Year Zero

New Age (Post-“Superman Reborn”) Chronology

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YEAR ZERO (2002)
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–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #28, Batman Vol. 3 #37, and All-Star Batman #14—originally told in Frank Miller’s “BATMAN: YEAR ONE.” A twenty-year-old (turning twenty-one this year) Bruce Wayne, having returned to Gotham after years of training abroad, strategizes a plan to utilize non-lethal tactics to bring justice to evildoers. Bruce vows to never ever use guns in this crusade, no matter what. This will be his inviolable rule. Unsure of how to specifically enact his vigilante plan, Bruce puts any direct action on hold and continues intense training at Wayne Manor. Part of this training involves kicking through fully grown trees. Bruce will continue his patented tree-kicking technique throughout his life.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #66 and Batman Vol. 3 #79—and referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #24, Batman Vol. 3 #34, Batman Vol. 3 #50, Detective Comics #996, and Detective Comics #999. Originally told in Frank Miller’s “BATMAN: YEAR ONE.” Bruce comes up with an actionable (albeit incipient) vigilante war-plan. With the very reluctant guidance of loyal butler/father-figure Alfred Pennyworth, Bruce disguises himself—with a fake scar on his face—as preparation for a trip to the rough streets of Gotham’s East End. Alfred helps Bruce with his make-up, citing that basic disguises are best for Bruce’s mission. (Alfred will time-and-time again, moving forward, instruct Bruce in matters of disguise.) In the East End, Bruce runs afoul of Stan the Pimp and winds up getting stabbed by young orphan Holly Robinson. This leads to a street fight against Holly’s friend, martial arts expert and sex worker Selina Kyle. Selina and Holly see through Bruce’s disguise, recognizing him as the famous Gothamite. The injured Bruce fends-off Selina, but gets shot by cops and thrown into a squad car. En route to the police station, Bruce causes the car to crash. He saves the cops’ lives and retreats home.

FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #994—and referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #21-24, Batman Vol. 3 Annual #2 Part 1 Intro, Batman Vol. 3 #53, All-Star Batman #10-11, Dark Days: The Forge #1, Superman Vol. 4 #25, Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #7, Detective Comics #959, Detective Comics #982, Detective Comics #988-989, Justice League Vol. 3 #24, Trinity Vol. 2 #11-14, Batgirl & The Birds of Prey #14, Dark Nights: Metal #2, Batman: Lost #1, Deathstroke Vol. 4 #30, The Brave and The Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman #3, Batman: Kings of Fear #1, Nightwing Vol. 4 #50, Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #25Batman Vol. 3 Annual #3, Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #58, Detective Comics #992-994, Detective Comics #999, Detective Comics #1002, Detective Comics #1008-1009, Superman: Leviathan Rising #1, Event Leviathan #1, Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III #3, Dial H for Hero #5, and Batman Giant #5. Originally told in Frank Miller’s “BATMAN: YEAR ONE.” A very badly injured Bruce, having just retreated home after a nearly fatal misadventure in Gotham’s East End, sits contemplatively in Wayne Manor. Inspired by a bat crashing through his window, Bruce rings his bell, summoning Alfred to his save his life. Bruce decides then-and-there to become a bat-costumed vigilante. Unknown to Bruce, the bat is none other than the Dark Multiverse’s devil-god Barbatos. (Barbatos, as of yet unable to break free from the Dark Multiverse, can and will, on occasion, wield enough power to control a person or animal. Such is the case now.) With a still very reluctant Alfred at his side, Bruce tailors an armored high-tech costume (grey with a black bat chest insignia and purple gloves) designed to strike fear into the hearts of criminals. (Note that Bruce tailors two different grey-and-black costumes—one with an underwear-on-the-outside look and one without. He’ll wear both interchangeably, moving forward. Every iteration of the Bat-costume, from now until the end of his career, will be armored, fireproofed, and have a cape that can turn into a high-altitude glider.) Second, Bruce constructs a utility belt to wear with his new costumes. The utility belt will contain just about anything you can imagine a well-prepared Batman would have, including incendiaries, smoke pellets, flash grenades, sonic weaponry, a sonic device that attracts bats, rope, various carpentry tools, mini grappling gun, tranquilizer gun, mini bola gun, protective anti-magick talismans, cellphone, tablet computer, Bat-symbol-shaped headlamp, high voltage tasers, knives, tear gas, Penthrane sleeping gas, gas mask, a device that can temporarily kill electric signals, a GPS tracker connected to plantable mini-tracers, extending/collapsable truncheon, computer hacking toolkit, flashlights, forensic kit, surgical/autopsy tools, handcuffs, chemical sniffer device, bio-life radar detector/health scanner, generic anti-neurotoxin spray, snack bars, hydration kit, pen, notepad, and tape.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #21, Batman Vol. 3 #62-63All-Star Batman #10-11, Dark Days: The Forge #1, Superman Vol. 4 #25, Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #14, Gotham Academy: Second Semester #11, Dark Nights: Metal #1-2, Justice League of America Vol. 5 #14, Justice League Vol. 3 #34, Trinity Vol. 2 #14, Doomsday Clock #2, Deathstroke Vol. 4 #34-35Detective Comics #985-986, Detective Comics #1000 Part 10, Detective Comics #1001, The Batman Who Laughs #1-3, The Batman Who Laughs #6, Flash Vol. 5 #65, Detective Comics Vol. 3 Annual #2, Batman Secret Files #2 Part 2, Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III #5, and Event Leviathan #4. With his costume and utility belt complete, Batman is officially born. After surveying the caverns underneath the Wayne Manor property, Bruce and Alfred draw up plans for a secret lair known as the Batcave. As preparation, Bruce sets up offshore bank accounts using different aliases. Through these exchanges, Bruce will be able to hide hundreds of millions of dollars he will spend on Batman-related projects. As further prep for the Batcave, Bruce and Alfred have local access roads leading to the Wayne property repaved using CBR geo-synthetics for load bearing and noise dampening. Soil is spread across the new roads in order to make them look old. After this, Bruce and Alfred build a preserve for the bats (to reduce methane levels) and erect a large foundry inside the cavern. (Note that the Batcave is literally a bat cave, meaning that no matter how many Chiroptera go in the preserve, there will still be a ton flying around and living within the cavern proper.) They then begin building the Batcave, which will eventually have a garage filled with weaponized cars, a fully-equipped state-of-the-art crime lab, industrial design studio, medical bay, weapons depot, training facility, library, and kitchenette. Bruce heavily-secures and camouflages multiple hidden entrances to the Batcave and then uses computer tech to erase geological records of the cave, which connects to larger waterways via underground rivers. False seismic echo generators are implemented to fool any future radio frequencies, ground-penetrating radar, or micro-gravity scanning. Additionally, Bruce installs holographic 3D surveillance cameras and laser cannons into the Batcave. Going the full distance in regard to security, Bruce and Alfred begin building a labyrinth of impenetrable false cavern walls into the accessible jigsaw catacombs adjacent to the Batcave. Bruce also builds multiple hidden passageways from the Batcave to Wayne Manor above—the most famous of which lies behind a grandfather clock in one of the living rooms. One of these hidden passageways can also be activated from a secret switch inside a bust of Shakespeare. The Shakespeare switch opens a passageway to the Bat-poles, firefighter poles that can be used to slide down to the Batcave. Also note that Wayne Manor already has several hidden rooms and passageways thanks to a wild design by eccentric occult architect Ambroos Lydecker, who also designed Gotham Academy and Arkham Asylum. Bruce exploits some of these passageways by connecting them to the Batcave. (Gotham Academy is one of Gotham’s most prestigious high schools. Elizabeth Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane—or simply Arkham Asylum for short—is Gotham’s most notorious prison. It is owned and operated by the Arkham family, who also owned the now-defunct Arkham Home in Innsmouth, MA.) Batman and Alfred then make a defense map of the Wayne property (including the caverns below), breaking down specific zones into designated “security sectors.” This security map will be passed down to all Bat-Family members in the future. And, last but not least, in regard to the Batcave, Bruce gives himself a special personal code that can lockdown all primary entrances. Bruce and Alfred will work on constructing the Batcave over the course of the rest of the calendar year. They will have building materials delivered to the property under the guise of massive renovations to Wayne Manor.[1] In regard to weaponry, Batman acquires a ton of different toys. He also creates various types of bat-shaped boomerangs called Batarangs. Different Batarangs will have different features, such as the unfortunately-named Bangarang, which is an explosive weapon. Batman also creates a series of special programmable Batarangs that are voice-code activated. For instance, in “Blackout” mode, the programmable Batarang can emit an electromagnetic burst akin to an ion blast. He also builds: ultrasonic-relay mini-Batarangs that can summon bats by emitting high-pitched frequencies (based upon the pre-existing bat-attractant device he already has); ear-piercing sonic mini-Batarangs; rocket-thruster Batarangs, which do exactly what the sound like they do; camera Batarangs that can be used as makeshift surveillance drones; long-distance remote-controllable Bat-drones; and electrified Taserangs. A variety of Batarangs will always remain stocked inside Batman’s utility belt at all times. Likewise, Batman will always keep a hidden Batarang taped to his chest, just in case. Furthermore, Batman re-jiggers an armory’s worth of assault rifles into non-lethal “Batarang guns,” which he stores in his weapons depot.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #21, Batman Vol. 3 #37-38, All-Star Batman #10-11, Wonder Woman Vol. 5 #22, Detective Comics #959, Detective Comics #967, Detective Comics #973, Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #10, Green Arrow Vol. 6 #29, Nightwing Vol. 4 #32, Doomsday Clock #2, Flash Vol. 5 Annual #1Batman Secret Files #1 Part 3, The Batman Who Laughs #3, Young Justice Vol. 3 #3, and Batman and The Outsiders Vol. 3 #4. In regard to his civilian alter-ego, Bruce becomes the head of his family’s wealthy global corporate business, Wayne Enterprises. (His uncle Philip Kane had been running the company since his parents’ deaths.) Bruce immediately hires his friend Lucius Fox to handle day-to-day business affairs. (While unsure of Bruce’s connection to Batman, Lucius will, moving forward, often work on special top secret Bat-related projects.) Bruce and Lucius meet their Board of Directors, which includes fellow company shareholders Ronald Warner, David, and Julian. (Bruce and Warner will become professionally close over the years, with Warner coming to strongly admire Bruce.) Via its subsidiaries WayneTech and Wayne Industries, the parent corporation has controlling interests in finance, manufacturing, energy, aerospace engineering, tech, R&D, real estate, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and hospitality. WayneTech owns hotels, factories, refineries, hospitals, and chemical plants all over the world. It also specializes in Internet-related services and products like the WayneNet search engine. Via its subsidiary known as The Thomas and Martha Wayne Foundation (aka The Wayne Foundation), the parent corporation is involved in charity, medical care, philanthropy, and social activism. Bruce, in order to mask any possible connections to Batman, begins publicly acting as a wild playboy. As part of his dissipation act, Bruce will often feign being drunk, secretly chugging ginger-ale instead of booze. As a famous (and notorious) public persona, Bruce will attend galas and fancy parties, often palling around with pop-stars and models. He will sometimes be followed by paparazzi and will often have his picture taken and published. Bruce will also attend a variety of high-powered business meetings and meet the majority of Gotham’s financial elites. Ironically, in these business circles, Bruce will earn the reputation of being an introvert that doesn’t like to stay out very late—an almost stark contrast to his playboy persona. To further enhance Bruce’s pleasure-seeking front, Alfred will plan and schedule random parties, at which Bruce will show up and make a scene. These parties should be imagined, scattered throughout our timeline, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In Blue Beetle Vol. 9 #4. Gotham’s Dark Knight makes national headlines. From this point forward, photos of Batman will be published online and in print newspapers, tabloids, and magazines fairly regularly.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #26 and Detective Comics #1000 Part 9. The mainstream media begins to call Batman by various appellations, including “The Dark Knight,” “The Caped Crusader,” “Dark Detective,” and “The World’s Greatest Detective.” The not-so-humble Batman begins referring to himself by some of these names as well.

