Rebirth Years One to Five

Rebirth Era (Post-“Superman Reborn”) Chronology


YEAR ONE (2003)

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #999. Batman and Alfred review municipal data that shows the number of murders in Gotham in the previous year. They will use this number as a key metric of their success, with the goal of brining this number down each year, moving forward. The number will indeed go down each year.

–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.

–REFERENCE: In Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen Vol. 3 #5. In a further attempt to distance his Bruce Wayne alter ego from that of Batman, Bruce begins to tell jokes while in social gatherings and at work at Wayne Enterprises. While Bruce knows his playboy schtick is an act, he actually does think he’s got some comedic flair. But he really doesn’t. Alfred sees this right off the bat and knows it means a lot to Bruce, so he begins the practice of paying off people at Wayne Enterprises to laugh at all of Bruce’s jokes. Alfred will pay people off for many years to come.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Giant Vol. 2 #3 Part 1 (Batman: Gotham Nights Vol. 3 #4). Bruce meets and befriends the scummy billionaire businessman Hiram Bosch. While completely unsavory, Bruce will remain acquaintances with him in order to keep up his own socialite appearances, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1014. Promising scientist Dr. Victor Fries begins working at WayneTech Cryogenics Lab. Bruce meets Dr. Fries and his wife, ballet dancer Nora Fries. Bruce will quickly grow fond of the couple, checking-in on Victor and Nora from time to time over the course of the next couple months. Bruce will also make several donations to Nora’s ballet company.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1000 Part 11. Batman brutally thrashes an escaped Joker and his clown-henchmen.

–REFERENCE: In Wonder Woman Vol. 5 #22 and Action Comics Special #1 Part 2. Bruce meets Superman’s arch-rival Lex Luthor. Luthor, having been bested by Superman on many occasions already, has just recently switched from a gaudy costumed super-villain to a dapper and perspicacious (and crooked) business tycoon. Bruce and Luthor will be business rivals for decades to come. Presumably, Bruce also meets Luthor in his Batman role.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League: No Justice #1 and Man of Steel #3. Superman’s arch rival Brainiac shrinks down and bottles-up whole cities all across the universe, destroying the planets from which he collects. Batman teams-up with Superman to defeat Brainiac. Afterward, Superman rescues the Bottle City of Kandor, a shrunken Kryptonian City filled with shrunken Kryptonian people—the last survivors of the planet. Unable to bring them back to full-size, Superman keeps the Bottle City inside the Fortress of Solitude for safe-keeping.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #976 and Detective Comics #994-995. Dr. Leslie Thompkins discovers Batman’s secret identity and is not pleased. Despite her initial reservations, she will support Batman and remain one of his closest allies. After all, she’s acted as Bruce’s surrogate mom ever since his real parents died when he was a boy. Batman gives Leslie a special comm-link to contact him with in case of emergency. While we might not see her often on our timeline, Leslie will be a constant presence in Batman’s life, acting as a moral compass for the entire Bat-Family through all their trials and tribulations. She will keep Batman grounded, reminding him that there are many ways to help those in need (beyond punching bad guys).

–Detective Comics Vol. 3 Annual #1
Three weeks ago, second-generation superstar Hollywood actor Basil Karlo crashed his car, resulting in first degree burns and severe facial deformity. Thanks to the use of a discontinued experimental gel called Renu (belonging to his deceased dad), Basil was able to temporarily sculpt his face back to normal. Needing more of the product, Karlo travels to Gotham’s Dagget Chemical, run by crook Roland Dagget, to steal more. With a tip from Commissioner Gordon, Batman gets the jump on Karlo and busts him. Batman investigates Dagget and learns that Renu destabilizes neural pathways in its user’s brain, and that Dagget has been experimenting with it on human guinea pigs for decades. Batman then tells Karlo that no one will press charges against him, and that he should go to DA Harvey Dent to assist in giving testimony that will but Dagget away for a long time. The next day, however, Karlo wigs-out and tries to steal the evidence stash of Renu from the courthouse. Some crooked cops shoot at Karlo, causing the entire batch of toxic gel to pour over him. Karlo instantly becomes the shape-changing super-villain Clayface. In a wild rage, Clayface attacks the set of a film in which he was supposed to star. He targets director Veronica St. Clair and leading man Harry Day Jr before dumping a barrel full of Renu onto his girlfriend, production assistant Glory Griffin, which turns her into a deformed clay metahuman as well—only Glory doesn’t have the ability to change shape. (Glory will return years later as a super-villain named Mudface.) Batman then brings Clayface to justice. Presumably, Dagget is brought to justice as well.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #973. Bruce has Wayne Chemical (a sub-branch of WayneTech) clean up after Clayface’s nightmarish debut. He orders his scientists to collect leftover globs of living mud left behind by Clayface at the scene of the crime. Wayne Chemical will continuously store living residuum from Clayface every time he makes an appearance, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #25 and Detective Comics #1000 Part 2. Mad Hatter (Jervis Tetch) debuts.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #979 and Batwoman: Rebirth #1. Batman bests the debuting Poison Ivy (Pamela Isley) and rescues permanently injured hostage Guy Mandrake, who will later become the super-villain Mr. Noxious. Note that, while a most of the public will quickly come to regard Poison Ivy as a mass murdering eco-terrorist (as mentioned in Batgirl Vol. 5 #35), she won’t actually ever killed anyone (as referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #43).

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #52—and referenced in Doomsday Clock #2Doomsday Clock #6, and Detective Comics #1014. Upon discovering that his wife Nora has a terminal illness, Dr. Victor Fries tries to save her by cryogenically freezing her at the WayneTech Cryogenics Lab. Victor’s actions effectively hijack the entire lab, putting the lives of hundreds of others in jeopardy. Bruce is forced to intervene, during which a terrible confrontation occurs and Victor is doused with chemicals, becoming Mr. Zero, an icy super-villain that must keep his body temperature at absolute zero at all times. Despite donning a gaudy super-suit, Mr. Zero is busted by Batman atop a speeding train. Batman keeps Mr. Zero’s costume as a trophy, putting it on display in the Batcave. Victor Fries will spend his entire criminal career obsessed with reviving his wife.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #52—and referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #25, and Batman Vol. 3 #52. Dr. Victor Fries escapes from custody, makes himself a new costume, and changes his name to Mr. Freeze. Despite the new look and new attitude, the same result occurs. Batman busts Mr. Freeze. In Batman Vol. 3 #52, which occurs in 2018, Bruce says that Mr. Freeze has had “dozens and dozens and dozens of plans and plots in Gotham. And all of them ended the same way.” With Batman besting him. This tells us that, while not specifically logged into our chronology, we must imagine Batman challenging an escaped Mr. Freeze quite frequently on the timeline, moving forward. The insinuation here is that Batman, in the future, will encounter Mr. Freeze more than his other rivals, aside from Joker, of course.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #25, Batman Vol. 3 #54Detective Comics #1000 Deluxe Edition Part 12, and Detective Comics #1000 Deluxe Edition Part 13. Batman defeats The Ventriloquist (Arnold Wesker) and his gun-toting dummy Scarface. Scarface has such an aversion to Batman that he can’t even say the letter B, although this tic only manifests sometimes. Afterward, Batman adds a plaque with a picture of Scarface on it to his commemorative trophy wall.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1000 Part 11—and referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #25 and Detective Comics #1000 Deluxe Edition Part 12. Killer Croc (Waylon Jones) debuts against Batman.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1000 Deluxe Edition Part 12 and Batman Vol. 3 #25-26. Batman is on-hand for the trial of the eccentric Oswald Cobblepot, who is one of Carmine Falcone’s assistants and right hand men. (Cobblepot isn’t yet the super-villain “Pengiun,” but he’s long been labeled with the derogatory nickname of “The Penguin.”) DA Harvey Dent does his best to convict, but Cobblepot’s army of expensive lawyers gets him off scott-free. This is the start of a long trend for Cobblepot.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #53—and referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #25, Detective Comics #987, The Batman Who Laughs #1, and Detective Comics #1000 Part 8—originally told in “THE LONG HALLOWEEN.” Mid February. Harvey Dent is horribly scarred on half of his face by gangster Sal Maroni (patriarch of the Maroni Family and head of the linked Maroni Mob organization), who throws acid at him in the courtroom. Damaged both physically and mentally, Dent becomes the murderous super-villain Two-Face. Commissioner Gordon meets with Batman, telling him that he’s found evidence that proves Harvey was the Holiday Killer. (Holiday has gone on an anti-Falcone Mob killing spree once a month for the past twelve months.) However, shortly thereafter, Carmine Falcone’s son Alberto Falcone publicly claims to be Holiday, killing Sal Maroni in the process. Alberto goes to Arkham Asylum, but Two-Face kills him there. Batman then challenges his old friend, who begins using a signature move of flipping his lucky coin to determine his actions. Two-Face slices-up Batman, leaving him a permanent scar on his chest. Eventually, the Caped Crusader brings Two-Face to justice. Two-Face cryptically tells Batman and Gordon that Alberto may have killed Moroni, but his claim to be Holiday was false. Two-Face tells his former pals that the Holiday murders were carried out by both he and his wife Gilda. Of course, there’s not enough evidence to prove this and the deceased Alberto has already taken the rap. Two-Face goes to Arkham and Gilda leaves the country.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #999. February—Bruce’s birthday. (We haven’t been told when Bruce’s birthday is in the Rebirth Era, but it previously was February, so there’s no reason to assume that it isn’t that now.) Batman builds an immersive computer simulation program (“Program 2.1”) and plugs himself into the system. The sim is designed to place him in a virtual world and then challenge him by pushing him to his most extreme limits. Batman decides he will run Program 2.1 on himself on every birthday, moving forward.

–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 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 Suicide Squad Vol. 6 #1—originally told in Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #32-34. Batman defeats the debuting Cavalier (Hudson Pyle).

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 4 #69. Bruce and Alfred celebrate Dick’s birthday, surprising him with a cake.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #50. The Lee Weeks-illustrated Bat-Cat love affair continues with a splash page. Batman and Catwoman come face-to-face yet again, playfully sexual as always.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #50. Catwoman poses sexily as Batman approaches her, casting a looming shadow across her figure. This splash, drawn by Ben Templeton and Keiren Smith, is done in a very indie style that may or may not be representative of any actual costume that Catwoman wears in-continuity. In fact, it looks quite like an old DC Animated Universe version of Selina’s black feline costume. However, aside from the color and mouth, it doesn’t look too dissimilar from what she’d be wearing at this point on our timeline (the dun feline outfit), so I’ve placed it here.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #66 and Batman Vol. 3 #50. An escaped Two-Face meets-up with Catwoman (who is wearing a new pinkish-purple whiskers-and-tail costume), promising her a ton of cash and a diamond from the museum if she helps him set-up Batman for an ambush. Of course, Catwoman agrees but immediately tells Batman the score. After donning extra armor, Batman leaps into the “trap.” With Catwoman’s help, the Dark Knight takes down Two-Face and his men. After a kiss on Batman’s lips, Catwoman runs off with Two-Face’s cash and the diamond. When Batman catches her, they kiss passionately in the pouring rain. Soon, the chase continues. Batman playfully spars with Catwoman, who turns the tables on and sneaks-up behind the Dark Knight. She lassos his neck with her whip before pouncing down on top of the smiling Dark Knight. Batman and Catwoman remove each other’s clothes as they passionately kiss yet again. Later, Catwoman donates Two-Face’s payoff to charity. Note that the main flashback for this item comes from the hallucinatory Batman Vol. 3 #66. I’ve paired it with similar pin-up splash images (three from Batman Vol. 3 #50 to be exact), all of which seem to coincide with and complete this narrative. The splash pin-ups are by Frank Miller and Alex Sinclair, Tim Sale and José Villarrubia, and Paul Pope and José Villarrubia (in that order).

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #25. Batman busts Deadshot (Floyd Lawton).

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #25 and Detective Comics #969 Part 2. Batman defeats the hulking semi-zombie Solomon Grundy, who is immortal and only speaks in nursery rhymes.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #25. Master assassin Deathstroke (Slade Wilson) fights Batman for the first time.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1000 Part 11—and referenced in Batwoman: Rebirth #1, Batman Vol. 3 #25, Batman Vol. 3 #32, Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #35, Doomsday Clock #2-3, and Detective Comics #1001. Batman meets super-science husband-and-wife duo Dr. Kirk Langstrom and Dr. Francine Langstrom. Kirk ingests experimental Man-Bat Serum, which mutates him into the human flesh-eating “Man-Bat.” Batman takes-down the raging Man-Bat to save Francine’s life, after which the Dark Knight restores Kirk to normal with an anti-serum. Batman will keep this antiserum in his utility belt at all times, moving forward. Able to somehow avoid a jail sentence and thankful to Batman, Langstrom—along with his wife—becomes an ally to him. Unfortunately, moving forward, Kirk will be a very unstable and troublesome ally, easily manipulated and prone to control by malevolent forces. He will be in and out of Arkham Asylum as well. No matter the true relationship between Batman and the Langstroms, the public will come to regard Man-Bat as a menace and one of Batman’s biggest rivals. Extrapolating further upon the “true relationship” between the Langstroms and Batman, there exists a dark secret hidden from the Caped Crusader. The Langstroms secretly work for the US Government’s Department of Metahuman Affairs (DMA), which has recruited and funded Kirk in an effort to create man-bat metahuman soldiers. As revealed in Doomsday Clock #9, the Department of Metahuman Affairs is secretly run by Professor Martin Stein.

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #22, Batman Vol. 3 #26, and Batman Vol. 3 #30-32. Batman busts Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Batman Vol. 3 #32 mentions that Tweedledee eats human flesh. This is likely an error and the editorial text was supposed to be linked to Man-Bat or Killer Croc. But, hey, it’s there with Tweedledee, so what are you gonna do? My personal headcanon will forever have Tweedledee as a cannibal now.[1]

–REFERENCE: In Wonder Woman Vol. 5 #56. Dr. Kirk Langstrom helps Batman by whipping-up a strong knock-out serum, which the Dark Knight uses to defeat Solomon Grundy.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #26. Batman busts the scarified knife-wielding serial killer Victor Zsasz. Zsasz’s trademark is cutting a tally mark into his own flesh whenever he kills someone.

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 4 #47. Batman and Robin patrol.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Giant #11 (aka Batman: Universe #5). Batman and Robin ride in the Batcopter. Robin complains that there are no cup holders. While we won’t see it on our timeline in the future, several other heroes will ride in the Batcopter and they will all mention the lack of cup holders.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Casting #1, Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #36, and Batman Vol. 3 #54. Dr. Paul Dekker debuts as Crazy Quilt, a gaudy super-villain, who has deep knowledge of the occult and bizarre chemical science. Crazy Quilt tries to hypnotize Batman and Robin using the color spectrum, but the heroes put him behind Arkham bars.

–REFERENCE: In Batwoman: Rebirth #1 and Batman Vol. 3 #26. Batman defeats Cluemaster (Arthur Brown), but gives him a little more leeway than other criminals when he learns that he is raising a young daughter, Stephanie Brown.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #26, Doomsday Clock #2, and Detective Comics #988. Batman bests the debuting pyromaniac Firefly (Garfield Lynns), after which he keeps his flamethrower gear as a trophy for the Batcave.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #42. Having just fought Firefly for the first time, Batman builds a flame-retardant goop sprayer backpack.

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 4 #69. Batman and Robin spar in a boxing ring in the Batcave.

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 4 #68. Bruce and Dick sit down for an Alfred-cooked meal at Wayne Manor, but are interrupted by the Bat-signal shining brightly in the night sky. They immediately depart to answer the call. Batman and Robin patrol together, completing an unknown case.

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 4 Annual #2. Batman and Robin patrol together.

–Wonder Woman Vol. 5 Annual #1 Part 1
Batman goes on patrol, which ultimately ends in stitches from doctor Alfred. Meanwhile, Diana of Themyscira makes her public debut at a mall outside of San Diego. (Diana is one of the race of semi-immortal warrior women known as Amazons, who are linked to the Greco-Roman pantheon of gods. Diana’s father is none other than Zeus himself.) With the help of her friends Steve Trevor, Etta Candy, and Dr. Barbara Ann Minerva, the powerful Amazonian foils a terror plot by The Sear Group (aka The Ares Group, human soldiers loyal to the Greco-Roman God of War, Ares). (This debut versus the Sear Group happens in Wonder Woman Vol. 5 #10—”Wonder Woman: Year One.”) When video of Diana hits the mainstream media, Lois, Clark, and photographer pal Jimmy Olsen hightail it to California. As Batman returns home from the next day’s patrol, once again requiring stitches, Alfred directs his attention to the big Diana news on TV. Superman learns that Diana is testing her powers on behalf of the US Army in a Nevada desert, so he goes there. Batman, having acquired the same intel, goes there as well. Wonder Woman gets the jump on the boys, sneaking up on them from behind. The first meeting of DC’s Big Three occurs! Diana offers effusive greetings and tells the male heroes to take ahold of her magick lasso, which they do. Forced to tell their true names, Batman says his is “Batman,” showing that he identifies with that name just as much (if not more) than “Bruce Wayne.” Seeing into Diana’s soul via the lasso, the boys learn that she is pure of heart and has good intentions. Diana will be given the name Wonder Woman by the press a couple days later, after she defeats Ares in battle—as seen in the conclusion of “Wonder Woman: Year One” (Wonder Woman Vol. 5 #14).

