–REFERENCE: In Batman #402. Batman hears about the tragic case of Gotham police officer Tommy Carma, famous for his heroics but also notorious due to multiple police brutality charges. Carma’s wife and child are murdered by a mobster, as Batman learns on the news. Carma will return as a Punisher-like fake Batman super-villain in a year’s time.

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

–REFERENCE: In Identity Crisis #7. Batman poses with his fellow Justice Leaguers for an official team photo.

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

–REFERENCE: In Secret Origins Vol. 2 #6 Part 2.[1] Batman meets and befriends the electric-powered Black Lightning (schoolteacher Jefferson Pierce).

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

–REFERENCE: In Superman/Batman #31—originally told in Detective Comics #311. The ultra-powerful but goofy alien named Zook appears on Earth (stranded from an alternate universe). He’s really annoying and everyone hates him except for J’onn, who decides to keep him as a pet/sidekick. The diminutive Zook becomes a JLA team mascot for a short time, but is always in the way. Batman constantly berates the little guy.

–FLASHBACK: From Superman/Batman #31. When the JLA prepares for a fight with Weapons Master (Xotar), Batman holds an official team meeting to discuss strategy against the super-villain. Zook keeps interrupting and saying goofy things like, “Zook help too!” Batman angrily tells J’onn, “For God’s sake, keep that thing quiet!” Batman also surely says many other obscenities which aren’t fit for little Zook. Tired of Batman’s insults, Zook leaves the universe. (SPOILER: Zook will return for revenge in 12 years!)

–REFERENCE: In Superman/Batman #31. The JLA defeats Weapons Master.

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

–REFERENCE: In Robin Vol. 2 #1—originally told in Detective Comics #428. Batman teams up with GCPD Detective Steven “Shotgun” Smith to bring down some drug dealers.

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

–REFERENCE: In Batman Incorporated #4—originally told in Detective Comics #485. Ra’s al Ghul mounts his forces and strikes against the Sensei, prompting a brief civil war between the two ninja factions of the League of Assassins. When the war spills into Gotham, Kathy Kane (the retired Bat-Woman) mysteriously gets involved. Ra’s al Ghul sends a warning message to Bruce that Kathy may be in danger. Bruce fights off League henchmen at Kathy’s circus and sure enough, his former fiancée is being held captive. Batman is ambushed and knocked unconscious by Bronze Tiger aka Ben Turner, former partner to Richard Dragon. (Bronze Tiger has been brainwashed into serving the League of Assassins). A little while later, Batman awakens to discover that Kathy has been stabbed to death! Bruce never finds out what her involvement was in the League war or who was actually responsible for murdering her. Ra’s al Ghul will quickly regain full control of the League of Assassins after this and we won’t see the Sensei for over a decade. When he eventually returns, Ra’s will welcome the traitor back into the fold, but some leopards never change their spots. SPOILER ALERT: Kathy Kane isn’t really dead. Her murder is actually an elaborately orchestrated ruse perpetrated by herself, the Spyral organization, and Talia. We won’t see Kathy again for fourteen years. During this time period, Kathy will ascend the ranks of Spyral and become its leader, all the while secretly keeping tabs on Batman’s every movement.[2]

–REFERENCE: In Blackest Night #1. The JLA defeats elderly 1940s science villain Brainwave (aka Brain Wave).

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 2 #0. The JLA starts a pool on which of its members will be the first to tie the knot. Bruce is picked to wed last, with Ollie following in second, and Diana third. Superman isn’t involved in the gambling.

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

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

–REFERENCE: In JLA #119. Catwoman (now wearing a new green-and-purple caped-dress costume), joins the Secret Society of Super-Villains. Batman finds out when he obtains a photo of her with the team. This photo goes into his scrapbook.

–REFERENCE: In JLA #115. The JLA defeats Matter Master.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman & Superman: World’s Finest #6. Late March. This issue, the entirety of which is a flashback, states incorrectly that it is “five years” prior to B&S:WF #10 Part 1, which takes place in Year 15. This is right on the money. Here’s the synopsis. Mr. Mxyzptlk and Bat-Mite appear in Metropolis, much to the chagrin of a recently-released-from-Arkham Bob Overdog, who witnesses their meeting and freaks-out. Mxyzptlk and Bat-Mite challenge each other to prove who is better, Superman or Batman. And just like that, the games begin. Mxyzptlk and Bat-Mite ambush Bruce and Clark, who are meeting to commemorate the anniversary of the death of Harrison Grey. The 5th dimensional imps force Batman, Superman, and Robin (zapped away from his Hudson University dorm) in a series of magickally-created ordeals. First, they race to save Lois Lane atop a skyscraper. Then, they are forced to escape a deadly fun house. Then, Batman, Robin, and Lois are granted superhuman powers. Eventually, Mxyzptlk banishes Bat-Mite back to the 5th dimension and accidentally says his own name, banishing himself as well. The status-quo is restored and only Batman, Superman, and Robin (and Bob Overdog) retain memories of what has occurred. Afterward, Bruce, despite having met Bat-Mite once before, discusses the idea that Bat-Mite might merely be a come-to-life extension of Mxyzptlk’s own mind. Clark isn’t too sure about that. I agree with Clark. In my personal opinion, Bat-Mite is and always was his own man—er… imp, rather.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #598. Bruce becomes a major financial backer of Mr. McAteer‘s Family Finders Incorporated, a detective agency that specializes in locating lost friends and family. While not listed on our chronology, Bruce will aid and assist Family Finders many times over the course of the next two years or so.

–REFERENCE: In the B&W second feature to Batman: Gotham Knights #42. Having had more up-close engagement with Gotham’s skyline, rooftops, and Gothic architecture than just about anyone else over the past decade, Batman has, by this point, become quite familiar with the city’s many skyscraper gargoyles. The Caped Crusader constructs a secret locked compartment in one of the gargoyle statues, which can be used for storage while he is out on patrol.

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

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

–REFERENCE: In Justice Society of America Vol. 3 80-Page Giant 2010 #1—originally told in Justice League of America #163-166. Zatanna Zatara and her father John Zatara learn that Sindella (Zatanna’s mom and John’s wife), long thought to have been killed in a car accident, is actually still alive, having been held captive by evil Homo Magi wizards for years. The JLA rescues Sindella, but she dies helping them defeat the evil wizards. A funeral is then held for Sindella.

–REFERENCE: In the quasi-canonical Silver Age mini-series, JLA #46, and Identity Crisis. April. The next few months of Bat Year Ten are rough for the Caped Crusader as the messy four-part “mind-wipe scandal” will rock the superhero community to its core. The later parts of the “mind-wipe scandal” will be told primarily via flashbacks from Identity Crisis and The OMAC Project, but before we get there, the first part of the scandal occurs now—in the pages of the barely canonical Silver Age series, of which Batman appears in eleven out of twelve issues. (Silver Age, published in 2000, was done mainly as a fun tribute to the Silver Age era of comics and, therefore, contains enough continuity errors to make it virtually unplaceable on our timeline. However, its basic narrative is canon thanks to a reference in the “Tower of Babel” story, specifically in JLA #46.)[5] Onto a synopsis. Shortly after spying on the Justice League while they fight a returning Despero, the powerful cosmic super-villain Agamemno debuts by forming the Injustice League—not to be confused with the Injustice Gang or Secret Society of Super-Villains, which are both two entirely separate teams. His IJL team consists of Lex Luthor, Black Manta, Chronos, Dr. Light, Felix Faust, Mr. Element, Penguin, Sinestro, and Catwoman. (Note that Catwoman is also a current member of the Secret Society.) Agamemno’s IJL manages to magickally swap minds and bodies with the Justice League. Eventually, after quite a bit of toiling (including Batman stuck in Penguin’s body), the JLA is able to switch back to their correct minds and bodies thanks to a Thanagarian device known as the Absorbascon. Batgirl and Deadman form a new (one-shot) Seven Soldiers of Victory—comprising of themselves, Metamorpho, Blackhawk (Janos Prohaska), Mento, Shining Knight (Gardner Grayle), and Adam Strange. (The original Seven Soldiers—aka Law’s Legionnaires—are a WWII-era superhero team that was transplanted to the present last year.) The new Seven Soldiers, the JLA, the Challengers, the Green Lantern Corps (Chaselon, Medphyll, Tomar-Re, Katma Tui, Penelops, NautKeLoi, and Galius Zed), a platoon of Thanagarians, and a host of other heroes band together to defeat Agamemno’s IJL. While Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman are told that the Absorbascon caused a natural erasure of the villains’ knowledge of their secret IDs, this is a carefully crafted lie. In reality, the villains are mind-wiped by JLA member Zatanna. Note that Identity Crisis reveals that Zatanna has mind-wiped villains before, erasing their memories of certain delicate cases, especially ones like this where secret identities are exposed. In past years, the League had gotten into a bad habit of erasing villains’ memories after their secret identities had been outed. For example, Floronic Man, Matter Master, Felix Faust, Brainwave, and Dr. Destiny have all been wiped before, although Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman don’t know, nor do they know about the wipes that occur now. (They would definitely not approve of scrambling brains.) This Agamemno mind/body swap affair is the direct catalyst that causes Batman to begin collecting detailed info on his superhero pals and to begin formulating contingency plans in case something like this should happen again. Batman’s distrust of his friends is a mere twinkle in his eye at this point, but it will continue to burgeon as the years roll on.

