New 52 Year Two



–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 Annual #1 Part 5. Batman defeats the debuting pencil-headed super-villain known as The Eraser, who goes to Arkham Asylum.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman/Superman #27. Batman and Superman team up in Gotham to defeat the super-villain hate group known as the Supremacists. Commissioner Gordon watches in awe as Superman fights while Batman saves Jimmy Olsen. Together the World’s Finest heroes kick ass.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 Annual #1 Part 5. Delia Pflaum, a metahuman that can kill someone using any piece of their own DNA, becomes the super-villain Haunter, murdering six people. She meets and befriends Scarecrow before being busted by Batman and sent to Arkham.

–REFERENCE: In Legends of Tomorrow #1 Part 3. Details are unknown, but, in order to protect his secret identity, Batman creates five ridiculous alternate costumes, including a caveman suit, zebra suit, and rainbow suit. Details regarding how these suits were exactly utilized are unknown, and the references to the Golden and Silver Age stories from which these concepts were lifted cannot be used as narrative canon for the New 52. Suffice to say, these five weird Bat-costumes wind up in a Wayne company-owned storage warehouse. In specific regard to the rainbow costume, Modern Age Superman does bring it up in Trinity Vol. 2 #1, but only referencing Modern Age Batman. New 52 Batman responds with “I have no recollection of this,” which means he is offering an embarrassed denial about having worn it or he actually never wore it. Again, we simply must stress that New 52 Batman definitely tailored a rainbow costume, but we don’t know if he truly wore it.

–REFERENCE: In Legends of Tomorrow #6 Part 3. Teenager Snapper Carr meets and befriends the Justice League, becoming their unofficial mascot for a very short period. Obviously, in previous publishing eras, Snapper Carr played a more integral role with the Justice League. However, in the New 52, he’s really just a piece of brief trivia.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #2. Batman meets and fights the zombie hulk of Gotham City, Solomon Grundy.

–REFERENCE: Batman & Robin Eternal #3. Despite the fact that Alfred is an excellent surgeon and field medic who has already patched up an injured Batman many a time, Batman now acquires a special sci-fi self-operated medical bed. This bed, in addition to Alfred care, will be used countless times moving forward on our timeline, although these instances will be invisible. We don’t learn where this wondrous healing bed comes from, but a decent guess would be on some unspecified JL mission.

–REFERENCE: In Robin Rises: Omega #1 and the questionably canonical 666 Future dream sequence from Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #5—originally a flashback from Batman #700. Batman and Robin are summoned to a hidden lab by Professor Carter Nichols.[1] Nichols, despite being a scientific genius, has lived his life as a relative eremite (thanks to the fact that he once betrayed Simon Hurt, who then forced him to live his life as a pauper). Nichols has invented a time-traveling device. However, before Batman and Robin can properly use the device, Joker, Catwoman, Riddler, and the debuting Hatman intervene, forcing the Dynamic Duo to undergo the physically painful temporary time-leap to Ancient Egypt. (It’s unclear which Joker appears here.) After returning to the present, Batman takes advantage of the situation and busts all the crooks when Joker begins flipping through his “joke book” and becomes distracted. Afterward, a dejected Nichols dismantles his machine and disappears.

–REFERENCE: In the “Leviathan web display” in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #3. While Spyral agent Santiago Vargas quits to become the superhero known as El Gaucho, agent Kathy Webb Kane kicks her ongoing spying of Batman up a notch, coming out of the shadows to personally infiltrate the Dark Knight’s organization as the debuting Bat-Woman! As Bat-Woman, Kathy not only fights crime side-by-side with Batman but becomes his lover as well![2]

–REFERENCE: In Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #1. The Justice League fights and apprehends the Key.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #1. Batman apprehends the debuting Ventriloquist (Arnold Wesker)—and his dummy Scarface too. Ventriloquist makes his first New 52 appearance as a prisoner of Arkham Asylum in Batman Vol. 2 #1.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #3. The well-known gangster Matches Malone is murdered by the Ventriloquist and Scarface. Batman assumes his identity and will use the Malone disguise as a primary cover on-and-off-again for the rest of his illustrious career. In the Silver Age, Malone debuted during The Saga of Ra’s al Ghul, but was killed right away, allowing for Batman to assume his ID. In the Modern Age, Malone was seemingly killed early on, with Batman assuming the ID, only to later turn up still alive in Gotham nearly two decades later. Upon his return (in Close Before Striking), Malone was quickly killed off for real by Scarface. So, it appears that the Close Before Striking version is the more accurate version in the New 52. Batman’s use of the Malone disguise begins now. Batman, as Malone, will quickly distinguish himself as one of Gotham’s top mobsters, affiliating Malone’s name with the Whiskey Road Gang and the miniscule but devilish mobster known as Small Fry (as also referenced in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #3). The Whiskey Road Gang is a reference to an old Chuck Dixon story (if I’m not mistaken), but for the life of me I cannot recall which one. Bear in mind, there is probably a ton of undercover work done by Batman—as Matches—to bolster the character’s underworld reputation that is never specifically mentioned in any comic book. However, we simply have to imagine most of this cachet-building as occurring randomly throughout the timeline from this point forward.

–REFERENCE: In Grayson Annual #1. While on the subject of Matches Malone bolstering his underworld cred, Malone now befriends an unnamed female Irish mobster.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #4—originally told in Detective Comics #354. Batman and Robin defeat the debuting Dr. Tzin-Tzin, a Fu Manchu-themed super-villain that can scare people to death (who secretly works for the League of Assassins).

–REFERENCE: In the “Leviathan web display” in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #3. Kathy Kane learns that Doctor Dedalus (Otto Netz), the vile ex-Nazi spymaster/secret top man at Spyral, is her biological father. Long lost memories of Kathy’s father now come to light within her brain. Ashamed of her heritage, Kathy ends her very short-lived but passionate relationship with Batman, and retires from her role as Bat-Woman. Despite the failure of the Bat-Woman mission and her distaste in regard to her father, Kathy will, of course, continue spying on Batman. As we learn in Grayson #6, Grayson #14, and Grayson #19, Kathy’s reason for staying in the spy game and seemingly continuing her father’s will is mainly because she, ever since childhood, has been molded to become his heir (as a possible future host vessel for his mind) and brainwashed to do his bidding. But in order to effectively continue spying on Batman, Kathy will need to fake her own death…

–REFERENCE: In the “Leviathan web display” in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #3 and in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #13—originally told in Detective Comics #485. Ra’s al Ghul’s second-in-command and his actual biological father, Han-Son (better known as The Sensei), tries and fails to seize control of the League of Assassins, prompting a brief war between two ninja factions. Recently “retired” Bat-Woman Kathy Kane mysteriously gets involved. Kathy winds up witnessing a fight between Batman and Bronze Tiger (Ben Turner), who defeats the Dark Knight in combat, allowing another assassin to seemingly stab Kathy to death! Unknown to Batman, Kathy is not really dead—her murder is actually an elaborately orchestrated ruse perpetrated by herself, Spyral, and Talia al Ghul. Kathy returns to the shadows to continue secretly spying on Batman.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #937-938 and Detective Comics #954. Batman, having just engaged with the League of Assassins, feels like something is off. He investigates and confronts Ra’s al Ghul, exposing the truth about the League of Shadows (for the third time). Frustrated with Batman’s persistence to learn of the League of Shadows even after two mind-wipes, Ra’s al Ghul and the League of Shadows capture the Dark Knight and mind-wipe him for a third time. However, this time, they use magick to implant a false memory that will keep the Caped Crusader from investigating in the future. Batman is made to accept the true definition of the League of Shadows: an elite group within the League of Assassins, which wields greater power and poses as a greater threat—an army of sleeper cells hiding in plain sight that has been secretly responsible for the largest acts of terror in human history. However, part of the brainwashing makes Batman believing that the League of Shadows is simply a myth created by Ra’s al Ghul to both keep his minions in line and put fear into the hearts of man. Thus, Batman dismisses all thoughts of the illuminati group, regarding it as pure fiction.

