Modern YEAR THREE

1991

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–Batman: The Long Halloween #4 Conclusion by Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale (1997)
January 1. This scene from the final page of The Long Halloween #4 spans the literal first few seconds of the new year and shows Batman standing triumphant over a knocked-out Joker, whom he’s just recaptured. It’s 12:01 AM and the new year is officially upon us.

–“Storm” by Andrew Donkin/Graham Brand (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #58) March 1994
A CIA setup has failed miserably and a bunch of terrorists have taken hostages in Gotham General Hospital. Batman saves everyone’s ass. “Storm” is basically a LOTDK gap-filler, but I’ve placed it here because Gordon is a captain and he makes mention of James Junior still being a baby.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Black and White Vol. 2 TPB Part 3. Bruce’s friend Dr. Robbin Carnahan gives birth to twin boys, Michael and Sam. Bruce meets the babies and agrees to be their godfather. Robbin will raise the boys as a single mother. Bruce will remain a fixture in their lives for years to come.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #106. Batman exposes a French-speaking terrorist cell (of French or possibly North African origin). Batman’s investigation leads to Army intervention, which leads to the deaths of several members of the cell. Later this year, their leader will try to get revenge by breaking Joker out of Arkham and attempting to blow up an oil tanker in Gotham. (Surprisingly, Batman won’t be involved in that affair.)

–“Turf” by Steven Grant/Shawn McManus (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #44-45) April 1993 to May 1993
One of the first LOTDK stories to deal directly with race, “Turf” is about police brutality and hate crimes committed by members of the GCPD. When a string of African-Americans are beaten and killed by racist cops, the higher-ranking GCPD officials sweep it all under the rug, but Batman and Gordon aren’t satisfied. They want justice, and you can better believe they get it.

–“Terminus” by Jaimie Delano/Chris Balacho (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #64) September 1994
“Terminus” is a one-night story that inventively depicts The Terminus Hotel, a metaphorical inferno where murderers spend their last days before entering their final destination: Hell. This isn’t so much a Batman story as it is a psychoanalysis or character study of the criminal mind. Pretty cool stuff.

–“Blink” by Dwayne McDuffie/Val Semeiks (LOTDK #156-158) August to October 2002
Batman meets and befriends Lee Hyland, a metahuman conman that is completely blind but can see through the eyes of any animal or person he touches. In this tale, rich folks are having snuff films made (think 8mm) and Hyland, who dons the name Blink, is witness to the crimes.

–“Irresistible” by Tom Peyer/Tony Harris (LOTDK #169 Intro) September 2003
Batman busts some gun-toting jerks that try to carjack an old lady. Meanwhile, we (the reader) are introduced to Frank Sharp, a born loser that just happens to be a metahuman with the telepathic power of coercion. Despite having to constantly deal with assholes that poke fun at his extremely palsied face, Sharp can order anyone to do just about anything simply by shaking their hand. Sharp will spend the next six months using his power to get whatever he wants, at which point Batman will be on him like white on rice. But we’ll get to that in a few months.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #574. Batman goes on regular patrol, busting up some random baddies.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 3 #14. Batman gives Superman a sound piece of investigative advice: “Always question everything.”

–Batman: The Long Halloween #5-6 by Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale (1997)
February 14-March 17. While Captain Gordon and Harvey Dent visit Wayne Manor to question Alfred about a bogus link between Carmine Falcone and the late Thomas Wayne, Batman confronts Falcone at Gotham Cemetery. Catwoman shows up and interrupts their conversation. Later, Bruce meets Selina for a Valentine’s Day date. During the date, Poison Ivy, disguised as an old beggar woman and under Falcone’s payroll, is able to get close enough to inject Bruce with a poisoned rose, causing him to fall under her spell. Across town, Holiday shoots up Sal Maroni’s restaurant, killing many patrons and all of his top men, leaving behind his signature and a box of chocolates. By March, Bruce, still under Poison Ivy’s spell, rescinds his decree as bank president and allows Falcone to launder his money at Gotham City Bank. Falcone, embroiled in a brutal gang war against Maroni, recruits his recently paroled daughter Sophia Falcone Gigante as added muscle. Later that day, Selina, worried about Bruce, spots him in the clutches of Poison Ivy and follows him home. At Wayne Manor, Catwoman kicks Ivy’s ass and frees Bruce. (Because Bruce was under Ivy’s spell for a full month, Batman has been noticeably absent from the streets for a full month.) A little after midnight on St. Patrick’s Day, Holiday kills a bunch of Maroni’s family, leaving behind the twenty-two and a leprechaun statuette. That night, Batman thanks Catwoman for helping “his friend Bruce.”

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #618 and Batman #678. Bruce puts his father’s old bat-costume, which was once worn at a masquerade party before Bruce was born, on display in the Batcave.

–“Heist” by Matt Wagner (Batman: Black and White #3 Part 3) August 1996
Batman learns that a gang of thieves is planning on robbing a mansion in Gotham. As such, the Dark Knight get there before them and is well-prepared to terrorize them and bust them. Batman draws a Bat-symbol on the gang leader’s forehead, leaving him hog-tied for the cops.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Files. Batman befriends and possibly even has a brief romantic fling with the twice-divorced metahuman Dinah Laurel Lance, daughter of Golden Age superhero Black Canary (Dinah Drake Lance). This seemingly original Matthew Manning reference to Batman meeting the younger Dinah prior to her joining the JLA (and prior to her adopting her mom’s superhero name) implies, albeit vaguely, at some sort of romance between the two. But, as I said, it’s quite vague, so I really can’t say for sure.[1]

–Batman: The Long Halloween #7 by Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale (1997)
April 1—April Fool’s Day. In the Batcave, Batman and Alfred ponder about Holiday’s identity. Meanwhile, Gordon and Dent ponder the same thing at GCPD HQ. Elsewhere, Carmine Falcone and Sophia Gigante press Riddler for answers, but the nervous super-villain has little to offer. Upon exiting Falcone’s office, Riddler is shot at by Holiday but left alive, prompting the utterance of, “When does a killer…not kill?”

–REFERENCE: In Batman #582-583. Bruce befriends the new head of Wayne Enterprises security, Jeremy Samuels. While we won’t see it on our timeline, Bruce and Jeremy will become very close over the course of the next few years, so we can imagine them hanging out every so often. Likewise, Batman recruits Jeremy to become one of his top intel men.

–FLASHBACK: From the B&W second feature to Batman: Gotham Knights #47. Batman takes down an escaped Riddler, who attempts to set off a bomb that is rigged to a hot air balloon.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #0. Batman busts an escaped Scarecrow on the docks.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #712. Cybernetics expert Nathan Finch kidnaps his boss’ young daughter, Gloria Osteen, and holds her for ransom. Batman is able to save the girl, but Nathan falls into the Gotham River and nearly drowns. Batman departs, believing Finch to be dead. In actuality, an underworld crime-doctor is able to save Finch’s life, but Finch loses his arms and legs. Nathan will spend the next twelve years in recovery. He will then return as the super-villain known as Gearhead, complete with cybernetic limbs and his own self-developed arsenal of detachable body parts.

