New 52 Salad Days

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1982[1][2][3]



–REFERENCE: In Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #0 Part 1. June. Bruce Wayne is born to Dr. Thomas Wayne and Martha Wayne.[4][5] Thomas is a prominent surgeon and both he and his wife are co-owners of Wayne Enterprises, a multi-billion-dollar international conglomerate that deals in tech, aerospace, hotels, steel, food, shipping, construction, and philanthropy. The Waynes live in the palatial estate known as Wayne Manor, just outside of Gotham City. As referenced in Batman Vol. 2 #21, Bruce’s uncle, Philip Kane (also sometimes spelled “Phillip”), who is also an executive at Wayne Enterprises, will be a semi-fixture in his life. Note that the rest of the Kane family is estranged from Martha, so Bruce won’t really get to know them. More on them below. As referenced in the second feature to Batman Vol. 2 #10, Jarvis Pennyworth, trusted butler of the Wayne Family, helps raise Bruce as well. Note that Jarvis was first mentioned as Bruce’s childhood butler by Don Cameron and Bob Kane in Batman #16 Part 2 (1943) only to be unceremoniously retconned out of that role by Bill Finger in Batman #110 Part 2 (1957). As such, believe it or not, the New 52 technically features the first canonical instance of Jarvis caring for Bruce.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics Vol. 2 #45. The first baby photos are taken of Bruce. Over the course of his childhood, someone will snap a lot of pictures of Bruce. These photos will get added to albums or sometimes framed and hung up in Wayne Manor. I’ve tried to specifically document references pertaining to portraiture and photography during New 52 Bruce’s formative years, but we should likely imagine these photo ops happening invisibly throughout our timeline ahead.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman/Superman #15. Martha gives baby Bruce a bath.

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1983-1984

 

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to Detective Comics Vol. 2 #0. Bruce plays with a ball and someone snaps a photo of him, which gets developed, blown up,  framed, and hung up in Wayne Manor. Again, there will be lots of photos of happy baby Bruce taken during this time period.

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1985-1989

 

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #12 and Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #12. While Bruce’s parents are stern in their general demeanor, the are affectionate and loving with Bruce, often having fun and laughing with the boy. Note, however, that Thomas and Martha are very busy people, so Bruce will get left to his own devices quite often.

–REFERENCE: In Batman/Superman #1 and Justice League Vol. 2 #35. Thomas tells Bruce that he’ll always keep him safe no matter what. Bruce will be very interested in his father’s career as both a philanthropist and surgeon, learning many life lessons from watching his father at work.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman/Superman #1 and Batman/Superman #15. Thomas begins the nightly tradition (when free, of course) of reading to Bruce for an hour before bedtime. Bruce will always choose the story and Thomas will never say no.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #18. Bruce grows fond of his mother’s gourmet cooking.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #2-4. Bruce hears the strange but popular Gotham nursery rhyme about the mysterious Court of Owls for the first time. Rumors abound about this clandestine centuries-old Illuminati group. Bruce asks his dad about them, but Thomas laughs off his question.

–REFERENCE: From the second feature to Batman Vol. 2 #9. Jarvis has come to think of Bruce like his own son. Bruce poses for a picture that gets developed, framed, and hung up in Jarvis’ living quarters.

–REFERENCE: In Batman/Superman #14. Bruce poses for more photos—both solo and with his parents.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #23Batman Vol. 2 #43, Batman Vol. 3 Annual #1 Part 1, and Batman and Robin Vol. 2 #1. Bruce poses for several photos with his parents. Again, moving forward, Jarvis (and Alfred after him) will take lots of staged and candid photos of Bruce and his parents. There will also be portraits posed for as well. Most of these photo ops and sittings will simply have to be imagined on our timeline ahead.

–REFERENCE: In Batman and Robin Vol. 2 Annual #1. Thomas, Martha, and Bruce take a vacation in London. The family meets young hotelier Clint Barrington.

–FLASHBACK: From the second feature to Batman Vol. 2 #9-11—and referenced in Batman Vol. 2 #51. Jarvis plays with a happy three-year-old Bruce, who draws a crayon portrait of the butler. Smart little Bruce has already begin drawing representationally and writing some words. Shortly thereafter, the centuries-old illuminati group known as the Court of Owls causes Jarvis Pennyworth to get into a car accident while transporting Bruce and a pregnant Martha Wayne. Everyone survives the crash, but Martha loses the baby, whom she was going to name Thomas Wayne Jr. (Super-villain Lincoln March will later claim that he is Thomas Wayne Jr, having actually survived and lived a secret life away from the Waynes at Willowwood Asylum. Of course, there is no way of verifying whether or not March’s claims are true. All we know is that Martha was pregnant and got in a crash—and there was no baby to speak of following the tragic incident.) Note that the Court of Owls involved in Jarvis and Martha’s accident is merely the local Gotham chapter of the greater international network known as The Parliament of Owls. Within the Parliament of Owls there are many Courts located in major cities across the globe. Also note that the Parliament/Court of Owls is the contemporary evolution of what was once known as The Judas Tribe, an ancient Hath-Set-worshipping cult. The Judas Tribe still exists in the form of a handful of semi-immortal high priests, collectively known as The Strigydae, who work for and worship Barbatos—demon god of the Dark Multiverse.[6] (The Dark Multiverse is the evil mirror version of the local Multiverse, containing various Negative Universes within.) The Judas Tribe itself has origins connected to the Hath-Set-led Bat Tribe, which existed as far back as 3300 BCE and was an evolution of the Miagani Tribe, which formed as a direct result of a time-displaced Batman appearing in 38,000 BCE. Barbatos has been waiting since 38,000 BCE for the birth of Bruce Wayne, whom he knows will one day become Batman. Barbatos has carefully guided his minions—first the Bat Tribe, then Judas Tribe/Strigydae, then Parliament/Court of Owls—for over 40,000 years, manipulating certain events while biding his time. Ever since the Parliament/Court of Owls’ inception, Barbatos has been orchestrating their every move. Now that Bruce is a toddler, Barbatos and his minions secretly watch the child from the shadows. The Strigydae—in league with the Court of Owls—hope to eventually initiate their “Mantling” ritual upon an adult Bruce to achieve Barbatos’ very nefarious goals in the future. These villains will continue to monitor and sometimes manipulate certain aspects of Bruce’s life, moving forward on our timeline—although, these actions won’t be specifically listed. Barbatos’ end goal won’t come into fruition until the Rebirth Era, but the setup is all New 52.

–REFERENCE: From the second feature to Batman Vol. 2 #11. Summer 1985. Devastated at the loss of their unborn baby, Martha and Thomas (along with Bruce) take a vacation outside of Gotham. Meanwhile, Jarvis is assassinated by the Court of Owls. The Waynes return home for a funeral.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics Vol. 2 #45. Thomas, Martha, and Bruce take a vacation to Paris.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #0 Part 2. Ex-MI6 agent Alfred Pennyworth joins the Wayne family, filling the butler role of his late father. Alfred will be in charge of the household and a caregiver to Bruce. He is the quintessential old-school butler, an expert in cooking and housekeeping. With the ring of a bell, he will always come post-haste, eager to serve his “masters.” The polymathic Alfred is also a medic, stage actor, auto mechanic, and chef.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #0 Part 1 and Arkham Manor #1. Young Bruce comes to respect and admire his father. After reading To Kill a Mockingbird (or possibly after watching the film), Bruce begins to think of his dad as the real life version of Atticus Finch. Thomas tells Bruce his life’s motto (and he’ll say it often): “there’s always a reason for trying.” Bruce takes this to heart. For the rest of his life, when in doubt, Bruce will ask himself, “What would my father do?”

–REFERENCE: In Batman and… #25-26. Bruce befriends the twin McKillen sisters (Erin McKillen and Shannon McKillen). Erin and Shannon’s parents are the heads of the notorious mafia clan known as the McKillen Mob.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics Vol. 2 #45. Thomas, Martha, and Bruce take a vacation to China.

–REFERENCE: In Batwoman Vol. 2 #25 Part 1, Detective Comics #934, and Detective Comics #939. 1989. Bruce’s uncle (US Army Colonel Jacob “Jake” Kane) and aunt (Gabrielle “Gabi” Kane) give birth to twin girls (Katherine Rebecca “Kate” Kane and Elizabeth “Beth” Kane).[7] Young Bruce is introduced to his baby cousins. Over the months to follow, Bruce will spend some time with Kate and Beth. However, the rest of Martha’s Kane clan—including her parents, Jake, and Gabi—have long been estranged from the Waynes. This will severely limit the amount of time Bruce spends with his cousins, aunt, and uncle. Thus, he won’t get to know them that well. (Jake, Gabi, and the girls will move to Brussels, Belgium next summer, only adding to the estrangement.) Notably, Martha is completely estranged from her other unnamed sibling and brother Nathan Kane. Due to the nature of the estrangement, Bruce will rarely interact with these Kanes and won’t get to know them very well. The only time Bruce will meet his grandparents on the Kane side of the family, Elizabeth “Betsy” Kane and Roderick Kane, will be at his parents’ funeral.

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1990

 

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics Vol. 2 #45. Thomas, Martha, and Bruce take a vacation to Greece.

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1991

 

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics Vol. 2 #45. Thomas, Martha, and Bruce take a vacation to Spain.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Eternal #26, Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #5, and Grayson #12. Bruce befriends young Tommy Elliot. (Tommy’s mom and dad are famous but troubled Gotham power couple, Roger Elliot and Marla Elliot.) Sadly, Bruce watches as a deep rage grows within Tommy, who hates his neglectful parents and begins to jealously resent Bruce for having such a loving mom and dad. Tommy also begins to creepily emulate Bruce in every way.

