Modern YEAR TEN

1998

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

–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).

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Files—originally told in World’s Finest Comics #276. The Caped Crusader has a few back-to-back encounters with the returning Dr. Double X, including a showdown that pits Batman and Superman versus Dr. Ecks and his powerful symbiotic doppelgänger.

–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.

–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.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League #4—originally told in Justice League of America #203-205. The JLA defeats Hector Hammond and the new Royal Flush GangKing of Spades (Joseph Carny), Queen of Spades (Mona Taylor), Jack of Spades, Ten of Spades (Wanda Wayland), and the powerful android Ace of Spades.

–REFERENCE: In Outsiders #25—originally told in World’s Finest Comics #279-281. The JLA defeats one-shot villain Captain Cutlass, General Scarr, and the debuting Major Disaster.

–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, 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.

–REFERENCE: In Superman/Batman #57-59—originally told in Justice League of America #213-216. When the Atom suffers a nervous breakdown pertaining to a marital spat with his wife Jean Loring, he retreats into the subatomic nano-world of the microcosmos. The JLA shrinks down and travels there to help their friend.

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

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #781. Joker, Riddler, Killer Moth, Penguin, Scarecrow, and Mad Hatter hire actor Paul Sloan to play a pivotal role in a scheme that 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. Batman soon runs into the fake Two-Face, but he doesn’t realize the latter isn’t the real deal, despite some uncharacteristic hesitation on the part of the usually sure-footed villain. Sloan makes a clean getaway after shooting a security guard. After finding out about the existence of the 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. Batman won’t even find out about the existence of Sloan for another eight years.

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

–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 Asylum before he is transferred to Blackgate Penitentiary.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman & Superman: World’s Finest #6. Late March. This issue, the entirety of which is a flashback, states 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 in a series of magickally-created ordeals. (Dick is shown getting zapped away from his Hudson University dorm, but this is a huge continuity error. Dick has already dropped out of college by now, so unless he’s visiting friends, he shouldn’t be there.) For their first magickal ordeal, our heroes 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 memory of what has occurred. Afterward, Bruce, despite having met Bat-Mite 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 Green Arrow/Black Canary Wedding Special Part 2 and The Batman Files—originally told in Detective Comics #529-530 and Batman #363. 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 Thief of Night 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. Eventually, Batman busts both Nocturna and the Night-Thief, although the former is released due to lack of evidence.

–REFERENCE: In JLA Incarnations #4 Part 1 and Secret Origins Vol. 2 #50. A series of unfortunate events strike the JLA. Black Canary grieves over the recent loss of her mom Dinah Drake Lance (the original Black Canary), who has died of cancer due to radiation poisoning from having been exposed to Aquarius two years ago. 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).[1] Hal Jordan can no longer be relied upon due to his commitment to the Green Lantern Corps. Batman and Aquaman have simply become angry (well, angrier) at the world. And don’t forget, the Atom recently suffered a nervous breakdown due to his marriage problems, which are still not full resolved. All of this collective 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. Lucius Fox visits the tiny Eastern European country of Markovia. During his visit, civil war breaks out, pitting the ruling royalty (led by Prince Brion Markov) versus 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 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
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, but 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 still-ongoing 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 and Batman and The Outsiders Vol. 2 #40 (Outsiders Vol. 4 #40). Originally told in Batman and The Outsiders #1-2. 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 leader, the Outsiders are the newest, toughest crime-fighters in the world. The team makes a public debut, getting photographed by a reporter.[2]

–REFERENCE: In Batman and The Outsiders #28, Secret Origins Vol. 2 #6 Part 2, and The Batman Files. 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. Batman and the Outsiders battle Agent Orange.

–REFERENCE: 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 now has devastating repercussions for the League. Despite having banded together (without Batman) to successfully defeat Koll and his alien hordes 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.) Moving forward, Batman will follow JLA news closely, curious about this new version of the team. NOTE: The formation of the new Detroit-based JLA, according to JLA Incarnations #5, takes place mere “weeks” before The Crisis on Infinite Earths, but that’s ludicrous. While we must ignore the “weeks” line, this gives us insight into the mindset of writer John Ostrander prior to Infinite Crisis, during a period when DC editors imagined a timeline where all of the Outsiders and Detroit-based JLA’s adventures were hyper-compressed into a single month leading up to the Crisis.