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 4 #32 and Batman Vol. 3 #54. Bruce visits Haly’s Circus with an unnamed date. There, they witness the Flying Graysons (Mary Grayson and John Grayson) fall to their deaths during a trapeze act. Nine-year-old Dick Grayson is orphaned. Boy genius Tim Drake is on-hand in the audience, watching with his parents, Jack Drake and Janet Drake. Circus performer and bodyguard to Mary Grayson, Richard aka Mr. Numb, is also on hand. (He will later become the super-villain Raptor years down the road.) Upon learning that the trapeze act was sabotaged by crook Tony Zucco, Bruce legally adopts Dick as his ward. After moving into Wayne Manor, Dick begins to have night terrors about his parents’ deaths. Bruce will comfort the boy as best he can. At first, Dick hates living in Wayne Manor, rejecting the care of Bruce and Alfred, constantly saying he hates everything, including Alfred’s cucumber sandwiches, which he refuses to eat. After Dick injures himself while swinging-on and destroying a chandelier, Bruce tries harder to connect with him. (Bruce also hated the cucumber sandwiches at first when he was a kid, and he injured himself on the same chandelier when he was a kid too.) Eventually, Dick warms up, revealing a love for potato chips and football. Dick sees Bruce working out in the Wayne Manor gym and is very impressed. They do handstands together until Alfred serves up his signature sandwiches. Dick finally tries them and will eventually grow to love them.

–Detective Comics #1000 Part 9
Bruce reveals his dual superhero identity to Dick, vowing to bring Zucco (who has gone into hiding) to justice. Soon after, Bruce and Alfred discuss whether or not to train Dick to be Batman’s sidekick. Bruce is on the fence, but Alfred thinks it is a good idea, enthusiastically encouraging it. (Alfred’s opinion of using child soldiers will dramatically move in the opposite direction over time.) Dick, who has been hanging from the new chandelier, listens-in and swoops down, telling Bruce that he is ready to fight by his side. By candlelight in the Batcave, Dick swears a formal oath to honor all of Batman’s values. (This swearing-in ceremony is also shown via flashback from Dial H for Hero #5.) It’s time to begin Dick’s training!

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #43, Detective Comics #965, and Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #6. Batman draws up a training regiment and study program, immediately implementing it with Dick in order to prepare him to become his sidekick. This training will start now and last six months. Note that Batman will teach Dick (and all future Robins) everything that he has learned. Furthermore, everything Batman teaches Dick will also later be taught to all future Robins too. These teachings will come to be known as the “Robin Training Protocol.”

–REFERENCE: In Deathstroke Vol. 4 #19. Batman tells his “criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot” mantra to Dick.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #24. Batman continues training Dick, telling him to always take advantage of your surroundings while in combat. Batman also tells Dick that most criminals are unable to focus on anything other than themselves, which is a weakness that can be exploited.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #81. Batman continues training Dick, teaching him the secret “language of fighting,” in which one can communicate via blows while in combat. Batman will teach this to every future member of the Bat-Family.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #30-32. Batman continues training Dick, teaching him investigative skills. The Dark Knight tells his ward that detective work is “breaking things apart to put them back together”—meaning one must view the greater picture as a bunch of smaller puzzle pieces that must be put together in the correct way in order to solve the mystery. He also stresses that being a hero means helping and protecting everyone, even sometimes bad people who are undeserving.