–REFERENCE: In Batman and Robin Eternal #6. Thomas tells Bruce all about fishing trips he used to take with his father (Bruce’s grandfather). Thomas then takes Bruce on a fishing trip. Someone snaps a photo of the father and son posing with their catch. This photo gets framed and added as a Wayne Manor keepsake.

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1992

 

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #25. Thomas tells Bruce about new Wayne Enterprises scientist Lucius Fox, calling him the smartest and most trustworthy man he’s ever met.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #2. June. Bruce asks for a katana sword for his tenth birthday, but Alfred gets him a decorative wakizashi blade because it seems safer. Thus begins Bruce’s lifelong struggle with trust issues.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #939. Summer. Bruce has a play date with his cousins Kate Kane and Beth Kane.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics Vol. 2 #45. Thomas, Martha, and Bruce take a vacation to Italy.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #4. Bruce picks up a few new hobbies, learning photography and how to shoot a bow and arrow.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 2 #35. When one of the Wayne Manor gardener‘s daughters, Sun Yen, falls ill. Thomas performs life-saving surgery on her, free of charge. Thomas and Martha also set aside a trust fund for Sun, which will allow her to go to college.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #11-13. While flying a kite, Bruce falls into a cavern beneath the Wayne Manor property, disturbing the bats that live there. Bruce is able to crawl out of the pit, returning to his parents in a state of shock but otherwise relatively unscathed. Bruce’s parents then go the opera, leave the lonely boy unattended at home. Note that this flashback is supposed to occur a week prior to the Wayne murders, but that is incorrect because it directly contradicts “Zero Year.” In any case, we can chalk up inconsistencies in this flashback because it is shown under the druggy haze of a Scarecrow Fear Gas hallucination.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 2 #21-23. Early September. Bruce begins the habit of sneaking into the city by himself after school each day. Bruce also becomes enamored with his dad’s collection of antique cars, learning all about them and a little bit about auto mechanics from his dad. Thomas shows Bruce a digital mapping drone called the Witch’s Eye, designed by Lucius Fox. While using the Witch’s Eye to map a cavern beneath the Wayne Manor property (the one Bruce fell into before), Bruce, as before, slips and tumbles into the darkness below, disturbing thousands of bats. Thomas rescues his injured son and rushes him to the hospital where he makes a full recovery.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #29 and Secret Origins Vol. 3 #2 Part 1. Early September. Bruce begins having nightmares about the bat-filled cave he fell into. Bruce tells his mom that he is scared the bats will take her away. Martha tells Bruce she made a deal with the bats ensuring they’d only go after the wicked, so long as Bruce eats his vegetables.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 2 #26 and Batman Vol. 2 #29—and referenced in Batman Vol. 2 #27 Part 1 and Batman Vol. 2 #29. September—the day of of the Wayne tragedy. Thomas sees that an 1940 Zorro film (The Mark of Zorro) is playing at the Monarch Theater in Park Row District, mentioning to Bruce that he loves the movie. Bruce skips out of school early and sneaks into the city to watch it. Gotham City Police Department (GCPD) Officer James Gordon (who has just moved to Gotham from Chicago) and his partner Dan Corrigan pick-up the truant Bruce and drive him to the police station. En route, the officers make several stops, which appear to be bribe collection meet-ups. (Gordon, of course, is innocent. But Corrigan is up to no good, including participation in dog-fighting.) At the precinct, Thomas and Martha collect their son. Rather than punish the boy, Thomas and Martha decide to take Bruce back to the theater and so they can watch The Mark of Zorro together.

–Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #0 Part 1
September—picking up directly from our previous item, the Wayne family watches The Mark of Zorro at the Monarch Theater in Gotham’s Park Row District. While walking home afterward, Thomas and Martha Wayne are shot and killed by a mugger named Joe Chill. Bruce watches his parents die and is forever changed. As referenced in Batman Vol. 2 #4, Bruce picks up a bullet shell casing off the ground and keeps it. We know the month the killings took place (September) thanks to a reference in Batman and Robin Vol. 2 #1, but precisely how old Bruce was at the time remains a matter of debate. It is most likely that he was ten-years-old at the time of his parents’ deaths.[8] (The trip to the Monarch Theater, subsequent slaughter, and immediate aftermath of the Wayne murders is also referenced in Batman and Robin Vol. 2 #1 and shown via flashback from Batman Vol. 2 #25, Batman Vol. 2 #29, Batman Vol. 3 #20, Detective Comics Vol. 2 #27 Part 5, Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #6, Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #12, Batman/Superman #1, Batman/Superman #15, Trinity Vol. 2 #3, Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #4, Secret Origins Vol. 3 #2 Part 1, Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #13, and Batman Vol. 3 #18. The latter three flashbacks include Officer James Gordon and Dr. Leslie Thompkins comforting Bruce and taking him to GCPD HQ, after which Alfred picks him up and brings him home. A traumatized Bruce then begins speaking out-loud to his dead mother, which he will do for years to come.) Shortly thereafter, as seen via flashback from Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #12-13 and Detective Comics #939, a funeral is held, during which Bruce is comforted by his cousin Kate Kane. As seen via flashback from Secret Origins Vol. 3 #2 Part 1, the burial service is held as well. Later, Bruce is made official heir to his parents’ assets while Philip Kane takes over Wayne Enterprises. As referenced in Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #0 Part 2, Bruce goes into the legal guardianship of Alfred. (Bruce’s grandparents are alive, but they have been estranged from the Wayne side of the family for some time, hence their lack of involvement in rearing the orphaned child.) With his parents gone, Bruce begins having nightmares. (As referenced in Batman Vol. 2 #52, Bruce begins immediate therapy with Dr. Leslie Thompkins, who has the boy begin writing a “How to Move On” journal.) Less than a week later, he sneaks out to Park Row—now known as Crime Alley—to search the scene of his parents’ murders. There, Bruce finds and keeps a pearl that had fallen off his mother’s necklace. He also questions a homeless man named Clancy, who is the only witness to the crime. Clancy tells little Bruce to piss off. Bruce then visits Wayne Tower (headquarters of Wayne Enterprises) and chats with a janitor there, learning more about his family’s business affairs. Bruce keeps his mother’s pearl in a safe place along with—as referenced in Batman and Robin Vol. 2 #1—a Mark of Zorro pamphlet from the Monarch Theater.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman/Superman #12. In an effort to comfort the devastated Bruce, Alfred reads to him in bed just like his father used to do.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 2 #52. It’s been two weeks since Bruce’s parents were killed. Dr. Leslie Thompkins meets with Bruce, who is still despondent. In spite of it all, Bruce begins making a long list in his “How to Move On” journal. When Alfred adds “Remember that your parents will always be proud of you,” Bruce flips out and tears out the page. Alfred has a heart-to-heart with young Bruce, after which Bruce tapes the page back into the journal.

–FLASHBACK: From Arkham Manor #1. Jim Gordon visits Wayne Manor to check-up on Bruce.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #12-13. A tear-filled Bruce, traumatized by his parents’ deaths, stares into a mirror and can’t shake off visions of their bodies. Feeling oddly compelled, Bruce visits the entrance to the bat-filled cave he’s fallen into twice before.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #12. Bruce makes a solemn vow to avenge his parents’ deaths.

–FLASHBACK: From All-Star Batman #3-4. Bruce learns that criminal Joe Chill is responsible for killing his parents. Chill hasn’t been caught and will be on the lam for a decade to come. While Bruce now knows who did it, he still believes that Chill is part of some greater conspiracy.[9]

–FLASHBACK: From Justice League Vol. 2 #41 and Secret Origins Vol. 3 #2 Part 1. Bruce stares out the window with clenched fists, angrily declaring to Alfred that his parents’ killer is somewhere out there roaming free. Bruce tells Alfred a story about his mom and that he’s no longer a kid.

–REFERENCE: In Batman and… #26. Bruce opens up to Shannon McKillen, talking to her about his feelings regarding his parents’ deaths.

–REFERENCE: In Robin Rises: Omega #1 and Batman Vol. 2 #52—originally told in Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #5. Alfred takes a down-in-the-dumps Bruce on a long road trip outside of Gotham to help clear the boy’s mind. Meanwhile, an amnesiac adult Bruce from the 21st century appears in Gotham thanks to Darkseid’s time-displacing Omega Sanction. Adult Bruce gets involved in film noir-esque family-related intrigue, specifically a sinister plot hatched by the criminal organization known as The Black Glove—which includes members Simon HurtJohn MayhewCarter Nichols, Marsha Lamarr, and others. While the amnesiac Bruce, manipulated into joining the Black Glove, waits in the wings, Marsha meets with Roderick and Betsy Kane, delivering them slanderous information about Martha and Thomas Wayne. Roderick doesn’t believe a word of it, but thanks to the heinous actions of Hurt, the elderly Kane patriarch is in an iron lung, in which he will spend the rest of his life. (Note that Betsy and Roderick will both die a couple years after this item, in close proximity to one another. Bruce will not attend their funerals.) In the vespertine hours, a confused Bruce is forced into taking part in an occult demon-summoning séance held by the Black Glove. The ritual will supposedly summon the demon Barbatos. (Hurt has long mistaken Darkseid’s Hyper-Adapter for the real Barbatos.) When Nichols betrays the Black Glove during the ritual, Bruce is able to use his Omega energy to activate a prototype time machine of Nichols’ own design, escaping to 100 Billion CE aka Vanishing Point, mere moments before the total destruction of the universe and the literal End of Time. Note that Hurt is actually Bruce’s great(x5) Uncle Thomas Wayne, endowed with quasi-immortality from a similar occult ritual performed in 1765. During the 1756 ritual, Hurt believed he had come into contact with Barbatos, hence his desire to do so again here. However, Hurt had actually mistakenly come into contact with the defeated Hyper-Adapter as it was falling backward through time. Although, unknown to Hurt, the real Barbatos was watching and manipulating everything, using Hurt and company to initiate the first rites of his own “Mantling” ritual. After the Black Glove chaos wraps up, Bruce and Alfred return home from their trip, none the wiser to anything that has occurred.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 2 #4. Bruce finds an owl’s nest in the Wayne Manor attic and becomes convinced that the Court of Owls had his parents killed. Bruce kills the owl and smashes its eggs. He then begins a detailed investigation that takes him to an abandoned house on the outskirts of town. Bruce gets trapped inside the house for a week and nearly dies. Once the police find and rescue an unconscious Bruce, he spends another three weeks in recovery at the hospital.

