TRBCP Modern Age Year Three Junkie Batman

–“Going Sane” (conclusion) by JM DeMatteis/Joe Staton (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #66-68) November 1994 to February 1995
Early January to early May. First of all, “Going Sane” originally took place from Mid December to early July, meaning it occupied a whopping six months-plus on the timeline. However, due to Sliding-Time and compression (and the inclusion of numerous other stories released well after its 1994-1995 publication date), the longest “Going Sane” can go is until early May. So, this means Bruce’s retirement in Accord has been retconned from around six months to around four months. (Note that all of Bruce’s time in Accord is shown via flashback from Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #67.) Onto a synopsis. Bruce continues nursing his wounds and living the easy life in the small town of Accord. By February, a quietly contented Bruce is dating his caretaker Dr. Lynn Eagles while rehabbing his injuries. After a few more months of bliss, the honeymoon period begins to fade. Lynn, sensing Bruce’s growing restlessness, reveals that she knows all about his prior life as the Dark Knight, reminding him of a time when he once saved her life. This talk prompts Bruce to return to his roots. He realizes that his destiny lies with the mantle of the Bat (and also that he’s been a dick to Alfred by not communicating with him for months) and decides to head back to good ol’ Gotham. Meanwhile, as per LOTDK #66, Joker (as a cleaned-up and sane “Joseph Kerr”) has spent the last few months working a steady job and living a civilian life with his gal Rebecca Brown, to whom he is now engaged to be married! In early May, Batman ends his Accord retirement and returns to Gotham. The Dark Detective greets Alfred, chats with Captain Gordon, and chases a few Joker leads. After confronting Dr. Elias Bruckner’s wife and reviewing comedy video tape rental histories, Batman learns the whereabouts of the elusive missing Joker. “Joe Kerr” has gone on extended vacation with his fiancée, Rebecca, in Pennsylvania. The Caped Crusader now knows all about Joker’s “going sane.” In PA, Joe Kerr reads a newspaper highlighting the return of Batman. Upon learning Batman is back on the scene, Joe Kerr politely excuses himself from Rebecca and travels back to Gotham. There, he slips right back into being the old super-villainous Joker (much to the dismay of his unsuspecting fiancée). Joker picks up right where he was all those months ago before he “went sane”—by kidnapping Councilwoman Kenner and trying to kill Batman. Batman saves Kenner, puts Joker back in Arkham Asylum, and sends flowers to Dr. Lynn Eagles.

–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 and Batman will send her flowers every day.

–“Idols” by James Vance/Dougie Braithewaite (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #80-82) February 1996 to May 1996
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. May. Bruce attends the mayor’s ball where he flirts with Selina Kyle.

–“Venom” by Denny O’Neil/Trevor Von Eeden/Russell Braun (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #16)
May.[2] “Venom,” an awesome story, begins now and will take about six months to wrap-up. It starts less than a month before The Long Halloween begins. 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. (Not to mention, Bruce has been off his game since taking months off recently—in “Going Sane.” 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.

–“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.[3]

–“Rules of Engagement” by Andy Diggle/Whilce Portacio (Batman Confidential #1-6) February 2007 to August 2007
The first official meeting between Lex Luthor and Bruce Wayne occurs and it’s filled with over-the-top robots, cyborgs, and explosions as LexCorp and WayneTech (Wayne Aerospace division) vie for a lucrative government defense contract. Also present is Lucius Fox, who will later become Bruce’s most trusted business partner. There is also a good scene where Batman shows Alfred that he has the gun that killed his folks. Bruce took the gun out of police evidence and has had it for some time now, although he still hasn’t learned that it belongs to Joe Chill. After some cutthroat actions by Luthor, who gains the defense contract, Batman attempts to expose him as a criminal, but Luthor proves he is truly above the law. Afterward, Bruce sees that he must be a wholly different type of millionaire than his vile business counterpart. Thus, Bruce officially ends the Wayne Foundation’s focus on real estate, mergers, acquisitions, and finance. Two of Wayne Enterprises’ main three subdivisions will now have new mission statements. Wayne Industries will still deal in the industrial sector with no real changes; WayneTech will still deal in R&D, but it will no longer take any defense contracts or build munitions; and the Wayne Foundation will now basically be re-created from scratch, switching from a focus on business ventures to a focus on philanthropic humanitarian activism and charitable aid for the poor and destitute. (Bruce’s dad, long ago, had originally created the Wayne Foundation as a charitable venture, but that was changed after he was killed. Thus, Bruce is finally returning the Foundation to its roots.) Bruce appoints Senator Harold Crabtree as the chairman of the new Wayne Foundation. Also noteworthy: Luthor introduces an army of GI Robots, retooled US Army tech that hasn’t been used since Vietnam. Bruce will co-opt these GI Robots many years later for his Batman Incorporated organization.[4]

