take matters into her own hands and get the technical details of the Batmobile personally by breaking in and taking it for a joyride. Of course she was caught red handed by Alfred. Naturally, Batman uses this to his advantage. He gives the girl what is supposedly a high-tech communications device that all members of Batman Inc use and tells her to deliver it to the criminals, which she does in exchange for her father's life. This is obviously a setup that will allow Batman to get the drop on these baddies. Unfortunately the Epilogue ends with "The End?" so we must either wait for The Dark Knight Vol. 2 or assume these bad guys are related to Leviathan, since David Finch's work in intrinsically linked to Grant Morrison's. If we make that assumption, we must further assume that Batman either takes them down immediately or simply monitors them in relation to his greater war against Leviathan, which will soon escalate.
NOTE: Bruce takes time out of his busy schedule to befriend and help out a teenage drug addict named Jade O'Keafe (as referenced in Batman 80-Page Giant 2011 #1, Part 1).
NOTE: Aaron "Bat Boy" Langstrom is cured and no longer looks like a freakish character out of the National Enquirer. We can only assume that the scientific genius of his parents was able to concoct a remedy for his permanent bat-like appearance. When we next see Aaron (in Batman & Robin #21) he will appear human.
--Batman & Robin #20
According to Dick it's been "a few weeks" since Bruce did a "tango of death with a hot Latin number" i.e. about a week-and-a-half since the events of Batman, Inc. #4. As for the snow on the ground, it must be a late cold wave in Gotham. Our story begins with all the boys (Bruce, Alfred, Dick, Tim, and Damian) joined together at Wayne Manor for smoothies, popcorn, and screening of The Mark of Zorro! Later that night after patrol, Dick attends a fundraiser at the opera, but before the show begins a John Doe dressed as an angel falls 80 stories to his gruesome death. After a quick autopsy and discovery of what appears to be a fake suicide note, Dick and Damian are attacked by an out-of-control Man-Bat who claims his family is in danger. Man-Bat's family is indeed in danger, as is anyone related to a current or former Arkham inmate. The new villain White Knight has entered the Gotham scene (as seen in Batman & Robin #21). Bruce will let Dick, Damian, and Alfred handle this case on their own.
--Batman & Robin #23
For over four months the red-headed stepchild of the Bat-family, Jason Todd, has been locked away in an Arkham cell. With his identity still a secret from the Arkham staff, the Red Hood doesn't pose a threat to Batman's security. When we last saw Jason, he was a wreck, his hair falling out and his body deteriorating due to a dependence upon and withdrawal from Lazarus Pit bathing. However, it looks now as though Jason has overcome his demons; the Red Hood is in the best shape of his career. Batman (Bruce) finally meets with Jason for the first time since returning from his Omega Sanction jaunt through time. But it's not a personal visit; Bruce has learned that Jason will soon be transferred to a minimum security facility and wants to warn him to be good. In the Bat Bunker, Bruce tells Dick and Damian to prepare for the worst. At Gotham City Corrections, Jason immediately begins killing his fellow inmates without mercy. Jason kills 97 men (most of them poisoned in the cafeteria) before being shipped right back to Arkham. When the Dynamic Duo learns of Jason's rampage, little can be done, and Jason easily escapes custody en route back to Arkham thanks to the assistance of the TMNT-esque South American supervillain team known as The Menagerie.