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1993-1995

 

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 2 #9. A disheartened Bruce repaints his bedroom at Wayne Manor because the color reminds him of his mother too much.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #12. January 1993. A devastated ten-year-old Bruce attempts suicide, slashing his wrists with a razor.

–FLASHBACK: From Arkham Manor #1. Bruce begins to distance himself from other kids at school, who begin to pity the poor boy. Bruce spends most of his free time alone at Wayne Manor, reading books.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Eternal #26. A completely unhinged Tommy secretly severs the brake line of his parents’ car, causing an accident that kills his father and permanently injures his mother. After causing the crash, Tommy immediately goes to Wayne Manor, hugs Bruce, and says, “We’re the same now.” 

–FLASHBACK:
 From All-Star Batman #3-5. Summer 1993. Eleven-year-old Bruce is sent to the Arkham Home in Innsmouth, Massachusetts where he meets fellow troubled youth Harvey Dent. The boys hit it off and become fast friends. They make a macabre pact wherein which Bruce promises to kill Harvey’s abusive father and Harvey promises to kill Joe Chill. When Harvey’s dad sends him a coin as a gift, Harvey backs out of their pact, choosing to believe his dad is a good person. Bruce says his father is merely being manipulative and they argue about it. Bruce throws the coin into the ocean. At the end of their summer at Arkham, the boys part ways on good terms.

–REFERENCE: In Gotham Academy #1. September 1994. For junior high, Bruce begins attending the prestigious Gotham Academy, which is run by Headmaster Collingwood Vaughn Hammer. Bruce will attend Gotham Academy for only two years before transferring to Roxbury Fielding Academy.

–REFERENCE: In Batwoman Vol. 2 #25 Part 1Mary Elizabeth “Bette” Kane is born to Bruce’s unnamed aunt or uncle (on the Kane side) and their unnamed partner. Bruce meets his new baby cousin Bette. He will have sporadic (but few) interactions with her, moving forward. (Note that Nathan Kane and both of Bette’s parents won’t be around by 2007, so we must assume they all die at some point prior to that. We can only guess if Bruce attends the funerals. He probably won’t due to his estrangement with the Kane side of the family. Not to mention, he’ll be training abroad when they pass on.)

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #18. Bruce begins working out and training his body.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #1. Bruce begins reading the Gotham Gazette newspaper.

–REFERENCE: In Batman and… #28 (“Batman and Two-Face”). Bruce befriends Gilda Gold.

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1996-2000

 


–REFERENCE: In Batman Eternal #22. Bruce and Alfred have a few photos taken together.

–FLASHBACK: From Arkham Manor #1. Bruce begins studying chemistry in his bedroom as a regular hobby.

–Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #0 Part 2
Late summer to winter 1996. Fourteen-year-old Bruce starts at high school at the prestigious private Roxbury Fielding Academy. He makes various friends, with whom he plays squash as a hobby, but mostly focuses on his studies and proving that his parents were killed as part of a vast global conspiracy. Bruce will spend a lot of his high school years studying the history of Gotham City. Bruce also joins the boxing and fencing teams, becoming a star athlete in both sports. As referenced in Batman Eternal #26, Tommy Elliot also attends Roxbury Academy. Still creepily obsessive, Tommy begins dressing just like Bruce and chasing all the same girls with whom Bruce flirts. As referenced in Batman Vol. 2 #30, Bruce also begins rock climbing.

–REFERENCE: In Batman and… #28 (“Batman and Two-Face”). Bruce re-connects with Harvey Dent and their friendship grows.

–REFERENCE: In Batman and… #25-26. Bruce shares a romance with Roxbury co-ed (and childhood friend) Erin McKillen. Bruce also shares a romance with Erin’s twin sister Shannon, who also attends Roxbury. Among simultaneous and varied investigations into his parents’ murders, Bruce—via the McKillen sisters—recruits the notorious McKillen mafia family to track down Joe Chill. Still on the lam, Chill eludes capture.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #30. June 1998. Sixteen-year-old Bruce gets his driver’s license and begins driving a motorcycle.

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #2-3. After learning the old Arkham Home is now closed and abandoned, Bruce and Harvey Dent make a pact to buy the place and fix it up one day.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Eternal #26. Bruce catches wind that Tommy Elliot has been introducing himself to new students at Roxbury as Bruce Wayne. Bruce angrily confronts Tommy, telling him not to do it anymore and to stay away from him. Tommy freaks out and smashes his forehead into a mirror in the school bathroom. He then bandages-up his bloody face—a little too-on-the-nose foreshadowing of his future. But we’ll get to that a bit later on down the road.

–FLASHBACK: From Arkham Manor #1. Bruce does pull-ups in his bedroom. Having regularly worked out for years, a fit Bruce is now totally jacked.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 2 #30Bruce dates another lovely Roxbury co-ed, Julie Madison. In this flashback, he buys her manga, climbs up to her dorm window, and takes her out on a nighttime motorcycle ride. Bruce and Julie only date briefly.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 2 #31. In school, an increasingly unhinged Bruce begins having disturbing visions related to his parents’ murders. In front of the whole class, Bruce’s teacher Mr. Charmouth bullies him for refusing to give an answer to a math question. Later that evening, Bruce burns the answer into Mr. Charmouth’s front lawn.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 2 # 32-33 and Batman Vol. 2 #33 Epilogue. A very saddened Bruce still can’t deal with the tragic memory of his parents’ murders. He goes off the deep end and pays a homeless man to pretend to be Alfred and check him into Gotham’s Arkham Asylum. (Arkham Asylum is a prison created by the same Lovecraftian Arkham family that had their original Arkham Home in Innsmouth, Massachusetts.) Bruce pays the doctors to incarcerate him and give him shock therapy. However, right before the first session, Bruce changes his mind and leaves.

–Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #0 Part 3
June 2000.[10] Immediately after graduating high school from Roxbury Fielding Academy, Bruce celebrates his 18th birthday. Bruce then learns that Joe Chill is back in Gotham for the first time since killing his parents.[11] In an effort to confront Chill and find out if there was a greater conspiracy involved with happened to his folks all those years ago, Bruce hits the violent Gotham streets in search of him. After interrogating homeless career-criminal Clancy (the only witness to the Wayne murders other than Bruce) and a few other ruffians, Bruce quickly locates and shakes down the man he is looking for. Bruce angrily prepares to execute Chill but doesn’t when he realizes that Chill was just a down-on-his-luck drunk that randomly attacked his parents. The next day (again, a conjectural but seemingly appropriate guess), Bruce departs for Tibet to begin training. (Bruce doesn’t bring much with him on his trip, but, as referenced in Batman Vol. 2 #52, he does bring a “How to Move On” journal that Dr. Leslie Thompkins had him write immediately after the deaths of his parents.) As referenced in Batman Vol. 2 #39, an overarching theme of Bruce’s training, no matter where he goes, will be to eliminate any fear in relation to death or dying. NOTE: Only six “masters” will train Batman in total (as mentioned in Batman and Robin Vol. 2 #5). Bruce trains and studies with a lot of experts, but, as far as true and pure combat “masters,” there are only Chu Chin Li, Tsunetomo, Henri Ducard, Shihan Matsuda, and Sergei Alexandrov. The sixth master is either the unnamed leader of the Nigerian Owami tribe or, more likely, the unnamed top member of the Shaolin monk hierarchy from Bruce’s two other non-Matsuda trips to the Himalayas. While training aborad, Bruce will learn: many different languages; gymnastics; intensive weightlifting techniques; rock climbing; how to fly planes and helicopters; how to skydive and use parachutes; how to operate boats and submarines; stealth techniques; spy-craft; and at least fourteen different martial arts (as referenced in Detective Comics #949).[12] Keep all that in mind when assembling your headcanon! It is also extremely important to realize that, while Bruce trains, he will remain in contact with his trusted confidant Alfred Pennyworth for the next three years, possibly even returning to Gotham infrequently. (Alfred has become a father-figure to Bruce.) However, after the third year, Bruce will go totally off-the-radar and become incommunicado with everyone.

–FLASHBACK: From Secret Origins Vol. 3 #2 Part 1. Training course: Himalayas. Bruce kung-fu trains with Shaolin monks.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #21. Bruce continues training in the Himalayas and travels to Meru Peak, India. There, Bruce is arrested after dangerously base-jumping off of a mountainside cliff. (Philip Kane, during 2007’s Batman Vol. 2 #21, will talk about this rumored event as having occurred “seven years ago,” hence its placement here.)

