Year Thirteen


–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #20, Harley Quinn 25th Anniversary Special #1 Part 1, Batgirl & The Birds of Prey #12, Batman Vol. 3 #43, and Detective Comics #990—originally told in Gotham City Sirens #1. Harley Quinn has very recently broken up with and ditched the abusive Joker for good. Harley begins a sexual relationship with Poison Ivy, moving in with both she and Catwoman. The gals move into Riddler’s old apartment, courtesy of The Broker (Sherman Fine), a super-villain that specializes in providing top quality properties for use as evil lairs. Batman (Dick) keeps tabs on the three gals’ living situation and watches as they defeat one-shot villain Boneblaster.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 3 #29, Justice League Vol. 4 #6, Superman Vol. 4 #37Wonder Woman Vol. 5 Annual #2, Heroes in Crisis #5, and Aquaman Vol. 8 #49—originally told in “BLACKEST NIGHT.” Tons of dead superheroes and super-villains rise up from the grave as evil zombies courtesy of Nekron, Black Hand, and the dark energy of the Black Lantern Power Battery. A big war erupts on Earth involving the zombie Black Lantern Corps, evil Yellow Lanterns (Sinestro’s Sinestro Corps), the Green Lantern Corps, and a host of other superheroes. While the main action of “Blackest Night” doesn’t really involve any member of the Bat-Family, Batman (Dick Grayson), Robin, Red Robin, and Deadman do encounter some zombie Black Lanterns in Gotham. “Blackest Night” is mostly important because it alerts the Bat-Family and all the other heroes to the fact that Bruce isn’t actually dead. This happens when the Black Power Battery summons “Bruce” out of his grave, revealing that it was actually his mindless clone that they buried, not the real Bruce. Eventually, Nekron tries to kills the emergent Entity, part universal demiurge and living embodiment of the White Light of Creation, which spawned the rest of the Emotional Electromagnetic Spectrum way back when life first appeared in the cosmos. By his actions, Nekron causes the Entity to retreat into White Lantern Battery form and then divest its power into Hal, who spreads the White Light into some of the Black Lanterns to create a resistance force of White Lanterns. The good guys are joined by the other multicolored Lantern armies: the Red Lantern Corps, Blue Lantern Corps, Indigo Tribe, Star Sapphire Corps, Green Lantern Corps, and Larfleeze (the sole “Agent Orange,” who controls a few zombified Orange Lantern ring-constructs). This mass assemblage of superheroes is too much for the bad guys to take. After the Black Lanterns and other villains are defeated, Dick keeps a black power ring and yellow power ring and stores them in the Bat-Bunker. The White Lantern Power Battery restores life to several deceased heroes, most notably Aquaman. The heroes celebrate his return.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21, Green Arrow Vol. 6 #23, Justice League of America Vol. 5 #17, and Titans Vol. 3 #20-21—originally told in Justice League: Cry for Justice, “RISE AND FALL,” and Justice League of America Vol. 2 #41-42 (“TEAM HISTORY”). In the wake of “Blackest Night,” Vixen disbands the Justice League. Batman (Dick Grayson) and Donna Troy form a new Justice League with various random members. The new team hunts for a fugitive Prometheus and Electrocutioner after the villains critically injure Red Arrow and bomb Star City. Red Arrow is so distraught over the destruction of his hometown that he relapses into heroin use. After the heroes bust Electrocutioner, a solo Green Arrow finds Prometheus before anyone else and executes him, shaking the hero community to its moral core. (Prometheus will rear his vile head again, so he either gets resurrected or isn’t actually dead now.) After this louche affair concludes, Prometheus’ costume goes on display in the Watchtower Trophy Room. Eventually, the JL line-up whittles itself down to only Dick, Donna, Supergirl, Congo Bill (William Glenmorgan), and Congorilla. (Congo Bill is a human that can magickally swap minds with the giant golden King Kong called Congorilla.) Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Starfire, and Starman (Mikaal Tomas of the planet Talok III) will eventually join too, though. (Originally, in the Modern Age, Jade and Jesse Quick were on this JL team as well, but they don’t exist in the New Age, so they’ve been omitted.)

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #6. Batman (Dick Grayson) and Supergirl take down the Japanese Water Elemental known as Naiad.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Nights: Metal #1-2 and Nightwing Vol. 4 #29. Batman (Dick Grayson) and Robin bust the debuting Eduardo Flamingo—a flamboyant assassin representing Simon Hurt’s Mexican El Penitente drug cartel.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21 and Heroes in Crisis #5—originally told in Justice League of America Vol. 2 #50-53 (“OMEGA”). A time-delayed dark matter bomb, triggered by Alexander Luthor Jr on his deathbed (at the conclusion of Infinite Crisis), now wreaks havoc across Universe-3 and Universe-9, causing the Crime Syndicate of Amerika to flee to Earth-0. The CSA teams-up with evil New Gods Dr. Impossible, Hunter, Neon Black, and Tender Mercy to attack the Justice League and Earth-9 Green Lantern (Tangent Green Lantern). Owlman defeats Batman (Dick Grayson) and steals Luthor Jr’s corpse in an attempt to revive him. However, Dr. Impossible’s crew double-crosses Owlman in an attempt to resurrect Darkseid. The New Gods fail, instead creating the dark energy being known as Omega Man, who immediately kills them. After a few double-crosses (and triple-crosses), the JL temporarily resurrects Luthor Jr, who not only helps defeat Omega Man and the CSA, but fixes the damage done by his dark matter bomb. Having done one final act of good, Luthor Jr returns to the afterlife. Afterward, the Justice League keeps Earth-9 Green Lantern’s lantern as a trophy.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #21-23. Batman (Dick Grayson) busts the debuting Tiger Shark.

