Modern YEAR ELEVEN

(1999)[1]

_______________________________

–REFERENCE: In DC Universe Legacies #5, Crisis on Infinite Earths #11-12, JLA Incarnations #5 Part 1, JLA Incarnations #5 Part 2, the second feature to 52 #4-5, Zero Hour: Crisis in Time #0, Infinite Crisis #1 Part 8, Infinite Crisis #2, and Final Crisis. Originally told in Crisis on Infinite Earths #1-2, Saga of the Swamp Thing #44 (aka Swamp Thing Vol. 2 #44), Crisis on Infinite Earths #3, and The New Teen Titans Vol. 2 #13 Part 2.[2] “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 forty-six year history and replaced it with the previous stories and bullet notes that comprised the entirety of the previous Modern 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. While Batman battles Joker, he witnesses a disturbing vision of a dying Flash. But that’s just the beginning. Pariah arrives on Earth with startling news: the multiverse is being destroyed one universe at a time by anti-matter waves unleashed 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 created the multiverse and was born unto/out of the Overmonitor aka Overvoid, an omnipotent and infinite-sized living void that existed prior to and originally incubated/cared for large portions of the proto-omniverse. The Overmonitor was not even aware of the multiverse until, long ago, sending a sentient discovery probe to investigate it.)[3] As many universes die, the chaos edges closer and closer to destroying all that exists. Thousands of planets are erased in one fell swoop. Assisted by his partner Harbinger, the Monitor raises up towering golden machines all over multiple Earths. (Originally, these towers were tuning antennae that pulled surviving universes into a safe haven by aligning their vibrational planes, thus allowing the pre-Crisis multiverse to be rebooted into the Modern Age. For purposes of the Crisis‘ narrative here, these devices obviously don’t cause a reboot, but they still protect universes via alignment of their vibrational planes and delay the deterioration of spacetime.) Despite these tower defenses slowing down the contraterrene waves, things still look bleak. The heroes struggle to defend the towers against the Anti-Monitor’s army of Shadow Demons and his powerful ally, Psycho-Pirate. As the skies burn red, Batman patrols in Gotham, briefly crossing paths with John Constantine and Mento. Meanwhile, Swamp Thing checks-up on his wife Abigail Holland (née Cable). As the Crisis escalates, more worlds are lost. Dozens of heroes rise up in defense. Superman, Batman, the Outsiders, and the Teen Titans help protect New York City and then witness another disturbing vision of the Flash dying.

–JLA Incarnations #5 Part 1
This item was originally told in Crisis on Infinite Earths #4-6. 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 Crisis in New York City. There they fight alongside many heroes—including Batman, Superman, the Outsiders, the Teen Titans (including Kole Weathers and Raven), and the new Dr. Light (Kimiyo Hoshi)—to defend one of the Monitor’s golden towers against Shadow Demons. (Raven’s inclusion here is an important retcon, as she was not in the original Crisis.) As seen via flashback from Suicide Squad #16, Shade the Changing Man and Green Lantern Hal Jordan fight alongside Batman in NYC too. (Adding Hal Jordan to the Crisis mix is another big retcon, as Hal was not in the original Crisis. Also note that Shade the Changing Man is one of the few characters—John Constantine included—that will retain a complete knowledge of the Golden/Silver Age following the Crisis.) As referenced in Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #1-2, while the heroes continue defending golden towers across time and space, the Anti-Monitor mind-controls Harbinger, forcing her to assassinate the Monitor. 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, whose original form was the Overmonitor’s discovery probe! All the heroes (including Batman) are then whisked away to the Monitor’s satellite HQ by Pariah and Harbinger, who has regained control of her senses. What follows is the very famous “gathering of the superheroes” scene, which was originally shown in Crisis on Infinite Earths #5, Infinity Inc #22, All-Star Squadron #53, and Swamp Thing Vol. 2 #46. (The “gathering” is also shown via flashback from the second feature to 52 #4). Present are: Batman, the Outsiders, the Teen Titans, the new Dr. Light, the Metal Men, the 30th century Legion of Super-Heroes (Blok, Dawnstar, Chameleon Boy, Sun Boy, Brainiac 5, Lightning Lad, Wildfire, Mon-El, Saturn Girl, and Colossal Boy), Infinity Inc (Nuklon and Brainwave Jr), the JSA, Swamp Thing, John Constantine, Shining Knight, the Question, Plastic Man, Dr. Fate, Black Canary, Power Girl, Batgirl, the Spectre, Blue Beetle (Ted Kord), Dr. Polaris, Green Lantern John Stewart, Firestorm, Killer Frost (Louise Lincoln), Lady Quark, Psimon, Warlord (Travis Morgan), King Solovar, The Mist, Firebrand from the 1940s, WWII soldiers from the 1940s (including Lieutenant Jeb Stuart and Sgt. Frank Rock), and 19th century cowboys. Note that the second feature to 52 #4 also shows Golden/Silver Age Earth-2 Robin (Dick Grayson), Silver Age Earth-1 Supergirl, Golden/Silver Age Earth-2 Superman (Kal-L), and Alexander Luthor Jr of the Silver Age Earth-3. These characters (along with a handful of others) don’t actually appear on our Modern Age timeline until Crisis #11, not until they are zapped from timeline to timeline by the cosmic-chronal explosion at end of Crisis #10. This spacetime-altering energy burst that is to come will temporarily cause all our Modern Age characters to have bogus memories of the Golden/Silver Age, hence the reason for showing these non-Modern Age characters in the crowd. As referenced in Crisis on Infinite Earths #11-12, the heroes are fully briefed by Pariah and Harbinger. As the meeting wraps, the Anti-Monitor destroys the Monitor’s satellite, causing the heroes to flee back to a chaotic Earth that is merging with many other Earths and timelines. While Martian Manhunter tries to hold together the crumbling satellite, he sends the JLA into battle onto a time-shifting Earth to duel aliens, gladiators, and Fire-Eye. The Dark Knight doubts the team’s effectiveness until Vibe fixes one of the damaged golden towers.

[4]

–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, starting right now during Crisis #6. 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.

–FLASHBACK: From DC Universe Legacies #5—and referenced in Crisis on Infinite Earths #11-12 and the second feature to 52 #4-5. Originally told in Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 and Justice League of America Annual #3. The cosmic conflict continues, forcing all the superheroes of the multiverse to band together. There are many casualties on both sides, including the tragic death of Silver Age Earth-1 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 death. (Again, Supergirl is a bogus memory from an alternate timeline that is only temporarily bleeding into reality.) With the planet in chaos, things deteriorate further as super-storms break out everywhere, an anti-gravity well forms, and Red Tornado is killed again. The JLA, Green Arrow, Superman, Batman, and the Outsiders team-up to deal with the Air/Wind Elemental Ulthoon (also called Tornado Champion or Tornado Tyrant, and formerly housed within Red Tornado’s android body), who emerges from Red Tornado’s inert android body to claim responsibility for the weather and anti-gravity well. Red Tornado’s girlfriend Kathy Sutton talks down Ulthoon, who departs.

–FLASHBACK: From the second feature to 52 #5—and referenced in JLA Incarnations #5 Part 2, the second feature to 52 #4-5, Superman Vol. 2 #12, Crisis on Infinite Earths #11-12. Originally told in Crisis on Infinite Earths #8-10. The Crisis intensifies and the Anti-Monitor orders his army of Thunderers to build him a super-weapon on the ani-matter planet of Qward. The Flash Barry Allen is killed while destroying the super-weapon. (The vision of Barry Allen’s death that Batman witnessed at the beginning of the Crisis has come true.)[5] Having been summoned back to her home planet of Tamaran by her father King Myand’r, Starfire (joined by Nightwing and Jericho) departs in a starship helmed by Taryia and Karras. After Nightwing and company leave, a bizarre time-anomaly warp zone opens up in Manhattan. Brainiac and Lex Luthor take advantage of the chaos, starting a war against the heroes. They drop Chemo (a living chemical bomb) onto an alternate Earth’s New York City, leaving it completely uninhabitable and killing Aquagirl in the process. The superheroes—including the JLA, JSA, Outsiders, Teen Titans, Challengers, Blackhawks, GCPD, Amazons, Freedom Fighters, and dozens more—unite to overcome the villains. Soon after, Harbinger begins typing up an official history of the Crisis, titled “The Monitor Tapes.” Eventually, an elite group (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Pariah, Martian Manhunter, Blue Beetle, Captain Marvel, Firestorm, Hawkman, Metamorpho, Hourman, Obsidian, Sgt. Frank Rock, Wildfire, Mon-El, Ultra Boy, and a few others) forms to challenge the Big Bad. This group travels to the Dawn of Time (i.e. 20 billion BCE, prior to the creation of the multiverse) to battle the Anti-Monitor within the Overvoid. (A flashback from the second feature to 52 #5 details this penultimate battle against the Anti-Monitor at the Dawn of Time.) Batman, along with the other non-fliers, watches from within the safety of a floating force-bubble. The heroes fare poorly until the Spectre joins them, dueling the Anti-Monitor and causing the aforementioned cosmic-chronal energy explosion. The Anti-Monitor is blasted back to the anti-matter universe while the heroes are zapped back to Earth.[6]

