Modern YEAR TWENTY (Part 1)

2008 (January to June)[1]

–NOTE: In a reference in Infinite Crisis #2 and a reference in Detective Comics #841. Tweedledum dies of natural causes. Dumson Deever (Tweedledee’s brother) becomes the new Tweedledum. Both Dee and Dum are recruited into the Secret Society of Super-villains.

–REFERENCE: In Superman/Batman #35. Batman lets Superman know (likely through non-verbal cues) that he does not like Krypto. Poor Krypto!

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #852. Wayne Entertainment buys out the Australian telecommunications company Ularoo Media. Bruce becomes a 60% majority shareholder, but lets Ularoo President Russell Corey remain in charge. Owning this company will allow Batman to get information on anything going on in the South Pacific much quicker. To keep up appearances, Bruce befriends Corey and they go on a very public catamaran sailing trip together. Bruce will go on periodic sailing trips with Corey whenever he gets Down Under. Of course, these other sailing trips will have to be imagined scattered throughout our timeline, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Files. Oracle gives Batman copies of selected pages of her personal journal as a gift.

–NOTE: In a reference in Nightwing Vol. 2 #116. This item is hard to place. In Nightwing Vol. 2 #116, an upcoming Infinite Crisis tie-in, Nightwing speaks of Blüdhaven as if he doesn’t live there anymore. Combine this with the fact that Batgirl and Robin are currently handling Blüdhaven crime quite successfully, and we must assume that Nightwing now decides to move out of Blüdhaven or, at the very least, decides to roam about, unattached to any major city. Because no further information is given and this item is so vague, it’s up to you if you want to include it or not. I have included it on the timeline simply for the sake of completeness.

–NOTE: In Superman Vol. 2 #207. Superman, having been trying to locate the “Vanished” people for over a month now, finally traces the source of “The Vanishing” to the Middle East, where he gets illegally involved in a civil war. An unhinged Superman battles the evil cyborg known as Equus and unwittingly causes a second “Vanishing” that results in 300,000 more disappearances. This reckless act causes Superman to once again lose the public’s faith.

——————–Superman Vol. 2 #208
——————–Superman Vol. 2 #210
Batman and the JLA meet with Superman on the Watchtower and chastise him for his recent behavior in the Middle East, which caused a second “Vanishing.” Later, in Gotham, the Joker makes a quick appearance. Batman fights him off, but the Joker escapes when Superman shows up and accidentally distracts the Dark Knight. While Batman and Superman chat, some GCPD officers corral and bust Joker on their own! Supes and Bats then travel to the Batcave where they engage in a grim conversation. After their chat and Superman’s hasty departure, Bruce realizes that Superman knows what’s going on with the “Vanishings”—(the Phantom Zone and an alternate reality Zod are both involved). Bruce immediately calls Wonder Woman and tells her to get down to the Fortress of Solitude to make sure Supes doesn’t do anything rash.

–NOTE: In Superman Vol. 2 #211-215. The “For Tomorrow” story-arc concludes as Superman rescues the missing people (including Lois) from an alternate reality that exists within the Phantom Zone.[2] The Fortress of Solitude self-destructs and implodes.  Superman begins using his alternate Fortress of Solitude, which is in an ancient Incan pyramid in the jungles of Ecuador.

–JLA Classified #16-21 (“THE HYPOTHETICAL WOMAN”)
It’s been three months since General Dvory Tuzik began secretly organizing the totalitarian nations of the world. Tuzik releases a deadly Starro-based mind-control virus in Oregon, which the JLA is able to contain and quarantine. Flash contracts the virus and is taken to the Watchtower for observation. Word gets out to the public that the entire JLA team may have contracted the virus, which causes a panic. When the JLAers refuse to quarantine themselves, the UN decides to declare war on them!  Meanwhile, the JLA heads to Santa Prisca to deal with yet another strange plague (courtesy of Tuzik). When they arrive at the Caribbean island-nation, UN forces attack using commandeered Tamaranean warships and synthetically-created versions of Chemo. In China, Tuzik uses a metahuman known as The Hypothetical Woman to create six brainwashed metahuman warriors to serve his bidding. The so-called “Hypothetical Army” quickly and easily takes control of China. Within hours, Tuzik mobilizes the Chinese Army (People’s Liberation Army Ground Force) in an attempt to start WWIII. The JLA is not only able to defeat the combined force of the Hypothetical Army and the Chinese Army, they defeat a jacked-up monster version of Tuzik as well. In the end, Tuzik and the Hypothetical Army all die. Tuzik’s benevolent son becomes the new progressive president of Tuzik’s unnamed home nation, where an injured Batman wishes the young leader the best of luck.

–Green Lantern: Rebirth #1-6
Guy Gardner’s body begins rejecting his Vuldarian DNA and he literally explodes inside the Warrior Bar, destroying everything inside except for a statue of Hal Jordan. Then, all the buildings disappear in the area where Coast City used to be, except for Hal’s old apartment building. After that, Spectre Hal Jordan brutally severs Black Hand‘s hand much to the shock of Ollie Queen and the new teenage female Speedy (Mia Dearden). While Dr. Mid-Nite stabilizes a critically injured Guy Gardner aboard the Watchtower, Batman trashes Hal as he always does, saying that Hal is a super-villain and always has been. Finally, Geoff Johns gives us the emotion that I’ve been waiting to see in John Stewart ever since he joined the JLA. Stewart lashes out at Batman, exclaiming that he’s sick and tired of Bruce’s iniquitous treatment of Hal. However, this time John is in the minority as the rest of the team thinks Hal has snapped again too. Meanwhile, Kyle Rayner crash lands a spaceship on Earth with a warning that Parallax is coming. Accompanying Kyle is the Maltusian Guardian of the Universe Ganthet, who has Hal’s corpse with him! Back on the Watchtower, Guy turns back into a Green Lantern but undergoes a radical personality shift. Similarly, John Stewart attacks the JLA, while Kilowog attacks Ganthet. Eventually, Ganthet returns the GLs to their senses. Kyle rushes to the Watchtower with Hal’s corpse in tow, meets with Ollie, and explains that the power rings are based on the Emotional Color Spectrum (!) and that Hal never became Parallax. Not quite, anyway. Parallax is an evil yellow (fear based) alien symbiote that had latched onto Hal and brought out his inner demons.  Meanwhile, in Haven (formerly Coast City), Parallax overpowers the Spectre and takes over Hal’s soul. While Kyle and Ollie battle a returning Sinestro aboard the Watchtower, the rest of Earth’s heroes battle Parallax/Hal Jordan.  The fight is going poorly on both fronts until the Spectre is able to evict Parallax from Hal’s soul. Afterward, the Spectre is pretty fed up with Hal’s soul and decides it’s time to move on. Hal’s soul floats towards Heaven, but the call of the power ring is greater than the call of God, I guess. Hal’s soul rockets into his corpse aboard the Watchtower. Green Lantern Hal Jordan is reborn! (Not to mention, his gray hair has color again, and he has de-aged significantly.) Hal teams-up with Kyle and defeats Sinestro and then joins the rest of the heroes to attack a monstrous Parallax-infected Ganthet. But before the heroes can strike, Batman wants a word with Hal. He still doesn’t trust him and wants some answers. Hal punches Batman in the face and puts the Dark Knight on his ass! Guy chuckles and references the time that Bats one-punch knocked him out years ago. An angry Batman grumbles over Hal’s hubris and tells the JLA to regroup for an assault on Parallax. Just then, Alan Scott holds the JLA back, telling Batman that this is a Green Lantern-only feud. The GLs defeat Parallax and the Guardians of Oa make their triumphant return. The Green Lantern Corps is back! After the dust settles, Batman and Hal face off. Batman stubbornly shouts that he will never believe that the only reason Hal turned heel was because he was influenced by an evil alien symbiote. Hal replies by saying he doesn’t give a shit what Batman thinks and he’s back for good. John Stewart adds the tough Blaxploitation line, “Is that a problem?” to which Batman replies, “Not right now.” Bruce backs down and our narrative concludes. A+ story. Oh, I also wanted to mention that the floating alien city of Haven leaves Earth and the reconstruction of Coast City begins during this storyline.

–NOTE: In a reference in JLA Classified #26, a reference in Green Lantern: Rebirth, and a reference in JLA #119. John Stewart remains in the primary lineup of the JLA as a full-time member, but skips out on the next couple JLA missions (most likely because he doesn’t want to work with Batman following the events of GL: Rebirth). Kyle Rayner joins the team once again as a part-time reserve member.

When the rogue South American dictatorships of Santa Bertriza and Del Canto both begin using metahuman guerrilla fighters, the world fears a threat from something worse than metahuman super-villains: metahuman terrorists. After a meeting with President Horne, the US Government sends the JLA to check-up on the totalitarian nations. However, the UN is strongly against this course of action (as they would be, especially since the UN recently sent its troops against the JLA in “The Hypothetical Woman” story-arc). After a brief interlude where Batman busts some kidnappers in Gotham, the JLA comes up with a plan. With President Horne’s secret backing, half of the JLA (including a returning Faith) goes undercover and enters Santa Bertriza and Del Canto as civilians. Meanwhile, President Horne has J’onn, Kyle, and Aquaman form a distraction to make it seem as if the JLA is occupied elsewhere. Bruce (as Bruce Wayne) visits with the Santa Bertrizan president while Clark Kent visits with the Del Cantoan president. Things are going smoothly until Wally and Faith accidentally cause a metahuman war to break out between the two nations. Bruce, Kyle, Clark, Faith, Wally, and Diana (all psychically linked to President Horne via J’onn’s telepathy) enter into the fray and begin taking out as many metahumans as they can from both sides. Meanwhile, Diana and Kyle let themselves be captured and then pass themselves off as defectors from the opposing sides in order to infiltrate the armies as spies. When everyone regroups, Bruce tells the team that a third party has been manipulating both countries from the get-go, and this third party has basically been using these countries as a giant metahuman lab experiment. After more investigation, the JLAers learn that Dutch industrialist Shyuler Cristoffels is behind the South American war, simply because he wants easy, parsimonious access to a rare ore deposit beneath the border of the two countries. When this news goes public, the JLA steps out of the shadows, easily ends the war, apprehends both dictators, and defeats the arriving Cristoffels and his team of Dutch metahumans. And I’m sure you were wondering why President Horne was being so helpful and chummy with the JLA all of a sudden in this story-arc? Horne had his own team ready to swoop in to begin mining the precious underground ore as soon as Cristoffels was out of the picture. But, as always, Batman is one step ahead of everyone. Before the US team even arrives, the JLA has the ore (which is more radioactive than plutonium) safely aboard the Watchtower where no one can get it.

–JLA Classified #46
While undergoing an ancient Martian ritual, J’onn suffers a psychic backlash and goes into a coma for three days. Using Zatanna’s magick, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman enter J’onn’s mind and bring him back to consciousness. NOTE: JLA Classified #46 is the conclusion to “The Ghosts of Mars” arc from JLA Classified #42-46. Issues #42 through #45 are all a part of J’onn’s detailed hallucination while he is comatose. Therefore, Batman only makes an actual appearance in issue #46, hence our listing only of issue #46 above.

–Batman 80-Page Giant 2011 #1 Part 7
A young boy who doesn’t have the physical capability of forming words gets into the middle of a scuffle between Solomon Grundy and Batman.  The Dark Knight saves his life and puts Grundy down and out.  Later, much to the surprise and joy of his parents, the boy says his first word in nearly a decade: “Batman.”

–Batman: Gotham Knights #60-65
Hush and Prometheus II (Chad Graham) kidnap Alfred. With Poison Ivy’s assistance, Batman rescues Alfred. Bruce doesn’t know it yet, but Hush has set the seed for some of his old-fashioned trickery. Once again, Hush has a Clayface pretend to be someone else in order to fool Batman and company. This time Clayface VIII (Johnny Williams) morphs into Tommy Elliott in order to make Bruce and Alfred doubt that Tommy was ever really Hush in the first place. Only Alfred bears witness to this ruse, but he is drugged and also winds up hitting his head, which causes him to forget the incident. Meanwhile, Poison Ivy learns that all of the former orphans that lived under her care during and after NML are infected with toxins that cause them to commit suicide. There is a flashback to ‘tec #752 that supposedly takes place “two years ago.”  It should read “four years ago.” Batman meets with Ivy and is convinced that someone else is killing her former “children.” Pamela Isley busts into the old laboratory (where she was originally turned into Ivy) looking for information leading to Jason Woodrue aka Floronic Man. A lab assistant tells her that Jason died three years ago after getting hit by a car. Ivy, desperate to reverse her biology to become non-powered, contacts Bruce Wayne for help. Ivy contacts Bruce because he has had a penchant for helping Arkham inmates in the past. Bruce meets with Ivy in her secret lab and builds rapport with the lovely Miss Isley. A jealous Hush, who has not only made himself immune to Ivy’s deadly touch, but has also fallen in love with her, visits the villainess and tells her that Bruce doesn’t really want to help because he’s Batman! Bruce then has Alfred dress up as Batman in order to trick Ivy back into believing that he isn’t the Dark Knight. After this unbelievable charade actually works, Bruce creates a cure for Ivy. Shouldn’t Ivy think it’s a bit odd that a billionaire playboy is all of a sudden a scientific genius? Well, I guess she did fall for Alfred dressed up as the Caped Crusader. Moving on, Bruce and a cured Pamela Isley celebrate!  Pam is then visited by a cured Jason Woodrue. Woodrue reveals that he cured himself and faked his death three years ago to hide from the secret criminal organization known as The Division. He also tells Pamela that he originally turned her into Poison Ivy all those years ago while under orders from the Division. Furthermore, Woodrue adds, the Division is still active and has created several more “Poison Ivies” that will be unleashed upon the world as agents of evil. In an instant, Division agents shoot Woodrue in the head and Pamela runs off. (Woodrue doesn’t die here, which means, despite having been “cured,” he still has the regenerative power of the Floronic Man living within him.) Pamela feels the only way she can survive is if she turns back into Poison Ivy. Bruce refuses to do it, but Hush is more than willing. Hush, Ivy, and Batman then scuffle with agents of the Division, and during the chaos, Ivy injects herself with Hush’s serum. But the serum is no good and Pamela dies! A few days later, Bruce visits Pamela’s grave. Don’t fret. Like the “death” of Jason Woodrue, Pamela Isley’s “death” doesn’t stick either.

–Action Comics #825
Superman is attacked by Gog, who claims to be from a future that mirrors what happens on Earth-22 aka the Earth of Kingdom Come. Just as Gog is about to kill Superman, a jealous Doomsday intervenes, claiming that only he has the right to murder the Man of Steel. Batman, Martian Manhunter, and Superboy immediately prepare to utilize the Doomsday Contingency Protocol, which entails use of the Phantom Zone Projector. But in the end, a time-traveling future Gog (now reformed) and future Doomsday appear. They put an end to present-day Gog’s reign of terror, save Superman’s life, and warn the Man of Steel about the impending “Crisis” before departing.

–FLASHBACK: From Justice Society of America Vol. 3 #13. Immediately picking up from Action Comics #825, Superman recruits Batman to find out Gog’s secret ID, which the Dark Knight does with ease. This Gog, mind you, is not the Gog or Magog from Earth-22. He is actually a former priest named William Matthews who, while on travels in the Congo, stumbled upon the resting place of the ancient god known as Gog and was bestowed with metahuman powers. For anyone wondering, the ancient god Gog was also responsible for bestowing powers to Earth-22’s Gog, who later chooses Magog as his successor, who is responsible for all the trouble in Kindgom Come. Unfortunately, the ancient god Gog’s gift caused Matthews to witness visions of Kindom Come, which he came to believe were his own memories, hence his claims of both being from Earth-22’s dark future and of being Gog. (A bit later down the road, the ancient god Gog will bestow cosmic powers upon JSA member David “Lance” Reid, who will become Magog. Magog will eventually be killed by Max Lord.) Also note that this flashback to the Gog/Magog affair here in Geoff Johns’ Justice Society of America Vol. 3 is our first chronological instance of “fracturing”—i.e. the phenomenon where one gains false memories of an alternate history when they come into contact with someone from said alternate reality. The first real instance of this (publication-wise) is coming up shortly in Geoff Johns’ Infinite Crisis. (The term “fracturing” won’t be coined until 2020 by Greg Rucka.)