–FLASHBACK: From Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen Vol. 3 #5—and referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #68. In Gotham, a “Toy War” erupts between Toyman (Winslow Schott) and the Ventriloquist. Batman and Superman team-up to tackle the situation. A few days in, Superman introduces Batman to Jimmy Olsen. Batman is disgusted that Superman would bring a civilian, and one carrying a camera no less. Batman knocks Jimmy’s camera out of his hands and swings away to deal with the villains by himself. Later, Batman learns how close Superman and Jimmy really are, including the fact that Jimmy has a special signal watch that he can use to call the Man of Steel for help at any time.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 5 #5, Justice League of America Vol. 5 #27, Justice League of America Vol. 5 #42, Batman Vol. 3 #26, Justice League Vol. 3 #24, Green Arrow Vol. 6 #29, Suicide Squad Vol. 5 #25, The Green Lantern #7, and Batman Giant #12 (aka Batman: Universe #5). The Justice League forms, making the Secret Sanctuary in Happy Harbor, RI its official headquarters. Its lineup features Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter (J’onn J’onzz), Flash (Barry Allen), Aquaman (Orin/Arthur Curry), and Green Lantern Hal Jordan. Batman learns about the Green Lantern Corps, a universal police force created by the Maltusian immortals known as The Guardians of the Universe, who live on the planet Oa. Hal is but one of many soldiers in this army, each of whom wears their own sentient power ring. Hal provides Batman and the rest of the Justice League with a bunch of signal devices that can be used to contact the Green Lantern Corps. Batman also memorizes the “Green Lantern Oath.” The JL also learns all about Themyscira (aka Paradise Island), home of the Amazons, which is led by Wonder Woman’s mother Hippolyta. Furthermore, Aquaman introduces his partner Mera to the other heroes. While Aquaman and Mera act as husband and wife, they technically won’t officially marry until years from now. Presumably, Batman and the other heroes learn all about the undersea kingdom of Atlantis as well. Note that, while Aquaman is an essential part of the JL, he won’t trust surface dwellers for years to come. Also note that the Secret Sanctuary will only be a secret to villains and civilians. As referenced in Justice League of America Vol. 5 #27, the JL will hold meetings with several other superhero teams in the Sanctuary over the course of the next few years. Who these other teams are is beyond me, but just imagine these gatherings occurring on our timeline below. Also note that, from this point forward, all Justice Leaguers will trust their secret IDs with all other members (with some exceptions, of course). It is a serious honor to be on the JL. To be on this team means to be 100% trustworthy.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #33, Justice League Vol. 3 #34, Super Sons #9, Flash Vol. 5 #46, Superman Vol. 5 #5, Event Leviathan #1, Justice League Dark Vol. 2 #12, and Action Comics #1016. Each Justice Leaguer is given their own satellite-linked communicator, so they can be reached in case of emergency at all times. The JL communicator can also act as a universal positioning system tracer, which can also identify anyone in close proximity to the hero being tracked (provided their scanned bio ID is registered in the JL database). Thus, in conjunction with the creation of the JL communicators, the JL now begins logging detailed information about all its meetings and cases, building a database of dossiers and biometric information on the various people—friends and foes—they have encountered. Specifically, Batman and Superman will build their own energy signature catalogue as well. The JL also begins keeping an updated list of powerful magick users and begins categorizing all metahumans in terms of their power levels—with the top tier being “Alpha Level.” This is the start of a reoccurring event not visibly listed on our timeline, in which the JL will add to its database archives constantly. Relatedly, the JL sets-up several communications servers at its HQ. Over time, access numbers will be distributed among the trusted superhero community.

–REFERENCE: In Wonder Twins #1. While the Justice League’s primary (and secret) HQ is in Happy Harbor, Rhode Island, they decide to open a secondary (and more open) HQ. After a quick metahuman-powered construction job, the Hall of Justice is built in Washington DC. The JL installs a top-of-the-line semi-sentient networked super-computer, affectionately named Supercomputer. Presumably, this network connects to Happy Harbor. In Wonder Twins #1, which takes place in 2018, Superman mentions that the Hall of Justice was built “before cellphones.” There were definitely cellphones in 2003, but definitely no touch-screen smartphones. Thus, Superman’s comment actually makes sense. The addition of the Hall of Justice in conjunction with the Secret Sanctuary is unique to the Rebirth Era. In previous comic book continuities, the Hall of Justice wasn’t built until much later. However, having it implemented here, early on our timeline, coincides with the way things were in the old Super Friends TV show from the 1970s. Suffice to say, the Justice League will utilize the private Sanctuary much more often than the Hall of Justice.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21 and Flash Vol. 5 #64. Flash finds an instant connection with his Justice League teammate Batman; they can talk for hours about evidence and CSI stuff, something in which the other team members are less versed or interested. There has already been great public debate about who is faster, Flash or Superman, but after working with Flash in the JL crime lab, Batman instantly is more concerned with who is a better detective—himself or Flash. Batman will always admire Flash’s forensic science skills and often ponder this question.

–REFERENCE: In Super Sons #5Superman Vol. 4 #37, Batman/Superman Vol. 2 #5, and Justice League Vol. 4 #38. Batman and Superman finally find a mutual respect for each other. Realizing that have a lot in common, Bruce and Clark become best of friends. Batman now begins sharing most of his case-files and crime-reports with Superman. Likewise, Superman agrees to do the same. Both the Caped Crusader and the Man of Steel will continue to share information at regular intervals, moving forward. Over time, their friendship will grow to be one of the strongest bonds in the DCU. With burgeoning trust developing between them, the two heroes, while having contrasting personality types (Batman is ostensibly more worrisome, for example), will only grow closer, moving forward. However, despite the camaraderie and mutual respect they share for one another, Batman and Superman will still butt heads and fight each other quite often. Most of these fights will happen invisibly, scattered throughout our timeline below. Whenever they fight, Batman will wonder what it would feel like if Superman wasn’t pulling his punches.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 4 #7. Batman tells his “criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot” mantra to the Justice League.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Casting #1 and Dark Nights: Metal #1. The Justice League meets and creates the official JL Bylaws, a set of rules by which each JLer must live by in order to remain on the team. One of the many bylaws bans the incarceration of dangerous criminals without the JL’s full approval first. Similarly, one of the Bylaws states the the JL must vote on everything before taking any action.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Nights: Metal #3 and Titans Vol. 3 #19. Despite having just helped form the Justice League, Batman is plagued with thoughts of the danger that metahumans—good or bad—could potentially pose to the world. The Dark Knight does his best to suppress his concerns. Always the pre-planner, though, Batman can’t help but think of ways to both neutralize and utilize his metahuman friends’ powers to benefit his own personal war on crime. Batman won’t take any direct anti-metahuman action or make any anti-metahuman contingency plans at this juncture, but, unable to really shake his paranoia, he will in the future.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #1003Dial H for Hero #1, and Dial H for Hero #4. Thirteen-year-old Snapper Carr briefly becomes the Justice League’s official sidekick/mascot. Batman doesn’t like Snapper.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21. The Justice League defeats Starro the Conqueror.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League: No Justice #4. The Justice League encounters and defeats Xotar the Weapons Master. Afterward, they keep his “Eye of Xotar” as a trophy.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #976. The Justice League defeats the debuting Despero.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #90. Spring. Joker takes over a TV studio, killing multiple people in the process. Presumably, Batman busts him.

–REFERENCE: In Trinity Vol. 2 #12. The Justice League purchases properties in major cities all over the world to use as emergency safe-houses. In Gotham, for example, the JL sets-up at least one brownstone apartment building as a safe-house.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #64. Batman realizes that Flash, whenever he is near, gives off static electricity that is so strong it feels like it is tugging on his cape. Batman tells Flash about this.

–REFERENCE: In Super Sons #10 Part 2Mera: Queen of Atlantis #2, and Wonder Twins #1. Batman and Alfred already use a tiered emergency level priority code system, with “Alpha-One” being the top tier. The Justice League now initiates a tiered system as well, but one that uses a mix of greek letters, numbered order, and colors. “Class-One,” “Alpha,” and “Code Red” are designated the highest priority JL alerts.

–REFERENCE: In Teen Titans Vol. 6 #20. Since he’s set up multiple safe-houses with the Justice League, Batman now sets up secret safe-houses/stash-houses in different cities all over the globe for himself as well. In the chance that he ever is outside of Gotham, the Dark Knight will be ready for solo action. Batman will maintain these remote bases, keeping periodic tabs on all of them while traveling abroad, moving forward.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #90. Batman and Robin chase after Catwoman.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #25-26. April to early May. Writer Tom King gives us an April date in the narrative, but paradoxically tells us that Batman is now just “coming off his first year” in costume. Bruce became Batman in January of last year, so it’s really been 15 months since he’s been playing costumed vigilante. A bit of a nitpick, but worth mentioning. King also tells us that Riddler has been imprisoned for almost a year, which is true. Onto our synopsis. When Joker escapes from jail and kills fourteen people, Batman puts police alerts on locations all over Gotham but is unable to find the Clown Prince of Crime. By the time Commissioner Gordon and the GCPD locate Joker at a comedy club, the morning sun has risen over Gotham. Batman, having patrolled all night long, has gone home to sleep. While the Dark Knight slumbers, Joker kills a dozen more and then blows up the place, calmly walking away while shooting cops left-and-right. Meanwhile, Riddler escapes from Arkham, intrigued by the method to Joker’s madness. After some more brutal killings, Joker ascends to the penthouse of a skyscraper. There, Riddler confronts him and gets shot in the stomach for his trouble. Riddler survives, but the bullet in his belly becomes his casus belli. Batman tries to chase after Joker, but both Joker and the bleeding Riddler escape. While Joker murders a family in the suburbs, Riddler gets life-saving surgery from underground doctor Jamie Knowles (the doctor that fixes-up Joker in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman movie!), which leaves him with a scar that he turns into a question mark on his chest. After brutally murdering Knowles, Batman and Commissioner Gordon examine the crime scene. Upon hearing Riddler is alive, Joker calls Carmine Falcone and tells him to execute Riddler. Carmine’s pusillanimity causes him to immediately send his men after Riddler, who goes to Poison Ivy for help. When Carmine’s men strike in the park, Poison Ivy wraps them up with vines. (As referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #43, Riddler executes the men tangled in the vines and then tells Ivy that her vines strangled them to death. Not the killing type, Ivy is traumatized by what she thinks she has done. Batman arrives to examine the dead men, immediately seeing that they’ve been shot to death.) Batman also learns from Gordon that one of the deceased was an undercover cop. Joker shows his frustration by murdering Carmine’s mother and Carmine’s top men and then shooting Carmine in the arm. Joker then usurps Carmine’s assistant/right hand man, Oswald Cobblepot, making him his own assistant instead. Not long after, both Riddler and Joker recruit super-villains into their respective folds. Riddler’s team includes Two-Face, Scarecrow, Clayface, Firefly, Victor Zsasz, Killer Croc, and Deathstroke. Joker’s team includes Oswald Cobblepot, Solomon Grundy, Man-Bat (Kirk Langstrom), Cluemaster, Deadshot, Mad Hatter, Tweedledum, Tweedledee, Mr. Freeze, and the Ventriloquist (with Scarface). These two factions begin warring with each other for weeks, which leads to dozens of innocent deaths. The mainstream media outlets begin to call this carnage “The War of Jokes and Riddles.”

–Batman Vol. 3 #27
Early May—(Batman Vol. 3 #32 specifically tells us that Riddler kills Chuck Brown’s son on May 6). Batman shakes down Chuck Brown, asking him to get Joker’s phone number in an effort to find out his location to end “The War of Jokes and Riddles.” Brown reaches out to Deadshot, who gives him a number, but it winds up being untraceable. Batman then orders Brown to set up a one-on-one meeting with Joker (which will be a staging ground for an ambush). Brown calls Joker and sets up a face-to-face, but Riddler finds out and has Clayface kidnap Brown to learn details of the meeting. As revealed in Batman Vol. 3 #32, it is at this time that Riddler begins a campaign of manipulating Brown as part of a longer con. Batman shakes down Brown yet again and learns that Joker and Riddler are both planning to be at the meeting. A day later, Batman gets in the middle of a battle-royale including Solomon Grundy, Scarecrow, Killer Croc, Riddler, Joker, and Brown. As punishment, Joker straps an explosive device to Brown’s body and tells him his son Charlie will die unless he suicide bombs Batman at their next meeting. Batman puts Charlie into police protection, after which Brown realizes the bomb on his chest is fake anyway. Despite being under protection, Riddler is able to poison young Charlie to death. As referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #32, Batman and Chuck are both by poor Charlie’s side at the time of his passing. Batman tells Brown he will avenge his son’s death. A distraught Brown becomes the gaudy Kite Man, returning to offer his services to Joker.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #28-29 and Batman Vol. 3 #85—and also referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #24. Early May to June. The “War of Jokes and Riddles” continues with Joker’s army taking over the Upper West Side and Riddler’s army taking over the Upper East Side, turning the park into a war-zone and causing dozens of innocent lives to be lost. Batman and Commissioner Gordon are helpless and watch the city fall apart for a week or so. Gordon meets with both villain armies, asking what they want. Both sides say they want Batman. Gordon then reports back to Batman, telling him that he has asked the US Government for support from the military. When Kite Man is forcibly ejected through a skyscraper window, Batman saves his life. The Dark Knight then confronts Catwoman, who is robbing a Maroni family safe. In a sexy reprieve from the war, the Cat and the Bat get it on. Later, Deadshot and Deathstroke begin a solo war against each other. Batman apprehends them both, but not for five bloody days, which results in 62 deaths. An angry Batman pummels Deadshot so mercilessly that he nearly dies in the hospital. Afterward, Gordon reports to Batman, telling him that two Army Special Forces (Green Beret) units were completely wiped-out by Joker and Riddler. After more bodies pile up, Bruce takes a page out of his mom’s playbook, calling a truce and arranging a meeting at Wayne Manor, during which both sides will share in a nine course French dinner and negotiate an end to the conflict. As Gotham’s worst villains hover around while Alfred waits the table, Bruce tells Joker and Riddler to convince him which side should get to kill Batman. Bruce explains that whoever makes the best case gets one billion dollars, which should be sufficient enough to give the winner the advantage to win the war, thus ending the carnage. After they state their cases, the villains and their crews leave as Bruce says he will send his answer and the prize money later via Commissioner Gordon.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #30 and Batman Vol. 3 #32. June. The “War of Jokes and Riddles” continues with Batman joining forces with Riddler’s army in exchange for Riddler ordering his men not to kill any more people. (We are never told if Bruce declared Riddler the billion dollar winner, but somehow Batman has thrown-in with his team.) Batman then meets with Riddler, who convinces him to capture Kite Man last. (Riddler needs Kite Man on the playing field as part of his longer plan to claim victory over Joker.)