–Crisis on Infinite Earths #11[7]
The battle between the Spectre and Anti-Monitor has just ended, leaving strange chronal-anomalies in its wake. Mainly, the population of Earth has bogus (albeit fuzzy) collective memories of the life and death of Silver Age Earth-1 Supergirl even though she never existed. With their own multiverse legitimately erased (i.e. closed off to them forever), several displaced refugees remain trapped in the Modern Age: Silver Age Earth-4 Captain Atom, Golden/Silver Age Earth-2 Green Arrow, Golden/Silver Age Earth-2 Robin (Dick Grayson), Golden/Silver Age Earth-2 Huntress (Helena Wayne), Golden/Silver Age Earth-2 Superman (Kal-L), Lois Lane-Kent of the Golden/Silver Age Earth-2, Golden/Silver Age Earth-2 Wonder Woman, Golden/Silver Age Earth-2 Steve Trevor, Superboy-Prime of the Silver Age Earth-Prime, Alexander Luthor Jr of the Silver Age Earth-3, and Power Girl of the Silver Age Earth-2. (Power Girl is a special case because she re-spawns in Bat Year Nine as the Modern Age Power Girl, sans any actual history or memories of her past. Think of this as a botched or glitchy reboot, specifically in regard to her. Best not to dwell on this one too much or your head will spin.) Batman and Robin awaken with hazy memories of the Silver/Bronze Age (including the Bronze Age version of the Crisis) mixed together with memories of their true Modern Age history. Recalling that Alexander Luthor Jr is a rare metahuman with connections to both positive-matter and anti-matter energy, the Dynamic Duo seeks him out. The trio visits Lex Luthor in prison, learning that he doesn’t have any false memory condition specific to the Crisis because he wasn’t present at the battle at the Dawn of Time. The trio also confirms that any Silver/Bronze Age chronal-residue leftover from the Spectre/Anti-Monitor explosion is fading fast, which spells bad news for anyone that doesn’t have a timeline to call home. Speaking of the devil, the time-homeless Golden/Silver Age Clark Kent (Kal-L) wanders into the Daily Planet office. Old Clark has a run-in with Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, and editor-in-chief Perry White, realizing that he is on a timeline that is not his own. Kal-L and Kal-El then meet with Joan Garrick and Jay Garrick. Jay tells the Supermen the basic info that Batman has just learned. Jay, Kid Flash, and both Supermen run on the Cosmic Treadmill to confirm that Kal-L’s home universe is no more. Meanwhile, in deep space, Rip Hunter, Adam Strange, Dolphin, Atomic Knight (Gardner Grayle), Captain Comet, and Animal Man find an intert Brainiac. Back home, the Supermen call a summit of heroes (because what would Crisis be without another gathering sequence, right?) at Teen Titan HQ. Present are: both Supermen, Superboy-Prime, the Teen Titans, the JSA, the JLA, the Outsiders, Obsidian, the Freedom Fighters, Harlequin, Peacemaker, Captain Marvel, Power Girl, Wildcat (Yolanda Montez), Aquaman, John Zatara, Blue Beetle (Ted Kord), Kid Flash, Lady Quark, Pariah, Harbinger, Golden/Silver Age Earth-2 Robin, and Golden/Silver Age Earth-2 Huntress (Helena Wayne). Harbinger explains to the heroes that their confused memories about a prior timeline and alternate Earths are merely fleeting. She recaps Modern Age history, citing that the heroes’ memories will return to status-quo soon.[8]. Harbinger confirms that the timeline-refugees shouldn’t exist (meaning they are probably not long for this world). Of course, this causes panic for old Robin, Helena Wayne, and Kal-L. (Note that old Dick says young Dick is now nineteen-years-old, but due to Sliding-Time, he is actually only seventeen right now.) Batman, Robin, and Alexander Luthor Jr join the gathered heroes to report-in about their meeting with Lex Luthor. In an unknown supernatural realm, Deadman and Phantom Stranger watch over the comatose Spectre, still exhausted from his battle with the Anti-Monitor. In Las Vegas, Johnny Double, Jonni Thunder, Harvey Bullock, Angel O’Day, and Christopher Chance examine the corpse of Angle Man, who was killed when his own time-warping device flared-up during the Spectre/Anti-Monitor fight. On Themyscira, Wonder Woman, Queen Hippolyta, Helen, and Fury (Lyta Trevor) speak with a confused Golden/Silver Age Earth-2 Wonder Woman, who also has no timeline to call her own. In Salem, Massachusetts, Dr. Occult, Amethyst, Dr. Fate, and Jason Blood/Etrigan fight the Anti-Monitor’s re-emergent Shadow Demons.[9] In Gorilla City, King Solovar, Detective Chimp, and Sam Simeon fight Shadow Demons as well. In Peru, the Challengers, Cave Carson, Bulldozer Smith, Christie Madison, and Johnny Blake unearth a giant swirling anti-matter portal. The Anti-Monitor uses this portal like a black hole, sucking the entire planet into the anti-matter universe!

–The Crisis on Infinite Earths #12
I’ve split up Crisis #11 and Crisis #12 into two separate synopses simply because they are both so lengthy. The Anti-Monitor, having pulled Earth into the anti-matter universe, claims victory and gloats about Flash’s death. (A flashback from Starman #8 reflects the cover of Crisis on Infinite Earths #12, showing Batman, Superman, Lady Quark, and someone else gathered to confront the the Anti-Monitor in amidst a cityscape. However, that’s just a cover image and not something that actually occurs in the story. 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 simultaneously appears over many cities.) Hundreds of Shadow Demons swarm across the planet, attacking super-folks everywhere—including the JLA, the JSA, the Outsiders, the Teen Titans, the Freedom Fighters, the Doom Patrol (including Tempest), the Global Guardians (Little Mermaid, Impala, Godiva, Jack O’Lantern, Thunderlord, Green Fury, Owlwoman, and Rising Sun), the Marvel Family (including Mary Marvel, Uncle Marvel, Fat Marvel, and Tall Marvel), the Inferior Five (Merryman, Awkwardman, Dumb Bunny, and The Blimp), the Challengers, Cave Carson, Bulldozer Smith, Christie Madison, Johnny Blake, Lena the Lemur, Sunburst, Green Arrow, Judomaster (Rip Jagger), Peacemaker, Blue Devil, Air Wave, Earth-616’s Captain America, Lori Lemaris, Ronal, Aquaman, Aqualad, Aquagirl, Mera, B’wana Beast, Congo Bill, Electrocutioner, Black Orchid, Red Star, Thunder, Lightning, Hawk, Dove, Golden/Silver Age Earth-2 Green Arrow, Golden/Silver Age Earth-2 Robin, Golden/Silver Age Earth-2 Huntress, Batgirl, Wildcat (Yolanda Montez), Son of Vulcan, Vigilante (Alan Welles), Vigilante (Greg Sanders) from the 1940s, Shade the Changing Man, Mark Merlin/Prince Ra-Man, Warlord, Clayface II, Bug-Eyed Bandit, and Ten-Eyed Man. (Note that Carter Hall and Shiera Sanders-Hall, pictured fighting on behalf of the JSA, have very confusing and highly-retconned Modern Age continuities—thanks primarily to the Hawkworld mini-series and Zero Hour. Shiera is depicted as an older Hawkwoman here, but she should be Hawkgirl.) In Metropolis, with Lana Lang and Lois Lane reporting live, Dove is killed. In Chicago, Golden/Silver Age Earth-2 Green Arrow is killed. In New Orleans, Prince Ra-Man is killed. In Gotham, Clayface II and Bug-Eyed Bandit are killed. In Tokyo, Sunburst is killed. In NYC, Ten-Eyed Man, Kole Weathers, Golden/Silver Age Earth-2 Robin, and Golden/Silver Age Earth-2 Huntress are killed. In the undersea Atlantean city of Poseidonis, Lori Lemaris is killed. Concurrently, Brainiac awakens and takes those aboard his ship to Apokolips where they are greeted by Darkseid. Meanwhile, Harbinger recruits Dr. Light, both Supermen, both Wonder Women, Martian Manhunter, Silver Age Earth-4 Captain Atom, Negative Woman, Superboy-Prime, Fury, Lady Quark, Power Girl, the Ray, Firestorm, Firehawk, Alexander Luthor Jr, Jade, Captain Marvel, and Pariah to Spectre’s supernatural recovery zone. There, Dr. Mist and Phantom Stranger open a portal and send this group (including the comatose Spectre) to the anti-matter universe’s planet Qward. Kid Flash sneaks along. In support of these heroes, magick users—Dr. Occult, Alan Scott, Zatanna, John Zatara, Johnny Thunder, Yz, Black Bison, the Wizard, Felix Faust, Enchantress, Etrigan, Sargon, Blackbriar Thorn, Circe, and Madame Xanadu—channel all their mystic energies together, sucking all the Shadow Demons into oblivion. Tawny Young, Roy Raymond, and Lois Lane deliver the victory news to the public on live TV. But the battle ain’t over yet. On Qward, the heroes find Psycho-Pirate, who has been abandoned by the Anti-Monitor. They also find Flash’s ring and tattered costume, confirming his demise. JLA Incarnations #5 Part 2 re-imagines this discovery/mourning scene, adding Batman and Green Lantern Hal Jordan. (This is a big retcon because neither of these heroes were originally present in this sequence in Crisis #12. Although, a reference in Zero Hour: Crisis in Time #0 hints at this retcon as well, also implying that Hal was present during Crisis. We must assume, like Kid Flash, Jordan and Batman sneaked along as well. However, since they are nary to be seen following this, we must assume they immediately return back home.) The Anti-Monitor then appears and the final boss fight is on! The heroes fight the Anti-Monitor to a draw, but eventually depart back to Earth. The weakened Anti-Monitor energy-zaps Wonder Woman, which sends her hurtling back to Themyscira as a lump of living clay. (Originally, this energy-zap rebooted Wonder Woman, erasing her first ten years of continuity, allowing her to debut, getting “born” from her clay state. However, Infinite Crisis retcons this, returning her Year One debut and original JLA founder status, which is reflected on our Modern Age timeline.) With the others gone, this leaves only Kal-L, Superboy-Prime, and Alexander Luthor Jr to finish the combat on Qward. Just when the Anti-Monitor threatens to make yet another comeback, Darkseid temporarily usurps Alexander Luthor Jr’s powers and blasts the villain. Kal-L delivers the killing blow. Alexander Luthor Jr then takes Kal-L, Lois Lane-Kent, and Superboy-Prime into an Eden-like pocket universe. As referenced in Infinite Crisis #1 Part 8 and Infinite Crisis #2, this quartet 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.[10] In the aftermath of the great conflict, Harbinger hangs out with Lady Quark and Pariah and continues writing the “Monitor Tapes,” which will eventually evolve into the History of the Universe. Able to see into the future, she records details about Tommy Tomorrow and a time-displaced Jonah Hex. Zeus allows Golden/Silver Age Earth-2 Wonder Woman and her husband Golden/Silver Age Steve Trevor to ascend into Olympus as a gods. Batman, Robin, Batgirl, and Mary Marvel visit the site where Huntress (Helena Wayne), Golden/Silver Age Earth-2 Robin, and Kole Weathers died in NYC, paying tribute to those fallen heroes. Funerals are held for Aquagirl, Lori Lemaris, Sunburst, and Dove. Wally West officially becomes the new Flash. Locked up in Arkham Asylum, Psycho-Pirate, with full memory of the Golden/Silver/Bronze timeline, rambles on about the events of the original Crisis. And there you have it! Despite the original Bronze Age Crisis‘ continuity-altering implications, from Batman’s perspective, the Modern Age version of the Crisis didn’t/doesn’t reboot anything or change anything historically. In fact, Batman simply remembers it as just another evil extra-planetary threat dealt with. In the months following the fighting and carnage, the history of the primary DCU Earth “settles” and any lingering Golden/Silver/Bronze Age chronal-residue or memories will fade away. Note that the final unaccounted-for pre-Crisis character, Silver Age Earth-4 Captain Atom, will soon erase himself (!) in DC Comics Presents #90.