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2001

 

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 2 #52. The year is conjectural, but I’ve placed this item here because it occurs in “Yugoslavia.” The only time that the term Yugoslavia would be used would be before 2003, during the period of history prior to its reconstitution into Serbia and Montenegro. A pilot takes Bruce a hundred feet higher than the safe limit for parachuting. Bruce sky-dives wearing only a glider-suit.

–the second feature to Batman Vol. 2 #21
June to July 2001. Training course: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Bruce, age 19, spends six weeks learning how to stunt drive with international criminal Don Miguel in Rio de Janeiro. Presumably, Bruce also studies auto-mechanics with Don Miguel. After six weeks, Bruce turns Miguel over to the cops. (If Bruce leaves Gotham to train after having just turned 18 in June 2000, then this Don Miguel session must start in June 2001 at the earliest. Technically, it could be early 2002 as well.)

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics Vol. 2 #0. Training course: Tibet. Thus begins the first of nine sequential training stops as listed in Detective Comics Vol. 2 #0.[13]

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 2 #52—and referenced in Detective Comics Vol. 2 #0 and Batman and Robin Vol. 2 #5. Training course: Nagoya, Japan. A reference in Batman and Robin Vol. 2 #5 tells us that this training period was under the tutelage of Tsunetomo. While the main portion of the training occurs in Nagoya, Batman Vol. 2 #52‘s flashback shows an unnamed blind kung-fu master (who must be the New 52 version of Tsunetomo) training Bruce in the Hida Mountains. Since the austral part of the Hida range is in Gifu, only about an hour north of Nagoya, it makes sense for part of Tsunetomo’s training to occur at a Hida mountain temple as well as in Nagoya.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #18—and referenced in Detective Comics Vol. 2 #0 and Batman and Robin Vol. 2 #5. Training course: Mount Qingcheng, China. A reference in Batman and Robin Vol. 2 #5 tells us that this training period was with Chu Chin Li. The flashbacks from Batman Vol. 3 #18 that feature his time in China are comprised in two separate panels. The first depicts Bruce tightrope walking in-between two tall buildings in what is likely Dujiangyan City or some other neighboring municipal area near Mount Qingcheng. The second depicts Bruce free-climbing a near vertical cliff, likely the side of Mount Qingcheng itself. These flashbacks from Batman Vol. 3 #8 also reveal Bruce’s neurotic habit of speaking aloud to his dead mother, something he has done periodically ever since the night of his mother’s untimely death. Bruce will speak out loud to his mother as if she were present long into his career as Batman.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics Vol. 2 #0. Training course: Oxford, England.

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2002

 

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics Vol. 2 #0. Training course: Paris, France.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics Vol. 2 #0. Training course: Kenya.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics Vol. 2 #0. Training course: Syria.

–the second feature to Batman Vol. 2 #22
December 2002. Training course: Afghanistan. Bruce begins training with a Russian escape artist and military inventor named Sergei Alexandrov (and his pet monkey Maxwell). This training will last for six months. This item is also shown via flashback from Secret Origins Vol. 3 #2 Part 1. (A reference in Detective Comics Vol. 2 #0 tells us the final stop before Shihan Matsuda is Afghanistan, hence the reasoning for linking Afghanistan with Sergei.) Presumably, Bruce also studies computer science, computer engineering, robotics, data systems analysis, code-breaking, and hacking during this period.

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2003

 

–the second feature to Batman Vol. 2 #22
January to June 2003. Bruce’s training course in Afghanistan continues. Bruce trains with Sergei Alexandrov for five more months, working on escape artistry and inventive weaponry. Batman Vol. 3 #18 specifically shows Bruce escaping from chains in a scene that is likely a part of Sergei’s training. On the final day of his training, Bruce—now freshly age 21—escapes from an “inescapable” room hidden beneath the Sphinx in Gaza, Egypt. (The final day of this six month training must occur in June 2003 at the latest. This is so because Bruce turns 21-years-old in June 2003 and we are told two important things. First, the second feature to Batman Vol. 2 #22 tells us that the end of Sergei’s six month training ends after Bruce has turned 21. And second, Secret Origins Vol. 3 #2 Part 1 tells us that part of Sergei’s training was five years prior to Zero Year i.e. in 2002.) This item is also shown via flashback from Secret Origins Vol. 3 #2 Part 1 and Batman Vol. 3 #18.

[14]

–FLASHBACK: From Batman and… #28 (“Batman and Two-Face”). Bruce returns home to keep up appearances with the local Gotham crowd. At Wayne Manor, Bruce throws a huge gala, through which he vicariously celebrates the college graduation of some of his friends that are a couple years older than he, notably childhood pals Harvey Dent and Gilda Gold.[15] Bruce introduces Gilda to Harvey and they instantly hit it off. At the shindig, Bruce also settles a ruckus caused by his childhood friends (and high school girlfriends), the wild twin sisters Erin and Shannon McKillen. The McKillen sisters are the infamous daughters of the McKillen Mob. (The reason this flashback goes here is because it is the last possible time Bruce could be home to throw a party before going off-the-radar.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #0. June 2003. This is the last time Bruce will see and communicate with Alfred Pennyworth for roughly four years. Bruce also ends all communication with his friends Harvey Dent, Gilda Gold, and the McKillen sisters. (In Batman Vol. 2 #0, Bruce mentions that he was “gone for FOUR YEARS,” meaning he went off-the-radar at the conclusion of his first THREE YEARS of training—which is literally right now.)

–Detective Comics Vol. 2 #0 Part 1
June to December 2003. Training course: Himalayas. Bruce travels to Himalayas where he begins training with Shihan Matsuda. Bruce moves in with Matsuda and his wife, Sama Matsuda. (The editorial note says TEN YEARS AGO, which means “four years” prior to Year Zero’s “six years ago” tag.)

Detective Comics Vol. 2 #0 Part 2
December 2003—six months after Detective Comics Vol. 2 #0 Part 1. Bruce has been living with and training with Shihan Matsuda for six months. Bruce meets shopgirl Mio, who is actually a League of Assassins killer-in-training.

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2004

 

–Detective Comics Vol. 2 #0 Part 3
January to April 2004—three months after Detective Comics Vol. 2 #0 Part 2. Three more months of training with Shihan Matsuda pass. In March, Bruce starts dating Mio. His training with Matsuda continues.

–Detective Comics Vol. 2 #0 Part 4
April 2004. Bruce’s training with Shihan Matsuda continues. Mio attacks Shihan Matsuda on behalf of his wife Sama, who no longer loves her husband and wants him dead. Mio and Sama successfully murder Shihan, but Sama gets betrayed and killed by Mio. Bruce enters and fights Mio, who is left for dead after the encounter—(SPOILER: She actually survives).

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics Vol. 2 #21. April 2004—this scene takes place immediately after ‘tec Vol. 2 #0 Part 4. (Bruce’s “TEN YEARS AGO” thought box in Detective Comics Vol. 2 #21, published in 2013, is tad bit off.) Mio waits for Bruce to depart and then returns to Ra’s al Ghul, leader of the League of Assassins. Ra’s al Ghul aka “The Demon’s Head” is an immortal international terrorist. Sometimes his name is spelled with random macrons, like “Rā’s al Ghūl” or “Ra’s al Ghūl.”

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to Detective Comics Vol. 2 #0. With Bruce missing and incommunicado, he is presumed dead. Alfred sends various private investigators all over the globe in search of him. Meanwhile, an attorney named Mr. Shaw begins a campaign of harassing Alfred on behalf of Bruce’s uncle, Philip Kane, who wants Bruce’s personal fortune and property and full control of Wayne Enterprises.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #21 and the second feature to Detective Comics Vol. 2 #0. Philip Kane is able to have Bruce, according to state law, declared legally dead. Kane takes full control of Wayne Enterprises, but is unable to gain access to Bruce’s personal wealth and property due to the fact that Alfred was made full custodian of Bruce’s material possessions as per the deceased Waynes’ wills. Kane also makes Edward Nygma (aka Edward Nigma aka Edward Nashton—real name unknown) his chief business strategist.

–FLASHBACK: From Secret Origins Vol. 3 #2 Part 1. A single panel shows a random high speed car chase. Presumably, Bruce is in one of these cars. And if you are thinking this could be linked to his Don Miguel training, you’d be wrong. This item specifically tells us that this high speed pursuit happens three years prior to Zero Year i.e. 2004.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 2 #26—and referenced in Batman Vol. 2 #21, Batman Vol. 2 #25, Batman Vol. 2 #27, and Batman Vol. 2 #29. Training course: Lagos, Nigeria. Bruce trains by fighting a “death match” in Lagos and by undergoing a several month-long course under the tutelage of a nomadic tribe in the Owami Desert. With the tribe, Bruce goes through unspeakable tortures, including living in a tiny orb-shaped hanging cell. Back home, Alfred learns from Philip Kane that Bruce is somewhere in the Nigerian desert. Alfred spends every penny he has to find out Bruce’s exact location and actually manages to arrange a phone call with him! However, Bruce remains cagey and refuses to speak. Alfred gives up hope that he had actually found him. Meanwhile, Uncle Philip sends a hired paramilitary unit to Nigeria to fetch Bruce, but the entire unit is killed by mine explosions. Dr. Karl Helfern‘s son is one of the soldiers killed. Dr. Helfern (aka “Dr. Death”) is a former Wayne Enterprises scientist known for conducting fatal skeletal expansion research on animals. Note that Helfern is spelled “Hellfern” on every other timeline except the New 52 timeline. (Philip Kane, during 2007’s Batman Vol. 2 #21, will talk about this rumored event as having occurred “three years ago,” hence its placement here.)

