–FLASHBACK: From Birds of Prey #100, the B&W second feature to Batman: Gotham Knights #47, and Detective Comics #600. In a single-panel of Birds of Prey #100, Batman, Robin, and Batgirl swing into action. Since we don’t see where they are headed, we can assume that they are going to battle an escaped Riddler, who terrorizes Gotham with a blimp (as seen in the B&W second feature to Batman: Gotham Knights #47). And since we are lumping flashbacks together, why not include the defeated Riddler, all tied-up and strung-up by Batman, as seen in a single-panel in Detective Comics #600.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #561. Batman, Robin, and Batgirl take-out three gun-toting masked criminals on a rooftop.

–FLASHBACK: From the quasi-canonical Secret Origins Vol. 2 Annual #3—loosely based on Teen Titans #19 and Teen Titans #25-33. Rough times trouble the Teen Titans as Aqualad quits the team in order to tend to family affairs in Atlantis. Shortly thereafter, Bruce and Dick’s relationship further sours when the Teen Titans botch an investigation related to the murder of prominent doctor Arthur Swenson. Batman chews out Robin and influences the JLA to temporarily suspend the Titans, banning them from wearing their costumes! Undeterred, the Titans forge ahead, donning drab grey outfits and becoming a citizen’s patrol under the mentorship of Loren Jupiter. Robin, however, has none of it and quits the team. The Teen Titans—with new members Lilith Clay, Hawk (Hank Hall), Dove (Don Hall), and Herald (Mal Duncan)—eventually solve the case and re-gain the right to wear their true uniforms. Robin then rejoins the team.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League: Rise of Arsenal #1 and Justice League: Rise & Fall Special #1 Part 1—originally told in Teen Titans #44 and Green Lantern Vol. 2 #85-86. Batman isn’t a part of this one, but its reverberations are certainly felt across the greater DCU. The Dark Knight is definitely aware of the situation. Due to the recent turbulence, the Teen Titans decide to call it quits. Shortly after the Teen Titans disband, Green Arrow discovers that his sixteen-year-old sidekick Speedy is a heroin user. (Speedy has been doing heroin for a while now, but the loss of the Teen Titans, combined with the fact that Green Arrow has been spending more time with Hal Jordan than him lately, has caused him to spiral out of control.) Speedy goes into rehab and begins a successful recovery, but he will have issues with addiction for the rest of his life.

–FLASHBACK: From Teen Titans Spotlight #16. Batman takes down an escaped Joker (as shown in a random single-panel image).

–REFERENCE: In Batman #440. Bruce and Dick pose for solo photos that get developed, framed, and put onto Bruce’s bedroom wall.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #569. Catwoman enlists a team of kitty-costumed wearing henchmen, which she dubs her Cat Burglars. Led by her number one henchman, Crandall, the Cat Burglars assist Catwoman on a series of heists until Batman puts a stop to their criminal activity.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #682—and referenced in Nightwing Vol. 2 Annual #2 and Batman #683. Originally told in Detective Comics #328 and a few other Silver Age issues, culminating with Batman Family #13-14. While attempting to assist Batman and Robin, Alfred is “killed” by the Tri-State Gang. Bruce and Dick mourn their father figure’s passing at a small funeral. However, Alfred isn’t really dead. Thanks to bizarre circumstances and the meddling of a scientist, Alfred has become the metapowered super-villain known as The Outsider, who plagues Batman and Robin. The Outsider eventually bathes in the scientist’s “regeneration machine” and is restored to his old self, alive and well, although he has no memories of his time spent as the Outsider. The Bat-Family votes not to reveal what has happened to Alfred, feeling that he couldn’t handle the horrible truth—as referenced in Batman #683. When Alfred briefly relapses into the Outsider again, Robin, Batgirl, and Man-Bat team-up to defeat the villain and return Alfred back to safety once again—as referenced in Nightwing Vol. 2 Annual #2. Again, the Bat-Family decides to never tell Alfred about his Outsider alter-ego. (Modern Age canon recognizes the Outsider affair as primarily consisting of: Bruce and Dick mourning Alfred’s death; Batman and Robin defeating the Outsider and restoring Alfred; Robin, Batgirl, and Man-Bat defeating the returning Outsider; and Alfred being restored again. In the Silver Age, Alfred was dead from 1964 to 1966, warring Batman for two full publishing years as the Outsider before it was revealed that he was the Outsider. His brief return as the Outsider against Robin, Batgirl, and Man-Bat occurred in 1977. Contrastingly, in the Modern Age, the whole Outsider affair lasts only a couple days.)

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 2 Annual #2. Following the Alfred/Outsider affair, Dick tells Babs that he loves her, but she pretends that she is sleeping. Meanwhile, Dick’s relationship with Bruce begins to sour.

–FLASHBACK: From Teen Titans Spotlight #14. February 7. Batman and Robin work the “Green Dragon Case” in Chinatown during the wild Chinese New Year celebration. Batman and Robin get chained up in a basement, but free themselves by burning their manacles with acid.

–REFERENCE: In Peacemaker Vol. 2 #1—originally told in Detective Comics #354 and Detective Comics #408. Batman and Robin best Dr. Tzin-Tzin, a deadly agent of the League of Assassins.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #682. Batman stops Joker’s scheme to rob the Sea Plane Display in Gotham Bay. Joker has enlisted the aid of Gaggy, Eraser, Penguin, Catwoman (in her new green skintight costume), and a myriad of silly clown thugs to help him.

–FLASHBACK: From Shadowpact #6—originally told in Detective Comics #410. Batman tracks down a murderer and finds himself at a circus, where he meets several “freaks” including Eddie “Flippy” Deacon, a boy with flippers instead of hands and feet. Batman brings the murderer to justice and saves Flippy’s life.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #700. The team of Joker, Riddler, Mad Hatter II (Hatman), Scarecrow, and Catwoman (in her new caped-costume look) discover Professor Nichols’ “Maybe Machine.” The villainous team has plans to force Batman and Robin to go back in time to do their bidding in the past. First up is Catwoman, who makes Batman travel to ancient Egypt, where he battles winged warriors to retrieve the secret combination to a locked stolen museum piece that Catwoman already has possession of. Before anyone else gets a turn, Batman and Robin break out of their restraints and take out the bad guys. Commissioner Gordon and Officer O’Hara (related-to but not Chief O’Hara, who is already dead) enter and make the proper arrests. A despondent Professor Nichols looks over his destroyed lab and tells Batman that he will clean up himself. Nichols takes apart his “Maybe Machine” and will become a reclusive hermit after this. As I’ve mentioned before, Nichols ran afoul of Simon Hurt in 1971, which was the reason Nichols has lived in relative obscurity for decades despite his genius. Now the gifted physicist will delves into even more obscurity and go completely off the radar.[1]

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 2 #62. Joker captures Robin and holds a knife to his throat. Batman crashes through a window to rescue the Boy Wonder.

–Batman: Batgirl by Kelley Puckett/Matt Haley (1997)
Batman goes missing, forcing Batgirl to go head-to-head with Joker for the first time! Joker captures Batgirl and begins offing his own henchmen. Batman returns and saves the day, but not before taking a bullet to the scalp and slipping into unconsciousness. Batgirl takes down Joker and Batman goes into the care of Leslie Thompkins. This story is also shown via flashback in DC First: Batgirl/The Joker #1, which gives us the relative timeframe for when this story takes place.

–“Joker Tips His Hat!” by Ed Brubaker/Stefano Guadiano (Batman #600 Part 3) April 2002
With Batman out of town on unspecified JLA business, Robin and Batgirl are left alone to protect Gotham against an escaped Joker who has stolen Mad Hatter’s mind-control technology. Robin and Batgirl are not only able to sneak in a quick kiss, but they put Joker behind bars as well!

