Modern YEAR SIX

1994

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–FLASHBACK: From Batman Hidden Treasures #1. The tale recounted in Ron Marz and Bernie Wrightson’s “Splash” occurs now. When a serial killer begins knocking off homeless people in the sewers, Batman suspects a reincarnated Solomon Grundy. Batman tracks Grundy to Slaughter Swamp after the villain kidnaps a homeless man. In a twist, the Dark Knight learns that Grundy’s “victim” is actually the serial killer. Thus, Grundy, who surprisingly (or not surprisingly) has a bunch of hobo pals, saves the day.

–FLASHBACK: From the B&W second feature to Batman: Gotham Knights #47. Batman confronts and busts Riddler as the villain attempts to exit a bank vault with a large cash haul.

–Robin: Year One #4 by Chuck Dixon/Scott Beatty/Javier Pulido (2000)
Mid January. Joe Minette, from prison, hires Shrike to kill Two-Face. Meanwhile, a mopey Alfred muses how the holidays have come and gone and still no word from Dick. Batman chats with the Joker at Arkham. Meanwhile, Dick continues his training with the Vengeance Academy. Dick befriends fellow trainee Boone and even commits museum robberies with the group. Shrike then orders the hit on Two-Face to be completed by his boys. The Vengeance Academy team assaults Two-Face head-on, but Dick can’t pull the trigger when it comes to executing the super-villain. Shaken, Dick returns to the Batcave for the first time in weeks, chats with Alfred, and leaves a note for Bruce about Shrike’s operation. In Blackgate Prison, Minette gets shivved to death, which serves as a murderous message from Two-Face on the outside. At the Vengeance Academy hideout, Dick fights his former team until Batman comes and helps him take down Shrike. The reunited Dynamic Duo then hugs it out before taking down Two-Face. A reference in Batman #710 also specifically makes mention of this Robin: Year One scene where Batman and Robin bust Two-Face.

–FLASHBACK: From Christmas With the Super-Heroes #2. Mid January. Alfred and Bruce lead Dick down into the Batcave where a Christmas tree and decorations have been set up. (Bruce is shown chewing on a pipe in this scene, a bogus callback to the Golden Age, which we should probably ignore.) Dick opens a present and receives a fresh Robin costume. Batman and Robin then suit up and ceremonially shake hands before heading out on patrol. Obviously, this is mid January and Christmastime is over and I would regard this flashback as non-canon, but it actually works since Dick missed the holidays (as seen in Robin: Year One). We can imagine this as a surprise belated Xmas the morning after the conclusion of Robin: Year One #4. The Robin costume gift and handshake can be seen as Batman officially “swearing Robin back in.”

–REFERENCE: In Robin Annual #4. Robin learns that Tony Zucco is still alive when the criminal escapes from jail and goes back into hiding. This note is inferred from the fact that Batman and Robin will recapture Zucco this spring.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Files. Robin suggests adding an open canopy top to one of the Batmobiles. Despite having reservations, Batman does so. The boys will use the Batman ’66-style convertible every once and a while, moving forward.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #149-153. Batman and Robin defeat the twin sister duo of Cyanide and Mother Grimm. (LOTDK #149-153 is a five-issue flashback story entitled “Grimm” by JM DeMatteis and Trevor Von Eeden. It is narrated by Nightwing as he peruses archived files on the Bat-computer in 2002.)

–FLASHBACK: From Secret Origins Vol. 2 #13. Cousins Tweedledum (Dumfree Tweed) and Tweedledee (Deever Tweed) debut and are bested by Batman and Robin. After his first tangle with Dum and Dee, Batman keeps their hats and puts them on display in the trophy room of the cave (although, for the life of me, I cannot recall in which issue the hats are shown on display). Scott Beatty’s Batman: The Ultimate Guide to the Dark Knight places a generic hat display in the Batcave, but I’d hardly rank this as a canonical source. Later, Bruce and Dick attend a swanky society soiree.

–FLASHBACK: From New Teen Titans Vol. 2 #47 and the second feature to 52 #25. Batman and Robin are shown posed in the Batcave, ready for action.

–FLASHBACK: From Robin Vol. 2 #0, the second feature to 52 #6, and the second feature to 52 #25. Batman and Robin patrol together.

–FLASHBACK: From DC Universe Legacies #3Justice League of America Vol. 2 #0, the second feature to 52 #51, and Hourman #16—and referenced in JLA: Year One #1. Originally told in Justice League of America #9. Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman team-up with a gathering of superheroes (including Green Lantern Hal Jordan, Flash, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, and Black Canary) to battle seven vile aliens known as the Appelaxians (also spelled “Appellaxians” depending on the author). The Appelaxians have the power to turn people into wood, crystals, or various other organic material. Wonder Woman is the princess of the Amazons, a race of demigod warrior women relative to the Greco-Roman gods. Hal Jordan is a power-ring-wielding intergalactic peace officer for the organization known as the Green Lantern Corps. Note that Black Canary is Dinah Laurel Lance (aka “Siu Jerk Jai” aka “Little Canary” aka daughter of original Black Canary Dinah Drake Lance). Some of the flashbacks connected to this item include Black Canary, while others do not. There is no perfect answer that tells us whether or not Black Canary was one of the original League members, but it’s safe to say that she was. Note that the foundation of JLA: Year One stems from the non-canon Secret Origins Vol. 2 #32 (1988), which retells the Appelaxian affair (including Black Canary in the story) but omits the direct involvement of Superman while omitting Batman entirely. 52 #51 combines the two versions of the Appelaxian battle (the original and the one from JLA: Year One) and places Black Canary at the Appelaxian battle. DC Universe Legacies #3, one of the latest entries into Modern Age canon (and therefore holding considerable weight), specifically omits Black Canary from the Appelaxian affair. (Again, it’s safe to say Black Canary took part in the battle but for whatever reason didn’t join the meeting afterwards.) Significantly, the narrative shown in DC Universe Legacies #3 also implies that the heroes swear an oath and form the Justice League then and there, immediately following the defeat of their alien adversaries. Again, the League definitely doesn’t form immediately afterward; they simply agree to form a team. The follow-up items on our chronology (including a flashback from Justice League of America Vol. 2 #0, along with other references and flashbacks), will demonstrate that the Trinity will confirm the formation of the League after which the other members will then commit to the team.[1] As seen via flashback from Justice League America #92, the superhero Triumph is also present for the Appelaxian affair, but he will get erased from reality. We’ll address that soon.

[2]

–FLASHBACK: From Justice League of America Vol. 2 #0—and referenced in Justice League of America Vol. 2 #0 and JLA: Year One #1. Immediately following the unification of the DCU’s major heroes to battle against the Appelaxians, the so-called Trinity meet up. Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman decide its time step it up a notch and unite their fellow superhero comrades into a “League” of heroes. The Big Three then pitch the idea of the “League” to Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, and Black Canary. As referenced in JLA: Year One #1, the day after Appelaxian attack, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, and Black Canary accompany US Army General Wade Eiling in an effort to collect another discovered Appelaxian—this one in an inert state—in a cave in Happy Harbor, Rhode Island. There, the heroes chase away agents of Locus, who are defeated but successfully steal away the sleeping Appelaxian. Immediately after the Locus fight, these heroes agree that being on the Big Three’s team is a good idea. Thus, “The League” (still not officially called the “Justice League of America”) is formed! Note that this scene can be read as these heroes deciding for the first time to form the team. However, since it can also easily be read as these heroes agreeing to join the Big Three’s proposed team, it works for the most part. Before moving forward, we should address the confusing but very important flashback from Justice League America #92 regarding the superhero Triumph, who is not only an original founding member of the League, but the initial leader of the united heroes versus the Appelaxians as well. However, immediately after the battle and formation of the new superhero team by the Big Four, Triumph is transported to a dimensional limbo where he will remain trapped for years. Not only that, his entire existence is completely erased from the timeline. Therefore, when he eventually returns years down the road, no one will have any memory of his existence—only he will remember that he was once one of the founders of the League. Triumph will be bummed because no one remembers any of this or knows who he is. Things will be okay for a while, but they will turn ugly later on. But that’s years away and we’ll tackle it when we get there. Of note, Marvel will try its own version of original-but-forgotten hero a few years later with The Sentry. Also note that, as per reference in Legends of the DC Universe #12, Green Arrow won’t join the League until later this year, but his alter ego—multimillionaire businessman Oliver Queen—now begins secretly bankrolling all League operations.

–FLASHBACK: From DC Universe Legacies #3—and referenced in Hourman #1, Hourman #16, and JLA: Year One #4. Originally told in The Brave and The Bold #28. It’s only been a couple days since the Appelaxian attack. The League completes its first major mission with the Trinity present, defeating the giant mind-controlling starfish alien known as Starro the Conqueror. Teenager Lucas “Snapper” Carr helps the heroes defeat Starro, earning a spot as the team’s official mascot/honorary member/handyman. The Hourman series tells us Snapper Carr was the team’s mascot for several years. To be precise, Snapper will be the League mascot for just over two years. The heroes of Earth will also eventually learn that Starro the Conqueror is merely one of a race of unnamed monsters colloquially known as Star Conquerors (or Starros for short). The original Starro that the League faces now is actually controlled by yet another extraterrestrial from the planet Hatorei.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Files. Superman meets with Batman in the Batcave and they discuss their new League. Superman is mostly onboard, but Batman still needs convincing. The Man of Steel tells the Caped Crusader the new official name of the team: The Justice League of America (or JLA for short). Prior to this, the ogdoad had only been going by “The League,” sans any mention of America in their name. Shortly after meeting with Batman, as referenced in JLA: Year One #2, Superman tells Black Canary about the new JLA moniker.

