Updated Links

In my very first entry to this blog, way way way back in 2009, I added a bunch of links (and have been trying to add to that list ever since) to sites on the web that have been influential, helpful, and just downright cool.  I think it is worthwhile to update the list and re-post it.  Check this stuff out and, if you are so inclined, please take a moment and add your own favorite site--comics-related or otherwise--in the comments section.

Aaron Severson’s Cosmic Teams Batman Chronology
Absolute Knave by Stephen Ryan
Atop the Fourth Wall
Aussie Nightwriter’s Dick Grayson Blog
Axaxaxas mlö
The Bat Squad
Batman Chronological Order by deaconblackfire76
Batman MicroHeroes Visual Index
Books & Comics Blog
Boosterrific! The Unofficial Annotated Adventures of Booster Gold
Collected Editions
Comic Book Resources
Comics Alliance
Comics Bulletin
The Comics Cube!
The Comic Treadmill
The Comics Archives
The Clockworm
David Uzumeri’s annotations @ Funnybook Babylon
DC Comics Database
Deep Space Transmissions
Don Markstein's Toonopedia
Flash Profiles
Gotham Spoilers
Grantbridge Street
Ian’s Trade Reading Order
Jeff Harvey's Unofficial Silver Age DC Chronology
Karridian's DC Universe 
Legions of Gotham
Let's Be Friends Again
Love dat Joker blog
Matt Seneca Comix
Michael Kooiman’s Cosmic Teams Database
Mike’s Amazing World of DC Comics
Mindless Ones
Nerds of the Round Table
Pop Apostle
The Realm of Ryan
Rikdad’s Comic Thoughts
Savage Critics
Sequart Research & Literacy Organization
Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before…
Superman Homepage
Television Forever
Too Busy Thinking About My Comics
Too Dangerous For a Girl
The Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe
The Unauthorized Chronology of the DC Universe
We Believe in Harvey Dent Blog
The Wright Opinion

When was Damian born?

The question of whether or not Damian, in the New Age (New 52) was conceived and born before Bruce became Batman or during his first year as Batman has been mused upon by comic book fans and chronologists at conventions, comic shops, and on message boards for the past year.  DC has yet to address this in its new comic continuity, so until they do, everything surmised is pure speculation.  So far, it is my belief that Bruce trained in his early pre-Batman years with Ra's Al Ghul, met Talia around that time, knocked her up, and had little Damian.  Many argue that Damian's growth was artificially sped up by League of Assassins scientists, meaning that even if he was conceived as little as five years ago, he could still look like a ten-year-old in 2011 or 2012.  This doesn't really sit well with me, for a laundry list of reasons that I won't bother delving into at this juncture.  (Ask me and I'll tell you why if you are truly interested!)  

I've chosen a few selections from message boards and internet forums that seem to grasp the New 52 Damian conundrum with an open and enlightened mind.  Note that a few of these selections quote Scott Snyder.  I have yet to confirm any of the Snyder quotes and don't know where these commentators got them from.  However, the quotes directly from writers and artists like James Tynion and Greg Capullo, we can take as gospel.  Here are just handful of the many, many posts I've scrutinized on the web that deal not only with Damian's age and conception, but the ages of the other Bat Family members as well:

--Anonymous on the Warner Bros/DC Comics message boards/forum (Sept. 13, 2011):
"Scott Snyder has stated that Damian was conceived while Batman was training, which is in his first year.  [...] He says that Bruce will float around 33-35 [years of age] in character personality. Snyder [also says] ... [Batman has been active for] roughly 10 years, roughly [33-35 years old].

--Theozilla on the CBR forum/message boards (Sept. 9, 2011):
"[Scott] Synder basically says Bruce is around 33 years old and that gives him about 12 years of activity, which all the Robins can be squeezed into."

--James Tynion IV (Batman Vol. 2 writer!) says in a CBR interview with Jeffrey Renaud (Feb. 29, 2012):
"The back-up [story in Batman Vol. 2 #8], "The Fall of the House of Wayne," is set around 33 years ago, in Bruce's infancy."