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

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #850—originally told in Batman #9. Batman defeats some gangsters that terrorize the coastline in a submarine disguised as a white whale. Batman keeps the whale sub as a trophy that sits docked in the watery bowels of the Batcave.

–“Idols” by James Vance/Dougie Braithewaite (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #80-82) February 1996 to May 1996
Early May—this item is said to specifically occur about two years after Batman has debuted, hence placement here (i.e. twenty-five months into the Dark Knight’s costumed crimefighting career). This item also occurs shortly before Wilson Klass ends his term as mayor of Gotham, which is another reason for its placement here. Onto a synopsis. A Batman-themed novelty store has opened in Gotham and it’s all the rage, so much so in fact, that kids are killing each other for the expensive merchandise. I mean, wouldn’t you kill for a pair of Nike Air Batmans? Bruce tries to buy out the novelty store in an effort to shut it down, but his effort fails. When a serial killer called The Circuit Rider comes to Gotham, Mayor Wilson Klass and Captain Gordon panic. Klass calls in the FBI while Gordon sends Barbara and James Jr temporarily out of town. Batman releases a public video condemning Bat-merchandise and Bat-related violence. The chaos intensifies as a Bat-costume-wearing copycat of the Circuit Rider begins a separate string of murders as well. Batman, Gordon, and FBI Agent Phyllis Turner bust the Circuit Rider while the copycat killer dies in a fiery explosion.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Files. Early May. Bruce attends the mayor’s ball where he flirts with Selina Kyle.

–FLASHBACK: From Legends of the Dark Knight #37. May. Batman meets and is impressed by tough rookie cop Mercedes “Mercy” Stone. Mercy, while on a case, is badly beaten by a pit-fighter called The Cossack. The Cossack also kills her partner. She’ll be in the hospital for the next month or so, and Batman will send her flowers every day.

–Batman: The Long Halloween #8-9 by Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale (1997)
May 12-June 21. On Mother’s Day, Batman visits with Calendar Man at Arkham Asylum, but the Dark Knight is too late to prevent the escape of Scarecrow. Bruce then visits Crime Alley to pay tribute to his mother, but Gordon shows up with a warrant for his arrest. (The police think Bruce is linked to Carmine Falcone because Thomas Wayne saved Falcone’s father’s life long ago.) Bruce runs, but he is eventually nabbed, charged, and jailed. At the other side of the city, Sophia Gigante finds a connection between Holiday’s twenty-two caliber pistols and a shop in Chinatown. Sophia visits the shop, but Holiday has already been there. The owner is dead next to a .22 and some flowers. Bruce sits in jail for over a month before his trial begins in mid-June. The trial ends on Father’s Day—the jury acquits Bruce in minutes. On the same day, Holiday murders Sal Maroni’s father. Shaken to the bone, Maroni turns himself into police and is jailed.

–FLASHBACK: From Legends of the Dark Knight #37. June. Batman visits Mercy Stone in the hospital shortly before her release. Mercy begs Batman to train her so that she can get revenge against the Cossack. Batman agrees to begin her training as soon as she is ready.

–“Venom” by Denny O’Neil/Trevor Von Eeden/Russell Braun (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #16)
June.[2] Batman is unable to save a drowning girl from kidnappers. Feeling inadequate as a hero after the child’s death, Batman drops into an even deeper gloom after getting walloped by the kidnappers. To break out of his funk, Batman takes some Venom pills (the very same drug that Bane will pump into his own veins years later giving him the strength to snap Batman’s spine in half). After taking the Venom, which is given to him by the crooked scientist Randolph Porter, the Dark Knight quickly becomes a raging, jacked-up hulk and easily takes down the kidnappers, laughing all the way. Bruce will start taking Venom pills regularly at this point, forming a serious addiction over the course of the next three months.

–FLASHBACK: From Legends of the Dark Knight #37. June. A week has passed since Batman visited Mercy Stone in the hospital. Batman begins combat-training Mercy in an abandoned gym. Mercy’s training will occur on-and-off for a few months to come.

–“Irresistible” (conclusion) by Tom Peyer/Tony Harris (conclusion) (LOTDK #169-171) September to November 2003
Late June-early July. Frank Sharp’s rise to power continues as he uses his metahuman abilities to win favor with the campaigning Mayor Gill. (Not sure why Gill, who was just inaugurated at the beginning of this year, is already campaigning, but I guess he’s quite Trump-ish.) Batman watches from the shadows as Sharp manipulates not only the mayor, but also landlords, contractors, and developers for his own personal gain. After a few days of surveillance, Batman confronts Sharp, intimidating him without even saying a word. Angered, Sharp uses his powers on Penguin, essentially taking control of his operations. (Penguin has successfully kept out jail and is now running a small club called The Bird’s Nest, which is basically a proto-version of his future venture, The Iceberg Lounge.) After a few days of Penguin kowtowing to Sharp for no apparent reason, Penguin’s henchmen take it upon themselves to eliminate the newcomer. Batman, who has been monitoring Sharp constantly, swings in and saves his life just as the hoods are about to execute him. Later, Sharp’s influence gets Mayor Gill kidnapped by gangsters, causing Batman to intervene and save his life as well. Two weeks later, Bruce (as Bruce) confronts Sharp at a club, threatening to expose him. Sharp shakes Bruce’s hand and orders him to jump off a balcony, which Bruce promptly does. But of course, he’s Batman so he lands safely. After a visit with Sharp’s parents, Batman confronts Sharp one last time and sends him to Arkham. Bruce then visits Sharp at Arkham and reunites him with his estranged mom and dad.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Dark Victory #2. Batman considers revealing his secret ID to Harvey Dent, but ultimately decides not to.

