New 52 Year Four



–FLASHBACK: From Red Hood/Arsenal #7. Jason Todd gets mysteriously resurrected from the dead (!) and regains his thoughts and memories following an immediate Lazarus Pit bath courtesy of Talia al Ghul. From a distance, an angry Jason spies on Batman and his new (Red) Robin. (As we learn in Red Hood & The Outlaws #26, following his resurrection, Jason will spend the next eight months training with Ducra and her mystical warrior people known as The All-Caste, after which he will spend an additional eight months training with Lady Shiva and the League of Assassins before finally debuting as the revenge-obsessed Red Hood in April of next year. See Year Five for more details.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. #3 9. Bronze Tiger, who has always had close ties with Ra’s al Ghul, now officially begins his rookie training with the League of Assassins (as we learn in Red Hood & The Outlaws #20). Despite this connection to evil, Batman befriends Bronze Tiger, forming what will become a long-lasting relationship of based on mutual respect.

–REFREENCE: In Detective Comics Vol. 2 #16 and Super Sons #2. Batman begins using high-tech state-of-the-art facial recognition software as a part of his crime-fighting repertoire and to add to his criminal computer database.

–FLASHBACK: From Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #12. The Harley Quinn-Joker relationship is on the rocks. As Batman chases after the duo, Joker (the Comedian) pushes Harley backward into Batman’s arms in order to escape. Suffice to say, Joker and Harley will call it quits shortly after this event.

–REFERENCE: In DC Rebirth: Holiday Special #1 Part 3. The anthropomorphic chimpanzee private-eye Detective Chimp deduces Batman’s secret identity! Detective Chimp meets and impresses Bruce with his knowledge and sleuthing skills. Detective Chimp and Bruce become friends. Alfred and Detective Chimp particularly hit it off and become drinking buddies. Bruce and Alfred will hang out with Detective Chimp from time to time in the future (although we won’t see these undoubtedly amazing hangouts listed on our timeline).

–REFERENCE: In Suicide Squad Most Wanted #3 Part 1 (Suicide Squad Most Wanted: El Diablo and Killer Croc) and Suicide Squad Most Wanted #4 Part 1 (Suicide Squad Most Wanted: El Diablo and Killer Croc). Batman defeats the diabolical Sin Tzu. (Sin Tzu is a Jim Lee character that only previously appeared in the 2003 video game Batman: The Rise of Sin Tzu and the 2003-2004 Batman: Shadow of Sin Tzu webcomic. This is the first time he is canon in mainstream continuity.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #5, Secret Origins Vol. 3 #4 Part 3, and Batman Vol. 3 #8. Batman and Alfred set up their Batcave computer system to link up to every single security camera or CCTV feed in Gotham. Coupled with the “Human Kinematic Program” (a computer program that searches for certain faces and body-types while monitoring all the security cameras in the city), Batman has a powerful “Big Brother” surveillance tool on his side. He can view these feeds with a special type of echolocation sonar-vision. (This technology is taken straight out of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight film.)

–FLASHBACK: From Teen Titans Vol. 4 Annual #3. Batman and Red Robin chase after Joker. (It’s unclear which Joker appears here.)

–REFERENCE: In Superman Vol. 3 #15 and Grayson #12. Superman introduces his cousin Supergirl (Kara Zor-El) to Batman, Red Robin, and Nightwing.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #2. Talia al Ghul forms a team consisting of the DCU’s top villains. This elite group comprises Lex Luthor, Dr. Psycho (Edgar Cizko), The Calculator (Noah Kuttler), and Deathstroke. The Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #2 panel that shows this team being formed includes Black Adam. However, since Black Adam wouldn’t have debuted yet, his addition in the panel (and inclusion on the team) must be ignored. In the Modern Age, this team was known as the Secret Society of Super-Villains, and for a short time united the entire DCU super-villain community. In the New 52, this cannot be the case, since the Secret Society that debuts in the pages of Justice League of America Vol. 3 will be the first of its kind. Thus, this team must be more clandestine, running things from the shadows, since they won’t appear on the heroes’ radar. While Batman isn’t specifically a part of this flashback, he surely would have been aware of Talia’s activities up to a certain point, and would have known of her underworld gatherings, possibly including this one.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 4 #10. Batman updates his anti-Superman “Kryptonian Protocols” by learning and adding-in information about Lex Luthor’s power-suit.

–REFERENCE: In Grayson #12—originally told in Infinite Crisis. Of course, Infinite Crisis is non-canon in the New 52. However, the “Battle of Metropolis” is canon albeit in a heavily modified/re-contextualized form, sans any re-formation of Earths or villainy by inter-dimensional characters. Here instead is the likely New 52 scenario that better suits our current timeline. Several members of Talia al Ghul’s aforementioned clandestine group break a bunch of super-villains out of prison, unleashing them upon Metropolis. An army of heroes re-captures the bad guys and wins the day. However, during the chaotic melee, Nightwing is badly injured. Barbara Gordon nurses Dick back to health, but decides to end her on-again-off-again sexual relationship with him for good. Batman tells the Bat-Family that he will depart to undergo the “Thögal ritual,” also known as Tögal.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #3 and Batman and… #31 (“Batman & Frankenstein”). Mid January to Early March.[1] Bruce undergoes the Thögal ritual. The first stage is a sort of vision quest in the desert, lasting a few days. The second stage, called “Yangti,” takes place in the Himalayan stronghold of Nanda Parbat. Bruce is in complete isolation in a darkened cave for seven weeks straight. During the Yangti stage of Thögal, Bruce remembers his original Zur-En-Arrh hallucination and finds the negative trigger word “Zur-En-Arrh” deep within his mind. (He still doesn’t know Simon Hurt is responsible for implanting it there, but he does know it’s bad news.) Fearing that one of his enemies will take over his mind (or worse) using the trigger word, Bruce creates a post-hypnotic “backup identity.” In case of intense psychological attack, Bruce will become “The Batman of Zur-En-Arrh,” the very character he imagined during his time in the deprivation tank with Hurt two years ago. While undergoing the Thögal ritual, Batman also witnesses a vision of a possible future featuring two headstones and world in flames (as referenced in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #0). What is this world of flames that Batman sees? Why, it’s the future as previously described in Batman #666 and shown/canonically referenced in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #5. In this future, a much grimmer version of Batman exists in a harsh world of evil chaos. In this future, the new Batman has been played by Simon Hurt and Talia al Ghul, leading to the death of everyone in Gotham and the utter destruction of the entire city. Of course, Batman will later realize that this version of Batman is his son Damian, whom he has yet to meet. But is Damian the usher of doom, is it someone else, or is this future merely a possibility? One way of interpreting the vision/dream is to realize that it means that the future holds two possibilities: The two tombstones, representing the deaths of Talia and Damian or the world in flames, representing the apocalyptic future where Talia and Damian cause the destruction of Gotham.[2]

–Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #0
March. Enter Damian Wayne, the lovechild of Talia al Ghul and Batman, born three years ago but genetically engineered so he now appears as an early pre-adolscent. (See Year Zero and Year One for the wild details regarding Damian’s conception, birth, and age.) Damian, on his biological eighth birthday, defeats his mother in combat, earning the right to finally meet his famous papa, who had zero knowledge of his son’s existence until now.[3] Talia, along with an army of ninja man-bats (injected with Man-Bat Serum stolen from the famous Dr. Kirk Langstrom), subdues Batman and introduces the little hellion to him for the first time. The events of this tale were originally told in Grant Morrison’s “Batman and Son” arc from Batman #655. Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #2, Robin Rises: Omega #1, and Secret Origins Vol. 3 #4 Part 3 also show single-panel flashback images from this story that replicate the final splash page from Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #0. Batman/Superman Annual #2 shows a random image of Batman fighting ninja man-bats, likely from this event.

–FLASHBACK: From Secret Origins Vol. 3 #4 Part 3—originally told in in the Modern Age “Batman and Son” arc from Batman #657. March. Immediately after being dropped in the lap of Batman, Damian goes home with dad and becomes the terror of Wayne Manor (and Gotham). First he tries to fight his own dad and then he knocks down and bloodies poor Alfred. Damian, showing alacrity when it comes to using lethal force, then murders the Spook (as referenced in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #1). Not only that, Damian decapitates the Spook, shoves a grenade in his severed head, and attacks (and nearly kills) Red Robin using it as a weapon (as referenced in Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #10).

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #2 and Robin Rises: Omega #1—originally told in the Modern Age “Batman and Son” arc from Batman #658. March. Batman, with Damian in tow, returns to Gibraltar to confront Talia and the League of Assassins. After a bit of explosive ninja man-bat/submarine chaos, Damian soon winds up back in the temporary care of his mom, despite wanting his mom and dad to join together as a cohesive unit. The highly apocryphal and facultative Damian: Son of Batman #1 bluntly tells us that Damian is killed during the Gibraltar submarine explosion and then immediately resurrected by Talia. It could be true—or you could take it with an Andy Kubert-sized grain of salt.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Eternal #6. Batman meets Jim Corrigan, the new host of the Spectre during an unspecified supernatural case. At some point during this case Corrigan also separately meets Bruce (as Bruce) and Alfred at Wayne Manor. Due to the fact that Alfred, in 2014’s Batman Eternal, is creeped out by Corrigan and knows his favorite drink, we must assume that Corrigan meets with Bruce and Alfred several more times after this, although those undefined meetings will be invisible on our timeline. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that in previous continuities, Corrigan was the first Spectre, well before Hal Jordan ever temporarily hosted the Wrath of God. However, I’ve placed the debut of Corrigan as Spectre here instead of earlier simply because it seems to work better for our timeline. Of course, an alternative would be that the Spectre is Corrigan and then Hal then Corrigan again, but that seems unlikely behavior for a divine entity, no?

–REFERENCE: In Forever Evil #4. Batman collects a Lightning Rod from a time-traveling 31st century Legion of Superheroes. The Dark Knight places it into Flash’s “contingency briefcase” as a weapon to use against Flash, should he go rogue or get mind-controlled. The Lightning Rod is mystical item from the distant future that, in previous continuities (Silver and Modern), could be used to resurrect the dead at the expense of the life of another. In the Modern Age’s “Lighting Saga,” the Lightning Rod was used as a receptacle to hold Flash Bart Allen’s spirit within the Speed Force. So, presumably in the New 52, a Lightning Rod could be used to trap Flash. But how did Batman acquire the Lightning Rod in the New 52? We just don’t know. The Lightning Rod originally was a 31st century magick/technology of the planet Winath—also known as “The Lightning World.” The only way Batman would have been introduced to or given a Lightning Rod would have been via contact with the Legion of Superheroes. NOTE: Since there are at least three versions of the Legion each attached to different universes in the New 52 multiverse, we cannot be sure which Legion Batman meets.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #10. Batman apprehends an unnamed fat small-time criminal and leaves him hanging for the cops. This overweight crook is “emotionally scarred” from the experience and will later seek revenge against the Caped Crusader.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #12. In this single-panel, Batman fights an escaped Killer Croc.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics Vol. 2 #17. Bruce meets Arkham Asylum’s Dr. Byron Merideth at a high-society gala. Merideth, who uses extreme techniques of behavioral modification that are equipollent to torture, will soon draw the concern and ire of his colleagues at Arkham and retire to private practice where his sadistic methods will continue.

–REFERENCE: In Worlds’ Finest #19 and Secret Origins Vol. 3 #4 Part 3. Batman obtains an living infant specimen of an aquatic alien-like creature that appears to be part turtle, part squid. The creature goes into a tank in the Batcave. I will give anyone a gold star if they can figure out what this is a reference to. I have no idea. I’ve added Secret Origins Vol. 3 #4 Part 3 as a reference here because, while heavily stylized by the brilliant Ian Bertram, alien spore-like creatures are shown in a tank in the Batcave in that issue. We can assume that these creatures are linked to the creature from Worlds’ Finest #19.

–FLASHBACK: From Catwoman Vol. 4 #14. Joker (unclear which one) catches wind of the nature of Batman’s close relationship with Catwoman as he watches the Dark Knight save Catwoman’s life when she falls through a skyscraper window. It is heavily implied that Batman has saved (or will save) Catwoman’s life other times as well. We must simply imagine those occurrences as taking place randomly on our chronology.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 3 #11. Batman busts both a small-time crook named Steven and his sister. Steven’s sister winds up in the hospital. An angry Steven will eventually join a super-villain team called the Republic of Tomorrow, which is led by Paragon.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #18. Batman has been keeping tabs on Marcus Row, lifelong criminal and father of Harper Row and Cullen Row, for years. Unfortunately, Marcus is one bad apple and Batman is finally forced to bust him. Thus, Marcus is put back into the penal system and will eventually wind up in Blackgate Penitentiary.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #955 and Batman Vol. 2 Annual #2. Batman makes tiny surgical incisions on his palms and feet in order to insert hidden lock picks under his skin (as referenced in Detective Comics #955). While he is at it, Batman makes a surgical incision on a callus on his palm and inserts a tiny non-metal bio-degradable capsule of carborane acid, to use in case of emergency, under the skin as well (as referenced in Batman Vol. 2 Annual #2).