–REFERENCE: In Batman and The Outsiders Vol. 2 #40 (Outsiders Vol. 4 #40) and Teen Titans Vol. 2 #15—originally told in New Teen Titans #37 and Batman and The Outsiders #5. The Outsiders and New Teen Titans—with newest member Terra (Geo-Force’s half-sister Tara Markov)—defeat the Fearsome Five (Dr. Light, Gizmo, Psimon, Mammoth, and Shimmer).

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #631, Batman and The Outsiders Annual #2, The Outsiders #17-20, and Batman and The Outsiders Vol. 2 #40 (Outsiders Vol. 4 #40)—originally told in Batman and The Outsiders #8-10. Batman and the Outsiders battle and defeat the evil wizard Tannarak. They then 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 buys a pet kitten named Tiger for Gaby. The Outsiders come up against Gotham gangster Morgan Jones, defeating his top man Mayme.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #703. Batman allows the Getaway Genius to escape, which confuses and enrages Robin. The Dark Knight then explains that the Getaway Genius has only been stealing chemotherapy drugs lately. 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 DC Universe Legacies #5—and referenced in Batman and The Outsiders Vol. 2 #40 (Outsiders Vol. 4 #40). 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.

–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.

–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.

–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 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 five 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. Acting alone, Robin battles Joker, who nearly kills him. 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 soon. 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 warm late spring days dating a gal named 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. Unfortunately, Dick’s newest love interest 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 he 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. 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
Early 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. The Outsiders are brought up in conversation, but Batman is talking about a primary partner, not a group.

–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. Jason has been squatting in the place, which has an awesome 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.[3] 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 fresh Nightwing costume (an altered version of the Nightwing costume that he briefly showed to Bruce previously). 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.

–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 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. After returning to present day, 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.

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to Countdown #36—originally told in Tales of the Teen Titans Annual #3. 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 constitutes 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. Nightwing tells Batman all about what has occurred, and Batman attends Terra’s funeral.

–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 works security.) At the wedding, Bruce makes peace with Dick, Diana, and presumably Clark too. He hasn’t gotten along with them all year, but he is finally ready to bury the hatchet.

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

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

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

–NOTE: In Secret Origins Vol. 2 #20. Late August. Genius Barbara Gordon, who has just recently turned twenty-one-years-old, gets her second Master’s Degree—a law degree from Gotham University! She also already has an ALA-accredited Master’s Degree in library science and has been working as a legal librarian. Not to mention, Barbara has been campaigning to become the youngest Congresswoman in the history of the nation.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: 80-Page Giant Vol. 2 #1. Batman comes across Wilson and Fiona, a husband and wife scientist duo that have 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 Harley Quinn #10. Batman gets captured and blindfolded by Killer Moth, but he 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.

–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 Trinity 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 protégé 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.”

–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.

–NOTE: In Secret Origins Vol. 2 #20—originally told in the second feature to Detective Comics #424. 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. 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 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 Swamp Thing Vol. 2 #53—originally told in (and loosely based on) Batman #381 and Detective Comics #551. 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—originally told in (and loosely based on) Batman #376391 and Detective Comics #543558. Early December. Batman squares-off against a returning Nocturna (Natasha Knight) and they kiss, becoming lovers. Meanwhile, an escaped Night-Thief (Anton Knight) changes his name to the Night-Slayer and goes on a murder spree. Catwoman quickly busts the 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). It is also during this period that Harvey Bullock will become closer with Commissioner Gordon, Batman, and Robin. Note that, in the Bronze Age, the conclusion to the “Nocturna Saga” was a long fifteen-issue arc that lasted from late 1984 right up through The Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1986 (spanning Batman #376 through Batman #391 and Detective Comics #543 through Detective Comics #558). But in the Modern Age, all we get is a monthlong series of vague encounters with Nocturna that overlap with other adventures.

