–The Crisis on Infinite Earths #2[4]
“Worlds will Live. Worlds will die. And the universe will never be the same.” This was the famous tag-line for the epic, time-altering, crossover “maxi” series that changed Batman’s (and everyone else’s) world forever. This is the shocking event by Marv Wolfman and George Perez that “erased” a 46 year history and replaced it with the previous 112 stories and bullet notes that comprised the entirety of the previous “Year One Era” (“Modern Silver Age” and “Modern Bronze Age”) entries on this site.  If you didn’t read the Introduction to the Modern Age, please do so to understand the full scope of what the original Crisis is all about. Narrative-wise, here’s what goes down in a nutshell. While Batman battles the Joker, he witnesses a disturbing vision of a dying Flash. Before Batman’s very eyes, his good friend Barry Allen is seemingly murdered by a mysterious force. But that’s just the beginning. The mysterious Pariah arrives on Earth with startling news: the multiverse exists and multiple versions of Earth are being destroyed by a godlike entity known as The Anti-Monitor, who has successfully outmatched his brother and rival, The Monitor. (The Anti-Monitor and the Monitor were both spawned by The Great Hand of Creation, a mysterious being that was born unto/out of the Overmonitor aka Overvoid, an omnipotent and infinite-sized living void that existed prior to and originally incubated and cared for large portions of the proto-omniverse.)[5] As many Earths die, the chaos edges closer and closer to destroying all that exists. Thousands of universes are erased in one fell swoop and the Monitor is fatally wounded, disappearing into the ether. (A lengthy flashback from DC Universe Legacies #5 shows the heroes’ initial response to the catastrophe at its outset.) As referenced in Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #1-2, with his last breath, the dying Monitor secretly creates the first of what will eventually become an entire race of new Monitors to secretly protect the multiverse when he is gone. (The first of these new Monitors is Dax Novu.) After passing over to wherever it is über-gods go when they die, the Monitor’s spirit is able to create and raise up towering golden machines all over the multiple Earths. These machines act as tuning antennas designed to both delay the destruction of spacetime and draw surviving universes into a safe haven by aligning their vibrational planes. Despite these towers, however, things still look bleak and the wave of destruction continues to wash across the multiverse, albeit at a slower pace.

–Saga of the Swamp Thing #44
The skies burn red over Gotham as The Crisis on Infinite Earths rages on. While Swamp Thing checks-up on his wife Abigail Holland (formerly Abigail Cable), Batman patrols the Gotham streets, briefly crossing paths with John Constantine and Mento.

–New Teen Titans Vol. 2 #13
Superman and Batman arrive in New York City to assist the Outsiders and Teen Titans with the craziness related to the Crisis.

–The Crisis on Infinite Earths #3-4
The Crisis continues as chaos washes over multiple Earths. Batman, the Outsiders, and the Teen Titans deal with crumbling skyscrapers in New York City and then witness a disturbing vision of the Flash dying, the same vision Batman has seen before. Multiple Earths continue to vanish. Thousands of heroes (and villains) rise up to fight the good fight. And thousands perish.

–JLA Incarnations #5 Part 1
The Detroit-based JLA (minus Aquaman, who has recently quit the team to be with his wife following the death of their son) responds to the chaos of the Crisis in New York City. There they fight alongside many heroes, including Batman, to defend one of the Monitor’s golden towers against the Anti-Monitor’s army of Shadow Demons. As seen via flashback from Suicide Squad #16, Shade the Changing Man briefly appears to fight alongside Batman and Green Lantern Hal Jordan during this confrontation versus the Shadow Demons. (Note that Shade the Changing Man is one of the few characters that will retain a complete knowledge of the pre-Crisis DCU following the Crisis.) Batman eventually leaves this Shadow Demon battle when he is summoned by Pariah, leading to Legends of the DCU: Crisis on Infinite Earths #1, which immediately follows this item.

–Legends of the DCU: Crisis on Infinite Earths #1
The Crisis is in full-effect and universes are getting destroyed left-and-right. Panicked, Pariah sends several groups to try to defend various Earths. Batman and others briefly travel to Earth-D, home to multiracial versions of the primary DCU’s heroes. However, the combined force of the primary DCU’s heroes and Earth-D’s heroes is not enough to prevent Earth-D’s destruction. After Earth-D’s destruction, Batman briefly returns to his home Earth before literally all the heroes are whisked away to the HQ of the Monitor by Harbinger. What follows is the very famous “gathering of the superheroes” scene aboard the Monitor’s satellite, as depicted in The Crisis on Infinite Earths #5 (and its direct references in various comics).

–FLASHBACK: From the second feature to 52 #4—and referenced in The Crisis on Infinite Earths #5, Infinity Inc #22, Swamp Thing Vol. 2 #46, Hellblazer, Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for Swamp Thing #1, Swamp Thing Vol. 2 #46, and Justice League Europe #8. The “gathering of the superheroes” from The Crisis on Infinite Earths #5 continues aboard the Monitor’s satellite (as shown in the second feature to 52 #4, Infinity Inc #22, and Swamp Thing Vol. 2 #46). Batman meets several characters he’s never met before, including The Spectre and John Constantine. Technically, Batman met Constantine on the street briefly in Saga of the Swamp Thing #44, but they never were formally introduced until now. Batman officially meeting Constantine is referenced in Hellblazer, Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for Swamp Thing #1, and Swamp Thing Vol. 2 #46. Constantine is noteworthy not only because he is friggin’ awesome, but also because he will retain a complete knowledge of the pre-Crisis DCU following the Crisis—just like Shade the Changing Man. Batman meeting the Spectre is referenced in Justice League Europe #8. The Spectre is the physical embodiment of the wrath and vengeance of the single Judeo-Christian/Islamic god named God. While there exists a near infinite pantheon in the DCU, God being merely one of this never-ending theophany, only the brash and egocentric deity of the Abrahamic Faiths has the audacity to call himself “God”—although, depending on one’s religion, he has various names, including “The Presence,” “The Lord,” “Allah” in Arabic, or “YHWH” in Hebrew. Despite acting as God’s wrathful hand of justice, the Spectre must be held within a human host vessel or he cannot complete his divine work on Earth. “God’s wrath and vengeance” functions as a sentient entity unto itself: a former angel named Aztar, now simply called Wrath. Only when Aztar/Wrath combines with a human host, in this case Jim Corrigan, does the Spectre take shape.

–The Crisis on Infinite Earths #5
At the extradimensional satellite HQ of the Monitor, “the gathering of the superheroes” continues. (The same scene from both Infinity Inc #22 and Swamp Thing Vol. 2 #46 that shows the “gathering of the superheroes” continues to overlap with this issue as well, as do the previous other depictions of the “gathering,” like the ones in JLA Incarnations #5 Part 1 and the second feature to 52 #4.) The heroes are fully briefed on the dire situation by Pariah, Alexander Luthor Jr (from the already destroyed Earth-3), and Harbinger. As the meeting wraps-up, the forces of the Anti-Monitor destroy the Monitor’s HQ, causing the heroes to flee back to a chaotic Earth that is merging with many other Earths and timelines. The war rages on.

–JLA Incarnations #5 Part 1 Conclusion
Batman isn’t in The Crisis on Infinite Earths #6, but that’s okay since the conclusion to the first part of JLA Incarnations #5 completely overlaps with it and shows us what Batman is up to. Here’s a synopsis. While Martian Manhunter tries to help hold together the crumbling satellite HQ of the Monitor, he sends his Detroit-based JLA team back into battle. On a time-shifting crazy Earth, the JLA fights various bizarre threats alongside Batman, who doubts their effectiveness until Vibe uses his powers to fix one of the Monitor’s golden tower machines.

–REFERENCE: In JLA Classified #1. Batman begins collecting a bunch of weird shit from this unprecedented Crisis adventure and puts the stash into a “Sci-Fi Closet” in the Batcave. This collecting spree will overlap with the final issues of Crisis on Infinite Earths below. Items collected will include a ray gun, a set of Thanagarian wings, the head of the Iron Giant from Iron Giant, Robot B-9’s arm from Lost in Space, and a Dalek from Doctor Who. Clearly, Grant Morrison and Ed McGuinness had a bit of fun in regard to those last three items—I’m not sure if these are props, comical Easter eggs, or a way of crossing-over with these other non-DC universes. The Dalek could be linked to Morrison’s Metaleks, a race of sentient construction robots directly inspired by Transformers and Daleks, which would have recently battled Europe’s most prominent heroes. If that’s the case, we can assume that one of Batman’s Euro pals (like Knight or Musketeer) ships a particularly Dalek-looking Metalek over from across the pond (possibly after Crisis ends). In regard to the other stuff, if there was ever a time Batman was going to be able to collect items from the world of Lost in Space or Iron Giant, the Crisis on Infinite Earths would definitely be the right time! From this point forward, Batman will throw other items in the Sci-Fi Closet randomly, but we’ll have to imagine these additions invisibly scattered throughout our timeline. The only other specific item that will be added is the Boom Tube Gauntlet, but that’s not until after Cosmic Odyssey.

–The Crisis on Infinite Earths #7
The cosmic conflict continues, forcing all the superheroes of the multiverse to band together to fight against evil. There are many casualties on both sides, including the tragic death of Supergirl. The world mourns Supergirl and a public funeral is held—although, by the end of the Crisis, Supergirl’s life, death, and funeral will all be erased from this timeline. Therefore, for the purposes of the Modern Age version of the Crisis, we must completely ignore Supergirl’s involvement and funeral. More on that below.

–Justice League of America Annual #3
The Crisis continues. With the planet already in total chaos, things only deteriorate as freak super-storms break out everywhere. After finding the body of a dead-again Red Tornado, the saddened JLA prepares for action by joining Green Arrow, Superman, Batman, and the Outsiders to deal with the storms, which open up several deadly anti-gravity warp holes. The Air/Wind Elemental Ulthoon (also called Tornado Champion or Tornado Tyrant, and formerly housed within Red Tornado’s android body) emerges and claims responsibility for the storms, citing that humanity has ruined the planet. Taking advantage of the Crisis and his release from Red Tornado, the Elemental thought it would be a smart tactical move to attack during the chaos. Red Tornado’s girlfriend Kathy Sutton briefly talks down the Elemental, who eventually departs, leaving the heroes to re-focus on the Anti-Monitor.

–NOTE: In The Crisis on Infinite Earths #8 and JLA Incarnations #5 Part 2. Technically, Batman doesn’t appear in The Crisis on Infinite Earths #8 and is only shown via flashback from The Crisis on Infinite Earths #2. The cosmic crisis begins to intensify and the Flash Barry Allen is killed. (The vision of Barry Allen’s death that Batman witnessed at the beginning of the Crisis has come true.)[6] JLA Incarnations #5 Part 2 re-shows a panel from Crisis where Kid Flash (Wally West), alongside Hal Jordan and Batman, mourns the death of his mentor.