–Batman: The Long Halloween #10 by Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale (1997)
July 4. While Bruce and Selina share a sexy moment at Wayne Manor, Holiday murders the city coroner. Dent apologizes to Batman for going after Bruce and they examine the crime scene with Gordon. Batman then recaptures Scarecrow and an escaped Mad Hatter, both of whom, he learns, have been unleashed upon the city by Carmine Falcone.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #676—originally told in Batman #12. Batman defeats the murderous Rafferty Brothers. Afterward, Bruce keeps one of their bullet-proof vests as a trophy and displays it in the cave.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Files—originally told in Detective Comics #45, Batman #7, and Detective Comics #128. An escaped Joker begins a series of pop-crimes that all involve the backwards pseudonym “A Rekoj.” First, after making himself unrecognizable as newcomer Rekoj, Joker begins what appears to be a gang war between Rekoj and Joker! The plan is to cause enough confusion to pull off easy heists. Batman puts a stop to this right quick. Second, still in his Rekoj persona, Joker hires professional comedy writers to help him plan out robberies that involve pranks and slapstick gags. Batman busts Rekoj’s writers, who each dress up as Joker, but the real deal gets away. Third (and thankfully last), Rekoj strikes again, initiating a string of “reverse crimes” where he tricks the news media to report on false robberies before actually committing them the next day. Needless to say, this plan bombs and Batman busts the Clown Prince of Crime, permanently retiring the “Rekoj” concept.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #0. Batman and Captain Gordon team up to beat the stuffing out of some hooligans in a seedy bar.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Child of Dreams. A young Japanese girl named Yuko Yagi and her family are attacked by muggers while on vacation in Gotham. Batman saves them.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #676—originally told in Batman #14. The Case of Dana Drye occurs. Batman attends a “Meeting of the World’s Greatest Detectives,” during which master sleuth Dana Drye is mysteriously murdered. Batman eventually solves the case when he finds Drye’s diary. The diary becomes a mainstay in the trophy room of the Batcave.

–“Wings” (conclusion) by Chuck Dixon/Quique Alcatena (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Annual #5) 1995
Late July. Man-Bat has been hiding for eight-and-a-half months. Batman fights the Ridgerunners again and gets beaten as usual, but this time Man-Bat is on the scene and takes down the whole gang. In what is supposedly two weeks later but must be retconned to days if not hours later, Man-Bat surprises the Dark Knight by flying into the Batcave! Batman takes Man-Bat down, fingerprints him, and learns his identity. (Note that Kirk Langstrom and Bruce met as young children, but it was only once and neither of them will recall the meeting until much later.) Bruce then delivers Man-Bat to Francine. At Francine’s apartment, Man-Bat flips out, but Francine shoots him with anti-serum, turning him back into regular Kirk. In case you were wondering, Kirk has indeed learned Batman’s secret identity, but it’s okay. Bruce has gained an ally (albeit a highly unstable and monstrous one).

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to Countdown #27. DA Harvey Dent poses with and publicly endorses Batman, who makes a rare media appearance. Harvey and Batman shake hands for the cameras, getting their picture in the newspapers.

–Batman: The Long Halloween #11 by Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale (1997)
August 2. Carmine Falcone’s birthday. Batman questions Riddler about the night he was shot at by Holiday. Carla Viti accuses Carmine Falcone of being Holiday. Gilda Dent accuses her husband of being Holiday. Meanwhile, the Sal Maroni trial has gone on for weeks (with presiding Judge Lawrence Watkins overseeing the court) and the Boss himself is finally called into the witness stand. The unthinkable horror then occurs. ADA Vernon Fields, who is actually in the mob’s pocket, gives Maroni a vial of acid. Maroni throws the acid at Harvey Dent, permanently scarring half his face while simultaneously releasing a plethora of inner demons that Dent had been keeping suppressed for years. (This acid-throwing scene is also shown via flashback from Teen Titans Spotlight #13 and the second feature to Countdown #27. A flashback from Robin: Year One #2 also shows this scene, but it contains visual continuity errors and text dialogue errors that are enough to warrant its non-canonical status.) At the hospital, Dent freaks-out, kills his surgeon, and runs away, completely shattered.

–Batman: The Long Halloween #12 Part 1 by Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale (1997)
August 3. Harvey Dent has just been horribly facially scarred, killed a man, and gone into hiding. Batman meets with Gordon, who tells him they have enough evidence to prove Dent is Holiday. Batman refuses to believe and questions Falcone, then Catwoman, and then Gilda Dent in a failed attempt to locate his damaged friend.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #683, Batman Incorporated #1, and The Batman Files—originally told in Batman #15. When Selina Kyle, under the pseudonym “Elva Barr,” opens up a high-end salon for wealthy clientele in order to case them for later robberies, Batman investigates. The air is ripe with sexual tension as the Bat and the Cat do their usual flirting. In the end, Batman shuts down the sultry villainess’ operation, but he lets her walk free.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #600. Bruce and Selina share another intimate moment, but Bruce, being who he is, turns down her offer to make their relationship something more serious.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #112. Bruce meets decadent socialites Justin Thomas and Andrea.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Secret Files and Origins #1 Part 3. Batman goes on an unspecified case, netting a fedora and matching coat-cape as trophies for the Batcave.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #603. Gotham mayoral candidate Baldwin Berkins is assassinated. Batman tracks down the killer and gets him to confess and turn himself in after dangling the man in front of an oncoming train.

–Batman: The Long Halloween #12 Part 2 by Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale (1997)
September 1. Harvey Dent has been hiding in the sewers with Solomon Grundy for a month now. Batman questions Calendar Man about Dent and the Holiday killings. Later, Holiday breaks into the courthouse holding cell area and murders Sal Maroni, revealing himself as Alberto Falcone in the process! Alberto faked his own Holiday murder on New Year’s Eve. Alberto is Holiday!

–Batman: The Long Halloween #13 Part 1 by Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale (1997)
September 1-5. Alberto Falcone, who faked his own death nine months ago, has just revealed himself as Holiday, murdering Sal Maroni in the process. Batman, who is present, disguised as a prison guard, immediately beats the tar out of Holiday and apprehends him. A few days later, Batman and Gordon look on as an unhinged Alberto chats with his dumbfounded dad.

–REFERENCE: From Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #37. September. Batman’s training of Mercy Stone, which has continued for the past three months, comes to an end. Immediately thereafter, Mercy begins fighting in illegal pit fighting matches and quickly becomes an underground sensation.

–“Citadel” by James Robinson/Tony Salmons (LOTDK #85) August 1996
Batman battles his way up 81 deathtrap-set, ax-wielding mercenary-filled, crocodile-stocked, booby-trap laid floors to apprehend a mob boss, who winds up getting decapitated by his own getaway helicopter.