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

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

–REFERENCE: In The New Titans #65. Bruce and Dick attend a charity event held by wealthy entrepreneur Walter Lanier.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 2 #4. Batman goes under the mind-control of an unknown super-villain. Green Arrow painfully shoots Batman in the shoulders with two arrows in order to break the spell. This story reference in Justice League of America Vol. 2 #4 is very vague and most likely references a specific Bronze Age encounter with a specific telepathic-powered villain, but I have no idea which encounter.

–REFERENCE: In Faces of Evil: Kobra #1—originally told in the Kobra series finale from DC Special Series #1 (1976). For the past year, government secret agent Jason Burr has been fighting against a global terrorist organization/apocalypse cult (the Kobra Cult) led by his twin brother Jeffrey Franklin Burr aka Lord Naga-Naga (better known simply as Kobra). Finally tracking Kobra’s HQ to a Lazarus Pit location in the Himalayas, Jason contacts Batman for assistance. Batman and Jason fight Kobra and his agents, but in the end the vile cult leader orders the execution of his brother. One of Kobra’s followers stabs Jason to death. Batman vows to bring Kobra to justice and solemnly returns to the States with Jason’s body in tow.

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

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #777-782. Although Batman is unaware of it, several of his rogues devise a plot to kill the Dark Knight which involves using Paul Sloan aka the alternate Two-Face. This is how the story goes. Actor Paul Sloan is hired by Joker, Riddler, Killer Moth, Penguin, Scarecrow, and Mad Hatter to play a pivotal role in a scheme which will supposedly result in Batman’s ultimate demise. Two-Face wants nothing to do with the other rogues, so they hire Sloan to become a fake Two-Face, a role which Sloan takes way too seriously. After finding out about the existence of a fake Two-Face, the real Two-Face gets a bit angry, kidnaps Sloan, mutilates him, and leaves him for dead. Scarecrow then saves Sloan’s life, only to torture and experiment on him for weeks.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #682. Batman does extenstive research into Joker’s psyche. Meanwhile, Dick shows off his new “Nightwing” costume to Batman. Dick won’t officially become Nightwing until our next numbered story. In fact, Dick has merely designed a new costume and doesn’t even have a name for his new persona yet.

–REFERENCE: In Infinite Crisis Aftermath: The Battle for Blüdhaven #4—originally told in Batman #8 (1941). Batman and Robin take down the green-skinned radioactive scientist Henry Ross, better known as Professor Radium.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Gotham Knights #46. The Spook makes his return and lures Batman and Robin to Gotham Prison, where he tries to kill the Caped Crusader as a live entertainment for the convicts. The Dynamic Duo easily defeat him. The Spook will spend four years in Arkham before he is transferred to Blackgate Penitentiary.

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

–REFERENCE: In Batman #491—originally told in Batman #379. Batman bests Mad Hatter (Jervis Tetch) and his new pet chimpanzee Carol Lewis. Mad Hatter goes to Arkham Asylum while the chimp gets locked up in the Gotham Zoo.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Shadow of the Bat #15—originally told in Detective Comics #511. Batman captures the debuting super-villain known as Mirage (Kerry Austin).

–FLASHBACK: From the second feature to Detective Comics #809—and also referenced in 52 #25, Batman #703, and The Batman Files. Originally told in Detective Comics #523-526 and Batman #357-359. Batman busts Tony Falco, the most prominent and famous Gotham mobster since Rupert Thorne. Looking to fill the vacant top dog spot (vacant since last year), a new gangster called The Squid (Lawrence Loman aka Clement Carp), takes over Falco’s leftovers. Batman goes toe-to-toe with the Squid and his goons, nearly getting killed in the process. But as soon as the Squid reigns supreme, the vicious half-man/half-crocodile known as Killer Croc (Waylon Jones) debuts with his own mob that includes henchmen Solomon Grundy, Robbie “Checkers” Harrigan, Doc Heller, and Slick. Killer Croc seemingly murders the Squid and becomes new king of Gotham. (Squid is indeed taken down-and-out, but he miraculously survives.) Soon after, Killer Croc teams with Joker to assemble a gang of super-villains, including the Getaway Genius, Captain Stingaree, Catman, Mr. Freeze, Tweedledee, and Tweedledum. The villains eventually squabble, thus tearing apart their short-lived union. Batman, Robin, the recently mind-wiped Catwoman, and Talia al Ghul easily capture several of the bad guys, who have already been beaten-up by Killer Croc. Batman and Robin then bust Killer Croc, shutting down his operations completely. (Note that, besides the sources attached to this item, there are a couple other Modern Age flashbacks that detail the origin of Killer Croc, but they are non-canon. Since there isn’t an official specific Killer Croc origin story in the Modern Age, the flashback from the second feature to ‘tec #809 and the references from 52 #25, Batman #703, and The Batman Files serve in that capacity, fleshing-out the altered Bronze Age narrative listed above. The original Bronze Age Killer Croc origin story was linked to Jason Todd’s debut as Robin, but this is not the case in the Modern Age. Although, a rookie Croc does feature in the upcoming Jason-as-Robin/Nightwing debut arc from Nightwing Vol. 2 #104-106. More on that when we get to it.) Following this item, as referenced in Batman #657, Batman keeps Mr. Freeze’s helmet and freeze-tank as trophies for the Batcave.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #703. Batman allows the Getaway Genius to escape, which confuses and enrages Robin. The Dark Knight then explains that lately the Getaway Genius has only been stealing chemotherapy drugs. The villain has been diagnosed with cancer and wishes only to prolong his life. Bruce then sets up a health insurance plan for the Getaway Genius, who retires from crime.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #867-870. Joker steals a jetpack and goes on an airborne killing spree across town. Batman and Robin stop him, but not before thirteen deaths. The 14th intended victim, Winslow Heath, is bombed with a lethal dose of Joker Venom, which fails to kill him, but gives him a permanent rictus-grin and wan white skin. Heath’s girlfriend was victim #13. Despite his miraculous survival, Heath delves into a catatonic state in which he will be confined to a hospital bed for over a decade. When he finally recovers, Heath will keep his Joker-esque façade hidden behind a mask and use a newly gained monetary fortune to slowly build a pharmaceutical company. Heath will harbor a secret goal to destroy Batman, whom he blames for both the death of his lover and the creation of so many Gotham super-villains.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Incorporated #2—originally told in Batman #180. Batman and Robin defeat the thrice resurrecting Death Man. Death Man will also inspire a copycat super-villain years later. Following that, Death Man will later resurface as “Lord Death Man” as well.

–FLASHBACK: From Secret Origins 80-Page Giant #1. Batman and Robin apprehend Penguin and retrieve the stolen Lapis Lazuli Horus Crown. The event is caught on video and broadcast on live TV. A young Tim Drake, who has been studying the Dynamic Duo for years, watches the footage and determines conclusively that Robin is the former Flying Grayson he watched four years ago at the circus. This flashback incorrectly labels Tim as being nine-years old. He should be eight.

–“Did Robin Die Tonight?” Part 1 by Max Allan Collins, Chris Warner, Mike DeCarlo, & Adrienne Roy (Batman #408 Part 1) June 1987
Late May. Robin, acting alone, battles Joker, who nearly kills the Boy Wonder. Back home, Batman argues with the injured Robin. When Batman threatens to fire the Boy Wonder, the latter demands to be treated as an adult. Bad blood is brewing. Batman benches Robin for what will be a couple weeks. This item is also shown via flashback from Batman #416 and referenced in Batman: Orphans #1 and Nightwing Vol. 2 #134. Note that Batman #408 is split into two pieces thanks to various retcons from Nightwing Vol. 2.

