Infinite Frontier Year Twenty (Part 2)

(July 2021 to December 2021)
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–Detective Comics #1034-1036 (“THE NEIGHBORHOOD”)
Bruce spends two-and-a-half days digging out yet another Micro-Cave, this one located in an abandoned underground tunnel just six blocks away from his Fort Graye brownstone. Bruce pauses only to attend a Mayor Christopher Nakano fundraiser gala, which is raided by the Party Crashers. With Huntress watching from a distance, Batman chases away the Party Crashers before returning to spend the rest of the evening digging out his Micro-Cave. Bruce’s buttonholing neighbor Lydia Warren then invites him to a party in the neighborhood, so Bruce makes a neighborly appearance, hobnobbing with Gotham’s gentrified elites. At City Hall, Mayor Nakano vents to his aides Hue Vile and Neil Betterman. Later, Batman tracks down and busts the Party Crashers. Upon arriving back in Fort Graye, Bruce and his neighbor Deb Donovan are drawn to a loud commotion at the home of Sam Tern and Sarah Worth. There’s been a break-in and Sarah has gone missing. Just beneath their feet, the bloodstained culprit, Neil, navigates his way through the sewers. Batman investigates for ten hours straight, soon finding Sarah’s corpse on display in the sewer. The cops arrive to find the body as well, chasing away Batman with gunfire. GCPD Chief Hubbord tells Mayor Nakano that Batman is involved with the crime somehow. Less than twenty four hours later, Bruce attends Sarah’s packed funeral with Deb Donovan. They sit near Penguin, whose blind eye has been restored its vision thanks to Death Metal‘s cosmic fallout. Sarah’s father, Roland Worth, who is one of the richest and most influential men in the city, delivers a fiery oratory, demanding justice. Huntress watches from the shadows, taking a break from routine patrol. Afterward, Roland Worth has dinner with Mayor Nakano, airing more grievances. Meanwhile Deb Donovan writes a scathing article about the corruption that has enveloped Gotham. Infected by Hue Vile, Sam Tern (partner to the deceased Sarah) flips-out and buys a gun, hoping to seek justice wherever he can find it. (Vile has long been in a symbiotic relationship with a bug-like parasite that lives in his throat, and together they spread a disease that causes people to commit wanton murder and mayhem.) Batman takes down the unhinged bereaved. Thinking Sam is on drugs, Batman dumps him off at a police station. Meanwhile, after a meeting with Mayor Nakano, Neil Betterman collapses in a parasitic-induced fit akin to what Sam was experiencing. The manipulative Vile takes care of Neil. Nakano makes a big public declaration that Sarah’s murder will be solved, but curiously, someone from his administration orders the site where Sarah’s body was found to be cemented over before any forensic analysis can be done. Bruce returns to Fort Graye to find a zombie Sarah wandering the streets. It’s actually a muddleheaded Lady Clayface. Lydia watches as Bruce takes “Sarah” into his home. There, she devolves into a claylike blob, which Bruce stuffs into a duffel bag just as the police—having been rung by Lydia—begin pounding on his door. The police do a quick check, but turn up nothing. For a moment, Bruce thinks “Sarah” could be Clayface III, but he quickly realizes that it isn’t, citing that Clayface hasn’t been in Gotham since his stint on the Gotham Knights. Of course, Bruce must be forgetting that he specifically brought Clayface into Gotham during “City of Bane.” Later, some of Penguin’s men are attacked by a man under the parasitic influence of the same stuff Neil is hooked-on. They take the guy to Penguin. In Fort Graye, Lydia is murdered by Neil. Downtown, Huntress questions Batman’s activities, which allows for “Sarah” to reconstitute. Our heroes calm a raging Lady Clayface and take her to one of the Micro-Caves. Lady Clayface explains that the A-Day attack affected her ability to change form. She happened to coincidentally be present at Sarah’s murder, which caused her to snap and turn into zombie Sarah. Lady Clayface tells our heroes that Neil is the culprit, so they go after him only to find him dead of an overdose.

–Detective Comics #1037-1039 (“THE NEIGHBORHOOD” Conclusion)
Picking up directly from Detective Comics #1036, Oracle and Huntress dig deeper into the parasitic violence that seems to be spreading across the city by Hue Vile. Meanwhile, Bruce is taken in by police for questioning regarding Lydia’s murder. Downtown, Vile’s symbiotic parasite emerges from his mouth and kills a random dude in an alley. Roland Worth, beginning to succumb to Vile’s parasitic bite, chews out Mayor Nakano again before using a rocket launcher to blow up the police station where Bruce is being held. Worth chases Bruce into the sewers where the latter switches back into Batman gear to fight him. Roland Worth fights Batman, continuing to blow things up with his rocket launcher, only resigning and allowing Batman to take him into custody after seeing Lady Clayface briefly take the form of his daughter again. Despite having blown up a police station (an act of terrorism if ever there was one), Worth buys his way out of jail within hours, publicly declaring that Bruce Wayne and Batman are marked for death (another definite crime here, but oh well). Worth allies himself with Penguin. At Helena’s apartment, Batman and Huntress put their heads together in an attempt to solve the mystery behind the parasitic virus. Later, the evil Hue Vile meets with Worth to concoct a plan. After nightfall, Vile and Worth kidnap Deb Donovan and use her as a distraction. While Batman and Huntress rescue Deb in the sewer, Vile and Worth start blowing more shit up aboveground. Batgirl, Orphan, and Nightwing try to save lives as pre-planted bombs explode all over the city. Penguin’s henchmen and the Party Crashers riot through the streets. Oracle reports that Vile is the man behind everything, sending Huntress to confront him. Huntress stabs Vile, but the villain manages to infect her. Meanwhile, Deb also succumbs to Vile’s parasitic bite, struggling with Batman while Worth continues to shoot at him. Batman takes down Penguin’s goon squad, Worth, and the infected Huntress. (The latter fight is also shown via flashback from Batman Secret Files: Huntress #1.) Vile escapes into the sewers along with one of Penguin’s henchmen. All the infected folks, including Deb and Huntress, are cured at the hospital. Batman radios Oracle to tell her that he will be turning himself into authorities.