--Batman, Inc. #6
Bruce gives a television interview regarding Batman Inc. When Emoticon-Man and his thugs show up Alfred kicks ass (!) and the villain is left surrounded by a bunch of GI Bat Robots and a grinning Bruce. Batman (Bruce), Batman (Dick), and Robin then meet with Commissioner Gordon to discuss the fact that Mayor Sebastian Hady has gone super-corrupt and has even been trying (unsuccessfully) to frame Gordon for murder. In the Batcave, Bruce appoints Red Robin as the new leader of the Outsiders. Subsequently, Bruce holds a meeting with his closest allies and declares war on Leviathan. The following are in attendance: Batman (Dick), Robin, Red Robin, Batgirl, Huntress, Oracle (via satellite), Halo, Looker, Katana, Metamorpho, and Freight Train. Later at the BatBunker, Bruce explains to Dick and Damian that many people will now be trying to expose the secret IDs of all the Batman Inc members. After examining an Internet message board, Bruce demonstrates that much of the Internet community already believes that Bruce is indeed Batman! Bruce isn't worried, claiming that a "blizzard of rumor, denial, and misinformation" will keep their IDs safe and keep the masses guessing. Bruce and Alfred then begin a trip around the globe. In France, Batman (Bruce) and Nightrunner attempt to rescue kids from a child slave ring. However, the children have been brainwashed by Leviathan and brutally slaughter their own kidnappers, the crime franchise known as Les Stereotypes. Bruce and Alfred then travel to Kuala Lumpur, where Oracle informs them that Les Stereotypes was linked to Hong Kong criminal Jimmy Song. In Hong Kong, Cassie Cain debuts as Blackbat (!!!) and takes down Song's organization. Bruce and Alfred then shoot on down to Melbourne where Batman (Bruce) and the debuting Aboriginal Dark Ranger (former sidekick of the original Dark Ranger) apprehend the remaining associates of the child slave ring. Then it's off to North Africa where Batwing, Traktir, Spidra, and Batman (Bruce) shut down a Leviathan training camp. Following the African safari, Bruce appoints a mystery man, who knows Bruce's identity as the Dark Knight, as the new Wingman. SPOILER: It's Jason Todd! Bruce then returns to Gotham where he goes undercover as an alien-like, obese metahuman PI named Nero Nykto to infiltrate the ranks of the Pennsylvania crime syndicate known as the Average Joes. The Joes are trying to break into the Gotham scene, but Nero Nykto reveals himself as the Caped Crusader and quickly sends them packing. Aboard the Leviathan satellite HQ, Doctor Dedalus and the leader of Leviathan begin their final preparations for an all out assault against the entire planet. On the twinkling blue Earth below, Batman Inc is ready and waiting. Artist Chris Burnham gives us a two-page splash that shows the members of Batman Inc in action. Batwing kicks ass in Africa. Nightrunner kicks ass in France. Gaucho kicks ass in South America. Cassie Cain kicks ass in China. Red Robin kicks ass in Haiti. Jiro Osamu kicks ass against Clayface in Japan. And Dark Ranger kicks ass in Australia.
--Gotham City Sirens #23-24 ("X FRIENDS")
The shit has hit the fan for the lovely ladies of Gotham. Ivy, Harley, and Selina are no longer on speaking terms. An upset Harley has gone quite mad again and, yearning to reunite with her puddin Mistah J, breaks into Arkham and starts a prison riot. While Harley and Joker kiss passionately amidst the blood and gore of the riot, Dick unsuccessfully tries to recruit Selina to help. Selina reveals that she knows a dark secret about Dick that took place around the time of Battle for the Cowl, but we'll have to wait to find out what it is. At Arkham, Black Mask begins feuding with Joker for control of the prison while Poison Ivy shows up in an attempt to reason with Harley. Harley speaks passionately about her sexual history with both Joker and Ivy, but eventually takes down the latter, proclaiming her true love for the Clown Price of Crime. Meanwhile, Selina has a change of heart and meets up with Batman (Bruce) in an attempt to quell the riot. After easily defeating Clayface and Zsasz (with help from Aaron Cash), Batman and Catwoman bust Harley and Joker as well. Bruce then tells Selina that he too knows Dick's mysterious secret. Hmmmm. Following the riot, Catwoman definitively ends her friendship with Ivy by serving the supervillain over to the police, who lock her up in Arkham. This end scene were Selina betrays Ivy is also shown from Ivy's perspective through flashback in Gotham City Sirens #25.
--Gotham City Sirens #26
"X Friends" wraps up not only this storyline, but the Gotham City Sirens series. A pissed off Poison Ivy escapes from Arkham and joins up with Harley Quinn to confront their former friend Catwoman. The three do battle and Selina reveals that she formed their team on behalf of Batman (Dick) in order to keep them out of trouble. Enraged at being manipulated, Ivy begins tearing the city apart. Batman (Bruce) attempts to stop Ivy, but cannot quell her rage. The Dark Knight asks Selina to help him, but Selina is tired of the Bat-family using her for dirty deeds. After temporarily dispatching Batman, Selina has a tender moment with Ivy and Harley. The lady villains realize that Selina does indeed love them and has always looked out for their best interests. Selina then holds off Bruce long enough for Ivy and Harley to make a clean getaway. PS. Catwoman refers to Dick’s "secret" in Gotham City Sirens #26. The secret is that she knows that he manipulated the events that formed the group. (Thanks to BatfanReborn on this one!)