--Greg Capullo (Batman Vol. 2 artist!) on the CBR forums (Sept. 24, 2011):
"The [editor-in-chief, Bob Harras,] said [in regard for how old to make the characters look when drawing them in Batman Vol. 2 #1], ages 30 [for Bruce], 19 [—later changed to 21 for Dick], 16 [for Tim], and 10 [for Damian]."

--Grim on ComicVine message boards/forum (Nov. 22, 2011):
"The one thing you can guess for sure is that all the Robins were only Robin for 2-4 years. Dick is only in his 20s, as is Barb[ara Gordon]."

--TheLuckyOne on CBR message boards (Sept. 4, 2011):
"The ways around [continuity issues regarding Damian’s conception] ... are to either say Damian was artificially aged [quickly], or change Son of the Demon to say Bruce wasn't Batman yet when he and Talia were together."

--SeoulCanuck on CBR message boards (July 21, 2011):
"Doesn't it make more sense for Bruce to have met and trysted with Talia during his "roaming the world, learning from masters" phase, long before he ever put on the cowl? That would mean Talia hadn't drugged and raped him, of course, but it's a lot easier to accept a teenage mistake than artificially aging what would be a three-year-old into a tween's body, isn't it? Why wouldn't Talia have just made him into an adult, if she could clone and indoctrinate the clone that well? It means jettisoning a little bit of Bat-history, but DCnU certainly doesn't seem reluctant to mess with the history of their other icon."

--Vitruvian on CBR message boards (July 21, 2011):
"[The New 52] is better [off] by far to have Bruce and Talia get together while Bruce was roaming the world training himself for his war on crime; maybe even include some of the Nolan movie elements of some of that training coming from the League of Shadows, if not direct tutelage by the Demon's Head himself (or maybe that stays good, too)."

New Age (New 52) Timeline Started

I've begun rough drafting a New Age Batman Chronology aka New 52 Batman Chronology over at the Real Batman Chronology Project, so please check it out and give me notes (via e-mail if possible).

While DC still keeps calling this new multiverse "The New 52," I have not.  In keeping with the linguistic tradition of properly naming superhero comic book epochs, I have dubbed this part of history–since it follows the Golden, Silver (and Bronze), and Modern Ages–the NEW AGE.

2011 brought about a major shift in the DC Universe/Multiverse/Omniverse. With the mega-crossover event Flashpoint, the world of Batman was restructured yet again. This relaunch/reboot gave unto us a brand new history for Batman, one that is still settling to this date. As always, I’m hopefully up to the arduous task of chronicling this dense history. It will be tricky, but here I go again!

This timeline is so new that it will constantly be changing as each new bit of information is revealed week-to-week. Therefore, it should be understood that it is not the finalized version and construction will be occurring for quite some time to come. Unlike our previous timelines, the New Age timeline will run each calendar year from the normal January through December format. As far as this chronology is concerned, if a story/event is not canonically referenced in the pages of the New 52 issues themselves, then I’m not considering it canon–it’s as simple as that. Of course, none of this is a strict policy and everything is subject to change.

Another initial issue I’m having that is of utmost importance: Since DC is being extremely vague as to revealing information regarding a timeline of the New 52, I’m unsure whether or not Batman debuts in the same year as Superman, or if Batman has his “urban legend” period for a few years prior to the new Action Comics Vol. 2 and Justice League Vol. 2. If Detective Comics Vol. 2 takes place during Batman's "rookie years" as well (confirmed by Tony Daniel) then I’m confused as to why, in the first issue, Daniel says Joker has been around for six years. Does this mean that Batman has been secretly active for five or six years prior to Superman’s debut? Or does this simply mean that Joker has been around since before Bruce became Batman? Hopefully, I will figure this out sooner than later.  BUT, if anyone at all has any input, please let me know!

QUICK UPDATE as of 4 March 2012:  I've realized that Tony Daniel's Detective run takes place "in the now," meaning 2012 (as opposed to "5 years ago").  Tony Daniel has recently confirmed that 'tec occurs in 2011-2012.

There are several versions of the New Age that I am playing around with.  Each of them seems feasible at this point, but hopefully one will stand out as the "most correct" one eventually.  I will now run down the different concepts.

