Modern Salad Days


By Martin Lel & Collin Colsher

Special thanks to Chris J Miller, Elias M Freire, Ratcreature, and Axerockstar (on the ComicVine forums)[1][2]

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1963-1966

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Black and White #3 Part 1—and referenced in Batman #404. February 1963. Bruce Wayne is born to Dr. Thomas Wayne and Martha Wayne. See “How Old is Bruce Wayne?” for details as to why Bruce’s birth year is 1963. A reference in The Batman Files, in the form of a photograph, shows Bruce with his mom on the day of his birth. (The Batman Files was written by Matthew Manning, and produced by DC Comics and Lionheart Books, in 2011. The physical book itself is a literal scrapbook that Batman makes shortly before the end of the Modern Age. It functions as a recap of the entire Modern Age from Batman’s perspective. The Batman Files is highly comprehensive to the point of being encyclopedic, but it must be viewed only as a quasi-canonical publication for a couple reasons. First, it has some things out of order. Second, it contains hundreds of images from various canon and non-canon comics throughout the Modern Age and Bronze Age—most of which are re-imagined as photos. This pair of problems means that not everything inside The Batman Files is necessarily 100% kosher. Many photos, clippings, and other scrapbooking ephemera will eventually go in this scrapbook, some of which comes from Bruce’s time as a young boy and teenager. This means that someone was always around snapping a lot of pictures, which, after development, usually eventually made their way back into storage at Wayne Manor somehow. Moving forward on our timeline, we won’t make specific reference to each photo being taken, but be aware that the pictures are being quite frequently snapped, printed-out, and stored.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #4. December 25, 1963. Bruce’s parents take him to his first X-mas mass. His parents aren’t particularly religious (nothing hints at this in any comics, anyway), but they are members of a Christian faith church, which they attend every X-mas (at the very least). Bruce will attend X-mas mass with his parents every year until they die. LOTDK #4 implies that the Wayne visit family every X-mas as well, but there’s really no one to visit, since they estranged from other family members. (The Waynes are fully estranged from Bruce’s grandparents on Martha’s side of the family—Elizabeth “Betsy” Kane and Roderick Kane.) It’s possible they see Bruce’s Aunt Agatha Wayne (Thomas’ sister), but that’s pure speculation.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Ego. December 25, 1963. Martha, as she will do every year moving forward, cooks a lavish X-mas turkey dinner.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #682. Young Bruce develops into a sweet little boy with a lovely sense of humor.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Black and White #3 Part 1. February 1966. Bruce has a party for his third birthday, after which his father tucks the happy boy into bed. Thomas then writes a letter to his son, meant to be given to him later in life. (Years down the road, Alfred Pennyworth will eventually obtain this letter and treasure it, although he won’t share it with Bruce.)

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1967-1969

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #2. Bruce begins attending Sunday school every weekend. He will likely attend Sunday school until his parents die.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Journey into Knight #4. Bruce’s parents are super busy all the time, but they deem every Saturday to be “Family Day,” devoting time to spending part of every weekend together as a unit. The Waynes will have “Family Day” on as many Saturdays as they can, moving forward.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #0, Christmas with the Super-Heroes #2, Batman Secret Files and Origins #1 Part 1, and Secret Origins of the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes—and also referenced in The Batman Files. Originally told via flashback from The Dark Knight Returns #1, which is technically only canon in the Frank Miller-verse. Four-year-old Bruce falls through the earth in his garden, finding himself within a gigantic cave. This is the first time he sees what will become the Batcave. Afterward, Bruce’s dad comforts him. Bruce’s mom has the traumatized Bruce draw a picture about his experience, which features scary evil bats and the word “No” scrawled about.

[3]

[4]

–REFERENCE: In Solo #5 and The Batman Files. Little Bruce poses for a photograph, which will eventually get framed and hung in Wayne Manor. Likewise, Bruce is captured in a couple candid photos with his mom and dad, exemplifying the idyllic childhood he leads.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Ego. Bruce poses for another photo with his parents.

–REFERENCE: Batman: Dark Victory #9. A happy Bruce watches with admiration as his beautiful parents get dolled up for a night on the town. Bruce will often watch his parents, growing to idolize them.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Files. Martha and Thomas see West Side Story in the theater, taking Bruce with them. There, Bruce meets and plays with young Kirk Langstrom, whose parents are also there to watch the film. This is the only interaction that Bruce and Kirk will have until they are adults.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #0—and referenced in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #136. A curious Bruce chats with his mom and dad, learning exactly what his parents do as the heads of WayneCorp aka Wayne Enterprises. Thomas and Martha Wayne instill the value of empathy upon the boy, telling him how important philanthropy and charity are to their business. WayneCorp/Wayne Enterprises is a publicly traded international conglomerate that has many subdivisions and subsidiaries, notably WayneTech, Wayne Industries, Wayne Entertainment, and the Wayne Foundation. (WayneTech deals in the research and development sector, Wayne Industries aptly deals in the industrial sector, and the Wayne Foundation deals with philanthropy and charity.) Following the deaths of Thomas and Martha, the Wayne Foundation will switch to a profit-driven focus on real estate, mergers, acquisitions, and finance. (Bruce will eventually switch the Wayne Foundation back to its original philanthropic purpose later on down the road.)

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #0—and referenced in Batman #404. Butler Alfred Pennyworth joins the Wayne family. Alfred will be in charge of the household and a caregiver to Bruce. He is the quintessential old-school butler, an expert in cooking and housekeeping. With the ring of a bell, he will always come post-haste, eager to serve his “masters.” The polymathic Alfred is also a medic, stage actor, auto mechanic, and chef.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Ego. Bruce watches The Sign of Zorro, becoming instantly obsessed with the masked swashbuckler.

–“Of Mice and Men” by Alan Grant/Scott McDaniel (The Batman Chronicles #5 Part 3) Summer 1996
Bruce has taken an intense liking to Zorro, but his parents aren’t into it, thinking Zorro is too violent and lowbrow. Meanwhile, Alfred has only been working as the Waynes’ butler for a week, but he decides to resign, feeling he’s only working because he made a promise to his father on his deathbed. Bruce then returns home with a black eye, but won’t say how he got it. His father sends him to his room without supper. Then, Alfred sneaks in to bring him some food anyway, and also gives him a pulp magazine featuring Zorro. At school Bruce steps in again when another kid is bullied, but this time he lures the bully into a trap he prepared, so that a bucket of molasses falls on him, and the bully is humiliated. At home Bruce tells Alfred about it, and also asks Alfred to stay, causing Alfred to change his mind. When Martha Wayne discovers the Zorro magazine (something they forbade Bruce to have, thinking it “corrupts the growing mind”), Alfred takes the blame.

–REFERENCE: In Superman/Batman #50. Suffering due to not embracing the corruption of Gotham, the Wayne family business, WayneCorp/Wayne Enterprises, almost goes bankrupt until Thomas Wayne finds a Kryptonian probe sent to Earth by Jor-El (Kal-El’s father). After chatting with Jor-El via astral projection and then scavenging the probe’s technology, the company flourishes. Thomas buries the alien probe deep in the caverns beneath Wayne Manor so that no one will ever find it in the future.

–REFERENCE: In Superman #710. Reading a Crimson Avenger comic, Bruce first hears about the mystical Himalayan city of Nanda Parbat.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #673 and Batman #702 Part 4. Five-year-old Bruce plays with the family’s well, attracting the attention of several bats that make him aware of his own mortality for the first time.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Gotham Knights #7. Family doctor Leslie Thompkins visits the Waynes to look after Bruce, who has pneumonia. At Wayne Manor, Leslie meets Alfred.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special #3—and referenced in The Batman Files. Halloween. It’s Bruce’s favorite holiday! Bruce’s mom softens on her anti-Zorro stance, realizing that he loves the character so much. She allows Bruce to dress-up as Zorro for Halloween. Unfortunately, Bruce laments not being able to go trick-or-treating with his father because the latter has to work late.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #609 and Batman #615. Being the only kid not intimidated by the Wayne fortune (due to his own family’s vast fortune), Tommy Elliot approaches Bruce in school and befriends him. (Tommy’s mom and dad are famous Gotham couple, Roger Elliot and Marla Elliot.) The boys bond over their shared interest of strategy board games. They also play hide-and-seek around a graveyard. Despite Tommy being a bit off, Bruce will hang out with him quite often, moving forward. NOTE: Detective Comics #846 reveals that Tommy is two years older than Bruce.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #484 and The Batman Files. Bruce meets and befriends another son of famous Gothamites, Roman Sionis. And, like Tommy Elliot, this boy ain’t quite right in the head either. What is it with Gotham’s rich kids? Thomas Wayne and Roman’s father, Charles Sionis, head of the Janus Cosmetics empire, are golfing buddies. Bruce and Roman will hang out quite often, moving forward, but we’ll have to imagine these instances invisibly scattered throughout our timeline below.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #685 Part 2 and Detective Comics #691. Bruce picks up his dad’s sport of golfing and becomes quite good at it in his own right. Bruce will play golf on-and-off for the rest of his life, becoming quite the expert.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #678. Although much too young to drive, a fascinated Bruce gets acquainted with his father’s vast collection of antique cars, which will one day (too soon) be his.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #678. 1969. A six-year-old Bruce plays near an old dry well and falls into it. Alfred helps him get out.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Dark Victory #1. December 1969. Bruce attends one of his parents’ lavish annual Christmas parties for the first time. He will attend the Christmas party every year (albeit invisibly on our timeline) leading up to his parents’ deaths.