–REFERENCE: In Heroes in Crisis #3—originally told in Nemesis: The Impostors #1-4. Nemesis (Tom Tresser), having been “reprogrammed” by a clandestine government organization, has lost his marbles, but he still stalks his rivals in the international criminal cartel known as The Council. After a violent clash between Tresser and the Council on the streets of Gotham, Batman (Dick Grayson) intervenes and questions an unhinged Tresser, who believes that a prominent US senator now secretly leads the Council. Eventually, Tresser fights-off his own doppelgänger (which has been sent by the Council) and kills the senator. Batman then busts Tresser, who goes behind bars. Or is it the doppelgänger that has been busted?

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21, Dark Nights: Metal #2, and Nightwing Vol. 4 #29—originally told in Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #2-4 and Batman & Robin #10-12. Months have passed since Bruce was trapped in time due to Darkseid’s Omega Sanction. A time-displaced Bruce now leaps from 1640 to 1718 where he has a pirate adventure. Bruce then leaps from 1718 to the late 19th century where he becomes a masked cowboy vigilante on horseback, starting a full-scale war-on-crime against outlaws. From there, Bruce leaps to the time period shortly after his parents’ deaths. Meanwhile, in present day, Batman (Dick Grayson), Robin, and a disguised Joker fight Simon Hurt’s army known as The 99 Fiends. In the past, Bruce gets involved in an occult ritual being held by the Black Glove members Simon Hurt, Carter Nichols, and others. Nichols betrays Hurt, allowing Bruce to jump to Vanishing Point at the literal End of Time. From the End of Time, Bruce leaps back to the present day with the Hyper-Adapter in tow. With the help of the Justice League, Red Robin, and Rip Hunter, the Hyper-Adapter is defeated and is sent spiraling backward through time.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21 and Nightwing Vol. 4 #29—originally told in Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #6 and Batman & Robin #13-16. Simon Hurt, with Professor Pyg and two armies (Dollotrons and the 99 Fiends), takes over Gotham, capturing Batman (Dick Grayson) and Robin. Batman (Bruce), having arrived from the past only minutes ago, helps the Bat-Family defeat Hurt and company. Joker buries the immortal Hurt alive.

–REFERENCE: In Superman Vol. 4 #21, Superman Vol. 4 #37, Justice League Vol. 3 #29, Super Sons/Dynomutt Special #1, The Silencer #7, The Silencer #13Dark Days: The Forge #1, Doomsday Clock #5, Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #48, and Detective Comics Vol. 3 Annual #2—originally told in Batman Incorporated #1-8, Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #0, and Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes. Bruce is officially back! After the Bat-Family catches-up with their beloved patriarch and learn about his ordeal, they fill-in Bruce on all he has missed while he was gone. Dick gives Bruce a black power ring and yellow power ring, which both go into storage in a reopened Batcave. Bruce then officially returns to active duty as Batman (although Dick will stay as Batman for a short while too). After some planning, Bruce initiates Batman Incorporated, a massive enterprise that will see international Bat-agents working to fight crime all over the globe. Outside of the Bat-Family, Batman recruits Commissioner Gordon, Lucius Fox, Traktir, Spidra, Batman Japan, Batwing (David Zavimbe), a new Dark Ranger, Ravil, Nightrunner, Man-of-Bats, Red Raven (formerly “Little Raven”), Gaucho, The Hood, Knight, Squire, a new Legionary, Batman Japan (Jiro Osamu), Cassie Cain, an unnamed Greek superhero, Blue Falcon, and Dynomutt. (Robin is particularly fond of Blue Falcon and Dynomutt.) Via this network of heroes, Batman will now have access to international intelligence, resources, and bases. Batman also builds various international versions of the Batcave, including one underneath a home that he owns in Pyrgos, Greece.[1] Additionally, Batman reconciles with Jason Todd, who joins Batman Incorporated as the new Wingman. Batman also disbands the Outsiders and reforms the covert-ops team to feature Red Robin, Katana, Metamorpho, Black Lightning, Looker, and Freight Train. The Outsiders not only join Batman Incorporated, but will also continue going on unspecified missions and investigating the “dark energy” signature found in geological anomalies across the globe. (This Outsiders team will only last for a few months before fizzling-out.) Soon after solidifying the Batman Incorporated global roster, Batman becomes aware of the threat of Leviathan, a widespread international criminal organization. After Batman Incorporated fights Leviathan all over the planet, including a Damian/Dynomutt team-up, they discover that the evil confederation has infiltrated the covert ops group known as Spyral. Batman shuts down St. Hadrian’s School for Girls, a Spyral training academy that has secretly long been run by Leviathan. Despite defeating villains Johnny Valentine (Professor Pyg’s son) and Miss Hexley to sever Leviathan’s control over St. Hadrian’s, Batman still doesn’t know that Talia is in charge of the vile fraternity. Following a huge battle against Lord Death Man and ex-Nazi Otto Netz (Doctor Dedalus) that appears as a loss for the good guys (and during which Robin kills Netz), Talia al Ghul reveals herself as the leader of Leviathan. After this episode ends, Dick returns to his Nightwing moniker.