–FLASHBACK: From the second feature to Countdown to Final Crisis #5 and Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #203—and referenced in Batman: Dark Victory #7 and The Batman Files. Dr. Victor Fries makes his dramatic debut as the super-villain Mr. Zero when his corrupt boss at GothCorp, Ferris Boyle, decides to cut funding to his cryogenic research projects, which threatens to end the life of his wife Nora Fries, who has been under deep freeze for over twenty years. Mr. Zero attacks his GothCorp lab in a fit of frenzy, causing Batman to intervene. During the chaotic battle, Nora is killed. A jailed Mr. Zero blames Batman for her death. Note that there are some nasty continuity errors in the flashback from the second feature to Countdown to Final Crisis #5, notably Batman wearing the wrong costume, Mr. Zero wearing the wrong costume, and Mr. Zero already being referred to as Mr. Freeze. Also note that Mr. Zero’s Modern Age origin is loosely based on Paul Dini’s non-canon Batman: Mr. Freeze (1997), which itself is based on Dini’s own Mr. Freeze origin from the Batman the Animated Series TV show. Dini’s Mr. Freeze is also shown via flashback in Batman: Legend of the Dark Knights #121 (1999).[3] More of Mr. Freeze’s canonical backstory can be gleaned via references within flashbacks from 2006’s “Cold Case” (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #201-203). “Cold Case” tells us that Victor and Nora are twenty to twenty-five years older than Bruce and were contemporaries of Martha and Thomas Wayne in the medical science field. In “Cold Case,” we learn that Victor knew about Nora’s condition for decades before this time period and had even committed several murders in her name in the early 1970s. (Note that “Cold Case” also paints a world where Jonathan Crane is about twenty to twenty-five years older than Bruce as well, but that’s neither here-nor-there and can really be up to your own personal headcanon if you’d like to accept it.) Another Victor Fries origin story, 2005’s “Snow” by JH Williams III, Dan Curtis Johnson, and Seth Fisher (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #192-196), is arguably a better story than “Cold Case,” but it’s unfortunately out-of-continuity for a few reasons. One (and this is something that can—as we have before—be ignored), Batman is wearing the yellow-oval costume. Two, it contradicts “Cold Case” by showing a much younger Victor and Nora, and the former only now learns about his wife’s fatal condition for the first time. Three, Victor works at a company called NEOdigm, which is unique to the tale. (The GothCorp setting is definitively mentioned in both Countdown to Final Crisis #5 and The Batman Files, although the latter hints that NEOdigm could exist as a subsidiary or division of GothCorp.) Four, Victor dons a unique Mr. Freeze costume right out of the gate, seemingly skipping his Mr. Zero persona entirely (although this one could likely be ignored as well). Why DC would publish two contradicting Mr. Freeze origin tales so close to one another is beyond me. Which is correct? I don’t know for sure, but I’m sticking with “Cold Case” since it’s specifically linked to a later story in 2008 that features Clayface Preston Payne and his son Cassius Clay.[4]

–“The Darkness” by Darren Vincenzo/Luke McDonnell (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #115) February 1999
Someone has been killing boaters on the Gotham River and it turns out that someone is a Gollum-like, feral river-man who has a penchant for precious shiny gold lockets. That’s all I’m going to say about this one other than Batman and Captain Gordon solve the case.

–“Dirty Tricks” by Dan Abnett/Danny Lanning/Anthony Williams (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #95-97) June to August 1997
This tale spans about a week-and-a-half. Bruce is stunned when the Magician, a super-villain that he first met during a training session in Romania years ago, resurfaces in Gotham, killing a bunch of members of the Galliano mob family. Batman has several encounters with the Magician, Galliano’s men, a bunch of stage magicians, and Ludo Zlata. Eventually, Batman discovers that the Magician is actually several men working as a team, with each wearing his own Magician costume. In a final confrontation with Batman, all the Magicians are accidentally killed by their own weaponry except for one. Batman and Captain Gordon interrogate the remaining villain to learn that the Magicians have been scattered all over Eastern Europe by the CIA, carrying out illegal covert missions for decades, most of which included atrocities and assassinations tantamount to war crimes. Having been recently retired from duty, the Magician task force decided to apply their brand of covert war and espionage toward personal financial gain in Gotham. The CIA, of course, denies all knowledge of the Magician program, and the last Magician winds up mysteriously dead inside his tightly guarded prison cell.

–“Criminals” by Steven Grant/Mike Zeck (LOTDK #69-70) March April 1995
Death Row criminals at Gotham State Prison aren’t being executed. Instead they are being released and given new aliases thanks to a corrupt warden. With Captain Gordon’s approval, Batman goes undercover as an officer in the GCPD ranks, and then… goes undercover as a prisoner in the jail to put a stop to the shenanigans. Ummm… yeah, so why does he need to go undercover twice? Blechhhh. In the slammer, Batman’s pal from ten months ago, Crown, helps him defeat baddie Vince for the second time.

–“Freakout” by Garth Ennis/Will Simpson (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #91-93) February to April 1997
This story is wild. There is a strain of highly-concentrated LSD being distributed through fake medical clinics by evil-hippie weirdo Doctor Freak, who dresses up like Sgt. Pepper. The people given the LSD2000, as he calls it, either die or are killed by his henchmen. Then the bodies are collected and their blood is drained into a large pool in which Doctor Freak bathes. See, the LSD is still active in the drained blood so he gets a super-high acid rush from swimming in it. Batman winds up tracking him down, but accidentally falls into the pool and starts tripping balls. In fact, he trips on acid for an entire issue and is somehow still able to capture Freak while hallucinating. In the end, Freak is lobotomized in Arkham. Highly entertaining stuff, although I will say that Ennis shamelessly rips-off the whole blood-bathing thing from Batman: The Cult. It’s also worth mentioning that there is a side plot where two New York City private investigators are looking to get revenge on Freak for some shit that went down wrong in Vietnam. Not only do these PIs come off like something out of a bad buddy-cop movie, they are ultra-violent and do things like crush people’s legs with their pink Cadillac. Oh, I almost forgot. Alfred talks about this one time he did shrooms when he was young. Amazing.

[5]

–“Venom” (conclusion) by Denny O’Neil/Trevor Von Eeden/Russell Braun (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #17-20)
Late September-late October. Batman has been regularly taking Venom pills for the past three months and has built up a serious addiction. Batman’s addiction finally peaks and he hits his lowest point, roughing-up dudes in bars just for the thrill of it. Back in the Batcave, Alfred chastises Bruce for being a raging drug-fiend and quits! Batman hits the streets and botches a simple case before meeting with Captain Gordon. (During his meeting with Batman, Gordon says they haven’t communicated in almost three months. This is absolutely false. Unfortunately, in these early days, Gordon and Batman constantly communicate. There simply isn’t a spot on the timeline where this isn’t the case, so we must ignore Gordon’s dialogue.) Later, the Dark Knight goes to get his pills from Dr. Randolph Porter and meets his partner, retired US Army General Timothy Ashton Slaycroft. A week later, Batman returns for more Venom but Porter and Slaycroft won’t give him his fix unless he agrees to assassinate Gordon! Batman, instead of offing Gordon, warns him and then returns to bring the criminal duo to justice. However, Batman is so dependent upon and off his game without Venom, the bad guys easily get away. Realizing that he has a serious problem, Batman calls Alfred and begs him to come home. Alfred returns and Bruce has a breakdown, deciding to quit cold-turkey by locking himself in the cave for almost a full month. (A reference in The Batman Files gives us some detail regarding Bruce’s brutal withdrawal during this self-quarantine.) There’s an amazing panel that depicts Bruce finally emerging from his rehab in a tattered costume and gigantic Grizzly Adams beard. Okay, okay, I know he’s sporting what appears to be like at least six-months worth of facial hair and locks down to his shoulders when he was only in there for less than four weeks, but it still looks cool. Batman then meets with Gordon to get the whereabouts of Porter and Slaycroft.[6] After his conversation with Gordon, the Dark Knight flies to the tiny Caribbean island nation of Santa Prisca (Bane’s birth nation, near Haiti and Puerto Rico) with Alfred. On Santa Prisca, a drug-free Batman kicks ass and defeats the villains.[7]