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 2 #134-135. Late May. The ongoing argument between Batman and Robin (from our previous item) continues. Robin asks once again to be treated as an adult since he will be turning seventeen-years-old in a month. But Batman won’t hear it and continues to chastise Robin for taking on Joker solo and nearly getting himself killed. Alfred patches-up Dick while the fight heats up in the Batcave. The argument gets so ugly that Dick resigns from his post, hops on a bus, and heads back home to New York City with every intention of never coming back to Gotham again! In New York, Dick spends the early summer days dating Liu. Writer Marv Wolfman tells us that Dick loses his virginity to Liu, but this is highly dubious. Dick definitely has had some sort of sexual relations with both Babs and Starfire by this point. Dick’s newest love interest, unfortunately, is in with a bad crowd, including Metal Eddie, leader of the gang known as the Tigers. Under Liu’s sexual spell, Dick joins the Tigers, but soon realizes that Liu and Eddie are simply using him to get information about Wayne Enterprises security systems to set up a big score. Broken-hearted, Dick returns home and tells Batman and Alfred about the planned Tiger robbery. Batman and Robin are ready and waiting and easily bust Liu, Eddie, and the Tigers. While the Dynamic Duo is reunited, things are incredibly tense and Bruce no longer trusts Dick (and vice-versa). Robin remains on serious thin ice with his mentor. Nightwing Vol. 2 #134-135 really sets the tone for the complete deterioration of Bruce and Dick’s relationship that will continue to happen over the course of the rest of the year. Another dubious bit by Wolfman: He places this flashback less than ten years prior to Bat Year 21. Since it occurs here and now, this means the notation should read eleven years prior to Bat Year 21 instead.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #713. Late May. Batman and Robin still aren’t getting along and things are only getting more strained as the days go by. Batman and Robin argue in the Batcave and Dick tells Bruce, “You can’t keep treating me like I’m twelve anymore!”

–“Nightwing: Year One – Ch. 1” by Scott Beatty/Chuck Dixon/Scott McDaniel (Nightwing Vol. 2 #101) March 2005
June—we must ignore the snowy weather. The relationship between Dick and Bruce has gotten even worse as of late—and now the shit finally hits the fan. Robin is fired (!) by Batman after losing a fight against Clayface II (Matt Hagen). After Dick storms off, Bruce tells Alfred the news. As referenced in The Batman Files, Batman will later realize (or claim), via a journal entry, that his firing of Dick at this moment was really his subconscious telling him that Dick had learned all he could as a sidekick and was ready to be his own man. Hindsight is twenty-twenty, but who knows if this is true, or if Batman, as he has done before in his journal, sugarcoats the situation, looking back with rose-tinted glasses.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Shadow of the Bat #34. June. Before leaving town, the fired Dick hands over his Robin costume to Batman. (This flashback supposedly occurs before Dick goes to college, but obviously that is totally incorrect.)

–“Nightwing: Year One – Ch. 2” by Scott Beatty/Chuck Dixon/Scott McDaniel (Nightwing Vol. 2 #102) March 2005
June. With Dick gone, Batman and Alfred put his Robin costume on display in the Batcave. Later, after a visit with Superman, Dick is inspired to become Nightwing! A hoodie-wearing Dick helps Superman stop a suicide bomber in Metropolis. Afterward, Dick returns to live and tour with the circus, chumming it up with his old friend Deadman. In Gotham, an angry Batman patrols alone and tells Alfred that he’ll never have another sidekick again. (Note that the mention of the Outsiders in this issue is a continuity error and must be ignored. The Outsiders have yet to debut.)

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #683. June. Dick is gone. Bruce jogs and works-out alongside an annoyed bike-riding Alfred, making a joke about how maybe he does need a partner with whom to train and fight crime. Ignore the snowfall in this scene as we are currently in June.

–“Did Robin Die Tonight?” Part 2 by Max Allan Collins, Chris Warner, Mike DeCarlo, & Adrienne Roy (Batman #408 Part 2) June 1987
June. Note that the first half of Batman #408, which details Joker injuring Robin, has already occurred a bit earlier on our timeline. Bruce goes on a date with Vicki Vale, who introduces him to Ma Gunn, a woman running a Crime Alley orphanage/school. (We are told that it is the anniversary of the Wayne murders, but that must be ignored as a continuity error since the date was altered post-Zero Hour.) Later that evening, Batman catches orphaned delinquent Jason Todd (whose father was killed by Two-Face) stealing the wheels and tires off the Batmobile. (This is also shown via flashback from Robin Vol. 2 #0, Batman #645, Batman #683, and Detective Comics #574 and referenced in Nightwing Vol. 2 #103 and The Batman Files). After Jason whacks Batman with a tire iron, the Dark Knight has a long conversation with the cigarette-smoking Jason in his apartment, in which he is squatting (and which also awesomely has a poster of the punk band Poison Idea hanging on the wall). Having earned Jason’s respect, he allows Batman to drop him off at Ma Gunn’s school. After Batman leaves, Jason is shocked to learn that Ma Gunn is running a criminal gang.

–“Just Another Kid on Crime Alley!” by Max Allan Collins, Ross Andru, Dick Giordano, & Adrienne Roy (Batman #409) July 1987
June. Picking up the morning after Batman #408 Part 2, Bruce and Vicki Vale visit Ma Gunn’s school none the wiser to her criminality. Later in the day, Batman consults Commissioner Gordon about Jason Todd’s family history. Shortly thereafter, Jason tells Batman the truth about Ma Gunn, helping the Dark Knight stop her from robbing a museum. Batman offers Jason a ride in the Batmobile. The boy excitedly and eagerly hops in the car and they take off.

–“Nightwing: Year One – Ch. 3” by Scott Beatty/Chuck Dixon/Scott McDaniel (Nightwing Vol. 2 #103) April 2005
June—picking up directly from Batman #409. Despite having just had a positive experience with Jason Todd, Batman seemingly changes attitude, restraining Jason and taking him into the Batcave. (This is all part of a test, which will continue in just a moment.) As seen in a flashback from Batman #645, Batman tells Alfred about Jason for the first time. Batman and Alfred then approach the bound-and-gagged kid, scaring him to test his mettle. In the Batcave, Jason quickly breaks out of his binding ropes and steals Dick’s old costume! Batman is highly impressed. Then, as seen in a flashback from Batman #683, Jason returns to his street clothes, but Batman tells him that he wants him for a partner, allowing him to symbolically claim the Robin costume as his own.[6] Immediately thereafter, Bruce legally adopts Jason and begins training him to become the next Robin. Just as he did with Dick, Batman has Jason swear allegiance to the Bat-Family via candlelight oath (as seen via flashback from Detective Comics #574). So much for living without a Boy Wonder! Meanwhile, at the circus, Dick tailors a Nightwing costume (an altered version of the previous Nightwing costume that he briefly showed to Bruce before). Deadman pays Bruce a visit and tells him his former student has gone solo. Bruce doesn’t care. Chapters 4 through 6 of “Nightwing: Year One” will take place after Jason’s Robin training is complete, roughly six months later.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Files. June. Bruce and Alfred argue about having brought young Jason Todd into the fold. Alfred strongly disapproves and gives Bruce an earful about it.

–REFERENCE: In 52 #25. Batman defeats Sewer King, a super-villain that lives in the sewers beneath Gotham and rules over a small army of orphaned child soldiers. Sewer King is a canon immigrant, having only appeared previously in the DC Animated Universe.

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

–“Super Powers” by Marc Guggenheim/Jerry Bingham (Batman Confidential #50-54) January 2011 to May 2011
July. This tale overlaps with the end of the previous “mind-wipe scandal” flashback. As I’ve already mentioned, when Batman returns to the JLA satellite, he is mind-wiped by Zatanna and company. While under mystical hypnosis, Bruce has a fevered flashback to “seven years ago” (should correctly be “three years ago”) to his JLA mission against Fortas. While under Zatanna’s trance, Bruce also recalls his early training days in China (when he was nineteen or twenty-years-old) where he was killed by a metahuman named Huairen. Yes KILLED. Apparently, Bruce died but was immediately resurrected by a metahuman named Ri. We also learn that Bruce, at this time, drank a magickal elixir that granted him temporary super-powers, donned a fancy cape-and-cowl costume, assumed the name “Dark Knight,” and briefly joined the Zhuguran (the Chinese version of the Justice League, which actually pre-dates the JLA by several years). Jeez Louise.

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

–REFERENCE: In Wonder Woman Vol. 3 #2—originally told in The Brave and The Bold #193. Batman teams with Nemesis (Tom Tresser) for the second time to take on a bunch of international terrorists, including high ranking members of the Council. In a climactic battle, the leader of the Council is killed (seemingly ending the Council’s reign of terror). After a helicopter crash during the fight, Nemesis goes missing and is presumed dead. In actuality, the Council continues its secret dealings. Nemesis will turn up worse-for-wear but alive in a Russian prison next year.

–NOTE: In Secret Origins Vol. 2 #20. Late August. Genius Barbara Gordon, who has just recently turned twenty-one-years-old, gets her Master’s Degree from Gotham University! Not to mention, Barbara has been campaigning to become the youngest Congresswoman in the history of the nation.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #472. Batman tangos with the wicked Queen of Hearts and her husband Jack of Clubs.

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

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Annual #3—originally told in Justice League of America #193. TO Morrow, unable to recreate any more working androids, kidnaps his one success (Red Tornado) in order to study him. While Morrow runs tests, Red Tornado erupts with energy and vanishes. In his place is the powerful Air/Wind Elemental Ulthoon (aka Tornado Champion aka Tornado Tyrant). While the JLA deals with Morrow and the raging Ulthoon, part of the latter’s being splits-off and communicates with Firestorm, revealing to him the true Elemental nature of Red Tornado. Firestorm uses his powers to bind the Elemental back within Red Tornado, ending the chaos.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #209. Batman meets super-villain/erotic snake-dancer Tiki Rivera.