–REFERENCE: In New Talent Showcase 2017 #1 Part 3. Batman continues training Dick, who has come to regard his mentor as being quite grumpy. Batman tells Dick a few pointers: never take on problems that aren’t worth taking on; always realize that physical pain is only really in your mind; always attack assailants head-on if civilians are in danger; in limited combat space, use your opponent’s body against himself; never get cocky; everyone needs a family to rely on; there’s no problem that doesn’t have a solution; and always rescue babies and children first.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #43. Batman continues training Dick, impressing upon him that in their line of work, they must be ready to respond to a call at all times, meaning they can never take a day off. He will stress this idea (and practice what he preaches) for decades to come.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Prelude to the Wedding Part 2 – Nightwing vs Hush #1. Dick is shocked to witness the stuffy Bruce eat a burger with a knife and fork. All of the future Robins will have a similar experience and have the same chuckling reaction, thinking Bruce the ultimate product of being raised by a prim-and-proper butler. (These mealtime interactions will have to be imagined on our timeline ahead.)

–REFERENCE: In Deathstroke Vol. 4 #31. Bruce sets up his office at Wayne Enterprises, adding the decor of wall art, books, and a framed family picture from his youth to his desk. He also acquires an antique motorcycle, which he puts on display as a showpiece in the room.

–REFERENCE: In Deathstroke Vol. 4 #34. Bruce meets Wayne Enterprises attorney and financial advisor, Walter, who will remain on top of the company’s books and be the chief legal strategist behind the company for decades to come.

–REFERENCE: In Adventures of the Super Sons #1. Bruce puts WayneTech’s focus on semi-self-repairing structural engineering development. Bruce will monitor projects in this field closely, for decades to come. In the future, Batman will often utilize this tech when doing construction projects for himself and for the Justice League.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1000 Part 6. Bruce closes one of the main Wayne Foundation branches at Centre Street in Downtown Gotham, turning it into a Wayne Enterprises building.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1000 Part 8. February 14. Bruce isn’t involved in this one, but he would surely be following the news. A number of key players in the Falcone Mob, Gotham’s number one organized crime group, are shot and killed by a mystery gunman, dubbed “The Holiday Killer” (aka “Holiday”) by the media. (The Falcone mob is a primarily Italian-American criminal organization led by the notorious Falcone family and its patriarch Carmine Falcone.) SPOILER: Bruce, while usually not directly involved, will closely follow the Holiday case for the next twelve months. Originally, this item was a part of the Modern Age’s The Long Halloween arc, which ran from Halloween to Halloween. However, The Long Halloween cannot fit like that in the New Age, especially with other important stories—like “The War of Jokes and Riddles”—getting directly in the way. Thus, the only place a yearlong narrative can function is starting right now, going from Valentine’s Day to Valentine’s Day. Also, it has to start before Batman has even debuted! So, I guess we can think of the New Age version of The Long Halloween as “The Long Valentine’s Day.” Suffice to say, Holiday will indeed kill once a month for the next twelve months, but be aware that the narrative of the original Long Halloween has been chopped, screwed, and virtually erased in the New Age. Notably, in this New Age version, we can imagine Batman investigating the serial-killings on-and-off for the next calendar year, but he won’t deal with (or prevent) any of the Holiday murders, only getting actively involved at the very end (after Harvey Dent becomes Two-Face).

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #20, Action Comics #980, Detective Comics #958-959, Detective Comics #967, Nightwing Vol. 4 #24, Batwoman: Rebirth #1, Dark Days: The Forge #1, Superman Vol. 4 #37, Batman: Prelude to the Wedding Part 4 – Red Hood vs Anarky #1, Red Hood & The Outlaws Vol. 2 #25, Batman Giant #3, Batman Giant #6, Detective Comics #991, Detective Comics #1003, Detective Comics #1005, The Batman Who Laughs #1, and Batman Secret Files #2 Part 1. In the Batcave, Batman and Alfred set up the incredible Bat-computer, which is secretly linked to all of WayneTech’s satellites and Batman’s costume. Both Batman and Alfred have equal access to this multi-screen holographic display system, and Alfred can monitor Batman’s vital signs remotely through the networked costume connection. (All future Robins will have the same networked connection via their costumes.) Batman immediately begins logging information into a computer database that will hold criminal dossiers for every opponent he will face. While we won’t see Batman logging these dossier entries on our timeline, be aware that he will do this for just about everyone, even for good guys too. Also note that Batman will research and log information about super-villains and superheroes that he’s never even met. Furthermore, Batman begins maintaining a detailed case-file archive/history on Bat-computer databases. This includes detailed biometric data-maps on various individuals—files that will be constantly updated, moving ahead. Each database entry will include holographic 3D photos, weapon info, known associates and affiliations, power info, handwriting sample, fingerprints, and last known addresses/locations. Batman and Alfred also set-up the “Human Kinematic Program” on the Bat-computer, which can hack into every single security camera or CCTV feed in Gotham, simultaneously scanning the imagery with state-of-the-art facial (and body) recognition software. (Batman links his cowl to the Bat-computer and other law enforcement networks so that he can utilize this FRS capability. His cowl also has audio-dampening capabilities and infra-red, night-vision, diffusion, and internal holographic VR lens capabilities. It will also constantly record video that gets auto-logged into the Bat-computer.) In the future, most Bat-Family member costumes will be networked into the Bat-computer system. And, last but not least, Batman and Alfred both create special voice-activated override codes, just in case the system gets compromised.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1012. Batman hacks into and taps the 911 phone line, giving him the ability to listen-into all of Gotham’s emergency calls, a practice he will engage in regularly.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Nights: Metal #1, Detective Comics #965-967, Detective Comics #970, and Batgirl Vol. 5 #16. Via the Bat-computer, Bruce and Alfred set up a complex communications system linked to multiple WayneTech satellites and various other computer networks. With this system, Alfred will have multiple encrypted ways of contacting Batman (and vice-versa). Alfred will also be able to contact Batman in case of emergency at any time. Batman and Alfred also set up tiered emergency level priority codes, with “alpha one” being the top tier. The Bat-Family will use this same comm system and priority coding in the future. (In case you didn’t know, Batman’s closest allies will eventually be known as the “Bat-Family.”) In a related note, Batman and Alfred can and will use their complex satellite network/computer network for “eye in the sky” surveillance purposes as well, recording detailed holographic 3D video of pretty much anything unobstructed at ground level. They can and will also be able to utilize this system to hack into pretty much and surveillance camera in Gotham, including those in Arkham Asylum. Furthermore, Batman and Alfred also construct a variety of top-notch sound recording devices to use in the field.

–REFERENCE: In Gotham Academy: Second Semester #11. Bruce begins collecting war-related items (both new and old), ranging from katanas and bō staffs from Feudal Japan to suits of armor from Medieval Europe. Bruce will even collect assault rifles. These things go into an above-ground armory in Wayne Manor, which has both a public entrance and a hidden entrance. Bruce will add to this personal collection over the years and also train with most of these weapons.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #21-26, Batman Vol. 3 #53, All-Star Batman #10-11, Action Comics #980, Wonder Woman Vol. 5 #22, New Super-Man #17, Flash Vol. 5 #46, Suicide Squad Vol. 5 #41, Batman Vol. 3 Annual #3, and Batman: Kings of Fear #6. March. Batman—in his underwear-on-the-outside costume—goes on his first anti-crime patrol in Gotham, swinging into the night. On this first night out, Batman is a bit shaky and accidentally fires his grappling gun through a window. Despite strongly disapproving, Alfred acts as field surgeon and tactical point-man, backing Batman’s incipient operations. Alfred will sometimes (but not always) use the radio call-name “Penny-One” while communicating with the Dark Knight. Batman will begin routine nightly patrols from this point forward. Alfred will constantly stitch-up and repair the broken Batman as well as have debriefings with him, following patrols. That gem Alfred will also constantly clean-up after the messy and inconsiderate Batman when he returns home from patrol. Alfred will be in charge of mending damaged costumes, fueling-up all the vehicles, re-filling the utility belt, and fine-tuning weaponry. We will simply have to imagine both the patrols and patrol-related occurrences sprinkled throughout our timeline below. Batman will face countless thieves, muggers, and all types of criminals on his near-daily patrols, moving forward for the rest of his career.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #998. Batman secretly visits STAR Labs (Scientific and Technological Advanced Research Labs) and meets scientist Dr. Silas Stone, who helps him retool a lot of his tech, fine-tuning a lot of Batman’s gadgetry, including his grappling hooks and other utility belt paraphernalia. Stone also teaches Batman all about the latest in cutting edge science and technology.