[11]

–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 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 Detective Comics #569-570—originally told in Batman #392. Catwoman, who has renounced crime (only because Zatanna mind-wiped her some months ago), officially joins forces with the Caped Crusader. You can’t imagine the heights of Batman’s joy when she does. Catwoman patrols with Batman, and it’s not long before romantic sparks heat up the Gotham night.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #515—originally told in Batman #393-394. Batman has an altercation with the ex-KGB agent known as The Dark Rider. The Rider douses himself with liquid plutonium and attempts to swan-dive into the city reservoir before Batman and Robin lasso him just inches before the leap.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #492—originally told in Batman #395-396 and Detective Comics #562. Film Freak debuts and is promptly put in Arkham Asylum by Batman, Robin, Catwoman, and Harvey Bullock.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #569-570 and Batman #484—originally told in Detective Comics #563-565 and Batman #397-399. Despite their newfound affection and budding partnership, Catwoman argues with Batman, complaining that he’ll never trust her completely or treat her as an equal. Batman pours out his heart, telling Catwoman that he does trust her. The discussion goes unfinished. Batman, Robin, Catwoman, and Circe (Black Mask’s model ex-girlfriend, not the ancient Greek sorceress) bust an escaped Two-Face. Batman and Catwoman then work a serial killer case together, during which the Bat-Cat relationship gets rockier, with neither quite knowing where they stand.

–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 Batman and The Outsiders Annual #2. Bruce begins bringing anti-toxins and medical kits with him wherever he goes, even in his civilian life. Bruce makes sure that Alfred keeps these essentials in all of their civilian cars.

–REFERENCE: In Batman and The Outsiders Annual #2 and The Outsiders Annual #1—originally told in Batman and The Outsiders #24-27. Halo joins a hippie commune only to learn it’s actually a front for the Kobra Cult. Batman and the Outsiders rescue Halo and prevent Kobra from starting a nuclear holocaust. Rex Mason and Sapphire Stagg announce their engagement, setting a shotgun wedding set to occur in a few days. Meanwhile, Tatsu meets sad-sack Emily “Lia” Briggs at a bank. Emily has a disheartened outburst.

–REFERENCE: In Batman and The Outsiders Annual #2 and Batman #683—originally told in DC Comics Presents #83. IQ (Ira Quimby) reverts Alfred back into the evil Outsider! With Superman’s assistance, the Outsiders defeat the Outsider and bust IQ. Alfred returns to his old self having no recollection of these events whatsoever. As before, the heroes opt not to tell Alfred about his time as the villainous Outsider.

–The New Teen Titans Vol. 2 #18[12][13]
During the Crisis, Nightwing and a couple of his Teen Titan teammates left Earth to visit the distant planet Tamaran for an extended adventure. This adventure recently ended with Dick’s girlfriend Starfire revealing that she is actually married. Now back on Earth, a dejected and unkempt Dick has secluded himself from everyone and has been sulking for days. Dick is so bummed 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 soon!

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

–Batman and The Outsiders Annual #2
The wedding of Rex Mason and Sapphire Stagg is upon us! Shape-changing android Even Steven (who currently looks like Rex) storms the church, gasses everyone, and then runs off with Sapphire! Bruce arrives late to find everyone knocked out. He switches into Bat-gear and tells Alfred to bring him his medical kit, quickly saving everyone’s life. With his extensive knowledge of military history, Batman realizes that the gas used on the wedding guests is a brand made famous by WWII traitor Maxwell Tremayne (also spelled “Tremaine”). Simon Stagg and Rex tell Batman that the elderly Tremayne is an old rival of theirs from back in the day. Simon guides the heroes to Tremayne’s lair. Upon arrival, the Outsiders face and defeat Tremayne’s hired guns—the Masters of Disaster. Metamorpho, Simon, and Java infiltrate Tremayne’s house to confront his other defenders, a killer robot called Mantis and Even Steven. Eventually, Even Steven turns on his master, which results in both his and Tremayne’s deaths. Everyone celebrates Sapphire safe return. They re-do the wedding, with the second try going off without a hitch.

–Batman and The Outsiders #28-29 (“THE TRUTH ABOUT LOOKER”)
Our tale begins with Lia Briggs visiting Tatsu and Gaby (who has cut her hair short). Meanwhile, the mysterious Tagon stalks Lia. Concurrently, Rex and Sapphire go on their honeymoon at a ski lodge in the Swiss Alps. Their honeymooning is interrupted when Metamorpho saves a prince from some shrouded attackers. The attackers zap Metamorpho, taking control of his mind and body. In Gotham, Tagon mind-controls some of Morgan Jones’ muscle (Mayme and Freebase), forcing them to help him kidnap Lia. This leads to the Outsiders visiting Lia’s husband Greg Briggs and then roughing up Jones’ men. Batman uses his new supernatural energy detector for the first time, learning that Mayme and Freebase had been mind-controlled. The clues lead the Outsiders to the Swiss Alps. Upon arrival, the heroes learn that Metamoprho has been kidnapped from Sapphire. Following Batman’s detector, the heroes head into hidden tunnels that burrow deep through the mountains toward the mystical realm of Abyssia, home to a magickal fantasy society of underworld warriors. In the tunnels, the Outsiders are spotted by Dural and Jonelle, servants of the evil Princess Tamira. The Outsiders confront Metamorpho’s robed captors and the brainwashed Metamorpho himself, but they are defeated. Geo-Force and Halo are taken captive by Tamira’s forces. Meanwhile, Batman, Katana, and Black Lightning fight a strange creature before being taken-in by warriors riding giant insect monsters. The trio is ushered deeper underground into Abyssia’s capital city. There, they find Lia being treated kindly by Abyssia’s ruler Prince Mardo. Mardo invites everyone to a feast where he explains that his people are in a civil war with a violent sect devoted to his sister Tamira.

–Batman and The Outsiders #30-31 (“THE TRUTH ABOUT LOOKER” Conclusion)
Note that we must ignore the topical Christmas setting. Picking up directly from Batman and The Outsiders #29, the Abyssian banquet continues. Prince Mardo tells the origin of his people, which dates back to 2000 BCE. The passing of Halley’s Comet granted super-powers to a child born into an Indo-European mountain tribe. This child became a king, founded the hidden underground kingdom, and spawned a race of high-fantasy super-beings. Mardo tells Lia Briggs that she is the descendant of a former Abyssian king. The prince tells Lia that he will restore her birthright, making her a beautiful and powerful warrior. Batman, Black Lightning, and Katana have heard enough and attack Mardo’s priests and troops. Princess Tamira adds to the chaotic scene by sending a brainwashed Halo, Geo-Force, and Metamorpho into the fray. The heroes, along with Mardo and Lia, are captured and presented before a victorious Tamira. The evil princess then long-distance harnesses energy from a passing comet. (This comet is specifically said to be Halley’s Comet, but due to Sliding-Time, this cannot be the case. Thus, we should ignore the topical reference.) Tamira is unable to harness the comet’s energy herself, so she siphons it into Lia, which basically turns her into a super-powered supermodel called Looker. Tamira, however, is unable to mind-control Lia as she did the others. A huge battle erupts, ending with Tamira’s defeat, Looker kissing Mardo, and the couple declaring themselves king and queen. Following Tamira’s immediate execution, the Outsiders are released to the surface world. But Mardo isn’t done. He tells the Outsiders that he will now irradiate the entire planet, killing all surface dwellers. Using her vast powers, Looker re-directs the comet on a collision course toward Earth. Looker eventually comes to her senses, sends the comet back to its original path, and helps the Outsiders take down Mardo. Shortly thereafter, Looker stands before all Abyssians and appoints Dural and Jonelle as the new rulers of the kingdom. The Outsiders head home—except for Metamorpho, who reunites with Sapphire. Lia rejoins her husband in Gotham.