–The Crisis on Infinite Earths #9-12
Things get worse and worse as the cosmic conflict rages on. Notably, Brainiac and Lex Luthor drop Chemo (a living chemical bomb) onto an alternate Earth’s New York City, leveling it completely. Eventually, everyone digs-in and stands their collective ground against villainy. As the colossal war erupts into bedlam, all the superheroes—including the JLA, JSA, Outsiders, Teen Titans, Challengers, Blackhawks, GCPD, Amazons, Freedom Fighters, Global Guardians (a multi-national defense corps that numbers in the dozens and consists of a rotating lineup of non-American superheroes), hundreds of unaffiliated individuals, and many more—band together to fight against evil. A flashback from Starman #8 reflects the cover of Crisis on Infinite Earths #12, showing Batman, Superman, Lady Quark, and other heroes about to fight the Anti-Monitor in amidst a cityscape. However, that’s just a cover image and not something that actually occurs in the story. The final battle versus the Anti-Monitor takes place in the Antimatter Universe and Batman isn’t there for it. Therefore, we simply have to imagine the Starman flashback as a nod to the opening scene of Crisis #12, where the Anti-Monitor’s giant image appears before the heroes, above a cityscape. A flashback from the second feature to 52 #5 also shows the final battle against the Anti-Monitor, but it includes several heroes that were not actually there (including Batman), watching from within the safety of floating force-bubbles. It’s possible that Batman and some of the other more-grounded heroes were able to watch long-distance via these bubbles, but they definitely weren’t physically present for the final battle. In any case, the cosmic heroes win the day, defeating the Anti-Monitor. But at what price? Well, beyond the lives of so many heroes (and villains) in their prime, at the cost of their own collective history as well. The past is erased and everything Batman ever knew is replaced with the tales you’ve read about on this very website thus far (sort of… Don’t forget that many of the cosmic historical changes that take place during The Crisis on Infinite Earths are altered yet again later in Zero Hour, Infinite Crisis, and to some extent Final Crisis, so the stories you’ve read about on this website so far reflect those changes, which occur later). To reiterate, Crisis on Infinite Earths merges an almost infinite number of Earths (and their collective histories) into one single Earth (Earth-1 at the time, but later re-christened “New Earth” and later “Earth-0” following Infinite Crisis). While one main “New Earth”/”Earth-0” universe is created, the multiverse IS NOT destroyed. Within the overall omniverse, there are still multiple universes and entire alternate multiverses that exist outside of the main DC Multiverse, such as the Marvel Multiverse, Image Multiverse, Wildstorm U, numerous Elseworlds Universes, the new Antimatter U (home of the Morrison/Quitely Crime Syndicate), and many more.  These various alternate universes and multiverses remain unaffected by the Crisis on Infinite Earths (and we’ll see them in the years to come). Furthermore, Infinite Crisis will later spawn the creation of 52 main universes that will each have unique and complex histories.  Thus, those 52 main universes also technically exist at this point and are also unaffected by Crisis on Infinite Earths, although we won’t learn about them in detail until Bat Year 20 (i.e. after Infinite Crisis). So there you have it.  The original Crisis occurs and then life is back to normal, I suppose. The Bat-Family has a brand new history and they are none the wiser. From Batman’s perspective, the Crisis didn’t change anything historically. In fact, Batman simply remembers it as just another evil planetary threat dealt with. Sort of. In the weeks following the fighting and carnage, the history of the primary Earth in the DCU “settles” and certain specific occurrences that took place during the Crisis slowly phase out. For instance, despite having recently been killed, Supergirl, thanks to the “settling” aftermath of the cosmic spacetime anomaly, winds up having never existed at all!  Similarly, many of our heroes mourn the loss of of their friends, but within the short span of a few weeks, these friends—like the deceased Supergirl, Earth-2 Dick Grayson, or Helena Wayne—simply cease to exist and vanish from memory.[7]

–REFERENCE: In Blackest Night #0. The epic funeral of the Flash Barry Allen occurs. It is the largest gathering of superheroes during peace-time to date.

–JLA Incarnations #5 Part 2 Conclusion
Following the epic public funeral for Barry Allen, a more private memorial service is held outside of his grave, with about a dozen or so close friends, relatives, and superhero friends in attendance, including Batman. From within the Speed Force, Barry’s spirit observes.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #655. Batman sets up the Bat-computer so that it can link into any security camera in Gotham. The Dark Knight can spy on just about everyone now.

–REFERENCE: In The Crisis on Infinite Earths #12, Secret Origins Vol. 2 #44 Part 2, and The Batman Files. Batman receives the long list of names of those who were killed during the Crisis. Among those killed were Clayface II (Matt Hagen) and Ten-Eyed Man, who were both slaughtered by Shadow Demons. Batman feels guilty because he doesn’t care about Clayface’s demise and is actually glad that the monstrous Hagen is dead.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Files. Killer Croc escapes from Arkham Asylum and goes into hiding. Batman begins tracking him, but has no luck.

–FLASHBACK: From The Outsiders #28—and also referenced in Batman and the Outsiders #32—originally told in Batman and the Outsiders #28-31. When Emily Briggs is kidnapped, Batman and the Outsiders chase her to the magickal underground kingdom of Abyssia. The heroes find Emily, who has learns that she is Abyssian royalty and is endowed with superpowers to become Looker! Looker defeats the evil Queen Tamira, restoring peace and order to Abyssia. While the team is in Abyssia, Batman’s absence above ground results in the mob deaths of several innocent Gothamites, something Batman will not be happy about.

–Batman and the Outsiders #32
Batman goes undercover as Matches Malone to infiltrate a Gotham mob operation run by Morgan Jones. In order to keep Geo-Force’s mind on the operation at hand, Batman purposefully withholds the fact that a returning Baron Bedlam has attacked Markovia yet again for two whole days. When Geo-Force finds out, he’s pissed, but Batman scolds him and the rest of the team about priorities, citing that innocent people were killed while he (Batman) was with the Outsiders on their recent mission to Abyssia. The argument heats up to such a degree that Batman tries to dissolve the Outsiders by quitting the team. The Outsiders vote to stay together without their leader and will soon add Looker to their roster.

–REFERENCE: In Adventures of the Outsiders #33-40. With Batman off the Outsiders, not only does he drop his name from the title of the book, he boots the team out of Wayne Tower! Don’t worry, though. The homeless Outsiders will quickly move to an abandoned Pacific Ocean oil rig HQ just off the coast of Los Angeles. They will also split time between LA and Markovia, sometimes operating out of either the Markovian Embassy in LA or the Royal Palace in Markovia.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman & Robin #24. In the Batcave, Batman gives Robin some sage words of wisdom regarding the need to stay calm and adapt to any situation while in battle.

–REFERENCE: In Green Arrow Vol. 2 Annual #1. Bruce gives Alfred a pay raise. He will give Alfred three more raises in just the following few months, meaning that Alfred likely gets raises tacked onto what must already be a substantial salary multiple times a year on average. We simply have to imagine the pay-hikes happening randomly (and invisibly) on our timeline moving forward from this point.

–FLASHBACK: From Booster Gold Vol. 2 #14. Batman and Robin defeat Mr. Freeze.  During the confrontation, although neither Batman nor Robin see it happen, Booster Gold quickly appears from eleven years into the future (Bat Year 22) and borrows Freeze’s ice-gun, which he needs in order to fix damage done to the timestream by an army of Starros. After fixing the timestream in the future, Booster returns the ice-gun and no one is the wiser, except for a confused Freeze, who thinks a “magic hand” temporarily stole his weapon.

–FLASHBACK: From Red Hood: Lost Days #6. Joker is on the loose again.  Batman warns Robin about the dangers of Joker and not to take him lightly.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Files. Batman, as Matches Malone, charms the location of the missing Killer Croc out of Croc’s old henchman, Robbie “Checkers” Harrigan. Not long after, Batman drags Killer Croc out of Slaughter Swamp and returns him to Arkham Asylum.

–FLASHBACK: From Joker’s Asylum: Joker #1. Joker takes over the 70s nostalgia TV game-show “Hold ‘Em or Fold ‘Em” and takes an entire studio audience hostage.  The Clown Prince of Crime executes numerous contestants until Batman and the GCPD end the bloody madness. This flashback is narrated entirely by Joker himself, so much of it may be apocryphal. However, its basic elements are most likely canonical.

–DC Retroactive: Batman – The 80s #1
The Reaper (the “Batman Year Two” version) is back, but who is wearing the costume this time?  Batman fears that Rachel Caspian is avenging her father’s death, but after a violent battle at McSurley’s Bar (!) the Dynamic Duo learns that there are actually two Reapers now: the respective son and daughter of two rival mobsters. The Reapers had planned to embezzle all the money from their mob families and split town. We also learn that new Gotham DA Samuels is in league with the Reapers. In the end, Batman figures everything out with ease, defeats all the villains, and saves Rachel’s life. Rachel and Batman part ways with the former revealing that she knows his secret identity.

–NOTE: In The Crisis on Infinite Earths #12 and Infinite Crisis. A few weeks have passed since the end of the Crisis. The existence of Supergirl, former Earth-2 Dick Grayson, and former Earth-2 Helena Wayne have all been erased completely. Seeing that their own existence is also fading, several heroes exile themselves in an Eden-like pocket universe to save them selves: Superman (Kal-L) and Lois Lane of former Earth-2, Alexander Luthor Jr of former Earth-3, and Superboy (Superboy-Prime) of former Earth-Prime. These characters will watch as the “Earth-0” DCU unfolds over the next decade and when they don’t like what they see, you can better believe there will be hell to pay.[8]

–NOTE: In The Last Days of the Justice Society of America Special #1 and Infinity Inc #30. While most universal timelines have been completely erased by the Crisis , making Universe-0 our primary timeline, the former Earth-2 still has not been erased. Instead, it lingers like a reflection that will slowly disintegrate over a period of months until it finally dies completely, at which point it, like the others, will simply cease to have ever existed at all. So, why is it important to even mention the few months of time where the old Earth-2 timeline disappears piece by piece like a photo of Marty McFly’s family if it winds up null and void anyway? And why is this important if Batman isn’t even involved? Well, because DC decided to write The Last Days of the Justice Society of America Special #1 and Infinity Inc #30. Both of these issues take place during the time after the Crisis where Earth-2 is in its dying phase. And both issues feature former Earth-2 characters that have all their recollections of the decaying Earth-2 timeline. Not only that, in The Last Days, the JSA travels back to 1945 on Earth-2’s timeline to preserve its history (via making sure the course of WWII went as it originally did). So, basically, I’m explaining this because it’s important to know in order to understand future JSA events and, specifically, Power Girl’s history. Don’t forget that, for Batman and his contemporaries (including the JSA), the Crisis appeared as just another mega-crossover event. Batman and his peers have no idea that “infinite” Earths have just merged and rewritten the entirety of history. For the purposes of our Modern Age timeline, all we need to know is that the JSA (minus Power Girl, Dr. Fate, and Star-Spangled Kid), following the Crisis, goes back in time to 1945 where they merge with Norse Gods and get stuck in a Ragnarok cycle, which they will be stuck in for the next 56 years (until they return in Bat Year 13 during Armageddon: Inferno). Thus, it will appear to the outside world as if the JSA goes missing starting now and returns in two-and-a-half years.[9] Power Girl is a special case. Unlike everyone else, the Crisis reboot doesn’t give her a brand new history and timeline like all the rest of her peers. She simply anomalously appears out of nowhere for the first time ever about a year prior to the Crisis, with a confused mix of true and false memories in regard to her past. Power Girl is one of the few characters that has memory (albeit blocked) of her former defunct Earth-2 past.

–REFERENCE: In Teen Titans Spotlight #14. Batman and Robin close an unspecified case that nets them the prize of what appears to be a robotic spine or large cycle chain. They put this bizarre thing into the Batcave’s Hall of Trophies.

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


–Justice League of America #250-255
Late March. The alien tyrant known as Despero makes his dramatic return.  Batman also returns to lead the JLA, albeit temporarily, because he feels the new version of the League can’t handle this threat without him. After Despero is defeated, Zatanna is kidnapped by the telepath and cult leader known only as Adam. She issues a JLA alert, which is answered by Batman and the JLA, but the powerful metahuman is able to form an illusion of Zatanna that tells the team it was merely a false alarm. With Zatanna left to her own devices, Batman will soon once again leave the League. NOTE: Vixen knows that Bruce is Batman in these issues. This is incorrect and must be ignored.

