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]



–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 more details as to why Bruce’s birth year is 1963.[3] 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 Christmas 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 Xmas (at the very least). Bruce will attend Xmas mass with his parents every year until they die. LOTDK #4 implies that the Wayne visit family every Xmas 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 Xmas 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.)



–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 Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #39 and 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.



–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—originally told via flashback from the non-canon originally told via flashback from Secret Origins Vol. 2 #39 Part 1. (While Secret Origins Vol. 2 #39 Part 1’s main action was rendered non-canon by Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Annual #5, its flashbacks were canonized by The Batman Files, like is the case for Two-Face: Year One.) 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.)

–REFERENCE: In JLA Incarnations #2. Bruce’s parents begin scheduling him on play dates with others, but he’s not very social, and this will be the case moving forward. At one such early play date, Bruce specifically stands outside of a chain link fence and looks inward at a playground full of his peers, opting not to join them. Bruce will much more prefer movies, music, reading, or any other solitary endeavors. Bruce’s mom notices this and calls her boy an “old soul.”

–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 kitchener and steward, 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)
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.

–FLASHBACK: From 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.

–FLASHBACK: From 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.

–REFERENCE: 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. (Note that this item includes an image from a flashback from Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special #3 aka Batman: Ghosts – A Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special, which is technically non-canon.)

–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.



–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.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Gotham Knights #10 Part 2 (Batman: Black and White). Thomas takes Bruce to the amusement park known as Little Paris where they ride the rollercoasters. Bruce and his dad will visit Little Paris every now and a gain, moving forward.

–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 Xmas 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.



–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 #430. Bruce makes a lot of new (unnamed) friends and hangs out with them. He also visits the art museum with his mom and dad, spending many happy days with them as well.

–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 Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #39 and 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.[6]

–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 #625. Late November—the day before the death of the Waynes. Realizing that he’ll be too busy with work obligations to go to the movies, Thomas tells Bruce that they’ll have to postpone their trip to the theater until next week. A cranky Bruce gets upset and crawls under his bed, refusing to speak to anyone.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #430. Late November—the same day of the death of the Waynes. Worried about some new financial investments, Thomas is glued to the stock ticker and ignores Bruce, who keeps bothering him, wanting to play baseball with his dad. Stressed and a little drunk, Thomas strikes Bruce in the face! Soon after, Thomas apologizes to Bruce and gives him a hug.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Journey into Knight #4, Batman #430, and Batman #625—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. (Thomas had recently suggested seeing a movie in celebration of Bruce’s return home from boarding school, but they hadn’t settled on a specific film. Plus, Thomas had previously said that he’d be too busy to even go to the movies until next week, which had greatly perturbed Bruce. Thus, the Zorro surprise triples as a celebration of Bruce’s return home from boarding school, an apology for having upset him with initial postponement, and an apology for hitting him.) Alfred has also been invited to the theater, 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. And also note that the sequence of Thomas surprising Bruce with the trip to the movies is slightly different in Journey into Knight #4 versus Batman #625, but they are close enough to easily synthesize into a coherent single narrative.

–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 #574, Detective Comics #812, Detective Comics Annual #2-3, Infinite Crisis #3, Batman #430, Batman #459, Batman #519, Batman #561, Batman #603-604, Batman #625, 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: Death Mask #1, Batman: War on Crime, Batman: Ego, Batman: Two-Face – Crime and Punishment, Batman: Gotham Knights #24, and the second feature to 52 #46—and also referenced in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #1, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #39-40, 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, Solo #5, 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.[7][8] 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.[9] 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, Detective Comics #574, 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. (Note that Detective Comics #574 makes it seem like Bruce is meeting Leslie for the first time, but that should be ignored.)