–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 as well! 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 sanguinary chaos. 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 Last Days of the Justice Society of America Special #1 and Infinity Inc #30. This item takes place a couple months after the Crisis. It doesn’t feature Batman, but it is important in regard to understanding future JSA events and, specifically, Power Girl’s history. While most Crisis-related bogus memories of prior continuities have been purged from the minds of the public-at-large, a few Golden/Silver Age “ghosts” still linger in the collective consciousness. Over the next few months, these reflections of a past that never was will slowly disintegrate piece-by-piece like a photo of Marty McFly’s family. But, for now, continuity remains in flux due to “Crisis inertia” and both the JSA and Infinity Inc can still recollect much of the history of the Golden/Silver Age Earth-2 timeline. Infinity Inc consists of Jade, Obsidian, NorthwindHourman (Rick Tyler, son of the original Hourman), Silver Scarab (Hector Hall, son of Hawkman), Power Girl, Nuklon, Brainwave Jr, Fury, Dr. Midnight (Elizabeth Chapel), and Wildcat (Yolanda Montez). Because they can still recall the history of the Golden/Silver Age Earth-2 timeline, the JSA holds a belated funeral for the Golden/Silver Age Earth-2’s Dick Grayson and Helena Wayne. However, the ceremony is interrupted as the entire fabric of reality begins to tear asunder. A ragged Spectre appears, explaining that, due to backward-folding time anomalies linked to the recent Crisis, the Golden/Silver Age Earth-2 timeline has been altered! The altered history shows that Adolf Hitler used the Spear of Destiny to summon the Norse gods to enact Ragnarok, destroying the planet in 1945. Because of this, the Crisis is being erased and Universe-0 is now on the verge of total erasure as well! Spectre sends the JSA time-traveling (and metaverse-traveling) back to 1945 on the Golden/Silver Age Earth-2 timeline. There, in order to prevent Ragnarok, the JSA merges with the Norse gods, thus allowing history to return to the way things originally went. The Golden/Silver Age Earth-2 is saved in 1945 (so that it can properly get rebooted during its version of the Crisis), which ultimately saves and restores our Modern Age Earth-0 timeline as well. Successful in their task, the JSA phases back to the Modern Age Earth-0 timeline, thus completely disconnecting from the prior continuity forever. Unfortunately, still in 1945, the JSA is immediately 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, forming a tragic end to this tale. The JSA will be stuck in this hellish cycle 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. Note that Power Girl, who debuted about a little over a year ago, showed up with and still has a confusing mix of true and false memories about her own past. She is one of the few characters that will retain memories (albeit blocked for now) of her former Silver/Bronze Age self.

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

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America #252. Batman shares his secret ID with Vixen.

[14]

–Swamp Thing Vol. 2 #52-55 [15]
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 convince 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!

–Justice League of America #250-255[16]
Late March. After Batman busts some nuclear terrorists, he gets buzzed with an alert from the long-abandoned Secret Sanctuary, which writer Gerry Conway says is in Metropolis. It’s in Happy Harbor, Rhode Island, pal. (This was likely Conway’s attempt to retcon the Sanctuary location from Happy Harbor to Metropolis for the Modern Age, but it didn’t stick.) Batman, Superman, Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Hal Jordan all respond to the alert to find three downed JLAers—Gypsy, Steel, and Vibe—already there. Steel and Vibe have each been depleted of their life force (à la Lifeforce) by the alien being from the Malakon Toris system that Superman accidentally brought to Earth a few years ago. The alien, how in humanlike form and nicknamed “Junior” by Gypsy, is loose in the Sanctuary. Junior, having already sucked dry Elongated Man, Sue Dibny, Vixen, and Martian Manhunter, does the same to Hal. Batman reviews Sanctuary security footage and archives, learning that Superman accidentally brought Junior to Earth and also that the Injustice Society had briefly occupied the Sanctuary a few months ago, during which time Junior became active. Batman leads the charge against Junior, defeating him and then curing the afflicted heroes with Superman’s help. Afterward, Martian Manhunter asks Batman to return to the JLA as team leader. Batman, for reasons of his own, accepts! Meanwhile, in Manhattan, Zatanna searches for her missing roommate Sheri Stanley, who has joined a cult led by the mysterious metahuman Adam. The cultists kidnap Zatanna in an effort to steal her powers. While Martian Manhunter—whose civilian alter ego of John Jones has been framed for a crime—tries to clear his name by shaking down PI Burt Biloxi, Batman trains Vibe. In NYC, Hank Heywood tells his girlfriend Robin that he is Steel. In Gotham, Batman and Vixen get dinner together in their civilian guises. Concurrently, Despero scours the ruins of the JLA Satellite, which was destroyed by Koll last year, before returning to Earth. The JLA mobilizes to combat the vengeful super-villain, who unleashes demons, dragons, and monsters upon Gotham. Despite this, Batman and the JLA defeat Despero. Afterward, John Jones continues working to clear his name while Gypsy rescues a runaway named Pamela Cross. The still-kidnapped Zatanna sends an alert to the JLA, but Adam is able to form an illusion of Zatanna that tells the team it was merely a false alarm. Don’t worry, the JLA (sans Batman) will soon rescue Zatanna.

–The New Teen Titans Vol. 2 #29-31[17]
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.

LEGENDS
———————–Batman #401[18]
———————–Detective Comics #568-570
———————–Legends #2-6
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 (Batman #401 and Detective Comics #568, respectively), Batman and Robin tangle with Magpie and then Penguin. (This is Robin’s first time dealing with Magpie or Pengiun.) In Detective Comics #569-570, Catwoman, still heroic (thanks to a mind-wipe), patrols with Batman and Robin. While they still have some trust issues, Batman is joyous to have her by his side and hopeful that they can be in a functional romantic relationship. The Bat-Cat relationship improves and even augments—that is until the Joker teams-up with Dr. Moon to 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 has massive selective amnesia, even completely (and permanently) forgetting Batman’s secret ID as well. 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.[19] 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. 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, Dr. Fate, Guy Gardner, Black Canary, 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.[20] 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.[21]

[22]

–REFERENCE: In Batman #635. On behalf of Wayne Enterprises, Bruce obtains a controlling interest in Kord Industries (Blue Beetle Ted Kord’s multimillion dollar tech company). As such, Kord Industries, while still operating independently under Kord’s direct leadership, becomes a major contributing partner to Wayne Industries Research & Development and WayneTech. These companies will forge a mutually beneficial relationship, working hand-in-hand with one another for a decade to come. However, over the course of the next ten years, both Wayne Industries R&D and WayneTech will come to outsource their projects solely to Kord Industries, eventually becoming totally reliant on the smaller company for new tech designs and breakthroughs.

–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.

–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 emotionally troubled. 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 Bat-Signal 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 that is the mystery filmmaker’s top henchman. Our heroes save Angelica and learn the mystery villain is beefed-up 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. (As per reference in The Outsiders #23, this item is said to occur in July, around one year prior to The Outsiders #23. However, due to Sliding Time and general compression, The Outsiders #11 occurs only months prior to The Outsiders #23. Plus, we are definitely not in July.)

–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.

–Batman #402-403 (“ONE BATMAN TOO MANY”)
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. Note that ‘tec #572 is an Xmas story, so I’ve moved it toward the end of this calendar year.

–Captain Atom #2
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. This item is said to specifically occur in late July, twelve days after Captain Atom’s debut during Legends. We should ignore the month outright, and it’s been around three weeks since Legends ended.

–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.

[23]

–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 (Guy Gardner is there and Batman hates everyone) and to make matters worse we find out who’s really running the show: secretly evil entrepreneur 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 and Final Crisis: Requiem #1. The new Justice League poses for a series of photos, all of which get 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 new Justice League talking to each other.

–FLASHBACK: From Infinite Crisis #2. This single panel shows the new Justice League assembling for unspecified action.

–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.

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

–The Outsiders #17-22
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.[24] When reports of Baron Bedlam’s supposed resurrection circulate in Markovia, Geo-Force tries to contact his home country, but the connection is broken. Batman says that the Outsiders will respond to the Markovian crisis, ordering the team to assemble in one hour. However, the Outsiders are interrupted before they can even begin to prep. Kobra, having turned his henchwoman Sondra Fuller into Lady Clay aka Clayface IV, sends her to infiltrate the Outsiders, causing a ruckus. With Lady Clay exposed, Kobra sends in his “Strike Force Korbra,” which consists of Lady Eve, The Elemental Woman, and new versions of Zebra-Man and Planet Master. After 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.

–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.)

–The Outsiders Special #1
Now that Strike Force Kobra and the Weird situation have both been dealt with, the Outsiders (including a very impatient Geo-Force) join fellow crime-fighting team Infinity Inc (Brainwave Jr, Fury, Jade, Obsidian, Nuklon, Skyman, Wildcat Yolanda Montez, and Mr. Bones) to investigate Baron Bedlam’s supposed resurrection 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 #23-24
July 3-4. Powerful Soviet 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. Note that The Outsiders #11 is mentioned as having occurred a year ago, but it really only happened a couple months ago.

–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.

–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 dementia. (Modeled off the real life Reagan, who likely had Alzheimer’s while in office, the POTUS is starting to show symptoms.) 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 (JLI)! 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.

–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 Gardner.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #685 Part 1. 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.

–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 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 usual hauteur. This is incorrect as he would have had his temporary meek personality at this point.

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

–REFERENCE: In Adventures of Superman #467. Bruce begins regularly reading Lois Lane’s Daily Planet columns.

–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 Dr. Roger Huntoon 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.

[25]

–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.

–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.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #683 Part 2. Batman terrifies an Asian gang member in Lyntown section of Gotham.

–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[26]
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 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. An overly-emotional 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.

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

–The Outsiders #25[27][28]
The US Government “rewards” the Outsiders for having recently saved 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 Atomic Knight (Gardner Grayle) 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.

–The Outsiders #26 Part 1
Geo-Force (accompanied by Dr. Helga 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 plan a rescue operation in Markovia. However, before they depart, Batman, is called away by the JLI (to help set up embassies in JLI #8). (In the second part of The Outsiders #26, the Outsiders—sans Batman—will break Geo-Force out of jail before being summoned to the Green Lantern Citadel for the start of Millennium. Thus, the Batman-less second part of The Outsiders #26 overlaps with JLI #8 below.)

–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.

MILLENNIUM
——————–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—including members Hourman (Rick Tyler), Silver Scarab, 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 Rrab, 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 permanently disables 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 seven years! The GCPD first apprehended the Ventriloquist in Bat Year Four, but Batman has 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 destroying 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 villain 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 villain. 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[29]
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. 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!