--Power Girl Vol. 2 #24-25 ("WE CAN BE HEROES")
Max Lord has recently legally usurped Karen Starr's multimillion dollar company away from her. Karen meets with Bruce in the Batcave and they discuss how to help her recover from the devastating loss. First step, Karen purchases a 24-7 cable news network. Second step, Karen and Bruce fund a public summit and joint venture of their companies designed to expand health services to Africa. Third step, let off some steam by fighting wrongfully-accused metahuman and angry prison-escapee Rayhan Mazin, who has the power to control the weather. Less than three months ago (NOT six months as Judd Winick tells us) Mazin was racially profiled due to his background as an Arab and sent to prison for trying to crash a plane in Gotham when in fact it was he who actually prevented the plane from crashing. Batman and Power Girl are able to stop Mazin's rampage and also prove his innocence. Afterward, Mazin gets a tryout with the JSA and Power Girl, while admitting it is long overdue, finally gets the chance to tell Bruce how happy she is that he is back following his time-traveling ordeal several months ago.
--Batman, Inc. #7
Dr. Great Eagle is a doctor by day, but by night he is Man-of-Bats, longtime costumed lawman of the Lakota Sioux Nation in South Dakota. For years Man-of-Bats and his son Little Raven (aka Raven Red) have been fighting a consistently losing battle against the poverty, crime, corruption, alcoholism, drug abuse, unemployment rates, and suicides that have plagued the troubled community that resides on the Reservation. While Man-of-Bats remains ever vigilant, the nineteen year-old Red Raven has lost the faith. After returning home to his father's ramshackle makeshift "Bat's Cave," Raven contemplates giving up the superhero game. Raven quickly changes his mind when Batman (Bruce) pays him a visit and explains that Leviathan is out to eliminate him and his dad. Meanwhile, Leviathan has already infiltrated the Native American community's police, schools, and hospitals through a systematic distribution of mind control drugs. This is bad news for Man-of-Bats who is taken on a joyride by a cop and a gang member both associates of Leviathan. Man-of-Bats is stabbed in the belly, but manages to stand tall before eight Leviathan thugs. Despite his bravado, it appears as if Man-of-Bats is doomed, but Batman and Raven (on horseback) arrive just in time to save his life, although Man-of-Bats does take a bullet in the process. Supportive members of the community also arrive to help fight off the Leviathan baddies. (Man-of-Bats cutely refers to them as "Man-of-Bats Inc"). Afterward, while Man-of-Bats is laid-up in the hospital, Raven and Batman have a chat and the latter explains that Leviathan has already planted evil seeds, using mind control drugs, in most of the poorer and neglected communities all across America. NOTE: The final page of this issue has a one-panel preview of Batman, Inc. #8. However, this scene doesn't actually occur, so it must be taken simply as a non-canon advertisement for the next issue.
--Weird Worlds Vol. 2 #2
Batman listens in on some of Scarecrow's henchmen at their safe-house and they speak about a mysterious "man of mud" that they hit with their car. Batman takes a sample of the mud from the car. The mud is actually a part of Trash Man's body! For anyone wondering, Trash Man is lawyer Richard Morse, who was injected with a bizarre toxic serum and blown up in an explosion by the vile Dr. Clive, who works for the even viler Titan Corporation. Morse emerged as a new superhero sort of resembling a trash-version of Swamp Thing.
--Weird Worlds Vol. 2 #5
Batman examines the mud sample that he took from the Scarecrow henchman's car and it turns out to be a mixture of mud, trash, toxic material, and organic plant-like material. Batman is also able to link the substance to the six-month-old explosion that occurred at Titan Corporation's Hazelton lab outside of Gotham. Unfortunately, Batman won't ever have time to follow up on this investigation or actually meet Trash Man due to the myriad of important events that will soon rock his world.
NOTE: Detective Comics #879 takes place now, but it is one of the rare (if only) times Batman (either Batman) does not make a single appearance. James Gordon Junior has been working for Leslie Thompkins for a week now and he seems to be doing quite well. Everyone loves him, including Leslie, but Jim Gordon knows his son too well. Jim and Barbara not only learn that James Junior is not well, but that he plans on mixing a psychotropic drug into the factory chemical vats of a large baby formula distributor. Oh, Joker escapes from Arkham too.