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Files. Late October—this item occurs immediately after the conclusion of “Venom.” Batman gets shot in the shoulder during routine patrol. He returns home to Wayne Manor to find Leslie Thompkins and Alfred hanging out. Leslie follows-up on a conversation from a couple months ago, scolding Bruce in regard to his costumed vigilantism. Alfred and Leslie patch-up the injured Bruce.

–Batman: The Long Halloween #13 Part 2 by Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale (1997)
October 31. Alberto Falcone is sentenced to death, but is eventually sent to Arkham Asylum for life instead. Harvey Dent makes his dramatic debut as Two-Face, breaking out a group of super-villains from Arkham and swarming Carmine Falcone’s mansion. Two-Face, alongside Joker, Mad Hatter, Scarecrow, Solomon Grundy, Poison Ivy, Penguin, and Catwoman, confronts Falcone and tells him his time as the kingpin of Gotham has come to an end. The era of super-villainy has officially begun! Just as Two-Face unveils his lucky/unlucky silver dollar, Batman crashes in and beats down on his rogues gallery, opting to let Catwoman flee. Two-Face says hello to the Dark Knight and shoots Falcone dead. During the melee, Sophia Gigante falls off a balcony, putting her in a permanent wheelchair. Two-Face then knocks out Batman and traverses to the other side of the city where he murders ADA Vernon Fields, the man who gave Maroni the acid that burned half his face off. The ultimate trio of Gotham lawmen then meets one final sad time on the roof of the GCPD building. Two-Face turns himself in and goes to Arkham, but not before cryptically saying that there were two Holiday killers. Batman explains his strange comment by recalling that Two-Face killed people with a Holiday-style gun on Halloween. The Xmas epilogue to The Long Halloween #13, which doesn’t feature Batman, insinuates that either Alberto committed none of the murders OR that Alberto, Gilda, and Harvey were each responsible for some of the murders. If you read every bit of the Long Halloween text and systematically pull apart the mystery narrative bit by bit, the only truly logical answer is that Alberto was the sole Holiday killer. Despite Gilda muttering to herself that she herself did some of the murders, Gilda is mentally unstable enough to be untrustworthy and couldn’t possibly have pulled them off. Also, while this isn’t specified in The Long Halloween, we know that Bruce keeps Harvey’s original silver dollar coin and displays it in the trophy room of the Batcave thanks to a reference in Batman #577.

[8][9]

[10]

–REFERENCE: In Legends of the DC Universe #12 and Infinite Crisis #6. Early November. Batman teams up with Oliver Queen aka Green Arrow. There is a first encounter with Green Arrow shown in LOTDK #127-131 (“The Arrow & The Bat”) by Denny O’Neil/Sergio Cariello (2000). However, the story is out-of-continuity because it supposedly occurs at the beginning of Batman’s third year in costume and pre-dates the formation of the JLA, showing that Ollie has already given up his vast fortune. The problem is that Ollie doesn’t give up his fortune until after the JLA has formed. We know this because Ollie originally bankrolls the JLA. We also know this because Ollie doesn’t switch to his goatee look until after he gets rid of his big bucks. Further reasoning for the non-canon status of “The Arrow & The Bat” is that it shows the Caped Crusader anachronistically wearing his yellow-oval costume. Suffice to say, Batman and Green Arrow do now team-up for the first time and their unspecified adventure together will be big enough and public enough to warrant the press and fellow superhero community labeling the duo as “The Brave and The Bold.”

–FLASHBACK: From Legends of the Dark Knight #37. Early November. Mercy Stone gets suspended from the GCPD for using excessive force. Batman watches one of her underground pit fights, noticing that she’s got quite a bloodlust. After the match, Batman confronts Mercy, showing his disappointment over the direction her life has gone since their training ended a couple months ago. Mercy tells Batman to piss off, saying that she doesn’t need his guidance anymore.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #37. November. While Batman routinely beats up bad guys on various patrols, Mercy continues fighting in illegal pit fighting matches. Unfortunately, Mercy winds up killing an opponent in the ring. Batman meets with Mercy to talk about it. Ashamed and upset, Mercy goes off the radar. Batman won’t see her again for four years.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Ego. A single page in Batman: Ego shows a montage of Bruce keeping up wealthy socialite appearances and business responsibilities. These could go anywhere (and could be spread out), but they could just as easily all be clumped together, which I have done here. Bruce goes out for cocktails with a date, goes golfing with a business acquaintance, goes on a shopping date, has a business meeting over drinks, stands up a date, donates to a children’s hospital, and stands up another date (multiple times in a row).

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to Detective Comics #782. Late November—the anniversary of Batman’s parents’ deaths. Batman continues his annual tradition of placing two roses at the site of his folks’ double murder on Crime Alley.

–“Werewolf” by James Robinson & John Watkiss (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #71-73) May to July 1995
The canonicity of this one is highly dubious, but we are told  that it takes place after Two-Face has debuted. Bruce gets Alfred’s British friend a job at the Wayne Foundation, shortly after which the man is killed under mysterious circumstances. Batman investigates, bringing him to London where he gets mixed-up with bizarre cults, seedy gangsters, and werewolf serial slayings. The Dark Knight quickly exposes the werewolves as psychedelic drug-spewing Euro-Disney animatronic robots, part of a criminal conspiracy conducted by English mobsters.

–“Steps” by Paul Jenkins/Sean Phillips (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #98-99) September to October 1997
A sex worker snaps and starts killing other sex workers. An autistic boy is the only witness. Batman solves the case. He also visits Two-Face at Arkham Asylum for the first time.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 2 #210. Batman starts displaying many versions of his Bat-Vehicles and costumes worn by his most famous rogues in the Batcave, and will continue to do so from this point forward. Batman also goes on an unspecified mission, after which he puts a giant 8-ball and giant busts of both Two-Face and Joker in the Batcave. Most artists’ renditions of the cave that we shall see in the future will, for simplicity’s sake, usually only include the iconic T rex and the giant penny trophies. However, pencillers like Brian Bolland, Graham Nolan, and a select few others—in the spirit of Marshall Rogers—love drawing the cave with as many trophies as possible, so they will fill their cave images with weird stuff.