FABLES
———————–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 (tyrant ruler of Warworld) is there and he’s already given Superman a gift: the alien Black Mercy plant, which causes one to have a zombie-like hallucination of their 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. With peace returned to Gotham, Donald Webster is appointed as the new Acting Mayor of Gotham.[30]

–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 prison and Batman comes to restore order. We learn that one of the head Arkham doctors, Dr. Charles Cavendish, 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. 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. Stirk captures Batman and psychologically tortures him, but Batman eventually busts the villain. (Detective Comics #593 is also shown via flashback from Batman: Shadow of the Bat #46, although penciller Tommy Lee Edwards takes some serious artistic liberties, so it looks quite incorrect.) 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 killer’s journal. Batman steals a page from the journal and keeps it for his scrapbook. In issue #594, we meet everyone’s favorite Gotham PI, Joe Potato. He teams-up with Batman to stop a terrorist bomber, who turns out to be a 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!

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  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 officially 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.

    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 chronologically.

  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: Crisis on Infinite Earths is the 1985-1986 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 functions as the final company-wide 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 #12, the reboot begins to take effect as many characters are erased from existence, including Earth-1 Batman, who is replaced with the Modern Age Batman (see below for details). In this way, Crisis #11-12 not only gives us the first comic book appearance of the Modern Age, but it canonizes the main narrative of Crisis #1-10 on the Modern Age timeline. Other comics (like Zero Hour, Infinite Crisis, and Final Crisis, just to name the big ones) help Modern-canonize Crisis #1-10 as well. Thus, paradoxically (and retroactively), the Batman appearing in the Crisis here is indeed the Batman of the post-Crisis Earth-0 timeline.

    Originally, Crisis was set specifically in July through August. However, this cannot be the case for the rebooted Modern Age version. We are clearly at the beginning of Bat Year Eleven, definitely not in July or August. And, of course, due to Sliding-Time, we are in 1999, not 1985.

  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: The 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 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 implied to be the über-goddess Perpetua. The Monitor’s name is revealed to be Mar Novu. The Anti-Monitor’s name is revealed to be Mobius. Perpetua, 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. Perpetua, 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 Perpetua, 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 facing any direct reality-erasing consequences themselves. These five Super Celestials 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.”

    Note that there are reputable sources—including brilliant Reddit comic book analyst Earthmine52—that say Perpetua’s involvement in the origin of the DC multiverse isn’t so cut-and-dry. It’s hard to say for certain, although Snyder doubles down in Dark Nights: Death Metal #1, implying that Perpetua was indeed around from the get-go. Snyder, however, curiously links the Source with the Abrahamic deity (aka The Presence), further obscuring things. Perpetua seems to be a Great Hand, but is she the original Great Hand? The original Great Hand could very well be the Source/the Presence, having come forth out of the Overvoid. This remains to be seen.

  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER: Legends of the DCU: Crisis on Infinite Earths #1, written as a “lost chapter” of the original Crisis by Marv Wolfman in 1999, takes place during and after Crisis #4 (but prior to the “gathering of the superheroes”). In 1986, Wolfman pitched the idea of the burgeoning Modern Age as filled with multi-racial superheroes as the line’s primary characters. Of course, this concept was rejected. Legends of the DCU: Crisis on Infinite Earths #1 basically functions as Wolfman’s opportunity to showcase this denied concept in the form of Earth-D, which debuts and then ultimately gets destroyed in this issue. Since it is clearly a pre-Modern Age story, it cannot take place on our timeline here. However, as a story published in 1999, it cannot go on the Bronze Age timeline either. Thus, this story should be regarded as an out-of-continuity Elseworlds tale. Note that Earth-D Superman makes a cameo in Final Crisis #7.
  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: Flash Barry Allen’s death is the Modern Age Crisis‘ most important death—and maybe 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 and tortures Barry, who escapes but ultimately sacrifices his life to help save the day. 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.

    http://www.hyperborea.org/flash/ has a brilliant timeline for Barry Allen that explains all of this quite amazingly (with even more detail, if you are interested in learning more).

  6. [6]COLLIN COLSHER: Originally, at the conclusion of Crisis #10, the cosmic-chronal burst reboots the DCU and ends the Golden/Silver/Bronze Age, giving us one single “New Earth” and the very Modern Age timeline you are reading about here. So, technically, the heroes’ victory comes with the extremely steep cost of their entire collective history. However, this is the Modern Age, so things are a bit different. We’ve already been operating in Modern Age time for over a decade since Batman’s debut. Not to mention, we’ve already factored-in later continuity-alterations from Zero Hour, Infinite Crisis, and to some extent Final Crisis. Notably, Infinite Crisis undoes the single Earth concept and restores the multiverse in the form of a “local multiverse” (i.e. the primary Modern Age DCU Multiverse) consisting of 52 universes, including this Earth-0 timeline you are currently reading about. To reiterate, everything you’ve read thus far in the Modern Age section of this website already reflects all later retcons and continuity alterations. Thus, the Modern Age finale of the Spectre/Anti-Monitor brouhaha at the Dawn of Time does not murder a whole multiverse as it originally did in 1986. In terms of Modern Age narrative, while thousands of worlds in the omniverse do indeed perish, there are a plethora of worlds that go untouched. These include DC’s primary 52, the anti-matter universe (home of the Anti-Monitor and the Grant Morrison version of the Crime Syndicate), the Wildstorm Universe, numerous Elseworlds universes, the Marvel Multiverse, a variety of Image universes, and many more. From the perspective of our characters involved in the Modern Age Crisis, things are quite fuzzy, but we’ll address that immediately below.
  7. [7]COLLIN COLSHER: Crisis #11-12 are the first ever Modern Age comic book stories, meaning they feature the first appearance of the Modern Age Batman! Originally, as mentioned above, the Golden/Silver/Bronze Age multiverse was erased thanks to the Spectre and Anti-Monitor’s reboot brawl in the grand finale of Crisis #10. As such, Crisis #11-12 occurs on a newly formed Earth (New Earth aka Earth-0) within a newly formed continuity i.e. the Modern Age continuity. As also already mentioned above, the details of Crisis get altered to fit on our Modern Age timeline—but not all at once. Due to the metaphysics of “Crisis inertia,” plenty of pre-Modern Age “ghosts” (remnants of the old Earth-1 and Earth-2) still remain. By the end of Crisis #12, most of these remnants (and memories of them) will fade away. In the aftermath of Crisis #12, as stated in Crisis #11-12, the Modern Age characters will lose all memories of the pre-Crisis Earth-1 and Earth-2 at which point the Modern Age history of Earth-0 will end its flux period, settling and hardening. Of course, the fluctuation continues through Last Days of the Justice Society of America Special #1, Infinity Inc #30, DC Comics Presents #90, and the Man of Steel series—and it doesn’t truly end until Zero Hour in 1994. Because of this, some scholars refer to the chronology spanning from Crisis #11 to Zero Hour as the Sigma timeline or pre-Zero Hour timeline. (DC publishers—as per Convergence—seem to have gone the pre-Zero Hour timeline route.) Others use the Earth-Sigma label for only Crisis #11-12 while others don’t use it at all, simply referring to everything starting with Crisis #11 as being part of the Modern Age New Earth/Earth-0 timeline instead. The amazing Mike Voiles even goes so far as to refer to the chunk of stories published in the year or so after Crisis #11-12 as occurring on “Merged Earth.” It’s totally a personal headcanon choice, but I’ve gone with the approach of referring to everything starting with Crisis #11 as being part of the Modern Age New Earth/Earth-0 timeline.
  8. [8]COLLIN COLSHER: Harbinger’s recap of Modern Age history includes the following: the age of dinosaurs; Anthro at the Dawn of Man; the Viking Prince in 1000 CE; Tomahawk fighting in the American Revolution; Bat Lash in the Wild West of the 1870s; Hans Von Hammer fighting in WWI; Sgt. Frank Rock, Easy Company, the Losers, the Blackhawks, All-Star Squadron, JSA, and Freedom Fighters fighting in WWII; Krypton exploding and Kal-El getting sent to Earth; and Thomas and Martha Wayne getting murdered by Joe Chill.

    Note that Roy Thomas’ All-Star Squadron #60 (August 1986) literally switches from a Golden Age Earth-2 issue to a Modern Age Earth-0 issue mid page, signaling a momentous continuity switch that basically canonizes All-Star Squadron #1-60 for the Modern Age, but sans all the anachronistic characters that shouldn’t be there in the 1940s (like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Robin, etc).

  9. [9]COLLIN COLSHER: Amethyst Vol. 2 #13 is the only Crisis tie-in (with official Crisis trade dressing) that takes place in the Modern Age. It overlaps with Crisis #11 and tells Amethyst’s Modern Age origin story via flashback.
  10. [10]COLLIN COLSHER: Typically, it’s impossible to play with characters from a prior continuity’s sandbox and not put them back where you found them once you are done. This is because most comic book timelines operate under the laws of determinism, extending from the Big Bang to the End of Time i.e. universal heat death where time cycles back to the beginning like a big loop. As such, all comic book timelines include canonical future stories (that exist beyond a Jonbar erasure point). Interestingly, however, most of the Golden Age characters never had canonical future stories written about them. (Golden/Silver Age Earth-2 Superman is no exception. He travelled to the future quite often, but he never came into contact with or saw older versions of himself there.) This is in stark contrast to most Silver/Bronze Age Earth-1 characters, who did exist in some debatably canonical future form—(Alan Moore’s Whatever “What Ever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” comes to mind). Because Golden/Silver Age Earth-2 Lois and Clark were never shown in the Golden/Silver Age Earth-2 future (beyond Crisis), Geoff Johns realized that there was no metaphysical barrier preventing him from using the actual Golden Age characters in Infinite Crisis (especially since Crisis #12 shows them negating their erasure by entering a pocket universe). Alexander Luthor Jr and Superboy-Prime were new characters created for Crisis, so they definitely had no future timeline appearances to worry about. Unlike the later continuity violations of the much-maligned Convergence, which failed when it tried to pull a similar stunt (on an even grander scale), Johns’ maneuvering in Infinite Crisis is licit. So, are this Kal-L and this Lois Lane that later re-emerge THE actual Kal-L and Lois from the Golden Age timeline? They are! And that’s pretty damn amazing.
  11. [11]COLLIN COLSHER: Legend of Wonder Woman #1-4 (1986) is an odd post-Crisis series that seems, at first glance, to co-exist on multiple timelines. Creators Kurt Busiek and Trina Robbins initially wrote the story with the intent of showing an ostensible Golden Age Wonder Woman flashback that could also be read as a Modern Age flashback. However, this story clearly tells us the final fate of the Golden/Silver/Bronze Age Earth-2 Amazons (including Golden/Silver/Bronze Age Earth-2 Hippolyta). Issues #1-3 feature the Earth-2 Amazons mourning the loss of Earth-2 Wonder Woman and Earth-2 Steve Trevor (who got stuck in the Modern Age and ascended to godhood in Crisis #11-12). By issue #4, the Earth-2 Amazons no longer recall their Golden/Silver/Bronze Age history. Modern Age Aphrodite appears and explains that there’s been a reboot, but there’s nothing to fear. She wishes the Earth-2 Amazons a fond farewell and casts them into the stars to live forever as constellations. The way this series is written is quite touching, but it really doesn’t make a lick of sense in terms of how it fits into the physics of the reboot.