–Batman Vol. 3 #30
June. Wearing a Riddler arm band, Batman fights Kite Man, Tweedledum, Tweedledee, and Oswald Cobblepot’s penguin commandos—straight out of Tim Burton’s Batman Returns film. (Cobblepot, clearly wanting to fit in and influenced by the costumed lunatics that surround him, has decided to embrace his derogatory nickname and become the super-villain known as The Penguin, showing a penchant for aquatic fowl-themed villainy.) The Caped Crusader punches-out Kite Man (but leaves him free as per Riddler’s order) before apprehending the Tweeds. Batman then neutralizes the Ventriloquist by stealing away Scarface. Next, the Dark Knight shoots Man-Bat out of the sky with Batplane missiles. Meanwhile, Scarecrow takes out Cluemaster. After that, Batman easily takes down Mr. Freeze and then Mad Hatter. Only Kite Man, eyewitness to each of these defeats, remains standing on Joker’s side. (The whereabouts of Penguin and Solomon Grundy are unknown.) Before long, Batman finally brings in Kite Man, who is interrogated by both Riddler and Batman.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #31-32. June. The “War of Jokes and Riddles” continues. Kite Man secretly becomes Batman’s man on the inside, delivering the location of Joker’s hideout atop the skyscraper penthouse where the war started. Batman recruits Catwoman to help him. She spies on Joker, who nearly kills her. Batman then tricks Riddler into soliciting Kite Man’s help to break into Joker’s penthouse. Batman instructs Kite Man to build and offer special kite-gliders for Riddler’s army, only they don’t know that they are rigged with jet-propelled inverse parachutes. (Kite Man installs one on Firefly’s flight suit.) After Riddler and his crew crash in and easily take down Joker, Kite Man activates his parachutes and all of Riddler’s men go flying up into the sky where they are detained on the Bat-Blimp, which is piloted by Alfred. Riddler then angrily punches-out Kite Man and faces-off with Batman and Joker. Batman, the superior fighter, takes down both men. Furious at the Riddler for the loss of life his war has caused, and especially for killing Kite Man’s son so sadistically, Batman decides that Riddler must face ultimate justice. The Dark Knight grabs a knife and attempts to stab Riddler, but Joker blocks the would-be fatal thrust with his hand, saving Riddler’s life. Tickled by the idea of the hero losing his cool and playing executioner, Joker laughs hysterically. Joker, Riddler, and Kite Man all go to Arkham. The war is over.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #25-26 and Batman Vol. 3 #32. June. Immediately following the “War of Jokes and Riddles,” Batman is shaken to the core. He is not only extremely troubled by the massive collateral damage caused by the war, but also ashamed by his own attempted murder of Riddler. Batman is also deeply disturbed at the fact that Joker stopped him, feeling as though, in a sense, the Clown Prince of Crime will now and forever more have an emotional stranglehold over him. Batman, hoping to move on, reaffirms his vow to never use lethal force. Despite this reaffirmation, the Caped Crusader will be haunted by his own actions for the rest of his crime-fighting career. Batman then retraces the steps of all parties involved in the war, trying to make sense of it all. Batman studies victim dossiers, watches recordings, interviews witnesses, and collects evidence. He also visits and interrogates each imprisoned villain that took part in the conflict.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #53—and referenced in Doomsday Clock #2, Batman Vol. 3 #49, Batman Vol. 3 #54, and Batman Giant #6 (aka Batman: Universe #2). Penguin matches wits with Batman, adding signature trick umbrellas to his eccentric bird-villain gimmick. (Penguin has always had a thing for umbrellas, but this is the first time he’s ever gimmicked one as a weapon.) After their confrontation, during which Batman punches-out Penguin, Batman collects several of Penguin’s umbrellas, Penguin’s top hat, and  a stuffed emperor penguin wearing a top hat. He puts them all on display as trophies in the Batcave. Following this affair, Batman puts an umbrella plaque onto his commemorative trophy wall as well. Penguin avoids jail time—he’ll be an expert at making his actions seem licit throughout his entire criminal career.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #958 and Gotham Academy: Second Semester #10. Due to existing in the same wealthy socialite circles, Bruce (as Bruce Wayne) officially meets the detestable Penguin. Their paths will cross many times over the course of the next decade, but Penguin will have no idea that Bruce and Batman are one and the same.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Giant Vol. 2 #5 Part 1 (Batman: Gotham Nights #7). Batman discovers the location of Killer Moth’s secret lair and starts a fire to “lure the moth to the flame.” They battle in the woods, but Killer Moth unleashes three trained grizzly bears upon the Dark Knight, allowing room for his escape. Killer Moth sets up a swanky new hideout.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #10 and Detective Comics #1000 Part 11—also referenced in Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #6-11, Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #1, Trinity Vol. 2 #16, Deathstroke Vol. 4 #32, and Detective Comics #987. Originally told in “THE SAGA OF RA’S AL GHUL.” Batman deals with the threat of the League of Assassins—led by Ra’s al Ghul, who desires to “purge” the planet via a drastic reduction of global population using any means necessary. Also known as “The Demon’s Head,” Ra’s al Ghul has stayed alive for centuries due to the life-extending powers of bathing in the magickal Lazarus Pits. (Lazarus Pit liquid also has the dangerous tendency to drive people mad with rage and power.) Ra’s al Ghul has come to dominate the global underworld by using an army of ninja assassins and the cult-like devotion of the Ubu Clan. (Ra’s al Ghul’s right hand man is the leader of the Ubu Clan, who simply goes by Ubu.) Impressed by his new adversary, Ra’s al Ghul enacts a plan to partner the Dark Detective with his daughter, the beautiful and intelligent Talia al Ghul.[2] Ra’s al Ghul wants the “perfect detective,” Batman, to bathe in the Lazarus Pits and carry on his legacy. The Caped Crusader immediately becomes infatuated with Talia and they begin a whirlwind affair. Eventually, a shirtless Dark Knight sword-fights both Ra’s al Ghul and Talia in the Sahara Desert. Batman defeats Ra’s al Ghul with some help from Talia, who seemingly betrays her father. Batman and Talia then share a romantic night, which leads to Talia drugging and having sex with Batman. It is via this sexual intercourse that a baby is conceived. The conception, birth, and existence of the child will be kept a secret from Bruce for years to come. Batman and Talia’s tumultuous on-and-off-again love affair will continue for the next couple months before fizzling out entirely. Also note that, while not specifically listed moving forward on our chronology, Ubu #1 will be at Ra’s al Ghul’s side for pretty much all of his appearances—and Ubu will get his ass kicked by Batman pretty much every time they meet.

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #10-12 and Super Sons #5. Worried about Bruce’s well-being, Alfred is still reluctant about his quest to fight crime. In spite of this solicitude, Alfred throws his full support and devotion to his surrogate kin, someone he raised as a boy and truly loves as a father loves a son. Alfred is already aware of Bruce’s intensity and commitment to the cause, a laser focus that occupies nearly every second of both their waking lives. Often, Alfred will be the only confidant in Batman’s world, guiding him through turbulent times and providing a voice of reason. Alfred’s scaffolding will give Batman both encouragement but also help him show necessary restraint when engaging in generally reckless endeavors. Despite this, Batman will often frustratingly ignore Alfred’s advice.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman #1. Bruce begins the habit of lifting free-weights when deep in thought (or when bored) in the Batcave. He will do this for the rest of his life. I can think of a lot worse habits to have.

–REFERENCE: In Bane: Conquest #10—originally told in Batman #14. Batman and Robin investigate the mysterious shooting death of super-sleuth Dana Drye, proving that her murder was actually a suicide. Afterward, Batman and Robin put Drye’s diary in their Hall of Trophies.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1000 Part 5 and Detective Comics #1000 Part 10. Early September. Batman continues 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 their murders.

–REFERENCE: In Deathstroke Vol. 4 #32. Batman begins going undercover as mobster “Matches Malone.” Bear in mind, there is probably a surfeit of undercover work done by Batman to bolster the underworld reputation of “Matches.” We will simply have to imagine this cachet-building randomly throughout the timeline.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #79. Catwoman steals the Coner Diamond from the Gotham Museum, but Batman steals it back.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 5 #8—originally told in Batman #332-335 (“THE LAZARUS AFFAIR”). Batman follows Talia al Ghul in a wild goose chase across the globe, eventually winding up on the mysterious Infinity Island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. After Batman and Talia defeat various attacking warriors in a strange compound, Ra’s al Ghul emerges from the shadows. Infinity Island is a League of Assassins stronghold. Talia joins her father, revealing that everything has been a setup just so Ra’s al Ghul could have a rematch against the Dark Knight. Shortly thereafter, Batman and Ra’s al Ghul square-off one-on-one with the Caped Crusader gaining victory yet again as most of Infinity Island is blown up in a volcanic eruption.


YEAR TWO (2004)

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics Vol. 3 Annual #2—and referenced in Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #43-44. Originally told in “BATMAN: YEAR TWO.” Bruce recovers the gun that was used to kill his parents from a police evidence locker. Shortly thereafter, Judson Caspian and his daughter Rachel return to Gotham after having been living in Europe for nearly two decades. Bruce reunites with and becomes enamored with Rachel. They begin a passionate affair. When Bruce learns that Judson was the murderous vigilante known as the Reaper, Judson becomes the Reaper once again and kicks Batman ass in battle. (Note that there is currently a new Reaper that works for the League of Assassins. Different guy.) A distraught and battered Bruce builds an armored costume and takes the gun that was used to murder his parents, contemplating breaking his vow to never use firearms. Instead, cooler heads prevail and Batman defeats the Reaper using non-lethal means. However, the Reaper kills himself rather than go to jail. A devastated Rachel ends things with Bruce and leaves town for good. Note that, as per reference in Detective Comics #1000 Part 2, Bruce either gets rid of or loses the gun that killed his parents—either during this episode or shortly thereafter.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #50—originally told in Batman #62. Catwoman debuts a new purple-and-green caped-dress costume. Amidst a bunch of cats purring at their ankles, Catwoman and Batman kiss.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #44—originally told in Batman #62. Batman and Robin go after Catwoman (wearing her purple-and-green caped-dress costume). She shows her callous evil side to the Boy Wonder, evading capture. Soon afterward, the Dynamic Duo finds themselves chasing after Catwoman again. This time, however, she shows a completely different side of her persona, initially eluding the Dynamic Duo but then backtracking to save the Dark Knight’s life from a collapsing building. During the implosion Catwoman is knocked unconscious. When she comes-to, Catwoman vows to leave her criminal days behind. Convinced, Batman lets her go free. Selina winds up opening a pet shop in Gotham.

–FLASHBACK: From Red Hood & The Outlaws Vol. 2 #23-25. Batman takes on Riddler and his goons. Career henchman Willis Todd, while working for the Riddler, fights Batman, resulting in him getting a bat-shaped scar on his arm. Later, Willis shows his young son, Jason Todd, the scar. Not long afterward, Willis takes the fall for Penguin, earning a long jail sentence. Jason goes into the care of Faye “Ma” Gunn‘s Home For Wayward Boys. Ma Gunn will tell Jason his dad is dead. Unknown to Jason, Ma Gunn is Willis’ biological mother, meaning Ma Gunn is his grandmother!

–REFERENCE: In Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #1 and Detective Comics #985. Batman fights Ra’s al Ghul again, learning in more detail about his thousand-year-old immortal history. Ra’s al Ghul tells the Dark Knight that he manages his a thousand years’ worth of memories by treating them like a compartmentalized “museum,” through which he can wander and recall things. The rivals wind up fighting at several Lazarus Pit sites, and the Dark Knight destroys several of the life-enhancing pools. Batman vows to destroy all Lazarus Pits in the world. (It is unknown how many there are in total.) While we won’t see this quest on our timeline, we must imagine that, every once in a while, Batman finds a Lazarus Pit and destroys it.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Giant #6 (aka Batman: Universe #2).  Batman goes on an unspecified mission and collects a full-face armored metal helmet as a trophy, which he displays in the Batcave.

–REFERENCE: In Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #3 and Deathstroke Vol. 4 #30—originally told in “VENOM” (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #16-20). Feeling inadequate after being unable to save a girl from kidnappers, Batman begins taking the super-steroid known as Venom (the drug that Bane will pump into his own veins years later). On Venom, the Dark Knight quickly becomes a raging jacked-up hulk and easily takes down the kidnappers. A reproachful Alfred, disgusted by Bruce’s drug use, resigns from his post! After a couple weeks of nonstop Venom dosing for patrols, the heavily-addicted Batman burns-out and breaks-down. In tears, he calls Alfred and convinces him to come home. With Alfred’s support, Batman quarantines himself in the Batcave and quits cold-turkey.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #976 and The Green Lantern #3—originally told in Justice League of America #3. The Justice League fights the debuting Kanjar Ro, a vile Dhorian super-villain that wields the powerful Gamma Metal Gong, which he uses to place all of humanity into suspended animation. Kanjar Ro forces the Justice League to challenge and defeat his evil alien rivals—HyathisKromm, and Sayyar. Eventually, the Justice Leaguers turn the tide at the far end of the universe and take all four tyrants captive, freeing the people of Earth simultaneously.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #975—originally told in Batman #75. George “Boss” Dyke is executed by the state, after which a mad scientist in his employ revives his brain and transplants it into the body of a giant gorilla. Dyke, now going by “Gorilla Boss,” terrorizes Gotham, but is eventually defeated and jailed by Batman.

–REFERENCE: In the quasi-canonical Harley Quinn: Villain of the Year #1—originally told in Batman #81 Part 2. Batman and Robin best Mr. Camera, a caped super-villain that wears a goofy box-shaped camera helmet with a giant lens faceplate.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #968, DC Talent Showcase 2018 #1 Part 1, Detective Comics #1002, and Batman Giant #6 (aka Batman: Universe #2). Batman links a majority of his Bat-vehicles into the Bat-computer network, thus making them able to be remote-controlled (among many other things). Only a handful of fighter jets remain “analog.” Furthermore, Batman constructs an ultra-magnetic collar, which he links to several of the newly-networked vehicles. This ultra-magnetic collar goes into his utility belt. Most of the networked vehicles can also be voice-activated. Notably, Commissioner Gordon is added as an authorized user. Also, Batman programs a hyper-realistic 3D virtual reality version of the Batcave that can be accessed and interfaced-with from the networked vehicles. Using this tech, Batman can “access the Batcave” remotely.

–REFERENCE: In Strange Adventures Vol. 5 #1—originally told in Mystery in Space #75. Kanjar Ro travels to the planet Rann to challenge human space adventurer Adam Strange, Strange’s girlfriend Alanna, and Alanna’s father Sardath. (Adam Strange is the champion of the planet Rann. He is able to travel back and forth between Earth and Rann via bizarre Zeta-Beam technology that only he has mastered.) The Justice League intervenes on Rann, helping Adam Strange bust the Dhorian despot. During this fight, Adam Strange saves Batman’s life. Note that Adam Strange and Batman will team-up on several occasions moving forward, but we’ll simply have to imagine these team-ups on our chronology.

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #6 and Adventures of the Super Sons #1—originally told in Justice League of America #5. The Justice League defeats The Getaway Master (Monty Moran), Captain Cold (Leonard Snart), Professor Menace, Clock King (William Tockman), Puppet Master (Jordan Weir), Electric Man, and Dr. Destiny. (Unknown to all, Puppet Master is actually a secret agent working for the Department of Metahuman Affairs.)

–REFERENCE: In Titans Vol. 3 Annual #1, Superman Vol. 4 #20, Super Sons #5, and Nightwing Vol. 4 #24. The Justice League defeats the creation of Professor Anthony Ivo, the evil android known as Amazo.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #999. February—Bruce’s birthday. As he did last year on his birthday, Batman runs Program 2.1, placing himself into a virtual world that challenges him by pushing him to his most extreme limits. Batman will continue to run Program 2.1 on his birthday every year, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Gotham Nights Vol. 3 #10. Alfred tells Bruce about trips hunting cape buffalo in Central Africa during his youth.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Giant Vol. 2 #5 Part 1 (Batman: Gotham Nights #7). Wanting to be taken more seriously, Killer Moth burns down his own clubhouse. The super-villain challenges Batman on the roofs of Gotham where Batman busts him.

–REFERENCE: In The Green Lantern #1—originally told in Batman #128. Batman and Robin stumble upon an alien conflict in the outskirts of Gotham. They watch as one being is mobbed by a large group of crustacean-like aliens. Choosing to help the outnumbered party, Batman and Robin are bested and teleported to an intergalactic prison light years away on the penal moon of Ergon. The Dynamic Duo was too hasty in their judgment and had aided a wanted pirate named Kraak against Ergonian space police. Batman and Robin are soon released from jail, after which they bust Kraak on a nearby asteroid.

–FLASHBACK: From Titans Vol. 3 #19. Batman and Robin go on an unspecified mission with the Justice League, after which Batman formally introduces the Boy Wonder to the team. Afterward, Batman tells Robin that, when he grows up, he will one day lead the JL.

–NOTE: Referenced in Teen Titans Vol. 6 #6, Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #7, Trinity Vol. 2 #16, Batman: Prelude to the Wedding Part 1 – Robin vs Ra’s al Ghul #1, Deathstroke Vol. 4 #32, and Adventures of the Super-Sons #6. Damian al Ghul (also known as Ibn al Xu’ffasch) is born from an artificial incubation womb.[3] (The fetus was removed from Talia al Ghul’s body many months ago and transferred into the high-tech sci-fi incubator.) Talia will keep the boy’s existence a secret from his father Bruce. Damian will be raised by the League of Assassins and spend his entire youth training to be a killer. Ra’s al Ghul has specific plans to one day transfer his soul into Damian’s body, but Talia secretly isn’t (and never will be) on board with that idea.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #33. While on an unspecified Justice League mission, Flash becomes nervous and loses his cool. Batman, hoping to motivate his friend, shouts, “Just run faster!” Sure enough, Flash is inspired and regains his sangfroid, helping to save the day. From this point onward, Batman will often say this “just run faster” line to Flash to pump him up.

–REFERENCE: In Trinity Vol. 2 #8. Batman helps Superman defeat his arch-rival, the 5th Dimensional imp Mr. Mxyzptlk.[4]

–REFERENCE: In Red Hood & The Outlaws Vol. 2 #20. Batman defeats the debuting Calendar Man (Julian Day).