–Detective Comics #1040-1042 (“THE JURY”)
Picking up right from the end of Detective Comics #1039, Bruce turns himself over to authorities and returns to jail, with hopes that getting his name cleared of any wrongdoing will be beneficial. In the drunk tank, a wasted guy approaches Bruce, revealing that he knows his secret ID, having secretly spotted Batman taking off his mask years ago. After 36 hours behind bars, Bruce is cleared and released. Upon returning to Fort Graye, Bruce finds his brownstone has been burned to the ground courtesy of Penguin, who later meets with Roland Worth to reveal that he has Hue Vile captive. Together, Penguin and Worth assemble a small army of henchmen, calling their union “The Jury.” (The Jury includes the Party Crashers, Penguin and his henchmen, Worth and his henchmen, and the top matriarch of the Falcone family and her henchmen.) They set into motion a plan to kill both Bruce and Batman. At City Hall, a stressed-out Mayor Nakano takes stock of all the chaos surrounding his administration. Meanwhile, Bruce assesses the damage inflicted upon his operations, seeing that not only is the brownstone ruined, but so are all of the connecting tunnels into the house as well. (Note that the Bat-Garage beneath the building is still mostly intact.) Worried about accessing any of his other Micro-Caves, Bruce phones Oracle, who directs him to a long-forgotten stash pile near the docks. After donning an old yellow oval costume, Batman responds to a public invitation from the Jury, demanding Batman to turn over Bruce Wayne to them. Batman confronts the Jury in a warehouse, during which Penguin confirms our timeline by saying that Sarah Worth died five days ago. Batman holds his own against a bevy of henchmen, but ultimately succumbs to the viral control of Hue Vile. Huntress, sensing Batman’s plight, makes her way to the warehouse with hopes of helping him. The Jury loses control of Vile, who causes a chaotic scene, taking over most of the members of group and forcing them to shoot at each other. While Penguin flees, a fully infected Batman overpowers the parasite within him, refusing to kill a defeated Worth. Batman handcuffs himself in an effort to make sure he doesn’t do anything rash. He then helps Huntress spear the primary parasite, which leaps out of Vile’s mouth, leaving him nothing more than an emaciated soon-to-be corpse. Later, a fully cured Helena and Bruce visit Sarah Worth’s grave. Bruce sends a bottle and note to Deb Donovan before patrolling as Batman—still wearing his yellow-oval costume. At the morgue, parasite eggs emerge from Vile’s dead body and enter the sewers.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #112-113. Bruce’s brownstone was burned to the ground, preventing access to the Bat-Garage. However, since we’ll see Batman in the Bat-Garage in the near future, we must assume that he clears access to his underground lair.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Fear State – Omega #1. Batman builds electrified handcuffs, which he adds to his utility belt.

–the second feature to Justice League Vol. 4 #60
Famed immortal wizard Merlin has returned with evil plans for humanity. Wise to his presence, the current Justice League Dark (Zatanna, John Constantine, Etrigan, and Detective Chimp) brief the Justice League. Batman appoints Zatanna as the new leader of the JLD. After the meeting breaks, Batman warns Etrigan to be on his best behavior. Elsewhere, at an antiquarian bookstore, Merlin picks up a large collection of Jorge Luis Borges manuscripts. Using his magick, Merlin causes nightmares from within the books to come to life. Ragman, who happens to be a patron of the shop, soon finds himself battling the creatures.

–the second feature to Justice League Vol. 4 #63-65 (“THE ETERNAL KNIGHT”)
Picking up shortly after the second feature to Justice League Vol. 4 #60, the Justice League Dark (now joined by Ragman) traverses Jorge Luis Borges’ Library of Babel, meeting the fussy Librarian of Babel. Aware that Merlin has used magick to turn fiction literature into reality, Constantine doubles down on the meta and begins to literally write the ongoing narrative onto a blank sheet of paper, thus moving the plot along. Meanwhile, at the Tower of Fate, Dr. Fate (Khalid Nassour) and Man-Bat run cosmic tests on the Helm of Nabu. (As revealed in the second feature to Detective Comics #1040, Man-Bat is possessed by a fear demon during this test session.) Meanwhile, at a cathedral in Gotham, the Merlin-worshipping Brothers of Ambrosius gather only to be confronted by Merlin’s time-displaced rival, Elnara Roshtu, a female knight of Arthur’s Round Table. Batman watches from the shadows as she kicks their asses, then jumping down to meet her. Batman is tickled by Elnara’s story, but tells her to leave the Brothers of Ambrosius to him. Elnara responds by disappearing into the shadows. Meanwhile, the JLD shows Ragman around their Hall of Justice digs. In Gotham’s Old Industrial District, Batman confronts the leaders of the Brothers of Ambrosius, but they use a psionic attack, temporarily disabling the Dark Knight until his cowl tech can cancel it out. Elnara takes down the villains and rescues and unconscious Batman, finding the source of the cult’s power—an old man named Randhir Singh, who is strapped to a bizarre machine. A recovered Batman hacks into the machine, allowing Elnara to enter Singh’s illusion simulation. She battles through illusory warriors to meet an avatar of Singh, who tells her about Merlin’s plans. Meanwhile, in the depths of Atlantis, the Justice League Dark joins Aquaman to challenge Merlin.

–the second feature to Justice League Vol. 4 #66
Picking up immediately after the second feature to Justice League Vol. 4 #65, with Batman watching, Elnara Roshtu frees Randir Singh from mental captivity. Meanwhile, in Atlantis, Aquaman and the Justice League Dark fight undersea kaiju, set loose by Merlin. John Constantine trails Merlin, who prepares to enter the “Darkworld” and “Dreaming” via a gateway at the bottom of the ocean.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Dark Vol. 2 2021 Annual. Batman tells Zatanna all about Randir Singh.

–Wonder Woman #780
Diana returns from the dead! (We are told she’d been dead “for the better part of a year,” but that must be poetic license because it’s only been about six months. This item also goes prior to “Fear State”—as per reference in Nightwing Vol. 4 #85.) All of Diana’s friends at the Hall of Justice greet her and hear her resurrection story. Dr. Fate, coming straight from the pages of the second feature to Justice League Vol. 4 #68, begs Diana to help her Justice League Dark teammates in Atlantis, but Diana is too busy reuniting with her mom. Hippolyta convinces her daughter to take some time off, so Diana flies toward Themyscira, stopping briefly to save some people from a shipwreck, and thus publicly announcing her return to the entire world. The next day, those linked to Diana—including Steve Trevor, Cassie Sandsmark, Donna Troy, Etta Candy, the Holliday Girls Motorcycle Club, Artemis, Queen Faruka, the Bana-Mighdall tribe, Yara Flor, Queen Nubia, Dr. Psycho,  respond happily to the news of her resurrection. On Themyscira, Diana greets Nubia and an epic celebration is had by all the overjoyed Amazons. Nubia then gives Diana her golden lasso. In the morning, Diana awakes and takes to the skies. Wonder Woman is officially back!

–the second feature to Detective Comics #1040
Very recently, as seen in the second feature to Justice League Vol. 4 #64, Man-Bat was running some cosmic tests on the Helm of Nabu. During those tests, Man-Bat was exposed to a fear-mongering demon, which has been hiding within his body ever since. Now, the demon causes Man-Bat to flip-out and return to his wild ways. Batman confronts Man-Bat, who forces the demon out of his body for a moment. Sensing that there’s only one course of heroic action, Man-Bat takes the demon back into his system and sacrifices his own life in order to destroy the monster. Batman attends Kirk Langstrom’s sparsely-attended funeral the next day. Francine Langstrom attends. The world once again thinks that Man-Bat died as a raging out-of-control super-villain, but Batman knows the truth.