    Since Issue #4 occurs here in the Modern Age, that would mean the Amazons we’ve been viewing aren’t actually from Golden/Silver/Bronze Age Earth-2 but from the Modern Age (with false Earth-2 memories). However, the implication here is the Amazons shown in the first three issues are indeed the Earth-2 Amazons, and that they simple merge into their new Modern Age selves by the end of issue #4. Yet, paradoxically, the merged Amazons at the end of issue #4 are sent into the stars. How can they be both old and new simultaneously? This is not how the reboot functioned at all. Earth-2 Wonder Woman and Earth-2 Steve didn’t merge into their new Modern Age selves—they stayed separate, co-existing with them. Characters in the Modern Age had false memories of a prior continuity for a time, but they didn’t merge like we are seeing here.

    Thus, we have to fanwank. Basically, for the continuity purposes of both timelines, Modern Age Aphrodite visits the Golden/Silver/Bronze Age Earth-2 Amazons and moves them to the Modern Age to live as shiny happy stardust constellations for all eternity! If there’s any lingering bad continuity, I guess we can explain it away with “Crisis inertia” or whatever. I’m not the only one who was perplexed by this mess. Crisis on Infinite Earths: The Compendium (2005) places the bulk of the series on Earth-40, a clear attempt to dismiss it entirely. Feel free to do the same if you like. Or, maybe we are dealing with both Earth-40 and Earth-2. Again, your headcanon call. (Earth-40 is where all the Golden Age news strip comics and Alfred’s imaginary tales occurred, so it’s funny to think of characters from that Earth as being constellations in Modern Age Universe-0.)

  12. [12]COLLIN COLSHER: Some sources list this item, including the ongoing narrative in The New Teen Titans Vol. 2 #19-31, as part of the collection of stories that go after the Crisis at the tail end of the Silver/Bronze Age timeline, citing that the death of Silver Age Earth-1 Supergirl is mentioned in issue #18. (Don’t forget, false memories of Supergirl abound in this post-Crisis flux period, so a reference to her death means very little.) While placement of The New Teen Titans Vol. 2 #18-31 is definitely up for debate, I’ve decided to keep the run here on our Modern Age timeline because there’s nothing definitive that tells us otherwise. Plus, issue #18 references Crisis #12, further pushing it into the Modern realm. The arc featured in The New Teen Titans Vol. 2 #18-31 isn’t a capstone to an older era; it has Modern sensibilities and seems to be building toward something new.
  13. [13]TENZEL KIM: New Teen Titans Vol. 2 #18 goes shortly after Crisis and prior to Legends—as a comment in New Teen Titans Vol. 2 #22 states that Steve Dayton’s story continues in Swamp Thing Vol. 2 #50, which also belongs close to Crisis. And several months seem to pass between New Teen Titans Vol. 2 #18 and New Teen Titans Vol. 2 #24. Jason Todd’s presence as Robin in the upcoming New Teen Titans/Brother Blood storyline and his injuries suffered in Legends hint that all of the Brother Blood storyline through issue #31 goes before Legends.
  14. [14]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 Swamp Thing debacle, Junior situation, and return of Despero interfere with and cancel out this commemoration.
  15. [15]COLLIN COLSHER: Some sources list this arc as part of the collection of stories that go after the Crisis at the tail end of the Silver/Bronze Age timeline. However, since we see a decidedly Modern Age Lex Luthor in Swamp Thing Vol. 2 #52-55, it must go in the Modern Age.

    TENZEL KIM: In the Official Justice League of America Index #8 published by ICG, it says the following: “Since Zatanna joins forces with Zatara and other mystics in Swamp Thing in between [JLofA] issues #246 and #247, the events of [JLofA] issues #250-254 must immediately follow those of Swamp Thing #52-53, which also left Gotham City greatly devastated.”

    COLLIN COLSHER: I don’t generally source the ICG Index series for canonical information (plus JLofA #246-247 are Silver Age titles)—however, the above logic tracks, giving us a solid placement for Swamp Thing Vol. 2 #52-55 right here.

  16. [16]COLLIN COLSHER: Many sources list JLofA #250-254 as the final (albeit post-Crisis) JLA issues of the Silver/Bronze Age. However, I’m going against the grain and putting this run (including issue #255) here for several reasons. One, JLofA #250 directly references Batman’s departure from the Outsiders. Two, issue #250 shows the post-Crisis Modern Age Aquaman. Three, in issue #253, Despero mentions his prior action against the JLA in JLofA #177-178. That arc features Mars II as a location, but since there is no Mars II in the Modern Age, writer Gerry Conway subs in Takron-Galtos. This evidence clearly places the entire JLofA #250-255 run squarely in the Modern Age. Of course, this will always remain debatable, so feel free to go with your gut. After all, your headcanon belongs only to you.
  17. [17]TENZEL KIM: Jason Todd’s presence as Robin in New Teen Titans Vol. 2 #29-31 and his injuries suffered in Legends hint that all of New Teen Titans Vol. 2 #29-31 goes before Legends. Since there are no actual references in either New Teen Titans Vol. 2 or Legends to one another, this order makes the most sense. You’d have the end of the Brother Blood cult with people being disillusioned and feeling taken advantage of—and this could very well lead them to blame superheroes, so when G Gordon Godfrey comes along people are easy to convince.
  18. [18]COLLIN COLSHER: For the Batman title, the Modern Age begins here (publishing-wise) with Batman #401 by Barbara Randall/Trevor Von Eeden. Batman #392-400 and Detective Comics #559-567 are technically the first Bat-related comics published after Crisis, but they take place as the final Silver/Bronze Age Batman arcs.
  19. [19]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 ludicrous, 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.
  20. [20]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.
  21. [21]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.
  22. [22]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.
  23. [23]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.
  24. [24]COLLIN COLSHER: In The Outsiders #17, the egotistical 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. 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.
  25. [25]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.
  26. [26]COLLIN COLSHER: The Firestorm The Nuclear Man series is also alternately known as Firestorm Vol. 2 and The Fury of Firestorm.
  27. [27]TENZEL KIM: Ostensibly, Outsiders #25 is a direct follow-up to Outsiders #24—as the Outsiders are attacked in issue #25 as a result of their actions in issue #24. But due to everything else going on in the DCU, there should and can be a break between issues #24 and #25 (i.e. the two month gap that exists above). The July 4th date in issue #24 cannot be disregarded as it is central to the impact of the issue’s narrative, while issue #25 has to go here, close to Millennium. We can justify the two month gap between issue #24 and #25 by making the argument that the government took some time before deciding to go up against the Outsiders. One possible reason could be the upcoming Millennium event itself as it was suggested that Nancy Reagan was a Manhunter sleeper agent (in Detective Comics #582). She could have now been activated and pushed the President to do something as a precursor to Millennium.
  28. [28]TENZEL KIM: Outsiders #25 and Outsiders #26 Part 1 go before Justice League International #8. While the second half of Outsiders #26 leads directly into Millennium, Batman only appears on the first pages (i.e. the first part of the issue) before being called away on Justice League business. This must be JLI #8 as the events in that story takes place at the same time as Captain Atom #10 and Flash #8, the latter of which leads directly into Flash #9, which is a Millennium crossover issue. So, the latter part of Outsiders #26 (where Batman isn’t present) must take place at the same time as JLI #8/Captain Atom #10/Flash #8.
  29. [29]COLLIN COLSHER:  DC Bonus Book #5 came as a free insert in Detective Comics #589.
  30. [30]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.

13 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.

    • 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.

  2. Frank says:

    Hello Colin! I already wanted to thank you for the work you have done recently on the period of the Silver Age and the updates of the Modern Age concerning crisis and it is very interesting.

    I wanted to ask you a few questions about this strange period of end of the Silver Age era and the beginning of the modern age or this period just after crisis and Before Legends.

    We agree that after Crisis on Infinite Earths 10, the stories between Batman 392-400 are part of the Silver Age although they were published afterwards.

    The question I ask myself is this: if the Batman who wakes up at the start of the Crisis 10 is the Batman of the modern era of the year 11 who wakes up the memories of the Batman of the silver era…don’t you want Batman 392-400 episodes included in the Silver Age and Modern Era periods? with warnings In parentheses of course and stating that he is the batman of the Silver Age at that moment in full transition?

    I think that for the sake of understanding it would also be interesting to show just in this case there in the chronologies of the silver age and the modern age the episodes in chronological order compared to the adventures of Batman 392 -400 episodes of:
    All-Star Squadron # 57-60 Superman # 416-423, Action Comics # 577-583, Lois Lane # 1-2, Legion of Super-Heroes Vol. 3 # 18 and Legend of Wonder Woman # 1-4. Who visualizes the transition between the Silver Age and the Modern Age. Do you know how these go in relation to Batman 392-400?

