Golden Years Thirty-One to Forty

1969-1978: Retirement Continues

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(1969)
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–REFERENCE: In Wonder Woman #296 Part 2. Helena begins gymnastics training on the uneven parallel bars with Bruce as her teacher.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #136. Noticing that his arch-rival hasn’t been active, an aging Joker decides there’s no reason to keep up with his antics. He announces his public retirement from crime!

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(1970)
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–NOTE: In Flash #123. This issue doesn’t feature Batman or any of the Bat-Family, but it is the seminal “Flash of Two Worlds” story that fully introduces the concept of the multiverse to DC. This tale, which originally took place in 1961 but has been retconned to 1970 thanks to Silver Age time-sliding, features Earth-1’s Flash (Barry Allen) accidentally vibrating through the Bleed from Earth-1 to Earth-2![1] There, Barry Allen meets Jay Garrick, the Earth-2 Flash, who has been officially retired since 1949 (inactive as a hero since 1951). (Batman has been “retired” for 10 years at this point.) All of Jay’s adventures as Flash on Earth-2 have appeared as comic books written by Gardner Fox on Earth-1, so Barry knows all about him. The Golden Age Flash comes out of retirement to team with the Silver Age flash to defeat the original Thinker, The Shade, and The Fiddler. Afterward, Barry returns to Earth-1 and Jay decides to stay un-retired. Moving forward on our timeline, I’ll try to include all the most important multiversial crossovers even if they don’t involve Batman.

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(1971)
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–REFERENCE: In Wonder Woman #271 Part 2, DC Super-Stars #17, and Batman Family #19 Part 5. Bruce begins teaching special lessons to Helena, including dropping serious knowledge about the various evils of which mankind is capable. These lessons will include training in pretty much everything he learned when he was training to become Batman oh so long ago. These training sessions and special lessons will continue (randomly and invisibly moving forward on our timeline), but will ultimately aid in influencing Helena to one day become the Huntress.

–REFERENCE: In Adventure Comics #466. Bruce tells Helena about McCarthyism and the Red Scare, specifically the story about how the JSA was forced to disband by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and the Combined Congressional Un-American Activities Committee (CUAC).

–NOTE: In Flash #137. Batman isn’t in this one, entitled “Vengeance of the Immortal Villain,” but it is important nevertheless. (This item was originally published in 1963, but was retconned to 1971 via Sliding-Time.) Earth-1’s Flash (Barry Allen) decides to breach through the multiversial Bleed to revisit his inspiration, Jay Garrick (the Earth-2 Flash). There, Barry finds that certain members of the old JSA (Flash, Dr. Mid-Nite, Wonder Woman, Hawkman, The Atom, Johnny Thunder, Yz, and Green Lantern) have come out of retirement to deal with the threat of the immortal Vandal Savage. Savage captures the Justice Society, leading to their rescue by the two Flashes. Vandal Savage is then defeated by the combined might of the heroes. On Earth-2, this version of the Justice Society decides to come out retirement. Barry returns to Earth-1.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #55-56. Bruce and Dick are told all about Flash’s recent amazing multiversial experience and the return of the JSA.

–REFERENCE: In Infinity Inc # 5. The US Government gives the JSA special status to help team members protect their secret IDs, making it against the law to remove the mask of an injured or deceased member of the team.

–NOTE: In Justice League of America #21-22 (“CRISIS ON EARTH-1 & CRISIS ON EARTH-2”). This item was originally published in 1963, but was retconned to 1971 via Sliding-Time. Batman isn’t involved in this item, but it’s important because it starts a wave of annual multiversal crises that will plague the heroes of multiple Earths for years to come. The Fiddler, The Icicle, and The Wizard travel through the Bleed to meet Earth-1’s Chronos, Felix Faust, and Dr. Alchemy. They form the first ever inter-multiversial super-villain team, The Crime Champions. On Earth-1, the Crime Champions defeat the Justice League of America—Earth-1 versions of Superman, Batman, The Atom, Aquaman, Flash, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, and Wonder Woman. After the Crime Champions kidnap Earth-1 Flash (Barry Allen) and bring him to their secret hideout in the Bleed-space between universes, they go to Earth-2 and also defeat the JSA (with Black Canary filling in for Wonder Woman, Hourman subbing for Johnny Thunder, and Dr. Fate subbing for Dr. Mid-Nite). The Crime Champions then kidnap Flash (Jay Garrick). (Note that the JSA says they haven’t had an official meeting in twelve years, but thanks to retcons, this should read twenty years.) Eventually, the JLA is defeated for a second time and imprisoned inside their own Secret Sanctuary HQ. Using Earth-1 Merlin’s crystal ball, the JLA summons the JSA, which breaks through the dimensional barrier and appears on Earth-1! (This summoning scene is also shown in a flashback from Justice League of America #160, Adventure Comics #461 Part 3, and The Multiversity Guidebook.) Eventually, the heroes defeat the Crime Champions. (This entire adventure is also shown via flashback from the second feature to Countdown #48.)

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #29-30, Justice League of America #37-38, Justice League of America #55, Justice League of America #82, and America vs The Justice Society #4. Bruce and Dick hear all about the amazing “Crisis on Earth-1 and Earth-2.” Despite staying semi-retired, Batman becomes an honorary member of the JSA. Likewise, Mr. Terrific, Starman, Black Canary, Dr. Fate, Wildcat, and Hourman all come out of retirement to join their old JSA teammates full-time.

–REFERENCE: In Infinity Inc #7. September. Helena begins attending Gotham High School, enrolling into a special early-entry collegiate program that will see her graduate in only two years. Bruce and Selina will follow her academic career closely. Helena also joins the tennis team.

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(1972)
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–NOTE: In Justice League of America #29-30 (“CRISIS ON EARTH-THREE”). Again, this note has nothing to do with Batman, but it does let us know the ongoing status of the JSA. Earth-3’s Crime Syndicate of America—featuring Ultraman, Superwoman, Power Ring, Johnny Quick, and Owlman—capture and imprison the JLA before opening a wormhole to Earth-2 with plans to attack the JSA next! Sensing the dimensional breach, Dr. Fate alerts his JSA teammates—Hawkman, Dr. Mid-Nite, Starman, and Black Canary. The JSA is able to communicate with the JLA at its Earth-3 prison using Dr. Fate’s magick, but they are unable to free their friends. The CSA crashes onto Earth-2 and is initially defeated, but winds up claiming victory in the end. After imprisoning the JSA on Earth-3 with the Earth-1 heroes, the presumptuous CSA releases the JLA and challenges them to a battle on the neutral ground of Earth-2. (This battle is also shown via flashback from Convergence: Crime Syndicate #1 and the second feature to Countdown #47.) After the JLA stands victorious, they imprison the CSA in the Bleedspace between Earth-2 and Earth-3. Back on Earth-3, the JLA frees the JSA and everybody returns home.