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #2. Lucius Fox has always been on the secret forefront of helping make Bat-tech, but he’s never truly known that Bruce is Batman—until now. As a member of Batman Incorporated, Lucius is made the head of Bat-research and development. Lucius will work on clandestine “special projects” for Batman, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In Batgirl & The Birds of Prey #11Batgirl Vol. 5 Annual #2, and The Batman Who Laughs #3—originally told in Detective Comics #874-875, Birds of Prey Vol. 2 #7-10 (“THE DEATH OF ORACLE!”), and Detective Comics #879-881 (“SKELETON CASES”). Commissioner Gordon’s troubled son (and Oracle’s brother) James Gordon Jr, now nearly 18-years-old, comes back to Gotham. Jim, Barbara, and Babs are happy to see him, but they don’t trust him due to his psychotic history. Shortly thereafter, Babs meets with Bruce and tells him that she wants to stop being Oracle. Meanwhile, The Calculator (Noah Kuttler), having recently learned Oracle’s secret ID only to be mind-wiped by her, wants revenge. Along with Mortis, Mammoth, Current, and some HIVE henchmen, Calculator strikes out at Batman (Bruce) and an Oracle-led Birds of Prey team consisting of Black Canary, Hawk, Dove, Misfit, and Savant. Oracle herself joins the battle in a helicopter and—as per her plan—fakes her own death in an explosion. Batman (Bruce) and the Birds of Prey then bust Calculator and company. Oracle is officially retired. Later, the Gordon family confirms what they always feared—that James Junior is a homicidal maniac and serial-killer. James Junior kidnaps and tortures both his mom and Babs, stabbing the latter in her legs with a knife. Babs frees herself and stabs out one of James Junior’s eyes. Batman (Dick) and Commissioner Gordon rush in to save Barbara and Babs, busting James Junior and sending him to Arkham Asylum. Following this case, Commissioner Gordon helps secure all of James Junior’s old journals and notebooks in an effort to better understand what makes the sick boy tick. These materials are submitted to psychologists at the GCPD and eventually get securely filed away.

–REFERENCE: In Batgirl & The Birds of Prey #11. Thanks to a sci-fi cure, Barbara Gordon makes a miraculous recovery, completely regaining the use of her legs. She begins training to return as a full-fledged street-fighting superhero.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #997–originally referenced in Batman & Robin #22. Dick adds a unique feature to his Bat-costume—razor Bat-ears that can be fired off as projectiles. Bruce likes it so much, he steals it and adds the feature to his cowl as well.

–REFERENCE: In Catwoman Vol. 5 #3-4—originally told in “JUDGMENT ON GOTHAM.” Ra’s al Ghul co-opts some of the Order of Purity’s top metahuman warriors: Azrael (Michael Lane), Fireball, and The Crusader. (The Crusader is one of the most powerful metahumans in the entire DCU.) These so-called “Angels of Death” kidnap Mayor Hady and begin destroying whole city blocks in Gotham, prompting Batman (Dick Grayson), Red Robin, and Catwoman to intervene. The villains tell Catwoman they will stop their attack if she sacrifices her own sister, Maggie Kyle. (Maggie has gone insane after a recent altercation with Black Mask, which resulted in her torture and the murder of her husband Simon Burton.) Catwoman refuses. Azrael stops the reign of terror only when confronted by his former sister-in-law and current girlfriend Jennifer Lane and her kids (his nephews) MJ Lane and Tamara Lane. Fireball explodes and Gotham is saved. A distraught Az, realizing that Ra’s al Ghul has used him, leaves with the Crusader faithfully following.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #23 and Dark Nights: Metal #2—originally told in Brightest Day #23-24 and Swamp Thing Vol. 5. Swamp Thing, having been corrupted by Nekron during “Blackest Night,” uses the Green to begin causing widespread destruction across the globe, including Gotham where Batman (Dick Grayson) and Robin do their best to save lives. Eventually, the Parliament of Trees resurrects Alec Holland (the deceased scientist that originally provided a human set of memories and personality for Swamp Thing) and merges him into the Green, allowing Swamp Thing to split into two halves: an evil Nekron half and a good Holland half. The good side defeats the bad side, ending the crisis. Holland, happy to be back alive, decides to part ways with Swamp Thing. When environmental disasters begin occurring all over the planet, a weakened Swamp Thing visits Holland and explains that they must form a permanent symbiotic relationship in order to save the Earth from the malignancy of The Black (aka The Rot), which is the mystic elemental force that binds together all death and decay in the universe. Reluctantly, Holland becomes one with Swamp Thing.

–REFERENCE: In Wonder Woman Vol. 5 #56. Manitou Dawn asks Bruce to help out in the small New Mexico town where she now lives. Bruce has the Wayne Foundation fund and build a new rec center in the town.

–REFERENCE: In Batgirl & The Birds of Prey #11 and Year of the Villain #1 Part 2. Barbara Gordon returns as Batgirl! She joins Batman Incorporated.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #1001. Batman fights a small-timer and puts a razor sharp Batarang into his skull, which gets lodged in his brain, causing significant neural damage. Doctors determine that the poor guy can only function normally so long as the Batarang is left stuck in his dome. Thus, left with a permanent Batarang souvenir sticking out of his head, he becomes the super-villain aptly named Bat Head.

–REFERENCE: In Super Sons #10 Part 1. As per Bruce’s wishes, Damian begins homeschooling lessons with Alfred. These lessons will happen, moving forward for the next few years, as often as Damian bothers to attend.

–REFERENCE: In Damage Vol. 2 #13-16. The Justice League defeats a giant Chinese dragon. With nowhere else to put it, they throw it onto a remote island in the middle of the Atlantic. The JL decides that the island, nicknamed “Monster Rock,” should be used to hold all giant monsters they defeat. Batman names Congo Bill (along with Congorilla) the warden of Monster Rock. The JL (and others) will put a bunch of kaiju on this island over the years to come. We’ll simply have to imagine these kaiju battles as occurring sporadically throughout our timeline, moving forward. Notably, the kaiju on Monster Rock, while not able to escape, will breed like mice, quickly filling their habitat with myriad species (and new hybrid species as well).