–REFERENCE: In the “Leviathan web display” in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #3. Billionaire John Mayhew attempts to recruit Batman and Robin onto a new team of international heroes dubbed The Club of Heroes. One of the main members of this team is the original Knight, essentially the British Batman. Knight’s son Cyril Sheldrake (who is also his sidekick known as Squire) will later become the second Knight and one of Batman’s trusted allies in the future. Wingman (Benedict Rundstrom), El Gaucho (Santiago Vargas), Man-of-Bats (William Great Eagle), Little Raven, The Legionary (Alphonso Giovanni), The Musketeer (Jean-Marie), and The Ranger are also members of the team. Once assembled, this Club of Heroes venture will fail immediately. The team doesn’t get along and disbands in less than a half hour. (Note that the “Leviathan web display” shows images from the previous continuity. Therefore, Dick’s Robin costume is an obsolete one.)

–REFERENCE: In the “Leviathan web display” in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #3—originally told in Batman #113 and added to the Modern Age canon via a reference in Batman #679. During an encounter with Spyral secret agents, the Dark Knight is sprayed with a gas weapon that causes a vivid hallucination. Batman lucidly dreams that he is on a distant planet known as Zur-En-Arrh, where he is endowed with super-powers and gets to meet his perfect alien double, who wears a garish purple-and-red bat costume.

–REFERENCE: In Legends of Tomorrow #4 Part 3. Upon waking up from his Zur-En-Arrh dream, Batman finds the Bat-Radia, an alien device straight out of his hallucination. Clearly, Simon Hurt’s machinations went a bit beyond an internal examination. To mess with Batman even further, the Bat-Radia—actually just a non-functional prop—had to have been fashioned and left with Batman upon his awakening. While the Bat-Radia is just a piece of junk, Batman, unsure of what it really is, keeps it as a trophy. Suffice to say, this trophy will be lost in a couple years (only to later turn up in the Metahuman Museum of Oddities in Atlanta).

–REFERENCE: In Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #3 and Grayson #12. Simon Hurt implants post-hypnotic suggestions into Batman’s psyche while he’s undergoing sensory deprivation tests. Hurt is actually Thomas Wayne, Bruce’s great(x5) uncle born in the 1700s, endowed with quasi-immortality. (Old evil Thomas Wayne gained his immortality in 1765 from a Batman-defeated Hyper-Adapter hurtling backward through time. Thomas mistook the Hyper-Adapter for the demon Barbatos, whom he was trying to summon through an occult ritual.) During these sensory deprivation tests, Hurt is able to psychoanalyze Batman and literally hear in detail about all of the Dark Knight’s hallucinations, new and old—(Batman has been drugged by Scarecrow and Joker several times before and was recently drugged by Spyral). Using dialogue specific to Batman’s most recent hallucination, Dr. Hurt implants the trigger word “Zur-En-Arrh” into Batman’s brain. Once this word is uttered, Bruce will “shutdown” and lose all memory of having ever been a crime-fighter. After a lengthy period of sleep-deprivation in an isolation chamber, Batman temporarily believes Robin has died as a result of an alien encounter (another vivid hallucination). Afterward, Batman forgets ever meeting Hurt thanks to hypnosis. Hurt also blocks all of Batman’s memory of him using hypnosis. (Note that this event, while not specifically referenced in the New 52, is canon because the “Leviathan web display” in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #3 shows Simon Hurt. Therefore, we must assume Hurt’s important back-story bits, being pertinent to the New 52, are at least quasi-canonical.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #6. Simon Hurt continues messing with Batman’s brain while he is undergoing more sleep deprivation tests. Hurt challenges his three substitute Batmen (cops Josef Muller, Branca, and Michael Lane) by pitting them against the real thing, but a groggy and confused Batman still easily defeats them. Hurt blocks Batman’s memory of the fight against the substitutes and then sends the Dark Knight on his way. Batman still has no memories of ever meeting Simon Hurt or of fighting his substitute Batmen. However, he does record the details of the fight into his Black Casebook, mistakenly listing it as a hallucination he had undergone while in the sleep deprivation tank. Bruce calls them “the three ghosts of Batman.” Hurt will retrain (and sadistically torture) his substitute Batmen for the next two years before unleashing them upon Gotham again. Specifically, Lane’s brother and sister will be slaughtered in an occult ritual (as mentioned in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #10).

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #39. Because Batman’s dangerous war on crime so frequently brings him close to death’s door, Robin begins to make light of the darkness in their lives, wise-cracking about death. Robin makes a specific joke about how “it isn’t a real weekend unless Batman’s heart stops at least twice” and that Batman should commune with a famous actress next time he catches a glimpse of the entryway to the afterlife.

–FLASHBACK: From Superman: Lois & Clark #5. Modern Age Superman watches from the shadows as Batman fights a bunch of ninjas atop a Gotham City rooftop. Batman thinks he’s dispatched with all the ninjas and turns to leave, but one more shoots an arrow at him. Modern Age Superman uses his heat vision to save Batman’s life. The Dark Knight looks up to the night sky to see a blur fly away in the blink of an eye. Modern Age Superman decides to keep his existence a secret from Batman.

–REFERENCE: In Grayson #12. Bruce, Alfred, and Dick move out of Wayne Manor and into the penthouse atop Wayne Tower in downtown Gotham. They also move their crime-fighting base of operations from the Batcave into a secret “Bat-Bunker” beneath Wayne Tower, hoping that the move will place Batman and Robin closer to the heart of the action. (The Bat-Bunker—with its secret exits, entrances, and elevators—is likely constructed with a lot of metahuman assistance.) Bruce, Alfred, and Dick also move a bunch of equipment and trophies, including the giant Lincoln head penny, from the Batcave into the new Bat-Bunker. (Note that unlike in the Modern Age, the time spent operating out Wayne Tower in the New 52 will be significantly shorter. We must assume that Batman considers the move a mistake, bailing on the idea after about a month or so.)

–REFERENCE: In We Are Robin #12. Despite the penthouse move having been a failure, Bruce purchases a couple more penthouse apartments around Gotham. He furnishes these apartments and fills them with personal items, such as paintings and extreme sports gear. These will be used less for Batman’s war on crime and more for Bruce’s “regular life.” Although, trips and visitations to these penthouses won’t be shown on our timeline and must be imagined as happening sporadically from this point forward.

–REFERENCE: In Teen Titans Vol. 4 #15. An escaped Joker puts poison into the heating ducts at the Wayon Housing Project homes, killing 114 people. Batman, Robin, and Batgirl investigate. Teen Titans Vol. 4 #15 also mentions four other random unspecified Joker crimes. These four other crimes must be placed randomly (and imagined) on our timeline sometime in Batman’s second through fourth years. (It’s unclear which Joker appears here.)

–REFERENCE: In Grayson #12—originally told in Detective Comics #369. Batman, Robin, and Batgirl bust some random crooks in the marshlands outside of Gotham. Afterward, Batgirl notices that Batman has contracted a rare type of swamp fever that will sap him of strength until he has a complete collapse within a few days’ time. Knowing that the obstinate Batman would never take a week off even if he knew about his condition, Batgirl and Robin decide to form a partnership that excludes Batman so that they can patrol ahead of him and do the heavy lifting. Batgirl and Robin—riding in a brand new Bat-cycle with sidecar—successfully keep an increasingly suspicious Batman from facing any serious criminal threats for a few days until the Caped Crusader succumbs to his illness and passes out. Bruce takes a couple days of bed rest, but makes a full recovery.

