Welcome to the start of Batman’s “Early Period”—an over-arching term that describes his first ten years in action. Year One gives us the first major Batman stories in chronological order. Frank Miller’s “Year One” is literally one year long, spanning January until December, although Batman doesn’t go out in-costume until April. After all contemporary time-sliding, the correct calendar period for Bat Year One is 1989. Nuff said!



the real batman chronology project modern age year one

–“Batman Year One” by Frank Miller/David Mazzucchelli (Batman #404) February 1987
January 4-February 26.[4] Twenty-five-year-old multimillionaire Bruce Wayne has spent the last twelve years of his life training to fight crime. His goal is to avenge the murders of his parents by taking down all evildoers using non-lethal force.[5] Bruce returns to his hometown of Gotham City and reunites with his trusted friend and butler, Alfred Pennyworth, at Wayne Manor. (The arrival scene at Wayne Manor is also shown with more detail in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #1 and via flashback from Batman Annual #13 Part 2 and Batman Secret Files and Origins #1 Part 1.) Bruce visits his parents’ graves. (This graveside visit is also shown via flashback from Infinite Crisis #3.) Not yet ready to patrol the streets, he continues training. (Both of these scenes are shown via flashback from Batman Annual #13 Part 2. Furthermore, Bruce’s exact body training regiment from February 20 through February 26 is given to us via a reference in The Batman Files. As is an example of Alfred’s delicious and nutritious food menu, which begins Alfred’s daily practice of delivering three solid meals befit for a well-oiled and fully-effective crime-fighter. The Batman Files also tells us that Bruce, at this juncture, begins learning how to pick locks and begins studying maps of the city, something he will continually do for the rest of his superhero career.)[6] Meanwhile, Lieutenant James Gordon and his pregnant wife Barbara Gordon arrive in Gotham on the same day. Jim has transferred back to the extremely corrupt Gotham City Police Department (GCPD) from the Chicago PD. The vile Commissioner Gillian Loeb pairs Gordon with the loathsome Detective Arnold Flass. It’s not long before the entire Gotham Force hates Gordon for doing honest police work. While not specifically mentioned by Frank Miller, Bruce’s birthday, according to pre-original Crisis stories, was February 19, so if this still holds true then Bruce turns 26-years-old in February. (Miller has stated in interviews that Batman’s birthday is in November, but he never made this official in any canon Modern Age comic book, so his November statement should likely only be attributed to the alternate Miller-verse timeline.)

–REFERENCE: In JLA #119, Batman/Nightwing: Bloodborne, and The Batman Files. Ever since he was a teenager, Bruce has kept a personal journal/diary. Batman now begins the added practice of keeping a scrapbook. As we have already done in regard to his nearly constant journaling, we must imagine—sprinkled invisibly on our timeline below—Batman obtaining old photos, new photos, flat historical artifacts, dossiers, schematics, blueprints, and clippings, all of which get inserted into the scrapbook. Besides Batman-related materials, much of Bruce’s scrapbook ephemera is found among the remnants of his parents’ old stuff at Wayne Manor, which Bruce presumably combs through at this juncture. A significant portion of the scrapbook ephemera is also newspaper articles, magazine articles, flyers, police documents, psyche profiles, and hospital papers, which Bruce presumably seeks out and obtains at this juncture as well. (Bruce will continuously get items of this nature, adding them to his collection, throughout his entire career.) Note that Batman will show special affection for Catwoman, dedicating a section of his scrapbook solely to images of her. Also note that this scrapbook is not “The Batman Files,” which Batman will make much later in his career—although, this scrapbook will be merged into “The Batman Files” upon the latter’s creation. Last but not least, in addition to scrapbooking, Batman will also constantly compile copious notes into a casebook/crime-log for the duration of his career. He will also research everyone that crosses either his path or the paths of any Bat-Family members, making detailed (and constantly updated) dossiers about them. (The term “Bat-Family,” an umbrella term used to describe Batman and his closest working associates, won’t be used until Bat Year Six, when Robin joins Batman and Alfred.) In addition, Batman will also keep detailed records of his training regiment, at least in the beginning of his crime-fighting career. All of these files will be compiled as a combination of both hard (physical/analog) and digital records. Moving forward, Batman will erase information pertaining to top-top secret cases that involve extremely sensitive materials.

–“Batman Year One” by Frank Miller/David Mazzucchelli (Batman #404) February 1987
March 11. Detective Arnold Flass and a few buddies, on orders from Commissioner Loeb, beat up Jim Gordon with baseball bats. On that very same night, Bruce ends his training and prepares for his first act of vigilantism—a “reconnaissance mission” in Gotham’s seedy East End. (As referenced in Batman #683 and seen via flashback from Batman Annual #13 Part 2, Alfred helps Bruce prep for his first outing by teaching him about the art of disguise. Bruce is already good at makeup and disguise, but Alfred will perfect his craft and continue to teach Bruce for years to come. As referenced in Batman Annual #13 Part 2, Alfred also tells Bruce to disguise his voice as well.)[7] Masquerading as a facially-scarred US Army veteran, Bruce takes to the worst streets of the East End, getting in a fight with sex worker/martial arts expert Selina Kyle,[8] her young friend Holly Robinson, and the lowlife Stan the Pimp before getting shot by some bad cops. A flashback from Catwoman #1Catwoman #3, and Batman #604 also shows Bruce’s fight against Selina, Holly, Stan the Pimp, and the cops.)[9] The badly injured Bruce barely makes it home alive. As Bruce sits slumped over and bleeding out in Wayne Manor, an injured bat crashes through the window and lands on a bust, inspiring him to become a costumed vigilante. Bruce gingerly reaches over to a side table and grips a butler bell in Batman #404‘s final panel. The scene of the bat crashing through the window is also detailed in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #1, which shows a two-and-a-half-page recap of Bruce’s entire failed first night out. The bat/window scene is also shown via flashback from Batman #0, Batman #682, Batman: Shadow of the Bat #0, Detective Comics #574, Batman: War on Crime, and Batman: The Return #1, with the latter adding a little extra story detailing how the bat came upon Wayne Manor on this fateful night. Secret Origins of the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes, Batman Secret Files and Origins #1 Part 1, the second feature to 52 #46 also show flashbacks to this bat/window scene, but they are non-canon.[10] The bat/window scene is also referenced in Batman #561 and Batman #683.

–“Shaman Part 1” by Denny O’Neil/E. Hannigan (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #1) November 1989
March 11. Having just witnessed the bat crash through the window, a bloody and battered Bruce sits slumped over in his chair, clutching onto his butler bell. Bruce flips open his Maxwell Floppy book, re-reading the passage, “Criminals are a cowardly and superstitious lot.” Bruce then rings his bell and Alfred comes to assist him, saving his life. (This scene is also shown via flashback from Batman Annual #13 Part 2 and Batman: The Return #1. It is also referenced in Batman: Shadow of the Bat #0.) Bruce will spend the next few weeks healing-up—although, note that Legends of the Dark Knight #1 and Shadow of the Bat #29 both completely ignore Bruce’s recovery time, which is an out-and-out continuity error. During the initial part of this recovery time period, Bruce and Alfred design and tailor a Batman costume. (A flashback from Detective Comics #0 shows Bruce and Alfred working on the Bat-costume design shortly after Bruce has witnessed the bat crash through the window, although ‘tec #0 also gets Bruce’s recovery time incorrect.) Bruce tailors several cowls, each of which have different ear lengths (as referenced in Adventures of Superman #643 and The Batman Files). Amazingly, when artists decide to draw whatever Bat-ear lengths they desire (as we will so often see in the comics), it’s not simply an artist’s rendition—it’s canon that Batman specifically wears different cowls on different cases! The teleological explanation is that each set of ears has a unique function. For example, one set might have better head protection whereas another might have a better built-in communication device. Bruce also adds a quick-release button to his costume that can detach his cape from his cowl, in case of emergency (as referenced in The Batman Files). Bruce discusses with Alfred the idea of tricking WayneTech to create night vision cowl lenses for him (as referenced in The Batman Files). Bruce also creates his utility belt, which will be stocked with various crime-fighting accoutrements. (While we won’t see him doing it on our timeline, Bruce will constantly replenish his utility belt stock and upgrade his utility belt capability/design, moving forward.)[11] For a few weeks, Bruce takes extra special care while finalizing his costume. Only after this period of intense focus will Bruce be ready to have another go at crime-fighting again.[12]

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Annual #13 Part 2 and Detective Comics #574. In Wayne Manor, Bruce wears his Batman costume and strikes an intimidating pose for Alfred, who isn’t much impressed. Over breakfast, Alfred and Bruce talk about the fear of God and the fear of failure. Alfred helps Bruce prep for his impending role as head of Wayne Enterprises (formerly WayneCorp) and his life as a socialite, things he knows very little about. Alfred will help guide Bruce in these areas for decades to come.

–FLASHBACK: In Detective Comics #0—and referenced in Superman/Batman #85, Batman Confidential #1-6, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #1, Batman: Shadow of the Bat #7, Batman: Shadow of the Bat #73, Detective Comics #852, Batman: The Man Who Laughs, Batman Secret Files and Origins #1 Part 2, and The Batman Files. March. Bruce takes control of his family’s business, Wayne Enterprises—a publicly traded international conglomerate that has many subdivisions and subsidiaries, notably WayneTech, Wayne Industries, Wayne Entertainment, and the Wayne Foundation. (WayneTech deals in the research and development sector, Wayne Industries aptly deals in the industrial sector, and the Wayne Foundation deals with real estate, acquisitions, and the financial sector.) After assuming leadership of Wayne Enterprises, Bruce hires Lucius Fox in an executive role at WayneTech. Bruce also files for patents on thousands of individualized mechanical parts, which he immediately uses to begin creating secret Bat-technology and weaponry, including special boomerangs called “Batarangs.” Bruce will secretly use WayneTech mechanical parts in this way—to make Bat-gear, various Batarang types, and other wonderful toys—for decades to come. (Obsessed with his motif, Bruce will add a “Bat” prefix to the name of just about every item or vehicle he uses in his crime-fighting mission.) Bruce visits Lucius at a WayneTech plant to view a prototype military car on the manufacturing line. He tells Lucius to mothball the project, but to save him a model as a personal curiosity. Note that Bruce specifically orders Lucius to drop all military projects, but this won’t happen until Bat Year Three’s Batman Confidential #1-6 because Bruce doesn’t yet wield the kind of authority needed to make that decision. (Bruce has officially joined the Wayne Enterprises Board of Directors, but he won’t become Chairman of the Board until he becomes majority shareholder next year.) Soon afterward, a disguised Bruce and Alfred pick up the car, a hang-glider, a boat, and a couple of super-computers from WayneTech. Bruce begins working on the car, which, by November, will be ready to debut as the Batmobile. (Bruce will constantly work on the Batmobile, introducing new features and new models often.) Bruce will pilfer tech from his own company for decades to come. Because Wayne Enterprises is a publicly traded company, Bruce is technically committing a major string of felonies by defrauding his own stockholders! Oh well. Bruce also goes ahead with his earlier plan and tricks WayneTech’s R&D Division into starting development on night vision/infra-red lenses “for a private security firm.” These lenses will be fully developed in a couple years, at which point Batman will incorporate them into his cowl. Furthermore, Bruce—via WayneTech—funds research into ballistics, bombs, poisons, assassination techniques, and mythologies of indigenous peoples. Notably, Bruce also orders all Wayne-owned properties in the city to be renovated, sparing no expense, to make them earthquake-proof and wheelchair accessible. The same standards, thanks to Bruce’s mandate, will be applied to all future Wayne-run constructions projects. Moving ahead on our timeline, be aware that Bruce—as the head of Wayne Enterprises—will have a near constant engagement with the company’s business, finance, real estate, and tech dealings. This will be done mostly to keep up appearances, but will still take up a lot of Bruce’s time in-between Batman cases. We won’t see much of this activity on the timeline below, but, suffice to say, we should imagine it occurring invisibly as we move forward. We know for sure that Bruce will attend (at the very least) one Board of Directors meeting every month from this point on.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Chronicles #19 Part 1 Intro. March. Still healing from the injuries suffered during his initial East End outing (but nearly recovered), Bruce begins dating socialite Viveca Beausoleil.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #0 and Christmas With the Super-Heroes #2—and also referenced in The Batman Files. March. Bruce and Alfred examine the caverns beneath Wayne Manor, which Bruce fell into as a young child and then spent his formative years exploring. Guided by a map of the caves in the Wayne Manor library, Bruce decides to use the network of natural tunnels as his headquarters, which will be called “The Batcave.” Note that the Batcave includes a complicated series of connected underground rivers that run into Gotham Bay. This system surely must comprise some of the longest underground waterways in the world, so keeping it hidden will be no small task. We can assume that Batman will use various camouflaging means and use his computer resources to erase geological history records in order to keep his secret safe. Likewise, we can assume that Batman will install false seismic echo generators to fool any future radio frequencies or ground-penetrating radar scanning.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #2 and Batman Secret Files and Origins #1 Part 1. March. Bruce and Alfred perform a speleological study underneath Wayne Manor as they prepare for construction of the Batcave. (Note that this scene originally occurred a little bit later on our chronology, not as a flashback, but seemingly interwoven into the ongoing narrative of Legends of the Dark Knight #2, which doesn’t happen until late December. However, since the Batcave will be seen in-use in many of the stories coming up in Year One, I have retconned this scene to appear as a flashback at this point on our timeline.) As referenced in Batman #657, in order to make the Batcave inhabitable for human use (i.e. to reduce methane levels), Bruce and Alfred build an underground preserve and herd all the bats into that dedicated space. Then, Bruce and Alfred begin construction on the Batcave, first by connecting the cave to Wayne Manor via a tunnel and secret entranceway. (Bruce and Alfred hide the entrance behind a grandfather clock.) They will continue building the Batcave throughout the majority of this calendar year. Note that Batman will continuously update and add-onto the Batcave over the course of his entire crime-fighting career.[13]

–FLASHBACK: From Christmas With the Super-Heroes #2—and also referenced in The Batman Files. March. Bruce and Alfred haul monitors, vehicles, weapons, and other equipment into the Batcave, which is now under construction. Bruce and Alfred will eventually fill the Batcave with a very wide variety of vehicles and weaponry. (Design, construction, and upgrading of vehicles and weaponry will happen often, moving forward, changing dramatically over the years. Although, note that most of the design process, building, upgrading, and testing won’t be physically listed on our chronology.) The Batcave will also contain a fully-operational crime lab, state-of-the-art training gym, industrial design studio, medical bay, weapons testing range, and garage. Bruce and Alfred now begin construction on the whole shebang.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #0. Bruce tells Alfred that the Batmobile is nearly finished. (Since we won’t see a functional Batmobile until November, we must assume that Bruce beta-tests it and it simply isn’t ready for action and won’t be for months.) Meanwhile, Alfred sews bulletproof under-armor into Batman’s costume.

–FLASHBACK: From the second feature to 52 #46. Bruce takes stock of his weaponry, utility belt, crimefighting tools, and unfinished Batmobile in the still under-construction Batcave.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #702 Part 4—and referenced in Batman #701 Part 1. March. Bruce, while checking out the caverns on the opposite side of the currently-under-construction Batcave, discovers a room hidden deep beneath Wayne Manor. The room has a secret passageway that connects to Wayne Cemetery above. Inside the room is a cryptic note from Bruce’s parents that orders him to keep the room secret and safe. Bruce will abide by this. The room won’t come into play for over two decades. What is this room? It is Simon Hurt’s Barbatos-worshipping room, used by the Black Glove prior to Thomas and Martha living in the Manor. (Note that Hurt has never actually interacted with the demon Barbatos. His obsession with Barbatos comes from having confused the Hyper-Adapter for Barbatos. More on that much later.) Shortly after Bruce’s birth, Hurt came into Thomas and Martha’s life. Unsure of whether or not he was truly family, Martha took the wayward Hurt into their lives after hearing details of his life and believing him to have been unnaturally corrupted. Unable to help their ancient relative, Thomas and Martha have Hurt (who they referred to as “Thomas Wayne Jr”) committed to Willowwood Asylum. Hurt will stay at Willowwood for a little bit before checking-out and going off the grid. Not sure what to do next, the Waynes simply block-off the room and passageway and leave the note for Bruce, should he ever discover it. The details of Hurt’s interactions with Martha and Thomas Wayne are referenced in Batman and Robin #15-16 and Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #4-6.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Chronicles #19 Part 1 Intro. April 4-5. Bruce parties with his girlfriend Viveca Beausoleil until dawn, then spends the rest of the day prepping for his first in-costume patrol.

–“Shaman Part 1” (continued…) by Denny O’Neil/E. Hannigan (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #1) November 1989
April 5. Bruce works out and tells Alfred to set up a meeting with unscrupulous Gotham University anthropologist Dr. Madison Spurlock, who is studying Alaskan Native American culture on the Wayne Foundation’s dime. Later, Bruce dons the costume that will strike terror into the hearts of evildoers, becoming the vigilante superhero known as Batman. Suited-up for the first time, Batman prepares for his first patrol of the city. (A flashback from Detective Comics #0 also details Batman’s preparations prior to heading out on this nervous first night. This preparation includes showing-off Batarangs and his utility belt to Alfred. Batman tells Alfred to make alternate Bat-costumes for different seasons. A generic flashback from Batman: Shadow of the Bat #0 also shows a posing Batman on his first night out.) Don’t forget, as mentioned above, LOTDK #1 has a funky timeline that has Bruce’s botched East End outing (March 11) occur the night prior to his Bat-debut (April 5). Over a month has passed—not a mere twenty-four hours. So, writer Denny O’Neil’s dialogue—“It’s not like last night. Tonight he is not awkward, uncertain…”—is a blatant continuity error. Or, as site contributor Elias M Freire says, we could force this dialogue to ring true by fanwanking that Batman did some dodgy training the night prior (before heading out on his date with Viveca).

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Shadow of the Bat #29. April 5. Batman goes out in costume for the very first time. Making sure he isn’t seen, he completes one final test by jumping off the top of a tall skyscraper and catching himself after a dead free fall by hooking onto a gargoyle with his grappling gear. Batman is finally ready for real world action. Note that this item has an erroneous dialogue caption that claims it has only been one day since the bat crashed through Bruce’s window at Wayne Manor. Of course, this isn’t the case. It’s been weeks, so we should ignore that bogus line.

–“Batman Year One” by Frank Miller/David Mazzucchelli (Batman #405) 1987
April 5-6.[14] Bruce, wearing the Batman costume for the first time out in the world, traverses the rooftops of Gotham. In this single-panel we see Batman on his way to Leslie Thompkins’ clinic, which has been plagued by several recent break-ins. The image shown in Miller’s “Year One” is after midnight on April 6, but we can presume that Batman dons the costume before midnight, technically making his start on April 5.

–“Shaman Part 1” (conclusion) by Denny O’Neil/E. Hannigan (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #1) November 1989
April 6. We pick up LOTDK #1 near its conclusion. Bruce has suited up as Batman for the first time and now visits Dr. Leslie Thompkins’ clinic. This is Dr. Thompkins’ first encounter with Batman on his very first night out. At the clinic, Batman beats up some robbers, and witnesses a bizarre suicide by a pregnant woman. She is a member of the evil Cult of Chubala. Thus, Batman learns about the mysterious “Chubala” suicides, which—according to LOTDK #3—have been occurring for months now. Unknown to Batman, banker Carl Fisk has taken over a heroin cartel in Santa Prisca and has brought the Chubala suicide cult from the small Caribbean island to Gotham in order to prop-up/mask his drug dealings. (Fisk’s foray into Santa Priscan mythology had been directly inspired by Dr. Madison Spurlock’s anthropological studies.)