———————–Batman #401[11]
———————–Detective Comics #568-570
———————–Legends #2-5
———————–Captain Atom #2
———————–Legends #6
The first four issues listed don’t directly tie into Legends, but the first two were labeled as a part of the crossover, so that’s why they are here. In those initial issues, Jason deals with Magpie and the Penguin for the first time. Also, Catwoman, who has renounced crime (only because Zatanna mind-wiped her some months ago), officially joins forces with Batman and Robin. You can’t imagine how genuinely happy Batman is. That is, until the Joker teams-up with Dr. Moon and they kidnap Selina and brainwash her with experimental CAT scan technology. Thus, a brain-scrambled Selina returns to a life of crime. Not only that, but Selina suffers massive selective amnesia, even completely permanently forgetting Batman’s secret ID. However, Batman can’t really deal with this tragedy because the real events of Legends begin. We never find out if Dr. Moon’s device truly has a lasting effect in regard to making Selina malicious again. After all, Catwoman will eventually return to being “good,” so we must assume Dr. Moon’s CAT scan has only a temporary effect or that Selina’s genuine nature overcomes in the end. Note that, unlike Selina’s amicable nature, her knowledge of Batman’s secret ID will not return.[12] Anyway, on to the main narrative of Legends. Darkseid sends Glorious Godfrey to Earth to inveigh anti-superhero sentiment on a mass-mediated television Evangelist-level scale. In fact, he is so successful, the President of the United States (originally Reagan at the time of publication, so you can go with Reagan, Clinton, or a generic DCU POTUS for your own personal headcanon) outlaws all superhero activity and disbands the JLA. (Remind anyone of Marvel’s Civil War!?) Meanwhile, new government-sanctioned hero Captain Atom (Nathaniel Adam), endowed with quantum powers by US Army General Wade Eiling and Dr. Heinrich Megala, publicly debuts with great hullabaloo and a lot of media hype, catching the eye of the already established heroes, including Batman and Superman. After Captain Atom stops Plastique (Bette Sans Souci) from assassinating the US President and the Prime Minister of Canada, Batman and Superman realize that they have a potentially very powerful ally. Despite Captain Atom’s popularity, virtually all of the rest of the heroes are still outlawed and reviled. Amid this anti-hero fervor, Robin is nearly beaten to death by an angry mob of protestors. At Mount Rushmore, The Suicide Squad fights Darkseid’s warrior Brimstone, which leads to the death of Blockbuster (Marc Desmond). (The Suicide Squad is a team of rotating incarcerated super-villains forced to undertake secret missions for the US military. They are controlled by Task Force X, a clandestine government organization run by the notorious Amanda Waller. The current lineup—sans the now deceased Blockbuster—consists of Bronze Tiger, Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, Rick Flag, and Enchantress.) Despite the harsh anti-metahuman political climate, the heroes eventually triumph in the end, Reagan ends the ban, and a new Justice League is formed with Batman leading a team consisting of Martian Manhunter, Captain Marvel (Billy Batson), Dr. Fate, Guy Gardner, Black Canary, the new Blue Beetle (Ted Kord), and Mr. Miracle (Scott Free). Godfrey’s defeat and the subsequent reformation of the Justice League are also shown through flashback from DC Universe Legacies #6.[13] A flashback from the semi-canonical Wonder Woman Vol. 2 Annual #2 and a flashback from the semi-canonical Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #8 both detail the events of Legends as well.[14]


–REFERENCE: In Batman versus Predator II: Bloodmatch #4. Batman activates a private phone number through which Commissioner Gordon can contact him directly in the Batcave in case of an extreme emergency. This “hotline” is likely linked-to or the same connection as the hotline that Knight and Squire used years ago.

–The New Teen Titans Vol. 2 #18
Recently, Nightwing and half of his Teen Titan teammates visited the distant planet Tamaran for an extended adventure, which ended with Dick’s girlfriend Starfire revealing that she is actually married. Back on Earth, a dejected and unkempt Dick has secluded himself from everyone and has been sulking for days. Dick is so depressed that he breaks down and visits Wayne Manor to talk to his mentor even though they are not currently on speaking terms. But Batman and Robin are busy working on a case that involves rescuing the governor’s abducted son. They give Dick the brush-off and depart to save the boy, leaving a bummed-out Dick to mope around the Batcave. SPOILER ALERT: Don’t worry, fans! Dick and Starfire will get back together in a few months!

–NOTE: In a flashback from Detective Comics #878. Bruce isn’t involved in this note, but it is important enough to list. Dick and Babs go on an outing with nine-year-old James Gordon Junior and his young friend Ben Wolff.  James Junior is still living with his mom and is still a total psycho. In a related note, we won’t see or hear from Jim’s ex-wife Barbara again until Bat Year 23! Therefore, we must assume that she moves far away. James Junior will eventually become institutionalized and go off the radar until his return as an adult nearly twelve years from now.

–Batman: Hong Kong
This 2003 prestige format manga-style book by Doug Moench and Tony Wong takes place somewhere in the earlier days of Batman’s career (some people in Gotham are still surprised that he exists even though the Batsignal shines high in the sky every night and he’s never been to Hong Kong before). I could have placed it earlier, but it seems to fit just fine here, not long after the conclusion of the original Crisis. In this story, a series of brutal snuff films are shown on the internet, which leads Batman to track the killer in Hong Kong. There, the Dark Knight shakes down the Triad underworld and confronts Triad mob leader Tiger One-Eye. Later, Tiger One-Eye’s former bodyguard Benny Lo, inspired by Batman, becomes the superhero Night-Dragon and helps his idol resolve a Triad hostage situation at an expo center. Upon meeting, Night-Dragon explains that Hong Kong’s Chief of Police, Chow Yee, and Tiger One-Eye are his uncles, and his father Lo Pao mysteriously died years ago as a casualty of his uncles’ warring. Dragon also wants to avenge one of the snuff film deaths of a friend of his that worked for Tiger One-Eye. The mystery filmmaker killer makes more web movies where both cops and Triads alike are horrifically murdered, earning the ire of both parties. After three nights of chaos on the streets of Hong Kong, Night-Dragon’s girlfriend Angelica is abducted by a big kung-fu bruiser who is the mystery filmmaker’s top henchman. Our heroes save Angelica and learn the mystery villain is a deformed and hulking Lo Pao, who not only is still alive but hates his brothers for causing the fire that burned him. Lo Pao then vows to blow up all of Hong Kong. The cops and Triads make peace and help Batman and Night-Dragon defeat Lo Pao. The end.

–The Outsiders #11
A troubled Batman watches an international cable news broadcast in which famous journalist Joan Lincoln reports terrible news. The Outsiders have been captured by the Russian super-team known as The People’s HeroesBolshoi, Molotov, Pravda, Hammer, and Sickle. The Outsiders are imprisoned in Mozambia, Africa, a colony led by the vile Edward Bentama. (Don’t worry too much, though—the Outsiders will soon escape.)

–The Outsiders Annual #1
Batman stalks veteran criminal Milton, who falls to his death while attempting to abscond with a top secret file on Jason Burr. Batman follows the trail of crime, which is also being followed by his former Outsiders. Batman reunites with the Outsiders for the first time since leaving the team. The heroes then get stuck in the middle of a war between the evil SKULL terrorist organization and the re-emergent Kobra Cult. Following this encounter, the Dark Knight will immediately distance himself from the Outsiders again, but will undoubtedly keep close secret tabs on them, especially when they go up against Firefly in a few days (in the Batman-less Outsiders #15).

–REFERENCE: In Batman #413. Batman acquires a coffee mug that says “#1 Superhero” on it! It is likely a gift from Jason—or, god forbid, something Batman got for himself. In any case, moving forward, the Dark Knight will drink his coffee or tea out of this baby while in the Batcave. (Special thanks to site-contributor RYAN HARDER for help on this one!)

–Swamp Thing Vol. 2 #52-55 
Swamp Thing attacks Gotham City when his wife Abby Holland is arrested for bestiality (for having sex with a swamp monster). After Swamp Thing turns the entire city into a jungle, Batman unsuccessfully battles Swamp Thing, but is able to convinces Mayor Skowcroft that the charge is ludicrous. Abby is released and Gotham is saved. But just as the couple is reunited, Swamp Thing is killed by a mystery sniper’s advanced napalm bullet! (The sniper works for the corrupt US Government organization known as the Defense Department Initiative and the napalm bullet was made by Lex Luthor on their behalf.) Batman is the lone superhero to attend Swamp Thing’s funeral in Louisiana. In Gotham, an apologetic Mayor Skowcroft erects a statue of Swamp Thing in his honor. Batman, Chester Williams, Commissioner Gordon, Harvey Bullock, John Constantine, Phantom Stranger, Deadman, and Abby Holland attend the unveiling ceremony. Batman gives a longer-than-usual speech in Swamp Thing’s honor. Elsewhere, unknown to anyone, at the far end of the galaxy, Swamp Thing is reborn on a distant alien planet!

–Batman #402-403 (“ONE BATMAN TOO MANY”)
Insane ex-cop Tommy Carma thinks he’s Batman, so he dresses up as the Dark Knight and kills criminals. With Batman wanted for murder, the Dark Knight investigates to clear his name—going around in disguise with Commissioner Gordon, unethically pretending that Victims Inc is still a thing in order to speak with acquaintances of Carma’s victims, and visiting Carma’s mom. Batman faces off against fake Batman and takes him down. Bruce then goes on a date with famous Gotham photojournalist Vicki Vale, who will become his main love-interest a few years later. Tommy Carma escapes from Arkham, steals a Bat-costume and the Batmobile from the Batcave, but eventually gets nabbed by Batman again.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #598. Bruce attends the WayneTech company picnic and mingles with his employees, including the elderly paraplegic genius scientist Dr. Kenneth Harbinger. Also in attendance is WayneTech employee Roy Kane, who accidentally dings Bruce in the head with a frisbee. Unknown to Bruce, Harbinger and Kane are actually agents working for a vast criminal enterprise known as The Cartel, which has infiltrated and now secretly runs a large portion of WayneTech.

–Detective Comics #571
Holy homo-eroticism Batman! Jason encounters Scarecrow by himself for the first time and there are some pretty bizarre panels depicting Robin watering down Batman with a firehose.

–Detective Comics #573-574
Robin encounters a returning Mad Hatter II (aka Hat Man aka Hatman) and gets a bullet in the chest. Batman immediately rushes the dying Boy Wonder to the intensive care of Dr. Leslie Thompkins, who is able to save his life.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #591. Batman begins targeting a Hispanic drug dealer named Bain. Meanwhile, Bruce is tasked with the responsibility of funding a charity arts and antiques show, to be hosted by Kerry Rollo, owner of the largest antiques collection in the world, in a few months’ time. Bruce forms a special committee to help set up the event, which will raise money for underprivileged children.


–REFERENCE: In the second feature to Batman: Gotham Knights #19 (Black & White). A panicked Batman sends out an emergency alert to Superman, who rushes to the scene of a crime where an innocent person has been critically injured due to Batman’s negligence. Superman uses his heat vision to save the person’s life.

–Justice League #1-4
The newest version of the Justice League (sans “America” in the title) has its first mission and it’s a rough one. No one gets along (duh, Guy Gardner is there and Batman hates everyone) and to make matters worse we find out who’s really running the show: entrepreneur/secretly evil-maniac Maxwell Lord! Without Batman’s permission, Max Lord recruits Dr. Light (Kimiyo Hoshi) and Booster Gold into the League. Booster Gold helps the team defeat the returning Royal Flush Gang, which has its original lineup except for Amos Fortune, who has been replaced with a powerful android Ace. (Ace gets destroyed, but he’s an android, so he’ll be back again.)

–REFERENCE: In JLA Secret Files and Origins #2 Part 2. The JLI poses for a photo, which gets developed, framed, and hung in the team trophy room.

–FLASHBACK: From Mister Miracle Vol. 2 #1. This is a random flashback mural panel showing the members of the JLI talking to each other.

–Justice League Annual #1
A sentient virus takes control of thousands of people including the entire League except for Martian Manhunter, who saves the day solo. Oh, and Batman is mean to everyone.

–The New Teen Titans Vol. 2 #29-31
Using brainwashing powers, Brother Blood has risen to Christ-like status and garnered an army of cult followers to join his deadly group known as The Church of Blood. When the Church captures Starfire and Raven’s mother Arella and then turns Raven and Nightwing into its brainwashed public relations spokespersons, the Teen Titans (with Flash, Robin, and Robotman) attempt a rescue. When things go south rather quickly, Flash’s girlfriend Magenta (Frances Kane) calls in the veterans for help. Batman, Superman, Booster Gold, Green Lantern John Stewart, Green Lantern Katma Tui, Dr. Midnight (Elizabeth Chapel), and Skyman (Sylvester Pemberton, formerly Star-Spangled Kid) immediately respond to the call. Batman and Superman order the other heroes to quell Church of Blood riots in Washington DC (where the Church is attempting to overthrow the US Government) while they themselves handle unruly mobs in New York City. Meanwhile, the Titans fight Brother Blood and his minions, including the fallen angel Azrael, at the Church of Blood Temple. Eventually, Brother Blood is defeated and the Titans save the day.