–“Nightwing: Year One – Ch. 4-6” by Scott Beatty/Chuck Dixon/Scott McDaniel (Nightwing Vol. 2 #104-106) April to May 2005
December. Nightwing has been active for the past 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 Asylum, 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 Dr. 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 Dick his real Nightwing costume (the one with the yellow-stripes, which he showed Bruce before). 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 II 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 Killer Croc/Jason Todd 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 to September 1987
December. Jason learns that his father (Willis Todd) was killed by Two-Face. Soon afterward, Robin meets Commissioner Gordon and helps Batman bust Two-Face. In this tale, Batman tells Jason that he scored the giant penny trophy during one of the original Dynamic Duo’s encounters with Two-Face. This, as we know, is totally incorrect. He got the penny in a solo confrontation with Joe Coyne.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #484 and Catwoman Vol. 3 #83—originally told in Batman #386-387 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.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #683—and referenced in DC Universe Legacies #5 and Captain Atom #33. Batman and Robin zoom off in the Batmobile. Later, they are videotaped defeating an escaped Scarecrow. While he isn’t shown in this flashback, we can assume that Scarecrow’s henchman Stan Trowell debuts now as well (as specifically referenced in Captain Atom #33).

–FLASHBACK: From Christmas With the Super-Heroes #2. December 23-24. 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 Xmas on hold so he can tend to the Dark Knight.

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

–REFERENCE: In Batman #416. Despite having recently given Jason a 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, sans a couple of quick exchanges, for the next ten-and-a-half-months!

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

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  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: Here is the Barry Allen story, taken straight from The Life Story of the Flash #1 (1997). 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 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.
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: Batman and The Outsiders #1-27, Batman and The Outsiders Annual #1, and DC Comics Presents #83 are Outsiders-focused 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-four 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. Whereas the Outsiders were around for years prior to the Crisis in the Bronze Age, the Modern Age Outsiders only debut here in April and are only active for a eight months before the Crisis occurs. Of course, other experts, notably Chris J Miller, have the Outsiders even more compressed than this, placing their debut a mere month before the Crisis. That’s a bit extreme, but suffice to say, it scaffolds the undeniable (and unfortunate) fact that the Outsiders debut less than a year before the Crisis in the Modern Age. Note that, even with this extreme compression of time, the order of events in the Modern Age still correctly mirrors the order of events in the Bronze Age. First, the Outsiders debut, then Dick quits to become Nightwing, and then Jason debuts as Robin.

    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 Halo cuts her hair in it. (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.

  3. [3]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 #408-409), 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 (“Nightwing: Year One”), 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.

18 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… https://thebatmanuniverse.net/catwoman-29/

  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!

  7. Doug Roberts says:

    If I understand the timeline correctly, Dick Grayson was only Robin from Year Six until Year Ten when he becomes Nightwing. Only 4 years?

    • That’s correct. Some timelines have Robin debut in Year Three, but those timelines disregard the complete Long Halloween and Dark Victory AND the inclusion of “Going Sane” and Journey Into Knight. My timeline doesn’t and includes (mostly) unabridged versions of those stories. Simple as that.

      HOWEVER, I’m currently doing a major overhaul of the entire Modern Age section, and I’m likely going to move Long Halloween and Dark Victory to their correct spot beginning in Year Two instead of Year Three. After that, Dick will gain an extra year as Robin.

      • Ricky says:

        Just stumbled upon this site today and am blown away by your work here. Seriously, job well done. I feel like I’m understanding my favorite superhero’s life experience for the first time.

        You mentioned an overhaul of the Modern Age section – has that happened yet? Forgive me if there’s a bulletin board or something where you make note of this, new here.

        • Hi Ricky, thanks for the kind words! Much appreciated. The overhaul has been completed yes. I don’t have a bulletin board or change-log at the moment, but that’s something in the works.

          • Matten says:

            A changelog would really help! I just rearranged my list of the first 10 years last night, and it was a larger task than imagined. I cannot even begin to comprehend how you do it. You also added lots of Golden/Silver age stuff in references and flashbacks which is good.

            But I just didnt have the patience to go through the rest of the timeline, with the fine-tooth comb that I used for the first 10 years. Do you have a list of changes for the rest of the timeline that we can go by?

  8. Martin says:

    Hey Collins, I realized the crossover “originally told in Batman #386 and Detective Comics #553” was actually a three-parter that ended in Batman #387.

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