WHAT THE #!$% IS TASK FORCE Z
————————–the second feature to Detective Comics #1041
————————–the second feature to Detective Comics #1043

Jason Todd secretly slips Deb Donovan a note while she’s riding the subway. This leads to Deb working on a story about super-villain deaths, and she visits the morgue to examine the bodies of Bane, Man-Bat, and Astrid Arkham. (Astrid was presumed dead and brought to the morgue following the A-Day massacre.) However, both the coroner and Deb are surprised to find that her body is missing. After leaving, Deb is immediately attacked by thug hired to silence her story. Batman saves Deb’s life, but warns her to back off her story. (Batman has intel that the government is involved.) Deb then meets with Vicki Vale to show her the note and ask for advice. Upon arrival back at her apartment, Deb is greeted by Red Hood. Soon after, Deb and Red Hood are attacked by some hooded assailants. Batman intervenes, rescuing Deb while warning both she and Red Hood to steer clear of danger. When a stubborn Red Hood refuses to leave the scene, Batman angrily departs. The hooded goons then take down and kidnap Red Hood, revealing themselves to be disguised FBI agents. By morning, Deb has published an expose in the Gazette highlighting Red Hood’s illegally detainment by federal agents and the government’s theft of A-Day corpses for unknown purposes. At City Hall, Mayor Nakano, who had secretly given approval to the corpse thievery as part of the top secret “Project Halperin”, expresses his frustration over the news leak in conversation with a top tier federal agent named Crispin. In a prison cell, Crispin later speaks with Red Hood, hoping to make the leader of the brand new Task Force Z—a Suicide Squad comprised of undead zombie super-villains, including Bane, Man-Bat, Arkham Knight, Sundowner, and an unnamed other that looks like the Creature From the Black Lagoon. (Mr. Bloom, while not shown, will also be a part of this team. It’s possible that artist Darick Robertson drew the random character as a placeholder, not knowing Bloom was meant to be on the roster.)

–Titans United #2
After a near defeat against a small-time crook named Evan Morton, who had somehow gained super powers, the Titans (along with Red Hood and Superboy Conner Kent—drawn wearing his old costume for some reason, which is possibly a continuity error) find themselves (along with Hawk and Dove) fighting an equally-super powered Kite Man. Nightwing and Superboy hack into the Bat-Computer to discover that Morton and Kite Man were both treated by Dr. Matthew Rosbeck. After the Titans defeat Kite Man, Nightwing fields a peeved phone call from Batman, who scolds him for hacking into the Bat-Computer systems. The Titans then catch up with a violently angry Superboy, who shakes down Dr. Rosbeck, formerly of Cadmus. Dr. Rosbeck spills the beans, revealing that the now defunct Cadmus created several sleeper agents—Morton and Kite Man included—that are primed to lose control with sudden super power bursts. Before Dr. Rosbeck can say more, he is assassinated by Lady Vic. The Titans, Superboy, and Red Hood then debrief at the Titans Tower in San Francisco. (The Titans have an HQ in San Francisco and one in New York City, which is home to the Teen Titans Academy.) Because of Superboy’s erratic and violent behavior, his peers worry that he might be a sleeper agent as well, benching him as they go after Lady Vic. A pissed-off Superboy flies off only to get captured by Blackfire.