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Files. Batman, presumably via newly unearthed medical records, finally finds out more details about Harvey Dent’s troubled childhood, learning that his brother Murray died when he was young, and Harvey’s father blamed the death on Harvey, which led to abuse by dad. After Harvey’s mom’s suicide, teenage Harvey first developed signs of schizophrenia, even referring to his more aggressive and unstable side as “Murray.” NOTES: This reference is to a series of flashbacks about Harvey’s childhood from the much maligned (and deservedly so) non-canon Batman: Jekyll & Hyde miniseries. I guess Matthew Manning, author of the quasi-canonical The Batman Files, was one of the few people that liked Jekyll & Hyde enough to attempt to Easter Egg it into continuity. However, rest assured, none of the main action of the miniseries can be canon as it basically re-writes (and therefore contradicts) Two-Face’s entire psyche/character. The only thing that can exist as canon in Jekyll & Hyde is the flashback material, which, as stated above, must simply be discovered by Batman at this moment. In any case, The Batman Files only actually makes specific reference to the flashback material anyway.[3]

–NOTE: In Rann-Thanagar War #1. The interplanetary space-opera known as the Rann-Thanagar War begins on the far side of the universe.

–REFERENCE: In JLA #124. Martian Manhunter teaches his fellow JLAers some exercises designed to fend-off mind-control. (This could be a reference to something specific from a prior issue, but if it is I’m not sure.)

–FLASHBACK: From the second feature to Countdown #43—and referenced in the second feature to 52 #9, Teen Titans Vol. 3 #21, and The OMAC Project #2. Dr. Light becomes fully aware of his lost memories and brain-alteration at the hands of the JLA years ago (during the “mind-wipe scandal”). He’s pissed off and attacks Green Arrow (Ollie) and members of both the Teen Titans and Outsiders. Batman is not present at these fights, but realizes why Dr. Light is so angry. The Dark Knight puts two and two together and realizes that he also was mind-wiped years ago! Batman immediately begins ignoring his JLA communicator. An enraged Batman has effectively quit the JLA. Batman then secretly begins monitoring the metahuman community using a semi-sentient satellite technology known as Brother Mark 1 aka Brother I (as referenced in The OMAC Project #2). Batman has been gathering detailed data on the metahumans since Bat Year Ten and has many WayneTech satellites in orbit. However, Batman has never utilized the invasive super high-tech Brother I surveillance system until now. Morally, Bruce had always been against using the technology, but now the gloves are off and he doesn’t give a damn.

–REFERENCE: In JLA #117. Batman meets secretly with Superman and tells him he has resigned from the JLA because of the “mind-wipe scandal.” Superman is just as upset as Batman upon learning about the mind-wipes and even considers quitting the team as well, but decides to forge-on without saying anything to anyone else.

–REFERENCE: In Catwoman Vol. 3 #39. Batman investigates the corrupt Three Piece Suit Insurance Company and their hired henchman, a bizarre cyborg made of petrified wood called Wooden Nickel.

–DC Countdown #1 (Countdown to Infinite Crisis #1)
This is it, kiddies. The countdown to Infinite Crisis begins now! Oracle informs Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) that someone is embezzling money from both WayneTech and Kord Industries (Kord’s company, which is partnered with WayneTech). (Funds from the Kord Industries subsidiary Kord Ominversal are being laundered through WayneTech and split off into dummy corporations.)[4] Thus, Beetle visits Batman in the Batcave. An angry Batman quickly ushers Ted away, saying that he’s aware of the money laundering and much more (i.e. his mind-wiping). Ted then puts in an emergency call to all the heroes of the DCU when a hundred-pound stockpile of Kryptonite is stolen from a storage facility. The hero community doesn’t seem too concerned, except for Beetle, who continues his investigation. After dealing with The Madmen, Beetle gets some investigative assistance from his long-time best friend Booster Gold. As they draw closer to solving the mystery, Beetle and Booster are attacked by a mystery assailant. Booster is nearly killed and hospitalized. Beetle then goes to visit Captain Marvel, but Cap is busy dealing with the Spectre (who is currently lacking a soul ever since Hal Jordan’s return to the living). The wizard Shazam, preoccupied with the “magick war” against Spectre, speaks briefly with Beetle and warns him about Luthor before teleporting him away. Beetle is then nearly killed when a bomb explodes on his Bug-ship. While recovering from his injuries on the Watchtower, Beetle tries in vain to explain about his investigation to Wonder Woman. Beetle also tries in vain to warn J’onn that something big is going down, but J’onn is preoccupied with news reports from the frontlines of the Rann-Thanagar War, which is occurring at the other end of the universe. A dejected Beetle returns home, but quickly discovers evidence which points him toward a castle in Switzerland. After failing to get Batman to respond to his calls, Beetle travels to Switzerland alone and infiltrates the castle, which is obviously a Checkmate facility. Beetle then accesses a computer and finds a file that has highly detailed information on every, literally every, superhero in existence. This intel, gathered together in such a way, is very bad news. But who has collected this valuable and dangerous information? The new Checkmate King, Maxwell Lord! The new Checkmate King then delivers some of the most awesome comic book dialogue ever written. I’ll paraphrase. Max explains that there are currently 1.3 million metahumans on Earth. Ninety-nine-point-five percent of those metahumans have “nuisance level” powers. But the other point-five percent are “gods walking the Earth” i.e. “the ones we have to watch out for, monitor, and stop.” At this point, Beetle reminds Max that he (Max) is a metahuman too, to which Max replies, “I can be trusted.” Max further explains that he wants to save Earth from the power-hungry metahumans. Max also reveals that he kept the Justice League ineffectual for years when he was the leader of the team, while at the same time he secretly planned for the eventual elimination the entire metahuman population. Max has been preparing for this for the past nine years! Beetle tries to escape with Max’s computer files, but the latter activates an OMAC soldier (we’ll learn much more about OMACs very soon) that easily takes down the hero. Checkmate agent Sasha Bordeaux (!) helps restrain Beetle as well. Max tells Beetle that he now controls Batman’s surveillance satellite network known as the Brother Mark One aka Brother I, which will be the definitive factor in stopping the metahuman threat. Max then offers the bloody, broken, and handcuffed Beetle a simple ultimatum: Join or die. Beetle’s response: “Rot in hell, Max.” Max’s reply: He shoots Beetle in the head (!) and sets his Brother I satellite to autonomous control, thus initiating “Project OMAC.” Ted Kord is dead and the DCU is about to be turned upside-down.

–Green Lantern Corps: Recharge #1
Kyle Rayner quits the JLA in order to join the new Green Lantern Corps full-time.  He says goodbye to all his friends on the Watchtower and then departs with Guy Gardner.  Guy drops trou and moons Batman through the Watchtower window before leaving.  Gotta love that Guy and his bare-assed antics.

–Outsiders Vol. 3 #21-22
Nightwing flips out when he learns that Bruce has been secretly funding and posturing his Outsiders team. They get in a heated argument and Bruce tells Dick that he simply is putting up money for the team and in no way wants to step on his toes as leader. Dick also expresses his anger over the fact that Arsenal has been meeting with and collecting intel from Batman for months now. Wait a minute. No, he hasn’t. Batman and Nightwing quickly realize that Arsenal has been meeting with a fake Batman, namely Deathstroke! The jig is up and Deathstroke ditches his fake Batman costume for his own duds, but not before nearly murdering Arsenal.

–NOTE: In Superman Vol. 2 #217. Superman encounters an OMAC for first time. The techno-organic warrior is as strong and powerful as the Man of Steel.

–The OMAC Project #1-3
Two days have passed since Ted Kord’s murder. While a confused Batman wonders why he’s been locked out of his own Brother I surveillance system, Max uses the hijacked satellite tech to monitor Earth’s metahuman activity. Brother I’s spying abilities are so great, Max can actually watch Batman inside the Batcave. Basically, Max sees all and hears all while Sasha Bordeaux stands at his side. But what is Sasha really up to? Maybe trying to help an old lover? Sasha secretly mails Bruce a letter that not only informs him that Checkmate has control of his satellite, but of Ted’s death as well. Bruce meets with Superman, Wonder Woman, and Booster Gold on the Watchtower and tells all that Blue Beetle is dead. He also tells them the truth about his satellite spying and the fact that the tech has been stolen. Booster, upon learning the terrible news about the death of his best friend, flips out on the cold, unemotional Batman and even tries to blast him with a laser. When everyone calms down, Batman explains that the entire Checkmate organization has gone rogue and is no longer affiliated with the US Government. Batman’s investigations into Checkmate then take him to Chicago where he runs into Sasha. They immediately kiss passionately, but Max is watching and the King isn’t happy. Three OMACs bust in and kidnap Sasha before she can spill the beans about Max. Batman recognizes the OMACs as Brother I’s prototype soldiers, but is surprised because he didn’t construct Brother I to have weaponry. Wonder Woman, Booster, and Guy Gardner search for Brother I, but the satellite is well hidden with various cloaking devices. Meanwhile, Max has all the other Checkmate higher-ups executed and detains both Jessica Midnight and Sasha in a holding cell. (The OMAC Project #1-3 is also shown via flashback from the second feature to 52 #10.)

–Adventures of Superman #641
When former President Pete Ross is wrongly accused of being a super-villain and detained in a federal prison for metahumans, Clark visits him. Parasite II and Parasite III cause a riot that allows Ross to escape. As Superman fights the Parasites, an OMAC attacks yet again. Meanwhile in the Batcave, Batman chats with Lois Lane via phone, helping her find out the identity of a sniper who recently tried to kill her.

–REFERENCE: In the surveillance footage sequence in Adventures of Superman #642. Batman boards the Watchtower to use its high-tech scanning systems to search for Brother I. A mind-controlled Superman arrives and proceeds to pummel Batman to death until Wonder Woman shows up and chases Superman away. A badly injured Batman goes into a coma.

——————–Superman Vol. 2 #219
——————–Action Comics #829
——————–Adventures of Superman #642
——————–Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #219
Four hours have passed since Batman’s brutal beating.  Superman wakes up in his Ecuadorian Fortress of Solitude with dried blood caked all over both his hands. His recent memory is jumbled and he can’t seem to remember what has happened or whose blood is on his hands. The JLA busts in and escorts the confused Superman to the Watchtower. There, the Man of Steel learns that Batman is battered, bruised, burned, broken, and comatose.  Superman has nearly pummeled Bruce to death. Bruce even has Superman’s charred fingerprints burned into his throat. The JLA views the gruesome security video of Superman kicking Batman’s ass and ascertains that Supes had to have been mind-controlled. J’onn and Wonder Woman telepathically enter Superman’s mind and Max Lord’s aura is all over the place. Batman awakes from his coma and Wonder Woman takes him to the Batcave so that Alfred can take care of him. Meanwhile, Max forces Superman to attack the JLA again. Supes then flies to the Checkmate castle in Switzerland, with Wonder Woman in hot pursuit. But Max is ready and waiting for her and has Superman attack Wonder Woman with his full force. As the superheroes duel destructively across the Earth, Max exclaims that he has proven his point. According to the gospel of Max, the massive destruction these metahumans are capable of will ultimately end life on Earth.  Max wants to save Earth by killing these “gods.” The tremendous battle rages on, literally shaking the ground like an earthquake. Despite Superman breaking her wrist, Wonder Woman is able to escape his grasp and bolt back to Switzerland. There, Diana binds Max with her golden lasso. Max tells her that he has permanent control of Superman now and only his own death will result in his release of Clark’s mind. Max then releases Superman from his control to show Supes the devastation he’s caused. Superman is shaken and blubbering. He knows that he is Max’s personal toy forever and the world is doomed because of it. Diana doesn’t hesitate for a second and snaps Max’s neck like a twig. Max Lord is dead and Superman can’t believe what he’s just seen.

–The OMAC Project #4-5
As soon as Max Lord is executed by Diana, Brother I switches into “survival mode,” launching several Chinese nukes and shutting down power grids all over the planet. Brother I then begins its purge of Checkmate. OMACs begin slaughtering all the remaining Checkmate agents. Sasha Bordeaux and Jessica Midnight are able to defeat their OMAC attackers when Sasha discovers that she’s been turned into an OMAC-like cyborg! Brother I then contacts its injured creator in the Batcave and tells him that he is no longer Brother I. He is now fully autonomous. He is now Brother Eye and he is alive. Bruce tells Brother Eye that he was designed to monitor metahuman activity for possible abuse of powers, not to kill. Brother Eye tells Bruce that Max has taught him a valuable lesson: The only way to prevent metahumans from abusing their powers is to eliminate all metahumans. OMACs begin attacking metas all over the world. This is where we first learn of the “threat class” of the super-powered. For example, Fire and Booster Gold are Epsilon-level threats, whereas Metamorpho is a Beta-level threat. The strongest of the strong, like Guy Gardner (who has a power ring) or Mary Marvel (who has the magick of Shazam) are labeled as Alpha-level threats. At the Checkmate castle, Sasha learns that Max had experimented on her with OMAC nano-technology, thus transforming her into a cyborg. Cyborg Sasha contacts Bruce and tells him that the OMACs download into human host bodies using Brother Eye nano-tech, and Brother Eye has just activated the entire OMAC lot, which consists of 1.3 million super-soldiers.

–Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #220
Moments after the activation of Brother Eye’s OMAC army, Wonder Woman visits Batman in the Batcave and tells him that she has murdered Max Lord. Bruce simply tells her to “get out.”

–Adventures of Superman #643 Conclusion
Superman visits Batman in the Batcave an hour after Wonder Woman’s visit. The Man of steel apologizes for recent events, but chastises the Dark Knight about the OMAC situation. Batman and Superman argue—Bruce tells Clark he can never trust him again and to leave immediately. Supes leaves and, visibly shaken, is consoled by Lois.

–The OMAC Project #6
A few hours after Brother Eye activates his 1.3 million OMAC soldier army, these vicious killers systematically slaughter or maim tons of C-list and D-list DCU metahuman characters. If you are a big fan of Fastball, Demolition Team (Hardhat, Jackhammer, Rosie, Scoopshovel, and Steamroller), or the Supermen of America, sorry—all dead within minutes, except for a lucky Hardhat, who escapes and lives to fight another day. A number of Bat-villains, notably Firefly, are badly injured by OMACs as well. (To list everyone in this issue would be ridiculous as there are literally hundreds of characters that appear.) Following the horrible planetary assault, Sasha tells Bruce that someone else gave Brother Eye its autonomy, not Max Lord. While Sasha organizes the world’s defense against the OMACs, the injured Batman discovers that Max wasn’t trying to steal Kryptonite (during DC Countdown #1). Max tried, and failed, to steal a special EMP generator which can disable OMACs. After swallowing his pride and meeting with Hal Jordan and John Stewart, Batman sets his plan to defeat Brother Eye into motion.  While Sasha downloads a virus into the OMAC system, Batman activates the EMP device, which destroys the majority of the OMACs, but spares the human hosts within.  Realizing that defeat is imminent, Brother Eye retreats with over 200,000 OMACs still under his command. (A few scattered OMACs remain left on Earth.) At the ruins of the Checkmate castle in Switzerland, Bruce meets with silver-skinned cyborg Sasha. The latter, in tears, tells Bruce that all of her humanity has been erased and she is fully a machine now. Bruce denies that as a possibility and kisses her, turning her skin back to flesh-tone momentarily. After the events of The OMAC Project, Wonder Woman decides it is best if she leaves the JLA, and does so. But if Max didn’t give Brother Eye autonomy, then who did? We’ll find out soon enough.

–Catwoman Vol. 3 #39
Batman pays Catwoman a visit at her apartment to discuss the bizarre cyborg made out of petrified wood that has been hired by the corrupt Three Piece Suit company to find out Catwoman’s secret ID. After having sex (!), Bruce gives Selina a post-coital scoop on the villain, named Wooden Nickel. Meanwhile, Wooden Nickel has threatened Sam Bradley Jr, which causes Slam Bradley to spill the beans on where Catwoman lives. Wooden Nickel attacks Catwoman in her own home, but the latter is able to fight him off.