–REFERENCE: In Grayson #12—originally told in Trinity #10. This Easter Egg reference quote, originally part of dialogue between Dick and Tim as they investigate the actions of the “Evil Trinity,” canonizes Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza’s epic (and awesome) Trinity. However, in the Modern Age, Trinity was fifty-two issues long and had one of the most cosmically and spiritually complex narratives ever. There’s simply no place for it here in the New 52. For the purposes of our current timeline, things must be completely re-contextualized. Here is what happens. The “Evil Trinity”—a super-villain team-up of Morgaine Le Fey, Enigma (Earth-3’s Riddler), and Kanjar Ro—create the new metahuman warriors Swashbuckler, Sun-Chained-in-Ink, Primat, and Trans-Volitional Man to do their bidding. These villains try to steal a bunch of stuff, but the Bat-Family and the Justice League defeat them. That’s all.

–REFERENCE: In the “Leviathan web display” in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #3. Bruce begins dating Jezebel Jet. Jezebel is actually an evil agent working for Simon Hurt.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #6. Batman fights two former cops dressed as Batman: Josef Muller and Branca. Here’s what goes down. First Batman defeats Josef Muller, who dresses as the Dark Knight, but totes a gun. Batman later interrogates some sex workers, including Ellie, who will later become the lead receptionist in the Wayne Tower front lobby (as referenced in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #7). Batman then meets Branca, who stomps on the Caped Crusader pretty hard. Immediately following the altercation, Batman has a nightmare about a mysterious “third Batman” that will usher in Gotham’s doom in the future (as referenced in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #6). Bruce explains this nightmare, which is linked to his dark visions of the future witnessed during the Thögal ritual, to members of the Bat-Family. The dream features a killer Batman, bestial Batman, and the “third” who would sell his soul to the devil and destroy Gotham. Batman’s nightmare sparks a forgotten memory in his brain, one that was altered/erased by Simon Hurt. Upon consulting the Black Casebook, Batman realizes that he had written of a hallucination while undergoing sleep deprivation testing where he fought three substitute Batmen. The Dark Knight now realizes that his was no hallucination, it was real, and that the first two of these evil substitutes have returned (Muller and Branca). In spite of recalling this pertinent information, Batman still won’t remember the name “Simon Hurt” quite yet. Batman and Red Robin take to the streets, confront Branca, and take him down.

–REFERENCE: In the “Leviathan web display” in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #3, in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #0, and in Batwing #26. John Mayhew invites all the old members of the failed Club of Heroes venture to a reunion on his private island. Batman, along with the new Knight (Cyril Sheldrake) and his sidekick Squire (Beryl Hutchinson), attends the reunion, which includes all the other former members. However, the nostalgia doesn’t last long because a video is played which shows a mystery man—Simon Hurt, although no one knows this yet—who has seemingly murdered Mayhew. Mayhew isn’t actually dead, but will be executed by Hurt at the conclusion of this event. Moving on, the mystery man explains that he controls the criminal organization known as the Black Glove and the heroes will soon suffer. The Legionary and the Ranger (now going by “Dark Ranger”) are both killed by a traitorous Wingman, who reveals he is in league with the Black Glove. Unfortunately for Wingman, the Black Glove is just using him. Mayhew shoots Wingman dead. But Mayhew’s failure to defeat the great Batman isn’t looked kindly upon by the Black Glove, which monitors the situation from afar. Hurt, from his secret distant location, makes sure that Mayhew is fatally stranded on the island as a bomb is activated. Batman is now aware of the Black Glove, but he knows virtually nothing about the organization, and has yet to learn of Hurt’s involvement with the group.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #0. Batman and the ex-Club of Heroes members barely survive their adventure on John Mayhew’s island, which blows to smithereens in a puff of explosive smoke (courtesy of a mystery man that, unknown to our heroes at this point, is Simon Hurt). Batman chats with his old chums before returning to Gotham.

–REFERENCE: In Forever Evil #4—originally told in Green Lantern Vol. 4 #24-25 and various Tales of the Sinestro Corps titles. Green Lantern Hal Jordan’s arch-enemy Sinestro, bearer of an evil yellow power ring, recruits his yellow-ringed army known as the Sinestro Corps and attacks Earth. The Sinestro Corps is defeated and Earth is saved by a large conglomeration of hereos, including the Justice League. Afterward, Batman places his anti-Green Lantern weapon into Hal’s contingency briefcase in the Batcave vault, a yellow power ring.

–REFERENCE: In Grayson #12 and the “Leviathan web display” in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #3—originally told in The Resurrection of Ra’s al Ghul. Ra’s al Ghul, thanks to help from his League of Assassins loyalists, is resurrected from the dead via a fountain of youth hidden in the Himalayan forbidden city of Nanda Parbat. The current head of a splinter faction of the League of Assassins—Ra’s al Ghul’s biological father known only as The Sensei—tries immediately to send his son back to the grave. In Tibet, Batman, Red Robin, Nightwing, Damian, Talia, the Sensei, Ra’s al Ghul, and the latter’s elite fighting team known as The Seven Men of Death all engage in a shambolic melee that ends with the Sensei’s defeat. The Seven Men of Death, in case you were wondering, are Merlyn, Hook, Maduvu, Shellcase, Whip, Detonator, and Razorburn. Note that, in the New 52, Merlyn is Tommy Merlyn, former friend of Ollie Queen. Merlyn has only recently been recruited by the League of Assassins (as seen in Green Arrow Vol. 5 #0).

–REFERENCE: In Grayson #12—originally told in Nightwing #140. Dick has taken up a new hobby of sky-diving and does so, plummeting into Wayne Manor from 20,000 feet above. In the Batcave, Dick talks about the exhilaration of free-falling. Tim thinks Dick’s extreme hobby is awesome, whereas Bruce is not so amused. The Bat-Family then discusses the new threat that Ra’s al Ghul, now resurrected, poses against them.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #6. The Black Glove organization begins to make serious waves in Gotham. Michael Lane, Simon Hurt’s third Batman substitute, returns and attacks Batman. Batman finally recalls the name “Simon Hurt,” which had been previously blocked from his mind, and realizes that Hurt is responsible for messing with his head during sleep deprivation. Michael Lane, though, winds up being a red herring in regard to being the “third Batman” that will usher in Gotham’s doom. Batman will soon come to believe that it is Damian. But is it? More on that later.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 3 #1, Batman and… #19, Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #0, Batman Eternal #26, and any issues that refer to Batman’s missing time or “death”—originally detailed in the “Batman R.I.P.—Heart of Hush” arc from Detective Comics #846-850. Batman apprehends Hush, who has surgically-altered his own face to look exactly like Bruce Wayne. While there are no specific references to “Heart of Hush” in the New 52, it must have happened since Bruce Wayne’s upcoming absence will never be realized by the public-at-large. This is an indicator that the surgically-altered Hush will play “Bruce Wayne” until his return.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Eternal #11 and the “Leviathan web display” in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #3. Simon Hurt recruits individual arch-enemies of the failed Club of Heroes members—specifically El Sombrero, Scorpiana (Tristessa), and Charlie Caligula—into his Black Glove organization, announcing that Batman will soon be ruined forever. These arch-rivals of the Club of Heroes aptly call themselves the Club of Villains. Shortly afterward, Hurt and Jezebel show/read Bruce his post-hypnotic trigger word, “Zur-En-Arrh.” Bruce goes into convulsions, is drugged by Hurt, and then dumped on the streets. The eccentric villain then dons Thomas Wayne’s old masquerade ball Bat costume and turns the Batcave into his new HQ. Confused, intoxicated, and without memory, Bruce’s Thögal backup defense kicks in and, with the assistance of pimp Lone-Eye Lincoln, he becomes the bizarre “Batman of Zur-En-Arrh!” (Charlie Caligula’s involvement here is gleaned from a reference in Batwing #24.)

–REFERENCE: In the “Leviathan web display” in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #3. Simon Hurt and the Black Glove, revealed as a small elite group of sadistic international diplomats that place bets using human beings as game pieces, lure the “Batman of Zur-En-Arrh”—complete with his Bat-Radia—to Arkham to face-off against Joker (likely the Comedian) in a life-and-death battle. Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #2 tells us that Talia al Ghul has secretly appointed General Malenkov, one of the Black Glove “fingers,” as her mole within the group. Eventually, Batman shakes off his Zur-En-Arrh persona, regains his composure, and defeats Joker, Hurt, and the Black Glove with the help of the Bat-Family and Talia al Ghul. Talia chases down Jezebel Jet and kills her as well.

–FLASHBACK: From Robin Rises: Omega #1. Batman makes a serious attempt to connect with and nurture his son Damian. They team-up and take on Killer Croc in the sewers. (Note that there is no equivalent to this item from the Modern Age, but Robin Rises: Omega #1 places it right before Batman’s “death.”)

–FLASHBACK: In Secret Origins Vol. 3 #4 Part 3. Batman, still trying to connect with his son, makes headway as he and Damian take out Mr. Freeze together. (Again, note that there is no equivalent to this item from the Modern Age, but Secret Origins Vol. 3 #4 Part 3 places it right before Batman’s “death.” In the Modern Age, Batman never had this brief quality time.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #5. Batman connects further with his son, Damian, as he guides him through Gotham, showing him how to avoid security cameras and teaching him to memorize where they are all over the city. (Once more, as above, note that there is no equivalent to this item from the Modern Age. In the Modern Age, Batman never had this brief quality time with his son before getting Omega blasted.)

–FLASHBACK: From Superman/Wonder Woman #18—also referenced in Justice League Vol. 2 #8 Part 1. May. The Justice League, which has been using Boom Tube technology to travel from mission to mission ever since its inception, finds out the hard way that one in every one-thousand boom jumps screws up and accidentally sends the team to Apokolips. Stranded in Apokolips, the JL fights an army of Parademons.[4] It is highly likely that, on this accidental Boom Tube-leap to Apokolips, Batman secretly gets Omega Sanctioned and doesn’t return home with his teammates. This occurrence, which will be detailed in our upcoming note, originally took place in the Modern Age’s Final Crisis. However, Final Crisis basically doesn’t occur in the New 52—or rather, it does but it’s a massively altered version that only includes Darkseid’s secret Omega Sanction and Bat-clone replacement of Bruce and Nix Uotan helping the heroes save the multiverse against Mandrakk. Other things that had previously been central to narrative in the Modern Age version of Final Crisis, such as Barry Allen returning, simply aren’t a part of the New 52 version.

–FLASHBACK: From Robin Rises: Omega #1. This item is also referenced in Batman and… #19, Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #37, and The Multiversity #1. May. While the JL escapes back to Earth after having been trapped on Apokolips thanks to an errant Boom Jump, Batman is left behind, kidnapped by minions of Darkseid and psychically and physically drained of his essence and memories in an attempt to create an evil army of cloned Batmen. Of course, this plan fails and Darkseid’s scientists are left with only a single dead Batman clone. Darkseid then hatches a devious new plan from the ashes of his failed one. First, Darkseid zaps Batman with his Omega Beams, catapulting him backward through time into the distant past.[5] Then, Darkseid sends the Caped Crusader’s lifeless clone back to Earth as a substitute for the legitimate thing. After Earth’s superheroes join the last Monitor Nix Uotan to defeat evil former Monitor Mandrakk, they mourn the “death” of Batman and have a funeral ceremony/burial as they mistake the clone for the real deal. In actuality, the real Bruce is lost in time and must claw his way back to the present piecemeal while battling a deadly creature known as a Hyper-Adapter, which has been secretly attached to him and which is capable of destroying the world should it return to the present. This is Darkseid’s cruel “Omega Sanction,” dooming the Earth should Batman return. Batman, believed to be dead by all of his peers, will be gone for a lengthy period of time (about THREE MONTHS). (Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #0 shows a psychedelic panel depicting part of Batman’s Thögal vision—with the Caped Crusader falling through a silvery tunnel. This silvery tunnel fall presumably represents his trek through time via Darkseid’s Omega Sanction. The Batman clone is canonically referenced in Green Lantern Vol. 5 #7 and a splash page mural reference in Batwoman Vol. 2 #0—although Batwoman’s involvement with the Batman clone saga has been retconned-out in the New 52. We also know that Batman definitely has to “crawl through time” to get back to the present thanks to a reference in All Star Western #22.)