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Gotham Knights #10 Part 2 (Black and White), DC Retroactive: Batman – The 80s #1, and The Batman Files.”Batman: Year Two” (originally told in Detective Comics #575-578 and Batman: Full Circle by Mike W Barr and Alan Davis, 1987 to 1991) was originally made out-of-continuity following Zero Hour in 1994, but the references attached to this item function as DC’s attempt to canonize this story in some form. However, the updated version contains major differences from the original original arc. First, the original revolves heavily around Joe Chill and Chill’s extended family. On our current timeline, Batman has yet to discover that Chill is the man who killed his folks, so Chill cannot be a part of this tale at all. Second, in the original, Leslie Thompkins knows Batman’s secret ID. On our current timeline, she doesn’t know yet. Also, quite obviously, we are in Year Three, not Year Two. Here’s a synopsis for the updated version of events. Now that Bruce has reverted the Wayne Foundation back to its philanthropic roots, he’s brought the kindhearted Leslie Thompkins onboard to help with a few things. First order of business, Bruce orders construction of a brand new Wayne Foundation headquarters. Ground is broken and work begins. Bruce and Leslie Thompkins oversee the construction of the new Wayne Foundation Building (which will become the famous Wayne Enterprises Tower aka Wayne Tower and future location of the penthouse residence and Bat-Bunker). Bruce meets and becomes enamored with Leslie’s friend Rachel Caspian, who, unfortunately for Bruce, is set to become a nun. Batman then fights the decades-old vigilante known as The Reaper (Rachel’s father) for the first time, getting his ass handed to him. A distraught and battered Bruce takes the gun that was used to murder his parents and contemplates breaking his vow to never use firearms in battle. Bruce falls further in love with Rachel when he learns that she lost her mother in a similar fashion to how he lost his. (Kinda creepy reason, but it marks them as kindred spirits.) Despite Rachel’s pending Catholic sisterhood, Bruce charms and woos Rachel, starting a whirlwind affair. Bruce is so head-over-heels, he proposes to Rachel, giving her a custom fortune cookie engagement note. Rachel accepts! Soon afterward, the Reaper falls to his death from high atop the Wayne Foundation Building construction site while tangoing with Batman. Immediately afterward, a frazzled Rachel breaks off her engagement to Bruce and becomes a nun. Rachel returns Bruce’s engagement note and ring to a heartbroken Bruce.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #403. Bruce, mostly through the Wayne Foundation, starts contributing vast sums of money to charity and other philanthropic ventures in an attempt to make Gotham a better place with both his fists and his checkbook. Bruce will donate to just and needy causes for the rest of his life, although the majority of these kind acts will remain invisible on our timeline.

–REFERENCE: In Superman/Batman #85. Bruce becomes majority owner of his company and no longer has to answer to shareholders (at least not like before). Bruce will technically still be committing felony fraud when pilfering tech to use for his war on crime, but from now on he’ll mostly be stealing from himself.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Files. Batman and Captain Gordon bust serial killer Dr. Rudolph Klemper, known as The Senior Slasher. His trial is fast-tracked and prosecuted by ADA Harvey Dent. Unfortunately, Klemper is found not guilty by reason of insanity. Dent vents about the trial results, showing his frustration to Batman. Later, in secret, Dent kills Klemper. Note that this item is a modified and highly pared-down version of the non-canon Batman Annual #14 (1990), which was the original Two-Face origin prior to the publication of The Long Halloween (1997).[5]