    One last question concerning the Justice League of America, how can you explain the presence of the group of 250 to 255 in the modern era? I know this is one of the many problems caused by the crisis, can anyone think that a version of it was in the early years of the Batman of the modern era? as well as the outsiders?

    In advance thank you for your answers

    Best regards,

    Frank

    • Hi Frank, I absolutely hate that there wasn’t a hard switch with this reboot. The flux period confuses things, and there’s still a lot of debate over where a lot of 1986 issues go. I’m still updating some things, so look for continued changes. For example, I HAD Moench’s “Dark Rider” arc (Batman #393-394) in Modern Year Ten (as a reference). It still is a reference, but I moved it after the Crisis has occurred. I’m not quite sure I’m answering your questions, but I hope I am. I think you are asking if there are “versions” of each flux era publication in both the Silver Age and Modern Age. The basic gist of these stories might also remain on the Modern Age as reference points, but the issues themselves stay in at the end of the Silver Age timeline. But, I THINK I see what you are saying… some flux issues take place in the Silver Age (featuring Earth-1 characters outright), but some might actually fit better on the Modern Age (featuring Modern Age characters that still retain memories of the old Silver Age). This distinction needs to be parsed out.

      Upon closer re-read and some research, it appears as though JLA #250-254 are the final JLA issues of the Silver/Bronze Age, meaning JLA #255 is the first Modern Age issue.

      All-Star Squadron is an Earth-2 book, so it has no bearing here and has been removed as such.

      Legend of Wonder Woman is an odd duck. (First of all, it’s a Golden/Silver/Bronze Age Earth-2 and Modern Age story, so it has no bearing whatsoever on our Earth-1 timeline here.) This story tells us the final fate of Earth-2 Hippolyta and all the Earth-2 Amazons. Issues #1-3 feature Earth-2 Hippolyta and the Earth-2 Amazons mourning the loss of Earth-2 Wonder Woman and Earth-2 Steve Trevor (who get stuck in the Modern Age and ascend to godhood in Crisis #11-12). By issue #4, the Earth-2 Amazons no longer recall their Golden Age history. Modern Age Aphrodite appears and explains that there’s been a reboot, but there’s nothing to fear. She wishes the Earth-2 Amazons a fond farewell and casts them into the stars. The way this series is written is quite touching, but it really doesn’t make a lick of sense in terms of how it fits into the physics of the reboot.

      Here’s how the series reads: Issue #1-3 shows the E-2 Amazons, having lost E-2WW & E-2Steve, mourning their loss. Issue #4 shows the end of their mourning period, but it occurs in the Modern Age—meaning the Amazons we’ve been viewing aren’t actually E-2 but Modern with false E-2 memories. The bogus memories fade away. Modern Aprhodite turns them all into stardust constellations.

      This makes no sense because the implication here is that the E-2 Amazons merge into their new Modern Age selves. This is not how the reboot functioned at all. E-2 Wonder Woman and E-2 Steve didn’t merge into their new Modern Age selves, they stayed separate, co-existing with them. Characters in the Modern Age had false memories of a prior continuity for a time, but they didn’t merge like we are seeing here.

      Thus, we have to fanwank here. Basically, Modern Age Aphrodite visits the E-2 Amazons and moves them to the Modern Age as stardust constellations. The memory loss shouldn’t be a part of this story. I guess we can explain away bad continiuty with “Crisis inertia” craziness or whatever.

  3. Frank says:

    Yes, regarding the history of flows, that’s kind of the idea I have of the situation, a bit like in this film with Jim Caviezel Frequencies: (did you see it perhaps?) Or the hero lives his life and manages to change the course of time by saving a loved one in the past and is left with memories he did not have the day before with the person he saved.

    In the case of the Batman of the Modern Age, he lives his adventures normally until this year eleven or he wakes up at the time of the Crisis when it is over (episode 11) with memories (temporary) of a version of himself (The Batman of the SIlver Age).

    We know that the adventures of Batman 392-400 take place after the Crisis and we also know that after episode 10 The Silver Age disappears so I think these adventures of Batman 392-400 take place after the Crisis but before Legend, A bit like afterglow, I don’t know if the term is well used. I hope to be clear.

    I’ve seen this kind of thing in Zero Hour where Batman is confused because he has memories of another version of things.

    I think the episodes of All-Star Squadron # 57-60 Superman # 416-423, Action Comics # 577-583 (Although for the last adventure of Superman this does not fit in the case of a story like what if Marvel) Lois Lane # 1-2, Legion of Super-Heroes Vol. 3 # 18 and Legend of Wonder Woman # 1-4 can be a continuation in this way. (But hey we are in a reading guide on Batman you will tell me, but I think it forms a whole in this case)
    I too share your opinion that I could not see a really clear transition between the Silver Age and the Modern Age. Of all the stories that are part of this “in-between” It seems to me that the most striking moment that acts as a clear transition in the transition from Silver Age to Modern Age is this episode of all star squadron (if I do not deceive me) or we see some heroes appear on a photo and at the end of the story they disappeared and were replaced.

    For justice league america it was just a remark, you don’t have to move these episodes! I found it strange to see appear in this new universe of Modern Age the last episodes of a series on characters whose creation of the group (that of Detroit) takes root in the Silver Age and not in the Modern Age (unless I missed one of your references and I apologize).

    I hope I have made myself clear about the theories about the placement of episodes of Batman and other series in this particular period between silver and modern age.
    It is not at all the desire to see titles placed where it should not be it but to see how they could be inserted in a logical way (in the form of references or other) because to see episode of series on the arms not knowing or classifying them it’s a little frustrating laughing

    As always I wait to see your updates and I trust your opinion which is more important than the rest

    Friendly

    Frank

    • I haven’t seen the Frequency film, but I will check that out. And, I love the term “afterglow” to describe the bogus memory effect. Thanks for your kind words, also. I will be re-reading Superman #416-423, and Action Comics # 577-583, Lois Lane # 1-2 in order to parse out the nitty gritty whacked-out details (just like I did with Legend of Wonder Woman).

      Just re-read All-Star Squadron # 57-60, and wow I forgot how great Roy Thomas was back in the day. Issue #60, as you mentioned too, does the Marty McFly picture change, literally phasing from one continuity to the next MID PAGE! THAT is how you do it!

      And I re-read Legion of Super-Heroes Vol. 3 # 18. It takes place shortly after Crisis #7 and maybe overlaps with Crisis #8-10, but it definitely does NOT happen after it. So, scratch that one as well.

      Anyway, Frank, your conversation here has definitely helped make our chronologies much better—and, as you said, key word, logical! Thanks, again.

  4. Frank says:

    Hi Collin! I hope you are well since the other day 😉

    I went around the different possibilities concerning the titles mentioned the other day which would take place after the crisis but before the modern age and I came across a series of articles on the Mike amazing world site (maybe you know I think).
    of cross-checking in deductions this one thinks that between Crisis 11-12 and the events of All star Squadron 60 which serves as Coda takes place on an intermediate Earth resulting from Crisis 1-10 or as he calls it Merged Earth.

    I think that explains things logically about batman 392-400 and all the other titles

    what do you think?

    http://www.mikesamazingworld.com/mikes/index.php?page=fanboy&articleid=24
    http://www.mikesamazingworld.com/mikes/index.php?page=fanboy&articleid=25
    http://www.mikesamazingworld.com/mikes/index.php?page=fanboy&articleid=26
    http://www.mikesamazingworld.com/mikes/index.php?page=fanboy&articleid=27
    http://www.mikesamazingworld.com/mikes/index.php?page=fanboy&articleid=28
    http://www.mikesamazingworld.com/mikes/index.php?page=fanboy&articleid=29

    Best regards,

    • Ah, yes. Mike Voiles! I haven’t read these in a long long time. Will have to peruse again. I think Mike is one of THE best and brightest minds when it comes to analysis of comic book history and continuity. That being said, Mike and I disagree on quite a bit! I’ll take a look and give you my notes.

    • First of all, these Fanboy articles are so damn good. Mike Voiles’ website was HUGE inspiration to my project. Without him I’d have been lost long ago. I owe him a great debt of gratitude, and I don’t think anyone really “gets it” quite like he does.

      Mike’s view of things has three sections: pre-Crisis #11 (Silver/Bronze Age), Merged Earth, then post-Crisis (Modern Age proper). That’s a totally logical distinction, but one I haven’t chosen to go with simply because it overcomplicates things a bit. Instead, I have a single split between pre-Crisis #11 (Silver/Bronze Age) and Crisis #11-onward (Modern Age proper). Plus, I lean heavily into the Infinite Crisis concept that the timeline is one continuity from Crisis #11 up to Infinite Crisis. This is also partly why I consider Zero Hour to be a soft reboot (or really not a reboot at all, more of a pathetic bandaid to try to fix some of the gaping continuity wounds created by Crisis and its aftermath). But I digress.

      Back to our topic at hand, I don’t use “Merged Earth,” Earth-Sigma,” or any other label of this kind. Mike, myself, and everyone else are in agreement that Crisis #11 is NO LONGER the Silver/Bronze Age. So, I just go with that info and split right there. To use a “Merged” or “Sigma” label for X number of comics afterward i.e. treating it akin to the “World of Flashpoint” just doesn’t seem like a path I want to tread down. I read the post-Crisis #10 world (especially with the Gospel of Geoff Johns guiding me) as an altered-continuity that is still in flux, meaning that it is taking shape and folks can either still feel the old past or recall bogus memories of a history that never was. Like I said before, I hate that it’s not a clean switch. I love the switch in All-Star Squadron #60. It is clean, clever, and precise—exactly how it should be. From my perspective, the flux period ends and we get to a settled timeline (eventually, but not really). If you are trying to keep tabs of a Merged Earth, it’s kind of a mug’s game since there’s so much flux to deal with—new WW, Byrne’s Superman, Birthright, Hawkworld, Legion reboots 1 through 3, Zero Hour, Infinite Crisis, 52, Final Crisis, etc… See what I mean? Trying to build a transitional or interim timeline means that you never really start your timeline (although in the case of Merged Earth, it kinda-sorta does so with Legends). I’d rather start right off the bat—with one clean split! Okay, it’s not clean AT ALL, but that’s what all the caveats and notes are for!