A.  The first timeline is the way I'm currently imagining the New Age chronology.  In it the age of superheroes begins FIVE YEARS AGO with Batman debuting roughly a year before Superman and with the Justice League debuting a year after that--thus placing current 2012 story-lines at the beginning of a fresh Year Eight (although some stories begin in late 2011).  Most Internet chronologists that have bothered to attempt a new timeline seem to be going with this version as well (or something like it).  This implies two important changes from the Modern Age: one, Bruce met Ra's Al Ghul shortly before he was Batman and met and conceived a child with Talia shortly before he was Batman;  and two, Dick, Jason, and Tim were each Robins for much shorter time periods.

B.  In regard to the meeting of the Al Ghul family, another alternate timeline idea would be to include an extra few "hidden years" before Year One (thus making our current 2012 year, YEAR NINE or YEAR TEN or even YEAR ELEVEN instead of Year Eight), which would make it so Bruce definitively meets Ra's Al Ghul and knocks up Talia in his first year as Batman.  This would curiously, in a way, synch-up the New 52 timeline with Christopher Nolan's universe--Ra's Al Ghul (and possibly Scarecrow) as the first villains in the first year, followed by Joker in the second.  Version A is already kind of like that, but the extra years ostensibly give Version B more credence. 

C.  IN CONTRAST, I have also seen an alternative which posits that Superman and the JL both indeed debuted FIVE YEARS AGO, but that Batman has been around for five or six years prior to that--having kept out of the public eye and maintained the status of urban legend.  Thus, this alternative timeline says that Batman secretly debuted ELEVEN YEARS AGO or TWELVE YEARS AGO and only publicly "came out" five years ago (placing 2012 as Year Twelve).  If this is true, then it not only gives us a lot more room to work with, but it allows for more reasonable time periods for the Robins (and reasonable ages for the Robins), makes more sense in regard to the conception and birth of Damian.  Also, giving us eleven years to work with instead of a mere five allots a huge chunk of extra space that we can fill with the myriad of canonical-stories-that-surely-will-be-made-canon-if-they-haven't-been-made-canon-already.  However, to play devil's advocate against this alternate timeline I paraphrase vitruvian's insightful commentary from the CBR message boards: "We know that Batman was around for a while as an "urban legend" or hunted vigilante before JL Vol. 2 #1, rather than as a superhero (Superman supposedly being the first person recognized as such), but we really have no idea how long.  I doubt it was a full five or six years, or that the debut of Robin predates the 'superheroic era,' since there was no indication in JL Vol. 2 #1 that vigilante Batman was known for having a kid sidekick, but who knows."  Who knows indeed.

The more I think about it, Version C's Twelve Year Model (where Year 12 is 2012) seems more and more legitimate and appropriate.  In Red Hood & The Outlaws, Jason mentions that he spent "years" (emphasis on the plural yearS) learning to fight crime under Batman's tutelage.  This seemingly implies that the Robins were Robins for longer than a one-year period each.  In the shorter Eight Year Model (Version A), the Robins only serve their sidekick posts for roughly a year each.  In a Twelve Year Model, each Robin can hold his post for around two years.  ALSO, with the recent canonization of elements of "Knightfall" (as per Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #6) i.e. Bane breaking Batman's back, it seems as if an extra year or two (or three or four) might be appropriate.  Maybe a Batman debut in 2000 or 2001 would be correct--it certainly would allow for Damian's conception to occur during Batman's first year in action.  However, the obvious counter-argument against this would be that it extends Batman's "urban legend" period to five or six years long.  Also, we still have to deal with that pesky insinuation in Detective Comics Vol. 2 #1 that says Joker has been active for six years as of 2011-2012.  If this fact is indeed true in the Version C's Twelve Year Model, then Batman is around for nearly six years before Joker debuts.  This seems highly unlikely to the point of it being ludicrous.  Joker isn't around for five or six years!?  How can any of this jive?  Until we get a bit more info I'm afraid I'm still grasping in the dark.

The questions and complications that arise with Version C might be too great to overcome, despite the fact that it seems the most legit.  If you'd like to see what I've done so far (i.e. my Version D!) then please check out:


But what do YOU think?  I'm not only looking to stimulate conversation here, but I am also seriously looking for the correct answer!  Help!  Send me an email at therealbatmanchronologyproject@gmail.com and deliver me some feedback, please!