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

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #617. Batman foils the Joker’s robbery attempt at the Antique Society.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Shadow of the Bat #8—originally told in Batman #64 (1951). Killer Moth kidnaps Bruce Wayne and discovers his secret identity! However, Moth is shot and receives a serious cranial injury. Subsequent surgery saves his life, but at the cost of severe brain trauma and loss of significant portions of his memory, including knowledge of Batman’s secret identity.

–REFERENCE: In 52 #30—originally told in Batman #226. Batman has an altercation with security guard Phil Reardon, who suffers a bizarre injury and winds up being able to see only through his fingertips. Reardon becomes the super-villain known as The Ten-Eyed Man and seeks immediate revenge against Batman, who he blames for his condition. Batman defeats the Ten-Eyed Man, putting him behind bars. If you will recall, over a decade ago, before Bruce became a superhero, he trained in the North African desert with the mystical Ten-Eyed Brotherhood (aka “The Ten-Eyed Tribes of the Empty Quarter” aka “The Ghost Tribes of the Ten-Eyed Brotherhood”). As mentioned in Batman #673, Bruce spent six months training with the Ten-Eyed Brotherhood. Superman #710 references Bruce’s training with the Ten-Eyed Brotherhood as well, although it gives a contradictory three month length instead of six. In any case, the question arises: how exactly is Phil Reardon connected to the Brotherhood? Short answer: we are never told. Suffice to say, Reardon must have some connection to the magickical “Ghost Tribes”—maybe he was once in the Brotherhood but lost his memory, and now cosmic fate has returned him to what he once was? Who knows? It’s a mystery for the ages.

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

–REFERENCE: In Batman: 80-Page Giant Vol. 2 #1. Batman comes across Wilson and Fiona, a husband and wife scientist duo that has been living in a bomb shelter deep beneath the sub-basement of a Gotham apartment building for nearly twenty years. Batman encourages them to come to the surface, ensuring their safety, but they choose to stay underground.

–REFERENCE: In Trinity #12—originally told in World’s Finest Comics #285-286. Batman and Superman defeat the team-up of Dr. Zodiac and Madame Zodiac.

–NOTE: In Secret Origins Vol. 2 #20. Early November. Babs is elected to Congress! At age twenty-one, she becomes the youngest person ever elected to Congress in the history of the nation. She will serve for roughly five months before stepping down early to become the head of the Gotham Library, where she has worked on-and-off for the past few years. Note that Babs, despite her young age, has also recently obtained an ALA-accredited Master’s Degree, making her an official legal librarian. She’s basically the most accomplished twenty-one-year-old in the history of America.

–NOTE: In a reference in Birds of Prey #1 and a reference in Batgirl: Year One #9. Barbara Gordon gets engaged to her boyfriend Jason Bard!

–REFERENCE: In Robin Vol. 2 #153—originally told in World’s Finest Comics #28 (1947). Batman apprehends the super-villain known as The Glass Man.

–“Scars” by Kelley Puckett/Jim Balent/Rick Burchett (Batman: Batgirl—Girlfrenzy! #1) June 1998
When Victor Zsasz murders one of Batgirl’s friends, she makes it her personal vendetta to bring the slasher to justice at all costs. Batgirl locates Zsasz’s hideout and takes him down seconds before Batman arrives on the scene for the same objective. The Dark Knight then tells Batgirl that he has an important job in Nepal and wants her help. Batgirl, however, strained from the loss of her friend says no thanks and that she needs a break. Batman’s important job in Nepal is likely the upcoming trip to Ra’s al Ghul’s Himalayan fortress, which takes place in the next item on the chronology, the quasi-canonical Batman: Son of the Demon. Thus, the end of “Scars” likely overlaps with the beginning of the Son of the Demon flashback.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #683, Red Hood: The Lost Days #1, and Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #2—based on Batman: Son of the Demon (1987). Batman travels to the Himalayas to assist Ra’s al Ghul in a fight against international terrorist Qayin, the man who supposedly murdered Talia’s mother Melisande. (The Qayin story is merely a League of Assassins lie, used to lure Batman in.) After sharing romance in the Ra’s al Ghul’s mountain stronghold, the Dark Knight and Talia flee to a League of Assassins camp in the desert. There, the romance continues as Bruce impregnates Talia! Of course, she keeps the pregnancy a secret from Bruce. NOTES: Despite the fact that Batman: Son of the Demon is a post-Crisis story and its essential narrative elements are canonical, the story itself, as Grant Morrison says, is “kind-of-out-of-continuity,” making it, at best, worthy of a mere reference/flashback note. Morrison admits to accidentally screwing-up a lot of specific details of Son of the Demon due to the fact that they “hadn’t read it in a long time.” A location change, making Qayin a red herring, and a change in how Damian was conceived are the critical differences that Morrison is quick to point out. But in truth there are a couple more errors, including, most blatantly, the ending where Damian winds up adopted by a foster family. Author Matthew Manning, in The Batman Files, inexplicably doubles-down on Morrison’s continuity errors, revealing that Talia wrote a letter to Bruce (never mailed) shortly after the events of Son of the Demon. The letter includes reference to the impossible ending where Damian winds up in a foster home. Damian finally delivers this letter upon moving to Gotham permanently, years later, so it is possible the letter is bogus, merely a part of some psy-op mindfuckery on the part of Talia. In any case, flashbacks in both Batman #683 and Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #2 put the baby-producing romance portion of Son of the Demon (at the very least) into proper continuity. (Note that the flashback from Judd Winick’s Red Hood: The Lost Days, which shows Batman and Talia kissing, alludes to Son of the Demon, although it shows Batman wearing the wrong costume.) Morrison, in an attempt to fix their mistakes, claims that any errors in the original story were “corrected” by Superboy-Prime’s reality altering punches in Infinite Crisis. Therefore, technically we could include Son of the Demon as an actual numbered entry on this list, with a side-note explaining that major elements of the story are different due to Superboy-Prime’s meddling from the future. However, I’ve chosen not to since I’ve already listed other quasi-canonical stories (even those rendered-so by in-story events) as bullet notes instead. Even Crisis on Infinite Earths: The Compendium lists this story as occurring on an alternate timeline (on Earth-85, to be exact). So, to reiterate: courtesy of Superboy-Prime, Son of the Demon equals “kind-of-out-of-continuity” (with its essential plot elements remaining a part of official canon thanks to a couple of legit flashbacks in other titles). And, last but not least, Son of the Demon itself makes reference to an al Ghul story from DC Special Series #15 (1978). I think it’s safe to say that the narrative from DC Special Series #15 is non-canon due to the fact that its only reference comes from a source that is already on thin continuity ice.[7]

–REFERENCE: In Seven Soldiers: Bulleteer #3—originally told in Batman #69. Selina’s estranged brother Karl Kyle appears as a new criminal called King of Cats. Karl Kyle’s publicity stunt will be a one time affair that will land him in jail for the better part of a decade, following which we won’t really see or hear from him much.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn #10. Batman gets captured and blindfolded by Killer Moth, but still manages to take him and four henchmen down.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn #9. Batman ups the credibility of his Matches Malone character by running with and earning the trust of the Two-Bear Brothers, Nixon Two-Bear and Kennedy Two-Bear. Matches will stay close associates with the Two-Bears for the next decade-plus.

–REFERENCE: In Hellblazer and Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for Swamp Thing #1. Batman meets and gets to know John Constantine.

–REFERENCE: In JLA Incarnations #4 Part 1 and Secret Origins Vol. 2 #50. Things have been quite horrible for the JLA so far this year. In addition to the “mind-wipe scandal”/sexual assault cover-up and the death of Red Tornado, some other bad things occur now. Black Canary grieves over the recent death of her mom Dinah Drake Lance (the original Black Canary), who has died thanks to radiation poisoning obtained at the hands of the cosmic being known as Aquarius. (Aquarius also killed Black Canary’s dad, Larry Lance, not too long ago as well.) Barry Allen’s fiancée Fiona Webb has left him and he is on trial for the murder of Reverse-Flash (Professor Zoom aka Eobard Thawne).[8] Hal Jordan can no longer be relied upon due to his commitment to the Green Lantern Corps. And Batman and Aquaman have simply become angry at the world. All of this baggage comes out as rage and combativeness during regularly scheduled JLA meetings–meetings which Superman and Wonder Woman have stopped attending.

–REFERENCE: In Secret Origins Vol. 2 #6 Part 2. November. Lucius Fox visits the tiny Eastern European country of Markovia. During his visit, civil war breaks out between the ruling royalty led by Prince Brion Markov and a wannabe dictator Baron Bedlam. Bedlam’s army commits mass genocide overnight. Fearing for his friend’s safety (and sickened by the injustice of war), Batman proposes intervening in the conflict. However, the JLA votes not to interfere both due to the messy political nature of the situation and due to the fact that the US Government has expressly forbidden them from taking action. Batman is furious.