–Batman: The Long Halloween #1 Part 1 by Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale (1996-1997)[6][7]
Early June. Harvey Dent has just been promoted from ADA to DA. Bruce attends the wedding reception of Johnny Viti (Carmine “The Roman” Falcone’s nephew) where he flirts and dances with Selina Kyle. (A flashback from Catwoman Vol. 3 #1 shows Bruce and Selina dancing here.) Also in attendance are Sal Maroni, Carmine’s bodyguard Milos Grapa, Carmine’s sister Carla Viti, and Carmine’s son Alberto Falcone. Toward the end of the celebration, Bruce and Selina peel off and get into their respective costumes. Batman chases off Catwoman and still manages to steal a ledger from Falcone’s mansion. Later, the Dark Knight delivers the ledger to Harvey Dent and Captain Gordon atop GCPD HQ where the trio plans their war against the Falcones. (A reference in The Batman Files adds a line about the recent “Klemper Case” to this rooftop conversation.)

–FLASHBACK: From Legends of the Dark Knight #37. Early 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.

–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.

–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 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.

–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.

–“Irresistible” by Tom Peyer/Tony Harris (conclusion) (LOTDK #169-171) September 2003 to November 2003
Mid to late June. 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.

–FLASHBACK: From the second feature to Countdown to Final Crisis #11—and referenced in Batman: The Long Halloween #2 and The Batman Files. Batman encounters the undead Solomon Grundy in the sewer, later saving a young girl from him. Grundy has been a longtime infamous resident of Gotham, having fought Green Lantern Alan Scott decades ago. Thus, even though Batman only meets Grundy for the first time now, he has been aware of his existence since he was a boy.

–Batman: The Long Halloween #1 Part 2 by Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale (1996-1997)
July. Bruce attends a board meeting for the Gotham City Bank and demands that they not do business with the Falcone family. Bruce is out-voted. Later that night, Batman visits corrupt bank president Richard Daniel and scares him into resigning. The next day, Bruce is elected new president of the bank and nixes any business relationship with the Falcones.

–“Wings” by Chuck Dixon/Quique Alcatena (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Annual #5) 1995
Mid 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. Two weeks 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).

–“Venom” by Denny O’Neil/Trevor Von Eeden/Russell Braun (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #17-20)
August-September. 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.[8] 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 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 four weeks, but it still looks cool.[9] Batman then meets with Gordon to get the whereabouts of Porter and Slaycroft[10] and flies to the tiny Caribbean island nation of Santa Prisca with Alfred. On Santa Prisca (Bane’s birth nation, near Haiti and Puerto Rico), a drug-free Batman kicks ass and defeats the villains.[11]

–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.

–Batman: The Long Halloween #1 Part 3 by Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale (1996-1997)
Late September-October 31. Carmine Falcone orders a hit on former Gotham Bank president Richard Daniel, who gets whacked by Johnny Viti. A few days later, Johnny Viti is murdered in his home. The mystery killer leaves a jack-o-lantern and a .22 caliber gun at the scene. Thus begins the “Holiday” serial killings that will specifically target mob families for the next year. Batman meets with Gordon and Dent to discuss the murder, and then meets with Catwoman, who tells him how to “follow” Falcone’s money trail.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #527. October 31. Dent, Gordon, and Batman meet as usual, but this time Dent asks Batman to illegally obtain evidence to help put away criminals who have evaded justice through legal loopholes. Dent goes so far as to imply that Batman should create evidence even if it doesn’t exist to ensure that known criminals serve time. Batman refuses, of course. The relationship between the trio continues on, but this is an early sign that Dent is becoming more and more obsessed and unraveled.

–Batman: The Long Halloween #1 Part 4 by Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale (1996-1997)
October 31. Batman and Harvey Dent, thanks to Catwoman, find Falcone’s warehouse full of millions of dollars in cash. In the blink of an eye, Batman and Dent burn the warehouse (and all of its money) to ash. Later that night, Dent returns home to his wife Gilda Dent, but a bomb—set by Falcone’s hired Irish thug Mickey—explodes in their home.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: The Long Halloween #2. October 31-November 1. Harvey and Gilda miraculously survive their home explosion and are relatively unharmed. However, Harvey, as part of a plan contrived by Captain Gordon and Batman, lets the media believe he has died in order to help the investigation.