–“TreasureQuest” by Dan Jurgens/Mike Norton (Metamorpho: Year One #6) February 2008
Strange element-altering metahuman Metamorpho (Rex Mason) debuts. The JLA becomes highly suspicious of him when they learn that his lover is Sapphire Stagg, daughter of the evil Simon Stagg. Thus, the JLA tests Metamorpho’s abilities in an attempt to find out if the newcomer is a bad guy or a good guy. For the test, each member of the JLA dresses up as Goldface and attacks Metamorpho, who handles himself with grace and effectively demonstrates his prowess as a superhero. Afterward, the satisfied JLA offers Metamorpho membership on the team, but Metamorpho declines! (Note that Batman is wearing the wrong costume in this issue.)

–FLASHBACK: From Stars & STRIPE #9 and Justice League of America Vol. 2 #0—and also referenced in Justice League of America Vol. 2 #0, Stars & STRIPE #0, and Seven Soldiers of Victory #1. Originally told in Justice League of America #100-102. When The Iron Hand threatens all life on the planet, the JLA and JSA are on the case. Meanwhile, following a fight against Nebula Man, the original Seven Soldiers of Victory (aka Law’s Legionnaires)—Crimson Avenger, Shining Knight (Sir Justin Arthur) and his flying horse Victory, Star-Spangled Kid (Sylvester Pemberton), Vigilante (Greg Sanders), Stuff (aka The Chinatown Kid), Stripesy (Pat Dugan), and Wing How—each get blasted into different time periods (from their correct time of 1948). After summoning and consulting with the cosmic being known as Aurakles (aka Oracle), the JSA and JLA mix lineups and travel to each time period to perform rescues. Batman—pictured wearing the wrong costume—teams with Hourman (Rex Tyler) and Starman (Ted Knight) to rescue Stripesy from Ancient Egypt (as seen via flashback from Stars & STRIPE #9 and referenced in Stars & STRIPE #0). Unfortunately, after being rescued, the majority of the Seven Soldiers cannot return back to 1948 and stay in the present. The JLA, JSA, and Seven Soldiers of Victory then conduct a triple-group-team-up to defeat the Iron Hand, whose power merges with Nebula Man’s. The villains are defeated, but Red Tornado becomes the first major member of the superhero community to die, sacrificing himself to save the Earth. With the mission wrapped, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman mourn Red Tornado’s passing (as seen through flashback in Justice League of America Vol. 2 #0). PS. Red Tornado is quickly resurrected shortly thereafter. Don’t forget, Red Tornado is technically an Air Elemental (aka Wind Elemental) housed inside an android body. Whenever he dies, he can be rebuilt and return to life when the Elemental returns. Tornado will die several more times over the course of the next decade, including during The Crisis on Infinite Earths. No big deal.

–FLASHBACK: From the second feature to 52 #38—and referenced in Stars & STRIPE #9, Stars & STRIPE #0, Justice League of America Vol. 2 #0. Originally told in Justice League of America #105-106. Red Tornado officially joins the JLA. Bruce helps him come up with the secret identity of “John Smith.”

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Annual #3 and Justice League of America Vol. 2 #1. Red Tornado begins dating Kathy Sutton and introduces her to his new JLA teammates.

–FLASHBACK: From JLA Incarnations #5 Part 2. The JLA hangs out and then mobilizes for unspecified action. Note that Green Arrow is pictured without his goatee, but he should have it by this point.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #600. Bruce begins dating famous publicist Silver St. Cloud. They fall very much in love, but right from the get-go, Bruce and Silver get into a bad fight (likely due to Bruce’s secret Bat-life getting in the way of his commitment to her). Despite this argument, Bruce and Silver stay together. Silver is arguably, besides Julie Madison or Selina Kyle, Bruce’s first real-deal serious love-affair. Note that Ed Brubaker likely meant for this Batman #600 flashback to signify Silver and Bruce breaking-up at the conclusion of “Strange Apparitions” (which is still to come below). However, Brubaker’s Silver flashback occurs specifically in Wayne Manor whereas the Silver/Bruce breakup in “Strange Apparitions” occurs specifically in the Wayne Tower penthouse. Thus, due to this ostensible error, canon is forced to shift this sequence here, making it a scene of Bruce and Silver arguing in Wayne Manor shortly after beginning to date one another.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #600—and also referenced in The Batman Files. Originally told in Batman #217. Late March. Dick (who is 15-years-old now and will turn 16 this coming summer) decides to leave Gotham and move to upstate New York. The reason for the move is because; one, he hasn’t been getting along with Bruce very well, and two, he has been accepted into an early entry program at Hudson University in upstate New York that will begin in the summer. Dick, like Babs, has a genius-level intellect and will start college at a very young age. Dick gives his Hudson University acceptance letter to Bruce. Someone (presumably Babs) snaps a picture of Dick wearing a Hudson University cardigan with Bruce and Alfred in the background. Bruce keeps the picture once it is developed. Shortly thereafter, Dick officially moves to New Carthage, NY. While Dick is living in New York, he will sporadically commute to Gotham to work cases with Batman.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #682—and referenced in Batman #683. Originally told in Batman #217. Late March. Bruce puts Robin’s original costume on display in the Batcave. Afterward, Bruce and Alfred decide to move into a penthouse atop the Wayne Enterprises Tower (aka Wayne Foundation Building). With metahuman assistance, Batman and Alfred build an underground bunker with multiple secret exits, entrances, and elevators deep beneath the building. This “Bat-Bunker” will become Batman’s new main base of operations. As they close down the Batcave in preparation for the big move, Alfred shares a fiction story he has written about what the world would be like if Bruce never became Batman. Shortly thereafter, Batman and Alfred officially set up shop in the penthouse and Bat-Bunker. (As the “Penthouse Year” starts, so signals the end of the Silver Age and the beginning of the Bronze Age. For the purposes of this chronology, this Bronze Age, or “Modern Bronze Age,” will comprise the rest of the “Early Period.”)