Batman: Gates of Gotham #5
After several days of a tough investigation, Dick, Damian, Tim, and Cassie Cain (!) defeat the new villain known as The Architect. Afterward, Dick reports the results of the case to Bruce, who is overseas on Batman Incorporated business. Bruce tells Dick that he's done a great job as Batman, but he's coming home to Gotham for good soon and when he makes his permanent return to the city, they must have a talk about the future (i.e. Nightwing will have to make his return). Whoa, big news.
--Red Robin #23
Tim uses his position with Wayne Enterprises to greenlight the rebuilding/revitalization of Crime Alley. Tim then accompanies Bruce to Montreal for a series of Wayne Enterprises meetings. In Montreal a new Black Spider tries to assassinate Bruce, obviously fails, but manages to evade capture. May I kindly remind you that this is the fourth Black Spider and there are now currently three active Black Spiders in the DCU. Back in Gotham, Red Robin meets with Lynx and gets info from Lonnie Machin regarding another next assassination target: Lucius Fox. While Bruce is still on business in Canada, Batman (Dick) and Red Robin are ready for action when the assassin, a man wearing Scarab armor, shows up to off Lucius. Tim, being the master of fake-death trickery, fools the assassin (and the news media) into believing that Lucius has indeed been killed. Don't worry, as usual Lucius is fine. Red Robin then obtains a special government release for the imprisoned Scarab, who leads him to her lair in Cairo. Just as Red Robin and Scarab enter the lair, Lonnie messages Tim with the news that the "Global Assassination Tournament" has begun again! (The last one was less than four months ago!) Red Robin is then attacked by Scarab and eight Scarab-armored assassins, collectively known as the Covenant of Ka. NOTE: In the next two issues (which feature neither of the Batmans and overlap with the next three stories on our list) Red Robin does the following: defeats the Covenant of Ka, discovers that the Tournament was just a lure by both Promise and a mystery sexpot who wants Tim to impregnate her, defeats Promise and the sexpot with Cassie Cain's help, fakes his own death in order to learn who was behind it all, learns that a sinister mystery man who claims to be thousands of years old has a keen interest in him, helps Cassie in Hong Kong fighting against a ten year-old metahuman called Cricket, and gets multiple broken bones courtesy of Cricket. (I've included the last item as a note further down the list).
NOTE: Wonder Woman finally makes the world right again and everyone remembers her true history (as seen in Wonder Woman #613). What happened, you ask? Well, the bitchy evil Goddess of Retrubution known as Nemesis, with the help of the witch trio known as the Morrigan, originally wanted to use Wonder Woman's powers to destroy the world, so the Gods took Diana's essence and placed it into a pocket universe in order to protect it from being stolen. But in the process Diana's entire history was erased and rewritten. Now, Diana confronts Nemesis, who is endowed with the sliver of Diana's original Wonder Woman essence. After defeating Nemesis, Wonder Woman regains her history and her memories, but opts to keep her new pants costume look. Likewise, the rest of the DCU's history in relation to Wonder Woman shifts back into proper place.
ANOTHER NOTE: After defeating Nemesis and regaining her history and memories, Wonder Woman returns home. Bruce leaves a message with Hippolyta on Paradise Island for Wonder Woman asking for help against Gorilla Grodd (as referenced in Wonder Woman #614). We must assume Diana joins Batman for a serious beat-down of the simian supervillain.
--Green Arrow Vol. 4 #14
Green Arrow has been dealing with the religious fanatic Reverend Billy Miggs and his cult-like followers recently. Batman, on his way across country to check up on his operations (presumably his Batman Incorporated operations) visits Green Arrow and gives him new high-tech arrow weaponry to use against Miggs' army-grade battle mech suits.