–REFERENCE: In Batwoman Vol. 3 #6 and Green Arrow Vol. 6 #29. Batman meets and befriends GCPD Detectives Harvey Bullock and Renee Montoya.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #39. Batman defeats the debuting Signalman (also commonly written-out in two separate words as “Signal Man”).

–REFERENCE: In Adventures of the Super Sons #8. Batman defeats the debuting Catman.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #38 and Batman Vol. 3 Annual #4. Batman tailors and dons a zebra-striped costume in order to defeat the debuting Zebra Man (also known as “Vortex”).

–FLASHFORWARD: From Detective Comics #1000 Part 9. Batman and Robin patrol, punching-out a dude at a casino.

–REFERENCE: In The Green Lantern #9—originally told in World’s Finest Comics #124. Batman, Robin, and Superman fight three green humanoid aliens thieves from the planet Durim (Hroguth, Sklur, and Hansh), who get the better of them. Later, the heroes meet a fourth Durimian, the teen superhero Logi, who is accompanied by his pet, a lobster/horse hybrid monster called Quisto. Batman, Superman, Robin, Logi, and Quisto defeat Hroguth, Sklur, and Hansh. You really just can’t make this stuff up!

–REFERENCE: In The Green Lantern #3—originally told in World’s Finest Comics #127Zerno the Sorcerer, a warlock from the planet Y’Bar, attacks Gotham with his Gzann familiar. (A Gzann is a crab-slug hybrid monster.) Batman, Robin, and Superman fight Zerno, his Gzann, his mind-controlled sidekick Sborg, and several other equally bizarre alien creatures in a solid defense of the city (and planet).

–REFERENCE: In The Green Lantern #1—originally told in World’s Finest Comics #150. Batman and Superman take on Rokk and Sorban, aliens from the gambling planet of Ventura. With Batman captured, Superman agrees to enter into a high-stakes cosmic casino challenge that will decide Batman’s fate. Superman wins a game of Planetary System Roulette, in which the competitors maneuver actual planets into suns, earning Batman’s freedom.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Casting #1. Batman outfits one of his Batplanes with a metal extending arm that can grip things via a claw at its end. This silly-looking thing seems to be a nod to Superman’s Supermobile, a jet that has a metal extending arm with a fist at the end of it.

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to Mother Panic #1, the second feature to Mother Panic #5, and the second feature to Mother Panic #7—originally told in LOTDK #156-158 and LOTDK #164-167. Batman meets and saves the life of Lee Hyland (Blink), a metahuman conman who is completely blind, but can see through the eyes of any animal or person he touches. Shortly thereafter, despite Blink using his powers to steal from people’s bank accounts, Batman saves the villain’s life a second time. Afterward, Batman lets Blink go, encouraging him to use his powers for good. Blink promises to do so.

–REFERENCE: In Trinity Vol. 2 #9. During an unspecified Justice League mission, Flash takes hold of Batman and uses his powers to vibrate them through a wall. Batman does not like the experience and lets Flash know. While we won’t see every instance of this practice moving forward on our timeline, Flash will use this move in conjunction with Batman multiple times in the future, much to his chagrin.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1000 Part 5 and Detective Comics #1000 Part 10. Early September. Batman, as he does every year on the anniversary of his parents’ murders, visits both Crime Alley (where his parents were killed) and the cemetery where his parents are buried.

–REFERENCE: In Deathstroke Vol. 4 #22. The Justice League defeats the debuting Dr. Light (Dr. Arthur Light).

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #54. Batman goes on an unspecified mission and then adds another commemorative plaque to his trophy wall. This one features a ghoulish white hood or shroud. I’m sure this is a reference to a specific story, but I’m not sure which one.

–FLASHBACK: From the second feature to Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #17—and referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #42. Batman meets and chats with Joker’s primary Arkham psychiatrist, famous gymnast and genius neurologist Dr. Harleen Quinzel. Dr. Quinzel has been Joker’s therapist ever since his debut. This flashback is just a single image from a title splash page attached to this second feature.

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #17, Harley Quinn 25th Anniversary Special #1 Part 4, and Batman Vol. 3 #42. Joker’s therapist Dr. Harleen Quinzel, having fallen in love with the super-villain, breaks her “Puddin” out of Arkham Asylum, becoming his girlfriend and sidekick Harley Quinn. Batman busts Joker and Harley, who will remain on-and-off partners for years to come. Note that Harley, one of DC’s quirkiest and most over-the-top characters, seemingly has a preternatural awareness that she exists inside a comic book. Of course, unlike most others, Harley’s uniquely-wired brain can more than handle the weight of this knowledge.



–REFERENCE: In Batman: Prelude to the Wedding Part 2 – Nightwing vs Hush #1. Someone snaps a picture of Bruce and Dick at a black tie event. Bruce gets the picture, frames it, and puts it in one of the Wayne Manor living rooms.

–FLASHBACK: From Justice League of America Vol. 5 #22. Batman designs and builds the dual-seated Batmobile convertible (the one from Batman 66). The Dynamic Duo takes it out for a spin.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21. Batman deals/interacts with the US Government’s primary organization that deals with metahuman, superhero, and super-villain affairs: the DEO (the Department of Extranormal Operations).

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21 and Justice League Dark Vol. 2 #8—originally told in Justice League of America #10. The JLA faces off against the debuting Epoch aka The Lord of Time. During this battle, the occult-villain Felix Faust debuts by manipulating the heroes into obtaining a few magickal artifacts—the Red Jar of Calythos, the Silver Wheel of Nyorlath, and the Green Bell of Uthool—for him. Once gathered, Faust uses these items to summon the extremely powerful Demons Three (AbnegazarRath, and Ghast). Eventually, the JLA defeats Faust, Epoch, and the demons. Afterward, they put the artifacts, which hold the Demons Three, into the Trophy Room. Hal Jordan calls the Trophy Room the “Hall of Lost and Found.”

–REFERENCE: In Green Arrow Vol. 6 #25 and Green Arrow Vol. 6 #29. Green Arrow (Oliver Queen) meets and joins the Justice League. Although, unlike other recruits, he won’t make very strong connections with anyone else on the team, often acting as an uncertain ally of sorts. Upon learning each other’s secret identities, Green Arrow and Batman fail to connect despite both being mega-rich playboys in their alter-egos. Batman and Green Arrow just don’t get along very well, nor will they in the future. (Note that this is the same in the New 52, but decidedly different from the Silver and Modern Ages where Batman and Green Arrow were close friends.)

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #999. February—Bruce’s birthday. As he does every year on his birthday, Batman runs Program 2.1, placing himself into a virtual world that challenges him by pushing him to his most extreme limits.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #93. Batman fights Joker and Harley Quinn. Joker tells Batman that he (Batman) is the funniest person he knows.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Forge #1 and Dark Nights: Metal #1. Hawkman (Carter Hall/Katar Hol II) joins the Justice League. The JL also meets his wife and crime-fighting partner Hawkgirl (Kendra Saunders). Both Carter and Kendra are immortal, having existed in some form for thousands of years, constantly reincarnated as different champions of justice. Their current incarnations—Thanagarian-styled soldiers—are simply the latest in a long line of Hawk-related warrior gimmicks. (Hawkman himself is around 140-years-old at this point.) Unlike many of the other heroes, Hawkman and Hawkgirl won’t share their secret IDs or history with the hero community.[5]

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 5 #5. The Justice League meets and works with The Atom (Professor Ray Palmer). Presumably he joins he JL.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 5 #5, Suicide Squad Vol. 5 #18, and Suicide Squad Vol. 5 #21-23. Batman (and possibly the Justice League) defeat Eclipso, an evil supernatural force that inhabits the body of Dr. Bruce Gordon (no relation to the Gordons of Gotham).

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 5 #5. The Justice League meets and works with Black Canary. Presumably she joins the JL.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21-22, Flash Vol. 5 #75, Doomsday Clock #2, Doomsday Clock #7, and Plastic Man Vol. 5 #3. The Justice League meets and teams-up with heroes from an earlier generation, including Flash (Jay Garrick), Johnny Thunder, and Yz. This mission likely pits the heroes against the one-shot threat of The Crime Champions (Chronos, Dr. Alchemy, Felix Faust, The Fiddler, Icicle, and The Wizard). Note that the elder heroes involved in this item were members of the decades-old superhero team known as the Justice Society of America. However, thanks to the meddling of Dr. Manhattan, the JSA never existed on this timeline. Dr. Manhattan seems to be responsible for exiling Jay Garrick and Yz—two would-have-been JSA members—to an alternate reality prison and totally erasing their history from everyone’s memory. Likewise, Johnny Thunder’s history as a superhero is erased as well. Furthermore, Dr. Manhattan caused the death of Alan Scott in 1940, preventing him from ever even becoming Green Lantern. Thus, the older heroes that engage with the JL members in this item bear no connection to the JSA. Notably, the action of killing Alan Scott also nullified the existence of the original version of the 31st century Legion of Superheroes. Note that there is a Legion of Superheroes in-continuity (Brian Michael Bendis’ Legion), but it’s quite different from the original version, most notably in the fact that it never guided a young Kal-El, nor do our present day heroes even know about it yet. (References in Justice League Vol. 3 #41, Catwoman Vol. 5 #4, Flash Vol. 5 #70, and Dial H for Hero #4 tell us that some old-school superheroes in the vein of the JSA are from fictional media within the real world of the DCU. 1940s-styled Wonder Woman memorabilia and Jay Garrick Flash memorabilia are both purchasable in the DCU. As are Alan Scott-styled Green Lantern costumes and Hourman costumes. Plus, there are movies, TV shows, cartoons, and comic books loosely based on real heroes and made up ones within the DCU. In fact, Jay and many old-school villains—like The Fiddler—are characters in comic books. As initially referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #48, even a Batman TV series complete with a Neal Hefti Batman ’66 theme song exists within the DCU as well. Thus, we should re-think of any problematic Rebirth Era JSA references as being references to fictional media stuff. For example, maybe some of the JSA costumes on display in the Trophy Room are gifts from the cast of a live action TV show, meaning that those uniforms merely come from fictional characters. This gives us an easy out in case we ever need one!) And it looks like we already need one! At some point, someone will put the costumes of Hourman, Star-Spangled Kid, and Wildcat into the Trophy Room. These could be (and likely are) simply prop-costumes given to the JL from the cast of a fictional superhero TV show.[6]

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21. The Justice League defeats Matter Master and keeps his wand as a trophy for the “Hall of Lost and Found.”

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 5 #20—originally told in Detective Comics #50. Batman and Robin defeat the acrobatic super-villain team known as The Three Devils.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #38 and Year of the Villain: The Riddler #1. Batman and Robin bust pharaoh-themed super-villain King Tut. While we will rarely ever see King Tut on our chronology, Year of the Villain: The Riddler #1 tells us that King Tut will often challenge Batman, but the Dark Knight will usually ignore his threats. Thus, while they won’t have much interaction, moving forward on our timeline, we should imagine Batman shaking his damn head at a lot of King Tut notes left for him at the police station.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #29. Batman leaves on unspecified business, putting Robin in charge of protecting Gotham while he is gone. Before leaving, Batman jokingly says, “Keep the lights on until I get back.” Moving forward on our timeline, Batman will similarly leave Robin in charge of protecting Gotham every once in a while, and each time Batman will deliver that very same line.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics Vol. 3 Annual #2. Batman busts Eraser, a man that looks like a pencil and has the power to literally erase people from existence.

–REFERENCE: In Batwoman: Rebirth #1, Dark Days: The Forge #1, Detective Comics #958, and Detective Comics #975—originally told in Batman & Robin Eternal. Batman and Robin chase Scarecrow to Prague, where they learn he has connections to an international crime-boss called Mother. The near-immortal Mother orphans children and then turns them into brainwashed playthings for the rich and powerful, including the sinister Sacred Order of St. Dumas, a violent Christian cult that was once a part of the Knights Templar in Medieval Times. (Since the Dark Ages, the Order of St. Dumas has chosen a continuous line of “avenging angels,” each known as Azrael.) Noting the strangeness and danger involved in this case, Batman begins recording all details and thoughts pertaining to the matter at hand. He stores this secret information, a series of “Shadow Files,” on a secret “Shadow Drive” associated with the Bat-computer. Bruce will record information about his most top secret cases on the “Shadow Drive” for years to come. Not even the highest-ranking members of the Bat-Family will have access. Soon after learning about Mother’s operations, Bruce arranges a meeting with Mother, meeting both the villainess and her top assassin David Cain (aka “The Orphan”). Bruce, outed as Batman, orders a new Robin via her process (as part of a con to expose and bring her down). In Cairo, Batman and Robin bust Scarecrow. Batman fights and defeats both Mother and Cain, but is forced to watch a live video feed from Gotham that shows Cassandra Cain (David Cain’s young daughter) attacking young Harper Row’s small-time crook parents, Miranda Row and Marcus Row. (Harper is Mother’s young “chosen heir” for Batman. Cassandra, on the other hand, has been brainwashed and tortured by her dad into becoming a child soldier.) Miranda is brutally murdered while terrified Marcus runs away. In Cairo, Mother escapes when local law enforcement arrive. Back home, the Dark Knight builds a file on Harper Row and her brother Cullen Row, filled with details about their lives. He will keep tabs on the Rows for years to come.

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 4 #23 and Nightwing Vol. 4 #31. Batman and Robin defeat the massively powerful but mindless Blockbuster (Mark Desmond), who is controlled by his devious brother Roland Desmond.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #37 and Justice League Vol. 4 #19. Bat-Mite, a magickal imp from the 5th Dimension (where Mr. Mxyzptlk comes from), very publicly bothers Batman and Robin while they are on an unspecified case. Bat-Mite adores Batman and even wears a mini Bat-costume. Eventually, the annoying Bat-Mite poofs back to his home realm.

–REFERENCE: In The Green Lantern #9—originally told in World’s Finest Comics #163. Batman and Superman are whisked away to a distant planet known as The World of Wonders by the alien Jemphis, who hosts an annual intergalactic superhero convention. There, Jemphis forces Batman to fight a de-powered Superman in a series of public arena battles. Batman and Superman eventually team-up with other abducted superheroes from the distant cosmos—Aeroman, Windlass, Solar Man, Serpento, Dr. Chill, and Zardin the Boy Marvel—to defeat Jemphis.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #44—originally told in Detective Comics #203. Selina Kyle has quietly worked at her new pet shop since early last year with no inclination of returning to costumed thievery. However, when a vituperative series of articles are printed in the Gotham Gazette that poke fun of her time as a kitty-themed villainess, Selina is furious. When some cheap hoods harass Selina in her own store, Batman is there to shoo away the jerks. Batman tells Selina not to take the criticism and harassment personally. But for Selina, it’s too much to bear. Selina re-dons the purple-and-green caped Catwoman costume and commits a series of daring public heists, disappointing the Dark Knight. Catwoman, now a wanted criminal again, goes into hiding.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #88—originally told in the 1966 Batman movie. Batman and Robin defeat “United Underworld”—the team-up of Joker, Penguin, Riddler, and Catwoman. During this adventure, Batman discovers a secret radio frequency that Riddler has been using to communicate with the other Bat-rogues. With the line compromised, the defeated villains stop using it.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #27 and Detective Comics #967. Kathy Webb-Kane, daughter of notorious ex-Nazi Otto Netz (Dr. Dedalus) and ex-wife of Bruce’s long-deceased uncle Nathan Kane, becomes Bat-Woman. She goes on adventures with Batman and Robin, even debuting her own sidekick, Bat-Girl (Bruce’s cousin Bette Kane). Batman and Bat-Woman become lovers, but the relationship is ill-fated. Bat-woman breaks up with Batman and the female Dynamic Duo retires from crime-fighting.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #988. Ted Carson debuts as a new Firefly, getting busted by Batman and Robin. Carson’s costume is gaudier than Garfield Lynns’ costume, but he’s ironically less over-the-top, despite also being a crazed pyromaniac. From this point forward, both Fireflies will remain active in the DCU.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Prelude to the Wedding Part 2 – Nightwing vs Hush #1—originally told in Batman #134. Batman publicly fights “The Rainbow Creature,” a razor-toothed monster made entirely out of light from the color spectrum.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #23 and Dark Nights: Metal #2. Batman meets and befriends Swamp Thing, a Plant Elemental with the memories and personality of deceased scientist Alec Holland. Swamp Thing is a member of the Parliament of Trees, a group of ancient elder Plant Elementals that keep watch over and control the Green, the mystic force that binds together all vegetal life. The Caped Crusader and several other heroes learn the exact location of the headquarters of the Parliament of Trees deep in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest. Around the Parliament of Trees’ HQ, there grows a natural plant-killing exfoliant, which local tribesman destroy in order to protect their “plant gods.” (It is possible that the heroes visit, but this is not confirmed.)