–REFERENCE: In Superman Vol. 4 #39 and Flash Vol. 5 #39. While doling out vigilante justice, Batman displays the darker aspects of his personality (which come more naturally to him), adopting a grim’n’gritty, grumpy, grouchy, and downright unpleasant demeanor—quite the opposite of his alter ego’s chill party-boy attitude. Over the next few decades, the Dark Knight will come to be known by this brooding disagreeable persona by friends and foes alike.

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #2Batman & The Signal #2, Batman Vol. 3 Annual #3, and Justice League Vol. 4 #21. Alfred begins the practice of leaving dinner/breakfast out and ready for Batman upon his return from nightly patrol. (Generally, Alfred will set the meal out just prior to midnight, continuing this practice for decades to come.) Notably, when Bruce tries to cook for himself (even the simplest of meals), he fails miserably. Such will be the case, moving forward. Even the great Batman is bad at something! Alfred also tries to serve Batman tea, but Batman hates tea, refusing to even touch the stuff. Coffee is his preference. Moving forward, Alfred will try various means to get Batman to drink tea, but Batman will always refuse.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #37. Batman makes several backup Bat-costumes, but, in spite of this, wears the same costume for multiple nights of patrol—something he will do for his entire life. Gross!

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1000 Deluxe Edition Part 12. Batman makes several specialized Bat-costumes, including a scuba costume, all-white snow costume, and others.

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #14 and the second feature to All-Star Batman #14. Batman has known how to pick locks since he was a teenager, but there’s always more to learn in any craft. Thus, Alfred begins teaching the Dark Knight the finer art of lock-picking. He also instructs and helps Batman to surgically sew mini lock-picks into the inside of his cheeks (to use in case of emergency). Alfred will teach Batman many things he learned while in the British military and while working for MI6—including how to use decoys to confuse your opponent while on the battlefield. These lessons will be taught to Batman over the course of the next few years, although they won’t be physically listed on our timeline.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #998. Batman fixes-up his grappling gun, retiring his original prototype for a sleeker new version.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Lost #1, Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #12, Batgirl & The Birds of Prey #11, Batgirl Vol. 5 #14, Batgirl Vol. 5 Annual #2, and Detective Comics #1008—originally told in Frank Miller’s “BATMAN: YEAR ONE.” Batman roughs-up the corrupt Gotham City Police Department’s Detective Arnold Flass while he attempts a drug deal. Batman later confronts the drug dealer and “convinces” him to cop a plea bargain with District Attorney Harvey Dent, exposing Flass as a criminal. Soon after, Batman gets trapped by corrupt GCPD cops inside a vacant tenement building. Although cornered and injured, Batman escapes by using his sonar device, which attracts a swarm of bats to his location. Following this affair, Batman works with GCPD Lieutenant Jim Gordon, who has recently moved back to Gotham from Chicago. (Once upon a time, Gordon was a rookie cop in Gotham, but moved to Chicago shortly after the Wayne Murders.) Despite being a lieutenant, Gordon is able to expose deep corruption within the GCPD thanks to Batman’s assistance. With nearly all leadership resigning or being indicted overnight, Jim is immediately promoted to fill the gaps, becoming interim Captain before being officially made Gotham’s newest Police Commissioner. Unfortunately, Jim’s personal life doesn’t go as smoothly as his professional life. He gets a divorce from his wife Barbara Gordon, who chooses to stay in Chicago along with their daughter Barbara “Babs” Gordon and son James Gordon Jr. (Young James Junior will soon kill one of Babs’ friends, which will be determined as an “accidental death,” after which James Junior will go back and forth between being under the guardianship of his mom and various psychiatric institutions for the next decade-plus.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Lost #1. Bruce meets and becomes friends with Commissioner Jim Gordon, who has no idea that he is secretly Batman. While Bruce and Gordon won’t be BFFs, they will always remain on amicable terms.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1000 Part 1—and referenced in Batman: Lost #1. Originally told in Detective Comics #27. Batman goes on his first official mission, “The Case of the Chemical Syndicate,” as it will be labeled by the news media. In this case, Batman attempts to solve the murder of industrial tycoon David Lambert. Batman helps Commissioner Gordon on an investigation that points to Lambert’s son as a possible culprit. While examining the crime scene, Batman finds that one of Lambert’s museum pieces, an ancient looking glass, is actually a forgery. Over the course of the investigation, Batman and Gordon soon switch the focus of their suspicion from Lambert’s son to Alfred Stryker, one of Lambert’s partners. At Apex Chemicals, Batman corners Stryker, who grins and leaps to his death in a vat of toxic liquid below. Unknown to Batman, Stryker is none other than Barbatos, playing head games with Batman. From this point forward, every time Bruce looks at his reflection, Barbatos will be staring back at him, watching his every move. After wrapping this case, Batman realizes the looking glass robbery is a separate affair entirely and begins an investigation. From this point forward, Batman will spend the next sixteen years trying to solve the mystery of Lambert’s looking glass. Some of the investigation will be shown on our timeline, but much of it will have to simply be imagined as going on in random spurts throughout the chronology. (SPOILER: The “Lambert’s looking glass case” is actually an elaborate challenge devised by Slam Bradley, leader of the clandestine Guild of Detection. Batman won’t solve the case or discover the truth about the Guild for another sixteen years.)

–REFERENCE: In Batwoman: Rebirth #1 and Detective Comics #964. An unknown person is wronged or injured during an unspecified Batman case. They come to blame Batman for their condition. This person will return years later as the evil villain known as “The First Victim.”

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight #1. Batman goes to ludicrous lengths to bust some random bad guys, showing Commissioner Gordon that he refuses to use firearms. While not listed on our timeline specifically, Gordon will witness Batman uphold his anti-gun stance over and over, moving forward—even in the most precarious of situations.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #7 and Detective Comics #997. Batman retires his purple gloves, replacing them with the more standard black gauntlet gloves that have razor-sharp forearm scallops.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #995. Bruce, as a gift to Dr. Leslie Thompkins, purchases land and funds the construction of the Thompkins Court Apartments, an eco-friendly affordable housing complex in Gotham. At a public Wayne Enterprises function, Bruce and Leslie ceremonially break ground on-site and construction begins.

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to All-Star Batman #10, Batman Vol. 3 #26, Detective Comics Vol. 3 Annual #1, and Detective Comics #1000 Deluxe Edition Part 12—originally told in “BATMAN: YEAR ONE.” Batman, DA Harvey Dent, and Commissioner Gordon team-up to bust key members of the Falcone Mob, which has already been plagued by several Holiday massacres. While the Falcone Mob’s operational capability is significantly weakened, the Falcones are not completely down-and-out. They will remain a part of the Gotham Underworld for years to come, led by patriarch Carmine Falcone. Batman, Gordon, and Dent will become fast friends, with the Dark Knight learning a lot about both Gordon and Dent’s personal lives. This trio will function as a tight crime-fighting unit from this point forward—that is, until Dent’s unfortunate accident at the hands of Sal Maroni next year.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #23, Trinity Vol. 2 #11, and Detective Comics #965. Batman, having now worked closely with Commissioner Gordon and Harvey Dent a few times, is able to earn the confidence/backing of Gotham’s police force and judicial system. Gordon, already one of Batman’s best crime-fighting partners, will become one of Batman’s best friends as well. We should note that, while Batman will maintain that he “prefers to work alone” throughout his entire career, he will often find himself working with others—including Gordon, other cops, multiple Robins, the Bat-Family, various Justice Leagues, Outsiders, and more. A better interpretation of Batman’s concept of “preferring to work alone,” moving forward, will be that Batman “likes to work with others—provided he is in a leadership role.” The best interpretation of Batman’s relationship to teamwork comes from Detective Comics #965, in which Tim Drake says, “Batman needs people.”