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1970

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: The Dark Knight #1. Bruce meets friends of the family, the Goldens: Aleister Golden and young daughter Dawn Golden. Dawn acts quite coldly at first, not giving Bruce any attention. During the summer, Bruce’s parents fly abroad, a separation that leaves Bruce heartbroken but also makes him more prepared for their upcoming deaths. When they come back, they gift him a kite, but Dawn loses it. Fighting over this, the kids manage to bond.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #406. Young Bruce learns to ski. He will ski on-and-off as a hobby, moving forward, and will become quite skilled at skiing by the time he reaches adulthood.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Journey into Knight #3. Bruce meets Wayne Enterprises executive Maurice “Maury” Sullivan.

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to Batman: Gotham Knights #20 (Batman: Black & White). Bruce befriends the children of some of his parents’ acquaintances—including a boys named Charles Morgan and Brent.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Ego. December. Bruce helps his parents with Christmas shopping. He picks out a cheesy tie for dad, and helps select a pearl necklace for mom. On X-mas day, Bruce gets a Zorro action figure. After their annual family feast, Bruce accompanies his doctor dad on a medical emergency case, during which Bruce witnesses an elderly man die of heart complications.

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1971

–REFERENCE: From Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #134. Bruce pours through the Wayne Manor library, reading books about his family tree and the history of the mansion.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: The Long Halloween #9. Seems like gangsters just love bringing their injured to Gotham’s brightest surgeon while he is at home and off the clock. Italian Mafia boss Vincent Falcone brings his bullet-wounded son Carmine “The Roman” Falcone to the steps of Wayne Manor, demanding that the doc fix him up. Dr. Wayne learns that Carmine has been shot by rival gangster Luigi Maroni. Despite reservations, Thomas saves the younger Falcone’s life. A young Bruce secretly watches. Later, Thomas reports Luigi’s attempted murder to the Gotham City Police Department (GCPD), but the corrupt cops do nothing.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #611 and The Batman Files. Bruce first learns all about the adventures of Gotham’s classic superhero, Green Lantern (Alan Scott). He also learns about the existence of the undead Solomon Grundy, a longtime city resident and arch-rival to Green Lantern. Solomon Grundy Halloween costumes are very popular in Gotham.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #611. On a visit to Metropolis, Bruce Wayne and Tommy are entranced by a glimpse of Green Lantern (Alan Scott) battling The Icicle.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Files. While his dad relaxes in an easy chair in one of Wayne Manor’s living rooms, Bruce plays with some Wild West action figures modeled off of real-life historical cowboys Jonah Hex and The Gray Ghost.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #610 and Batman #619—and referenced in Detective Comics #846 and Detective Comics #850. Hating his parents, Roger and Marla Elliot, a ten-year-old Tommy severs the brake line of their limo, causing a car accident that kills his father and puts his mother in a permanent wheelchair. Only the stellar surgical skills of Dr. Thomas Wayne prevent Marla from dying too. Only GCPD Detective Slam Bradley suspects foul play, but nothing ever comes of his brief investigation.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Journey into Knight #1—and referenced in Batman: Journey Into Knight #4 and Batman #404. Bruce becomes very upset when a new kid at school is bullied. Bruce tells his dad, who suggests writing down his thoughts as a way to solve problems and find perspective. Inspired, Bruce begins keeping a journal. The cursive font used by Bruce in Frank Miller’s “Year One” indicates that he will constantly write about everything that happens to him in his journal. This means that Bruce’s juvenilia will continue into adulthood and long into his career as a masked vigilante. Starting now, we must imagine—sprinkled invisibly throughout this entire chronology—Bruce pausing from time-to-time to log entries.)

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #846 and Batman #613. Tommy shows Bruce a jade pendant his mother gifted him. When Bruce steals it, Tommy loses control and punches Bruce until he can get the pendant back, as shown in Batman #613. This item must take place after the car accident, because Tommy’s mother gives the pendant to him when she is recovering from the crash, in Detective Comics #846.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective comics #847. Summer. While at a summer camp with Bruce, Tommy attacks a boy and ends up in a psychiatric ward. Tommy blames Bruce and his mother for his outburst. He is soon released by an intern named Jonathan Crane.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #591—and referenced in Batman #591-592. Summer. While staying at the Du Lac Resort in France, eight-year-old Bruce meets and befriends Mallory Moxon. She gives him his first kiss. Mallory’s father, a gangster named Lew Moxon, gets into an argument with Thomas Wayne.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #201. A smiling happy Bruce hangs out with this dad, who shows him how to properly tie a necktie.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #79. Bruce receives the last joint gift he will ever get from both his parents: a wooden train.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Legends of The Dark Knight #7 and Batman: Legends of The Dark Knight #9—and referenced in Batman: Legends of The Dark Knight #7-9. Early September to late October. Bruce is sent to an upstate private school, a breeding ground for scandals involving perverted teachers and bully prefects. The school is run by notorious headmaster Manfred Winchester (aka “Mr. Whisper”). Bruce hates the school and his teachers, but he befriends a boy named Robert.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #595—and referenced in The Batman Files. Originally told in Detective Comics #235. Halloween weekend—this item occurs a month before the death of the Waynes. The Waynes attend a costume party being held by the mayor. Thomas dresses as Zorro. Martha goes as Cleopatra. Bruce, home for the holiday weekend from boarding school, wears a skeleton costume. Thomas briefly leaves the party to help save the life of Lew Moxon’s nephew, who has a bullet wound from an attempted robbery. Thomas saves the man’s life but refuses to take any hush money, angering Moxon. Back at the party, Bruce, impressed by his dad’s costume, asks to see a Zorro movie next time one plays in Gotham. Note that Bruce is shown first learning about Zorro in this flashback. However, this has been retconned by several other comics. Zorro is already Bruce’s favorite character and has been for some time. The Batman Files adds a sequence to this Halloween weekend, detailing a jovial Bruce, still in his skeleton costume, carving bats into pumpkins.[5]

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Legends of The Dark Knight #7 and Batman: Legends of The Dark Knight #9—and referenced in Batman: Legends of The Dark Knight #7-9. Early to late November. After Halloween, Bruce reluctantly returns to his horrible private school. After a few weeks, Bruce’s friend Robert promptly disappears, presumably having been killed by the school’s headmaster, Manfred Winchester (aka “Mr. Whisper”). Scared, Bruce asks to leave the school, and his father arrives the following day. After talking to Winchester, Thomas figures out that Winchester has killed several children. Thomas plans to expose Winchester, but a tragedy happening the following day will prevent him from doing so. The following day, Bruce plays with his parents. Bruce’s dad suggests that they see a movie to celebrate Bruce’s return home.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Journey into Knight #4—and referenced in Batman: Journey into Knight #4. Late November—the same day of the death of the Waynes. Bruce re-dons his old Zorro costume and begins leaping off the gazebo roof, much to the chagrin of his mom. Later, Bruce meets his father’s attorney Mr. Simmonds and his young daughter Summer Skye Simmonds. Thomas delivers a business journal to Mr. Simmonds. Bruce and Summer take a strong liking to each other. Later that afternoon, Bruce receives a Zorro action figure from his father. It is the last gift he will ever get from his dad. Thomas also surprises Bruce with tickets to see the Mark of Zorro at the Monarch Theater. (Alfred has also been invited, but he opts not to come along.) Note that Journey into Knight #1 says that it is currently around Bruce’s birthday. However, this is totally false. We are not near Bruce’s birthday at all. Since this gets mentioned in a dream sequence, we have even more reason to ignore it.)