–Batman #635-638 (“UNDER THE HOOD”)
“Under the Hood” actually begins with a flash-forward to five weeks later when Batman will be fighting Red Hood in the rain, which leads to Jason Todd’s epic reveal. (This should more accurately read three weeks later.) But let’s focus on the present for now. Lucius Fox visits Wayne Manor with the distressing announcement that Bruce has lost Wayne Enterprises’ controlling interest in Kord Industries (the late Ted Kord’s company and major contributor to Wayne Industries Research & Development) to a German conglomerate. In layman’s terms, this means that Bruce no longer has a huge billion dollar R&D company that he can raid for new weaponry and armor technology, which Bruce has done for the past 19 years. Alfred tells Bruce not to worry since they already have plenty of “toys” left in the cave.[5] Meanwhile, a mysterious new Red Hood (aka Jason Todd!) begins honing in on some of Black Mask’s territory and makes his presence known in Gotham by killing several top mob lieutenants and severing their heads. Bear in mind, Batman and company still have no idea that Jason is alive. Batman then meets with Nightwing, who is shown wearing a knee brace. He recovered from his leg injury over three months ago, but it isn’t far fetched to think that he may still require a brace every once and a while (especially after all the injuries he suffered during the recent OMAC crisis). When Batman and Nightwing are almost blown to smithereens by Red Hood they pursue him, but instead run right into Amazo, who has been purchased from Professor Ivo by Black Mask.  Despite being outmatched, Batman and Nightwing are able to defeat Amazo. Concurrently, Red Hood steals a cache of over one-hundred pounds of Kryptonite (the missing Kryptonite from DC Countdown #1!) from Black Mask and asks for fifty million dollars to return it. Instead of the cash, Black Mask sends Mr. Freeze to take out Red Hood. Batman and Nightwing interrupt their fight, but both villains get away. Red Hood then visits Joker at his circus hideout and beats him bloody with a crowbar. Jason has been waiting for this revenge for a long, long time.

–Batman Villains Secret Files and Origins 2005
Black Mask, who has taken to dressing up his employees like Batman and torturing them in his twisted inner sanctum, speaks with his new personal assistant David Sutabi, basically narrating all that has happened on our chronology from “Hush” up until now (at least everything that he is aware of from his POV). This issue also includes the usual SF&O bios as well. We learn from Killer Croc’s bio that his antiviral treatments are failing, his surgeries aren’t holding, and his hair-plugs have fallen out. Croc has begun to mutate into his old monstrous green crocodile form once again, mostly due to the fact that the virus put into his system by Hush (a year ago) is still active in his system. Why is this happening to poor ol’ Croc? Black Mask has kidnapped Croc and implanted a Mad Hatter mind-control chip into his head. This has allowed Black Mask to enslave Croc, but the terrible side effect of the chip is Croc’s return to extra-monstrous semi-feral form. This issue also contains an awesome non-canon Mike Mignola tale that even tells us that it takes place in “another continuity.”

–NOTE: In Catwoman Vol. 3 #43. Batman isn’t a part of this item, but he would be following its events very closely. Onyx teams-up with Catwoman to defeat the raging mutated Killer Croc, who is under the control of Black Mask. The ladies defeat Croc and send him back to Black Mask.

–Batman: Gotham Knights #66-72
Hush and Prometheus II (Chad Graham) haven’t gotten along very well since the Poison Ivy affair two months ago.  When the Secret Society of Super-villains wants information about Prometheus’ “Key to Limbo,” Talia, Deathstroke, and an army of Kobra soldiers attack Hush and Prometheus. Prometheus keels over revealing that he contracted a deadly virus from one of the fake Ivies (from GK #65). Talia forces Hush to perform life-saving surgery on Prometheus. Afterward, Hush and Talia part ways on bad terms. When a videographer discovers that he has video of Bruce Wayne fighting Hush in the background of one of his shots, its not long before he realizes that Bruce is Batman.  After blood is shed in a very cinematographic way à la the Coen Brothers, the videographer contacts Bruce and blackmails him for money. The blackmailer sets up a meeting, but demands to do the exchange with one of Bruce’s servants. Alfred goes to the meeting and does the exchange as planned. However, the blackmailer winds up getting murdered by Clayface VIII (Johnny Williams), who frames Alfred for the crime. Back at Wayne Manor, Alfred remembers what had been blocked out in his brain when he hit his head (in GK #60). Alfred tells Bruce that Tommy Elliot is alive, but is not Hush! (See, Alfie actually saw Clayface VIII pretending to be Tommy Elliot.) After a short investigation, Batman learns that Hush not only used the new Clayface in an attempt to trick Alfred, but Hush also injected Clayface DNA into Alfred, which is slowly killing him. (There are a ton of flashbacks that detail how Hush came to meet the new Clayface, Johnny Williams, six months ago. Williams murdered a sex worker and Hush has been blackmailing him ever since.) However, like Alfred, Johnny Williams is dying and the only thing that can save both of them is DNA from a very specific Clayface, Cassius Clay aka Clayface V. (NOTE: Hush tries to get samples from all the known Clayfaces at this time—as shown in Catwoman Vol. 3 #44-45, which overlaps with this tale. In these Catwoman issues, Hush also blackmails Catwoman into releasing Todd Russell aka Clayface VII from his STAR Labs prison.) Back to our GK tale, Batman breaks into Arkham and helps Cassius escape in order to get a sample of his DNA. In the end, Alfred is saved and cleared of all murder charges when Johnny Williams dies and the GCPD realizes the truth. Cassius escapes into the Gotham night. And to round out this large chunk of GKs, Bruce visits the old Wayne summer cottage and discovers a stack of love letters addressed to his father, but not from his mother. Bruce does some investigating and meets Eve Mackay, who wrote the letters. Eve was indeed in love with Thomas Wayne, but Thomas rejected her because he would never cheat on Bruce’s mom.

–Catwoman Vol. 3 #47-48 (“THE ONE YOU LOVE”)
Catwoman has successfully handled crime in Gotham’s East End without the aid of Batman for quite some time now.  However, now that Hugo Strange has assembled a team which consists of Hammer, Sickle, Captain Cold, a new Angle Man, Smart Bomb, and Cheetah, things are getting out of hand.  Selina convinces Professor Strange that she has once again turned to a life of crime to infiltrate the villain team.  When Smart Bomb dies, GCPD cop Sam Bradley Jr (Slam Bradley’s son) goes undercover disguised as Smart Bomb, partnered with Detective Jim Lenahan. Batman takes Catwoman to the Batcave to warn her that she is getting in over her head.  When Angle Man discovers that Selina is still a superhero, he assembles the team and shoots her in the stomach and stabs her in the head! But wait, it’s not really Catwoman. It’s a Clayface decoy! (This is Todd Rusell aka Clayface VII, who is repaying a debt to Catwoman for recently breaking him out of his prison at STAR Labs.) Catwoman and Smart Bomb (Sam Bradley) then take down Strange’s entire crew. Sam Bradley will continue to play the role of Smart Bomb, but Catwoman won’t learn that Sam Bradley is Smart Bomb for some time.

–REFERENCE: In a flashback from Batman #659. At a charity event, Bruce meets millionaire playboy plastic surgeon Dr. Wayne Franklin and his sister Dr. Amina Franklin. Bruce and Amina begin dating. They will only date for a short while before calling it off.

–FLASHBACK: From Joker’s Asylum II: Mad Hatter #1. Batman apprehends Mad Hatter, who has just killed five different women in a sick attempt to find his “Alice.”

–REFERENCE: In Batman #698. Late February. Batman apprehends attempted murderer Lazlo Rankin.

–NOTE: In Return of Donna Troy #1-4. Early March. Donna Troy is resurrected from the dead by the returning Greco-Roman gods known as the Titans of Myth (Coeus, Eos, Iapetus, Mnemosyne, Oceanus, Tethys, and Themis). The Titans of Myth are the sons and daughters of the union between the mother of the gods, Gaea, and long-banished father of the gods, Uranus. These Titans were the second generation of Greco-Roman gods that were imprisoned when the third and current generation (the generation of Zeus) took over. (The first generation consisted only of Gaia and Uranus.)

–NOTE: In a reference in DC Universe #0, a reference in the Seven Soldiers series, and also referenced in Grant Morrison interviews. Darkseid will be killed by Orion in Bat Year 22, but the evil New God’s soul will fall backward through time and land right here. Virtually powerless, Darkseid’s soul inhabits a human host body. Darkseid adopts the not-so-clever name of Boss Dark Side and begins re-creating his former minions (who have all been killed  in the future as well) hidden in human host bodies.

–Man-Bat Vol. 3 #1-5 (“THE RETURN”) 
March. Hush is up to his old manipulative trickery again.  When several people are killed, supposedly by Man-Bat, Dr. Kirk Langstrom goes into a panic.  Kirk has been blacking out at night, and when he wakes to discover that he has brutally attacked his family (Francine, Aaron, and Rebecca Langstrom) rendering them all bloody and unconscious, Kirk goes on a rampage through Gotham.  Batman captures Kirk and takes him to the Batcave, where together they learn that the original murders were done by someone else. Hush has hired the super-villain Murmur to both frame Man-Bat and, simultaneously, antagonize Black Mask. Things reach a boiling point when Man-Bat, Hush, Murmur, and Black Mask all fight, resulting in the death of David Sutabi and several innocent bystanders. Bruce tries to save Kirk from the emotional trauma that Hush has made him endure, but in the end, Kirk is once again, for the first time in many years, a full-fledged super-villain. NOTE: Writer Bruce Jones was never much of a continuity-buff and he sure isn’t here. In this story, Jones seemingly kills off Kirk’s entire family. However, this cannot be true since we see them time and time again after this. (Maybe a distraught Kirk leaves his family for dead and they go into witness protection for a little while or something.) Jones also kills off Murmur, but we’ll see him again too. Also, Jones makes it seem as if Kirk discovers Batman’s secret identity for the first time here. This cannot be the case since Kirk has known Batman’s secret identity for over ten years and has even been in the Batcave several times before. Also, it is not summer. It’s still March. But now I’m just nitpicking. However, before moving on, I must say that Kirk is able to come-back from this torrid affair relatively quickly. He, his wife, and his kids will all be A-OK and Kirk will soon return to his life as a wealthy super-scientist/philanthropist.

–Batman: Gotham Knights #73-74 (“PAYBACK”)
People with WayneTech pacemakers are having heart attacks left and right.  Batman thinks Hush is responsible, but soon learns that the Joker is behind it all.  But the Joker isn’t just trying to kill people, he wants to get revenge against Hush.  Joker kidnaps Hush and has a doctor insert a pacemaker into Tommy’s chest!  Joker keeps Tommy sedated for three whole weeks before the latter awakes and learns what has happened.  We, unfortunately must ignore this lengthy period of time. Three days is the most Tommy could have possible been held captive for.  Feeling there is no other alternative after realizing what has been done to him, Tommy seeks help from Bruce. Bruce says he will provide for Tommy’s surgery to remove the pacemaker if Tommy agrees to incarcerate himself at Arkham.  Tommy reluctantly agrees.  When he wakes up post-op, Tommy easily escapes Arkham and confronts Joker.  Batman shows up just in time to tell Tommy that no surgery was performed; the pacemaker is still inside him. Batman turns to leave as Tommy screams in fear of being near Joker, who has a device that can cause his pacemaker to fail. The series ends with this cliffhanger—yes, the generally phenomenal GK series comes to a close with issue #74. NOTE: There are multiple flashbacks in this story that depict Joker recovering at his circus hideout after his savage beating suffered at the hands of Hush, almost a full year ago. Oddly, “Payback” makes absolutely no mention of Joker’s quick recovery from his savage beating suffered at the hands of Red Hood, which occurred only a-week-and-a-half prior to the beginning of this tale. Oh, well.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #849. This item picks up where the Gotham Knights series-ending cliffhanger leaves off, thus, completing the series. Batman leaves a terrified Hush with the deadly Joker. Joker activates the heart-stopping device, which severely injures Hush, but does not kill him. Hush then escapes and sets up shop in an abandoned hospital.

–Batman #639-641 (“FAMILY REUNION”)
Over the past five weeks, we are told, Red Hood has been royally screwing up Black Mask’s affairs. (This should read three weeks to be more accurate.) Batman has finally come to terms with the fact that Jason Todd might be back, but he still doesn’t believe conclusively. First, the Dark Knight meets with Zatanna, who tells him that Lazarus Pits cannot raise the dead, they can only heal the injured or rejuvenate the living.  Zatanna isn’t entirely correct here.  In some rare occurrences, the Pits can indeed raise the dead. Anyway, Zatanna also adds, all the Lazarus Pits are sealed up or destroyed (except for the synthetic Pit owned by Nyssa al Ghul, the sealed-off Pit inside the bowels of the Batcave, and the few hidden Pits scattered across the globe—all of which Zatanna would have no knowledge of). I should also mention that the Lazarus Pits are currently in a state of flux that will soon turn into a state of exponential growth. Thus, before you know it, the Earth will be full of Lazarus Pits again.  Back to our narrative, Batman meets with Jason Blood, who tells the Dark Knight of various means used to raise the dead. Next, Bruce meets with Ollie Queen and asks him about his life after death experience. Bruce also finally calls out Ollie on being a part of the group that mind-wiped him years ago. Touchy. Bruce then meets with Superman to discuss his life after death experience. Meanwhile, Red Hood teams-up with Onyx against some of Black Mask’s thugs. Things are hunky-dory until Red Hood kills everyone with a mini-gun and turns the weapon on a shocked Onyx. Red Hood then stabs Onyx in the shoulder with a knife. Batman busts in and begins duking it out with Red Hood. Eventually, they fight to a stalemate and Red Hood unmasks. Gasp! It’s Jason Todd! (This unmasking scene is also shown via flashback from the second feature to 52 #10.) Bruce still doesn’t believe it, so Jason gives him a sample of blood and hair. Jason shouts that he will save Gotham because Batman never could, before making his dramatic exit. Back in the Batcave, the DNA test results are a perfect match. Jason is back in Batman’s world!

–Blood of the Demon #2-5
The ancient immortal sorceress Morgaine Le Fey is in Gotham and that is very bad news.  Etrigan is in Gotham too and this is also bad news.  When Etrigan attacks some GCPD officers, Batman is pissed and begins a downtown brawl with the demon.  With the aid of Zatanna and Randu Singh, Batman forces Etrigan to morph back into Jason Blood.  Blood tells Batman not to worry, believing he can control the evil force within him.  Batman gives Blood twelve hours to do so.  When the clock runs out, Etrigan is still raising hell, this time under Morgaine Le Fey’s complete control.  Things get so out of hand, Wonder Woman and Superman come in to help (against Batman’s wishes, of course).  Eventually, Morgaine Le Fey’s scheming is ended and Jason Blood winds up with the ability to exert willpower over the demon’s evil nature.  For the first time ever (and from now on), both Jason Blood and Etrigan co-exist (albeit still in the same bodily vessel).

–Birds of Prey #84-85
After a recent encounter with Brainiac, Barbara Gordon is a bit under the weather. Fearing something terrible has happened to her, she has a long heart-to-heart with Huntress and then goes into the care of Dr. Mid-Nite. The doc determines that Brainiac has indeed implanted some horrible cybernetic organism inside of her. While Babs rests up for what will hopefully be her life-saving surgery, Batman pays her a secret visit and kisses her on the forehead while she sleeps. Dr. Mid-Nite (along with Superman and Cyborg) begin an operation to rid her of the Brainiac Virus and save her life. Batman makes another appearance to wish her well. While the Birds of Prey battle drug-runners on the Gotham streets, Babs goes under the knife and makes a full recovery!  Meanwhile, Huntress begins organizing a gang-war scenario similar to the gang-war from “War Games,” except she thinks she can pull it off.

–Batgirl #63
Bruce is happy with the work that Batgirl has done thus far in Blüdhaven. Bruce commends her and extends his own financial wealth to needy people in Blüdhaven. The Secret Society of Super-villains is not happy with the work that Batgirl has done thus far in Blüdhaven. They extend their own Deathstroke, who comes to town and picks a fight with Batgirl.  However, Deathstroke is really just sizing her up because he wants his daughter Ravager (Rose Wilson) to fight Cassie. Cassie defeats Ravager in battle. Onyx travels to Blüdhaven to train Batgirl.

–Batgirl #65
March 10. This story supposedly takes place on Father’s Day, but this is just not possible. It’s March, not June. Batgirl talks with Batman and Onyx when suspicions arise that Lady Shiva might be her mother. Batgirl visits her dad, David Cain, to question him, but of course Cain is an evil bastard that wants only to mess with Cassie’s head, rather than divulge information about her mom.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #642. Bruce purchases Jim Gordon’s former house and turns it into an alternate Batcave.

–Batman #642
A while ago, Black Mask kidnapped Killer Croc and enslaved him with Mad Hatters’ assistance. Since that time, Black Mask has been alternating between torturing Croc and sending him on missions. While on one of these missions, Croc is finally able to break free of Mad Hatter’s mind-control, removing the implant from his head. Croc tries to kill Hatter, but Batman breaks them up. Batman also saves Croc’s life by injecting him with an anti-virus that defends against the Hush virus mutation flowing through his veins.