–“Bad” by Doug Moench/Barry Kitson (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #146-148) October to December 2001
Bad Jordy is a metahuman with super-strength and a dissociative identity disorder. This combo leads to him killing a lot of people. This story is about eighty pages long and I’d say about forty pages are dedicated to Batman’s long conversation with a shrink, containing dialogue that reads as if it’s been taken straight from a college psychology text book. The other forty are dedicated to Batman getting the shit kicked out of him but then eventually defeating Jordy.[11]

–“Pulp Heroes” by James Robinson/Steve Yeowell/Russ Heath (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Annual #7) 1997
While Bruce meets with some new business associates, a murder victim literally falls from the sky into Wayne Tower. Batman’s investigations into the murder lead him to the countryside where he learns about the WWII pulp adventures of Steve Savage aka Balloon Buster. After disguising himself as a flight mechanic and taking up shop with some air-show performers, Batman solves the case.

–“Family” by James D Hudnall/Brent Anderson (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #31) June 1992
Bruce notes how Alfred hasn’t had an official vacation in nearly three years, so he sends him off to the Caribbean isle of Corto Maltese for a week. Big mistake. Alfred is kidnapped and tortured by terrorists. Bats flies down, rescues Alfie, and kicks some major ass. End of story. This is the first canonical comic book reference to the island of Corto Maltese, Frank Miller’s invention featured in both Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman film.

–REFERENCE: In JSA #59—originally told in Detective Comics #77. Batman deals with The Crime Doctor (Dr. Matthew Thorne aka Bradford Thorne), an underground surgeon for injured mobsters. Matthew Thorne is the brother of ultra crime-boss Rupert Thorne, who Batman will meet in a few years. Note that the 1990s Batman The Animated Series cartoon first linked Dr. Thorne and Rupert Thorne as brothers. Prior to the TV show, this had never been stated in the comics. However, the idea of Rupert and Matthew being brothers has since immigrated into Modern Age canon.

–“Don’t Blink” by Dwayne McDuffie/Val Semeiks (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #164-167) April to July 2003
This tale takes place in winter during a blizzard. In writer Dwayne McDuffie’s follow-up story arc to “Blink,” Batman teams up with Blink (Lee Hyland) yet again to take on human traffickers.[12]

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  1. [1]JACK JAMES: Manning pretty much left the relationship between Batman and Dinah very open to interpretation. It could be what you say, but it also could just point out to Batman being a stalker (as he usually is) and investigating her just because of her connection to her mother. But then again, he could’ve also had some sort of relationship with her—maybe not as Batman, but as Bruce Wayne. Maybe that was his way of investigating her. He may have dated her as Bruce Wayne because it’s clear in other comics she doesn’t know Batman’s real identity (as late as during Bruce Wayne: Murderer?). And honestly, a rebellious and young Dinah dating a playboy billionaire before dating Ollie doesn’t seem too much of a stretch.

    COLLIN COLSHER: Manning could be referencing Frank Miller’s All-Star Batman and Robin, in which Batman kisses Black Canary and seems overtly sexual with her. Or he could simply be referencing the Silver Age where Batman and Black Canary also shared a kiss and toyed with the idea of a serious romance (albeit briefly), right before Dinah started dating Ollie.

  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: “Venom” is an awesome story, but placing it is very tough. The story is obviously written to have occurred shortly after Miller’s “Year One” in Bat Year Two (Harvey Dent is still ADA), but placing it there would compromise many of the LOTDK and Confidential tales that are already there (and which clearly go there). As such, I have placed “Venom” in the earliest chronological spot it can possibly go without contradicting the rest of our timeline. Essential to this story’s narrative is Batman building up an addiction to Venom over a many month span, supposedly while ignoring Captain Gordon the whole time. Originally, this story took up six to seven months on the timeline, but there’s no absolutely no room for that, meaning we must retcon the time-length down to four months total (three months of succumbing to addiction and a month of recovery). In Years Two and Three, Batman is constantly going off the grid for months at a time, so much so that there isn’t any spot other than now where he has three solid months open for which to build up such an addiction. Unfortunately, finding three to four months where Batman doesn’t speak to Gordon is plain impossible, so we have to ignore that bit or read that particular scene differently.
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: A note on Paul Dini’s Batman: Mr. Freeze (1997), loosely based upon Mr. Freeze’s origin from Batman the Animated Series. I absolutely love this wonderful Dini book and highly recommend it. However, it must be out-of-continuity for a couple reasons. Not only does it disregard the fact that Freeze debuts as Mr. Zero with a completely different costume (admittedly a minor niggle since the second feature to Countdown to Final Crisis #5 also commits this very same error), but Dini’s story also mainly contradicts the aforementioned flashback history from LOTDK‘s “Cold Case.” Furthermore, Dini’s Mr. reeze was also originally commissioned as a special story to hype-up/coincide with 1997’s Joel Schumacher Batman and Robin film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as Freeze—(although unlike in the flick, which features Dick Grayson as Robin, Dini’s Mr. Freeze features Tim Drake as Robin, which would place it a little further down the timeline were it canon.) Note, however, that The Batman Files, via reference, makes a version of Dini’s Mr. Freeze (mashed-up with Mr. Freeze’s origin story from Batman the Animated Series) canon. In the pared-down canonized version from The Batman Files, we get Mr. Zero and it doesn’t ignore “Cold Case.” In this way, we kind of get to keep Dini’s Mr. Freeze origin anyway. Isn’t that nice?

    Also note that Legends of the Dark Knight #121 (1999) flashes-back to Dini’s Mr. Freeze, which means that Dini’s origin story was decisively canon from 1997 through the mid 2000s (until LOTDK #201-203, aka “Cold Case” retconned it). Since one can never be too sure about canonicity when it comes to some LOTDK stories, especially “Cold Case” (which does contain some errors of its own), there is some headcanon wiggle room here, though. If we were to ignore “Cold Case,” then we could conceivably keep Dini’s origin canon—although it would still require a handful of error caveats or necessary fanwanks. Your call, folks!