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #404, Secret Origins of the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes, Crisis on Infinite Earths #11, Batman: Dark Victory #1, Superman Vol. 2 #76, Batman #0, Detective Comics #0, Detective Comics Annual #2-3, Infinite Crisis #3, Batman #459, Batman #519, Batman #561, Batman #603-604, Batman #702 Part 5, Batman Confidential #40-43, Superman/Batman #1, Batman #608 Prologue (“The Batman: Who He is and How He Came to be”), Batman: Seduction of the Gun #1, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #139, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #202, Batman Secret Files and Origins #1 Part 1, Batman: War on Crime, Batman: Ego, and the second feature to 52 #46—and also referenced in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #1, Batman: Death and the Maidens #1, Batman: The Man Who Laughs, Nightwing #153, Batman #457, Batman #591, Batman #682, Batman #702 Part 2, the second feature to Countdown to Final Crisis #19, Batman: Journey into Knight #1, Batman: Black and White #4 Part 4, the second feature to Batman: Gotham Knights #20 (Batman: Black & White), Batman: Black and White Vol. 2 TPB Part 4, and The Batman Files. Late November.[6][7] Bruce and his parents watch The Mark of Zorro at the Monarch Theater on Park Row. Afterward, Bruce Wayne witnesses the brutal murder of his parents at the hands of Joe Chill. The quasi-canonical Batman Files reveals that Bruce holds onto his movie ticket stub, which he will keep into adulthood as a dark reminder of this fateful night.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #603 and Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #13. Late November. GCPD Detective Gary Sloan and GCPD Officer James Gordon both arrive at the murder scene, where they both take care of Bruce. Shortly thereafter, Leslie Thompkins arrives to comfort Bruce as well. Note that Jim Gordon will move to Chicago shortly after this.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #0, Batman #603, Batman #702 Part 4, Batman: Shadow of the Bat #0, Detective Comics #791, Batman: Dark Victory #1, Batman: Dark Victory #9, Infinite Crisis #6, Batman Secret Files and Origins #1 Part 1, Batman: War on Crime, Batman: Ego, and the second feature to 52 #46—and referenced in Batman Confidential #42, Batman #0, and Batman: Journey into Knight #4. Bruce attends and assists with his parents’ public funeral, which garners many visitors. Bruce, despite being devastated, doesn’t shed any tears. Nevertheless, he is consoled by many of the attendees, including Detective Gary Sloan and the creepy Carmine Falcone. Despite having met on a couple occasions before, Leslie Thompkins reintroduces herself as well. As referenced in Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #5, Bruce’s grandparents on the Kane side of the family (Elizabeth “Betsy” Kane and Roderick Kane) are at the funeral, but they have been estranged from the Wayne side of the family for some time, hence their lack of involvement in rearing the orphaned child. Likewise, as referenced in Batman #656, Bruce’s Aunt Agatha Wayne (Thomas’ sister) is also at the funeral. Bruce and Aunt Agatha will remain on good terms, moving forward, but she won’t really be around. During the funeral, Bruce cuts his hand on a pair of roses, which he places on his parents’ graves. After the funeral, Bruce stands in his parents’ bedroom and talks with Alfred. That night, Bruce has a terrible nightmare about the first time he fell into the caves beneath Wayne Manor. Bruce then makes Alfred promise not to touch a thing in his parents’ bedroom, wanting it to remain exactly as it was one the day they died. Neither Alfred nor Bruce will touch or move anything in this room for decades to come. Shortly thereafter, Bruce makes a solemn graveside vow that he will devote his life to fighting crime. Bruce reaffirms this vow later that night, by candlelight, in his room. When he learns from Leslie that the state intends to assume custody of him, Bruce forges several documents that allow him to stay in at Wayne Manor in the legal custody of Alfred and Leslie. He also pays off an official working for Child Protective Services. A reference in Detective Comics #793 also mentions that Leslie will be a caregiver to Bruce now that his parents are gone—although, Leslie won’t stay at Wayne Manor and will briefly move to Africa in a few years, making Alfred the primary caregiver. Also note that Batman Confidential #42 tells us that Bruce, unable to fully process the tragedy, won’t be able to shed any tears of sadness for his parents for quite some time following their deaths.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #591. Traumatized by his parent’s deaths, Bruce has constant nightmares. Alfred calms him by telling him there are no criminals out when it’s raining because nobody likes the rain. The date is not shown, but this placement seems appropriate. Alfred will often use this rain story to calm young Bruce, moving forward.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #791. Leslie and Alfred discuss the recent Wayne family tragedy. Alfred admits that Bruce’s cold stare frightens him, while Bruce overhears.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #5 and Superman/Batman Secret Files Part 3. Alfred takes Bruce on a several-month-long trip to California shortly after his parents’ deaths. (Marsha Lamarr says they’ve gone “to Hawaii or something,” but Superman/Batman Secret Files confirms the destination.)

–“When Clark met Bruce” by Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale (Superman/Batman Secret Files Part 3) November 2003
While Clark Kent and Pete Ross play baseball, Bruce and Alfred visit Smallville in the middle of their California road trip. (Technically, their car breaks down while passing through Smallville.) Surprised at seeing such an expensive car, Clark and Pete consider asking Bruce to join their game, but they decide against it.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #5. The grieving young Bruce continues his California road trip with Alfred.

–NOTE: In Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #4-5. While the grieving young Bruce continues his California road trip with Alfred, an amnesiac adult Bruce (aka Batman) from 2010, trapped in time and now a “living weapon” (thanks to a Hyper-Adapter trap set by Darkseid), time-jumps from the late 1800s to right now. Despite the fact that it is 1971, writer Grant Morrison honors the aesthetic of the Golden Age, painting Gotham’s citizenry in Art Deco styles and film noir fashions, explaining it by saying the city is going through a 30s/40s retro phase right at the moment. (As referenced in The Batman Files, the first thing the injured but momentarily clear-headed Bruce does in 1971 is to frantically write down all he can remember—about Simon Hurt, Jonah Hex, and his time-traveling—into the Jack Valor/Mordecai journal-diary.) The bloody Bruce, still with a bad bullet wound thanks to Hex, then scurries onto a busy street and collapses in front of a truck, which hits him. Bruce slips into unconsciousness and is taken to a hospital where he is saved but remains comatose. An amnesiac Bruce later awakens in the hospital. Marsha Lamarr, who claims to be Martha Wayne’s “best friend,” recruits Bruce, mistaking him for a John Doe, to play the role of the deceased Thomas Wayne (Bruce’s father) in a ruse that will supposedly flush out the Wayne killer. Bruce is told that he will don Thomas’ old masquerade bat-costume and is to appear at an underworld meeting at Wayne Cemetery, and all will fall into place. A nurse gives him a 30s style suit and returns his only possession, the Valor/Mordecai diary, which he realizes is in his own handwriting. Marsha and Bruce then visit Betsy Kane and Roderick Kane, with Bruce posing as a private-eye. Betsy, who has no love for the Waynes, makes wild claims that Thomas is still alive and is responsible for the execution of her daughter. Betsy also says accuses Thomas of drug-abuse, rape, and devil-worship. Roderick tries to moan out Simon Hurt’s name, but is physically incapable of doing so, since he’s been permanently injured by Hurt and confined to an iron lung. (Note that Betsy and Roderick will both die a couple years after this item, in close proximity to one another. Young Bruce will not attend their funerals.) At Wayne Manor, Bruce thinks something is fishy as he puts on the bat-costume, but Marsha distracts him with a kiss. Black Glove members assemble to perform an occult ritual. Dr. Simon Hurt, John Mayhew, Professor Carter Nichols, Commissioner Gillian Loeb (!), and Mayor Jessup are all in attendance.[8] Bruce emerges from the shadows only to be clubbed by Marsha, who reveals herself as a Black Glove member. Hurt plans to use an invention of Nichols’ to open a hole in time in order to summon the evil demon Barbatos.[9] The Black Glove has selected the amnesic Bruce as the perfect sacrifice for their Barbatos ritual since his identity is unknown and nobody will miss him. The ritual also serves a double purpose; Mayhew films the proceedings, with Marsha dressed-up and wearing a wig to look like Martha Wayne and Bruce playing the role of his masked father, to be used as false documentary evidence to smear the Waynes. After dousing Bruce with gasoline, the villains set him ablaze! However, before things get even more out-of-hand, Nichols turns his back on the Black Glove and refuses to open the time portal. A burning Bruce uses this momentary delay to snatch the device from Nichols’ hands. Bruce activates the machine and teleports to the Vanishing Point, a mere hour before the total destruction of the universe and the literal “End of Time” (somewhere around the year 100 billion).

–REFERENCE: In Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #5 and Superman #710. Shortly after the time-displaced adult Bruce leaps into the far future, young Bruce and Alfred return to Gotham from their California trip. They won’t be aware of any of the wild stuff has occurred at their home.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Confidential #42. Bruce finds a bloody bird with a hunter’s bullet in it on the outskirts of the Wayne Manor property. He tries to dig the bullet out before returning home covered in blood to the surprise of a startled Alfred. Bruce locks himself in his room and slips into a catatonic state, unable to unlock his eyes from his down feather pillow, which now reminds him of both the dead bird and his dead parents. (Note that this flashback, from Sam Kieth’s “Ghosts” storyline, is also shown in Kieth’s earlier Batman: Secrets mini-series. Unfortunately, Secrets—along with Kieth’s Batman/Lobo mini-series—is non-canon.)[10]

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Journey into Knight #3. Bruce, now much braver than when we was younger, begins exploring the caves under Wayne Manor. In his first spelunking adventure, Bruce gets bitten by bats. Despite this, Bruce will often return to traversing the underground caverns, moving forward. And he will often get gnawed-upon by bats, which builds up an immunity to their bites.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #648. Alfred begins collecting first edition books, a hobby that Bruce takes to as well. Alfred and Bruce eagerly walk to the Wayne Manor mailbox to pick up their purchases, the authenticity of which have been confirmed by a local bookstore called Wilde’s. The book collecting is the first time since the death of his parents that Bruce shows genuine joy. Alfred and Bruce will make this walk to the mailbox many times moving forward. They will collect books together for the rest of their lives.

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1972-1974

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #833. February 1972. On Bruce’s first birthday after his parents’ deaths, Zatara the Magician (Giovanni “John” Zatara) performs at the party. He worked with the Waynes on many children’s charities, so when he became a father himself he was more than willing to help children in need like Bruce. Bruce meets and befriends his young daughter Zatanna Zatara. Zatanna and Bruce will hang out from time to time and become very close.

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to Batman: Gotham Knights #20 (Batman: Black & White). Bruce begins learning gymnastics and acrobatics.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Files. A nine-year-old Bruce crashes his bike and injures himself pretty badly. Dr. Leslie Thompkins scolds Bruce and nurses him back to health.

–REFERENCE: In Starman Vol. 2 #35 Part 1. Despite the tangential trauma attached to film because of his parents’ movie theater deaths, Bruce still really enjoys watching movies. In fact, cinema now becomes one of young Bruce’s passions and it will be a hobby for the rest of his life.

–FLASHBACK: From the second feature to Batman: Gotham Knights #1 (Batman: Black & White). Bruce takes apart a calculator in order to learn how it works.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #592. Summer 1972. The summer following the Wayne deaths, Bruce is forced to attend the Du Lac Resort again, where he sees Mallory Moxon again. She tries to cheer him up throughout the rest of the summer, to no avail.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Gotham Knights #7. Leslie visits Bruce and checks him for a fever.