–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: 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 cocktails, stands up a date, donates to a children’s hospital, and stands up another date (multiple times in a row).

–REFERENCE: In Batman: The Long Halloween #10 and The Batman Files—originally told in Batman #49. November 8. Mad Hatter (Jervis Tetch) debuts, robbing a yacht club that is being photographed by photojournalist Vicki Vale. After the robbery, Batman busts Mad Hatter. (This item is also re-imagined in the Silver Age: 80-Page Giant #1 Part 2. However, this re-imagination is non-canon since it involves Robin and also paints Mad Hatter’s yacht club scheme as his second heist, not his debut.)

–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: 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 five years.

–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.

–Batman: The Long Halloween #2-4 by Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale (1996-1997)
Late November-December 31. After a short altercation with Solomon Grundy, Batman captures Mickey and immediately connects the Irish hired-gun to the Falcones. However, evidence is circumstantial at best. Mickey and his pals refuse to implicate Falcone, even refusing to mention his name in front of an Irish-disguised Dent, who reveals to the public he’s alive and well. On Thanksgiving, Batman leaves a turkey dinner in the sewer for Solomon Grundy, while across town, the Holiday Killer (“Holiday” for short) strikes again, murdering a group of Falcone’s top men, including bodyguard Milos Grapa, and leaving behind a cornucopia and the signature twenty-two. Joker escapes from Arkham shortly before Christmas, obsessed with finding out who Holiday is. Batman and Captain Gordon visit Calendar Man in Arkham to gain some possible insight on the motives of Holiday, but get a bunch of hooey instead. As Joker terrorizes Gotham, Holiday acts on Christmas Day, executing Falcone’s bodyguard. On New Year’s Eve, while Batman recaptures Joker as the ball literally drops, Alberto Falcone winds up dead in Gotham Harbor, a snow globe and twenty-two left on the deck of his father’s ship.


| >>> NEXT: YEAR FOUR >>>

  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: Welcome to Bat Year Three. “Going Sane” takes up the first few months of the year. And several stories overlap with each other this year, including “Venom,” the start of The Long Halloween, and the conclusion of “Wings.”
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: Placing “Venom” is very problematic. 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). Therefore, I have placed “Venom” in the earliest chronological spot it could possibly go without contradicting the rest of our timeline.
  3. [3]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.

  4. [4]FRANK: Regarding the placement of “Rules of Engagement.” It seems odd to see this story so soon on the timeline, when subsequent books on the timeline don’t show the Batplane or Batbike. In “Venom,” for example, Bruce is still chartering planes. Some possible reasons for placing the story here anyway: First, now is a good time for the re-christening of the Wayne Foundation. Second, Batman and Gordon don’t show a close working relationship yet, which is not more evident until The Long Halloween. Furthermore, one could argue that the batplane and batbike were so badly destroyed in “Rules of Engagement” that he had to charter planes and use simpler transport for a while afterward. Even so, it still feels weird to see so much tech so early in Batman’s career. However, it is a decent fit right before “Venom” and The Long Halloween; that fits with Luthor’s mention of metahumans in “Rules of Engagement.”

    COLLIN COLSHER: The placement was indeed because of the Wayne Foundation re-christening and the Batman-Gordon relationship. And I like and will use your theory regarding the damaged Batplane and Batbike to further defend my placement. A lot of the tech in “Rules of Engagement” felt a little too-over-the-top and advanced for the time, but I think this was DC’s way of launching a new series (Confidential) with a current/modern feel and explosive high octane vibe (even though it was supposed to depict Batman early on in his career).