–NOTE: In Justice League of America #38 Part 3. Earth-1 Johnny Thunder, a lowlife gangster, is able to capture and control Yz the Thunderbolt, using him to go back in time to erase the existence of the JLA (including newest recruit Earth-1 Hawkman), turning Earth-1’s timeline into an Earth-A (A for “alternate”) timeline, complete with his own evil version of the JLA, the Lawless League. The JSA crosses through the Bleed and defeats the Lawless League, giving bad Johnny no choice but to undo all his terrorism via a djinni wish. In an instant, the entire adventure is whisked away into oblivion and the timeline reverts back to normal. At story’s end, everything is returned to normal. Yz the Thunderbolt, breaking the fourth wall, tell us (the reader) that only he retains memories of “The Crisis on Earth-A.” (This item is also shown via flashback from the second feature to Countdown #47.)

–NOTE: In Green Lantern Vol. 2 #40 (“The Secret Origin of the Guardians”). Batman isn’t in this one, , but it is important. The Green Lanterns of two Earths (Hal Jordan and Alan Scott) come together for yet another team-up. If “The Flash of Two Worlds” was relevant for verifying the existence of the multiverse, this “Green Lantern of Two Worlds” issue is relevant for verifying the idea that the multiverse holds an infinite number of universes.

–NOTE: In Showcase #60. The Spectre returns from a 27 year absence, rejoining with human host, Gateway City cop Jim Corrigan.

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(1973)
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–NOTE: In Justice League of America #46-47. This is another non-Batman-related (but important) item, detailing the “Crisis Between Earth-1 and Earth-2!” arc. It’s hard to believe that Bruce stays dutifully retired and uninvolved when so many of his old pals keep coming out of retirement to join these reoccurring interdimensional conflicts. I guess Bruce really is dead serious about having hung up his crimefighting togs. Anyway, Wildcat (Ted Grant) comes out of retirement to rejoin the JSA, and Sandman and the Spectre both rejoin the JSA as well. Soon afterward, the JLA visits the JSA. Notably, Wildcat and the Spectre meet Earth-1 Batman. (As referenced in The Brave and The Bold #116, Earth-1 Batman also meets and befriends the Spectre’s human host Jim Corrigan.) Shortly thereafter, an unknown force causes people to phase in and out between Earth-1 and Earth-2. Several heroes swap places, and Earth-1 super-villain Blockbuster switches with Solomon Grundy. The Spectre is whisked away by Universe-3’s Anti-Matter Man. The Spectre sees that Earth-1 and Earth-2 are about to merge in what will be a catastrophic collision. Growing to gigantic size, the Spectre—from within the Bleed—literally holds both planets apart. Earth-1 Batman joins the JSA to fight Blockbuster on Earth-2. Meanwhile, on Earth-1, Ray Palmer shuts down his lab assistant Enrichetta Negrini‘s invention, which had been the cause of all the interdimensional-swapping. As more conflicts break out, Dr. Fate uses his magick to allow the heroes of two Earths to venture into the Bleed. While standing atop the back of a Godzilla-sized Spectre, the heroes wage war against the seemingly invulnerable King Kong-sized Anti-Matter Man. After an epic cosmic battle, all’s well that ends well. (This adventure is also shown via flashback from the second feature to Countdown #47.)

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #55. (This item was originally published in 1967, but was retconned to 1973 thanks to Time-Sliding.) Robin is invited to become a member of the JSA! Bruce plans to attend his swearing-in ceremony, but is unable to when a “special case” comes up, forcing him to suit up as Batman for the first time in a while. Batman tells Robin to give his apologies and best wishes to the JSA. While Batman goes on this unspecified action, Robin is sworn-in by Wonder Woman, Hawkman, Wildcat, Mr. Terrific, and Hourman. Robin’s first mission winds up being a multiversial experience as the JSA teams with members of the JLA (Earth-1 Superman, Earth-1 Green Lantern, Earth-1 Green Arrow, and Earth-1 Flash) to defeat one-shot villains Gem Girl, How Chu, Money Master, and Smashing Sportsman. Presumably, Robin tells Batman all about it afterwards.

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(1974)
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–REFERENCE: In Wonder Woman #282 Part 2. Bruce and Selina teach a sixteen-year-old Helena to drive a car. Helena practices driving her family’s many cars on the country roads near Wayne Manor.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Family #18 Part 5, Wonder Woman #307 Part 2, and Infinity Inc #7. June. A sixteen-year-old Helena graduates from Gotham High School as valedictorian and immediately begins attending college at Yale. (Helena is a genius. As such, she has graduated high school early so that she can begin attending an early-entry collegiate program at Yale.) Bruce and Selina couldn’t be more proud. They will follow their amazing daughter’s academic career, as they always have, with keen interest. Helena will be very interested in studying the law, joining the Yale Future Lawyers group. She will also compete for the varsity gymnastics team and join the Phi Beta Kappa sorority. (Note that Infinity Inc #7, which is a canonical reference for this item, does include some bogus info, erroneously listing her high school graduation year as 1978, which is four years too late.)

–NOTE: In Justice League of America #64-65. Another multiversal conflict—sans a still happily retired Batman, of course. Evil Earth-1 scientist TO Morrow inserts his own creation—the android Red Tornado—into the JSA lineup. (As referenced in Justice League of America #193, Morrow has only partly given life to Red Tornado. While having indeed built the android body, the life within Red Tornado is actually a pair of merged Wind Elementals from Univere-1’s planet Rann: Tornado Champion and Tornado Tyrant!) By inserting Red Tornado into the JSA lineup, Morrow is able to manipulate the team’s defeat and cause their apparent deaths. Morrow then hops back to Earth-1 and defeats the JLA too, putting them in states of suspended animation. Red Tornado, gaining autonomy, travels to Earth-1 where he—along with Earth-1 Steve Trevor, Midge, Jean Loring, Earth-1 Mera, and Earth-1 Hawkgirl—frees the JLAers. The heroes of two worlds then bust Morrow and his faceless android henchmen. After the case wraps, the JSA offers team membership to Red Tornado.

