–FLASHBACK: From the second feature to 52 #13 and Secret Origins Vol. 2 #30—and referenced in Secret Origins Vol. 2 #30. Originally told in Justice League of America #105. Elongated Man joins the JLA. On his first case with the JLA, the team defeats the Putty Men (villains linked to Queen Bee Zazzala). The original story from Justice League of America #105 does not feature Batman. However, the Modern Age retcon flashback inserts the Dark Knight, hence the inclusion of the “Case of the Putty Men” on our timeline.

–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 #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 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)
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.[1][2]

–REFERENCE: In Batman Secret Files and Origins #1 Part 3—originally told in Detective Comics #437. Batman involves himself in “The Case of Matuchima,” in which several men don the Mask of Matuchima, the death god of the Xochipecs. The mask injects them with a drug that gives them super-human fighting ability. This leads to a chain of death and mayhem that ends with the person that started it all fatally jumping off a loge and crashing through the giant replica of the mask, destroying both it and the real mask. Afterward, Batman repairs the giant replica of the Mask of Matuchima to keep as a trophy in the Batcave.

–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 Identity Crisis—originally told in Justice League of America #111. The JLA defeats The Injustice Gang (aka The Injustice Gang of the World), a team led by Libra and consisting of Mirror Master (Sam Scudder), Poison Ivy, Scarecrow, Chronos, Shadow Thief, and Tattooed Man (Abel Tarrant). Note that the Injustice Gang is not to be confused with the Injustice Society or Injustice League, which are both separate teams.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #676—originally told in Detective Comics #441. The “Case of Judge Clay” occurs. Batman and Robin take down the corrupt Judge Clay after the judge accuses Batman of a crime for which the former is actually responsible. Batman keeps Judge Clay’s gavel as a trophy and displays in in the Batcave.

–REFERENCE: In JSA #2—originally told in Justice League of America #113. Decades ago, JSA member Sandman’s teenage sidekick Sandy Hawkins was turned into a hulking sandstone monster called a “Silicon.” Unable to help him,  Sandman simply put him in suspended animation in a secret cell. Now, Sandy has finally broken free. The JSAers and JLAers chase and fight the rampaging Sandy across the country, eventually reverting him back to human form, although he’s still a teenager.

–Huntress: Year One #4-6 by Ivory Madison/Cliff Richards (August to September 2008)
Mid February—this item takes place around the Catholic holiday of Carnival, marking the beginning of Lent. Huntress: Year One is a horrific mess continuity-wise, but here we go.[3] Helena Bertinelli, now twenty-years-old, becomes the costumed vigilante known as Huntress. She travels to Gotham to avenge the murder of her family, which happened when she was a little girl. After killing Stefano Mandragora, the man that ordered the hit on her fam, Huntress targets one of the actual hitmen, a vile assassin known as Omerta, who currently works for Nino Angelo’s mob. Huntress tracks Nino Angelo to a huge party being held at Wayne Manor. The party is a setup where Bruce can get more info about Angelo’s operations while Batgirl and Alfred listen in on wire taps. But of course, Huntress doesn’t know about the sting and crashes the soirée, much to the chagrin of Bruce. (As mentioned above, don’t forget that Babs is only nineteen-years-old at this point, but she’s already gotten one Master’s Degree, is working on another, and is running for Congress!) Batgirl tries to take down Huntress but gets her ass kicked, also to the chagrin of Bruce, who is so angry he temporarily fires her. (Batgirl’s “firing” only lasts about a day.) Batman (shown wearing the wrong costume) later confronts Huntress and tries to apprehend her, but Catwoman shows up and saves Huntress. Later still, Huntress unearths a plot by the Angelo family and Gotham’s corrupt politico, Mayor Hamilton Hill, who has Presidential aspirations. (This plot ultimately never gets linked to the mayor. Also note that Hill is not specifically named in this story, giving some doubt as to the character’s actual identity. However, if our story truly goes here, then it should be Hill.)[4] Huntress then assaults Nino Angelo, her former lover Tony Angelo, Omerta, and the Italian crime lord known as The Pope. The Pope gains the upper hand when he drags out a kidnapped Sal Asaro, the man who trained Huntress. Just when things look bleak, Huntress gets assistance from Batman, Batgirl, and Catwoman. Huntress takes her revenge on Omerta by cutting out his tongue. Afterward, Huntress tells Batman that she will stay in Gotham permanently whether he likes it or not—although, technically, Huntress will move to New York City for a few years before returning.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 2 #58—originally told in The Brave and The Bold #115. This is a wild one. Batman tracks down a kidnapped girl to the secret HQ of criminal Buggsy Cathcart. But Buggsy is prepared and has the place wired, so when the Dark Knight tries to break into the building he gets a lethal jolt of electricity. Batman drops like a leaf and Buggsy and his thugs quickly dump his body. Minutes later, Batman is discovered by Gordon’s men (thankfully) and rushed to the hospital where they learn he is brain dead! Enter the Atom, who shrinks down, enters Bruce’s brain and is able to re-animate him enough to control his lifeless body. Like a puppeteer living inside Bruce’s brain, the Atom marches the zombie Batman back to Buggsy’s hideout, saves the girl, and returns him to the hospital. The Atom is then able to work his mojo inside Bruce’s brain and actually revives him! That’s right, Bruce was clinically brain dead for at least half an hour, but somehow the Atom zombifies him and then resurrects him! Awesome.