–JLA: Year One #2 by Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn, Barry Kitson, & Pat Garrahy (February 1998)
This item is also referenced in the second feature to 52 #51. It has been one week since the Appelaxian attack. Despite the fact that the Big Three formed the JLA, they’ve only been active with the team versus Starro, a threat so large they couldn’t ignore it. Even with the Big Three’s non-participation, the JLA continues to go on random missions. (Despite having started the team, Batman is actually quite untrustworthy of relative strangers. Likewise, Superman and Wonder Woman each have their own reasons for being distant at this juncture as well. The synopsis below—specifically detailing JLA: Year One #2‘s Gotham Hotel incident—will show us exactly why Batman decides to distance himself from the team so soon after forming it. Don’t worry, though—Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman will become “full-timers” soon enough.) When the League publicly debuts with a Q&A session at the Gotham Hotel, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman naturally fail to show up. The huge televised media event is attended by hundreds, including Lois Lane, Vicki Vale, Jack Ryder, Green Arrow, Simon Carr (Snapper’s uncle, who is currently possessed by an Appelaxian), and Dr. Ray Palmer (who has just debuted as The Atom less than a week ago). During the conference, Black Canary tells the public the official name of the team: The Justice League of America. Locus, allied with Vandal Savage, sends Solomon Grundy, Clayface II, Thorn (Rose Canton), and Eclipso (an evil force inhabiting the body of Dr. Bruce Gordon) to attack the JLA. The JLA—sans the Trinity—defeat the villains, but the entire hotel is leveled and many people are put in serious danger. While elder heroes The Challengers (Kyle “Ace” Morgan, Lester “Rocky” Davis, Matthew “Red” Ryan, and Professor Walter Haley) and The Blackhawks (Janos “Blackhawk” Prohaska, Andre Blanc-DumontCarlo “Chuck” Sirianni, Ritter Hendrickson, Olaf Friedriksen, Stanislaus Drozdowski, and Weng Chan) watch on TV and are quite impressed, Batman isn’t.[3] The glowering Caped Crusader watches angrily and vows to keep the Justice League out of Gotham, noting that, within the span of one hour, they brought needless destruction and chaos to his city with a very unnecessary public debut/appearance. Despite having founded the team less than a week ago, Batman vows to “use every resource he has to keep them out of Gotham.” (Despite Batman’s recent eagerness to start the team, this opening blunder sours Batman on the idea, especially when it comes to all things Gotham-related!) Afterward, Green Arrow makes a quick vulgar pass at Black Canary (presumably mistaking her for her mother, the original Black Canary), as he will do again later in Black Canary Vol. 3 #1 when they officially meet for the first time.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Confidential #50-54, the second feature to 52 #51, and JLA: Year One #1-2. Despite being soured on the idea of working with his JLA teammates following their Gotham Hotel debut fiasco, Batman still thinks the team can be a good idea if organized properly. With this in mind, Batman puts some serious money into the immediate construction of the Secret Sanctuary, a high-tech HQ in Happy Harbor, Rhode Island (in the cavern where the eighth Appelaxian was found and stolen by Locus). But Batman’s apprehension in regard to the JLA is still high enough that he skips the first official team meeting, distancing himself from the other heroes and missing out on getting his League communicator.

–FLASHBACK: From the second feature to Countdown #33—originally told in Detective Comics #140. Batman and Robin defeat Riddler, successfully dealing with his oversized puzzles, wild lethal contraptions, and funhouse trickery.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 2 #210 and The Batman Files—originally told in Star Spangled Comics #123. Batman and Robin bring down the debuting Crazy Quilt, with emphasis on Robin being the one who brings him down. Because of this, Crazy Quilt will have a vendetta against Robin for the rest of his life. The Boy Wonder now starts his own measly Hall of Trophies, adding Crazy Quilt’s helmet as his first prize.

–FLASHBACK: From Starman #9. The metahuman hulk Blockbuster (Marc Desmond) and his manipulative criminal brother Roland Desmond debut. Both are sent to prison by Batman and Robin.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Confidential #50. Batman begins working a kidnapping case. He’ll work this investigation, overlapping with other items on our timeline, for the next two weeks.

–FLASHBACK: From Robin Annual #4—and referenced in Batman #436-439. Late March. Batman and Robin apprehend Tony Zucco. Zucco, who has heart problems due to his weight, has yet another heart attack and slips into a coma shortly after getting nabbed. Zucco will eventually recover and serve a long jail sentence.

–REFERENCE: In Batman & Superman: World’s Finest #4-9 and Batman & Superman: World’s Finest #10 Part 1. Late March. Even though Batman & Superman: World’s Finest #3 is out-of-continuity, the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel still commemorate the death of Harrison Grey (the second annual springtime meeting between Batman and Superman), as referenced in Batman & Superman: World’s Finest #4-9 and Batman & Superman: World’s Finest #10 Part 1. As mentioned specifically in the latter, Two-Face shows up during this meeting to taunt and threaten our heroes.

–REFERENCE: In a flashback from Batman Confidential #52. Bruce Wayne is named People Magazine‘s “Sexiest Man Alive” for the second year in a row. What a heartthrob.

–REFERENCE: In Legends of the DC Universe #26-27—originally told in Detective Comics #475-476. Joker unveils his infamous “Laughing Fish” gag (one of the most beloved Steve Englehart Joker tales of all time), putting his signature smile on all the fish in Gotham Bay, and killing many people in the process. Joker’s toxins spread across the entire Eastern seaboard, destroying aquatic life across half the Atlantic. The “Laughing Fish” event originally took place later, as part of Englehart’s “Dark Detective” arc (which we will see in Bat Year Nine). However, the upcoming “The Fishy Laugh / Reign of the Joker!” places the “Laughing Fish” gag shortly after Aquaman’s debut on our chronology and shortly after the initial formation of the JLA—hence the reasoning for why it goes here and now on our timeline.

–“The Fishy Laugh / Reign of the Joker!” by Steve Englehart/Trevor Von Eeden (Legends of the DC Universe #26-27) March to April 2000
Immediately following the events of Englehart’s “Laughing Fish” story, Joker escapes from Batman and dives into Gotham Bay. Nearly drowning, Joker is rescued and given oxygen by an invading Atlantean army which has traced the source of the devastating pollution to Gotham. Aquaman meets Joker for the first time, and despite having been recently drafted into the JLA, Aquaman doesn’t have much experience interacting with humans yet, nor does he seem to have any knowledge of human culture or history. A confused Aquaman is fooled into believing that Joker is “King of the Land.” When Joker promises to help formulate a cure for the poisoned fishies of the sea, the invasion is halted, and the “King” is escorted to Atlantis. In Atlantis, Joker is able to seduce high ranking scientist Felua, who uses her political pull to influence the royal council to dethrone Aquaman. A disgraced Aquaman travels to Gotham and meets with Batman. (NOTE: Batman should not be wearing the yellow-oval costume yet. Ignore.) The two heroes have only recently met and are wary of each other, despite the fact that they are both now affiliated with the JLA. Batman gives Aquaman the Joker Venom antidote and sends him on his way. In Atlantis, Aquaman outs Joker as a fraud and reclaims his throne from a puppet monarch that had been appointed by Joker and Felua. Joker escapes back to Gotham unharmed with his Atlantean lover, but the GCPD and the Dark Knight find Felua’s grinning corpse washed up near the docks a day later.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Confidential #50-54—and referenced in JLA Secret Files and Origins #2 Part 2. The “Super Powers” storyline supposedly takes place “seven years” before the Year Ten portion of the “mind-wipe scandal.” However, this item should occur two years before the start of the “mind-wipe scandal” (and four years before Year Ten) to fit correctly onto the timeline. This tale details how and why Batman finally decides to interact more closely with his fellow JLA teammates, whom he has been avoiding ever since forming the team following the Appelaxian affair. After over two weeks of investigation into a string of random kidnappings, Batman follows the criminal trail to an abandoned hockey arena where he discovers the barely-alive, emaciated victims attached to a giant alien-looking machine. Batman then fights a grotesque green-skinned, bug-eyed humanoid named Fortas and winds up with three broken ribs and a concussion. The Caped Crusader heals up and then breaks into JLA HQ to search the team’s records for information regarding Fortas. (Ever since its inception last year, the JLA has been building a vast criminal database and archiving detailed case-files after each mission. The case-files are analog and physical, typed-out and added to a giant tome while the criminal database is digital. The JLA will continue to record detailed case-files and build its database for the entirety of its existence.) While Batman scans the computer files, the JLA returns and attacks the intruder! Batman then defeats the entire JLA with ease! IMPORTANT RETCON INFO: Before continuing, I should mention that author Marc Guggenheim writes this story as if this is the first time Batman is interacting with these other heroes. Obviously, this is completely untrue. While the JLA very well might attack Batman for breaking into the HQ, they do know Batman way more than Guggenheim elaborates. For example, Bruce would have been close friends with J’onn and Diana at this point. Moving on, J’onn has the team back down, leaving the Dark Knight to go fight Fortas alone. In the end, the JLA helps Batman defeat Fortas and an army of “highly evolved” monster-people (the kidnapped victims transformed by the machine in the hockey arena). Following the victory, Bruce accepts his JLA transmitter and will begin regularly joining the team on missions from now on, although he still has yet to verbally/officially join the team full-time.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #650, JLA Secret Files and Origins #2 Part 2, and Hourman #16—originally told in The Brave and The Bold #29. The JLA defeats Xotar aka The Weapons Master. After wrapping the case, the JLA keeps Xotar’s gauntlets, deciding to start-up an official team trophy room at their HQ. Note that the JLA—and its many future incarnations—will constantly collect trophies, moving forward. Batman won’t always be present for all the collecting. Despite the fact that the JLA will have multiple HQs destroyed and move multiple times, the majority of the trophies will always be saved and moved along to each new HQ location.

–JLA: Year One #7 by Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn, Barry Kitson, Michael Bair, & Pat Garrahy July 1998
Several members of the JLA (sans Batman) visit the Gotham City Executive Club hoping to find out who is secretly funding their team. They approach Simon Carr, misbelieving that Snapper’s dad might be the mystery money man. Meanwhile, Bruce chats on the phone with Oliver Queen and then meets the detestable Maxwell Lord. Later, Locus continues to spy on the JLA. The criminal organization notes that the JLA has recently defeated Invisible Destroyer, Gorilla Grodd, the Icicle, and Phantom Doom. (Batman was not present for any of these fights.) The JLA (again, still sans Batman) then defeats a returning Xotar. Our tale ends with multiple continuity errors (mostly due to retcons). First, Superman acts like he’s never heard of Xotar before. (He has.) Second, Superman acts like he’s visiting the Secret Sanctuary for the first time. (This should be read as his teammates showing him new security upgrades.) And third, the rest of the JLA invite Superman to join the team. (He’s already a team member, but this should be read as his comrades asking him to join full-time or more often.)