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #22 and Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #7. Commissioner Gordon, in conjunction with Batman, creates the Bat-signal, a spotlight bat-symbol that will shine in the night sky both to frighten criminals and as a means of summoning Batman if he is needed by the police.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #971 and Detective Comics #995. Batman activates the “red phone,” a crimson-colored cellphone that is a direct “hotline” connection to Commissioner Gordon. If Gordon ever needs to reach Batman, he can reach him on this phone, which Batman will keep in his utility belt from now on. Gordon’s hotline is also connected to Wayne Manor and the Batcave, so that Batman and Alfred can receive calls at home too. (Note that Batman, as new tech becomes available, will always upgrade his cellphone to new models throughout the years to come.)

–REFERENCE: In Green Arrow Vol. 6 #29 and Blue Beetle Vol. 9 #12. Batman begins the habit of ending conversations as soon as he gets the information he needs, doing so by simply vanishing without a trace. Similarly, he begins the habit of surprising people by showing up out of nowhere. He does both of these things with Commissioner Gordon, various law enforcement officials, fellow superheroes, and others. Both of these things will become the Dark Knight’s signature trademarks, moving forward on our timeline.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman’s Grave #1. Batman begins sometimes using the codename “Officer Franciscus” when phoning Commissioner Gordon.

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #13. Alfred is supportive but still extremely wary of Batman’s vigilante mission. (This feeling will never really change.) Hoping to subconsciously give Bruce a glimpse at a better life sans the Bat, Alfred interjects into Bruce’s real estate dealings with WayneTech, suggesting that he purchase properties in beautiful and relaxing vacation locales. Bruce does so and even travels to some of the unspecified sites with Alfred, but he doesn’t take the hint. Alfred will act as a consultant on various WayneTech real estate purchases for the next fifteen years plus, although these purchases won’t be specifically listed on our chronology.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1009. Alfred notices that Bruce has been neglecting Wayne Enterprises duties in order to focus on being Batman full-time. Alfred encourages Bruce to have some balance in his life, but Bruce won’t really listen. Alfred will be like a broken record about this for a very long time to come. Moving forward, the efficient planner that is Alfred will schedule most of Bruce’s business appointments and remind him up until the minute they are set to occur.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 5 #25. Batman busts the serial killer known as Birthday Boy (Ray Salinger). Prior to this reference, Birthday Boy was only canon on the Earth-1 timeline as per Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s Batman: Earth One.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #985. Batman gives Dick a tricky test as part of his ongoing training. Having been taught blind obedience thus far, Batman gives Dick a rule that is deliberately wonky and made to be broken. Dick disobeys Batman’s bad order and passes the test.

–FLASHBACK: From The Batman Who Laughs #4—and referenced in Flash Vol. 5 #21, Flash Vol. 5 #64Nightwing Vol. 4 #21, Nightwing Vol. 4 #37, Teen Titans Vol. 6 #8, Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #7, Harley Quinn 25th Anniversary Special #1 Part 4, Detective Comics #965Detective Comics #996Batman Vol. 3 #33, Batman Vol. 3 #55, The Terrifics #3, The Batman Who Laughs #4, and Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III #6. July. Dick Grayson completes his training and becomes Batman’s sidekick: Robin. Batman and Alfred design two bright red-and-green costumes for Robin—a classic-looking speedo outfit and a more modern-looking (New 52 style) full body-coverage outfit. Robin will wear both of these interchangeably, moving forward. Batman secretly imbeds hidden cameras into the breastplates of both costumes (and into the breastplates of each spare costume as well). From these cameras, Batman can (and will) monitor Robin when he gets out of his line of sight or does anything solo. The cameras will also save video footage and archive cases on the Bat-computer. (Note that, while it won’t be listed on our timeline moving forward, Batman will have the inveterate tendency to embed hidden cameras on every future Robin’s costume—and presumably other Bat-Family members—in order to keep tabs on them. It is thanks to these secret costume cams, for instance, that Batman will be able to log and view all of Robin’s future Teen Titans cases.) Robin goes on his first official patrol with the Caped Crusader at his side, during which they bust the mutant warthog gangster called Tusk. The newly formed “Dynamic Duo” (as Batman and Robin will quickly be labeled) becomes the immediate scourge of Gotham’s underworld. The news media immediately labels Robin as the “Boy Wonder,” “Teenage Typhoon,” “Young Daredevil,” “Living Hurricane,” and “Hard-Fisted Little Scrapper.” Note that Dick quickly realizes that part of his “job” as Batman’s sidekick is to mellow out the grim n’gritty attitude of the Dark Knight. Dick will be quite good at this, putting a smile on Batman’s face quite often by making near-constant jokes and puns while on patrol. This includes Robin saying his signature “Holy, Batman!” catchphrase, which will enter the cultural lexicon by the end of the year. Dick will often tell Batman it’s okay to smile every once in a while. This concept of Robin being the “light that brightens the darkness” will get passed down the line to each new Robin. Batman notices that Dick loves swinging from rooftop to rooftop whereas he prefers to be at street level. (Batman will notice that all future Robins will enjoy rooftop swinging.) Note that Dick is emotionally damaged at this juncture, especially with the recent deaths of his parents. For Dick, being a crime-fighting jester of sorts is his only outlet to deal with his loss. Also note that Robin will sometimes be headstrong, disobeying direct orders. This will result in an angry Batman benching Robin from time to time. (This will also happen with Robins 2, 3, and 4.) Not all of these incidences are specifically shown on our timeline and, as such, they will not all be specifically listed, moving forward. We must simply imagine them scattered throughout the chronology.

–REFERENCE: In ???. Batman and Robin bust Tony Zucco.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #44 and Batman Vol. 3 #78—and referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #24Batman Vol. 3 #50, Batman Vol. 3 #79, and Detective Comics #1012. Originally told in Batman #1. Batman and Robin board a boat called the SS Dolphin to prevent the theft of a priceless diamond by Selina Kyle, who uses the super-villain name “The Cat.” (Selina, based on their previous encounter, has already deduced that Batman is Bruce Wayne.) Batman and Robin bust the Cat, who is disguised as an old woman. After unmasking the Cat, Batman recovers the diamond, hidden in a bandage around her ankle. Batman, sensing empathy in her eyes, instantly falls for the Cat and lets her go free. Later, Bruce realizes that the love he feels for the Cat is legit. He knows that he’s met his equal and there will never be another quite like her. Bruce purchases the diamond that the Cat had attempted to steal on the boat and stores it in a safe place, knowing deep down that one day, he will give it to her. Unknown to Bruce, the Cat sees through his cowl, deducing his secret ID.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #26 and Batman Vol. 3 #55. Batman tells Robin to never use real names when out in the field. This is a tough thing to remember and something that Batman will consistently have to remind Robin, moving forward on our timeline, while on patrols and completing missions. Batman also begins referring to Robin as “Chum” while out on patrol. This is a double entendre—Batman regards Robin as a legitimate friend and surrogate son, but the Dark Knight has also noticed that Robin wears the same dirty and smelly costume without ever washing it. Ironically, when Batman first started out, he never washed his stinky costume very often either. Batman will call Robin “Chum” quite often, on various cases, moving forward. Note that the rule of only using codenames in the field is a rule that will often get broken by various writers, moving forward. Thus, despite his insistence, Batman will often break his own rule time and time again. Oh well.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #24. Batman assigns Robin ongoing homework to read the criminal records and info sheets for all masked super-villains, even crooks that neither he nor Batman have met before. Both Bruce and Dick will do this practice for the remainder of their crime-fighting careers, constantly keeping up to date on all things in the hero-villain community, whether it affects them directly or not. Batman also teaches Robin how to turn any object within reach into a weapon, encouraging him to continue training himself in this regard, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #971. Batman introduces Robin to Commissioner Gordon, who does not approve of a child fighting in the Dark Knight’s war on crime. Gordon makes his views on child safety very clear to Batman. The Commish will never fully accept minors battling alongside Batman, but he will come to respect Robin (and the other future Bat-Family kids to come).