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(1975)
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–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #72-75, Justice League of America #219-220, DC Comics Presents #30, DC Special Series #10 Part 3, and Green Lantern Vol. 2 #78. This event was retconned, thanks to Sliding-Time, from 1969 to 1975. As usual, Batman doesn’t make an appearance during this item, but he’s technically involved since he gets killed and reborn (along with all of Earth-2 and its inhabitants) during this crazy multiversal conflict. Onto a synopsis. First, Superman officially rejoins the JSA! Not long afterward, the evil sentient energy of the star Aquarius travels to Earth and defeats the JSA—Superman, Starman, Wonder Woman, Dr. Mid-Nite, Green Lantern Alan Scott, Dr. Fate, Red Tornado, and Black Canary—and Larry Lance (Black Canary’s detective husband). Aquarius then destroys the entire planet, killing everyone and leaving only the JSA and Larry alive in a protective bubble created by Dr. Fate! Red Tornado escapes through the Bleed to Earth-1 to ask for help. By the time the JLA listens to the annoying android, nearly two weeks have passed! The apologetic JLA then travels to the former location of Earth-2. For the first time ever, the Supermen of two worlds meet! Aquarius mind-controls the JSA and has them attack the JLA. For the first time ever, it’s Superman versus Superman in an epic outer space fight. The others pair off and fight as well, with Earth-1 Batman matching up against Dr. Mid-Nite. Eventually, the weakened and crazed JSA succumbs to the JLA, prompting Aquarius to throw an energy death ball at Black Canary. Larry jumps in front of the blast, sacrificing his life to save his wife’s. The resultant explosion re-creates the entire planet, returning it to how it was before Aquarius arrived. No one—except for the heroes that fought Aquarius—even realizes that the world had been destroyed. The next day, the heroes mourn the tragic passing of Larry, honoring him with a funeral and burial. Aquarius shows up to mock them and then darts through a portal to Earth-1. The Green Lanterns team-up (!) and goad Aquarius into following them into Universe-3. There, Aquarius is pulverized by antimatter meteors. Back on Earth-2, all the heroes gather to celebrate. A depressed Black Canary decides she can’t bear to live on without Larry by her side. And here’s where the really crazy shit happens. Black Canary’s daughter, Dinah Lance, has been comatose since she was an infant. Basically braindead, Yz has kept her alive and cared for her in the 5th Dimension ever since.[2] Thus, the JSA and Superman agree to allow the depressed Black Canary to basically commit suicide by transferring her mind, soul, and memories into the vessel of her braindead roughly 18-year-old daughter. Black Canary will be able to rest in peace with her deceased hubby in the afterlife while her daughter will get to live for the first time. Yz does his magick and the transfer is complete. Black Canary dies and a new Black Canary is born. Having no clue that she is actually Black Canary’s daughter stuck with mom’s memories, Dinah picks-up right where her mother left-off at the end of the Aquarius affair. However, instead of wanting to die, the depressed Dinah decides she wants to move to Earth-1 permanently. Superman brings Dinah to Earth-1. Only Superman and the JSA will know the truth about Dinah.

–The Brave and The Bold #84
This item was originally published in 1969, but retconned to 1975 thanks to Sliding-Time. Bruce befriends the curator of the Gotham Museum, a man named Wyatt. Shortly thereafter, when aging ex-Nazi, Klaus Von Stauffen, phones the Gotham Museum to set up a meeting with Wyatt in an attempt to steal a French statue from the 1940s, a suspicious Wyatt gets Bruce on the case. At the museum, after hours, Von Stauffen surprises Bruce and Wyatt, pistol-whipping the latter. Von Stauffen reveals that the statue contains all of his hidden melted-down Nazi gold from the war. Thankfully, a now elderly but still-active Sgt. Rock has been trailing Von Stauffen. He jumps out of the shadows and kayos the Nazi scumbag. Later, Bruce finishes a journal entry about this case, one that he first wrote way back in 1944.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #76. This event was retconned, thanks to Sliding-Time, from 1969 to 1975. Batman officially rejoins the JSA as a full-time member! The original Red Tornado (Ma Hunkel) comes out of retirement and joins the JSA as well. She famously was offered membership thirty-five years ago (in 1940), but turned it down!

–Justice League of America #82
This item was originally published in 1970, but retconned to 1975 thanks to Sliding-Time. Our tale begins with the clever Denny O’Neil cutely meta-explaining the JSA-JLA team-ups that have been happening as of late, citing that, every twelve months or so, the “temporal matrices” of Earth-1 and Earth-2 become aligned for twenty-one days, thus allowing for easier crossover by those with the ability to do so. I guess that time is now, although it’s only been ten months since the last crossover happened. Anyway, onto a synopsis. In outer space, Red Tornado is kidnapped by a mega-powered alien called Creator², whose goal is to build a new planet by destroying both Earth-1 and Earth-2. Sending a deactivated Red Tornado as a living conduit into the Bleed between Earths, Creator² begins pulling the two universes together. Creator²’s cosmic henchmen take out Superman, Dr. Mid-Nite, and Jay Garrick using special weaponry, which causes Earth-1 Batman, Earth-1 Superman, and Earth-1 Flash to collapse into comas on Earth-1. As the vibrational planes between Earths dissipate, people begin to see vague images of their alternate counterparts appear before them. The JSA calls an emergency meeting to discuss a plan of action. Just about everyone turns up—even Batman! (Only Ma Hunkel and Robin are not present.) This marks the first one of these multiversial crises that Batman has finally shown up for. This also makes JLofA #82 the first comic book where Earth-1 Batman and Earth-2 Batman both appear in the same story, although, sadly, they don’t interact. Following the meeting, half the JSA members—including Batman—depart, presumably to help out around the globe.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #83. This item, which picks up right where JLofA #82 left off, was originally published in 1970, but retconned to 1975 thanks to Sliding-Time. Batman isn’t shown in this issue, but we can assume he is helping out with the global crisis off-panel. Meanwhile, on-panel, Creator²’s alien henchmen attack JSA HQ, defeating everyone except Dr. Fate, Johnny Thunder, and Yz. Concurrently, Earth-1 Green Lantern flies into the Bleed and discovers Red Tornado, but gets immobilized when Alan Scott is defeated. The remaining JSAers summon the aid of the Spectre, who enters the Bleed and stretches his body to twice the size of the colliding Earths in order to prevent their further merger. Dr. Fate and Yz easily destroy Creator² and his minions, ending his threat. The Spectre’s corporeal form is destroyed as well, although he remains “alive” in spirit form. The Earths return to their correct places in their respective universes and all the heroes recover. (As referenced in Adventure Comics #431 and The Brave and The Bold #116, following this affair, the Spectre’s spirit reconnects with Jim Corrigan, becoming whole again. The Spectre and Corrigan then make a permanent move to Earth-1 where Corrigan becomes a lieutenant detective with the Earth-1 NYPD. Lieutenant Corrigan informs Earth-1 Batman of his move.)