--Justice League of America 80-Page Giant 2011 #1
This is a strange JLofA issue, especially since it centers mostly around non-JLA members. Our story begins with various random heroes being transported to Hell. Plastic Man winds up alongside Batman (Bruce) at the gates of Hell. When Plas asks Bruce if the "rest of the League" is present, he must be referring to the JLI, since Bruce is not a member of the JLA, but is a member of the JLI. Batman and Plastic Man confront the demon Geryon, who tries but fails to hurt the heroes by confronting them with visions of their worst fears. Other heroes are paired up and face-off against demon trials with varying success until they are all summoned to Purgatory. Batman, Superman, Plastic Man, Wonder Woman, Donna Troy, Bulleteer, Booster Gold, Oracle, Fire, Lobo, Hawkman, Supergirl, Red Tornado, Power Girl, Zatanna, Etrigan, Green Arrow, Ragman, and John Stewart have all been summoned by the imprisoned Lord Satanus, who is attempting to overthrow his sister, current ruler of Hell, Blaze. Satanus used the heroes to defeat various demons in an effort to retrieve and assemble pieces of the all-powerful Hell Mask, an artifact that can grant him the power to reclaim his throne. However, Batman and Plas have planned ahead. The Hell Mask is actually Plastic man in disguise and Plas holds the real mask in his possession. Plas dons the mask and sacrifices his own life to save the day. However, due to the "unexpected anomaly" of having been brought to Hell and then killed, God deems Plas should not be dead and delivers him back to life via the caring arms of Zauriel. Zauriel then helps the heroes leave Hell.
--Batgirl Vol. 3 #22
Bruce sends Stephanie a message "activating" her as an official Batman Incorporated member. Steph's first mission is to move to London. Beryl Hutchinson (Squire) meets Steph at Heathrow to brief her, but before they even get to the hotel, trouble is afoot. Batgirl and Squire team-up to stop Orphan and his cronies from stealing Greenwich Meantime. Afterward a tired Steph finally makes it to her hotel room, but Batman is waiting for her with important news about Leviathan.
--NOTE: Batman goes undercover as a gardener at St. Hadrian's School Finishing School for Girls, a training academy/brainwashing cult for young female supervillains run by Leviathan (as seen via flashback in Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes! #1, Chapter 1). Batgirl has been inserted at the school as a mole on behalf of Batman Incorporated. Over the course of the next four weeks, Batman will return to St. Hadrian's as its groundskeeper to check up on Batgirl at least once more.
--Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #13
Guy Gardner is called to investigate a murder mystery aboard a NASA/US Air Force joint space station in Earth's orbit. Much to his annoyance, Batman is already aboard and working the case. The murder victim is a Wayne Enterprises scientist who was working on a new "space-plane," so the Dark Knight has taken a personal interest. While Guy interrogates the crew by asking inane questions, Batman does some actual detective work and solves the mystery with relative ease. After fingering the suspect as Dr. Tim Owens (actually a secret agent working for the League of Assassins), the villain steals the prototype space-plane and sends the space station hurtling toward Earth. Guy uses his ring to maximum ability to capture Owens and prevent the station from crashing.
--Batman 80-Page Giant 2011 #1, Part 1
Jade O'Keafe, the teenage drug addict that Bruce befriended a few weeks back, has been clean for three weeks, but winds up relapsing on the Fear Toxin-based drug Intrepid, which is being dealt on the streets by a Scarecrow-inspired gang. After getting in a heated argument with Alfred, who accuses Batman of being "addicted to crimefighting," the Dark Knight busts the drug peddlers.
--Batman 80-Page Giant 2011 #1, Part 2
For the past four years, an unnamed government organization (most likely on behalf of the US Armed Forces) has been evaluating new high-tech hand-to-hand combat equipment on the best possible test subject in the world: Batman. Mission number five occurs now as a random soldier is tasked to fight the Dark Knight. Batman easily defeats him.
--NOTE: Batman, disguised as an elderly groundskeeper, returns to St. Hadrian's School Finishing School for Girls (as seen via flashback in Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes! #1, Chapter 1) to check up on Batgirl. If you will recall, Batgirl has been inserted at the Leviathan-run school as a mole on behalf of Batman Incorporated.
--Batman 80-Page Giant 2011 #1, Part 3
A lonely (and presumably horny) Bruce lays in his bed and decides to visit Selina with a dozen roses. But when he arrives on her terrace, he is saddened to see Selina already engaged with a gentlemen caller. Both men promptly leave. Later on patrol, Batman discovers that Selina's date is a criminal and gets in a fight with him. Catwoman shows up to help bust the bad guy and we learn that she was only "pumping him" for information. After a sexually tense roll-around on the docks of Gotham Bay, Catwoman playfully pushes Batman into the drink and skips on home. Sigh. Catwoman and Batman are so in love.
NOTE: In Hong Kong, Black Bat (Cassie Cain) and Red Robin are soundly defeated by a ten-year old metahuman named Cricket (as seen in Red Robin #25). Tim is severely injured and suffers multiple broken bones, including his arm. He will be out of action for the next six weeks.