  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER: As much as I (and many others) would like to canonize “Snow” over “Cold Case,” that’s a tough move to make. Both stories are important in their own right, and both have plenty of things in them that could connect to continuity. We can also definitely ignore costumes (as we’ve done before), but there are other things that make “Snow” stand out, including but not limited to Victor Fries working at a company called NEOdigm instead of the canonical GothCorp. Along with the other listed issues attached to this item above, some (admittedly not all) give breathing room for Victor’s Mr. Zero persona, but “Snow” definitely doesn’t. This is a situation where one can’t be wrong, though. You really could go either way. However, the one thing you can’t have 100% is “Snow” and “Cold Case” operating together. They each tell a different story. In my humble opinion, Countdown to Final Crisis #5 and Batman Files can coexist with “Cold Case” whereas they cannot with “Snow.” Plus, while the prior origin from Dini’s Mr. Freeze doesn’t jibe with anything anymore (the reason it’s non-canon), parts of it do jibe more with “Cold Case” as opposed to “Snow.”
  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: There are three LOTDK tales that could be placed right here, but their continuity status is up in the air. “Conspiracy” by Doug Moench/JH Williams III (LOTDK #86-88) and “The Primal Riddle” by Steve Englehart (LOTDK #109-111) are narratively odd stories that involve wild conspiracy theories that never come up again and bizarre supernatural events that make no sense plot-wise. “Auteurism” by John Arcudi/Roger Landridge (LOTDK #162-163) is an engaging and fun story, but it is very experimental and cartoonish, so I’m not going to add it to the chronology either. If anyone really loves these stories and wants them in, I’ll gladly do it. However, it’s my opinion that they just ain’t canon! Remember, any LOTDK stories that have been omitted from the timeline have been left out because they are definitively out-of-continuity (unless anyone can convince the Batman Chronology Project otherwise, of course).
  6. [6]COLLIN COLSHER / ELIAS M FREIRE: After quitting Venom cold-turkey, Batman meets with Gordon yet again and the captain is surprised to see the Dark Knight, exclaiming “It’s been six months since—”, but before he can finish, Batman cuts him off. Since Gordon says this line near the end of the story (which originally lasted around six months), he is trying to say that it’s been six months since Batman has acted like “usual Batman,” which is true. The Dark Detective has been off ever since becoming addicted to Venom. Due to compression and Sliding-Time, of course, this reference should be four months instead of six months. Additionally, we might want to disregard this reference altogether as it implies that Batman and Gordon haven’t been in close communication these past handful of months, which simply isn’t the case.
  7. [7]MILO NOUSIAINEN: “Blades,” “Going Sane,” and “Venom” form a thematic trilogy of sorts. In “Blades,” Batman accepts Cavalier as Gotham’s new champion, but those hopes are dashed. Then in “Going Sane,” Bruce almost gives up being Batman and settles down, but with no one else to protect Gotham, he realizes the need for Batman. (Perhaps if Cavalier hadn’t turned to a life of crime, he could have taken over as Gotham’s guardian, and Bruce could have retired.) Still weakened from his experiences in “Going Sane,” Bruce starts taking Venom. Cavalier’s words—“Remember Batman, the potential for evil is in every man. Even you.”—reverberate through “Venom” as a hopped-up Batman succumbs to his own evil impulses. (In “Going Sane,” Bruce also says that he was about to become one of the demons he was fighting.) As he beats his Venom addiction, he comes out stronger and more assured in his role as Batman, the protector of Gotham. It’s fun when you can spot commonalities and links in tales created years apart by varying writers and artists.
  8. [8]COLLIN COLSHER: Two-Face: Year One by Mark Sable/Jesus Saiz (September 2008 to October 2008) is an Early Period tale that shows the later events of The Long Halloween from Harvey’s perspective. These issues contain some really good stuff that can be read in addition to The Long Halloween, especially the first issue, which includes the Modern Age debut of Judge Harkness (who is now an African-American woman). However, this story is unfortunately out of continuity since we see the incorrect “first appearances” of Detectives Harvey Bullock and Maggie Sawyer, which are both very premature. (Bullock is definitely around, but not as a detective yet). Not to mention, the second and final issue of Two-Face: Year One gets even odder. We see Crispus Allen, an off-seeming Man-Bat, and other characters that are totally out of place, including Mayor Jack Grogan. (Grogan is Commissioner, not Mayor. Although, there might’ve been some communication issues between writer and artist here as Grogan is shown clean-shaven with brown hair at the beginning of the issue #2, then with grey hair and a mustache later on in the very same issue. One was likely meant to be the Commish while the other was meant to be Mayor. In any case, Two-Face: Year One is a continuity nightmare even within the confines of its own narrative.) There is also a scene where Batman deals with both Two-Face and Joe Coyne at the same time, which also doubles as an origin story for the giant Batcave penny. This is obviously wrong, especially since Batman already had the penny on display as a trophy before the events of The Long Halloween. With all of these strange occurrences and mega-errors, let me reiterate that this entire story, which was released in-part to promote the film The Dark Knight, is totally non-canon.

    Notably, Teen Titans Spotlight #13 also shows a flashback to the origin of Two-Face, which is completely wrong.

  9. [9]COLLIN COLSHER: 1992’s “Faces” by Matt Wagner (from Batman: Legend of the Dark Knight #28-30) starts off with a flashback to Two-Face escaping Arkham, seemingly for the first time after having become Two-Face. We’ve already established that The Long Halloween and Dark Victory replace a ton of old Two-Face stuff, and this three-issue Wagner story is no exception. The main reason that “Faces” is non-canon is because it requires a spot where Two-Face is absent for TWO FULL YEARS following his first escape from Arkham. This unfortunately never happens in Batman’s early years (or really ever, for that matter). Two-Face shows up in just about every single year, and usually multiple times at that. We could just simply ignore Two-Face’s two year absence and keep this story on the timeline. However, it is such an essential plot point of Wagner’s narrative that we really shouldn’t. “Faces” just doesn’t fit.

    Or does it? “Faces” is one of those stories that can work, but only with a modified narrative. The Batman Chronology Project has dealt in such actions in the past, but I’m hesitant to do it with this story for the reasons listed above. However, our resident Batman scholar/historian PurpleGlovez (Tiptup Jr 94) has a decent summarization (see the footnotes in Bat Year Six) of how it could work, should you choose to go in a different direction.

  10. [10]COLLIN COLSHER: Catwoman Vol. 2 #38-40, which would have taken place here, just after Two-Face’s debut, is unfortunately non-canon. The story’s name, entitled “Catwoman Year Two,” is a misnomer. It was originally named as such because it was meant to be a direct follow-up to Frank Miller’s “Year One.” This story, post retcons, should really be called “Catwoman Year Three.” But aside from that, why is it out? Issue #38 has a ton of wrong information in it, including references to Batman and Catwoman’s relationship as being brand new, the cops referring to Joker as a brand new criminal, the Batcave complete with a full array of anachronistic trophies, and the post-Zero Hour mandate of Batman as an “urban myth” in full-effect. Interestingly enough, these problems are not mentioned or referenced in issue #39 or #40. However, since the story is a complete whole, we cannot/should not just ignore the first issue and read the second two as canon.