–FLASHBACK: From DC Super Stars #17. Chaperoned by Bruce and Selina, a recently turned 18-year-old Helena formally comes out to high society at Gotham’s debutante ball. Mom and dad couldn’t be prouder.

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(1976)
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[3]

–NOTE: In Justice League of America #91-92. Batman is not involved in this multiversial crisis, but the Robins get to team-up and become friends, which is awesome! This item was originally published in 1971, but retconned to 1976 due to Sliding-Time. When an interdimensional alien boy called A-Rym is separated from his symbiotically-linked pet beast—with A-Rym stuck on Earth-2 and Teppy stuck on Earth-1, they both go crazy and begin to slowly die. After being contacted by Hal Jordan, the JSA sends Superman, Atom, Jay Garrick, Hawkman, and Robin to Earth-1. There, the heroes of both Earth-1 and Earth-2 decide to mash-up special teams and split up between Earths. Hal leads two Robins (Earth-2 Robin and a college aged Earth-1 Robin) and two Hawkmen into Slaughter Swamp where they confront A-Rym, who has stolen Alan Scott’s power ring. After the alien boy pummels Earth-1 Robin, Hal sends both Robins to the Batcave. A-Rym then easily takes down the other heroes as well. Back on Earth-1, the story is a bit different. Facing the power of two Superman, Teppy is easily contained. Earth-1 Superman and Jay Garrick then go to assist the Earth-2 team. Soon, the heroes find themselves facing off against Solomon Grundy, who has taken A-Rym into his protection. Grundy knocks-out Earth-1 Superman and Jay. In the Batcave, the Robins bond! Elder Robin gives young Robin a cool prototype costume (designed by Earth-2 costume-maker Neal Adams!) that he once considered using but never wore. Soon after, the Hawkmen and the Robins take on A-Rym once again, this time restraining him. Meanwhile, the Green Lanterns defeat Grundy. Seeing that A-Rym is dying, the heroes on Earth-2 bring him to Teppy on Earth-1. Once joined together, A-Rym and Teppy are revived and calmed. Their family arrives in a space ship and collects them.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Family #18 Part 5. June. An eighteen-year-old Helena graduates from Yale as valedictorian and immediately begins attending Harvard Law School. Bruce and Selina couldn’t be more proud. They will follow their amazing daughter’s academic career, as they always have, with adoring eyes wide open.  Helena becomes the editor of Harvard’s Law Review. (Note that the mistake-laden back material of Infinity Inc #7 erroneously says that Helena attends Yale Law instead of Harvard Law. While she indeed went to Yale undergrad, it’s Harvard where she gets her law degree.)

–NOTE: In Justice League of America #100-102. Batman, as usual, is not in this multiversial team-up, and Robin only briefly appears. This item was originally published in 1972, but retconned to 1976 thanks to Sliding-Time. When a giant demonic hand—courtesy of a super-villain called The Iron Hand—literally grips and begins crushing the entire planet, the JSA calls in the JLA for help. Through his scrying ball, Dr. Fate sees a flickering image of the tombstone of the “Unknown Soldier of Victory.” Seeking more information, Dr. Fate, Yz, and Zatanna Zatara join hands and perform a summoning ritual that brings forth the towering bearded cosmic being known as Oracle. Oracle tells the heroes that, years ago, the cosmic monster known as Nebula-Man fought the Seven Soldiers of Victory (aka Law’s Legionnaires) and Wing How. The Seven Soldiers defeated Nebula-Man, but at a great cost. In case you were wondering what ever happened to the Seven Soldiers, they were not only erased from the collective memories of everyone on Earth-2, but each member of the team was lost in time! Oracle tasks the JLA and JSA with traveling through time to rescue each of the lost Seven Soldiers. Only Earth-1 Diana decides to stay behind with the Oracle (although she’ll soon be joined by Robin, Alan Scott, and Mr. Terrific). As the heroes split into groups and prepare to depart, Oracle shows them the origin story of the Seven Soldiers, who first joined together to take on a super-villain team led by The Hand (aka The Iron Hand) in 1941—as seen in Leading Comics #1. Dr. Fate, Earth-1 Atom, and Elongated Man travel to the 15th century Aztec Empire to rescue Crimson Avenger, who has become the king of the Aztecs. Earth-1 Superman, Sandman, and Metamorpho travel to 13th century Mongolia to rescue Shining Knight (and his flying horse Victory). Shining Knight has become Genghis Khan‘s personal bodyguard. Dr. Mid-Nite, Earth-1 Hawkman, and Wonder Woman travel to 13th century Nottingham to help the Merry Men rescue Green Arrow, who has replaced an injured Robin Hood. Earth-1 Batman, Starman, and Hourman travel to Ancient Egypt (during the reign of Akhenaten) where they rescue Stripesy, who has been forced into slavery. Earth-1 Green Arrow, Black Canary, Johnny Thunder, and Yz travel to the Wild West to rescue Vigilante from being executed by Native Americans. Earth-1 Aquaman, Hal Jordan, and Wildcat travel to 50,000 BCE to rescue Star-Spangled Kid from angry cavemen. Earth-1 Flash, Zatanna, and Red Tornado travel to Ancient Greece where they save Speedy, who has turned into a centaur, from Circe. Back at JSA HQ, the three superhero teams assemble. Crimson Avenger reveals that the “Unknown Soldier of Victory” is Wing How, the unofficial “eighth soldier” that died while fighting Nebula-Man. All of a sudden, the Iron Hand appears with Earth-1 Diana as a hostage. But before he can make demands, Diana kicks his ass and takes him down. Unfortunately, he is unable to stop his giant hand, revealed as made up of the energy remnants of Nebula-Man. The “Nebuloid Hand” continues squeezing the planet to death. The JLA and JSA help the Seven Soldiers construct a Nebula-Rod—the missile weapon that they used to defeat Nebula-Man years ago. Knowing that delivery of the Nebula Rod is a suicide mission, the heroes argue over who should go. But before they can decide, Red Tornado selflessly acts, exploding the Nebula Rod to destroy the hand and save the world, seemingly sacrificing himself in the process. The heroes mourn the loss of Red Tornado. SPOILER: He’s not really dead.