–REFERENCE: In Suicide Squad Vol. 4 #6-7. Batman apprehends the debuting Harley Quinn (Dr. Harleen Quinzel), who reveals herself to be Joker’s (the Comedian’s) sidekick and love interest. Like in the Modern Age, Harley was Joker’s therapist at Arkham for some time before becoming infatuated with him, becoming his lover, and helping him escape. The big difference in the New 52: Joker rewards Harley by dumping her in the same chemicals that turned him into the chalk-skinned green-haired villain that he is. Like Joker, Harley survives as an unhinged super-villain with bleached skin, but with crimson and black hair instead of green.[3]

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 2 Annual #3. This “Endgame” tie-in takes place “five years” prior to the time when Arkham Manor exists. Gotham Gazette reporter Tommy Blackcrow sneaks into Joker’s (the Comedian’s) hideout and secretly listens in on the Clown Prince of Crime as he plans his next deadly gag with his henchmen and Harley Quinn. Joker discovers Blackcrow, who boldly chats with Joker until Batman and Robin crash the party to rescue him.

–FLASHBACK: From Secret Origins Vol. 3 #1 Part 2. This item isn’t specifically linked to anything, but it can very easily be the continuation of the fight from Batman Annual #3. Batman and Robin fight Joker (the Comedian) and Harley Quinn.

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 3 #29. Batman and Robin take on the mega-team-up of Joker (the Comedian), Harley Quinn, Two-Face, Scarecrow, Mr. Freeze, and Poison Ivy. (This could easily be a continuation of the previous flashback.)

–FLASHBACK: From Grayson #1. Batman and Robin fight Joker, Riddler, and Penguin. (Again, this also could easily be a continuation of the previous two flashbacks.)

–REFERENCE: In Grayson #12—originally told in Batman #237. At the request of concentration camp survivor Dr. Benjamin Gruener, Batman and Robin agree to track down an elderly ex-Nazi torturer named Schloss. (The guy is likely in his nineties, but Batman accepts the case because the bastard has notoriously been in hiding for decades.) When closing in on Schloss, our heroes come across a vigilante dressed as Death that goes by the name The Reaper. The Reaper orchestrates the death of Schloss by exposing him as a thief that has stolen from his ex-Nazi partners. Said partners then kill Schloss with a car bomb that also takes out an innocent bystander. Enraged at how Reaper’s machinations have caused the loss of innocent life, Batman confronts the Reaper, who unmasks as Dr. Gruener and attacks. Batman fends off Old Man Gruener, who falls from the top of a dam to his death.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #16—originally told in Batman #251. Joker (the Clown) escapes jail and hires a brand new gang. But when Joker gets busted, he blames his new crew for his defeat and vows to kill them all. Thus, Batman deals with the Joker’s “five-way revenge” scheme. Joker is able to murder four of his cronies, but Batman rescues the fifth and final wheelchair-bound henchman from a shark tank death trap. The Caped Crusader then busts the Clown.

–NOTE: In a reference in Justice League Vol. 2 #7 and a flashback from Forever Evil: ARGUS #1. March. Recently inaugurated President Barack Obama creates a special governmental division led by Colonel Steve Trevor called ARGUS (Advanced Research Group Uniting Superhumans). ARGUS’s main initiative is to provide support and public relations for the Justice League, with Trevor acting as the official liaison between the Justice League and the citizens of planet Earth. Since Forever Evil: ARGUS #1 tells us that ARGUS forms “a couple months” into the presidency of Barack Obama, literally showing Obama as the man who sets up ARGUS, this means apodeictically that ARGUS is formed sometime early in 2009. Obama’s dialogue in the same issue tells us that the Darkseid attack from JL #1-6 happened “last year,” placing the attack in 2008. Of course, this means that the “five years ago” note attached to this Obama/ARGUS creation scene must mean “five years before 2014,” which puts Forever Evil in 2014. Justice League Vol. 3 #12 tells us that ARGUS now takes control of lucrative and powerful military contracts that previously had been held by Max Lord’s Checkmate, but were revoked shortly after Darkseid’s defeat last year.

–REFERENCE: In The Flash: Rebirth #1 Part 1. Because of the dangerous and mysterious nature of the Speed Force—from which the Flash gets his powers—the Justice League, ARGUS, and STAR Labs enter into a joint agreement to never experiment or analyze its nature.

–REFERENCE: In Grayson #12—originally told in Batman #257. Penguin secretly orchestrates the kidnapping of the twelve-year-old prince of the small island nation of Swawak, whom he holds captive in the boy’s own towering cliff-side castle. Penguin’s men attempt to take over the country—in order to pillage its rich treasury—via a coup using the prince as blackmail. Batman and Robin travel to Swawak, scale the side of the immense castle, and infiltrate the castle. There, they defeat Penguin and his men with help from Talia al Ghul, rescuing the prince in the process. Penguin, of course, is not implicated in any wrongdoing.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #2. A second Cavalier (Mortimer Drake) debuts and is jailed by Batman.

–REFERENCE: In Forever Evil #1 and Batman Eternal #3. Batman defeats the debuting Signalman (Phil Cobb). Cobb’s name, “Signalman,” is also sometimes split into two words, like so: “Signal Man.”

–REFERENCE: In Legends of Tomorrow #4 Part 3. Batman defeats the debuting super-villain known as Kite Man.

–FLASHBACK: From the second feature to Detective Comics Vol. 2 #50—originally told in Detective Comics #425. Batman works an attempted murder case at a Gotham Park production of Macbeth. The would-be killer—wearing Victorian garb, a top hat, and a skull mask—flees Batman in a horse drawn carriage. Batman eventually reveals one of the Macbeth actors, Ezra Jimson, as the baddie and busts him.

–FLASHBACK: From the second feature to Detective Comics Vol. 2 #50—originally told in Detective Comics #427. Batman investigates the case of a toy manufacturer murdered by a remote-controlled gun-wielding toy robot. The Dark Knight eventually finds himself inside a toy workshop of villain Adam Cornelius. There, Batman gets shot up by the toy robot and left for dead. Thankfully, none of the bullets penetrate Batman’s armored costume. Batman makes his return and confronts Cornelius, who gets killed by his own little robot.

–FLASHBACK: From the second feature to Detective Comics Vol. 2 #50 and referenced in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #1—originally told in Detective Comics #434. The Spook (Val Kaliban) debuts and duels with Batman.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Eternal #6. Batman defeats Jim Craddock AKA Gentleman Ghost, a two-hundred-year-old man that was long ago cursed by a witch, causing him to become an semi-immortal undead villain upon his death. Batman defeats Gentleman Ghost by hitting him with a shard of Nth metal, condemning the ghoul to Limbo/Purgatory until the next New Moon. It isn’t said how Batman comes across the Nth metal or who gives it to him, but since Nth metal is native to Thanagar, planet of the hawk-winged warriors, I’d venture a guess that a Thanagarian is involved—probably Hawkman (Katar Hol/Carter Hall). An interesting side-note about this item: the concept of Thanagarian Nth metal being a deterrent against supernatural beings/ghosts comes solely from the old DC Animated Universes, specifically from the Justice League cartoon and Batman: The Brave & The Bold cartoon. This is the first time in comic books that Nth metal has been used in a ghost-fighting capacity.

–FLASHBACK: From the second feature to Detective Comics Vol. 2 #50—originally told in Detective Comics #442. Batman rescues Eve Dancer, daughter of a famous deceased war pilot, from a “ghost” WWI bi-plane that tries to shoot her off of a Gotham rooftop. After hearing her dad’s complicated backstory and learning that the “ghost plane” is targeting men associated with her dad, Batman and Eve investigate and expose the mystery pilot as criminal Doug Garth. Batman busts Garth. (Note that this splash page flashback is an homage to the cover of ‘tec #442, which depicts a representative scene that never originally occurred as is. Therefore, the scene here is influenced by the old tale, but is totally brand new canonical material for the New 52.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #6—originally told in Detective Comics #460-462. Karl Courtney becomes Captain Stingaree, a garish pirate super-villain obsessed with defeating Batman. The Dark Knight defeats Captain Stingaree with the help of Robin, Flash, and Captain Stingaree’s identical quintuplet brothers—Jerome Courtney, Michael Courtney, Robert Courtney, and an unnamed Courtney—who each dress up as Batman to fool their villainous sibling.