–FLASHBACK: From the second feature to Batman: Gotham Knights #20 (Batman: Black & White). February 1973. Bruce continues exploring the caves beneath Wayne Manor. He also begins hearing and talking to a challenging but inspirational voice while wandering in the darkness below. Unbeknown to Bruce, the voice he hears is none other than an adult version of himself—i.e. a time-traveling Batman from 2005! Yes, writer Julius Schwartz leaves his indelible mark on the Modern Age by having Batman paradoxically help inspire himself to become a vigilante superhero. Alfred catches young Bruce on one of his spelunking trips, making the boy promise not to go down there alone anymore. Shortly thereafter, a big birthday bash is held for Bruce at Wayne Manor. Bored, Bruce ducks out and runs through the caves beneath the mansion again. A time-traveling Batman once again speaks to Bruce from the shadows. As before, Alfred finds Bruce, bringing him back to the party to open gifts.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #792. Leslie leaves for Africa to dedicate herself to her clinic full-time. Bruce attempts to change her mind, but she knows Gotham will be taken care of as long as Bruce is there.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #792 and The Batman Files. Despite only being eleven-years-old, Bruce picks up several fighting styles, teaching himself boxing and mixed martial arts. He also begins meditating and taking art classes. Moving forward, Bruce will continuously train and study, methodically perfecting his craft in each field.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #792. Summer 1974. The summer before his 12th birthday, Bruce travels to Africa to visit Leslie. Her clinic is attacked by the military, and Bruce attempts to stop them, but he’s too inexperienced and too little. In the end, Alfred saves the day, and Leslie returns to Gotham within a year.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #614. An eleven-year-old Bruce begins attending one of the most expensive private academies in Gotham. He also begins studying with the best private tutors.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Secret Files and Origins #1 Part 1. Late November 1974. On the anniversary of his parents’ deaths, eleven-year-old Bruce visits Crime Alley (formerly known as Park Row) to pay his respects, leaving a two roses on the ground.

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1975-1976

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #0, Detective Comics #614, and the second feature to 52 #46. Bruce, now 12-years-old, continues his studies at one of the most expensive academies in Gotham. He studies with the best private tutors, learning the Classics in Latin and Greek. At Wayne Manor, the extremely bookish Bruce takes up chemistry, yoga, collecting and listening to opera records, and model rocketry as his primary hobbies. His primary focus above all else, however, is criminology. Bruce also begins working out in the gym.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #614. Late November 1975. On the anniversary of his parents’ deaths, twelve-year-old Bruce visits Crime Alley to pay his respects, leaving a single rose on the ground. While there, young Bruce is accosted by members of The Street Demonz, one of Gotham’s most notorious and longest-running biker gangs. The Street Demonz beat up Bruce, but he gets saved by a homeless bag lady. Alfred then picks up Bruce.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #696. Bruce, old enough to take stock in his parents’ material belongings and in his future estate, familiarizes himself with the lavish items in Wayne Manor. Bruce will begin studying design, fashion, the history of furniture styles, and antique appraising. Like all of his other interests, Bruce will eventually become an expert in all of these things.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Shadow of the Bat #0. A thirteen-year-old Bruce obsessively goes to the gym and library. He teaches himself how to read lips from a how-to book.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #404, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #172, The Long Halloween, Batman: Journey into Knight #1, Batman: Journey into Knight #4, and The Batman Files—originally told via reference in the non-canonical Two-Face: Year One #1-2. September to November 1976. (While Two-Face: Year One #1-2 is totally out-of-continuity due to multiple errors within its main narrative, all flashbacks and references from Two-Face Year One—in regard to Harvey Dent’s past—are legitimate, but only as properly filtered through the canonical lens of other titles.) In September, thirteen-year-old Bruce leaves the cocoon of Wayne Manor to begin attending yet another of Gotham’s most expensive schools: Gotham Preparatory School for Boys. There, Bruce bunks with fourteen-year-old Harvey Dent, who becomes a close friend that will help him through the good times and the bad.[11] Bruce purchases a grappling gun and begins using it to sneak around campus at night to train, usually while avoiding security guards, doing this practice for months. During this time, Bruce also studies under several local private tutors and will take sporadic monthlong sabbaticals to travel across America as well.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #614. Late November 1976. On the anniversary of his parents’ deaths, thirteen-year-old Bruce again visits Crime Alley to pay his respects, leaving a single rose on the ground.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #404, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #172, and The Batman Files—originally told via reference in the non-canonical Two-Face: Year One #1-2. Late November to December 1976. (This item is based off references that originated in Two-Face: Year One #1-2, which, as stated above, is totally out-of-continuity. Thanks to connection to other titles, the details of Harvey Dent’s past from Two-Face: Year One have been canonized.) Thirteen-year-old Bruce continues his studies at Gotham Preparatory School for Boys. His friendship with Harvey Dent continues to bloom. He also continues journaling, training sneaking around campus using his grappling gun, studying with private tutors, and taking short trips across the country. Bruce’s school days will continue much like this until June of 1977.

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1977-1980

–FLASHBACK: From Secret Origins of the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes, Detective Comics Annual #2, Batman Secret Files and Origins #1 Part 1, Batman #0, Batman: Shadow of the Bat #0, Batman: Gotham Knights #7, the second feature to Batman: Gotham Knights #1 (Batman: Black & White), Batman #433-435, and the second feature to 52 #46—and also referenced in Batman: The Dark Knight #1, Batman: Black and White Vol. 2 TPB Part 3, and The Batman Files. June 1977 to 1980. In June of 1977, a fourteen-year-old Bruce forges documents allowing him to quit school and leave the country, thus beginning his global quest to become a vigilante social justice warrior. (Batman Secret Files and Origins #1 contains a rather bogus Bat-timeline that incorrectly says Bruce leaves to train abroad at age 18.) After an initial stay in Japan, young Bruce (using fake IDs that make him seem older) audits classes at several colleges, including Cambridge, Oxford, the Sorbonne, the Berlin School of Science, and nearly a dozen others. At some point during his various college forays, Bruce turns sixteen-years-old and learns to drive. As referenced in Batman: The Dark Knight #1, while attending one of these colleges, Bruce also dates and gets his heart broken by Dawn Golden. And as referenced in Batman: Black and White Vol. 2 TPB Part 3, Bruce also meets and briefly dates med student Robbin Carnahan while attending school. Bruce and Robbin will remain lifelong friends, and while we won’t see it on our timeline ahead, Bruce will always keep in constant touch with her. (Shadow of the Bat #0 shows Bruce in flagrante with an unspecified female in Paris, which we can assume—retroactively—is either Dawn or Robbin.) During this time period, Bruce also seeks private tutoring from Europe’s greatest experts in such subjects such as gymnastics (with Peter Allison), toxicology (with Aurelius Boch), chemistry (with Kingsley and Webber), electronics (with Campbell), mountain climbing (with an unnamed master), and several others. (Bruce’s collegiate education can be seen in Secret Origins of the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes, Shadow of the Bat #0, and Batman: Gotham Knights #7, while his alternative teachers can be seen in both Shadow of the Bat #0, Batman #433-435, and Detective Comics Annual #2. The second feature to Gotham Knights #1 also shows Bruce training in trapeze as part of his gymnastics course. Also note that Bruce, despite being abroad, will closely follow Harvey Dent’s academic career and burgeoning political career. Bruce puts in a long-distance good word for Harvey, which leads to him getting a Wayne Foundation scholarship to undergraduate and law school.

–REFERENCE: In JLA Classified #16, Detective Comics #614, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #8, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #52, Batman Confidential #32, Batman Confidential #50, Detective Comics Annual #12, Batman #426, Batman #472, Batman #608, and Batman: Toyman #1. Having already mastered Greek and Latin (as referenced in Detective Comics #614), Bruce begins studying a variety of other languages. Bruce will learn many languages everywhere he goes over the course of the next decade-plus. He will become fluent in Spanish (as referenced in JLA Classified #16), German (as referenced in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #8), Russian (as referenced in Batman Confidential #32), Portuguese (as referenced in Batman #472), Arabic (as referenced in Detective Comics Annual #12), Farsi (as referenced in Batman #426), Chinese (Mandarin and other dialects) (as referenced in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #52 and Batman Confidential #50), Morse Code (as referenced in Batman #608), and American Sign Language (as referenced in Batman: Toyman #1). Robert Greenberger’s comprehensive (although not necessarily canon) Essential Batman Encyclopedia (2008) also includes French, Japanese, Kryptonian, Eskimo (Inuit), and Tibetan to Bruce’s list of spoken languages.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #681. Bruce studies toxicology, learning about poisons and creating their antidotes. He also begins working to make himself immune to as many poisons as possible—a task that will continue for the entire course of his life. (As Batman, Bruce will get poisoned and endure various toxins from super-villains galore, which will only serve to enhance his knowledge of poisons and increase his overall immunity to a number of toxins as well.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman Secret Files and Origins #1 Part 1. Bruce learns first aid and CPR.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #734 and Batman #605. Bruce trains in combat under David Cain—whom he leaves after discovering that Cain wants him to become a killer.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Secret Files and Origins #1 Part 1. Bruce briefly studies with Scotland Yard detectives at New Scotland Yard in London.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Secret Files and Origins #1 Part 1—and referenced in Detective Comics #569, Detective Comics #734, Detective Comics #827, Justice League: Black Baptism #2. Bruce is trained in ventriloquism and escape artistry under Zatara the Magician. Zatara also teaches Bruce about the occult. It is around this time that Bruce learns various other methods of escapology as well.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics Annual #2. Despite hating guns, Bruce learns how to shoot one at a firing range.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #599 and Detective Comics Annual #2. 1980. A seventeen-year-old Bruce trains with martial arts expert Chu Chin Li and his students in China. Afterward, Chu Chin Li points Bruce in the direction of master detective Harvey Harris.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics Annual #2—and also referenced in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #4 and The Batman Files. 1980. Bruce goes to Huntsville, Alabama for an apprenticeship under Harvey Harris, an old acquaintance of Chu Chin Li. Using the false name “Frank Dixon,” Bruce studies with Harris and helps him work a multiple murder case. Bruce’s time with Harris is cut short, however, when Harris is killed by serial killer and KKK-member Ben Carr. Before leaving Huntsville, Bruce breaks into the police department and steals all photos of himself. He also takes a small gold cross, evidence from the Carr case, as a memento, which he will keep into adulthood.