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2005

 

–REFERENCE: In Batman/Superman #4. Bruce successfully acclimates himself to every toxin he can, meaning he now becomes semi-immune to almost all known poisons. (An editorial note places this item THREE YEARS before 2008’s Batman/Superman #4.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman and Robin Vol. 2 #1. Bruce learns how to throw a boomerang and how to throw a shuriken.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #1 and Batman Vol. 2 #30. Bruce learns how to use a crossbow and other non-gun projectile firing weaponry. Note that Batman Vol. 2 #30 has a cover image that depicts Batman holding a bow and arrow. This is only a non-canon cover image. At no point in “Zero Year” does Batman ever use a bow and arrow—he instead wields a crossbow.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 2 #52. The year is purely conjectural. Bruce is led by an unknown female guide into the frostbitten wilderness of Alberta, Canada. There, he strips naked and stands under a freezing cold waterfall for as long as he can endure.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #956. Bruce trains in the art of magick from John Zatara and his daughter Zatanna Zatara. Bruce goes deep into the rabbit hole, but find magick to be both unsavory and totally out of his wheelhouse.

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2006

 

–FLASHBACK: From Secret Origins Vol. 3 #2 Part 1. Bruce trains in an unknown location with an unknown bearded warrior. They sword duel near what appears to be an active volcano. (This item is said to occur “seven years ago,” meaning one year prior to Zero Year.)

–the second feature to Batman Vol. 2 #23
June 2006. Training course: Norway. Bruce—age 24, still bearded, and going under the assumed name “Banion”—trains with a warrior woman called Queen. Also in Norway, Bruce fights another “death match,” this time for 28 hours straight, defeating dozens of men single-handedly. (Since Bruce leaves Gotham to train at age 18 in 2000, then the earliest this can be is June 2006, when he turns 24-years-old.)

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to Detective Comics Vol. 2 #0. Training course: Himalayan foothills. Bruce returns to the Himalayan region for additional training. (Alfred, in ‘tec Vol. 2 #0, which occurs in 2007, says there was a rumor that Bruce was seen in the foothills of the Himalayas ONE YEAR prior.)

–FLASHBACK: From Batman and Robin Vol. 2 #5-6. Training course: Paris, France (and various other Henri Ducard connected stops). Bruce snoops around Paris for a bit before locating Henri Ducard, famous detective and bounty hunter. Bruce fights Henri’s son Morgan Ducard and defeats him, earning the right to train with them. After preliminary training, the trio scours the globe (in jungles, deserts, and the Middle East) in search of international terrorist Hassan. During this time, Henri tells Bruce many valuable lessons about detective work and fugitive hunting (as referenced in Batman Vol. 2 #10 and All-Star Batman #8). When Henri kills Hassan instead of apprehending him, Bruce storms off angrily. Henri sends Morgan to kill Bruce in London, but the latter obviously fails. Bruce beats up Morgan and violently returns him to his pop in Paris. “And that is how I wrapped up the last of my training days overseas,” later says Batman, in a recording made for Damian. This could mean that Bruce’s training ends or that it continues in the States for a little before his return to Gotham. Take into account that Bruce is clean-shaven when he leaves Paris, but will be fully bearded when he returns home. (A reference in Batman and Robin Vol. 2 #4 tells us that Henri Ducard was the “last stop on Bruce’s list of trainers.” Therefore, the flashbacks from B&R Vol. 2 #5-6 must go here.)

–NOTE: Via reference in Batman Vol. 2 #0, Batman Vol. 2 #13, Batman Vol. 2 #21-22, and Batman Vol. 2 #24. While Bruce has been finishing-up his training abroad, crime-boss Liam Distal has become Gotham’s first ever super-villain called The Red Hood (aka Red Hood One), commander of the vile Red Hood Gang. Distal and his gang have recently usurped top bad guy status from Carmine “The Roman” Falcone (leader of the Falcone Mob). At this point on our timeline, however, the man who will become Joker (identity unknown) murders Distal and secretly replaces him as leader of the gang, turning into the new Red Hood in the process. (The end of Batman Vol. 2 #24 reveals that Distal has been replaced by a new Red Hood at a completely unspecified time. In next year’s Batman Vol. 2 #24, Bruce suspects that the man who becomes Joker replaced Distal as Red Hood One at some point earlier in the year, saying that at most it could have been months ago. Is it possible, however, that the man who becomes Joker replaces the Red Hood earlier than that, as in right around now, before Bruce even returns to Gotham.)[16]

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<<< Intro <<< | >>> Year Zero >>>

  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: When I originally started the New 52 timeline, I did not do a full Salad Days section. As such, there are definitely a handful of references and flashbacks that have yet to be added into this section! If you know of any that are missing, please drop me a line, thanks!
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: Some important rules for the New 52 timeline before we actually get going. As I’ve done in prior sections of the website, I’ve included flashbacks in a very specific way. If a flashback is first revealed—let’s say in Year 10, hypothetically—the flashback may or may not be mentioned in Year 10, but the actual events that occur in said flashback will be placed one the timeline exactly when they originally occurred attached to bullets listed as “flashback.” Similarly, story references will be listed as bullet “references.” And likewise, important narrative events that don’t include Batman will be listed as “notes.” Therefore, any “references,” “flashbacks,” or “notes” occur chronologically at the spot where they are situated on the timeline. Any character names (or group names) highlighted in red denote the first appearance of a reoccurring character (or group). Some of these red items may appear only once in the Bat-verse, but appear elsewhere throughout the DCU, and thus have been given the crimson treatment as well.

    One more thing. As stated elsewhere on the website, just about everyone eats, shits, sleeps, brushes their teeth, watches TV, goes to the office, schedules appointments in advance, and celebrates birthdays, anniversaries, and special occasions. Believe it or not, Batman does all these things too. He’s human just like you and me! However, this kind of mundane everyday stuff won’t be on our timeline. Usually, anyway.

  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: What is the rule when it comes to addressing retcons while building our timeline? Can narrative be canonized piecemeal from within a single comic? And how do we know a retcon when we see one? My timeline-building methodology doesn’t generally involve picking and choosing pieces of individual comics. Typically, a full issue is either canon or it isn’t. The only time pieces of a single comic get added are via reference (or the occasional dreaded out-and-out retcon). It’s up to the reader to make things fit into the greater puzzle—either by fanwank or caveat citing a retcon/irreconcilable difference. It’s certainly not an exact science—and I’m sure I break my own rules every now and again. But I really try not to. Later issues can retcon pieces of prior issues i.e. the Modern Age example of The Man Who Laughs (2005) retconning the end of Miller’s “Year One” (1987). But prior issues trumping later issues doesn’t usually happen. An exception to this rule would apply to retcons from later published material that is quasi-canonical in nature i.e. the Modern Age’s The Batman Files. Here’s the big thing to remember: Not everything contradictory that is written later is meant to be a retcon. Some writers simply make mistakes! It’s up to the reader to determine what is a retcon versus what is a continuity error. In this way, we have a loophole to all of our aforementioned edicts. It’s a difficult process determining what is or isn’t a retcon, and, as said before, it certainly isn’t an exact science with hard rules. Thus, we get caveats that say what needs to be ignored. Honestly, the continuity game is a mug’s game. As stated above, the idea is simply to come up with the best (most sensible) reading order. In my practice, I’ve tried to do this while simultaneously providing detailed explanations into my thinking.
  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER: Batman Vol. 2 #21 tells us that Bruce Wayne was training for at least (and most likely) SEVEN YEARS, which includes his FOUR YEAR completely-off-the-radar time before his return to Alfred (as we are told in Batman Vol. 2 #0). Therefore, if Batman debuts in August 2007 (Year Zero), Bruce must start training in 2000. Therefore, this means that Bruce graduates high school in June 2000, immediately celebrates his 18th birthday, immediately searches for and locates Joe Chill, and then immediately departs for Tibet in that same month (June 2000 aka roughly seven years before debuting as Batman). Bruce’s graduation, hunt for Chill, and departure for Tibet are detailed in Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #0 Part 3. Oh, and in case you missed it, that means Bruce was born in June 1982. Note that Scott Snyder’s “Endgame,” which occurs in 2015, specifically says Bruce is 32-years-0ld. Since Bruce turns 33 shortly after “Endgame,” this also confirms his 1982 birth year.
  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: In regard to the use of specific dates or months on the New 52 timeline: Unfortunately, moving forward (and is the case with this very example from Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #0), some specific dates and months listed on this chronology won’t be taken by information given by writers and editors. Usually, if something has a specific month listed beside it and does not have a “reason why” listed along with it, it has to do with its chrono-spatial relationship with other stories (which may give much more detailed information). However, no matter what, there is always a reasoning behind an attachment of a precise month to a story. The process of timeline-building is very exhaustive. Obviously, topical references and editorial notes are taken into account, but so are in-story clues and dialog as well. Once I have a bunch of items placed relatively where I think they go, I cross-check each story with every other story on my timeline to make sure that they aren’t contradicting each other.
  6. [6]COLLIN COLSHER: As referenced in James Tynion IV’s Justice League Vol. 4 #22, Barbatos (along with Perpetua, Monitor Mar Novu, Anti-Monitor Mobius, and World Forger Alpheus) have lived through all of DC’s reboots. Thus, due to his existence on an untouchable cosmic plane, the same incarnation of Barbatos has been around since the beginning of everything.
  7. [7]COLLIN COLSHER: Jake and Kate’s relationship to the Wayne/Kane family was always vague and confusing in the Modern Age. In the Modern Age, Kate was a distant relative of Kathy Kane’s but unrelated to Bruce. The New 52 not only makes Jake and Kate’s positions on the family tree crystal clear, but it upgrades their connection to the Waynes as well. Detective Comics #934 and Detective Comics #939 confirm that Jake and Martha were siblings, officially defining Bruce and Kate as first cousins. Batwoman Vol. 2 #25 strongly implies that Bruce’s mother Martha Wayne (née Kane) has four siblings: Philip Kane, Jacob “Jake” Kane, Nathan Kane (who will one day briefly marry Katherine “Kathy” Webb), and an unnamed sibling that is parent to Bette Kane. In the Golden and Silver Age, Bette was always said to have been the niece of Kathy Webb (used to be “Webster” back then), which always implied an unnamed Kane sibling as her progenitor. In the Rebirth Era, it is implied that there isn’t an extra Kane, and that Bette is simply Philip’s daughter.
  8. [8]COLLIN COLSHER: In the New 52, it has been separately said that Bruce was fourteen-years-old, ten-years-old, and eight-years-old at the time of his parents’ deaths. Let’s see if one (or any) of these actually fits the bill.