    ACE FACE: Further reasoning on why “Catwoman Year Two” doesn’t fit. For one thing, Gordon is commissioner. But my main continuity concern is actually with the silliness of the story, including when Catwoman frees the Joker. Catwoman is portrayed as being pretty gullible and easy-to-manipulate. And not only that, but I also would have thought the security around such an evil killer would be a bit better if he went to court on appeal. Furthermore, “Her Sister’s Keeper” (Catwoman #1-4) is a good canonical intro to Catwoman that exposes another big inconsistency within “Catwoman Year Two.” In “Her Sister’s Keeper,” Selina has a sister, but in “Catwoman Year Two,” she says she is an only child. So generally, Catwoman Vol. 2 #38-40 does not fit.

  11. [11]LUKASZ / COLLIN COLSHER: “Bad” goes here for the following reasons: It takes place while Gordon is still a captain. Plus, Batman and the shrink, Dr. Sabra Temple, discuss Two-Face, so this arc definitely takes place after Two-Face has debuted. Gordon uses the Bat-Signal but “can’t even sanction [Batman’s] existence,” even ignoring one of the SWAT guys that mentions Batman. (That same SWAT guy also doesn’t believe Batman is real.) Also, Dr. Temple, is shocked when meeting Batman face-to-face, previously having thought the “Bat-Man” was a myth. Even at this early point in his career, most folks know that Batman is a real thing. The editorial treatment of Batman as a myth is primarily due to post-Zero Hour retcons that were later undone. However, the idea that “Bad” goes as closely after Two-Face’s debut as possible still remains.
  12. [12]HEARTHESNAP / COLLIN COLSHER: “Don’t Blink,” according to the script, says that Lee Hyland has been missing for four months prior to the start of the tale. So if “Blink” originally takes place in Year Three, the earliest “Don’t Blink” could possibly occur would be in May of the very same year, but that doesn’t fit into the timeline correctly, especially since “Don’t Blink” occurs during wintertime as well. Thus, “Don’t Blink” must take place here at the earliest.

9 Responses to Modern YEAR THREE

  1. MISTER says:

    Where would you place the 1991 Batman Annual of Armageddon 2001. Since the event where Batman saves the hobo who is actually Wave Rider is supposed to happen, according to text, in 1991. He is wearing his Yellow Oval costume but I see no reason why this cannot be canon. Unless you placed it somewhere else and I have not found it yet.

    • Armageddon 2001 happens in Year 13 Part 2. Due to retcons (notably 1994’s Zero Hour) that time-slide everything to later dates, the year 1991 must unfortunately be ignored. Waverider’s debut—where he disguises himself as a homeless man and meets Batman—now happens in 2001 (which allows us to justify keeping the “2001” in the title of the series). Waverider still travels back from 50 years in the dark alternate future, but instead of Monarch betraying his fellow heroes around 1992, retcons have Monarch betraying his fellow heroes around 2012.

      My blurb for Armageddon 2001 was worded a bit confusingly on the website, but I have made some changes. Hopefully it makes more sense now. And, hopefully, this answers your question!

  2. Hugo M says:

    Hi Collin, just a little mistake that I noted: The Flashback of LOTDK #67 (Rebecca Brown first appearance) is duplicated, with a bit differences between they.

  3. Jack James says:

    Actually… I know you already made the move, but I woke up and just thought of a reason War on Crime might be better placed in early year two haha. In War On Crime, we get a shot of Bruce in the batcave and the batcave seems quite minimalistic. No giant dinosaur, no trophies, just a gym there, which could suggest it’s before he got all that. And the way he describes crime there, it’s all very grounded crime, no real indication whatsoever of supervillains at that point yet, and by Year Three Gotham is pretty much already becoming a madhouse of costumed villains.
    Of course, seeing how as he also doesn’t seem to have a batmobile, maybe it could go as far back as Year One, but because the police actually end up questioning Bruce’s rich friends and in Gordon’s brief cameo he seems to be the man at the front with some authority, it’s probably better to have him as Captain. My suggestion? Late February or early March from Year Two.

    • War Crimes is def a summer tale, and it def goes after Journey Into Knight. So I think September of Year Two is really the earliest it could possibly go. But that’s still prior to giant penny and T rex. I think I’ll move it there!

  4. Jack James says:

    Why did you move Long Halloween’s start from Year 3 to Year 2? The new placement has me incredibly confused, I thought the way you had it set up initially worked quite well, but I can’t make sense of the new one especially with the way that it crams Year 2 a lot and the way “Rules of Engagement” very awkwardly fits in.

    • Hey Jack, I actually did a full overhaul of the entire first ten years. Basically, along with several other interested site contributors, I went through the “Early period” (Years 1-10) and found that it was seriously imbalanced and contained a multitude of errors—many scenarios where I was forcing a triangular peg into a square hole. Batgirl’s debut has been fixed, so has the Justice League debut and rollout into the final few years of the “Early Period,” which includes all the Mind-Wipe Scandal stuff as well. Robin now debuts a year earlier, which makes more sense (and is closer to where DC seems to place his debut).

      Furthermore, upon many close re-reads and re-reviews, it dawned on me that my chronology was the only one—literally the only one—that pushed the start of Long Halloween into Year Three. It really was always intended to be a Year Two into Year Three story. Likewise, with some of the shifting, we can keep Batman Year Two in Year Two, along with key Leslie Thompkins and Wayne Foundation stuff. One of the big things I noticed was how much “Going Sane” and “Journey into Knight” were dictating way too much of the flow of my timeline, particularly the former, a 1994 story that most people don’t even consider canon! (“Going Sane” is still there, but I’ve compressed it. The idea that I wouldn’t compress something like “Going Sane” when more important tales like “No Man’s Land” and “Knightfall” have been undeniably compressed seemed plain wrong.)

      But yes, we’ve had to compress a few items. However, the amount of fanwanking and retconning is actually significantly LESS than before as a result of the shifts. (As it stands, there are dozens less caveat notes required with the new way.) So while things might seem awkward due to some of the big moves (especially if you were used to what we had before), if you read Years 1-10 as a whole now, I actually think the timeline is much stronger and way more cohesive.

      I’ll take another peek at Year Two though, and if you have any notes, please let me know as well. Thanks, Jack!

  5. Milo says:

    I was looking over The Batman Files book, and it seems to try to canonize the “Snow” story at least partially, by making reference to NEOdigm as a subsidiary of GothCorp. Wouldn’t this supersede “Cold Case” since The Batman Files came later? You know I’m in favor of “Snow”, or a modified version of it being canon. Would it be possible to take parts of “Snow” and “Cold Case” and combine them into a hybrid of the two stories like The Batman Files tries to do?

    • Thanks for the note about NEOdigm! I think The Batman Files does its best to hybridize things, but this one is a stretch. And The Batman Files should never be regarded as a canonical source above any actual comic texts. I’m inclined to leave things as they are, but I’ll take another look.

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