–NOTE: In the second feature to Detective Comics #808-810 (“THE BEAST BENEATH”). Batman isn’t a part of this item, but he would surely hear about it immediately following its conclusion. The anti-virus that Batman gave to Killer Croc has failed. His beastly mutation continues, seemingly as a permanent fixture in his life. Croc, raging out of control, returns to Dr. Maria Bellezza, who cured him before. Bellezza does her best to suppress the mutation, but she ultimately fails. Croc loses control and eats her alive.

–Batman Allies Secret Files and Origins 2005
Batman chases some small-timers and then gets chased by the GCPD, who still have orders by Commissioner Akins to shoot-to-kill any Bat-Family members on sight. Renee Montoya chastises her fellow officers for following an order that she feels is ludicrous. Batman then meets in secret with Montoya and gives her evidence that can help convict gang member Jack Hunter. Meanwhile, thanks to Black Mask and Mad Hatter, Killer Croc has fully mutated into a rampaging crocodile monster once again, so we can say goodbye to his “human” hair-plug look. In Blüdhaven, Cassie and Tim watch a nationally televised news preview that links the deceased Stephanie Brown to Batman. The news report, by famous journalist Arturo Rodriguez, claims that Steph was one of Batman’s sidekicks! Rodriguez plugs his show, which is set to air in 24 hours.

–NOTE: In Batgirl #66-70. Batgirl leaves Blüdhaven when she discovers that Lady Shiva is indeed her true mother. Traveling abroad, Cassie finds her mom in the employ of Nyssa al Ghul. Shiva is the new sensei of the League of Assassins. When Cassie makes her presence known to the League, a rift is formed. The League splits into two factions, one that backs Cassie as the proper heir to the title of sensei and the other that backs Shiva as the rightful sensei. An assassin war begins within the League. Nyssa hires Mr. Freeze to help quell the chaos, but this is a big mistake. When Freeze discovers that Nyssa has a Lazarus Pit, he immediately submerges his dead wife, Nora, into the Pit. Nora is revived (!), but as a metahuman called “Lazara,” who is able to raise an army of zombies. Cassie, Mr. Freeze, and the entire League of Assassins are forced to kill her once again. The battle for power within the League between Cassie and Shiva will continue on. Batman isn’t present for any of this wild Batgirl action, so, therefore, it all overlaps with the next bunch of items on our list.

——————–Detective Comics #809
——————–Batman #643
——————–Detective Comics #810
——————–Batman #644
While Batman beats information out of Alexandra Kosov, Arturo Rodriguez’s tell-all news report hits the airwaves. Rodriguez interviews horribly-scarred anti-terrorist activist Aaron Black, who reveals that after a thorough investigation, Stephanie Brown was not only the costumed vigilante known as Spoiler, but was also Batman’s sidekick Robin, before dying during the “War Games” gang-war. Black goes on to reveal that Steph was in stable condition when she arrived at Leslie Thompkins’ clinic for care, and that mysterious circumstances surround her death. Furthermore, Black continues his statement on live television, saying that while he hasn’t been unable to identify any other current or former members of the Bat-Family besides Steph, he believes that several others, including children, have died while serving the Dark Knight.  Black then accuses Batman of fatally silencing Steph! An enraged Batman goes to visit Leslie only to find that she has quit her job, cleaned out her apartment, and left town. Batman then finds one of Leslie’s clinic associates murdered. The Caped Crusader then confronts Aaron Black, but Black is already being accosted by Joker, who in turn is being accosted by a fake Batman (in a yellow-oval costume) that turns out to be a masquerading Black Mask. Everyone scatters and gets away. The next night, Aaron Black goes on live TV and accuses both Commissioner Akins and Arturo Rodriguez of being on Black Mask’s payroll! As the city begins quailing in political turmoil amidst all of the wild accusations, Batman realizes who Aaron Black really is and how he knows so much about Steph. Aaron Black is Arthur Brown aka the Cluemaster aka Steph’s dad!  The world had mistakenly presumed Cluemaster was dead ever since his disappearance during a Suicide Squad mission last year.  Meanwhile, Arturo Rodriguez interviews Steph’s mom on live TV. During the interview, Black Mask (still dressed up as Batman) attacks both the journalist and his guest before knocking out the live feed. Batman then busts in and chases the fake Batman out of the building. Black Mask runs right into Joker, who shoots him! Joker is jealous that he didn’t get to kill another Robin. Batman steps in and beats the shit out of both Joker and Black Mask. Joker goes back to Arkham and Black Mask immediately escapes from his arraignment hearing. Arturo Rodriguez is outed as having worked for Black Mask the whole time and is sentenced to a prison term, thus nullifying the credibility of his previous newscasts.

–Batman #645-647
First off, Alfred says that Batman has just dealt with the OMACs a day prior, which is incorrect. In this instance, Judd Winnick fails in his attempt to link his Batman run to DCU current events. Batman wouldn’t have dealt with an OMAC for over a month now. Anyway, Bruce finally gets around to examining Jason Todd’s coffin. His examination determines startling results; there was never a body inside. Speaking of Jason, he has still been successfully screwing up Black Mask’s operations for the past month-plus. Speaking of Black Mask, Deathstroke invites him to join the Secret Society of Super-villains. Black Mask says he will join if the Society helps him kill Red Hood. The Society sends Captain Nazi, Hyena (Dr. Jivan Shi), and Count Vertigo after Red Hood. Batman winds up teaming-up with Jason (!) to fight them off. In the end, Jason kills Captain Nazi, and Bruce is upset that Jason resorted to fatal force, even on a Nazi. NOTE: For anyone wondering why there was never a body inside the coffin, it’s because, way back in Bat Year 12, Talia had the League of Assassins fix the cemetery with a new coffin to make it look like Jason was never resurrected in order to hide the fact from Batman. They also eliminated anyone that could possibly be linked to Jason as a preventative measure as well (as seen and referenced in Red Hood: The Lost Days #1).

–Gotham Central #32
Poison Ivy is back and secretly operating out of Robinson Park again.  She has also assembled a group of orphans under her protection once again.  Ivy kills two corrupt cops and then hides in the park with her children.  We must assume that the GCPD tracks their missing officers to the park and discovers Ivy has returned from the grave.  Next time we see Ivy (in two days), she will be locked up back at Arkham.

–Detective Comics #815-816 (“VICTIMS”)
In one of the very few times Alfred accompanies Bruce to a black and white charity event, Zsasz coincidentally has escaped from Arkham and stalks the party-goers.  Alfred winds up getting stabbed in the belly!  Zsasz tries to finish off poor Alfie in the hospital, but Batman is able to elude the annoying GCPD to save his friend’s life from the sadistic killer.  This tale takes three or four days to complete, but due to editorial compression, this can only take up, at most, one day.

–Gotham Central #33-36
The media goes into a frenzy when a teenage boy dressed as Robin turns up dead on the streets of Gotham.  Batman tells Renee Montoya and Crispus Allen that the real Robin is safe in Blüdhaven.  The Dark Knight then pays Arkham a visit and interrogates all the inmates, including a visit with Joker during which Batman breaks Joker’s arm.  Poison Ivy is back at Arkham.  Also pictured: Scarebeast, a monstrous Killer Croc, and a surgically repaired Harvey Dent, who confesses that he is still in love with Montoya. At the Iceberg Lounge, GCPD Detective Romy Chandler interrupts Batman while he is savagely beating information out of Penguin, who is visiting Gotham to check up on his club. Chandler shoots Batman in his bullet-proof chest, which results in the Dark Knight breaking Romy’s nose and taking her gun. Meanwhile, the Teen Titans visit GCPD headquarters to tell all that Robin is alive and well. Across town, a second teenage boy is found murdered wearing a Robin costume. After the killer kidnaps a third boy, he turns himself in to authorities, revealing that he purchased some Robin costumes from the Tailor and killed the boys because he wanted to “be a part of the world of superheroes and super-villains.” Fanboy Jack Dunning will only tell Batman where the final victim is hidden in person, so Commissioner Akins reluctantly turns a back-up Bat-Signal on and summons the Dark Knight. Batman quickly gets the info out of Dunning and the case is closed.

–Birds of Prey #89-90
The Secret Society of Super-villains wants to shut down Oracle and the Birds of Prey. Calculator has sold the “Hellhound franchise” to Jack Chifford and sold the “Black Spider franchise” to Derrick Coe. Thus, we have a brand new Hellhound and brand new Black Spider. (This also means we have two Black Spiders again since Eric Needham is still active as Black Spider in Star City.) Black Spider and Hellhound capture and torture Bird of Prey member Savant. Meanwhile, Deathstroke warns Oracle that if she doesn’t turn over control of her satellites, Savant will die.  Concurrently, Babs decides to come completely clean to her father, Jim Gordon, about being Oracle.  He already knows about her past as Batgirl, but is shocked to learn of her continued status in the superhero community. (NOTE: Jim has known about Babs’ past as Batgirl ever since she first wore the costume. Plus, when Babs first retired from crime-fighting in Bat Year 11, she openly admitted to Jim that she was Batgirl.) Moving forward, Batman busts in on the sentimental moment and orders Oracle to shut down her operations because he’s pissed off at Huntress’ plan to start another “War Games” (which has been in effect for about ten days now). In the end, the Birds of Prey rescue Savant and defeat Black Spider, Hellhound, and Deathstroke in battle.  Batman scolds Huntress, but then learns that Huntress was successful.  Gotham’s mobs are under her complete control and no blood was shed.  She hands the Dark Knight a detailed file containing all the Gotham mob information one would ever need.  Black Canary then kisses Batman on the mouth (because she always wanted to)!  Bruce tells her that she is strange before swinging away.

–Supergirl Vol. 5 #5
Supergirl has literally split into two people, a dark half and a light half, thanks to being exposed to Black Kryptonite by Lex Luthor. The two Supergirls fight each other, fight the JLA, and then fight each other some more before crashing into Gotham Harbor where Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman patiently await them. Superman can’t tell which is the real Kara so he attacks both of them. After some Kryptonite ring action from Batman, Wonder Woman lassos the Supergirls, causing them to merge back into one.

Wally West and Hal Jordan summon the Leaguers who were involved in the “mind-wipe scandal” aboard the Watchtower. J’onn finally learns the truth and is very upset, but before he can talk to Bruce about it, the ex-members of the original Secret Society of Villains (who were some of the earliest mind-wipe victims) attack and reveal that they now have all of their lost memories returned, which means they know everyone’s secret identities! Batman and Catwoman, after nabbing Firefly, join up with the JLA to take on the old Society, which includes the returning Floronic Man. The Society retreats and Batman rushes an injured Catwoman into Alfred’s care. The JLAers involved in the “mind-wipe scandal” meet with Batman in the Batcave and try to apologize, except for Hawkman who thinks Batman should apologize to him. Hawkman gets punched in the face for that one. J’onn returns to the Watchtower where Despero (!) is waiting for him. Despero reveals that he is responsible for giving the old Society their memories back and begins thrashing the crap out of J’onn. As Selina recovers, Bruce literally rebuilds a deceased Red Tornado piece by piece in the Batcave. (For anyone counting, this is the sixth time Tornado has died.) Meanwhile, the old Society goes after a list of anybody related to the JLA, starting with Lois Lane. The JLA is able to save Lois and capture the old Society, but the question of what to do about them arises. Hawkman immediately says they should be mind-wiped again and demands a vote be taken. The vote is tied three to three with Zatanna’s vote as the tie-breaker. Zatanna is fed up, refuses to vote, and quits the team! Concurrently, Despero telepathically controls J’onn, Aquaman, and Batman and uses them to attack Catwoman inside the Batcave. The JLA busts in and begins battling Despero, but the villain also takes control of Black Canary. Alfred is shocked when Superman and half a dozen other heroes crash up through the floor into Wayne Manor. Despero and his mind-controlled League begin demolishing the mansion, but Red Tornado crashes up through the floor to stop them. Zatanna returns and stops Despero with her magick and the villain is beaten once again. Batman orders everyone to get the hell off his property.  But before they do, Hal Jordan addresses an important situation. The JLA is in shambles. In fact, the only non-reserve, primary full-time members currently on the team are Superman, J’onn, Wally, and John Stewart (who hasn’t even been present for a JLA mission in quite a while). On Bruce’s front lawn, the JLA officially disbands! At Belle Reve Prison in Louisiana, Zatanna, seeing no other alternative, reluctantly mind-wipes the old Society one final time. J’onn then meets with Batman in the Batcave. There, Batman tells him that he believes that Selina was mind-wiped years ago as well. (She was.)

–NOTE: In Batgirl #71-73 (“BLOOD MATTERS”). Cassie is killed by Nyssa Raatko’s assassin Mad Dog Cain! (Mad Dog is David Cain’s adopted son, making him Cassie’s non-blood-related half-brother.) Upon Cassie’s death, Shiva immediately revives her daughter in a Lazarus Pit. Cassie then winds up fighting her mom and assassins White Willow, Wam Wam, and Kitty Kumbata, ultimately leaving her mom and Wam Wam for dead. Both Shiva and Wam Wam drop into the Lazarus Pit and are revived. Following this traumatic experience, Cassie decides to quit as Batgirl.

–Green Lantern Vol. 4 #9
When a brand new Tattooed Man (Mark Richards) shows up in Gotham City, Bruce (via Green Arrow) contacts Hal Jordan for assistance. They meet in the Batcave and Bruce punches out Hal, finally getting revenge for the punch he took during Green Lantern: Rebirth (a few months ago). Batman and Green Lantern then defeat Tattooed Man. Afterward, Hal urges Bruce to put on his power ring, an act that could conceivably help Bruce move on from his parents’ deaths and finally put his avenging heart at ease. Bruce wears the ring and begins to feel its effects, but ultimately decides that he needs to remain as dark and brooding as possible to fight crime in his own style. Bruce removes the ring and Hal goes home.

–Batman #644 Epilogue
About nine days have passed since Arthur Brown revealed the details behind his daughter’s death to Batman. The Dark Knight flies to Africa and confronts Leslie Thompkins. Leslie confirms that she could have easily saved Steph’s life, but instead euthanized her in order to not only teach Bruce a lesson about endangering kids, but also to spare Steph more torture in the future. Bruce is enraged, calls Leslie a murderer, and says she can never show her face in America again. SPOILER ALERT: If this seems totally out of character for Leslie, it is. Batman really should have poked around Leslie’s African camp a bit more before leaving. If he had, he might have found Steph alive and well. See, Leslie is trying to teach Bruce a lesson, but she certainly hasn’t killed Steph.

–REFERENCE: In Batman #650. Batman reinforces his utility belt, making it nearly indestructible and difficult to remove from his costume.

–The OMAC Project #6 Epilogue
Brother Eye, in hiding with his army of OMACs for over a month now, decides it’s time to get sweet revenge against the superheroes of Earth. Brother Eye broadcasts video footage of Wonder Woman executing Max Lord on every television screen on the planet. The heroes, up until now, have managed to keep the details of Max Lord’s death a secret. The public immediately goes into an anti-metahuman uproar upon viewing the gruesome murder. Meanwhile, the OMACs enter Earth’s atmosphere once again, poised for an all-out assault.

–JLA #119 Epilogue
Just as Batman is returning back to the States from Africa, the video footage of Wonder Woman killing Max Lord is airing worldwide. On the Watchtower, J’onn tries to figure out who to assemble for the next incarnation of the JLA. A mysterious figure then enters the Watchtower and blows the entire moon-base into smithereens!

–JLA #120
Aquaman and Manitou Dawn gather a bunch of former JLA members to perform a sacred positivity ritual in the wake of the disbanding of the team and the destruction of the Watchtower. Dawn meets J’onn briefly on the Astral Plane, confirming that the Martian Manhunter is still alive. At the ritual, things get ugly fast as Batman argues with everyone, especially Ollie. Bruce storms off in anger to inspect the remains of the Watchtower for clues leading to who might have been behind the attack.

——————–Infinite Crisis #1 Part 1
——————–Infinite Crisis #1 Part 7
——————–Infinite Crisis #1 Part 6
Infinite Crisis #1 begins with Infinite Crisis #1 Part 1. Batman argues with Superman and Wonder Woman amid the smoking rubble of the Watchtower. (This opening scene is also shown via flashback from the second feature to 52 #11.) Infinite Crisis #1 Part 7 continues the scene as Mongul II tries to interrupt the Trinity’s meeting only to get his ass kicked. Afterward, the Trinity argues some more and Batman tartly tells Supes that the last time he really inspired anyone was when he died. Ouch. Meanwhile, as seen in Infinite Crisis Part 6, the sky begins to burn red (intermittently). Outside of Metropolis, the Freedom Fighters are ambushed by the Secret Society of Super-villains. Uncle Sam, Phantom Lady II, Black Condor, Human Bomb, and Dr. Polaris are all killed!