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #0, Batman #603, Batman #702 Part 4, Batman: Shadow of the Bat #0, Detective Comics #574, Detective Comics #791, Batman: Dark Victory #1, Batman: Dark Victory #9, DC Retroactive: Batman – The 80s #1, 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. (Detective Comics #574 tells us that the Waynes are interred at Crown Hill Cemetery, but that is a decidedly dated Silver/Bronze Age reference that should be ignored. In the Modern Age, the Waynes are buried in the family plot adjacent to Wayne Manor.) 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 pretends to sleep but sneaks out into the cemetery to make a solemn graveside vow that he will devote his life to fighting crime. (Detective Comics #574 adds a scene of Bruce visiting Park Row to discover and collect Joe Chill’s discarded gun. However, we should ignore this scene as at retcon in Batman Confidential #1 renders it non-canon.) Bruce reaffirms his vow to avenge his parents 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 and pays off an official working for Child Protective Services, thus allowing him to stay in at Wayne Manor in the legal custody of Alfred and Leslie. After courtroom proceedings, Leslie and Alfred become Bruce’s official foster parents. A reference in Detective Comics #793 also confirms 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: Legends of the Dark Knight #31. Bruce and Alfred visit the Wayne gravesite.

–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.

–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.[10] 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.[11] 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.)[12]

–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 chumbled-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.



–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.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #31. Alfred reads a book to an ill bed-ridden Bruce.

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

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #574. Alfred and Leslie become very concerned with Bruce’s obvious obsession with avenging his parents’ deaths. They try to talk to him in an effort to help him move on, but he won’t hear it, delving deeper into what will eventually become his life’s mission. Bruce ignores Alfred and Leslie’s please, choosing to block them out by reading detective books, including The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. In the Modern Age, Sherlock Holmes is a real life famous detective, so any books about him are non-fictional biographies!

–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.

–REFERENCE: From Batman: Death Mask #2. Bruce is particularly taken by an image of a Japanese woodblock print of a bridge, which he sees while perusing through a fine art book. This image will stay with Bruce for years.

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

–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.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #574. Bruce becomes more and more isolated, focusing on studying for his life’s mission to avenge his parents. While his peers play baseball and have fun, Bruce stays inside to focus on reading and learning.



–FLASHBACK: From Batman #0, Detective Comics #614, and the second feature to 52 #46. Bruce, now twelve-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.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #73. Bruce begins reading the works of PG Wodehouse.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Turning Points #1. Bruce begins reading the works of Lord Byron.

–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.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #701 Part 1. Alfred begins serving Bruce what will become his favorite soup: mulligatawny. While we won’t see more mulligatawny notes on our timeline, know that this is Bruce’s soup of choice and he will get it quite often, long into adulthood.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #574. Bruce beats the shit out of a school bully, which earns him a weeklong suspension.

–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 Secret Files and Origins #1 Part 1. Bruce learns first aid and CPR.

–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.[13] 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.



–FLASHBACK: From Secret Origins of the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes, Detective Comics #574, Detective Comics Annual #2, Batman Secret Files and Origins #1 Part 1, Batman #0, Batman #433, Batman: Death Mask #1, Batman: Shadow of the Bat #0, Batman: Gotham Knights #7, the second feature to Batman: Gotham Knights #1 (Batman: Black & White), and the second feature to 52 #46—and also referenced in Batman #433-435, Batman: The Dark Knight #1, Batman: Black and White Vol. 2 TPB Part 3, and The Batman Files. June 1977 to late 1979. 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. (Scott Beatty’s 1997 Batman Secret Files and Origins #1 contains a bogus Bat-timeline that incorrectly says Bruce leaves to train abroad at age eighteen.) After an initial but brief stay in Japan, young Bruce (using fake IDs that make him seem older) audits classes at several colleges, including Cambridge, Oxford, the Berlin School of Science, and nearly a dozen others (including the Sorbonne, which we’ll touch upon in just a bit). Bruce also seeks private tutoring from Europe’s greatest experts in subjects such as gymnastics (with Peter Allison), chemistry (with Kingsley and Webber), electronics (with Campbell), mountain climbing (with an unnamed master), toxicology (with Aurelius Boch, specifically in Austria), archery (with Raphael DiGiorda, specifically in Italy), 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.) Despite being abroad, Bruce 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. As seen in Detective Comics #574, while attending various universities, Bruce begins utilizing a lazy rich kid persona, even paying those with certain similar personality types to spend time with him in public. This charade is part of what will ultimately become a lifelong ruse to hide his true vigilante intentions. Bruce often studies outside of class as well, and he begins taking theater classes to learn advanced makeup techniques, allowing him to attend classes in disguise. Bruce also breaks into some of his professors’ offices to study their notes. When threatened with expulsion or classroom ban, which happens on occasion, Bruce throws money at the problem (paying for a new library or campus building), thus allowing him to continue auditing lessons. In February 1979 (still during Bruce’s various college forays), he turns sixteen-years-old and learns to drive. Some of Bruce’s more detailed adventures during this time occur in relation to his time spent at the Sorbonne in Paris. At the Sorbonne, Bruce trains in bodybuilding with a coach named LaSalle. As referenced in Batman: The Dark Knight #1, while attending college (possibly the Sorbonne), Bruce 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 (again, possibly at the Sorbonne). Bruce and Robbin will remain lifelong friends, and, while we won’t see it on our timeline ahead, they will keep in touch. (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.)