–JLA: Year One #11-12 by Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn, Barry Kitson, Michael Bair, & Pat Garrahy November to December 1998
Seven thousand Appelaxians invade Earth. Using stolen files about superhero secret IDs and weaknesses that Martian Manhunter had compiled, the Appelaxians are able to quickly ambush and kidnap a ton of Earth’s heroes, imprisoning them in a gulag on Blackhawk Island. Among the first to be captured are JLA members Superman, Batman, the Atom, and Green Arrow. Also captured are the semi-retired Blue Beetle (Dan Garrett), The Freedom Fighters (Uncle Sam, Black Condor, Doll Man, Human Bomb, Phantom Lady, and The Ray), The Blackhawks, Sargon the Sorcerer, the entire JSA, the retired Crimson Avenger, Speedy, Plastic Man, Dr. Will Magnus and his Metal Men (Gold, Lead, Mercury, Platinum, and Tin), and The Doom Patrol (Robotman, Elasti-Girl, and Negative Man). (Note that Negative Man is the combination of Larry Trainor and the spirit symbiote called Keeg Bovo. Also note that Niles Caulder—the DCU’s version of Professor X—is the founder of the Doom Patrol.) Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Black Canary, and Martian Manhunter are the only heroes not to be captured. In Metropolis, these five fight the Appelaxians with all they’ve got. Snapper Carr reveals that his uncle Simon was used as a host body by the eighth Appelaxian (back when Locus took it after the original invasion attempt). Using Simon’s influence, the eighth Appelaxian used Locus to set up the current invasion. Eventually, the remaining JLAers trick the Appelaxian invaders into thinking they have been captured, but it’s all just a ruse to get to Blackhawk Island. There, our fighting five free everyone else. The tide is turned and, following an epic battle involving nearly all the heroes, the Appelaxians are defeated once and for all.[4] As referenced in JLA Secret Files and Origins #2 Part 2, the JLA keeps the semi-retired Ray’s helmet as a trophy following this adventure.

–REFERENCE: In JLA Secret Files and Origins #3 Part 1. While not made explicit in any particular comic, it is clear that, as per “Tower of Babel,” that there must be some agreed upon protocol among the JLA in regard to Martian Manhunter’s telepathy (particularly in how it is used to invade minds, both friend and foe alike). Batman, at the very least, now becomes acutely aware of how Martian Manhunter’s telepathy/mind-reading ability function.

–FLASHBACK: From Blackest Night #0 and Action Comics #850—and referenced in Hourman #1. Originally told in The Brave and The Bold #30. Flash decides to build his very own janky trophy room above his garage at home. Following a JLA victory over the vile Professor Anthony Ivo and his super-android Amazo, Flash gets Superman’s autograph for his garage trophy room. Green Lantern asks Flash if he wants his autograph as well, to which Flash says, “Maybe later.” Ha! (The killer diss on Hal Jordan is seen specifically in Action Comics #850.) As we learn in Hourman #1, the JLA puts an inert Amazo into its trophy room. Snapper Carr will sneak a piece of Amazo out of the room as a keepsake.

–REFERENCE: In Hourman #1 and Justice League of America #253—originally told in Justice League of America #1. The JLA, with help from Snapper Carr, defeats the alien tyrant known as Despero.

–REFERENCE: In Final Crisis #1 Part 2 and Final Crisis #2 Part 3. The JLA creates tiered and color-coded emergency alert levels for all manner of situations.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Files. Snapper Carr begins publishing a quarterly Justice League fanzine. Distribution numbers are unknown, but Batman will receive a copy every three months for the next two years.

–REFERENCE: In Infinity Inc #34, Batman #655, Batman #667-669, and The Batman Files—originally told in World’s Finest Comics #89. By this point, superheroes all over the world have been directly inspired by the Dynamic Duo. These heroes are affectionately (and jokingly) referred to by the press as “The Batmen of All Nations.” Out of these international heroes, Batman and Robin have a public team-up with England’s father-son superhero combo, Knight (Percy Sheldrake) and Squire (Cyril Sheldrake). (Young Cyril will later become the second Knight and one of Batman’s trusted allies in the future.) We aren’t told specifically whether or not Batman and Robin team-up with other “Batmen of All Nations”—such as Native American father-son superhero combo Man-of-Bats and Little Raven, Italy’s The Legionary, France’s Musketeer, or Australia’s Ranger—but, at the very least, Batman and Robin would be aware of them. (All of these international heroes—sans the Native Americans—are also part of a UN-like international policing collective known as “The Dome,” which is a direct precursor to what will eventually become The Global Guardians.) Not long after Batman teams with the heroes he’s inspired, Commissioner Gordon, on mayoral orders, sets up a meeting between famous billionaire philanthropist John Mayhew and Batman. Mayhew attempts to recruit Batman (and Robin) onto a new official superhero team dubbed The Club of Heroes. Essentially, Mayhew wants to turn the “Batmen of All Nations” into a legit fighting unit. Knight, Squire, Wingman, El Gaucho, Man-of-Bats, Little Raven, Musketeer, Legionary, and Ranger are already onboard. Batman says he will think about it.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #667-669. After some careful deliberation, Batman and Robin reluctantly agree to join John Mayhew’s Club of Heroes. Once assembled, the “Club of Heroes” venture fails immediately. The team doesn’t get along and disbands in less than a half hour.

–REFERENCE: In JLA Classified #1. While the Club of Heroes fails miserably, Batman becomes closer with Knight and Squire and gives them a special phone number with which they can reach him on a special “hotline” in case of emergency. (In the Silver Age and on the Batman ’66 TV show, the hotline phone was a big deal, getting used all the time. It is very much not a big deal in the Modern Age.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #52. Batman puts a Native American headdress on display in the Batcave. It’s possible he gets this from Man-of-Bats.

–REFERENCE: In a flashback from Justice League of America Vol. 2 #0. Batman, Robin, and Superman have their first ever triple-team-up on an unspecified case.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Shadow of the Bat #0. Batman and Robin patrol, encountering an unspecified villain, who nearly crushes Batman with a giant stone bust.

–“The Truth” (Mythology: The DC Art of Alex Ross) by Chip Kidd & Alex Ross (2003)
When Superman loses control of his senses and begins raging across Metropolis, Batman fashions a Kryptonite dart and goes after him. With some remote guidance from Robin, Batman tranquilizes the Man of Steel, discovering that Brainiac is responsible for what has occurred. Having regains his composure, Superman joins Batman in busting Brainiac at the Metropolis Observatory.

–REFERENCE: In JLA Secret Files and Origins #2 Part 2. An unknown time-traveling villain from the 64th century—meaning either Abra Kadabra or, more likely, Brainiac 13—steals the JLA case-file tome from right out of JLA HQ. This prompts the JLA to begin recording its case-files via computer.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #440. A smiling Batman and Robin complete an unspecified case, which they publicly wrap-up as news photographers snap pictures of them. The Dark Knight couldn’t be happier to have the Boy Wonder at his side.

–FLASHBACK: From New Teen Titans Vol. 2 #47. Batman and Robin fight the team-up of Joker and Penguin.

–FLASHBACK: From Trinity #18—and also referenced in Robin #149. Signalman (Phil Cobb) debuts by robbing the Gotham Trust and using smoke signals as clues. Trinity #18 contains a flashback that illustrates the Dynamic Duo having just defeated the flamboyant Signalman, who wears his signature the yellow-and-red clad costume with moons and stars all over his cape. As referenced in Batman #682, Batman and Robin keep Signalman’s costume as a trophy.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #725. Batman and Robin encounter the one-shot villain known as The Bowler. Bruce takes giant bowling pins as trophies from this encounter and displays them in the Batcave. Interesting note about the Bowler: Originally, in the Golden Age, the Bowler was never actually shown. He was merely a one-time retcon reference in 1952’s ‘tec #238 where Batman recalls defeating him and collecting his giant pin(s) for the trophy room. Cut to 1998! Chuck Dixon and William Rosado have a bit of fun and, after almost 35 years, finally create/show the “Batman & Robin vs Bowler battle” for the very first time in a ‘tec #725 flashback.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #682. Batman has become more mellow, relaxed, and light-hearted with young Robin at his side. Not to mention, finally accepting the trust of his JLA teammates has probably made him feel a bit relieved as well. While hunting down an escaped Joker—who now enters his “pop-crime” phase, scheming with extreme silliness, using wild puzzles, gags, and Joker-faced helicopters and such—Robin tells jokes of his own and muses about what life would have been like in the “time of Hamlet.” (Alfred has Dick reading Shakespeare at the moment.) Eventually catching up with the Clown Prince of Crime, Robin challenges him to a laughing contest. Joker accepts and is soundly defeated and sent back to Arkham Asylum. This series of flashback images from Batman #682 also shows the transition from different Batmobile style to newer version of Batmobile style and even includes an image of Batman and Robin riding in the Golden Age “red roadster.” Remember folks, in the Modern Age, Batman uses different Batmobiles pretty interchangeably at this point in his career.

–“Geometry” by Dan Jurgens/Norm Rapmund (Superman #700) August 2010
Bruce plays billionaire party-boy dummy for a night instead of patrolling. Dick is confined to quarters and must finish his homework before Bruce gets back home. No solo costumed adventuring! But when arms dealers are up to no good in Gotham, Robin sneaks out and fights them on his own. Robin nearly dies until Superman shows up, saves him, and nabs the bad guys. Supes then rushes Dick home and into bed, even doing Dick’s homework for him. Bruce is fooled! That is until Clark and Dick realize they’ve left Robin’s motorcycle at the scene of the crime. Nice try.