–REFERENCE: In Grayson #12—originally told in Batman #348. Batman abandons the idea of operating out of Wayne Tower over Wayne Manor. Bruce, Alfred, and Dick move out of the swanky penthouse and back into Wayne Manor and the Batcave, bringing all their equipment and trophies back as well. (Note that unlike in the Modern Age, the time spent operating out Wayne Tower in the New 52 is significantly shorter. On our current timeline, Batman bails on Wayne Tower after only about a month. Also, special thanks to site contributor Marcelo Millicay on this one!)

–FLASHBACK: From Gotham Academy #11—also referenced in Gotham Academy #6. Batman and Robin bust schizophrenic pyrokinetic super-villain Calamity (Sybil Silverlock), who claims that the ghost of Amity Arkham, one of the long deceased matriarchs of the notorious Arkham family, has been haunting her and causing her to lash out. Calamity is defeated by Batman and Robin and goes to Arkham Asylum. The Dynamic Duo rescue young Olive Silverlock, Calamity’s daughter, in the process. Afterward, Olive visits her mom at Arkham Asylum one time, but the trauma of all that has occurred causes any memory of her mom being Calamity to become deeply repressed. Bruce puts Olive into an unspecified “safe place,” likely a decent Wayne-run orphanage. Bruce will watch over Olive for years to come, checking-in on her periodically (although we won’t see those check-ins on our timeline specifically, moving forward). Batman also does research on Amity Arkham, but can’t find much. He does, however, find that the Silverlock family has a long history of crime and psychiatric care. (SPOILER: Not only are both Sybil and Olive related to the terrible Silverlocks, they are also related to the terrible Arkhams. Rough family tree.)

–REFERENCE: In Gotham Academy: Second Semester #5. (The details of this item are also taken from Gotham Academy: Second Semester #10-11, which is technically only canon on the Rebirth/Infinite Frontier Era timeline. However, the basic elements from those issues are essential to the New 52, so they have been included.) Batman follows up on the Calamity case by researching the notorious Amity Arkham, who he learns was linked to Penguin’s ancestor Millie Jane Cobblepot. Batman, as Bruce Wayne, reaches-out to Penguin to ask questions about Millie Jane. Penguin meets with Bruce at Wayne Manor, bringing a lockbox that once belonged to Millie Jane. The lockbox contains files, diary pages, blueprints, and albumen picture prints. These items pertain to Millie Jane, Amity’s death, weird architect Ambroos Lydecker (who designed Wayne Manor, Arkham Asylum, and Gotham Academy), and the occult tome known as “The Old Book of Gotham.” During the meeting, Bruce steals the lockbox. Penguin attempts to take it back, but Bruce puts it into a vault in Wayne Manor. Later, Bruce studies the contents of the lockbox, which makes him realize the importance of Gotham Academy to Gotham’s strange (and dark) history. Thus, despite having only attended Gotham Academy as a child for a very brief tenure, Bruce buys his way onto the Board of Directors of the prestigious school. This way he will always be linked-in and able to keep tabs without arising suspicion.

–REFERENCE: In Grayson #12. Batman says to Robin, either on the same unspecified case, or on two separate cases back-to-back, the following lines: “Get set for some action, Robin!” and “Brace yourself, Robin, this may be the toughest fight of our lives!” These Easter Egg bits of dialog are supposedly, like the rest of the quotes from Grayson #12, from actual Batman comics of yesteryear. However, these two don’t seem to be real ones.

–REFERENCE: In Grayson #13. Luka Netz (aka Kathy Kane), having recently faked her own death, continues her work as a top agent of Spyral. She secretly spies on Batman and Robin as they publicly fight a bunch of gun-wielding terrorists.

–FLASHBACK: From the second feature to Detective Comics Vol. 2 #50—originally told in Detective Comics #469. Batman fights the debuting Dr. Phosphorus (Alexander Sartorius).

–REFERENCE: In Titans Hunt #5 and DC Universe: Rebirth #1. Despite the disapproval of their mentors, Robin, Speedy (Roy Harper), Aqualad (Garth), Wonder Girl (Donna Troy), and Kid Flash (Wally West) form the Teen Titans. When a supposed monster begins terrorizing the small New England town of Hatton Corners, teenager Eddie Corliss, representing his local clubhouse, calls the Justice League for help. When the JL cites that it is too busy (on unspecified business), the Teen Titans take the case. They wind up defeating the debuting super-villain Mr. Twister.[4]

–REFERENCE: In Grayson #12—originally told in Batman #355. Batman begins burning the candle at both ends and, despite being exhausted and injured, refuses to let Robin assist him on a Catwoman case, citing that it’s personal and that Dick should tend to his own affairs with the line, “Your first duty should be to yourself.” So Robin stays behind while Batman plays bat-and-mouse with Catwoman. This is the start of the rapid deterioration of Batman’s relationship with Robin.

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 4 #2. Batman brutally shakes down a criminal while on search for a missing child. Robin questions Batman’s questionable torture methods, to which the Dark Knight tosses the criminal off of a roof onto a mattress below. Batman then tells his sidekick that they can never trust criminals and that fear makes them tell the truth. Hmmm.

–REFERENCE: In Grayson #12—originally told in Detective Comics #529. Talia al Ghul, Catwoman, and Batgirl each learn that all of Batman’s rogues are joining together in an attempt to kill him. While Catwoman and Talia warn Batman, Batgirl warns Robin. Batgirl also reveals that she has deduced the Dynamic Duo’s secret identities. The Bat-Family (and Catwoman and Talia) fends off the team of the Cavalier, Clayface, Gentleman Ghost, Killer Croc, Killer Moth, Mad Hatter, Mr. Freeze, Penguin, Riddler, Scarecrow, Signalman, the Spook, Tweedledum, Tweedledee, Two-Face, and Joker (likely the Clown).

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #2. Batman and Alfred learn a bit more about the state of mind(s) of their former friend Two-Face. Two-Face remains purely evil for months at a time, then randomly gains control, becoming good ol’ Harvey Dent for a little bit. The duality of Two-Face’s splintered mind actually has two separate personalities that have different memories and thoughts that are not ever shared. After examining this drastic transformation, Batman theorizes that when good Harvey feels that Two-Face is about to regain control, he causes his evil half to act out in such ways that will ultimately lead to his own arrest.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #4. Batman meets former government super-agent turned independent killer-for-hire Deathstroke the Terminator (Slade Wilson). Batman will quickly become acquainted with the lethal tactics of the world’s deadliest assassin. Shortly thereafter, Deathstroke fights the Teen Titans, becoming their arch rival. Omen (Lilith Clay) is involved with this fight against Deathstroke as well, after which she officially joins the Teen Titans. Also note that while Starfire, Cyborg, and Beast Boy are not Teen Titans in the New 52, they will have at least some interaction with the team either now, on this Deathstroke case, or at some point in the near future. Also notable, within the span of the next few years, Starfire will have sexual relationships with Robin, Aqualad, Cyborg, Omen, Beast Boy, and someone named Dustin.[5]

–REFERENCE: In Red Hood & The Outlaws #2, Nightwing Vol. 3, Forever Evil #4, Grayson #12, and Grayson Annual #2. Late March. Batman and Robin tangle with a yet-again-escaped Joker, who gets nabbed, but winds up injuring Robin. (It’s unclear which Joker appears here, but it is likely the Clown.) Batman and Robin’s relationship as of late has been rocky, with Dick having already been basically “driven away by Bruce.” But when Bruce calls Dick “a child,” it’s the last straw for the Boy Wonder, who quits on the spot and immediately debuts as the solo superhero. Dick becomes Nightwing, taking the name from a story once told to him by Superman about a Kryptonian god. Batman puts Robin’s costume on display in the Batcave.