–FLASHBACK: From Secret Origins Vol. 2 #22—originally told in Detective Comics #443. Batman joins forces with Manhunter (Paul Kirk), Asano Nitobe, Interpol agent Christine St. Clair, and Kolu Mbeya to crush an army of Paul Kirk clones linked to The Council, a vast criminal enterprise that has existed clandestinely for hundreds of years. Manhunter sacrifices his life to defeat the Council, leading the surviving heroes to believe that the Council has been shut down. Of course, the Council isn’t really shut down and will continue its dastardly ways, as we will see later this year when Batman teams with Tom Tresser. Note that there is absolutely nothing in the comics that connects the Council from Secret Origins Vol. 2 #22 to the Council we will see in the future. However, there is nothing to the contrary either. We can assume that there are multiple cells of the Council that operate all over the world. Even if the Council that Batman faces in the future seems entirely different from this version of the Council, we can be rest assured that they are both a part of the same parent organization.

–REFERENCE: In JLA #115, JLA/Titans #1-3, and Secret Origins Vol. 2 Annual #3—originally told in Justice League of America #116. Teenage superhero Golden Eagle (basically a sidekick to Hawkman) helps the JLA defeat Matter Master.

–“Night of the Bat” by Len Wein/Bernie Wrightson (Swamp Thing #7/Batman Hidden Treasures #1) December 1973 / December 2010
This story was originally told in 1973’s Swamp Thing #7, but it has 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 rooftop balcony, leaving him permanently paralyzed from the waist down. NOTES: A new Chief O’Hara makes an appearance here. 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.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #650—originally told in Justice League of America #120-121. The JLA helps Adam Strange defeat Kanjar Ro once again. Afterward, Adam Strange and Alanna get married!

–REFERENCE: 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 its details into the official case-files under the name “Death Visions of the Justice League,” which is the title of Justice League of America #128, upon which this entry on our timeline was based.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #703—originally told in Detective Comics #460-462. The swashbuckling pirate-villain Captain Stingaree debuts against Batman, who teams with Stingaree’s three identical triplet brothers and Flash to bring him down.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #253—originally told in Justice League of America #133-134. Despero takes over Sirkus, a planet that is home to superhero cosplaying aliens, including Ergon and Kwim. Alien warriors Albon and Nordon (a duo known as The Krill) then defeat Despero, taking over Sirkus for themselves. The JLA intervenes only to get captured by the Krill as well. Eventually, the JLA defeat both the Krill and Despero.

–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 & 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.

–REFERENCE: In Team Titans #13, JLA/Titans #2, and Countdown #51—originally told in Batman Family #6 Part 2, Batman Family #8-9, and 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 definitely not Two-Face’s kid. She’s actually a Dent from an alternate Earth, but nobody will find that out for a long time.

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

–NOTE: In JLA/Titans #1-3 and 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 recently re-formed, the teens aren’t sure whether they should continue. With Dick living in 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 in less than a year’s time.)

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.

–REFERENCE: In Faces of Evil: Kobra #1—originally told in the Kobra series finale from DC Special Series #1 (1977). For the past year, government secret agent Jason Burr has been fighting against a global terrorist organization/apocalypse cult (the Kobra Cult) led by his twin brother Jeffrey Franklin Burr aka Lord Naga-Naga (better known simply as Kobra). Finally tracking Kobra’s HQ to a Lazarus Pit location in the Himalayas, Jason contacts Batman for assistance. Batman and Jason fight Kobra and his agents, but in the end, the vile cult leader orders the execution of his brother. One of Kobra’s followers stabs Jason to death. Batman vows to bring Kobra to justice and solemnly returns to the States with Jason’s body in tow.