–FLASHBACK: From Flash Vol. 5 #40—and also referenced in Titans Vol. 3 Annual #1 and Justice League Vol. 3 #38. Originally told in Justice League Vol. 2 #1-6 (“JUSTICE LEAGUE”). When Darkseid returns from the dead, the DCU’s top heroes decide to disband the current incarnation of the Justice League and reboot the lineup. A brand new JL—featuring Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Hal Jordan, Aquaman, Flash, and Cyborg—is founded just in time to foil Darkseid’s invasion attempt. Batman takes the role of “Chairman,” basically meaning he is de facto leader of the team. The group writes an official charter with a new set of JL bylaws and rules, most of which are likely based on the previous ones.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Nights: Metal #1. The new Justice League (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Hal Jordan, Aquaman, Flash, and Cyborg) begins training in an effort to be a more cohesive unit than has ever been seen before. The team comes up with several fighting formations, including the Aegea Formation and Iphito Formation. Presumably, there are many more of these as well. The JL will continue to train together on-and-off (albeit invisibly on our timeline), moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #973. Batman—likely with metahuman assistance—constructs a big-time hush-hush contingency plan designed to defend against a Darkseid-level emergency. Thus, the “Wayne Watchtowers” are born. Four Wayne Enterprises-owned skyscrapers are secretly outfitted so that, upon activation, they can become giant transforming impenetrable shelters/stationary mech-weapons.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 3 #29, Superman Vol. 4 #37, Dark Nights: Metal #4, and Super Sons #16. Batman has long been paranoid about the possibility of his friends going rogue or being controlled by evil. He finally takes action to put his mind at ease, compiling a multi-layered contingency plan to combat them if need be. As per his plan, Batman collects (or builds) various countermeasures in the form of specific weaponry that can defeat each of his Justice League brethren. Batman puts his anti-JL items into locked briefcases inside a large safe in the Batcave.[2] The anti-Superman briefcase includes a Green Kryptonite ring, pieces of different colored Kryptonite, and an expanding Red Kryptonite-lined prison cell (of Batman’s own design). The anti-Flash briefcase includes temporal grenades, seizure-inducing vibra-bullets, and a frictionless coating spray (all of his own design) and a Lightning Rod. The anti-Cyborg briefcase includes a Mother Box, a ministroke-inducing ion-pulse hacking program (of his own design, and possibly made from the Mother Box), an electromagnetic nerve tree (of his own design). The anti-Wonder Woman briefcase includes the god Hephaestus’ magickal Bind of Veils and a nanite ear implant (of his own design). (Both of these anti-Wonder Woman items cause hallucinatory experiences.) The anti-Aquaman briefcase includes a binding magnesium carbonate foam spray (of his own design) and a modified Fear Gas spray (of his own design, tweaked from Scarecrow’s chemicals). The anti-Green Lantern briefcase includes a citrine neurolizer, black power ring, and yellow power ring. Batman also devises an extra plan to use against the GL Corps. He learns how to introduce post-hypnotic suggestions and secretly does so to several of his GL pals, making it so he can render them temporarily blind with an activation codeword. Batman also constructs and puts other anti-Superman weapons into the contingency safe: a red solar-flare projection staff, an armored anti-Superman suit (based on the Frank Miller-designed costume from The Dark Knight Returns), a “Five Finger Death Punch” particolored Kryptonite gauntlet, a microscopic red sun gauntlet, and Kryptonite chewing gum. Also in the safe: a nanite-fire weapon to use against Martian Manhunter and a liquid-nitrogen weapon to use against Plastic Man. Batman also builds a heavily-armored high-tech anti-JL combat mech. Detailed files related to these contingency plan weapons are stored in the Bat-computer network and linked into Batman’s costume. Batman will keep his anti-JL contingency plans up to date, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In Deathstroke Vol. 4 #32. Batman, possibly related to his anti-Superman contingency plans, designs power-charging gauntlets, which he will wear with his costume from this point forward.

–REFERENCE: In The Brave and The Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman #2. Batman travels to Azerbaijan where he fights a werewolf. The werewolf dies in combat, after which Batman collects its skull, which he keeps as a trophy in the Batcave.

–REFERENCE: In Trinity Vol. 2 #14-15. Batman either obtains or builds a high-frequency sound-vibration ray gun, which has the ability to take down someone as powerful as Superman. The origins of this weapon are unknown, but it could very well be a part of his recent anti-metahuman contingency plans. Batman stores the gun in the Batcave. Batman also adapts this sound-vibration weapon for use via cannons on some of his Bat-vehicles.

–REFERENCE: In Super Sons #8. The Justice League invents “universal translators,” devices capable of translating all alien or interdimensional languages. Somehow, maybe via Green Lantern tech or magick, these amazing translators are able to analyze and interpret languages that are completely unknown. The JL will use these translators on random missions, when needed—although these missions will go unseen on our timeline.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21 and Trinity Vol. 2 #21. The Justice League deals/interacts with the newly formed government organization known as ARGUS. The JL also becomes aware of ARGUS’ Black Room, a government vault filled with cosmic artifacts and magickal alien weaponry.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 3 #22 and Justice League Vol. 4 #9. The Justice League initiates a concatenation of encyclopedic databases accessible via the Watchtower computer network that list and detail all the different alien animal creatures they have encountered and are aware of. This collected “Interplanetary Zoological Database” will be continuously updated, moving forward. Presumably, the already existing case-files and team archives are connected to this Watchtower database at this time. Batman will familiarize himself with the majority of the species in the database.