–Batman/Fortnite: Foundation #1
Imagined Order opens up another Zero Point dimensional rift, this time in Metropolis, drawing heroes and villains alike. Lex Luthor and a resurrected Batman Who Laughs guide a cadre of hired help—including Clayface III, Killer Croc, Monsieur Mallah, the Brain, Chemo, Deathstroke, Cheetah, Parasite, Firefly, Kite Man, Trickster, Weather Wizard, Captain Cold, Mr. Freeze, Giganta, Reverse-Flash, Rainbow Raider, Blackfire, Bizarro #1, and a man-bat (if Kirk Langstrom, then the zombified Task Force X version)—toward the portal in hopes of gaining control and access. While the Justice League, Titans, Shazam, and Plastic Man fight the super-villains, Batman confronts The Foundation, quickly learning that he is from the Fortnite Island Loop beyond the Zero Point portal but works with an anti-Imagined Order group known as The Seven. Batman and The Foundation join the fray in Metropolis, during which the Foundation tackles the Batman Who Laughs through the portal into the Loop. Using a device given to him by the Foundation, Batman seals the portal, trapping the two on the island. In Metropolis, all the villains scatter. Batman notes that Lex Luthor has technically committed no crime with any action pertaining to the portal, so Luthor walks away clean. On the island, the Batman Who Laughs remains imprisoned but revels in slaughtering Fortnite warriors over and over as the Loop endlessly resets itself.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #107 Part 2 and Batman Vol. 3 #108-109. It’s been a few months since A-Day. (As mentioned above, Batman Vol. 3 #107 is split in half because, while Batman Vol. 3 #107-110 seems to be one continuous narrative, issue #107 specifically occurs one month after A-Day yet issue #110 specifically occurs a few months after A-Day. This means we have a hidden ellipsis in the only place it can fit.) At Saint Industries, Ricardo tells Simon Saint that Mayor Nakano has invited him to the groundbreaking of an A-Day memorial, which will honor Sean Mahoney. Scarecrow then chats with Saint. Concurrently, in an effort to infiltrate the Unsanity Collective, Batman disguises himself as Matches Malone for the 2020s, a cyberpunk named “Match.” Twelve hours later, Mayor Nakano holds his A-Day memorial. Oracle watches on TV as Dr. Chase Meridian (a very welcome cannon-immigrant from the film Batman Forever) provides analysis. Using her super-enhanced TV, she is able to spot Scarecrow watching from a nearby rooftop. After the memorial, Mahoney accepts Saint’s offer to become a cyborg soldier known as “Peacekeeper-01.” At the Unsanity Collective’s HQ, “Match” has already been outed as a spy and brought before Master Wyze and his top lieutenants, Miracle Molly and Breaker. But rather than doing something villainous, Miracle Molly takes “Match” and shows him “Gotham Two,” a high tech cyber city hidden atop several unfinished skyscrapers leftover from the shuttered Wayne Rebuild Program. Molly introduces “Match” to a young cyber-enhanced non-binary kid named Squeak, explaining that Wyze erases everyone’s memories when they join the Collective, after which they can start anew with cybernetic upgrades. Molly delivers a long monologue about the Collective’s techno-utopian vision before revealing that she knew “Match” was Batman all along. Seeing that Batman has reacted amicably to the Collective lifestyle, Molly tells Batman that it was Saint that hired the Collective to kidnap the media moguls. Across town at Saint Industries, Saint turns Mahoney is into Peacekeeper-01. Meanwhile, Bruce contemplates everything that Molly has told him. (This scene is shown as occurring inside the Fort Graye brownstone, which is a mega-huge continuity error that proves that writers Tynion and Tamaki did not communicate much despite sharing a line. At this point, the brownstone would have been torched. Thus, we must imagine this scene as occurring underground in the Bat-Garage.) When other scarecrows begin popping up all over the city, Batman tells Oracle to dig up dirt on Simon Saint and call the Ghost-Maker into action. The Ghost-Maker receives the call and takes Harley Quinn to his very own version of the Batcave known as The Haunt. (It even has a Spinosaurus.) The Ghost-Maker flirts with Harley and they sip champagne while sword dueling until the Gardener arrives with her plant hounds. Harley reveals that the Gardener is the college ex-girlfriend of Queen Ivy. (Poison Ivy has been going by “Queen Ivy” ever since Death Metal). The Gardener reveals that Queen Ivy is in hiding, and if anyone tries to find her, a secret underground jungle growing beneath everyone’s feet (known as Eden) will swallow the city whole. In spite of this, the Gardener tells Harley that Queen Ivy needs her more than ever. Oracle, who has been remotely-eavesdropping, reminds the Ghost-Maker that he’s on the clock. The Gardener gives Harley a shred of flora, telling her to use it to summon her when she is ready to face Queen Ivy. At Saint Industries, Simon Saint tells Hue Vile that Mayor Nakano needs to keep Roland Worth and Deb Donovan in line, as both pose a threat to the Magistrate Program. Just after Vile leaves, Batman busts into the building, quickly taking out Ricardo before confronting Simon Saint, who unleashes Peacekeeper-01 on him. As Peacekeeper-01 pummels Batman, Saint says that Nakano has green-lit his program. In that moment, Saint detonates a bomb at City Hall, a move designed to frame the Unsanity Collective, sow chaos across Gotham, and increase public approval of his martial law. Batman kills the lights with an EMP pulse and lasers his way into a lower floor. Batman and Peacekeeper-01 slug it out.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #110-111. Picking up directly from the flashback from Batman Vol. 3 #109, Batman continues fighting Peacekeeper-01 as Gotham descends into chaos in the wake of the City Hall bombing. Panicked, Mayor Nakano authorizes Simon Saint’s Magistrate Program to enact martial law. Aboard Magistrate Skybase-01 high in the sky, Saint monitors his war machine. Batman struggles with Peacekeeper-01, who admits to bombing City Hall on behalf of his benefactor. On the verge of defeat, Batman signals the Ghost-Maker, who rescues him. Aboard the Ghost-Stream (the Ghost-Maker’s stealth jet), Batman licks his wounds as Saint and Nakano publicly announce that the Magistrate program has gone live with Sean Mahoney as super-soldier numero uno. Harley tells the boys that Mahoney is a sadist, who was extremely abusive as an Arkham Asylum guard. Meanwhile, Saint’s Peacekeepers infiltrate Gotham 2.0 to wipe out the Unsanity Collective. Miracle Molly and a bullet-injured Squeak flee to Master Wyze while Breaker fights Peacekeeper-01. Batman, Harley Quinn, and the Ghost-Maker arrive to protect the Unsanity Collective. Meanwhile, Scarecrow and Simon Saint manipulate social media to paint Batman as the villain behind the bombing of City Hall. Breaker is defeated by Peacekeeper-01, but the rest of the Unsanity Collective escapes into the Ghost-Stream. The Ghost-Maker performs life-saving surgery on Squeak. Mayor Nakano delivers fake news to the public, stating that Batman and Scarecrow are jointly in league with the Unsanity Collective. Nakano declares that all costumed vigilantism is illegal in Gotham. Batman orders the Ghost-Maker and Harley to keep the Unsanity Collective safe, to which Harley responds by preparing to contact the Gardener. At Arkham Asylum, Simon Saint video calls Scarecrow, but the latter betrays him, severing their partnership. Scarecrow takes down Peacekeeper-01, dosing him with a new strain of Fear Gas. Batman arrives only to get dosed with Fear Gas as well.

–Batman Vol. 3 #106-111 (“THE COWARDLY LOT”)
Picking up directly from the “Cowardly Lot” flashback from Batman Vol. 3 #111, Batman is captured, drugged, and tortured by Scarecrow for twelve hours straight.

–Batman: Fear State – Alpha #1
Picking up directly from “The Cowardly Lot,” Batman comes down from his hallucination only to come face-to-face with his tormentor, Scarecrow. Meanwhile, with Peacekeeper-01 effectively off the table, a worried Simon Saint orders a citywide communications blackout and sends his Magistrate troops into Alleytown as a show of force. Fed up with what’s happening, Commissioner Renee Montoya has an argumentative phone call with Mayor Nakano, effectively severing their working relationship. At the Clocktower, Oracle tries to send a message out to the populace via the emergency broadcasting system. However, she gets overridden by Scarecrow’s very own version of Oracle known as The Seer. This anti-Oracle tells all of Gotham that “Fear State” is just getting started and that Batman is dead. The entire Bat-Family is worried to hear this. Damian, still fighting on Lazarus Island, gets the message as well. Concurrently, Harley Quinn, the Ghost-Maker, and the Gardener take the Unsanity Collective refugees deep beneath Gotham to Queen Ivy’s underground Eden. The Gardener uses her powers to summon Queen Ivy out of hiding. Across town, a second Poison Ivy remains under the safe care of Catwoman in Alleytown. (Pamela Isley has been split in twain, with her heroic/innocent persona having manifested separately as a doppelgänger, a sort of “Innocent Ivy,” for lack of a better term. More on how this happened later!)  As the Magistrate troops begin to enter Alleytown, Catwoman meets with her Alleytown Stray allies, including Billy, Skidmark, and Shoes aka Cheshire Cat (Lian Harper). Reacting to the news of Batman’s supposed death, Jace Fox enters a WayneTech lab and dons an experimental Batman costume. In Scarecrow’s lair, a dizzy Batman breaks his restraints and escapes.

–Batman Vol. 3 #112
Picking up directly from Batman: Fear State – Alpha #1, Batman tries to shake-off his drug-induced state, scrambling to the Batmobile where he injects his chest with adrenaline to snap out of the hallucination. Still unsure of what’s real or not, Batman drives toward the city. Meanwhile, a fully hallucinating Peacekeeper-01 stumbles through the streets. Batman is collected by the Bat-Family and brought up to speed at the Clocktower. Batman contacts the Ghost-Maker and gets caught up to speed with him as well. He tells the Ghost-Maker to meet him at the Bat-Garage (although their meeting will be quite delayed due to Catwoman, Detective Comics, and Nightwing issues that must go between Batman Vol. 3 #112 and Batman Vol. 3 #113). At Saint Industries, Simon Saint turns Ricardo into Peacekeeper-X, ordering him to bring in Peacekeeper-01.