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #599. Late 1979. While studying in Paris, Bruce meets Henri Ducard and asks to train with him but is refused.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Files. Late 1979. While in still in Paris (following his rejection from Henri Ducard), Bruce meets Lucius Fox, saving him from some muggers and then dining with him. (Note that this item specifically references a flashback from Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special #3 aka Batman: Ghosts – A Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special, which is technically non-canon.)

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #600 and Secret Origins of the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes. Late 1979 to early 1980. Undeterred by his earlier rejection, Bruce shadows Henri Ducard as he tracks international terrorist Jeremiah through Amsterdam and West Berlin until he gains Ducard’s respect and begins training under him. Bruce learns many things from Ducard, including tracking and deception. Bruce ends his training when the trail takes them back to Paris and he finds out the amoral Ducard killed Jeremiah right when they had him.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #22. Early 1980. Bruce finishes auditing classes. And despite having only unofficially taken courses, the richest kid on campus is given an honorary degree. Leslie Thompkins (and presumably Alfred) join Bruce in Europe for his cap-and-gown ceremony. (This reference note comes from a framed photo of a “graduating” Bruce posing with Leslie, which she will keep and cherish for many years to come.)

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #95. February to April 1980. Now seventeen-years-old and having finished auditing university classes, Bruce heads into the final leg of his European tour, seeing various locales and learning even more.[14] After a few months of European travel, Bruce winds up in Romania, not far from Belgrade, just east of the Yugoslavian border. While investigating a myth about a magickal immortal serial killer known as The Magician, Bruce runs into some bad luck, catching the flu and getting arrested by local police. Bruce is interrogated by Detective Ludo Zlata and then jailed. In the middle of the night, Bruce is mysteriously released from his cell and wanders into the center of the police station to find a bloodbath. The Magician, in strange occult garb, uses magick to violently slaughter everyone in the building. Bruce challenges the Magician and saves Detective Zlata. The station burns to the ground, and Bruce and Zlata barely escape with their lives. (SPOILER: The Magician is but one of several Magicians that are part of a covert CIA task force designed to destabilize Communist governments via illegal assassination campaigns. Their “magick” is merely a combination of high-tech weaponry, special effects, and hallucinatory drug dosing.)

–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.

–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.

–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 #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. Having left China, 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.



–REFERENCE: In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #5 and Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Annual #7. At age eighteen, 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: Gotham Knights #38. Bruce learns to become an expert chess player, realizing that he has a nearly perfect recall. Bruce studies his own eidetic memory in conjunction with the game of chess, coming up with a mathematical algorithm to help develop and augment his recall abilities even more.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #681. Having already studied toxicology and learning much about poisons and creating antidotes, Bruce 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.)

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



–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 CrimeBatman #608 Prologue (“The Batman: Who He is, and How He Came to be”), and Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #71. Bruce continues studying chemistry and 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 and autodidactic 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.



–FLASHBACK: From Secret Origins of the World’s Greatest Super-HeroesBatman: Shadow of the Bat #0, and Batman #589. February to March. At age twenty, Bruce visits New York City and tries to join the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation). He scores perfectly on every test except gun handling, so he gets a desk job. While working at the FBI, Bruce studies under FBI agent Arthur McKee, learning about the importance of maintaining a criminal alias. Unsatisfied, Bruce quits after six weeks and heads to the Far East.