–FLASHBACK: From Secret Origins Vol. 2 #22—originally told in Justice League of America #140-141, Justice League of America #143, and Justice League of America #149-150. If you didn’t 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, who 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 realize 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 Justice League International #11 and JLA #107—originally told in Justice League of America #142. The JLA defeats the evil robot known as The Construct.

–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 “penthouse era” 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 St. Cloud 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, Bruce and Silver’s hot romance coruscates so brightly 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 Madison and Kathy Kane 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 at 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 would have been surgically repaired and semi-rehabilitated. Thus, Dark Detective is not canon, which is shame because it’s quite good.[5]

–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 Identity Crisis #1—originally told in Justice League of America #157. Ray Palmer marries Jean Loring.

–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.

–“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, of 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!

–REFERENCE: In Batman #416—originally told in Batman #310. Batman and Robin take down Gentleman Ghost (the evil spirit of James Craddock). Batman #416 contains some non-canon material, but despite this, the canonical reference to the debut of Gentleman Ghost comes from a super-villain mini-mural in a flashback. Among the more obvious characters shown is Gentleman Ghost. While the containing flashback must still be ignored as non-canon, this reference within is probably safe to stay.

–REFERENCE: In Justice Society of America Vol. 3 80-Page Giant 2010 #1—originally told in Justice League of America #162-165. The JLA defeats The Shark (Karshon). Shortly thereafter, Zatanna and her father John Zatara learn that Sindella (Zatanna’s mom and John’s wife), long thought to have been killed in a car accident, is actually still alive, having been held captive by evil Homo Magi wizards for years. The JLA rescues Sindella, but she dies helping them defeat the evil wizards. A funeral is held for Sindella.

–REFERENCE: In JLA #119. Catwoman (now wearing a new green-and-purple caped-dress costume), joins the brand new super-villain group known as The Secret Society of Super-Villains—not to be confused with the Injustice Gang, Injustice League, or Injustice Society, which are each separate teams. Batman finds out when he obtains a photo of Catwoman with the team. This photo goes into his scrapbook. The Secret Society consists of the Wizard, Gorilla Grodd, Floronic Man, Blockbuster, Star Sapphire (Debbie Camille Darnell aka Remoni-Notra), Reverse-Flash (aka Professor Zoom aka Eobard Thawne), Psycho-Pirate, Mist, Rag Doll, and now Catwoman.

–NOTE: In a flashback from Catwoman Vol. 3 #50. The second part of the “mind-wipe scandal” begins with the secret mind-wipe of Catwoman by Zatanna and company. This mind-wipe completely erases Selina’s more villainous traits. Selina’s mind-wipe, like the others, is done in secret from Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, but Selina is given special care aboard the JL Satellite, presumably because she is close to Batman and because she was the sole female member of the Injustice League.

–FLASHBACK: From Identity Crisis and The OMAC Project—originally told in Justice League of America #166-168. The dust has barely settled from the mind-wiping of Catwoman, but the “mind-wipe scandal” continues its dastardly second act. Once again, all the JLA members’ minds and bodies are magickally swapped with the minds and bodies of evildoers. This time the Secret Society of Super-Villains does the body-switching, specifically the Wizard, Floronic Man, Star Sapphire, Reverse-Flash, and Blockbuster. This swapping, of course, is bad because the evil team discovers all of the JLA secret identities. After reversing the body-swap spell, Zatanna, in a move once again believed to be necessary, erases all of the villains’ memories regarding the encounter. The close proximity between the Agamemno affair and this Secret Society body swap will cause Batman’s paranoia to grow even more, further convincing him of the need to gather info on and build contingency emergency plans to fight his friends should another mind/body swap ever happen again.