–Catwoman Vol. 5 #33-34
Mayor Christopher Nakano has initiated Simon Saint’s Magistrate Program, which has led to civil unrest over the imposed state of martial law thrust upon the populace of Gotham. With protests ramping up in Alleytown, open clashes between police and protestors erupt, prompting Nakano to shut down cellular and broadband and send in the Peacekeepers. Catwoman meets with the Alleytown Strays (including Billy, Dex, Shoes aka Cheshire Cat, Skidmark, and Joey Allen), who have teamed-up with Riddler, Clayface, Cheshire, Killer Croc, Knockout, and Firefly. (Spoiler: Shoes/Cheshire Cat is none other than a resurrected amnesiac Lian Harper!) At Alleytown’s GCPD precinct, Catwoman’s friend Detective Dean Hadley argues with his partner Detective James Rigs about Catwoman’s involvement in all the chaos. Worried for Catwoman, Detective Hadley summons Batman with the Bat-Signal. Detective Hadley briefs Batman on the situation and begs him to watch over Catwoman. Batman departs to conduct intensive research on Father Valley. Soon after, Catwoman and her motley crew meet with Alleytown gangster Pit Rollins, setting up a plan to help civilians escape from the Magistrate’s iron fist. Before the rebels can initiate anything, Catwoman is attacked by assassin Father Valley (Karl Wasieman aka Karl Senke aka Karl Valley), the adopted son of Jean-Paul Ludovic Valley. Catwoman is stabbed, thrown into the bay, and left for dead, but Batman saves her life. Bruce and Selina sit atop a nearby roof in each other’s loving arms. They canoodle and kiss, reminding each other that they are still supposed to be on a break. (The sequence of Batman saving Catwoman and then sharing a tender moment with her is also shown via flashbacks from Catwoman Vol. 5 #35 and Catwoman Vol. 5 #37.) Batman gives Catwoman a flash drive containing files on Father Valley. Catwoman then fights Father Valley, who keeps his foe at bay by pointing a sniper rifle at Maggie Kyle. Detective Hadley arrives just in time to take the bullet, sacrificing himself to save Maggie.

–Nightwing Vol. 4 #84
Having heard the Seer’s chatter about Batman being dead, Nightwing delivers his pup Haley to his neighbor Clancy (and her two kids) before departing Blüdhaven. Upon arrival in Gotham, Nightwing finds Batman alive and well, teaming up with him to fight the Magistrate’s Peacekeepers and drones. Afterward, Batman continues onward while Nightwing joins Oracle. At the Clocktower, Oracle powers down, suits up in a brand new Batgirl costume, and declares herself ready for street action against the Magistrate. (Of course, Oracle will have to power back up and temporarily hold off on her return to street action because Hugh Vile’s parasite eggs are about to hatch, as we’ll see in our next item.)

–Detective Comics #1043-1045 (“FEAR STATE: NAKANO’S NIGHTMARE”)
It’s been a couple weeks since “The Neighborhood” arc. An editorial note also says this item partially overlaps with Batman Vol. 3 #113, which can only really mean that it goes right before it. With the Magistrate Program getting out of control, Mayor Nakano and his staff meet with Simon Saint. Tempers flare and things remain tense. Afterward, fake security guards wearing red crowns try to assassinate Nakano inside City Hall. While attempting to save Nakano, Batman learns that the would-be assassins, led by Nero XIX, work for someone called “The King.” After a car accident and an explosion, Nakano falls into the sub-levels beneath Gotham’s sewers. Batman follows, but Nakano is already too far away. After recovering, Nakano stumbles across a nest of Hugh Vile’s parasite eggs. While Batwoman takes down Nero XIX and his gang, Batman is remotely-guided by Oracle in search of Nakano. Batman finds Nakano, but the mayor is trapped behind a wall of rubble. Some of Vile’s parasite eggs hatch, releasing fresh parasites that burrow into Nakano’s skin. Batman smashes through the wall and electrifies Nakano and the parasite swarm with a taser. With Nakano’s vitals looking bleak, Batman performs CPR, saving his life and resuscitating him. The parasite larvae then begin to mutate (thanks to toxins in Gotham’s sewer) and spread across the city. Batman tells Nakano that Hugh Vile is responsible for the parasites, citing that he (Batman) himself had been infected a mere “three days” ago. Mariko Tamaki, whose strength is certainly not continuity, contradicts herself here. Clearly, weeks have passed since “The Neighborhood” and “The Jury” (in the latter, Batman gets infected). Plus, Tamaki has already stated multiple times in her own narrative that weeks have passed since “The Neighborhood”. So we should ignore Batman’s “three days” line, as it’s been more like two to three weeks. Aboveground, with support from the rest of the Bat-Family, Batman and Nightwing destroy the parasites, which had merged into a single kaiju-like monster. The next day, having made a truce with Batman, Nakano begins fully cooperating and coordinating with the Bat-Family.

–Batman Vol. 3 #113-115 (“FEAR STATE”)
Batman visits Commissioner Montoya, catching her up to speed. She says that she needs evidence that Scarecrow and Simon Saint are linked, someone from the Unsanity Collective willing to testify against Saint, and Peacekeeper-01 in custody. Batman says he’ll take care of everything on that list. The Dark Knight then sends a message to Saint by beating up some Peackeepers. At the Bat-Garage, Batman finally meets with the Ghost-Maker (who must have been waiting there for at least twenty four to thirty six hours). Hoping to conduct a deep examination of the tinkering that Scarecrow has done to Batman’s mind, Batman and the Ghost-Maker don Bat-mind-control helmets in order to telepathically enter the former’s subconscious together. There, they quickly discover that Scarecrow has imbedded subliminal programming inside Batman’s memory. After the psychic-deprogramming but still telepathically-connected to the Caped Crusader, the Ghost-Maker reveals that he once spent time studying with Jonathan Crane during his training years ago. Crane taught him about his “Fear State” concept, which he had also published in a journal that was widely circulated in Silicon Valley, thus reaching the eyes of Saint. Across town, Peacekeeper-X (along with a squadron of Peacekeepers) challenges Peacekeeper-01, who has fully succumbed to the control of Scarecrow. Batman tries to intervene in the battle, but he gets distracted by dozens of Peacekeepers. Emboldened by Scarecrow, Peacekeeper-01 beats Peacekeeper-X to death. Panicked, Saint orders the self-destruction of the Peacekeeper-X suit and several drones, causing massive destruction in downtown Gotham. He also orders the Peacekeepers to take out the underground Eden. Having just spoken with Queen Ivy in Eden, Miracle Molly arrives to assist Batman. Queen Ivy forms an alliance with Master Wyze. While Scarecrow collects and tends to Peacekeeper-01 in the sewers, the Bat-Family mobilizes: Catwoman, the Gardener, Innocent Ivy, and Harley Quinn fight the Magistrate’s Wight Witch (as seen in Catwoman Vol. 5 #36); Nightwing and Batgirl (Babs) prep for combat in the Clocktower (as seen in Nightwing Vol. 4 #85); the Ghost-Maker patrols solo; Red Robin and the Signal patrol together (as seen in Batman: Urban Legends #9 Part 4); the Batgirls (Cassie and Steph) patrol together; Commissioner Renee Montoya fields calls in her office; and Jace Fox adventures through the city in his own Batman costume (as seen in I am Batman #2). (Note that Orphan has now returned to her Batgirl moniker, while Spoiler has returned to her Batgirl moniker as well. So yes, there are three superheroes using the Batgirl name now—Cassie, Stephanie, and Babs. To be clear, Cassie and Stephanie have been going around as “Batgirls” for a bit now, although it had previously just been their duo team name.) Miracle Molly takes Batman to Gotham 2.0, showing him the Mind Machine, a mind-wiping device/storage unit that holds all the recorded former memories of every member of the Unsanity Collective. A Scarecrow-controlled Breaker fights Batman and Miracle Molly, but the duo is able to take him down. Meanwhile, the Magistrate enters Eden.