–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 to the Far East, Bruce visits the Paektu-San Mountains in Korea to train with master Kirigi for “nearly a year” (closer to nine months), 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, but Batman #431 gives an incorrect “ten years prior to Bat Year 12” label that must be ignored.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Secret Files and Origins #1 Part 1. Still in the Far East, Bruce continues his training. He goes mountain climbing in the Himalayas (specifically in Nepal) and later brushes up on his chemistry lessons.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics Annual #2. Despite hating guns, Bruce learns how to shoot at a firing range. This is likely Bruce’s reaction to his poor marksmanship while at the FBI.

–REFERENCE: From Batman: The Long Halloween—originally told via flashback from the non-canonical Two-Face: Year One #1-2. December. 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. December. Bruce, presumably still home on his quick trip to see best pal Harvey Dent, goes to a party with him.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #848-849—and also referenced in Detective Comics #850 and Batman Annual #13 Part 2. December. Still in Gotham, Bruce attends 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. December. Still 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: Shadow of the Bat #0. Bruce’s training continues as he learns knife-handling with an unnamed 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: how to use bolas from cattlemen (likely in Patagonia) and how to use blowpipes from Yanomami Hunters (in either Venezuela or Brazil). 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. The non-canon 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 that exists, mastering a handful of them.

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

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

–REFERENCE: In Superman #710. Bruce studies with the venerable Rhana Bhutra in Bhutran.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Shadow of the Bat #0. Bruce returns to Japan where he spends six months training in judo and jiu-jitsu at a hermitage.

–Batman: Death Mask #1-4
Still in Japan and now using the assumed name of “George Woodbridge,” Bruce does special “body structure and flow” training in judo, aikido, and kickboxing under an unnamed sensei and his assistant teacher Kurosaki. Bruce stays with the sensei, Kurosaki, and the sensei’s granddaughter Sakura. From his fellow students, Bruce learns about onigawaras—gargoyle-like tiles that supposedly contain the spirits of Japanese demons or ogres called onis. While meditating in the dojo one day, Bruce is attacked by an evil oni. The sensei determines that the oni is Bruce’s shadow-self having manifested into reality. Disturbed and worried, the sensei sends Bruce to another dojo to complete his training. (Spoiler: Twenty years from now, due to the legit curse of the oni, Batman will travel through time and appear as the shadow demon before himself in Japan. So, the oni really is Batman from the future, having come back through time to school a younger version of himself.)

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #599—and referenced in Detective Comics Annual #3. While still in Japan, Bruce visits Tokyo to train with with yakuza sword-smith Tsunetomo.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Shadow of the Bat #0. Bruce’s training continues as he studies with ninjas in an unknown Asian locale (possibly Japan). They teach Bruce how to employ psychology during combat and how to use the shadows to one’s advantage.

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

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

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Confidential #50-54. Bruce returns to China, following the trail of a serial killer named Huairen. Huairen actually manages to kill Bruce, but he’s resurrected by a metahuman named Ri. (“Metahuman” simply means “superhuman.” It is DC’s primary epithet for a super-powered individual.) 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 returns to the Himalayas to study 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-priestess Shao-La. Bruce also learns about the Tao from an unnamed old woman as well. Bruce then helps Shao-La deal with her rivals H’sein Tsan (aka H’sien-Tan) and Dragon, after which Bruce trains with both H’sein Tsan and Dragon in martial arts.

–REFERENCE: In the quasi-canonical Batman: The Ultimate Guide to the Dark Knight. Bruce learns healing arts from monks. This likely occurs while Bruce is still in or near Tibet.

–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: Shadow of the Bat #0. Bruce travels to a small island off the coast of Borneo where he learns savate from a convicted killer living as a beach bum.

–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 Batman: Shadow of the Bat #0. Bruce travels to Africa where he lives with unnamed bushmen, learning hunting and tracking from them.

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

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

–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?