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1000 Part 5 and Detective Comics #1000 Part 10. Early September. Batman, as he does every year on the anniversary of his parents’ murders, visits both Crime Alley (where his parents were killed) and the cemetery where his parents are buried.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1004. Killer Croc, Anton Arcane, and others start a full-scale riot in Arkham Asylum. While Batman contains inmates that have made it outside the walls of the building, prison director Dr. Jeremiah Arkham tries to calm the rest of the inmates with the help of his pregnant wife Dr. Ingrid Karlsson. During the chaos, Ingrid goes into labor. Joker, Harley Quinn, Clayface, Poison Ivy, Two-Face, and Solomon Grundy show a softer side, helping Ingrid deliver a healthy baby girl, who she names Astrid Arkham. Unfortunately, a random rioting inmate throws one of Batman’s discarded Batarangs at Ingrid, killing her instantly. Saddened, the inmates return to their cells. From this point forward, Astrid will basically live at Arkham Asylum and be “raised” by all of Batman’s rogues.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman’s Grave #5. Batman does some homework on Jeremiah Arkham, learning all he can about the man.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #36. Dr. X (Simon Echs) and his symbiotic partner Double X—together known simply as Dr. Double X—fight the Dark Knight and Boy Wonder. Echs winds up behind Arkham bars.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #48 and Batman Vol. 3 #54—originally told in Batman #180. Batman and Robin defeat the thrice resurrecting Death Man aka Lord Death Man. Afterward, Batman puts a skull plaque onto his commemorative trophy wall. (There’s a skull one on there, and this is the only skull-related villain I can think of, aside from the SKULL organization. I guess the skull could also represent the Reaper, but who really knows. Ask Matt Wagner; he drew it.)

–REFERENCE: In Batgirl Vol. 5 #34—originally told in Detective Comics #253. Batman and Robin apprehend the thrill-seeking Terrible Trio, which consists of The Shark, The Vulture, and The Fox.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #50. Batman busts Catwoman and handcuffs her on a rooftop. They lean-in close to each other for a kiss. It is highly unlikely that Batman takes Catwoman to jail here.

–REFERENCE: In Batman/Elmer Fudd #1. Bruce begins dating the gorgeous Silver St. Cloud. She falls madly in love with Bruce, but breaks up with him upon discovering that he is Batman. Wanting a less-complicated (and safer) partner, she begins dating Elmer Fudd. Unknown to Silver, Fudd is actually a hitman.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #44—originally told in Batman #197. Catwoman debuts yet another new costume, this one a skin-tight kelly green affair complete with cat’s eye goggles. In her new duds, Catwoman attempts to play superhero—via staged altercations with her own henchmen, who pretend to fight her. Catwoman even fights side-by-side with Batman and Robin. Later, she meets privately with Batman and asks him to marry her! Batman turns her down. In response, Catwoman captures the legit heroes, trapping them on an intense sound-blasting “Cataphonic Cat’s Cradle” platform in her “Catacombs” hideout. Batman and Robin escape and bust Catwoman.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #21-23—originally told via flashback from Nightwing Vol. 4 #11. The Dynamic Duo busts neophyte “art terrorists” The Pigeon (Beatrice Butler) and her teenage sidekick Defacer (Shawn Tsang).

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 4 #32. Batman and Robin bust three random baddies and swing away into the Gotham night.

–Batman/Elmer Fudd #1
Silver St. Cloud wants to leave her boyfriend Elmer Fudd because she has just learned that he is a hitman. Seeing a parallel to how she left Bruce due to his secret profession, Silver starts an elaborate ruse to mess with both Fudd and Bruce. Silver fakes her own death, leaving clues that lead Fudd to a bar they used to hang-out at called Porky’s Bar. There, hitman Bugs the Bunny, as per Silver’s orders, tells Fudd that Bruce Wayne put the hit on Silver. Fudd, who already hates Bruce for having dated Silver, goes into a rage. He sneaks into a fancy gala at Wayne Manor, shoots Bruce with a shotgun, and makes a hasty retreat. But of course, Bruce ain’t dead. Batman—incorrectly shown wearing his classic costume—ambushes Fudd at his apartment and they fight. Eventually, they decide to team-up when they realize that something ain’t right about Silver’s murder. Batman and Fudd go to Porky’s where they beat-up Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Sylvester, Tweety, Marvin, Taz, Daffy, and a guy who owns a frog named Michigan J Frog. Silver then makes her dramatic appearance and tells off her exes before departing for good. Porky serves up three carrot juice cocktails for Batman, Fudd, and Bugs.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #43-44—originally told in Batman #237. Unhinged Jewish concentration camp survivor, Dr. Benjamin Gruener, goes on a killing-spree as the grim reaper-themed super-villain known as The Reaper. Batman defeats him. Don’t forget that the Reaper from the League of Assassins still exists as well, but he’s a different person. “The Reaper” is not a very original name, guys.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #44 and Batman Vol. 3 #85—originally told in Batman #256. Batman and Robin work a murder case at the circus. Coincidentally, an escaped Selina Kyle has been working at the circus under a fake identity in an effort to free the captive tigers. When Batman and Robin dig around, Selina is exposed. Debuting yet another new costume (a red, black, and blue thingy), Catwoman fights Batman, rides one of the Siberian big cats like a pony, prompting Batman to chase after her on horseback. Batman busts Catwoman then returns to flush-out and apprehend the circus murderer with Robin.

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 4 #50. An escaped Scarecrow takes over Gotham University’s Symposium of Fear. Batman and Robin bust him. Scarecrow immediately escapes from Arkham Asylum and goes after Robin. The Boy Wonder debuts his escrima sticks and kicks Scarecrow’s ass solo.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #20, Bug! The Adventures of Forager #1, Super Sons #5, Gotham Academy: Second Semester #12, Flash Vol. 5 Annual #1, and Batman Vol. 3 #44. Batman tailors and a new blue-and-grey with yellow oval insignia costume. Starting now, Batman will begin using this yellow oval costume. He puts his old costume on display in the Batcave. (In the decades to come, Batman will put many old costumes—both his own and other Bat-Family members’ costumes—on display in the Batcave.)

–FLASHBACK: From Tales from the Dark Multiverse: The Death of Superman #1. Batman, in his new blue-and-grey/yellow oval digs, fights Joker.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1000 Part 1. Batman continues the unsolved “David Lambert’s looking glass case,” tracking the false artifact’s origin to Osumi, Japan. From there, Batman travel to Egypt where he goes in disguise to learn more about the looking glass. Then it’s off to Naples, Italy. But, ultimately, he reaches a dead end. However, Batman does finally realize that someone is toying with him in regard to this case. Stymied, Batman tries to see if Lambert’s looking glass is any way linked to Ra’s al Ghul. After a brief investigation, Batman sees that it is not. Batman will continue working this case sporadically, for years to come.

–FLASHBACK: From Superman Giant #9 (aka Superman: Up in the Sky #4)—and referenced in Flash Vol. 5 #33 and Flash Vol. 5 Annual #1. Originally told in Superman #199 and Flash #175. Millions, including Batman and Robin, watch as Superman competes against Flash in a UN-sponsored charity race across the globe. They tie. Shortly thereafter, Reverse-Flash (aka Professor Zoom aka Eobard Thawne) and Abra Kadabra kidnap the JL and force Flash and Superman into having a rematch, only this time they race through the whole expanse of the universe, which includes a quick stop on Ventura to best Rokk and Sorban. Upon returning home, again in a dead heat, Superman and Flash bust the villains and save their friends. Superman and Flash will have many more races over the course of the following years, although none will be quite as public as these first two.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #39. Batman defeats the debuting False Face.

–REFERENCE: In Super Sons/Dynomutt Special #1. Bruce meets and befriends fellow millionaire Radley Crowne, who hails from Big City (thirty-five miles to the north of Gotham), while maintaining his rich-playboy act at various elite clubs. Shortly thereafter, Batman learns that Crowne is secretly the superhero defender of Big City, Blue Falcon! Batman and Robin team-up with Blue Falcon and his robotic canine sidekick Dynomutt (aka “The Dog Wonder”), going up against the vile Red Vulture. Afterward, Blue Falcon tells Batman he shouldn’t work with kids because dogs are more loyal.

–REFERENCE: In The Green Lantern #3—originally told in Detective Comics #291. The last Rukk (the final living survivor of the otherwise extinct alien species known as the Rukks) comes out of suspended hibernation on Earth and soon finds itself face-to-face with Batman and Robin. The heroes fight the raging hairy green cyclops, finding its ship, in which they learn about the Rukks and their long-destroyed home-planet Sharl. Eventually, the Dynamic Duo causes the last Rukk to flee into deep space.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #1000 Part 9—originally told in Detective Comics #311 and Superman/Batman #31. A goofy minuscule alien named Zook gets stranded on Earth. Even though Zook is really annoying and not-so-bright, Martian Manhunter decides to keep him as a pet/sidekick, making him an official Justice League mascot. Zook is immediately troublesome and constantly in everyone’s way, especially Batman, who lets the little guy have an honest earful. With his feelings hurt, Zook leaves Earth for good, moving to the 5th Dimension.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1000 Part 7. An unknown member of Batman’s rogues gallery—(in Detective Comics #1000 Part 7, this character speaks from off-panel, so we don’t know who it is)—kidnaps Bruce Wayne in an effort to collect a hefty ransom and to use him as bait to lure out Batman. Bruce puts on quite an act while captured, crying like a baby until Batman (someone in disguise, likely Superman) arrives to challenge the super-villain. In the end, the bad guy is defeated and Batman’s secret ID is left intact.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #73—originally told in Detective Comics #344 and Batman #192 Part 1. Evil genius/White supremacist mobster Johnny Witts (Johnny Wittleson) kidnaps Robin and gloats in Batman’s face. Robin escapes to re-join Batman, after which a chess match of back-and-forth maneuvers goes on for a while, with Witts keeping one step ahead of the Dynamic Duo. Batman eventually busts Witts, but charges don’t stick and he walks free. Soon afterward, Witts disguises himself as a psychic called The Swami, using this ruse to gain access to his marks’ valuables. Witts is exposed by Batman and Robin, but, as before, runs circles around the duo. Our heroes eventually nab Witts again, but he avoids jail time. Done playing around with Batman, Witts moves to Hollywood.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 2 #21, Flash Vol. 5 #21, Titans Vol. 3 Annual #1, Titans Vol. 3 #19, Nightwing Vol. 4 #21, and Deathstroke Vol. 4 #19. The Teen Titans debut, helping out in the New England town of Hatton Corners. The team features the sidekicks of the Justice League, including Robin, Speedy (Roy Harper), Aqualad (Garth), Wonder Girl (Donna Troy), and Kid Flash (Wally West). The Teen Titans make their HQ on a small island in Hatton Corners. Batman does not approve of Robin’s new venture and makes it known to his sidekick.

–REFERENCE: In The Green Lantern: Blackstars #2. Due to what must be some Silver Age-y sci-fi chicanery, Aunt Harriet Cooper is forced to play the role of Batman for a full month! We aren’t given any details about this (or told what happens to Bruce), which is probably for the best. In any case, we won’t see or hear from Aunt Harriet again, so we must assume that the elderly matriarch dies shortly after this—hopefully of natural causes and unrelated to her monthlong Bat-adventure.


YEAR FOUR (2006)

–REFERENCE: In The Green Lantern #10—originally told in Justice League of America #46-47. A science experiment gone wrong by Ray Palmer’s lab assistant Enrichetta Negrini allows The Anti-Matter Man, a cosmic entity hailing from the Qward system of Universe-3 (aka the Anti-Matter Universe) to enter the Bleed en route to Earth-0. (The Bleed is a tesseract space that serves as the blank void/highway between universes.) The Spectre tries to stop the Anti-Matter Man’s march, but he is quickly defeated. Dr. Fate (Kent Nelson) sends the JL to the Bleed where they are able to send the Anti-Matter Man back to Qward. In case you didn’t know, Dr. Fate is linked to the immortal magick demigod known as Nabu, who is a charter member of the cosmic Lords of Order. (The Lords of Order are, naturally, enemies of the Lords of Chaos.)

In Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #20 and Red Hood and The Outlaws Vol. 2 #18—originally told in The Brave and The Bold #80 and Justice League of America #70. Gotham TV news reporter/investigative journalist Jack Ryder debuts as the Joker-esque superhero known as The Creeper. Batman teams-up with the strange newcomer in Gotham against Hellgrammite. Shortly thereafter, the Creeper helps the Justice League thwart an alien invasion of Earth. (As referenced in Doomsday Clock #9, unknown to all the heroes, the Creeper is actually a secret agent working for the Department of Metahuman Affairs.)

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #64. Batman, Robin, Flash, and Kid Flash team-up to defeat Solomon Grundy. Afterward, all four celebrate in the Batcave.

–REFERENCE: In Titans Vol. 3 #20-21. Green Arrow learns that his sidekick Speedy has become addicted to heroin. The superhero community does its best to support Speedy, who goes into rehab. Batman isn’t directly involved in this item, but he definitely hears all about it.

–REFERENCE: In Batman/Superman Vol. 2 #7—originally told in the Batman The Animated Series TV show. Batman defeats the second incarnation of the Clock King (Temple Fugate).

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #961—originally told in the Batman The Animated Series TV show. A robotics company called Cybertron creates the towering sentient stationary AI known as HARDaC (Holographic Analytical Reciprocating Digital Computer), which goes rogue and builds several human-like replica androids in an attempt to kill and replace their real counterparts. Batman defeats the replicants, including a Batman android, and shuts down HARDaC for good. (Years from now, an inert HARDaC will wind up the property of Luke Fox’s company FoxTech.)

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #999. February—Bruce’s birthday. As he does every year on his birthday, Batman runs Program 2.1, placing himself into a virtual world that challenges him by pushing him to his most extreme limits.

–REFERENCE: In Titans Vol. 3 Annual #1 and Flash Vol. 5 #21. The Justice League defeats The Key. Afterward, they put his Keyblaster weapon into their Trophy Room.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #14. The Justice League defeats the playing card-themed super-villain group known as The Royal Flush Gang (King, Queen, Ace, Jack, and Ten).

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21. The Justice League defeats Toyman. Afterward, they put his toy box into their Trophy Room.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21. The Justice League defeats a returning Dr. Destiny. Afterward, they keep his costume with the original Materioptikon attached, placing it into their Trophy Room.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1000 Part 2. April. Batman busts an escaped Two-Face after the villain murders the Vinkledot twins.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #987. Bruce hires Fred Morgan as a Wayne Enterprises security guard. Bruce will get to know Fred very well, learning all about his family life as the years go on.

–REFERENCE: In Suicide Squad Black Files #1. Batman and Hawkman defeat the debuting Gentleman Ghost (the spirit of villain Jim Craddock).

–REFERENCE: In Batgirl & The Birds of Prey #11, Batgirl Vol. 5 #14, and Batgirl Vol. 5 Annual #2—originally told in Batgirl Vol. 4 #0. Summer. Commissioner Gordon’s daughter Barbara “Babs” Gordon moves to Gotham from Chicago. (Babs had been living in the Windy City with her mom and brother.) Having trained her whole life to be just like her dad, and having heard stories about the great Batman from pop, Babs has always wanted to follow the hero’s path. Babs and her brother James Junior (visiting from Chicago), meet their dad at police HQ. While waiting for Jim to wrap-up his day, Babs and James watch as a few cops give theorize about the effectiveness of Batman’s armor, displaying a kludged-together Bat-costume. When super-villain Harry X and his cult of followers take control of the entire building, Babs takes it upon herself to put her years of training to the test. She dons the fake Batman costume and takes on Harry X. The Dark Knight arrives just in time to watch Babs kayo the big lug. In the chaos, James Junior executes Harry X in a back room. Soon after the Harry X incident, Babs puts together her own unique costume and debuts as Batgirl, piquing the interest of the Dynamic Duo. Batman and Robin meet Batgirl and team with her on several unspecified missions to test her mettle.

–REFERENCE: In Batgirl Vol. 5 #14-17. Summer. Batman upgrades his field sound recording equipment. Shortly thereafter, Batman and Robin easily discover Batgirl’s secret identity as Barbara Gordon. They learn all about her life, including how her deadbeat mom led to her moving from Chicago to Gotham to live with her dad, Commissioner Gordon. When students at Babs’ new high school (where Babs is a new freshman attending summer school) begin acting crazy, Batman puts Robin on lookout duty at the stadium. There, he runs into Batgirl, who is also working the case. Later, Robin and Batgirl hit it off romantically as they patrol together. They learn that Mad Hatter—along with Babs’ friend Ainsley Wells—is using nanotechnology to cause the students’ madness. Robin and Batgirl bust Mad Hatter while the drug-addicted Ainsley winds up in a mental hospital. After the case wraps, Dick and Babs share their first awkward kiss.