–The Outsiders #17-20
Batman is captured by an Eclipso-worshipping cult and taken to the small island nation of Diablo. The Outsiders, having traveled to Diablo to locate the missing Dr. Bruce Gordon, are surprised to find Batman there along with Gordon. When Eclipso is summoned, Batman teams-up with his former Outsiders to fight the evil Wrath of God. When all efforts fail, Dr. Gordon reluctantly accepts Eclipso back into his body, which serves as a prison for the powerful entity. Impressed by his former team’s handling of the Eclipso situation, Batman decides to rejoin the Outsiders on a part-time basis! His first item of business is to partner with Dr. Helga Jace to open a state-of-the-art “Batcave West” in Los Angeles. The Outsiders ditch their crummy oil rig and move into their awesome new HQ. Batman even does some house-cleaning in Gotham and ships a bunch of trophies out to LA. Later, the Masters of Disaster (sans Windfall, who recently was convinced to leave the team to become a superhero) break out of prison and begin plotting revenge against the Outsiders. Seeing an opportunity, the Masters of Disaster unleash an identical Windfall clone, who earns the Outsiders’ trust by helping them fight terrorists. The fake Windfall joins the Outsiders (even moving in with Katana and Halo), but acts as a double agent mole, reporting back to the Masters of Disaster. However, Batman quickly realizes that something is amiss. He, Geo-Force, and Metamorpho build a fake Batcave West, which is infiltrated by the Masters of Disaster. Windfall is revealed as an evil clone. Thankfully, the real Windfall shows up and helps defeats the bad guys. The clone is accidentally killed. The real Windfall earns a spot on the Outsiders lineup. Fake Windfall out, real Windfall in.[17]

–The Outsiders Special #1
This item goes here thanks to a reference in The Outsiders #22. The Outsiders join fellow crime-fighting team Infinity Inc. when reports of Baron Bedlam’s supposed resurrection circulate in Markovia. Batman—via live video feed—briefs both teams before they head into battle, warning them that ASA-man Abraham Lincoln Carlyle is connected to the trouble in Markovia. Not surprisingly, once they reach Markovia, the Outsiders and Infinity Inc clash with the returning ASA super-group known as The Force of July. “Baron Bedlam” unmasks, revealing himself to actually be Psycho-Pirate! (The Outsiders defeat Psycho-Pirate in the immediate Batman-less follow-up, Infinity Inc Special #1.)

–The Outsiders #21-22
Kobra, having turned his henchwoman Sondra Fuller into Lady Clay aka Clayface IV, sends her to infiltrate the Outsiders. When she fails, Kobra sends in his “Strike Force Korbra,” which consists of Lady Eve, The Elemental Woman, and new versions of Zebra-Man and Planet Master. When his team falters, Kobra creates a light creature known as the Spectrumonster (based on the Rainbow Creature), which goes totally out of control. Eventually, the Outsiders defeat the villains, but Lady Clay escapes.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #645. Batman and Robin take down Captain Boomerang.

–The Weird #1-4
Ok, so the Macrolatts and the Zarolatts are sentient light beings that live in an alternate dimension. The Macrolatts decide they want to rule Earth, and only one lone Zarolatt is there to prevent it from happening. This Zarolatt takes a human host body, is dubbed The Weird, and chaos ensues. The Justice League and Captain Atom initially believe the Weird is their enemy until the Macrolatts show their evil nature by taking possession of Superman and Nuklon (Albert Rothstein). Eventually, Batman and company save the day and the heroic Weird exiles himself to space where he explodes. (The main action of The Weird series is also featured in a flashback from the second feature to Mystery in Space Vol. 2 #1.)

–Batman Annual #11
The first part of this annual is Alan Moore’s classic story about Clayface III’s love affair with a mannequin. The second part is Max Allan Collins’ not-so-classic story about Penguin’s love affair with the rotund Dovina Partridge.

–Batman #412
Enter The Mime! Seriously. She’s a super-villain mime and it takes Batman and Robin one issue to catch her.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Files. Bruce purchases a woodcutting of a bat that reminds him of the bat that crashed through his window ten years ago, inspiring him to become Batman.

–NOTE: In a reference in Batman #666. Talia gives birth to Bruce’s child, Damian! Of course, both the pregnancy and birth of the child are kept secret from Batman, so he won’t meet his child for another ten years! The details of this historic conception/birth were originally told in Batman: Son of the Demon (1987), and while the essential elements of this story are canonical, the story itself is still out-of-continuity for many reasons. Damian’s birth is a rather strange one. According to Batman #666, a few months into Talia’s pregnancy, a very underdeveloped Damian is removed from the womb in a science-fictiony surgical procedure. In a natal-procedure that would have tickled the late great radical feminist Shulamith Firestone, Damian is then placed in an artificial womb where he is genetically perfected until the full nine-month term ends.

–NOTE: In Superman Vol. 2 #9. Batman isn’t involved in this note, but it is relevant (and highly likely that he’d hear about it). Joker tries his luck in Metropolis, kidnapping Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, and Perry White. Joker tries to trick Superman into believing that his friends are in lead-lined coffins, hidden in the city. Superman sees through the ruse and finds his friends elsewhere.

–Justice League #5-6
The Justice League teams-up with the Creeper to take on the occult-powered Gray Man. Issue #5 is one of the most famous JL issues by Giffen because it’s the one where Batman knocks out Guy Gardner with one punch. Amazing read. As referenced in JLA Secret Files and Origins #2 Part 2, following the Gray Man affair, the JLA records details of the adventure into its official case-files under the name “Massacre in Gray,” which just so happens to be the exact title of Justice League #6.

–FLASHBACK: From Justice League of America Vol. 2 #0. Wonder Woman and Superman visit Batman at the JLI Embassy simply to laugh about him knocking out Guy.

–NOTE: In the flashback from JLA 80-Page Giant #3. The “Century War,” almost a mini-Crisis on Infinite Earths in many ways, occurs now. The JLA battles against Valkus the Centurion. At the conclusion of the Century War, JLA member Moon Maiden is able to destroy Valkus’ time/reality-altering device known as the Erasure Weapon.  Wait. Who are these people? We don’t know who they are because when Moon Maiden destroys Valkus’ machine, she permanently erases both of their existences from the timestream. Prior to the destruction of the machine, Moon Maiden had been a longtime JLA member and Valkus had been one of the team’s top rogues, but after this event, they simply never existed. (Same thing happened to Triumph, remember?) Only Moon Maiden’s father has any recollection of her daughter’s life. The rest of the JLA will only have dreamlike memories of her from now on.

–Justice League International #7
Great, great Giffen stuff here. Unknown to the actual members of the Justice League, the United Nations is debating on whether or not to pass a resolution that would grant the team status as a globally-sanctioned peace-keeping force that operates as an independent “city-state.” The President meets with both the UN Security Council and Superman, but he’s pretty ineffectual and showing clear signs of senility and dementia. (Modeled off of the real life Reagan, who likely had Alzheimer’s while in office, the POTUS is starting to lose his mind.) When a destructive Brother-Eye-like satellite appears in the Earth’s atmosphere, the League heads into space to take it out. When they get there, Batman realizes it is a hoax designed to make the League look good. Max Lord has done it again, and because of his scheme, the UN resolution passes. That’s right, the Justice League will have embassies in every country and is now known as the Justice League International! This is huge news and the ramifications are just as colossal. Both Dr. Fate, Dr. Light, and Captain Marvel quit the team. The US and USSR each add a member, Captain Atom and Rocket Red, respectively. Rocket Red (technically “Rocket Red #7”) is Vladimir Mikoyan, one of many soldiers in Russia’s Rocket Red Brigade. (SPOILER: Rocket Red Vladimir Mikoyan is actually an evil Manhunter robot.) And finally, Batman, fearing over-exposure, passes the torch of leadership to Martian Manhunter. What’s Max Lord’s hidden agenda? Well, yeah we know. And if you don’t, I won’t spoil it for ya. A single panel flashback from Secret Origins Vol. 2 #35 and a visual reference from the second feature to 52 #6 both show the formation of the JLI from this issue as well.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #685 Part 2. The obnoxious J Devlin Davenport moves into a mansion adjacent to the properties owned by Bruce Wayne and Jack Drake. Bruce, despite hating Davenport’s guts, will hang out with him at the rich Gotham socialite clubs and play golf with him a few times in order to keep up public playboy appearances.

–Teen Titans Spotlight #14
Batman is knocked out with a tranquilizer while fighting drug dealers led by the pusher known as Drakkar. When Batman doesn’t come home, and with Jason on business on the West Coast, Alfred calls Dick for help. Nightwing tracks Batman to an abandoned subway line where he discovers Drakkar bidding the Dark Knight to various crime-lords via a twisted underground auction. Nightwing swoops in, kicks ass, and rescues Batman. Afterward, a pissed-off Nightwing (who isn’t on speaking terms with Batman at the moment) gives the Caped Crusader an angry earful, but tells him that he respects everything that he has done for him. Batman is silent, but smiles after Dick leaves.

–Action Comics Annual #1
Batman and Superman team-up to kill a vampire.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #413. Bruce donates a ton of money to bring the famous Masahiko Tahara exhibit to the Gotham Metropolitan Museum. The exhibit, which will go on display in a week or so, features weapons and clothing from feudal Japan.

–REFERENCE: In Secret Origins Vol. 2 #23. Thirty people die in a fiery midtown explosion as Batman fights Killer Croc and wrestles him back toward Arkham Asylum. This incident leads directly into Swamp Thing Vol. 2 #66.

–Swamp Thing Vol. 2 #66
This is another great issue, but then, most late 80s Swamp Thing issues are. Rick Vietch’s amazing panels (written and penciled) depicting the loonies in Arkham are second to none. We see the Joker laughing in tears while he reads Kant, Clayface III in bed with his beloved mannequin, and Floronic Man in his cell being harassed by John Constantine! I won’t get into the details of the Swamp Thing/Floronic Man storyline, but there is a great scene where Constantine is being interrogated by a doctor and Batman crashes through a window with Killer Croc in tow.

–Detective Comics #579
The return of the Crime Doctor, Matthew Thorne, is foiled by the Dynamic Duo.


–Batman #413
The feudal Japan exhibit comes to the Gotham Metropolitan Museum! The Caped Crusader patrols! Jason and Alfred team-up to do Jason’s homework! A martial-arts expert and a curator team-up to rob the museum exhibit! Batman and Robin team-up to stop the thievery! Jason gets really into the whole samurai thing and wears a weird black leotard and Japanese mask instead of his Robin outfit for this case.

–Dr. Fate #3
Kent Nelson has just died and passed on the power of Nabu to Eric Strauss, who has become the new Dr. Fate. The JLI is summoned to Dr. Fate’s tower by Phantom Stranger, who tells them that the Helmet of Nabu as been stolen from Strauss by insane Arkham Asylum doctor Benjamin Stoner. Controlled by a demonic Lord of Chaos named Typhon and armed with the magick of Nabu, Stoner has become the evil Anti-Fate. Phantom Stranger and the JLI take on Anti-Fate only to get crushed pretty quickly. Thankfully, Strauss arrives to clean up the mess and fight for the return of his helmet. NOTE: Guy Gardner is written into this storyline with his normal hauteur. This is incorrect as he would have had his temporary meek personality at this point.

–Booster Gold #22
Booster Gold enlists the Justice League to help stop an invasion by aliens from Dimension X, who have kidnapped Booster’s twin sister Michelle (AKA Goldstar). The League is successful, but Michelle dies during Booster’s failed rescue attempt. (Thanks to the miracle of time-travel, we’ll see Michelle again years later when she returns via the machinations of Rip Hunter. And paradoxically, thanks to time-travel, we’ve already seen Goldstar on this chronology.) A day later, the Justice League, including Batman, attends Michelle’s funeral. Michelle’s tombstone retains the date of her death prior to her paradoxically fatal jaunt to this current point on our timeline (i.e. 2466 CE). Because of the anomaly that is Michelle’s death, Dr. Fate (Eric Strauss) disappears Michelle’s tombstone into an alternate interdimensional realm. NOTE: At this point, Dr. Fate is still using Eric Strauss as his “host body,” but Nabu has bonded/merged Eric’s wife Linda Strauss with him. Basically, Dr. Fate is like Firestorm—with Eric’s mind and body merged with Linda’s consciousness.

–Action Comics #594
In Gotham, Superman visits Batman. Robin meets Superman for the first time and even gets his autograph! Back in Metropolis, an evil Booster Gold Android starts an anti-Superman campaign and fights the Man of Steel until the real Booster shows up in an attempt to stop the replica’s charade.

–Booster Gold #23
In this follow-up to Action Comics #594, Booster is able to end the android replica plot with Superman’s help. The heroes destroy the Booster Android, revealing it to have been created by Lex Luthor. Luthor then sends an assassin to attack Superman, making it seem like Booster hired him instead. However, the assassin is easily defeated and the plot is clearly exposed, of course. Later, a tuxedo-wearing Booster joins society’s richest men and women, including Bruce Wayne, aboard a fancy yacht party. Booster rubs his victory in Luthor’s nose.