–FLASHBACK: From Superman #710. Having just completed his training with the Ten-Eyed Tribes of the Empty Quarter, Bruce trains on the Arabian Peninsula. When Bruce gets a message to travel to the home of his old master, the Rhana Bhutra, in Bhutran, he departs right away. Upon arrival, Bruce finds that the Rhana Butra has died and his daughter has become the new Rhana Bhutra. Not only that, but American reporter Clark Kent has also been called in as well. The new Rhana Bhutra asks Bruce and Clark 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.

–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.[15][16] 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 #435. Bruce seeks out and trains with additional expert tutors in diverse fields, specifically car racing (with Mark Jenner) and explosives (with Frederick Stone, specifically in the United States).

–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.

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

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

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

–“Shadow Job” by Brian Augustyn/Dave De’Antiquis (The Batman Chronicles #6 Part 2)
Bruce, using his “Frank Dixon” moniker, learns detective work from Dan Mallory.

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

–REFERENCE: In The Man of Steel #3. Late September 1988.[17] 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.

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

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #1. While still in London, Bruce 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.



  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: Depending on the chronology to which you subscribe, the ages of DC’s characters will fluctuate and don’t hold fast to an exact mathematical science, especially since there are so many contradictory references and time gets retconned so much in the comics. Despite this, I’m confident in the birthdates listed within my chronology, and this includes Bruce Wayne’s birthdate. According to the Batman Chronology Project, the Modern Age birth-years of major players are as follows:

    Bruce Wayne – born in 1963
    Kathy Kane – born around 1965
    Selina Kyle – born in 1969
    Talia al Ghul – born between 1976 and 1979
    Helena Bertinelli – born in 1977
    Barbara Gordon- born in 1978
    Dick Grayson – born in 1981
    Kate Kane – born around 1981
    Jason Todd – born in 1985
    Cassandra Cain – born in 1987
    Stephanie Brown – born in 1987
    Tim Drake – born in 1990
    Damian Wayne – born in 1999
    Alfred Pennyworth – born around 1939
    Jim Gordon – born around 1948
    Leslie Thompkins – born in 1948

    Discrepancies between the Batman Chronology Project and other chronologies not only stem from my own personal headcanon age-retcons, but also from continuity errors within the comics themselves. Let’s use Damian as an example. Batman and Robin #2, which takes place in the same year as Damian’s debut, tells us he is specifically ten-years-old. This means Damian is ten when he debuts in “Batman and Son.” Most sources, including mine, will list “Batman and Son” as occurring in 2009. Therefore, in order to be ten-years-old in 2009, Damian would’ve had to been born in 1999 (where I have his birth). Unfortunately, most sources (both external chronologies and in-comic references) tell us that Bruce lost his parents when he was around eight-years-old. In “Batman and Son,” Bruce says that he was “not much older than Damian when his own parents died,” which suggests the boy is eight at that point. A contradiction! See what I mean? These comic book ages are fairly fluid. With that being said, depending on what references you take as gospel, there is a slight range of birth-years that could be appropriate for Batman-related characters:

    Bruce Wayne – born in 1963
    Dick Grayson – born in 1979 to 1981 range
    Jason Todd – born in 1985 to 1986 range
    Cassandra Cain – born in 1987 to 1988 range
    Tim Drake – born in 1989 to 1990 range
    Damian Wayne – born in 1999 to 2000 range

    To reiterate, character birthdates and ages depend solely on where you initially start and what you choose to take as gospel. Other chronologies might use different references. The Batman Chronology specifically retcons Tim, Jason, and Dick’s initial sidekick-starting ages to be a bit younger than most other chronologies, hence the differences there. Taking such liberties with the Robin boys might seem blasphemous, but it actually makes continuity work out better in the end.

    In regard to the specificity of Bruce’s February birth month, there is no mention of his exact birth month in any canon Modern Age comic book. As such, it makes sense to go with his Silver Age birth month of February.

  4. [4]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 Batman Chronology Project.