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 2 #75. A four-month-long government investigation culminates with charges being brought against Bruce, citing that he is an unfit guardian for Dick. At a custody trial, an attorney cites seven bachelor parties, eighteen late night female guests, and several injuries that Dick has sustained as reasons that the boy should be remanded to state custody. The parties and late night guests have not been listed on our chronology, but they are a part of Bruce’s ever ongoing campaign to appear as the ultimate playboy. Bruce is constantly keeping up appearances, so we must imagine these items, along with many others, scattered randomly throughout the timeline. Of course, the state loses this case and Bruce gets to keep custody of Dick.

–“Teenage Sidekick” by Paul Pope (Solo #3) April 2005
Paul Pope’s short from his award-winning Solo issue. Robin gets nabbed by Joker. Batman saves him. Cool stuff!

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #682. Batman gains a giant golden crown as a trophy on an unspecified mission. Afterward, Batman and Alfred re-organize the Batcave trophy room, which is now filled with items that Batman barely recalls ever receiving. Batman, with the Bat-Radia in hand, ponders aloud, “It seems like our entire lives these past couple of years belong in the Black Casebook.” Batman also mentions that “the old Arkham Asylum” is set to reopen, which merely means that Arkham had been temporarily closed with its inmates moved, but is now reopening with its inmates returning to the original location.

–FLASHBACK: From the B&W second feature to Batman: Gotham Knights #2. Batman and Robin stop the drug-trafficking Lyman Brothers. Note that the entirety of this B&W second feature is a flashback, so it does not appear anywhere else on our chronology. Also note that Crisis on Infinite Earths: The Compendium and The Crisis on Infinite Earths: Absolute Edition state outright that this item occurs on Earth-3839—part of the “Generations” Elseworlds Universe. However, it just as easily fits on the main chronology error-free, meaning it actually occurs on both timelines.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #700 and Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #5. Batman and Robin meet and befriend Professor Carter Nichols, who has developed time-traveling technology. Nichols’ “hypnosis tech” (combined with a device known as the “Maybe Machine”) allows the user to attach himself to a high-tech device which sends an avatar of himself into the past. The process is similar to astral projection, except the avatar body is exactly the same as the user’s real body and can impact and interact with the physical world. Nichols won’t go public with his time-travel device even though he would have easily become the next Einstein and made millions. The reason for this is because decades ago, Nichols turned his back on the criminal organization known as the Black Glove led by Simon Hurt, and is thus, now forced to live in obscurity (as we learn in Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #5). However, Nichols will trust the Dynamic Duo with his secret and the heroes will go on several exploratory jaunts to the past, but not too many, since this a dangerous undertaking. The adventures dealing with Nichols are originally from various Golden Age Batman stories. We don’t know which time-jaunting adventures the Dynamic Duo go on specifically, but we must imagine several trips occurring here and into the next year as well.

–REFERENCE: In Final Crisis: Requiem #1. The JLA goes on an unspecified case, during which someone snaps an action photo of the team. They get a copy of the picture and frame it as a keepsake for the trophy room.

–FLASHBACK: From the second feature to Countdown to Final Crisis #5. Batman saves Robin from Mr. Freeze, busting the villain in the process. Notably, the panel that depicts this scene was likely originally intended by creators Scott Beatty and Thomas Derenick to be linked to the prior panel, which shows Mr. Zero’s debut. However, the two panels cannot be linked, and they actually make more narrative and visual sense as completely separate items.

–FLASHBACK: From the second feature to Countdown #29. Batman and Robin fight Penguin at a bird statue exhibit.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman/Nightwing: Bloodborne. Batman and Robin patrol. When some extra-tough baddies get in their way, Batman tells Robin to hide in the shadows and let him handle it solo. Robin rushes out after Batman seemingly takes a bullet in the chest, but the Dark Knight is fine. Later, at Wayne Manor, Dick examines Batman’s costume, finding a bullet hole in the Bat-insignia. Batman had survived only due to his bulletproof vest.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 2 #103. Bruce, Alfred, and Dick go on a fishing trip. Alfred takes a photo of Bruce and Dick, which gets developed and framed before going into Wayne Manor.

–FLASHBACK: From Trinity Vol. 2 #1—originally from Detective Comics #241. Modern Age Superman will eventually wind up on the New 52 timeline, and the sentimental guy won’t help but think of detailed memories of his old Modern Age pals Batman and Robin. Thus, the New 52 contains some canonical references to the Modern Age. One of these first New 52 references to the Modern Age is actually a nod to a Golden Age story, meaning that the New 52 canonizes a Golden Age occurrence for the Modern Age. Continuity everybody! In this flashback, Robin’s arm is injured, causing a situation where his secret ID is at stake. Batman tailors and wears a gaudy rainbow-striped costume to distract gangsters from looking at the Boy Wonder. The costume has the desired effect. Robin’s secret is safe and rainbow-Batman punches out thugs with ease.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Files. Robin saves Commissioner Gordon’s life during an encounter with Mr. Freeze. Despite this, Gordon chastises Batman about using a child soldier in his war on crime. Batman argues with Gordon about it.

–REFERENCE: In Creature Commandos #1—originally told in Justice League of America #2. The JLA summons the ancient wizard Merlin to help them defeat Simon Magus, Saturna, and the Troll King.

–FLASHBACK: From Silver Age: Secret Files and Origins #1—and referenced in JLA Secret Files and Origins #2 Part 2 and JLA #78. Originally told in Justice League of America #3. The JLA fights the debuting Kanjar Ro, a vile despot from the planet Dhor, who puts all of humanity into suspended animation using his powerful Gamma Metal Gong. Kanjar Ro forces the JLA to challenge and defeat his evil alien rivals—Hyathis, Kromm, and Sayyar. Eventually, the Justice Leaguers turn the tide at the far end of the universe and take all four tyrants captive, freeing the people of Earth simultaneously. Following Kanjar Ro’s defeat, the JLA keeps his Gamma Gong as a trophy.

–REFERENCE: In JLA: Earth 2, Final Crisis #4, Batman & Superman: World’s Finest #10 Part 1, JLA Secret Files and Origins #2 Part 2. The JLA takes on the diabolical team-up of the toy-themed Toyman and the magick-user Abra Kadabra, who create miniature evil robot versions of the JLA to attack the team. The JLA easily defeats the teeny tiny duplicates, imprisoning them in a glass dome in their trophy room.

–FLASHBACK: From Silver Age: Secret Files and Origins #1—and referenced in JLA Secret Files and Origins #2 Part 2, JLA #78, and Green Lantern: Circle of Fire #1. Originally told in Mystery in Space #75. An already-returning Kanjar Ro travels to the planet Rann to challenge human space adventurer Adam Strange, Strange’s girlfriend Alanna, and Alanna’s father Sardath. (Adam Strange is the champion of the planet Rann. He is able to travel back and forth between Earth and Rann via bizarre Zeta-Beam technology that only he has mastered.) After Kanjar Ro captures Adam Strange, the JLA intervenes on Rann, making the rescue and busting the Dhorian despot. Following Kanjar Ro’s defeat, the JLA keeps his Gamma Metal Gong as a trophy.

–REFERENCE: In JLA Secret Files and Origins #2 Part 2Legends of the DCU #12, and Hourman #16—originally told in Justice League of America #4. Green Arrow (Oliver Queen) joins the Justice League. On his first mission, Green Arrow rescues the entire JLA from an exiled Dryannan humanoid alien called Carthan, who is actually a hero, but needs to act like a villain in order to manipulate the JLA into helping free him of the bonds placed upon him by the vile dictator of his home planet. Following this mission, Green Arrow donates a few of his most interesting trick arrows to the JLA trophy collection. (Note that Green Arrow’s MO, for the next couple years, will be to frustratedly quit the JLA only to rejoin shortly thereafter.)

–FLASHBACK: From Black Canary Vol. 3 #1. Black Canary meets the newest JLA member Green Arrow as they go on their first mission together in Las Vegas. The rookies have been sent to protect the Prime Minister of Japan from a troupe of League of Assassins dressed as Elvis impersonators, led by Merlyn. This is Green Arrow’s first legit meeting with Black Canary, who he at first confuses with her mom. (Technically, Green Arrow met Black Canary once prior to this—for literally five seconds when he stopped to make a bawdry pass at her after the JLA’s public debut conference.) After the Prime Minister is safe, Batman, who had been overseeing, grades the duo, while the rest of the JLA checks in. NOTE: Batman is shown wearing his yellow-oval costume here. This is the wrong costume.

–REFERENCE: In Sandman Vol. 2 #2 and Sandman Vol. 2 #5—originally told in Justice League of America #5. The JLA defeats the master of dreams, Dr. Destiny (John Dee).

–REFERENCE: In The Outsiders #22—originally told in Detective Comics #294. Batman defeats Elemental Man.

–REFERENCE: In The Outsiders #22—originally told in Detective Comics #296. Batman defeats Planet Master.

–REFERENCE: In Hourman #16—originally told in Justice League of America #7. Evil aliens from the planet Angellax lure all the JLA members to a fun house where they capture them and send out doppelgängers in their place. The doppelgängers get Batman and Superman out of the way by sending them on a wild goose chase to 10,000 years in the future to make sure Xotar is still safely in jail. While Batman and Superman are gone, the rest of the JLA holds its own and defeats the Angellaxians.

–FLASHBACK: From the second feature to Countdown to Final Crisis #3. The JLA takes on a returning Amazo. Oddly, it looks like artist Doug Mahnke draws John Zatara fighting alongside the JLA—well, either Zatara or a maybe a hatless Phantom Stranger? Hard to tell. We’ll go with Zatara because Phantom Stranger wouldn’t have debuted yet.