–REFERENCE: In Batwoman: Rebirth #1, Batwoman Vol. 3 #7-8, Batwoman Vol. 3 #17-18, Lois Lane Vol. 2 #1, and Lois Lane Vol. 2 #4—originally told in 52 #38, 52 #48, Detective Comics #857-860, and flashbacks from Detective Comics #948-949. Batwoman (Kate Kane)—guided by her dad Jake Kane—debuts as a superhero. (Batwoman is Batman’s cousin, and Jake is his uncle.) Along with Kyle Abbot, the Question, and her girlfriend Detective Renee Montoya, Batwoman takes on The Religion of Crime and Intergang. Immediately thereafter, the Question travels to the Himalayas with Renee in hopes of finding a cure for his terminal cancer, but he dies just outside the mystical hidden city of Nanda Parbat. (The Question will eventually get revived in Nanda Parbat, but will remain off the grid for a while.) Renee returns to the States and debuts as the new Question. Shortly thereafter, with Jake guiding her, Batwoman spies on the Dark Knight, but Batman surprises Kate at home, telling her that he doesn’t approve of her vigilantism but won’t stand in her way. Unknown to Batman and Kate, they are secretly watched via hidden camera that belongs to Jake’s clandestine paramilitary group known as The Colony. (The Colony has been watching Batman since his debut.) Jake and his top man Simon Samuels (codenamed “Colony Prime”) view Batman conversing with Batwoman. A couple days later, after lunch with cousin Bruce, Kate realizes that Bruce is Batman and that he is testing her. Shortly thereafter, Batwoman fights her maniacal long lost twin sister Beth Kane, who returns to Gotham as Alice, the crazed super-villain leader of the Religion of Crime. Alice attempts to bomb Gotham Harbor, but is stopped by Batwoman, Kyle Abbot, and Jake. Alice seemingly perishes during the chaos after falling into the harbor from a plane. Angry, sad, and confused about all that has occurred, Kate cuts off all communication with her dad.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #1001. Batman fights a crook that wields a flamethrower. The Dark Knight kicks him in the face with a flaming boot, leaving a permanent boot print melted into the poor guy’s face. He becomes the super-villain appropriately named Bootface.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21. The Justice League obtains several items: papal vestments and mitre, the Mars rover, a hydrogen bomb, and Voyager II—all of which go into the JL Trophy Room. These are likely gifts from the Vatican, NASA, and the US Army.

–REFERENCE: In Gotham Academy: Second Semester #9-12. Batman apprehends teenager Tristan Grey, who can turn into a man-bat due to Man-Bat Virus permanently in his system. Batman has Tristan enrolled into the upcoming school year at Gotham Academy to be monitored under the watchful eye of the institution’s Headmaster Collingwood Vaughn Hammer. Shortly thereafter, Bruce personally awards the Wayne Foundation Scholarship, which will pay for room and board at Gotham Academy, to a now teenage Olive Silverlock, daughter of jailed super-villain Calamity (Sybil Silverlock). Olive immediately moves from an orphanage to the campus, where she will live in preparation for the start of school at the end of summer. Batman will quietly and secretly monitor both Tristan and Olive, moving forward. The Dark Knight gives detailed files on Olive and Tristan to both Headmaster Hammer and teacher Isla MacPherson.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Forge #1. Batman learns that something potentially very dangerous is locked underneath Atlantis. It is possible he is referring to the Trench, a race of Dagon-like mutated Atlanteans, but it could be something else, like a portal to Xebel or dark magick thing. Another possibility is that Batman is referring to the mystic tomb of ancient Atlantean kings that is on the edge of the Mariana Trench on the outskirts of Atlantis.

–REFERENCE: In Super Sons #5 and Super Sons Annual #1—originally told in Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #2. Bruce buys Damian a Great Dane, which Damian names Titus.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #23, Batman Vol. 3 #33, and Super Sons Annual #1—originally told in Batman Vol. 3 Annual #1 Part 1. Joker sics five vicious German Shepherds—each dressed in a playing card costume—on Batman. Joker then flees with his dogs. Batman and Commissioner Gordon later find the dogs abandoned, but only “Ace” is alive. Shortly thereafter, Alfred adopts Ace and gives him to Bruce as a present. I guess if Damian gets Titus, Bruce gets a “Bathound” as well. Alfred will spend months training Ace.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #64. The previous Robin’s were each prone to catch-phrasing and punning, but Damian is of a different ilk. Bruce takes notice that Damian constantly curses like a sailor. Notably, one of Damian’s favorite condescending lines is the classic, “No shit, Sherlock.”

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1000 Part 11—and referenced in Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #7, Action Comics #1001, and Detective Comics #996, and Detective Comics #1003. Originally told in Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #1-8. Batman makes Damian his official full-time partner. The Dynamic Duo stops a robbery attempt by brothers Ronnie, Reggie, and Robbie at Gotham University. During the melee, the brothers hijack the Bat-gyro-ball, accidentally causing a chemical explosion that fuses them together into the freakish three-faced monster known as Smush. In Moscow, Morgan Ducard (now going by the super-villain name “Nobody”) murders Batman Incorporated agent Ravil. On the orders of his father Henri Ducard, Nobody travels to Gotham and fights Batman. After being defeated, Nobody is delivered back to Henri by Batman. An embarrassed Nobody attempts immediate revenge, returning to combat Batman and Robin. Much to the chagrin of the Caped Crusader, Robin kills Nobody.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #14-15. Batman, now officially partnered with Robin for the first time, trains his son, getting to know the scope of his abilities better. Bruce trains with the talented Damian on the bō staff and other various martial arts. This training, although invisible on our timeline, will continue on-and-off for years to come.