    –Madness – A LOTDK Halloween Special (Halloween Special #2)
    –Ghosts – A LOTDK Halloween Special
    (Halloween Special #3)
    –Annual #2
    –Annual #4
    –Annual #6
    –LOTDK #28-30
    –LOTDK #35-36

    –LOTDK #41
    –LOTDK #46-50
    –LOTDK #55-57
    –LOTDK #71-73
    –LOTDK #86-88
    –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

  5. [5]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!
  6. [6]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.
  7. [7]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 Part 2 (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 Part 2 reference is a pre-Zero Hour reference. (More on that below.) 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 questionable. 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.)

  8. [8]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.

  9. [9]COLLIN COLSHER: From 1994 to 2006, thanks to retcons from 1994’s Zero Hour, Joe Chill was not the Wayne killer. Instead, the identity of the Wayne killer was unknown. It isn’t until the big retcons of 2006’s Infinite Crisis that the Zero Hour Chill alteration is undone. Our chronology reflects Infinite Crisis‘ return to status quo regarding Chill as the Wayne murderer. Bear in mind, though, there are a lot of instances during the 1994 to 2006 publication period where we have to simply ignore any references to the Wayne murder case being unsolved.
  10. [10]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.
  11. [11]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?

  12. [12]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.
  13. [13]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.
  14. [14]COLLIN COLSHER: In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #95 (“Dirty Tricks”), writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning specifically have Bruce’s narration say, “After my graduation, I toured Europe for a few months. It was supposed to be a chance for me to see the sights before returning to Gotham to… to start work.” This is a continuity-confusing line that requires interpretation/retconning. Don’t forget, Bruce never technically graduated high school or college, so “graduation” can only refer to his completion of auditing classes in Europe. (Legends of the Dark Knight #21 has already shown us that Bruce has received an honorary degree.) “Seeing the sights before returning back to Gotham” is also a strange way of wording things that doesn’t quite jibe with our chronology. In any case, Bruce’s time abroad is really still in its early phase, not close to wrapping up. And last but not least, penciler Anthony Williams draws Bruce to look older than seventeen, more manly and with stubble on his face. It would seem that Abnett, Lanning, and Williams are using Scott Beatty’s Batman Secret Files and Origins #1 Bat-timeline, which is unfortunately non-canon (having Bruce finish high school and go abroad starting at age eighteen). It makes sense that Abnett, Lanning, and Williams lean on Beatty’s timeline since “Dirty Tricks” and Batman Secret Files and Origins #1 both came out in 1997. It certainly would have been a reference for them. However, because Beatty’s timeline is non-canon, we must imagine all the alterations to their narration listed above.
  15. [15]COLLIN COLSHER: A common misconception places this item as Bruce’s final training session before returning to Gotham for good. While LOTDK #1 visually cuts seamlessly from the end of Bruce’s Alaskan training straight to the opening of Frank Miller’s “Year One,” there must be an ellipsis there. LOTDK #4 clearly states (multiple times) that Bruce’s Alaskan training occurs two years prior to the conclusion of “Shaman,” which occurs around Christmastime of Bat Year One. Thus, this item must be Bruce’s final training session of 1987, meaning he will still train for another year before going home. Of course, the internet is strongly divided on this point, so its up to you whether or not Bruce trains in Alaska as his last stop.
  16. [16]MARTIN LEL: Bruce’s Alaskan training where he meets the Shaman should absolutely be the last item of his Salad Days, because it’s clearly meant to be read as if Bruce went from Alaska straight to the pages of “Year One.” I’m in the camp that says one should disregard the “two years ago” references in LOTDK #4 as simple errors.
  17. [17]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.

52 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. 😉

  12. Anonymous says:

    I know its been a while, but something you might want to add from Batman: the Widening Gyre Vol. 1 #6 is that when Bruce was 15, he came home from school to visit Alfred for winter break and decided to bring a pre-med girl home with him. I’m not sure if you consider this issue to be canon or not, but this bit of information might be worth adding.

    • Hey! I don’t consider Widening Gyre to be canon (due to its unbreakable connection to prior non-canon stories Dark Detective and Cacophony). Kevin Smith’s Cacophony and Widening Gyre can each be considered non-canon for several other reasons as well. First, there is no time period where Joker can be out-of-action for five months (as he is in Cacophony). And second, Maxie Zeus’ status and characterization in Cacophony don’t seem to jibe with any period on our timeline. If anything, Dark Detective, Cacophony, and Widening Gyre all take place in their own Smith-verse. Notably, Smith—to this day—has never even finished Widening Gyre.