——————–JLA #121

——————–JLA #123
The red skies return to blue, signaling the calm before the storm. Aquaman attempts to regroup the JLA, starting with the attempted recruitment of Nightwing, who has just wrapped up a tough fight against Brutale. Nightwing hears out Aquaman, but turns him down. In the Batcave, Nightwing discusses the matter with Batman, who has begun remotely-investigating a mass murder committed by the returning Key. Shortly thereafter, Aquaman does assemble John Stewart, Green Arrow (Ollie), Black Canary, Red Tornado, Supergirl, Manitou Dawn, and Flash into a ragtag temporary version of the JLA. While the temp team battles a small group of OMACs, the Key kidnaps Dawn. As the red skies return, Batman continues to investigate the murders in the Batcave and, soon after, races towards the Key’s location. As Dawn’s life hangs in the balance, Ollie and Black Canary begin fighting the villain.

–REFERENCE: In Gotham Central #37, Infinite Crisis #1 Part 5, and JLA #124. Infinite Crisis continues. Batman isn’t involved in this item (which is shown in Gotham Central #37 and Infinite Crisis #1 Part 5), but he’d absolutely be aware of it. The skies burn red over most of the globe as chaos begins to erupt all over Earth. Over Gotham City, the floating Rock of Eternity appears and explodes. Captain Marvel’s “magick war” against the host-less Spectre, which has been raging for well over a month now, has hit a very negative spot. The Spectre has just killed the wizard Shazam and unleashed the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man (the Seven Deadly Sins) upon the world. Several villains seize this opportunity to run amok, including Riddler, an animated Scarface, The Scavenger, Red Panzer, the Body Doubles, Fisherman, and Murmur.

Batman arrives just in time to help Ollie and Black Canary fight the Key. Unfortunately, the Seven Deadly Sins have just escaped from their prison within the Rock of Eternity (as seen in Gotham Central #37 and Infinite Crisis #1 Part 5). Ollie, affected by the combined powers of the Key and the demon Envy, turns against Batman and tries to kill him. The Key then sees that Envy is manipulating the entire situation and realizes that Envy is a threat to all humanity. Surprisingly, the Key uses his powers to suck up a shit-ton of psychic energy from the citizens of Gotham and blasts the energy directly at Envy, sending the demon rocketing away. The heroes then restrain the Key, who begs Batman not to send him back to Arkham. The Key explains that his powers will not allow him to stop absorbing the psychic energies of those around him. At Arkham, there’s a whole bunch of bad juju in the air, so things are especially nasty for the villain’s head. Batman doesn’t care and wants to send him back, but Ollie argues with Bruce that he’s making an inhumane mistake. Dawn agrees and banishes the Key to the Astral Plane. A pissed off Batman leaves, proclaiming that the JLA, in any incarnation, is finally dead. And, according to the Dark Knight, that is a good thing.

–REFERENCE: In Infinite Crisis #1 Part 2, Infinite Crisis #1 Part 3, Infinite Crisis #1 Part 4, and Infinite Crisis #1 Part 8. Infinite Crisis continues. Batman isn’t in this item, but he would certainly be aware of some details—sans, of course, the re-emergence of the prior timeline heroes. As seen in Infinite Crisis #1 Part 2, the skies continue to burn scarlet over the Earth. Thousands of OMACs gather all over the planet and begin slaughtering costumed heroes and villains. In Smallville, a disillusioned Superboy decides not to take an action. As seen in Infinite Crisis #1 Part 3, in Blüdhaven, Donna Troy says goodbye to Nightwing, before teleporting with a group of superheroes to the planet New Cronus to investigate an astronomical disturbance—specifically, the center of the universe has shifted. Nightwing then barely escapes from some OMACs that murder Ratcatcher. As seen in Infinite Crisis #1 Part 4, the Rann-Thanagar War rages in the Polaris Galaxy,[8] where the Guardians, Green Lantern Corps, and the LEGION (Vril Dox II, Bertron, Darius, Garryn Bek, Mairj’n Bek, Garv, Lydea Mallor, Stealth, Strata, and Telepath) realize that some greater power is at the root all of these catastrophic events from Earth to Rann to realms unknown. As seen in Infinite Crisis #1 Part 8, from their pocket universe, Kal-L (of the former Golden/Silver/Bronze Age Earth-2), Superboy-Prime, Alexander Luthor Jr (of former Silver/Bronze Age Earth-3), and Lois Lane-Kent (of the former Golden/Silver/Bronze Age Earth-2) review everything that has recently occurred in the DCU. An angry Kal-L literally punches his way out of the pocket universe with plans of taking matters into his own hands. Yes, this is indeed the original Kal-L—Superman from the long-defunct original DCU timeline! He, along with Lois Lane (of former Earth-2), has been watching the DCU for almost a decade now (ever since the first Crisis) and he isn’t happy with what he’s seen. But shattering the walls of one dimension to enter into another has devastating effects upon the multiverse and the timestream. Unknown to Kal-L, his two other comrades, Alexander Luthor Jr and Superboy-Prime, had already broken out of (and back into) their pocket universe months prior to this and had been manipulating events that have led us up to this point. (For example, Alexander Luthor has been posing as Lex Luthor and has been leading the new Society, while Superboy-Prime altered the timestream to reverse Jason Todd’s death.) Both Alexander Luthor and Superboy-Prime had been exiting and returning to their pocket universe without Kal-L even knowing they had left.

–Infinite Crisis #2
Animal Man says goodbye to his family (wife Ellen Baker and kids Maxine Baker and Cliff Baker), teleporting to New Cronus to join Donna Troy’s thirteen-person team, which includes a clone of Metamorpho called Shift. In Metropolis, Power Girl fights members of the Secret Society (including Girder, Clayface, Mr. Atom, Giganta, and Psycho-Pirate) and is assisted by Kal-L of the former Earth-2! Alexander Luthor Jr (still disguised as Lex Luthor) video chats with high-ranking Society members to discuss his plan to mind-wipe all the superheroes of Earth. (This isn’t Alexander’s real plan. It’s only the ruse that unites his villainous pawns and keeps them in line. We’ll soon find out what Alexander is up to.) Kal-L takes Power Girl to meet Alexander and Superboy-Prime at a secret location in the Arctic. There, Alexander explains that Power Girl is originally from the former Silver/Bronze Age Earth-2. Alexander further explains what the multiverse was like before the original Crisis, detailing the tale of Krona, Golden/Silver/Bronze Age history, and the original pre-Modern Age Crisis! Power Girl learns that, at the conclusion of the original Crisis, everyone’s history was erased and replaced with current Modern Age history. However, thanks to a glitch in the matrix, only part of Power Girl’s personal reboot landed. This is the very reason Power Girl has a blank slate in regard to her past memories—she is Power Girl from the old Silver/Bronze Age timeline. In a mere three pages, Alexander just amazingly explained what took me dozens of pages’ worth of content to explain. And, despite hearing the mother of all bombshells, Power Girl reacts quite insouciantly. Her head should be exploding. Mine is! Power Girl then meets a dying Lois Lane (from former Earth-2) and, upon interacting with her, regains her entire pre-original Crisis memories! (As mentioned above, this phenomenon of gaining false memories upon meeting an alternate-reality person is defined as “fracturing”.) Power Girl agrees to help Kal-L in his quest to re-create the Earth as a better place, not the joyless and corrupt world he considers the current Earth to be. In Gotham, Joker asks the new Royal Flush Gang (Ace of Spades android, King of Spades, Queen of Spades, Jack of Spades, and Ten of Spades) why he was overlooked for recruitment into the Society. The King of Spades tells Joker that he is the only super-villain they didn’t want because he’s too uncontrollable. Joker responds by killing them all. In the Batcave, Brother Eye threatens Batman via long-distance satellite communication. On Themyscira, the Amazons (including Wonder Woman, Artemis, Philippus, Helena Kosmatos/Tisiphone, Carissa, and the Bana-Mighdall tribe) fight hundreds of OMACs.

–NOTE: In Gotham Central #38-40. Gotham Central #38-40 (“Corrigan II”) overlaps with the end of Infinite Crisis #2 and beginning of Infinite Crisis #3. While Batman isn’t involved, the events that transpire in this arc are vital to the rest of Infinite Crisis (and beyond), hence our inclusion of this note on our timeline. Here’s a synopsis. In Gotham, Crispus Allen secretly investigates the corrupt practices of bad cop Jim Corrigan. Corrigan catches wind of this, lures Allen to a warehouse, and murders him in cold blood. After a quick inquiry, Corrigan is found innocent and walks free. Distraught, Renee Montoya quits the GCPD. (Note that Gotham Central #38-40 spans roughly twenty-four hours, as does Infinite Crisis #2-3, with which it overlaps. We must ignore the topical winter season—said to be December 8-9, specifically—shown in Gotham Central #38-40.)

–Infinite Crisis #3
The Secret Society of Super-villains, which reveals itself to have membership in the hundreds, attacks Sub Diego and Atlantis on two fronts. The undersea Society lineup includes: Black Manta, Ocean Master, the New Gods known as the Deep Six (Jaffar, Pyron, Shaligo the Flying Fin, Slig, and Trok), Gamesman, Typhoon, Siren, Sea Wolf, the Eel, Piscator, the Shark (Karshon), King Shark, and New Wave. The undersea heroes include: Aquaman, Mera, Tempest, Dolphin, Cerdian, Koryak, Atlan, a resurrected Lori Lemaris, Vulko, the Sea Devils (including Sigourney Amundsen), Tsunami, Neptune Perkins, Deep Blue, Aquagirl (Lorena Marquez), Alonzo Malrey, Topo, Nuada Silverhand, Lagoon Boy, Guardian of Hy-Brasil, and Arion II (William Knightley).[9] Neptune Perkins is killed in battle. The raging Spectre destroys Atlantis, killing hundreds, including Dolphin and Cerdian. Meanwhile, all of the OMACs concentrate their siege of Themyscira, wanting to eliminate Wonder Woman and her race. The Amazons—including Io, Euboea, and Callisto—weild a giant deadly variation of the Purple Ray (!) against the OMACs, but their numbers are staggering and the weapon is largely ineffective. In the Batcave, Batman argues with Brother Eye again via long-distance satellite communication. Unable to reason with the AI that he once created, a burnt-out Batman suffers a full-blown panic attack. Kal-L (from the former Earth-2) shows up inside the Batcave, introduces himself, and tells Bruce that he still has a chance to change the world for the better. Kal-L tells Bruce that on the former Earth-2, he still became Batman, but was able to get over his parents’ murders enough to fall in love with Selina, marry her, and give birth to a crime-fighting daughter, Helena. Wow, Kal-L sure knows a lot about Batman comics from the 70s (or he’s read my Golden Age chronology)! Kal-L continues on, telling Bruce how it was all erased at the conclusion of the original Crisis, but that together they can end the horror and tragedy of this current Earth and make it all right again. Kal-L explains that when he is able to restore the former Earth-2, everyone’s histories on the current version of Earth will be folded into the histories of the former Earth-2, thus reshaping Earth into a “New Earth.” Bruce ain’t down with that and attempts to subdue Kal-L with the Kryptonite ring. However, Kryptonite from Universe-0 doesn’t have any effect on this Superman. Kal-L destroys the ring and takes off. (This entire encounter between Kal-L and Batman is also shown via flashback from the second feature to Countdown #42.) In El Paso, Texas, local high school students Jaime Reyes, Paco Testas, and Brenda Del Vecchio watch as shards from the Rock of Eternity rain from the sky. The Shadowpact (Blue Devil, Nightshade, Nightmaster, Detective Chimp, Enchantress, and Ragman) investigates. Reyes finds a scarab of alien origin. On New Cronus, Martin Stein (in Fire Elemental form) joins Donna Troy’s team. Meanwhile, on Paradise Island, the OMACs are defeating the Amazons. Wonder Woman does the only thing she can to save her people—she calls on her ancient divine elders to remove the Amazons from the Earthly plane. The matriarchal goddesses (Aphrodite, Artemis, Athena, Bast, and Isis) whisk all the Amazons and the entire island of Themyscira away to their Olympian realm. Only Wonder Woman remains behind. Concurrently, the real Lex Luthor finally confronts the fake Lex Luthor (Alexander Luthor Jr from the former Earth-3), demanding to know his identity. Alexander and Superboy-Prime beat the tar out of Lex, but the latter is able to teleport away to safety.[10] Power Girl comes back to the Arctic headquarters just in time to stumble across several powerful but restrained metahumans—including J’onn, Breach, the Ray, Black Adam, and Lady Quark—strapped to a golden tuning tower from the first Crisis. Also present is the corpse of the Anti-Monitor! Power Girl is shocked and disturbed, but before she can warn anyone, Alexander and Superboy-Prime knock her out. Meanwhile, in the Batcave, the computer scan of the Watchtower’s black box has finally completed its analysis. Batman views the video of the Watchtower explosion and sees that Alexander and Superboy-Prime are behind everything! The Dark Knight has no memory of their existence, but he knows they are bad news.

–Catwoman Vol. 3 #51 Part 1
Catwoman has just been given her mind-wiped memories back by Zatanna, who is trying to make amends for her part in the scandal all those years ago. But Catwoman isn’t thankful—she’s pissed. A shaken Selina wonders who she really is. Selina breaks into Wayne Manor and confronts Bruce, who tells her that no matter what happened to her mind, she will always be Selina Kyle, the well-intentioned, genuine superhero that she is now. Bruce then phones Zatanna to give her an angry earful. Meanwhile, Black Mask—allied with Angle Man—kidnaps and tortures Slam Bradley. NOTE: The Batman-less second half of Catwoman Vol. 3 #51 continues here, completely overlapping with the first two issues (Batman #648-649) of the next item on our list, Batman #648-650. In Catwoman Vol. 3 #51 Part 2, a pissed-off Catwoman, arming herself with a gun, will bust into Black Mask’s torture chamber. But upon arrival, Catwoman will find that Sam Bradley (Smart Bomb) has already saved his father and sent Black Mask running. Smart Bomb will then reveal his secret ID to Catwoman.

–Batman #648-650 (“ALL THEY DO IS WATCH US KILL”)
It’s been a busy half-hour or so for Batman. Not only has he just learned that Alexander Luthor Jr and Superboy-Prime are behind the catastrophic events of Infinite Crisis, he also had tough mind-wipe conversations with Selina and Zatanna. Focusing his attention upon the Alexander/Superboy-Prime problem, Batman tries to contact the superhero community but can’t get ahold of anyone. Batman then battles his way through OMACs in Gotham until he receives word from Alfred that a package has arrived from Jason Todd. Inside the package is a lock of green hair, signifying that Jason has kidnapped Joker. Batman tracks down Jason and finds him kayoed at Black Mask’s feet. Before the Dark Knight can intervene, Black Mask stabs Jason in the chest, killing him! But, wait, it was all a setup to lure Batman and Black Mask together. The dead guy was just a henchman dressed up as Red Hood. Jason, via radio, invites Batman to meet him in the Crime Alley neighborhood, where he is holding and torturing Joker. Batman bolts over to Crime Alley. Meanwhile, Black Mask flees to his penthouse where Catwoman is waiting to ambush him, which she will do in the Batman-less epilogue of Catwoman Vol. 3 #52, which overlaps with Batman #650. (In the epilogue of Catwoman Vol. 3 #52, Catwoman will ambush Black Mask at the latter’s penthouse. After a scuffle, Catwoman will kill Black Mask by shooting him in the head.)[11] In the Crime Alley, Batman confronts Jason, but before either man can throw a single punch, a thunderous boom reverberates through the heavens and a green mushroom cloud rises over the horizon. Alexander Luthor, recalling his original-Crisis history, has ordered the Secret Society of Super-villains—specifically the Brotherhood of Evil (the Brain, Monsieur Mallah, Warp, Gemini DeMille, Houngan, Phobia, and Plasmus)—to drop a Chemo on Blüdhaven. In an instant, the entire city is vaporized, killing millions, including Mayor Avers and Stallion. (The Chemo drop is lifted straight from the intro to Infinite Crisis #4 Part 1.) Batman tries to leave but winds up fighting Jason. An angry Jason puts a gun to Joker’s head and says he’s going to execute the villain. Batman begs him to stop, but Jason is dead set on it. The Dark Knight takes out Jason by excoriating his neck with a razor-sharp Batarang. Joker detonates a bomb, allowing both he and Jason to flee the scene. As an emotional Batman screams Jason’s name in anguish. The final page of the arc (i.e. the epilogue of Batman #650) shows the cosmic effect of Infinite Crisis reverberating across the multiverse. Specifically, we see a psychedelic Futurist splash of multiple alt-timeline Batmen overlapping with each other. (This type of Futurist character splash was added to every comic book released around the same time of Infinite Crisis #4-5 via ham-fisted editorial mandate. It was meant to reflect and tie-into a moment in Infinite Crisis #5, in which Alexander Luthor Jr re-forms a version of the multiverse. Since this doesn’t actually happen until a bit further below on our timeline, we must treat this final page as a flash-forward.)