–Action Comics #595
During a fight with Silver Banshee (the evil spirit “Crone” of Siobhan McDougal), Superman is seemingly killed. The world, including Batman and many others, mourn the loss of the Man of Steel. An open casket funeral is even held. What’s the deal? Martian Manhunter has morphed into Superman inside the coffin and then plays his ghost in an elaborate ruse to trick and defeat Silver Banshee.

–Vigilante #47
Batman meets the vigilante known simply as Vigilante (Adrian Chase) and learns about the secret government organization known as Checkmate, which is linked to another secret government organization known as The Agency. (Amanda Waller used to be the leader of the Agency, but she resigned to focus on heading Task Force X, which runs the Suicide Squad.) Harvey Bullock is briefly recruited by Checkmate during this time.

–Firestorm The Nuclear Man #64[19]
When Firestorm vows to eradicate all of the nuclear warheads on the planet, the US Government sends Captain Atom and the Suicide Squad to fight him. The current Suicide Squad lineup—Killer Frost (Louise Lincoln), Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, Multiplex, and Slipknot—attacks both Firestorm and friend Firehawk in NYC. When the battle gets out of hand, the Justice League shows up.

–Firestorm The Nuclear Man Annual #5
The conclusion to the previous two Firestorm issues. The Justice League gets involved in an all-out war with the Suicide Squad and Firestorm. However, everyone joins together to take down Parasite, who has been unleashed from dormant captivity by the Suicide Squad. Eventually, Firestorm leaves to combat Russia’s own nuclear man Pozhar (Mikhail Arkadin) in the deserts of Nevada. However, the fight is merely a joint setup by the US and Russian Governments, both of which want to destroy the two dangerous entities. They metahumans are nuked, but an unexpected result occurs: the dual host bodies of Firestorm, Martin Stein and Ronnie Raymond, merge with Pozhar to form an even more powerful Firestorm.

–Batman #414
It’s really strange to read the silly, dare I say it, campy style of Collins and Barr followed by the intellectual, gritty style of Giffen and Starlin. I will say it makes for quite an interesting late 80s mix for Batman. In issue #414, Starlin takes the reigns and when Batman’s friend is murdered by a serial killer, things become personal. Blinded by emotion, Batman uses bad judgment and allows the killer’s deadly streak to continue when the former mistakenly apprehends the wrong man. The actual murderer, known as the Dumpster Killer, will remain at large for several more months thanks to Batman’s error.

–Justice League International #8
It’s time to set up the JLI Embassies and Giffen-style hilarity ensues. Booster and Beetle bond in Paris. J’onn and Captain Atom struggle with a crappy building in New York. And comrades Batman and Guy set up the Soviet (Russian) Embassy, which is about as much fun as it sounds.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #582. Batman busts a crack ring in Gotham.

–The Outsiders #23-26
Powerful super-villain Fusion has just escaped from prison. Looker briefs the Outsiders about Fusion’s history (he is the literal fusion of three rogue Russian soldiers Gregor Jankovski, Ivan Potorovich, and Mikhail Folovar) and reveals his intention to assassinate the President of the United States at Camp David. After dispatching the People’s Heroes, the Outsiders take on Fusion, who winds up being more than they can handle. Batman disguises himself as the President (!) and lures Fusion away by piloting Air Force One into the sky! Batman sheds his disguise, fights Fusion, and bails before the plane crashes, killing Fusion instantly. Shortly thereafter, the US Government “rewards” the Outsiders for saving the President by making them all wanted criminals for illegal vigilantism. At the Outsiders’ Pacific Ocean oil rig HQ, Metamorpho begins undergoing treatment to cure him of his powers while Gardner Grayle (now going by Atomic Knight) visits Helga Jace. SKULL soldiers led by Major Disaster attack the rig, cutting Metamorpho’s treatment short. The heroes, including Atomic Knight, win the day, but the rig blows up entirely. Immediately afterward, Atomic Knight is sworn-in as the Outsiders’ newest member. Geo-Force (accompanied by Dr. Jace and Atomic Knight) returns to Markovia. Jace, acting on behalf of a secret loyalty to the evil Manhunters, murders Geo-Force’s brother King Gregor Markov and frames Geo-Force to make it look like he did it to usurp the throne. With Geo-Force thrown in prison, Batman and the Outsiders head toward Markovia. However, en route, Batman, is called away by the JLA, which has big news about the beginnings of Millennium. After breaking Geo-Force out of jail, the Outsiders are summoned to the Green Lantern Citadel. Millennium has begun.

——————–Millennium #1
——————–Justice League International #9
——————–Millennium #2
——————–Batman #415
——————–Millennium #3
——————–Green Lantern Corps #220
——————–Millennium #4
——————–Detective Comics #582
——————–Millennium #5-6
——————–Blue Beetle Vol. 6 #21
——————–Millennium #7-8

If Legends was like Civil War, then this was the equivalent of Secret Invasion (and just as ho-hum). It turns out that loved ones and close friends of the superheroes have been replaced (or brainwashed) by the returning killer android Manhunters (predecessors to the Green Lantern Corps). For instance, Commissioner Gordon has been replaced with a doppelgänger intent on killing Batman when he least expects it. Why? It’s all part of the Manhunters’ plan to stop the Maltusian/Zamaronian “Millennium Project,” which aims to birth a new superhero team that will defend the galaxy. The heroes learn about the “Millennium Project” and the Manhunter plot at a special meeting called to order by Hal Jordan at the Green Lantern Citadel in California. (The Millennium #1 Citadel meeting is also shown in Teen Titans Spotlight #18, Flash Vol. 2 #8, Firestorm The Nuclear Man #67, a flashback from Action Comics #596, a flashback from Action Comics #598, a flashback from The Outsiders Vol. 2 #1: Alpha, and a flashback from The Outsiders Vol. 2 #1: Omega.) After the briefing, the conflict officially begins when Manhunters, having disguised themselves as our heroes’ closest allies, strike all over the planet. Notably, Rocket Red Vladimir Mikoyan reveals that he’s actually a Manhunter robot, turning on his JLI teammates. The JLI—with help from Rocket Red Dmitri Pushkin—defeats Mikoyan in Bialya, angering Rumaan Harjavti (dictator of Bialya and leader of the Bialyan military) in the process. Meanwhile, Max Lord—whose rise to power and subsequent manipulation of the JLI has been partly due to being brainwashed by a sentient computer program called Kilg%re—gets shot by his secretary, who reveals herself as a Manhunter robot. Several non-superheroes are hand-picked by the Millennium Project to become new soldiers in the fight against the Manhunters. Hal Jordan’s best friend, Tom Kalmaku is among these “chosen ones.” In Gotham, Batman learns that Commissioner Gordon has been kidnapped and replaced by a Manhunter robot and that Floronic Man is one of the Millennium Project’s “chosen ones” too. Batman and Robin break into Arkham Asylum, blow-up the fake Gordon, and discover the real Gordon is safe in Louisiana. Batman once again joins with Earth’s heroes at the Citadel, this time to meet the “chosen ones.” Hal Jordan rescues Tom Kalmaku, Tegra Kalmaku, Kari Kalmaku, and Keith Kalmaku from the Manhunters, after which he brings Tom to the second gathering. Infinity Inc—with new members Hourman (Rick Tyler, son of the original Hourman), Silver Scarab (Hector Hall, son of Hawkman), and Dr. Midnight (Elizabeth Chapel)—hauls Floronic Man to the second gathering as well. Batman then visits Louisiana to chat with Belle Reve Prison’s Warden John Economos, specifically about ex-Manhunter Mark Shaw. Afterward, Batman finally joins Commissioner Gordon and then meets Kim Liang and Jim Corrigan, who is temporarily separated from the Spectre. (Batman’s meeting with Liang and Corrigan is also shown in The Spectre Vol. 2 #10.) Batman and Corrigan then infiltrate a Manhunter Temple and rescue some captives before the structure is blown-up by Karin Grace. (Batman’s rescue of the captives is also shown in The Spectre Vol. 2 #10 and via flashback from Green Lantern Vol. 4 #3.) The heroes then meet for a third gathering at the GL Citadel. (For an event comic, there sure is a lot of standing around). During this meeting, as shown in Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #13, Wonder Woman is temporarily poofed-away by her gods in order to deal with a Manhunter threat at Mount Olympus. While Wonder Woman is away, over two dozen heroes—including Harbinger and Green Lanterns Arisia, Driq, and Kilowog—band together to fight the towering Manhunter Highmaster in outer space. (A flashback from World of Smallville #4 also shows the heroes fighting the Manhunter Highmaster.) Upon returning to the Citadel, Batman is gutted to learn about the events of The Outsiders #27-28, which have just occurred. Defeated, the Outsiders have decided to disband due to Helga Jace’s betrayal, multiple team member injuries, and Metamorpho’s tragic death. Eventually, all the heroes regroup and defeat the Manhunter army, ending the threat against Earth. Afterward, at yet another Citadel meeting, the “chosen ones” become a team known as the New Guardians. The team consists of Tom Kalmaku (who changes his mind), Harbinger, Extraño, Floronic Man, Betty Clawman, Gloss, Jet, and Ram. (The final Citadel meeting of Millennium is also shown in Firestorm The Nuclear Man #69., which also details Firestorm taking on the alien monster called Zuggernaut.) As referenced in JLA Secret Files and Origins #2 Part 2, the JLI keeps both a deactivated Manhunter robot and Vladimir Mikoyan’s Rocket Red #7 suit as trophies following the Millennium conflict.

–Blue Beetle Vol. 6 #22
Batman and the rest of the JLI chat about the conclusion of Millennium, which has just ended. Blue Beetle departs, but is temporarily whisked away into the time-stream to battle his nemesis Chronos.

–Suicide Squad #10
Batman hears rumors about what the Suicide Squad really is (a government program that offers super-villains a clean slate in exchange for joining a “superhero team”) and he’s not happy about it. Already down South following the events of Millennium, Batman, with some long-distance assistance from Commissioner Gordon, dons the Matches Malone disguise and infiltrates the Squad’s headquarters as an inmate in Louisiana’s Belle Reve Prison. While there, he fights the Suicide Squad (including newest team member Duchess, who is actually the amnesiac Apokaliptian New God Lashina). After besting the Squad, Batman confronts their leader Amanda Waller, who threatens that she can easily discover his secret identity if she wants to. Batman backs down (for now).

–Action Comics #606
John Stewart has been arrested for the murder of Star Sapphire (Carol Ferris), who has actually faked her own death and framed Stewart. While Stewart rots in prison, Hal Jordan tries in vain to help him by pleading with all of his former-JLA pals for help. Unfortunately for Jordan, nobody wants anything to do with him, least of all Bruce, who he visits at Wayne Manor. Alfred and Bruce give Jordan the brush-off. Don’t worry friends, Sapphire will soon get exposed and Stewart will be exonerated.

–Justice League International #11-13
The JLI teams-up with the New God Metron to eliminate Kilg%re, removing the evil AI’s influence over Max Lord. If you are giving Max an excuse because he was brainwashed by a computer, you really shouldn’t. He’s genuinely one bad dude and his scheming is only in its early stages. (Scenes from JLI #11-12 are also detailed in a referential single-panel flashback from Secret Origins Vol. 2 #35.) In JLI #13, the American superhero/super-spy and Suicide Squad member Nemesis (Tom Tresser) has been detained in a Russian prison for a while and the Suicide Squad isn’t too happy about it. The Squad (including new members Nightshade and Vixen) heads overseas to attempt a rescue, but the JLI is ready and waiting for them at the request of the President, who fears an international incident.

–Suicide Squad #13
This is the conclusion to the events of JLI #13. The JLI and Suicide Squad square-off, but the former eventually comes to realize that Nemesis is wrongly imprisoned. The fight ends with a truce and team-up to save Nemesis, although a disgruntled Batman nearly cripples Rick Flag and quits the JLI yet again! Despite the involvement of Red Star and the protesting of the Russian Government/Armed Forces, Nemesis is given asylum at the JLI Russian Embassy and then secretly returned to the States. A flashback from Secret Origins Vol. 2 #28 also shows this story.