      I will, however, think about adding this note for completeness’ sake!

  13. Martin Lel says:

    Hi Collin! Martin Lel here. Many years after helping you put together this list I’ve come back, read through it and came up with several fixes.

    *The REFERENCE: In The Batman Files about Bruce meeting a young Kirk Langstrom should add it was originally told via flashback from Secret Origins Vol.2 #39. While the issue’s main action was rendered non-canon by Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Annual #5, its flashbacks were canonised by the Batman Files, like is the case for Two-Face: Year One.
    *The REFERENCE: In Superman/Batman #50 should be a flashback, not a reference.
    *The REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #734 where Bruce trains with Cain should be a flashback, not a reference.
    *The REFERENCE: In Detective Comics Annual #3 where Bruce trains with Tsunetomo is also shown via Flashback in Detective Comics #599.
    *The REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #600 and Secret Origins of the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes where Bruce begins training with Henri Ducard in Paris should more accurately read as follows:
    -FLASHBACK: In Detective Comics #599. Bruce meets Henri Ducard in Paris and asks to train with him, but is refused.
    (While in Paris, the flashback from Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special #3 where Bruce meets Lucius takes place.)
    Then: -FLASHBACK: In Detective Comics #600. Undeterred by his rejection, Bruce shadows Henri Ducard as he tracks international terrorist Jeremiah through Amsterdam and West Berlin until he gains Ducard’s respect and begins training under him. Bruce ends his training when the trail takes them back to Paris and he finds out Ducard killed Jeremiah right when they had him.

    *The REFERENCE: In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #52-53 where Bruce learns under the Chinese monk-priestess Shao-La should be a flashback. Shao-La’s rival Dragon should have red in his name, too, since he returns to fight Bruce many years later.
    *The REFERENCE: In the second feature to Batman: Gotham Knights #29 (Batman: Black & White) where Bruce studies escapology under Max Dodge should be a Flashback.
    *The FLASHBACK: From The Batman Chronicles #6 Part 2 where Bruce, using his “Frank Dixon” moniker, learns detective work from Dan Mallory shouldn’t be a Flashback. It’s rather a proper story that is set in the past. It should read:
    -“Shadow Job” by Brian Augustyn/Dave De’Antiquis (The Batman Chronicles #6 Part 2)

    *The REFERENCE In Superman #710 where Bruce studies with the Rhana Bhutra of Bhutran should be a flashback.

    *It doesn’t work for me that the last two flashbacks we see in this page are Bruce in a Gotham party when the next thing we see is him arriving at Gotham in Year One. It makes a lot more sense to me if Bruce’s brief returns to Gotham during his training years occurs all at the same time – that is, his encounter with Tommy in Detective Comics #848 and his leaving the party in Shadow of the Bat #0 going after the flashbacks from Two-Face Year One #2 when Bruce appears briefly in Gotham to see Harvey Dent as he’s finishing law school.
    I would go as far as to say every item listed after the FLASHBACK: From Secret Origins of the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes and Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #1 where Bruce meets the SHAMAN should be the last item of this page, because it’s clearly meant to be read as if Bruce went from there to the pages of Year One.

    • Thanks, Martin. I’ll review and make changes! In regard to Bruce’s training with Willie Doggett, the story sure does visibly cut from that ending, going straight to Year One. However, the story says multiple times (notably in LOTDK #4) that it occurs explicitly “two years” prior to his first winter as Batman. Some other folks online, including Chris Miller ( also note this.

      So, either the multiple “two years ago” references are errors OR this really does go two years prior… I’ll think on it. Either way, I will make a note of your comment for sure. I’m pretty torn on it, honestly…

      LMK what you think about “Shaman” placement in the Salad Days. The internet is pretty torn on it too, but since you are my primary collaborator for this section of the site, I’ll take extra stock in what you have to say.

  14. Martin Lel says:

    Hi Collin, I found another key issue.