–“Balance” by John Ostrander/Val Semeiks (JLA Incarnations #4 Part 1) October 2001
November. The JLA satellite detects alien entry into Earth’s atmosphere, but the JLAers are all too distracted by their own problems to properly investigate. This allows a legit alien invasion force known as The Debris, led by the intergalactic warlord Koll, to park unnoticed just outside the planetary orbit. Meanwhile, the JLA meets for their regularly scheduled gathering and the usual bickering occurs. Batman quits the team in dramatic fashion! While the rest of the superhero community fights Koll’s invasion force, which completely demolishes the JLA Satellite, Batman turns his attention to the Markovian Civil War. (Note that “Balance” is a retcon of the Bronze Age tale known as “The War of the Worlds” aka “The Earth-Mars War.” The bullet points are pretty similar, but due to J’onn and Mars having totally different histories in the Modern Age, the story was altered by John Ostrander to basically become “The Earth-Debris War.”) As referenced in JLA Secret Files and Origins #2 Part 2, this episode gets recorded into the official JLA case-files under the title of “The War of the Worlds.”

–FLASHBACK: From Secret Origins Vol. 2 #6 Part 2—and referenced in The Outsiders #1. Originally told in Batman and The Outsiders #1-2. November. Batman, having literally just quit the JLA, teams-up with a disguised Black Lightning and, international-incident-be-damned, they crash into Markovia in an attempt to take out Baron Bedlam. This proves to be difficult. Thankfully, there are a bunch of other superheroes already involved in the Markovian conflict. Batman and Black Lightning join forces with Metamorpho, the amnesiac Halo, Katana (Tatsu Yamashiro), and Prince Brion Markov, who has just been turned into the superhero Geo-Force by Dr. Helga Jace. (Katana wields the famous Soultaker blade, in which resides the soul of Katana’s dead husband Maseo Yamashiro.) After these heroes defeat Baron Bedlam, the Dark Knight officially forms the group into his own anti-JLA vigilante team: The Outsiders. With Batman as their leader, the Outsiders are the newest, toughest crime-fighters in the world. The team makes a public debut, getting photographed by a reporter.[9]

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to Detective Comics #782. Late November—the anniversary of Batman’s parents’ deaths. Batman places two roses at the Crime Alley murder site.

–REFERENCE: In Batman and The Outsiders #28, Secret Origins Vol. 2 #6 Part 2, and The Batman Files. Late November. Bruce decides to help out his teenage Outsider protégés. He obtains a new legal identity for Halo: “Gabrielle Doe.” Despite disapproval of Katana’s history as a hired killer, Bruce also decides to go all-in and support her. Thus, he provides both young ladies with free room and board in the luxurious vacant Wayne Tower penthouse. Halo and Katana immediately form a big sis/little sis relationship, which is also a bit of an odd-couple situation since Katana is dark and brooding whereas Halo is a more innocent and naively optimistic. Despite only being a few years older than Gaby, Tatsu is officially made Gaby’s legal guardian. These two will live in Wayne Tower for the next year or so. Bruce also begins investigating Halo’s past in an effort to help her recall her origins. Meanwhile, the Outsiders move their operating HQ into the Bat-Bunker of Wayne Tower. Note that, according to a reference in The Batman Files, Batman will sometimes argue with Katana over her use of lethal force (although we won’t see these clashes on our timeline below). Since I’m fairly certain this is an original reference by author Matthew Manning, I’m not sure if this means use of lethal force while in current action, attempted use of lethal force while in current action, or previous history as a killer. Could be all three.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Shadow of the Bat #47—originally told in Batman and The Outsiders #3. Late November. Batman and the Outsiders battle Agent Orange.

–REFERENCE: In Swamp Thing Vol. 2 #53. Late November. The corrupt Mayor Hamilton Hill is impeached and ousted, replaced by Mayor George Skowcroft.

–REFERENCE: In Green Arrow/Black Canary Wedding Special Part 2 and The Batman Files. Early December. Bruce meets gorgeous pale-skinned astronomer Natasha Knight (aka Natalia Knight) at a Wayne Manor gala. He instantly falls for her charm and beauty, but soon discovers that she is the thieving super-villain known as Nocturna. Batman chases after Nocturna and her partner, her adoptive brother Anton Knight aka The Night-Thief. The villains escape in Nocturna’s signature hot air balloon, but not before she leaves a poetic note and check for $100,000 (stolen money, of course) for the Wayne Foundation to fund an observatory. Batman keeps both of these items. Not long after, Batman squares-off against Nocturna again and they kiss, becoming lovers. Meanwhile, the Night-Thief changes his name to the Night-Slayer after he goes on a murder spree. Catwoman busts Night-Slayer. Batman will tango with Nocturna on-and-off again for the rest of the month until their relationship burns out and she disappears from Gotham—(although these encounters with Nocturna won’t be shown below, so we’ll just have to imagine them). Note that, in the Bronze Age, the “Nocturna Saga” was a long arc that lasted from late 1983 right up to The Crisis on Infinite Earths (1986). But in the Modern Age, all we get is a monthlong series of vague encounters with Nocturna that overlap with a ton of other adventures. This December of Bat Year Ten, which starts now, is one of the most jam-packed portions of the Modern Age chronology.

–REFERENCE: In Batman and The Outsiders Annual #2 and The Outsiders #17-20—originally told in Batman and The Outsiders #9-10. Batman and the Outsiders battle and defeat the debuting Masters of Disaster (New Wave, Windfall, Coldsnap, Heatstroke, and Shakedown).

–REFERENCE: In Batman and The Outsiders #28—originally told in Batman and The Outsiders #11-13 (“THE TRUTH ABOUT KATANA”). Tatsu then buys a pet kitten named Tiger for Gaby. The Outsiders come up against Gotham gangster Morgan Jones, defeating his top man Mayme.

–FLASHBACK: From DC Universe Legacies #5—originally told in Batman and The Outsiders Annual #1. Batman and the Outsiders engage in a very public battle against the debuting government-sanctioned asshole superhero team known as The Force of July (Major Victory, Lady Liberty, Mayflower, Silent Majority, and Sparkler). The Force of July is directly overseen by the US Government’s American Security Agency (ASA) and its leaders—B Eric Blairman, Laraine Blairman, and Abraham Lincoln Carlyle.

–REFERENCE: In Justice Society of America Vol. 3 #12 and The Batman Files—originally told in Batman and The Outsiders #14-15. Maxie Zeus forms a metahuman super-villain team known as The New Olympians (Antaeus, Argus, Diana, Nox, and Vulcanus). Batman and the Ousiders make quick work of Maxie’s new team.

–FLASHBACK: From The Outsiders #21—and referenced in Batman and The Outsiders #28-29. Originally told in Batman and The Outsiders #16-20. Batman discovers Halo’s true identity—that of midwestern teen Violet Harper. Halo goes to live with her parents in Missouri only to learn she has criminal ties to Tobias Whale, (leader of the criminal cartel known as “the 100”), Syonide, and Dr. Moon. Meanwhile, Simon Stagg’s henchmen kill Metamorpho. Batman and the Outsiders expose Metamorpho’s corpse to the meteor that originally gave him powers. This resurrects their pal, but sends them to ancient Egypt. Ancient Egyptian wizard Ahk-Ton then turns a mind-controlled Metamorpho against Batman and the Outsiders. The Outsiders then defeat Ahk-Ton, restoring Metamorpho in the process, before returning to present day. Back home, the Outsiders rescue Halo from Whale, Syonide, and Moon, but Halo’s birth parents are killed during the battle. Halo returns to Gotham to live with Tatsu.

–REFERENCE: In Batman and The Outsiders #28. Batman begins working on an experimental radiation detector that is activated by any strange or supernatural energy. Batman adds this new detector to his utility belt, but it won’t actually be operational until next year. The Caped Crusader will tinker with his new device, moving forward.

–FLASHBACK: From Secret Origins Vol. 2 #6 Part 2—originally told in Batman and The Outsiders #22-23 (“THE TRUTH ABOUT HALO”). Batman and the Outsiders discover that Halo’s powers and past are linked to the mysterious other-dimensional beings known as The Aurakles—not to be confused with the cosmic being known as Aurakles. (Halo is one of the Aurakles, but trapped in human form.) When Dr. Helga Jace helps Halo regain all her memories, the Aurakles are alerted and they aren’t happy. When the Aurakles attempt to take Halo away to their dimension, Batman and the Outsiders are able to save her and defeat them.