    Secret Origins Vol. 3 #2 Part 1 lists the Wayne murders as taking place eleven years prior to Year Zero, which makes Bruce fourteen at the time. Scott Snyder’s Batman Vol. 2 #39 tells us specifically that Bruce was thirteen-years-old when he fell into the caverns below Wayne Manor (while attempting to map them with a drone), a scene shown in Batman Vol. 2 #21-22 that occurs roughly a year prior to his folks’ murders. This means Bruce was fourteen-years-old a year later when his folks kicked the bucket. If Bruce was fourteen, that means his parents died in 1996.

    James Tynion, in Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #4, has Batman himself say that his parents died when he was eight-years-old. Tynion gives the same eight-years-old age in Detective Comics #943. Peter Tomasi echoes Tynion, in Justice League: The Darkseid War – Batman #1, telling us outright, again via the voice of Batman himself, that Bruce’s parents died when he was eight-years-old. (In that same comic, Tomasi also tells us that the Wayne murders took place “over twenty years” prior to 2015, which would be around 1994. That math doesn’t make a lick of sense and must be disregarded.) If Bruce’s folks died when he was eight, then it happened in 1990.

    Curiously, Scott Snyder, in Batman Vol. 2 #24, contradicts Batman Vol. 2 #39 (his own story, no less) when it comes to Bruce’s age at the time of the Wayne murders. In Batman Vol. 2 #24, Snyder tells us that Bruce is specifically twenty-five-years-old and then, a mere seven pages later, has Red Hood One say that the Wayne murders happened “fifteen years” prior. This gaffe, either on the part of a misinformed Red Hood One or erroneous Scott Snyder himself, contradicts Batman Vol. 2 #39 by making Bruce ten-years-old at the time of his parents’ deaths. However, Grant Morrison’s Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #13 says Bruce was ten-years-old when his folks perished. As does Geoff Johns’ Justice League Vol. 2 #5. And Tom King’s Batman Vol. 3 #20 implies that he was ten-years-old too. If Bruce really was ten-years-old at the time, then it means his parents died in 1992.

    Snyder’s All-Star Batman #3 depicts the first meeting of a young Bruce Wayne and young Harvey Dent. This scene occurs shortly after Bruce’s parents have been murdered. The boys are drawn (by John Romita) as if they look to be eight to twelve-years-old. Tom King’s Batman Vol. 3 #12 reveals that a ten-year-old Bruce attempted suicide at some point following his parents’ passing. Like All-Star Batman #3, this King reference leans toward Bruce being either eight or ten at the time of the tragedy as well.

    So, let’s tally the numbers. Two instances of fourteen-years-old. Three instances of eight-years-old. Four instances of ten-years-old. And two references that could be either eight or ten-years-old. Count them up. The tens have it.

  9. [9]COLLIN COLSHER: In Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #0, Bruce doesn’t know that Joe Chill has killed his parents and doesn’t find out until after his 18th birthday. However, All-Star Batman #4 retcons this in a big way, telling us that a young Bruce discovers that Joe Chill is his parents’ killer almost immediately after they are killed.
  10. [10]COLLIN COLSHER: Batman Vol. 2 #21 tells us that Bruce Wayne trains for at least (and most likely) SEVEN YEARS, which includes his FOUR YEAR completely-off-the-radar time before his return to Alfred (as we are told in Batman Vol. 2 #0). Therefore, if Batman debuts in August 2007 (Year Zero), Bruce must start training in 2000. Therefore, this means that Bruce graduates high school in June 2000, immediately celebrates his 18th birthday, immediately searches for and locates Joe Chill, and then immediately departs for Tibet in that same month (June 2000 aka roughly seven years before debuting as Batman).
  11. [11]COLLIN COLSHER: Originally, in Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #0, Bruce doesn’t know that Joe Chill has killed his parents and doesn’t find out until after his 18th birthday. However, All-Star Batman #4 retcons this, having Bruce discover that Joe Chill is his parents’ murderer almost immediately after they are killed. Thus, we must read Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #0 as a significantly altered version of the narrative, with that specific retcon in mind. After all is said and retconned, here is how it all truly went down. As stated, precocious junior detective Bruce discovered that his parents were killed by Chill almost immediately after the horrific double-murder occurred. However, Chill went on the lam and never served time for the crime. While Chill was lamming, Bruce, besides trying to locate the killer, spent years trying to figure out if Chill was part of some grander elaborate scheme to assassinate his folks.
  12. [12]COLLIN COLSHER: Daniel Wallace’s Batman: The World of the Dark Knight—a late Modern Age publication, released in 2012 (and merely quasi-canonical at that)—specifically lists Bruce’s mastery of fourteen martial arts, seemingly linking up with ‘tec #949‘s similar mention of fourteen martial arts. The list includes shotokan karate, capoeira, savate, western boxing, muay thai, wing chun kung fu, Okinawan goju-ryu karate, panantukan, judo, Brazilian jiu-jutsu, sambo, fencing, kobudo, and escrima/kali.
  13. [13]COLLIN COLSHER: The order of Bruce’s training stops is not 100% clear due to seemingly conflicting information in Batman and Robin Vol. 2 #5 and Detective Comics Vol. 2 #0. In Batman and Robin Vol. 2 #5 (March 2012), Bruce speaks of his time with Henri Ducard, which is his definitive last stop of training, saying, “It was around this time that I’d already found and trained … with Chu Chin Li and Tsunetomo. […] My next stop was to France and trying to locate Henri Ducard…” This reads as if Bruce sees these three folks in a row, but it could also be read as, “Bruce saw the first two at some point, and now he is seeing Ducard.”

    Detective Comics #0 (November 2012), published eight months after Batman and Robin #5, features Bruce training with Shihan Matsuda in the Himalayas. While there, Bruce mentions his stops thus far (seemingly in chronological order): “Tibet, Nagoya, Mount Qingcheng, Oxford, Paris, Kenya, Syria, Afghanistan, [and Himalayas].” Some of these appear to be references to trainings with specific teachers, although the Paris one is obviously not Bruce’s time with Ducard (rendering his journey in Batman and Robin #5 a second trip to the City of Lights). However, I’ve surmised that Mount Qingcheng connects with Chu Chin Li while Nagoya connects to Tsunetomo.

    This might be a bit of conjecture, but it’s the Occam’s razor direction I’ve taken. Otherwise, we’d have to list Mount Qingcheng and Nagoya as separate trips, pushing Chu Chin Li and Tsunetomo to just prior to Ducard (which would mean two separate trips to Paris, two separate trips to China, and two separate trips to Japan). I don’t think there’s need for that, nor do I think that was the intention of either Peter Tomasi or Gregg Hurwitz. However, both ways work, so it’s up to your own headcanon on this one.

  14. [14]COLLIN COLSHER: The entire Superman: American Alien series by Max Landis is non-canon. Superman: American Alien #3, for example, takes place on Bruce’s 21st birthday and shows Bruce training with Ra’s al Ghul, a scene that partially mirrors a scene from the Christopher Nolan Batman Begins film. It also shows Clark Kent accidentally crashing a Gotham yacht party, during which he gets mistaken for Bruce Wayne and has sex with Barbara Minerva. However, Superman: American Alien is non-canon. First of all, the second feature to Action Comics Vol. 2 #14 gives us enough information to tell us that Superman is roughly two years younger than Batman. This would mean that Clark is around nineteen-years-old during Superman: American Alien #3. This cannot be the case since Ma and Pa Kent are shown alive and well in that same issue. They both died in a car accident on the night of Clark’s high school senior prom. (Ma died instantly whereas Pa succumbed to a heart attack brought on by the crash a few minutes later.) Besides all the problems above, Superman: American Alien also contradicts the second feature to Batman Vol. 2 #22 and flashback from Secret Origins Vol. 3 #2 Part 1, in which Bruce turns twenty-one-years-old while training with Sergei Alexandrov.

    Superman: American Alien #4 features Bruce, who has just recently adopted Dick Grayson as his ward, but has yet to reveal his secret that he is Batman. Likewise, Clark—yet to become Superman—meets Batman for the first time, fights him, and learns his secret identity. This period of time where all of these things simultaneously occur simply does not exist in the New 52.