–REFERENCE: In DC Retroactive: Batman – The 70s #1—originally told in Detective Comics #312-314. Lucius Fox’s delinquent son (from a previous marriage) Timothy Fox comes to live with his him in Gotham. Unfortunately, Timothy is mixed up with criminal gangs. Lucius tells Bruce about the situation.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Incorporated #4—originally told in Detective Comics #485 and Detective Comics #490. Ra’s al Ghul mounts his forces and strikes against the Sensei, prompting a brief civil war between the two ninja factions of the League of Assassins. When the war spills into Gotham, Kathy Kane (the retired Bat-Woman) mysteriously gets involved. Ra’s al Ghul sends a warning message to Bruce that Kathy may be in danger. Batman fights off League henchmen at Kathy’s circus where sure enough, he finds his former fiancée being held captive. The Caped Crusader is ambushed and knocked unconscious by Bronze Tiger aka Ben Turner, former partner to Richard Dragon. (Bronze Tiger has been brainwashed into serving the League of Assassins). A little while later, Batman awakens to discover that Kathy has been seemingly stabbed to death! A devastated Batman tries to discover the mystery of why and how Kathy was involved in the League of Assassins civil war, but he finds nothing but dead ends. SPOILER ALERT: Kathy Kane isn’t really dead. Her “murder” is actually an elaborately orchestrated ruse perpetrated by herself, the Spyral organization, and Talia. We won’t see Kathy again for fourteen years. During this time period, Kathy will ascend the ranks of Spyral and become its leader, all the while secretly keeping tabs on Batman’s every move.[6]Ra’s al Ghul then bests the Sensei’s faction, quickly regaining full control of the League of Assassins. We won’t see the Sensei for over a decade. When the Sensei eventually returns, Ra’s al Ghul will welcome his traitorous dad back into the fold, but some leopards never change their spots.

–FLASHBACK: From JSA #61—originally told in Justice League of America #171-172. When the JSA and JLA meet on the satellite, tragedy strikes. The super-villain known as The Spirit King has secretly taken control of Jay Garrick’s body and uses him to surprise attack both teams. The Spirit King is subdued, but not before the death of the original Mr. Terrific (Terry Sloane). All the DCU’s heroes attend Mr. Terrific’s funeral a few days later.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #690—originally told in Batman #318. The pyromaniac super-villain Firebug (Joe Rigger) debuts and battles Batman.

–REFERENCE: In Batgirl Special #1—originally told in Detective Comics #491 Part 5 and Detective Comics#492. Batgirl is nearly killed by master assassin Cormorant, who is working for a mobster named General Scarr. Batman and an injured Batgirl team-up to bust Cormorant and General Scarr.

–FLASHBACK: From Secret Origins Vol. 2 Annual #3—and also referenced in Secret Origins Vol. 2 #13 and Nightwing Vol. 2 Annual #2. Originally told in New Teen Titans #1. The New Teen Titans form out of the recent ashes of the old Teen Titans. The New Teen Titans—which will go by both “New Teen Titans” and plain old “Teen Titans”—are bankrolled by Dr. Silas Stone and feature a lineup of Robin, Beast Boy (formerly Changeling), Raven (Rachel Roth), 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 (Dr. Stone’s son, Victor Stone) and Starfire (Koriand’r). 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 New Teen Titans and begins dating Starfire. 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.[7]

–FLASHBACK: From 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. Before fleeing, Booster (as Deathstroke) 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 Ravager’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.

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

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Absolution. It’s taken Batman nearly three 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 an error, this flashback definitely takes place here.

–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 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. (In the Silver/Bronze Age, Babs’ relationship with Jason was originally highlighted in some of the the second features to Detective Comics #392-405 and Detective Comics #418-424. It’s possible that Babs’ relationship with Jason here on the Modern Age timeline loosely reflects those tales, culminating next year when she will go to Washington DC, reflecting the second feature to Detective Comics #424 .)

–FLASHBACK: From 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.

–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 will collapse 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, unlike some of her friends and peers, Kara 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 get rebooted via the Crisis have 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.

–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—originally told in Detective Comics #483-484. 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 Identity Crisis #7. Batman poses with his fellow Justice Leaguers for an official team photo.

–REFERENCE: In Secret Origins Vol. 2 #6 Part 2.[8] Batman meets and befriends the electric-powered Black Lightning (schoolteacher Jefferson Pierce).

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 2 #0. The JLA starts a pool on which of its members will be the first to tie the knot. Most people pick Bruce to wed last, with Ollie following in second to last, and Diana third to last. Bruce picks Ollie as his “person to get married last.” I guess he doesn’t believe in the Green Arrow/Black Canary relationship! Superman isn’t involved in the gambling.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #402. Batman hears about the tragic murder of the wife and child of Gotham cop Tommy Carma, who is famous for his heroics but also notorious due to multiple police brutality charges. As Batman learns on the news, Carma’s family has been slaughtered by vengeful mobsters. Carma will return as a Punisher-like fake Batman super-villain in two years.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Europa #4. Bruce travels to Rome on Wayne Enterprises business. Moving forward on our timeline, Bruce will travel to Rome quite often, although never as Batman. While on these business trips, Bruce will consistently play up his “benighted American” façade, pretending to struggle while ordering at restaurants. Note that these Italian business trips will happen sporadically on our timeline, but won’t actually appear as listed items on the chronology below, so we’ll simply have to imagine them.