--Batman, Inc. #8
Months ago, Bruce told his Bat-family that Internet 3.0 would be up and running by Spring. And here we are in late Spring and Internet 3.0 is up and running! What is Internet 3.0, you ask? Well, it's nothing we haven't already seen a million times in the DCU already: a virtual web world where your personalized avatar can literally wander through and explore. While this concept may not be original, Bruce's Internet 3.0 is state-of-the-art and comes with a special anti-viral program: Babs in a kick-ass avatar version of Batgirl! We first saw the design for this Batgirl avatar in Batman: The Return #1. Avatar Batgirl is forced into action when Bruce gives his five main investors a virtual tour of Internet 3.0. One of his investors, Mr. Tanaka, is actually a sadistic gamer who tries to kill off everyone else using a team of "Internet zombie" avatar henchmen and by morphing himself into a giant monster avatar. Tanaka intends on stealing the investors' money after killing them online. Bruce (while controlling both an avatar of himself and an avatar of Batman) helps Babs and the other investors defeat Tanaka and his cronies. After the crisis is averted, Bruce and Babs learn that Tanaka was planning on laundering the stolen investors' money through Mtamba, Africa via a criminal network led by Jezebel Jet. That's right, Jezebel is back! SPOILER: Jezebel is actually not back.
--Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes! #1, Chapter 1
Stephanie has been enrolled in St. Hadrian's School Finishing School for Girls, a training academy/brainwashing cult for young female supervillains run by a mysterious headmistress that reports directly to Leviathan. Dragon Fly, Silken Spider, and Tiger Moth are all teachers at the academy. Steph has done her best--over the course of the past four weeks--to impress and infiltrate the higher ranks of the school. However, Steph is outed as Batgirl and is nearly killed by Johnny Valentine. Batgirl and Batman—who sheds his elderly gardener/groundskeeper disguise—then kick the asses of a bunch of teenage supervillainess wannabes, Valentine, and the school's principal, Miss Hexley.
--Red Robin #26
Tim has been recovering from the beating he took at the hands of Cricket for the past six weeks. It's now almost the final week of June. The whole time Tim, the master of convoluted schemes that involve the most ludicrous trickeration known to man, has been planning the assassination of Captain Boomerang, the villain who murdered his dad. Red Robin lures Boomerang out of hiding with a complex set of baits that involve taking advantage of STAR Labs, creating a fake Black Lantern energy container, and setting up a meeting with Mr. Freeze. However, Tim has second thoughts and actually winds up saving Boomerang from Freeze. Tim then has another change of heart while fighting Boomerang and contemplates murder yet again before ultimately sparing the villain's life. Dick and Damian show up and congratulate Tim for not giving into the temptation of revenge. Bruce shows up and has a different sentiment, chastising Tim for even considering using lethal force.
–Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes! #1, Chapter 2
Bruce meets with Lucius Fox and they discuss the diamond that was taken from Dr. Sivana’s lab (way back in Batman Incorporated #1). The gem is constructed of a metamaterial that is basically a form of unkown renewable energy source. Lucius also informs him that the full army of Batman Robots is ready for action. Batman Incorporated is finally ready to attack Leviathan head-on. Batman (Bruce), Batman (Dick), Robin, and Red Robin converge on a Leviathan oil tanker far out at sea. Gaucho is already on the ship somewhere. The heroes also send out a message to all other Batman Incorporated members available to go to the site as well. Upon infiltrating the ship, the Bat-family is trapped within a deadly labyrinth. Batman (Bruce) is dosed with an experimental drug that induces early onset Alzheimer’s instantaneously. As the Dark Knight becomes separated from his group, he stumbles through the labyrinth and his mind begins to fade. Doctor Dedalus, on board the ship, is able to taunt Batman and pry precious secrets about Batman Incorporated from the struggling hero. Dedalus starts a twenty minute countdown clock and declares that every five minutes Batman Incorporated members will die. The clock hits fifteen and in Mtamba, Batwing and his comrades are overwhelmed. At ten, the Hood is assassinated in London by his superior, Matron. We then learn that Matron serves the headmistress of St. Hadrian's--a living and breathing Kathy Kane who works for Leviathan! Meanwhile, Batman (Dick), Red Robin, and Robin knock out some masked attackers, who turn out to be Dark Ranger and Nightrunner. Both had arrived at the Leviathan ship, per Batman’s orders, but were captured and immediately brainwashed by Dedalus. After going through several rooms containing