–FLASHBACK: From Robin Rises: Omega #1. Also referenced in Grayson #12 and Batman Vol. 2 #51—originally told in Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #1-2. (Obviously, since Bruce is trapped in the past, this flashback overlaps with the next few items on the list.) Bruce has been sent to the year 38,000 BCE thanks to Darkseid’s Omega Sanction. There, after bearing witness to the death of an elderly Anthro (one of the last of the Bear Tribe), an amnesiac Bruce spends some time recovering in a cave before getting involved in a war between the Deer People, a Native American tribe local to Gotham, and the Wolf Tribe. (Originally, in the Modern Age, Vandal Savage was a big part of this tribal war, but there is no indicator that he was in the New 52.) Bruce dons the skin of a giant bat as a makeshift costume—this giant bat is the corpse of the defeated Hyper-Adapter in giant bat form, having retreated backward through time to 38,000 BCE three months from now (BUT we will get to THAT at the end of Bruce’s time trek)! Bruce’s direct involvement in this tribal war will lead to the Deer People renaming themselves the Miagani (meaning “Bat People”), making bat-themed cave drawings, and taking on bat-themed customs. These indigenous customs will form into tribal bat-religions that will spread to Europe, Asia Minor, and the Middle East. Unknown to the time-displaced Bruce and all other parties involved, the real Barbatos watches events from the Dark Multiverse, becoming instantly obsessed with the time-traveling superhero. (Barbatos is an evil demon god from the Dark Multiverse, which is the evil mirror version of the local Multiverse that contains various Negative Universes within.) After peeping Bruce in 38,000 BCE, Barbatos initiates a plan that will involve 40,000 years of manipulating various minions—including the Hath-Set-led Bat Tribe (the Eurasian offshoot of the Miagani), then the Strigydae (cult priests of the Judas Tribe, who are ancient ancestors of the Court of Owls), and then the Parliament/Court of Owls themselves. Through these minions, Barbatos will subtly influence events around the world and, eventually, once Bruce is born, influence his life as well. Barbatos’ plan is to culminate with “The Mantling,” an occult ritual that will turn an adult Bruce’s own body into a conduit through which Barbatos can breach into and take over the regular Multiverse. (Note that, thanks to reboots, this Mantling event will begin but won’t come to fruition in the New 52. Also note that many folks in the DCU—notably Simon Hurt—have long mistaken Darkseid’s Hyper-Adapter for Barbatos. They are not one and the same.) Back to our story at hand. Bruce spends a short amount of time in 38,000 BCE following the tribal war. Eventually, a solar eclipse, in accordance with the rules of the Omega Sanction, sends Bruce hurtling thousands of years into the future where he winds up in the Puritanical Gotham of 1640. Naturally, the Hyper-Adapter follows him—(this is the Hyper-Adapter which Darkseid attached to Bruce as a doomsday device when sending him back into time AS OPPOSED TO the deceased Hyper-Adapter that retreats backward through time in giant bat form after being defeated, BUT LIKE I SAID, we’ll get to that in three months’ time). In 1640, Bruce, still amnesiac, fights the Hyper-Adapter and then assimilates into society by taking the name “Mordecai Wayne.” Bruce will live at quiet life in 17th century Gotham for the next two months-plus until we pick up his story again further below on our timeline.

–Secret Origins Vol. 3 #4 Part 3
May. Alfred puts Bruce’s Batman costume on display in the Batcave. An angry Damian takes to the streets to fight crime in his father’s place. Damian slices and dices up members of the clown-themed Clown Gang and a League of Assassins ninja man-bat—while Alfred (via the Batcave computer system linked to all the security cams in town) and Nightwing watch him in action. (Nightwing is now wearing his more contemporary black-and-red New 52 costume, which he changed to earlier this year. The switch from the blue-and-black costume to the red-and-black costume is referenced in Nightwing Vol. 3 #1.) After Damian takes down a Hell-obsessed demon gang, Mr. Zsasz, some mutated pig men, and Killer Croc all by himself, Nightwing chats with the boy and gives him a “letter from his father.” In actuality, Alfred has forged the letter, which tells Damian to become the new Robin—an attempt to give the boy some much needed direction. Back in the Batcave, Robin suits up and is joined by his new partner. Dick has taken up the mantle of his mentor and become Gotham’s new lead protector. Dick is the new Batman and Damian is his new Robin! Dick will be Batman for nearly one year (actually eight months) with the concluding part of that interval occurring after Bruce returns (the remaining duration of which there will be two Batmen). For anyone wondering about Red Robin, after Bruce “dies,” Tim begins sporting a new flashy winged-costume and goes off on his own.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #1, Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #7, Forever Evil: Arkham War #1, Grayson #12, and Nightwing Vol. 4 #16—originally told in Batman & Robin #1-3. May. The new Batman (Dick Grayson) and Robin (Damian Wayne) make their operative home-base the Bat-Bunker in the sub-basement of Wayne Tower. They move into the penthouse above. Dick and Damian then build and debut the brand new flying Batmobile. After returning home following the arrest of Mr. Toad, Dick tells Alfred that he’s not sure he’s good enough to fill Bruce’s shoes. Damian overhears and gives Dick a hard time about it. Later, while en route towards an emergency at GCPD HQ, Robin tells Batman that he must earn his respect. At police HQ, Batman and Robin battle the Circus of StrangeBig Top, Siam (Kushti), and Phosphorus Rex, but the new Dynamic Duo has very little chemistry and the end-result is a disaster with several cops getting injured. Despite their debacle against the Circus, Batman and Robin do learn that the leader of the Circus, Professor Pyg (Lazlo Valentin), a villain that burns masks onto the faces of his brainwashed Dollotron henchwomen, is plotting an attack on Gotham. An upset Robin takes-off alone after Pyg, but gets captured. Batman rescues him and brings down Pyg and his Circus, who, unknown to the heroes, all work for Simon Hurt.

–FLASHBACK: From Grayson #12. Batman (Dick Grayson) and Robin (Damian Wayne) pose, looking proud and boastful with smiles and arms crossed. This scene, a background image in Grayson #12, functions as a flashback that mirrors the sardonic cover-stance of Batman and Robin from the Modern Age Batman and Robin #1. Suffice to say, this flashback image is a strong New 52 indicator of Dick “getting it together” as Batman and forging a strong partnership with Damian in the wake of Professor Pyg’s defeat.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #17. Now that he is getting is act together as the new Batman, Dick believes he has finally come into his perfect form. Despite feeling a bit uneasy wearing his mentor’s costume, Dick is ready to kick ass.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 3 #1, Batman and… #19, Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #0, and other issues that refer to Batman’s missing time or “death”—originally detailed in the “Batman R.I.P.—Heart of Hush” arc from Detective Comics #846-850. May. With Bruce gone, the Bat-Family forces a surgically-altered Hush, who looks exactly like Bruce, to play his part for appearances. Hush will play Bruce Wayne while under the close watch of the Bat-Family until the real Bruce returns. While there are no actual references to this in the New 52, this has to happen since Bruce Wayne’s absence will never be realized by the public-at-large.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #10—originally told in Azrael: Death’s Dark Knight #1-3. Batman (Dick Grayson) meets Michael Lane, who has been chosen by the Order of Purity to be their champion, Azrael. By donning the ancient Suit of Sorrows, Azrael is gifted with intense mystical power. Recently, Lane fought at the side of Simon Hurt against the Bat-Family, but now wants to make amends. Azrael, ever troubled due to a history of abuse at the hands of Hurt and the Black Glove, will fight on Gotham’s good side from here on out (mostly—he still thinks he is destined to be evil, but desperately wants to be a hero). The Order of Purity is a splinter faction of the Order of St. Dumas, a violent religious sect that has existed since Medieval Times that was once a part of the Knights Templar. Since those times, the Order has cultivated a long string of “avenging angels,” each called an Azrael. Lane is the newest in a long chain of Azraels. This concept is very similar to the methods of the Court of Owls, with its long chain of warrior Talons.

–FLASHBACK: From Grayson #20. Batman (Dick) soars through the night while on patrol.

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 3 #8. When someone named Rossini is supposedly killed with a “Bat weapon,” the media is whipped into a frenzy and chastises the Bat-Family for the high-profile murder. Batman (Dick Grayson) is blamed for the supposed Batarang murder of Rossini and plays damage control until he can convince the GCPD that he is innocent (as seen in Nightwing Vol. 3 #10). It is originally heavily implied that GCPD Detective Nie is responsible for framing Batman. However, Nie is simply a red herring.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics Vol. 2 #9—originally told in the Modern Age’s “Life After Death” storyline from Batman #692-697. Dr. Jeremiah Arkham succumbs to the darkness that surrounds him at Arkham Asylum and adopts the criminal mantle of Roman Sionis, becoming for a short time the new Black Mask. Batman (Dick Grayson) and Robin shut down his operations and are able to restore Jeremiah Arkham’s sanity and position at the prison. In the original “Life After Death” storyline, Jeremiah Arkham’s tenure as Black Mask proved to be devastating, a place from which the doctor could never return to sanity, and thus more permanent. Obviously, the framework of “Life After Death” happens in the New 52, but on a much smaller and less-lethal scale since Dr. Arkham is reinstated afterward.

–REFERENCE: In Grayson #12—originally told in Red Robin #4. Red Robin finds ancient cave paintings that are seemingly influenced by Batman, leading him to believe that Bruce is not actually dead, but merely lost in time. He tries to tell Batman (Dick Grayson), but Batman won’t hear of it. They briefly fight before Red Robin departs to continue searching for Bruce.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #1, Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #13, and the questionably canonical 666 Future dream sequence from Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #5—originally told in Batman #700. Batman (Dick Grayson) tells Robin about the adventure he and Bruce shared with Carter Nichols a couple years ago while on their way to Nichols’ old lab to meet Commissioner Gordon. (In the Modern Age, Batman and Robin had a more intimate relationship with Professor Carter Nichols and went on a few time traveling adventures with him. However, in the New 52, it would appear that the Dynamic Duo only met him once two years ago.) At the old lab, the heroes examine the corpse of Nichols, a supposed suicide, although all the doors are locked from the inside and no weapon can be found. Also, curiously, Nichols appears to be nearly thirty years older. What’s going on here, you ask? Well, Nichols, distraught at his life of failure thanks to Simon Hurt, time-travels to just under thirty years into the future, kills his older self, and then sends the body back to now (2011) so that the authorities (and Hurt) will think he is dead and so that he can then go forward living a free life. Pretty cool. Later, Batman and Robin fight some Mutant Gang members, meet with Lone-Eye Lincoln, and retrieve Joker’s old joke book from a super-villain auction being held by Hatman.

–NOTE: In references in Green Lantern Vol. 5 #7, Green Lanterns #16, and many other Green Lantern Vol. 5 issues. The “Blackest Night” event occurs, where many of the universe’s deceased temporarily rise up from the grave as evil zombies courtesy of Nekron, Black Hand, and the dark energy of the Black Power Battery. Evil Yellow Lanterns and Sinestro are involved as well. While the main action of “Blackest Night” doesn’t really involve any member of the Bat-Family, Batman (Dick Grayson) and Robin do encounter some zombies in Gotham. “Blackest Night” is also important because it alerts Batman (Dick), Robin, Alfred, and all the other heroes to the fact that Bruce isn’t actually dead. The Black Power Battery summons “Bruce” out of his grave revealing that it was actually his mindless clone that they buried last year, not the real Bruce. Bruce’s clone-corpse, in specific relation to “Blackest Night,” is referenced in Green Lantern Vol. 5 #7. It is also referenced in Batwoman Vol. 2 #0, although, as mentioned above, Batwoman’s involvement with the Batman clone saga has been retconned-out in the New 52. Again, Batman isn’t involved in the final combat, but the good guys win against evil thanks to a mega-team-up of all the multicolored Lantern armies of the Emotional Electromagnetic Spectrum: the Red Lantern Corps, Blue Lantern Corps, Indigo Tribe, Star Sapphires, Green Lantern Corps, and Larfleeze (the sole “Agent Orange,” who controls a few zombified Orange Lantern ring-constructs).

–FLASHBACK: From Secret Origins Vol. 3 #8 Part 1—and also referenced in Batman Vol. 2 #1 and Batman Eternal #27. Immediately following “Blackest Night,” before Batman (Dick Grayson) and Robin can confirm 100% whether or not Bruce Wayne is actually dead, they are interrupted by the debuting Eduardo Flamingo—flamboyant face-eating assassin representing Simon Hurt’s Mexican El Penitente drug cartel. (Flamingo’s first New 52 appearance is as an Arkham prisoner in Batman Vol. 2 #1.) Flamingo, before his defeat, shoots Robin in the spine, paralyzing him from the waist down. Damian is rushed by the League of Assassins to his mother’s care (as originally told in Batman & Robin #7 and canonically referenced in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #8). At Talia’s tropical island HQ, Alfred watches as League surgeons utilize state-of-the-art sci-fi level technology to replace Damian’s spine with an insensible robotic replacement. Damian completely recovers within a few days. NOTE: Originally, Red Hood (Jason Todd) and his sidekick Scarlet were also a major part of this Flamingo event. However, in the New 52, this isn’t the case since Jason has yet to return and won’t do so until next year.

–REFERENCE: In Batwoman Vol. 2 #0 and Grayson #12—originally told in the “Blackest Knight” arc from Batman & Robin #7-9. (Note that one of the primary references for this item is Batwoman Vol. 2 #0, but, thanks to retcons from Detective Comics #948-949, Batwoman has nothing to do with this story and actually would not have debuted yet at this point.) With Eduardo Flamingo defeated and Damian recovering from injuries, Batman (Dick Grayson) gets back to the important task of finding out the truth about Bruce Wayne’s death. Batman, Knight, and Squire take the dead clone of Bruce to a Lazarus Pit in England to confirm that it is indeed a fake Bruce. Sure enough, after being submerged into the Pit, the clone not only comes out alive, but as an evil Darkseid-engineered zombie-like monster hellbent on killing anyone who comes near him. The Batman clone goes to Gotham and attacks Damian and Alfred, almost killing both of them. Eventually, Batman, Robin, and Alfred defeat the Batman clone, which disintegrates. The real Bruce won’t return just yet, but now that they know he isn’t dead, the entire superhero community will begin working towards finding him and returning him home.