–FLASHBACK: From Year One: Batman – Ra’s al Ghul #2. Batman is able to prevent Ra’s al Ghul from launching a “genocide satellite” that would have eliminated the majority of Earth’s population. Ra’s al Ghul’s “deep ecology”—his malthusian view of humanity as a plague on nature that deserves to be eradicated—really reverberates strongly here. After stopping the satellite launch, Batman then tracks Ra’s al Ghul to an oasis hidden deep within the Himalayas. At this location, the Dark Knight witnesses Ra’s al Ghul meet with a Tibetan monk, who repeatedly chants a rhythmic Buddhist mantra. After this encounter, Bruce makes this Himalayan oasis a protected WayneTech research site, Bruce won’t return to the site for ten years, at which point we will learn that the strange Buddhist mantra phonetically converts into the chemical formula for creating a Lazarus Pit! Note that Batman is incorrectly drawn by Paul Gulacy in this flashback. He should be wearing the yellow-insignia costume.

–REFERENCE: In Hero Hotline #5. Batman reluctantly poses for a photo with Superman and Wonder Woman. Shortly thereafter, the photo is developed, signed by the heroes, and given to World War II superhero Tex Thompson (who was very famous back in the day, known as both Mr. America and Americommando). Thompson hangs the picture of the Trinity in his home alongside other “celebrity” hero pictures. NOTE: Hero Hotline #5 is the famous issue that references Dr. Manhattan’s (yes, THAT Dr. Manhattan of Watchmen fame) only trans-dimensional visit to the Modern Age DCU proper, which occurs after the events of Watchmen (specifically in Bat Year Eleven after Captain Atom has debuted).

–REFERENCE: In Legends of the DC Universe #13. Batman defeats Packrat and stops him from activating a shrink bomb aboard Green Arrow’s jet.

–“Critical Mass” by Christopher Priest/Ken Lashley (Legends of the DC Universe #13) February 1999
In this story, writer Priest refers to Superman and Batman as “friends” of the Justice League. They are definitely more than friends; they are founding and current members of the JLA. Let’s catch up to speed. Green Arrow has left the JLA in an attempt to find inner peace and become a Buddhist monk. Flash, Zatanna, Hawkman, Aquaman, and Hal Jordan have all grown to King Kong size and have dementia thanks to the manipulations of an evil force. Black Canary (Dinah Laurel Lance), Firestorm, and Red Tornado are injured and out of action. Thus, it’s up to Batman and Green Arrow (who ditches his monk attire for his fighting togs) to save the day. The duo gets a shrink bomb, previously in the possession of Packrat, and joins up with Atom and Superman, who are in the middle of fighting/helping the tortured mutated monster known as Thorak. Eventually, the entire JLA is revived and restored to its prior condition thanks to the shrink bomb and a little secret assistance from former JLA mascot Snapper Carr.

–REFERENCE: In Blue Beetle Vol. 6 #21. Batman meets and teams-up with Cave Carson, going on an unspecified underground adventure. Following this, Batman will become friends with Carson and keep tabs on him, but Carson will go totally off-the-radar quite soon, remaining off-the-grid for years to come.

–NOTE: In a flashback from JLA 80-Page Giant #1 Part 2. Batman isn’t involved in this item, but he would be well aware of it as a JLA member. The team foolishly accepts a one billion dollar donation from the underhanded Tulane Bryce. Green Arrow realizes this was a big PR mistake. Never accept money unless you know it’s clean, heroes!

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #569. Batman doesn’t know that Catwoman has been mind-wiped of her venality, but he sure notices a change in her personality as a result. Seeing a kinder, more heroic side to Catwoman, Batman has high hopes that she’s seen the light and turned over a new leaf. While he doesn’t fully trust Catwoman to be a full-fledged hero, he does believe in and care for her deeply. Because of this, the Dark Knight—hoping to work with Catwoman and encourage her—finally reveals his secret ID to her as a gesture of good will.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 2 #4. Batman goes under the mind-control of an unknown super-villain. Green Arrow painfully shoots Batman in the shoulders with two arrows in order to break the spell.