–Infinite Crisis #4 Part 1
On the orders of Alexander Luthor Jr, Blüdhaven has just been wiped off the map by the Brotherhood of Evil. At his Arctic HQ, Alexander adds Power Girl to his collection of captured metahumans and tells her his grand scheme. Months ago, while Kal-L was preoccupied with his ill Lois Lane, Superboy-Prime smashed his way out of their pocket universe (which resulted in many time altering anomalies—most notably, the reversal of Jason Todd’s death). Once free, Alexander traveled to Earth and began sowing the seeds for Infinite Crisis. Alexander and Superboy-Prime both wish to re-create the Earth as they see fit using a reality-altering machine (the tuning tower) that requires very specific fuels. Thus, Alexander manipulated the Spectre into starting the brutal “magick war” because he needed the universe’s magick to be changed into a raw state without Chaos or Order maintaining it. Raw magick was the first ingredient needed to fuel the reality-altering machine. Superboy-Prime collected the second material, Anti-Monitor’s corpse, which was floating in deep space. Next, Alexander posed as Lex Luthor to assemble an army of super-villains he could manipulate into kidnapping powerful metahumans needed to run the reality-altering machine. After that, Alexander took control of Brother Eye (during The OMAC Project) and has been keeping Earth’s heroes occupied ever since. Then, Superboy-Prime (with Kanjar Ro’s help) secretly sparked the Rann-Thanagar War to distrat the more powerful alien armies of the universe, including the Green Lantern Corps and the Guardians. And, lastly, Superboy-Prime literally moved planets out of orbit to create a tear in the center of the universe that would allow for the re-creation of a new universe and hence, a “New Earth.” (This is the anomaly that Donna Troy and her team are currently investigating in deep space.) Meanwhile, back to our current narrative, Dick meets with Bruce at the outskirts of a radioactive and demolished Blüdhaven. In an odd continuity error, Batman tells Nightwing he was in New York City when the Chemo was dropped, but this is just plain wrong. He was in Crime Alley in Gotham. In any case, Batman takes Nightwing to the Batcave to tell him that Alexander Luthor and Superboy-Prime are behind everything. In El Paso, Booster Gold and Skeets visit Jaime Reyes seeking out the scarab only to find that it has fused itself into Jaime’s spine. In Gotham, GCPD Coroner Nora Fields examines the corpse of Crispus Allen. After she leaves the morgue, a zombie Crispus Allen is re-animated by God himself, who forcibly merges an apologetic Spectre into the deceased Allen. That’s right, kids—Crispus Allen is the new host vessel for the Spectre! In Smallville, Superboy-Prime tries to kill Superboy (Conner Kent) in an attempt to “replace” him. Conner gets beat up pretty bad but is able to call for help. The JSA, Teen Titans (Robin, Wonder Girl, Beast Boy, Raven, Terra II, Flamebird, Argent, Joto aka Hot Spot, Risk, Speedy, Duela Dent, Red Star, Bushido, Mirage, and Wildebeest), and Doom Patrol (Elasti-Girl, Robotman, Negative Man, Grunt, Nudge, and Vortex) all show up to take on the evil Superboy-Prime. Unaware of his own strength, Superboy-Prime badly injures Red Star and Risk and kills Pantha, Bushido, and Wildebeest. The heroes struggle against Superboy-Prime’s vast power until Flash, Kid Flash, and Jay Garrick grab Superboy-Prime and run off with him. After Jay bows out, Barry Allen, Max Mercury, and Johnny Quick (Johnny Chambers) emerge from within the Speed Force to assist Flash and Kid Flash! With Barry’s help, the heroes fend off Superboy-Prime, but the battle results in the disappearance of Wally West, his entire family, and Bart Allen. (The Flashes have used the power of the Speed Force to trap Superboy-Prime in the distant future.) Note that, starting now, there is a short gap in Infinite Crisis #4 (in which Robin Vol. 2 #146 and Nightwing Vol. 2 #116-117 both go) before the issue concludes.

–Robin Vol. 2 #146
A badly beaten Superboy (Conner Kent) is stabilized in a hospital bed at Teen Titans HQ. However, when Conner takes a turn for the worse and his clone body begins to deteriorate, the Teen Titans rush back home from a humanitarian mission in the decimated Blüdhaven. Meanwhile, Batman contacts the Veteran and his team to tell them to stay away from Robin. The Teen Titans break into an old LexCorp laboratory hoping to find something that can help their sick friend. After battling a squadron of killer security robots, the young heroes come across a rejected Brainiac clone. (As seen in the immediate Batman-less follow-up—Robin Vol. 2 #147—the Teen Titans defeat a bunch of malformed Brainiac clones, find a cure-all, and use it to save Conner, who makes a quick recovery.)

–Nightwing Vol. 2 #116-117[12]
In the ruins of Blüdhaven, Superman wrestles with the still-squirming (and still-toxic) Chemo. Nightwing helps with the relief effort, rescuing Sophia Teves and taking her into the care of BPD Officer Amy Rohrbach and her family (Emma Rohrbach, Jim Rohrbach, and Justin Rohrbach). While seeking out Rand Westbrook, Nightwing falls and is knocked unconscious in the rubble. Batman, who has also traveled to Blüdhaven to help with the relief effort, finds Dick and takes him back to the Batcave for medical care. When Dick wakes up, Batman chews him out for having allowed Blockbuster to die. But Batman isn’t all doom-and-gloom, as he leaves a case of special WayneTech anti-radiation serum for Dick to bring back to Blüdhaven. After giving the serum to Sophia, Nightwing goes after Deathstroke, causing a rift between he and his daughter Ravager. Dick then arranges a rendezvous with Babs, who is flown to a nearby landing strip by her fellow Birds of Prey members Black Canary and Lady Blackhawk. In a beautiful shocking moment, Dick reveals that he’s still in love with Babs and proposes to her! (As seen via flashback from Nightwing Vol. 2 Annual #2, Dick tells her not to answer until after the Crisis is resolved and he can return to her in good health. They kiss passionately and Dick heads off to battle.)

Infinite Crisis #4 Part 2
In the Arctic, Kal-L is so distracted by his dying wife that he not only fails to notice Alexander is the bad guy, but also that his now-activated reality-altering tuning tower has risen out of their HQ, flanked by an army of OMACs. At the reality-tear (at the new center of the universe), Donna Troy and her team of heroes (now joined by Jemm and Ultra the Multi-Alien) a look on in horror as everything around them begins to quake. Mick Wong and Jason Rusch are forcibly separated from their shared Firestorm matrix and spewed into the vacuum of space, which kills Mick instantly. Martin Stein merges with Jason, which not only saves him, but also gives us the new tandem pairing for Firestorm. Concurrently, Hal Jordan’s cousin Air Wave is torn asunder and dies horribly as the universe splits in two. And I mean literally splits in two. We’ve seen plenty of alternate universes created over the years, but there are now literally two Earths defying the laws of physics, floating side by side one another. The former pre-original Crisis Earth-2 (Kal-L’s Golden Age home-world) has been re-created! On primary Earth, the shocked populace looks in awe at the celestial orb that occupies most of the sky. Dozens of heroes and villains are automatically assigned and teleported onto the new “Earth-2.” Among them are Kal-L, Lois Lane-Kent (of former Earth-2), and all the original JSA members. Kal-L couldn’t be happier.

–Infinite Crisis #5
With the ominous new alternate Earth visibly orbiting their own, Zauriel presides over a a large church mass, which is attended by dozens of superheroes. The Infinite Crisis Collected Edition shows a detail of this gathering, which includes the Teen Titans, the Shadowpact, some Green Lanterns, Huntress, Mr. Terrific, Samurai, Loose Cannon, Hero Hotline, Protector, the DNAngels (including Epiphany and Cherub), Grace Choi, the Doom Patrol (including Kid Slick, Fever, and Freak), the Power Company (including Carl Bork, Sapphire, and Skyrocket), Manhattan Guardian, Steel (John Henry Irons’ daughter Natasha Irons), Thunder (Black Lightning’s daughter Anissa Pierce), Thunder (Gan Williams), Lightning (Tavis Williams), and others. Meanwhile, Batman begins plans to recruit a team to take down Brother Eye. Booster Gold, Skeets, and the new teenage Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes) sneak into the Batcave to assist the Dark Knight. Booster explains that he’s traveled back from the future once again just to help Batman in this moment. On the re-created Earth-2, the peace is broken as Kal-L screams out in agony. Lois is dead. Superman flies to meet him, but when he arrives, Kal-L blames Kal-El for the death of his Lois and they begin fighting! Golden Age Wonder Woman from former Earth-2 (!) emerges from the realm of the gods to give Wonder Woman a pep talk! Inspired, Wonder Woman travels to the re-created Earth-2 and calms Kal-L, ending the fight of the Supermen. In the Arctic, Alexander Luthor begins playing cosmic god, altering the multiverse with the aid of Psycho-Pirate, one of the few people that remembers the details of the pre-original Crisis timeline. In an instant, Superman is stricken with intense pain, which is shared by many of his alternate universe counterparts, including Kal-L, Earth-9’s Tangent Superman, Earth-10 Overman, Earth-30’s Soviet Superman, Earth-154 Superman, Earth-178’s Nova, Earth-162’s Superman Red and Superman Blue, Earth-395’s Kal, and others. (The final page flash-forward from the epilogue to Batman #650 shows the same Futurist cosmic-vibrational effect happening to Batman and his alternate universe counterparts, including the Antimatter Universe’s Owlman, Earth-154 Batman, and various others.) Hundreds of parallel Earths corresponding to these alternate universes begin filling the sky. Some Earths are so close to each other they begin exploding. In the Batcave, Batman assembles his anti-Brother Eye strike force (Booster Gold, Skeets, the new Blue Beetle, Green Arrow, Black Canary, Mr. Terrific, Metamorpho, Black Lightning, Hal Jordan, John Stewart, and Sasha Bordeaux). In Tokyo, a noticeably aged Bart Allen (wearing Barry’s Flash costume) reappears with an armored Superboy-Prime in hot pursuit. As revealed in Infinite Crisis #6, Superboy-Prime has spent four years imprisoned in the future, but he’s escaped and returned via time-travel to pick-up where he left off. With Wally West and his family trapped in an alternate reality (where they will remain for years), Bart has just officially become this era’s new Flash.

–FLASHBACK: From Blue Beetle Vol. 7 #7. The nervous new Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes) pukes in the Batcave before Batman briefs him about Brother Eye. Batman, along with his assembled strike force, rocket into space using Ted Kord’s old Bug-ship to confront Brother Eye head-on.

–Infinite Crisis #6
Early April—Green Arrow says the MLB season is about to start in a few days. Alexander Luthor Jr continues to make hundreds of Earths appear, many of which explode in rapid succession. As he goes on with his mad godlike scheme, Alexander Luthor Jr teleports heroes and villains (from throughout time and space) to newly “assigned” worlds of his choosing, complete with bogus new numbered and lettered Earth designations. Among the jostled metahumans are: the Squadron of Justice from the 1940s (Spy Smasher, Bulletgirl, and Bulletman), Minute Man from the 1940s, Tawky Tawny, Ibis the Invicible, Earth-9’s Secret Six (Atom, Plastic Man, Manhunter, Flash, Joker, and Spectre), Earth-9’s Tangent Superman, Earth-9 Batman, Earth-9 Green Lantern, Earth-9’s Powergirl, the Earth-247 Legion of Super-Heroes from the 31st century (Spark, Shikari Lonestar, Kid Quantum, Dreamer, Umbra, Star Boy, Sensor, Gates, and others), the Earth-247 Fatal Five from the 31st century (Emerald Empress, Mano, Persuader, Tharok, and Validus), a bunch of Wild West folks from 1898 (Jonah Hex, Hawk Haukins, Roving Ranger, Silas Kent, Cinnamon, Pow-Wow Smith, the Minstrel Maverick, Wyoming Kid, Walter Trigger, Wayne Trigger, Trail Boss Matt Savage, El Diablo Lazarus Lane, Don Caballero, Firehair, Scalphunter, Johnny Thunder, Nighthawk, Madame .44, Strong Bow, and Bat Lash), dozens of Bizarros, Earth-154’s Batman Jr, Earth-154’s Superman Jr, Earth-154 Joker’s Daughter, Earth-154’s Riddler’s Daughter, Earth-154’s Adora Luthor, Wonder Woman (from the Wonder Woman ’74 TV pilot), Wonder Girl (from the Wonder Woman ’75 TV show), the military-themed heroes of Earth-462 (Robin, Starfire Leonid Kovar, Kid Flash, and Speedy), Baron Blitzkrieg, Iron Major from the 1940s, and others. With his tuning tower at full power, Alexander is able to literally reach into orbit with giant godlike hands to combine multiple Earths together as he sees fit, killing billions in the process. Alexander creates an Earth that has pre-16th century Mesoamerican superheroes, but then he quickly discards it. Donna Troy and her deep space team—including Kyle Rayner, who has just regained his Ion powers in the Rann-Thanagar War Special #1 tie-in—watch in horror. At Stonehenge, occult/magickal heroes and villains—including the Shadowpact, Zatanna, Swamp Thing, Etrigan, Phantom Stranger, Madame Xanadu, Daena, Klarion Bleak and his feline familiar Teekl, a new Black Orchid, new Son of Vulcan (Miguel Devante), Star Sapphire (Debbie Camille Darnell/Remoni-Notra), Freedom Beast, Satanus, Syrene, Witchfire, El Muerto, Valda the Iron Maiden, Baron Winters, Rex the Wonder Dog, La Salamanca, the goddess Ishtar, Maya, Jennifer Morgan, Mr. Twister (Bromwell Stikk), Stanley Dover Jr,[13], the Beast With No Name, and others—gather. They summon the Spectre (now merged with Crispus Allen) in hopes of recruiting him, but he immediately attacks them and kills Star Sapphire. In the Arctic, Nightwing, Conner Kent, and Wonder Girl infiltrate Alexander’s HQ. Nightwing frees the captured metahumans (J’onn, Power Girl, Breach, Lady Quark, the Ray, Nightshade, and Black Adam). This group attacks Alexander, who is in the middle of attempting to merge Kal-L with Ultraman, Superman with Alexander Luthor Sr, and Wonder Woman with Superwoman. Black Adam kills Psycho-Pirate before focusing his attention to a returning Superboy-Prime. The Boy of Steel swats away Black Adam, who gets teleported to a temporary “Earth-S” where the Marvel Family has been sequestered. After besting the others, Superboy-Prime braces for a rematch against Conner. In outer space, Batman and his strike force attack Brother Eye and his OMAC army. Mr. Terrific and Batman infiltrate the Brother Eye satellite. While Batman distracts Brother Eye, Mr. Terrific, who is undetectable by any technology, throws Brother Eye out of orbit and plummeting to Earth below. With their master bested, the OMACs fall to pieces, releasing their human host bodies. (The defeat of Brother Eye and his OMACs is also shown via flashback from the second feature to 52 #11.) Batman then orders Hal to fly the heroes to Alexander’s Arctic HQ. All the heroes escape safely except for Blue Beetle, who gets hurled into a dimensional limbo and will remain there for the next year (as seen via flashback from Blue Beetle Vol. 7 #7). In the Arctic, Superboy-Prime’s fight against Conner (and Wonder Girl) results in the destruction of the reality-altering tuning tower. Hundreds of Earths shatter and merge to re-form as one solitary planet. But Alexander wasn’t prepared for this premature merger. Even he doesn’t know what the “New Earth” looks like. But guess what? Alexander’s “New Earth” is none other than Earth-0 i.e. the Earth that houses the entire historical chronology that I’ve assembled up to this point![14] Once the dust clears, the heroes find a mortally-wounded Conner, who dies in Wonder Girl’s arms. (Infinite Crisis #6 is also visually referenced in Dark Nights: Death Metal – Trinity Crisis #1.)