–FLASHBACK: From the second feature to Countdown to Final Crisis #6—and referenced in Hourman #16 and Superman/Batman #79. Originally told in Justice League of America #10-11. The JLA faces off against the debuting Epoch, The Lord of Time. During this battle, the evil occultist Felix Faust also debuts, attempting to manipulate the heroes into obtaining a few magickal artifacts—the Jar of Calythos, the Wheel of Nyorlath, and the Bell of Uthool—for him. Once gathered, Faust uses these items to summon the extremely powerful Demons Three (Abnegazar, Rath, and Ghast). Eventually, the JLA defeats Faust, Epoch, and the demons, keeping the artifacts as trophies.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Files—originally told in Detective Comics #304. Clayface II (Matt Hagen) breaks out of jail and invents the persona of rich socialite “John Royce” to get close to Gotham’s wealthiest people. After impersonating several of Gotham’s leading citizens in order to commit robberies, Clayface is outed by Bruce. Soon after, Batman is able to freeze Clayface and put him back in jail.

–Batman: Gotham After Midnight #1-6 by Steve Niles/Kelley Jones (July to December 2008)[5]
Late October. Batman takes on an escaped Scarecrow, the Axeman, and Man-Bat before realizing that they are all acting strangely and obviously under the control of another person. Meanwhile, a mysterious serial killer has been literally stealing people’s hearts. It doesn’t take long for Batman to discover that the killer, known as Midnight, is controlling the villains using experimental drugs. Soon after, Bruce, in and out of costume, meets the beautiful GCPD Lieutenant April Clarkson. Midnight then hires Clayface II (Matt Hagen) to attack Batman, which results in a Godzilla-like battle with a kaiju Clayface fighting Batman in a giant robot. On Halloween weekend, Midnight drugs Joker, causing him to help kidnap some kids. Midnight unsuccessfully tries to kill Batman when the Caped Crusader arrives to save the children. Midnight then abducts GCPD cop Barry Lucas and makes his escape.

–Batman: Gotham After Midnight #7 Part 1 by Steve Niles/Kelley Jones (January 2009)
Late October—Halloween weekend. Part 1 of Gotham After Midnight #7 is listed as “Chapter 1” in the issue, and it picks up directly from Gotham After Midnight #6. Batman, Gordon, and GCPD Lieutenant April Clarkson discuss the disappearance of her partner, Barry Lucas. They fear he is dead at the hands of Midnight. (He is.) Batman vows to locate Midnight’s secret lair.

–“Shipwreck” by Dan Vado/Norman Felchle (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #112-113) November to December 1998
Halloween. The big problem with most later LOTDK stories is that they are so generic, you can’t tell whether or not they take place in the “Early Period” or post-“No Man’s Land” (where Batman gets rid of the yellow-oval). Such is the case of the largely forgettable “Shipwreck,” in which Batman stops the terrorist known as Demise from hijacking a Caribbean-bound masquerade party cruise ship. One of the partygoers is dressed in a crude Martian Manhunter costume, so we know that this item goes post-JL debut.

–FLASHBACK: From Secret Origins Vol. 2 #37—originally told in Justice League of America #12. Dr. Light debuts and is defeated by the JLA. Hawkman is also shown in this flashback. It is entirely possible that he helped out, but he is not yet a member of the Justice League yet.

–REFERENCE: In Secret Origins Vol. 2 #29, DC Universe Legacies #4, and Identity Crisis #1—originally told in Justice League of America #14. The Atom (Ray Palmer) officially joins the JLA. The JLA, only distantly familiar with Palmer, finally meets him up-close-and-personal and also gets to know his fiancée, the lovely Jean Loring.

–REFERENCE: In Crisis on Infinite Earths #11—originally told in Justice League of America #16. Super-fan and comic book creator Jerry Thomas mails a terrible story to the JLA. With the help of the JLA, Snapper Carr edits the story and publishes it in his fanzine.

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to 52 #38—originally told in Justice League of America #17. The JLA deals with the Air/Wind Elemental known as Ulthoon (aka Tornado Tyrant aka Tornado Champion). I guess I should explain the concept of Elementals. In a nutshell, they are beings (usually metahumans) linked to the primary elements of the planet and endowed with the powers of their respective element. In addition to Air/Wind Elementals, there are also Earth Elementals, Fire Elementals, Water Elementals, Plant Elementals, Lightning Elementals, and extremely rare Trash Elementals. The forces of creation within the DCU often select a specific individual to represent one or more of the elements. These specific high-ranking Elementals are usually referred to as Avatars.

–FLASHBACK: From DC Universe Legacies #4 and the second feature to 52 #49—originally told in Justice League of America #21-22. The JLA has its first interactions with their semi-retired elder counterparts in the Justice Society of America. The JSA is the original superhero team that banded together during World War II. Thanks to magick that masks the ravages of age, these geriatric heroes are still in fit fighting shape. The team features: The Atom (Al Pratt), Dr. Fate (Kent Nelson), Dr. Mid-Nite (Charles McNider), Johnny Thunder, Yz, Flash (Jay Garrick), Hawkman, Hawkgirl (Shayera Thal-Hol/Shiera Sanders-Hall), Green Lantern Alan Scott, Hourman (Rex Tyler), Sandman (Wesley Dodds), Starman (Ted Knight), Black Canary (the JLA Black Canary’s mom Dinah Drake Lance), and Wildcat. The first team-up between the JLA and JSA is against the one-shot Crime Champions, a super-villain team that includes Felix Faust, Dr. Alchemy, Chronos, The Wizard, the Icicle, and The Fiddler. (The Crime Champions are not to be confused with the Injustice Society, although some villains are members of both teams.) When the Crime Champions debut, the JLA magickally summons the JSA for assistance. Batman and Flash (Barry Allen) team with Dr. Fate to defeat Felix Faust, while the other JSA and JLA members defeat the other Crime Champions. NOTE: The unreliable narrator of DC Universe Legacies #4 infers that the first ever JSA-JLA team-up occurs after the Teen Titans have already formed. This cannot be the case. The Teen Titans won’t form until later this year. ALSO NOTE: Dr. Fate’s power comes from his helmet, which houses the occult being known as Nabu, an agent of the cosmic Lords of Order in their indefatigable war against their opposites, the Lords of Chaos.

–REFERENCE: In 52—originally told in Detective Comics #319. Batman and Robin capture the nefarious Dr. No-Face.

–“A New Dawn” by Nunzio DeFilippis/Christina Weir/Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez (Batman Confidential #26-28) April 2009 to June 2009
“A New Dawn” brings Victor Goodman aka King Tut into official continuity! Last time (and the only time) he was ever seen was on the old Adam West TV show from the 60s! Anyway, Batman teams-up with The Riddler (!) to bring King Tut to justice. Also, on the final page of the series, Tut’s partner, Ankh, makes her debut. Let’s hope we never see her again.

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

–REFERENCE: In The Final Night #2. The JLA defeats Vandal Savage.

–REFERENCE: In Secret Origins Vol. 2 #30 and Final Crisis #6—originally told in Justice League of America #23. The JLA defeats Zazzala aka Queen Bee. Afterward, the JLA keeps some of her alien henchmen’s sting-guns as trophies.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League #4. The JLA defeats the debuting Amos Fortune.

–REFERENCE: In JLA Incarnations #2—originally told in Superman #199. Superman races Flash in a UN-sponsored charity race across the globe.

–JLA Incarnations #1-2 by John Ostrander, Val Semeiks, Prentis Rollins, & John Kalisz (July to August 2001)[6]
When the JLA, sans the Trinity, is supposedly killed after a struggle against the magickal immortal Wotan, a funeral is held in Arlington Cemetery. In attendance—along with a large public audience—are the Trinity, JSA, Doom Patrol, Metal Men, reporter Tully Reed, and Hal Jordan’s best friend Tom Kalmaku. The crowd watches with astonishment as the JLA come out of their graves, alive and well, thanks to pre-planning by Hal Jordan and Kalmaku. (The team had actually not been killed, and had been saved by entering Jordan’s power ring.) Afterward, the JLA defeats The Key and his KeyMen (aka Key-Men) androids, followed by Dr. Destiny, and then Joker. They round out a busy few days with a final contest in the Rocky Mountains against the the hairy synthetic monster known as The Shaggy Man, an out-of-control creation of scientist Andrew Zagarian. Afterward, the team discovers a hidden alien artifact of unknown origin. (The Shaggy Man fight is also shown via flashback from Justice League of America Vol. 2 #43 and referenced in JLA #23-24. Note that the Trinity are not pictured in the JLA Incarnations #1 version of the Shaggy Man fight, but they are shown in the Justice League of America Vol. 2 #43 flashback version. In the latter, Batman is shown wearing his yellow-oval costume, which is a continuity error.) Later, Wotan causes the JLA to war against the JSA, although the Trinity is not present for this contest. In the end, Wotan’s ruse is outed, and he is defeated thanks to help from Hawkman and Hawkgirl. Afterward, Hawkman joins the JLA. He will pull double-duty, remaining part-time with the JSA as well. Hawkgirl becomes a part-time/reserve member of the JLA as well. Soon after, Batman helps his JLA teammates to fight a time-traveling talking dinosaur called Fire-Eye. (Note that Batman is shown wearing his yellow-oval costume, which is a continuity error.) Upon arrival to the battlefield, Batman sees Green Arrow and Black Canary working hand-in-hand, noting to himself that working with a partner seems too risky. Yes, Robin has debuted, so the Caped Crusader already has a partner. As such, this is a major continuity error. Superman shows up to help finish off Fire-Eye, after which he publicly joins the JLA full-time during an interview with journalist Tully Reed. Again, Superman is already a full-time member, this must be ignored. (The fight against Fire-Eye is also shown via flashback from JLA Incarnations #5 Part 2.) The next day, Batman teams with the JLA to defeat Gorilla Grodd in Washington DC. Afterward, we see Batman officially join the JLA full-time, but like Superman, he’s already a full-time member, so this too must be ignored.

–REFERENCE: In JLA Incarnations #6 Part 1. The JLA defeats The Cheetah.