[4]

–NOTE: In a reference in Justice League of America #103. October 31. Some members of the JLA (although not Earth-1 Batman and Earth-1 Superman) go to Earth-2 to help the Seven Soldiers of Victory adjust to living in present day. Originally, Justice League of America #102 and Justice League of America #103 were directly connected, but, thanks to Sliding-Time and a topical Halloween setting, JLofA #102 and JLofA #103 must be separated by five months.

–NOTE: In Justice League of America #107-108. Batman, as usual, is not in this multiversial team-up. This item was originally published in 1973, but retconned to 1976 thanks to Sliding-Time. The Justice Society collaborates with the Justice League to build machines (“Transmatter Cubes”) that will allow both teams to travel through the Bleed whenever they want to. (The JSA and JLA have already had various means of traveling through the Bleed, but none have been foolproof and some have been linked to random moments of anomalous cosmic vibration. Now they will have a method of traveling through the multiverse at the drop of a hat and whenever/wherever need be.) When Red Tornado’s meddling on Earth-1 causes a joint JSA/JLA transporter test to go awry, Earth-1 Batman, Earth-1 Green Arrow, Elongated Man, Red Tornado, Superman, Dr. Fate, and Sandman wind up on Earth-X. Our seven heroes are shocked to learn that, on Earth-X, the Nazis won WWII! The Third Reich now rules the entire planet and has for decades. Nazi panzers surround our surprised heroes, but they are rescued by the Freedom Fighters. At the Freedom Fighters’ secret hideout, Uncle Sam explains that the Allies lost WWII and Hitler now reigns as Emperor of the World, using mind-control signal-towers to subjugate the global populace. Only the Freedom Fighters remain to combat the fascist oppressors. Soon after, the heroes split up and destroy several sentient mind-control machines. Back at the Freedom Fighters’ HQ, the Earth-1 and Earth-2 heroes succumb to Hitler’s mind-control, and begin combatting the Freedom Fighters. Red Tornado flies into outer space and infiltrates a Nazi satellite to find an Android Hitler. After punching Android Hitler’s head clean off (!), Red Tornado learns that a secret singularity occurred on Earth-X only a few years ago. Hitler’s own sentient machines, which he used to win WWII, turned against him. All the Nazi leaders were killed and replaced with android replicants, which now rule over the Nazi Empire. Red Tornado destroys the final mind-control machine, which shuts down all the high-ranking Robo-Nazi leaders. Nazi troops stand down all over the globe. With freedom finally within grasp, the Freedom Fighters thank the Earth-1 and Earth-2 heroes before they return home to their respective timelines.

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(1977)
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[5]

–NOTE: In Justice League of America #113. Spring. Batman, as usual, is not in this multiversial team-up. Can you believe it—all these trips between Earth-1 and Earth-2 and the Batmen still haven’t crossed paths! At this point it has to be on purpose that they don’t see each other (and never will). This item was originally published in 1974, but retconned to 1977 thanks to Sliding-Time. Earth-1 Batman, Elongated Man, Hal Jordan, and Earth-1 Superman visit Earth-2 and help the JSA (Hourman, Jay Garrick, Sandman, and Wonder Woman) defeat the Horned Owl Gang. After busting the villains, an alarm registers on Sandman’s car, causing him to freak-out and run home. The collected heroes follow to learn that a monster has escaped from the captivity of Sandman’s lair. The monster is Sandy the Golden Boy, his old teenage sidekick, who has been missing for decades. Sandman breaks down and spills the beans. Upwards of thirty years ago, an experiment went horribly wrong, turning Sandy into a hulking sandstone monster. Rather than tell anyone, Sandman gassed him and has kept him prisoner in his lair ever since! The JSAers and JLAers chase and fight the rampaging monster Sandy across York City. (Sandman and Sandy were originally from New York City, but this story is very specifically set in York City, which has to be more southerly since it has open beaches, yet we are still in springtime. Otherwise, this thinly-veiled analogue city should be retconned back to regular ol’ New York, as should the beach scene be ignored.) After, the heroes take down Sandy, a massive earthquake erupts, but Earth-1 Superman is able to stop the rumbling. Sandy then reveals that he wasn’t really rampaging, he was running across town and absorbing the ground vibrations along a fault line in order to prevent a major earthquake from occurring. Only when the heroes defeated him did the earthquake begin. Sandman, seeing that his former sidekick is back, breaks down, ashamed at the fact he’s locked him away for so many years. Unable to forgive himself, a shaken Sandman hangs his head and walks off. And as he should! This story has basically made a villain out of Sandman! Wonder Woman mentions that Amazonian tech could have easily restored Sandy back to normal years ago, if only Sandman hadn’t tried to cover up his mistake by unjustly jailing his supposed best friend.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Family #18 Part 5. Bruce and Helena go on a mountain climbing adventure vacation.