–REFERENCE: In Super Sons #15. Bruce notices that Damian has little patience when it comes to communication. The boy often mutes cellphone conversations, something he will do often, moving forward. Batman, being the excellent hacker that he is, will often simply override Damian’s phone-muting attempts.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #64 and Batman Giant #8. Batman and Flash track an escaped Dr. Double-X to the famed Dinosaur Island, an aptly-named island teeming with live dinosaurs. They foil the villain’s plan to merge his aura with a T rex to become “Dr. Double-Rex.” While wrapping-up the case, Batman responds to Flash by saying “No shit, Sherlock,” which is something Damian says quote often. Damian is rubbing off on the old man! Following this adventure, Batman does as much extra research on Dinosaur Island as he can.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics Vol. 3 Annual #2. Bruce meets and briefly dates wealthy social activist Sophia Zervas, daughter of a ultra rich bank-owner. They will remain friends for years to come, although Bruce’s connection to Sophia is mostly to keep up appearances with the 1% crowd.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #20Harley Quinn 25th Anniversary Special #1 Part 1, and Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #57. Batman learns that Harley Quinn has recently moved to Coney Island, Brooklyn where she has begun to live a better life, which still (of course) includes crazy things like talking to a taxidermy beaver named Bernie. Harley, despite being a member of the Suicide Squad and constantly in-and-out of prison, is attempting to live a straight(er) life in New York. Basically, as far-fetched as this sounds, Harley will live a dual life, basically free when in Brooklyn, but still beholden to the Suicide Squad for regular missions. Harley will go months living freely and then go months incarcerated at Bell Reve Penitentiary, pretty much at random intervals. We must assume this is a special deal that she’s worked out with Amanda Waller. In less than three years from now, Harley will only be a wanted criminal in a handful of countries (and not wanted at all in America). This probably means that Waller pulls some big-time strings for her—and she probably starts pulling them right about now.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1000 Part 7. Batman fights Penguin and his patented rocket-penguin soldiers. Shortly thereafter, Joker assembles all of Batman’s rogues (Penguin, Bane, Catwoman, Mr. Freeze, Riddler, Two-Face, Scarecrow, Two-Face, and one other unknown off-panel) for a big meeting of the minds. Joker tells everyone that he thinks Batman is Bruce Wayne. Actually, Joker kinda sorta has already known this since the beginning, but he has always had strange misgivings and inner-dealings about the possibility of Bruce and Batman being one-and-the same. His motives for calling this meeting now? Unknown. Of course, Deathstroke, like Joker, also has complicatedly paranoid views when it comes to Batman’s secret ID. In fact, Deathstroke has a complex perspective in general when it comes to the the protection of secret IDs. At this point, Deathstroke likely already knows that Batman is Bruce, but at the same time doubts it (because he doubts everything, thinking everything is some sort of multi-layered spy-craft mindfuckery). Furthermore, both Catwoman and Bane know the truth about Batman, but, of course, they are playing dumb. Hell, even Two-Face has always danced around acknowledging that Bruce is Batman. There’s a good chance that, by this juncture, Two-Face also knows. In response to Joker, someone (the unknown rogue, speaking from off-panel, so we don’t know who it is) categorically denies that Batman could be Bruce, citing a past experience with both of them. Another one of the few attendees who hadn’t fathomed the idea of Bruce and Batman being one and the same is Penguin. Following the meeting, an obsessed Penguin spies on Bruce as the latter ramps-up his playboy persona by going on several public dates. Soon, Penguin discovers the undeniable truth—that Batman and Bruce are indeed the same man. Shortly thereafter, Bruce hosts a big gala at Wayne Manor. Penguin and his men converge on the mansion, ready to kill everyone inside, but, at the last second, Penguin calls off the whole thing. Penguin comes to believe that if he somehow failed to kill Bruce, Bruce would likely abandon his private civilian persona and become Batman full-time 24-7. Penguin, not wanting to risk that, decides he will just go on pretending he doesn’t know Batman’s secret ID. It’s likely that Penguin, now ultra-paranoid, will even convince himself that Batman might actually not be Batman. (No other writers acknowledge that Penguin is aware of Batman’s secret ID in the years to come.) In any case, Batman realizes that Penguin has discovered the truth, but doesn’t even bother confronting the cowardly super-villain about it.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Casting #1 and Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #36—originally told in Detective Comics Vol. 2 #1-7. Batman busts Joker and puts him back in Arkham Asylum. Joker hires a new villain called Dollmaker (Barton Mathis), who not only helps him escape, but also complies with Joker’s request to surgically slice-off his face! The now literally faceless Joker goes into hiding. Meanwhile, Batman and Commissioner Gordon defeat Dollmaker and his Texas Chainsaw Massacre-esque family, which includes Dollhouse (Matilda Mathis), Olivia Carr, Bentley, Jack-in-the-Box, Sampson, and The Gimp. Joker’s dead skin mask goes into storage at GCPD HQ. Later, Batman defeats a bunch of Penguin’s new costumed henchmen, including his new number one henchwoman Lark.

–REFERENCE: In Year of the Villian #1 Part 1—originally told in Batman: The Dark Knight Vol. 2 #1-7. A riot breaks out at Arkham Asylum, started by the lingerie-wearing super-villain known as White Rabbit, who is basically a female version of Dr. Double-X. (White Rabbit is an avatar double of Jaina Hudson, who has the metahuman power to project her alter-ego and to then re-encapsulate her back into her own body.) The Bat-Family re-apprehends most of the Arkham inmates while Batman goes after White Rabbit. Eventually, White Rabbit sends Bane after Batman. With help from Flash, Batman defeats Bane. White Rabbit escapes.