  15. [15]COLLIN COLSHER: In Batman and… #28, Harvey Dent mentions that he’s known Bruce since pre-school. However, this isn’t true. In an All-Star Batman #3 retcon, Bruce meets Harvey shortly after the murder of his parents. This means they first meet, not in preschool, but around age eight or nine at the earliest. Bruce and Harvey meet at the original Arkham Home in Innsmouth, Massachusetts, where they both stay for a summer. A couple years after that, Bruce and Harvey re-meet and hit it off, cementing their friendship.
  16. [16]COLLIN COLSHER: If Distal’s murder and replacement does indeed occur here and now, then the first appearance of the Red Hood (from Batman Vol. 2 #0/Batman Vol. 2 #21) ALREADY FEATURES the man who becomes Joker (and not Distal). And if we take Batman’s thoughts from 2012’s Detective Comics Vol. 2 #1 where he says Joker has been active for six years, at face value, this means he later suspects this to be the case as well.

    Of course, Scott Snyder really is purposefully trying to be vague with the timeframe for Distal being killed and replaced by the man who becomes Joker—(maybe it is Distal right up until the scene before Red Hood falls into the acid, maybe it is Distal up until months before that, or maybe it is Distal up until the end of this year). Snyder really wants to hint at a “multiple choice” origin for Joker. There is serious debate to be had here, but there really is no clear cut way of knowing. Although, I would argue that the man who becomes Joker kills Distal right now because Bruce, in Batman Vol. 2 #22, will take a blood sample from Red Hood early into his fight with the villain and the blood sample will be a dead end. If known offender and ex-con Distal were under the mask, he would have come up as a match.

21 Responses to New 52 Salad Days

  1. Jamison says:

    What did you think of Batman #21, Collin? Are you liking it more than year one so far?

    • Haha, I hope that’s a joke about liking it more than “Year One!” It’s impossible to really judge “Zero Year” since we’ve only seen but one issue out of eleven. And it’s a tough comparison in general to “Year One”‘s meager four issues. I will say, I hope that Snyder is doing his best NOT to compete with Miller’s original origin tale, especially since I want “Zero Year” to succeed. Miller’s “Year One,” in my opinion, is the best Batman story ever told. Period.

      That being said, I can comment on what I saw in Batman #21. It’s definitely interesting. And I liked it! What I like most about Batman #21 is that is sure isn’t Miller’s “Year One.” This is definitely a Batman that is ready for the greater DCU. No longer will the strengths (and limitations) of the Batverse keep it separated from the rest of the multiverse in which it resides. That much seems obvious, and for that, I praise Snyder. Another reason I dig it: I perceive what might possibly be a really amazing deconstruction of Miller’s “Year One.” Bruce has returned to a Gotham where crime has become, as he puts it, “viral.” It is being perpetrated, not by small-timers like before he left, but by crazed gangs that are the direct precursor to super-villains. This is a HUGE (and hopefully telling/deliberate?) departure from Miller, where a costumed crime-fighter (Batman) was the answer to fighting plain old gangsters, which then spawned the crazy super-villainy. In the New 52, the proto-super-villains of Gotham, in a sense, seem to spawn the creation of the fanciful Batman character. But in my excitement over this possiblity, I also have anxiety. Is this really a deconstruction of Miller’s “Year One” or just a Batman reboot with a lame helmet-wearing opening villain that appears to mirror many of Snyder’s other villains? I fear what’s to come based upon Snyder’s track record and overall corpus. I think Snyder is a great writer—he engages the reader, plays off of continuity in subtle but unique ways, and usually leaves one craving for the next page. However, it seems to me that Snyder often fizzles out somewhere towards the end of his arcs, leaving the reader to wonder if what has transpired was truly deep or if it just was a bunch of bunk buried beneath the veneer of false substance and Capullo’s top-notch art. We have ten issues to go, so there’s a lot of time to sink or swim. Snyder has a pretty solid record as a writer, but has yet to really knock one out of the park. Could this be it? It better be.

  2. Jamison says:

    Haha, I wouldn’t call the fact that Miller told his story in only four issues meager. It’s an amazing achievement that he managed to tell the greatest Batman story of all time in just 4 issues. One of my fears is that the 11 issues Snyder has allotted may drag out too long. Snyder’s Batman is a bit verbose in his inner monologues, whereas Miller used really short, to-the-point sentences . I think though it may not be valid thing to do, it’s very difficult not to compare this story to year one. It’s serving the same function that year one did for the modern age reboot.
    For me the whole new 52 Bat-verse has a very different feel to me. Not bad, just different. This Batman feels like a brand new character that I haven’t quite gotten to know fully. I don’t know if you feel this way too, or if you feel like the new 52 Bat-verse is much different than the modern age, but if so, do you feel like the new 52 books could ever replace the modern age stories as being the “Definitive Batman” in your mind? Or will the new 52 always feel like the DC Ultimate universe, and they just no longer publish stories in the regular continuity? I hope the question is clear. I know it presumes that you think a certain way.
    I don’t know if I am alone on this, but I’m getting a very similar feeling from the recent DC video games coming out. Both Injustice Gods Among Us and Batman Arkham Origins have a very new 52 kinda feel to them, I think. Maybe its just the costumes, but the characters in these games feel more at home in the new age continuity. Again, this isn’t a bad thing, just an observation. Thoughts?

  3. Batman Fan says:

    Figuring out when the events of issue #0 occur in relation to the rest of the Zero Year issues has been a source of considerable frustration and annoyance to me as a reader. Snyder confuses things tremendously by having Gordon say Bruce has been back for three months in issue 0, and Alfred say Bruce has been back for six weeks in 21.

    When we see that Bruce’s return isn’t made public until issue 22 and that his brownstone is blown up that very night, Gordon’s visit to the brownstone in issue 0 makes absolutely no sense… Unless, as you both have surmised, he figured out Bruce returned before it became public knowledge and paid his visit at the three month mark, which would place the events in issue 0 somewhere between issues 21 and 22.

    It should NOT be this difficult to figure that out. My guess is that Snyder made changes to or came up with new ideas for Zero Year after issue 0’s publication, and that the Gordon scene in that issue was written as if Bruce’s return was public. Assuming the reader will figure out Gordon has discovered Bruce’s return before it’s made public is a huge leap, and a bad one if deliberate. Additionally, Bruce should be surprised by a visit from Gordon if his return is still a secret, and no surprise is shown, though it is in issue 21 when Philip Kane visits. Finally, Bruce talks to Gordon in the issue 0 scene like they’ve met before, which doesn’t seem to fit it into the timeline established in issue 21. Probably because it wasn’t originally written to be their first meeting. Issue 0 probably was supposed to be, as you said, Collin, the actual opening sequence to Zero Year (that’s how I was looking at it until the “three months” “six weeks” dialogue kept that from making sense). Then Snyder made changes to his story which made that impossible.

  4. Glenn Simpson says:

    Apologies if this is covered elsewhere, but I notice in the New Age section that you are using specific years. Will these be adjusted forward in “sliding timeline” format eventually, or are you making the assumption that the comics are now operating in real time?

    • This is an excellent question, Glenn. I use specific years on all my timelines because specific years are always given. Eventually, someone somewhere gives us the date and the time, for better or worse. Believe it or not, the New 52 IS operating in real time, although due to an insane amount of compressed storytelling the New 52 DCUniverse is lagging behind “real time.” While I am forced to make some personal decisions while building my timelines, nothing I do in regard to chronology-construction is merely an assumption made out of thin air. After every reboot, editors and writers operate in real time and then they mandate time-sliding as the years go on and on. Since the Seventies, DC has always used a sliding-timeline to make their stories more contemporary (as opposed to rebooting all the time). Thus, stories have stayed more contemporary for decades and DC has only felt the need to reboot their line twice since the Sixties.

      The benefit of creating a chronology after said chronology has lapsed (like the Golden or Silver or Modern) is that nobody can throw you any curve balls or toss up a trick play out of nowhere. The information needed for the timeline is done, finite, complete—so you can build with ease. Working out a timeline as the comics come out week-to-week can be a frustrating endeavor. I’ve already rebuilt and completely overhauled the New 52 section at least a dozen times.

      Now, presuming the New 52 remains the primary DCUniverse, the main-line so to speak, the question arises, “Will DC decide to slide the timeline as they have done in the past?” If it happens, then I surely will slide along with them. But never before has DC opted to use such specific “six year” and “five year” references right out of the gate. Because of this, a sliding-timeline might prove to be difficult in the future. Also, with all of the rumors swirling about the re-emergence of a multiverse that mirrors the comic book ages of old, who knows what DC has planned.

  5. DJ Torres says:

    It seems that Bruce Wayne was 14 when his parents died. As in Batman 39, Bruce said “haven’t felt scared since I was 13 and fell into the cave” or something to that extent

    • Good call. Secret Origins #2 also puts Bruce at age 14 at the time of his parents’ deaths. However, I had previously regarded that as incorrect since Scott Snyder, in his own Batman #24, tells us that Bruce was ten!! In Batman #24, Snyder tells us that Bruce is 25 then has Red Hood One say his parents died fifteen years ago. I guess Red Hood is off by a few years. It’s still a weird error, but one I’m not surprised at considering all the crap that’s gone down in Batman Eternal. The devil is in the details.

      So, since Secret Origins #2 AND Batman #39 say Bruce was 14-years-old and only Batman #24 puts him at age 10, democracy wins. Fourteen trumps ten by a 2 to 1 majority.

      Thanks, DJ!

  6. Eric Agner says:

    Question? Where did you get the source Bruce was 25 during Zero Year?