–NOTE: In references in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #1 and several other various titles. Damian becomes publicly recognized as Bruce’s son. This originally happened in the “Revenge of the Red Hood” arc, but we know it also happens in the New 52 since Damian quickly becomes a well-known public figure in Gotham from this point forward.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #12. Batman (Dick Grayson) apprehends the debuting Tiger Shark.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #1. Batman (Dick Grayson) apprehends James Gordon Jr, serial killer and son of Commissioner Gordon. The appearance of James Junior here, even if he is in his late teens, means that, unlike in the Modern Age, Batman (Bruce Wayne) never interacted with James Junior when he was a baby. And while James Junior makes his ostensible first New 52 appearance as a prisoner of Arkham Asylum in Batman Vol. 2 #1, this is merely a pure reference and not an actual appearance since we learn (in Batgirl Vol. 4 #12) that James Junior escapes in the prison riot from this year’s Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #1 and replaces himself with a lookalike (whom we actually see in Batman Vol. 2 #1).

–FLASHBACK: From Robin Rises: Omega #1. Also referenced in Grayson #12—originally told in Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #2-4. Flashback to the 1640s. Bruce, as “Mordecai Wayne,” has been living in Puritanical Gotham for over two months, having various interactions with Wayne ancestors and other townsfolk. Bruce has also recorded every detail of his experience into a handy journal. Hoping to send a clue as to his whereabouts into friends in the future, Bruce commissions a painting of himself (as “Mordecai”) with detailed instructions to his later relatives that will ensure eventual placement of the portrait into Wayne Manor. (This painting will indeed wind up in Wayne Manor for the Bat-Family to discover hundreds of years later.) Eventually, Bruce rides a solar eclipse that hurtles both he and the deadly Hyper-Adapter roughly 75 years into the future to 1718. Bruce, with his memory of the 1640s fading fast (luckily he has with him a detailed journal which he kept during his time as “Mordecai Wayne”), washes up on the shores of Gotham Bay where he is mistaken for a famed pirate. Thus, a pirate adventure ensues. (Vandal Savage featured heavily in the rest of the Modern Age version of The Return of Bruce Wayne, including this pirate adventure, but it is more than likely that he doesn’t factor into the New 52 version.) From 1718, another solar eclipse Omega-leaps Bruce to the late 19th century where he quickly settles-in and becomes a masked cowboy vigilante on horseback, starting an overnight full-scale war-on-crime against various outlaws. (While All Star Western #22-24 makes reference to Batman’s time jaunt, it implies that Batman never met Jonah Hex before, even though in the Modern Age he did meet him during the 1880s portion of the Omega trip. Like Vandal Savage, who was also featured big-time in the Modern Age version of The Return of Bruce Wayne, Hex cannot have been in the New 52 version.)

–REFERENCE: In Grayson #12—originally told in Red Robin #13. The Justice League confirms Red Robin’s suspicions that Bruce is lost in time and begins the daunting task of figuring out how to locate him. Batman (Dick Grayson) makes peace with Red Robin and goes on patrol with him. The next day, Tim visits Dick, Damian, and Alfred at the Wayne Tower penthouse for breakfast.

–REFERENCE: In Grayson #12—originally told in Superman/Batman #77. Robin meets and teams-up with Supergirl (Superman’s cousin Kara Zor-El) to take down Scarecrow. With the case closed, Supergirl drops Robin back home at the Bunker where Dick teases the Boy Wonder about “going on a date” with Supergirl.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #1, Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #7, Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #15, and Grayson #12—originally told in Batman & Robin #10-12. Dick is wowed when Damian, even though he is just a young boy, meets with the Wayne Enterprises board of directors and uses his genius-level wit to straighten out WayneTech finances. Damian is also able to link a Wayne Enterprises high-level executive named Treadwell to an embezzling scheme, but is unable to expose him completely. (Treadwell’s debut was also originally in Batman & Robin #10, but made canon in the New 52 via a reference in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #0.) Later, Batman, Robin, and Alfred visit Wayne Manor to look for anything that might possibly help the Justice League bring Bruce back home from his time displacement. While they scour the mansion, Robin laments the fact that if his dad comes back, Dick will have to return to his old Nightwing role and he might not be able to the Boy Wonder anymore. Batman, Robin, and Alfred find a huge clue in Wayne Manor in the form of a painting of Mordecai Wayne, a man that never seemed to fit into the Wayne genealogy very well and whose portrait was discovered quite a curious while after it was painted. (SPOILER: This is because Mordecai is the time-displaced Bruce.) Meanwhile, Simon Hurt returns to Gotham with an army of assassins called The 99 Fiends. Hurt’s ultimate goal is to kill Batman, Robin, and Joker (likely the Comedian) and take total control of Gotham. A small first wave of the 99 Fiends assaults Wayne Manor, but Batman and Robin fend them off. Talia al Ghul remotely activates a switch within Robin’s artificial spine, which gives her control of her son’s body. From Talia’s tropical island headquarters, a hired Deathstroke uses Robin like a puppet to violently spar against Batman. The Dark Knight electric shocks Robin to sever the connection. Batman and Robin immediately pay Talia al Ghul a visit at her tropical headquarters. Damian chats with his mom, but the conversation is not a good one. Talia permanently casts Damian out of the al Ghul family and shows him a fetus in an artificial womb, an exact clone of Damian that will soon be born as Damian’s “replacement” in the family. This evil version of Damian will be known as The Heretic.

–FLASHBACK: From Robin Rises: Omega #1—originally told in Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #5-6. Another solar eclipse sends cowboy Bruce from the 1880s to roughly 1990, the time period shortly after the murders of his parents. In 1990, a memory-less Bruce gets involved in some film noir-esque intrigue involving his family and Simon Hurt. A fedora-wearing Bruce reads his Mordecai-diary and realizes that it is written in his own handwriting, which brings back some of his lost memories. The Black Glove, including Hurt, John Mayhew, and Carter Nichols, assemble to perform an occult ritual that will attempt to summon the demon Barbatos using black magick and an early Nichols time-portal prototype. They also need a sacrificial lamb, so they choose Bruce, who they think is just some amnesiac bum. However, Nichols turns his back on the Black Glove and refuses to open the time-portal. In the chaos, Bruce saves his own life by activating the machine and teleporting into the distant future. Hurt doesn’t kill Nichols for his disobedience, but instead dooms him to a life of obscurity and failure, which is why Nichols, despite being one of the smartest scientists in the entire DCU goes largely unheralded and largely unseen. Bruce emerges at the furthest point Nichols’ time machine can take him: Vanishing Point, a mere hour before the total destruction of the universe and the literal “End of Time.” The Bush Robot Archivists that oversee Vanishing Point completely restore all of Bruce’s lost memories, capture the Hyper-Adapter, and quarantine the beast, albeit only temporarily. Knowing that the Hyper-Adapter will escape at any moment and that the creature is linked to his own body/mind, Bruce comes up with a plan. Bruce has the Archivists once again strip his memory blank (in an attempt to sever the mind-link between he and the Hyper-Adapter). Bruce then has the Archivists give him immense power via a bizarre hybrid Archivist/cyborg Bat-suit before traveling back to the present via a time-sphere. Back in 2011, a radioactive Bruce confronts Red Robin and the JL, who are surprised to see him, especially wearing the Archivist/cyborg Bat-suit. With Bruce’s mind scrambled and his memory wiped, Tim removes his mask and calmly talks down Bruce. Wonder Woman uses her “lasso of truth” on Bruce, who immediately explains his plan to confuse the Hyper-Adapter by erasing his own memory and returning to the present. Eventually, the detached Hyper-Adapter is thrown into a time-sphere that self-destructs. The Hyper-Adapter, defeated, metamorphoses into a giant primordial bat, an animal consistent with both the man it had been linked to. The giant bat then retreats backward through time. It appears in 1765 where it endowed Simon Hurt with extended life and in 38,000 BCE where it was killed and worn as a costume by Bruce when he first arrived there three months ago! But back to the present. Moments after the defeat of Darkseid’s Hyper-Adapter, Bruce is back in his familiar Dark Knight garb. Bruce Wayne, THE Batman, is back! NOTE: The “Batman and Robin Must Die!” flashback from Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #2 and reference in Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #15 (detailed in the next bullet post) completely overlaps with the events of “The Return of Bruce Wayne Conclusion” flashback from Robin Rises: Omega #1 (this bullet post). While Bruce was making his epic return, Dick and Damian have been fighting and losing a battle against Simon Hurt and his 99 Fiends, who now completely control Gotham. How did this happen? Read the next bullet to find out!

–FLASHBACK: From Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #2 and Robin Rises: Omega #1. This event is also referenced in Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #15, in the “Leviathan web display” in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #3, Grayson #12, and Nightwing Vol. 4 #17. This event was originally told in “Batman & Robin Must Die!” (from Grant Morrison’s Batman & Robin #13-15). The single-panel flashback from Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #2 shows Robin beating the tar out of Joker (likely the Comedian) with a crowbar in the aforementioned cell. In the single-panel flashback from Robin Rises: Omega #1, Batman (Dick Grayson) and Robin fight Simon Hurt. These flashbacks are directly connected. Here’s what’s happening: Simon Hurt and his 99 Fiends have taken over Gotham City and are trying to kill Batman (Dick Grayson), Robin, and Joker. Joker has just been detained in a GCPD cell. Batman introduces Robin to Joker, but makes the mistake of leaving the unimpressed Robin alone in the cell with the villain. Robin angrily “interrogates” the villain with a crowbar. Meanwhile, Hurt captures Dick and holds him hostage at Wayne Manor. Concurrently, Joker escapes from his cell by poisoning Robin. Joker puts a clown nose on Robin and throws him into a coffin. While the Boy Wonder is in the coffin, Joker kills-off the remaining Black Glove “fingers.” Joker then releases Robin, who quickly recovers and winds up charging against a swarm of 99 Fiends warriors all by himself, getting easily captured in the process. Eventually, Batman and Robin break free of Simon Hurt’s clutches take the fight to the villain inside Wayne Manor.

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 4 #17—and also referenced in the “Leviathan web display” in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #3, Robin Rises: Omega #1, Grayson #12, Nightwing Vol. 4 #20, and a few other New 52 Batman titles. August. Bruce Wayne returns from his Omega Sanction, having defeated Darkseid’s Hyper-Adapter just in time to help Batman (Dick Grayson) and Robin in their fight against Simon Hurt and the 99 Fiends. Robin reunites with his approving father at Wayne Manor. Batman (Bruce) rescues Alfred while Batman (Dick) defeats Simon Hurt. (Note that it was Bruce that defeated Hurt in the Modern Age, not Dick. This is a specific change depicted in Nightwing Vol. 4 #17.) A beaten Hurt tries to flee, but Joker (likely the Comedian) trips him up with a banana peel, poisons him with Joker Juice, and buries him alive in Wayne Cemetery. Batman (Dick) then corrals Joker. Bruce’s return creates an upcoming span where there are dual Batmen.[6]

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #0—originally told in Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #6. August. Bruce Wayne, back in his Batman costume for the first time in a while, addresses his inner circle. He speaks about his origin, the Thögal ritual, and his recent missing time—referring back to the haunting vision of a world in flames with dual tombstones, stressing that they must avoid this future (i.e. the future from Batman #666, Modern Age Batman #700, the questionably canonical dream sequence from Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #5, and the possibly apocryphal Damian: Son of Batman miniseries) at any cost. This vision is a combination of what Bruce has seen during the Thögal ritual, his nightmare about the “third Batman,” and a vision of the future as glimpsed during his missing time. Batman doesn’t realize that the double tombstone imagery represents the eventual deaths of Damian and Talia and that the dream implies that either the tombstones or the apocalyptic future will occur, but not both. (Although, thanks to the commonplace re-occurrence of resurrection in the world of comic books, both could still happen anyway).

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #0. And also referenced in Grayson #12. August. Now that the original Batman has returned, Bruce Wayne returns to his head position at Wayne Enterprises. (Nobody even knows he was missing thanks to a lookalike Hush having played his role while he was gone.) In a private board meeting, Bruce announces his plans to unveil a global network of crime-fighting agents known as Batman Incorporated, with himself and Lucius Fox publicly heading the organization. One of the board members, the corrupt embezzler Treadwell, nervously tries to duck out of the meeting, but is met and apprehended by Batman (Dick Grayson) and Robin. Shortly thereafter, Bruce and Lucius activate a small group of GI Bat-Robots—the first wave of (non human) Batman Incorporated warriors. Lucius is also made the head of Batman Incorporated R&D, the agency’s tech and weaponry division (as referenced in Batwing #9).

–REFERENCE: In Green Lanterns #16. The Bat-Family fills Batman in on the events of “Blackest Night,” explaining its link to the evil Yellow Power Battery, Sinestro, and the Black Power Battery.