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1981

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #5 and Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Annual #7. At age 18, Bruce earns a pilot’s license. He also learns airplane mechanics, repair, and engineering. While not specifically noted via this reference, we can assume that Bruce now also learns to skydive and how to use a parachute as well.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Secret Files and Origins #1 Part 1. Bruce does unspecified training in Zurich.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Secret Files and Origins #1 Part 1. Bruce does unspecified training in Wakefield (West Yorkshire), England.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Secret Files and Origins #1 Part 1. Bruce does unspecified training in Rome.

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1982

–REFERENCE: Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #5. A year has passed since Bruce obtained his pilot’s license. Bruce now gets qualified to fly jets. While not specifically noted via this reference, we can also assume that Bruce now learns to operate boats, submarines, and helicopters as well.

–FLASHBACK: From the second feature to Batman: Gotham Knights #1 (Batman: Black & White). Bruce studies in the morgue and learns how to perform autopsies and coroner analysis related to different types of wounds.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: War on Crime and Batman #608 Prologue (“The Batman: Who He is, and How He Came to be”). Bruce, being quite autodidactic, begins studying chemistry on his own. He also continues hitting the gym constantly. NOTE: While not linked to any specific issue (but instead generally acknowledged and made obvious in dozens of arcs), the polymathic Bruce also begins studying physics, biology, medicine, carpentry, architecture, industrial design, auto mechanics, and nearly all forms of engineering. He will become a master in almost all of these fields.

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1983

–FLASHBACK: From Secret Origins of the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes and Batman: Shadow of the Bat #0. At age 20, Bruce visits New York City and tries to join the FBI. He scores perfectly on every test except gun handling, so he gets a desk job. Unsatisfied, Bruce quits after six weeks and heads East.

–REFERENCE: From Batman: The Long Halloween—originally told via flashback from the non-canonical Two-Face: Year One #1-2. Bruce appears briefly in Gotham to see Harvey Dent as he’s finishing law school. Harvey shows off his nasty side, punching out rival Mort Weinstein. Harvey’s classmate Vernon Fields is also present.

–FLASHBACK: In Batman: Ego. Bruce, presumably still home on his quick trip to see best pal Harvey Dent, goes to a party with him.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #589. Bruce studies under FBI Agent Arthur McKee, learning about the importance of maintaining a criminal alias.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Secret Files and Origins #1 Part 1. Bruce continues his training. He goes mountain climbing in Nepal and later brushes up on his chemistry lessons.

–FLASHBACK: From Secret Origins of the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes, Batman #0, Batman Secret Files and Origins #1 Part 1, and Batman #431—and referenced in Batman: Shadow of the Bat #0. After heading East, Bruce first stops in Korea where he visits the Paektu-San Mountains to train with master Kirigi for nearly a year, learning karate and other martial arts along with the master’s other students. Bruce doesn’t know Kirigi is also a trainer for Ra’s al Ghul‘s League of Assassins. (Ra’s al Ghul aka “The Demon’s Head” is an immortal international terrorist. Sometimes his name is also spelled-out with random macrons, like “Rā’s al Ghūl” or “Ra’s al Ghūl.” In the Silver Age, it was only ever spelled one way, with two macrons, as such: “Rā’s al Ghūl.”) Many of the martial arts techniques that Bruce learns from Kirigi are fatal, but he will tweak them to make them non-lethal. Note that Secret Origins of the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes places this item here, hence placement here, but Batman #431 gives an incorrect “ten years prior to Bat Year 12” label that must be ignored.

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1984-1988

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Shadow of the Bat #0. Bruce’s training continues as he learns the following: savate from a convicted killer living as a beach bum on an island off Borneo; judo and jiu-jitsu after spending six months in a Japanese hermitage; hunting and tracking in Africa with unnamed bushmen; how to employ psychology and how to use the shadows by ninjas in an unknown Asian locale; and knife-handling with an unknown teacher. Bruce also begins learning stealth techniques and some spy-craft. Scott Beatty’s quasi-canonical Batman: The Ultimate Guide to the Dark Knight (2005) also lists Bruce learning healing arts from monks, how to use bolas from cattlemen, and how to use blowpipes from Yanomami Hunters. Bruce will study many different martial arts forms and also go through generalized military-style training, all of which we won’t necessarily see on our timeline below. Batman: The Ultimate Guide to the Dark Knight also says, “There are 127 major styles of combat. While abroad, Bruce learned them all, from aikido to yaw-yan. His knowledge of so many varied disciplines has made Bruce an unconventional and unpredictable opponent, quite capable of countering a savate kick with a capoeira dodge, then kayoing with a paw-knuckle strike!” It’s ludicrous to believe that Bruce could learn all 127 fighting styles (or that he’d even want to). It is possible that Bruce combines bits and pieces from all 127 styles while mastering a selection. Therefore, Beatty’s “127” comment should be regarded as an exaggeration, although we can probably add the specific styles mentioned—aikido, yaw-yan, and capoeira—to Bruce’s repertoire. Scott Beatty seems to clarify his “127” comment in his other quasi-canonical tome, The Batman Handbook: The Ultimate Training Manual (2005), listing ten martial arts that Bruce masters. The list includes aikido, boxing, capoeira, hapkido, judo, jujitsu (jiu-jitsu), karate, krav maga, kung fu, and savate. This tells us that Beatty meant that Bruce studies in all martial arts styles while mastering a selection. Daniel Wallace’s quasi-canonical Batman: The World of the Dark Knight (2012) specifically lists Bruce’s mastery of fourteen martial arts: shotokan karate, capoeira, savate, western boxing, muay thai, wing chun kung fu, Okinawan goju-ryu karate, panantukan, judo, Brazilian jiu-jutsu (jiu-jitsu), sambo, fencing, kobudo, and escrima/kali. There are several others we’ll see listed below. A reference in Robin Vol. 2 #124 throws gatka, kallari, payattu, and verumkai into the mix. Batman #663 mentions silat. Batman Confidential #14 mentions tán tuǐ and wushu (Chinese kung fu). Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #205 mentions dim mak (touch of death). Overall, we have a handful of fairly contradictory and/or overlapping lists. Suffice to say, Bruce will study just about every martial art there is, mastering a handful of them.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #401. Bruce learns how to throw boomerangs and shurikens.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics Annual #3. Bruce trains with with yakuza sword-smith Tsunetomo in Tokyo.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #600 and Secret Origins of the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes. Bruce begins training in the art of tracking with Henri Ducard in Paris.

–REFERENCE: In Batman and the Outsiders Annual #2. Bruce begins studying military history.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special #3—and also referenced in The Batman Files. While in Paris, Bruce meets Lucius Fox, saving him from some muggers and then dining with him.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #600 and Secret Origins of the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes. Bruce ends his training with Henri Ducard and leaves France, deciding that Ducard is too amoral.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #435. Bruce Wayne begins a roundabout journey back to the Far East, along the way learning esoteric arts in India from Shastri, a snake handler.

–REFERENCE: In Robin Vol. 2 #124. In India, Bruce trains in local fighting styles including: gatka, kallari, payattu, and verumkai.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Confidential #50-54. Bruce trains in China, where he follows the trail of a serial killer named Huairen. Huairen actually manages to kill Bruce, but he’s resurrected by a metahuman named Ri. Bruce joins Ri’s movement to take down Huairen, a team called The Zhuguan (the Chinese version of the Justice League, which pre-dates the existence of the JLA). As a member of the Zhuguan, Bruce drinks from a magickal elixir that grants him temporary super-powers. Calling himself “Hei An Wushuh” (aka “The Dark Knight”) after gaining the power to become invisible in the dark, Bruce joins the Zhuguan in battle to take down Huairen. During this period, Bruce learns the usefulness of fighting on a team and further improves his throwing-weapon skills using proto-Batarangs. However, when he learns the metapower elixir is made out of opium and creates an addiction, Bruce decides to quit and continue his path alone.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #663. Bruce studies with the Lamas of Nanda Parbat. (Note that Batman #663 is technically non-canon, but there’s really no reason that this specific reference to the Lamas can’t stay.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #52-53 and Batman: Shadow of the Bat #0. Bruce travels to the Tangula Shan Mountains near the border of China and Tibet to learn the secrets of Taoism (and hang-gliding) under the Chinese monk Shao-La. He also learns about the Tao from an old woman in China as well.