–Batman Vol. 3 #116-117 (“FEAR STATE” Conclusion)
Picking up directly from Batman Vol. 3 #116, from her underground Eden, a pissed off Queen Ivy causes an earthquake aboveground while the Ghost-Maker slashes through Magistrate troops attempting to get at her. In the sewer, Batman and Miracle Molly are confronted by Scarecrow. With Peacekeeper-01 and Miracle Molly under Scarecrow’s thumb, Batman is forced to hold back. Peacekeeper-01 comes to his senses and shoots Scarecrow, injuring him. While Miracle Molly attempts to disable the Mind Machine, which Scarecrow was going to use as a “Fear Bomb” to sew chaos across the city, Batman fights Peacekeeper-01. In Eden, Harley Quinn and the Gardener introduce Queen Ivy to her Innocent Ivy persona. Coming straight from the pages of Nightwing Vol. 4 #86 (with which Batman Vol. 3 #117 partially overlaps), the Bat-Family (Nightwing, Red Robin, and three Batgirls) infiltrates the Magistrate’s flying fortress just as a panicked Simon Saint is screening an angry phone call from Mayor Nakano. As they cause the fortress to plummet into Gotham Bay, Batman continues pummeling Peacekeper-01 while Molly continues trying to disarm the bomb. In Eden, Harley reveals that, several years ago, the Gardener planted a seed containing the most “innocent” part of Pamela Isley into the caves beneath Gotham. This seed has grown into the alternate Innocent Ivy we see before us now. Queen Ivy merges with Innocent Ivy, becoming whole once again as Poison Ivy. Poison Ivy then stops the earthquake-causing rapid plant growth aboveground and heals Squeak. Overjoyed to have her partner back, Harley kisses Ivy. In Scarecrow’s sewer lab, Batman defeats Peacekeeper-01 and then talks down Molly, who has decided it’s best for Gotham if Scarecrow’s bomb erases everyone’s brains after all. Batman tells Molly to plug into his cowl wifi to see the latest news. She does so, learning that Simon Saint has been arrested, the secrets of the Magistrate have been made public, Mayor Nakano has denounced Saint and the Magistrate, Poison Ivy has spread calm-inducing pheromone flowers across the city, and—for the first time in nearly a year—the Bat-signal is shining in the night sky. Batman removes his mask to give Molly an inspiring speech about the power of humanity, after which they embrace. Aboveground, Jace Fox, Harley Quinn, Batwoman, and the Signal join the rest of the Bat-Family to celebrate victory.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Fear State – Omega #1—and referenced in Batman: Fear State – Omega #1. Simon Saint and Miracle Molly are both arrested. The Unsanity Collective goes underground. In Eden, Catwoman briefly visits Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, and the Gardener. Poison Ivy tells the Gardener that she (Poison Ivy) is no hero, nor is she a villain. Whatever she chooses to be will be her own decision. Soon after, Batman gets post-“Fear State” debriefings from the entire Bat-Family. A recovering Scarecrow is jailed at GCPD Central Precinct. Batman catches wind that sixteen of Scarecrow’s brainwashed minions are planning on busting him out as soon as he is transferred. Batman will keep tabs on these minions for a few weeks, moving forward. FoxTech takes over handling the downed Magistrate flying fortress. Batman unsuccessfully lobbies for Peacekeeper-01 to go into Justice League custody, after which Peacekeeper-01 escapes from a hospital and goes into hiding. Meanwhile, Batman patrols and visits Clownhunter, who is busy scrapping with some of Joker’s old henchmen. Clownhunter agrees to train under the Ghost-Maker.

–Gotham City Villains 100-Page Anniversary Giant #1 Part 6
Batman busts some thieves, during which hundreds of thousands of dollars of cash blow out of their vehicle into the street. A stalking Killer Moth collects all the loose bills and hightails it home to play video games. A big score without ever having confronted Batman for a second.