–Batman: Gotham After Midnight #7 Part 2 by Steve Niles/Kelley Jones (January 2009)
December 19-20. Part 2 of Gotham After Midnight #7 is listed as Chapter 2 through Chapter 6 in the issue. Batman is finally able to find Midnight’s secret lair. Batman infiltrates the lair and recovers the corpse of Barry Lucas, but Midnight is long gone and continues to murder dozens, even assassinating Mayor Gill![7] In spite of all the chaos, Batman begins a romantic affair with Lieutenant April Clarkson! (A flashback from Batman: Gotham After Midnight #10 re-shows Batman talking to April about the death of Barry Lucas, just before they begin their romance.) Note that Killer Croc appears in this issue as a mind-controlled antagonist inside Midnight’s lair. This must be 100% ignored! Croc hasn’t debuted yet and won’t until Bat Year Ten! Also note, as referenced in Huntress: Year One #4-6, Hamilton Hill is sworn in as the new Mayor of Gotham. (Note that the mayor shown in Huntress: Year One is not specifically named. My labeling him as Hill is speculative. This is a highly debatable point.)

–Batman: Gotham After Midnight #8-9 by Steve Niles/Kelley Jones (February to March 2009)
December 21-31. Picking up directly from Gotham After Midnight #7 Part 2, Batman attends the funeral of Barry Lucas and then continues the hunt for Midnight by interrogating Joker at Gotham Mercy Hospital. (Joker is at the hospital recovering from having been drugged by Midnight on Halloween weekend. Joker certainly hasn’t been in the hospital for two months, so we can only assume that the drugs have now caused complications, which has led him to be temporarily moved to the hospital.) Later April Clarkson cancels dinner plans with Bruce to hang out with Batman instead. Batman meets up with April for a sexual liaison at the latter’s apartment. An angry Catwoman spies on them. On Xmas Eve, Batman’s girlfriend April Clarkson is seemingly killed by Midnight. SPOILER ALERT: April has faked her own death. She is Midnight. Catwoman is then kidnapped by Midnight and drugged, falling under the villain’s complete control. The Dark Knight, still deeply saddened by the loss of April, continues the hunt for Midnight, but the latter keeps on killing and killing.

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  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER / MILO NOUSIAINEN: The twelve-issue JLA: Year One is canon, although certain bits have been retconned by Brad Meltzer’s Justice League of America Vol. 2 series and Len Wein’s DC Universe Legacies #3. Some of JLA: Year One‘s issues—notably #1, #2, #4, and #11-12—can be read more or less intact, though. What’s the full deal with JLA: Year One, you say? Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, while not involved in many of the early League missions, are the first leaders (founders) of the team. JLA: Year One‘s plot stresses the lack of the Big Three’s involvement with the team. As such, JLA: Year One must be read with the idea that the Trinity did indeed form the League but remained as reserve members at first. 52 #51 nods to this by combining the narrative of JLA: Year One with the original Silver Age origin of the team. While the Trinity are legitimate co-founders, they don’t assume full membership until later, but the other five form the core of the group, preserving the general idea of JLA: Year One. So things like Flash trying to persuade Superman to join the League can be thought of as him trying to get Superman to take up full membership. Notably, JLA: Year One contains a mix of minor quibbles alongside fairly egregious continuity errors no matter how you spin them. In any case, Batman/Bruce Wayne only appears in issue #2, issue #7, and issues #11-12, so we will only include these issues on our timeline. The first issue of JLA: Year One (which, again, does not feature Batman) occurs one day after the Appelaxian attack.
  2. [2]IVAN: Matt Wagner’s Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman: Trinity (which depicts a first meeting between Batman and Wonder Woman) is non-canon as it doesn’t seem to fit anywhere very well for a ton of different reasons. Also, Batman wears bizarre armor, which gives him flight capability and massive strength. He’s never used this before, so it seems odd that he would now.

    COLLIN COLSHER: The Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman: Trinity series (indeed an alternate version of when Batman first meets Wonder Woman) is non-canon for several more reasons, including the fact that the primary villain, Ra’s al Ghul, wouldn’t have made his presence known this early. Furthermore, a cursory Internet search of the story will show that Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman: Trinity contradicts a few other post Infinite Crisis/Final Crisis continuity changes, including the fact that the Big Three first meet when fighting the Appelaxians right before forming the League. So for these reasons, Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman: Trinity is impossible to place, making it 100% non-canon.

  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: A note about the veteran WWII aces known as the Blackhawks. Howard Chaykin’s 1988 Blackhawk Vol. 2 series retconned some of the names of the original Golden Age/Silver Age Blackhawk members for the Modern Age. Notably, Bart Hawk became Janos Prohaska, Chuck Wilson became Chuck Sirianni, Hans Hendrickson became Ritter Hendrickson, and Olaf Bjornson became Olaf Friedriksen. JLA: Year One seems to reflect these changes. However, Batman Confidential #38 implies that the old names are canon. This likely (and simply) means that these guys were using multiple code names.
  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER: JLA: Year One #11-12 is said to occur “months” after the original Appelaxian invasion. This is right on the money. However, there are some caveats that go along with these issues. The Seven Soldiers of Victory and Metamorpho all appear in this issue, but thanks to retcons, these characters should be ignored. Much of this issue is simple “let’s stick as many characters in there as we can bullshit,” so ignoring the anachronistic appearances of a few shouldn’t matter. Generally speaking, JLA: Year One #11 contains much less anachronism and error than JLA: Year One #12. Read the finale with a skeptical eye, especially in regard to all the eye-rolling Easter egg cameos thrown in just for kicks.
  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: There are a few big errors in regard to Gotham After Midnight. First, Jeremiah Arkham is mentioned as the head of Arkham Asylum. However, he won’t be working there until 2001. Second, Batman and Green Arrow are shown patrolling Gotham on Halloween night, and Ollie addresses Batman as “Bruce.” This is dead wrong. Ollie doesn’t know yet. Third, Jim Gordon’s characterization is a tad off. Fourth, Killer Croc appears in the latter half, but he won’t actually debut until Bat Year Ten. And last but not least, Niles and Jones have given Batman a whole new array of science gadgets and vehicles that we’ve never seen before and will never see again (outside of this arc), so I don’t even really know what to say about that. Oh well. The authors not only add a crap-load of weird, campy Bat-gadgetry in Gotham After Midnight, they include the first canonical use of the Bat-poles. Sigh.
  6. [6]COLLIN COLSHER: JLA Incarnations #1-2 are chock full of errors, which I will  address as we come to them. Scholar Chris J Miller notes that JLA Incarnations #1-2 is “a post-Crisis tale of Superman’s joining the League and probably did not happen in post-Infinite Crisis continuity.” Miller adds that JLA Incarnations #1-2 was originally written to clarify when and how Batman joined the League (and Superman didn’t) in post-Crisis canon. Those aspects are now moot [due to Infinite Crisis retcons], but the events may still have occurred in some fashion.
  7. [7]COLLIN COLSHER: Steve Niles and Kelly Jones do not refer to the mayor by name, and they also have the mayor look as generic as possible (heavyset White bald man) so as to make Gotham After Midnight easier to fit anywhere on the timeline. So while we aren’t told this is Gill, it very well could be and makes a lot of sense if it is. Of course, we saw Mayor Gill only a couple weeks ago (again unnamed) and, while he looked like he packed on a few pounds and had noticeably thinner hair than before, he wasn’t bald. I guess we can assume that Mayor Gill just said “the hell with it” and went the Bic Lex Luthor route.

36 Responses to Modern YEAR SIX

  1. Andrew says:

    Me again (sorry for all the comments.) Anyways…I’m having some trouble with Batman and the Justice League. From what I understand, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman decide to form the JLA after battling the Appellaxians. They decide who will join and what not. I understand the Batman and Superman (and Wonder Woman?) don’t fully join until later on (even though Batman seems so excited to join in the beginning of JLA v.2 #0.) Ultimately, I’m trying to figure out if there is actually a specific comic where Batman says he isn’t joining full-time, or is it just inferred because he doesn’t interact with the JLA until the next year?

    Now, a question about pre-JLA v.2. Batman is originally not a part of the JLA. In Batman & Superman: World’s Finest #2, Superman asks Batman why he wouldn’t join the JLA (he infers that Batman didn’t want to be seen as part of a group because it would undermine all the work he put into having his enemies fear him.) Batman answers by saying “I wouldn’t become a member of the JLA even if they did ask.” I assume this is following the original origins of the JLA, where Batman has no part of their origins. I guess Batman could have just asked to join if he wanted to because he was a prominent hero? Is this answered in JLA: Year One (I’ve only read the first issue so far)?

    I’m sorry that this is so long-winded. The relationship between Batman and the JLA just seems so convoluted. I understand the history, but I always like to have a specific comic to read to get the information from, instead of just reading about it.

    • The Modern Age JLA. Where do I start. It IS convoluted thanks to many, many retcons. First of all, Batman is definitely one of the founding members of the JLA. He starts the team (as per JLofA v.2 #0). Most of the “hesitance to join” information is taken from Batman Confidential #50-54, which tells the story of how Batman winds up accepting his JLA communicator and actually chooses to begin playing-well with the others.

      My timeline has a rather large gap between Batman starting the JLA and him joining FULL-TIME, as you noticed. But why? This was done with regard to the JLA: Year One series, to allow some version of JLA: Year One to fit contradictory-free. I also had Batman’s “refusal to join at first” attributed to the dialogue in Batman & Superman: World’s Finest #2, hence another reason for the long gap between starting the team and gaining the willingness to fight alongside them. However, since JLA: Year One and Batman & Superman: World’s Finest #2 are non-canon, there really is no reason to have the gap.

      My chronology looks a bit convoluted because it was, at one point, trying to accommodate way too many stories that were contradicting each other—and the aforementioned non-canon arcs as well. Upon re-examination, I think that Batman’s initial hesitance still clearly exists (and would be natural, given his nature, even after starting the team himself). HOWEVER, I think that I will be making some subtle changes that will make his acceptance of the team happen much closer to the Appelaxian affair. So keep your eyes peeled.

      OH, PS. I noticed that the JLofA #0 flashback that starts the JLA has to take place AFTER Robin has met Superman (i.e. after Robin has debuted). Therefore, I’ve moved the JLA debut to after Robin’s debut.