    *-FLASHBACK: From Batman #430 — Suffering from financial troubles, Thomas strikes Bruce in a bout of stress. To apologize, he invites him to the movies.

    It kind of contradicts the FLASHBACK: From Batman: Legends of The Dark Knight #7, but I think it works as something that happens squished in the middle. Bruce arrives from his school, Thomas strikes him, then they decide to go to the movies.

    Batman #430 should also be included as another FLASHBACK showing the death of the Waynes.

    *Different point: the 1977-1980 FLASHBACK: From Batman #433-435 should more accurately read
    FLASHBACK: From Batman #435 and referenced in Batman #433-435.

    I think that about covers it!

  15. Seleucie says:

    Hi! There is a flashback in Legends of the Dark Knight #95 , part one of Dirty Tricks , where we see a young Bruce visiting Romania in April some months after his graduation, investigating “the magician”, getting the flu, and being briefly arrested by the local police (What a trip.) You mention the travel in the main entry for the issue in year 4, but didn’t include it in the salad days.

  16. Jack James says:

    Hey, just a little note: I think you forgot to add the flashback sections of “Death Mask”, thanks for the great work as always!

  17. Jack James says:

    I think you missed the flashbacks from Detective Comics #574, Collin! Some interesting details about Bruce’s post-parents death childhood and his time at university there.

  18. Martin says:

    Hey Collin. The REFERENCE: In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #21 from a framed photo of a “graduating” Bruce posing with Leslie should actually read “In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #22.”

  19. Martin says:

    Another comment.
    “In February 1978 (still during Bruce’s various college forays), he turns sixteen-years-old and learns to drive.”
    The math doesn’t add up. According to your numbers, he should be 15 in 1978.

  20. Anthony F. says:

    I believe there’s a typo on your entry about Bruce liking Zorro under the 1967-1969 section. Instead of “Summer 1996” I believe it’s supposed to be “Summer 1966”

  21. Anthony F. says:

    Whoops, I meant 1968, not 1966

  22. Anthony F. says:

    It should be noted that Bruce learned toxicology from Aurelius Boch while in Austria (most likely Vienna) and trained with LaSalle while attending the Sorbonne in Paris, France

  23. Anthony F. says:

    Also, in Detective Comics #600, it mentions Sri Lanka was one of Bruce’s destinations during his travels.

    Also, would it make more sense to have the entry where he trains with Scotland Yard detectives and the entry where he buys the criminology books by Sir Maxwell Floppy combined into one entry, rather than having him travel to London twice? I feel a lot of these entries could be combined to prevent Bruce from having to zig zag back to places he’s already been. For instance, he could easily start training with Henri Ducard while attending the Sorbonne and training with LaSalle since those events all take place in Paris, France

    • I actually don ‘t mind the zig-zagging too much. It makes sense that Bruce wouldn’t stay in one place for too long. And jet-setting around Europe isn’t too wild for a man of wealth like Bruce. However, I see your point. I’ll try to consolidate things where appropriate. In regard to Sri Lanka, I think that’s just an opening line mention from Ducard in present day, not a reference to Bruce’s training, no? Nevertheless, as always, thank you!

  24. Anthony F. says:

    Also, some other things:

    Bruce learns archery from Raphael DiGiorda while in Italy (I think Venice but can’t remember). I assume this would be during his European tour.

    The place in South America where he trains with Yanomami hunters is most likely either Venezuela or Brazil

    The place where he uses bolas with cattlemen is probably Patagonia

    And the place where he learns healing arts with monks would be Tibet, I believe (I remember there being an entry on another continuity’s salad days section where Bruce learns healing arts, and it’s with monks in Tibet)

    Also, if I recall correctly, his mentorship with Frederick Stone was in the US

    • Thanks, Anthony. I’ve gone through and re-organizing things a bit as well, giving everything more of a natural flow. Basically, Bruce takes the following path: Japan (briefly), Europe, China, USA, Korea, Nepal (Himalayas), USA (briefly), South America, India, Japan, Bhutran, China/Tibet/Nanda Parbat (Himalayas), Indonesia, Borneo, Africa, USA, UK.

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