–NOTE: In the conclusion to JLA Incarnations #4. While the Outsiders are here to stay as a tight unit that is firing on all pistons thanks to Batman’s leadership, the same can’t be said for the JLA. Batman’s resignation has devastating repercussions for the League. Despite having banded together (without Batman) to successfully defeat Koll and his alien hordes two weeks ago during the “Earth-Debris War,” the JLA is in shambles. Aquaman voices his disgust with the League and orchestrates the immediate dismantling of the team. In quick succession, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Flash all wind up leaving the JLA. Without this core of key players centering the lineup, the JLA officially disbands. Aquaman immediately announces that he will re-found a new JLA with allies he can actually rely on. A day later, Aquaman delivers on his promise. The new JLA is stuck with a weakened lineup featuring Vibe, Vixen, Elongated Man, Gypsy, Steel (Hank Heywood III), and Firestorm, with the “Big Three” senior members replaced by Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, and Zatanna. Not exactly DC’s Trinity, eh? Just to further prove how weakened the JLA is at this point, they set up a new headquarters in Detroit. (The satellite was completely destroyed by Koll.) NOTE: The formation of the new Detroit-based JLA, according to JLA Incarnations #5, takes place “weeks” before The Crisis on Infinite Earths, hence placement here.

–NOTE: In a reference in the second feature to Countdown #36. Batman has nothing to do with this item, but he would be well-aware of what happens. The New Teen Titans are burdened by the terrible “Judas Contract” episode. Telluric-powered Teen Titan Terra (Geo-Force’s half-sister Tara Markov) betrays the team, joining sides with Deathstroke. (Terra is also sleeping with Deathstroke, whose dalliance is not only manipulative, but also statutory rape of a minor.) When Terra and Deathstroke attack the Teen Titans, Deathstroke’s son Jericho turns on his dad and officially joins the team’s ranks, helping them win the day. Sadly, Terra is killed during the fray. Geo-Force and the Teen Titans are shaken to their roots.

–FLASHBACK: From Justice League of America Vol. 2 #0—originally told in Tales of the Teen Titans #50. Bruce, Dick, and Diana attend the wedding of Donna Troy and Terry Long. (Superman is security.) At the wedding, Bruce makes peace with Dick, Diana, and presumably Clark too. He hasn’t gotten along with them all year, but is finally ready to bury the hatchet.

–FLASHBACK: From Justice League of America Vol. 2 #0. Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman put aside their differences and meet up in spite of their recent disagreements. At Challengers Mountain, the Big Three discuss the ineffectiveness of the new Detroit-based JLA incarnation.

–FLASHBACK: From Justice League of America Vol. 2 #0. Now that Wonder Woman and Superman have recently been getting along with Batman again, they visit Batman in the Batcave where Bruce excitedly and happily tells them about his protege Jason Todd. Bruce has faith that Jason will be the best Robin ever.

–REFERENCE: In Convergence: Batman and Robin #2. Batman continues training Jason, teaching him, among other new things, the team-up move known as the “Sprang-Aparo Combination.”

–“Nightwing: Year One – Ch. 4-6” by Scott Beatty/Chuck Dixon/Scott McDaniel (Nightwing Vol. 2 #104-106) April 2005 to May 2005
December. Nightwing has been active for six months, but primarily on low-profile missions with the Teen Titans (and never on Batman’s hometown turf of Gotham). But Nightwing finally decides that he’s ready to cross the line and return home. Nightwing makes his presence felt in Gotham by messing with Joker inside Arkham, introducing himself to Commissioner Gordon, and then teaming-up with Batgirl. The duo takes out Mr. Polka-Dot at the My Alibi strip club before giving Penguin a hard time. (Note that Penguin is seen in his Iceberg Lounge being accosted by Nightwing, Batgirl, and Harvey Bullock. Since Penguin wouldn’t own the Iceberg Lounge quite yet, we must either ignore the location of this scene or re-imagine it as occurring at Penguin’s smaller Bird’s Nest club, which he owned prior to the Iceberg.) Moving on, Batman officially appoints Jason Todd, who has been training for nearly six months, as the new Robin. The Caped Crusader then sends his new Boy Wonder on one final test. Robin must “run the gauntlet” across the Gotham rooftops and confront Two-Face. In this case “Two-Face” is played by Alfred in disguise, while Batman is disguised as one of Two-Face’s henchmen. However, Alfred and Bruce put their costumes on too early and en route to the final destination, they are attacked by Killer Croc and his goons, who are trying to start a turf war with Two-Face. Bruce gets shot in the chest and winds up in the care of Leslie Thompkins while Alfred (still disguised as Two-Face) is kidnapped by Killer Croc. Meanwhile, Jason meets Dick and they sure don’t get along. But after a short time, the two race through Gotham together and are able to save Alfred and take down Killer Croc. Afterward, Alfred sends his real Nightwing costume (the one he showed Bruce before with the yellow-stripes). Note that Nightwing Vol. 2 #104-106 states outright that this is Killer Croc’s debut. This is totally false and must be ignored. While it’s true that Killer Croc hasn’t been around for very long and would be meeting Two-Face and Jason Todd for the first time, the scaly super-villain already made his debut earlier this year—in an altered version of a Bronze Age tale from Detective Comics #523-526 and Batman #357-359, which originally featured the debuts of Robin III and Killer Croc. The Modern Age version, listed above, details Killer Croc’s debut but does not include Jason at all. Beatty’s error comes from trying to mash-up the original Croc/Jason Bronze Age tale with Nightwing’s origin as well. Secret Origins Vol. 2 #13 also shows a bogus flashback of Jason wearing his Bronze Age circus gear, being gifted a Robin costume from Dick. As we’ve already seen on our chronology with Secret Origins Vol. 2 #13 a handful of times before, this is another non-canon scene that incorrectly references a prior continuity. Similarly, Legends of the Dark Knight #100 is an out-of-continuity issue that contains a non-canon Jason Todd origin story and a non-canon Dick Grayson origin story.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Files. December. Dick meets with Bruce, giving him a cheeky little souvenir: a photo of himself on his recent first night out as Nightwing, which he purchased for a few hundred bucks.

–“Two of a Kind”/”Second Chance” by Max Allan Collins/Dave Cockrum (Batman #410-411) August 1987 to September 1987
December. Jason has just recently finished his training. Batman tells Jason that he scored the giant penny during one of the original Dynamic Duo’s encounters with Two-Face. This, as we know, is incorrect. He got the penny in a solo confrontation with Joe Coyne. The new Robin learns that his father (Willis Todd) was killed by Two-Face, meets Commissioner Gordon, and helps Batman bust Two-Face.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #484 and Catwoman Vol. 3 #83—originally told in Batman #386 and Detective Comics #553. Roman Sionis, Bruce’s childhood friend and current head of Janus Cosmetics (having taken over the company after secretly murdering his own parents), ruins his company with several bad business decisions. After Wayne Enterprises takes over the company, Sionis loses his CEO position. This, coupled with a break-up with famous supermodel Circe, causes Sionis to turn evil. He becomes the skull-faced super-villain Black Mask, cultivating a gang of violent masked followers known as The False Face Society. Black Mask begins horribly burning the faces off of Wayne Enterprises directors and permanently scars Circe’s face. Eventually, Batman and Robin shut down the False Face Society. Batman then defeats Black Mask in a solo fight at Sionis’ mansion, during which a large fire erupts, fusing the imprint of villain’s mask permanently to his face.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 2 #3. Batman teaches a defensive maneuver to Black Lightning. We can assume that Batman regularly trains his other Outsiders as well.

–FLASHBACK: From Christmas With the Super-Heroes #2. December—a couple days before Christmas. Dick meets with Alfred in the Batcave and gives him another one of his old Robin costumes. Bruce, preoccupied with studying evidence for an unspecified case, mostly ignores Dick, but they do chat briefly before Dick departs. Alfred puts the Robin costume on display in the Batcave. Dick is wearing a Hudson University sweater in this scene, but don’t be fooled; he dropped out last year. Later that night, Batman returns home from patrol in an injured condition. Alfred puts decorating the Batcave for X-mas on hold to tend to the Dark Knight.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman & Robin #23. Batman shows-off his new Robin to Nightwing. During a street-fight with some thugs, Dick says Jason is both “reckless” and “a little rough around the edges,” but also comments that he makes a fine new Boy Wonder.

–FLASHBACK: From Robin Vol. 2 #0. Batman and Robin kick ass in the sewers against some random baddies.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #416. Despite having just given Jason the stamp of approval in regard to talent and crime-fighting ability, Nightwing has a few choice words about Jason once the new Boy Wonder departs. Nightwing gets in Batman’s face and accuses Batman of using Jason as a replacement for him, to which the Dark Knight takes great offense and makes a strong denial. This argument will cause Batman and Nightwing to basically cease communication with one another, except for a couple of quick exchanges, for the next ten-and-a-half-months!

–FLASHBACK: From Joker’s Asylum: Scarecrow #1. Scarecrow has been loose for the past several months and during that entire time has been posing as a legit psychiatrist in a small town outside of Gotham. The evil Dr. Crane trails one of his young clients to a teenage slumber party. Just like a Wes Craven movie, Scarecrow terrorizes the party-goers as terrifyingly as he can until Batman shows up to clean his clock. This flashback is narrated entirely by Joker himself, so much of it may be apocryphal. However, its basic elements are most likely canonical.