–FLASHBACK: From Identity CrisisThe OMAC Project, the second feature to 52 #9, and the second feature to Countdown #43-42. The third part of the “mind-wipe scandal” occurs. While the JLA is battling Hector Hammond planet-side, Dr. Light is able to infiltrate the JLA satellite and rape Elongated Man’s wife, Sue Dibny. After being caught in the vile sexual assault by the JLA (minus the Trinity), Dr. Light threatens to hurt the other heroes’ families and even makes the reprehensible declaration that he will rape the other heroes’ wives as well. The team (still minus the Trinity) takes a vote and agrees the best course of action is for Zatanna to not only mind-wipe the villain, but also to alter his personality to ensure that he never again commits so heinous a crime. Zatanna scrambles Dr. Light’s brain, permanently turning him into a goofy, harmless super-villain stereotype. However, Batman stumbles upon the team in the midst of scrambling Dr. Light’s brain. Batman is outraged at the unethical procedure and as his ire grows, the rest of the League is forced to restrain him. Shockingly, they mind-wipe Batman (!) and he won’t remember the details of this event until much, much later. When he does, you can be rest assured that he will be very pissed off. And there is nothing scarier than a very pissed off Batman. Zatanna also uses her magick to repress Martian Manhunter’s memories regarding these events should he ever read their minds telepathically. Batman’s mind-wipe is also depicted in Batman Confidential #50 (the intro to the “Super Powers” storyline), which is up next on our list.

–“Super Powers” by Marc Guggenheim/Jerry Bingham (Batman Confidential #50-54) January to May 2011
This tale overlaps with the end of the previous “mind-wipe scandal” flashback. As I’ve already mentioned, when Batman returns to the JLA satellite, he is mind-wiped by Zatanna and company. While under mystical hypnosis, Bruce has a fevered flashback to “seven years ago” (should correctly be “four years ago”), during which he recalls the JLA mission against Fortas. While under Zatanna’s trance, Bruce also recalls his early training days in China (when he was nineteen or twenty-years-old) where he was killed by a metahuman named Huairen. Bruce was immediately resurrected by a metahuman named Ri, drank a magickal elixir that granted him temporary super-powers, became the cape-and-cowled “Dark Knight,” and briefly joined the Zhuguran (the Chinese version of the Justice League, which actually pre-dates the JLA by several years). See the Modern Age “Salad Days” section of the website for more details.

–NOTE: In a flashback from Flash Vol. 2 #215. Mere weeks after Batman’s mind-wipe, the fourth and final part of the “mind-wipe scandal” occurs. The exact same group of JLA members that erased the Dark Knight’s memory opts to mind-wipe the villain known as The Top.

–FLASHBACK: From Sandman Vol. 2 #2—originally told in Justice League of America #175-176. The JLA defeats Dr. Destiny and sends him to Arkham Asylum.

–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 mirror his moves by attacking the JLA on Earth. The JLA travels to Takron-Galtos to save J’onn and defeat Despero. (In the Silver Age, this item featured the planet Mars II as its primary locale, but because Mars II doesn’t exist 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 the rest of the Modern Age, many of the appearances of Darkseid will actually feature 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 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.

–REFERENCE: In DC Retroactive: Batman – The 70s #1. In the Bronze Age, this item was originally told in Batman #330-331 and functioned as a direct intro to “The Lazarus Affair” (a sequel to “The Saga of Ra’s al Ghul”). For the purposes of our Modern Age timeline, this item exists as a direct prelude to “Terror Time Three” from DC Retroactive: Batman – The 70s #1 and then “The Lazarus Affair,” which will appear a little later below. Onto the synopsis. Batman and Robin are on shaky terms regarding the latter having dropped out of college. Despite still arguing about it, the Dynamic Duo teams-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 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 has dealt with before. However, it is definitely the same Council.

–REFERENCE: In Legends of the DC Universe 80-Page Giant #2—originally told in World’s Finest Comics #266. Diana’s friend astronaut Stacy Macklin is exposed to radiation that turns her into the super-villain known as Lunar Lady. Batman and Superman defeat Lunar Lady. Stacy will go back-and-forth between being good and evil over the course of the next couple years. Sadly, she will eventually become a permanent resident of Arkham Asylum.

–REFERENCE: In DC Retroactive: Batman – The 70s #1—originally told in Batman #332-335 (“The Lazarus Affair”). This item continues the “Saga of Ra’s al Ghul” and follows-up on “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 a 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 Justice League of America Annual #3—originally told in Justice League of America #192-193. TO Morrow, unable to recreate any more working androids, kidnaps his one success (Red Tornado) in order to study him. While Morrow runs tests, Red Tornado erupts with energy and vanishes, leaving in his place the powerful Air/Wind Elemental Ulthoon (aka Tornado Champion aka Tornado Tyrant). While the JLA deals with Morrow and the raging Ulthoon, part of the latter’s being splits-off and communicates with Firestorm, revealing to him the true Elemental nature of Red Tornado. Firestorm uses his powers to bind the Elemental back within Red Tornado, ending the chaos.