–FLASHBACK: From Robin Rises: Omega #1. Bruce, Alfred, and Damian share an awkward dinner at Wayne Manor. Bruce desperately wants to connect with his son, but is having trouble. Damian remains confused about the sudden recent return of such an intense father figure. The boy stays distant and angry with a constant chip on his shoulder. Damian, as per his dad’s orders, reluctantly begins homeschooling with Alfred.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Eternal #26—originally told in “House of Hush” from Batman: Streets of Gotham #21. Batman (Bruce Wayne) defeats Hush. During the fight, Hush’s face (which is already surgically altered to look like Bruce’s face) gets sliced-off, disfiguring him once again. (In the Modern Age, this story included Jane Doe, but, in the New 52, Jane Doe hasn’t debuted yet, so she definitely isn’t a part of this tale. Suffice to say, all we know is that Hush has to return to his non-Bruce Wayne face at this point.)

–REFERENCE: In Grayson #15. Batman (Bruce Wayne) speaks to Damian and sums up being Robin with one word: “Suffering.”

–REFERENCE: In Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #0, Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #7, and Grayson #12—originally told in Batman: The Return #1. Batman (Bruce Wayne) and Robin (Damian) travel to Yemen and confirm that Leviathan, a worldwide criminal organization that has been around for decades, is on the rise like never before. In Yemen, at a grotesque bio-engineering lab designed to create metahuman bodyguards for celebrities and rich people, Bruce and Damian meet the new creations Traktir and Spidra, who have been built as pabulum for—and have been subsequently injured by—the mysterious Heretic (also known as “Fatherless”). The Heretic, a hulking masked figure, has been recently literally born out of the belly of a whale (held in a tank at the lab). Despite having only just been born, the monstrous Heretic is already physiologically an adult thanks to bio-engineering. Despite being ordered to stand down by his father, the brash Damian dangerously confronts the Heretic, who threatens the Boy Wonder before jetpacking away. (SPOILER: The Heretic is an adult clone of Damian, genetically bio-engineered by Talia and her Leviathan scientists.) Batman invites Traktir and Spidra to become the first overseas Batman Inc agents. Back home in Gotham, Bruce chastises his son for disobeying orders. An emotional Damian rips off his Robin emblem and quits! After Dick calms everyone down, Bruce says that he won’t be able to work with Damian, but that Dick and Damian should remain partners with his full blessing. All parties agree.

–NOTE: In a reference in Batwoman Vol. 2 #2. Batman Inc has recently been publicly launched, but there aren’t any overseas agents on the team yet (besides Traktir and Spidra). However, there are a few confirmed de facto members that are already a part of the Bat-Family or linked Bat-network: Batman himself, Batman (Dick Grayson), Robin, Red Robin, Jim Gordon, Freight Train, Looker, and Element Man. All of the names on this long list are taken from a mural-like panel in Batwoman Vol. 2 #2 except for Gordon and the Outsiders. Gordon is Batman’s “unofficial agent” within the GCPD (as referenced in Batman: The Dark Knight #4)—a fact that would cause serious problems with Internal Affairs if made public. The Outsiders (a duo of only Freight Train and Looker) are mentioned as being Batman Incorporated agents via a reference in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #1. Halo is also referenced as a third Outsider, but this is a continuity error, since Halo won’t debut until much later. Traktir and Spidra were made Batman Incorporated agents following their recent meeting with Batman in Yemen. I should also note that Renee Montoya, Black Canary, Huntress, Catwoman, Katana, Black Lightning, Batman Japan, and Gaucho are all pictured on the mural as well—but at this point none are Batman Incorporated members. Montoya is pictured in the Batwoman mural dressed in her Modern Age Question garb. Montoya definitely wasn’t ever the Question in the New 52. Therefore, we must ignore her. Batman Japan’s debut, in the New 52, is coming up next. Plus, he never wears the “Mr. Unknown” costume as a Batman Inc member anyway. Gaucho’s activation as a Batman Inc agent, like Batman Japan’s, is also coming soon. The others simply are not Batman Inc members in the New 52, nor will they ever be, and therefore shouldn’t be pictured at all. For example, Huntress would not have even met Batman yet (as made clear in Worlds’ Finest #3). Also, Black Canary would know absolutely nothing about Batman’s operations at this point (as made clear in Batgirl Vol. 4 #7). Similarly, despite being former Outsiders, Black Lightning and Katana would be in the same boat as Black Canary—totally out of the loop. Therefore, their presences within the Batwoman mural must be ignored completely.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #10 and Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #12—originally told in Batman Incorporated Vol. 1 #1. Batman (Bruce Wayne) acquires a giant photonic crystal made out of an experimental meta-material with a negative refractive index. He gives it to Lucius Fox for further lapidary study. Fox will eventually use the gem to create an invisibility cloak. The original version of this event detailed in Batman Incorporated Vol. 1 #1 involved Catwoman and Dr. Sivana’s lab. We need to ignore the inclusion of Catwoman and Sivana for the New 52 version of this event.

–REFERENCE: In the “Leviathan web display” in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #3 and in Talon #17. Batman (Bruce Wayne) and Catwoman travel to Tokyo to recruit a new member of Batman Incorporated. Note that Catwoman’s presence here is purely a hired gig or a favor—she has nothing to do with Batman Inc. In Tokyo, they run into the immortal super-villain Lord Death Man and his skeleton costume-wearing cronies. Lord Death Man has just murdered whom he believes to be Japan’s top superhero Mr. Unknown (as referenced in the flashback from Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #11). However, the real Mr. Unknown, Jiro Osamu, is still alive and well, having taken the mantle of Mr. Unknown from the original some years ago. Mr. Unknown helps Batman and Catwoman defeat Lord Death Man, who goes down despite killing dozens, including a bus full of kids. To get rid of the immortal Lord Death Man, Batman puts him into a tiny satellite and rockets him into space. By assisting Batman, Mr. Unknown becomes the newest Batman Incorporated recruit: Batman Japan. Batman Japan is given a standard issue Batman costume (one with a yellow oval), as referenced in the flashback from Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #11). However, Osamu is a bit shaky, so Batman puts him on a three-month probationary period to see if he can hack it (as referenced in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #0).

–FLASHBACK: From Batwing #20. Lucius Fox’s twenty-one-year-old pro MMA-fighting son, Luke Fox, plays vigilante, dressing up like a bargain basement ninja. During a fancy Bruce Wayne-attended gala for rich folks, the gang called The 99%—actually a bastardization of the actual Occupy 99% since these guys steal from the wealthy and keep for themselves—strikes, but is stopped by the masked Luke Fox. (Luke has been dealing with the 99%ers for several years now.) Batman discovers that Luke Fox is the man beneath the mask and is impressed enough to pick him as his top choice to become Batwing. However, Batman will be circumspect of endangering Lucius’ son and soon meet super-cop David Zavimbe. Despite being Batman’s second choice, Zavimbe will become Batwing instead of Luke.

–FLASHBACK: From Batwing #6 and Batwing #0. (This event is actually a combination of a flashback within a flashback from Batwing #6 and Batwing #0.) Batman (Bruce Wayne) travels to Tinasha, Democratic Republic of Congo and witnesses police-officer-by-day, masked vigilante-by-night David Zavimbe as he beats up a crook named Blood Tiger (Masika Kunto). Batman offers him a spot within Batman Incorporated. Zavimbe, along with his best friend and former guardian Matu Ba, travels to America. In Gotham, at the secret underground Batman Incorporated armory, Batman and Lucius Fox give Zavimbe and Ba the grand tour. Zavimbe accepts Batman’s offer and becomes Batwing! These events take place just under one year before Batwing #6.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #0. Batman (Bruce Wayne) helps Knight and Squire defeat Jack the Smasher in London and recruits the Dynamic Duo of England as official members of Batman Incorporated. Knight’s first mission is to go to Australia and recruit Johnny Riley into the fold, which he does. Riley is the original Dark Ranger’s sidekick, who now becomes both a new Batman Inc agent and the new Dark Ranger. Meanwhile, in Russia, Batman, along with Robin,[7] helps superhero Ravil bust some bad guys. He then recruits Ravil as a Batman Inc member.

–REFERENCE: In Forever Evil: Arkham War #2—originally told in Brightest Day #23-24. Batman (Dick Grayson) and Robin deal with a mini-crisis in Gotham. The Green, an elemental force/mystic realm that binds all vegetal life together, has taken over all of Gotham. Unknown to the world, Swamp Thing had been taken over by Nekron during the “Blackest Night” event that happened earlier in the year. (In case you were unaware, Swamp Thing is an Earth Elemental/Plant Elemental that works for the Parliament of Trees, a sort of sentient hive-mind collective that resides within and protects the Green.) Now, the evil Swamp Thing has corrupted the Green and used it to take over various parts of the planet, including Gotham. Eventually, Alec Holland (a deceased scientist that originally provided a human set of memories and personality for Swamp Thing) is semi-resurrected and merged into the Green, allowing Swamp Thing to split into two halves: an evil Nekron half and a good Holland half. The Holland half defeats his bad side, ending the crisis. Just like in the Modern Age, Alec Holland decides to part ways with Swamp Thing, but in the New 52 there is no Brightest Day: Aftermath series where Superman, Batman, and John Constantine will track down both the fully-restored Holland and Swamp Thing. Instead, Holland’s denial of Swamp Thing will cause him to immediately awaken fully-restored in the swamps of Louisiana where he will work a menial construction job until Swamp Thing Vol. 5 #1, which occurs six weeks from now.

–REFERENCE: In Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2. Batman begins using fully-automated surveillance drones known as “Witches’ Eyes.”

–NOTE: In Flashpoint Vol. 2 #1-5. Flash has inadvertently screwed up the Modern Age (a previous continuity, or in narrative terms “reality,” if you will) and turned it into a new reality where things are very different, including the fact that Bruce was shot to death in Crime Alley all those years ago, causing Thomas Wayne to become Batman and Martha Wayne to become Joker. Flash interacts with a host of new characters, including the Thomas Wayne Batman (aka Flashpoint Batman). Before Flashpoint Batman and Eobard Thawne (aka Professor Zoom aka Reverse-Flash) kill each other in battle, the former gives Barry a handwritten letter to give to Bruce, should Barry be able to revert everything back to status-quo. In an effort to return things to how they were, Flash is able to locate himself in the timestream at the point just before he screwed things up. However, without the aid of the Cosmic Treadmill, Flash simply uses the Speed Force to haphazardly travel through time, a slipshod act that results in even more anomalies. Then, Flash fights himself as he travels back through the timestream, causing the Speed Force to go all kablooey even more, which causes time itself to alter further. Flash is addressed by a hooded godlike female entity (Pandora) who explains that the “history of heroes was shattered into three long ago, splintered to weaken your world for their impending arrival.” The “World of Flashpoint” (aka Thomas Wayne Batman reality) fades from existence—although Flash retains all memory of it. (As referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #21-22 and Flash Vol. 5 #21, the sneaky Dr. Manhattan secretly keeps the “World of Flashpoint” as an alternate timeline.) Pandora then literally merges the Vertigo Universe (the parts that never overlapped with the Modern Age DCU proper), the Wildstorm Universe, and the Modern Age DCU. She reforms the three universes into one single DCU with a brand new history. But, as referenced in DC Universe: Rebirth #1, Flash Vol. 5 #21-22, Doomsday Clock #3, Doomsday Clock #7, and Doomsday Clock #9, Pandora gets played. Dr. Manhattan forcibly “guides” her world-sculpting hands, becoming a co-creator of the New 52. Notably, Pandora attempts to create a New 52 that is similar to the Modern Age—with a longer timeline containing the original JLA lineup, Identity Crisis, Barry Allen dying during the original Crisis, the Justice Society of America’s complete history, and a 31st century Legion of Superheroes that shapes and guides a young Kal-El. However, Dr. Manhattan slips-in and takes actions to ensure these moments do not occur/never come into existence, thus shortening the timeline and “stealing” a decade’s worth of relationships, legacy, and continuity. For instance, as referenced in Doomsday Clock #10, Dr. Manhattan ensures that Ma and Pa Kent die the night of Clark’s high school prom. And, as referenced in Action Comics #987, Dr. Manhattan saves Jor-El (Superman’s father) from dying.[8] As referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #21-22, Flash Vol. 5 #21, and Batman Vol. 3 #84, Dr. Manhattan also secretly resurrects Flashpoint Batman and Eobard Thawne, knowing that the latter will usher the former in the direction of Batman. (As already mentioned, Dr. Manhattan’s main MO is to bum out Superman, but he’s clearly also targeting our Batman with these moves.) Thawne, meanwhile, becomes obsessed with finding out who brought him back to life. When all it told and the dust settles, the previous incarnation of Batman i.e. Modern Age Batman is erased. A new era of the DCU is born, and with it, an extensive and new history as well, which includes everything on our New 52 chronology up to this very moment. Overwhelmed, Flash slips into unconsciousness. (Note that all of the Dr. Manhattan stuff attached to Flashpoint—aside from DC Universe: Rebirth #1—comes from Rebirth Era material.)