  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: Secret Origins Vol. 2 began publication in 1986, right around the time of Crisis on Infinite Earths. This has made placement of its early issues difficult for some fans and scholars. However, issues #1-5 feature origin tales of Earth-2 Superman, Earth-2’s Crimson Avenger, Captain Marvel, and Earth-4’s Golden Age Blue Beetle (Dan Garrett), and Silver Age Earth-1 Firestorm. Thus, these first five issues are unequivocally Golden Age Earth-2 and Silver/Bronze Age Earth-1 timeline material. Issue #6 starts a new split format, containing two origin stories instead of one. Issue #6 is a little trickier because the first part acts as the final pre-Crisis origin (featuring Golden Age Earth-1 Batman) while the second part officially switches the title to the Modern Age (featuring the Modern Age Outsiders origin tale). However tricky that may be, it gives us a definitive pre-Crisis/post-Crisis marker for the Secret Origins Vol. 2 series within issue #6. As such, Secret Origins Vol. 2 #6 Part 2 is the first part of the series that takes place in the Modern Age.
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: Very few people will know that Kathy is still actually alive. Batman and his inner circle will have absolutely no idea. One of the few privileged enough to keep this secret will be Kathy’s closest and dearest relative, her niece and former sidekick Bette Kane. We know this based upon small mentions in the Beast Boy series and Teen Titans Vol. 3 series. Bette Kane, who is now using the superhero name “Flamebird,” will soon move to Los Angeles.
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: Here are the confusing facts in regard to Huntress: Year One. Batman is wearing his black-insignia costume. (This is a continuity error no matter how you spin it.) Catwoman is a villain and wearing her grey costume. She tells Huntress that she and Batman have been playing “cat and mouse” games for three years. (Catwoman’s situation places us prior to her mind-wipe, which occurs later this year. She would likely be wearing a cape at this juncture, but she wore a lot of different costumes, so this lack of cape is no big deal. In regard to the “cat and mouse” comment, that doesn’t make much sense. The Bat and the Cat have had sexual tension for a nine years now. We should probably ignore most of what Catwoman says since she is not the most truthful person anyway. Although, she does say she is 29-years old, which may be true.) Babs is a legal librarian, palling around with Washington attorneys. (This implies that Babs already has her Master’s Degree and is campaigning for Congress, which also places us here in Year Ten.)
  4. [4]PURPLEGLOVEZ (TIPTUP JR 94): The timeline of Huntress: Year One is up for debate. In original post-Crisis history (pre-Zero Hour), Huntress debuted after the death of Jason Todd. However, Huntress: Year One reveals that Huntress was active while Barbara Gordon was still Batgirl, before The Killing Joke and A Death in the Family. If we place Huntress’s debut as late as it can possibly go, in the February before the Joker’s disabling of Barbara Gordon (Year 11), then it would take place after George Skowcroft’s appointment as mayor. The only other timeline clues are Catwoman’s claims about playing “cat and mouse” with Batman for three years and that she is 29-years-old—but can we trust Selina Kyle to tell the truth about these things? So, some people do place the debut of Huntress earlier, sometimes prior to the introduction of Jason Todd, with speculation that the mayor in this story could be Skowcroft or Hamilton Hill himself (which the Batman Chronology Project has done here). I don’t think the mayor shown in Huntress: Year One is Hamilton Hill. Their appearances are different and their storylines/agendas seem way too distinct. It could theoretically be Skowcroft—but once again, the appearances don’t exactly match. In my opinion, Huntress: Year One takes place next year—and the mayor from Huntress: Year One is an unnamed man that defeats Skowcroft in a formal election.

    COLLIN COLSHER: As stated Huntress: Year One is very difficult to place. If it goes here, then Hill should be mayor. If it goes next year, then we should imagine the mayor that is shown as a new character that immediately follows Skowcroft for an interim run in office. It’s also possible that the mayor shown in Huntress: Year One, even if we keep it right here on our timeline, is a separate character that bridges the gap between Hill and Skowcroft. This is definitely a debatable headcanon issue.

    PURPLEGLOVEZ (TIPTUP JR 94): Huntress: Year One is indeed a head-scratcher. Batman would definitely have the yellow oval no matter what. My main concern, though, is Helena’s retconned debut as Huntress within the overall sequence of Bat-events. Prior to Huntress: Year One, she debuted after Jason Todd’s death. But now we have her debuting when Batgirl is active. Since there are no other stories or flashbacks that depict Huntress at this point in time, I like to have her show up as late as possible and not be active for years with no chronicled adventures—but the nature of Batgirl and Catwoman’s situations and Batman’s costume do make Huntress: Year One‘s placement up for debate.

    One thing that especially baffles me is Batman making a big deal out of sidelining/firing Batgirl. What was this supposed to imply? That it’s early in her career? Towards the end of it? A tie-in to Babs questioning her Batgirl future in “Nightwing Year One”? It’s strange.

    Plus, Huntress: Year One majorly shakes up Gotham’s criminal underground but is never followed-up on (kind of a shame.) And the OG series can’t be relied on for clues since Huntress: Year One completely obliterates it. Then there’s Two-Face: Year One asserting that Franco Bertinelli is alive during The Long Halloween (yeesh.)

    Amazingly, Huntress’ debut was not marked in the DCU Secret Files 2000 timeline, nor does she appear in Len Wein’s DCU Legacies. So, I guess the mayor remains a curiosity… I wish they would’ve mentioned his name! But if we presume that this mayor is not Hamilton Hill, then we can probably assume he doesn’t stay in office long after Batman brings the evidence of his corruption to light.

  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: The idea behind Silver Age was that it would contain anachronisms aplenty. Here are some of these anachronisms (more commonly known as continuity errors): The earliest version of the Teen Titans is shown when, at this point, Robin would be Nightwing and the lineup would be different. Chief Miles Clancy O’Hara is shown, but he’s dead by now. This should be his younger relative instead. Green Arrow has no goatee. Snapper Carr is still present as the JLA’s mascot. The JLA is still operating out of their Happy Harbor Secret Sanctuary. Young Robby Reed gives the H-Dial to the JLA, which causes them to turn into new superheroes so they can defeat the Injustice League. In Modern Age canon, Robby doesn’t debut until much later. And, finally, there is a hyper-anachronistic Metal Men appearance that contradicts their Modern Age history and violates the fact that Batman is supposed to be unfamiliar with them.
  6. [6]BRAD / JACK JAMES: At first glance Batman #408 Part 2/Batman #409 and “Nightwing: Year One” seem to contradict each other, telling conflicting narratives. In the former, Batman catches Jason stealing the wheels off the Batmobile and they have a long discussion, after which they shake hands and Jason enters Ma Gunn’s School for a day before being recruited as Robin. We see Batman driving Jason to the Batcave for the first time and offering him the job of Robin on the final page of issue #409. In the latter, Jason is caught stealing the wheels the exact same way, but Batman changes gears after their apartment conversation, becoming much harsher on the terrified thief—tying him up, gagging him, and dragging him to the Batcave, after which Jason escapes and wears Dick’s old Robin costume (as opposed to the other version where he is offered the job and given the costume). However, both stories can definitely be reconciled. The best way to do that is what we’ve done here on the Batman Chronology Project, mashing the two together in a way that makes sense—with Batman going back-and-forth as part of a test for Jason. Furthermore, The Batman Files and Nightwing Vol. 2 #103 both reference Batman #408 Part 2/Batman #409, so even the publishers and creators hint at a mashed-up version.
  7. [7]JACK JAMES / COLLIN COLSHER: Grant Morrison says that the conception of Damian essentially occurs during a sexual assault—with Talia secretly slipping Batman a philter and then seducing him while he is under the influence. Morrison specifically refers to Batman and Talia’s conceptive sexual encounter as the former being “drugged [as part of] some insane eugenics program.” Sure, Ra’s al Ghul’s original goal was a eugenics program—to mate his daughter with the Caped Crusader. We can’t deny that. But what kind of agency did Talia have? Did she go off plan when she and Bruce actually fell in love with each other? Was this akin to She’s All That with Talia in the Freddie Prinze Jr role? Obviously, this isn’t Morrison’s interpretation, since the author clearly views Talia as a despicable villain, 100% in cahoots with her dad, right from the get go. Funny thing, Morrison’s reference to the conception of Damian comes from Mike Barr’s Son of the Demon, a story in which Talia is more or less a sympathetic character that has legitimately fallen in love with Batman. In Son of the Demon, Talia is more manipulated into being a villain by her evil father, rather than being truly evil herself. In Son of the Demon, there is no drugging, no sexual assault.