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Files. Late March. Batman installs a JLA teleporter in the Bat-Bunker.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #402 and Batman Incorporated #6—originally told in Batman #217. Late March. Bruce initiates the Wayne Enterprises-funded “Victims Incorporated Program.” Victims Inc functions as a service which provides assistance to those who have lost loved ones at the hands of Gotham crime. The program also solves cold murder cases that the GCPD has been unable to crack. Victims Inc, however, is short-lived due to the dangerous exposure it places upon Wayne Enterprises, on both Bruce and his employees.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman & Superman: World’s Finest #5. Late March. This issue, the entirety of which is a flashback, states that it is “six years” prior to B&S:WF #10 Part 1, which takes place in Year 15. That’s right on the money. Here’s the synopsis. Batman and Superman team-up with Batgirl and the new Thorn (Rhosyn Forrest) against the criminal organization known as The 100. Batgirl meets Superman for the first time. Jim Gordon also meets Superman for the first time as acting commissioner. Afterward, Superman gives his approval of Batgirl to the Dark Knight.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #0, Batman: Bane of the Demon #2, Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #2, the second feature to Countdown to Final Crisis #4, Batman #561, and Batman #683—originally told in “The Saga of Ra’s al Ghul” by Denny O’Neil/Neal Adams (Detective Comics #411, Batman #232, Batman #235, Batman #240, and Batman #242-245), first published in 1971-1972, and collected/re-released in 1987. Every single panel of every page of this Bronze Age classic can be read as-is and considered in-continuity for the Modern Age (except for Batman #242). The tale is also referenced constantly in Modern Age continuity, so its major elements are definitively canon. Plus, Batman is depicted wearing his correct yellow-oval costume in the Batman Incorporated Absolute Edition, officially making Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 canon in both the Modern Age and New 52. In “The Saga of Ra’s al Ghul,” the treacherous League of Assassins has reared its mysterious head. Batman’s investigations into the secret criminal empire take him to the Far East where he battles with one of the League’s top operatives, Dr. Ebeneezer Darrk. It is during this confrontation that Bruce first meets the woman who will mother his child, Talia al Ghul.[2][3] After returning to the States, Batman learns that Robin has been kidnapped from Hudson University. When a Batcave alarm is tripped, the Caped Crusader frantically swings over to the Batcave only to find that Talia’s father and leader of the League of Assassins, Ra’s al Ghul, is already there waiting for him and knows his secret identity. (Ra’s is accompanied by a very disrespectful member of the Ubu tribe, a cult of warriors loyal to the death to the League of Assassins.) Ra’s then informs Bruce that Talia has also been kidnapped. Reluctantly, Bruce teams-up with Ra’s and they head out across the globe—to India and the Himalayas—in search of the missing persons. Batman deals with numerous deadly situations and eventually finds Robin. (A flashback from the second feature to Countdown to Final Crisis #4 adds a scene to Batman #232 that was not in the original issue. It shows Batman and Ra’s al Ghul sword-fighting in the League of Assassins’ Himalayan compound as Talia, Ubu, and a bound Robin watch with excited interest.) Turns out Ra’s and Talia set up Batman, but he knew the whole time and played along anyway. But why did they set him up? Because Ra’s wanted to make sure that Batman was a worthy successor to lead the League and to wed his smitten daughter, of course. Not long after their first encounter, Batman meets Talia yet again after she attempts to execute a traitor to the League of Assassins in Louisiana. The third meeting between Talia and Batman comes, again, shortly thereafter when a prominent US Army scientist is murdered and his brain is removed from his skull. Ra’s has a vested interest in the case, so he sends his daughter to team-up with Batman on the investigation. Together, they catch the murderer, but Batman learns that Ra’s had cut out the man’s brain in order to learn the government secrets hidden within. There’s a lot of weird sci-fi stuff going on here with a re-animated talking brain, sodium pentathol, reverse-sodium pentathol, and more. Maybe Bruce was having a Joker Toxin/Scarecrow Gas related freak-out while this escapade was going on. Although, we do meet the head scientist of the League of Assassins, Dr. Moon, and whenever he makes future appearances, strange things always occur. The final arc of “The Saga of Ra’s al Ghul” is the most famous. However, issue #242 includes some totally incorrect Matches Malone stuff. Malone’s anachronistic re-appearance and death are both totally wrong and couldn’t have happened. For these reasons the events of this single issue are definitively non-canon, so if you read this storyline either skip issue #242 or disregard the Malone parts.[4] Anyway, our classic tale continues in issue #243 with Batman assembling a team of civilians (yeah, weird, I know) and hunting down Ra’s. In order to free up some time on his schedule, Bruce fakes his own death (plane crash in South America). After finally tracking Ra’s al Ghul down, Batman learns the secret of the Demon’s Head: the Lazarus Pits have been keeping him alive for hundreds of years! A shirtless Batman and Ra’s al Ghul epically sword-duel each other in the desert as Talia looks on. (This sword fight is also shown via flashback from Batman #561 and Batman #683.) The “Saga of Ra’s al Ghul” ends with a wrap-up issue (#245) where Batman solves a case involving two gangsters that are backing rival corrupt mayoral candidates. After closing the investigation, Batman jets down to South America where he is “miraculously discovered” wandering in the South American jungle—thus “reviving” Bruce Wayne from his faked plane crash death.

–REFERENCE: In Team Titans #13, JLA/Titans #2, and Countdown #51—originally told in Teen Titans #44-47. Batman isn’t involved in this item, but he is presumably filled-in on all the details. With Speedy fresh out of rehab and keeping clean, the Teen Titans reform (!) and are briefly joined by a zany antihero calling herself “Joker’s Daughter.” She also contradicts herself by claiming to be the daughter of several other notable Gotham villains. During an altercation between the Teen Titans and Two-Face, “Joker’s Daughter” reveals her true name, Duela Dent, claiming that she is Two-Face’s daughter. Who is Duela Dent, really? She’s not Two-Face’s kid. She’s actually a Dent from an alternate Earth, but nobody will find that out for a long time.

–NOTE: In JLA/Titans #1-3 and the quasi-canonical Secret Origins Vol. 2 Annual #3—originally told in Teen Titans #50-53. The recently reformed Teen Titans toy with larger membership via a splinter group known as “Titans West,” which includes Beast Boy, Flamebird (former Bat-Girl Bette Kane), Hawk, Dove, Bumblebee, Herald, and Golden Eagle. Shortly after initiating this venture, the Teen Titans meet to decide their future. Despite having just re-formed, the teens aren’t sure whether or not they should continue. With Dick moving to New York and several of the Teen Titans now looking to pursue their own individual exploits, the team officially disbands. (This is the second time the Teen Titans have disbanded this year!)

–FLASHBACK: From DC Universe Legacies #5. While all over the place when it comes to caprices and criminal habits in general, Joker begins his descent into the dark side. Pop-crime is dead. When the Clown Prince of Crime robs the Gotham National Bank, he decides to kill dozens of hostages, including his own henchmen, out of sheer boredom. Batman arrives seconds too late to save even a single soul.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #683 and Trinity #18—originally told in Batman #251. Joker escapes jail and hires a brand new gang. But when Joker gets busted, he blames his new crew for his defeat and vows to kill them all. Thus, Batman deals with Joker’s “five way revenge” scheme. Joker is able to murder four of his cronies, including Charlie “Bigger” Melvin. Batman rescues a wheelchair-bound Bing Hooley (Joker’s fifth henchman) from a shark tank death trap before busting the Clown Prince of Crime.

–Batman: Ego by Darwyn Cooke (August 2000)
Late winter. It’s a toss-up whether or not Ego is canon, as there are just as many reasons to label it out-of-continuity as there are to view it as in-continuity. In Ego, Batman implies that he’s been in action for merely three years, but that line must be summarily ignored. Onto a synopsis. Batman chases an escaped Joker, who goes on a twenty-seven-hourlong killing spree. Batman gets stabbed twice but still busts the Clown Prince of Crime and his gang. A bloody Caped Crusader tracks down Joker’s driver Buster Snibbs, who reveals that his entire family is dead—pawns in the “game” between Batman and Joker. Rather than allow the Dark Knight to apprehend him, Snibbs commits suicide. With heavy blood loss, the injured Batman begins seeing visions, but he makes it home. Thinking of Snibbs and his family, Batman sobs uncontrollably in the Batcave. Batman’s existential crisis manifests into a full blown hallucination as his ego—in the form of a dark humanoid bat creature—unrelentingly mocks him. They debate about his entire life, discussing Batman’s origin, Joker, Two-Face, and more. In the end, Batman overcomes his darkness, as he is able to self-psychoanalyze and totally separate his two personalities to maintain his sanity. When Joker escapes from police custody and takes hostages, Batman is on the case. Presumably, he jails his rival.[5][6]

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #683—originally told in Batman #255. Dr. Achilles Milo turns famous Olympic athlete Anthony Lupus into a werewolf. Batman bests both Milo and his werewolf.