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Files. April 6. Batman steals and then wipes surveillance footage of himself from Leslie Thompkins’ clinic. While we won’t physically see it on our timeline moving forward, Batman will consistently steal video and photographs of himself—during or after cases and patrols—to paste into his scrapbook. He will also erase as much video and photographic evidence as he can in an effort to help keep his secret ID safe and to keep a low profile.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #1-4. April 6. Bruce meets with Dr. Madison Spurlock. At their face-to-face, Bruce tells him about the Native American bat myth that was told to him while he was in Alaska. Spurlock begins researching the myth and other similar folktales. Bruce offers an increase in funding to Spurlock’s research and to sponsor a Native American bat folklore exhibit at the Gotham Arms Hotel (scheduled for the end of the calendar year). Spurlock accepts. He also pays for Spurlock (and assistant Bennet Young) to visit and live with the Otter Ridge Tribe in Alaska for the next several months.

–FLASHBACK: From DC Universe Legacies #3—originally told in Detective Comics #27. April 7. Batman goes on the “Case of the Chemical Syndicate,” busting some crooks that are trying to rob a payroll from a chemical factory. Note that the unreliable narrator of DC Universe Legacies #3 places the “Case of the Chemical Syndicate” a few months after Superman’s debut. It is about six to seven months after Superman’s debut, to be precise.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Confidential #3. April 7. Batman and Alfred set up the Batcave’s Bat-computer, which is partly designed and programmed by WayneTech employees, who have been tricked by Bruce into thinking they are working on a top secret US Government-contracted project. It is one of the most sophisticated computer systems on the planet, linked to satellite surveillance systems, state-of-the-art portable spy equipment, and every classified information database in the world.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Confidential #1. April 7. Batman breaks into the cold case section of the GCPD evidence depository and steals the gun that was used to murder his parents. He doesn’t know that it belongs to Joe Chill and won’t find out for a few more years. After running tests on the firearm, Batman locks it away inside a Wayne Manor drawer. (This gun-stealing note supposedly goes a year prior to “Rules of Engagement” aka Batman Confidential #1-6. Since Batman Confidential #1-6 occurs in Bat Year Three on our timeline, one would assume the gun-stealing should go in Bat Year Two. However, Batman Confidential #1-6 was originally written as a “Year Two” tale, hence placement here. It also just makes way more sense that Batman would steal his parents’ murder weapon right out of the gate.)

–“Got a Date With an Angel” by Steve Englehart/J. Pulido (The Batman Chronicles #19 Part 1 Intro) Winter 2000
April 8-9. Bruce goes out with his girlfriend Viveca Beausoleil during the evening. Around 12:15 am on April 9, Batman busts some criminals, including a bazooka-toting crook. (“Got a Date With an Angel” specifically details Bruce’s 4th through 7th days as Batman, so the rest of the tale will overlap with Batman #405.) Bruce pauses momentarily to phone Viveca Beausoleil before continuing with his patrol.

–“Batman Year One” (continued…) by Frank Miller/David Mazzucchelli (Batman #405) 1987
April 9. Batman has just taken out the bazooka guy and phoned Viveca (as seen in The Batman Chronicles #19 Part 1 Intro). Batman now takes out three teens trying to steal a TV on a fire escape, but nearly gets killed in the process. Clearly, he needs more practice. Across town, Lieutenant Gordon shares a strained exchange with his ever-distant pregnant wife Barbara. One of Gordon’s underlings, Officer Stan Merkel calls him at home with reports of a “giant bat” sighting. NOTE: You will have to completely ignore the coloring of Gordon’s hair in these first few years and chalk it up to artists’ liberties. Yes, Gordon has red hair, but sometimes it’s grey, and then it turns red again. We just have to assume that he dyes it every once in a while? After all, Gordon’s hair dying is legitimately canon in later continuities![15] Oh, and for clarification, Gordon is initially a police lieutenant, but near the end of Miller’s “Year One,” he will be promoted to captain.

–“Got a Date With an Angel” (conclusion) by Steve Englehart/J. Pulido (The Batman Chronicles #19, Part 1 Conclusion) Winter 2000
April 9-12. At around 11:55 pm on April 9 (a night after Batman’s encounter with the TV thieves), Batman takes-out a few hoods, including a crook with a jetpack. The next night (11:45 pm, April 10) it’s more of the same action as Batman takes down some random thugs. Fifteen minutes later, Bruce meets Viveca and they spend midnight until last call dancing at a club. In the morning, Bruce returns home only to learn that the random thugs he busted escaped and caused four deaths while he was partying the night away. Bruce realizes that he can’t continue to juggle a playboy’s social life and vigilantism. Obviously. Brucie calls Viveca and breaks up with her. The next night (presumably in the wee hours of April 12), Batman recaptures the random thugs for good.[16]

–REFERENCE: In Superman/Batman #86. Batman steals a new version of a high tech grappling gun from his own company and tests it in the field, saving six children from a burning building and stopping a shipment of nerve toxin headed for Gotham Bay. Bruce adapts this grappling gun tech into a device he will routinely carry around, allowing him to ascend to great heights and swing from building to building while on patrol.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #682 and Batman: Streets of Gotham #20—originally told in Detective Comics #29-30 and Detective Comics #33. April. Bruce, despite having sworn off sexual relationships only weeks ago, starts dating actress/social activist Julie Madison. And, right away, Bruce blowing her off. Bruce also starts telling his high society peers that he has a college degree (as a cover for his time abroad). When the sun sets, Batman deals with Dr. Death. Batman’s crusade against crime hasn’t been going on long yet, but already Batman has become laser-focused and barely sleeps anymore (having begun a regimen of “micro-sleeps” instead of full night rests). Dr. Death’s debut only exacerbates this obsessive-compulsive behavior. Alfred tells Bruce that he can’t neglect his new responsibilities to both Wayne Enterprises and Julie. After dispatching Dr. Death, Batman battles and defeats yet another evil scientist, Carl Kruger, who attacks Gotham in his “Dirigible of Doom.” We won’t see Kruger again, but Dr. Death will rear his evil head again years down the road as one of DC’s premier science-villains.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Gotham After Midnight #3, Secret Origins Vol. 2 #44 Part 1, and The Batman Files.[17] April. Actor turned killer Basil Karlo debuts as the masked villain known as Clayface, attacking a movie set where Julie Madison is working. Batman defeats Clayface and puts him behind bars, where he will remain for the next twelve years! After Batman’s skirmish with Clayface, Bruce keeps Karlo’s mask, which will later go on display in the Batcave in a few years. We know this because it will be seen in a later issue. If anyone can help out and remind me which issue, that would be great. I forget!

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #589—and referenced in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #90. Batman meets the criminal Matches Malone. Soon afterward, Malone fakes his own death and skips town. Believing him to be dead, Batman assumes his identity for future undercover use. Bear in mind, there is probably a surfeit of undercover work done by Batman—as Matches—to bolster the character’s underworld reputation that is never specifically mentioned in any comic book. However, we simply have to imagine most of this credibility-building as occurring randomly throughout the timeline from this point forward.

–“Clay” by Alan Grant, Enrique Alcatena, & Jessica Kindzierski (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #89-90) December 1996 to January 1997
April 27-May 3. Batman tracks Boss Shelly Xylas, who has kidnapped a woman named Lisa Hagen. Batman soon finds himself fighting Lisa’s boyfriend, the tragic shapeshifting monster Clayface II (Matt Hagen). Thanks to a supernatural protoplasm found in an underground pool, Hagen is able to become the new Clayface, but only for forty-eight hours at a time, at which point he needs to re-up to retain his powers. After his first encounter with Clayface II, Bruce is badly injured, although he makes a quick recovery. Batman disguises himself as Matches Malone to dig up dirt on Clayface II. After a week, Batman confronts Clayface II again. The super-villain kills Xylas and Lisa, and then tries to kill Batman by sucking Batman into his body. Nevertheless, Batman bursts free to achieve victory. Note that “Clay” is also referenced in Batman: Gotham After Midnight #3 and The Batman Files, although in the latter, author Matthew Manning attempts to push the story a few years later by having Batman use a cowl-radio to speak with Commissioner Gordon. While admittedly a very rational move by Manning, that bit must unfortunately be ignored. Furthermore, just as the Clayface I flashback origin from Secret Origins Vol. 2 #44 Part 1 is technically non-canon (relegated to a mere reference following Zero Hour), the same more-or-less goes for the opening portion of the Clayface II flashback origin from Secret Origins Vol. 2 #44 Part 2. The opening portion of the flashback from Secret Origins Vol. 2 #44 Part 2 is a re-telling of Clayface II’s original Silver Age origin from Detective Comics #298 (basically Hagen becoming Clayface II but sans Xylas and Lisa and with a cheesier Batman fight). However, it also includes the following scene: After his first encounter with Batman, Clayface II immediately escapes custody but is defeated again when he gets stuck in a large kiln. Due to circumstantial courtroom evidence, Hagen walks free. Secret Origins Vol. 2 #44 Part 2 contains more Clayface II material to follow, but that will occur a few years down the road.[18]

–“One Night in Gotham City” by John Byrne (The Man of Steel #3)[19]
May. Batman chases after deadly newcomer, Magpie. When Batman gets wind that Superman (Kal-El/Clark Kent) might be coming to Gotham to work the case, he preps for the Man of Steel’s possible arrival, notably adding protection under his cowl that will prevent Superman from using his x-ray vision to discover his secret ID.[20] Sure enough, Superman shows up and meets Batman for the first time, bearing strong disapproval of the outlaw vigilante. However, Superman reluctantly teams-up with Batman to defeat Magpie. (As detailed through a flashback from Superman #710, Bruce met Clark in their civilian identities while in Bhutran, but this is the first meeting between Batman and Superman in costume.) “One Night in Gotham City” is the official canonical first meeting between Batman and the Kryptonian “Man of Steel” Kal-El, even though much of the original Man of Steel series has since been retconned. Following this encounter, we can assume that Batman immediately begins exhaustive research into finding out all he can about the Man of Steel and prepping defenses against him.[21]

–REFERENCE: In Superman #710—originally told in Superman #76. Superman, Batman, and intrepid young reporter Lois Lane track a diamond smuggler aboard the SS Varanian Princess (aka SS Varania) cruise ship. When the smuggler blends in with the vacationers, Bruce and Clark assume their civilian identities to search the vessel. As fate would have it, Bruce and Clark wind up sharing a cabin and learn each other’s secret identities! The World’s Finest heroes dodge the snooping Lois and manage to nab the criminal. I should mention that Bruce might have already known that Clark was Superman, having witnessed Clark use superhuman strength while traveling abroad less than a year ago.[22][23][24]

–FLASHBACK: From “The Trust” (Mythology: The DC Art of Alex Ross)—and referenced in JLA 80-Page Giant #1 Part 1. Now that they know each other’s secret IDs, Batman and Superman do as much research on each other as they possibly can. Batman and Superman don’t see eye-to-eye on everything, but they become fast friends, learning to trust each other rather quickly. As an act of good faith, Superman tells Batman all about his primary weakness—green metal ore from his home planet Krypton, known as Kryptonite. He gives a piece of Kryptonite to Batman, in case of emergency. Batman stores this in the Batcave.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #406. Bruce commissions an “unofficial” invention that is created by Wayne Electronics: a sonar device that attracts swarms of bats. He begins testing the device and will continue to do so over the course of the next couple weeks (overlapping into the May nights of our upcoming ongoing “Batman Year One” narrative). Using various frequencies, Bruce will eventually find the one that gets the bats’ attention.

–FLASHBACK: From Secret Origins Vol. 2 #50 Part 5. Batman goes on routine patrol, knocking some baddies on their asses.

–“Batman Year One” (continued…) by Frank Miller/David Mazzucchelli (Batman #405-406) 1987
May 14-August 7. Batman roughs up the corrupt Detective Arnold Flass, while the latter attempts a drug deal with Jefferson Skeevers. The next day, Lieutenant Gordon and the fetching Detective Sarah Essen brief the GCPD officers about the supposed “Batman.” Gordon says that the mysterious vigilante has been linked to seventy-eight acts of assault since his debut in early April. We must assume this number is either exaggerated (or under-exaggerated). Either way, we have to imagine a lot of crime-fighting in the past five weeks on the part of Batman that isn’t specifically listed on our timeline. On May 19, Batman makes his presence known to Gotham’s underworld in dramatic fashion at a fancy dinner at Mayor Wilson Klass‘ mansion.[25][26] Batman threatens Italian Mafia bosses Carmine “The Roman” Falcone and Sal Maroni and crooked GCPD Commissioner Loeb. The next day, having previously been treated as a joke by the cops, Batman is made Gotham’s most wanted. By the end of May, Batman has struck up a secret working relationship with Assistant District Attorney Harvey Dent. (The Batman/Harvey Dent partnership is also highlighted via flashback from Batman: Ego.) On June 6, Gordon and Essen come face-to-face with Batman after witnessing him save a pedestrian from a runaway truck. (This scene is also shown via flashback from Batman #458.) Soon after, Batman gets shot and cornered by the GCPD SWAT team (led by Lieutenant Branden and Sergeant Frank Pratt) inside a vacant tenement building. The early morning of June 7 is rocked by a GCPD bombing of the building, which wakes up everyone within a mile radius, including sex worker/cat-burglar Selina Kyle and her young friend Holly Robinson. Selina and Holly join a large crowd of onlookers at the scene. Batman, although badly injured, escapes by using his sonar device, which attracts a swarm of bats. This dramatic escape scene is also shown in the quasi-canonical Catwoman Annual #2[27] and via flashback from Catwoman #1. A few days later, Gordon, suspecting that Bruce Wayne is Batman, tries to contact him. However, Bruce has gone to Switzerland to recover from his recent injuries, and cites a skiing injury to mask the true origin of his multiple gunshot wounds. On June 17, Selina and Holly leave Stan the Pimp, earning his ire. Meanwhile, Gordon begins an affair with Sarah Essen. On August 7, Selina debuts as Catwoman.

–“Waiting in the Wings” by Kevin Dooley/Malcolm Jones III/Adrienne Roy (Batman Annual #13 Part 2) 1989
August 7-8.[28] Bruce schedules a hangout with three acquaintances. While Alfred entertains them at Wayne Manor, Bruce adventures as Batman. Bruce’s friends and Alfred watch on live TV as Batman takes down some gang members and saves the life of a small boy. Cameras capture brief audio of Batman speaking, to which Bruce’s friends respond by exclaiming that they think they recognize his voice. Alfred throws them off the trail and sends them packing. Batman then comes home, bleeding like a stuck pig thanks to a knife wound suffered at the hands of one of the gangbangers. Alfred nurses Bruce back to health. In the morning, Alfred tells Bruce that his Batman voice must go lower. Thus, the true deep and growly Bat-voice is invented. (Note that there’s no way in hell Batman hadn’t already been using an altered glottal tone from the get-go, but it obviously wasn’t altered enough. Moving forward, however, it will be.)

–NOTE: As referenced in Catwoman Vol. 3 #1-2 and Catwoman Vol. 3 #6—originally told in the quasi-canonical Catwoman #2. August 8. One night after Selina’s debut as Catwoman, an angry Stan the Pimp kidnaps Selina’s sister Maggie Kyle. It is important to keep in mind that Catwoman #1-2 (“Her Sister’s Keeper”) by Mindy Newell is only partly canon. (We have to ignore most of the first two issues of this four-part series except for the important aspects—Maggie Kyle is indeed kidnapped by Stan the Pimp and Catwoman is indeed part-time trained by Wildcat Ted Grant, who also taught Bruce how to box back in the day.) Early parts of this story overlap with the also-quasi-canonical Catwoman Annual #2 by Jordan Gorfinkel as well.[29]

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #682—and referenced in Batman #682. Bruce blows off Julie for the second time in order to do Batman stuff. Later, Alfred stitches-up Bruce after a particularly bloody night’s patrol. While he does so, Alfred tells Bruce about all the possible different costumed vigilante themes he could have chosen besides that of a Bat. Alfred also notes that Bruce has stopped referring to his Batman persona as a “disguise.”

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Ego. The legend of the Bat vigilante grows as Batman continues patrolling Gotham, busting criminals left-and-right. Batman forges hundreds of Batarangs. Batman also runs from trigger-happy cops.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #682. This flashback is an homage to Detective Comics #27, depicting Bruce Wayne laughing-off the idea of the existence of Batman while in conversation with Lieutenant Gordon.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #589. This flashback is a montage (in random order) that depicts Batman attempting to use several other undercover aliases including; henchman-for-hire “Irving O’Neil,” a bearded biker guy, a leather-clad Mad Max type, and a rehash of the scarred army vet character from Miller’s “Year One.” Batman tests these undercover aliases now. Note that this montage also depicts Batman dressed up as a Black man (in blackface no less) during a confrontation with the Joker. This Joker confrontation takes place next year.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #827. Batman adds a few more colorful alter egos (complete with unique costumes) to use as undercover aliases when probing Gotham’s underworld from within. “Eddie Nickels,” “Brains Bronner,” and “Lefty Knox” are just a few of a handful of fake gangsters that Batman invents. We can assume that Batman uses these undercover aliases randomly over the course of the next twenty years, albeit invisibly on our timeline.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Journey into Knight #5. Batman sets up ten apartment safe houses across Gotham, filling each with spare costumes, spare utility belts, computers, and medical equipment. The Dark Knight will use these safe houses as needed, moving forward. We’ll have to imagine these visits sprinkled throughout our timeline.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #95. Bruce goes to the Hamptons to watch stage magician Jaye Richards perform a close sleight of hand act.

–“Batman Year One” (continued…) by Frank Miller/David Mazzucchelli (Batman #407) 1987
September 2-October 12.[30] Batman confronts Jefferson Skeevers and “convinces” him to cop a plea bargain with Harvey Dent, exposing Detective Arnold Flass as a criminal. Angered that his top man is going down due to the scheming of Dent and Gordon, Commissioner Loeb does a little threatening of his own and reveals that he knows about Gordon and Sarah Essen’s affair. On September 25, Gordon, still convinced that Bruce is Batman, visits Wayne Manor with his wife. Bruce plays the role of drunk playboy, complete with sexy foreign “girlfriend” to throw Gordon off the trail. (This scene is also shown via flashback from Batman #0.) Afterward, Gordon tells Barbara about Sarah. On October 12, Barbara gives birth to James Gordon Jr. Also on the 12th, the news reports that Catwoman has completed a series of four high-profile burglaries. As referenced in The Batman Files, Bruce reads about Catwoman and looks at the blurry silhouetted photo of the thief, which was originally printed in the papers following her second major heist.[31] Another reference in The Batman Files tells us that Catwoman is also known as “The Cat,” despite the fact that she isn’t called this in any Modern Age comic. This likely means that Catwoman is referred to simply as “The Cat” by some news media outlets.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: The Killing Joke, Batman: Gotham Knights #54, Batman: The Man Who Laughs, Batman: Ego, and the second feature to Countdown #31—and referenced in Batman: The Killing Joke and Batman: The Man Who Laughs. October—this item occurs roughly three months prior to Batman: The Man Who Laughs. The Red Hood Mob, a crime-gang led by a challenging new super-villain called The Red Hood, debuts in Gotham. The Red Hood pulls off a few scores, evading police capture. Eventually, unbeknown to the GCPD, Batman takes on the Red Hood Mob, but the bad guys still away. Unknown to both the cops and Batman, the gimmick here is that someone different wears the face-obscuring Red Hood helmet each time the gang pulls off a heist. At Ace Chemical (aka Gotham Chemical), Batman confronts the Red Hood Mob again, now with cops present at the scene. (Note that Batman: Ego incorrectly calls the plant “Axis Chemicals,” which is a reference to the 1989 Tim Burton Batman film.) This time, a nervous patsy named Jack is wearing the Red Hood costume. With Batman encroaching, the scared “Red Hood” falls into a chemical vat. In an instant, the Joker is born. Note that Joker’s pregnant wife Jeannie has been murdered, and in Alan Moore’s original text, it was made to look like she was accidentally electrocuted. Gotham Knights #54 retcons Moore’s original version of the story so that Jeannie was kidnapped and murdered, with the crime being covered up by a boiler explosion.[32] An apocryphal version of the Red Hood incident is also referenced in DC Universe Legacies #3 in the form of a third-hand account by someone who simply read about it in a newspaper. After the Red Hood incident ends, Batman steals the Red Hood’s helmet from police evidence.