–Flashpoint Vol. 2 #5 Epilogue
Late August. Flash has just run circles through space-time in an effort to redress the broken timestream (in which Bruce had died on Crime Alley instead of his parents and Thomas Wayne became Batman). Before running himself into unconsciousness, Flash met Pandora, who helped him whip-up a brand new continuity. Cut to now. The frazzled Flash wakes up and immediately visits the Batcave. Thankfully, Thomas Wayne is no longer Batman. Bruce is indeed wearing the cape and cowl again. Barry then explains all that has happened and delivers Thomas’ letter to a teary-eyed Dark Knight.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 2 #9. Batman puts “Flashpoint” Thomas Wayne’s letter into a display case in the Batcave.

–FLASHBACK: From Secret Origins Vol. 3 #3 Part 3. Tim moves out of Wayne Manor and says goodbye to Bruce and Alfred. He moves into a double penthouse in New York City.

–NOTE: In a reference in Batman & Robin Eternal #5. Red Robin, now fully independent of Batman and chock-full of fiery spirit, decides that he’s not satisfied with the government’s witness-protection of his mom and dad. Tim takes it upon himself to protect them. Using his superior hacking skills, Tim takes his parents off the grid and builds them completely new identities—albeit, ridiculously, also using the last name “Drake.” Tim also moves mom and dad back home, shuttling them into a high-tech safe house (of his own design and construction) in Bristol County, Outer Gotham. Overbearing and creepy teen-genius Tim also implants into his parents’ minds post-hypnotic suggestions, which will hypnotize them into taking safe non-panicked action should anything penetrate the barriers of their new super-home. Ludicrously (and dangerously), Tim also reveals his secret ID as Red Robin to his parents as well! Oy, sweet Jesus to all of this. Oh, it’s unknown whether or not Batman is aware of all of these radically wild moves by Red Robin in order to provide safety for his parents. Though, we do know that, at some point in the near future, Tim tells all to Dick.

–Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1-3[9]
Late August—one week prior to the anniversary of the Wayne murders. A month ago, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Raphael, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Leonardo), their mentor Splinter, and their rivals Shredder and his ninja Foot Clan somehow all wound up getting transported and stranded on Earth-0 from their own Earth-IDW. Cut to now. With his parents’ death anniversary coming up, Batman, as usual, is particularly moody. The Dark Knight sends Damian away on an unspecified but “important” mission overseas and begins distracting himself, as he has done in the past, by starting a new pet project—this time, an armored robo-costume called the Intimidator Suit. After the Foot Clan steals a few Powers Industrial resonance engines (in hopes of using them to return to their correct Earth) and then fights the Turtles, Batman interrogates some Powers Industrial workers that bore witness to the clash. Bruce orders Lucius to ship a high-tech resonance engine from a WayneTech R&D facility to Central City. After arguing with Alfred in the Batcave, Batman then sets up a holographic ninja lure at the WayneTech R&D facility. Sure enough, the Foot Clan arrives in time to get their butts kicked. Shredder appears, threatens Batman, and then disappears. Meanwhile, Killer Croc, with a new scheme that involves wanting to steal the Batmobile, accidentally wanders into the Turtles’ sewer hideout. Killer Croc and his henchmen get beaten up for trespassing. Above ground, the Turtles and Splinter run smack dab into Batman! Batman kicks the four Turtles’ asses and steals one of Raphael’s sais before Splinter makes the save and helps them escape. Bruce has Lucius Fox analyze the sai and they learn there are traces of a trans-dimensional mutagen. Bruce then suits into his Batman costume, unaware that Splinter has been spying on him the whole time. Meanwhile, on the docks, Shredder meets with Penguin to purchase a previously stolen WayneTech resonance engine. But the double-cross is on as the Foot Clan swoops in and steals it. Penguin is able to bargain for his life, joining Shredder’s team. Splinter and the Turtles then break into the Batcave and confront Batman, telling him that the evil alien Krang sent them to Earth-0, a place where their mutated DNA will become inert, reverting them back into regular animals. The Turtles and Batman join forces and take the fight to Shredder and the Foot Clan at Penguin’s Iceberg Lounge. Shredder is defeated, but destroys the interdimensional portal, murders the only man with the knowledge to build another one (Dr. Naveen Khan), and savagely injures Raphael. Shredder then escapes on a helicopter only to find himself face-to-face with Ra’s al Ghul!

–Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #4-6
Late August to Early September. Batman and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles spend a few days training and patrolling together, busting Foot Clan members and Mad Hatter. Batman also puts the Turtles in touch with the Justice League. Cyborg tries in vain to figure out the Turtles’ blood situation. Dr. Mahreen Zaheer processes a bunch of Foot Clan ninjas into Arkham, much to the glee of Joker. (It’s unclear which Joker appears here.) Meanwhile, an impatient Raphael angrily storms off, prompting Batman to chase after him. A transdimensional portal controlled by Shredder and Ra’s al Ghul then activates, allowing the Turtles’ best friend Casey Jones, bearing canisters of Mutagen that can save the Turtles’ lives, to come through. (Casey is aware of the Turtles’ situation and has been able to jump to Earth-0 thanks to the genius of the Turtles’ super-scientist pal Harold Lillja.) As the portal is activated, an alarm goes off in the Batcave, sending the remaining Turtles to Casey’s location. Batman gives Raphael a tour of Crime Alley. By the time all the heroes arrive at Casey’s location, he’s been beaten-up and Shredder has stolen the Mutagen and headed to Arkham Asylum with Ra’s al Ghul. Later, Batman and the Turtles respond to the Bat-Signal to find Commissioner Gordon with Penguin, who claims he is now helping to stop Shredder and Ra’s al Ghul. Gordon—drawn incorrectly with gray hair—tells the heroes that the Foot Clan has taken over Arkham Asylum. Back at the Batcave, a returning Robin confronts and fights Michelangelo, Donatello, and a recovered Casey Jones. Batman arrives in time to stop them, carrying a sick Leonardo—who is succumbing to de-mutation—in his arms. Casey produces a “time-slingshot”—created by Harold Lillja—that can send them back to Earth-IDW. The only catch is that if they don’t use it now, they’ll have to wait another three weeks before dimensional positioning and planetary conditions are in alignment. Robin tells Batman that he’s tracked a legion of League of Assassins members heading to Gotham. Splinter says that, despite their partnership, both Shredder and Ra’s al Ghul will undoubtedly betray one another, causing a ninja war. After the Turtles say their goodbyes, Batman and Robin go to Arkham where they find Penguin, who has been turned into an actual mutated penguin-man as punishment for his betrayal. Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, Joker, Mad Hatter, Two-Face, Riddler, Bane, Harley Quinn, and Ventriloquist (with Scarface) all appear to face the Dynamic Duo—and each has been turned into a mutated animal-human hybrid by Shredder. The combined might of the mutated rogues is enough to capture Batman, who is presented before Shredder and Ra’s al Ghul. Meanwhile, Casey travels back to Earth-IDW. The Turtles and Splinter, having decided to stay, arrive to aid Batman. After freeing the Dark Knight and handing over his new Intimidator Suit, the heroes brawl with the bad guys, bringing them all down. Outside, Robin single-handedly defeats an entire army of League of Assassins ninjas and Foot Clan ninjas. Casey and April O’Neil appear via an interdimensional portal created by Harold Lillja. The heroes round up the Foot Clan members and, along with Shredder, toss them through the portal. The Turtles and Splinter say their goodbyes. Raphael gives his mask to Batman as a gift before the IDW-crew goes back home and the portal shuts for good. As the sun comes up over Gotham, Batman and Robin chat with Commissioner Gordon, who tells them that the mutations are wearing off. Robin notes that it is now the anniversary of Batman’s parents’ deaths. Batman and Robin decide to spend the morning fixing the damaged Intimidator Suit. Presumably, Batman puts Raphael’s mask on display in the Batcave as well. On what is usually a brutal day for Batman, he is now finally inspired instead of dejected. This is the perfect narrative lead-in to the first issue of Batman & Robin Vol. 1.

–Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #1
Early September—our tale begins on the anniversary of the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne, meaning this story begins on the same day that Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ends. Remember, Damian is eight-years-old, but only biologically speaking. He was actually born about three-and-a-half years ago. In Moscow, Nobody (Morgan Ducard) begins his one man war on Batman Incorporated by murdering Ravil, the Batman of Russia. In Gotham, now that Batman (Bruce Wayne) is done with the main recruitment drive for Batman Incorporated, the Dark Knight has decided to permanently separate Damian from Dick and to make his son his official full-time partner instead. The new Dynamic Duo pays tribute to their deceased family in Crime Alley for the final time. From now on Batman will honor his parents’ wedding anniversary instead of their death anniversary. (Note that we don’t know when the Waynes’ wedding anniversary is, so we will simply have to imagine Batman honoring this date in the future on our timeline.) A bickering Batman and Robin then stop a robbery attempt by brothers Ronnie, Reggie, and Robbie at Gotham University. When the thieves try to escape in the Bat-Gyroball, Robin stops them, but they accidentally blow themselves to smithereens. Ronnie, Reggie, and Robbie don’t die in the blast, but instead fuse into the melted-together three-faced monster Smush, who will swear revenge against the Dynamic Duo (as referenced in Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #10).

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #12. Batman, now motivated less by the nightmarish image of his parents being killed and more by the memories of the great lives they lived, begins thinking of his parents in a more positive light as well, choosing to remember them laughing and happy. This will be the way Batman thinks of them, moving forward.

–FLASHBACK: From the second feature to Detective Comics Vol. 2 #50—originally told in Detective Comics #50. Batman and Robin defeat “The Three Daredevils,” acrobatic ninja jewel thieves that wear red devil costumes.

–FLASHBACK: From the second feature to Detective Comics Vol. 2 #50—originally told in Detective Comics #70. The Dynamic Duo fights the telepathic Carlo the Amazing on an isle off the coast of Gotham Bay. Robin is nearly killed when Carlo stuffs him in a bathysphere and sinks it to the bottom of the ocean. Batman saves Robin and the case ends when Carlo is shot to death by a man who lives on the island.

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to All-Star Batman #6. September. As he does every year, Riddler celebrates the anniversary of his Zero Year attack by initiating a new pre-planned puzzle-themed strike on Gotham. Since the reference to the anniversary attacks in the second feature to All-Star Batman #6 is vague and does not give specifics, we don’t know what this attack entails. We are not told whether Batman stops Riddler’s plot or fails to stop it.

–REFERENCE: In the flashback from Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #11—originally referenced in Batman Incorporated #8. Bruce publicly launches Internet 3.0—a virtual reality web world accessed via a VR helmet that allows the user to control a personalized avatar. While engaged with the system, one can literally wander and explore the rich 3D environment.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #0. Batman (Bruce Wayne) takes a trip to Paris in attempt to recruit the veteran Musketeer into the Batman Incorporated fold. After a shake-down of some masked thugs with both Musketeer and Nightrunner (Bilal Asselah), the Musketeer decides to stay retired. However, the young and talented Nightrunner becomes a new Batman Inc agent. Batman then sends an invitation long distance to Man-of-Bats and his sidekick son Red Raven, who publicly accept during a live televised press conference in the States.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 3 #18—originally told in Detective Comics #872-873. Batman (Dick Grayson) fights and defeats The Dealer (Étienne Guibourg), an auctioneer who sells super-villain weapons and memorabilia. The Dealer commands a mobile auction house/evil cult known as Mirror House.

–Swamp Thing Vol. 5 #1
October. When strange phenomena begin occurring globally—including birds falling from the sky in Metropolis, fish dying in the oceans, and all the bats dropping dead inside the Batcave—Superman visits the recently reincarnated Alec Holland (recent host vessel for Swamp Thing). Holland can’t help Superman, but the former is visited by a dramatically weakened Swamp Thing, who explains that the ancient menace known as Sethe is responsible for the bizarre happenings in nature. (Sethe is the Avatar of The Black aka The Rot, which is the mystic elemental force that binds together all death and decay in the universe.) This item basically sets the tone for the rest of the series where Holland will eventually permanently merge with Swamp Thing again in order to protect the planet.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #0. Batman (Bruce Wayne) teams-up with Batman Inc’s own Dark Ranger for the first time and helps him take down some criminals in Australia. Later, back in the States, Bruce chats with Alfred about Batman Inc and how great the recruitment drive has been thus far.

–REFERENCE: In Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #2 and Detective Comics #935. Batman builds a high tech training facility inside the Batcave, which he calls “The Danger Room.” Not very original, Batman. Via a “fight terminal” within the Bat-Computer, the Danger Room provides simulations that are designed to stump Batman.

–REFERENCE: In Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #2. Late October. Batman apprehends a group of unnamed arms dealers. Batman will apprehend arms dealers from this same group of thugs three more times over the course of the next eight weeks.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #0. November. Batman (Bruce Wayne) meets with Batman Japan at the end of his three-month probationary period. Batman Japan now debuts his brand new custom-made goggle-cap karate outfit. Batman reviews his performance and helps him nab Veiniac. The Dark Knight tells Batman Japan that he will be an official Batman Inc agent if he can defeat Doubleface, which we can assume he does, since Batman Japan becomes an official member of the team! From this point on, Batman Japan will operate with his very own Tokyo “Batbase” that mirrors Batman’s Gotham Batcave and he will go on various solo missions independent from the Caped Crusader’s guidance (as referenced in the flashback from Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #11). Before they part ways, Batman orders Batman Japan to take down the Japanese Clayface (Clayface II). Batman Japan asks Batman for a shrink ray (to use on himself so he can date the tiny superhero Lolita Canary).