–Infinite Crisis #7
Early April. Picking up directly from Infinite Crisis #6, Batman, Kal-L, and Kal-El mourn the loss of Conner Kent. Robin shows up and is particularly devastated at losing such a close friend. Meanwhile, the Secret Society of Super-Villains releases every single super-villain from every single prison on the planet. As the villain army marches toward Metropolis, Batman messages Sasha Bordeaux asking her and Checkmate to eliminate Brother Eye, who has crashed in Saudi Arabia (as seen in The OMAC Project: Infinite Crisis Special #1). Sasha complies. Shortly thereafter, the epic “Battle of Metropolis” erupts. Cue a double-splash with just about everyone imaginable. The assembled Society members include Charaxes, Reverse-Flash, Baron Blitzkrieg, Tad Trigger, Tom Trigger, Lady Spellbinder, Doomsday, the Folded Man, Riddler, Shrapnel, Mr. Who, Blizard, the Brotherhood of Evil, Tar Pit, Cyborgirl, the Madmen, Planet Master, Zebra-Man, Electrocutioner, Sinestro, Dr. Arthur Light, Cheetah, Tally Man, Solomon Grundy, Atomic Skull, Gearhead, Mr. Freeze, Floronic Man, Spectrumonster, Brutale, Dr. Sivana, Murmur, Wade Eiling, Black Manta, the Key, Gentleman Ghost, Killer Croc, Riddler, Harley Quinn, Invisible Destroyer, OnomatopoeiaIron Cross, Shock Trauma, a new Headhunter, Hellhound, a Starro, Amazo, Prometheus, Man-Bat (Kirk Langstrom), Mad Hatter, Victor Zsasz, Shimmer, Meanstreak, Skorpio, Deathstroke, Bizarro Number One, and others. The heroes include Crimson Avenger (Jill Carlyle), Aquaman, Katana, Zatanna, Green Arrow, Arsenal, Looker, Halo, Black Canary, the Blood Pack, Major Disaster, Breach, Striker Z, a new Fastball, Hardhat, Hero Hotline, the new Seven Soldiers (including Bulleteer, Shining Knight Ystina and her horse Vanguard, and Klarion Bleak and Teekl), the Creature Commandos (including Frankenstein and Patchwork), Odd Man, Ambush Bug, Steel (John Henry Irons), Steel (Natasha Irons), Peacemaker II (Mitchell Blake), Judomaster (Rip Jagger), the Metal Men, a new Vigilante (Justin Powell), Wild Dog, and others. Hell, even Bane (!) has suited up in his costume just for kicks. Both Bane and Black Adam fight against heroes and villains alike. Returning to his evil ways, Bane kills Judomaster. (Last time we saw Bane, he supposedly had retired for good and claimed he was going to lead a positive healthy life. So much for that.)[15] Many more die, including Charaxes, Baron Blitzkrieg, Nightblade, Ballistic, Geist, Razorsharp, Mongrel, Peacemaker II, Major Disaster, the modern day Trigger Twins, several Madmen, and Lady Spellbinder. Many others are seriously injured. For instance, Riddler gets his skull bashed in by Shining Knight (as seen in Villains United: Infinite Crisis Special #1) and goes into a coma that will last for a year-and-a-half! Amid the chaos, Superboy-Prime asks Alexander Luthor what the “New Earth” is like. Alexander can’t be sure of all of the changes, but he does rattle off a very editorial list comprising the alterations already mentioned above. (Of course, don’t forget that our chronology has reflected Infinite Crisis‘ retcon changes all along, so any “changes” should come as no surprise to us. Since day one, our Modern Age timeline has been constructed in hindsight of Infinite Crisis, with its retcons already factored-in—hence the lack of any momentous narrative upheaval on our chronology at this juncture.) Kal-L and Kal-El arrive to lead the superheroes against the super-villains. Soon after, more heavy hitters arrive, including Batman, Robin, Nightwing, and Wonder Woman. The battle soon spills outside of Metropolis and results in even more death. During the war, several of the heroes, mostly JSA members, recall some memories of their pre-original Crisis lives upon re-meeting Kal-L for the first time. Breach is fatally wounded and disintegrates in a fiery explosion, after which Captain Atom re-appears straight from the Wildstorm Universe! Eventually, the heroes defeat all the villains. Fed up, Superboy-Prime darts off toward Oa with plans to destroy the entire universe by creating a new Big Bang. In deep space, Superboy-Prime outraces the heroes but runs straight into the Green Lantern Corps. Cue an epic space battle featuring Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Guy Gardner, Torquemada, Salaak, Voz, Tomy-Fai, Garl Rathbone, Sir Deeter, Spol, Gpaak, Shilandra Thane, Malet Dasim, Charqwep, Green Man, Brokk, KT21, Reemuz, Brik, Brokk, Barin, Breeon, Larvox, Lashorr, Lok Neebora, Aa, Okonoko, Penelops, Soranik Natu, Stel, Apros, Ash, and more. Superboy-Prime murders thirty-two unnamed GLC members. Back in Metropolis, Alexander energy-blasts Nightwing, nearly killing him. Dr. Mid-Nite takes Dick into his care and induces the fallen hero into a coma in order to save him. An enraged Batman beats down Deathstroke and starts thrashing Alexander, even putting a gun to the latter’s head! Wonder Woman flies in and talks Batman down, which allows Alexander an opportunity to escape. Meanwhile, Kal-El and Kal-L drag Superboy-Prime to the planetary system that once held Krypton. The trio crashes through the sun, landing on the living planet Mogo. There, the Supermen wage a bloody fistfight against Superboy-Prime. Ultimately, Superboy-Prime tires-out, but not before punching Kal-L to death. The GLC then rushes-in and traps the weakened villain. The threat of Superboy-Prime has ended and the Crisis is over. A few days pass. The superhero community mourns those that died while grappling with the cosmological revelations of the prior week. (The superhero community now knows they’ve been rebooted before, which is very big deal.) Superman’s power’s have burned out, leaving him de-powered. The Speed Force is still gone, which means there are no more Flashes except Jay Garrick, who has natural metahuman speed powers. (Bart’s powers have burned out completely, so he gives up the mantle of Flash.) On the shores of a beach, young brothers Josh Holliday and David Holliday find the Earth-9 Green Lantern’s lantern. Meanwhile, Alexander Luthor goes into hiding in Gotham, but he can’t stay hidden from Joker and Lex Luthor. With Lex’s guidance, Joker finds and murders Alexander. Why? Remember, Joker was upset because he never got invited into the Society. But how does Lex benefit from helping Joker? Simple. Lex takes Alexander’s corpse, slightly modifies it, and now has an exact DNA copy of himself to use as a scapegoat to blame for all the crimes he committed during and after his presidency! Thus concludes this incredibly mind-bending tale. Note that the epilogue of Infinite Crisis #7 takes place a month from now, which we will see below.

–NOTE: In 52 #52. Alexander Luthor Jr has not only re-created a “New Earth,” he has also inadvertently created 52 brand new parallel universes, which each have their own lengthy and unique histories. In fact, one of these new Earths mirrors the old pre-original Crisis Earth-2, meaning in a sense that Golden Age Batman’s history—although he is deceased by this point—is restored (as seen in Justice Society of America Vol. 3 Annual #1 and visually referenced in the second feature to Countdown #41 and the second feature to Countdown to Final Crisis #20)! When timestream anomalies begin occurring as a direct result of the fallout of Infinite Crisis, Booster Gold and Rip Hunter take it upon themselves to fix all the problems. Starting now, Booster and Rip, along with Supernova, will spend a full year working these anomaly cases (from April 2008 to April 2009). In April 2009, this trio will discover that Skeets has turned evil, which will cause them to find clues that lead them time-traveling back to this very point on our chronology. At this point, the heroes from one year ahead not only witness the creation of these 52 parallel universes, they also witness the hungry alien worm known as Mr. Mind attempting to literally consume these new universes as well. The heroes are able to stop Mr. Mind, thus altering the histories of the 52 universes once again, but successfully trapping Mr. Mind in a permanent time loop. Basically, Mr. Mind will have to relive the events of 52 over and over again forever. It’s a great story, but it would get boring after the billionth time. Anyway, Booster, Rip, and Supernova travel back to April 2009 after trapping Mr. Mind in the loop. Due to the time-alteration in this tale, it is revealed that this new version of the multiverse always existed. However, much like at the end of the original-Crisis, we know that there are countless other parallel universes and multiverses unscathed by the wildness of Infinite Crisis.

–REFERENCE: In Superman/Batman #36. Bruce secretly keeps a deactivated OMAC shell and has Lucius Fox begin working to rebuild it in a WayneTech lab. Bruce believes that, despite all the problems they have caused, OMACs are still the best defense against a large group of rogue metahumans. Still wary from all that has happened with Infinite Crisis, Batman devises several other anti-metahuman contingency plans as well.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Files. Batman learns about the death of Black Mask and combs the deceased villain’s headquarters, discovering sadistic artifacts, torture devices, and evidence of murder victims dressed in Batman costumes.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #653. Batman recruits the surgically restored Harvey Dent to become Gotham’s newest protector. They begin a month-long training period to turn Harvey into an effective superhero.

–FLASHBACK: From Infinite Crisis Aftermath: The Spectre #1. Reflecting on his short time so far as the host for the Spectre, Crispus Allen decides he has a strong distaste for playing the role of the Wrath of God. Allen parts ways with the Spectre and becomes a spirit again. The Spectre allows this to occur, but tells Allen that he will return in a year’s time to see if he is ready to accept his fate. Allen, in invisible spirit form, watches his own funeral, visits his family, and spies on Batman as he busts some masked thugs. Seizing the opportunity to spy on Batman further, Allen follows him home and learns his secret identity! Allen will spend the next twelve months traveling freely as a roaming spirit until the Spectre comes a-calling once again. At that point, Allen will accept his destiny and become the Spectre’s host.

–REFERENCE: In Green Arrow Vol. 3 #54-59 and Green Arrow Vol. 3 #69. Dr. Light and Merlyn attack Star City and leave half the city in ruins (as seen in Green Arrow Vol. 3 #54-59). Bruce immediately sets up a variety of Wayne Enterprises-backed programs to help the victims of this horrific terrorist attack (as referenced in Green Arrow Vol. 3 #69).

–Superman/Batman #26
The Teen Titans pay tribute to their fallen friend, Conner Kent.  A statue is erected in his honor in San Francisco. Robin tells a story about the time Conner and he fought a bunch of Hiro Okamura’s silly Toyman robots just for kicks.

–REFERENCE: In Catwoman Vol. 3 #76. With newfound knowledge gained during Infinite Crisis, Batman meets with Selina and tells her a bit about the true history of the cosmos, including the fact that on a former alternate Earth (the former Earth-2 of the Golden Age!), they were married and had a baby.

–REFERENCE: In Batman 80-Page Giant 2011 #1 Part 2. Ever since a year ago, an unnamed government organization (most likely on behalf of the US Armed Forces) has been training new high-tech hand-to-hand combat equipment against the best possible test subject in the world: Batman. Mission number two occurs now as a random soldier is tasked to fight the Dark Knight. Batman easily defeats him.

–Nightwing Vol. 2 Annual #2 Part 1
Three weeks have passed since the end of Infinite Crisis.  Dick wakes up from his coma. Babs is at his side and they reminisce about the positive aspects of their romantic history together.

–NOTE: In a reference in Robin Vol. 2 #148. Nyssa al Ghul uses her personal Lazarus Pit to resurrect Lynx (who died during “War Games”). Lynx becomes second-in-command of the League of Assassins.

–NOTE: In a reference in Checkmate Vol. 2 #1. Sasha Bordeaux becomes one of the leaders (Black Queen) of a re-organized Checkmate.

–NOTE: In a reference in Detective Comics #819. The Penguin moves back to Gotham and becomes the city’s primary crime-broker once again.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman #653. Late April. Harvey Dent’s training with Batman ends now. He and Batman team-up and bring down Mr. Freeze and a debuting Firebug III. Harvey officially becomes Gotham’s newest vigilante superhero.

–Nightwing Vol. 2 Annual #2 Part 2
Late April. Dick has been training for a full week with Babs as a coach, trying to recover from Alexander Luthor’s attack. They discuss Dick’s marriage proposal, which occurred just prior to “The Battle of Metropolis.” The couple reminisces about the negative aspects of their romantic history. Bruce then meets Babs and tells her that he is planning on taking a long vacation from crime-fighting.  Bruce then meets with Dick and tells him the same, adding that he would like it if Dick came with him. Back at Oracle’s headquarters, Babs gives her engagement ring back to Dick. They decide it’s best to just remain friends.

–NOTE: In a reference in Birds of Prey #114. Late April. With the Batman about to leave for a year, Onyx moves out of Gotham for parts unknown. While separating herself from the Bat-Family, Onyx becomes an official contact for Oracle’s Birds of Prey.

–Infinite Crisis #7 Epilogue
Early May. Over a month has passed since the end of Infinite Crisis. In light of all that has happened, Bruce, Clark, and Diana each agree to take a full year-off from crime-fighting. Clark is still completely de-powered as a result of his battle versus Superboy-Prime. (The Trinity’s decision to take a year off is also visually referenced in the second feature to Countdown #41.) Bruce goes abroad and takes Dick and Tim with him. DC’s Holy Trinity leaves the DCU in the capable hands of the rest of the superheroes. Meanwhile, on Oa, Superboy-Prime remains detained in a Guardian-protected Green Lantern Corps prison. Superboy-Prime permanently scars the Superman symbol into his chest and vows to escape one day. NOTE: The epilogue to Nightwing Vol. 2 Annual #2 overlaps with the epilogue to Infinite Crisis #7 as well. Dick and Tim meet up with Bruce to begin their global travels. Dick and Babs also send each other letters professing their love for one another and the hope that one day they can be together again as a couple.

— “Week One, Day One” of 5252 #1. Early May. “Week One, Day One” of 52 begins immediately following the epilogue to Infinite Crisis #7. Remember, this is the start of Bruce’s “year-off,” so there won’t be nearly as much to report as in prior years. However, I will list the most important DCU stuff and of course, anything that effects the world of Batman specifically. I won’t mention the amazing intimate details regarding the origin of Batwoman and the birth of Renee Montoya as the new Question, nor will I mention the awesome specific details of what happens to Starfire, Adam Strange, Animal Man, and Lobo (!) in deep space, nor will I speak about Ralph Dibny’s quest to revive his dead wife, Sue. But you should absolutely read 52 and find out for yourself! 52 is great![16]

— “Week One” of 52 — 52 #1—and also shown via flashback from Detective Comics #826. Early May. Bruce, Tim, and Dick travel abroad on an ocean liner. They watch Marx Brothers movies, work out, and talk about the mysterious past of the Joker.

— “Week One” of 52Referenced in The Batman Files. Bruce orders Dick to take scrupulous notes regarding everything that goes on in Gotham. These notes are to be uploaded into the Bat-computer at regular intervals. Bruce will check these updates periodically (when he has the chance) while he is away.

— “Week Two” of 52 — Referenced in Batman/Nightwing: Bloodborne. May 9. Bruce, as he’s done for years now, sends a flower arrangement to Dick to commemorate the anniversary of the deaths of the Flying Graysons.

— “Week Three” of 52 — Note in 52 #3. Kahndaqi ruler Black Adam publicly executes super-villain Terra-Man, who had committed several crimes after violating Kahndaqi airspace. This sets an ominous precedent of extreme violence by Black Adam toward unsanctioned foreigners within Kahndaq’s borders.

— “Week Three” of 52 — Note in 52 #3. John Henry Irons (who has come out of retirement and become Steel once again) does an autopsy on the modified corpse of Alexander Luthor Jr and publicly confirms that he has Lex Luthor’s exact DNA. Lex is able to prove in a court of law that Alexander replaced him during the middle of his presidency and was actually the one responsible for all the bad shit that he did. Of course, this is a lie, but the DNA completely exonerates Lex. Lex becomes the sole owner and head of LexCorp once again and begins rebuilding his public image. I can’t believe Lex was able to use the “it was my evil clone excuse” AGAIN.