–REFERENCE: In Batman and The Monster Men #5. Batman, in an effort to reach out, gives Jim Gordon a radio transmitter with which he can contact him at any time. Of course, Gordon won’t use it for weeks since the real Batman/Gordon partnership won’t develop until after Bruce saves Gordon’s son on November 3 (in Miller’s “Year One”).

–FLASHBACK: From the second feature to 52 #46. Batman goes on patrol, busting some muggers.

–“Broken Nose” by Paul Pope (the second feature to Batman: Gotham Knights #3 / Batman: Black & White) May 2003
This is a B&W Paul Pope short where Batman gets his nose broken for the first time (!) by robotic armored super-villain Mabuse. Batman gets patched up by Alfred, who notes that it is astonishing that Bruce has never broken his nose prior to now. Batman then defeats Mabuse, drags him out of the robo-suit and breaks his nose! Even-steven.[33]

–“Batman Year One” (continued…) by Frank Miller/David Mazzucchelli (Batman #407) 1987
November 2-3. Batman spies on Carmine Falcone at his estate. Catwoman makes a surprise visit to Falcone as well and scratches his face. During the daytime hours of November 3, Commissioner Loeb, frustrated that Gordon won’t fall in line, orders an attack on his family. After a call to Falcone, the mobster’s hitmen go to work, assaulting Gordon at home and kidnapping his baby. Bruce, in street clothes, saves James Junior’s life when the tot gets tossed off of a bridge. Gordon thanks his son’s savior, knowing that he is Batman. But without his glasses, Gordon can’t see to whom he is speaking.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #407. November 4. Jim Gordon is promoted to captain.

–“Revelations: Brothers” by John Ostrander/Tom Mandrake/Carla Feeny (Martian Manhunter Vol. 2 #22) September 2000
November 4-7.[34] With the guidance of Wayne Foundation’s real estate head Mr. Beebe, Bruce begins purchasing properties near Crime Alley in an effort to block a shady gentrifying businessman Rupert Maggs from forcing-out tenants. This leads to conflict and arson fires, which in turn leads to the murder of an innocent journalist named Brian Meade, who Batman sees fall to his death off of a skyscraper. The death is ruled a suicide, but Batman suspects that crooked cop Paul Ross is the culprit and begins an investigation. J’onn J’onzz (aka Detective John Jones of the Denver Police Department aka Martian Manhunter) comes to Gotham to work the case with his partner, Detective Diane Meade (sister of the murder victim Brian Meade). (J’onn, a super-powered Green Martian, has been living on Earth since the late 1950s. Note that Jones and Meade technically work for the Middleton Police Department, a suburban division of the greater Denver PD.) Jones and Meade speak with freshly promoted Captain Jim Gordon, who feigns ignorance when questioned about Batman. Later, J’onn shapeshifts into a wild version of Batman (based on a mash-up of eye-witness accounts and a telepathic scan of Captain Gordon’s mind), soon drawing the attention of the real Dark Knight. Not wanting to startle Batman further, J’onn reverts to his alternate “Bronze Wraith” superhero persona to chat with him. Later, J’onn attacks Paul Ross (Brian’s murderer) but falls victim to his only weakness of fire. Batman saves J’onn, discovering his Martian Manhunter identity. Together, the heroes bust the killer and link him to his boss Rupert Maggs.

–REFERENCE: In Batman and The Monster Men #1. Commissioner Loeb is put under investigation for corruption, going through an internal affairs tribunal process. Peter Edward “Jack” Grogan is appointed as the new acting (interim) commissioner. Note that Loeb won’t officially resign until December 4.

–Batman and The Monster Men #1-6 by Matt Wagner
November 9-19.[35] Our story begins with Julie Madison and her father Norman Madison chatting about headline news (written by photojournalist Vicki Vale) in the Gotham Gazette about the Red Hood’s altercation with Batman. (It happened a month ago, but it’s still headline news, so we must assume that the details have finally leaked to the public.) In this arc, Bruce’s first serious relationship (with Julie) is highlighted and Batman deals with crime boss Sal Maroni’s secret partnership with Hugo Strange, who creates experimental “Monster Men” out of kidnapped asylum residents. Batman learns of Strange’s connection to the crimes and has his first encounter with the professor. After finding a foolproof link between Strange and Maroni and discovering the location of Strange’s evil lair, Batman finally debuts the first of what will be many Batmobiles, driving it into battle. Batman defeats Strange and his “Monster Men” and then beats the stuffing out of Maroni. However, despite having seen the horrible Strange at his worst, the Batman is unable to publicly link the villain to any wrongdoing—Strange burns down his lair (and all evidence within) before escaping scot-free. (This explains Strange’s clean record when we next see him in “Prey.”) Shortly thereafter, Bruce pays off a huge debt that Julie’s dad Norman owed to Maroni. Norman is off the hook, but the experience has left him a shattered, broken wreck of a man.

–“Til Death Do Us Part” by Greg Rucka, Steve Lieber, & Tom McCraw (Batman: Turning Points #1) January 2001
Captain Gordon returns to his apartment to find that his wife Barbara has filed a petition for divorce and returned to Chicago with their baby son James. When Dr. Hale Corbett takes a random bride and groom hostage because his own wife and child have just died, Gordon is on the scene as a hostage negotiator. Batman shows up to provide support, eventually taking down Corbett. Later, Batman chats with Gordon in his apartment. Note that Jim and Barbara do not yet get divorced. That won’t happen for a few years. Thus, we must assume that Jim and Barbara reconcile, and then Barbara cancels her petition for divorce and returns to Gotham with James Jr.[36]

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #67. Batman saves Dr. Lynn Eagles from getting mugged and killed. Lynn will repay the favor in a couple years.

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to Detective Comics #782. Late November—the anniversary of Batman’s parents’ deaths. When he was a boy, Bruce twice visited Crime Alley to honor his parents on the day of their murder. Batman now revives this ritual, beginning what will become an annual tradition of placing two roses on Crime Alley every late November.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Secret Files and Origins #1 Part 1. Batman and Alfred descend into the Batcave from Wayne Manor above. Batman dons his cowl and prepares to head out in the Batmobile.

–“Guardian” by Alan Brennert/Jose Garcia-Lopez (Batman: Gotham Knights #10 Part 2/Batman: Black and White) December 2000
Batman patrols in the Batmobile and meets the semi-retired original Green Lantern Alan Scott. Alan Scott was not only the original defender of Gotham City from the 1940s into the 1970s, but also one of Bruce’s favorite childhood heroes. The duo works a case together, but Batman is still hesitant to make his presence known around cops while Alan Scott is friends with all the cops.

–“Batman Year One” (conclusion) by Frank Miller/David Mazzucchelli (Batman #407) 1987
December 3. Gordon stands atop the GCPD HQ and waits to meet with Batman. We also learn that Sarah Essen has moved to New York and that Commissioner Loeb is set to resign at any moment. NOTE: In this single page of Frank Miller’s “Year One,” the captions tell us that an unknown person, simply calling himself “The Joker,” has sent word to the GCPD and media outlets about plans to poison the Gotham Reservoir, resulting in a citywide panic. HOWEVER, a reference in Batman: The Man Who Laughs changes things entirely. Oddly enough, the only retcon to the untouchable holy gospel that is Miller’s “Year One” comes from The Man Who Laughs! (A few other issues attempt to retcon Miller’s “Year One,” but they don’t stick.) As per The Man Who Laughs, Joker won’t make his presence known until after Loeb officially resigns, and it’ll have nothing to do with the reservoir (at first). Instead, he’ll target high-profile Gothamites (Henry Claridge and company). When Joker finally does strike at the reservoir (on December 8), it’ll come as a relative surprise—without warning, so no time for citywide panic to spread. Therefore, after the retcon dust settles, the canon December 3rd scene is simply Gordon meeting with Batman. We should also note that The Batman Files tries very hard to squeeze Legends of the Dark Knight #50 into canon (including the debut of Joker’s cousin Melvin Reipan), placing it right after this item. But, for all the reasons listed above, notably the fact that the reservoir threat has been erased from “Year One” and pushed-back/retold at the end of Man Who Laughs, this is impossible. Not to mention, LOTDK #50 functions as a modernized re-imagining of Batman #1, which places it into dubious canonical status to begin with.[37] We should also note that, by this point, Batman is also being publicly referred to by various nicknames, including “Dark Knight,” “Caped Crusader,” “Dark Detective,” and “World’s Greatest Detective.”

–REFERENCE: In Batman: The Man Who Laughs. December 4. Commissioner Loeb finally resigns, making Jack Grogan the official commissioner.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Files. Bruce and Julie Madison get engaged to be married. The Batman Files is the only reference for this item since there is no Modern Age comic that says Julie was ever Bruce’s fiancée.

–Batman and The Mad Monk #1-6 by Matt Wagner[38][39]
December 5-9. Bruce stands up his fiancée Julie Madison while engaging with Catwoman, who robs a store. Batman mentions specifically that this is their second meeting. The Dark Detective fights Catwoman, and the latter scratches his chest and escapes. Batman thinks about adding extra armor to his costume for the first time. Batman is then called to GCPD HQ via radio signal to meet Jim Gordon. There, Batman saves Gordon from some crooked cops on Commissioner Grogan’s payroll. Gordon notes how this is the first time he’s really seen Batman in action up-close and personal. Gordon and coroner Murray Fineman then show Batman a corpse in the morgue that appears to be the victim of a vampire attack. Across town, the evil vampire cult responsible, known as The Brotherhood, gathers to sacrifice another victim to their leaders, the vampire called The Monk (Niccolai Tepes) and his partner Dala Vadim. Bruce spends the night at Wayne Manor with Julie. The next day, Batman meets with Harvey Dent. When another vampire body shows up, Batman investigates and roughs up some dudes that work for the Brotherhood. The day after that, Julie is duped into visiting Rallstone castle, home of the vampire cult. There, she gets bitten by the Monk and falls under his spell. That very night, while on a date, Bruce sees her neck bites. Later, Batman trails Julie to Rallstone Castle, where he gets chewed up by attack dogs and bludgeoned by spiked traps. A bloody Batman retreats and meets with Gordon, who decides to get rid of his Bat radio transmitter (saying he needs something bigger and better). After making sure Julie is back home safe and sound, Batman returns to Wayne Manor where Alfred stitches him up. Still under the vampire spell of the Monk, Julie returns to Rallstone Castle and gives the Brotherhood access to her family’s vast wealth. Batman, equipped with silver Batarangs, then rescues Julie, who is about to be sacrificed by the Brotherhood. Batman then defeats the whole Brotherhood. Dala Vadim and the Monk are killed. Julie learns that Batman is Bruce and cannot deal with the fact that her boyfriend is a vigilante superhero. As referenced in Detective Comics #676, Batman keeps the lightning-scalded shroud of the Monk as a souvenir—(we’ll see it on display in the Batcave in a year’s time). Batman then escorts the weary Julie home. Meanwhile, across town Sal Maroni murders Julie’s father, Norman. With the combined weight of Bruce’s secret revealed and the death of her dad, Julie decides to leave Gotham for good, although she won’t immediately. Note that Mad Monk #6 has a separate epilogue that doesn’t take place for a month.[40]


–FLASHBACK: From Batman #682. December 10. Bruce blows off Julie Madison for “the third time” (which could conceivably and very likely means third time this month, knowing Bruce). Fed up, Julie tells Alfred that she is leaving for Los Angeles to pursue her acting career. However, Matt Wagner (via reference in the epilogue of Batman and The Mad Monk #6) will show us that Julie winds-up in the Peace Corps, so we must assume that Julie is either lying to Alfred or changes her mind to join the Peace Corps. While Julie chews-out Alfred, Batman escapes from an acid bath deathtrap and stares down multiple gun barrels. A typical night for the Bat. Alfred tells Bruce about Julie’s departure, but he’s so focused on Batman stuff, he barely listens. (Note that Julie will mail multiple letters to Bruce, but Bruce won’t bother to read them because he’ll be so focused on Batman stuff. Presumably, Alfred will tell Bruce about these letters, but Bruce won’t really listen.)[42]

–REFERENCE: In Catwoman Vol. 3 #1-2 and Catwoman Vol. 3 #6—originally told in the quasi-canonical Catwoman #3-4 (“Her Sister’s Keeper”). December 10—these semi-canonical Catwoman issues take place now because they seem to work better after Julie Madison has left. After pursuing a lead into the kidnapping of Maggie Kyle (a case also being worked by GCPD Detective George Flannery), Batman goes after Stan the Pimp at Bruzinsky’s Theater. There, Batman helps Catwoman save Maggie from Stan, who dies during the altercation.

–“Prey” by Doug Moench/Paul Gulacy (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #11-13)
December 11-15. Batman busts some crooks, much to chagrin of GCPD Sgt. Maxwell Cort, who loathes Batman. Later, Bruce watches a TV program featuring Captain Gordon, Mayor Wilson Klass, and Hugo Strange. Strange disses Batman hard, angering Bruce.[43] Bruce then works on the Batmobile, which has been completely stripped down, in an attempt to make it better and stronger. Later still, Batman fights both the The Fish and his gang along with Cort’s new anti-Batman “Vigilante Task Force.” Batman arrives home early. A few hours later, Bruce has brunch with Mayor Klass, Strange, and Klass’ daughter Catherine Klass. In the evening, Batman meets with Gordon and captures the Fish.[44] Gordon, having abandoned his Bat-radio transmitter in Mad Monk, drapes a cloth Bat-symbol over the GCPD rooftop spotlight, making the first ever Bat-Signal! (The Bat-Signal is also spelled “Batsignal,” “Bat-signal,” or “Bat Signal”.) Batman responds and approves, but then departs to beat up some random street punks. Meanwhile, Max Cort becomes a masked vigilante known as Night-Scourge. A flashback from Batman: Ego, showing Bruce and Captain Gordon attending a black tie event with Mayor Klass, gets squeezed-in here. Klass tells them he agrees with Strange’s negative assessment of Batman. A day later, Bruce listens to a news report about Night-Scourge’s violent debut. Batman helps Catwoman fight off Night-Scourge, but gets beaten up pretty badly in the process. Allied with Hugo Strange, Night-Scourge then kidnaps Catherine Klass and frames Batman for the crime.

–“Prey” (Conclusion) by Doug Moench/Paul Gulacy (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #14-15)

December 16-21. Mayor Klass gives Captain Gordon five more days to apprehend Batman and find his daughter. Soon after, Batman confronts Hugo Strange about Night-Scourge and the kidnapping. Strange drugs Batman with a powerful hallucinogen and Batman flees in a panic. The next afternoon, Batman is still tripping, but finally makes his way home. At Wayne Manor, Bruce is disturbed to discover that Strange has been in his home, and thus now knows his secret ID. Still under the effects of the drug, Bruce locks himself in the Batcave to recover. After three whole days quarantined in the cave, Batman emerges and unveils the new and improved Batmobile. Fully recovered, Batman publicly exposes Strange as criminal, helping Gordon rescue Catherine Klass in the process. Strange evades the cops, but falls into the Gotham River and is presumed dead. (We’ll see him again.) Later, Batman defeats Night-Scourge with help from Catwoman. Revealed as Max Cort, Night-Scourge is shot dead by cops in a firefight.

–“Shaman Parts 2-5” by Denny O’Neil/E. Hannigan (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #2-5) December 1989 to March 1990
December 21-30. LOTDK #2-5 concludes “Shaman.” Bruce says that six months have passed since the events of issue #1, but it is definitely late-December, which would make it more like eight months, so maybe his recollection is a bit shaky. This part of “Shaman” begins with a series of strange deaths, which all link to the Chubala cult suicide that Batman witnessed on his very first night out at Leslie Thompkins’ clinic. Bruce then attends Dr. Spurlock’s Gotham Arms bat-myth exhibit with one-time date Theodora Hackley. Lots of interesting faces in the gala crowd—I see Donald Trump, Ivana Trump, Michael Keaton, and Jack Nicholson. (A reference in The Batman Files reveals that, following the visit to Gotham Arms, Dr. Spurlock gives a piece of the exhibit to Bruce as a keepsake. As referenced in Batman #656, this launches Bruce’s lifelong hobby of collecting offbeat “outsider” art.) Later, Batman fights some Chubala cultists outside Gotham General Hospital. He confiscates wads of cash and drugs, but still doesn’t know about their connection to Fisk. (Don’t forget, the scene in LOTDK #2 which details the origin of the Batcave isn’t written as if it is a flashback, but Bruce has already been using the Batcave for some time now. Therefore, this scene must be considered a flashback to earlier in the year, which can be viewed above.) Shortly thereafter, Captain Gordon tells Batman that the Chubala gang bangers are Santa Priscan. Then, Bennet Young (Spurlock’s assistant) is murdered by Tom Woodley, who steals back a native outfit, bat mask, and weapons from the Gotham Arms exhibit. (Unknown to Batman, Spurlock—upon arrival in Otter Ridge, Alaska—hired Woodley to help him get-in with the locals. However, when Spurlock corrupted the natives and stole from them, Woodley got pissed, swearing revenge against Spurlock and associates, including moneyman Bruce.) Later, Bruce runs into Carl Fisk, who says he has come into some money. As night falls, Batman fights the Chubala gang at Fisk’s construction site, confiscating more cash and drugs, but he still doesn’t know Fisk’s connection to the cult. Woodley, still wearing the native bat-gear, shows up and tries to kill Batman. (Having been spying on Bruce for a while, he knows he is Batman!) In the Batcave, Alfred puzzles over what the Otter Ridge tribe has to do with a Santa Priscan cult. (They don’t have anything to do with one another—the connection is merely coincidental, of course.) After the assassination of Spurlock at the hands of Woodley, Bruce returns to Alaska where he meets up with the family that once saved his life. The granddaughter tells Bruce that Dr. Spurlock corrupted her tribe and stole their precious artifacts—all part of the Wayne Enterprises-sponsored anthropological study. An apologetic Bruce realizes that Woodley killed Spurlock and his assistant (and is now gunning for him) as revenge. Alfred sends Bruce a file detailing all the facts so far, which Bruce reads on the plane while flying back to Gotham. After analyzing the file, Bruce quickly links Chubala to Fisk. Batman visits Fisk’s apartment, finding a Chubala costume and an article about Spurlock’s trip to Alaska. Batman believes he’s now found a connection between Fisk/Chubala and Spurlock/Woodley. However, this is a plot hole. (Batman says that Fisk was inspired to go to Santa Prisca and use the Chubala myth for his own personal gain after reading about Spurlock’s Otter Ridge study. This is untrue, for as we have learned before, Fisk was Chubala-ing prior to Spurlock’s trip. Batman specifically knows this! Thus, the only possible connection here is that Fisk read about Spurlock’s myth studies prior to Bruce funding him and adapted parts into his Chubala scheme—but this is a flimsy connection at best. Really, Woodley’s revenge plot had nothing at all to do with Fisk’s Chubala scheme, with only an extremely tangential Spurlock connection between the two.) On Christmas Eve, Woodley kidnaps Alfred and ambushes Bruce at Wayne Manor. Bruce fights Woodley, who gets seriously wounded and flees into the snowy woods. Making sure Alfred is safe and sound, Batman then busts Fisk and his sinister Cult of Chubala. The Caped Crusader then delivers photo evidence of Fisk and his cult (which he secretly took while fighting them) to Jim Gordon in an effort to ensure Fisk gets a maximum jail sentence. (Note that, despite having debuted a working Batmobile only a month prior, Batman uses a regular Porsche in this arc. Since Batman will once again debut a new Batmobile a couple weeks from now, we can assume that he’s once again put his combat vehicle in the shop.) The next day, Batman finds Woodley, who gives him his ancient bat mask before dying. In order to give his friends from the Otter Ridge Tribe the privacy they deserve, Bruce tells the press that Spurlock’s entire exhibit was a sham. Bruce then travels to Alaska yet again—to visit the the Otter Ridge Tribe (specifically the shaman’s granddaughter) and to deliver them Woodley’s corpse. Bruce then returns home and hangs the ancient bat mask on a wall in Wayne Manor.


