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.
These last two posts have been about age and slightly about DC's "official" timeline of Batman's history and how it differs from mine. This is long overdue, but here is DC's timeline. (Building this timeline is an interesting endeavor as well since, like my chronology, it must also be created or fabricated. As I've always stated, there really can be no definitive chronology which can be taken as gospel, especially since any chronology must constantly shift to meet the never-aging characteristics attributed to these fictional characters).
When I constructed my chronology, I did so moving forward, building what seemed like a chronological listing of stories, and then reading them page after page, ordering them along the way. To create a timeline which DC seems to utilize, we almost have to work backward. What are the current references to ages and how many "years ago" do flashbacks in current issues seem to imply? These are the current clues which tell us roughly how many years the Caped Crusader has been crusading. Here are a few important ones. Tim is 17 years-old (Red Robin). Bruce is around 40 years-old (said to be nearly turning 40 an in-story year ago in Batman RIP). Bruce met Silver St. Cloud nearly 10 years ago (Widening Gyre). There are many more, but these tidbits from three major current storyarcs give us a pretty decent idea that Batman, according to DC is around his 14th year in costume. This is a quick skeleton list, not detailed, for obvious reasons. I will refer to my chronological listings as BY1 for Bat-Year One, BY2 for Bat-Year Two, etc... Here we go.
DC YEAR ONE: Frank Miller's Year One still holds tried-and-true (even with horrible additions of Batman peeing his pants, thanks Kevin Smith). Therefore, DC Y1 is almost exactly the same as BY1.
DC YEAR TWO: As Valheru mentioned, DC Y2 comprises many stories referenced from the Kane/Finger era (i.e origins of most of Batman's rogues gallery). BY2 through BY5 comprised mostly of LOTDK tales, which according to DC, just aren't canon anymore. (Or if they are, they are compressed into near oblivion and all placed into DC Y2). Venom would take place here followed by Long Halloween. JLA either debuts here or in DC Y3.
DC YEAR THREE: Dark Victory occurs. Dick Grayson debuts as Robin. DC Y3 is basically the end of BY5 and the first half of BY6 combined.
DC YEAR FOUR: This year comprises many Batman and Robin stories referenced from the Golden Age and some from the Silver Age (the Englehart stories, think "Popcrime"). DC Y4 is roughly the second half of BY6 and parts of BY7. Silver St. Cloud debuts. Current storylines in 2010 tell us that Bruce has known Silver for nearly ten years, thus giving us a fine reference for where we currently should be.
DC YEAR FIVE: This year comprises many Batman and Robin stories referenced from the Silver Age, which is basically the rest of BY7.
DC YEAR SIX: More Batman and Robin stories referenced from the Silver Age. BY8 fits here.
DC YEAR SEVEN: This is the "Penthouse" year. Dick goes to college with a very early enrollment. The Saga of Ra's Al Ghul occurs. This is BY9.
DC YEAR EIGHT: Dick becomes Nightwing. Jason becomes Robin. The Crisis on Infinite Earths occurs. This is BY10.
DC YEAR NINE: Barbara is paralyzed by Joker in Killing Joke. Jason is killed by Joker in Death in the Family. This is BY11.
DC YEAR TEN: Tim becomes Robin at age 13. Zero Hour and Knightfall occur immediately afterward followed by Cataclysm and Road to No Man's Land. BY12 through BY15 are all highly compressed into this one single year.
DC YEAR ELEVEN: No Man's Land takes place this year. BY16 synchs up with this year pretty well.
DC YEAR TWELVE: Our Worlds At War followed immediately by Bruce Wayne Murderer and Bruce Wayne Fugitive and then Hush, JLA: Obsidian Age, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, Death and the Maidens, War Games, OMAC Project, and Under the Hood, and Infinite Crisis. 52 begins. DC Y10 is BY17, BY18, BY19, and the beginning of BY20 all squashed into one single year.
DC YEAR THIRTEEN: 52 concludes. Countdown occurs. Grant Morrison's run begins with Batman and Son, followed by Ressurrection of Ra's Al Ghul, Trinity, Batman RIP, and Final Crisis. DC Y13 comprises of the tail end of BY20, all of BY21, and the very beginning of BY22. Jezebel Jet mentions Bruce is “over thirty-years-old” (i.e. guesses he is “in his thirties”).
DC YEAR FOURTEEN: Battle for the Cowl starts this year. This is the rest of BY22 leading up to where we are now with Batman and Robin, Red Robin, and the Return of Bruce Wayne.
So there you have it. This timeline effectively matches up with everything that DC is currently publishing and seems to be the historical foundation upon which current Batman stories are being told. It is interesting to compare this insanely compressed history with the, albeit still highly compressed, dense and detailed chronology I've built. I wonder if I should make a "compromise-chronology" which merges the two into what would surely be the ultimate chronology of chronologies. It would probably be a waste of time since both of these timelines will be completely altered in 20 years or, god forbid, 10 or even 5 years from now.