–FLASHBACK: From Richard Dragon #7—and also referenced in Richard Dragon #3. Batman trains with kung fu master Richard Dragon.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Confidential #14. In China, Bruce learns tán tuǐ and wushu (Chinese kung fu). It’s possible this is connected to his Richard Dragon lessons.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #205. Bruce learns the martial arts technique known as dim mak, also known as the touch of death.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #663. Bruce travels to Indonesia to learn silat. (Again, note that Batman #663 is technically non-canon, but there’s really no reason that this specific reference can’t stay.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman #435. Bruce seeks out and trains with additional tutors in a wide range of disciplines. He studies with experts in fields as diverse as car racing (with Mark Jenner), explosives (with Frederick Stone), archery (with Raphael DiGiorda) and bodybuilding (with LaSalle).

–FLASHBACK: From Robin Vol. 2 #31—and referenced in All-Star Comics 80-Page Giant. Bruce learns boxing from Wildcat (Ted Grant).

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to Batman: Gotham Knights #29 (Batman: Black & White). Bruce studies escapology under Max Dodge.

–FLASHBACK: From The Batman Chronicles #6 Part 2. Bruce, using his “Frank Dixon” moniker, learns detective work from Dan Mallory.

–FLASHBACK: From the second feature to Batman: Gotham Knights #1 (Batman: Black & White). Bruce learns secret fighting techniques, specifically how to kick through tree trunks, from an unknown master martial artist.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Files. Bruce learns a rare martial arts style in Kenya.

–REFERENCE: In 52 #30, Batman #673, and Superman #710. Bruce trains in North Africa with The Ten-Eyed Tribes of the Empty Quarter (aka “The Ghost Tribes of The Ten-Eyed Brotherhood”). He learns how to defeat his inner demons, but it almost costs him his life. Superman #710. tells us this training takes three months, whereas Batman #673 tells us this training takes six months. Split the difference and say four-and-a-half months?

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Files. Bruce learns how to tame lions at the traveling Hill’s Circus (aka Hills Brothers Circus). Boston Brand and his twin brother Cleveland Brand are the star trapeze artists at Hill’s Circus. On occasion, the Flying Graysons perform for the Hills Brothers, although their primary gig is at Haly’s Circus. In any case, Bruce doesn’t meet the Flying Graysons or the Brands at this time.

–FLASHBACK: From Secret Origins of the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes and Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #1—and also referenced in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #3-4. December 1987.[12] Bruce parachutes into North Alaska and then dog sleds and hikes through the icy wilderness to find bounty hunter Willy Doggett. Upon finding the elusive Doggett, Bruce gets a two-day crash course in manhunting and survival techniques. While tracking the killer Thomas Woodley, Doggett is murdered and Bruce gets lost in the mountains. Bruce is saved by members of the Alaskan Native Otter Ridge Tribe, remaining with their shaman and his granddaughter in recovery for a couple weeks. (Unknown to Bruce, the tribe also saves Woodley. Although, the granddaughter references “the other man” i.e. Woodley, but Bruce doesn’t even bat an eye at this, which is odd for a detective-in-training.) The shaman, in tune with the cosmic beyond, links Bruce to a Native American bat myth. The shaman tells Bruce an ancient bat folktale, hinting at his future to come. After recovery, Bruce invites the granddaughter to live in Gotham on his dime, but she turns him down. Keeping his Davy Crockett suede fringe jacket as a memento, Bruce departs.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #5. Bruce meets down-and-out banker Carl Fisk, who is nearing bankruptcy.

–REFERENCE: In Superman #710. Bruce studies with the Rhana Bhutra of Bhutran. When the Bhutra dies, his daughter asks help to Bruce and to reporter Clark Kent to help her face the army of Vandal Savage. In this adventure, Bruce first uses bats as a psychological weapon. He also sees the advantages of working with a partner.

–REFERENCE: In The Man of Steel #3. Late September 1988.[13] Clark Kent (Kal-El) debuts in Metropolis as Superman, the Kryptonian “Man of Steel.” Bruce reads about the new superhero’s amazing debut. He will research and study Superman as much as possible from now onward.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Files. Bruce goes to Washington DC where he weight trains with coaches Christian Fox and Jessica Fox.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #848-849—and also referenced in Detective Comics #850 and Batman Annual #13 Part 2. Early December 1988. Bruce returns to Gotham to attend a holiday charity ball. There, he chats with childhood friend Tommy Elliot (who will become the villain Hush years from now) and Tommy’s overbearing elderly mother Marla Elliot, who absolutely adores Bruce. (Tommy will murder his mother a few months from now.) Also present at the party: a teenage Peyton Riley (who will become the second Ventriloquist years from now). Tommy and Peyton meet and immediately begin dating. We can assume that Bruce also befriends the acquaintances we will see in Batman Annual #13 Part 2 during this brief hiatus in his training. These folks, Patti and two unnamed others, are definitely close to an adult Bruce since they will be quite familiar with his adult voice, hence linking their involvement in Bruce’s life to this particular item on our chronology. It is also possible, of course, that bruce has known the Patti trio since childhood.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Shadow of the Bat #0. Early December 1988. While in Gotham, likely at the very same charity ball as shown in our previous item, Bruce becomes extremely annoyed at the banality of everyone present. The restless young man plans his post haste departure to return to training.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #3. Bruce travels to (and likely trains in) Cairo. There, he obtains a suitcase with a secret spy compartment hidden in its false bottom. Bruce ships this home to Gotham.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #1. Bruce visits London and purchases some old criminology books, including a book by Sir Maxwell Floppy, which includes the quote: “Criminals are a cowardly and superstitious lot.” Bruce has the books shipped to Wayne Manor.

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  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: Some very important rules before we get going on the amazing and detailed Modern Age Salad Days section compiled by Martin Lel. Flashbacks are included in a specific way. If a flashback is first revealed—let’s say in Bat Year 15, hypothetically—the flashback may or may not be mentioned in Bat Year 15, but the actual events that occur in said flashback will be placed one the timeline exactly when they originally occurred through bullets listed as “flashback.”  Similarly, story references will be listed as unnumbered bullet “references.” Therefore, any “references” or “flashbacks” occur chronologically at the spot where they are situated on the timeline. Any character names (or group names) highlighted in red denote the first appearance of a reoccurring character (or group). Some of these red items may appear only once in the Bat-verse, but appear elsewhere throughout the DCU, which is why they have been highlighted as well.

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

  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: What is the rule when it comes to addressing retcons while building our timeline? Can narrative be canonized piecemeal from within a single comic? And how do we know a retcon when we see one? My timeline-building methodology doesn’t generally involve picking and choosing pieces of individual comics. Typically, a full issue is either canon or it isn’t. The only time pieces of a single comic get added are via reference (or the occasional dreaded out-and-out retcon). It’s up to the reader to make things fit into the greater puzzle—either by fanwank or caveat citing a retcon/irreconcilable difference. It’s certainly not an exact science—and I’m sure I break my own rules every now and again. But I really try not to. Later issues can retcon pieces of prior issues i.e. The Man Who Laughs (2005) retconning the end of Miller’s “Year One” (1987). But prior issues trumping later issues doesn’t usually happen. An exception to this rule would apply to retcons from later published material that is quasi-canonical in nature i.e. the The Batman Files. Here’s the big thing to remember: Not everything contradictory that is written later is meant to be a retcon. Some writers simply make mistakes! It’s up to the reader to determine what is a retcon versus what is a continuity error. In this way, we have a loophole to all of our aforementioned edicts. It’s a difficult process determining what is or isn’t a retcon, and, as said before, it certainly isn’t an exact science with hard rules. Thus, we get caveats that say what needs to be ignored. Honestly, the continuity game is a mug’s game. As stated above, the idea is simply to come up with the best (most sensible) reading order. In my practice, I’ve tried to do this while simultaneously providing detailed explanations into my thinking.
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: The long-running Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight series features 215 issues, seven annuals, and a few specials. The entire idea behind the series was to tell stories that could either fall into the category of canon or non-canon. Originally, most of the stories filled the gaps of first five or first ten years of Batman’s career as a crime-fighter, but as the series went on, later stories and crossovers began to appear. There is no official document that says which LOTDK issues are canon and which are not. And lots of LOTDK issues are highly debatable. However, this is the list of issues that are NOT CANON, according to the Real Batman Chronology Project.

    –Madness: A LOTDK Halloween Special
    –Ghosts: A LOTDK Halloween Special

    –Annual #2
    –Annual #4
    –Annual #6
    –LOTDK #28-30
    –LOTDK #35-36

    –LOTDK #41
    –LOTDK #46-50
    –LOTDK #55-57
    –LOTDK #71-73
    –LOTDK #86-90
    –LOTDK #94
    –LOTDK #100
    –LOTDK #101
    is canon, but does not feature Batman
    –LOTDK #109-111
    –LOTDK #127-131
    –LOTDK #162-163
    –LOTDK #192-196
    –LOTDK #214
    is meant to be canon, but has so many errors it really can’t be

  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER / ANTHONY FALLONE: Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Special #2 – Madness by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale (1994) contains flashbacks to Bruce’s parents being killed and flashbacks to Bruce’s mom reading him his favorite story: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. While there’s nothing wrong with these flashbacks, the main action of Madness is non-canon. Therefore, I have regarded these flashbacks as non-canon as well. Madness is non-canon for containing a few flubs within the narrative of its main action. First, Leslie Thompkins doesn’t know Bruce is Batman, but she should already know his secret identity. Second, James Gordon Junior is still a baby when he should be around four or five-years-old (at least based upon how my chronology is structured). Third, it’s hard to connect the main action’s topical nature (Halloween) with the time period shortly after Babs is adopted by Jim (the juncture at which the main action is supposedly set). And fourth, a bunch of Legends of the Dark Knight issues were specifically meant to be non-canon, and Madness seems to fit squarely into this category. However, if you’d like to include young Bruce digging some Lewis Carroll into your own personal headcanon, feel free!
  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: In the Golden Age and Silver/Bronze Age, when Bruce is a little boy, Thomas Wayne wears a bat-costume to a masquerade that bullet-riddled gangster Lew Moxon crashes. Bruce’s father expertly saves Moxon’s life, but immediately sells him out to the cops, an act that leads to the hiring of Joe Chill. You know the rest of that story. However, the Modern Age is a bit more complicated. In the Modern Age, Thomas wears the bat-costume at a masquerade prior to Bruce’s birth. At this masquerade, Thomas punches-out a jerky Colonel Brass. It is not until a later masquerade—which young Bruce is present for—where Thomas deals with Lew Moxon. At the second masquerade, Thomas wears a Zorro costume and saves the life of Lew Moxon’s nephew. After refusing to accept hush money, Moxon makes a threat to hire a hitman, but it never winds up happening. In the New 52, continuity returns to Bruce being present at the party where Thomas wears the bat-costume and saves Moxon’s life. However, New 52 canon gets rid of the Joe Chill hiring.
  6. [6]COLLIN COLSHER: How do we know the late November date of the Wayne murders? Let’s look at the in-comic Modern Age mentions.