–REFERENCE: In Catwoman Vol. 3 #1-2 and Catwoman Vol. 3 #6—originally told in the quasi-canonical Catwoman #4 Epilogue. December 30—three weeks have passed since the rescue of Maggie Kyle. Batman checks-up on Holly Robinson, who has been beaten by a corrupt cop. Then, a very important moment occurs: Batman’s first canonical kiss with Catwoman! Catwoman #4 may only be semi-canonical (and shouldn’t be read as is), but this smooch definitely occurs! Note that Batman mentions that he’s only met Catwoman twice before. This line is totally bogus and has long been retconned out-of-continuity. Ignore.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Battle for the Cowl – Gotham Gazette: Batman Alive? #1—and referenced in Batman #403 and Batman Confidential #25. December 30-31. Bruce has his first sexual liaison with photojournalist Vicki Vale, becoming legitimate friends with her in the process. Post coitus, Vicki comments on Bruce’s various battle scars. Bruce tells her he got them playing polo. (Yes, as confirmed in other stories, notably Batman: War on Crime, Bruce is already fairly heavily-scarred due to his years of intense training abroad and brutal first year of vigilantism.) Bruce and Vicki will have an on-again-off-again thing for years to come. Vicki, who now works for a pro-Batman magazine, also meets the Dark Knight as well, becoming infatuated with finding out his secret ID. While we will only see Vicki sporadically in Batman’s Early Period, we must imagine that she will distantly trail the Dark Knight on a lot of his cases for the next decade.


<<< PREVIOUS: INTRO <<< | >>> NEXT: YEAR TWO >>>

  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: In our intro section, we addressed 1994’s Zero Hour and the “time-sliding” it initiated. We’ll address Zero Hour in more depth once we get to it our on our timeline, but here is a brief re-explanation of Sliding-Time for anyone confused as to why the original Crisis was in 1985-1986, yet our Modern Age timeline starts in 1989. DC used Zero Hour and “time-sliding” to continuously keep its characters fresh and young for as long as possible. Therefore, the stories after the original Crisis (i.e. stories beginning after the Silver/Bronze Age ends in 1985-1986) technically start in the Batman Chronology’s Year Eleven. When new post-Crisis stories started up in 1985-1986 and became more fleshed out with Frank Miller’s “Year One” story in 1987, there was a roughly six to ten year gap that existed to give time for previous stories. (I went with the maximum ten years and aptly named it the “Early Period”.) The same thing happened with the New 52 reboot in 2011. DC gave Batman a fresh start, but kept the skeletal framework of what had already occurred, but in a five to six year period instead of a ten year period. Back to the Modern Age; due to later time-sliding by DC editors, Batman’s “Year One” kept getting pushed later and later to make the stories more contemporary. Instead of his Year One being ten years prior to 1985-1986 (i.e. 1975-1976), it eventually slid to being ten years prior to 1999 (i.e. 1989). This is why my Year One is 1989. If you are looking for stories published from 1985-1986 onward (besides items that fit into the “Early Period”) look no further than Year Eleven as a starting point. Confusing, I know. But I hope that makes sense.
  2. [2]PURPLEGLOVEZ (TIPTUP JR 94): In Catwoman: When in Rome #4, Selina Kyle says she specifically remembers November 2nd of Year One being a Thursday. Yep, that’s 1989 alright! (November 2 actually fell on a Thursday in 1989)! Some folks who favor a highly compressed timeline (as I once did) have tried to argue Year One as being 1995, but in the interest of keeping Long Halloween and Dark Victory canon, I’d say it is definitely ’89.
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: Some very important rules before we get going. (These rules were mentioned in the previous Modern Salad Days section, but bear repeating now.) I’ve included flashbacks in a specific way. If a flashback is first revealed—let’s say in Bat Year 15, hypothetically—the flashback may or may not be mentioned in Bat Year 15, but the actual events that occur in said flashback will be placed one the timeline exactly when they originally occurred through unnumbered notation i.e. bullets listed as “flashback.” Similarly, story references will be listed as unnumbered bullet “references.” And likewise, important narrative events that don’t include Batman will be listed as “notes.” Therefore, any “references,” “flashbacks,” or “notes” occur chronologically at the spot where they are situated on the timeline. Any character names (or group names) highlighted in red denote the first appearance of a reoccurring character (or group). Some of these red items may appear only once in the Bat-verse, but appear elsewhere throughout the DCU, and thus have been given the crimson treatment as well.
  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER: The January 4 through February 26 dates are given in Batman #404. Unfortunately, moving forward, some specific dates and months listed on this chronology won’t be taken from information given by writers and editors. Usually, if something has a specific month listed beside it and does not have a “reason why” listed along with it, it has to do with its chrono-spatial relationship with other stories (which may give much more detailed information). However, no matter what, there is always a reasoning behind an attachment of a precise month to a story. The process of timeline-building is very exhaustive. Obviously, topical references and editorial notes are taken into account, but so are in-story clues and dialog as well. Once I have a bunch of items placed, I cross-check each story with every other story on my timeline to make sure that they aren’t contradicting each other.
  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: Bruce’s decision to use only non-lethal force in his war on crime makes sense here and now, but Bruce will stick with it for his entire career, which doesn’t make as much sense down the road, especially after coming across such murderous repeat offenders in his rogues gallery (i.e. Joker, Riddler, Two-Face, etc). As brilliantly articulated by Mark White in Batman and Ethics, by choosing to act outside of nearly every single law (albeit sometimes sanctioned by the police) but cherrypicking “no killing” as his one personal rule, Batman will actually allow thousands of deaths to occur at the hands of his rivals. I’m not saying that I personally think Batman should commit murder, but I do agree with White that Batman’s anti-killing stance directly contradicts his own ethical standpoint and obstructs his stated goals. Removing Joker, Riddler, Two-Face from the equation would lead to an exponentially safer Gotham. Food for thought.
  6. [6]COLLIN COLSHER: It’s already been mentioned, but it is worth mentioning again: 2011’s The Batman Files, written by Matthew Manning and produced by DC Comics and Lionheart Books, exists in the physical form of a scrapbook that Batman makes shortly before the end of the Modern Age. It functions as a recap of the entire Modern Age from Batman’s perspective. The Batman Files is highly comprehensive to the point of being encyclopedic, but because it contains images from various comics throughout the Modern Age (re-imagined as photos) and has some things out-of-order, it must be viewed as a quasi-canonical publication, meaning that not everything inside is necessarily 100% canon. Many photos, clippings, and other scrapbooking ephemera—ranging from Bruce’s birth in 1963 until 2011—will eventually go into this scrapbook. This means that someone snaps a lot of pictures, which, after development, eventually make their way back into Bruce’s hands somehow. The Batman Files also tells us that many of these pictures are from Barbara Gordon’s files, taken via secret surveillance drone cams. Moving forward on our timeline, we won’t make specific reference to each photo being taken, but be aware that the pictures will be quite frequently taken, printed-out, collected, and stored—either by Batman, Barbara Gordon, or someone else.
  7. [7]COLLIN COLSHER: While Bruce will indeed lower his voice while out adventuring, he won’t invent his true deep husky growl (his patented Bat-voice) until August 8, during the main action of Batman Annual #13 Part 2.
  8. [8]COLLIN COLSHER: As far as Selina Kyle being a sex worker, she definitely was working the world’s oldest profession as a dominatrix for many years, but will later claim that the job was an undercover gig which allowed her to be at the heart of Gotham’s seedy underbelly, and thus aided in her training as a thief and a fighter. Either way, Catwoman’s official comic book origin begins with sex work. Note, however, that DC initially tried to walk this back after Zero Hour, specifically with Devin Grayson’s Batman Secret Files and Origins #1 Part 1 (1997), which replaces Bruce’s East End outing with a new generic version wherein which Bruce, wearing all black with a black ski-mask (and sporting a proto-utility belt) goes out on a trial run as a vigilante crimefighter, sloppily besting four robbers at a trucking warehouse. Bruce returns home and chats with Alfred while the latter patches up minor wounds, then sees the bat crash through his window later that evening. While Batman Secret Files and Origins #1 Part 1 is canon, this sequence is definitely not.
  9. [9]COLLIN COLSHER: Mindy Newell’s Catwoman #1-4 (“Her Sister’s Keeper”) is only quasi-canonical—and its bits and pieces are only canon via reference from Ed Brubaker’s Catwoman Vol. 3. The flashbacks are to Frank Miller’s “Year One,” so they can be read as is even if the rest of the narrative of “Her Sister’s Keeper” cannot.
  10. [10]COLLIN COLSHER / ELIAS M FREIRE: Secret Origins of the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes (by Denny O’Neil, edited by Mark Waid, 1990), Batman Secret Files and Origins #1 Part 1 (by Devin Grayson, edited by Denny O’Neil, 1997), and the second feature to 52 #46 (by Mark Waid, 2007) each depict the bat/window scene, but these versions are non-canon because they depict a healthy Bruce calmly reading his Maxwell Floppy book in his father’s study when the bat appears. All three flashbacks completely ignore the fact that a disguised Bruce is badly injured and has just returned from the East End. (The flashback from Batman #0 is drawn a bit off, without really highlighting Bruce’s injuries or his disguise, but it still basically details Frank Miller’s “Year One” enough to make it passable.) Also note that the problematic quasi-canonical Batman Files makes a nod to the Batman ’66 TV series by reimagining the statuette upon which the bat lands into a Shakespeare bust. This is a cute reference, but it must be ignored. The bust is definitely not of Shakespeare in the Modern Age.
  11. [11]COLLIN COLSHER: In the other timelines on this site, I have added in notes and references regarding each item in Batman’s utility belt. I have not done so for the Modern Age only because I started this project with the Modern Age and, at that time, had initially decided not to factor in such detailed level of specificity. Pardon the oversight.
  12. [12]VALHERU / COLLIN COLSHER: Bruce’s first night out as Batman is definitely the night of April 5 into April 6. This not only makes it probable that Mazzucchelli’s “Year One” image of Batman on the rooftops in the wee hours of April 6 (an upcoming bullet-point on the timeline) is him on his way to Leslie Thompkins’ clinic. However, we should note that the passage of time in LOTDK #1 is odd, making it look like Bruce becomes Batman the day after “Year One”‘s botched March 11 adventure in the East End (and the “I shall become a bat” moment), but not only is that not plausible (it only took a day?), ‘tec #0 shows that he didn’t become Batman until several weeks afterwards as well. Shadow of the Bat #29 makes the exact same mistake, telling us that Batman is in costume and ready for action a day after the bat crashes through the window. Batman Chronicles #19 also makes this same mistake, stating that the “I shall become a bat” moment occurs a mere three days after the March 11 botched adventure. Know for a fact that it takes weeks to heal-up, start-up the Batcave, and tailor a Bat-costume after March 11, not one day, not three days—it takes weeks.
  13. [13]COLLIN COLSHER: A note about construction projects in the DCU. Bruce and Alfred will all but finish their massive Batcave undertaking in less than a year. On our timeline, we will see numerous instances of skyscrapers, superhero (and villain) headquarters, and entire cities being built to completion in a matter of months or even weeks or days. Battle damaged buildings, flooded natural disaster zones, and whole metropolitan infrastructures devastated by nuclear holocaust or alien attack will sometimes get fixed up in no time flat. Unlike in our reality—where One World Trade Center took over seven years to top-out—the DCU is a place of magick, metapower, and sci-fi technology. Put these things together and things get built quickly. We also cannot ignore retcon time-compression and trigger-happy writers, eager to add new toys to the sandbox or to get on with their stories. Simply put, be prepared to suspend your disbelief when it comes to the speed of building and reconstructing things in the DCU.
  14. [14]COLLIN COLSHER: Miller’s “Year One” uses the word “DAY” to time-stamp events whereas Batman Chronicles #19 confusingly uses both the word “DAY” and “NIGHT” to timestamp events. The easiest way to look at things is like this: A “NIGHT” is a literal night, meaning from sundown to sunrise. Batman’s first “day” (Day 1), for example, since he only goes out at night, is the night of April 5 into 6. Thus the following can be inferred:

    –Batman Day 1 – April 5 into 6
    –Batman Day 2 – April 6 into 7
    –Batman Day 3 – April 7 into 8
    –Batman Day 4 – April 8 into 9
    –Batman Day 5 – April 9 into 10
    –Batman Day 6 – April 10 into 11
    –Batman Day 7 – April 11 into 12
    …and so on and so on…

    In Miller’s “Year One,” on May 15, Gordon states that Batman consistently operates between midnight and 4:00 am. However, while Gordon might be mostly correct in his assessment, this cannot be exact since we will see Batman go out before midnight on a couple instances prior to May 15. Batman is likely out there patrolling as soon as the sun goes down, but when does most of Gotham’s crime start to pick up? Between the hours of 12 midnight and 4 am—hence Gordon’s comment.

  15. [15]RENAUD BATTAIL: While on the subject of Gordon’s ever-changing hair color in these early years… The only drawback, not induced by the Batman Chronology Project, but by the comic market itself, is characters’ designs changing each time a new story-arc begins. Sometimes Bruce looks like he’s thirty, Alfred’s hair switches from grey to black, and the Batmobile often looks like it’s been downgraded! I imagine that’s something we can’t help but to ignore. You just have to get used to it like any comics reader.

    COLLIN COLSHER: The characters, especially in the early years, do constantly change stylistically, but this is the world of illustration, cartoons, comic book art, graphic art. There are always going to be artist liberties and personal rendition—jumps and leaps in style, color, inking, penciling, costuming, and basic character design. (This isn’t Batman the Animated Series, after all. There might be a general house style, but we aren’t talking about one show with consistent uniformity.) If anything looks a bit funky, chalk it up to the artist placing his own carte blanche visualization upon the story. While on the subject of Gordon, as expert Chris J Miller notes, Frank Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns reveals that Gordon is fifteen years older than Bruce. I know Dark Knight Returns is a part of an alternate universe, but it still links to Miller’s Year One. Thus, the internal logic of this age differential probably can be applied to the Earth-0 Modern Age DCU. So, if Bruce is 25-26 in Batman: Year One, Gordon is probably around 40-years-old in that same story.

  16. [16]COLLIN COLSHER: Since Batman Chronicles #19 annoyingly uses both the word “DAY” and “NIGHT” to timestamp events (instead of just labeling only “DAYS”), I’ve plugged in the happenings of this issue into a handy chart for anyone who is confused as to how things actually go down. Remember, “Got a Date With an Angel” covers Batman’s 4th through 7th days and overlaps with Batman’s fight against the trio of TV thieves from Miller’s “Year One.”

    –Day 4 (April 8-9) –bazooka dude on April 9, 12:15 am
    ————————-TV trio on April 9, 12:15 am
    –Day 5 (April 9-10) –jetpack dude on April 9, 11:55 pm
    –Day 6 (April 10-11) –random thugs on April 10, 11:45 pm
    ————————–partying with Viv on April 11, 12:01 am to morning
    ————————–learns about murders on April 11, 8:00 am
    ————————–breaks up with Viv on April 11, 10:00 am
    –Day 7 (April 11-12) –recapture random thugs on April 12, 12:30 am

  17. [17]COLLIN COLSHER: Note that the debut of Basil Karlo is a tricky item to place without errors galore. Secret Origins Vol. 2 #44 Part 1, which originally functioned as the pre-Zero Hour canonical Clayface origin, problematically exists as a decidedly non-canon flashback detailing the villain’s debut. (I’ve kept Secret Origins Vol. 2 ##44 Part 1 as a reference instead of an official out-and-out flashback.) Why is Secret Origins Vol. 2 #44 Part 1 technically non-canon, though? First off, this flashback has a very unreliable narrator as it is told completely by Karlo himself. Second, it comes off like a straight-up Golden Age retelling way too much. Third, it involves Robin, who won’t debut for years. Therefore, the primary and ultimate post-Zero Hour reference for Clayface’s debut must be from Batman: Gotham After Midnight #3, where we will see the first chronological appearance of Clayface II. Common sense dictates that Clayface I debuts before Clayface II. The quasi-canonical Batman Files solidifies placement here in Year One with a modified Modern (Age)-ized version of Karlo’s original Golden Age origin, which includes Julie Madison but occurs long before Robin’s debut.
  18. [18]COLLIN COLSHER: “Clay” by Alan Grant, Enrique Alcatena, and Jessica Kindzierski (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #89-90) is a grim-and-gritty post-Zero Hour re-imagination of Clayface II Matt Hagen’s pre-Crisis origin story from the Silver Age (Detective Comics #298, 1961). It’s extremely tough to place, and easily could go either way in terms of canonicity. In fact, I’d say this is one of the most frustratingly difficult LOTDK arcs in terms of determining canon. Either we disregard “Clay” entirely from Year One, keeping it instead as a Batman Files reference attached to a later year, or we regard “Clay” as canon here in Year One, including caveats about The Batman Files and Secret Origins errors. After much deliberation, I’ve obviously (albeit very reluctantly) gone with the latter. I do think that having Clayface II debut a few years after Clayface I makes more sense than having them go essentially back-to-back in Batman’s earliest days. Plus that would mirror the Golden and Silver age better, which is always a general aim of the Modern Age chronology. However, as we’ll see in the continuation of this footnote below, there are seemingly actually more reasons to keep the Clayfaces together here in Year One than to keep them apart.

    VALHERU: Interestingly, while very difficult to place without caveats and fanwanks (and seemingly out-of-continuity on the surface), “Clay” (LOTDK #89-90) actually rationalizes the timeline. At the beginning of LOTDK #89, the narration mentions Batman has been active for “three weeks”—meaning April 27 (21 days after his debut on April 6). That night, Batman is beaten up by Clayface so badly that, the next morning (April 28), Alfred says he’s going to cancel Bruce’s work appointments for the day, but worries that the “Bruce is sick” excuse might be getting too suspicious. Fast-forward to June 9 in Miller’s “Year One,” where Gordon and Essen go to Wayne Manor and are told by Alfred that Bruce has been in Switzerland for “six weeks.” This six-week period would begin exactly on April 28th. So, Alfred didn’t go with “Bruce is sick” after all; he “sent him to Europe” instead! This is a neat bit of synchronicity.