–REFERENCE: In Batgirl & The Birds of Prey #11 and Batgirl & The Birds of Prey #19. Having earned the trust of the Dynamic Duo, Batgirl becomes an official member of the newly formed Bat-Family. Not only that, but Batman shares his secret ID with Batgirl as well. Batman impresses upon Batgirl (and reminds Robin) the importance of maintaining her secret ID, even keeping it hidden from close friends and family. Batman will stress the importance of maintaining a secret ID to all members of the Bat-Family throughout his entire career.

–REFERENCE: In Red Hood and The Outlaws Vol. 2 #18. The Justice League defeats Queen Bee (Zazzala). In the Rebirth Era, Queen Bee is the leader of the evil organization known as HIVE (Hierarchy of International Vengeance and Extermination).

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #982 and Detective Comics #1006-1007. Batman meets The Spectre. The Spectre is the physical embodiment of the wrath and vengeance of God—the single Judeo-Christian/Islamic (Abrahamic) god. In order to complete his divine work on Earth, the Spectre must be held within a human host vessel: Jim Corrigan, a police detective that has recently transferred from the NYPD to the GCPD. Notably, “God’s wrath and vengeance” is a sentient entity unto itself—a former angel named Aztar, now simply called Wrath. The Spectre shekhinah can only take shape when Wrath combines with Corrigan. Batman also interacts with human host Corrigan and Corrigan’s partner, Detective Tony Martinez, during this episode. However, Batman does not learn that the Spectre and Corrigan are linked. Interestingly, Batman takes a liking to Corrigan but hates the Spectre.

–REFERENCE: In Adventures of the Super Sons #2—originally told in The Brave and The Bold #78. The snake-themed villain known as Copperhead debuts and is defeated by Batman, Batgirl, and Wonder Woman.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #979-980. The Justice League defeats the tyrant ruler of WarWorld, Mongul.

–REFERENCE: In Deathstroke Vol. 4 #39. The Justice League defeats Ultra-Humanite.

–Detective Comics #1000 Part 5[7]
Early September—the anniversary of the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Batman, as he always does every year, visits Crime Alley on the anniversary of his parents’ deaths. There, he finds Dr. Leslie Thompkins leaving her clinic for the night. As they chat, some masked teens attack, prompting Batman to whoop their butts. Leslie, as she is wont to do, scolds Batman for using excessive violence. Ever the moral compass, Leslie tells Batman that she feels more sorry for him than she does for the poor unconscious boys that lay at their feet.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1000 Part 10. Early September. Batman, as he does every year on the anniversary of his parents’ murders, visits the cemetery where his parents are buried.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #978 and Wonder Woman Vol. 5 #25. Having fought side-by-side for a few years now, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman have become very closely bonded. From this point forward, their bond will only grow. This trio—from which almost every important thing that occurs in the DCU will center—will now be known as the Trinity. The Trinity decides to make their secret meeting spot, where they will meet on occasion (invisibly and randomly, moving forward), at the Nevada desert site where they all first met.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Nights: Metal #3. Batman already has emergency codes and alerts for both his Bat-Family and the Justice League, so what’s one more? Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman come up with a simple emergency cipher code in form of an alphabetical Trinity acrostic. If ever in a dire situation, Batman can alert Superman and Wonder Woman using two words that begin with their first names. For instance, “carpe diem” could be used since the first letter of “carpe” equals “C” for “Clark” while the first letter of “diem” equals “D” for “Diana.”

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Kings of Fear #6. October. Batman rescues an unnamed doctor from a mugger as she is walking home from a film screening.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Prelude to the Wedding Part 2 – Nightwing vs Hush #1. Batman and Robin defeat the debuting Mr. Polka-Dot (aka Polka-Dot Man aka Mr. Polka Dot).

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 4 #1. The Justice League defeats the immortal Vandal Savage.

–REFERENCE: In Wonder Woman Vol. 5 #1. The Justice League defeats Wonder Woman’s former best friend and now metahuman rival, The Cheetah (Dr. Barbara Ann Minerva).

–REFERENCE: In Dark Nights: Metal #2 and Batman Giant #6 (aka Batman: Universe #2). The Justice League learns of the existence and location of Gorilla City, a cloaked Central African metropolis (near the Atlantic Ocean) filled with talking telepathic apes. They defeat Gorilla Grodd, ruthless terrorist that hails from Gorilla City. The JL meets ruler of Gorilla City, King Solovar, and researches all they can about the denizens of Gorilla City.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Kings of Fear #6. Batman busts Sammy “Scalpel” Sanchez, a crook who is also an expert knife handler.

–REFERENCE: In Event Leviathan #6—originally told in Detective Comics #443. Batman joins forces with Manhunter (Paul Kirk), Asano Nitobe, Interpol agent Christine St. Clair, and Kolu Mbeya to crush an army of Paul Kirk clones linked to The Council, a vast criminal enterprise that has existed clandestinely for hundreds of years. (As revealed in Action Comics #1010, Penguin is the current secret director of the Council.) Manhunter sacrifices his life to help defeat the Council.

–REFERENCE: In Titans Vol. 3 #11 and Teen Titans Vol. 6 #8. Batman isn’t directly a part of this item, but he definitely secretly monitors the situation. Deathstroke and his son Ravager (Grant Wilson) attack the Teen Titans (Robin, Speedy, Wonder Girl, Kid Flash, Aqualad, and new member Omen). Thanks to unstable new powers given to him by HIVE, Ravager has a heart attack during battle and drops dead. Deathstroke takes his son’s corpse and leaves the scene, blaming the Teen Titans for his death. Batman monitors all of this via hidden camera.


YEAR FIVE (2007)

–FLASHBACK: From Gotham Academy: Second Semester #12—and also referenced in Gotham Academy: Second Semester #9-12. Batman busts pyrokinetic super-villain Calamity (Sybil Silverlock), who claims that the ghost of Amity Arkham, one of the long deceased matriarchs of the notorious Arkham family, has been possessing her. Batman defeats Calamity and rescues her young daughter, Olive Silverlock. Afterward, the trauma of this event causes all Olive’s memories of her mom as Calamity to become deeply repressed. Bruce puts Olive into an orphanage where he will watch over her for years to come. Batman also does research on Amity Arkham, discovering that the Silverlock family has a long history of mental illness, is related to the Arkhams, and is linked to Penguin’s ancestor Millie Jane Cobblepot. Bruce meets with Penguin, who brings a lockbox that once belonged to Millie Jane, at Wayne Manor. The lockbox contains information and items pertaining to Millie Jane, Amity, Ambroos Lydecker, and the cabalist tome known as “The Old Book of Gotham.” Bruce swipes the lockbox and puts it into a vault in Wayne Manor. Later, he studies the contents of the lockbox and realizes the importance of Gotham Academy to Gotham’s occult history. Bruce buys his way onto the Board of Directors of the prestigious school so he will always be linked-in and able to keep tabs without arising suspicion.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #64 and Batman Vol. 3 #65. Batman saves three members of the Clover family (young Hank Clover and his parents) from a mugger.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Kings of Fear #6. Batman busts Riddler and his newest gang, which includes Sammy “Scalpel” Sanchez. Seeing that Sanchez is scared out of his wits, Batman decides not to beat on him like the others. Sanchez immediately turns himself in (and turns his life around).

–REFERENCE: In DC’s Beach Blanket Bad Guys Summer Special #1 Part 9—originally told in the Batman The Animated Series TV show. Gotham socialite Veronica Vreeland begins dating Penguin as part of a publicity stunt. Of course, Penguin, who has been in love with Veronica since they were teens, thinks the relationship is real. Eventually, Penguin discovers the truth, flips-out, and tries to kill Veronica. Batman saves her life.

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #2-5. Batman meets and befriends element-altering superhero Metamorpho (Rex Mason), teaming with him on an unspecified mission. Batman and Metamorpho will remain close over the years to come, and the public will come to regard Metamorpho as one of Batman’s primary allies outside of the Justice League and Bat-Family. Unfortunately for Batman, he won’t know the secret truth behind Metamorpho. Like Kirk Langstrom, Metamorpho—along with Metamorpho’s partner Element Girl (Urania Blackwell) and his supposed arch-rivals Simon Stagg, Doc Dread, The Prosecutor, and Stingaree—is a secret agent working for the US Government’s Department of Metahuman Affairs. Despite maintaining a public origin story about having gotten his powers via magickal means while exploring in Egypt, Metamorpho, like the others, actually was given his powers by the DMA.

–REFERENCE: In Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps #44. The Justice League defeats the aureate super-villain known as Goldface.

–FLASHBACK: From Wonder Woman Vol. 5 #35—and also referenced in Titans Vol. 3 Annual #1 and Superman Vol. 4 #37. The Justice League learns of the New Gods, defeating the evil New God Darkseid and his army of Parademons. Afterward, Batman studies the physiology of a dead Parademon. He also learns about the New Gods’ sentient computers/wormhole-opening devices known as Mother Boxes. Batman keeps a Mother Box for study as well.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #999. February—Bruce’s birthday. As he does every year on his birthday, Batman runs Program 2.1, placing himself into a virtual world that challenges him by pushing him to his most extreme limits.

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

–REFERENCE: In The Batman’s Grave #3. Batman begins using an anonymized server to upload encrypted evidence to Commissioner Gordon. He will do this regularly, moving forward.

–FLASHBACK: From The Infected: The Commissioner #1. From the shadows, Batman stalks some bad guys.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #79. For the second time, Catwoman steals the Coner Diamond from the Gotham Museum, but, as before, Batman steals it right back.

–REFERENCE: In Dial H for Hero #1-3. The Justice League publicly ventures into deep space for an unspecified mission. While they are gone, Gorilla Grodd threatens Central City. Grodd is bested by teenager Robby Reed, owner of a fantastic device called an H-Dial, which, when activated, taps into the mystic Heroverse realm, turning its user into a brand new never-before-heard-of temporary superhero with a random superpower. (As referenced in Dial H for Hero #9, Robby has been wielding the H-Dial for years already, ever since he was ten-years-old.) Upon their return to Earth, the JL learns about the H-Dial.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 3 #39 and Adventures of the Super Sons #1. After Joker gains access to the Secret Sanctuary in Happy Harbor, the Justice League decides to abandon its Earthbound HQs (both the Sanctuary and the Hall of Justice). The JL constructs and launches a brand new orbiting satellite HQ, known simply as the JL Satellite.[8]

–REFERENCE: In Titans Special #1. The android known as Red Tornado, built by the conniving super-genius Dr. TO Morrow, joins the JL.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21, The Green Lantern #4-5, and Justice League Dark Vol. 2 #11—originally told in Justice League of America #96-98. The debuting cosmic vampire known as Starbreaker (along with his robotic hench-insects called Mechanix) gets the better of the Justice League. (Starbreaker aka Luciphage is of the alien species known as Sun-Eaters.) Rebounding, the heroes team-up with Sargon the Sorcerer, a veteran magick user and legendary hero of yesteryear. Sargon wields the mystic Ruby of Life to turn the tide against Starbreaker. Green Arrow shoots a silver arrow into Starbreaker’s heart, killing him. Afterward, Sargon retires and gives his costume to the JL. It goes on display in the Trophy Room.

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #4 and Detective Comics #1003. Batman defeats Professor Achilles Milo, who uses hallucination-inducing chemical attacks against him. Not long after, Milo turns Olympic athlete Anthony Lupus into a werewolf. Batman busts Milo and the werewolf.

–REFERENCE: In The Green Lantern #10—originally told in Justice League of America #107-108. The Justice League builds a “Transmatter Cube” that allows them to travel through the Bleed.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 4 #1 and Doomsday Clock #6. The Justice League defeats The Injustice Gang, a team led by Libra and consisting of Mirror Master (Sam Scudder), Poison Ivy, Scarecrow, Chronos, Shadow Thief, and Tattooed Man (Abel Tarrant).

–REFERENCE: In Dark Nights: Metal #1-2, Nightwing Vol. 4 #29, Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #38, and Detective Comics Vol. 3 Annual #2. Billionaire John Mayhew attempts to recruit Batman and Robin onto a new team of international heroes dubbed The Club of Heroes. Of the recruits are the so-called “Batmen of All Nations,” including Knight (Percival Sheldrake), The Squire (Cyril Sheldrake), Wingman (Benedict Rundstrom), El Gaucho (Santiago Vargas), Man-of-Bats (William Great Eagle), Little Raven, The Legionary (Alphonso Giovanni), The Musketeer (Jean-Marie), and The Ranger. (Most of these international heroes are also part of a UN-like international policing collective known as “The Dome,” which is a direct precursor to what will eventually become The Global Guardians. Gaucho was also the inspiration for and current ally to the Argentinian superhero team known as Súper Malón.) Once assembled, Mayhew’s Club of Heroes venture fails immediately. The team doesn’t get along and disbands in less than half-an-hour. Shortly thereafter, during an encounter with Spyral agents, the Dark Knight is sprayed with a gas weapon that causes a vivid hallucination. Batman lucidly dreams that he is on a distant planet known as Zur-En-Arrh, where he is endowed with super-powers and gets to meet his perfect alien double, who wears a garish purple-and-red bat costume. Not long after, Dr. Simon Hurt implants post-hypnotic suggestions into Batman’s psyche while the Dark Knight is undergoing sensory deprivation tests. Hurt is actually Thomas Wayne, Bruce’s great(x5) uncle born in the 1700s, endowed with quasi-immortality. During these sensory deprivation tests, Hurt is able to psychoanalyze Batman and literally hear in detail about all of the Dark Knight’s hallucinations, new and old—(Batman has been drugged by Scarecrow, Achilles Milo, and Joker before and was recently drugged by Spyral). Using dialogue specific to Batman’s most recent hallucination, Hurt implants the trigger word “Zur-En-Arrh” into Batman’s brain. Once this word is uttered, Bruce will “shutdown” and lose all memory of having ever been a crime-fighter. After a lengthy period of sleep-deprivation in an isolation chamber, Batman temporarily believes Robin has died as a result of an alien encounter (another vivid hallucination). Afterward, Batman forgets ever meeting Hurt thanks to hypnosis. Hurt also blocks all of Batman’s memory of him using hypnosis. Batman then begins suffering blackouts and night terrors as a result of his sleep-deprivation testing. Things get so bad that Batman is defeated by a group of ape-masked rookie gangsters known as the Gorilla Gang (Ceasar, Joe, Bingo, Magilla, King, and one unnamed other). Troubled, the Dark Knight considers retirement. However, Batman shakes the cobwebs out as best he can, summoning up enough courage to bust the Gorilla Gang in a rematch. Immediately thereafter, Hurt sics three substitute Batmen (cops Josef Muller, Branca, and Michael Lane) against a groggy and confused Batman, who still easily defeats them. Hurt blocks Batman’s memory of the fight against the substitutes and then sends the Dark Knight on his way. Batman still has no real memories of ever meeting Simon Hurt or of fighting his substitute Batmen, only extremely hazy dreamlike visions of them instead. Batman writes about these strange fleeting visions, which he regards as a drug-induced hallucination, into his Black Casebook. Hurt will retrain (and sadistically torture) his substitute Batmen for years before unleashing them upon Gotham again.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Dark Vol. 2 #8—originally told in Justice League of America #148. The JL faces-off against the powerful evil wizard Mordru. Mordru is one the leaders of the Lords of Chaos.

–REFERENCE: In Event Leviathan #1-6—originally told in Justice League of America #140-141 and Justice League of America #149-150. Eons before the institution of the Green Lantern Corps, the Guardians of the Universe built their first peacekeeping armies, first the failed reptilian Psions, then the equally failed Manhunter Robots. Guess who’s back and harboring an angry vengeance toward their Green Lantern replacements? The returning Manhunters endow superpowers onto attorney Mark Shaw, who, taking the apt name of Manhunter, attempts to kidnap Hal Jordon. Shaw soon realizes the error of his ways and helps the JL defeat the Manhunters. Unfortunately, a now schizophrenic Shaw, having been deranged by his new powers, begins moonlighting as both the villain Star-Tsar and the hero Privateer. The JL is forced to jail Shaw. (Note that Doomsday Clock #11 implies that Mark Shaw is a secret agent of the Department of Metahuman Affairs.)

–REFERENCE: In Young Justice Vol. 3 #5—originally told in Justice League of America #152. The Justice League defeats Major Macabre after which, Red Tornado and Kathy Sutton adopt an orphaned Bialyan girl named Traya. Red Tornado and Kathy officially become the legal guardians of Traya Sutton-Smith.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #12—originally told in Justice League of America #161. Zatanna Zatara joins the Justice League, helping them defeat her rival, The Warlock of Ys.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #27. While Batman fights Bronze Tiger, Kathy Kane is supposedly killed during a fight between rival factions of the League of Assassins, one of which is led by The Sensei (Ra’s al Ghul’s father). In actuality, Kathy has faked her own death in order to focus on running Spyral, her international spy organization that was once run by her dad Otto Netz. Batman mourns the loss of Kathy. Later, Batman befriends Bronze Tiger, despite his connections to the League of Assassins, finding a genuine mutual respect between he and the adept martial artist.