      But aside from me not using Merged Earth/Sigma Earth labels, and me having one spilt instead of two, we are pretty much completely in agreement! I just start my Modern Age right where Mike starts his Merged Earth era. In terms of which tales we’ve regarded as definitively pre-Crisis, Mike and I are, again, in total agreement. (Only a few slight arguments, which I will address below, but very minor. And I may even make changes based upon what I’ve just read in Mike’s article.)

      Mike has New Teen Titans Vol. 2 #31 (May 1987) as the official start of the Merged Earth/Modern Age Teen Titans. That seems hella late. Mike even says he once considered as early as after issue #24 or after issue #18! I think #18 or #24 both seem legit. I will likely make this change, just have to decide which way to lean.

      Mike has Infinity Inc #31 as the first Merged Earth/Modern Age Infinity Inc story. I have it at Infinity Inc #30 due to its connection with Last Days of the JSA. Gonna have to look into that one too, but we basically have the same idea.

      I do, however, disagree about the Outsiders Modern Age start AND the JLA Modern Age start. But these are maybe the toughest titles to place. For the Outsiders, I think Halo’s haircut gives it away, though. Annual #2 and issue #28 start the Modern Age IMO. Theses two issues also don’t properly connect to pre-Crisis stories very smoothly, also hinting at their Modern-ness. And, in regard to the JLA, there is a massive heap of evidence that shows JLofA #250-255 are definitively Modern Age. I’m not sure why Mike (and most of the internet) gets this one wrong.

      Mike also says that Secret Origins Vol. 2 #1-9 are pre-Crisis. However, if the Outsiders tale in the second part of Secret Origins Vol. 2 #6 occurs in-between the definitively Modern Age issues of Outsiders #13-14, how do we explain that? Clearly the split is within Secret Origins Vol. 2 #6 itself—with the Golden Batman origin (part 1) being Golden Age and the Outsiders origin (part 2) being Modern Age!

      Mike also gets hung-up (understandably so) on the fact that Wonder Woman and Superman’s origins are so muddled and fucked up (and then rebooted and re-rebooted), making their entire respective flux periods basically non-canon in the end. But how couldn’t he be hung-up about it? I’d be pissed too, since fine-tuning his Merged Earth/post-Crisis split hinges upon the narrative of those stories. I think my route—just dealing with thing one caveat at a time based upon the final final final reboot—makes things clearer, especially in terms of reader perspective. I have the advantage of looking back with 20/20 retcon hindsight rather than digging into the nitty gritty of things as they frustratingly were in 1986. I even get to include retcons that cancel out most of Byrne’s Superman reboot AND Wonder Woman’s 1986 reboot, the very things that seem to stymie Mike’s ability to create a simple and neat Merged Earth/post-Crisis split.

      Mike’s summary in the last few paragraphs of his piece is like my mission statement about how I build timelines and how I engage with comics in general. Like he says, it’s a big jigsaw puzzle, and there are myriad ways to put it together. This is why Mike is the man. He’s a genius. Again, I owe him so much. He truly was one of my biggest inspirations! And, once again, Mike is guiding me in the best possible ways.

      Thanks for re-sharing these links, Frank. I had forgotten about them.

  5. Frank says:

    Hi Collin,

    All the fun is for me. When I started looking for a chronological reading guide for silver age and modern age dc that could complete your reading guide on batman I had already come across this site that I found very complicated at first lol

    To put things in context, here in France has always had a random broadcast. For example the justice league of america, and many other dc titles from the silver age had a truncated translation or no broadcast.

    It’s simple from the titles of 1982 (with the publication delay of 3 years later!) the titles dc were no longer published in French or only partially until the crisis which was published in France only in 1987. After 1987, the publishing house Aredit Artima which published DC closed its doors and its competition LUG did not want to resume publication of the titles…

    From 1987 to 1998 practically all the publication of this time are unpublished by on our premises except some batman or superman. after there was a piecemeal publication in the next decade.
    You now understand why it is difficult for a foreign reader to find your way around when you want to start reading dc and it is thanks to you that I was able to get a foothold in this different universe from Marvel!

    To develop a little and with the fresh look of a recent reader I find the Concept of Merged Earth interesting because it allows to fill in the gaps left between the end of The Crisis and the beginning of Legend and allows to evacuate the hypothesis that I had issued earlier when I spoke of afterglows…

    I understand your reasons for not having created an intermediate Earth between the Land of the Silver age and that of the Modern Age for the sake of clarity but also by personal choice.

    But for having seen you redo the chronologies of the new 52 of rebirth in recent years so that it corresponds to the recent Arc on Superman Reborn and Doomsday Clock I tell myself that there may be room for the creation one day of this intermediate earth. After all, it had a fairly short lifespan at first view no and it includes only a few titles.

    Although I am attracted to the concept of merge Earth, I think the same thing as you with regard to the placement of certain titles that you stated above. To conclude I am convinced that you could use this one and slip there some titles can connect well but I respect the choices you made by not including Merged Earth before the Modern Age or at least before Legend
    .
    As this is an informal conversation, I wanted to ask you according to you how many parallel timelines there would have been in the Modern Age
    :
    Merged Earth, Post Crisis pre Zero-Hour but how many more if we take into account the reboots of Superman and Wonder woman?

    It’s always a pleasure to read you 😉

    Best regards,

    • Interesting about the comic book retail history in France. I didn’t know that, and I’m always interesting in hearing about the European market.

      If we were to literally treat every retcon story as a HARD reboot then we’d have as many continuities as Hypertime itself LOL. But let’s entertain the game for a moment shall we? You could start with Merged Earth (titles in and around 1986)/post-Crisis (Mike Voiles’ concept) or with Earth-Sigma/pre-Zero Hour Earth (Crisis #11 through Zero Hour). Within there, there could even be a whole new John Byrne Man of Steel timeline or even a new Hawkworld timeline. Next would be a new post-Zero Hour timeline in 1994. Then new chronologies following 2003-2004’s Superman: Birthright, 2006’s Infinite Crisis, and 2009-2010’s Superman: Secret Origin. I didn’t even mention 52 or Final Crisis, but one could conceivably argue that they made some retcons as well (although that’s stretching things a lot). Plus, Zero Hour initiates a Sliding Timeline, which adds about three more time-bumps (for the purposes of this exercise, we could easily treat as hard reboots).

      So, just doing this exercise quite quickly, you already have over a dozen potential Jonbar points. Pretty wild!

  6. Tenzel Kim says:

    A couple of notes. At first I simply looked at the condensed list and not the actual entries for these years, so missed your reasoning for putting things where you did.

    Anyway, you have Swamp Thing #52-54 listed just before Batman #402. In the Official Justice League of America Index #8 published by ICG it says the following: “Since Zatanna joins forces with Zatara and other mystics in Swamp Thing in between issues #246 and #247, the events of issues #250-254 must immediately follow those of Swamp Thing #52-53, which also left Gotham City greatly devastated”

    Also you have Outsiders Special #1 listed before Outsiders #21. I think this is a mistake. In issue #21 (second story) Geo-Force contacts Markovia and the connection is broken. Batman says that the team will assemble in one hour and then there is a footnote stating that states: “But as you know, if you’ve read this issue’s lead story, another adventure reared it’s ugly head, delaying an investigation of the situation in Markovia”. Since issue 21 continued directly into issue 22, the Outsiders/Infinity Inc. crossover in the Outsiders and Infinity, Inc. specials must therefore come after issue 22. (I have personally placed all of it just after The Weird #1-4 but I don’t think that order really matters. That is only if we should try to match things up as much as possible across our sites. There will likely be things we don’t quite agree on though)

    Outsiders #25-26 would go before Justice League International #8. While Outsiders #26 leads directly into Millennium, Batman only appears on the first pages before being called away on Justice League business. This must be JLI #8 as the events in that story takes place at the same time as Captain Atom #10 and Flash #8, the latter of which leads directly into Flash #9 which is a Millennium crossover issue. So the latter part of Outsiders #26 (where Batman isn’t present) must take place at the same time as JLI #8/Captain Atom #10/Flash #8. This also means that the reference about Batman busting a crack ring likely takes place prior to Outsiders #25.

    I know that the Outsiders are attacked in issue #25 based on the actions in issue 24 but due to everything else going on in the DC universe I think not having a break between issues #24 and #25 becomes hard. The July 4th date in issue 24 would have to be completely disregarded for one, which makes the story lose some impact. One could make an argument that the government took quite some time before deciding to go up against the Outsiders. One possible reason could be the Millennium event itself as it was suggested that Nancy Reagan was a Manhunter sleeper agent (Detective Comics #582) so she could have been activated and pushed the President to do something.

    I’ll post some more when I have crosschecked some additional issues. Not a bad idea actually writing out the reasoning as it makes it a lot easier when double-checking.

    • Thanks, Tenzel. I’m all about matching things up across our sites as much as we can (inconsequential personal headcanon discrepancies aside, of course)! Definitely moving Swamp Thing #52-55. I’ve never really used the ICG Indexes as reference material before, but that logic makes sense. And you are correct about the Outsiders Special. I mis-read Geo-Force’s dialogue and the editorial note in Outsiders #22 as if the Special had already occurred, but Geo-Force is anxious to get to it ASAP.

      To your last point, this makes sense as well. I’ll move #23-24 up so that it is definitively a July 4 tale, giving a couple month gap between #24 and #25.

      As you know, half the “game” of chronology-building is finding (or creating) hidden ellipses in order to give room for the rest of the line.

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