    –Batman #408 (1987) says June 26.
    –Death and the Maidens #1 (2003) says autumn.
    –Nightwing #153
    (2009) says autumn.
    –The Batman Files (2011) says June 26.

    Tally it up and you have two June 26 mentions and three autumn mentions. The June 26 mentions mirror the Silver Age Wayne death date taken from Batman Special #1 (1984). The autumn mentions seem to mirror references from Superboy #182 (1972)—which says November 25—and Detective Comics #500 (1981)—which says November 26. But let’s dig deeper.

    First, Batman #408 is technically non-canon thanks to retcons from “Nightwing: Year One.” Second, The Batman Files is a quasi-canonical recap of the entire Modern Age, containing some errors. This means the June 26 references are both coming from dubious source material. In contrast, the autumn mentions, while admittedly referencing odd Silver Age sources, come from definitively-canonical Modern Age comics. This tells me that the Modern Age Wayne death date should probably be in autumn. But let’s dig even deeper.

    Somewhere right around original Crisis time—(both before and after 1985-1986)—DC editorial had the Wayne deaths marked as June 26 for the new Modern Age, reflecting previous continuity. This even seems to have been the case all the way through and leading up to Zero Hour (1994). But it looks like the autumn date was settled upon after that, a quieter aspect of the other larger Zero Hour retcons. Essentially, the Waynes didn’t have a specific death date until 1971, after which followed confusion as to whether it was summer or autumn. In 1984, it was cemented as June 26, and it remained as such until Zero Hour in 1994, at which point it changed to autumn. And autumn it would stay. (The quasi-canonical Batman Files, as mentioned above, muddied the water with a final June 26 reference around the time the Modern Age was ending in 2011.) In any case, it’s entirely up to you to decide your own headcanon. Interestingly, neither June 26 nor autumn are incorrect. However, I’ve gone with autumn since it exists as the final reflection of continuity for our post-Zero Hour Modern Age chronology. But is it November 25 or November 26 like the Silver Age autumn references? Or even something else? Journey into Knight #4 tells us the Wayne murders happen on a Saturday, which hints specifically at November 27, 1971! While this is likely the correct date, I’ve played it safe and gone ballpark with “late November.” (Also note that Journey into Knight #1 makes the ludicrous claim—via a dream sequence—that Bruce’s parents are killed sometime around Bruce’s birthday. This must be summarily ignored.)

  7. [7]COLLIN COLSHER: Bruce is eight-years-old when his parents die. Frank Miller’s “Batman: Year One” (Batman #404) establishes that Bruce Wayne is twenty-five-years-old when he arrives in Gotham in January 4, beginning his in-costume Batman career around early April (at age 26). In Batman #404, Bruce (age 26) states that parents died eighteen years prior, thus making him eight-years-old at the time of the tragedy. The Zero Hour #0 timeline specifically says he is eight-years-old. Superman/Batman Secret Files and Origins 2003 confirms the Zero Hour timeline, also saying eight-years-old. Likewise, Secret Origins of the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes says Bruce is eight-years-old. As do Batman Secret Files and Origins #1 Part 5, Batman: War on Crime, and Batman: Gotham Knights #8. In Batman: Black and White #3 Part 5, Denny O’Neil hints at age eight. The only other specific mention of Bruce’s age at the time of his parents’ deaths in the Modern Age also comes from Miller’s “Year One” (Batman #406), but it is contradictory! Sarah Essen incorrectly tells Jim Gordon that Bruce was six-years-old when his folks died.

    Notably, the New 52’s Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #13, which is meant to co-exist in the Modern Age, incorrectly says Bruce was ten-years-old. (Ten is correct in the New 52.) The quasi-canonical Batman Files is also wrong, saying he was around age six or seven. Journey into Knight #4 shows an unreliable source incorrectly guessing that Bruce was nine-years-old. Furthermore, Journey into Knight #10 says that Bruce becomes Batman less than a decade after his parents die, implying that they were killed in 1979 instead of 1971, which is so ludicrous it is laughable.

    In the end, the eight-year-old mark still has by far the most instances of reference (eight, specifically), therefore holding the most weight.

  8. [8]PURPLEGLOVEZ (TIPTUP JR 94) / COLLIN COLSHER: The first (and only) appearance of Mayor Jessup seems like an opportune moment to run down Gotham’s mayors before Batman’ debut. Theodore Cobblepot, great grandfather of the Penguin, was mayor in the late 19th century, according to the Gotham Underground series, as well as Gates of Gotham and The New 52 All-Star Western. In James Tynion IV’s Batman and Robin #23.2, an unnamed mayor runs afoul of the Court of Owls in 1914 and is presumably killed by them. Archibald Brewster served as a well-renowned mayor during the Great Depression (per West End Games’ fabulous Daily Planet Guide to Gotham City). Thorndike was killed by the Made of Wood killer in 1948 when Alan Scott’s Green Lantern roamed Gotham, as revealed in Ed Brubaker’s Detective Comics #784-786Aubrey James was an associate of Thomas Wayne who was stabbed to death, according to Legends of the Dark Knight #204-206. Jessop was in office during and after the Wayne murders, per Morrison’s Return of Bruce Wayne #5. It is debatable whether or not there is another mayor (or mayors) after Jessop. The famous dinner scene at the mayor’s house in Frank Miller’s “Year One” (1987’s Batman #405) shows a person barely able to feed himself i.e. a puppet being controlled by Carmine Falcone. According to Miller’s original script, this was meant to be Mayor Falcone, the mayor prior to (and at the time of) Batman’s debut. Alan Brennert’s Black Canary story in Secret Origins Vol. 2 #50 (1990) gives the mayor’s name specifically as “Falcone” as well, likely basing this off of Miller’s script. From 1987 through 1996, Carmine Falcone’s real name was never known. In “Year One,” he is only referred to as “The Roman.” It isn’t until The Long Halloween in 1996 that Jeph Loeb names him “Carmine Falcone!” In many other issues, Wilson Klass is mentioned (and seen) as Gotham’s mayor during “Year One.” So, we can either assume that the mayor at the time of Batman’s debut is an unnamed Falcone that is quickly followed by Klass due to a mid-term death or resignation—or we can take the Falcone references as non-canon, meaning that the aforementioned dinner guest is just a random guy and Klass is there but off-panel.
  9. [9]COLLIN COLSHER: Who is this Barbatos with whom Simon Hurt is so obsessed? Barbatos aka Barbathos is a demon from Hell, appearing from 1994 through 2000 as a rival to Tim Hunter in Books of Magic Vol. 2. In fact, Barbatos is pretty high up on the underworld totem pole, serving as a Grand Duke of the Ninth Circle of Hell. A second Barbatos, as detailed in Dark Nights: Metal (2017-2018) and Justice League Vol. 4 (2019), also exists—a part-demiurge of the multiverse and the demon-god ruler of the Dark Multiverse. (It’s possible that the Grand Duke is an emanation of the demon-god, thus linking the two together, but there’s no way of knowing for certain.) Simon Hurt, while obsessed with the Grand Duke version of Barbatos, will never actually manage to summon the legit demon. Instead, he will eventually meet Darkseid’s Hyper-Adapter in bat form, which he incorrectly mistakes for the Grand Duke. But we’ll get to the Hyper-Adapter later. Because Hurt never actually meets a real Barbatos (nor will he ever), I haven’t highlighted Barbatos in bold red (which denotes characters’ first appearances on my chronology) here.

    I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Silver/Bronze Age’s Gitchka, a giant evil Navajo bat-demon-god with a reverse-swastika emblazoned on its chest (from World’s Finest Comics #255). Gitchka, while non-canon in the Modern Age, for all intents and purposes, was sort of the first version of Barbatos. Heck, maybe Gitchka was Barbatos?