fake Dedaluses, Batman (Bruce) finally reaches the real deal. But Gaucho is there and reveals himself as a double-agent still working for his old Spyral boss after all these years. Gaucho punches the unsuspecting Dark Knight to the ground. Dedalus detonates an explosive on the ship, which causes the vessel to begin sinking to the bottom of the ocean. Concurrently in Earth’s orbit, the Outsiders, per Batman’s request, investigate the Leviathan satellite HQ. They are not only shocked to discover a cackling Lord Death Man, but a countdown clock that reads five minutes. The satellite explodes. Back aboard the sinking ship, Dedalus reveals that when the countdown reaches zero, several meta-bombs strategically placed across the world will detonate causing global death and massive damage. Dedalus then orders Gaucho to administer a poison to the Caped Crusader. Gaucho has a change of heart and betrays Dedalus, giving Batman the antidote to the Alzheimer’s drug. A surprisingly deft Dedalus then stabs Gaucho in the throat with a knife engraved by Hitler, and then attempts to shock Batman to death with an electric prod. Robin enters the room just in time to save his father by throwing the Hitler knife into Dedalus’ head, killing the villain. A nervous Damian mutters, “Father. I’m sorry. He was going to kill you.” Great stuff. Meanwhile, Oracle takes control of the army of Bat Robots via Internet 3.0 and they raise the ship out of the sea. Batman, Batman, Red Robin, Robin, and a nearly dead (but surviving) Gaucho make their way to the inner sanctum of the ship. Behind a sealed door, Bruce finds on display the severed head of Jezebel Jet and a ringing red telephone. Bruce knows who the head of Leviathan is. He picks up the phone and hears the voice of pure evil, the voice of Leviathan: Talia Al Ghul. Talia tells Bruce that the war is now started and that there is a half-a-billion dollar bounty on Damian’s head. Talia hangs up the phone from her secret location, inside the Monarch Theater on Crime Alley in Gotham City. She has eliminated key factors of Batman Incorporated in one foul swoop, controls all of Leviathan and the League of Assassins, and rules the dictatorship of Mtamba. With the mysterious Heretic as her right-hand man, Talia will stop at nothing to destroy Bruce and his family. And that’s all folks! Flashpoint occurs after Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes!, rewriting the entire chronology for a “new age.” Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes! ends with a cliffhanger–the first strike in what promises to be a brutal war. Several things are left unfinished. Did Batwing and the Outsiders really die? It wasn’t explicitly shown. And of course, there is the unfinished question of the war itself. However, the story continues in the new continuity! How can this be, you might ask? Well, a whole ton of stuff has obviously been retconned in the new continuity, including the details of this “Leviathan” story arc. So, unfortunately, the Modern Age conclusion of the Leviathan war won’t be seen. Though, the New Age version will. It would have been nice to wrap this wonderful story up before the reboot, but the proper timing just wasn’t in the cards. Oh, well. Still a great way to end Batman’s Modern Age with a bang.
NOTE: "It all changes here!" So says the cover tagline, and it is true. Flashpoint doesn't feature Batman (not the version of Batman we've been following, anyway). But Flashpoint is important to our chronology because it signifies the end of the Modern Age and the conclusion of this timeline. Yes, dear readers, this is the end, the final entry. Flashpoint, for the purposes of the main story and in relation to Batman, takes place in the following order:
--flashback from Flashpoint #5
--Flashpoint #4, Part 1
--Flashpoint: Batman Knight of Vengeance #2-3
--Flashpoint #4, Part 2
--Flashpoint #5Here we go. Barry Allen finally discovers that Reverse-Flash Zoom (Eobard Thawne) was responsible for the murder of his mother many years ago. Angry and distraught, Barry travels back in time using the Cosmic Treadmill in an attempt to prevent his mother's death. This is a terrible and brash idea that results in serious consequences. The entire DCU and its history are altered severely through a massive reality-shattering butterfly effect. After his time trek, Barry awakens in a world where his mother is alive again but literally everything is different: Barry is powerless, a giant war between Amazons and Atlanteans is ravaging the Earth; Kal-El's spaceship originally crashed in Metropolis and he has been held captive by the government ever since, thus never becoming Superman; Cyborg is the main superhero on Earth; and most importantly, Bruce was the one who was killed by Joe Chill in Crime Alley, causing his father Thomas to become Batman, and his mother Martha to become the Joker. The dark Thomas Wayne Batman, not opposed to using lethal force, meets with Cyborg