–REFERENCE: In Event Leviathan #2. An escaped Joker decides not to commit any crimes for once, instead following Batman around, simply trying to get the grim Dark Knight to laugh.

–REFERENCE: In Trinity Vol. 2 #12—originally told in Strange Adventures #214-216, The Brave & The Bold #79, The Brave & The Bold #86, and Deadman Vol. 2 #1-2. Batman meets and befriends Deadman (the superhero spirit of Boston Brand, deceased circus trapeze artist and former friend of the late Flying Graysons). Boston was recently murdered by the Sensei’s top man/League of Assassins agent Hook. He was then turned into an undead hero with the power to inhabit and control anyone’s body, living or dead, by the goddess Rama Kushna and the cosmic-powered Tatsinda. After Boston’s assassination, the Sensei’s men follow-up to find Boston’s identical twin brother, Cleveland Brand, masquerading as Boston at the circus. Sensei, believing that Hook has botched the hit, executes Hook for his supposed failure. Shortly thereafter, the Sensei orders League of Assassins agent Willie Smith to inject a magickal poison into Deadman that causes the ghost hero to attack Batman. Eventually, Batman, a recovered Deadman, and Cleveland fight the Sensei in the mystical Tibetan city of Nanda Parbat, home to Rama Kushna. There, the Sensei is defeated.

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #8. Batman communicates with Superman via high frequency radio signal. With his super-hearing, Superman can “tune-in” to a specific signal to hear a live long-distance communiqué from the Dark Knight. Batman, when necessary, will use this method of contacting the Man of Steel, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #976, Action Comics #978, and Man of Steel #1—originally told in “THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN.” Doomsday debuts, dispatching the Justice League (sans Batman and Superman) with ease. Superman fights Doomsday solo and is killed by the monster. The world mourns. The Eradicator, Steel, and Cyborg Superman rise up to replace the deceased Man of Steel.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #976 and Action Comics #978—originally told in “THE RETURN OF SUPERMAN.” Cyborg Superman reveals his evil nature, teaming with Mongul to fight Hal Jordan and wipe the hero’s hometown of Coast City off the map with a nuclear explosion. Thanks to Kryptonian technology, Superman comes back from the dead—complete with a black costume and long coiffure. The resurrected Superman defeats Mongul and Cyborg Superman. The world celebrates the Man of Steel’s return. Shortly thereafter, Clark gets engaged to Lois. Wedding invitations are sent out to friends, including Bruce.

–FLASHBACK: From Action Comics #978. Bruce attends the wedding of Lois and Clark, who are happily married.

–NOTE: Referenced in Action Comics #978 and Super Sons #5. Superman switches to his Mandarin/Nehru collar costume (based on his look from the New 52).

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #978. Superman goes on unspecified business with Batman before returning home to his wife Lois, who reveals she is pregnant!

–REFERENCE: In Trinity Vol. 2 #12 and Batman Vol. 3 #63. Batman meets the cockney chain-smoking British wizard, arcane history buff, and magick expert John Constantine, who also happens to be currently dating Zatanna. Batman teams-up with both Constantine and Zatanna on an unspecified case. Batman also does a ton of research on Constantine’s background and history.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #30, Trinity Vol. 2 #16, Suicide Squad Vol. 5 #41, Doomsday Clock #5, and Detective Comics #992. The Justice League defeats the global terrorist organization/apocalypse cult known as Kobra (aka “The Kobra Cult” or “King Kobra”), which has existed since around 3000 BCE. The Kobra Cult is led by Lady Eve and Jeffrey Franklin Burr, who goes by “Lord Nāga-Naga”, “Lord Nāga,” “Lord Nāja-Naja,” or simply “Lord Kobra.” (Every Kobra leader has used some form of either “Lord” or “Lady” as a title since the time of the Pharaohs.) Nearly every international criminal organization on the planet (and the North Korean Government) has ties to the Kobra Cult. The hierarchy of Kobra is fairly complex, but it works as follows. There are multiple subsections or splinter cells i.e. different “Houses.” In each House there are low-level members are called “Lanceheads,” mid-level ninja known as “Black Adders,” and their higher-ups—either “Nāgas” or “High Lords.” The top tier, which rules all Houses (and all of Kobra), is reserved for one dictator-like “chosen” cult leader. Batman will follow Kobra’s movements very closely, moving forward. Also note that Batman will fight against the Kobra Cult way more times than will actually be listed on this chronology. Kobra himself will be one of Batman’s top rivals.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Dark Vol. 2 #5. Batman brings down some gangsters with the assistance of Ragman (Rory Regan), the most recent in a long line of Jewish mystic guardians that date back hundreds of years. Ragman’s “Suit of Souls” is powered by thousands of spirits of evil men that have faced the wrath of the vigilante over the centuries.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #85. Batman fights the debuting pirate-themed super-villain Captain Stingaree, not to be confused with the scorpion-themed super-villain known as Stingaree.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #41. Batman fights the debuting Colonel Blimp.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #39. Batman defeats the debuting Ten-Eyed Man (Philip Reardon).

–REFERENCE: In ???. Batman defeats the debuting super-villain known as The Spook.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #36. Batman busts the debuting Black Spider.

–REFERENCE: In Deathstroke Vol. 4 #20 and Deathstroke Vol. 4 Annual #1. Batman meets Earth-2’s most powerful hero, the Kryptonian Power Girl (Kara Zor-L/Karen Starr).

–Harley Quinn 25th Anniversary Special #1 Part 4
Atop a roof with a Batman parade float filled with enough sleeping gas to knock out the entire city, Batman and Robin fight Joker, Harley Quinn, and a bunch of henchmen wearing funny costumes. While Batman and Joker duke it out, Robin takes on Harley one-on-one for the first time. She messes with his head and is able to knock him out with a baseball bat. Feeling bad, she stops the sleeping gas bomb detonator from going off. Joker escapes, but Batman nabs Harley. Robin gets all the credit for stopping the gas bomb and Harley goes to jail.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #35. Late August. Dick, now seventeen-years-old, reveals to Bruce and Alfred that he’s been accepted into Hudson University in New Carthage, NY. Dick immediately moves to New Carthage and begins his collegiate studies. He will travel back and forth from New Carthage to Gotham to perform his Robin duties.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1000 Part 5 and Detective Comics #1000 Part 10. Early September. Batman, as he does every year on the anniversary of his parents’ murders, visits both Crime Alley (where his parents were killed) and the cemetery where his parents are buried.

–REFERENCE: In ???. Batman and Alfred decide to move their operating HQ into the downtown Wayne Tower (aka Wayne Foundation Building). There, the Bat-operations occur in a hidden underground “Bat-Bunker” HQ that contains secret exits, entrances, and elevators. (The Bat-Bunker is likely constructed with a lot of metahuman assistance.) Meanwhile, civilian residency takes place in the penthouse suite, which is secretly connected to the Bat-Bunker below. This downtown move only lasts for a very short time before Batman and Alfred move back into Wayne Manor.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 5 #5, Detective Comics #969, and Detective Comics #972. Originally told in Batman #344 and Detective Comics #511-517. WGBS TV news reporter Olivia Ortega helps exposes City Councilman Arthur Reeves of corruption, destroying his mayoral candidacy on the eve of a special election in Gotham. The equally corrupt Hamilton Hill is elected the new mayor of Gotham. Batman immediately runs afoul of Mayor Hill. Despite discovering Mayor Hill’s criminality (with help from Ortega), Batman won’t be able to prove it. Mayor Hill will be a slightly irksome thorn in Batman’s side for the next few years (although these on-and-off-again clashes won’t be specifically listed on our timeline). Note that, while Batman has had the love of the police, he’s never been embraced by city government. Mayor Hill’s opposition is just the start of a rocky relationship between the Bat-Family and City Hall that will last for the next decade-plus.

–FLASHBACK: From Catwoman Vol. 5 #17. Catwoman—having returned to her purple-and-green dress outfit—matches wits with Batman, who captures and cuffs her. Of course, there’s no way he doesn’t let the flirty feline villainess go.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #44—and referenced in Nightwing Vol. 4 Annual #1. Originally told in Batman #355. Bruce goes on a few dates with famous photojournalist Vicki Vale, who is really more interested in Batman than Bruce. Vicki, having no clue that they are one and the same, follows around the Dark Knight, interacting with him on a few successive cases. Seeing this, a jealous Catwoman runs Bruce and Vicki off the road in her Catmobile. Thinking Bruce will come to her apartment to confront her, Catwoman leaves a clue hinting that she will be at a downtown warehouse. But Bruce stays with Vicki, who has suffered injuries, at the hospital for two days. Robin, visiting from college, offers to help bring Catwoman in, but Bruce tells him to stand down—it’s personal, he’s got to do this alone. Soon after, Batman goes head-to-head with the pissed-off Catwoman, who frustratingly exclaims both her love and hate for the Dark Knight as they duke it out. Eventually, unsure of what their relationship has become, the Bat and the Cat simply hug in tears.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #50. Catwoman—now wearing her skintight purple (with black thigh high boots) costume—goes on a stealing-spree, luring Batman into a playful chase.

–FLASHBACK: From Bug! The Adventures of Forager #1—and also referenced in Justice League Vol. 4 #1-2. Originally told in Cosmic Odyssey #1-4. Darkseid has long searched for The Anti-Life Equation, the cosmic sentient mathematical formula with which one can dominate all life. Now, Darkseid thinks he’s finally found it, but in actuality he has only discovered half of it in the form of the Anti-Life Entity, which, now stirred-up, threatens to destroy everything. (The other half of the Anti-Life Equation lies within the numinous entity called The Source, which exists/resides beyond the cosmic barrier at the edge of the universe known as the Source Wall.)[9] Unable to control the Anti-Life Entity, Darkseid asks for the aid of his rivals, the “good” New Gods of the interdimensional planet of New Genesis (opposite of Apokolips, home to the Darkseid and the evil New Gods). After forming a truce, the New Gods’ leader Izaya—known as Highfather—recruits Earth’s top heroes to save the multiverse. The New Gods tell Batman information about the Source Wall and their myths regarding the Source/the Source Wall. Afterward, the heroes split up into pairs. Batman and Forager save Earth. Superman and Orion save Thanagar. Lightray and Starfire save Rann. Martian Manhunter and Green Lantern John Stewart fail to save Xanshi. Because of a grave error in judgement by John Stewart, millions perish. Stewart goes into a deep depression and will never be able to forgive himself. Despite this, in the end, the heroes prevail. Unfortunately, Forager falls in battle, going into a dormant state akin to death. The heroes assume Forager is dead, mourning his loss. Orion makes a racist/classist comment about the fallen Forager, so Batman punches-out Orion!

–REFERENCE: In The Batman’s Grave #3. Batman begins carrying an RF shielded Faraday bag and Modafinil in his utility belt.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman’s Grave #1. Bruce connects his smartphone to all the secret entrances leading from Wayne Manor to the Batcave, thus allowing him to access the entrances from his cellular device.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman’s Grave #3 and The Batman’s Grave #6. WayneTech competes with LexCorp to rush a digital voice home assistant to market. The Lexicon (LexCorp’s model), despite being insecure and hackable, is more marketable and goes into stores, becoming an overnight best seller among those rich enough to afford them. This causes Bruce to shelve his WayneTech prototype. WayneTech does, however, release an internet command smart button device to market.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #978, Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #20, Super Sons #5, Batman Vol. 3 #44, Batman Giant #5 (aka Batman: Universe #2), Batman Giant #8 (aka Batman: Universe #3), and Batman Secret Files #2 Part 1. Batman retires his blue-and-grey with yellow oval costume, putting it on display in the Batcave. The Dark Knight tailors a new grey-and-black costume with black chest insignia (no yellow oval) and a darker version of the yellow oval costume, replacing the blue with black. Since we’ll see flashbacks of Batman wearing both of these costumes in the next five years to come (up until the beginning of Year 11, just before the events of “Hush”), we have to assume that he goes between these two costumes during this duration. Also note that, from now until the beginning of Year 11, Batman will randomly choose whether or not to wear trunks on the outside of his pants. Sometimes he will, sometimes he won’t. Just how it is. Batman’s new costumes, from here on out, will have irremovable cowls that can only be taken off via special computer code built into them. Batman will stick electrodes onto his skin underneath his gloves, so that, should anyone else try to remove his gloves, they will get a nasty electric shock. Batman can also electrocute anyone he touches at any time, if the need arises. And, last but certainly not least, Batman’s new costumes will have a special switch on his boots that can emit an ear-piercing sonic blast.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman’s Grave #5. Batman starts using structured polymer composite for the bulletproofing in his costume. (It’s unclear whether or not the Caped Crusader designs this material personally. He will tell Commissioner Gordon that he “found it in a dumpster outside MIT,” which is probably joke. Unless it isn’t.)

–Batman Giant Vol. 2 #1 (aka Batman: Dark Nights Vol. 3 #2)
When famous actor Dillon Yates is charged with the murder of a Hollywood producer, Batman busts him. However, upon further investigation, Batman realizes Yates has been framed. It’s not long before Batman realizes Clayface is the real killer. In their eventual confrontation, Clayface says he killed the producer for selling his favorite old theater to be demolished. He explains that he framed Yates because Yates is a serial sexual abuser that kept getting away with it. A fight ensues, during which Clayface burns down the theater and makes his escape.


–REFERENCE: In Red Hood & The Outlaws Vol. 2 #8. Batman busts Cornelius Stirk, a cannibal serial killer with mental-projection powers.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1007. Batman designs a highly-advanced data-investigation device that can scan a holographic image of a crime scene, store the image into a zipped file, and run detailed analysis on everything within the image. Via a holographic augmented reality emulator interface, Batman can also engage with and manipulate the digitized crime scene. This Peter Tomasi-created super-tech, which is also linked-into the Bat-suit, is very similar to (and likely influenced by) the “Bat-Ops” system from the non-canon Batman/Shadow series by Scott Snyder. This type of tech will also be used in Warren Ellis’ The Batman’s Grave, which is coming right up.

–The Batman’s Grave #1-3
Batman gets some intel that some skinheads are going to try to commit a hate crime against gay GCPD Officer John Nguyen. Sure enough, the skinheads, who rant about “scorn,” accost Nguyen and his family, prompting Batman to kick the bad guys’ asses. (Unknown to Batman, these skinheads are members of the new criminal organization known as the Scorn Army.) Later, Batman responds to an unanswered 911 call, arriving at the residence of Vincent Stannik. Inside the apartment (the outside of which has been spray-painted with the word “scorn”), the Caped Crusader finds Stannik’s rotting corpse surrounded by newspaper clippings about Batman. The Dark Knight holo-scans the crime scene, takes Stannik’s journal, and heads home to find a drunk Alfred, who waxes about his surrogate son’s never-ending war on crime, wondering aloud if they are merely doling out unnecessary beatings upon poor people with each patrol! Alfred also ponders whether or not Bruce’s money could be spent in better ways to help society. Leaving the amazing tipsy butler behind, Bruce reads Stannik’s journal (which has the word “scorn” written in it) while examining the holographic VR emulation/simulation of the Stannik crime scene. Batman realizes the killer, Stannik’s friend Ed, must still be hiding in the apartment. He rushes back to find Ed hiding underneath the floorboards. They fight, but Batman defeats him and hauls him into jail. The next night, Commissioner Gordon reports that Ed is claiming to be notorious San Diegan assassin Eduardo Flamingo. Of course, this is bogus. The real Eduardo Flamingo won’t debut for another eight years and he looks nothing like this guy.[11] Gordon tasks Batman with investigating the murder of ex-ADA Bobby Turton. While Batman conducts his investigation from the Bat-computer, Alfred monologues about police brutality and cheers the idea of the Dark Knight fighting against capitalism. Batman visits Turton’s mansion only to be attacked by a high-tech assassin (Colonel Sulphur). They fight to a stalemate, but the mansion burns down. Batman escapes with Turton’s Lexicon (LexCorps digital home voice assistant). Back home, Batman and Alfred study the contents of the Lexicon, learning that Turton had a lot of drugs in his system when he died. Alfred delivers a deadpan line about how he (meaning Alfred himself) constantly does cocaine to stay awake. Is he joking?! Batman and Alfred soon learn that Turton was manipulated to kill himself by Dr. Karl Hellfern.