      • Matten says:

        Hey there! First comment here, so sorry if I seem a bit uninformed.

        I’m currently working on a reading order based on your wonderful project (congrats, it’s breathtaking). I’m mainly interested in Modern Age material, but I put Golden/Silver/Bronze age stuff too if it is referenced in your work. I mainly look for the keyword “originally told”. I too have a problem with Modern Age JLA.

        My main question is: Is there really no ACTUAL Modern Age counterpart of the original Appelaxian Incident??
        I did some digging and I found Secret Origins Vol. 2 #32 from November, 1988. But that story has no Batman and Wonder Woman in it, and Superman only makes a brief cameo in it. It actually lines up with the non-canon “Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman: Trinity” and “JLA: Year One” stories, which were (as you mention many times) retconned by Infinite Crisis and Final Crisis showing the Trinity founding the team. So does that actually mean that the original Justice League of America #9 (1962) is the canonical JLA origin to the Modern Age?

        What should I put in the reading order to actually experience the Appelaxian Incident? Is there really no canon version for the Modern Age?

        Thanks for everything.

        • Hi Matten, DC Universe Legacies #3, Justice League of America Vol. 2 #0, the second feature to 52 #51, and Hourman #16 all show flashbacks to the Appelaxian affair. I’ve added “originally told” in wherever I can to help folks such as yourself, but it’s possible that I’ve simply missed it here-and-there. I can and will add now! Thanks.

  2. Hi again, Andrew.

    Regarding Two-Face Strikes Twice, it contains two “books” that comprise the whole tale. Each “book” has two “parts” (giving us the cute flip-book style format). Book One is a Batman & Dick Grayson Robin tale that seems to take place in Year Seven or later—(you are right about it not fitting very well in Year Six). But despite being right about that, both Book One and Book Two have to be non-canon.

    In Book One, a seemingly well-adjusted Gilda Dent remarries Dr. Paul Janus. Book Two is a sequel to Book One that takes place roughly seven years later (around Year Fourteen), in which Gilda is shown still happily married to Janus. It is in Book Two that we learn that Gilda, a year-and-a-half prior had undergone an artificial insemination procedure with Harvey’s sperm, producing her twins, which she falsely claimed were biologically Janus’ kids. Ok, ok, so this does seem like the behavior of a crazy Long Halloween Gilda. BUT STILL, the kids are never mentioned again? Seems a bit odd. Also, the big thing that eliminated Book One from continuity is the fact that, no matter what, it contradicts Tony Daniel’s “Pieces” arc that tells us that Gilda was with Mario Falcone after Long Halloween, not this cheesy Paul Janus character.

  3. Lukasz says:

    Shouldn’t “Bad” (LOTDK #146-148) be place at least before Batman: Dark Victory, or maybe ? In the 2nd part Bats titles Gordon “captain” so it must have occured before his nomination. Gordon uses the Batsignal but “can’t even sanction [Bats] existence”. He even ignores one of the SWAT guys mentioning his presence (that guy also didn’t believe Bats was real). Same thing with one of the main characters – shrink named Sabra Temple – she’s shocked when meeting Bats face to face as she didn’t believe the ‘Bat-Man’, as she calls him, was real. That doesn’t gel well with other stories placed around it, like”The Spook”, were characters recognize Batman an active vigilante right away.

    • Most of the “ubran myth” stuff should actually be ignored. That was all post-Zero Hour nonsense that lasted for way too long (from 1994 until Infinite Crisis). However, the implication that the story happens earlier can still remain. Plus, as you have pointed out, Gordon is definitely captain, so this should go definitely go before he has become commish. I’ve moved it to late Year Four. Thanks!

  4. hearthesnap says:

    Hey Colin, long time no comment. Either way, my concern in the listing comes from you placement of “Faces”. Namely that you say the story dictates that Harvey has been Two Face for approximately 2 years. I only mention as that may not be the case. After Harvey escapes Arkham he disappears for 2 years according to the text and then resurfaces after spending time away from Gotham abroad, namely France. So the placement of the story here would seemingly be out of place. 2ndly he needed time in it of itself to gather his new brethren IE his “Deformity Nation”.

    • Hey, welcome back into the fold. You are definitely correct in addressing this “Faces” sitch. The story actually, upon a second glance, does NOT dictate that Harvey has been Two-Face for two years. It starts with a flashback showing us that Two-Face has escaped from Arkham. We are told that Batman chases him for two-and-a-half months before losing track of him. Cut to the main narrative of “Faces,” which begins exactly two years after this escape sequence. We are also told that no one has seen nor heard from Two-Face in these two years, during which time he has been building his “Deformity Nation.”

      So, what does this mean in terms of continuity? It means that we need to find a spot where Two-Face is absent for TWO FULL YEARS. This unfortunately, NEVER HAPPENS in Batman’s early years (or really ever). Two-Face shows up in just about every single year, and usually multiple times. Should faces be non-canon? Likely so—especially thanks to additions like Long Halloween and Dark Victory. The 1992 story just doesn’t fit. Now, we can argue that Two-Face is secretly traveling to France whenever he can to build his army up, then returning to Gotham and committing other crimes and serving time and escaping here and there to go back to France, but this seems improbable. Based upon this re-reading of “Faces,” I’ve simply determined that it is non-canon.

      Either that OR we ignore the two years on the lam, but this is a major part of the story, so I’m hesitant to do so.

      • tiptupjr94 says:

        Hey guys, it’s funny I just read these comments, because a few days ago I ALSO grappled with the Faces storyline but eventually did place it into my timeline. Here’s what I did:

        (First of all, in my timeline, Long Halloween starts in Year 2 and Dark Victory ends in Year 5.) Now, almost immediately after the conclusion of Long Halloween and the Steps storyline (LOTDK 98-99, which features Two-Face) Harvey escapes, as depicted in Faces part 1.

        Now, in Robin 0 in the mid-90s, it’s said that the DA who immediately succeeded Harvey was Alrdich Meany, who was later killed in the double-gallows incident. But from Dark Victory, we know Janice Porter followed Harvey. However, the Essential Batman Encyclopedia treats Meany as semi-canonical (while acknowledging the discrepancy with Robin Year One) and suggests that Porter followed Dent *and* Meany in rapid succession. So here’s muh theory:

        Harvey escapes and begins planning his Isle D’urberville scheme. At some point prior to the beginning of Dark Victory, Harvey kills Aldrich Meany and is returned to Arkham. Throughout the events of Dark Victory, Harvey is planning his Isle D’urberville scheme behind the scenes in addition to all the other stuff he’s doing. Then, right after Dark Victory’s conclusion, the rest of the Faces storyline happens mostly as told. However, Harvey would have to escape Arkham rather quickly for his appearance in Robin: Year One.

        And if you don’t like the Aldrich Meany angle, we can just imagine that Harvey was returned to Arkham for any other reason. Still, this is how I’m looking at things now.

        It’s pretty astounding that this story has the gall to have Two-Face off the map for two entire years, and while that’s certainly the intent and implication, I don’t think there’s a point where Batman explicitly says he hasn’t seen Two-Face AT ALL during this time, although at one point he asks a thug about “his movements of the last two years”; perhaps Batman just figured that Harvey started planning something around that time, and is still carrying it out since he hasn’t resurfaced since the end of Dark Victory? (If I’m remembering things correctly.)

        At any rate, in my opinion the post-Zero Hour/IC time waves have made these early Legends stories malleable enough to make such inferences.

        • Nice ideas. Wasn’t aware of the Encyclopedia‘s take on Aldrich Meany. Very interesting. Not sure if I’ll add it back in (after painstakingly removing it), but I will definitely make mention of your write-up here. I think this is one of those things where it definitely can fit, but only as a modified version—which, of course, has been done to death on this timeline already.

  5. petermcpollen says:

    Hello! One quick question. I put it here because this is the year when “Ghosts” by Sam Kieth takes place. There’s another story by Kieth called “Secrets” in which the same flashback about Bruce unwillingly killing a bird is shown. Is that story non-canon? Because I can’t find it anywhere in the timeline.

    • An oversight! Thanks for bringing it to my attention. The flashback to the bird scene has been added. About a decade ago I read Batman: Secrets and Batman/Lobo and determined them both to be non-canonical books. Most Sam Kieth stuff is pretty hard to rationalize on any timeline. I don’t have my notes anymore, but maybe I’ll do a re-read to see what the continuity issues were. In any case, Kieth, as a master caliber creator, seems to have been given cart blanche in regard to his Batman stories, seemingly placing them in a unique Kieth-verse. The reason I chose to include “Ghosts” is because, while it may certainly link to Kieth’s other Bat-works (in his Kieth-verse), it didn’t have anything in its narrative that made it hard to place on the primary timeline. However, like I said, I’ll re-visit his oeuvre and see if I can’t make more sense of it now ten-years removed.

  6. Maximilian Schræder says:

    Thank you for your wonderful work on this timeline. I just had a question about Jim Gordon’s hair color, in these early stories it seems that Jim Gordon’s hair color changes every other week. Is there any explanation for this or should it be ignored like the yellow oval on Bruce’s chest.

    • There’s discussion about Gordon’s ever-changing hair color in Year One, but yes, we simply have to ignore Gordon’s hair. Sometimes it’s red, sometimes it’s gray in these first ten years. It all depends on the artist. Gordon’s hair, since it is literally seemingly an artistic choice—akin to whether or not Alfred if fully bald or has a mustache, is not an error if it is red in Year Six. Nor is it an error if it is gray in Year Two. It’s just an artistic choice, something to be ignored. However, I wouldn’t ignore it in the way you’d ignore the chest insignia on the Bat-costume. Direct comparison of Gordon’s hair to the yellow-oval is a bit of a false analogy. In the Modern Age, the chest insignia on the Bat costume is really supposed to be an indicator of placement/time/era. Of course, this gets screwed up sometimes and becomes a continuity error. So, while Gordon’s hair is truly an indicator of nothing, the chest insignia (while sometimes unfortunately wrong) is meant to be an indicator of something.