–FLASHBACK: From Secret Origins Vol. 2 #23—originally told in Justice League of America #195-197. The JLA faces-off against The Secret Society of Super-Villains—which includes the Wizard, Gorilla Grodd, Floronic Man, Blockbuster, Star-Sapphire (Debbie Camille Darnell aka Remoni-Notra), Reverse-Flash (aka Professor Zoom aka Eobard Thawne), Pyscho-Pirate, Mist, and Rag Doll. The JLA defeats the villain team in a quick succession of battles that take place on Earth, on remote galactic locations, and in alternate dimensions.

–“Siege” by Archie Goodwin/James Robinson/Marshall Rogers (LOTDK #132-136) August to December 2000
I love stories from the “penthouse era.” This is a good one. Bruce has been in living in the Wayne Enterprises Tower aka Wayne Foundation Building for over a year now, and for anyone 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. 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 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.




| >> NEXT: YEAR TEN >>>

  1. [1]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 and near ”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 around this time.
  2. [2]JACK JAMES: Batman: Ego is very hard to place, but there’s rationale for it to go in three different positions. First, it could go here, post “Five Way Revenge” since Joker has clearly abandoned pop-crime. But second, it also fits nicely a couple years earlier, right after Bruce’s breakup with Kathy Kane. In Ego, Bruce is extra down-in-the-dumps, which leads him to being extra-melancholic about his war on crime and his identity. However, third (and this is my personal headcanon top choice), Ego fits even earlier, right before Batman meets Simon Hurt. 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.
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: One of the main reasons for placement of Huntress: Year One #4-6 here is because it shows Babs as a legal librarian, palling around with Washington attorneys. This tells us that Babs already has her first Master’s Degree (in library science) and is now campaigning for Congress. Babs will get her second Master’s Degree next year (in law) and get elected to Congress next year too. Here are the main unreconcilable continuity errors in regard to Huntress: Year One. First, Batman is wearing his black-insignia costume. (This is a continuity error no matter how you spin it.) Second, Batman is operating out of the Batcave. (This is wrong. He should be in the Bat-Bunker of the Wayne Foundation Building.) Third, Catwoman wears her grey costume and says weird things, including that she and Batman have been playing “cat and mouse” games for three years and that she’s currently 29-years-old. (Catwoman would likely have a different costume, but that’s okay since she likes to change it up a lot in regard to her look. In regard to the “cat and mouse” comment, that doesn’t make much sense. The Bat and the Cat have had sexual tension for eight years now. Catwoman’s age is currently 27-years-old, not 29. We should probably ignore most of what Catwoman says since she isn’t the most truthful person anyway.)
  4. [4]PURPLEGLOVEZ (TIPTUP JR 94): The timeline of Huntress: Year One is up for debate. In original post-Crisis history (pre-Zero Hour), Huntress debuted after the death of Jason Todd. However, Huntress: Year One reveals that Huntress was active while Barbara Gordon was still Batgirl, before The Killing Joke and A Death in the Family. If we place Huntress’s debut as late as it can possibly go, in the February before the Joker’s disabling of Barbara Gordon (Year 11), then it would take place after George Skowcroft’s appointment as mayor. The only other timeline clues are Catwoman’s claims about playing “cat and mouse” with Batman for three years and that she is 29-years-old—but can we trust Selina Kyle to tell the truth about these things? Absolutely not. Some, including the Batman Chronology Project, place the debut of Huntress here (prior to the introduction of Jason Todd), with speculation that the mayor in this story is Hamilton Hill. However, the mayor shown in Huntress: Year One is not Hill. The mayor in Huntress: Year One looks different than any other depictions of Hill, and his storyline/agenda seems way too distinct from Hill’s. It could theoretically be Skowcroft (presuming that Skowcroft has just recently replaced Hill)—but once again, the mayor in Huntress: Year One doesn’t look like Skowcroft. Huntress: Year One takes place in Year Eleven—and the mayor from Huntress: Year One is an unnamed man that defeats Skowcroft in a formal election.