    Thus, Morrison’s rape narrative doesn’t jibe with the theme of its influencing story. Batman also never once refers to any of their sexual encounters as rape in any other comics, nor does he insinuate that any non-consensual intercourse ever occurred. Of course, Morrison admittedly failed to properly read/research Son of the Demon, so they got their facts incorrect—which is technically neither here nor there since authors can retcon things how they please. However, in The Batman Files recap of Damian’s conception, writer Matthew Manning ignores Morrison’s rape narrative in favor of a more direct adaptation of Son of the Demon instead, playing to Talia’s original origins in the Silver Age and early Modern Age where she was always a sympathetic super-villain character. It really isn’t until Greg Rucka’s Death and the Maidens that she goes off the deep end and takes up the mantle of pure evil in the vein of her father. (There’s something appropriate about Batman’s last story in the Modern Age—Morrison’s Batman Incorporated Vol. 2—being about him fighting a former lover, who has since lost her way. Aside from adding narrative depth, it harkens back to the Joker’s “one bad day” tragedy concept that’s present in many of Batman storylines and villain origins.)

    Drugs were definitely in Batman’s system during the night Damian was conceived. However, it is clear that Bruce and Talia—while in a strange position, not only being at odds as hero and villain, but also hooking up under the dark cloud of Ra’s al Ghul’s expressed intent to have them mate—actually legitimately fell in love with one another. This can be gleaned from the pages of Son of the Demon, Manning’s references in The Batman Files, countless comics from the Silver Age and early Modern Age, and (paradoxically) even in some of Morrison’s other depictions of their relationship as well. The Batman Chronology leans toward the idea that Damian was not conceived during an act of rape—not just because of what evidence-against exists in the texts, but also because the narrative is simply stronger without it. Of course, sexual assault can occur in any relationship, and we would never discredit any suggestion of impropriety based upon “contradictory” context. But this is the world of serialized comic book fiction where varied authorial accounts of Talia’s past leave her history open-ended. Clearly, Manning’s view (honoring Barr’s original concept) exists in some mashed-up form alongside Morrison’s bastardized version of the same original Barr concept. But, however you choose to make sense of it all is truly up to you.

  8. [8]COLLIN COLSHER: Here is the Barry Allen story, taken straight from The Life Story of the Flash #1 (1997), for those interested. Over a year ago, Barry’s wife Iris West Allen was murdered by Reverse-Flash. Barry recently became engaged to girlfriend Fiona Webb, but when Professor Zoom (Eobard Thawne) threatened to kill Fiona just like he did Iris, Flash ditched his own wedding to fight for his bride’s life. He successfully defeated Professor Zoom, snapping his neck and killing him the process. Unfortunately for Barry, Fiona didn’t know he was the Flash and thought Barry simply left her standing at the alter. The marriage was kaput. To add insult to injury, Flash was officially charged with murder. (The trial will force Flash to unmask publicly, but he will be acquitted. Immediately after the trial ends, Iris will return—having been plucked from death by the sci-fi wizardry of her 30th century parents. Barry and Iris will reunite and decide to live in the cozier, happier 30th century.
  9. [9]COLLIN COLSHER: Batman and The Outsiders #1-27, Batman and The Outsiders Annual #1, and DC Comics Presents #83 are Bronze Age publications that take place on the Silver/Bronze Age timeline. However, the majority of these Outsiders stories are canonically referenced (or flashed-back to) in the Modern Age. (Twenty-three of these twenty-nine issues connect to canonical references or flashbacks on our Modern Age timeline.) We’ll see these references and/or flashbacks ahead—both prior to and after the upcoming Crisis. The entire Modern Age version of the Outsiders saga leading up to the Crisis is mega-compressed. (The Outsiders debut in late November and are only active for a little over a month before the Crisis occurs.)

    Batman and The Outsiders Annual #2 and Batman and The Outsiders #28 are the first two official Modern Age Outsiders issues. One of the big reasons we know this for the latter is because, in it, Halo cuts her hair. (During the Crisis, Halo still has long hair.) Internet scholarship is decidedly less sure where Batman and The Outsiders Annual #2 (published December 1985) goes in regard to its  placement as a Bronze Age or Modern Age story. I’ve gone back-and-forth on it myself, but ultimately decided on Modern Age consideration.

10 Responses to Modern YEAR TEN

  1. John says:

    Shouldn’t Barbara have gotten her Master’s at age 19? Isn’t she only two years older than Dick, who only turned 17 a month or so before? Thanks in advance 🙂

    • Their ages are a confusing thing, no? Originally, (as far as I can tell) Babs was always about two years older than Dick (in both the Silver/Bronze Age and Modern Age). This was the case for decades until Nightwing Annual #2 (2007) retconned things so that Babs and Dick share the exact same age. However, I have disregarded that rather late and unnecessary retcon because it really muddles things up and contradicts decades worth of continuity for no real narrative reason.

      “Folie à deux” by Kelley Puckett/Terry Dodson (from 1998’s Legends of the DC Universe #10-11) overlaps with Batgirl: Year One, which I have in Bat Year Seven. “Folie à deux” also tells us that Babs has recently turned 18-years-old, mere months after debuting as Batgirl. This means that in Bat Year Ten (at least according to my version of things), Babs is 20-years-old and turns 21. Furthermore, this means that Babs and Dick are not two years apart. They should be roughly just under four-years apart. The only way that Dick and Babs can remain the classic “two years apart” is to have Dick start as Robin two years later, but that doesn’t seem like a good move for the narrative of the chronology.

      So, yeah, it’s not a perfect science, and there are multiple answers that could be correct, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

      Thanks, John!

  2. Morgan says:

    One word regarding the idea “conflicting narratives that can’t be reconciled in any legitimate way”: hypertime.

  3. Asger Bugge says:

    Nightwing Year One really portrays Batman badly. Like he acts so out of character. Second Chances is a better book in my opinion

    • Hey Asger, you’ll often find that retcon stories are not better than the original. It’s like remaking films—why mess with a good thing? Such is the case with the endless re-telling of the same comic book story over and over and over and over…

      Hope you are staying safe and healthy, wherever you are!

  4. Jack James says:

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

    I’m a bit confused by this. Doesn’t Batman reveal his ID to her until 9 years later in Hush?

    • Catwoman discovers Batman’s secret ID as per reference in ‘tec #569 (which was referencing the late Bronze Age where she knew his secret ID). In ‘tec #570, Joker and Dr. Moon mind-wipe Catwoman, erasing her knowledge of Batman’s secret ID. Hush is Batman revealing his secret to her for the first time (all over again).

      Check out this great write up here…

  5. Jack James says:

    As for the Catwoman saying she’s 29 comment, that actually makes sense. That’d make her 20 in Year One, which doesn’t seem that far fetched. Thus, according to Modern Age chronology, she’d have been born in 1969! It’s kinda cool to find these things out heh.

  6. Jack James says:

    Collin, I think there’s a way to make the Jason Todd events in Nightwing Year One to coexist with the ones in Batman #408-#409.

    Here’s how it’d go:
    -Batman meets Jason Todd in Crime Alley trying to steal the batmobile tires per Batman #408, the flashback section of Batman #645 and The Batman Files. He takes him for a ride per The Batman Files, and then drops him up at Ma Gun School for Boys (it was hinted in The Batman Files he’d do that, he mentions a school around the block)
    -The very next day the events shown in Batman #409 occur, Batman discovers the school is a front for crime and takes it down with the help of Jason, they get into the Batmobile and Batman calls him Robin.
    -Nightwing Year One happens. While on route home, Batman suddenly turns aggressive and restrains him when they get into the Batcave. Alfred doesn’t recognize Jason and Batman says it’s a teenage delinquent he caught “last night” stealing the tires from the Batmobile. “Last night” of course, meaning “yesterday”. Then the flashback section of Batman #645 occurs where Batman explains the situation a a bit more. We can assume it’s the same conversation they were having in Nightwing Year One before Jason breaks out and puts on Dick’s costume (this actually kinda connects well, since Batman calling him Robin prior in Batman #409 would make it obvious for Jason what he has to do).

    Of course we’d have to ignore the fact that Batman #408 is supposed to take place on the anniversary of Bruce’s parents deaths, but other than that it works just fine and Bruce has plenty of excuses to depress himself around that neighborhood anyway.

    • Hi again Jack. You aren’t the first person to suggest this, so maybe I’ll give it another look. At the very least Batman #408 would have to be split up. The first part detailing how Batman fires Robin (Dick) is totally different and contradictory from the Nightwing Year One version. One is featuring Clayface and one has Joker. (It technically already is split up on the timeline thanks to other references, so that’s an easy fix.)

      Now, in regard SOLELY to Jason’s origin, I think Batman #408 (i.e. the second half of the issue) plus #409 could jibe. I just hate making parts of comics canon while other parts are non-canon. Clearly other items are referencing parts of #408-409, but it doesn’t make those issues wholly canon. On the other hand, #409 doesn’t seem to contradict anything, so one the whole between two issues we have more canon than not. It would seem that Nightwing Year One really only retcons the Robin/Joker thing into a Robin/Clayface thing. I’ll make some changes, thanks again!

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