–Batman #416
This is a huge issue. Bruce and Dick haven’t spoken in ten-and-a-half months… until now! (They have interacted in a couple of Teen Titans issues, but besides those times they have refused to actually converse with each other. Also, the issue tells us that it has been “eighteen months” since they last had a conversation, but this cannot be the case thanks to time compression.) Dick finally confronts Bruce and gets him to admit that Jason was initially nothing more than a simple replacement for him. Some really good Starlin dialogue here. However, we must ignore any specific lengths of time that are mentioned since they contradict our compressed timeline’s version of history. Also, all of the flashback sequences showing Dick’s termination as Robin and his attendance at Hudson University are straight-up incorrect, having long been altered via various retcons. We must unfortunately ignore them as well.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #713. Nightwing busts some joyriding carjacking punks. One of them escapes, but right into the waiting arms of Batman. Bruce and Dick learn that the young punk is Kevin McNulty, son of a former Riddler henchman. Dick is concerned about the boy, but Bruce couldn’t care less.

–Batman Confidential #13-16 (“WRATH CHILD”)
I’ve placed this story here because it fits based upon the events that take place in Batman #416. This tale is the follow-up to the events that occur in Batman Special #1 by Mike Barr (1984). However, since Barr’s story is out-of-continuity (as it is a pre-original Crisis story), author Tony Bedard includes a great flashback in Batman Confidential #13 that delivers the information needed to understand our current yarn. When Dick had just finished his first year as Robin, Batman faced the villain known as Wrath one-on-one and barely beat him. The encounter ended up with the villain’s death and both Alfred and Commissioner Gordon in the hospital. Flash-forward to now. Batman and Nightwing team up after Wrath mysteriously re-appears. How has Wrath seemingly come back from the dead? Well, because it isn’t Wrath—it’s Wrath’s son and he’s out for revenge. Batman and Nightwing bust the vengeful super-villain.

–NOTE: In Batgirl Special #1. This is the last Modern Age story featuring Babs as Batgirl. When a string of murders happen, Batgirl thinks Cormorant—a villain that nearly killed her four years ago—has returned. Batgirl goes after the villain only to find out the real killer is the new female vigilante, Slash, whose MO is to track down and execute sex-offenders. This case is highly emotional for Babs, and after its conclusion she decides to permanently retire as a crime-fighter! She will, however, don the costume two more times after this (in flashbacks from Batman: Gotham Knights #43 and Batman Annual #13 Part 1).

–Firestorm The Nuclear Man #71
While trapped in the distant past, Firestorm works his way back forward through time to the present, briefly passing through Gotham to witness Batman punching out some back alley goons, before reappearing in New York City to fight Russian super-soldier Stalnoivolk (Ivan Illyich Gort).

–Detective Comics #583-584
The Ventriloquist (and his dummy Scarface) finally makes his Gotham return for the first time in nine years! The GCPD first apprehended the Ventriloquist in Bat Year Two, but Batman never met or dealt with him—until now. The Dark Knight confronts the Ventriloquist, Scarface, top henchman Rhino, and their semi-loyal gang of followers after he learns they are linked to a new designer drug. Scarface already has his patented speech impediment where he can’t say the letter “B,” resulting in a lot of lines that include “Gatman.” (A reference in The Batman Files adds a few lines of dialogue to this initial meeting between Batman and the Ventriloquist.) After putting a bug in Scarface’s head, Batman learns that the Ventriloquist and his crew have been smuggling the new drug into the country from Mexico by sewing up kilos into the bellies of corpses and shipping the cadavers to funeral parlors. Batman eventually stops the Ventriloquist and Scarface, but not before getting accidentally dosed with the intense drug. The Caped Crusader has been drugged so many times in his first decade of action, it’s unreal. No wonder Grant Morrison loves to write about how Batman’s early years were a drug-filled haze. They actually were!

–Batman #417-420 (“TEN NIGHTS OF THE BEAST”)
Enter the KGBeast—rogue Russian agent, murder machine, and master of all known lethal arts. Anatoli Knyazev is the deadliest man on the planet, having trained with the former KGB cell and now rogue terrorist organization known as The Hammer. Aided by both the Hammer and Shi’ite radicals, and having been disavowed by the President of Russia himself, KGBeast has entered the States with the goal of crippling the government by assassinating the Secretaries of the US Department of Defense. Thus begins a brutal ten day killing spree, during which KGBeast murders over 100 people. At one point, KGBeast famously severs his own limb to escape capture, later returning with a cybernetic gun arm in its place. Issue #420 ends on day ten with Batman—backed by the CIA—outwitting Knyazev to save the POTUS! Afterward, Batman, having faced one of the greatest challenges in his career, defeats KGBeast by locking him in a storage room in the sewer. Interestingly, in this arc, we learn that the CIA is pro-Batman, whereas the FBI hates his guts.

–Adventures of Superman #440
After Clark Kent gets mailed a scrap book filled with old pictures of him as a child with Ma and Pa Kent (Martha Kent and Jonathan Kent), he sends the book onto Batman for crime-lab analysis. The analysis turns up nothing, so Batman returns the book. Meanwhile, in Metropolis, the villainous media mogul Morgan Edge tries to sell the public on the idea that Superman might be a robot. Lex Luthor isn’t convinced. Superman eventually realizes that the scrap book belongs to his mom, but who stole it and mailed it remains a mystery. Superman then meets-up with and makes-out with his brand new girlfriend, Wonder Woman! For better or worse, the ill-fated Man of Steel/Wonder Woman super-couple won’t last very long. IMPORTANT NOTE: Originally, the most important part of this 1988 John Byrne story was that Superman and Batman both discover each other’s secret identities. This revelation stood as canon for twenty-three years (!) until a late Modern Age retcon in April 2011’s Superman #710, which changed things so that Batman and Superman learn each other’s IDs in Year One. Thus, we must ignore any conversation between Batman and Superman regarding secret ID discovery in this issue.

–Detective Comics #585-589
Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle really start to bring out a whole heapin’ bunch o’ new rogues this year, including the nefarious Otis Flannegan aka The Ratcatcher! Batman travels into the sewers to deal with this rat-controlling psychopath in issues #585-586; and then deals with both Derek Mitchel aka Corrosive Man and Mortimer Kadaver in issues #587-589. For those of you that don’t know, Corrosive Man’s skin, as a result of a freak accident, constantly exudes massive amounts of concentrated acid. And Mortimer Kadaver is a torture expert morbidly obsessed with death and movie vampires, much like a teen goth.

FLASHBACK: From Batman #645. Robin shatters a drug-dealing pimp’s collar bone and nearly kills the man in the process.  Batman chastises Jason for his inveterate recklessness and dangerous behavior.

–Batman #421-423
It’s been almost three months since the events of Batman #414, and the mysterious serial killer known as the Dumpster Killer is still at large. In issues #421-422 Batman finally takes care of business and catches the misogynist psychopath. We are then treated to a flash-forward to three months later where, because evidence was gathered illegally by Batman, the criminal is set free only to be murdered by the vengeful sister of one of his victims. There’s also a great scene where Jason is beating a pimp to death and Batman restrains him asking, “What were you trying to do, kill him?” to which Jason replies, “Would it’ve been that big of a loss if I had?” Starlin really writes some of the best damn Batman and it’s no surprise that issue #423 has a label on the cover that reads, “DC Comics Aren’t Just For Kids!” Speaking of that very issue, in it three beat-cops at a diner each tell their own anecdotes about personal interactions with Batman. Great read.  Highly recommended.

–DC Bonus Book #5[20]
Poison Ivy is back and she’s teamed up with The Grip, a man who has undergone surgery with the notorious Dr. Moon that has given him cybernetic hands. Little does the Grip know, Ivy’s immunity to her own natural poisons has worn off and she’s slowly dying. Batman defeats the duo and doctors are able to restore Ivy’s powers in order to save her life.

–Martian Manhunter #1-2
H’ronmeer, the Martian “god of death, fire, and lies,” manifests on Earth and torments Martian Manhunter, who goes to Batman for help. Realizing the seriousness of H’ronmeer’s threat, Batman calls the JLI for help. The dark god only wants J’onn to know the true horrible details of the final days of Mars, not the false information that was fed to him years ago by Dr. Saul Erdel (the scientist that originally brought J’onn to Earth). After returning to Mars, J’onn comes face-to-face with a nightmarish vision courtesy of H’ronmeer.

–Martian Manhunter #4
J’onn’s struggle with H’ronmeer continues from Martian Manhunter #1-2. Batman, Booster Gold, and Blue Beetle locate and visit Dr. Saul Erdel (who had faked his death years ago) in Colorado. There, the heroes question Dr. Erdel about J’onn’s battle with H’ronmeer. On Mars, J’onn deals with H’ronmeer’s psychic torture, learns the true history of his people, and comes to terms with his past. Finally able to move on with a happier and calmer heart, J’onn is brought back to Earth by Dr. Erdel’s tech.

–Detective Comics #590-591
November 5-6. Fact: On the main DC Universe Earth there are a lot more cities and countries than there are in our world. For example, Iraq and Iran aren’t the only Middle Eastern countries with ties to terrorism. There’s Bialya, Qurac, and Syraq, just to name a few. In issue #590, Batman travels to London on Guy Fawkes’ Day (“Remember, remember the 5th of November”) to capture some Syraqi terrorists. Their leader goes on an anti-America rant that makes Batman pause for a moment. Wait? Is America… evil? Before Batman can contemplate this shocker, the terrorists try to decapitate him with a wire. And just when they were about to sway him to their cause. In issue #591, Batman busts Bain before switching to a tux for his charity arts and antiques show hosted by Kerry Rollo. Meanwhile, an Australian Aborigine vigilante called Umbaluru travels to Gotham to retrieve an ancient artifact stolen from his people during a massacre by White treasure hunters. Wouldn’t you know it, the item in question has wound up with Rollo and is the feature attraction at the charity show. Upon arrival in the big city, the Aborigine warrior kills the men who stole his people’s artifact. Batman gets involved, but, in the end, Umbaluru kills Rollo, grabs his artifact, and escapes without a trace. Batman never even learns his name.

–Secret Origins of the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes
November.[21] Part One of this 1989-1990 trade is the original Denny O’Neil/Dick Giordano story entitled “The Man Who Falls.” In this tale, it’s a cold November night and Batman perches high above Gotham and recalls his origins before leaping dozens of floors below to punch out some bad guys. In the story, creators Denny O’Neil and Dick Giordano treat us to a ton of canonical flashbacks documenting Bruce’s twelve-year training period before becoming the Dark Knight. Batman also recalls the events of “Shaman” and “Batman Year One.” This wonderful story serves as a perfect jumping-on point for the Modern Age of Batman (for those who haven’t already been following along).

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

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Annual #13 Part 1 Intro. Early December. Much to the chagrin of her father, a retired Babs dons the Batgirl costume yet again to aid Bruce and Jason in apprehending Two-Face. Jason wears snow-gear in this flashback!

———————–Detective Comics Annual #1
———————–Green Arrow Vol. 2 Annual #1
———————–The Question Annual #1
The Question sets up a meeting between Batman and two folks the Dark Knight hasn’t met before: Lady Shiva (!) and her mentor, the 150-year-old O-Sensei. Batman winds up offering them a future favor in exchange for the old man’s wisdom. Talia al Ghul (!) then shows up in Gotham, having been sent by her father to retrieve a stolen neuro-chemical from the Penguin. Batman and Talia team-up and defeat the Penguin, but not before Talia nearly dies. Typical “we can never be together Talia” dialogue from Bruce in this one. This storyline then heads into Green Arrow Vol. 2 Annual #1 where, a few days later, Shiva and O-Sensei ask Batman to set-up a meeting between them and Green Arrow. Batman angrily works over a punching bag while talking to Alfred about Shiva’s favor and how bad Jason has been lately. Eventually, in The Question Annual #1, Batman shares an adventure with Green Arrow, the Question, and Shiva that results in the unfortunate death of O-Sensei.

–FLASHBACK: From Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #1—originally told in Superman Annual #11 by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. December. Batman, Robin, and Wonder Woman visit Superman at the Fortress of Solitude for his birthday. However, Mongul is there and he’s already given Superman a gift: the alien Black Mercy plant, which causes its victim to suffer a zombie-like hallucination of his greatest subconscious desire. The heroes rescue Superman, who proceeds to angrily “burn” Mongul with heat vision.

