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 Crisis52 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.


  1. That really looks funky, doesn't it? The Silver and Bronze Ages are basically Y4-8, the Dark Age (or whatever you want to call the post-Crisis/pre-Modern Age) is Y9-11, and the past decade is Y12-14. So basically Batman's first 50 years of publication are 6 Years (excluding Miller and Loeb's artificial Y1 and Y3), and the last 25 publication years are 6 more (and if the Years of NML and 52 were compressed, the slack would likely go to the Modern Era, not the Silver/Bronze).

    See, that's why I support a graduated timeline: we really can't be treating the heavily-retconned pre-Modern Years as the same kind of temporal years that pass in the Modern Era, nor can we treat Gotham's chronology equal to the wider-DCU's. Loeb's retconned Y3-4 of Long Halloween and Dark Victory simply don't exist in the rest of the DCU (it's even questionable whether Dark Victory exists much at all); the Year of NML didn't seem to have passed in the rest of the DCU, and vice-versa 52's year without Batman is more like a week without him in Gotham. When Batman says he plays by different rules than other heroes, he's not just talking methods: he's operating on a whole 'nother temporal plane.

  2. Yes, I am quite annoyed that so much slack went to the Silver and Bronze Ages, instead of the Modern Age, but if we go by Tim Drake's four years of aging, then the slack goes where it goes... which leads us to the fact that the DCU does indeed abide by an alternate scientific system of time (or one that lacks science). Trying to apply time to something which so clearly rejects the idea of time is, as I've always said, a futile effort. The chronological order of my blog is, however, correct even if the applied times and dates are wacky. Regarding the application of specific times and dates to a structured order, there are a myriad of possibilities (including a graduated timeline) which can be applied to the organized events of Batman's life, and this is a game that can be played an infinite number of times. A whole 'nother temporal plane INDEED... sometimes it's best not to think about it (although it's a little to late for us)!

  3. Going through my own chronology work at the moment, a neat point is DC Universe: Legacies. While problematic in some areas, it gives a good range to the age of the modern DCU in Paul Lincoln's daughter, Diana, who was born at the start of the Modern age. In the current issue, she is some where between pre-teen and teen, so at Crisis, the modern heroes (Supes, Bats, ect) have been around for 8-12 years. I would call it 10-13, but want to give as much space as possible for the teen heroes ages.

    Great Work here! Keep up the Chronology!

  4. Definitely insanely compressed. Kind of makes sense with so much having gone on in terms of issues in the silver/bronze age, but the modern age has all been about story telling events - meaning things are actually CHANGED after the issues, versus just a lot of pages.

    So it feels a lot more weird to have that 10-20 years compressed versus the 60s-80s 20 year block.

    Nice analysis! Keep up the great work :D