    • Batman #24 shows a newscast that gives us Bruce’s age.

      PS. I was serious about the John Zatara Modern Age training thing we were talking about before. I really don’t know. Do you think that Dini was implying that the training was pre-Batman in costume? I’m starting to lean that way the more I think about it.

      • Eric Agner says:

        It probably is. It would make more sense. Why and how would have the time to train during year one? Also shouldn’t Batgirl be another year from Dick Grayson? Also can you explain this I found. It’s http://comicscodeauthority.tumblr.com/post/57743210640/new-52-batman-timeline. It says the timeline of Batman new 52. How do you figure it?

        • Eric Agner says:

          Also it states on Wikipidea Zatara trained him (comics) at a very young age.

        • Eric Agner says:

          Oh and for Zatara I see exactly what you mean. It would be going a whole other level if you changed the time statements. You’d be saying part of the comic book is a false claim. Which makes the whole comic not all canon which confuses things. I just believe that the Timeline was meant to be 15 years (is there any evidence stating that?). So that’s why I believe Zatara trained at 18. However I also see where your coming from as well. And I have one more question. Sorry to talk so much. Really trying to learn. I am also just curious. What is your reason for expanding the timeline from 15 years (if there is evidence DC meant it that way) to 23 years?

          • The reason I have my timeline at 23 years is based upon information given in comic books. If you literally read every Batman comic book from 1986 through 2011, noting all the changes of season, topical references, references to time, editorial notes, and character aging/development, you wind up with a mix of contradictions. But if you whittle that down, forming the BEST POSSIBLE combination of these contradictions, you’ll soon find that there is a concrete timeline. When you decide to add in all the other DC characters you’ll find that things need to shift and fit to form even more in order to make things readable and understandable and believable from a narrative perspective.

            Towards the end of any superhero-verse line (meaning fifteen to twenty-five years following a reboot), most mainstream companies will start to contradict their own timeline for fear that their characters are getting too old or stagnant. That’s when you start getting strange editorial tags and bogus time references. Such is the case with the Modern Age. DC was chugging along in relative real-time for about fifteen to twenty years and then all of a sudden time seemed to stand still (even though events kept on happening and characters kept on living their complicated little lives). Around that time, earlier stories noticeably became reference material, compressed into the distant void of their own historical chronologies while losing all semblance of substance.

            Chris J. Miller’s old project, The Unauthorized Chronology of the DCU, is a great example of a Modern Age timeline that regards everything THE WAY IT WAS WRITTEN (post retcons, of course) as canon. His timeline also mirrors mine in length.

            So really, it’s not a case of me expanding DC’s timeline. It’s a case of DC needlessly shrinking their own.

            • Eric Agner says:

              Thanks. I was just curious. Did you see the new 52 link? What you think

              • Hey Eric. I did look at the nice link by Comics Code Authority. It’s a smart infographic and I agree with most of it, but I do disagree with some of it. My Batgirl debut was only a mere two months earlier than what CCA had, so in regard to Batgirl we actually didn’t differ that much. Because the difference was so slight, I went ahead and moved Batgirl’s debut two months later, so now it actually does take place “Four Years Ago,” giving it both the correct placement in regard to its “Years Later” tag AND aligning it with CCA’s timeline.

                Since CCA lists Year Zero as Year One whereas I list it as Year Zero, our years have different names i.e. His Year One is my Year Zero, his Year Two is my Year One, etc… Thus, for the sake of clarity I will use “CCA Y1/RBCP Y0,” “CCA Y2/RBCP Y1,” and so on and so forth to describe our years.

                Okay! The problem that I see with CCA’s timeline is that their “Four Years Ago” (CCA Y3/RBCP Y2) doesn’t contain anything else besides Batgirl’s debut. Jason Todd definitely becomes Robin “Three Years Ago” (CCA Y4/RBCP Y3). However, CCA lists Dick becoming Nightwing in that same year. I take into account—whereas CCA doesn’t—training time for the Robins, meaning Jason should start in CCA Y3/RBCP Y 2, which slides Nightwing’s debut prior to that. There is so little time on the shortened New 52 timeline that I feel we should push the debuts of the Robins as early as possible (without violating any continuity), thus giving them each at least a solid year (including training time) on the timeline. Basically, CCA has a strange imbalance happening in his Y3 and Y4—there’s A LOT going on in CCA’s Y4 but very little going on in CCA’s Y3.

                Hope that makes sense. DC did a full reboot but got cold feet when it came to going all the way with its marquee players, Batman and Green Lantern. This obviously made things needlessly confusing. Such has been the biggest drawback of the New 52 timeline (especially for Batman). There are multiple ways of reading/understanding his past and it’s a difficult endeavor since DC packed so much back-story into six years.

                Thanks for sharing, as usual, Eric. Everytime I look at the timeline belonging to someone else, I may not agree entirely, but I usually wind up making at least one change on my own timeline! The Real Batman Chronology Project is getting more accurate every day thanks to the efforts of readers and fans like you.

                • Eric Agner says:

                  I enjoy helping out. And I agree for sure on your timeline. It flows way easier then the CCA timeline. Expecially with the “Five years” public thing.

  7. How hard would it have been for DC to have put around an email to their staff, or started a wiki, or posted a note on a noticeboard with a list of important facts?

    How hard would it have been to hire a continuity checker too read stories and make them fit?

    Surely someone could have decided ‘Batman was born in 199x, his parents died in 199x when the has 1x years old.’ He trained for x years at x locations with x people’ ‘he concieved his son at age 2x and met the robins in 200x, 200x, 200x and 200x each had a duration of x years service.’ ‘Supercrime started in 200x as a result of/regardless of (delete as appropriate) Batman’. ‘The Justice League started in 200x’

    Then have a consistent line of Presidents, Mayors and Police Commisioners on a straight forward list with length of term.

    I’m sure you can say it kills creativity to have to reference a factsheet, but if they make a new Harry Potter book, they’re not exactly going to suddenly say Harry Potter was 15 when he got magical powers and went to Hogwarts 5 years after Voldermort finally died, now are they?

    Surely everyone knows comics fans like continuity and get annoyed at contradictions, isn’t worth doing something to stop people complaining for years?

    • Preaching to the choir, King. I can’t say for sure what happens behind closed doors when DC higher-ups meet, but it certainly is frustrating. DC can say that “story should trump continuity,” but any narrative must have continuity, for continuity is, put simply, another word for story. Films have script-girls, script-boys, and continuity checkers. Disney has a whole team of fact-checkers running its Star Wars Continuity Department. Why don’t Marvel or DC?

      More troublesome, the errors that we (readers) flippantly label as “continuity errors” are less that by definition, and more just straight-up errors in the realm of getting in-story facts totally wrong. An example of a continuity error by definition would/should (and used to be) something akin to “Robin is depicted wearing the wrong arm-bands on page fourteen panel three.” Unfortunately, we’ve wandered into an era of superhero comic book engagement where the former—huge glaring errors that make literally no sense and get important facts completely incorrect—have overtaken the latter—minor flubs and visual contradictions.

      And I think you are right, King. Better editing from the perspective of Continuity would not only give substance to the shared universe, fleshing it out more concretely, but it would also allow for better storytelling as well. Unfortunately, the folks running DC seem to be terrified that a stricter regard for continuity rules would lead to less creative freedom. Anyone with half a brain knows this isn’t true. In fact, just the result would be just the opposite. However, things that are annoying and cumbersome to writers and editors are seen very differently by DC’s readership/fanbase. Making sure continuity errors don’t happen requires extra time, effort, money, and communication. It’s simply more convenient to take the easy route, get things wrong, and piss-off a selection of fans in the process, especially if it doesn’t dramatically effect sales numbers—and it never really has, which is truly a bummer.

      Hopefully, sites like the Real Batman Chronology Project will help people—fans and creators alike—better understand how continuity works in serialized collaborative fiction—the good, the bad, and the ugly.

  8. Jon Doe says:

    I might be wrong, but in Batman and Robin Vol. 2 #5 mentions that just before Bruce went to Paris to train with the Ducards, he trained with Chu Chin Li and Tsunetomo, two martial artists in the Far East. I’m not sure if I missed this on the timeline or not but I thought it was important.

    • It’s certainly not clear, is it, haha? In Batman and Robin #5, Bruce speaks of his time with Ducard, which is definitive last stop of training, saying that “It was around this time that I’d already found and trained … with Chu Chin Li and Tsunetomo. […] My next stop was to France and trying to locate Henri Ducard…” This reads like Bruce sees these folks all in a row, but it could also be read as “he saw the first two at some point, and now he is seeing Ducard.”

      Detective Comics #0, published six months after Batman and Robin #5, features Bruce training with Shihan Matsuda in the Himalayas. While there, Bruce mentions his stops thus far (seemingly in chronological order)—”Tibet, Nagoya, Mount Qingcheng, Oxford, Paris, Kenya, Syria, Afghanistan, [Himamalayas].” These appear to be references to specific trainings with specific teachers, although the Paris one is obviously not Ducard (making his journey to Paris in Batman and Robin #5 a second trip there). However, I’ve surmised that Mount Qingcheng connects with Chu Chin Li while Nagoya connects to Tsunetomo.

      That might be a bit of conjecture on my part, but it’s the direction I’ve taken. (Otherwise, we can list Mount Qingcheng and Nagoya as generic, pushing Chu Chin Li and Tsunetomo to just prior to Ducard). Either way works, all depends on your own headcanon. Thanks for the comment, though. I can definitely make this clearer on the site.

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