  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: The conclusion of The Long Halloween, which occurs next Bat Year, will take up the majority of Bat Year Four, functioning as the canonical origin detailing Harvey Dent’s transformation into Two-Face. Originally, the excellent Batman Annual #14 (1990) was the official Two-Face origin story, remaining canon for nearly seven years until it was replaced by The Long Halloween in 1997. To this day, scholars and fans alike argue about which is the better Two-Face origin. Some purists refuse to replace Annual #14 with The Long Halloween, citing it as utter blasphemy. These stories can’t coexist since they contradict each other in many ways, so no matter how your personal cookie crumbles, I’ve chosen to go with DC’s official version of events, which definitively has The Long Halloween as canon above all else.

    Despite the heated debate over Two-Face’s official origin story, 2011’s The Batman Files tries its best to placate both parties by retroactively sliding in a cute little reference to Batman Annual #14 into the very pages of The Long Halloween #1 Part 1. This simply means that The Long Halloween is still numero uno in regard to official continuity, but the opening part of Batman Annual #14 (the Rudolph Klemper case) is also canon, albeit as a modified and pared-down version of its original. It occurs immediately before the start of The Long Halloween, as listed above.

  6. [6]COLLIN COLSHER: The Long Halloween is the big one, the story that changes everything. And it is, arguably, the most important story during the “Early Period” besides Miller’s “Year One.” This is the story of how the organized mobs of Gotham fade away and become completely overshadowed by the costumed super-villains. It’s second half forms the definitive Two-Face origin story, with the rise and fall of the Batman/Gordon/Dent union. It also begins to more fully develop the Catwoman/Batman love affair that will last for years. When The Long Halloween was released, it was billed as a direct follow-up to Miller’s “Year One” and it most certainly is. This billing led many people (DC marketers included) to label it as “Batman’s official second year.” However, as we’ve seen, we are clearly in at least Bat Year Three. Basically, this excellent story does follow-up Miller’s “Year One,” but not right away. If anyone tells you otherwise, they are just plain wrong! Ok, they aren’t wrong. In fact, I’m sure Loeb was writing this as a Year Two direct follow-up to Miller’s “Year One.” Matthew Manning’s The Batman Files seems to concur with the idea of The Long Halloween being a Year Two tale. But no matter Loeb’s mindset or what some “official” sources say, The Long Halloween totally fits and works perfectly in Year Three! The vast voluminousness of Batman’s “early year stories” spewed forth by DC in the 1990s and 2000s requires the alteration, retconning, or shuffling-around of several tales (including The Long Halloween) in order to fit with verisimilitude and make the Modern Age chronology capacious enough to withstand it all without continuity errors. You’ll undoubtedly find many comic books on my version of Batman’s Modern Age timeline that are supposed to take place at a very certain juncture, but I have fitted them into different spots to synthesize a more legitimate and accurate menology. Hopefully, this is reflected in what you read on my site.
  7. [7]CHIP:The Long Halloween and its sequel Dark Victory are fine stories, but they do prevent a lot of other stories from fitting in, or cause some awkward placement. It is therefore, necessary to alter and compress them. (Scholar Chris J Miller, for example, has both stories compressed down to a couple of months and has moved scenes all around on his timelines.)

    COLLIN COLSHER: While it is true that The Long Halloween and Dark Victory prevent a lot of other tales from fitting in neatly, I have treated their narratives as pure gospel and have scrupulously tried to avoid compressing or editing either of them.

  8. [8]COLLIN COLSHER: During his August meeting with Batman, Gordon says they haven’t communicated in almost three months. This is almost correct. It’s been about two months since they’ve spoken—not since early June.
  9. [9]COLLIN COLSHER: The time Batman spends in seclusion, rehabbing from the drug (from August to September) meshes nicely with a period of inactivity in The Long Halloween around that same time.
  10. [10]COLLIN COLSHER: 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. I have troubled over the meaning of this “six months” line and I am perplexed by it. A more appropriate line would seemingly have been for Gordon to question where Batman had disappeared to during his four-week seclusion.

    ELIAS M FREIRE: Since Gordon says this line near the end of the story (which lasts 6 to 7 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.

  11. [11]MILO NOUSIAINEN: The placement of “Blades,” “Going Sane,” and “Venom” forms a continuous arc. 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 Venom-hopped 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.

5 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!

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