    ANDREW: “Clay” is 100% canon and goes here. It’s clear that prior to Zero Hour, the Clayfaces (I through III) had origins that mirrored their original origins from the Golden and Silver Ages. This is evident in Secret Origins Vol. 2 #44 (1989). After Zero Hour, Alan Grant and company retcon things so that the first two Clayfaces debut almost simultaneously early in Batman’s career. Grant’s concept seems to be that Basil Karlo is a one-shot non-metahuman Clayface early on, after which Matt Hagen becomes the Clayface of Batman’s Early Period (up until his death in the original Crisis). Karlo then becomes the primary (and finally metahuman) Clayface later on, essentially and physically becoming what Hagen had been. In this sense, Karlo both directly inspires Hagen and then more-or-less becomes him.

    MILO NOUSIAINEN: While of course a matter of opinion and up to one’s interpretation, my belief is that “Clay” is canon, going in its proper place three weeks into Batman’s career right here. (Basil Karlo’s debut as the masked Clayface goes shortly before “Clay”). While Batman doesn’t really fight metahuman or supernatural enemies until Matt Wagner’s “Dark Moon Rising” duology (Monster Men and Mad Monk), and those stories clearly function as some of Batman’s first encounters with metahuman types, Batman is technically already familiar with metahumans before “Dark Moon Rising” as he meets Superman, Martian Manhunter, and Green Lantern Alan Scott. In Mad Monk, Bruce says “On the other hand, there is a man in Metropolis who can actually fly and bend steel in his bare hands” when discussing the supernatural nature of the Monk. So it makes sense for there to actually be a super-powered foe prior to Hugo Strange’s Monster Men and the Monk. Batman is shocked by how a creature such as Clayface (Matt Hagen) can exist in “Clay”, marking his first encounter with a metahuman foe. The Dark Knight then continues to be concerned by the changing nature of crime in Gotham in Monster Men and Mad Monk. Additionally, in “Clay”, Bruce seems to be preparing for the first time for a superhuman encounter that requires more than just his own “strength and skill”. He says he needs “a few tricks on his side”, so he creates the phosphor flare and knockout gas pellets. He has these knockout gas pellets ready when he faces Hugo Strange’s Monster Men and the Monk’s wolves and vampires. It’s a neat little bit of continuity. Last but not least, Bruce says in The Batman Files: “When I first met him, I’d never seen anything like Matthew Hagen,” which perhaps strengthens the idea that Clayface II is the first metahuman that Batman encounters.

  19. [19]COLLIN COLSHER: John Byrne’s Man of Steel series, mostly the Superman origin portions of it, were rendered non-canon by 2003-2004’s Superman: Birthright, which was itself rendered non-canon by both 2005-2006’s Infinite Crisis and 2009-2010’s Superman: Secret Origin. However, after all that wild retconning dust settled, much of Byrne’s Man of Steel narrative wound-up being back in canon, including this issue. An interesting note about the (mostly) non-canon Superman: Birthright is that, at the time of its publication, its changes to the Superman mythos were so sweeping and large that some considered the story to be an outright DCU line-wide reboot. Of course, it’s a moot point since Superman: Birthright‘s major changes were basically cancelled-out anyway. In the end, Superman: Birthright is definitely a reboot with some lasting impact, but it’s a soft reboot, not a hard one.
  20. [20]COLLIN COLSHER: While Superman/Batman Annual #1 is non-canon, it does highlight (via references) some of Batman’s additional research process in preparation for their first encounter. In addition to lining his cowl to make it x-ray proof, according to Superman/Batman Annual #1, Bruce memorizes the “Who’s Who” section of every college yearbook within the last twenty years. While this eidetic recall task is connected to Batman’s larger effort to catalogue everyone for an extensive crime database, it’s also directly linked to finding out who Superman really is. Therefore, it’s highly possible that Batman has been combing through college yearbooks in an effort to add personnel files to the database (and with the added hope of finding a jawline that matches Superman’s).
  21. [21]COLLIN COLSHER: Lex Luthor: Man of Steel, which (arguably) details the first meeting between Superman and Batman, is non-canon. For one thing, as the experts on the state: “Events in this series that contradict current comics, particularly Lex Luthor’s position as a legitimate businessman, make it difficult to place in context of recent continuity.” Lex Luthor‘s narrative is very vague. In the story, here is what we are told: Superman has been around for a decade; Luthor and Bruce Wayne know each other well, but Bruce doesn’t seem to regard him as a villain yet; Bruce seemingly accepts Luthor’s idea that Superman might be too powerful or possibly evil, takes Kryptonite from him, and then agrees to have Batman fight Superman on his behalf; the Batman-Superman fight then occurs with the heroes going right at it in an epic slug-fest that registers like an angry first meeting much more than a random fight. The fight is never sufficiently explained in the book. Because of the vagueness, one could argue either that this is a first meeting between Batman and Superman OR that it isn’t. This makes Lex Luthor impossible to place because it has to go about ten years in, but exist on a timeline where Luthor hasn’t been outed as a crook yet AND where Batman and Superman haven’t met (unless you view the narrative differently). Furthermore, because this Lex Luthor contradicts Man of Steel #3 and Batman Confidential, which have been canonically referenced in the Modern Age, we have another concrete reason why it cannot be canon.

    Lex Luthor: Man of Steel better fits into the out-of-continuity “villains duology” that Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo did featuring, first, Luthor, and then Joker. Both of these character studies occur outside the realm of the DCU proper. Joker, which Azzarello, Bermejo, and Dan DiDio have specifically labeled as out-of-continuity themselves, links directly to Lex Luthor not only thematically and stylistically, but also because a photo of Bermejo’s Joker appears in a newspaper in Lex Luthor. Likewise, Batman: Noël, Batman: Damned (the first ever Black Label title, infamous for showing Batman’s penis), and Batman: The World Part 1 probably occur in this same alternate Azzarello/Bermejo-verse as well.

  22. [22]COLLIN COLSHER: Everything in Superman #710 is canon, including this prior meeting between Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne which happens a few weeks before Bruce becomes Batman in Bhutran (as mentioned above). The scene functions as the first “official” meeting between the two. In a slightly related note, there is a canon Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale story where a very young gloomy Bruce Wayne is driven through Smallville and sees very young happy-go-lucky Clark Kent out his limo window. THAT technically should be Clark and Bruce’s “first meeting” I guess! (Although, they don’t actually speak to each other, so maybe it shouldn’t count.)
  23. [23]COLLIN COLSHER / RENAUD BATTAIL: In the original Golden Age Superman #76 story, Robin is present. Obviously, when Batman and Superman discover each other’s secret IDs in the Modern Age, Robin won’t be around yet. When Golden Age or Silver Age stories are made canonical through references in the Modern Age, you should never—let me repeat never—assume that the original stories are canon as they stand intact. These are indeed mere references. Therefore, the original tales simply form a limited narrative framework from which to glean information from. This will happen time and time again throughout the Modern Age. So to re-iterate, whenever you see the words “referenced in” on this chronology, we are talking about a Modern(Age)-ized version of the original story.
  24. [24]COLLIN COLSHER: Superman/Batman Annual #1 is a Modern Age re-telling of the Varanian Princess cruise case where Batman and Superman discover each other’s secret IDs. However, this annual is non-canon because Batman tells Superman that he already has a partner. This is obviously meant to a reference to Robin, who would have been around yet. I suppose there is a way around this if we assume that Batman is not referencing Robin, but Alfred instead. However, that would be a big stretch. The other thing making the annual non-canon is that it harbors the appearance of Ultraman, Superwoman, and Owlman (members of the Antimatter Earth’s Crime Syndicate). The classic JLA Earth 2, which debuts the Crime Syndicate in the Modern Age in Bat Year 16, erases all prior incarnations/appearances of the Crime Syndicate from continuity. I would LOVE if Superman/Batman Annual #1 were canon, especially since DEADPOOL (yes, Marvel’s Deadpool) is in it, but there are just too many snafus for me to feel comfortable including it on the Modern Age timeline. However, if you’d like to include it, then it simply goes right here (with small caveats).

    Joe Kelly wrote Superman/Batman Annual #1 (and S/B Annual #2 as well) and was deliberately less concerned with continuity and more concerned with re-telling old Silver Age tales in the most fun way possible. Despite their dubious canonical status, Kelly’s Annuals are great! And I actually think they function better as stand-alones that exist outside of the main line.

    Interestingly enough, S/B Annual #3 IS actually canon. Unlike Joe Kelly’s playing it fast-and-loose, author Len Wein seems to re-imagine an old tale for the Modern Age while making sure that it fits into continuity. Wein’s annual #3 takes place a bit on down the road.

    And while we’re on topic, the fourth S/B Annual is non-canon because it takes place on the Batman Beyond world of Earth-12. S/B Annual #5 returns the title to canon status as it is a part of the “Reign of Doomsday” arc.

  25. [25]COLLIN COLSHER / PURPLEGLOVEZ (TIPTUP JR 94): The famous dinner scene at the mayor’s house in Frank Miller’s “Year One” (1987’s Batman #405) shows an invalid barely able to feed himself i.e. a puppet being controlled by Carmine Falcone. According to Miller’s original script, this was meant to be Mayor Falcone, the mayor at the time of Batman’s debut. Alan Brennert’s Black Canary story in Secret Origins Vol. 2 #50 Part 5 (1990) gives the mayor’s name specifically as “Falcone” as well, likely basing this off of Miller’s script. From 1987 through 1996, Carmine Falcone’s real name was never known. In “Year One,” he is only referred to as “The Roman.” It isn’t until The Long Halloween in 1996 that Jeph Loeb names him “Carmine Falcone!” In many other issues, Wilson Klass is mentioned (and seen) as Gotham’s mayor during “Year One.” So, we can either assume that the mayor at the time of Batman’s debut is an unnamed Falcone relative that is quickly followed by Klass due to a mid-term death or resignation—or we can take the Mayor Falcone references as non-canon, meaning that the invalid at dinner is just a random guy and Klass is there but off-panel. Up to your own personal headcanon. For the sake of simplicity, we’ve gone with Klass right off the bat.

    While we are talking mayors, let’s list all the Gotham City mayors of the Modern Age in order! Klass is voted-out at the end of “Year Two,” getting followed by Mayor Gill (who is later assassinated in Gotham After Midnight), Hamilton Hill, George Skowcroft (as referenced in Year Eleven’s Swamp Thing Vol. 2 #53), an unnamed mayor (assassinated in The Cult), Donald Webster, Julius Lieberman (who is assassinated in Batman versus Predator), Mayor Goode, an unnamed Black male, Armand Krol, Marion Grange (who is assassinated right before “No Man’s Land”), Daniel Dickerson (who is assassinated in Gotham Central), David Hull, Karen Willis (aka the unnamed female mayor referenced in 52 and ‘tec #817), and Sebastian Hady (who is the final mayor of the Modern Age). You could also list Seamus McGreevy, who briefly usurps Hull during David Lapham’s odd “City of Crime” arc. Also note that the “Karen Willis” name only comes from an obscure reference in West End Games’ Daily Planet Guide to Gotham (2000), which hints that Willis, a rising star District Attorney, was on track to become mayor. While purely speculative, it’s very possible that this connection between the West End sourcebook and the comics is legitimate. As such, we’ve head-canonized Willis as the mayor referenced in 52 and ‘tec #817 (2006).

    Admittedly, it is a tad odd that Mayor Gill is followed by Mayor Hill—with their names sounding so alike. Is it possible that writer Tom Peyer had a misspelling in the one and only issue in which Gill is named (LOTDK #170)? Hamilton Hill, the penultimate mayor of the Silver Age/Bronze Age (1981-1985), only gets mentioned in Harvey Bullock’s profile in Who’s Who Update ’88 #4. An unnamed mayor plays a minor role in Huntress: Year One, but this guy is never specifically named. It’s possible that he is Hill as well. Hill’s only other connections to the Modern Age are found in the non-canonical “Dark Detective” by Steve Englehart and in Batman Confidential #24, in which he is incorrectly included as a continuity-error anachronism. In any case, due to an assassination reference in Gotham After Midnight, it does seem as though Gill and Hill are indeed separate politicians that go back-to-back. A notable Modern Age divergence from the original comics is that Hill debuts prior to Rupert Thorne. However, the Modern Age does more clearly reflect the original comics by having Skowcroft follow Hill—(Skowcroft was the final mayor of the Bronze Age, debuting in 1985).

    After Lieberman comes Mayor Goode. He cuts a deal with Krol, choosing not to run in a subsequent election, making his tenure quite short.

    The only other mayor shown in the Modern Age is Charles “Chubby” Chesterfield, who is only shown once in the Black and White second feature to Batman: Gotham Knights #19, in which he dies. This second feature, however, is non-canon, as is Chubby’s reign as mayor.

    Here’s the finalized list below, one more time, in a more easy to read format. Notice how many are killed in office. Yikes.

    -Wilson Klass
    -Mayor Gill (assassinated)
    -Hamilton Hill
    -George Skowcroft
    -an unnamed person (assassinated)
    -Donald Webster
    -Julius Lieberman (assassinated)
    -Mayor Goode
    -Armand Krol
    -Marion Grange (assassinated)
    -Daniel Dickerson (assassinated)
    -David Hull / Seamus McGreevy
    -Karen Willis
    -Sebastian Hady (Mayor Hady survives until the New 52/Rebirth Era, but, you guessed it, his fate is eventually sealed with an assassination as well)

  26. [26]PURPLEGLOVEZ (TIPTUP JR 94): Confusingly, a number of different men are shown as mayor during Batman’s early years. As you’ll quickly realize, the level of consistency is not ideal when it comes to Gotham’s mayoral office. Both The Batman Files—an amazing book that brilliantly weaves Batman’s byzantine post-Crisis history into a semi-coherent narrative (though it does have some flaws)—and The Essential Batman Encyclopedia have a lot of worthwhile information about Gotham’s mayoral history. The latter Encyclopedia title has some weird errors but was apparently meant to be authoritative upon release in 2008. It invokes the pre-Crisis Earth-1 and Earth-2 dichotomy as well as the various reality changes and alternate worlds when details contradict each other, sometimes blending some of those things together. But the Encyclopedia has something interesting to say about Gotham’s mayor history. Here’s the Encyclopedia‘s version:

    – Wilson Klass
    – Hayes (first appearance in Batman #207)
    – Hamilton Hill
    – George P Skowcroft (served as “acting mayor” in aftermath of Hill’s forced resignation)
    – unnamed mayor who was killed by Deacon Blackfire’s followers
    – “several briefly tenured mayors” followed after THAT (!!)
    – Mayor Lieberman
    – an unnamed man who abruptly replaced Lieberman after Run Riddler Run
    – Armand Krol
    – Marion Grange
    – Daniel Danforth Dickerson III
    – David Hull
    – unnamed woman (prior to Sebastian Hady)

    Missing are Mayor Gill, Donald Webster, Goode (who is unnecessarily replaced with “several mayors”), Chubby Chesterfield, and Karen Willis (the name we’ve applied to the mayor prior to Hady), but… yeah. Wow. I might put Hayes after Gill in my own headcanon as the general mayor for the early Dick-as-Robin era, but then that WOULD make Gill the one who dies in Gotham After Midnight. It’d be nice if some of the unnamed mayor slots lined up with both that guy and the one who appears in Huntress: Year One, which would seemingly go after (?) the Hamilton Hill era! It seems that the Huntress: Year One mayor should be an entirely new character that appears after Hill—or even after Skowcroft. In any case, the supposed deluge of unnamed mayors after Hill/Skowcroft/Huntress: Year One (prior to Lieberman) is fascinating. And the Encyclopedia doesn’t link most of them to specific stories because I suppose they wanted us to suffer.

    Check out my detailed write-up about Gotham’s mayors for more info on this topic!

    COLLIN COLSHER: Weird that Silver Age Hayes gets included. Was there ever a reference to him in the Modern Age? And there really is no need for that many random unnamed mayors on the list. All in all, however, besides its addition of Hayes and all the unnamed people (and its omission of Gill), the Encyclopedia‘s list isn’t too far off from mine. But in direct comparison, with our combined notes above, the Batman Chronology Project’s list is the more correct version.

  27. [27]COLLIN COLSHER: Many argue that Gorfinkel and Balent’s Catwoman Annual #2 non-canon because it has numerous errors, including an anachronistic appearance by Harvey Bullock. However, specific parts are definitively canon (thanks only to flashbacks from Catwoman/Wildcat #3)—such as Selina’s underground kung-fu training, training with Ted Grant, and battles with Hellhound.
  28. [28]VALHERU: Since we see Batman on TV in “Waiting in the Wings,” it must go at some point after the Batman-vs-SWAT-team battle on June 6-7 in Miller’s “Year One,” which is Batman’s first televised appearance (not only for general narrative purposes, but also because people like Loeb, Gordon, and Falcone up until that point have no idea what Batman really looks like). “Waiting in the Wings” would contradict that if it took place any earlier. Thus, “Waiting in the Wings” could go anywhere from late June to August 7-8.
  29. [29]COLLIN COLSHER: Don’t forget, timeline-building, unlike chemistry or physics, is definitely NOT a perfect science. Gorfinkel and Balent’s Catwoman Annual #2 contradicts Mindy Newell’s Catwoman #1-4. However, Catwoman #1-4 is much more often canonically referenced. So, basically, parts of both are canon. It’s a sticky wicket, but whatcha gonna do? Not to mention, Newell’s original “Catwoman Year One” story, entitled “The Tin Roof Club” (the fifth feature to Action Comics #611-614), was completely erased from continuity thanks to Zero Hour and Ed Brubaker’s Catwoman Vol. 3. Notably, the main parts of Catwoman #1-4 are canon thanks to Brubaker’s Catwoman Vol. 3 while the main parts of Catwoman Annual #2 are canon thanks to Catwoman/Wildcat #3.

    VALHERU: Catwoman #1-4 (“Her Sister’s Keeper”) is a chronological mess to work through, but here’s the Cliff’s Notes:

    The opening scenes in Catwoman #1 roughly intertwine with the first two pages of Catwoman Annual #2, which is somewhere before Frank Miller’s “Year One” even starts.

    The first Catwoman Annual #2 scene in Catwoman #1-4, then, is the replay of Bruce’s first night out as Batman in the East End on March 11 in Miller’s “Year One.”

    Maggie is kidnapped on August 8, the night after Catwoman’s official debut on August 7 (in Miller’s “Year One”).

    Catwoman #2 shows Selina “soliciting” Jefferson Skeevers during his bail period—September 7-11 (Miller’s calendar is iffy here) according to Miller’s “Year One.”

    Catwoman #3-4 take place a little later.

    Anyway, the whole thing sort of works, though it’d be much easier to just ignore Catwoman #1-4 entirely. Unfortunately, Brubaker (and others) drew from it, so even though Catwoman #1-4 is partly out-of-continuity, we can’t be sure which parts. The good news is that Catwoman #1-4 doesn’t throw anything in-continuity out of whack, so while it’s a tight and odd fit, it’s not anathema.