–REFERENCE: In Secret Origins Vol. 2 #28—originally told in Detective Comics #463. Former heroin user Eric Needham becomes the hybrid Spider-Man/Punisher vigilante known as Black Spider, brutally killing-off Gotham drug dealers left-and-right. Batman fights Black Spider and puts him behind bars.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #683, Deadshot #1, and the second feature to Countdown to Final Crisis #22—and also referenced in Legends of the Dark Knight #132-136, Batman #600, Detective Comics #825, and Secret Origins Vol. 2 #44 Part 3. Originally told in Steve Englehart’s “Dark Detective” storyline from Detective Comics #469-479. The Modern Age version of “Dark Detective”—renamed “Strange Apparitions” for its Modern Age TPB release—occurs during the onset of the “Penthouse Year” just like the original, hence placement here. In “Strange Apparitions” several important things happen: Batman fights the debuting radioactive Dr. Phosphorus (Dr. Alex Sartorius); Robin deals with Penguin; Deadshot dons his new outfit and takes on Batman in an epic battle that ends in old-school fashion atop a giant typewriter prop at the convention center (with Silver watching); a new mob led by ex-Congressman Rupert Thorne rises and falls (after Hugo Strange pretends to be a ghost and “haunts” Thorne); Preston Payne aka Clayface III, who has shapeshifting powers and can turn people into lifeless blobs of protoplasm, debuts by skirmishing against Batman three times; and, perhaps the most important part of all, Bruce and Silver St. Cloud’s hot romance coruscates so bright that it burns out. Their relationship builds to a point where Silver finally finds out Bruce is Batman. Despite loving Bruce very much, Silver—like Julie before her—decides to leave. Bruce is heartbroken. Note that a Hugo Strange versus Batman story (Detective Comics #471) and Joker’s “Laughing Fish” gag (Detective Comics #475-476) were both part of Englehart’s original arc as well, but the former was retconned-out and replaced by “Prey” in Year One (as confirmed by Batman: Gotham Knights #8) while the latter actually takes place in Year Six. Bruce and Silver’s interactions from ‘tec #475-476, which are essential to their story, still canonically happen here, though. Another note: The canonical sequel to “Strange Apparitions,” entitled “Siege” (from LOTDK #132-136), will happen near the end of this year. And one final note: Another sequel to “Strange Apparitions,” a six-issue miniseries simply titled Batman: Dark Detective, was published in 2005. Unfortunately, it is non-canon. Englehart, in interviews, refused to specifically place the story, saying that it should have pleased fans of any era by being able to fit into any era. Oddly enough, the story includes Commissioner Akins and takes place when the GCPD are hunting the Bat-Family, which specifically places it right after “War Games” in Bat Year Nineteen. However, Two-Face is featured heavily in Batman: Dark Detective during a time where Harvey should be surgically repaired and semi-rehabilitated. Thus, Dark Detective is not canon, which is shame because it’s quite great.[7]

–FLASHBACK: From the quasi-canonical Secret Origins Vol. 2 Annual #3—and also referenced in Nightwing Vol. 2 Annual #2. Originally told in New Teen Titans #1. The New Teen Titans form from the recent ashes of the old Teen Titans. The New Teen Titans are bankrolled by Dr. Silas Stone (Cyborg’s dad) and feature a lineup of Robin, Beast Boy (Changeling), Raven, Kid Flash, and Wonder Girl. Raven visits the JLA to ask for support for her new team, but she is mistaken for a villain due to her dark aura and gets no help at all. Afterward, the New Teen Titans recruit Cyborg and Starfire. The New Teen Titans’ first mission is protecting New York City from an invasion of aliens, who wish to enslave all of humanity. Robin quickly assumes leadership of the Teen Titans and begins dating Starfire. Note that Marv Wolfman’s Nightwing Vol. 2 #132-137 (“321 Days”) implies that the formation of the New Teen Titans occurs just prior to Dick’s 18th birthday, but since the latter doesn’t happen for another two years, this is simply incorrect.

–FLASHBACK: From the quasi-canonical Secret Origins Vol. 2 Annual #3Booster Gold Vol. 2 #21-24, and a couple other comics. One of the New Teen Titans’ earliest fights is against Deathstroke the Terminator (Slade Wilson) and his son Ravager (Grant Wilson). Ravager dies in battle, further fueling what will become Deathstroke’s lifelong ire for the Titans. Meanwhile, as seen in Booster Gold Vol. 2 #21-24, Booster Gold time-travels from 2010 (Bat Year 22) back to this point on the timeline (1997) in order to prevent future super-villain Black Beetle from altering history by killing the Titans. Booster, as he so often does, plays dress-up, knocking out Deathstroke and wearing his costume during the skirmish, ensuring that the Titans win. Booster (as Deathstroke), before fleeing, whispers to a confused Dick, “Embrace your heritage. Guide Damian.” Very cool. Later, Booster lets Raven in on the secret and she helps implant memories of the battle, including his son’s death, into Deathstroke’s head so it will seem to him as if he was always there, thus ensuring the future timeline is corrected entirely. Booster then returns back to 2010 when all is fixed.

–“Night of the Bat” by Len Wein/Bernie Wrightson (Swamp Thing #7/Batman Hidden Treasures #1) December 1973 / December 2010
I know this story was written in 1973, but it does have lots of connective tissue to many concepts that were later fleshed-out in the Modern Age. Its re-publication in December 2010 also lends credence to the idea that it should be Modern Age canon. Scientist Alec Holland has recently been turned into Swamp Thing! (More correctly, Alec Holland was killed, after which a Plant Elemental was born with Holland’s memories and personality implanted in its mind. All Plant Elementals are members of the Parliament of Trees, a group sworn to protect the Green, the mystic force that binds all vegetal life together.) Together with his pet dog Mutt, Swamp Thing makes his first trip to Gotham in an attempt to track down the man responsible for his horrific transformation. Not only that, the same villain has also kidnapped his friends Abigail Arcane and Interpol agent Matthew Cable. (Abby will later marry Matthew and then marry Swamp Thing. Matthew will later die and become Morpheus’ raven in the Dreaming.) Batman, who co-incidentally is tracking the same criminal, has his first clash with Swamp Thing, who has not yet re-mastered the powers of speech. Eventually, Swamp Thing saves his friends, and Wayne Foundation executive Nathan Ellery is revealed as the baddie that both Swamp Thing and Batman are after. Ellery, after being outed as leader of the criminal organization known as The Conclave, kills poor Mutt, but then falls off a penthouse balcony, leaving him permanently paralyzed from the waist down. NOTES: A new Chief O’Hara makes an appearance here, albeit drawn very small and from a great distance away. This must be the original O’Hara’s younger relative (also seen in Batman #700 as “Officer O’Hara”), who has now been promoted. Also, it is said that Batman has been tracking the Conclave for months and that Ellery has been a Wayne Foundation exec for just as long. Due to time-compression, we should probably retcon Ellery’s hiring and Batman’s stalking of the Conclave as both attached to the very beginning of this item.

–“Duel” by Denny O’Neil/Jim Aparo/Keith Giffen/Joe Quesada/Tom Lyle/Dan Speigle/James Blackburn/Michael Golden (LOTDK Annual #1) 1991
Batman busts an escaped Joker overseas. While extraditing Joker back to the US, their plane crashes in the snow-capped Korean mountains. Batman hallucinates for three days due to a concussion, but still manages to successfully drag a tied-up Joker back to civilization through a thick blizzard, eventually repatriating the Clown Prince of Crime.

–“Dark Messenger of Mercy!” by Len Wein/John Calnan/Dick Giordano (Batman #307 / the second feature to DC Retroactive: Batman – The 70s #1) January 1979
1979’s Batman #307 was canonized in 2011 after being republished in conjunction with DC Retroactive: Batman – The 70s #1. In this double tale, Batman solves the Agatha Christie-esque whodunit mystery of the “Gold Coin Killer,” a serial murderer called Limehouse Jack, who blacks-out every night and kills homeless people by giving them poisoned gold coins. Meanwhile, crooked billionaire tycoon Gregorian Falstaff moves to Gotham with plans on ruining Bruce Wayne’s image and taking over Wayne Enterprises. Notably, because DC Retroactive: Batman – The 70s #1 canonizes “Dark Messenger of Mercy!” for the Modern Age, it also canonizes a fun bit of amazing 70s continuity nostalgia in the form of the energy company Roxxon, in which Bruce becomes a big-time stockholder. Interestingly, Roxxon was originally created in 1974 by Steve Englehart in the pages of Marvel’s Captain America as the major petroleum conglomerate on Earth-616 (Marvel’s primary Earth). Englehart also wrote Roxxon as DC’s main energy conglomerate in the 70s as well! Later Marvel stories in the 2010s reveal Roxxon as having financial interests within the scope of the cosmic and multiversial, so it’s a distinct possibility that DC’s Roxxon and Marvel’s Roxxon are one and the same!