  10. [10]COLLIN COLSHER: Like other Modern Age auteur creators (such as Frank Miller, Brian Azzarello, Lee Bermejo, Matt Wagner, or Neal Adams), Sam Kieth’s works tend to occupy their own headcanon space. Aside from his work on Secret Origins, Sandman, Batman Confidential, and a few single DC issues here-and-there, the rest of Kieth’s oeuvre seems to exist solely in its own multi-company-spanning universe. (Although, the aforementioned titles likely exist on both DC’s Modern Age timeline and the “Kieth-verse” timeline.) Other titles that are non-canon in the DCU, but canon in the “Kieth-verse” are Epicurus the Sage, The Maxx, Zero Girl, Four Women, Scratch, Batman: Secrets, Batman/Lobo: Deadly Serious, Lobo: Highway to Hell, Arkham Asylum: Madness, Batman: Through the Looking Glass, and Batman/The Maxx: Arkham Dreams.
  11. [11]COLLIN COLSHER: Harvey Dent marks the third childhood friend of Bruce’s that will later become a homicidal super-villain as an adult—the other two being the parricidal Roman Sionis and Tommy Elliot. Notably, young Tommy killed his father and paralyzed his mother—and Tommy will, as an adult, eventually complete his task and kill his mother. Roman will, as an adult, murder both his parents too. Harvey will eventually become Two-Face. Roman will become Black Mask. And Tommy will become Hush.
  12. [12]COLLIN COLSHER: A common misconception places this item as Bruce’s final training session before returning to Gotham for good. However, LOTDK #4 clearly states (multiple times) that this item occurs two years prior to the conclusion of “Shaman,” which occurs around Christmastime of Bat Year One. Thus, this item is Bruce’s final training session of 1987, but he will still train for another year before going home.
  13. [13]ELIAS M FREIRE: In Man of Steel #3, which occurs in May of next year, Batman talks to Superman: “(…)I read the reports of your debut in the daily planet eight months ago(…).” Thus, we have reasoning for our September placement of this item.

24 Responses to Modern Salad Days

  1. Hugo M says:

    Hi, thanks for the nice job done here. Some things to suport this section:

    1. “Of Mice and Men” by Alan Grant/Scott McDaniel (The Batman Chronicles #5, Part 3) Summer 1996

    2. “When Clark met Bruce” by Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale (Superman/Batman Secret Files, Part 3) November 2003

    Obs: I think the story “Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne” does not fit here. Considering we have Bruce Wayne adult in the past with a different age. I would put this story in Jaunts to the Past section.

    Again, thanks and good job.

  2. Hugo M says:

    One thing: The flashback of Batman #592 is after #591, in the next summer. Bruce acts different with Mallory because of the Crime Alley.

    • Hugo M says:

      Hi friend. Not wanting to be pedantic, but this 2 pages flashback from the 1972 summer is noted as being just a reference.

      • Hugh H says:

        To add on to this, I believe the Moxon Masquerade flashback in Batman #595 is not before, but between the flashbacks in #591 and #592. Beretti says that Wayne and Moxon met at a hotel in France and didn’t get along (#591), but were polite at the masquerade. Also, Bruce asks where Mallory is, so they would have already met before the masquerade.

  3. David says:

    I think the Superman 701 reference is supposed to be 710. I couldn’t find a reference in 701 but found it in 710. The reference is Batman reading a Crimson Avenger comic.

  4. Anthony F. says:

    One minor highlight of Bruce’s childhood I think you missed (unless I can’t find it) is from Jeph Loeb’s Madness, which revealed that one of Bruce’s favorite books was “Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll, and he would frequently have his mother read it to him, even on the day of their family outing to the Monarch Theater. After the murder of Thomas & Martha Wayne, when Alfred & Leslie become Bruce’s 2nd parents, Leslie tries reading the book to Bruce on a rainy, gloomy day, which he rejects since it brings back bad memories.

    • My search bars are acting funky at the moment, so I apologize for that. Hopefully this coding glitch will be corrected soon. In regard to Madness, great story! However, I’ve not included it on the timeline for a few reasons. First, because Leslie Thompkins doesn’t know Bruce is Batman in the story–she would have known his identity by the point at which the story is occurring. Second, James Junior is still a baby when he should be around four or five years old (at least based upon how my chronology is structures). And third, it’s hard to connect the topical nature of this story (Halloween) with the time period shortly after Babs is adopted by Jim.

      Generally, Sam Kieth’s works tend to occupy their own headcanon space. Aside from his work on Secret Origins, Sandman, Batman Confidential, and a few single DC issues here-and-there, the rest of Kieth’s oeuvre seems to exist solely in its own multi-company-spanning universe. (Although, the aforementioned titles likely exist on both DC’s Modern Age timeline and the “Kieth-verse” timeline.) The latter “Kieth-verse only timeline” includes Epicurus the Sage, The Maxx, Zero Girl, Four Women, Scratch, Batman: Secrets, Batman/Lobo: Deadly Serious, Lobo: Highway to Hell, Arkham Asylum: Madness, Batman: Through the Looking Glass, and Batman/The Maxx: Arkham Dreams.

      However, I’ll take another gander at Madness and see if it can’t be placed on the primary timeline (even with caveats). The Alice in Wonderland backstory is pretty neat.

      • Anthony F. says:

        Oh ok. I just figured you could take bits and pieces that do line up with the timeline and just discard the ones that don’t. But oh well, I guess it’s one of the relatively more insignificant events.

        • On my timelines, I have Bruce going on vacation, going to a business meeting, drinking tea on a rainy Sunday night, etc, so nothing is too insignificant. However, I take me canon straight from the books themselves. LOTDK was a series specifically designed to contain both canon and non-canon stories, so a lot of them don’t fit very well (or at all). Generally, if a book is out-of-continuity, I won’t cherry pick certain parts. This way there’s as close to a scientific precision as possible being utilized. This site is really meant to be the most logical chronology of Batman stories, not just my own personal headcanon. Hope that makes sense.

      • I realize that I was combining LOTDK: Madness Halloween Special by Loeb/Sale and Arkham Asylum: Madness by Sam Kieth here. Anyway, both are non-canon. Sorry for the confusion, though!

  5. Elias M. Freire says:

    It was a great joy finding your website to study the chronological story of Batman’s Modern Age, thanks a lot for that.

    For now, I just have one question about Bruce’s age when his parents were murdered.

    In Batman: Year One, on the specified date of June 9, Gordon, in his thoughts, say: “Sgt. Essen informed me that Wayne’s parents were murdered by a mugger when he was six years old.”

    Did you established Bruce Wayne being 8 years old at the time of his parents’ deaths because of Zero Hour retconning it?

    • Hi! Thanks for the kind words. Glad you found me!

      To answer your query: It was never retconned, actually. In Batman #406, Essen is just wrong (or Frank Miller does his math wrong). Miller’s “Batman: Year One” (earlier in Batman #404) establishes that Bruce Wayne is twenty-five-years-old when he arrives in Gotham in January 4, beginning his in-costume Batman career around early April (at age 26). In the same issue, Bruce (age 26) states that parents died eighteen years prior, thus making him eight-years-old at the time of the tragedy. The Zero Hour #0 timeline specifically says he is eight-years-old. And Superman/Batman Secret Files and Origins 2003 confirms the Zero Hour timeline, also saying eight-years-old.

  6. Elias M. Freire says:

    –REFERENCE: In The Man of Steel #3. Late October. Clark Kent (Kal-El) debuts in Metropolis as Superman, the Kryptonian “Man of Steel.” Bruce reads about the new superhero’s amazing debut.

    Wasn’t this supossed to be on Late September? In Man of Steel #3 Batman talks to Superman: “(…)I read the reports of your debut in the daily planet eight months ago(…)”

    Eight months from September -> October (1), November (2), December (3), January (4), February (5), March (6), April (7), May (8), the latter the month Batman met Superman for the first time.

    • Elias M. Freire says:

      Anytime man, I spent a lot of time building a Batman modern chronology for myself back in the day, I stopped when I reached the end of “No Man’s Land”, so I remember a few details here and there, then I’ve found your site and your chronology is for sure much more complete than mine and with more details.

  7. Elias M. Freire says:

    Oh, and before I forget, a reference inside the flashback I’ve read on Superman #710 is Bruce saying to Clark: “Our car broke down in Smallville in the middle of a cross-country trip when I was a boy.”

    Clark asks him: “Really? What’d you think of it?”

    Bruce responds: “Never got out of the car. And when we hit the West Coast, I caught the first flight back home to Gotham City.”

  8. Jon Doe says:

    I was wondering why Bruce’s training with Harvey Harris is listed in 1984, which would make him 21, despite it being stated that he was 17 when he trained with Harris.

  9. Anonymous says:

    In terms of Bruce’s martial arts, in Robin Vol. 2 #124, Bruce lists several Indian fighting styles including: Gatka, Kallari, Payattu, and Verumkai.

  10. Jon Doe says:

    If you wanted to be more specific with the languages Bruce knows, Spanish (JLA Classified #16), French (The Essential Batman Encyclopedia), Latin (Detective Comics #614), German (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #8), Japanese (The Essential Batman Encyclopedia), Russian (Batman Confidential #32), Greek (The Essential Batman Encyclopedia), Portuguese (Batman #472), Arabic (Detective Comics Annual #12), Farsi (Batman #426), Kryptonian (The Essential Batman Encyclopedia), Chinese (The Essential Batman Encyclopedia), Eskimo (The Essential Batman Encyclopedia), Tibetan (The Essential Batman Encyclopedia), Morse Code (Batman #608), and American Sign Language (Batman: Toyman #1).

  11. Anonymous says:

    I know this long list is getting ridiculous, but in Batman LOTDK #205 mentions Dim Mak, which according to Bruce is “An ancient form of martial arts where you strike vital points of the opponent’s body causing paralysis, intense and prolonged pain or death.”

    • No, this is amazing! I always wished that I’d been scanning for the early training day stuff in the Modern Age when I first took a crack at building my timeline, but I didn’t. You are a huge help here, so thanks. 😉

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