–REFERENCE: In Red Hood & The Outlaws #0 and Secret Origins Vol. 3 #5 Part 2. Late March. Batman strikes Joker henchman Willis Todd (father of Jason Todd!) in the arm with a Batarang. Batman also leaves Willis with a bat-shaped bruise on his face as well. Despite these injuries, Willis evades capture initially, but gets arrested and jailed—with a life sentence—shortly thereafter (following an incident unrelated to Batman). The flashback from the second feature to Red Hood & The Outlaws #0 reveals that Joker is actually responsible for setting up Willis and landing him in jail. Joker, who must be aware that Robin has moved on to his Nightwing role, has put Willis in jail as part of a far-fetched plan to mold Willis’ troubled son Jason into the next screwed-up Robin. (It’s unclear which Joker is involved with Willis here, but it is likely the Clown.)

–NOTE: In Red Hood & The Outlaws #0 and the flashback second feature to Red Hood & The Outlaws #0. Late March. Unknown to Jason, Joker (likely the Clown) orchestrates the murder of his dad (Willis Todd) within the prison walls of which he is serving a life sentence. Joker then tricks Jason into believing his mother, Catherine Todd, is dead. Joker then shoots a dejected Jason and drops the injured boy into the care of Dr. Leslie Thompkins (knowing that, via Leslie, he will wind up on Batman’s radar and likely become his new protégé—a Boy Wonder with a few screws loose). Jason quickly recovers under the care of Dr. Leslie Thompkins.[6]

–FLASHBACK: From Red Hood & The Outlaws: Rebirth #1. Late March. Jason bails on Leslie Thompkins and immediately returns to a life of stealing on the streets of Gotham. Jason boldly attempts to steal the tires off the Batmobile! Batman catches him red-handed, but gives the kid a break. Batman takes him for a ride, talks to him, and buys him a meal. Note that, originally, Jason did not meet Batman while stealing the tires off the Batmobile. He met Batman while stealing analgesic pills from Leslie Thompkins (as shown in both Red Hood & The Outlaws #0 and Secret Origins Vol. 3 #5 Part 2). This, however, was retconned back to the classic Modern Age tire-stealing story with 2016’s Red Hood & The Outlaws: Rebirth #1. Be aware that pretty much everything from Red Hood & The Outlaws #0 and Secret Origins Vol. 3 #5 Part 2 is still canon, the only difference being the switch from pill-stealing to tire-stealing.

–FLASHBACK: From Red Hood & The Outlaws Vol. 2 #1. Late March to early April. Batman enrolls Jason in a local orphanage, Faye “Ma” Gunn‘s Home For Wayward Boys. Unknown to the public, Ma Gunn is a dastardly associate of Roman Sionis. After a few days, Jason learns that Ma Gunn is a criminal, who uses her school to training juvenile delinquents to do her bidding. Jason contacts Batman, who smashes into the boarding home only to take bullets to the kevlar from Ma Gunn herself. Jason pushes Ma Gunn through a window to help Batman make the bust.

–FLASHBACK: From Red Hood & The Outlaws #0 and Secret Origins Vol. 3 #5 Part 2. Early April. Seeing promise in Jason, especially following the Ma Gunn incident, Bruce makes the troubled teen his legal ward. A week later, Bruce reveals his superhero secret and offers him the position of the second Robin. (As usual with the Secret Origins series, the exact details of Bruce revealing his secret and offering the Robin job to a new prospect differs from the version shown in the zero issue that tells the same story. However, the differences are mostly superficial and should be ignored.) Jason then starts on an intensive six month training course. Unlike his already talented predecessor, Jason is not a natural aerialist and will need extensive training in that area. Jason will be Robin for twelve months, with the first six months of the tenure comprising of Batman’s hellish training regiment and the latter half on the streets fighting baddies in-costume (before tragically getting killed).[7] Furthermore, while younger than Dick, Jason must also be in his teens in order for things in the New 52 DC to jibe—Jason was much younger when he debuted in the Modern Age.

–REFERENCE: In Grayson #15. Batman trains Jason and sums up being Robin with one word: “Confidence.”

–REFERENCE: In Red Hood & The Outlaws #26. April. Jason has been training for two weeks. Batman now teaches him how to escape handcuffs. Five-and-a-half more months of Batcave boot camp to go!

–REFERENCE: In Red Hood/Arsenal #7 and Red Hood & The Outlaws: Rebirth #1. Knowing that Jason is a high school dropout, Batman includes intensive education and schooling in addition to his training. This learning will go on for the duration of Jason’s training and beyond, happening constantly (albeit invisibly) on our timeline moving forward. Batman’s goal will be for Jason to fill the shoes of the original Robin—an extremely tough task.

–REFERENCE: In Grayson #12—originally told in “Nightwing: Year One” (Nightwing #104). The former Boy Wonder reintroduces himself to Commissioner Gordon as Nightwing. He then meets up and patrols with Batgirl. Meanwhile, Batman keenly monitors Nightwing’s actions from afar and continues training Jason Todd.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Eternal #19. Bruce throws a dinner party at Wayne Manor. Jason Todd meets Babs Gordon for the first time.

–FLASHBACK: From the second feature to Detective Comics Vol. 2 #50—originally told in Detective Comics #531. At the circus, Batman fights the super-villain Chimera—a hunchbacked master of disguise—and his three clown henchmen. (Note that this splash page flashback is an homage to the cover of ‘tec #531, which depicts a representative scene that never originally occurred in actuality. Therefore, the scene here is influenced by the old tale, but is totally brand new canonical material for the New 52.)

–REFERENCE: In Aquaman Vol. 7 #15. Aquaman introduces his partner Mera to his surface-dwelling superhero friends. In a slightly related note, Batman secretly seeks out and finds the location of the hidden undersea city of Atlantis, making him one of the few humans that knows where it is. We learn about this in Aquaman Vol. 7 #32.

–FLASHBACK: From Suicide Squad Vol. 4 #1. Batman prevents Deadshot from murdering a senator.

–FLASHBACK: From Arkham Manor #1. Bruce does pull-ups in his Wayne Manor bedroom, showing that he never stops training, even during downtime and in the comfort of his own home.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #1. Vortex (also known as Zebra Man due to his signature zebra-striped costume) debuts and is jailed by Batman. Vortex, while not officially named until Catwoman Vol. 4 #19, had a different name and power-set in prior continuities. In the Silver Age and Modern Age, he was never called “Vortex” and only called “Zebra-Man.”

–REFERENCE: In Suicide Squad Vol. 4 #6. Joker (the Comedian) begins using an abandoned carnival as a headquarters and begins using a troupe of circus folk and sadistic carnies as his primary henchmen. Batman will tango with these circus henchmen weirdos now and many more times in the future—times we must simply imagine as scattered throughout our chronology.

–REFERENCE: In Flashpoint Vol. 2 #5. Batman obtains a large stuffed emperor penguin following a skirmish with Penguin. The Dark Knight keeps the penguin on display in the Batcave.

–FLASHBACK: From Gotham Academy #7—originally told in World’s Finest Comics #225. When all the children of Inishtree, Scotland (home to Bruce’s ancestral family home of Wayne Castle) become possessed and begin running amok, Bruce’s friend Morgan Kilbec, whom he hasn’t seen since he was a young teen, visits him in Gotham to report the news. Bruce accompanies Kilbec to Inishtree where Kilbec sacrifices his own life in an attempt to stop the chaos. Batman then makes a rare Scottish appearance, taking a stand at Wayne Castle, to combat against the wild bairns and lasses. Eventually, Batman realizes that a magickal avian flu is responsible for their behavior, so he cures them by smashing some cursed blackbird eggs.