–NOTE: In JLA Secret Files and Origins #2 Part 2—originally told in Justice League of America #128-129. The JLA fights an evil alien creature known as Nekron, who causes them to witness horrible visions of their own deaths and then literally feeds on their fear. (This is a one-shot Nekron, not to be confused with the much more formidable “Entity of the Black Light of Death” Nekron we will see later on.) The JLA bests Nekron and his robot henchman, saving Midway City in the process. (Originally, Red Tornado died during this adventure, but this isn’t true in the Modern Age.) After wrapping-up this mission, the JLA records details of it into the official case-files under the name “Death Visions of the Justice League,” which was the title of Justice League of America #128, upon which this entry on our timeline was based.

–FLASHBACK: From Sandman Vol. 2 #2. The JLA defeats Dr. Destiny and sends him to Arkham Asylum.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Absolution. It’s taken Batman nearly two years to track down terrorist bomber Jennifer Blake. He tries to apprehend her in Missouri, but she escapes. Blake will then go off the radar for the next eight years. I should mention that Batman is wearing the wrong costume in this flashback! He should be wearing the yellow-oval costume. Even though this is a pretty bad error, this flashback definitely takes place here and now.

–NOTE: In a flashback from Nightwing Vol. 2 Annual #2. Barbara Gordon, now in love with Dick, goes to visit him at Hudson University, only to discover that he’s already in a relationship with Teen Titan teammate Starfire. Dick and Starfire will date on-and-off for a few years and even get engaged at some point in the future.

–NOTE: In a reference in Birds of Prey #1 and a reference in Batgirl: Year One #9. Barbara Gordon begins dating former GCPD cop (now private investigator) Jason Bard.

–FLASHBACK: From the quasi-canonical Secret Origins Vol. 2 Annual #3. When the JLA learns that Teen Titan member Raven, whom they already don’t trust due to her dark magickal aura, is the biological daughter of the evil demon Trigon, they go after her. This prompts the Teen Titans to battle with the JLA! Eventually, the Titans are able to convince the JLA that Raven is a hero at heart.

–FLASHBACK: From Superman/Batman #79-80. Epoch (The Lord of Time) escapes from prison in the 853rd century and travels to the present where he encounters Batman, Superman, and Robin.  Using advanced technology, Epoch is able to trap the heroes in an Omega Barrier.  With the big guns out of the way, Epoch is also able to defeat the Outsiders, Teen Titans, and the JLA. Things look bleak until Supes, Bats, and Robin escape their obsidian cube jail and kick Epoch’s ass. Superman/Batman #80 also contains a cool two-page splash showing Epoch fleeing into the future and getting his ass kicked by several future versions of the “World’s Finest”: Damian Wayne and Conner Kent in the late 2010s; Brane Taylor (Batman), Elna Kent (Superwoman), Kent Shakespeare (Superman), and Thomas Wayne (Robin 3000) in the 3000s; Unknown Superman and Batsman in the 46th century; and finally Superman and Batman of Justice Legion-A in the 853rd century. Pretty damn cool! For more info about these Batmen of the future, including the confusing future of Damian Wayne, see the “Welcome to the Future” section of the Modern Age.

–REFERENCE: In Hero Hotline #1—originally told in DC Special #28. Batman defeats the debuting Quakemaster.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #864—originally told in Justice League of America #147-148. A team-up between the JLA and JSA pits the heroes against the powerful evil wizard Mordru. During this confrontation, the JLA and JSA form a triple-team with the time-traveling members of the 30th century’s Legion of Super-Heroes (also spelled “Legion of Superheroes”)—Chameleon Boy, Cosmic Boy, Karate Kid, Princess Projectra, Shadow Lass, Sun Boy, Una, and Wildfire). (Superman has already met the Legion and even served as an official 30th century Legionnaire while adventuring during his youth as “Superboy”.) When Mordru summons Abnegazar, Rath, and Ghast, the Demons Three immediately turn against him. The JLA, JSA, and Legion team-up to defeat the Demons Three.

–FLASHBACK: From Secret Origins Vol. 2 #22—originally told in Justice League of America #140-141 and Justice League of America #149-150. If you didn’t already know, the Maltusian immortals known as the Guardians of the Universe are the overseers and creators of the Green Lantern Corps. They are headquartered on Oa, a planet located in the direct center of the universe. Eons ago, before the institution of the Green Lantern Corps, the Guardians of the Universe built their first peacekeeping soldiers, the android Manhunters. (Okay, technically the Guardians’ first failed peacekeeping soldiers were the alien lizard-men species known as the Psions, but if you brought that up, you’d be nitpicking!) Cut to now: the Manhunters finally return, but they’ve gone jealously loco in regard to their Green Lantern replacements. The Manhunters endow superpowers onto vengeful attorney Mark Shaw, who leads the other Manhunters on a quest to capture Hal Jordan, whom they have framed for the destruction of a distant planet. After Batman ends their charade, Shaw realizes he’s fighting on the wrong team and switches sides to help the JLA defeat the Manhunters. Shortly thereafter, a new villain known as Star-Tsar shows up to strike against the JLA. Not so coincidentally, Shaw immediately returns as the superhero The Privateer to help wage war against Star-Tsar’s henchmen. The JLA quickly realizes that Shaw, having been corrupted by the cosmic power of the Manhunters, is playing both the role of Star-Tsar and the Privateer. Exposed, Shaw is defeated and imprisoned by the JLA, Hawkgirl, and former mascot Snapper Carr.

–REFERENCE: In JLA 80-Page Giant #1 Part 4—originally told in Justice League of America #152. The JLA defeats one-shot villain Major Macabre after which, Red Tornado and Kathy Sutton adopt an orphaned girl named Traya. Red Tornado and Kathy officially become parents of Traya Sutton-Smith.

–REFERENCE: In Adventures of Superman #627—originally told in Green Lantern Vol. 2 #108-109. An alien being known as Xum travels to Earth. After viewing Batman, Wonder Woman, and Flash, Xum turns into a hybrid version of those heroes called Replikon. Replikon is defeated by Hal Jordan, Green Arrow, and Black Canary.

–FLASHBACK: In Secret Origins Vol. 2 #13. Much to the disappointment of Bruce, Dick drops out of college and moves to New York City. Robin begins splitting time between leading the Teen Titans in the Big Apple and backing-up Batman in Gotham. At their first face-to-face interaction following Dick’s departure from college, Bruce screams at him angrily.

–FLASHBACK: In JSA Classified #1—and referenced in Infinite Crisis #2. Superman’s “cousin” Kara Zor-L arrives seemingly out of nowhere and debuts as Power Girl. Dr. Mid-Nite and Batman, both suspicious, run tests on Power Girl in a failed attempt to figure out where she came from. Kara, who will later adopt the surname “Starr,” has no memories of her past and will believe a couple different versions of her origin until she finally discovers the truth years later. And what is the truth you ask? Well, it’s a bit complicated. Kara is actually from an alternate universe (formerly known as the Silver/Bronze Age Universe-2) that is ended during Crisis on Infinite Earths. When Crisis occurs (in a little over one year) and Kara’s timeline is erased/altered/merged into the main Universe-0 timeline, she, unlike some of her friends and peers, will miraculously survive with her new debut manifesting as a spacetime anomaly right here and now, hence the reason she literally spontaneously appears. However, whereas many of the DCU characters that were rebooted via the Crisis had their origins completely revamped, Kara is unique because she keeps her alternate universe history intact (although she won’t be able to recall it until later). Think of this as a reboot that glitched halfway through, specifically in regard to Power Girl.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #253—originally told in Justice League of America #177-178. Despero kidnaps Martian Manhunter away to the planet Takron-Galtos. There, J’onn is forced to play a game of “cosmic chess” wherein which deadly chess piece robots attack the JLA on Earth. The JLA travels to Takron-Galtos to save J’onn and defeat Despero. (Note that this item featured Mars II in the Silver Age, but because there is no Mars II in the Modern Age, writer Gerry Conway retconned the location to Takron-Galtos.)