WARWORLD RISING
————————–Action Comics #1030
————————–Action Comics #1032-1033
————————–Action Comics #1035
On Warworld, a cloaked stranger delivers the severed heads of all of Mongul’s children to the latest Mongul, who is pleased that none of his parricidal kin will ever usurp his throne (as Monguls are wont to do). The stranger promises to deliver Superman as well. Meanwhile, Superman is concerned about his health; he has been ever since going through an interdimensional energy breach a few weeks ago. Spilling the beans to Batman and the Atom, the duo runs some combat tests upon the Man of Steel outside of the Fortress of Solitude. The heroes discover that Superman’s energy output increased but his overall powers have diminished. Notably, Superman seems to be suffering from cellular decay, which could be very bad for him. The Atom downplays the results, thinking it could be flukes, but Batman doesn’t think so. Batman also tells Superman that Superboy (Jon Kent) has become stronger than him, going so far as to suggest that his son replace him as Earth’s primary superhero. In the Middle East, Superboy (Jon) catches up with Robin (Damian), who has switched to a spiffy new black costume. Damian refuses to talk about his dad, but Jon can’t stop talking about his. Jon tells Damian that 31st century history records say that Superman dies by poisoning and is taken away by Kryptonians shortly after his conflict with the aforementioned energy breach. Soon afterward, Superman and Superboy come face-to-face with an armada from Warworld that is shooting at one of their own ships, which contain refugees escaping from Warworld, including Thao-La. In the Fortress of Solitude, Lois is able to calm down a terrified Thao-La, who Superman, Superboy (Jon Kent), and Supergirl discover is Phaelosian, part of a lost colony of Kryptonians that have been enslaved by a new Mongul. In Atlantis, Vulko and Maric study a powerful stone called  the Genesis Fragment, which had fallen into the sea when the refugees were rescued. The artifact emits godlike energy, turning Maric into a kaiju. Later, Superman visits Gotham to talk to Batman, who is in the middle of busting random crooks. Superman asks for Batman’s approval for the Justice League to attack Warworld, but before a hesitant Batman can respond, Aquaman radios for help. Batman, Superman, Aquaman, Murk, and some Atlantean soldiers take on the transformed Maric along with several other kaiju along the Atlantic Coast of the US. Superman flies into the belly of the beast to find a strange structure with glowing runes on it. A mysterious voice speaks to him, welcoming him to the Necropolis. Superman is able to fly back out, freeze the main monster, and help defeat his minions. Steve Trevor, representing the US Government, arrives, demanding the Genesis Fragment from the Atlanteans, but they refuse to hand it over. Soon after, the US Government tries to steal it using Task Force X, but the mission is exposed in a brutal failure, sparking geopolitical tensions across the globe and a military standoff between the US and Atlantis. The JL meets to discuss the situation, but they can’t come to an agreement. Superman tells his teammates that he will liberate all the enslaved people on Warworld—with or without their help. Off the coast of Florida, Superman, Superboy, and Supergirl prevent combat between Atlantis and the US. Meanwhile, Mongul (along with aides Chaytil and Orphan) remotely spy on Thao-La inside the Fortress of Solitude. Mongul teleports a trio of Warzoon thugs into the Fortress, and they confront Thao-La, which reveals to Lois that Thao-La is a reluctant double-agent working for Mongul. Lois grabs a laser gun and begins fighting the Warzoons. Shortly thereafter, with his Warzoons bested, Mongul forces Thao-La into fighting the Super-Family by threatening to murder her entire race, which he holds captive on Warworld. After standing down, Mongul remotely executes Thao-La. Superman vows to avenge her death and save her people. A day later, after a funeral, Superman begins assembling a new Authority with plans of invading Warworld. Superman’s assembly of this team—Apollo, Midnighter, Manchester Black, Steel (Natasha Irons), Enchantress, Earth-9 Flash (now going by Lightray), and Earth-9 OMAC—is shown in Superman and The Authority #1-4, which also tells us that Superman has begun losing his powers (and had his hair turn grey) due to radiation poisoning. The Man of Steel also tailors a spiffy new “Authority” costume and refers to the Fortress of Solitude as “Fort Superman”—the latter being a fun Grant Morrison reference to the title and title splash page of the Silver Age’s Action Comics #241. Batman catches wind of Superman’s plans and his condition. A day after that, Lois notifies the JL about all that has occurred, prompting the team to visit Superman at Fort Superman. (Superman is wearing his normal costume and looks healthy again, but this is just thanks to a glamour spell cast by Enchantress—as referenced in Action Comics #1036.) Due to the international incidents surrounding the Genesis fragment, Superman is kicked off the JL, effective immediately! Thus, the JL won’t be involved in the Warworld mission, but they give Superman their blessing. Batman tells Superman that he is being reckless, but ultimately gives his blessing as well. Later, Superman says goodbye to Superboy, telling him that the JL might approach him to be his replacement on the team. Superman spends one romantic evening with Lois before rejoining the Authority.

–REFERENCE: In Superman: Son of Kal-El #2. Batman and Oracle create a new secret ID for Jonathan Kent, who is about to begin his freshmen year of college. (He never finished high school, but now that he’s been aged up, the genius Jon Kent needs to keep up appearances by going to a university.) Jon’s secret ID—”Finn Conners”—gets outed, exposed, and ruined on his first day of school.

–Batman/Superman: Authority Special #1
Batman receives intel direct from a cosmic guardian known as a Fuginaut, who has been kidnapped and remains trapped on an alternate Dark Multiverse world where an alt-Batman and alt-Talia al Ghul (along with their children) have completely taken over the planet. (An subtle origin story for this Dark Multiverse world can be found in Gotham City Villains 100-Page Anniversary Giant #1 Part 7.) The Fuginaut details how the so-called Empire of Shadows is planning to use his stolen power to invade Earth-0. Batman immediately seeks Superman’s help, with the latter suggesting use of his new Authority team. After making detailed files on each Authority member, Batman meets with the team, who are in the midst of prepping for their assault on Warworld. Batman briefs them, and they put the Warworld mission on hiatus to focus on the Empire of Shadows. After a training session, Batman and the Authority travel to the Dark Multiverse using Enchantress’ magick. Inside the enemy citadel, the heroes are ambushed by an army of zombie ninja man-bats led by Taj al Ghul. Enchantress is abducted and forced to power up a multiversial travel machine made out of the now-deceased Fuginaut’s body. Batman and Midnighter team up to best two Bat-costumed foes (Saif al Ghul and Janan al Ghul) and rescue Enchantress. The Authority returns home with the remains of the Fuginaut in tow, thus sealing off the Empire of Shadows from coming to Earth-0. Impressed, Batman gives his full approval to the Authority.

–the second feature to Detective Comics #1044-1045 (“FOUNDATIONS”)
With Hugo Strange’s SAFE Program having failed, Mayor Nakano rebrands the downtown SAFE facility as Arkham Tower, initiating construction updates to the property. Bruce is torn on the idea of a new downtown criminal rehabilitation facility, but he knows he doesn’t like the continued use of the Arkham name. As such, Bruce phones the mayor’s office, leaving a message asking not to use the name. When he doesn’t get a response, Bruce confronts Mayor Nakano on the steps of City Hall after a public address about the new Arkham Tower. During their conversation, an unhinged homeless man accosts them, screaming about how Arkham Tower is haunted. After night falls, Batman visits the Arkham Tower construction site to find one of the carpenters, seemingly in a zombie-like state, attacking his co-workers. Batman takes down the zombie dude and saves the other workers. While investigating, Batman stumbles upon a stockpile of Fear Gas and begins to suffer an intense hallucination. While tripping, Batman chases the returning homeless man (the one from City Hall) to the top of the tower where Harley Quinn awaits.

–Batman: Urban Legends #9 Part 2
Batman witnesses March Harriet chatting with Deever Tweed (Tweedledee), so he tails them and orders Oracle to send surveillance drones to keep tabs on them. But March Harriet is clean and hasn’t even seen the Tweeds, who have also gone straight, in quite a while. Unfortunately, Dumfree aka Dumfrey Tweed (Tweedledum) is very ill, so much so that he can barely move and pisses himself. By nightfall, Tweedledum collapses into unconsciousness.

–Detective Comics 2021 Annual
Executives in charge of the new Arkham Tower project solicit FoxTech for extra funding. Bruce has had reservations, but he ultimately approves, going so far as to make some affirmative phone calls to people in high places, including chief doctor Chase Meridian. Later, when super-villain called The Meager Man begins attacking blood transfusion clinics and leaving chicken bones behind in his wake, all signs point to Peter Faust, a serial killer that once attacked Bruce and his family when he was young. The only catch is that Faust died last year. Batman and Nightwing soon apprehend the Meager Man, exposing him as Faust’s son, Pete Faust Jr. Nightwing turns the Meager Man over to authorities, but a group of homeless vigilantes called The Forgotten help the Meager Man escape, taking him into their care. Batman and Nightwing soon find and bust the Meager Man again, taking him to a hospital. There, Nightwing argues with some cops, telling them they need to view super-villains with more compassion and humanity. Dr. Chase Meridian greets Nightwing, praising him for his progressivism. Bruce and Nightwing chat about the new Arkham Tower.