–NOTE: In Justice League of America #123-124. This item was originally published in 1975, but retconned to 1977 thanks to Sliding-Time. Batman, of course, is not involved in this adventure. With the bulk of the JSA on an unspecified mission in deep space, only Wonder Woman, Dr. Mid-Nite, Robin, Johnny Thunder, Yz, and Wildcat stay behind. Our main story begins not on Earth-2, but on Earth-Prime, a stand-in for our own “real world” where superheroes are fictional within the pages of superhero comics. In the Earth-Prime offices of DC Comics in NYC, Earth-Prime Julius Schwartz hounds his writers Cary Bates and Elliot S! Maggin to put together a decent script for the latest issue of Justice League of America. Bates shows Maggin a Cosmic Treadmill (which was assembled by Earth-1 Flash and left with Schwartz in Flash #179). Maggin activates the Treadmill, sending Bates to Earth-2! Maggin decides to go after Bates, but winds up on Earth-1! Schwartz guards the Treadmill, shooing away Carmine Infantino. Maggin, as one of the creators of the fictional JLA, has the godlike ability to “re-write” situations on Earth-1. Soon, a few JLA members and Maggin teleport to Earth-2 in search of Bates. (Here we get some mumbo-jumbo referencing Denny O’Neil’s metaphysical spacetime concept that Earth-2 is twenty years behind Earth-1 because it rotates at a slower speed. Don’t forget that this concept is not true, retconned out-of-continuity by All-Star Squadron Annual #3!) The latest incarnation of the Injustice Society (Wizard, Icicle, Shade, The Sportsmaster, The Huntress, and The Gambler) casts a spell on Bates causing him to become a costumed super-villain. Bates, who also wields godlike “writing” powers just like Maggin, joins the Injustice Society and takes control of the JSAers that are still around. Creating his own “plot twist,” Bates causes the JLA to murder the JSA! After a sad burial ceremony, the JLA takes over global protection duties on Earth-2, patrolling for days. Eventually, the JLA fights the Injustice Society, during which the Spectre shows-up and convinces God to resurrect the dead JSA heroes! The JLA and JSA then easily defeat the Injustice Society. Yz then poofs Bates and Maggin back to Earth-Prime. At the DC Comics Office, Bates and Maggin tell Schwartz how Justice League of America #124 should end (being as that they just lived-out its events), but Schwartz calls it plot-hole-filled drivel!

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(1978)

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–REFERENCE: In All-Star Comics #58-59Justice League of America #135, and DC Super-Stars #17. (Due to Sliding-Time, this item, which was originally published in 1976, has been retconned to early 1978.) Dick becomes an official UN delegate, specifically becoming the UN Ambassador to South Africa, moving his permanent residence to Capetown. From this point forward, Dick will split time evenly between Capetown and Gotham. Bruce couldn’t be prouder of his ward. As Robin, Dick joins a new superhero team called The Super-Squad, meaning he will be pulling double superhero duty since he is also a member of the JSA. Robin’s teammates in the Super-Squad are Superman’s cousin Power Girl and Star-Spangled Kid. After the JSA and the Super-Squad defeat Brainwave aka Henry King Sr (who also sometimes spells his name out as “Brain Wave”) and Per Degaton, Robin tells Bruce all about the adventure. Amazingly, unlike in the real world or on other Earths, Dick’s actions as the UN Ambassador to South Africa will lead to the end of Apartheid mere months from now! Go Dick! Not all heroes wear capes! Bruce will definitely be following Dick’s career closely and will always be impressed. Notably, the revamped JSA/Super-Squad moves into a new brownstone HQ in the heart of downtown Gotham City.

–Justice League of America #135-137 (“CRISIS ON EARTH-S”)
Early July. (Due to Sliding-Time, this item, originally published in 1976, has been retconned to 1978.) Finally, Batman gets in on some “Crisis” action! In Universe-S, the immortal King Kull attacks the Rock of Eternity, home to the wizard Shazam and other godlike beings (and some legit gods as well). Kull places everyone—including Shazam, Solomon, Hercules, Achilles, Zeus, Atlas, Selena, Earth-S Hippolyta, Ariadne, Zephyrus, Aurora, and Minerva—into a catatonic states of torpor. Only the Greco-Roman god Mercury (aka Hermes) is able to escape. Mercury immediately visits the JLA (sans Earth-1 Batman) on Earth-1, recruiting them to help out. Meanwhile, on Earth-2, Robin is honored with a special award from the city of Gotham. As such, Batman agrees to accompany him to the ceremony. But before they can get there, Mercury gathers-up the JSA (including Batman and Robin) as well. At the repurposed old HQ of the Crime Champions on Earth-2, Mercury assembles the JLA, JSA, and Earth-S’s own superhero team: Shazam’s Squadron of Justice (Bulletman, Bulletgirl, Ibis the Invincible, Mr. Scarlet, Pinky the Whiz Kid, and Spy Smasher). Mercury explains that the Marvel Family is powerless due to Shazam’s condition. The three teams must defeat Kull to save multiple Earths! Kull organizes four super-villains to strike on Earth-2. Thus, Earth-1 Superman and Wonder Woman soon find themselves fighting Clea (the current queen of Earth-2’s Atlantis) and a mind-controlled Blockbuster. Green Arrow and Spy Smasher take on Earth-1 Penguin and Earth-S’s Ibac. After beating the four villains, the heroes stop Kull’s plan to sink all the continents of Earth-2. On Earth-S, Batman, Robin, Mr. Scarlet, and Pinky take on a returning Joker (!) and Earth-S’s Weeper II. Earth-1 Hawkman, Earth-1 Hawkgirl, Bulletman, and Bulletgirl take on Earth-1 Dr. Light and the Shade. Once Earth-S is saved by the heroes, Kull turns his attention to Earth-1, sending Earth-1’s Brainiac and Earth-S’s giant evil robot Mr. Atom to attack the planet. The remaining members of the JLA, JSA, and SSJ combine to defeat them, saving Earth-1. Then the full line-ups of the JLA (sans Earth-1 Batman), JSA, and SSJ converge upon the Rock of Eternity. Johnny Thunder summons Yz, who is able to activate the Marvel Family’s powers. With a horde of heroes at his throat, Kull uses Red Kryptonite to turn Earth-1 Superman against his compatriots. Captain Marvel clashes with Earth-1 Superman (!), ultimately calling down Shazam’s lightning in order to reset the Man of Steel back to normal. Kull is chained and everyone returns to their correct Earths. Awesome crossover! (This adventure is also shown via flashback from the second feature to Countdown #45.)

–REFERENCE: In Adventure Comics #462 Part 1. Batman donates one of his costumes to the Gotham City Museum.

–REFERENCE: In Secret Society of Super-Villains #15. The JSA (including an in-costume Batman!), the Super-Squad (sans Robin), and Black Canary and the Spectre (both visiting from Earth-1) all pose together for a photograph.