–FLASHBACK: From Action Comics #650—and referenced in Legends #1, New Gods Vol. 3 #15, and JLA Secret Files and Origins #2 Part 2. Originally told in Justice League of America #183-185. While en route to a JLA/JSA meeting, members of both teams are transported to the alternate dimensional planet of New Genesis, home to the benevolent New Gods. There, the heroes help New Gods Orion, Metron, Big Barda, and Mr. Miracle and Mr. Miracle’s manager Oberon defend New Genesis against Darkseid and his army of Shock Troopers and Parademons. Darkseid is the oppressive ruling king of the planet Apokolips, home to the evil New Gods. Both Apokolips and New Genesis can be reached via interdimensional wormholes known as Boom Tubes. Boom Tubes are generally activated by sentient organic-computers known as Mother Boxes (also spelled “Motherbox” and alternately “Motherboxx” or “Motherboxxx” during Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers series). After besting Darkseid and his hordes, the JLA keeps a Parademon helmet as a trophy. Note that while Darkseid may have been omnipotently overseeing these events, our heroes don’t actually come face-to-face with the real deal. New Gods Vol. 3 #15 reveals that a disguised Desaad had been playing the role of Darkseid here the entire time. In fact, New Gods Vol. 3 #15 tells us that Desaad plays the role of Darkseid throughout the entirety of Batman’s “Early Period.” Even throughout most of the rest of the Modern Age, many of the Darkseid appearances we’ll see will be mere emanations/avatars of his True Form, but more on that much later. However, if you are interested in learning more about the New Gods as “living ideas” right now, check out this blog post.

–REFERENCE: In DC Retroactive: Batman – The 70s #1.[8] “The Saga of Ra’s al Ghul” continues with a follow-up, which was originally from Batman #330-331, a prelude to an arc called “Lazarus Affair.” This prelude, for the purposes of our Modern Age timeline, exists as a prelude to “Terror Time Three” from DC Retroactive: Batman – The 70s #1 and then “Lazarus Affair.” Onto the synopsis. Batman and Robin are on shaky terms because the latter has very recently dropped out of college. Despite this, they team-up to track down Lucius Fox’s delinquent son (from a previous marriage), Timothy Fox, who is mixed up with criminals. With some surprise help from Talia al Ghul, the Dynamic Duo wrestles a confused and troubled Timothy away from the vile Watkins Gang, which is secretly subservient to crooked billionaire tycoon Gregorian Falstaff. Falstaff currently has an illegal operation/smear campaign in motion to ruin his biggest business rival, Bruce Wayne. After quickly defeating the debuting Electrocutioner, Batman goes after Falstaff, but is distracted by Talia, who shows up and seductively asks the Dark Knight to let her move into the Wayne Foundation penthouse. Batman decides to consider the idea, further alienating and pissing-off Robin.

–“Terror Times Three!” by Len Wein/Tom Mandrake (DC Retroactive: Batman – The 70s #1) September 2011
With Bruce preoccupied with evil billionaire Gregorian Falstaff’s attempts to ruin Wayne Enterprises and now attempt at a hostile takeover of his company, trouble only increases when a brand new high-tech Terrible Trio arrives in Gotham hellbent on chaos and robbery. The new Shark, Vulture, and Fox claim they have bought the franchise from the original villains. After tangoing with the new bad guys, Batman supposedly learns two of the originals are still in jail, while a third is dead. The Bat-computer seldom delivers incorrect info, but the third original member is definitely still alive because we will see him later on down the road. Back to our story at hand, after the new Terrible Trio successfully robs the Marine Society Charity Ball, Bruce baits the team by holding a charity event high atop the Wayne Enterprises Building in his own penthouse suite. Alfred, Lucius Fox, and Batman easily apprehend the villains. Lucius is saddened to learn that the new Vulture is none other than his own son Timothy Fox, who goes to jail. We also learn that Talia al Ghul was secretly behind the new Terrible Trio.[9]

–REFERENCE: In DC Retroactive: Batman – The 70s #1—originally told in Batman #332-335. The “Lazarus Affair” arc continues the “Saga of Ra’s al Ghul” and follows-up on the previous “Lazarus Affair” prelude reference note and “Terror Times Three” from DC Retroactive: Batman – The 70s #1. Talia briefly moves into Bruce’s penthouse. Batman and Talia al Ghul then confront the crooked Gregorian Falstaff, learning that he works for a higher mystery power. During the confrontation, Talia kills Falstaff. Batman and Talia then globe-trot in an attempt to find out who Falstaff was working for, following the deceased tycoon’s criminal trail to Switzerland, Nepal, and China. In Hong Kong, Batman is captured by mysterious forces, prompting Robin to recruit Catwoman to help go after him. After the successful rescue, involving King Faraday‘s assistance, the heroes travel to the mysterious Infinity Island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. After the heroes battle against various warriors, they watch as Ra’s al Ghul emerges from the shadows. Talia joins her father, who reveals that he is not only behind their trials in Hong Kong and on Infinity Island, but also behind the troubles with Falstaff back in Gotham. Eventually, Batman and Ra’s al Ghul square-off one-on-one with Batman gaining victory once again. Batman and Talia then part ways.[10]

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to Detective Comics #782. Late November—the anniversary of Batman’s parents’ deaths. Batman, as he always does on this date, places two roses at the Crime Alley murder site.

–“Siege” by Archie Goodwin/James Robinson/Marshall Rogers (LOTDK #132-136) August 2000 to December 2000
I really wish there were more stories from the penthouse year. This is a good one. Bruce has been in living in the Wayne Enterprises Tower aka Wayne Foundation Building for about nine months, and, for anyone who is interested, writer Archie Goodwin gives us some really profound aperçus into Bruce’s psychology behind wanting to leave Wayne Manor in the first place. We also see some wonderful flashbacks to Gotham in the 1920s with Bruce’s grandfather (on his dad’s side), Jack Wayne, and his ousted young rival, the future mercenary Colonel Brass. I should mention that Bruce’s grandfather is named Patrick, which means that he merely goes by “Jack,” a very common nickname. In “Siege,” we also witness the return of Silver St. Cloud as the famous publicist comes back to Gotham to organize a gun convention for the aforementioned Brass. However, it turns out Brass is using the gun convention as a front to start an all out war on Gotham. This all out war, stirred up between two rival mobs that Batman is in the middle of investigating, functions as a distraction so Brass can achieve his real goal: destruction of Wayne Manor as revenge against the Wayne Family. Of course, Batman stops the seventy-five-year-old villain and his militia, but not before the love of his life, Silver St. Cloud, leaves yet again. At the conclusion of “Siege,” Bruce decides it’s time to move back into Wayne Manor and does so. There is also a notable flashback sequence in “Siege” to the infamous masquerade scene where Thomas Wayne wore the original Bat-costume, which occurred before Bruce was born.

–REFERENCE: In Batman/Deadman: Death and Glory. This 1996 James Robinson/John Estes story isn’t numbered because it cannot be completely taken at face value. In other words, it has been heavily retconned (or it should be). In this tale, Batman gets possessed by an evil spirit known as The Clown. While under possession of this vile apparition, Batman murders a room full of innocent people. Let me repeat this. Batman stabs to death dozens of people. Eventually, after meeting with Felix Faust and performing an occult ritual atop the giant Batcave penny (!), Batman clears his name and exorcises the Clown with some help from Deadman and an HIV-positive man named Albert Yeats. While the events that occur in this story are canon, Batman’s mass murders definitely are not. If Batman killed even one person, let alone dozens, even if he was possessed, it would have had way more significance and impact on his life and upon future story-arcs. This horrible act is never mentioned again and that is simply unbelievable/unacceptable. It is made crystal clear in the narrative that writer James Robinson believes that a supernaturally possessed person cannot be culpable of criminality. I’m not going to start a debate about that here, but I definitely don’t agree. At the very least this would shake Batman and the entire superhero community to its core—and it just doesn’t. Therefore, either we disregard this entire tale as an Elseworlds thing, or we can read Death and Glory as if Batman simply attacked some people while possessed instead of horribly butchered them. Up to you.