    MiTT3NZ: It’s hard to figure out exactly how Catwoman Annual #2 and Catwoman #1-4 can realistically co-exist. It seems as though one or the other can exist, but not both. There’s nothing that suggests Catwoman #1-4 isn’t canon except for Catwoman Annual #2 and Catwoman Annual #2 alone (and vice versa). Catwoman #1-4 is referenced in other stories, yet Catwoman Annual #2 isn’t (well, rarely). Could it just be a case of DC intending something to be canon, but it just couldn’t possibly fit (like Batman and Robin: Scarecrow Year One or most Kevin Smith mini-series)? This is probably the case, so unless we know definitively how the two can co-exist, Catwoman Annual #2 should be labeled as non-canon and replaced with Catwoman #1-4.

    COLLIN COLSHER: It is a difficult circumstance indeed. But, I will repeat what I’ve said above. Basically, parts of both are canon (meaning parts of both are non-canon) and that’s just how it is. Either that or we throw them both out the window. In any case, they both exist merely as skeletal reference versions of themselves and neither should be read as is.

  30. [30]VALHERU: Some of the dates in the “Batman Year One” TPB (6th Printing) are different than in the original issues (for example, while this scene doesn’t involve Batman, Gordon and Essen’s kiss on “September 7” in the TPB is on “September 5” in the issue). WTF, DC?
  31. [31]VALHERU / COLLIN COLSHER: The “four daring cat-burglaries” mentioned in Miller’s “Year One” are as follows: Catwoman Annual #2 places Cat-burglary #1 at the Peterson Pier Mall. Catwoman #2 shows Selina and Holly after a robbery, but Selina pointedly mentions that there’s “not even one word on the tube or in the papers” about it (so it wouldn’t be included with the four). The Batman Files tells us that Cat-burglary #2 is the robbery of Dr. Michael Vale’s penthouse, after which Catwoman is briefly presumed dead, having been grazed by gunfire and fallen into the river. Cat-burglary #3 is a simple random act of thievery that takes place off-panel. Burglary #4 is the theft of Commissioner Loeb’s pop-memorabilia collection.
  32. [32]COLLIN COLSHER: Yes, Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke is heavily retconned by AJ Lieberman in Gotham Knights #54, part of the “Pushback” arc. There’s no reconciling these two items as they are starkly different. In “Pushback,” Jack comes home from a second meeting with the crooks to find that Jeannie has been kidnapped as a means of added insurance that Jack will go through with the job. (Jack is excited and gung-ho in The Killing Joke, but “Pushback” adds a scene where a worried Jeannie gives Jack pause, after which he unsuccessfully tries to bail on the job, which makes the baddies worried about his commitment.) After Jeannie’s kidnapping in “Pushback,” Jack is blackmailed into going through with the heist out of concern for his wife’s safety. Contrastingly, in The Killing Joke, we don’t see a this sympathetic patsy characterization. In The Killing Joke, Jack is told about Jeannie’s accidental electrocution death during his final meeting with the gangsters. Because his wife is already dead, Jack cannot act out of concern for her wellbeing. Instead, he is nihilistically motivated by life’s cruel joke that has been played upon him. In both narratives, the Ace Chemical job is botched and Jack becomes Joker. However, “Pushback” has the vindictive baddies blow up Jack’s apartment with Jeannie inside—a death by explosion after the Ace Chemical job. This is in direct opposition to The Killing Joke where Jeannie’s electrocution death occurs prior to the Ace Chemical job.
  33. [33]JACK JAMES: Paul Pope’s “Broken Nose” doesn’t give much in the way of placement clues. Although, a flashback from Batman #682 detailing the deaths of the Flying Graysons shows Bruce with a bandaged broken nose. Therefore, we know “Broken Nose” must go anytime prior to May of Year Six. However, placement here in Year One makes the most sense since a green Batman takes a lot of physical abuse in his rookie year.
  34. [34]ELIAS M FREIRE: “Revelations: Brothers” is our first story on our timeline featuring Gordon as captain, hence placement here. Reasoning for this is that J’onn telepathically scans Gordon’s mind with hopes of learning about Batman, but he only gets a hazy image. This is because Gordon has really only met with Batman up-close once before (when he gets his radio transmitter for communication). Gordon has only gotten glimpses of Batman’s uniform, not the full details of the cowl, which is why the image of Batman that J’onn gets is so distorted, forcing him to patch together a shapeshifted rendering from other eye-witness accounts.
  35. [35]COLLIN COLSHER: Placement of Monster Men is difficult. Ideally, I would have pushed it later, into January of next year. Author Matt Wagner writes Monster Men as if it occurs in early Year Two (as a Year Two follow-up to Frank Miller’s “Year One”), even including a bit (in Monster Men #2) where Jim Gordon says he “spent a good part of last year trying to uncover Batman’s secret.”  However, we should ignore that dialogue (or read it as “spent a good part of this year” instead. Monster Men really has to go here, overlapping with the ends parts of Miller’s “Year One,” specifically after the November 2-3 portion of Batman #407. Let’s break it down, shall we? Monster Men must go shortly after the Red Hood incident at Ace Chemical but before Mad Monk and “Prey.” Furthermore, in Monster Men #5, Interim Commissioner Grogan says, “These are your files! For over eight months of last year you spent serious time and effort trying to find this nut-case…” (in reference to Batman). This implies we should be (at the very earliest) deep into December (since Batman started is crusade in early April). However, in order to jibe with the rest of our timeline, as stated above, we are currently in November. So, while Grogan isn’t quite dead on the money, by story’s end we will be over seven-and-a-half months into Batman’s war on crime. Not too shabby.

    Note that, in the very opening scene of Monster Men, Julie and her dad Norman are shown dining on their rooftop patio and Julie is wearing a sleeveless shirt. Since it is November, we must assume they have heat lamps or that it is unseasonably warm. Maybe it’s best to ignore the opening scene entirely!

  36. [36]COLLIN COLSHER / JOE C / CHIP / MARCELO MILLICAY: The Turning Points series is subject for debate in terms of canonicity. Much of it has been retconned out-of-continuity, but the framework still fits in a DC Universe Legacies kind of way. Turning Points #1 (“Til Death Do Us Part”) is set definitively in Year One, functioning as a coda to Frank Miller’s “Year One”: It features Branden’s SWAT team, a member of which comments on Gordon having recently been made captain; Batman comments that he’s “new at this” and “wants Gordon’s blessing”; the title graphic reads “A Story of Year One”; Gordon says he should get a house like Harvey and Gilda; and Gordon yells at Batman that they are “not friends.” However, Turning Points #1 paradoxically fits better in Year Four since it seems to tell the tale of Jim and Barbara Gordon’s divorce. The only way this story makes sense for Year One, where it was obviously intended, is to add the fanwank/caveat that Jim and Barbara reconcile, cancel the divorce, and move back in together immediately after Turning Points #1 ends. Oddly enough, when Greg Rucka wrote Turning Points #1 in late 2000 (for publication in early 2001), he would have known full well that Jim and Barbara don’t get divorced until later—based upon The Long Halloween (1996-1997) and Dark Victory (1999-2000). So writing a divorce story set in Year One and/or choosing not to add an epilogue that shows Jim and Barbara getting back together are odd choices for Rucka to have made. Again, we (the reader), if we want this story to be canon, must insert this reconciliation in order for it to make sense on the timeline.
  37. [37]LEÓN RUVALCABA / COLLIN COLSHER: Legends of the Dark Knight #50, entitled “Images,” has a flaw which acts against it (and thus pushes it further toward the realm of non-canon): Joker’s biological first cousin Melvin Reipan. Batman knows about him in LOTDK #50 and Melvin’s existence actually guides Batman to Joker. It makes no sense that a great detective like Batman wouldn’t investigate Melvin more thoroughly and uncover that he had a cousin gone missing recently with the exact complexion and some of the facial traits of the Joker. Batman certainly would’ve joined those dots, and thus figured out Joker was Melvin’s cousin, and then Joker’s identity. I mean, if you know someone’s biological first cousin, then it’s easy to discover their entire family tree and who they are too, no? And so, LOTDK #50 should rightly be out of continuity. Additionally, the existence of Melvin doesn’t make sense for the character of the Joker. Sure, Joker once had a wife who was pregnant, so it has nothing to do with family per se. But to be that closely linked to a biological cousin takes away from the mystery of the Joker—a man with no past (or with a multiple choice past), a human puzzle that Batman is unable to solve. Also, speaking of Melvin, his last name (Reipan) is a nod to the definitively non-canon Jack Napier of Tim Burton’s Batman (1989) and early Batman the Animated Series episodes. In LOTDK #50, Melvin even calls Joker by his real name, but gets interrupted so that “Cousin Ja—” is all he gets out. Again, this is a nod to “Jack” from Burton’s Batman. Thus, the whole Jack Napier thing is yet another reason to regard LOTDK #50 as out-of-continuity. Suffice to say, as mentioned above, Matthew Manning’s The Batman Files references Melvin as someone linked to Joker. If we take this to mean that a Melvin Reipan must exist, it certainly cannot be in any way, shape, or form resembling what we see in LODTK #50. Maybe Melvin could be an early Joker henchman or something.
  38. [38]SOFTVERRE: Mad Monk takes place before “Prey” for the following reasons: One, Gordon uses the hand held bat-transmitter. Two, Gordon mentions at the beginning of Mad Monk #1 that they can’t prove Dr. Strange’s guilt (but by the time “Prey” wraps they will have proven his guilt because Strange will have kidnapped the mayor’s daughter).
  39. [39]COLLIN COLSHER / MARK LILLEHAGEN: In Mad Monk #3, Julie Madison tells the Monk that her father has been a broken man for “several months,” insinuating that several months have passed since the conclusion of Monster Men. However, our timeline shows that mere weeks have transpired since then. As stated above, Monster Men has to go after Batman #407 but squeeze-in before “Prey” and Monster Men. This places BOTH Monster Men and Mad Monk distinctly in the same month. Wagner’s intention was to place the two tales several months apart (hence Julie’s comment), but this simply cannot be the case.
  40. [40]VALHERU / COLLIN COLSHER: There is plenty of flexibility (i.e. room) for both Julie Madison’s departure from Gotham (after getting rescued in Mad Monk) and space afterward before the final panel epilogue to Mad Monk (which dovetails with the start of The Man Who Laughs). Not only does this leave room for additional upcoming material, but it also confirms the consistency between Wagner, Brubaker, and Frank Miller’s timelines. Each of these writers also operates under the same presumption that the Batman/Gordon “partnership” doesn’t begin until after Bruce saves Barbara Sr and James Jr on November 3—another binding factor/common trait between their timelines during this era.
  41. [41]COLLIN COLSHER: A note about the Year One vampire tale from Legends of the Dark Knight #41. I’ve always considered LOTDK #41 to be out of continuity for a few reasons. One, this tale was written as if it takes place in Batman’s first few months of crusading. Mad Monk is typically always regarded as Batman’s first encounter with vampires, and if “Sunset” were legit than it would supersede the definitively canon Mad Monk. Two, “Sunset” takes about two-and-a-half weeks to wrap, and two of those weeks Batman is out-of-action due to being under a vampire mistress’ spell. There really isn’t a spot in Miller’s “Year One” to accommodate this absence. And three, “Sunset” was meant to highlight the creative team of Tom Joyner and Keith Wilson, who were set to debut a vampire series called Scarlett. I’ve always regarded “Sunset” as a non-canon way to get the average comic book fan (i.e. Batman fans) excited about Joyner/Wilson’s project.
  42. [42]COLLIN COLSHER: In regard to Julie’s break-up and departure destination, the reason for the ostensible contradiction between Matt Wagner’s Mad Monk (2007) and Grant Morrison’s Batman #682 (2008) is that Morrison seems to have ignored Mad Monk, instead re-imagining the Golden Age/Silver Age break-up of Bruce and Julie (where Julie did go to Hollywood and become a famous actor). In any case, there is a way to read both endings and have them jibe with each other, which we have creatively done on our chronology.
  43. [43]ELIAS M FREIRE: Regarding Hugo Strange’s height, it’s noted in Monster Men how short he is—then, in “Prey,” he is almost as big as Bruce. This is because of his genetic engineering experiments. In Monster Men, we know Strange was testing various serums on himself. This is important to Strange’s character development spanning from Monster Men to “Prey.” In the former, Strange is so annoyed by his first victim calling him “short” and “little man,” a motivating factor in his bulking-up.
  44. [44]COLLIN COLSHER: In regard to a confusing part of LOTDK #11, on page 14: While Gordon is contemplating handing over his case files to Hugo Strange, the latter states via internal dialogue, “In a mere 5 years, no man could become what the Batman is.” This “5 years quote” should be understood as follows: Strange wants details of crimes in the past 5 years because he believes that something happened within the past 5 years to cause Batman to become a vigilante. Basically, as Gordon even says, Strange underestimates the amount of training time that Batman would have underwent. Gordon knows that Batman must have trained, not for a mere 5 years, but for a lifetime. Gordon says, “[Strange has] also underestimated the time (5 years) necessary to prepare. In a mere 5 years no man could become what Batman is.” To re-iterate, the 5 years Gordon is talking about isn’t referring to how long Batman has been around; the 5 years refers to how long Strange thinks a man might possibly have trained to become Batman.
  45. [45]COLLIN COLSHER: I originally had Batman: Tenses by Joe Casey/Cully Hammer placed right here, but I’ve gotten an overwhelming reader response that this tale just can’t be canon. Thus, I’ve removed this gory and fun little romp from the list. Here’s why. Tenses is out-of-continuity because the villain Ted Krosby murders hundreds of people in one single night (individually, face-to-face, not using a bomb or something), eats people, and skins his dad to wear his face Ed Gein style. Ted is never heard from again or even mentioned again. Also, the depictions of Bruce and the oddly absent Alfred don’t make much sense either.

    VALHERU: Tenses takes somewhere around two weeks but no fewer than seven days, shortly after Christmas (Bruce attends a post-Christmas Christmas party in the first issue, and Gotham is just getting into blizzard season). So yeah, early- to mid-January. To be honest, I really think Tenses is out-of-continuity also. It’s a good story on its own merits, but its one of those tales that makes a mess of the mythos surrounding it. In addition to many implausibilities, it screws too much with the “Year One” narrative. Ted Krosby, not the Joker, commits the worst crime of the decade? Bruce Wayne is a corporate hardass instead of a clueless playboy? Alfred is nowhere to be seen? It reminds me of “Waiting in the Wings,” which similarly told an in-continuity idea in a way that couldn’t actually fit continuity. Is there a story about Bruce’s odd business decisions with Wayne Enterprises? Yes; but this cannot be that story.

    MiTT3NZ: A counter-argument regarding the canonicity of Tenses. Bruce Wayne being a “corporate hardass” could be one of the changes he is going through spinning out of Journey into Knight #1-6, only to realize that it is a wrong decision to make (he says himself in Journey into Knight #6 that his new position at Wayne Enterprises is making his head spin, and that he is totally unqualified). This would definitely lead to him making some pretty shitty decisions. Of course, a small caveat: if this were the case then Tenses would have to go in February or March to properly link up with Journey Into Knight #1-6. As for Ted Krosby committing worse crimes than the Joker, I would have to agree with that at this point in Batman’s career. The Joker did some terrible things, yes, but his master plan failed. The crimes he committed in The Man Who Laughs and “Do You Understand These Rights?” come close to the crimes of Ted Krosby, yes. But to eat people? To wear your father’s face? That definitely would have been the worst crime thus far (and the public wouldn’t really know that “The Carrier” was purposely spreading the disease in Journey into Knight). So, all in all, I’d say that Tenses does fit. Of course, it’s up to one’s personal headcanon.

73 Responses to Modern YEAR ONE

  1. Imran says:

    First of all, a big thank you for this website; this is the fourth such website detailing the Dark Knight’s timeline and I have found it to be the most accurate and superior to the others. It is a herculean effort and you ought to be congratulated.

    I’ve recently been interested in the brilliant Halloween trilogy by Loeb and Sale. I’m interested to know your thoughts about them within this project. Acknowledging that the trilogy is not canon, I still wonder where you would put them around Year Two(?)

    Thanks in advance, and thanks again for the website, it really is invaluable.

  2. Collin Colsher says:

    Thanks for your support, Imran.

    Actually, the first Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale Halloween tale (“Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special #1”) is indeed canon and takes place on Halloween of Batman’s second year.

    The Madness: Halloween Special is non-canon for a few reasons. First, because Leslie Thompkins doesn’t know Bruce is Batman in the story–she would have known his identity by this point. Second, James Junior is still a baby when he should be around four or five years old. And third, if this tale was canon, it would take place early in Bat-Year Five (in April or May, not at Halloween) right after Babs is adopted by Jim.

    The Ghosts: Halloween Special is also non-canon mainly for one reason. It tells the story of how Bruce decides to establish the charitable Wayne Foundation. In Ghosts, Bruce is visited by the “ghosts of Halloween’s past,” a nightmarish and eye-opening experience that convinces him to create the Foundation. However, this story was rendered non-canon when it was replaced by Batman Confidential #6, where Bruce decides to start the Wayne Foundation after meeting Lex Luthor. If Ghosts was canon, it would take place during the exact same Halloween weekend as Choices (the first Halloween Special by Loeb/Sale). It is a safe assumption that Bruce reconnects with Lucius Fox on Halloween of Bat-Year Two and hires him.

  3. Andy says:

    This is awesome. I’m just getting into the world of reading comics, always been a fan of the Batman TAS, the movies and games and figured it was about time to go straight to the source. I’m reading through the trade editions to speed me up, and came across this awesome site. Is this just the chronological order, or does it also work for the best order to read them in?

    • Collin Colsher says:

      Thanks for your support, Andy! This is indeed THE chronological order, and in my humble opinion functions as the best order in which to read Batman as well. Of course, omissions can be made here and there (and more often than you’d think actually). There is a footnote somewhere on this site that contains a list that details my suggested trade reading order. Take care, and happy reading!

  4. darkpollo says:


    Great work!
    This is really amazing.
    I was looking for a more simple guide to read Batman and i found this.
    The bad thing is that i have my comics ordered by small collections, and your list split those and put an order by comic, what is great, but it will take ages to reorder my comics to fit with this.

    *By collections i mean small histories. Example: Shaman is a collection, and you split the chronology on part1 and part2.
    I will read it complete, doesnt matter if it is not perfect for reading, i am sure i will understand the history.

    Is there any read order list grouped by “collections*” somewhere?

  5. Collin Colsher says:

    Thank YOU, darkpolio.

    I’ve made some lists in the footnotes of one of the sections lost somewhere on this site, but there’s no perfect “collections” list as far as I am aware of. Try Ian has a good listing of trades in order, which would be a good place to start.

    Again, thanks for your support and keep reading!

  6. Vince says:

    Have you ever read “The Killing Peck” by Alan Grant and Sam Keith? It’s a pretty good Penguin origin story from Secret Origins Special #1 (1989). Penguin captures a mob guy named Sharkey who he went to school with as a child. Sharkey teased Cobblepot because of his protruding gut and long nose, calling him ‘Penguin’, and years later he adopted the name and persona as a villain. Batman is in it too, pursuing the Penguin as he tortures Sharkey (which, by the way, he does by feeding him fish through a funnel..). Don’t see why it couldn’t be canon, what’s your opinion?

    There’s also a really cool Riddler origin by Neil Gaiman(!) and BEM(Bernie Mireault!!) in the same book where Riddler tells his own origin to reporters that could be canon as well. There’s an equally good Two-Face origin story by Mark Verheiden too but it doesn’t line up with Long Halloween, so it should probably be excluded.