and the other superheroes, who try to recruit him into getting involved in the Amazonian-Atlantean War (as also shown in Flashpoint: The Outsider #1). Batman declines. Meanwhile, a frantic de-powered Barry incorrectly believes that his arch-nemesis Thawne is responsible for altering reality. Struggling to maintain his memories of what the DCU is supposed to be like, Barry visits the Batcave and is shocked to learn that Thomas Wayne is Batman and that Bruce is dead. A preoccupied Batman (currently working on the kidnapping case of Judge Harvey Dent's twins by the Joker as seen in Flashpoint: Batman Knight of Vengeance #1) kicks the shit out of Barry, but eventually hears him out and buys his story. While remaining skeptical Batman assists Barry on the roof of Wayne Manor where Barry straps himself to a lightning rod during a thunderstorm. After two painful and skin-scorching strikes Barry regains his Speed Force powers and becomes the Flash once again. Flash tells Batman that there is still a chance he can make the world right, something Batman is on board for, even at the cost of his own existence, since he hates the "world of Flashpoint" and would do anything to gain a universe where Bruce is alive. Batman and Flash join up with Cyborg and break Kal-El out of his prison. However, a scared and emaciated Kal-El, who has never seen the light of day before, flies away in terror. After escaping from Kal-El's government guardians, the heroes regroup at the home of several children who combine to form Captain Thunder (Captain Marvel in the "World of Flashpoint"). The Earth's heroes decide its time to join forces and stop the Amazonian-Atlantean War once and for all. But first, Batman has to save Judge Dent's kids and bring his wife to justice. Oracle (a crippled Selina Kyle, who replaces the never-born Barbara Gordon in the "World of Flashpoint") sends an alert to Commissioner Gordon and Batman that Joker is at Wayne Manor. Gordon shows up first but is killed. Batman rushes to his home and does battle with the crazed Joker. He tries to explain that there is now a way to change reality so that Bruce will have survived instead of them. This seems to calm Martha, until she learns that Bruce becomes Batman, which sends her laughing backward and spiraling to her death at the bottom of the Batcave. Thomas rejoins the rest of the superheroes and flies the group in the Batplane to the frontlines of the war in England (as also shown in Flashpoint: The Outsider #3). In London the heroes engage in a brutal and bloody battle with both Amazons and Atlanteans alike. Thawne (like Barry, also aware of the original DCU) shows up and reveals that it was Barry, not he, who inadvertently changed the universe. Thawne fights Barry, but is killed by Batman. Batman, in turn, is killed by the Enchantress, but not before giving Barry a handwritten letter to give to Bruce, should Barry be able to revert everything back to normal. After leaving the battle behind Barry says goodbye to his mom and bursts into the timestream again. This is where things get really confusing. First, Barry is able to locate himself (at the point where he was using the Cosmic Treadmill earlier to save his mom). However, without the original aid of the Treadmill to do so, Barry simply uses the Speed Force to haphazardly travel through time, an act which results in even more anomalies. Then Barry fights himself as he travels back through the timestream, causing the Speed Force to go all kablooey even more, which causes time itself to go all wacky too. As he stumbles through time Barry is addressed by a mysterious hooded godlike female entity who explains that the "history of heroes was shattered into three long ago, splintered to weaken your world for their impending arrival." Not quite sure what that means, but the lady is referencing the Vertigo Universe (the parts that don't overlap with the DCU proper), the Wildstorm Universe, and the main DCU. The "World of Flashpoint" fades from existence (although Barry retains all memory of it) and the three aforementioned universes merge and reform into one new DCU with a brand new history. The previous twenty-three years of Batman's life are erased and replaced with something new. Barry wakes up and immediately visits the Batcave. Bruce is indeed wearing the cape and cowl again. Barry then explains all that has happened and delivers Thomas' letter to a teary eyed Dark Knight. The chaos and alteration done to the DCU has been corrected, but not properly. This ain't our Caped Crusader any more. This ain't our old DCU either. Different costumes, different histories. The Modern Age is over.
And there you have it! I'll be tweaking things, adding things, getting rid of things, and re-editing summaries until the end of time, so keep on checking out the site! If you see any mistakes or things missing or anything at all (or if you just want to say hello) leave a comment or E-mail me at email@example.com. -CC