–Batman: The Cult #1-4
When this story takes place, Bruce says he’s been Batman for “nearly a decade”.  He has in fact been Batman for just over a decade now.  As badass and reckless as Jason has been lately, Starlin depicts him a bit green in The Cult, having the character literally cry out for Batman to save him multiple times. In this tale, the centuries-old Deacon Joseph Blackfire has amassed a huge homicidal cult-following, comprised mostly of the poor and destitute. At one point, Batman is captured, drugged, and indoctrinated into the cult. By the time Batman comes to his senses, Blackfire has assassinated the brand new mayor (George Skowcroft’s replacement), killed dozens of cops and US National Guard troops, and has taken control of Gotham. The governor declares the city a “disaster area” and orders an evacuation! (This is an amazing precursor to “No Man’s Land,” a similar situation that will happen a few years down the road.) The Dynamic Duo take to the streets in a gigantic “Monster Batmobile”—essentially a Bigfoot monster truck—that fires rubber-bullets. In fact, the homage to Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns continues as Batman and Robin each handle high-powered rubber-bullet assault rifles! After cutting through the murderous mobs, our heroes confront Blackfire face-to-face.  Blackfire eventually meets his bloody demise when Batman is able to convince the followers to turn on their leader.[22]

–FLASHBACK: From Robin Vol. 2 #0. Robin recklessly disobeys Batman during a dangerous fight against Two-Face. Despite, this Robin manages to get the job done, busting Two-Face in the process. Batman ain’t happy about his methods. Just you wait, Batman. Just you wait.

–Batman #424-425
Issue #424 is Starlin’s “The Diplomat’s Son” and you’ll find it on just about every “best single issues” lists out there. And for good reason too. In issue #424 Bogatagoan drug-dealer Felipe Garzonas has raped Gloria Stanton. However, the police can’t touch him because he has diplomatic immunity. Garzonas’ misogynistic antagonizing continues and Gloria, fearing no way out, commits suicide. Jason immediately races to Garzonas’ apartment and shortly after, the latter falls twenty stories to his death. Batman arrives a second later and asks Jason point-blank if he killed the man.  Jason says, “He slipped” and coolly swings away. I still get chills when I read it. Issue #525 directly follows-up “The Diplomat’s Son.”  Garzonas’ father wants revenge so he kidnaps Gordon and invites Batman to a junkyard for a final showdown. Batman, still unsure of what to do about Jason, leaves in secret to confront the elder Garzonas alone. Naturally, Jason stows-away in the trunk of the Batmobile and saves the day, but not before realizing that his actions nearly contributed to Gordon’s death.

–Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth
Many people will say this Morrison/McKean tale is out-of-continuity, but it doesn’t have to be. I’ve placed it here because it occurs when all of the following are incarcerated at the same time; the Joker, Clayface III, Dr. Destiny, Mad Hatter (Jervis Tetch), Killer Croc, Maxie Zeus, Two-Face, and Scarecrow. In the story, these inmates have taken over the madhouse and Batman comes to restore order. We learn that one of the head Arkham doctors, Dr. Charles Cavendish, has also gone insane and is responsible for the chaos within the facility. This graphic novel also details the long and tragic origin of Arkham Asylum for the first time.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Gotham Knights #43. Bruce asks Barbara to put on the Batgirl costume one more time and go on patrol with Jason to assess the Boy Wonder’s mental stability as a crime-fighter. Batgirl and Robin take down some cigarette smugglers and afterward, Batgirl tells Batman what we already know: Jason is a mixed up kid with too much emotional baggage. Meanwhile, Joker has escaped from Arkham yet again and Batgirl warns Batman that his arch-enemy may strike at his closest allies just to get to him. Foreshadowing anyone? Note that Batman is incorrectly drawn with the wrong costume in this flashback story.

–REFERENCE: In a flashback from Batman: Gotham Knights #44. Babs, presumably asked by Bruce, begins privately tutoring Jason.

–Detective Comics #572
Christmas. I’ve placed this issue out-of-order because it is an anniversary one-shot special, so it can go pretty much anywhere, and since it is a Christmas tale, it fits best here. In issue #572, we learn that all the Victorian adventures of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes are a part of the history of the DC Universe! (Eclipso #7 solidifies the link between Doyle-verse and the DC Universe as it shows Holmes battling Eclipso in 1891. ) This being the case, the Dynamic Duo celebrates Christmas in London with Elongated Man and Slam Bradley! After saving the life of Queen Elizabeth, the awe-struck detectives meet their hero, Sherlock Holmes, who (after Zero Hour time retcons) must be at least 135-years-old but in good health! This means he’s likely semi-immortal. There is also a mini-flashback from Booster Gold Vol. 2 #6 depicting this Sherlock Holmes story. It’s also worth noting that, during this case, Batman starts working with his British informant, a man named Bert (as referenced in Batman: Absolution).

–Detective Comics #592-594
Cornelius Stirk debuts in issues #592-593 (entitled “The Fear”). If you don’t already know, Stirk is a cannibal serial killer with mental-projection powers. As revealed in a reference in The Batman Files, after busting Stirk, Batman examines his Arkham Asylum case-file a few days later, in which has been placed the sociopath’s journal. Batman steals a page from the journal and keeps it for his scrapbook. In issue #594 we meet everyone’s favorite deformed Gotham PI, Joe Potato. He teams-up with Batman to stop a mad bomber, who turns out to be an insane Wall Street trader that has the unfortunate combo of a stockpile of dynamite and an addiction to Ecstasy.

–REFERENCE: In Sandman Vol. 2 #71. When he sleeps, Batman begins having dreams that he is a campy version of himself à la the Batman TV show character from the 60s. How meta!



  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: Welcome to Bat Year 11. The Crisis on Infinite Earths is upon us. And once it ends, the “Year One Era” will be done. A relevant reminder, logic follows that you have to read the stories in this year as if they are truly taking place in 1999. Post-Zero Hour Sliding-Time has moved everything later and later and later. For example, references to the USSR and Reagan (of which there are many) must be ignored and replaced by generic simple substitutions such as “US President,” “Russian President,” and “Russia” (which we shall assume is still the viable world power it was during the Cold War). Or, to follow Silver Age protocol/precedent, you can substitute in Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin, matching the calendar year events of the real world. Likewise, dialogue like “It IS the Eighties!” (as Jason Todd literally proclaims on occasion) should be replaced with your favorite “Holy ____, Batman!” catchphrase.
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: Originally, The Crisis on Infinite Earths was set specifically in July-August and ran a little over one month long. This may still be the case in regard to the Silver/Bronze Age, but it cannot be for the rebooted Modern Age. We are clearly at the beginning of Year Eleven, definitely not in July or August. However, the month-long time-frame from Crisis #1 through Crisis #12 is still pretty spot on.
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: One final note, moving forward. The same year-by-year format remains intact for the post-“Year One Era” Modern Age timeline. Whenever definitively specific temporal references can be extracted from the information given in the stories, you can be rest-assured that it has been categorized and factored into the timeline. Items are not numbered as before since there are literally tens of thousands of issues in the continued Modern Age and it would be very difficult to list them all numerically. However, all canonical Batman storylines and arcs (no matter how big or small) are still listed in chronological order.
  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER: The Crisis on Infinite Earths is the 1986 mega-crossover series that rebooted the DCU into a brand new continuity, while simultaneously erasing the previous continuities of the Golden Age (Earth-2) and Silver/Bronze Age (Earth-1). Since this title was originally released in 1985-1986 and functions as the final Silver/Bronze Age tale, the Batman that actually appears in it is none other than the Silver/Bronze Age Batman of the pre-original Crisis Earth-1. By the end of the Crisis reboot, many characters are erased from existence, including Earth-1 Batman, who is replaced with the Modern Age Batman (see below for details). However, because The Crisis on Infinite Earths was quickly made canon within the Modern Age chronology by DC editorial, the Batman appearing in this Crisis paradoxically (and retroactively), for the purposes of the Modern Age timeline, should be regarded as the Batman of the post-Crisis Earth-0 timeline. Hence, the reason why an unaltered Crisis goes on both this Modern Age chronology and the Silver Age chronology as well.
  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: The vague story of the creation of the local multiverse has long been told and re-told in the pages DC Comics. Originally, in the Silver Age (Green Lantern Vol. 2 #40 and The Crisis on Infinite Earths), the Great Hand of Creation is implied to be the very appendage of the Judeo-Christian/Islamic God (or at least the hand of a divine agent of God, such as the Spectre). Sorry, Islamo-Judeo-Christians—there are larger forces at work here. The details of the Overmonitor aka Overvoid are revealed in the Modern Age’s Final Crisis, but the details surrounding the Great Hand are still nebulous at best. By the time of the New 52 continuity, a time-displaced Volthoom is revealed to be the Great Hand (as shown in Green Lantern Vol. 5) while The Multiversity introduced a counterpart to the Great Hand in the form of The Empty Hand, a cosmic evil basically representing the meta-hand of the comic book creator and/or comic book reader engaging with the comic book itself. The Rebirth Era’s Justice League Vol. 4 #22 (2019) delivers a flashback depicting the creation of the multiverse that is meant to be canon for all continuities. In this flashback (which spans 20 billion years ago all the way up to the Big Bang), the Great Hand is revealed to be the über-goddess Perpetua, the Monitor’s name is revealed to be Mar Novu, and the Anti-Monitor’s name is revealed to be Mobius. The Great Hand, the Monitor, and the Anti-Monitor create the multiverse along with help from their other brother Alpheus aka The World Forger and Alpheus’ demonic dragon pet Barbatos. The Great Hand, the Monitor, the Anti-Monitor, and Barbatos, each residing in a higher (6th Dimensional) plane of existence, have been around since the very beginning (i.e. since the Golden Age/Silver Age). (Superstring Theory states that the 6th Dimension is a plane in which one can view possible worlds, comparing and positioning all the possible universes. Scott Snyder has referred to it as the “hypothetical dimension.”) Because the Great Hand, the Monitor, the Anti-Monitor, the World Forger, and Barbatos are all beyond-meta-cosmic in nature, they are able to bear witness to the original Silver Age Crisis and live through its reality-erasing effects without suffering any direct reality-erasing consequences themselves. These five godlike beings will live through each future continuity-erasing reboot totally unfazed. Note that the idea of the Anti-Monitor specifically living through multiple reboots unfazed originates from the New 52’s “Darkseid War.”
  6. [6]COLLIN COLSHER: Several characters will be erased from existence thanks to the Crisis, including several prominent characters that will die fighting for the same cause as Flash Barry Allen. But unlike some of those characters, Barry’s death not only sticks, it is also arguably the Crisis‘ most important death—and most complicated. Here’s what’s going on, in great chronological detail, regarding Barry’s appearance and death sequence in Crisis.

    First, the back-story. In November 1998 (a mere two months ago), Barry and his recently resurrected wife Iris, bummed-out about how grim-and-gritty things have gotten, travel to the cheerier 30th century to live permanently—(Iris was actually born in the 30th century). In the 30th century, Barry and Iris happily chill for a couple months and even conceive twins, Don and Dawn, who will later spawn Barry’s grandkids Jenni Ognats and Bart Allen. Cut to the Crisis at hand. Barry learns of the evil Anti-Monitor’s plot to destroy the multiverse and feels compelled to help. Using the Cosmic Treadmill to travel backward through time, Barry stops briefly to visit an adult Wally West in 2008 (as seen in Flash Vol. 2 #200). Barry then continues backward to fight the Anti-Monitor in 1999. However, the Anti-Monitor captures, tortures, and murders Barry. As both Marv Wolfman and Kevin Smith confirm (in Crisis and “Quiver,” respectively), Barry’s spirit is separated from his soul when he dies. Barry’s SOUL remains within the Speed Force. (The Speed Force is the extradimensional power source/realm from which Flash draws his metahuman abilities. Think of Star Wars when Obi-Wan dies and becomes “one with the Force.” It’s a similar concept. The Speed Force can also be regarded as the cosmic opposite of Anti-Life.) Meanwhile, Barry’s SPIRIT has a wild ride before going to Heaven. First, as we learn in Secret Origins Annual #2, his spirit turns into a lightning bolt that goes back in time to endow a younger regular Barry with super-speed powers. Thus, Barry paradoxically is the creator and giver of his own meta-ability unto himself! Immediately thereafter, Barry’s spirit is whisked away to the Marvel Universe and made corporeal. An amnesiac Barry stays there for a brief period, during which he defeats all of Universe-616’s fastest runners in a race. (This really happened, I swear! See Quasar #17 and Quasar #58.) Barry’s spirit then becomes discorporate and returns to the DCU only to be hijacked by the evil witch-man Darius Caldera, who takes it to a realm outside of time and space (as seen in Deadman: Dead Again #1). Deadman is able to rescue Barry’s spirit, thus freeing it to go to Heaven. Since this event occurs in a bizarre realm that lies outside of time and space, the whole episode registers as a mere blip on our timeline. As does the prior “I am my own grandpa” powers origin and his Marvel jaunt.