    The whole thing is sandwiched by a framing story by Neil Gaiman as well, so you should probably just get it. You could probably find it pretty cheap through some long box searching.

    • Collin Colsher says:

      Secret Origins Special is a wonderful book, and yes I am quite familiar with it. The Penguin story is great and by itself could easily be canon. However, I didn’t include it because it is part of the rest of the narrative of this issue, which is decidedly non-canon. The Two-Face bits, as you’ve acknowledged, definitely are non-canon for a ton of reasons. And while the Riddler tale is one of the finest comics I’ve ever perused both in its prose and for its aesthetic value, Gaiman has a bit of non-canon fun with it and treats it as a meta-commentary about how the comic industry morphed from camp (in the 60s) into the “dark age” of the 80s. Gaiman cleverly throws in lots of direct references to non-canon camp villains from the Adam West TV show. Even the dramatic oversize props that litter the mise-en-scène harken back to a different Golden era—an epoch that registers more clearly with a different past continuity. However, I think I will add in a note about the Penguin tale, and I will definitely add a footnote about this issue. Thanks for the comments.


      Collin C

  7. Speaking about the different versions of the Joker’s origins:
    On the famous website “Mike’s Amazing World Of Comics”, “The Man Who Laughs” is referenced as an adventure of the Batman Post-Crisis, while “Lovers and Madmen” (Batman Confidential 7-12) feature the Batman from “New Earth”, which means the Earth-1 after the crossover “Infinite Crisis” and the restauration of the Multiverse. As we know, the time lines are changed when a crisis occurs: so, it seems that, according to Mike, “Lovers and Madmen” is the last version of the Joker’s origin, conformed with the reality rebuilt by Superboy-Prime in “Infinite Crisis”.
    In a most general way, my advice is to consider the time-lime when some issue “doesn’t fit”.
    PS: I apologize for my English, I’m a French internaut.
    So long – JP

    • Collin Colsher says:

      Hi Jean-Pierre! Here’s the problem with “Lovers and Madmen” being canon for the New Earth Universe; it contradicts several canonical minor stories and some major ones including Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke, which definitively is a part of the post-Infinite Crisis New Earth DCU (i.e. the one created by Superboy-Prime’s reality punches). Thus, in strict consideration of the latest main Modern Age timeline, “Lovers and Madmen” absolutely does not fit. To reiterate: If we are taking the world after Infinite Crisis—the one created by Superboy-Prime—as holy gospel, then “Lovers and Madmen” is right-out. Mike Voiles has been a huge inspiration for my project, and when he says: “‘Lovers and Madmen’ is the last version of the Joker’s origin,” I agree wholeheartedly. But when Voiles says “‘Lovers and Madmen’ [conforms] with the reality rebuilt by Superboy-Prime,” that is incorrect. (Maybe one could argue that Superboy’s punches altered reality temporarily, making “Lovers and Madmen” Joker’s new origin for a short time until it reverted back to The Man Who Laughs, but that is the only argument one could conceivably make, and it’s an incredibly flimsy one). The Man Who Laughs is still the last Joker story that does not contradict other post-Infinite Crisis New Earth DCU canon tales, and therefore, it is the canonical Modern Age Joker origin. Hope that makes sense! Thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing from you again!

      –Collin Colsher

  8. Darkmaster006 says:

    Hello, I’m very glad and excited with this website as the point that before meeting this web I was doing my chronology, so this helps A LOT. Well, I’m here to say, first, English is not my native language so if I had errors sorry xD. And, where do you place “Lex Luthor: Man of Steel”, in this tale, Batman suppose to first met Superman and fight with him, read it and you will know, so it has to be before ““One Night in Gotham City” by John Byrne (The Man of Steel #3)”, considering that in that tale is not the first met, maybe the second. And, we have to put “Batman Confidential #1 to #6” that shows the first meeting of Bruce with Lex Luthor, considering that in “Lex Luthor: Man of Steel” is not the first meeting of these two the “Batman Confidential #1 to #&” has to be before “Lex Luthor: Man of Steel”. So:

    “Batman Confidential: Rules of Engagement (#1 to #6)” First meeting of Batman and Lex.
    “Lex Luthor: Man of Steel” Bruce and Lex are “friends” so they have to met before, as saw in Confidential #1 to #6 and well, behind the scenes too, for be “friends”. And here is the first met of Batman and Superman, they don’t team-up, contrary they fight so they have to met and make friends in “One Night in Gotham City”
    ““One Night in Gotham City” by John Byrne (The Man of Steel #3)” Then comes this, ’cause of my not-reading this I don’t know how this tale is supposed to be so I read it and get back here. But without reading it, I can say that this can be the seconde meeting of Superman/Batman, because they met in “Lex Luthor: Man of Steel”, and they fight, so they team-up here they won’t fight if this is the first meeting and in “Lex Luther: Man of Steel” is the second meeting, geting it?

    Well, to end this, I have to say that where is “Batman: Trinity” where first met Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. There Batman and Superman known each other so this takes place after “Lex Luthor: Man of Steel” and “One Night in Gotham City”, right?

    Well, waiting your responses and argues :D.

    • Lex Luthor: Man of Steel is unfortunately non-canon. For one thing, as the experts on the state: “Events in this series that contradict current comics, particularly Lex Luthor’s position as a legitimate businessman, make it difficult to place in context of recent continuity.” I’ve always agreed with that, as have many others. Also, because this story does contradict Man of Steel #3 and Batman Confidential, which have been canonically referenced in the Modern Age, it cannot be canon. Lex Luthor: Man of Steel better fits into the out-of-continuity “villains duology” that BRIAN AZZARELLO and LEE BERMEJO did featuring, first, Luthor, and then Joker. Both of these character studies occur outside the realm of the DCU proper.

      Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman: Trinity is also non-canon for several reasons, including the fact that the primary villain, Ra’s Al Ghul wouldn’t have made his presence that early. Furthermore, a cursory internet search of the story will show that Trinity contradicts a few other post Infinite Crisis/Final Crisis continuity changes, including the fact that the Big Three first meet fighting the Appelaxians and then form the JLA. So, for these reasons and more Trinity is impossible to place and therefore, non-canon.

  9. Damon says:


    First, it’s an amazing Job you’ve done on this site!
    I’ve been wanting to read Batman’s story’s in chronological order for a long time, so i will follow your work, because it’s the most complete and “correct” order i’ve seen..

    Now, my first question..
    I have both ” Catwoman Her sister’s keeper, and “Catwoman Annual #2..”..
    I’d like to read them both, even if it is a mess in the continuity.
    So how do i proceed?
    Should i read:
    1-Batman Year one
    2-Catwoman Her sister’s keeper
    3-Catwoman Annual #2
    in that order?

    Thanks for your help!

    • Most of the YEAR ONE stories on my list overlap with Frank Miller’s “Year One.” But for the sake of simplicity, I’d read them in that order, yes. However, for real continuity buffs, longtime site contributor Valheru has assembled an amazing breakdown of events (which are posted as footnotes, but I have transcribed them below).

      Her Sister’s Keeper is a chronological mess to work through, but here’s the Cliff’s Notes:
      The opening scenes in HSK #1 roughly intertwine with the first two pages of Catwoman Annual #2, which is somewhere before Frank Miller’s “Year One” even starts.

      The first Catwoman Annual #2 scene in HSK, then, is the replay of Bruce’s first night out as Batman in the East End on March 11 in Miller’s “Year One.”

      Maggie is kidnapped on August 6, the night before Catwoman’s official debut on August 7 (in Miller’s “Year One”).

      HSK #2 shows Selina “soliciting” Jefferson Skeevers during his bail period—September 7-11 (Miller’s calendar is iffy here) according to Miller’s “Year One.”

      The “four daring cat-burglaries” mentioned in Miller’s “Year One” (before Catwoman burgles Carmine Falcone) are as follows: Burglary #4 is the theft of Loeb’s pop-memorabilia collection, and Catwoman Annual #2 places Burglary #1 at the Peterson Pier Mall. HSK #2 shows Selina and Holly after a robbery, but Selina pointedly mentions that there’s “not even one word on the tube or in the papers” about it (so it wouldn’t be included with the 4). The other middle two cat-burglaries were simply random acts of thievery which take place off-panel.

      By the time Miller’s “Year One” gets to November/December the timeline goes like this: Bat/Cat encounter (from Miller’s “Year One”) at Falcone’s on November 2; Gordon Family Rescue (from Miller’s “Year One”) on the 3rd; Monster Men from the 4th to the 15th; Mad Monk (until Julie is rescued) from the 16th to the 20th; “Prey” running concurrently from the 16th to the 29th; and The Man Who Laughs from the 29th to December 3rd. This timeline forces the climax of Catwoman: Her Sister’s Keeper #3 to November 21st (before their fourth encounter in “Prey” featured in LOTDK #13 on the 22nd)—with Mad Monk over, it is the only “light” night Batman has in November to do it. The climax of Catwoman: Her Sister’s Keeper #3 occurs between the last two panels of Mad Monk #6, which means Maggie’s been missing for almost 4 months. Meanwhile, Catwoman Annual #2‘s climax (Catwoman vs. Hellhound) is on December 2, the night Joker attacks Bruce Wayne and Judge Lake in The Man Who Laughs. Her Sister’s Keeper #4‘s coda (“three weeks” after Maggie is rescued) at Maggie Kyle’s mission happens around December 12th-20th.

      Don’t forget: This is definitely NOT a perfect science. Catwoman Annual #2 is supposed to be the ultimate canon Catwoman story, but HSK is often canonically referenced. So basically parts of both are canon. I’d say HSK#1 and HSK#2 are mostly non-canon, except for the fact that Catwoman does train with Wildcat and Maggie is kidnapped. After that, most of HSK#3 and HSK#4 meshes with Catwoman Annual #2 and Miller’s “Year One.” Of course, Bullock wouldn’t be around in Catwoman Annual #2, so that must be ignored. One could assume that Catwoman Annual #2 is non-canon, but specific parts are canonized such as Selina’s underground kung-fu training and battles with Hellhound.

      Whew! There ya have it!

  10. tiptupjr94 says:

    (In response to all of your replies) You’re welcome! Great site here. I’m in the very early planning stages of starting a Batman site with a chronology possibly focused on the entire Bat-family (a hefty, but not impossible task.) I was considering a kind of calendar-based approach but Year One having such concrete dates for *everything* is certainly the exception rather than the rule.

    Also, I’m not sure I’ve seen this mentioned here: In Catwoman: When in Rome #4, Selina says she specifically remembers November 2nd of Year One being a Thursday. Yep, that’s 1989 alright! I suppose folks who favor a highly compressed timeline (as I once did) could try to argue it being 1995, but in the interest of keeping Long Halloween and Dark Victory canon, I’d say it was definitely ’89.

    I’m surprised DC never introduced “The Age Master” in a 67-issue crossover as a plot device to keep everyone at an editorially-approved age. Bruce gets… hella old.

  11. tiptupjr94 says:

    Hey. Sorry I didn’t comment back hella days ago in the New 52 section (although commenting on Year Six still seems to be closed.) Anyway, I wanted your take on something:

    In Batman #405, on May 15, Jim says that Batman operates consistently between midnight and four A.M. Yet The Batman Chronicles #19 depicts Bruce operating as Batman before midnight on “Batman Night 6,” although this could have been a special case of him getting his Batman duties out of the way so he could make his midnight date with Vivy. He was also operating before midnight in Batman #405, in a scene labeled June 6, since Batman #406 continues the scene directly but then claims it is June 7.

    But, if Batman mostly DOES operate between midnight and 4 A.M. prior to May 15, does that mean his April 6 debut is actually on the night of April 5, but after midnight? And does that make The Batman Chronicles #19’s “Batman Night 4” the night of April 8 or 9?

    Also in The Batman Chronicles #19 on “Night 4” (April 8/9) it is stated that six nights prior, Bruce told himself he was ready, but THEN seemingly first realizes that he would need a disguise, and THEN “the night sent its answer.” This is very strange in relation to the narrative of Batman #404/405, and at any rate it doesn’t seem logical that the suit would be conceptualized, built from scratch, and ready for field deployment in less than 48 hours.

    • tiptupjr94 says:

      …Although, while pg. 2 of Batman #406 switches to June 7, Selina claims it is “five in the morning,” but five entire hours sure as hell haven’t passed since the events of pg. 1 of this issue and the end of Batman #405. Hmmm.

      • Hey tiptup,

        I’m glad you encouraged me to retake a closer look at this. The problem is really in the semantics of labeling things “DAYS” or “NIGHTS.” A “Day” for Batman is clearly sunset to sunrise, although, as you mention, he usually operates between midnight and 4:00 am. Again, semantics are involved. The key word there is “USUALLY.” Gordon’s statement is mostly true, but not 100% of the time. Batman is likely out there patrolling as soon as the sun goes down, but when does most of Gotham’s crime start to pick up? Between the hours of 12 and 4—hence Gordon’s comment. But back to the “NIGHTS” and “DAYS.” You’ve made me realize that Batman’s first night out is likely April 5 into April 6. We are simply shown an image from the sixth.

        And there is definitely a few week period before the “I shall become a bat scene” on March 11 and Batman suiting up for the first time. Batman Chronicles gets this dead wrong and so does LOTDK as well. Very strange, especially since the dates are starting you dead in the face in Miller’s “Year One” and there clearly is a few week gap between bat-crashing-through-window and debut-costumed-rooftop-hopping. The few week gap allows for Bruce to heal up from his nearly fatal wounds and to design and develop the costume.

  12. Eric Agner says:

    Hey Collin, I recently read about the DC version Timeline. Which consists of only 15 years instead of 23 years. I like the 23 years personally more then all that combined but. With Zatara training Bruce. It said “2o years ago”. Now correct me if I am wrong. If they go by the 15 year timeline. 21 BY would be 13 DCY according to you. So if that would true. Wouldn’t that mean Zatara trained him before Batman. Since 20 years ago is before 13 years ago. By doing the math. DCY 1/BY1 he was 26. Subtract by 1 to get to a year “zero”. Add 13 (DCY). Subtract 20. He was trained at 18 years old. Just a theory.

    • If we were to go by a fifteen-year-long Modern Age timeline then, yes, Bruce would likely have to start his training immediately after high school at age 18 or even age 17. Giovanni Zatara would then function as one of Bruce’s first trainers. Being that the Zataras have always long been friends of the Waynes in any version of history, this doesn’t seem that farfetched. A fine theory, Eric.

      • Eric Agner says:

        The thing I’m really asking is. If your changing the time between events (expanding). Wouldn’t that mean when it says 20 years it would expand that and not be taken literal?

        • Ah, so sorry, Eric. I see what you are saying now. That is actually a great question.

          If a comic book says Bruce’s parents died 25 years ago, but things on my chronology make it clear that Bruce’s parents really died 35 years ago, I make a note of it and label what I term a “continuity error.” Of course, the idea that DC Comics might simply be using a shorter timeline and therefore might have a different mindset does exist. Logic follows, based upon the example above, that I would expand year labels for other things to match as well. However, everything is case-by-case.

          Let’s look at the question of John Zatara training Bruce. If we are thinking of a shorter 15 year-long “DC timeline,” then 20 years means definitely BEFORE. But if we are still living on my timeline, which is longer, then 20 years means definitely AFTER. For this specific item, we don’t 100% know whether this happened before or after Bruce became Batman. There simply isn’t enough information to tell us in the comics. That is what set this apart from other questionable items.

          The KEY here (and in any instance) is that, no matter what, I try very hard NOT to alter any text of time notation from within the comics UNLESS I ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO. Sure, “20 years ago” could (or even should) be altered, but since it CAN work either way why change it? Only when the item in question leads to an distinct impossibility will I usually make a change or annotated caveat.

          Hope that makes sense.

        • Are you saying that the “twenty years ago” line from Detective Comics #827 is meant to definitively imply a training session that occurs before Bruce becomes Batman? I’m not fully convinced that it does (even if other media have shown Bruce training with Zatara before he wears the cape and cowl). But if you really think so, I’d be willing to believe. Reason being, I understand where you are coming from. If I really believe that DC was operating with a shorter timeline, then the “twenty years” comment likely has to mean BEFORE Bruce became Batman, right? Which means that “twenty years” would need to be a bit longer on MY timeline, right?

          If Year 21 story ‘tec #827 showed a flashback of pre-Batman Bruce Wayne training with Zatara with a tagline of “twenty years ago” THEN I would call bullshit, mark it as an error, and expand/alter “twenty” to at least “twenty one” post-haste. But it doesn’t show that, and therein lies the confusion/vagueness AND my hesitation to make the change.

          Let me be clear, I never ever change time between events just to make things fit; I go with literally what I’m given in the stories themselves. This is why my timeline (IMO) is better than any opposing timeline that compresses things and retcons things or simply ignores passage of time. The idea of building “DC’s version of events” was simply to show the mindset of opposition chronologies—to show what a timeline would look like if the architect just willy-nilly expanded, shrunk, or changed things to solve continuity conundrums. If DC really was operating with a shorter timeline, then IMO they were operating incorrectly. I try not to let my chronology be driven or affected by what DC might have had on their minds at the time (or my own perception of what DC might have had on their minds at the time). It is driven by information (“facts”) taken directly from the stories themselves.

          Sorry to ramble on for so long! But in a nutshell: Maybe Paul Dini was implying that the Zatara training occurs before Bruce became Batman because it was the implication in other Batman media. If we believe this to be the case, then “twenty years” SHOULD be amended. But if we don’t buy that implication, then we shouldn’t amend. I’d be cool going either way since I honestly feel that neither way is wrong (nor right)! Does THAT make sense? And what do YOU think I should do? 🙂

  13. Andrew says:

    Stemming from your footnote about Lex Luthor: Man of Steel, Joker, and Batman: Noel, where would you place Lex Luthor and Joker if they were canon? I skimmed a synopsis for Noel and saw that Tim is in it, so that obviously doesn’t take place until later on.

    • Andrew says:

      Oh, and Christmas with the Super-Heroes #2. You reference it a lot, but I haven’t found it on the list.

      • Are you going by the download list? If so, that needs a serious update. I HOPEFULLY will upload a new one that is current soon.

        • The lovely Dave Gibbons part from Christmas With the Superheroes #2 only contains flashbacks and references. Therefore, it doesn’t appear as a physical item on our chronology anywhere, but simply registers as flashbacks and references accordingly, showing snippets of Christmases in the Batcave over the course of Batman’s first ten years in costume.

    • Lex Luthor‘s narrative is very vague. Here’s what we know. Superman has been around for a decade. Luthor and Bruce Wayne know each other well, but Bruce doesn’t seem to regard him as a villain yet. Bruce seemingly accepts Luthor’s idea that Superman might be too powerful or possibly evil, takes Kryptonite from him, and then agrees to have Batman fight Superman on his behalf. The fight then occurs, and the heroes go right at it in an epic slug-fest that registers like an angry first meeting much more than a random fight. The fight is never sufficiently explained in the book. Because of the vagueness, one could argue either that this is a first meeting between Batman and Superman OR that it isn’t. This makes Lex Luthor very hard to place. It has to go about ten years in, but exist on a timeline where Luthor hasn’t been outed as a crook yet AND where Batman and Superman haven’t met (unless you view the narrative differently).