    COLLIN COLSHER: As stated, Huntress: Year One is very difficult to place. If it goes here, then Hill should be mayor. If it goes two years from now, then we should imagine the mayor that is shown as a new character that immediately follows Skowcroft for an interim run in office. It’s also possible that the mayor shown in Huntress: Year One, even if we keep it right here on our timeline, is a separate character that bridges the gap between Hill and Skowcroft. This is definitely a debatable headcanon issue. I wouldn’t put too much stock in how the mayor looks though. Artist liberties stretch a very long way when it comes to Gotham mayors.

    PURPLEGLOVEZ (TIPTUP JR 94): Huntress: Year One is indeed a head-scratcher. Batman would definitely have the yellow oval no matter what. My main concern though, is Helena’s retconned debut as Huntress within the overall sequence of Bat-events. Prior to Huntress: Year One, she debuted after Jason Todd’s death. But now we have her debuting when Batgirl is active. Since there are no other stories or flashbacks that depict Huntress at this point in time, I like to have her show up as late as possible so that her following period of inactivity (with no chronicled adventures) is as short as possible. Nevertheless, the nature of Batgirl and Catwoman’s situations and Batman’s costume do make Huntress: Year One‘s placement up for debate. One thing that especially baffles me is Batman making a big deal out of sidelining/firing Batgirl. What was this supposed to imply? That it’s early in her career? Towards the end of it? A tie-in to Babs questioning her Batgirl future in “Nightwing Year One”? It’s strange. Plus, Huntress: Year One majorly shakes up Gotham’s criminal underground, but this never gets followed-up (kind of a shame). And the OG Huntress series can’t be relied on for clues since Huntress: Year One completely obliterates it. Then there’s Two-Face: Year One asserting that Franco Bertinelli is alive during The Long Halloween (yeesh). Everything else says he died before then. Amazingly, Huntress’ debut was not marked in the DCU Secret Files 2000 timeline, nor does she appear in Len Wein’s DCU Legacies. So I guess the mayor remains a curiosity… I wish they would’ve mentioned his name! But if we presume that this mayor is not Hamilton Hill, then we can probably assume he doesn’t stay in office long after Batman brings the evidence of his corruption to light. This would mean adding this guy in-between Hill and Skowcroft.

  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: Were I to play devil’s 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 here 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: Several respectable online 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 make sense either.

  6. [6]COLLIN COLSHER: Very few people will know that Kathy is actually still alive. Batman and his inner circle will have absolutely no idea. One of the few privileged enough to keep this secret will be Kathy’s closest and dearest relative, her niece and former sidekick Bette Kane. We know this based upon small mentions in the Beast Boy series and Teen Titans Vol. 3 series. Bette Kane, who is now using the superhero name “Flamebird,” will soon move to Los Angeles.
  7. [7]COLLIN COLSHER: The three major titles that directly address the formation of the New Teen Titans are Secret Origins Vol. 2 #13 (1987), Secret Origins Vol. 2 Annual #3 (1989), and Nightwing Vol. 2 Annual #2 (2007). Naturally, there are blatant contradictions when you match them all together. In Secret Origins Vol. 2 #13, Robin drops out of college before forming the New Teen Titans. In Secret Origins Vol. 2 Annual #3, it’s unclear if Robin goes to college before or after forming the New Teen Titans. In Nightwing Vol. 2 Annual #2, Robin forms the New Teen Titans before dropping out of college. I’ve taken the latter, newer story as gospel in regard to our New Teen Titans timeline.
  8. [8]COLLIN COLSHER: Secret Origins Vol. 2 began publication in 1986, right around the time of Crisis on Infinite Earths. This has made placement of its early issues difficult for some fans and scholars. However, issues #1-5 feature origin tales of Earth-2 Superman, Earth-2’s Crimson Avenger, Captain Marvel, and Earth-4’s Golden Age Blue Beetle (Dan Garrett), and Silver Age Earth-1 Firestorm. Thus, these first five issues are unequivocally Golden Age Earth-2 and Silver/Bronze Age Earth-1 timeline material. Issue #6 starts a new split format, containing two origin stories instead of one. Issue #6 is a little trickier because the first part acts as the final pre-Crisis origin (featuring Golden Age Earth-1 Batman) while the second part officially switches the title to the Modern Age (featuring the Modern Age Outsiders origin tale). However tricky that may be, it gives us a definitive pre-Crisis/post-Crisis marker for the Secret Origins Vol. 2 series within issue #6. As such, Secret Origins Vol. 2 #6 Part 2 is the first part of the series that takes place in the Modern Age.
  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 it 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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