–REFERENCE: In Wonder Woman Vol. 5 #56 and Justice League Dark Vol. 2 #7—originally told in Justice League Dark #1-8. When the Justice League gets its butt whipped by the magickal carnage of Enchantress, Zatanna forms the Justice League Dark to take her down. The JLD consists of Madame Xanadu, John Constantine, Deadman, Mindwarp (Jay Young), and Shade the Changing Man (Rac Shade). Soon after, the world’s oldest vampire Cain unleashes an army of vampires all over Gotham. The JLD teams-up with the Bat-Family, but they are no match for the legion of undead. Cain’s nosferatu rivals Andrew Bennett (“I… Vampire”) and Mary Seward (The Queen of Blood) eventually save the day, vanquishing Cain and his army. Andrew Bennett then joins the JLD. This group will last about a year before disbanding.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: The Merciless #1, Red Hood & The Outlaws Vol. 2 #16, Deathstroke Vol. 4 Annual #1, and Red Hood: Outlaw #32. Red Robin begins wearing his new “razor wing” costume (aka New 52 costume). He also forms a brand new Teen Titans featuring new Kid Flash (Bar Torr), Solstice, Bunker, Skitter, Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark), Superboy (a clone of an alternate-timeline Jonathan Kent), and Danny the Street. Batman won’t interact with this version of the Teen Titans, which will last for about two years (with an ever-changing lineup). Batman will, however, be aware of their actions.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 3 #38—originally told in Justice League International Vol. 2 #1-5 (“THE SIGNAL MEN”). The UN reforms the Justice League International for the first time in years. The new JLI comprises team leader Booster Gold, Green Lantern Guy Gardner, August General in Iron (Fang Zhifu), Vixen, Rocket Red (Gavril Ivanovich), Fire, Ice, and Godiva (Dora Leigh). Batman is also technically on the JLI, acting as its lone secret member and liaison between the the team and the JL. The JLI’s first mission is a hard fought victory in Peru against the Thanos-like cosmic warlord Peraxxus and his towering Signal Men robots.

–FLASHBACK: From Dark Nights: Metal #2 and Detective Comics #1000 Part 11—and also referenced in Dark Days: The Forge #1, Dark Nights: Metal #2, All-Star Batman #13, Nightwing Vol. 4 #29, Batman: The Merciless #1, Batman: Lost #1, Detective Comics #995, and The Batman Who Laughs #2-5. Originally told in “THE COURT OF OWLS” and “NIGHT OF THE OWLS.” Batman invents new EMP holographic mask technology and allows Nightwing to test it out in the field. Using the new tech, Nightwing disguises himself as Joker to help Batman quell a riot at Arkham Asylum. Later, the illuminati group known as the Court of Owls strikes at Batman via one of its undead Talon soldiers. After busting a bunch of members of The Whisper Gang, Batman has a discussion with Alfred about the “legend” of the Court of Owls, during which Alfred reveals that Bruce’s great-great-grandfather Alan Wayne had suffered from Court of Owls paranoia shortly before suffering a mysterious drowning death in the sewer. Batman exhumes the corpse of Alan Wayne and finds evidence that he was murdered. The Dark Knight is then captured by a Talon and trapped in the Court of Owls’ underground labyrinth for days. Without any food or water, Batman drinks only from a fountain containing Electrum, the mystical liquid metal that the Court uses to re-animate its Talon soldiers. (Little does he know this is but the first step of a ritual known as “The Mantling,” through which Barbatos will be able to breach into the regular Multiverse from the Dark Multiverse using Batman as a conduit. The Court of Owls is in league with Barbatos’ Earthly agents, the Strigydae high priests of the Judas Tribe.) After days trapped in the labyrinth, Batman defeats the stalking Talon and just barely escapes with his life thanks to some assistance from a meddling but helpful Harper Row. Alfred collects the injured Batman and the lifeless Talon corpse, brining both back to the Batcave. Damian performs life-saving surgery on his unconscious dad, who has suffered a punctured lung. After waking-up and recovering, Batman analyzes the Talon corpse, learning the true history of the Court of Owls, which dates back hundreds of years. (Technically, their history goes back 40,000 years if you link them to both their Judas Tribe ancestors and, prior to that, the Bat Tribe and Miagani.) Not only does Batman learn a bit of Court history, he also learns that the Talon is Dick’s paternal great-grandfather, William Cobb. Batman also learns that the Court of Owls labyrinth is part of “Last Laugh,” an emergency citywide vaccination system supposedly built by government officials in 1780 to prevent against the spread of airborne disease. (Unknown to Batman, the Last Laugh system was actually designed in 1699 as a biological WMD.) When Nightwing arrives, Batman drops the bombshell on him, further adding that the Court of Owls has long recruited its Talon agents from a pool of athletic youth, specifically from its secret training ground of Haly’s Circus. Batman punches Nightwing in the face, knocking out his tooth, which has an owl symbol on it. Dick was scheduled to have been the next Talon, but plans were changed when his parents died and he became Robin instead! Batman keeps Dick’s tooth for later examination. Shortly thereafter, the Court of Owls reanimates multiple generations of zombie Talons using Electrum. The Talons attack all over the city, but the Bat-Family stands strong and defeats them, later finding the Court of Owl leaders Maria and Joseph Powers—owners of Powers Industrial and parents of Geri Powers—poisoned to death. (Note that Powers Industrial will also be interchangeably referred to as “Powers Industry” and “Powers Industries.”) Batman soon learns that the Court of Owls has controlled Gotham for hundreds of years and that one of its other leaders is mayoral Lincoln March. March, responsible for murdering Maria and Joseph Powers, claims to be Bruce’s biological younger brother Thomas Wayne Jr! Batman defeats March and ends any more threat of the Court of Owls. Hoping to find the truth about March’s claim, Bruce does some research into his family’s history, learning that his mom was pregnant when he was three-years-old and that the Court of Owls caused a car accident that supposedly resulted in the loss of the baby in the womb. Despite this, Bruce cannot confirm whether or not March is truly his brother. While researching, Bruce learns that the Court of Owls murdered Jarvis Pennyworth (Alfred’s dad).