–Batman: Fear State – Omega #1
A month has passed since the end of “Fear State”. Miracle Molly testifies against Simon Saint, earning her a shorter stint in Blackgate Penitentiary. Batman visits the site of the still-downed Magistrate flying fortress, which is being directly overseen by Lucius Fox. Saint Industries begins auctioning off the rest of its tech to the highest international bidders. Amanda Waller works to secure a house arrest release for Simon Saint, hoping to control him for her own nefarious needs. Scarecrow is finally transferred out of the GCPD Central Precinct jail. While traveling, Scarecrow’s minions try to free their leader, but Batman is ready to bring them all down. Batman takes Scarecrow into his own custody and drives him to his new home at Arkham Tower. The Dark Knight leaves Scarecrow under the care of Dr. Chase Meridian.

18 Responses to Infinite Frontier Year Twenty (Part 2)

  1. Dylan Robinson says:

    > (Superman’s assembly of this team is shown in Superman and The Authority #1-4, which also tells us that Superman has begun losing his powers—which causes his hair to turn grey at certain times. He also tailors a spiffy new “Authority” costume and changes the name of the Fortress of Solitude to “Fort Superman.”)

    This is a teensy, teensy little qibble: ‘Fort Superman’ isn’t a new name; it comes the early Silver Age and the very first apperances of the Fortress of Solitude.

    • Thanks Dylan! “Fort Superman” is definitely a reference to Action Comics #241, but I think “Fort Superman” was only in the title and title splash, within the issue his HQ is still called the “Fortress of Solitude,” correct? In any case, I can def make note of this on the site, but I’m not sure “Fort Superman” has ever really been canonical before, aside from being in the title page of one issue. Am I wrong, though?

      • Dylan Robinson says:

        That’s actually a good question. I’ll do some digging. Regardless, it seems more like a nickname than an actual rename of the fortress.

  2. Dylan Robinson says:

    this isn’t immediately relevant to your timeline, but might be helpful in the future:
    https://twitter.com/PhillipKJohnson/status/1452791748644773889

    a thread full of PKJ providing background details on stuff from the Warworld Saga

    • This is great, thanks Dylan. I’ve only glanced at it, and it’s already answered some lingering questions I had.

      • Dylan Robinson says:

        He even answered my question re: the past warworlds that we’ve seen destroyed, which was nice.

        “We’ll get into that, but essentially those others were satellite worlds, not the O.G. Warworld”

  3. Jack James says:

    So… The Long Halloween Special, it’s pretty good but where could it take place? Probably not Pre-Flashpoint since there’s too many contradictions with other stories, so can it take place in the Infinite Frontier continuity?

    • Wow, I’ve gotten so many messages about the Long Halloween Special, it’s unreal! It’s certainly meant to take place pre-Flashpoint, especially with the pointed reference to Babs as being Gordon’s niece. She was never his niece in current continuity. My best bet is that it’s just a fun return to the old series, set out of continuity.

      UPDATE: After reviewing the issue more closely, my belief is that it’s totally out-of-continuity, set in a Loeb/Sale-verse of sorts. Add to the niece line the fact that this story supposedly shows Two-Face learning for the first time that Batman has a Robin… that is very much out-of-continuity on any chronology. A fun story, but certainly not meant to be canon on a primary timeline.

  4. Dylan Robinson says:

    This isn’t really specifically connected to anything, but given that we’re getting more and more flashbacks with the classic Robin costumes, I wonder if it’s possible to recontextualize the New 52 Robin Suits that appear in flashbacks as cold weather suits? I don’t really know the history of the classic silver age Robin suits as they pertain to cold weather, but one has to assume that they’d be a bit chilly in the wintertime.

    • Hey Dylan, in the Silver and Bronze Age, Robin’s costume always looked the same, no matter the time of year or season. There are occasional mentions of thermal/heated costumery, but no visual differentiations. I believe the first ever cold winter Robin outfit isn’t shown until the early Modern Age (although which issue escapes me at the moment, possibly late 1980s though). Certainly, long tights or long sleeves would be warmer than speedo and pixie boots, so there’s a nice logic to what you are saying, although it’s been fairly clear in the current continuity that this isn’t really meant to signify cold weather, instead rather meant to simply point toward a particular era. Of course, current continuity has shown that Dick wore a couple different costumes right from the get-go, so I’ll def mention this concept on the site. Thanks!

  5. Antonio says:

    Hey Collin, Antonio here.
    I’ve just finished reading Joker 9 and it basically says that to create a Joker’s clone is virtually impossible because of the genetic alterations that the Clown Prince Of Crime suffered during his fall into acid.
    So… don’t you think that it condraddicts Three Jokers? Plus Joker himself says he would never want that… that he likes being unique… mmmm…
    That makes me more and more convinced that EVERY Black Label DC issue is non-canon. Especially Three Jokers.

    • Dylan Robinson says:

      To be fair, the other Jokers weren’t cloned, they were made by the same process, a process we know is repeatable, because it worked to some degree on Harley.

      > EVERY Black Label DC issue is non-canon

      This can’t be entirely true, purely because Far Sector was published partially under the Black Label banner.

      • Antonio says:

        Thanks Dylan, I think you’re right.

        • Far Sector isn’t Black Label, it was actually part of Gerard Way’s Young Animal line. However, Dylan is correct about Black Label in general. While the vast majority of Black Label titles are non-canon, there are a select few that are canon on the main Earth-0 line—including Three Jokers, Superman vs Lobo, Strange Adventures, Human Target, and everything related to the Sandman Universe. Rorshach is canon within the Watchmen universe line. Jury’s still out regarding Batman: Reptilian. Batman/Catwoman is definitely non-canon, but it’s such a strange series in terms of how it might possibly still connect, so who really knows there. The rest, like 30+ other titles, are definitively non-canon, though.

  6. Dylan Robinson says:

    Oh, so something I caught in the solicits this month: the back-ups in the upcoming ‘Shadow of the Bat’/Detective Comics storyline seem to indicate that we’ll be following one person’s story as they grow up in Gotham, and it seems to be pegged to specific eras (for example, one of them involves his encounter with Azrael!Batman during the Knightfall storyline), which should be an interesting way to judge how much time Batman’s supposed to have been Batman, officially, according to DC.

    This is one of the solicits I’m referring to, for reference:
    “Then, it’s Knightfall in Gotham during part seven of “House of Gotham,” as the Boy (growing into a man before our eyes) runs afoul of an uber-violent, unhinged Azrael Batman! This latest conflict pushes Gotham’s most vulnerable into madness, and one man’s rogues gallery reveals itself as another man’s salvation.”

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