–FLASHBACK: From Secret Origins Vol. 2 #13. A tuxedo-wearing Dick tries to fit in at a fancy society ball, hobnobbing with Bruce and other playboy-types, but it just ain’t his style nor his scene.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #470. Batman fights the debuting megalomaniac crime-boss Maxie Zeus, an eccentric that believes he is part Greek god, part second coming of Christ.

–REFERENCE: In New Teen Titans Vol. 2 #38. The JLA battles the Ultra-Humanite.

–FLASHBACK: From Power Company: Bork #1. Flash and Batman team-up to face an escaped Carl Bork for the second time. Batman eventually convinces Bork to stand down when Bork’s elderly mother has a heart attack. Batman funds the treatment for her recovery on the condition that Bork serves his prison sentence quietly.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1 and The Batman Files. Batman busts violent serial killer Victor Zsasz, who has already killed over three dozen people with his signature knife. For each of his victims, Zsasz has carved a tally mark into his own skin. Zsasz will continue to mark sick tally marks on his body for the rest of his murderous “vocation.” Note that in Alan Grant’s Shadow of the Bat #1, which gives us the first appearance of Zsasz and occurs in Bat Year Thirteen, Jeremiah Arkham says that Zsasz has killed 47 people. However, if we are to truly believe the tally marks drawn on Zsasz’s body, he’s killed hundreds, which would make it seem like he’s been around for at least a few years before Bat Year Thirteen. Therefore, I’ve placed his debut here.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics Annual #1 and The Question #2. The rookie superhero known as The Question gives some unwanted assistance to Batman on a stolen radium case. Afterward, Batman deduces his secret ID as reporter Vic Sage.

–REFERENCE: In Wonder Woman Vol. 3 #2—originally told in The Brave and The Bold #170. US secret-agent-in-training cum master of disguise cum genius inventor Tom Tresser aka Nemesis is sent to Gotham to take on the criminal organization known as the Council. Previously, Tom’s secret agent brother, Craig Tresser, had gone undercover and infiltrated the Council, only to get brainwashed into a mindless killing machine, which resulted in his own death. In Gotham, Nemesis teams with Batman to bring justice to his brother’s killer. As mentioned before, the Council that appears in this item feels like a different beast than the Council Batman dealt with last year. However, it is definitely the same Council.


| >> NEXT: YEAR TEN >>>

  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: This scene from Batman #700 has a part where Joker flips through his joke book and reads some of his “schemes, routines, and grandest ploys” aloud. Joker, says, as he’s quickly flipping the pages, “…Joker fish… heh… might look into that… Jokerworld death parks for all the family… wooh.” Ostensibly, this could make it seem like this takes place before the “Laughing Fish” gag. However, on our timeline the “Laughing Fish” gag already occurred a couple years ago. The “Laughing Fish” gag must take place a couple years ago for two main reasons. First, Batman and Robin, by this point, have been interacting with Nichols for a couple years. And second, the “Laughing Fish” gag is linked to Steve Englehart’s “Fishy Laugh / Reign of Joker,” which, in spite of its few continuity errors, is canon and definitely takes place during a time where Aquaman has only recently joined a newly formed JLA. THUS, logic would follow that the scene from Batman #700 with Nichols occurs right here where it does. The Joker line in Batman #700 is a bit confusing and delusory. While it can be read several ways, here’s how I read it for the purposes of our chronology. Joker reads “Joker fish” as one page, recalling one of his most famous gags. Then he reads something else that makes him go “heh.” Then he reads something else that makes him say “might look into that,” etc… That might be a very unique reading of the sequence, but there’s no way to prove that it’s an incorrect reading of the sequence. My unique reading actually makes it work much more nicely on the Modern Age timeline.
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: Talia is the daughter of Ra’s al Ghul, leader of the League of Assassins. According to her Arabic familial history (and creator Denny O’Neil’s intention), Talia does not have a last name. However, the Westernized version of her full name, while incorrect in Arabic, is “Talia al Ghul.” Since cultural lexicon basically trumps O’Neil’s original intention, especially in the Modern Age, the use of “Talia al Ghūl” (with surname) is basically acceptable grammar even though it’s technically wrong. Some might fight you on that, but I certainly don’t have the energy to engage in that debate.
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: How old is Talia when she meets Batman? As per the original comics and Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #2, she clearly looks to be in her late teenage years and is old enough to attend university. However, Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #2 tells us that Ra’s al Ghul meets Talia’s mom (and impregnates her) either at or shortly after the Live Aid concert in 1985. This works just fine for the New 52 timeline, under which Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #2 was published. But for the Modern Age, which Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #2 is supposed to be canon in as well, it makes things a bit more complicated. Talia would only be around 11 or 12-years old right now. So either the Live Aid reference is bogus or we must assume that the League of Assassins has done to Talia what will be done for Damian and Damian’s clones: rapid sci-fi aging. No matter the situation or how many years Talia has existed in the world, she’s in the range of 18 to 21-years-old when she meets the Dark Knight in the Modern Age—likely closer to the former.
  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER: Batman #242 is non-canon because it contradicts Brian K Vaughan’s Batman #589, in which we learn that Batman encountered Matches Malone very early in his career (before Robin and while Harvey Dent was still ADA). We also learn that Matches fakes his death around this time and skips town, not returning to Gotham for over a decade (actually seventeen years by my calculations). Of course, all of this contradicts Malone’s appearance and death in Batman #242. Not to mention, Batman uses the Matches Malone disguise in storylines from Batman Confidential #22-25 and Superman/Batman #85-87 (both also taking place before “The Saga of Ra’s al Ghul”).
  5. [5]MILO NOUSIAINEN: Batman: Ego begins with a terrible atrocity committed by Joker. Because Ego features a homicidal Joker, Ego should go after the flashback from DC Universe Legacies #5 (”Joker’s Five-Way Revenge”). Batman #682-#683 implies a timeline where Joker doesn’t return to his murderous roots from his original persona until his “Five-Way Revenge.”
  6. [6]JACK JAMES: Batman: Ego also fits nicely after (within a year of) Bruce’s breakup with Kathy Kane one major reason: Bruce is extra down-in-the-dumps, which is what leads him to being extra-melancholic about his war on crime and his identity. He’s really been this way ever since Kathy broke up with him last year. Please note, however, in my personal headcanon, I would actually place Ego earlier than here. While speculative, it works narratively that Batman’s weird hallucinatory or dreamlike experience with his “ego” would be enough to convince him to undergo testing with Simon Hurt. After all, Batman goes to Hurt to better understand both his own mind and the rationale of villains like Joker. Hurt’s sleep deprivation testing (from Batman’s perspective, anyway) is also meant to strengthen internal fortitude in the face of hallucinatory experiences akin to the one in Ego. As such, I think Ego might fit better a year earlier, just before his first encounter with Simon Hurt. But again, my headcanon! Up to you!
  7. [7]COLLIN COLSHER: If I were to play devils’ advocate in an attempt to canonize Dark Detective, I would lead with the fact that Englehart never actually refers to Commissioner Akins by name. His officers merely refer to him as “sir.” And Akins only appears in a single panel in issue #2. When first building my timeline, I simply ignored Commissioner Akins’ presence and placed Dark Detective in the “Early Period” (occurring shortly after “Strange Apparitions”). My argument was that this might not be Akins or that even if this is Akins he might not be Commish yet. However, upon multiple reads and rereads I’ve come to realize that the high-ranking Black GCPD official is definitely meant to be Commissioner Akins. This reason—combined with the 2005 publishing date, post “War Games” explanation for the GCPD’s hostility toward Batman, and Two-Face appearance—definitively marks Dark Detective as non-canon.