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #0—originally told in Batman Incorporated #3-4. Batman (Bruce Wayne) teams with an uncooperative El Gaucho in Buenos Aries. There, the heroes rescue some kidnapped children from El Papagayo. Afterward, they defeat Scorpiana and El Sombrero—fist fighting each other with electrified brass knuckles along the way. After that, they learn of a Leviathan threat—keyword “oroboros”—on the Falkland Islands. El Gaucho says he doesn’t want to join Batman Inc, but gets drafted anyway.

–REFERENCE: In the “Leviathan web display” in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #3—originally told in Batman Incorporated #3-4. Batman (Bruce Wayne) wraps-up his adventure with Gaucho in Buenos Aries before returning to Gotham where the murderous Johnny Valentine (aka “Son of Pyg” aka Professor Pyg’s son) and his accomplice Una Clairemont (who dresses in an old Kathy Kane Bat-Woman costume) run amok. Valentine drops an “oroboros” clue that also points to the Falklands as well. Valentine escapes, but Una Clairemont gets put behind bars. (Note that Batwoman was a major part of this story in the Modern Age, but she is not in the New 52 since she has yet to debut.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #1 and in the “Leviathan web display” in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #3. Batman (Bruce Wayne) and Gaucho, along with The Hood (George Cross), converge on the Falkland Islands—home of the supposedly imprisoned Doctor Dedalus, ex-Nazi spymaster Otto Netz, former head of Spyral and biological father to Kathy Kane. There, the heroes deal with multiple Leviathan threats, including Scorpiana. The villainess gets defeated, despite the fact that the Hood and Gaucho hate each other’s guts and don’t work well together. The heroes stop the Leviathan threat on the Falklands after discovering a fake Doctor Dedalus and learning that the real Doctor Dedalus has been secretly free since the mid 1980s, which is highly troubling to Batman and company. Meanwhile, at the Leviathan satellite HQ, the real Otto Netz, having manipulated the events on the Falklands, laughs with his comrade and new leader of Leviathan: Talia al Ghul. The Hood becomes an official Batman Inc agent following this event. (Note that Batwoman was a major part of this story in the Modern Age, but she is not in the New 52 since she has yet to debut.)

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #0—originally told in Batman Incorporated #6. Batman (Bruce Wayne) sends Gaucho to bust up some shrouded Leviathan cultists, a task that requires him to wade through raw sewage. As a reward, Batman finally introduces Gaucho to his fellow Batman Inc teammates, specifically the lovely ladies of the Outsiders (as also seen in a separate panel from Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #0).

–REFERENCE: In Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #2. Batman apprehends some more of “the arms dealers group.”

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 2 #8 Part 1. The Justice League accidentally booms to Apokolips for the second time (making this their third trip to Apokolips). Stranded on Apokolips, the JL fights off an army of Parademons until Cyborg can reboot his systems and return them back to Earth. The Mother Boxes malfunction on average once every 1,000 boom jumps, sending its users to Apokolips by accident.

–the second feature to Action Comics Vol. 2 #14
The entirety of Action Comics Vol. 2 #14 is a flash-forward (!) from three years ago that takes place roughly here and now. The second feature to that same issue (as detailed in this entry) occurs a week after the aforementioned flash-forward, hence its placement here. Action Comics Vol. 2 #15 reveals the information regarding the flash-forward.[10] The Justice League battles the giant inter-dimensional reptilian alien known as N’rrssshk’t the Conqueror, who attempts to take over Earth with an army of thought canons, multiphase quantum blades, and Encephalobots. Despite overwhelming odds, the JL has everything under control, which allows Superman to take a leave of absence from the fight so he can visit Neil deGrasse Tyson (!) at the planetarium in New York City. There, we learn that Superman is twenty-seven years old. Twenty-seven years ago Krypton exploded and baby Superman quickly rocketed to Earth via worm hole technology. Only now is the light from Krypton’s massive explosion finally reaching Earth. Superman, Tyson, and a few others watch the “ghost” of Krypton disintegrate into the night sky.

–REFERENCE: In Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #2. Batman apprehends more of “the arms dealers group.”

–NOTE: In Batgirl Vol. 4 #1-4. December.[11] A couple weeks ago, Barbara Gordon miraculously recovered from her paralysis after receiving a radical new treatment in a special South African clinic. (As we learn in Secret Origins Vol. 3 #10 Part 1, this treatment is a surgical procedure involving a cybernetic implant that networks with Babs’ nervous system by tuning a sentient algorithm to her unique internal data scan.) The rejuvenated Babs now re-dons the cape and cowl of Batgirl. Gail Simone (and her editors) place Babs’ recovery and return to costume not long before a Christmas holiday. Simone and her editors also tell us that Babs’ full recovery occurs almost exactly three years after becoming paralyzed. Christmas is cool, but the time-frame for her injury and recovery is way off. It has only been around half that time since her paralysis—ONE YEAR and NINE MONTHS. This has to be the case since, one, Babs must debut before her various appearances in other comics, and two, Babs paralysis must occur before Jason Todd’s murder. Technically, we could lessen the time Dick was Robin to lengthen Babs’ time as a person with paraplegia, but the absolute most we could give would be a mere three months or so, which would still put us at two years instead of three. To take away time from Dick’s tenure as Robin simply to accommodate a few more months of Babs in a wheelchair doesn’t seem worth the change, especially since it would really compress things in an ugly way.[12][13]

–FLASHBACK: From Batwing #2. December. This item is actually a flashback within a flashback that takes place approximately eight months before Batwing #6. Batman (Bruce Wayne) meets with Batwing at the latter’s headquarters (a compound called The Haven) in Tinasha, Democratic Republic of Congo and delivers unto him a brand new armored costume.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Eternal #21-22—originally told in Batman: Gates of Gotham #1-5. Batman (Dick Grayson) fights the terrorist bomber known as The Architect (Zachary Gate), who is the revenge-obsessed scion of the Gate family of architects who were supposedly screwed-over by Gotham’s “first families” nearly a hundred years ago. Gotham’s “first families” included the Waynes, Kanes, Cobblepots, and Elliots. Batman (Dick) is able to defeat The Architect, but not before he blows-up a building and several bridges.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #2—and also referenced in Nightwing Vol. 3 #1. Dick retires his Batman costume and becomes Nightwing again. This single-panel flashback image simply shows Nightwing posing with Batman and Robin right around this time. Nightwing Vol. 3 #1 also reminds us that Dick was Batman for “almost a full year.” Dick was Batman for around eight months.[14]

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #16. Dick, now that he is Nightwing again, ends his official partnership with Robin—although he briefly considers keeping Robin as his sidekick (as referenced in Nightwing Vol. 4 #20). Dick retires the flying Batmobile as well. Batman puts it into Batcave storage with all the other vehicles.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #1 and Batgirl Vol. 4 #4-6. Bruce partners with various domestic design firms to start an initiative to start rebuilding some of Gotham’s most derelict industrial neighborhoods. This is but the first step of a major gentrification project that will be fully fleshed out about a year from now (in Batman Vol. 2 #1). In order for everything to fit cleanly on our timeline, this gentrification project has to be initiated before the opening arc of Batgirl Vol. 4 in which the project is mentioned and shown.

–REFERENCE: In Batgirl Vol. 4 #4. December 22. This item occurs after Bruce has revealed his early gentrification plans for Gotham. Writer Gail Simone tells us specifically that it is now December 22. Here’s the synopsis. Thanks to the amazing smartphone Batman App (!), which keeps a relative GPS tab on Batman via random spottings, criminals can keep clear of the Dark Knight. While we don’t actually see Batman in Batgirl Vol. 4 #4, the Batman App tells us that the Caped Crusader stops a robbery at Cape Carmine. Meanwhile, Batgirl works towards bringing down The Mirror (Jonathan Mills).

–Batgirl Vol. 4 #5-6
December 22-23. Batgirl #5-6 picks up immediately where Batgirl #4 leaves off (on the very same night). Babs’ mom (Barbara Gordon) has just returned to Gotham after years of deadbeat absence, but Batgirl has bigger things to worry about. An Occupy Gotham protest (!) has formed in response to Bruce’s plan to gentrify Gotham’s derelict industrial neighborhoods. Hundreds gather at a ground-breaking ceremony, which is set to commence. Batgirl learns that super-villain newcomer Gretel (Lisly Bonner), who has the power to control people’s minds (possibly using post-hypnotic suggestion), is going to attack Bruce while en route to personally address the protesters. Batgirl fights off Bruce’s mind-controlled chauffeur, but quickly finds herself under the assault of a brainwashed Bruce. Batgirl eventually snaps Bruce out of his funk and Gretel hightails it outta there. The next morning, Bruce attempts to give his speech for a second time, but is shot at by Gretel-controlled cops. Batgirl makes the save, Bruce discreetly suits up in the bedlam, and the duo takes down Gretel, delivering her to GCPD Detective Melody McKenna. We don’t learn who hired Gretel to attempt an assassination of Bruce (but it is presumably someone linked to the protestors).

–Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #2-8
Late December. After Batman and Robin stop some more members of “the arms dealers gang,” Alfred bespeaks that Bruce should try to be a better dad to the troubled Damian. Bruce’s response is to buy Damian a Great Dane (that he later names Titus). Nobody (Morgan Ducard) then makes his presence known and threatens Bruce face-to-face. Fearing for Damian’s safety, Batman makes him stay at home for three nights straight while going on solo patrols. On the third night, Robin has had it and takes to the streets on his own. After Robin roughs up some muggers, Nobody introduces himself to the Boy Wonder. Batman shows up, but Nobody captures both heroes and whisks them to an abandoned drive-in theater where he plays film of the Dark Knight’s rogues gallery while scolding him for letting them all live. Alfred saves the Dynamic Duo by piloting the Batplane via remote control. Back at the Batcave, Bruce and Damian argue. Bruce tells Damian about his past, training with Morgan Ducard’s father, Henri Ducard, but hides crucial details. In the cemetery on the Wayne Estate, Nobody approaches Damian and offers him a partnership. Thus begins, Nobody’s “join the Dark Side” campaign. Damian leaves with Nobody to assault the Ragandian Embassy, which houses a corrupt ambassador. Panicked, Batman searches for Damian, first using the Human Kinematic Program (a computer program that searches for Damian’s body-type while monitoring every single security camera in the city), then by hitting the streets. While Batman takes his frustrations out on some common lowlifes, he records a message for Damian and retells of his complete past with the perfidious Ducards. Robin, having earned Nobody’s trust, accompanies him (with the ambassador in tow) to a yacht in Gotham Harbor. The Boy Wonder then reveals he has been playing Nobody to whole time and turns on him. However, Nobody is able to restrain Robin. Batman, locating Robin’s GPS signal, rushes to Gotham Harbor. By the time he arrives, Nobody has already beaten the living shit out of Robin, including having broken all the fingers on his left hand. The Dark Knight proceeds to wail mercilessly on Nobody, and a bloody and brutal fight erupts. Eventually, an unmasked Batman thrashes Nobody within an inch of his life and ties him up. After a subtle embrace, Batman works at getting off the yacht, which is now aflame and slowly sinking. A badly injured Nobody, still playing the role of Emperor Palpatine to a tee, dares Robin to execute him. Before Batman can react, Damian strikes and kills Nobody! Batman grabs his badly beaten son and they rocket out of the ruble. Back at the Batcave, Alfred patches up Damian and Batman, who both have broken bones and concussions. Bruce then plays the recording that he made for Damian and talks to him about why it is so important that they don’t use lethal force. Bruce then goes fishing with Damian and plays fetch with Titus. Alfred states that Batman is to be out of action for twenty-four hours and Robin should be out for two weeks. However, when the Bat-Signal shines high in the Gotham sky, the Dynamic Duo is costumed-up and off into the night (for an unnamed case).


<<< Year Three <<< | >>> Year Five >>>

  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: Like everything in the New 52, the Thögal ritual is tremendously truncated in comparison to its Modern Age design. Instead of a year, it can be only weeks long. (By its very ritualistic nature, Thögal must be an extended engagement, so it has to at least be weeks long.) Much of the monthly specificity this part of our chronology, including the dates for Thögal, have to do with Damian’s birthday being in March. Thögal must go shortly before Damian gets dropped into Batman’s lap for the first time, which is said to happen on the boy’s biological birthday this year.

    From this point onward, we have to consider Batman and Robin Vol. 2 #1, which occurs on the anniversary of the Wayne murders (i.e. in early September of this year). Therefore, other key items that go prior to Batman and Robin Vol. 2 #1—like Bruce getting Omega-Sanctioned into time by Darkseid and Bruce’s subsequent return and defeat of Simon Hurt—must fit into the space between March and early September. Of course, considering and accommodating a host of other stories, these major time-consuming events can only fit in an even tighter window, specifically between May and August. We’ll see these dates listed below. Essentially, when building such a taut chronology (and the New 52 is extremely compact), it becomes absolutely necessary to find the hard dates and then navigate around them accordingly.