–REFERENCE: In Wonder Woman #277 Part 2. A graying Bruce poses for a lovely photograph with Selina. The picture is developed and framed. It will become a treasured keepsake of Helena’s, which she will cherish for the rest of her life.

–FLASHBACK: From DC Super-Stars #17—and referenced in Batman Family #18 Part 5. July. (DC Super-Stars #17 incorrectly places this story in 1976, contradicting Batman Family #18 Part 5 and Adventure Comics #461-462, which clearly place Selina’s death in summer 1978, hence our placement of her death here in July of 1978. Batman Family #18 Part 5 says outright that Helena is 21-years-old one year after her mom’s death. Since Helena turns 21-years-old in 1978 and is 21-years-old throughout the majority of 1979, Selina’s tragic death must occur here in July 1978.) Onto our synopsis at hand. Robin goes to Madagascar for foreign service duty (related to his UN job), leaving Gotham in the protective hands of a mostly-retired Batman. Later, Selina gets a phone call at Wayne Manor from an old henchman of hers, Silky Cernak, who claims that he’s got shocking blackmail-worthy dirt on her from the old Catwoman days. Panicked, Selina meets with Cernak, who produces a worn Catwoman photograph that shows her murdering someone. (The photo has been doctored, but Selina believes it is real.) Not wanting Bruce to see this shameful photo, Selina agrees to help Cernak with one more big score—robbing the Gotham Civic Center. When the Bat-signal lights up the night sky, Batman reports to Commissioner Gordon just like old times. Gordon has gotten a tip from a stoolie that the Civic Center will be targeted. At the Civic Center, Batman busts-up Cernak’s gang, during which Cernak shoots at Batman, but accidentally hits Catwoman in the chest. Cernak runs-off as Batman holds an apologetic Catwoman in his arms until she dies. A grief stricken Bruce burns his Batman costume. He will never wear it again. (The scenes of Catwoman’s death and Bruce burning his costume are also shown via flashback from Adventure Comics #462 Part 1 and The Brave and The Bold #184.) A private funeral is held with only Bruce, Helena, and Alfred in attendance. For days, Gordon lights up the Bat-signal, but a catatonic Bruce can only stare at the light with tears in his eyes. Meanwhile, Helena designs a costume and weapons for herself. By her mother’s grave, Helena vows to avenge her mother’s death and to bring justice to all evil-doers. Huntress is born! (Never you mind that there’s already an active super-villain called the Huntress. Never you mind!) With years of training with Batman under her belt, Huntress tracks down Cernak and kicks his ass, proving that her mom’s murder-photo was fake. Huntress leaves Cernak tied-up in a net in front of police HQ. In the morning, Bruce and Helena walk by Cernak, and Bruce thinks that Dick must have gotten back into town to bust him. Helena chooses to keep her new superhero identity a secret. Presumably, Dick returns to Gotham to console a grief-stricken Bruce. (Note that, as referenced in Wonder Woman #321 Part 2, the godlike part-creator of the multiverse known as The Monitor secretly observes Huntress’ debut with keen interest. He will follow her career closely for years to come.)[6]

–REFERENCE: In Batman Family #17. Realizing that he’s spent a significant amount of time training Helena and telling her about his legacy as Batman, Bruce worries that aa vengeful Helena will follow in his footsteps now that her mother has been killed. With this in mind, Bruce expressly forbids Helena from going down his path, making her promise she won’t ever become a costumed vigilante. Helena lies to her pop in agreement. It’s too late dad! Helena is already secretly the Huntress!

–REFERENCE: In Batman Family #18 Part 5. Bruce and Dick befriend progressive attorney Arthur Cranston. Bruce, Dick, and Arthur start a public interest-based consumer research group/law firm called “Cranston, Grayson, and Wayne.” Presumably, Bruce leaves his position at the Gotham City Department of Public Safety. Moving forward, Cranston will run the day-to-day operations while Bruce and Dick will have more limited engagement (especially Dick, who is still working as a foreign ambassador in South Africa). Cranston hires young attorney Roger Demarest to join the firm.

–FLASHBACK: From Adventure Comics #461 Part 3 and Adventure Comics #462 Part 1—and referenced in Batman Family #18 Part 5All-Star Comics #66, Wonder Woman #273 Part 2, and America vs The Justice Society #1. Bruce, acting as  a lead attorney, works a case with his “Cranston, Grayson, and Wayne” firm. The case exposes a man named Bill Jensen of several felonies (including murder), which fast-tracks him to a long jail sentence. Jensen blames Bruce for his woes and vows revenge. Shortly thereafter, Commissioner Gordon dies. Riding a wave of public support and with the full backing-of the law enforcement community, especially in the wake of all his recent success as an attorney, Bruce resigns from “Cranston, Grayson, and Wayne” and throws his hat into the ring of candidates to replace Gordon. After an election cycle, Bruce becomes the new commissioner of police! Despite his decades of crime-fighting, Bruce, now 63-years-old, immediately decides that he will be a “behind the scenes” general of sorts, putting his trust in his men while running the GCPD from his desk. Bruce will spend most nights, moving forward, working at GCPD HQ rather than out on the streets. Bruce also immediately gives a full public endorsement of the superhero community. Bruce will be known as a police commissioner that is very friendly with anyone wearing a cape. He will also encourage his men to work openly with vigilantes.

–REFERENCE: In Wonder Woman #289 Part 2. Alfred retires from his long duties as head of the Wayne household. He takes a new job, volunteering at The New Stratford Repertory Theater.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Family #18 Part 5. September. Helena Wayne turns 21-years-old and graduates from Harvard Law at the top of her class.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Family #19 Part 5. Helena Wayne moves into a posh apartment in Gotham’s expensive Inwood neighborhood.

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Comics #66-67. Commissioner Bruce hires Timmins as his personal assistant at the GCPD.

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Comics #69. Wonder Woman, Dr. Mid-Nite, and Starman all officially (and fully) retire from costumed crimefighting, simultaneously resigning from the JSA. At Bruce’s urging, these three original JSA members set up an emergency call beacon built into Robin’s costume. Robin will be able to contact them in case of emergency.

–REFERENCE: In Wonder Woman #278 Part 2. November. Prosecutor Harry Sims is elected DA for Gotham’s Southern District.