    For more information regarding the canonicity of Dark Detective, check out about_faces’ Livejournal entry (linked to the awesome We Believe in Harvey Dent Blog).

    DRAKUL: Other timelines place Dark Detective between “Robin: a Hero Reborn” and “Last Arkham” (between Robin #1-5 and Batman: Shadow of the Bat #1, placing it in Bat Year 13). However, that doesn’t seem to make sense either.

  8. [8]Special thanks to JEFF G for the order and placement of “Lazarus Affair”/DC Retroactive: Batman – The 70s #1.
  9. [9]JEFF G / COLLIN COLSHER: Len Wein’s 1980 Batman run abruptly ended with Batman #327 Part 1 and The Untold Legend of the Batman #1-3, leaving dangling plot points like Gregorian Falstaff and Timothy Fox. “Terror Times Three” (written by Wein) seems to be an obvious attempt by Wein to add more closure to his run and bridge it with Wolfman’s 1980-1981 follow-up run, which began with Batman #328, picking up where Wein originally had left off. “Terror Times Three” is retcon-ish when it comes to Timothy Fox, but seems otherwise faithful to Wolfman’s Batman #328-335, which includes the classic “The Lazarus Affair” arc.
  10. [10]COLLIN COLSHER: Note that “Lazarus Affair,” like “The Saga of Ra’s al Ghul,” pretty much happens exactly like it did in the Bronze Age, except for two big retcon differences. The first notable change is the erasure of Timothy Fox’s happy reconciliation with his pop Lucius and redemption for any criminal wrongdoing (as originally shown in Batman #333). Obviously, “Terror Times Three” from DC Retroactive: Batman – The 70s #1 went much grimmer and changed things so that Timothy became a part of the Terrible Trio and went to jail in the Modern Age. And the second notable difference between the Bronze Age version of “Lazarus Affair” versus the Modern Age version is the erasure of a sequence in Batman #334 where it is revealed that Talia al Ghul is actually an old lady, only kept young-looking thanks to the Lazarus Pits. In the Modern Age, Talia is definitely NOT super old.

14 Responses to Modern YEAR NINE

  1. Drakul says:

    Thanks for the note.
    As you know I arrange my continuity with TPB and since you list events by issues or story arcs I sometimes don’t realize that I actually own the issues/arc you are mentioning.

    Takes a bit of detective work 😉

  2. James IV says:

    Your link to about-faces live journal in relation to Dark Detective might need a TVTrope-like warning, because I’m only barely resisting looking through and reading all of his articles that interest me, and I’m only resisting because I have other things to do, lol. Though he seems to dislike Hugo Strange’s return in the Hill arc, so I’d have words about that if/when I get to reading that particular one.

    • I used to be quite an avid follower of the “We Believe in Harvey Dent Blog,” but I don’t think it gets updated any more. Lots of interesting archived material to mine through over there, though!

  3. Slade says:

    Question: Shouldn’t the discovery of Roy Harper’s addiction occur after the Teen Titans have disbanded for the first time? Wasn’t the catalyst behind his addiction problem the fact that both his team had fallen apart and that his mentor (Green Arrow) had found another partner in crime (in this case, Hal Jordan)? The Green Arrow – Green Lantern partnership placement makes sense, given that you have the formation of the Teen Titans in March of Year 8, while Oliver Queen had renounced his fortune after bankrolling the Justice League for several months in the first half of Year 7. That leaves nearly an entire year for Green Arrow and Speedy to have been partners, while Green Lantern is able to slowly replace Roy as he begins occupying more time with the Teen Titans around April – May of Year 8. Seems a little odd for him to be simultaneously in rehab while happily fighting crime with the Teen Titans until they disbanded following Duela Dent and co. joining.

    Additionally, I am wondering how you determined Speedy to be 20 at the time of his addiction reveal? Likewise, how is Aqualad also known to be around Speedy’s age within the same year? Finally, do you have a definitive point for when Aqualad likely quit the Teen Titans?

    Lots of questions, so I understand if you don’t have all the answers, but wanted to inquire. As always, thank you for this incredible project!

    • Hey Slade, the Titans actually disbanded twice, which I should make clearer here. In the Silver Age, the Teen Titans series was cancelled at Teen Titans #43 (1973). The Teen Titans reform in Teen Titans #44 (1976). The Speedy heroin saga was in Green Lantern Vol. 2 #85-86 (1971). Teen Titans #43 actually occurs prior to Green Lantern Vol. 2 #85-86 despite it being published two years afterward. So, as you correctly surmise, the first breakup of the Titans (along with Green Arrow’s focus on Hal Jordan) does lead to Speedy’s troubles. In the Silver Age, Speedy doesn’t even got to rehab. Ollie bullies him into quitting cold turkey!

      In any case, this should be made much more clear on the site, so I will do that. Don’t forget that the entire span of Titans issues from #43 through #53 (including the Titan’s first breakup, Speedy’s rehab, the reformation and second team breakup) and subsequent formation of the New Teen Titans all happens within the span of about 3 months or so. This is the time-compression that happens in the Modern Age. Just how it is. You’ve made me think things def need to get moved around a little bit to accommodate the saga of Speedy and the Titans a bit more. I’ll take a look.

      In regard to the Teen Titan ages, I think I had that 20-year-old thing when I originally built the Modern Age timeline (having incorrectly placed Speedy’s debut much earlier than Year Seven). Since he’s 13 or 14-years-old when he debuts, Speedy should be 15 or 16-years-old when his big heroin/rehab scare happens.

      As far as Aqualad goes, in the Silver Age, he left the Titans in Teen Titans #19 in order to tend to duties in Atlantis. He officially returned to the Titans when the team reformed (following Teen Titans #44-45). In the Modern Age, this basically gets confirmed via Secret Origins Vol. 2 Annual #3. I’m going to fix up some things on our timeline to show this.

      Thanks for your patronage!

      • Slade says:

        Thank you for the response! I know Batman is more of the focus of this project, but I inferred you would have an answer about Speedy / the Teen Titans nonetheless. As always, super impressed with your knowledge and grateful for all the hard work you have put in!

  4. Jack James says:

    Hmmm, Batman #600 shows Silver St. Cloud specifically having an argument with Bruce at Wayne Manor, but during the time of their relationship here, Bruce was living on a penthouse.

    I think something to make this work would be to have it so Bruce and her dated before he moved into the penthouse, and then instead of them having their first go in the “Strange Apparitions” arc (which in this continuity is a reference instead of super literally what happened, as evidenced by the Laughing Fish retcon you had to make), their relationship in that arc is them trying things out again. What do you think?

    • I think the Batman #600 flashback is surrealistic enough that it should still be in the penthouse. Vesper walking down the stairs in anger triggers a montage of memories. It’s a nice emotional touch to include Silver, but it really should be the penthouse. I’ll make a note of this!

      • Jack James says:

        The problem is that Bruce specifically mentions it was at Wayne Manor. He was specifically reminiscing about all the memories that happened at that house, heh

        • Ah damn it. You are right. That is very annoying. It’s almost certainly a continuity error that is now forcing our canon to accept his relationship starting with Silver earlier (and them getting in a fight). Silver should always be linked to the penthouse. Alas. I’ll make the change.

  5. Milo says:

    Shouldn’t “The Saga of Ra’s Al Ghul”/”Tales of the Demon” take place before “Dark Detective”/”Strange Apparitions”? And I would place “Joker’s Five-Way Revenge” shortly after the flashback from DC Universe Legacies #5.

  6. Milo says:

    Batman #683 places “Moon of the Wolf” from Batman #255 between “Joker’s Five-Way Revenge” and “Strange Apparitions.” Also, it seems to place “Son of the Demon” after “Moon of the Wolf.”

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