  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: The apocalyptic vision shown in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #5 reflects the possible vile future detailed in Batman #666 and Batman #700). Here is what Batman sees in more detail. Batman (actually Dick, not Bruce) is killed in action when Damian is a teen, prompting him to be manipulated by Talia into making a deal with the devil (aka Simon Hurt). This “deal” eventually comes back to haunt Damian, who not only takes up the mantle of the Bat, but is also partly responsible for the death of Commissioner Gordon. Tragedy also (re)strikes Barbara Gordon, who loses the use of her legs once again, but becomes the new commissioner. With most of the planet in chaos, Batman and Commissioner Babs fight off the entire populace of a government-quarantined Gotham, which has been Jokerized. Per Talia’s orders, Hurt (who has ascended to the highest levels of American government) authorizes a US Government nuclear strike on Gotham, killing literally everyone and wiping the city clean off the face of the planet.

    Eventually, Batman will seemingly prevent the future of Batman #666/Batman #700/Batman Inc Vol. 2 #5 from happening, but at the cost of his son’s life. However, Damian will get resurrected, meaning that there is credence to the idea that the 666 Future could still happen on our primary timeline. It is a distinct possibility that is not to be ignored.

  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #0 shows the history of Damian, but, as stated before, it is pretty vague. Not only that, but the issue supposedly shows Damian’s TENTH b-day. Damian appearing on his tenth b-day jibes with the Modern Age version of things, but NOT the New 52. Damian would only be turning eight here, so the mention of age ten is an out-and-out error. Rebirth has Damian turning thirteen in Year Nine, hence his turning eight here. Every birthday, Damian fought his mom in combat in an attempt to earn the right to meet his dad, as seen via montage. (He finally wins and meets his dad on his retconned eighth birthday.) Thus, the Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #0 montage of Damian’s b-days—featuring six b-days including the one where he bests Talia in 2011—then we must assume Talia and Damian have celebrated a couple biological birthdays each year for everything to work correctly.
  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER: In Justice League Vol. 2 #8 Part 1, which takes place in 2013, Cyborg states that the JL has boom jumped 1,056 times since their last trip to Apokolips, meaning 1,056 times between 2011 and 2013. (The JL has their second accidental trip to Apokolips in 2011). If one assumes that the JL jumps at least twice per mission (once to get where they are going and once to return) then that means the team, from 2008 through 2013 will have boomed at most 3,000 times; meaning the highball estimate for number of total JL missions during that range could be around 1,500. Of course, that seems extremely high—the JL probably will boom on average much more than twice on a single mission, maybe as high as ten, fifteen, twenty, or twenty-five times (if not more) depending on the case. Also, we should bear in mind that the booms might not always be full-team teleportation, and could very well be individual jumps, which could include a number of different people. So one could conceivably divide any number of total missions (from within the range of 2008 through 2013) by at least seven to achieve a more reasonable and realistic number. Thus, instead of 1,500 missions, the total number of JL cases during that four year time range could be as low as 200, 150, or even under 100. But my point is, the JL will absolutely go on way more missions than I will catalog on this timeline. We just have to imagine that these various assignments will be sprinkled throughout the chronology in the future.
  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: Since only tiny fragments of Final Crisis occur in the New 52, the Omega Sanction goes down a little differently than it did in the Modern Age. Originally, Batman and Darkseid came face-to-face, during which Darkseid zapped Batman and Batman shot Darkseid. This, however, does not happen in the New 52. What does happen, as specifically implied via flashback from Robin Rises: Omega #1, is that Darkseid zaps Batman from a hidden unseen location. (The flashback that shows Batman getting zapped by Omega Beams very deliberately omits/crops-off the image of Darkseid.) We know Darkseid has to zap Batman from a hidden position because in the main action of Robin Rises: Omega #1, which occurs in 2014, Batman states that he has only met Darkseid face-to-face once before, during the tyrant’s initial invasion of Earth from Justice League Vol. 2 #1.
  6. [6]COLLIN COLSHER: Note that Dick mentions that he was Batman for “almost a full year” in the pages of Nightwing Vol. 3 #1. Eh, kinda. Dick was Batman for around eight months. Don’t forget that, in the New 52, Bruce was not missing for the entire year. In fact, he was only missing for about THREE MONTHS. (If this seems like he was gone for too short of a time, hey, I totally agree. But due to the short timeline that DC wants us to have, this is just how it has to be. And there is nothing in any New 52 comic book that says it was any longer than that anyway!) Therefore, a period of nearly eight months with dual Batmen begins now. If this ain’t the truth, then we definitely need an extra year added to accommodate, but that doesn’t seem possible.
  7. [7]COLLIN COLSHER: Batman mentions that Damian is eleven-years-old here. Later this year and next, he will refer to him as a ten-year-old. As if Damian’s age bullshit wasn’t convoluted enough. We know Damian celebrated his “eighth” b-day earlier this year, but due to his artificial aging and mutated development, it’s hard to determine his “true age.” He biologically looks like an early pre-adolescent boy, but has actually only been alive for three years now. In any case, both of Batman’s references to Damian’s age are totally incorrect. He is eight.
  8. [8]COLLIN COLSHER: One of Dr. Manhattan’s main goals in recreating the DCU is to reshape Superman more to his liking i.e. to make him darker and more introverted. Able to view the entire Metaverse (i.e. all previous continuities), Dr. Manhattan pinpointed the people that helped teach young Clark Kent/Kal-El to become the most endearingly hopeful of all the superheroes—Ma and Pa Kent, the Legion of Superheroes, and the JSA. Thus, Dr. Manhattan played a central role in the deaths of Ma and Pa Kent in an effort to make Superman darker and introverted. Keeping alive Jor-El, who has decidedly different values in comparison to the Kents, was was another part of Manhattan’s same effort to re-shape Superman into a darker individual. Likewise, prevention of the existence of the JSA and the Legion, and therefore prevention of them influencing Superman, was meant to grim-darken the Man of Steel as well.
  9. [9]COLLIN COLSHER: The only place Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles can occur is here in late August of Year Four. In late August of Year Eight, Jim Gordon is Batman. In late August of Year Seven, Penguin is in jail. In late August of Year Six, Damian is dead. In late August of Year Five, Joker would be faceless and in hiding.
  10. [10]COLLIN COLSHER: No one else writes comic book narrative the way Grant Morrison does—and I mean this in a completely laudatory way. To be fair, Scholly Fisch got in on the scripting for this particular bit as well, so kudos to him as well. The flash-forward Action Comics #14 issue features a battle on an under-construction Mars settlement. In issue #15 we learn that the Mars mission is launched roughly two years after the main action of Morrison’s Action run (which primarily occurred in 2008). If we assume that it takes seven to nine months to travel to Mars and then a few more months to begin colonization and construction then we can guess that this flash-forward occurs three years after the main action of Morrison’s Action run. Hence, the placement of the second feature (which takes place a week later) here and now. Also, it makes a whole lot of sense to put the second feature here because it tells us Superman is twenty-seven-years-old, and that age seems appropriate for Superman in 2011.
  11. [11]COLLIN COLSHER / BATFAN REBORN: Batgirl Vol. 4 #1, where Batgirl returns to in-costume action, must take place here and now because it happens near Christmas and also because the story from issue #1 through #6 is a continuous tale. Batgirl #7-8 happens “all these months after Christmas,” meaning many months afterward. Batgirl #9 then happens a few months after that, acting as a tie-in to the “Night of the Owls” crossover, which occurs roughly a year from now.
  12. [12]BATFAN REBORN: About the whole three years ago recovery problem: It’s just one of those things akin to where characters never age in comics, keeping us in a perpetual comic book “present.”

    COLLIN COLSHER: I’m not so sure that’s it. I still think it’s a fuck up. Note that the post-Gail Simone Batgirl team (Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr) said in interviews that Babs is 21-years-old in 2014 and also that she became Batgirl at age 16. Since she was 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. With that being said, I think the math does work and Babs has been aging realistically!

  13. [13]COLLIN COLSHER: Besides the year-and-a-half off-the-shelf period versus the three year off-the-shelf period error, there is also another continuity problem that starts with Batgirl #1 and runs throughout the next three dozen issues of the title. (This is Gail Simone’s run, edited by Katie Kubert, Bobbie Chase, and Mike Marts, but there other players involved, namely Ray Fawkes, Marguerite Bennett, and Mark Doyle.) This problem stems mostly from a later issue, Batgirl Vol. 4 #28, which states outright that Batgirl #1 through Batgirl #28 comprises a mere “few month” time period. This is impossible. I’ve read the stories and done the chronological math. Batgirl #1 through Batgirl #28, by ITS OWN INTERNAL LOGIC, should span close to THREE FULL CALENDAR YEARS! “A few months?” No way, Jose. While Batgirl #28 might contain the prime error of the series, it is but one of many passage-of-time errors that the series will have, moving forward. To put it lightly, all of Batgirl Vol. 4 is a continuity nightmare.

    BATFAN REBORN: On Batgirl #28 and Batgirl’s “A few months since #1” comment. It’s easy to give this comment a pass because it is within hours of the mind-altering events of “Gothtopia” so Babs’ head is a bit screwed up regarding time. Also, the oft used “few months ago” terminology is actually a very natural way of thinking in inner monologue. While we may prefer it if the characters thought “2 months, one week, and 5 days ago,” it really isn’t the way people think. Also, it’s very easy to underestimate the amount of time that has actually passed. We can think of various time lengths, including things that happened over a year ago, as having occurred “a few months ago.” It is quite necessary to let go of the very rigid “few equals three” to deal with comic book continuity. It’s also worth remembering that these characters often deal with very traumatic events which stay fresh in the mind for longer. THAT ALL BEING SAID, we still cannot deny passage of undeniable time and ostensible time compression. My theory regarding Gail Simone’s time compression created by text in Batgirl #28 (and also in Batgirl #33) revolves heavily around the fact that Simone didn’t write issues #17 or #18, which were by Ray Fawkes, nor did she write issues #25 and #30, which were by Marguerite Bennett. These non-Simone issues are interesting regarding the continuity of Batgirl because both are significant in aligning the book with other events in the wider DCU or Batverse: #17-18 move us post Damian’s death and add a time jump of “a few months” and #30 moves us post-Forever Evil with references to Dick’s death, again adding a significant ellipsis. Only Simone or others at DC will know whether she refused to write these issues because they messed with HER narrative timeline or whether the editors used the issues she was sitting out for other reasons to bring the book into line with everything else. Either way the effect is the same: other writers extended Simone’s run by adding extra passage of time. (Fawkes was also given free rein to cement the lengthier version of the timeline via his Batgirl story in the Young Romance Valentine’s Special.) My suspicion is that an overly sanguine Simone had her eye on an Omnibus publication of her run, featuring only the issues that she wrote. Simone’s version of things, with the Fawkes and Bennett issues omitted, tells the story of Batgirl’s return with a timeline that runs about twenty months—(Simone’s Batgirl Annual #2 seems to make this quite evident). This means the “few months” from Batgirl #1 to Batgirl #28, instead of being three years, would have equaled twenty months, fitting somewhat more aptly with the “few months” reference.

  14. [14]BATFAN REBORN: Dick’s return to the Nightwing role coincides with Batgirl’s return. The opening issues of Batgirl and Nightwing are linked together in the same period of about five days by the presence of Haley’s Circus in Gotham. Nightwing scribe Kyle Higgins (like Gail Simone and other writers) is “a few months ago” fanatic, often using the phrase to mean a liberal span of undetermined time.

2 Responses to New 52 Year Four

  1. Diego Javier Celasco Sanchez says:

    Hi Collin! The last 3 years I wondered something. It’s a silly, but today my curiosity got the better of me. I am fascinated by the New 52 timeline you have built. Here I go:
    how did you deduce that Bruce’s Thogal ritual happens between January and March, that Damian shows up in March, that Bruce gets hit by Omega beams in May, and Hurt is defeated again in August? Did you do it this way in order to fit Batman INC and other New52 titles in the same year?
    Thank you! I admire you!
    (sorry for my bad English and this silly question)

    • A lot of the monthly placements have to do with Damian’s b-day being in March. (In the New 52, Damian’s b-day stuff is a royal mess to begin with, but there must be fixed times when talking about any birth dates.) Thogal must go shortly before Damian gets dropped into Batman’s lap for the first time. And in the New 52, this happens on Damian’s biological b-day. So, I’ve imagined a shortened Thogal (which still must be some time in extended length because that is the very nature of the ritual, but must still be shortened like everything else on the New 52 timeline) going right before.

      From there, you have to factor in that Batman and Robin Vol. 2 #1 occurs on the anniversary of the Wayne murders (early September). As such, Bruce getting hit by Omega Beams, his exile into time, and his subsequent return and defeat of Hurt must all go in the period between late March and late August. To accommodate other stories, this stuff can really only fit in between May and August.

      When things are this tight (as they are in the New 52), it becomes absolutely necessary to find the hard dates and then navigate around them accordingly. And the New 52 titles (as actual solid unalterable issues) trump the malleable reference/flashback stuff, which can be slightly molded to fit (i.e. interpreted) if needed.

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