–REFERENCE: In Deathstroke Vol. 4 #4-5. and Deathstroke Vol. 4 #19. Nightwing meets and befriends Rose Wilson, who happens to be Deathstroke’s young daughter. Dick begins meeting with Rose regularly to check up on her and to chat about positive values. These hangouts ultimately double as combat-training sessions of some kind as well. Batman learns of Dick’s relationship to Rose and, presumably, isn’t too keen on it. (The reference in Deathstroke Vol. 4 #19—technically non-canon in the New 52, but important to the overarching narrative of Deathstroke Vol. 4—reveals that Dick is not only trying to inculcate young Rose with Bat-Family positive values, he’s also doing so on behalf of Deathstroke himself, who doesn’t want his daughter to follow in his dark footsteps. In exchange for Dick’s help with Rose, Deathstroke has promised not to attack the Teen Titans anymore. Dick’s deal does not involve fight-training, but due to the rambunctious nature of all Wilsons, their hangouts will usually involve some sort of organized combat anyway.)

–FLASHBACK: From Batwoman Vol. 2 #0 and Secret Origins Vol. 3 #3 Part 2. Kate Rebecca Kane (Bruce’s cousin) fights off a mugger and meets Batman. The encounter with the Caped Crusader inspires Kate to become a masked vigilante for the next few months. After that, Kate will go on a nearly-three-year training adventure all over the globe, after which she will become the new Batwoman. I should mention that Batman is drawn with his yellow-oval costume in Batwoman Vol. 2 #0, which is incorrect since Batman never wore a yellow-oval in the New 52.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #1. Batman skirmishes with and defeats The Phantasm (Andrea Beaumont). The Phantasm makes her first New 52 appearance in Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #1 as a “canon immigrant,” meaning that this is the first time the Phantasm has ever been made canon outside of the old DC Animated Universe. I’m not sure what details remain of the original narrative from the Mask of the Phantasm film and the DCAU comics (if any), but this version of the Phantasm definitely has a completely different origin. Also note that some sources list the Phantasm appearance in Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #1 as a Reaper II appearance, but it looks way more like Phantasm if you ask me.[8]

–REFERENCE: In Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #4. Spellbinder (Delbert Billings) debuts and is jailed by Batman.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #944. Batman learns that Abigail O’Shay, who was one of Scarecrow’s first guinea pigs for his fear experiments, has spent the past year recovering in Arkham Asylum. Despite being out in the world again, Abigail is a shell of her former self and will never be the same again. (In seven years, Abigail will return as the super-villain Madame Crow.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1. Late August. With the anniversary of his parents’ deaths coming up shortly, Batman’s mood sours. Like the previous year, he tries to distract himself by starting an unspecified pet project in the Batcave. Alfred doesn’t like Batman’s moody behavior and they argue with each other.

–Batman Vol. 3 Annual #1 Part 1
September 2. Joker (unclear which one) dresses-up five vicious attack dogs in costumes, with each canine—including a pup named Ace—representing a card in a game of poker. Joker then sics them on Batman. Ace takes a bloody chunk out of the Caped Crusader’s neck. With Batman down, Joker flees with his bad doggies. (Note that David Finch draws Batman with his “Rebirth” costume. This must be ignored. All signs—including Joker’s involvement—point to this award-winning tale being an early origin story for Ace the Bat-Hound. Although, with an alternate Batman costume on display in the Batcave side-by-side with Dick’s Robin costume, it does seem to be after Dick has already become Nightwing, hence placement here in early September of Year Two.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #1. Early September. Batman visits Crime Alley, as he does every early September, to honor his fallen parents at the location of their deaths.

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to All-Star Batman #6. September. Just like last year, Riddler celebrates the anniversary of his Zero Year attack on Gotham by initiating a new pre-planned puzzle-related attack on the city. 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 also are told that Batman stops “most of” Riddler’s deadly anniversary schemes. This means we don’t know whether Batman succeeded or failed this time.

–REFERENCE: In Batgirl Vol. 4 #0 Part 2. September. Just one year after debuting, Batgirl swings through the Gotham night and into action with Batman as usual. However, this time she “messes up” badly enough to warrant retiring as a crime-fighter. We don’t learn what happens specifically during this case—all the info we are given is simply that Babs quits as Batgirl and afterward will lead a relatively simple life (until, of course, she gets shot by Joker next year).

–REFERENCE: In Red Hood & The Outlaws Vol. 2 #5. Batman takes Jason to train atop some of Gotham’s tallest and oldest gothic skyscrapers, which are adorned with stone gargoyles. This training will continue for a couple weeks. Batman will notice that Jason is particularly drawn to a specific gargoyle, which is clearly the boy’s favorite.

–Batman Vol. 3 Annual #1 Part 1
September 23-26. After someone makes a noise complaint, Commissioner Gordon discovers Joker’s vicious playing card attack dogs, which he had left in a pit for weeks without food. Only Ace has survived—by killing and munching on his buddies. Batman and Gordon examine the scene. Ace goes into the Gotham Pound. Batman tells Alfred all about it. Being a dog-lover, Alfred visits the Pound two days later and cuts a large check, which gets the place rechristened as the “Martha and Thomas Wayne Humane Society” and makes him the proud new owner of Ace. Three days later, Alfred introduces the unruly animal to Bruce. Wayne Manor has a new pet!

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 2 #27—originally told in Justice League of America #142. The Justice League defeats the giant sentient robot known as The Construct.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #9 and Batman Vol. 3 #19. Late September-Early October. It’s Riddler versus Joker (likely the Criminal) with Batman and Gotham City stuck in the middle. Riddler and Joker initiate and engage in the “War of Jokes and Riddles,” each recruiting separate super-villain armies to combat each other. During the conflict, both sides murder a ton of innocent bystanders. Eventually, Batman puts a stop to the bloodshed and apprehends the baddies. In the end, however, a distraught and angry Batman snaps and decides that Riddler deserves capital punishment. He attempts to execute Riddler, but Joker saves Riddler’s life. Tickled at the idea that the hero could be pushed to a point of possible murder, Joker laughs all the way to Arkham Asylum. Batman will live with this dark secret for the rest of his days. (Most of the details about the “War of Jokes and Riddles” come from the Rebirth Era’s Batman Vol. 3 #25-32, which is non-canon in the New 52. However, the narrative listed above is canon on the New 52 timeline thanks to the references in Batman Vol. 3 #9 and Batman Vol. 3 #19. Note that the New 52 version is quite different from the Rebirth/Infinite Frontier Era version in order to fit neatly onto the New 52 timeline.)

–Batman Vol. 3 Annual #1 Part 1
October 7. Alfred trains Ace while Batman works on a Penguin investigation.

–FLASHBACK: From Red Hood & The Outlaws: Rebirth #1—and also referenced in Red Hood & The Outlaws: Rebirth #1. October. Batman quizzes Jason on forensics as part of his training. Nearing the end of the six month session, Batman tailors a new Robin costume and has Alfred deliver it to Jason. It’s finally time. With his new costume on, Robin poses for a graduation picture with his mentor Batman. Alfred snaps a pic that winds up framed and in the possession of the new Boy Wonder. Batman also gives Jason a cheeky graduation present: one of the tires off the Batmobile.

–FLASHBACK: From Red Hood & The Outlaws: Rebirth #1—and also referenced in Red Hood & The Outlaws #0. October. After six months of intensive training, Jason Todd, as Robin, officially accompanies Batman on patrol for the first time. A photographer from the Gotham Gazette stealthily snaps a photo of Batman in action with his new Robin. Somewhere hidden in Gotham, Joker (likely the Clown) will read the article and pat himself on the back for having “transformed” Jason Todd into Batman’s new sidekick, a Boy Wonder with a ton of emotional baggage thanks to the Clown Prince of Crime’s manipulations.

–FLASHBACK: From Red Hood & The Outlaws Vol. 2 #5. October. It’s still Jason’s first official night out as Robin. The new Boy Wonder gets nervous and peels off patrol. Batman finds him sitting by his favorite gargoyle statue. Robin tells Batman that he is worried he might screw up. Batman tells his newest sidekick that mistakes are okay and expected, so long as you learn from them and try your best. Feeling more encouraged, Robin hops up and the Dynamic Duo continues their first ever patrol together.