  7. Slade says:

    Hello! First and foremost, I wanted to commend you for this remarkable project! It is truly impressive!

    My question pertains to logistics of the time-line, specifically the month of December. It seems as though you have condensed A LOT into the month.

    In attempt to locate if Robin’s debut is feasibly able to be condensed into one month with the formation of the Justice League and the debut of various villains, I attempted to work backwards. This is what I came up with:

    Day 1: Robin debuts and takes down Joe Minnette’s crime organization

    In the span of six days, we see
    – Batman and Robin take down Joker, Riddler, Mr. Freeze, Penguin, Kite-Man / Big Bill Collins
    – Batman gets shot
    – Bruce, Dick, and Alfred go fishing (in December?)
    – Batman and Robin take down Crime-Doctor, Elva Barr (Selina Kyle), Tweedledee and Tweedledum
    – Bruce and Dick attend a fancy soiree
    – Robin teams up with Superman
    – Batman and Robin team up with Superman again
    – The Appelaxians attack and the (Justice) League forms (over several days)
    – The League fights Starro
    – The Justice League hold a press conference and fight several attacking villains
    – Joker causes a stir with Aquaman
    – Batman and Robin take down Crazy Quilt and some gun runners
    – Dick begins schooling (in December?)
    – Robin takes down the Mad Hatter
    – Batman and Robin take down Cluemaster, Firefly, thugs (while being watched by Shrike), Riddler (again), Blockbuster and Roland Desmond, Mr. Freeze (again), Cyanide & Mother Grimm

    Day 7: Dynamic Duo takes down Killer Moth
    Day 8: Dynamic Duo takes down Blockbuster (again)
    Day 9: Batman takes down Two Face, who kills Judge Lawrence and beats Robin
    Day 10: Batman fires Robin
    – Dick Grayson’s rehab
    December 17: Dick visits Leslie, Freeze robs the clinic
    December 18: Dick takes down Freeze / joins Shrike / leaves Bruce, Two Face escapes
    December 19 – 20: Midnight murders, Batman begins dating April Clarkson
    December 21: Batman attends Barry Lucas’ funeral
    December 24: April Clarkson is “executed” by Midnight
    December 24 – 31: Catwoman is kidnapped, Batman continues pursuing Midnight

    I wanted to hear your thoughts behind how that six-day window makes sense with SO MUCH going on. Thanks!

    • Well, when you lay it all out like that… haha. It would appear as though we should move some things out of there. And it looks like there is some room to trim the fat.

      Having taken another stab at it (and slid some things into Year Seven), I think it feels much better. In any case, due to retcons, compression, Sliding Time and the like, some stuff just has to be SQUEEZED. No way around it. However, thanks for bringing this to my attention. I think it’s better now. Let me know what you think.

      • Slade says:

        Thank you so much for the response and rapid adjustments. I really appreciate it!

        In terms of the modified timeline, I think you nailed it. It certainly is very compressed (as you said, it has to be), but everything seems to fall in place well. I actually think you can definitively place a day-by-day organization of things to make it effectively function. It requires some villains to be taken-down on the same day, but that doesn’t seem out of the question for a hero like Batman.

  8. Milo says:

    Just a small correction. The single panel in Robin: Year One #1 showing the death of Zucco is a reference to Legends of the Dark Knight #100, not Dark Victory. Dick is wearing the clothes he wore in LotDK #100 and he’s brandishing a board, not a stick like in Dark Victory. Robin: Year One’s publication overlapped with that of Dark Victory, so it couldn’t have accommodated that story.

  9. Milo says:

    DC Universe Legacies #3 features a flashback to Justice League of America #9, where the heroes decide to form the League immediately after dealing with the Appellaxians. And according to the issue, Black Canary was not part of this meeting, even though she could have been fighting the Appellaxians. This would of course go before the Trinity meet up flashback from Justice League of America #0, where Batman airs his misgivings about the idea. DC Universe Legacies #3 also features a flashback to the Starro fight.

    • Right, that’s good information to add concerning the ever-changing attitudes toward Black Canary being present for the Appellaxian affair. I will definitely make this crystal clear. And good catch about the missing flashback reference to Starro from DCU Legacies #3 as well. Not sure how I missed the entire end splash page! Clearly I majorly (too quickly) skimmed the DCU Legacies series when it came out. Thanks, again!

  10. Milo says:

    52 #51 combines the two versions of the Appellaxian battle (the original and the one from JLA: Year One) and places Black Canary at the Appellaxian battle, so it’s safe to say she took part in the battle, but for whatever reason didn’t join the meeting afterwards. The chronology of the JLA’s formation could be interpreted as them first agreeing to form a team in DC Universe Legacies #3, then the Trinity (in Justice League of America #0) and the five other members (in JLA: Year One #1) confirming that they’ll indeed join up.

  11. Milo says:

    I think JLA: Year One can be canon if you take into account that, while founders of the League, according to 52 #51, the Trinity remained as reserve members at first. 52 #51 combines the narrative of JLA: Year One with the original origin of the League. While the Trinity were co-founders, they didn’t assume full membership until later, and the other five formed the core of the group, preserving JLA: Year One. So things like Flash trying to persuade Superman to join the League can be thought of as him trying to get Superman to take up full membership.

    • Milo says:

      JLA Incarnations #1 and #2 can be canon for the same reasons. Batman doesn’t become a full time member of the League until issue #2.

      • I’m not so certain that JLA Incarnations #1-2 should remain canon. Maybe #1 (I’ll re-read), but not #2, which seems to contradict 2011’s flashback from Batman Confidential #50-54, the most current and seemingly canonical Modern Age story of Batman joining the JLA full-time. I suppose it’s possible that Incarnations #2 could go immediately after the fb from Confidential #50-54. (In the latter, Batman accepts hi JLA communicator, but in the former, Batman officially accepts being on the team.)

        • Milo says:

          Yeah, I think JLA Incarnations #2 could go after the flashback in Batman Confidential #54. In JLA Incarnations #2, Batman seems to be in some kind of contact with the League, perhaps with the communicator he accepted in Batman Confidential #54, but not yet fully a part of the team. This important moment of Batman assuming full membership is a milestone and thus (I think) a story worth having. Of course, Batman has the wrong costume, which should be ignored.

    • Yeah, this is basically how I have it set up on my timeline, but I can make it more explicit. And I can likely switch the JLA: Year One #2 and #11 from references to actual as-is stories on the timeline. I’ll take a peek at the Incarnations issues to see if it’s worth doing that for them as well. Thanks, again Milo!

  12. Josh says:

    Hey Collin! Did you get a chance yet to read the Long Halloween Special?? I’m interested to hear your opinion on it, whether it has a place in your official timeline or ifs its just its own standalone continuation of Jeff Loeb and Tim Sales stories. I For how short it was I thought it was really fun to come back to that story thread.

    • Hi Josh! Just read it a minute ago. Honestly, to me it reads as a standalone continuation of the original Long Halloween and Dark Victory, set outside of the bound of any particular continuity. It certainly can’t go into Modern Age continuity, yet it references Modern Age-only material, notably having Gordon refer to Babs as his niece. (She was only his niece in the Modern Age.) HOWEVER, the caveats necessary to place it into current continuity wouldn’t be that many to mention… so I’m actually leaning on entering it into our primary Infinite Frontier timeline. We’ll see, gonna mull it over a bit more and decide.

      UPDATE: After reviewing the issue more closely, my belief is that it’s totally out-of-continuity, set in a separate Loeb/Sale-verse of sorts. Add to the niece line the fact that this story supposedly shows Two-Face learning for the first time that Batman has a Robin… that is very much out-of-continuity on any chronology. A fun story, but certainly not meant to be canon on a primary timeline.

      • Josh says:

        Interesting, yeah that line about babs being his niece definitely tipped me off that they were continuing with what had previously been continuity in their other stories they wrote during the modern age. Personally I always liked the messiness of their relationship as adopted (and possibly real?) father and daughter. I hadn’t thought about the two face angle though. Can you recall the first moment Two face meets Dick? Is it Robin year one? Gilda says its been at least a year since she has been in Gotham which would make sense as the October seen in the special being the October that Dark victory wraps up in. If that’s the case it could potentially be the first meeting of Robin and Two face before Robin year one? Is it worth being considered a retcon for the modern continuity considering the importance of the story its written as a follow up to? Also what did you think about the “the end. for now…” Do you think were going to get a whole bunch more of stories set in Jeff Loeb and Tim Sales own stand of writing canon?

        Always love reading your perspective, thanks again for the work you do on this site.

        • Thanks for the kind words, Josh! Much appreciated.

          In current continuity, there isn’t a specific story that details Robin and Two-Face’s first encounter. However, Robin would have been publicly around for nine months prior to Two-Face’s debut. And while not shown anywhere, it’s highly probable that Robin meets Harvey Dent before he even becomes Two-Face in current continuity. In the Modern Age, the first Two-Face/Robin meeting is in Robin Year One, I believe. While Robin obviously debuts toward the end of Dark Victory, which also heavily features Two-Face, I don’t think they actually meet, which leaves room for this Special coda—making me further believe that this is meant to continue the a version of events modeled after the original Modern Age.

          Furthermore, it’s not just a sequence of Two-Face meeting Robin for the first time that stands out, but the fact that Two-Face is not even aware of him, meaning that it has to take place fairly soon after Dark Victory—basically a more-or-less direct follow-up to Dark Victory. As you mentioned, it’s been a year or so since the end of Long Halloween and Gilda hadn’t been able to find Two-Face despite searching everywhere for that entire year. To me, this reiterates that this Special really is a coda specifically to Long Halloween and Dark Victory and only those stories. Keeping “the end for now…” bit firmly in mind as well, it feels like this is the birth of the Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale-verse, the same way that a Frank Miller-verse naturally came about with Dark Knight Returns, later to be cemented with All Star Batman and Robin and DKR sequels. So will we get more Loeb/Sale-verse? Maybe! There’s clearly a market for it.

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