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #61—originally told in Robin: Year One. Dick goes undercover in a League of Assassins training camp led by Shrike. While training with Shrike, Dick befriends fellow student Boone. Eventually, Batman and Robin bring down the training camp and bust Shrike.

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 4 #35, Nightwing Vol. 4 #37, and Nightwing Vol. 4 #39. It’s been a few weeks since Dick debuted as Robin. Batman and Robin go on an unspecified mission and the green Boy Wonder messes up bad, which puts him in the Dark Knight’s dog house. Shortly thereafter, an anti-gambling activist known as The Judge (the immortal founder of Blüdhaven, Jacob De Witt) uses mental powers to force random folks to kill three casino developers at Gotham City Hall. A gold casino chip is left on each victim as a calling card. While Dick trains in the Batcave, Batman quickly learns the Judge is responsible and has fled to Blüdhaven (less than an hour away by car). Batman and Robin to Gotham’s sister city and team-up with Blüdhaven’s own baseball-themed resident superhero, Baby Ruthless (Lucy Weatherton), against King Sturgeon, a TMNT-style shark-mutant villain that wears a pro wrestling title belt around his waist. A pro wrestling shark! Batman, Robin, and Baby Ruthless then fight the Judge and his henchmen aboard a ship, but the Judge escapes scot-free. Robin, worried that Batman will be upset with his failure, runs away and hides in the Justice Tree, an over 700-year-old tree marking the site of the Blüdhaven’s first colonial court held by Jacob De Witt. Batman gives his sidekick a pep talk and all is right in the world again. Before departing for Gotham, Batman and Robin follow-up on the Judge case and learn all about the history of Blüdhaven.

–Batman Vol. 3 Annual #2 Part 1 Intro
The crafty Selina Kyle, with a new gray feline costume and now going by the name Catwoman, breaks into the Batcave (which is still pretty empty) via the manor above, stealing Batman’s car! Alfred alerts a patrolling Batman, who chases after Catwoman, who crashes the car into Porky’s Bar. Present at Porky’s are owner Porky and the watering hole’s usual offbeat customers, including Silver St. Cloud, Elmer Fudd, Taz, an unnamed guy and his pet frog named Michigan J Frog, Bugs the Bunny, Yosemite Sam, and William Ernest Coyote.[2] Porky refers to Batman’s car as the “Batmobile,” which Batman takes a liking to. Batman, who had previously been referring to his weaponized cars without any specific names, will now begin calling them “Batmobiles.” The Dark Knight retrieves the smashed-up Batmobile, in which he finds that Catwoman has left him a mouse. Batman keeps the mouse as a pet in Wayne Manor.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #25-26, Batman Vol. 3 #31, All-Star Batman #10-11, Detective Comics #959, Detective Comics #967, Detective Comics #986, Detective Comics #994, Detective Comics #1003, Detective Comics #1013, Dark Days: The Forge #1, Dark Nights: Metal #1-2, Super Sons #10 Part 2, Flash Vol. 5 #46, Batman: Kings of Fear #1-3, Batman Secret Files #1 Part 5, Batman Vol. 3 Annual #3, The Batman Who Laughs #1, Teen Titans Vol. 6 #25, Dog Days of Summer #1 Part 2, and Event Leviathan #5. Batman finishes construction on the Batcave, stocking it with new vehicles. Adding to his collection of weaponized cars and bikes, the Dark Knight stocks his underground garage with new Batboats, a hyper-submarine, a mini-sub, new motorcycles, planes, rocket-powered gliders, jetpacks, all-terrain APCs, snowmobiles, combo jet-ski swamp-mobiles, a swamp airboat, a blimp, tanks, an all-terrain war machine hummer, a three-wheeled Bat-Raptor, a Bat-gyro-ball, and new tricked-out Batmobiles (pretty much every concept Batmobile from film and TV). Every vehicle is equipped with a portable crime lab. In case you haven’t already noticed, Batman loves adding the “Bat” prefix to the names of stuff, but now he’ll start doing it with just about everything that belongs to him (including all these vehicles), so get used to it. All of these vehicles have state-of-the-art security systems that include full emergency lockdown modes. Most of the Batmobiles will be self-driving. The highest-tech Batmobile will also have a full medical lab inside of it, complete with various blood packs in case the need for emergency transfusion should come up. Alfred will be well-versed in all Bat-tech, including the vehicles, and he will keep the blood packs up-to-date. Note that, while we won’t necessarily see it on our chronology, Batman will always upgrade his vehicles to the latest and greatest models. Also note that Batman adds some high-tech accoutrements to his civilian vehicles as well.

–REFERENCE: In Trinity Vol. 2 #8, Superman Vol. 4 #20, Wonder Woman Vol. 5 Annual #1 Part 1, and Super Sons #5. Batman meets Superman (Kal-El/Clark Kent). They discover each other’s secret identities, after which Batman meets Superman’s love interest and intrepid reporter Lois Lane. Despite getting to know one another a bit, Superman and Batman are completely at odds. Batman won’t come to trust Superman (and vice-versa) just quite yet. In fact, Batman and the “Man of Steel” will often get into heated arguments when they cross paths. Most of these fights will happen invisibly, scattered throughout our timeline below.

–REFERENCE: In Trinity Vol. 2 #13 and Justice League Vol. 3 #29. Batman pontificates upon Superman’s origin story, noting how lucky the world is that two benevolent kind-hearted people raised Clark to be a decent human being. Any number of alternatives could have been disastrous. Batman will think about this circumstance of fate quite often over the course of his crime-fighting career. The Dark Knight begins studying Superman very closely, also noting that the Man of Steel typically holds back his full power while in combat, aware of the destructive capability of his Kryptonian abilities. Batman also notes that Superman gets his power from the Earth’s yellow sun, while discovering that red solar rays nullify his power.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #24. Batman first hears what will become Superman’s very public signature catch phrase: “Up, up, and away!”

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #36. Batman, possibly inspired by Superman, coins his own catch phrase, “Vengeance is the night!” which he begins growling at criminals while on patrol. Thankfully, Batman won’t say this very often.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #61. Batman and Superman team-up to bust the debuting Magpie.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #1003. International news-media begins referring to the team-up of Batman and Superman as “The World’s Finest.” This moniker will be used in reference to the duo every now and again, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #982, Superman Vol. 4 #36-37, Dark Nights: Metal #4, Heroes in Crisis #2, Batman Vol. 3 #68, and Superman Vol. 5 #16. Batman learns about Superman’s major weakness to Kryptonite. He learns and studies the different types of Kryptonite and their various effects on Superman. There are Green, Red, Gold, Periwinkle, and a few other unknown Kryptonite variations. Batman then builds a data file, detailing how to surmount Superman in the off chance that the Man of Steel turns evil or is mind-controlled by an evil force. Batman will continuously catalog information about Superman, starting now. This information will be stored on the Bat-computer network. Notably, Superman actually gives Batman a Green Kryptonite ring with the expressed idea that he use it against him should he ever get mind-controlled or lose control. Batman also acquires various colored Kryptonite shards, storing them safely in the Batcave. Batman places a tiny sliver of Green Kryptonite (in a lead-lined case that blocks its radioactive emissions) into his utility belt. And last but not least, Batman gets a tour of Superman’s Arctic Fortress of Solitude for the first time! While the Fortress is all about solitude (as the name clearly states), Batman will spend a lot of time there, especially as his relationship with Superman matures over the years. We should imagine Fortress hang-outs sprinkled throughout the chronology.