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Comics #70. After two years living on Earth-1 and working for the NYPD, Jim Corrigan (host to the Spectre) moves back to Earth-2, taking a job as a Detective Sergeant with the GCPD. Presumably, Corrigan wants to work for his old pal Bruce now that Bruce is Gotham’s top cop. Note that Corrigan will move back to Earth-1 after Bruce dies next year.

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  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: The Bleed is the tesseract space that exists in-between/separates all the universes in the Omniverse. Marvel Comics refers to the Bleed as “The Superflow.” The terminology is quite menstrual in nature, but what cosmic magick isn’t, right? Notably, the Bleed is first referred to as “The Dark Zone” in Justice League of America #65 and then as “The Netherspace” in Justice League of America #83.)
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: The 5th Dimension is a magickal plane that is home to powerful djinns, elementals, and imps. Notable residents are Bat-Mite, Mr. Mxyzptlk, and Yz. According to Superstring Theory, the 5th Dimension—being the next dimensional layer beyond the 4th Dimension of time—is basically an expression for derived physical quantity in terms of alternate reality. It is, in essence, a fundamental underlying concept of Multiverse Theory. Superstring Theory, Multiverse Theory, and M Theory state that the macroscopic world has three spatial dimensions, a 4th Dimension of time, and six other imperceptible (possibly microscopic) quantum dimensions, plus an 11th Dimension at the definitively microscopic scale. (There are likely even more unknown dimensions.) The fictive world of the DCU plays with Superstring theory, treating the insensible quantum dimensions (those beyond time) as the most out-there magickal sci-fi alternate realities possible.
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: The Brave and The Bold #96 was published around this point on our timeline (1971, time-slid to 1976), but it is non-canon on both Earth-1 and Earth-2, functioning definitively as one of Bob Haney and Murray Boltinoff’s Earth-B tales. Originally functioning as a sequel to The Brave and The Bold #84, this story, which features Batman once again team-up with Sgt. Rock, cannot be rationalized on any primary chronology, including our Earth-2 timeline. Reasons? First, B&B #96 completely ignores B&B #84‘s canonical sister story of B&B #162. This isn’t too damning, however, especially since B&B #162 was written nine years after B&B #96. The second reason is the real nail in the coffin in regard to B&B #96‘s canonicity, and that reason is the story itself. Haney pens what would have to be a fifty-nine-year-old Bruce, who is still a bachelor living in the Wayne Penthouse with Alfred. Only on Earth-B, baby.
  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER: Bob Haney and Murray Boltinoff’s The Brave and The Bold #108, originally published in 1973 and time-slid to 1976, is another Sgt. Rock/Batman team-up, a continuation of the ongoing Sgt. Rock saga from The Brave and The Bold #96. Just like the previous story, The Brave and The Bold #108 is also non-canon on both Earth-1 and Earth-2, and only canon on Earth-B.
  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: The Brave and The Bold #117, published at this point on our timeline, is another Bob Haney/Murray Boltinoff Sgt. Rock/Batman team-up tale, a continuation of the ongoing Sgt. Rock saga from The Brave and The Bold #96 and The Brave and The Bold #108. As such, this item is non-canon on both Earth-1 and Earth-2, and only canon on Earth-B. However, the only reason it doesn’t work on our Earth-2 timeline is because Batman appears to be doing a routine patrol of Gotham at the start of the tale, which he likely wouldn’t be doing at this point in his crimefighting career. It’s a minor quibble, but considering a couple of the other Sgt. Rock team-ups are non-canon, it seems to weigh heavily against inclusion. As much as I love Sgt. Rock/Batman team-ups, I’m leaving The Brave and The Bold #117 off of the Earth-2 chronology. Feel free to keep it in your personal headcanon, though, as it really isn’t too problematic.
  6. [6]COLLIN COLSHER: The Monitor, part-demiurge and cosmic protector of the multiverse, was himself spawned by a mysterious being known as The Great Hand of Creation. In turn, the Great Hand was born unto/out of the Overmonitor aka Overvoid, an omnipotent and infinite-sized living void that incubated portions of the proto-omniverse, including the local multiverse that would eventually hold Universe-1 and Universe-2. The vague story of the creation of the local multiverse has long been told and re-told in the pages DC Comics—all seemingly canon for the Golden/Silver/Bronze Ages (even long after the Golden/Silver/Bronze Ages had been rebooted into defunct status). Starting with Green Lantern Vol. 2 #40 and The Crisis on Infinite Earths, both initially imply that the Great Hand is the very appendage of the Judeo-Christian/Islamic God (or at least the hand of a divine agent of God, such as the Spectre). The details of the Overmonitor aka Overvoid are fleshed-out in the Modern Age’s Final Crisis, but the details surrounding the Great Hand are still nebulous at best. By the time of the New 52 continuity, a time-displaced Volthoom is revealed to be the Great Hand (as shown in Green Lantern Vol. 5) while The Multiversity introduced a counterpart to the Great Hand in the form of The Empty Hand, a cosmic evil basically representing the meta-hand of the comic book creator and/or comic book reader engaging with the comic book itself. The Rebirth Era’s Justice League Vol. 4 #22 (2019) delivers a flashback depicting the creation of the multiverse that, again, is meant to be canon for all continuities, including the Golden/Silver/Bronze Ages. In this cosmogonic flashback (which spans 20 billion years ago all the way up to the Big Bang), the Great Hand is revealed to be the über-goddess Perpetua while the Monitor’s name is revealed to be Mar Novu. The Great Hand and the Monitor create the multiverse along with help from the Anti-Monitor (the Monitor’s first brother), Alpheus aka The World Forger (the Monitor’s second brother), and a demonic dragon called Barbatos. The Great Hand, the Monitor, the Anti-Monitor, and Barbatos, each residing in a higher (6th Dimensional) plane of existence, will exist from now through multiple future DC reboots including The Crisis on Infinite Earths, Flashpoint, and “Rebirth.” (Superstring Theory states that the 6th Dimension is a plane in which one can view possible worlds, comparing and positioning all the possible universes. Scott Snyder has referred to it as the “hypothetical dimension.”) The five aforementioned godlike demiurges will survive through the reality-erasing effects of multiple reboots without suffering any direct reality-erasing consequences themselves.

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