    With Barry’s spirit safely tucked behind the angelic Pearly Gates, Barry’s soul will simply roam the spectral realm of the Speed Force for the next eleven years. On rare occasions, Barry’s spirit will re-materialize on the Earthly plane to help Wally out in dire situations. Truly rare indeed, this will happen only four times. Eventually, an elder Iris and grandson Bart will decide to move to the 21st century, specifically shortly after the “Death and Return of Superman.” Bart will become the hero Impulse. The corporeal resurrection of Barry Allen—mind, body, spirit, and soul—will happen in 2010 with Final Crisis. has a brilliant timeline for Barry Allen that explains all of this quite amazingly.

  7. [7]COLLIN COLSHER: I cannot stress enough that, while the end of Crisis is a reboot/ending for the Golden Age and Silver Age, it certainly doesn’t function that way for the Modern Age. For the Modern Age, Crisis is a starting point, but one that already has given us ten years of history. Therefore, for the purposes of the Modern Age, Crisis may be a wild crossover of epic proportions never before seen in the DCU, but it is simply only that AND NOT a retcon event.
  8. [8]COLLIN COLSHER: Here’s the million dollar continuity question: Are Kal-L and Lois Lane THE very same Kal-L and Lois Lane from the Golden Age timeline? Based upon the (meta)physics of comic book time, one would (and should) argue that the entire Crisis that appears on the Modern Age timeline is a modified Crisis that fits into its own altered continuity. (The Crisis that occurs in the Modern Age does not (and cannot) appear the same as the Crisis at the end of the Silver Age, just as the Flashpoint that occurs in the New Age does not (and cannot) appear exactly the same as the Flashpoint that occurs at the end of the Modern Age or at the start of the New 52.) This logic would lead us to believe that Kal-L and Lois Lane are merely doppelgängers of a mirror world that reflects the Golden Age. However, writer Geoff Johns builds his story (Infinite Crisis) in such a way that we are to take these characters as the legit Golden Age versions of themselves. Normally, this would be impossible because most comic book timelines extend to the End of Time, meaning right up until the universal heat death of the universe wherein which time cycles back to the beginning like a big loop. As such, most comic book timelines include canonical future stories (that exist beyond a Jonbar erasure point). This is indeed the case with the Modern Age, which is why the much-maligned Convergence failed when it tried to pull a similar Johnsian stunt (on an even grander scale). Interestingly, the Golden Age characters never got canonical future stories written about them. (They travel to the future quite often, but they never come into contact or see older versions of themselves there. Nor do any Golden Age stories tell of a future that contains them.) Because these characters were never shown beyond Crisis, Johns realized that there was no metaphysical barrier in his way—i.e. nothing preventing him from using the actual Golden Age characters (provided he have them spare themselves via Crisis‘ erasure in some cosmic narrative way). Unlike the later continuity violations of Convergence, Johns’ maneuver, while similar, is completely licit. Johns seems to be aware of this with the specificity of his choices as well, selecting Golden Age characters that he knows for certain were not written about in any canonical future stories—as opposed to, say, Silver Age characters, which did exist in some debatably canonical future form (Alan Moore’s Whatever “What Ever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” comes to mind.) So, are this Kal-L and this Lois Lane THE actual Kal-L and Lois from the Golden Age? As always, it’s your own headcanon, so it’s your own call. But I’d wager that they are! And that’s a pretty damn amazing thing.
  9. [9]COLLIN COLSHER: Here’s the synopsis for the highly complex Last Days one-shot, which gets erased from our timeline completely, but is worth having comprehensive knowledge of in order to understand our chronology better. In the months following the end of the Crisis, Infinity Inc and the JSA still have their memories of Earth-2, which despite being an “erased” Earth is taking its time in fully dissipating completely into the ether. With that scenario set firmly in mind, our story begins mere days away from the moment where Infinity Inc and the JSA will lose all memories of their former Earth-2 (i.e. when the Earth-2 timeline finally fully disappears) and at which point they will gain completely new Modern Age histories like everybody else (histories that are already reflected on this chronology). With the fading Earth-2 timeline soon to be replaced by the new Modern Age timeline, Infinity Inc and the JSA cherish what they have and mourn the passing of Helena Wayne and Dick Grayson at a private funeral ceremony. During the ceremony, a ravaged Spectre appears and the entire fabric of reality begins to tear asunder. Spectre explains that, due to backward-folding time anomalies linked to the recent Crisis, the fleeting pre-Crisis Earth-2’s timeline has been altered. The altered history now tells that, in April 1945, Adolf Hitler used the Spear of Destiny to summon the Norse gods to enact Ragnarok, destroying the planet. Because of this, Earth-2 never existed to be a part of the Crisis and the Earth-0 is literally now ceasing to exist, in a sense undoing the entire Crisis and ripping apart the world! Spectre is able to send the JSA back to Earth-2’s Berlin in April 1945 to battle against Hitler. There, in order to prevent Ragnarok, the JSA merges with the Norse gods and causes history to return to the way things originally went, saving the old Earth-2 in 1945 (so that it can properly get destroyed during the Crisis), and ultimately saving and restoring Earth-0. Unfortunately for the JSA, they immediately are imprisoned in a limbo-like space near Asgard and forced to fight in an endless Ragnarok simulation thanks to the manipulations of Odin. (Power Girl, Dr. Fate, and Star-Spangled Kid are the only three JSAers that make it back to the present). The rest of the JSA gets trapped fighting this endless Ragnarok battle over and over forever, forming a tragic end for the Golden Age heroes.
  10. [10]COLLIN COLSHER: Every Late March, Batman and Superman meet to commemorate the death of Dr. Harrison Grey. However, in order for things to work out continuity-wise, they must miss their meeting this year. Batman & Superman: World’s Finest, for some reason, skips this March, glossing over its existence as if it never happened. Therefore, we must assume that the upcoming return of Despero interferes with and cancels out this commemoration.
  11. [11]COLLIN COLSHER: For the Batman title, the post-original Crisis era began (publishing-wise) with Batman #401 by Barbara Randall/Trevor Von Eeden. (It would/should have started with Batman #392, which was the first Batman issue to be released after the original Crisis, BUT the storyline that takes place in Batman #392-399 was written before the original Crisis had concluded, so it doesn’t reflect any of the changes that occur. Also, Batman #400 is an out-of-continuity anniversary special, so obviously that doesn’t count either.)
  12. [12]COLLIN COLSHER: If you are confused by Selina’s confusing reaction to Dr. Moon’s CAT scan, you aren’t alone. Even DC Comics realized this shit was bonkers, later trying to cover their asses by labeling (in Crisis on Infinite Earths: The Compendium) this Dr. Moon affair as occurring on Earth-85. Of course, this arc is dead smack dab in the middle of “Legends,” so it’s definitely canon—at least fanwanky canon. We can think of ‘tec #569-570 as happening on both Earth-0 and Earth-85.
  13. [13]COLLIN COLSHER: The first post-original Crisis crossover story-arc is Legends. The Batman tie-ins to this series are Batman #401 and Detective Comics #568, and thus form the entry points into the Modern post-original Crisis world of the DCU. (The Modern Age would/should have started with Batman #392, which was the first Batman issue to be released after the original Crisis. However, the storyline that takes place from Batman #392 through Batman #399 was written before the original Crisis had concluded, so it didn’t reflect any of the changes that had occurred. Also, Batman #400 is an out-of-continuity anniversary issue that functioned as a special endnote to the Bronze Age.) Of course, Batman #404-407 comprises the seminal “Year One” story by Miller/Mazzucchelli that defines the Dark Knight’s origins in the Modern Age.
  14. [14]COLLIN COLSHER: Both Wonder Woman Vol. 2 Annual #2 and Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #8 contain flashbacks to Legends, but both incorrectly make mention of the arc as being Wonder Woman’s debut, putting the canonical status of both issues in question. Following the original Crisis, Wonder Woman’s origins were rebooted so that she only first debuts during Legends. Of course, later retcons dramatically make that aspect of Legends null and void.
  15. [15]COLLIN COLSHER: From 1966 to 1987, the German publishing company Egmont Ehapa released re-prints of American comics. By 1982, the European market demand for new Superman/Batman stories was so high that additional material was commissioned by Julius Schwartz and the DC home office. Every so often, from 1982 to 1987, additional material would be released in the pages of Superman/Batman (Superman Monthly Ehapa) or Superman Taschenbuch. Such is the case in Superman Taschenbuch #78, which was released in 1987—right about now on our chronology. While these original Egmont Ehapa stories were regarded as canon in the Bronze Age, they are non-canon in the Modern Age.
  16. [16]COLLIN COLSHER: The Question #2 takes place now. A delirious and badly injured Vic Sage, at the home of Aristotle Rodor, has a dream that he speaks with a visiting Batman. There is much speculation whether or not this scene is real or not. Based upon Batman’s dialogue in Detective Comics Annual #1, I’d say it’s definitely a dream and not an actual appearance.
  17. [17]COLLIN COLSHER: In The Outsiders #17, the egomaniacal Batman has the audacity to imply that he orchestrated his prior breakup with the Outsiders. A reference in The Batman Files tells us that Bruce, writing in his journal/scrapbook years from now, will say that he orchestrated his breakup with the Outsiders on purpose in order to make them more independent and strong. While hindsight may be twenty-twenty, in this case hindsight is 100% bullshit blinders. Tell yourself whatever you want to make yourself feel better, Brucie, but this was a legit breakup. You bitched and moaned away from the Outsiders in the exact same way you bitched and moaned away from the JLA to form the Outsiders in the first place. LOL.
  18. [18]COLLIN COLSHER: Detective Comics #580-581 were retconned out-of-continuity by Ed Brubaker’s run on Detective Comics #777-782. This story originally was about the alternate Two-Face known as Paul Sloan. Brubaker retells Sloan’s origins in 2003 and completely ignores ‘tec #580-581, thus rendering it non-canon.
  19. [19]COLLIN COLSHER: The Firestorm The Nuclear Man series is also alternately known as Firestorm Vol. 2 and The Fury of Firestorm.
  20. [20]COLLIN COLSHER:  DC Bonus Book #5 came as a free insert in Detective Comics #589.
  21. [21]DC: “The Man Who Falls” contains a framing story that explicitly states it takes place in November, hence its placement here.
  22. [22]COLLIN COLSHER: The Cult occurs late in Jason’s tenure as Robin. Reasons why: In “A Death in the Family” after Jason’s death Bruce thinks to himself, “You’re still not back to total efficiency after that encounter you had with Deacon Blackfire,” which would put The Cult and “A Death in the Family” in close proximity to each other. I’m sure Batman wasn’t affected by what happened in The Cult the entire time Jason was Robin, hence its placement here in the few months prior to Jason’s death.

4 Responses to Modern YEAR ELEVEN

  1. James IV says:

    Just a quick question. For the Millennium crossover section, the list seems to be missing Justice League International #9, where Batman is present when “Rocket Red” gets revealed as a Manhunter. I get the sense that it’d take place before Batman #415 by a cursory glance, but it’s exclusion seems out of place.

    • The Quick List was correct, but the list on the actual chronology was not. But thanks for bringing it to my attention! Millennium probably could use a little cleaning-up anyway!

      • James IV says:

        Yeah, I have no doubt that it’s a bit complicated deciding a comic list for these crossovers, especially when a character is shown in two separate issues (or more) even while it’s the same event.

        I’ll also note that the Firestorm the Nuclear Man #67 you have a bit after the Millennium event, with the whole going through time thing and Stalnoivolk, should actually be #71 instead, based on your description.

        • Odd, it was correctly #71 in the quick list, but #67 on the main chronology. Thanks again for bringing it to my attention. I’ll have to see if there are other copy-paste errors in this year.

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