      Joker, which Azzarello, Bermejo, and Dan DiDio have specifically labeled as out-of-continuity themselves, links directly to Lex Luthor not only thematically and stylistically, but thanks in due part to a picture of Bermejo’s Joker in a newspaper in Lex Luthor. Impossible to place definitively, we know it takes place after Lex Luthor, but likely sometime before Tim becomes Robin.

      And Noel is similar. All we know is that it occurs sometime after Tim is Robin, after Lex Luthor and Joker.

  14. David Booy says:


    I’m a big fan of the site, and just had a couple of things to say:
    1) Why don’t you include page/panel numbers, as it really would help me (and others) to stay on track whilst reading.
    2) Is there a list of LoDK tales you haven’t included and why? If so, could you link it?
    3) Awesome! Keep up the good work!

    Many Thanks,


    • Hi, David! Thanks for the support!

      It would take a team of interns to add in page/panel numbers at this point. Honestly, it’s something that I’ve never really considered. I don’t even have issue titles, publication dates, or writer/artist credits on here, and I’d sooner add that stuff before page/panel numbers. So I wouldn’t hold my breath. You never know, though. I’m always concerned with readability and accessibility on my site, so I will take it under consideration.

      I don’t have a list of tLoDK tales that I haven’t included. Why? Again, mostly time, really. Although, there are foot-notations about most of the missing ones scattered throughout the site. I can probably pretty easily put a list together and post. Keep your eyes peeled for that one.

      And thanks again!!

      • David Booy says:

        Also, another quick question: I know it’s not canon, but where would you place Year Two. I ask because, although it’s not canon, it is canon until Zero Hour, so I just thought it would be interesting to know.

        Thanks Again!

        • DC Retroactive: Batman – The 80s #1, which is canon, actually references “Batman: Year Two,” so it is still canon albeit in an altered form. At the time of its release, “Batman: Year Two” was literally Batman’s Year Two, following up on Miller’s “Year One.” However, post Zero Hour (and Long Halloween and a few others), the altered version of “Batman: Year Two” (which would better suit us renamed “Batman: The Reaper”) occurs in Year Five.

  15. Sataniel says:

    In Shaman Bruce mentions that there were two years between his visits to Alaska, you have one. Any special reason for that aside from his jacket?

    • Not sure what you are referring to. In LOTDK #4, Batman discovers that Fisk visited Santa Prisca to study Chubala myths “two years ago” (aka “two years prior to the conclusion of the “Shaman” arc), but the whole arc seems to take place over the course of one calendar year. Let me know if I’m missing something, though!

      In a related note, I realized that my synopsis for “Shaman” was worded quite confusingly (and actually contained some plot errors), so I made some edits.

  16. León Ruvalcaba says:

    Hello, Collin! I posted a comment once, regarding Robin: Year one an Robin #0.
    I’m currently re-reading all my Batman comics.
    What do you think of “The man who laughs” overwriting the Joker first confrontation as told in LOTDK #50, “Images”?
    I like the former a lot more, but could one just read any of them? Are they interchangeable?
    Also, same question about “The long Halloween” overwriting Batman annual #14, “The eye of the beholder” and (does it overwrite it?) “Two-Face: Year one”
    Big fan of your work.

    • León Ruvalcaba says:

      Jeez, scratch everything about Two-Face. I had never bothered to read the “Salad days” and “Year one intro” sections. You talk about “Two-Face: Year one” in the former and about “The eye of the beholder” in the latter.
      My bad.
      Anyway, the question about “The man who laughs” and “Images” stands.

      • Hi León,

        I always preferred The Man Who Laughs as well. It’s a more fleshed-out and well-rounded story as opposed to LOTDK #50, which, while not bad, is simply a modernized re-imagining of Batman #1. IMO, the former was always meant to be canon while the latter was not. In any case, The Man Who Laughs and LOTDK #50 really can’t overlap—they just contradict each other too much. Interestingly, Matthew Manning, in his Batman Files tome, references both in an attempt to canonize at least some version of LOTDK #50, or at least Joker’s cousin Melvin, specifically.

        ALSO interestingly, despite its canonical status, The Man Who Laughs contradicts the holy gospel that is Frank Miller’s “Year One!” And, oddly enough, this contradiction functions as the only single in-canon retcon to Miller’s untouchable “Year One” that exists! On the December 3 page of Miller’s “Year One,” captions tell us that a newcomer calling himself “The Joker” has sent word to the GCPD and media outlets about plans to poison the Gotham Reservoir, resulting in a citywide panic. HOWEVER, The Man Who Laughs completely changes this. First, it totally erases Joker’s December 3rd threat to the reservoir. As per The Man Who Laughs, Joker specifically doesn’t make his presence known until December 5th (the day after Commissioner Loeb officially resigns). Plus, as we know from other titles, Joker debuts by publicly targeting high profile Gothamites before targeting the reservoir. Furthermore, when Joker finally does strike at the reservoir, it comes as a relative surprise with no warning to stir the citizenry into a frenzy.

        • León Ruvalcaba says:

          Thanks for the quick reply.

          In regard to the first paragraph:

          I’ve been thinking all morning about it. As you say, “Images” and “The man who laughs” contradict each other a lot, but at least they don’t in some important points, like the refferences to Joker being the Red Hood. However, even if they do contradict each other, I had arrived to the conclusion that one could just pick any of them and read it as a definitive modern age Joker origin.
          BUT then I thought: “Images” has a flaw which acts against it: Melvin. Batman knows about him and he actually is what guides him to the Joker. It just makes no sense that the world’s greatest detective wouldn’t investigate Melvin more thoroughly, and uncover that he had a cousin gone missing recently with the exact complexion and some of the facial traits of the Joker. I think Batman would’ve joined those dots, and thus figured out Joker was Melvin’s cousin, and then Joker’s identity. And so, the story would be out of continuity.
          Those were my thoughts, anyway.

          Regarding the second paragraph:
          Yes! I read about it last night in a footnote or entry description. Interesting indeed.

          • Yes, I’ve always thought the existence of Melvin doesn’t make sense for the character. I know that Joker once had a wife who was pregnant, so it has nothing to do with family per se. But to be that closely linked to a biological first cousin takes away from the mystery of the Joker—a man with no past (or with a multiple choice past), who the World’s Greatest Detective knows absolutely nothing about in regard to his life prior to becoming the Clown Prince of Crime. If you know who his cousin is (and Batman certainly would know), then you know exactly who Joker is, no? Also, speaking of Melvin Reipan, his last name is a nod to the definitively non-canon Jack Napier of Batman (1989) and early Batman the Animated Series episodes. Thus, another reason to regard it as non-canon.

            Good stuff, though—points well made. I think I’ll add a footnote with some of this info to the site.

            • León Ruvalcaba says:

              My point exactly. Can’t know who the Joker’s cousin is without knowing who the Joker himself is. And if so, it speakes badly of your detective skills.

              Furthermore: you make another good point, because both times Melvin accidentaly calls the Joker by his name but is interrupted by him, he says “cousin Ja-“. This means the Joker’s name in “Images” is most likely Jack Reipan; as you say, a nod to things definitively non-canon.

              Glad to hear you’re adding a footnote. Nice discussing with you. Cheers!

  17. Millicay says:

    Hey! Just a quick nitpick. ” In Batman & The Mad Monk #1. Batman sends some protection racketeers to prison, earning the favor of Gotham’s police coroner Murray Fineman. ” It’s actually Gordon who does this.

    • Hey! That’s more than a nitpick. Thanks! Totally read that dialogue as Batman’s inner monologue by accident. Poor Jim Gordon… yet another example of someone giving all his hard-earned case-busting credit to the Dark Knight.

  18. Elias Miguel Freire says:

    On the first night he goes as Batman (Shaman), the narrative goes: “It’s not like last night. Tonight he is not awkward, uncertain..Tonight he does not have to remember his training.”

    Could we assume on the night of April 4th, he was testing his skills one last time (before going out in the real world) in some kind of simulation inside the batcave, and he was all awkward?

    • Elias M. Freire says:

      Just read “Got a date with an Angel” and Viveca says they partied all night until dawn before Bruce disappeared the next night (his debut), so it’s hard to see this scenario where he is training the night before going out.

      • Ah, yeah. I really do think it’s just O’Neil getting Miller’s timeline wrong. My interpretation of “Got a Date With an Angel” is that Bruce parties with Viveca on until dawn of April 5. Then he has all day on the 5th to prep for his April 5 outing (which is technically spans the night of April 5 into April 6).

        So, yeah, the dialogue about the “night prior” doesn’t make sense since he’d have been partying with Viveca. The dialogue only works if he said “earlier in the day.”

        • Elias M. Freire says:

          I’m so sorry to nitpick your timeline, just trying to work it through.

          “Got a Date with an angel” begins on Day 4 (daytime of April 8), the narrative goes “Three nights ago, the cowl slid down(…)”, so he began his quest as Batman on the night of April 5.

          On the same sequence, Bruce goes “Remember we partied till dawn just four nights back, Viveca.” Four nights back on Daytime of April 8 is night of April 4, not dawn. So, night of April 4 until dawn of April 5.

          What came through my mind now (too much fanwank?) is that we could assume that he was training on the night of April 5, put on his costume on the end of the night, began that mission on Leslie’s on April 6 after midnight, and when the narrative goes “It’s not like last night. Tonight he is not awkward, uncertain..” “Last night” is April 5 night, “Tonight” is the early hours (after midnight) of April 6.

          Does that make sense?

        • Elias M. Freire says:

          Like Occam’s Razor idea “the simplest solution is most likely the right one (or the best one)”, I think you can say this is a straight-up continuity error or we could go with the simple idea (although I obviously didn’t think about it before) that Bruce indeed practiced on the night before going out, but after the practice he went to partying later that night with Viveca.

          • Elias M. Freire says:

            That was the best I could think of this situation man, it was the simplest answer after all. Haha

            Now it’s up to you if that’s worth mentioning in your timeline.

            Cheers man! Keep up the great work.

    • Bruce’s botched East End mission is on March 11, but his first night out as Batman is April 5. In “Shaman,” Denny O’Neil screws up Frank Miller’s timeline by having Bruce miraculously heal and set up his Batman gimmick in a mere twenty-four hours after the East End disaster. So, the dialogue about “last night” is referring to the East End outing (and is therefore a continuity error in this context). I suppose, we could fanwank that he was training the night prior (as he likely would have been), to make this dialogue ring true! Either way, I’ll make a note of it. Thanks!

  19. Elias M. Freire says:

    “Around 12:15 am on April 9, Batman busts some criminals, including a bazooka-toting madman.”

    “April 9. Batman has just taken out the bazooka guy (from The Batman Chronicles #19 Part 1 Intro). Batman now takes out three teens trying to steal a TV on a fire escape, but nearly gets killed in the process.”

    So, Batman took out the tv thieves after 12:15am of April 9, but still on the early hours of April 9.

    “April 9-12. At around 11:55 pm on April 9 (a night after Batman’s encounter with the TV thieves), Batman takes-out a few hoods, including a crook with a jetpack.”

    Your note 15: “–Day 5 (April 9-10) –jetpack dude on April 9, 11:55 pm
    ————————-TV trio on April 10, 12:15 am”

    I think the TV trio goes before the jetpack dude, still on the early hours of April 9 (but after 12:15am), isn’t that right?

  20. Elias M. Freire says:

    –FLASHBACK: From Martian Manhunter Vol. 2 #22.

    2 comments about this flashback story:

    1) Gordon is captain in this story which happens in maybe August, Gordon is promoted to captain in November-December. Isn’t it better to put this story after that?

    – It really does seems that Gordon doesn’t want to tell the Martian Hunter that he met Batman before, he goes so far in his lie that he mispronounce his name “Bat-man”, he then says “Hard to meet urban myths, detective Jones”.
    To confirm the lie, Jones thinking after that “I had skimmed Gordon’s mind when we spoke. He had met this bat-man. Moreover, the batman was glimpsed by witnesses atop the Wayne foundation(…)”-> Which explains how he got the uniform right from Gordon’s mind, but the face totally wrong from the witnesses exaggerated view.

    Unless I’m missing something (and I stopped on the page 13 of this story to read it later, so, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself hahah), this story could be put after Gordon got promoted to captain.

    Anyway, when I was building my on chronology of events, after a while, I decided to ignore the police ranking of Gordon, which at times gets confused.

    2) In this story, John Jones is a police detective from Denver right? First dialogue in this issue: “I’m Diane Meade, this is my partner, John Jones — we’re police detectives from Denver”

    • 1. Gordon as either Captain and Lieutenant is CONSTANTLY wrong. I’ll take a look and see if we can slide this a bit later to make sense without an error caveat, though.

      2. I read this incorrectly as John Jones being a GCPD transfer. You are right, he’s simply visiting from Denver.


      • Elias M. Freire says:

        Sorry If I’m bothering you much man, just say it and I stop.

        I saw where you put Martian Manhunter Vol. 2 #22, in my opinion, and take just as a suggestion of course, it’s too far ahead in the story, I guess it would be better suited between November 4-15, just after Gordon became captain. My reasons for that:

        If you put it too far ahead, Gordon would have a clear image of batman’s cowl in his head, not just the body costume, so the Martian Hunter would probably see the entire image of Batman in his head clear as day, not that aberration of mash-up images he has transformed himself into. Aside of that, Batman would not be that much of a urban myth after “Prey” for example, where they discuss about him in the television as a vigilante.

        If you put it between November 4-15, just after Gordon got promoted to captain, Gordon just met with Batman once (if I’m not mistaken), when he gives his radio transmitter for communication, so Gordon met with Batman (indeed confirming he was lying to the martian), but it was too fast or it was too shadowy that Gordon just got a glimpse of his uniform, not the details of the cowl, then that bat head the Martian Hunter used was from the witnesses view.

        • Elias M. Freire says:

          No problem, any more considerations I have I will send to your e-mail (my e-mail is

          Just one more final consideration here, maybe you don’t need to break up Monster Men, it goes right after Gordon becomes Captain and right before Monster Men begins, it’s a short story, maybe it can work that way.

          Well, that’s it then.


  21. Jack James says:

    I think I just noticed a mistake here. You established that Bruce’s parents deaths take place in late November, yet for Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #14-15, the Prey conclusion, which you put as taking place in mid December, you say he missed the anniversary of his parents deaths. What’s up with that? 🙂

  22. John Doe says:

    If Bruce finished work on the Batmobile in November, as shown in Batman LOTDK #15. Then why is Bruce driving around in a blue Porsche in Batman LOTDK #1-5, which according to your timeline takes place a month later in December?

    • Bruce goes through multiple iterations of his vehicles in this first year and is even seen stripping down and re-working his car. As such, sometimes we see a higher tech car and sometimes a lower tech car. I submit that Denny O’Neil used the Porsche because it mirrors the car used in Frank Miller’s Year One. It’s actually kind of a silly thing because we see Bruce riding around in the Porsche AS BRUCE a day prior to him riding around in it AS BATMAN. Holy secret ID giveaway, no?! In any case, John, this is definitely worth mentioning. In fact, I think I had a note about it on the site, but it got deleted.

      I’d say all the above, but ultimately it’s really just as simple as Batman still tooling around his car and not having it available for use at the time as a result. After all, in November he debuts a Batmobile, but by January he’s already debuting a new one.

  23. Jon Doe says:

    I know that you consider Superman/Batman Annual #1 to be non-canon for a number of reasons and that you use a reference from Superman #710 as a retelling of Superman #76 about how Superman and Batman discovered each other’s secret ID’s on the cruise. Something I thought that you might want to add was Bruce’s mention of how he’s memorized the “who’s who” section of every college yearbook within “the last twenty years” via his eidetic memory as a way for him to identify criminals on the spot while fighting crime.

  24. Milo says:

    I think the story “Clay” could be canonized and placed in its proper place three weeks into Batman’s career. (I would also place Basil Karlo’s debut as the masked Clayface before “Clay”). Your point that Batman doesn’t fight metahuman/supernatural enemies until the Dark Moon Rising duology is sound, and those stories clearly function as some of Batman’s first encounters with metahuman types, but I would argue that Batman is already familiar with metahumans before Dark Moon Rising as he meets Superman, Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern Alan Scott. In Mad Monk, Bruce says “On the other hand, there is a man in Metropolis who can actually fly and bend steel in his bare hands” when discussing the supernatural nature of the Monk. Batman is shocked by how a creature such as Clayface could exist in “Clay”, marking his first encounter with a superpowered foe, then continues to be concerned by the changing nature of crime in Gotham in Monster Men and Mad Monk.

    This is of course a matter of opinion and up to your interpretation.

    • Milo says:

      I would also add that in “Clay” Bruce seems to be preparing for the first time for a superhuman encounter that requires more than just his own “strength and skill”. He says he needs “a few tricks on his side”, so he creates the phosphor flare and knockout gas pellets. He has these knockout gas pellets ready when he faces Hugo Strange’s monster men and the Monk’s wolves and vampires. It’s a little bit of neat continuity.

      • Milo says:

        Still to add, Bruce says in The Batman Files: “When I first met him, I’d never seen anything like Matthew Hagen.” Which perhaps strengthens the idea that Clayface II was the first metahuman Batman encountered. Sorry for the triple post, I have a lot of thoughts on this story.

        • Milo says:

          So sorry if this is a bother, but I have even more to add.

          Prior to “Clay”, Batman doesn’t use any weapons or gadgets (other than the Batarang) in any items on the timeline until he attacks The Roman’s dinner party. “Clay” would neatly go in before this event, and explain why Batman started fashioning weapons, prompted by his encounter with Clayface.

          • Hey Milo, definitely not a bother! As you’ve seen in some of the footnotes, I’ve fielded a lot of emails and comments about the canonicity of “Clay”—with many vehemently for its inclusion and many angrily against! I’ll take another look at the tale, and either way, I’ll surely add your comments to the bunch. My hesitancy for including “Clay” outright still lies in several aforementioned things, but also because it feels off to put Matches Malone, Clayface I, and Clayface II all within the first three weeks of Batman’s vigilante campaign. But thanks for these notes! I will review!

            • After much internal deliberation, and running through some of the notes that others have given me regarding Clay, it seems like there are more FORS than AGAINSTS, and there is good reason to add-in “Clay,” including your reasons. Reluctantly, I’ve decided to add it. I’m definitely not 100% and my gut says that it’s a mistake. I just can’t rationalize having Clayface I immediately followed by Clayface II… it seems wrong. So, for now “Clay” is in—until I change my mind and revert things LOL! Thanks, Milo!

  25. Alfredo says:

    In Batman and The Monster Men #2, Gordon says that he spent a good part of “last year” trying to uncover Batman’s secret. I think that this and the follow up stories should be placed in Year 2, maybe.

    • Hey Alfredo, no matter how you spin it, Monster Men is 100% a Year One story. This line is a bad one, but it was likely meant to be read as “I’ve spent a good part of this year trying to uncover Batman’s secret.” It’s def a continuity error though, so I’ll make mention of it! Thanks!

  26. Milo says:

    What about the “Case of the Chemical Syndicate,” Batman’s original Golden Age appearance? Should it be here in Year One of the Modern Age? It is shown via flashback in DC Universe Legacies #3. The issue states that it takes place a few months after Superman’s debut, which must be incorrect since you have Superman debuting in September of the previous year. Perhaps the narrator’s memory is a little off, and “The Case of the Chemical Syndicate” takes place six months after Superman’s debut, sometime after Batman’s first time suiting up to beat crooks at Leslie’s clinic. It should be one of his first cases.

  27. Ayaan says:

    So my question is when does the Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special 2 and 3 take place I cant find it in the other years, maybe i missed it so thank you.

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