The New 52


WELCOME to the timeline for “The New 52.” Following the Modern Age, a new era for superhero comics was ushered-in right around 2011. By this time period, superhero narratives had become defined by extreme reference-heavy storytelling featuring multiple iterations (i.e. derivatives) of characters and the hyper-mashing-up of continuities, histories, genres, and styles. While the roots of this type of superhero storytelling can be found as early as the 1990s, we can confidently etch 2011 onto the tombstone of the Modern Age due to reboots at both Marvel and DC happening that year. Whether or not industry folks list the post-Modern Age starting in 2011, plenty have acknowledged a transition occurring in-and-around this time (or in the years leading up to this moment). And plenty have used different monikers for this nascent era of comicdom. For example, Douglas Wolk called it the “New Golden Age”; Paul Levitz called it the “Second Golden Age”; Ken Quattro called it the “Botique Age”; Charles Hatfield aptly called it the “Mega-Corporate Age”; and Duncan Falconer of the Mindless Ones blog, many scholars, and several creators called it the “Prismatic Age.” Whichever of these fabulous poisons you choose is really up to you. Hell, you could even go invent your own! For brevity’s sake (and since this is a DC continuity-focused site), I’m going with the title DC specifically coined for their line-wide 2011 reboot: the New 52. This reboot featured 52 new ongoing titles taking place in a completely revamped primary DC Multiverse fit with a finite 52 alternate universes. Therefore, The New 52 Batman chronology highlights the history of Batman of the New 52 EARTH-0 (aka Batman of the post-Flashpoint Earth-0 or Batman of the pre-Rebirth Earth-0). The full New 52 history comprises Batman and Batman-related DC publications ranging primarily from 2011 through 2017.

2011 brought about a major shift in the DC Universe/Multiverse. With the salient crossover event Flashpoint, the world of Batman was restructured yet again. This reboot gave unto us a brand new history for Batman. Batman’s curriculum vitae is a palimpsest etched by the comic book Ages of yesteryear—and as the pages underneath begin to fade and thin away, the skeletal framework that forms the current era becomes less and less defined. Continuity is always tricky, but I’m always up to the task. A quick note about the construction of the New 52 timeline: Many stories from the Modern Age will be referenced in the New 52. However, the stories of the Modern Age were meant to take place solely in the Modern Age. The only things that I will place in the New 52 era will be both stories from the New 52 era and any references to past tales from previous epochs–but bear in mind, even those references will be notated simply as references, and not the actual complete issues from before.

The New 52 timeline utilizes a six-year-by-2012 model. Damian is actually younger than everyone says he is—he simply appears as a ten-year-old going on eleven in 2012 due to his rapid aging at the outset of his life after being born via artificial gestation bubble womb. Also, if the timeline were longer, Bruce would have had sex with Talia when she was like sixteen or seventeen, so there’s another reason for a six-year-by-2012 model.  A shorter timeline allows for Batman to have had a shorter “urban myth period” as well, which makes more sense. There is also a Year Zero which precedes the main New 52 timeline, which details some of Bruce’s pre-Batman preparations and his first five months in costume. I’ve also included a Salad Days section that highlights everything Bruce does from his birth until Year Zero.

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6 Responses to The New 52

  1. Ahmad says:

    Hey sorry for all the questions that I have I just am really getting into organizing everything chronologically. So I was wondering if you would place Batman: Noel in any chronology and where would you place it

    • Collin Colsher says:

      Batman: Noel is non-canon and takes place in a completely different universe from the main DCU. However, it does function as the follow-up to Brian Azzarello/Lee Bermejo’s Batman/Deathblow, Azzarello/Bermejo’s Lex Luthor: Man of Steel, and Azzarello/Bermejo’s Joker. So, in that regard, I guess you could make Noel the official fourth story in the Azzarello/Bermejo-verse.

  2. AKA says:

    So in zero year, Jason Todd claims he 15 in 2007. Dick is confirm to be 21 in Nightwing which take place in 2016, tim Drake confirm to be 16 I 2008 in Batman and Robin eternal and Damien Wayne confirm to be 13 in DC rebirth first teen titans comic. Is this all correct? And how old is Batgirl in new 52/rebirth

    • Here’s a New 52 age rundown.

      —Bruce is 25-years-old in Zero Year (2007).
      —Dick is 12-years-old during Zero Year (2007). If Dick is 21-years-old in 2016 then he’d only be 12-years-old in Zero Year. I’m not sure this is legit, but it could be true. Which issue specifically gives his age again?
      —Jason is either 11 or 12-years-old in Zero Year (2007). He may claim to be 15-years-old during Zero Year, but we know he’s younger than Dick. Again, Jason’s age is relative to Dick’s, and they both might actually be older.
      —Tim is 8-years-old in Zero Year (2007). This one is confusing as well. Secret Origins Vol. 3 #3 Part 3 tells us specifically that Tim is thirteen-years-old when he debuts in Year Three (2010). However, due to a retcon in Batman and Robin Eternal #1, which tells us that Tim is sixteen-years-old in 2015, Tim should be eleven-years-old at the time of his debut in Year Three (2010). This means Tim is 6-years-old in Zero Year.
      —Damian is a mess due to his artificial aging. He is born in Year One (2008) and turns three-years-old in 2011, but his age referred to in the comics (eight-years-old in September 2011, thanks to a retcon in DCU Rebirth) is merely his biological age, not how long he has actually lived. But if we go with the latter concept, then Damian is indeed 13 as of 2016, as you’ve stated.
      —Babs is 15-years-old in Zero Year (2007). I think this is mentioned in her Zero Year issue. Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr also said in interviews that Babs is 21-years-old in 2014 and also that she became Batgirl at age 16. If Babs is 15-years-old in “Zero Year,” she should turn 22-years-old in 2014. If we put Babs’ birthday in late October or early November, this actually times-out perfectly.
      —Harper Row is 10-years-old in Zero Year (2007). She is specifically said to be 11-years-old in Year One (2008).
      —Luke Fox is 17-years-old in Zero Year (2007). He is specifically said to be 21-years-old in Year Four (2011).
      —Superman is 23-years old in Zero Year (2007). Superman is 27-years-old as of 2011, according to Grant Morrison’s Action Comics.

  3. AKAuniverse says:

    Nightwing comic I guess? I read rightwing wiki and says he was 21 or 22 in rebirth.

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