–REFERENCE: In Superman Vol. 5 #9. Batman and Superman discuss Superman’s sleeping habits. The Man of Steel doesn’t ever need sleep, but he chooses to sleep like a human anyway.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #37. Bruce tells Clark about his ginger-ale-swilling drunk act that fools people into thinking he is wasted at parties. Clark begins doing it too.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics Vol. 3 Annual #2. Having now seen a metahuman hero (Superman) up close and gone on a bunch of fantastic adventures, Batman decides to begin keeping a log of any bizarre events involving metahumans, supernatural occurrences, aliens, or anything else seemingly beyond the realm of human comprehension. Batman and Alfred begin compiling this intensive log, which is known as “The Black Casebook.” Batman decides the Black Casebook should also contain details about any adventures or missions he considers to be failures. He will also fill it with newspaper clippings. Batman and Alfred also begin logging “The Red Casebook.” We can only wonder what is in that one. In any case, both these casebooks will get filled-out accordingly, moving forward. Batman and Alfred also put the Dark Knight’s case-files (so far) into chronological order! Yes, they have their very own Batman Chronology Project! They will bind all the Dark Knight’s case-files into physical tomes—”Year Zero,” “Year One,” “Year Two,” etc—and keep them in the Batcave library. Likewise, in the future, Batman and Alfred will bind very special cases into physical books for their library too.[3]

–REFERENCE: In Batman/Superman #1. Batman and Superman begin a hypothetical debate about superhero ethics and morality, asking each other what would happen if they used the same methods super-villains use, but instead to fight against crime. This complex conversation will happen on-and-off between the super-friends for decades to come.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1000 Part 5Detective Comics #1000 Part 10, and Dial H for Hero #5. Early September. Batman begins the annual tradition of visiting both Crime Alley (where his parents were killed) and the cemetery where his parents are buried on the anniversary of the day they were murdered. Batman, from this point forward, will leave two red roses on Crime Alley every year.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #29, Batman & The Signal #2, and Batman Vol. 3 #53—and also referenced in Flash Vol. 5 #21, Batman Vol. 3 #25-26, Batman Vol. 3 #28, Batman: The Merciless #1, Detective Comics #969 Part 2, Batman Vol. 3 Annual #2 Part 1 Conclusion, Batman & The Signal #1-3, and Batman Giant #5-6. Originally told in “ZERO YEAR.” Batman shuts down The Red Hood and his gang in an epic battle, during which Philip Kane is killed and the Red Hood himself falls into a vat of toxic chemicals at Ace Chemicals. (Of course, the Red Hood will soon return as Joker.) Batman keeps Red Hood’s helmet as a trophy for the Batcave. Shortly after the Red Hood fight and presumable Philip Kane funeral, Batman matches wits with Riddler (Edward Nigma aka Edward Nygma aka Edward Nashton), who debuts by committing a series of big-time heists, leaving public riddle clues/challenges for both Batman and law enforcement before each crime. Batman also deals with Riddler’s femme fatale henchwomen, Query and Echo during these heists. After a very public confrontation with Batman, the Riddler claims victory and takes over the entire city, ruling with an iron fist for weeks while Batman remains in a coma. The injured Batman is cared for and nursed back to health by the Thomas family (Elaine Thomas, Doug Thomas, and young Duke Thomas). Duke is particularly encouraging and inspires Batman to make a dramatic return—wearing a sleeveless costume and riding a steam-powered motorbike. He teams-up with Commissioner Gordon against Riddler. Eventually, Batman fights the super-villain one-on-one, sustaining multiple serious injuries. In the end, Batman wins and punches Riddler’s lights out so mercilessly that he knocks his teeth out and puts him into a coma for two days. After Riddler’s hospital stay, Batman personally escorts Riddler for a handoff to Commissioner Gordon. The super-villain, ever-messing with everyone’s heads, orates a cryptic riddle with a new-toothed smile on his face. Shackled behind Arkham Asylum bars, Riddler will quickly become a police consultant for complex and bizarre crimes, sort of like Hannibal Lecter.

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #2 and Batman Vol. 3 #54. Following Riddler’s “Zero Year” takeover and arrest, Batman claims his gaudy green question mark costume for a trophy, which he puts on display in the Batcave. This will be the start of Batman’s trophy collection. Batman also builds a trophy wall on which he will affix commemorative plaques (presumably of his own design). The first three plaques feature pictures of a question mark, Red Hood’s helmet, and roses. The roses, and this might be a stretch, could represent Carmine Falcone. Roses are kinda his thing.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #999. Also following Riddler’s “Zero Year” takeover and arrest, Batman collects some of Riddler’s DNA from the villain’s costume. This begins the practice of capturing and storing DNA from every villain that Batman will face with regularity. We won’t see this DNA collection on our timeline, but we can imagine it happening in conjunction with all of Batman’s many future battles.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21. Batman obtains a giant penny and puts it on display in the Batcave as a trophy. While unspecified, it is possible that the penny is an art piece created by the recently deceased Philip Kane. Such was the case in the New 52.

–Batman Vol. 3 Annual #2 Part 1 Conclusion
The day after busting Riddler, an injured Bruce lounges at Wayne Manor and tries to make sense of the villain’s last riddle. When a pen goes missing, Alfred jokes about calling Superman for help. Bruce realizes that Catwoman is inside the house again. He chases her, but she hops out the window and gets away. Outside, police and news media have gathered—called to the scene by Catwoman herself in order to make a spectacle. Inside, Catwoman has left Bruce another mouse, which goes in the cage with the other rodent. Bruce immediately installs extra security alarms in Wayne Manor. A few days later, Catwoman breaks into Wayne Manor again, taking Bruce’s mother’s pearl out of the safe to examine it. Batman enters and they talk about their orphan childhoods while flirting with each other. Catwoman sets off one of Batman’s smoke pellets and escapes, leaving another mouse, which gets added to the cage. A few days later, Batman catches Catwoman atop Wayne Manor, trying to break in yet again. He chases her while she tells him that she’s testing him to make him stronger because she wants him to survive his dangerous vigilante quest. Catwoman disappears into the woods, but once again leaves another mouse, which joins the rest of the little squeakers. After some quick detective work, Batman is able to locate Selina’s apartment. There, Bruce and Selina share their first kiss. They jokingly argue about how they first met, debating which encounter—their first meeting out-of-costume on the street or their first meeting in-costume on the boat—is more legit. This debate will be an in-joke that will stay with the duo for decades. Despite being at odds and occasionally warring with one another, Batman and Catwoman will remain on-again-off-again lovers from this point forward. Their intermittent love affair will continue for years to come, although most of it will remain invisible on our timeline.

–REFERENCE: In Deathstroke Vol. 4 #34-35. Bruce and Alfred upgrade Wayne Manor security yet again, adding a special lockdown mode, in which the entire house can be turned into a giant panic room in case of infiltration or extreme emergency. Likewise, the Batcave can be deactivated and sealed-off as well.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21 and Detective Comics #1000 Part 2. Batman obtains a Tyrannosaurus Rex robot from an unspecified case and puts it on display in the Batcave. Alfred throws his back out helping Bruce move the giant T Rex into the Batcave.