–The Batman’s Grave #4-6
After some remote drone scanning of Dr. Karl Hellfern’s office by Alfred, Batman smashes his way in to fight Hellfern’s goon squad, which includes several henchmen jacked up on designer drugs (including the dude he fought at Bobby Turton’s apartment). Batman kicks everyone’s asses before turning his sights on a helpless Hellfern. The doctor tells Batman that he was blackmailing Turton on the orders of the Scorn Army and its mysterious secret leader. Hellfern then injects himself with drugs in an attempt to commit suicide, but Batman is able to stabilize Hellfern, who goes into a coma. Batman meets Commissioner Gordon (and Jeremiah Arkham) at Arkham Asylum. Gordon notes how silly it is that he has no means of contacting Batman other than the Bat-signal. (This likely inspires the Red Phone hotline that is soon to come.) Batman then interrogates the phony Eduardo Flamingo, but a Scorn Army agent disguised as an orderly executes him before he can spill any beans. Dozens of Scorn Army infiltrators strike, but Batman and Gordon kick their asses. During the chaos, Cornelius Stirk escapes. In the Batcave, Alfred tells a sick story about how he killed a cult leader back in 1984 when he was still an MI6 agent. In the morning, Gordon calls Batman to the home of Dr. Daniel Kaysen, head of the GCPD’s Crime Scene Unit, who has just been murdered by the leader of the Scorn Army.

–The Batman’s Grave #7
Picking up directly from The Batman’s Grave #6, the Batmobile explodes outside of Dr. Kaysen’s house, courtesy of a Scorn Army bomb. Batman walks back into the city and hitches a ride with Alfred. In the Batcave, the Bat-computer spits out Colonel Sulphur’s information. Across the city, hundreds of Scorn Army skinheads begin attacking police and rioting. While Batman recovers from his injuries, Alfred spends the day remote-piloting one of the Bat-Tanks through the city and, via external speakers, yelling at rioters and conversing with teens about the horrors of neoliberalism. As night begins to fall, Batman rides his flying four-wheeler to Sulphur’s apartment. Batman abducts Sulphur and takes him to a dingy warehouse for interrogation.

–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. Batman has been able to phone Gordon, but now Gordon can phone him too. If Gordon ever needs to reach Batman, he can reach him on this mobile device, 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.)

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Secret Files #2 Part 3. Riddler begins killing people who have wronged him in the past via bombs. Batman follows his clues (and the bodies) from Gotham University, to a stage theater, to a downtown apartment, to a diner, and to a hospital, eventually violently busting Riddler.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1000 Part 2. Batman hears that an underground black market store, which sells super-villain memorabilia, has the gun that was used to kill his parents. (Years ago, Batman once had the gun in his possession but either discarded it or lost it—and now he wants it back again!) As Matches Malone, Batman visits the store and purchases Joe Chill’s old piece. Batman then melts down the gun and fashions it into a bulletproof chest-plate. For years to come, Batman will wear this special armor under his costume. (Note importantly that this Kevin Smith item contradicts Geoff Johns’ “The Button,” specifically Flash Vol. 5 #21, which says that Bruce tried to find his parents’ murder weapon but failed to find it. Thus, Detective Comics #1000 Part 2 is a straight-up retcon. This should surprise absolutely no one since Kevin Smith is basically the King of Retcons.)

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1000 Part 2. Batman fights Catwoman, who has, for the second time, returned to her purple-and-green dress outfit. (The sartorial super-villainess likes to change it up quite a bit, in case you hadn’t noticed.)

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1000 Part 2. Batman fights an escaped Joker at a three-ring circus.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1000 Part 3. November. Batman sends Alfred undercover as henchman-for-hire “Knute Brody.” As Brody, Alfred joins Joker’s gang and learns that Joker has been employed by a corrupt congressman and ordered to disrupt an election that will surely result in the end of his political career. Joker and Harley Quinn attack a major polling site, but Batman and Robin are waiting. With the help of a “clumsy” Brody, the heroes bust the bad guys.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1000 Part 11 and Detective Comics #1014. Batman fights Mr. Freeze, who is still trying to revive his beloved Nora Fries. (Note that these two flashback images technically don’t have anything to do with one another. They simply both show a random generic fight scene between Batman and Mr. Freeze. I’ve lumped these panels together because they look almost exactly the same.)

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing/Magilla Gorilla #1. Batman stonewalls Robin before a dangerous unspecified case, telling him to say behind. Batman presumably completes the unknown case.

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 4 #47. The Trinity assembles for unspecified action.

–FLASHBACK: From Super Sons #5. Batman and Superman get in a bad argument about an unspecified topic. Batman gets so heated that he punches-out Superman.

–FLASHBACK: From Catwoman Vol. 5 #17. Batman fights Catwoman, who is, for the first time, wearing a sexier new version of her old purple-and-green dress outfit. (This one is low-cut and sports a domino mask.

–Swamp Thing Winter Special #1 Part 2
After Solomon Grundy kidnaps a seemingly metahuman baby in Gotham, Batman is on the case. A cursory investigation points the Caped Crusader in Swamp Thing’s direction, so he travels to Houma, Louisiana to visit the plant elemental, who has just finished checking-in on his pal, Interpol agent Matthew Cable. Batman and Swamp Thing team up to bust some poachers and talk about the abducted child. This item is Len Wein’s final work, which was meant to have been the start of the seventh volume of Swamp Thing (picking up where Wein’s own “early era Swamp Thing” Volume 6 ended). Because Wein died shortly after writing it, there is no follow-up. Suffice to say, we can assume that Batman and Swamp Thing kick ass and solve the case.

–FLASHBACK: From Action Comics #978. When arms dealers attempt to assassinate a nine-month-pregnant Lois, Superman takes his wife to the safety of the Fortress of Solitude. While Batman guards the perimeter, Wonder Woman helps deliver the baby: Jonathan Samuel Kent. After Jon is born, Lois and Clark take sabbaticals from the Daily Planet and move to California to raise their kid right. Superman also builds a second Fortress of Solitude in the Himalayas and switches to an all-black costume, deciding to keep out of the limelight while raising his son for a few years to come. Superman will switch interchangeably between his black costume and his regular costume for the next decade.

–REFERENCE: In DC Holiday Special 2017 #1 Part 2. Bruce meets and befriends Edward Brandon and his wife Mrs. Brandon. They will hang out from time to time, although we won’t see these hangouts on our timeline below.

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to Mother Panic #11-12. Batman saves the life of late night radio talk show host Danny Ruby. Unknown to Batman, Danny Ruby is a teacher at Gather House, an experimental boarding school in Gotham that turns its students into obedient cybernetic assassins. (This item goes here because we know Gather House burns down ten years prior to Mother Panic/Batman Special #1.)

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #39. December. Having completed his first semester at Hudson University, Dick decides to enter Hudson’s undergraduate law program, which requires him to move to Blüdhaven to attend Hudson’s branch campus located there.

–REFERENCE: In Deathstroke Vol. 4 #19. This item occurs one year after Grant Wilson’s death. Robin meets with Deathstroke alone and enters into a secret pact with the killer. In exchange for Robin befriending and providing his young daughter Rose Wilson with the Bat-Family’s positive values, Deathstroke will stop trying to kill the Teen Titans, going so far as to turn his long-running lucrative contract with HIVE into a “Lazarus Contract,” effectively canceling out any hits he is working on for them. Shortly thereafter, Dick befriends Rose. Presumably, Batman monitors all of this via hidden Robin cam. Dick will meet with Rose regularly, moving forward.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #28. Batman and Robin patrol together.

–NOTE: In Batman Vol. 2 #21, Flash Vol. 5 #21, Titans Vol. 3 Annual #1, and Nightwing Vol. 4 #21. Some new members—including Cave Boy (Gnarrk), Hawk (Hank Hall), Dove (Don Hall), and Herald (Mal Duncan)—join the ranks of the Teen Titans, which currently already includes Robin, Wonder Girl, Aqualad, Speedy, Omen, and Kid Flash.

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #7—originally told in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman film. Joker holds a parade in downtown Gotham, luring the masses to the event with the promise of throwing millions of dollars in cash into the crowd. Batman arrives in time to stop Joker from releasing deadly Joker Venom (in gas form) onto the audience via large clown parade balloons.

–REFERENCE: In Titans Vol. 3 #21-22 and Justice League of America Vol. 5 #27. The Brotherhood of Evil (Monsieur Mallah, The Brain, Garguax, and Madame Rouge) debuts, but the Justice League can’t be bothered by what they deem as a mere annoyance rather than a legitimate threat. Thus, the snubbed Brotherhood instead gets its collective ass handed to it by the Teen Titans and the rookie superheroes known as the Doom PatrolProfessor Niles Caulder, Negative Man (Larry Trainor and symbiote Keeg Bovo), Robotman (Cliff Steele), and Elasti-Girl (Rita Farr).[12] Note that the Doom Patrol makes the now-unused Happy Harbor Sanctuary its headquarters, but only for a brief stint.



<<< Rebirth Era Year 0 <<< ||| >>> Rebirth Era Years 6-10 >>>

  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: In the Modern Age, Tweedledum and Tweedledee were cousins Dumfree Tweed and Deever Tweed, respectively. When Dumfree died, Deever’s twin brother Dumson took over as the new Tweedledum. In the New 52, that was altered and reversed by writer Scott Snyder so that the original Tweedledum and Tweedledee were Dumson and Deever. Dumson was later replaced by Deever’s twin brother Dumfree as the new Tweedledum. It’s confusing, I know. Basically, based upon this history, we can’t be certain of which pair of Tweeds we are dealing with here in the Rebirth Era. It could be Dumfree and Deever or Dumson and Deever. All we know is that, by the time Deathstroke Vol. 4 #36 comes around in about fourteen years, the duo is definitely the twins—Dumfree and Deever.
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: According to Talia’s Arabic familial history (and creator Denny O’Neil’s original intention), Talia does not have a last name. However, the Westernized version of her full name, while incorrect in Arabic, is “Talia al Ghul.” Since cultural lexicon basically trumps O’Neil’s intention, the use of “Talia al Ghul” (with surname) is acceptable grammar—and has been since the early 1990s—even though it’s technically wrong. Some might fight you on that, but I certainly don’t have the energy to engage in that debate. Hell, in the Rebirth Era, Batman himself refers to Talia as “Talia al Ghul,” so there you go.
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: According to family history, like his mother before him, Damian does not really have a last name. However, the Westernized version of his full name, while incorrect in Arabic, is “Damian al Ghul.” The use of “Damian al Ghul” (with surname) is basically acceptable grammar even though it’s technically wrong.
  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER: The 5th Dimension is a magickal plane that is home to powerful djinns, elementals, and imps. Notable residents are Bat-Mite, Mxyzptlk, and Yz. According to Superstring Theory, the 5th Dimension—being the next dimensional layer beyond the 4th Dimension of time—is basically an expression for derived physical quantity in terms of alternate reality. It is, in essence, a fundamental underlying concept of Multiverse Theory. Superstring Theory, Multiverse Theory, and M Theory state that the macroscopic world has three spatial dimensions, a 4th Dimension of time, and six other imperceptible (possibly microscopic) quantum dimensions, plus an 11th Dimension at the definitively microscopic scale. (There are likely even more unknown dimensions.) The fictive world of the DCU plays with Superstring theory, treating the insensible quantum dimensions (those beyond time) as the most out-there magickal sci-fi alternate realities possible.
  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: One of Hawkman’s prior incarnations was Katar Hol I of the Thanagarian Hawk-Police (aka the Wingmen). This incarnation occurred at a point well before his days with the Justice League. In fact, it occurred prior to the late 19th century, which is where our oft-resurrected warrior first became his current self, Hawkman Carter Hall. In regard to Hawkman’s secret identity, he uses Carter Hall on Earth and Katar Hol II (the same ancestral name of his prior incarnation) on Thanagar.
  6. [6]COLLIN COLSHER: As per Bug! The Adventures of Forager #2-4, Batgirl Vol. 5 #22, Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #52, Dark Nights: Metal, and Red Hood: Outlaw #43, we know that, despite Dr. Manhattan’s erasure of the major players of the Golden Age, there were some C-list costumed mystery men (and women) that he deemed unnecessary to wipe-out. Among these characters were: Captain Triumph, Biff the Clown, Red Bee, Crimson Avenger, The Ray (Langford Terrill), Miss America, Sandman (Wesley Dodds), Sandy the Golden Boy, Fruit Bat, and General Glory. A bunch of immortals that existed for decades (if not centuries) prior to and through the Golden Age—characters like Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Phantom Stranger, Uncle Sam, Immortal Man, Etrigan, Shining Knight, and others—were also left alone by Manhattan. There were also some superheroes that became active in the 1970s and 1980s that Manhattan ignored, notably The Challengers of the Unknown, Odd Man, The Reaper (Judson Caspian), and Starman (Will Payton). Last but not least, Manhattan also turned a blind eye to superhero-esque military-adjacent organizations—like Argent, Task Force X, The Blackhawks, The All-Star Squadron, and various other spy groups and alphabet soup agencies—from the 1940s onward.
  7. [7]COLLIN COLSHER: Part 5 of the 1000th issue of ‘tec is a killer Denny O’Neil story that acts as not only an homage to the Silver Age/Bronze Age, but continues O’Neil’s Silver Age/Bronze Age run from back in the day. As such, it is merely quasi-canonical and, as stated, requires some re-jiggering/retconning to fit on our Rebirth Era timeline. Artist Steve Epting draws a Silver Age version of Leslie Thompkins, one who is very elderly/matronly. We have to ignore this look since Rebirth Era Leslie is way younger and looks completely different.
  8. [8]COLLIN COLSHER: In the opening sequence of Justice League Vol. 3 #39, the Fan makes fun of the JL’s previous Watchtower incarnation on the moon (originally created at the start of Morrison’s “Big Guns” JLA run). There are other references in other Rebirth Era books to the Hall of Justice and to other previous JL satellite HQs, but this added reference to the lunar Watchtower speaks to a richer, fuller (and more complete) history of JL HQs. Furthermore, in Adventures of the Super Sons #1, Damian says that the JL has gone through a dozen HQs by the summer of 2018. (It’s actually a few more than that!) Therefore, using the little reference in Justice League Vol. 3 #39 and the big one in Adventures of the Super Sons #1—combined with a few other reference clues—as a foundation, I’ve canonized the complete JL HQ history for the Rebirth Era. This includes all story moments that relate to the JL’s HQs, including the creation and destruction of multiple Watchtowers, which you will see further down the road on our chronology.
  9. [9]COLLIN COLSHER: The Source (and Anti-Life) exists/resides beyond the cosmic barrier known as The Source Wall, which exists at the edge of each universe and operates as as the first barrier between gaining access to an alternate universe (although there are other means of traveling to alternate universes, such as Boom Tube technology, metahuman speed/vibrational/teleportation abilities, and weird sci-fi devices). Also beyond the Source Wall exists the Bleed, a tesseract space that serves as the final blank void/highway between universes. As revealed via flashback from James Tynion IV’s Justice League Vol. 4 #22, the Source Wall was created 15 billion years ago when the Judges of the Source, the Monitor, the Anti-Monitor, and the World Forger fought against Perpetua and her army. Upon defeat, Perpetua and her army were trapped in the wall, which was created by the Source specifically to be a prison for them. Notably, DNA from Perpetua’s warriors wound-up providing the evolutionary building blocks for proto-human life and proto-Martian life to emerge on their respective planets billions of years later. Also notable, since that time, the Source Wall has trapped many other adventurers that have dared attempt breaching through to the other side. These imprisoned explorers appear—intermixed with Perpetua’s frozen warriors—as gigantic stone idols attached to the face of the Source Wall.

    Note that, in Dark Nights: Death Metal #1 (2020), Snyder seems to contradict the implication that Perpetua is the Great Hand while also saying that the Source and the Presence (i.e. the Abrahamic God) are one and the same. So, who is the Great Hand? As mentioned before, it’s hard to say for certain. Snyder does imply (in Dark Nights: Death Metal #1) that Perpetua was indeed around from the get-go, so she seems to be a Great Hand, but she might not be the original Great Hand. The original Great Hand could very well be the Source/the Presence, having come forth out of the Overvoid. This remains to be seen.

  10. [10]COLLIN COLSHER: Batman Giant Vol. 2 #2 (aka Batman: Dark Nights Vol. 3 #3) is non-canon, featuring Batman taking on a murderous Poison Ivy, who is very reminiscent of the Modern Age version of her character but totally unlike her Rebirth Era self.
  11. [11]COLLIN COLSHER: Either Ed is a fake Flamingo, Ed is the real Flamingo and he just looks different in eight years (and comes back from the dead), or this entire Batman’s Grave series is non-canon. With hope, I’m leaning into the first option.
  12. [12]COLLIN COLSHER: An interesting note about Elasti-Girl aka actress Rita Farr. Doomsday Clock #3 tells us she was born in 1954 to Rachel Drake and Frank Farr, who was cheating on wife Barbara Stanwyck at the time. This makes Elasti-Girl 53-years-old. Despite her age, we can assume her elastic powers allow her to look way younger than she actually is. And an interesting note about Robotman, as learned in Gerard Way’s Doom Patrol series, is that he is a fictional character that has come to life.

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