— “Week Five” of 52Note in 52 #5. Early June. Lex Luthor begins his “Everyman Project,” which can turn anyone willing into a super-powered metahuman as long as their genetic make-up syncs with the procedure. People begin lining up around the block to become superheroes. Unknown to the public, Lex has the control to turn the “Everyman” powers on and off.


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  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: These are the ultra-mega-super-compressed six months that start Bat Year Twenty. Infinite Crisis and its seemingly infinite tie-ins will take up large chunk of this section, which contributes significantly to the number of stories listed. But that’s alright because Infinite Crisis #1-6 only spans about seven days. Despite the large number of entries into this section, I’ve only split Bat Year Twenty into TWO years (as opposed to three) since the Infinite Crisis follow-up, 52, requires very few bullet points.
  2. [2]ANTONIO / COLLIN COLSHER: As mentioned earlier, the Brian Azzarello-written “For Tomorrow” story was published over the course of a full calendar year. In Superman Vol. 2 #204, the “Vanished” are said to have been gone for a year! Of course, this is impossible. Azzarello, due to the length of his series, was referring to real-time. The longest period of time that the “Vanished” could have been gone for is a month-and-a-half. Not a full year.
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: Okay, here’s the full scoop on why Jekyll & Hyde is out-of-continuity. First, as mentioned, Two-Face’s psyche and characterization are completely different from his norm. Second, the story reads like an “Early Period” tale (Two-Face seems new-ish to therapy, Gordon smokes, Batman isn’t on good terms with Arkham, etc), yet it specifically takes place in 2005 (the Human Genome Project is referenced, the WB Network TV channel exists, etc). Third, the depiction of Arkham itself seems uniquely odd—with outer barbed wire-topped stone walls, spotlight panopticons, and Penguin as ostensible lifer inmate.
  4. [4]PURPLEGLOVEZ (TIPTUP JR 94): The money laundering going on here is just the tip of the iceberg that is the ongoing saga of Kord Industries. However, it’ll soon get pushed to the background when Max Lord’s OMAC Project kicks off into high gear. However, it’s worth noting that the money laundering is likely spearheaded by Talia (and possibly Alexander Luthor Jr) not just for the benefit of Jason Todd in the upcoming “Under the Hood” arc, but also for the benefit of the Secret Society of Super-Villains in the upcoming Infinite Crisis. This is the beginning of a long chain reaction that will see Kord Industries fall out of Wayne Enterprises control and eventually into Intergang hands. This overarching Kord Industries subplot, despite developing with considerable detail in several different titles over the course of the next two years, eventually will oddly get swept under the rug and forgotten, given no distinct ending by DC writers or editors. Inferences and fanwanks can (and must) be made accordingly, but we’ll get to that when we get to it.
  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER / PURPLEGLOVEZ (TIPTUP JR 94): Bruce originally raided his own company for tech for the first ten years of his crimefighting career. In Year Eleven, Bruce became a controlling shareholder in Kord Industries, at which point Kord basically started running all of Wayne Enterprises’ tech projects. Thus, for the past decade, Bruce has been pilfering tech mostly from Kord. Wayne Industries R&D and WayneTech still exist but only in name. Kord was the meat-and-potatoes behind both subsidiaries. With Kord now having been taken over by the German conglomerate, Bruce really doesn’t have access to new tech like before. In a couple months, as seen in Green Arrow Vol. 3 #45, Kimiyo Hoshi will become the new president of Kord Industries. It’s unclear if she is working for or with the Germans. (She is heroic to her core, so there’s no way she’s actively aiding and abetting any type of criminal element. But we just don’t know her deal, as we are never given that information.) By next year, Kord Industries will become an Intergang front (as seen in Gotham Underground). Less than a year after that, Wayne Enterprises will be cooking up brand new toys for Batman, just like the old days. It’s unclear whether or not Wayne Enterprises resumes control of Kord Industries at this juncture (i.e. two years from now). Some sources claim Kord Industries as a whole becomes a full subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises following Intergang’s downfall, but this is never specifically stated in any comics (at least not to my knowledge). Though, we could easily fanwank or infer that Wayne Enterprises regains control of Kord after Intergang crumbles, which is the exact direction we’ve taken on our chronology.
  6. [6]COLLIN COLSHER: Infinite Crisis #1 is a doozy, built around eight main story parts, all of which are shown as if they are happening simultaneously. However, they are not. The eight parts (in the order they are shown) feature: one, the Trinity on the Moon; two, Superboy in Smallville; three, Nightwing in Blüdhaven; four, the Rann-Thanagar War in deep space; five, the Rock of Eternity in Gotham; six, the Freedom Fighters outside of Metropolis; seven, the conclusion of the Trinity scene on the Moon; and, eight, Kal-L and company leaving their pocket universe. I have rearranged the order of things chronologically below so as to best fit our timeline.
  7. [7]COLLIN COLSHER: As the great Chris Miller extrapolates upon the order of Infinite Crisis #1: “Events on the Moon and the Society/Freedom Fighters showdown (both in the immediate aftermath of the Watchtower explosion) cannot be simultaneous with the Gotham or Blüdhaven events in this issue. At least three days must elapse between [these] opening and closing scenes to accommodate: (A) the events of JLA #120-124, spanning at least two days after the explosion (on the second of which Donna appears and recruits Supergirl), and ending in Gotham on the evening of the Rock’s detonation; as well as (B) Wonder Woman’s submission to the ICC at the Hague in Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #222-23, spanning at least two days, on the first of which Donna and Kara visit her there; (C) Kara’s valediction to Superman in Superman Vol. 2 #223; and (D) Superman’s final confrontation with Emil Hamilton [in] Adventures of Superman #646-47, during which time Lois Lane also visits Diana at the Hague. The end of [Infinite Crisis #1] and subsequent [Infinite Crisis] issues then proceed as depicted.”
  8. [8]COLLIN COLSHER: Note that there is a real life star called Polaris, but it is within the boundaries of our own Milky Way Galaxy. As such, the location of the Rann-Thanagar skirmish shown here must occur at a wholly different Polaris in a galaxy separate from ours.
  9. [9]COLLIN COLSHER: Koryak is Aquaman’s half-human biological son, sired with his former lover Kako. Cerdian is the son of Dolphin and Tempest. Atlan is Aquaman’s biological father.
  10. [10]COLLIN COLSHER: As Alexander Luthor Jr and Superboy-Prime pummel Lex Luthor, we can see several images through the Arctic headquarters’ crystal view screens. These images include Oliver Queen, Connor Hawke, Jaime Reyes, Quakemaster, Shellshock, the Brotherhood of Evil (Houngan, Plasmus, Warp), Chemo, Conner Kent, Captain Atom (in the Wildstorm Universe), Liberty Belle, and Baron Blitzkrieg.
  11. [11]COLLIN COLSHER: Note that the entirety of Catwoman Vol. 3 #52 is written as if it spans around forty-eight hours. However, in order to fit neatly into the weeklong Infinite Crisis narrative, it can only span five to six hours tops.
  12. [12]COLLIN COLSHER: If we take the internal time-frame of Nightwing Vol. 2 #116-117 literally, then a rough span of twenty-four to thirty hours make up its narrative. And if we treat that as canon, it means we must split things up by keeping Nightwing Vol. 2 #116 here, but placing Nightwing Vol. 2 #117 in-between Infinite Crisis #4 Part 2 and Infinite Crisis #5 below. I’m hesitant to do that (and I’ve chosen not to). I hate to diminish the amazing Devin Greyson’s truly brilliant Nightwing issues, but, since Infinite Crisis seems to hold more weight as the driving crossover force of the entire DCU line, I’ve kept Nightwing Vol. 2 #116-117 intact here. We must simply imagine the entire two-issue arc as spanning a mere five or six hours.
  13. [13]COLLIN COLSHER: As per Kevin Smith’s “Quiver,” Stanley Dover Jr should be around fifty-years-old at this point. Our esteemed Infinite Crisis artists draw him looking a bit younger than that. This is either a continuity error, artist liberty, or the result of a youth-enhancing glamor spell. Take your pick.
  14. [14]COLLIN COLSHER: The main changes that Infinite Crisis immediately caused at the time of its publication in 2006 were: one, restoration of Joe Chill as the killer of Thomas and Martha Wayne; two, restoration of Wonder Woman (and by connection, Batman and Superman) as founding members of the JLA; and, three, restoration of Clark Kent’s history as a teenage Superboy (and by connection, his adventures with the Legion). Again, our chronology already reflects these retcons. Part of writer Geoff Johns’ goal with his Infinite Crisis retcons was to return the Modern Age to its Silver Age roots by reinstating Silver Age canon that had been removed or changed in previous years. Some folks tend to regard Infinite Crisis as fully reinstating all Silver Age canon to the Modern Age timeline. While it’s generally true that Infinite Crisis retcons things to reflect the Silver Age, we shouldn’t leap to marking all Silver Age stories as blanket canon. Many of the tales don’t fit if you look at the nitty gritty details. Most old stories require alteration in some form to make them more contemporary and to eliminate anachronisms. While Johns’ Infinite Crisis retcons ushered in the idea that everything in the past is fair game to reference, that never equated to everything in the past is canon. Grant Morrison, especially in relation to Batman, has always written this way as well. In the Infinite Frontier Era, DC publishers will state that “everything counts, everything matters.” Again, this doesn’t mean that everything is canon. (If everything is canon, then nothing makes sense, after all.) What it means is that everything in the past is fair game to reference. Only after creators specifically decide what is canon from history can we the readers make sense of it all. For my personal chronology-building process, I stick to a set of strict rules. Every item on my timeline must have a specific reference, meaning something in a comic book that nods to, winks at, directly mentions, or flashes-back to said item. If I can’t find that, then I don’t include it on my timeline. Does that mean it didn’t necessarily happen? No. But there’s no proof, so I don’t include it. Simple as that.
  15. [15]TODD CUNNINGHAM: I always found it jarring how Bane develops into an antihero in Gotham Knights and then randomly shows up with the villain crowd in Infinite Crisis to remain evil forever more. Bane stayed with Bruce and was on his best behavior when he thought they might be brothers, after which he wanted to find his place in the world, find his father, and rid the world of Venom. Then for no good reason, he is evil again.

    The simplest (but also cheapest and least interesting) fanwank to reconcile Bane’s character development shift/regression is to blame it on Superboy-Prime punching the walls of reality. A lot of other changes happen because of this, and it can be used to pretty much hand-wave away anything. There aren’t really any noteworthy villains that got redeemed and it stuck in the Silver, Bronze, of Modern Ages. Superboy-Prime, as a Silver/Bronze Age fanboy, likely wouldn’t feel good about someone like Bane being allowed redemption. Prime would probably say, “Nope. You’re a villain. You’re evil again.” “Knightfall” is exactly the type of 90s edge that Prime hated, so he would also hate the idea of someone like Bane being allowed to grow into a hero. I’m not a huge fan of this idea because Prime punching the universe has always been a lazy way of explaining retcons, and it’s a little depressing to think that someone’s personal development and moral journey can just be hand-waved away by a higher power, and the little guys have zero agency in their own destinies. But ultimately, the retcon punch does work.

    However, there are other events that were happening around the time of Infinite Crisis that could have caused Bane to return to evil and make him lose respect for Batman. First, After Identity Crisis, the villain community learned of the Justice League mindwiping Dr. Light. Bane may assume that Batman was involved in this, as he would have no way of knowing that Batman opposed it. This might make Bane see Batman as a hypocrite. And as someone who values intellect, Bane would be appalled at the idea of a magical lobotomy. He may even question his own experience as an antihero—was that his own choice, or has Batman had someone tinker with his head? Bane would also have learned about Wonder Woman’s (unpunished) murder of Maxwell Lord. Again, from Bane’s point of view, Batman is hypocritically associating with a known murderer while supposedly condemning murder.

    Second, it’s possible that OMACs attacked and devastated Santa Prisca, a country that Bane worked hard to rebuild. It’s likely that the OMAC robots specifically targeted Bane, tearing his home country apart in the process. Something like this could have caused Bane to forsake his redemption and break bad again. It’s unknown if Bane knows about Batman’s involvement in the creation of the OMACs and Brother Eye, but if he did, that would be yet another reason for him to have gone down the dark path.

    Third, when Bane joined the Secret Society of Super-Villains, it was probably Talia who approached him. If Talia turned on the charm, making it seem like she wanted to reconnect or that she’s open to the idea of a possible relationship in the future, this could have helped to win Bane over. Plus, Ra’s al Ghul would have been dead at the time, surely easing any concerns Bane may have had in regard to reconnecting with his daughter.

    Fourth, Bane has bathed in a Lazarus Pit at least once, and as we’ve seen with Ra’s al Ghul and Jason Todd, the pit can have long term mental effects, which can affect each individual differently. It’s possible that part of Bane’s return to the dark side has something to do with this as well.

  16. [16]COLLIN COLSHER: 52 begins now. Each issue of this 52-issue series represents a single week of the next twelve months. So, for the entirety of 52 on our timeline I have included a list of weeks, which comprises reference notes, flashback notes, and actual bulleted issues that are either a part of 52 or that jibe with 52. Note that, Batman/Bruce Wayne does not make official appearances in all of these.

5 Responses to Modern YEAR TWENTY (Part 1)

  1. PurpleGlovez says:

    Is there any indication of how Bruce resumes control of Wayne Enterprises’ R&D? In Under the Hood and Lost Days, Kord Industries *was* Wayne R&D before being subject to hostile takeover by Talia and having Bruce ousted from the board – but in Green Arrow #54, Kimiyo Hoshi is named president of Kord. (Perhaps this was just an empty gesture by the true shadowy power players?) But then by the time Gotham Underground happens, Kord Industries is referred to as an Intergang front.

    Obviously later on in Batman comics, we still see Wayne Enterprises cooking up new toys. But it seems like this Kord subplot was just swept completely under the rug and forgotten. I’m not up on my Blue Beetle continuity, so did they ever do anything else with this? I see some online pages claim Kord as a whole became a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises at some point but I can’t find the actual source.

    • Hi PurpleGlovez! I’m not sure the exact timeline of events surrounding Kord. But “Under the Hood” makes it clear that Bruce and Ted are the controlling shareholders of Kord Industries, which has allowed WayneEnterprises to reap the benefits of the former company. (The partnership seems mutually beneficial and not abusive.) Maybe this is why some consider Kord to be an out-and-out subsidiary? Of course, after Ted Kord is killed, the German consortium takes over, followed by Kimiyo Hoshi, who may or may not be linked to the Germans. Then, the Gotham Underground/Intergang crooks take over. But, as you say, eventually, Wayne Enterprises—which by Year 20 had become more-or-less reliant on Kord for new tech—begins cooking up new toys (just like it used to in the old days). Does this mean that Wayne Enterprises bought out Kord and made it a true subsidiary? This, as far as I know, is never mentioned in any comics, but I supposed it can be inferred.

      Let me know if you find any more info on this. In the meantime, I’ll add some notes to the site. Thanks!

      • PurpleGlovez says:

        In Countdown to Infinite Crisis we hear about money from Kord Ominversal being laundered through WayneTech and split off into dummy corporations, with a trail of bread crumbs leading to OMAC, so surely that was the start of it. I’m guessing this effort was spearheaded by Talia (and possibly Luthor Jr. himself) not just for the benefit of Jason but also the Society of Super-Villains, and from there, it’s easy to see how it could fall into Intergang hands.

        Oh, and by Kimiyo I mean Dr. Light II herself – surely she wouldn’t be involved in anything nefarious, so apparently they were still maintaining Kord’s friendly public image at this point. It’s still kind of weird though. It just seems like there’s one more piece of the puzzle DC either forgot to publish, or no one cares enough to enter into any fan wiki.

  2. Hi Collin! Regarding the Batman flashback with the JLA in 52#9, I’m pretty sure it’s a reference to the moment in Identity Crisis #7 where Bruce asks Wally if there’s something wrong. On a sidenote, as Infinite Frontier has pretty much canonized everything in one way or another, I’m working on a reading order with every significant story from Year One to the present, and your site has been of invaluable help. Great work as always!

    • Thanks, Marcelo! I’m still utilizing the same formula that I always have—both for personal headcanon and my website—where it’s not technically canon until someone canonizes it. Of course, as you’ve said, Infinite Frontier has opened the doors, making everything open to canon, which actually has made my job a bit easier. It’s been good so far (in terms of continuity, especially coming off the mess that was 2020 into early 2021 with Johns and DiDio in-fighting and Scott Snyder/Brian Michael Bendis running the show)… Let’s hope they don’t screw it up!

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