–REFERENCE: In Catwoman Vol. 5 #3—originally told in Catwoman: Her Sister’s Keeper #1-4. When Catwoman’s sister Maggie Kyle is kidnapped by Stan the Pimp, Batman is on the case. Batman helps Catwoman save Maggie from Stan, who dies during the altercation.

–REFERENCE: In Batwoman: Rebirth #1, Batgirl & The Birds of Prey #18, Detective Comics #973, and Trinity Vol. 2 #21—originally told in Batman #1 Part 2 and “BATMAN & THE MONSTER MEN.” Batman encounters the debuting Professor Hugo Strange, who uses his patented Monster Serum to turn mental patients into hulking “Monster Men.” Using a specially-developed extra-strength knockout gas, Batman defeats the Monster Men. The Dark Knight will keep reserves of his new knockout gas in his utility belt from this point forward.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21, Batwoman: Rebirth #1Batman Vol. 3 #27, Detective Comics #995, and Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #57Joker debuts, using his patented Joker Venom (aka Joker Juice aka Joker Toxin aka Smylex), a fatal laughing gas that causes permanent rictus grinning, causing victims to die with smiles on their faces. Joker also leaves his signature, a joker playing card, with each corpse. While Batman fights Joker and fends off an attack, store owner Virgil Myers gets gassed. Due to a bizarre allergic reaction, Myers winds up with metahuman powers. (Myers will return years later as the super-villain known as The Mute.) From this point on, Joker will use many different variations of Joker Venom, and each time Batman and Alfred will create new antitoxins by synthesizing various antibiotics, vaccines, and steroids.

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #2, The Batman Who Laughs #1, and The Batman Who Laughs #6. In the Batcave, Batman sets up a newspaper clipping cork board dedicated to all things Joker-related. He will add to this board whenever Joker takes any action whatsoever. (Not all of Batman’s interactions with Joker will be listed on our timeline below. Since Joker will be Batman’s arch enemy, there are a lot of cases that we must simply imagine sprinkled throughout the chronology.) At this juncture, Batman begins obsessively studying gelotology and Joker’s sadistic nature. Batman finds Joker so detestable that he briefly considers breaking his vow never to kill. Moving forward, Batman will question whether or not to kill Joker from time-to-time, which is something he will never even think about in regard to his other foes.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Secret Files #1 Part 2 and Batman/Superman #2. Bruce begins co-funding Arkham Asylum’s day-to-day functions via Wayne Foundation grant money. Wayne Foundation grants will help Arkham stay afloat for decades to come. Furthermore, Bruce funds the construction of the GCPD Armory where all super-villain weaponry, costumes, and the like will be catalogued and secured by WayneTech security staff.

–REFERENCE: In Deathstroke Vol. 4 #41. Bruce begins donating a ton of money to the GCPD via Wayne Enterprises. He will do so for the rest of his life.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #29 and Batman Vol. 3 #53—and also referenced in Dark Days: The Casting #1 and Doomsday Clock #2. Batman fights Joker again, punching him out and putting him behind Arkham Asylum bars. Batman keeps a pair of Joker’s giant dice as a trophy. When he returns to the Batcave to find one of Joker’s signature playing cards, Batman worries that Joker knows his secret ID. Bruce visits Arkham Asylum under the auspices of a Wayne Foundation business visit, sneaks off, meets with Joker, and shows him the playing card. Joker looks at Bruce, but makes no response or recognition. Even though the connection between Bruce and Batman has to be quite evident, Bruce believes that Joker’s twisted mind works in mysterious ways. He thinks that Joker doesn’t care who he is beneath the mask, and never will—that the madman is incapable of even broaching the subject of Bruce Wayne, for it might ruin his fun. Is this true? Or does Joker have more cunning faculty in regard to this matter than Bruce is willing to admit? Later, Batman enlarges Joker’s playing card and hangs it on display in the Batcave as a trophy.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #29. Batman gets the Bat-costume that his father once wore at a masquerade before he was born. He puts it on display in the Batcave.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #25. Batman and Robin fight Joker atop a moving tanker train filled with Joker Venom, which the Clown Prince of Crime intends to release into the city. This is Robin’s first encounter with Joker and the boy is very nervous. Our heroes stop the Joker’s plot, but the villain escapes custody.

–REFERENCE: In Gotham City Monsters #1. Batman defeats the deadly vampire and evil cult leader known as The Mad Monk.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #53—and referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #25, Batman Vol. 3 #69, Batwoman Vol. 3 #7-8, Detective Comics #964, Detective Comics #967, Detective Comics #985, and Batman: Kings of Fear #5. Batman fights the debuting Scarecrow (Professor Jonathan Crane), who unleashes his tortured and brainwashed students, including Abigail O’Shay, upon the Caped Crusader. (Abigail will return years later as the super-villain Madame Crow.) Scarecrow also uses his patented Fear Gas on Batman, causing him to have intense hallucinations. Eventually, Batman wins the day and collects a sample of Scarecrow’s Fear Gas. From this point forward, Batman will collect samples of Scarecrow’s Fear Gas, of which there will be a variety of different strains, every time they face one another. Both Batman and Alfred will study Scarecrow’s poisons quite often, becoming more than familiar with their effects and chemical makeup. Batman, for the next few years, will expose himself to every variation of Fear Gas in order to memorize the effects and feel of each strain. Also, from this point forward, Batman will keep both Fear Gas and Fear Gas antidote syringes in his utility belt.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #27. Joker escapes from Arkham Asylum and hires four experts, including aerodynamics whiz Chuck Brown, to help him build the Jokermobile. Joker then kills three of the experts, leaving only Brown alive, before taking his new roadster for a spin. Batman’s Batmobile proves to be the superior vehicle, besting the short-lived Jokermobile, which sends Joker back behind bars.

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<<< New Age Salad Days <<< ||| >>> New Age Years 1-5 >>>

  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: Bruce and Alfred will all but finish their massive Batcave undertaking in less than a year. On our New Age timeline, we will see numerous instances of skyscrapers and superhero (and villain) headquarters being built to completion in a matter of months or even weeks or days. Battle damaged buildings, flooded natural disaster zones, and entire metropolitan infrastructures devastated by nuclear holocaust or alien attack will sometimes get fixed up in no time flat. Unlike in our reality—where One World Trade Center took over seven years to top-out—the DCU is a place of magick, metapower, and sci-fi technology. Put these things together and things get built quickly. We also cannot ignore trigger-happy writers, eager to return things to status-quo, to add new toys to the sandbox, or to just plain get on with their stories. Simply put, be prepared to suspend your disbelief when it comes to the speed of building and reconstructing things in the DCU. (Hell, Scott Snyder had Superman put a destroyed Moon back together like a puzzle in mere minutes.)
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: A note about these Looney Tunes-inspired characters. On the New Age Earth-0 timeline, thanks to writer Tom King, the slapstick Looney Tunes characters have all been reverse-anthropomorphized (or de-toon-ified) into grim-and-gritty versions of themselves, all of whom hang out at a Gotham dive bar called Porky’s—as we see in Batman/Elmer Fudd #1 and Batman Vol. 3 Annual #2, and as referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #67. Note that all of the DC/Looney Tunes comics published in 2017-2018 are OUT-OF-CONTINUITY on the New Age Earth-0 timeline EXCEPT FOR Batman/Elmer Fudd #1.
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: One of the books shown on the Batcave library shelf in Detective Comics Vol. 3 Annual #2 is entitled “Lost Year.” This could be random book, but it could also be a reference to Kate Kane’s “lost year” when she went on a bender after being kicked out of the army. In the Modern Age, Nightwing had a “lost year” in the form of Marv Wolfman’s “Nightwing Year One,” but this is not canon in the New Age, so it is unlikely that the “Lost Year” book is a reference to that.

3 Responses to Year Zero

  1. Austin Eaton says:

    Why’d you move the debut of Robin to Year Zero? Also, the first encounters with Mr Freeze.

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