–Batman Vol. 3 Annual #1 Part 1
October 24. Alfred trains Ace while Batman works on a Two-Face investigation.

–REFERENCE: In Grayson #12—originally told in Batman #416. Despite having just recently debuted, Robin goes off on some solo adventuring and runs into Nightwing, who gives the new Boy Wonder a hard time. Back home, Jason asks Bruce about Nightwing and learns the whole story of the first Robin’s break-up with Batman. The Caped Crusader then watches approvingly from the shadows as the new Robin teams-up with Nightwing to successfully bring some drug-runners to justice.

–FLASHBACK: From Red Hood & The Outlaws Vol. 2 #2. Batman and his new Robin patrol. An overly-proud Dark Knight tells the Boy Wonder that he will be his “perfect heir.”

–REFERENCE: In Batman and Robin Vol. 2 #33. The Justice League, with help from STAR Labs and Hephaestus (Greco-Roman God of Blacksmiths), constructs a special super-powered Bat-suit for Batman, which he dubs the “Hellbat.” The Hellbat-suit is designed specifically for non-metahuman military capability against Apokoliptian threats.

–REFERENCE: In Arkham Manor #1. Batman briefly considers turning part of the Batcave into a secret prison to hold Arkham’s worst criminals. Ultimately, he decides it is a bad idea and abandons the thought.

–FLASHBACK: From Red Hood & The Outlaws Vol. 2 #1. Batman and Robin locate Riddler’s secret hideout. But before charging in, they study blueprints to make sure that Riddler cannot use a secret escape. Batman teaches Robin a very valuable lesson about crime-fighting here. Presumably, this item can lead into the very next item on our list.

–FLASHBACK: From Secret Origins Vol. 3 #5 Part 2. Batman and Robin take down Riddler and his henchmen.

–REFERENCE: In Red Hood & The Outlaws #26. Batman and Robin fight Ra’s al Ghul (as mentioned by Roy Harper in Red Hood & The Outlaws #26). This is presumably the first time Jason Todd meets Ra’s al Ghul.

–FLASHBACK: From the second feature to Detective Comics Vol. 2 #50—originally told in Detective Comics #562. Batman and Catwoman team up against Film Freak (Burt Weston), who dresses up in a gorilla suit and shoots two machine guns at the duo. (Note that this splash page flashback is an homage to the cover of ‘tec #562, which depicts a representative scene that never originally occurred as is. Therefore, the scene here is influenced by the old tale, but is totally brand new canonical material for the New 52.)

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #948. Batman meets and befriends the world’s foremost expert on post-human bio-weaponry, an unnamed gender dysphoric scientist who will later take the name Victoria October. Batman will become close with and spend time with this scientist, albeit invisibly on our timeline, over the course of the next handful of years.

–Batman Vol. 3 Annual #1 Part 1
November 17. Alfred trains Ace while Batman works on a Kite Man investigation.

–REFERENCE: In Red Hood & The Outlaws #14. Batman and Robin team-up with Superman on an unspecified case where Jason winds up saving Superman’s life, despite not trusting the all-powerful alien. When Jason expresses his distrust of Superman, Batman tells him that Superman is one of three people he trusts, including Alfred and Jim Gordon. For anyone thinking this is a reference to Alan Moore’s Silver Age classic “For the Man Who Has Everything” story from Batman Annual #11, where Jason saves Superman from Mongul’s Black Mercy plot, you are probably wrong. Mongul doesn’t meet Superman and Batman until Batman/Superman #5-6.

–REFERENCE: In Aquaman & The Others #6-7. Batman has a short but very public war against the deadly Russian assassin Anatoli Knyazev, better known as KGBeast. KGBeast cuts off his own arm to escape Batman, only to return with a gun attachment to fight him the very next day. In the end, Batman defeats KGBeast.[9]

–Batman Vol. 3 Annual #1 Part 1
December 1. Alfred trains Ace while Batman works on a Riddler investigation.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman/Superman #33. Batman busts Riddler.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #1. Batman Inc Vol. 2 #1 makes reference to Element Man’s former “days with the Justice League.” This is a puzzling reference since, by early 2012 (when Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #1 came out), the Justice League still hadn’t admitted any new members besides Martian Manhunter, whose brief tenure only made the League even wearier of adding anyone else. Thus, we must assume that Element Man (Rex Mason)—formerly known as Metamorpho in the Modern Age—debuts now, is trained by the JL, and helps them on some missions. Hence, the semantics of “days with the Justice League” still seems to fit.

–REFERENCE: In Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #10-12. Batman defeats a forgettable small-time criminal, who, as a result of the encounter, develops a rare skin condition that requires painful ongoing treatment to extend his life. This loser will vow revenge upon Batman, becoming the powerful super-villain Terminus.

–FLASHBACK: From Red Hood & The Outlaws #3. Jason is too sick with the flu to go out on patrol. Bruce tells him that there is no shame in taking a night off every once and a while. Bruce, Jason, and Alfred stay in and watch movies in this touching scene.

–Batman Vol. 3 Annual #1 Part 1
December 14-19. Alfred has been training Ace for months. Bruce tells Alfred that there is no hope for the dog. Unknown to Bruce, Alfred has made significant inroads in taming the wild beast. Five days later, Batman comes home from patrol trailing blood and with a knife stuck in his arm. Ace greets Batman and is nice to him for the first time. (Again, note that Batman is shown wearing the incorrect costume here. Ignore.)

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics Vol. 2 #9. The hot air balloon-riding femme fatale Nocturna (Natalia Mitternacht) debuts to give Batman and Robin a hard time.

–FLASHBACK: From Red Hood/Arsenal #7. Batman and Robin, both smiling, stand back-to-back as a gaggle of gun-toting gangsters surrounds them in a circle. Presumably, the Dynamic Duo kicks all their asses.

–Batman Vol. 3 Annual #1 Part 1
December 24-25. Bruce goes X-mas shopping. As a bit of a gag, he purchases a mini Bat-cowl for Ace. Bruce, Alfred, and Ace celebrate Christmas together the next day. Bruce jokingly refers to Ace as a “Bat-Hound.” Although Bruce doesn’t even realize it, Alfred’s gift is right on time—a completely trained and psychologically-repaired man’s best friend. (Note that we won’t see Ace on our timeline again, so we don’t know if Ace actually suits up as the Bat-Hound. We also don’t know Ace’s fate, suffice to say that he won’t be around in a few years’ time. Make of that what you will. Just know that at some point down the line, Ace goes bye-bye.)

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #939. Batman, in conjunction with top government and military officials, sets up what is known as the “Black Line,” a direct connection to President Obama, to be used only in the most extreme emergencies regarding national security.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #948. The “Black Line” sorta kinda goes both ways. Being that Batman now has the ability to reach the POTUS, the government now has a way of reaching Batman. By going through a series of covert channels, ranking government officials are eventually able to reach Batman via a newly set up direct line.


<<< Year One <<< | >>> Year Three >>>

  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: In the Modern Age, Batman and Robin had a more intimate relationship with Professor Carter Nichols and went on several time traveling adventures with him. However, in the New 52, it would appear that the Dynamic Duo is only meeting Nichols for the first time here and now.
  2. [2]DIEGO BARCELO / COLLIN COLSHER: Kathy Webb Kane’s debut as Bat-Woman definitely has to take place after Batman’s presence has been made public to the world (after the first Justice League arc). The Modern Age’s first volume of Batman Incorporated, which is often referenced in the New 52, also revolved heavily around Dick’s involvement in the Bat-Family and took place entirely during a time where Dick was Robin. Dick as Robin is reflected here as well. However, indications in Grayson #12-13 make it seem as though Robin’s involvement in the New 52 version of the Bat-Woman affair is very limited or non-involved completely.
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: In the old Timm/Dini Animated Universe, where Harley Quinn first appeared, Harleen Quinzel was definitely Joker’s doctor for a couple of years. Her origin, when adapted to the Modern mainstream DCU, was kept relatively the same. While it isn’t made explicitly clear how long Harleen Quinzel was Mista Jay’s doc in the New 52, we can assume, based upon prior origins, that she was his doc for a couple years. Thus, her sessions with the Joker probably took place sporadically, meaning, every time Joker was sent back to Arkham. Don’t forget: There are meant to be Joker appearances, incarcerations, and breakouts scattered throughout the timeline—I simply haven’t included them because they haven’t been specifically written about, instead merely vaguely referenced. Secret Origins Vol. 3 #4 Part 1 is a Harley Quinn origin story that shows that Dr. Quinzel, shortly before becoming Harley Quinn, went undercover as an Arkham criminal in an attempt to get at Joker from another angle. Of course, Harley’s origin is narrated by herself, so we must take it with a grain of salt.
  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER: In Titans Hunt #5, the Teen Titans are mistakenly said to have formed “four years prior” to Year Eight, which is impossible. Also, be aware that, thanks to a fight with Mr. Twister in Year Three, the entire existence of the original Teen Titans is temporarily erased from everyone’s memories from Year Two through Year Eight.
  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: Don’t forget that the world’s collective memories of the original Teen Titans were temporarily erased—from Year Three through Year Eight—thanks to a fight with super-villain Mr. Twister. In Red Hood & The Outlaws #1, which occurs at a point where the anti-Teen Titan global mind-wipe is still under effect, we are told of a past bond between Dick, Roy, Starfire, Garth, Dustin, Vic, Lilith, and Gar. (These names correspond with Robin, Speedy, Starfire, Aqualad, Dustin, Cyborg, Lilith, and Beast Boy. Dustin is a new unknown New 52 character of little relevance.) Despite the temporary erasure of their Teen Titans adventures, the members of the Teen Titans’ past camaraderie still existed even during the mind-wiped years—Lobdell simply calls them a “gang [Arsenal and Starfire] used to hang with” and refers to the latter five as people with whom Starfire has had sex.
  6. [6]COLLIN COLSHER: Despite my opinion that this very weak Scott Lobdell tale is both poorly constructed and executed, it was the first New 52 issue to reveal that Joker was aware of Batman’s secret identity (sorta). Batman Vol. 2 #17 later confirmed that Joker knew the identities of every Bat-Family member from the very beginning (kinda). Sorta? Kinda? Let me explain. Joker’s knowledge of their IDs is complicated. Joker (the Comedian) chooses to completely separate the secret IDs from their superhero counterparts, focusing only on the latter as a part of a twisted “fun fantasy” that he constantly lives out. Technically, he should know, but he has blocked it out.
  7. [7]COLLIN COLSHER: Jason says in Red Hood & The Outlaws #2 that he was Robin for “years.” There isn’t enough room on this timeline for him to have been Robin for multiple years (or even two years). The longest amount of time he could have been Robin is about one year—and even that includes six months of training.

    BATFAN REBORN: I think Jason’s “for years” comment has more to do with his self-perception in regard to the recollection of time rather than with actual time. His instinctive use of his Robin training stays with him even in “Under the Red Hood.” Despite the fact that Jason is technically not Robin, he still has the Robin identity as the basis for who he is—something that he has changed over the years until he feels like his own person again.

  8. [8]COLLIN COLSHER: The Mask of the Phantasm story for the New 52 is vastly different from the original DC Animated Universe version. It is still possible that Andrea Beaumont was Bruce’s former lover, but it would have been a high school affair or a short-lived one on a visit home during his training days. Bruce’s marriage proposal and rejection surely could not have occurred in the New 52—although the rejection could be similar, despite it having a lesser impact. Andrea’s mob connections and revenge scheme can likely be the same, though. More huge differences: in the DCAU, Andrea leaves Gotham never to return at the story’s conclusion. In the New 52, she goes to Arkham. I think its suffice to reiterate that the Andrea of the DCAU had a much greater impact upon Bruce than the Andrea of the New 52. Also in the DCAU, the man who later becomes Joker murders Andrea’s father. This would be highly dubious in the New 52, if true.

    The only appearance of the Phantasm in all of the New 52 is in a single panel depicting rioters at Arkham. Her inclusion was most likely meant as a fun Easter Egg by Finch and Jenkins. Even suggesting that this Phantasm is Andrea Beaumont is pure conjecture. For the purposes of my timeline, I’d rather not fold in extraneous stuff that is far-reaching. For super-fans of Mask of Phantasm, I’d suggest enjoying the film and the old DCAU. There’s really no place for it in the New 52, at least not as is. Since there is absolute zero information given as to what the New 52 Phantasm’s origin might specifically entail, I’ve chosen to simply omit her origin all together.

  9. [9]COLLIN COLSHER: In the New 52, New Suicide Squad #2-4 originally functioned as Anatoli Knyazev’s Year Six origin story, referencing his transformation from regular Russian military man into super-soldier, courtesy of a private contractor called MARS Systems. Thus, originally, in the New 52, KGBeast wasn’t set to debut until after Year Six. At the same time of publication as New Suicide Squad #2-4, Tom King and Tim Seeley’s Grayson: Futures End #1, which takes place in an alternate reality, was released. In this story, the Futures End version of Dick Grayson—(who is an alternate but has the same past history as our primary version)—faces off with KGBeast a few years into the future. Dick tells KGBeast that Batman said he was a total joke of an opponent, even having had to bite his lip in order to not laugh while fighting him. At this juncture in continuity, around late 2014, KGBeast’s New 52 story was that he debuted late and was a total loser. However, for internal reasons unknown, DC decided to change course and not make KGBeast a pathetic relic of the past. Starting with Aquaman and The Others #7-8, which was released almost immediately after New Suicide Squad #2-4 and Grayson: Futures End, KGBeast’s story was retconned and restored to a version that more reflected his badass Modern Age history. A subsequent appearance in All-Star Batman #2-5 further cemented this. Therefore, since the idea of Batman doing everything he can to not laugh at loser KGBeast cannot be true, Dick must be lying in Grayson: Futures End #1 in order to get under the KGBeast’s skin.

2 Responses to New 52 Year Two

  1. Eric says:

    Your right unless… in Salad or Zero Years you said we should ignore the timeline saying he came back 7 years ago. And maybe true… however it also says he trained with Ducard for 8 years. What if Ducard trained him in 2005 instead of 2006 and Bruce returned home 2006 (one year prior) instead of Zero Year. This will include everything 2006 to be shifted to 2005. The only 2 problems I found were the sword duel and training in Himalayas. The sword duel could have taken place however not overseas but in America. And For the Himalayas remember was just a rumor. Could have been 2 years ago. See what I mean?

    • What is the “8 years” you are talking about? I’m pretty confident of the placement of my early Bruce years, Eric. But you seem to have your own timeline worked out pretty well, and I always support folks creating their own headcanon since reader viewpoints sometimes don’t align perfectly.

      The only appearance of the Phantasm is in a single panel depicting rioters at Arkham. Her inclusion was most likely meant as a fun Easter Egg by Finch and Jenkins. Even suggesting that this Phantasm is Andrea Beaumont is pure conjecture. For the purposes of my timeline, I’d rather not fold in extraneous stuff that is far-reaching. For super-fans of Mask of Phantasm, I’d suggest enjoying the film and the old DCAU. There’s really no place for it in the New 52, at least not as is. THAT BEING SAID, for the sake of completeness, if we were to run with the idea that at the very least a skeleton version of Mask of Phantasm should be included THEN we’d probably want to at the very least put a blip of a note about Andrea Beaumont (significantly altered from the source material) onto our timeline. So, Eric, maybe there’s room for a weekend fling with Andrea at some point before Bruce becomes Batman. However, since there is absolute zero information given as to where or what that might specifically entail, I’d rather simply omit it all together.

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