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Forge #1. Batman raids what is left of the Court of Owls’ hideouts across Gotham, taking owl masks, Talon masks, and paper documents connected to the Court of Owls as trophies.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Forge #1 and Dark Days: The Casting #1. Batman examines Dick’s owl-tooth, and extracts Electrum from it. Presumably, Batman procures samples of Electrum from defeated Talon corpses as well. He makes 3D scans of the tooth and enlarged Electrum slides, saving both as digital holographic images. After studying the Electrum, Batman learns that it contains the traces of the dark mystery metal (and dark energy signature) he’s been investigating for years. Batman records details of his Electrum study onto his Shadow Drive (aka Shadow File). In Sub-cave Alpha, Batman puts several Court of Owls masks, several Talon masks, and documents connected to the Court of Owls on display. Batman also puts all Electrum and Talon-related scanned 3D images onto holographic pedestal projector displays. The Caped Crusader will continue to study Electrum, the mystery metal, and the “dark energy” signature for years to come. As mentioned before, and still unknown to Batman, the immortal Carter Hall and Kendra Saunders have not only been aware of the “dark energy” signature and “dark metal,” they have also been investigating all things related to the Dark Multiverse ever since the early 1900s. (See a footnote in Year 15 for details on Carter and Kendra’s lengthy connection to this case.)

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1000 Part 1. Batman tries to see if the now twelve-year-old unsolved “David Lambert’s looking glass case” is any way linked to the Court of Owls. After a brief investigation, Batman confirms that it isn’t. Sensing that the case might somehow involve Riddler, Batman digs in that direction at all, but ultimately confirms that Riddler also has nothing to do with it.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Casting #1. In conjunction with his studies into the “dark energy” signature linked to the mysterious dark metal, Batman begins tracking metahuman activity across the globe, specifically looking for hospital red flags that list any patients that have metal toxicity in their blood. Batman will find a bunch of these anomalies and mark them in the Bat-computer’s encrypted “Meta-File.” Among those with metal toxicity akin to the “dark energy” signature are teenager Duke Thomas and his mom Elaine Thomas.

–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 Adventures of the Super Sons #9. Bruce shares his love of Westerns, particularly Gary Cooper films, with Damian. They watch some flicks together.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #23Action Comics #1001, and Batman Vol. 3 Annual #3—originally told in Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #10-12 (“TERMINUS”) and Batman & Robin Vol. 2 #40. The Bat-Family—sans Jason—gathers at Wayne Manor to pose for a series of family portraits. Sorry Jason! Or maybe Jason chose not to show up. The first portrait features Bruce, Dick, Tim, Damian, and Babs. The second portrait features Bruce, Dick, Tim, Damian, and Alfred. (In the New 52, there was only one painting—the second of the two—and it went unfinished for a full calendar year until Damian himself finished it. We can assume that, in the New Age, the second painting is completed right now.) After the portrait sessions are complete and the art is hung-up in Wayne Manor, Damian challenges all the other former Robins to see who is the best. After Damian gets the better of both Red Robin and Red Hood via ambushing them, Terminus gathers a team—consisting of Scallop, Bat Head, Bootface, and Smush—and attacks Gotham. Batman, Robin, Red Robin, Nightwing, and Red Hood defeat Terminus and company.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Prelude to the Wedding Part 4 – Red Hood vs Anarky #1—originally told in Catwoman Vol. 4 #12. Catwoman teams up with metahuman thief Spark, GCPD Detective Carlos Alvarez, and Batman to put an end to sex worker serial killings committed by Dollhouse. After Dollhouse goes down, Selina’s best friend, Gwen Altamont, learns that Spark is a GCPD mole attempting to bust Catwoman. Gwen kills Spark to save Selina.

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #5-6. Batman becomes cautiously aware of the fact that Aquaman—currently dethroned as ruler of Atlantis—is moonlighting with his own Outsiders-like side-team known as The Others. His team consists of Mera, Ya’Wara, POW, Operative, Sky Alchesay, Sayeh the Seer (sister of deceased member Kahina the Seer), and Vostok Omega (aka Vostok-X II, replacement for the deceased original Vostok). (Note that Vostok Omega will eventually die too, but there were four Vostoks created by the Russian Government, so there will still be two left after two are dead.)

–NOTE: In Justice League Vol. 3 #38. One of the JLI’s newest members, OMAC (Kevin Kho), briefly loses control—influenced by the tiny bit of Brother Eye within himself—and attacks his teammates, including new recruits Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes) and The Olympian (Aristides Demetrios). OMAC is subdued, but the damage done is severe enough that it warrants the permanent shutdown of the JLI by the UN.

–FLASHBACK: From Mera: Queen of Atlantis #2 and Aquaman Vol. 8 #48—and referenced in Doomsday Clock #6. Originally told in “THRONE OF ATLANTIS.” Current king of Atlantis, Ocean Master (Aquaman’s brother Orm Marius), attacks the surface world using giant tidal waves, which begin decimating and flooding all of the major East Coast cities (including Gotham). A war between the US and Atlantis breaks out. Batman, Aquaman, and Mera save as many lives as they can. Eventually, the Justice League confronts Ocean Master and a large Atlantean army in a flooded Boston. Meanwhile, Cyborg brings Aquaman’s mentors Dr. Stephen Shin and Nuidus Vulko aboard the Watchtower to help monitor the situation. Cyborg also recruits some back-up reinforcements—including Element Woman (Emily Sung), Black Lightning, Black Canary, Firestorm, Vixen, and Earth-3 Atom (Rhonda Pineda)—to help in the war against Atlantis. Aquaman, Mera, and Cyborg rescue the rest of the Justice League from Dagon-like creatures known collectively as The Trench. The heroes then learn that Vulko has manipulated Ocean Master into starting the war against the surface world in a misguided attempt to put Aquaman back on the throne of Atlantis. Eventually, the heroes defeat the Atlantean army. Ocean Master and Vulko are jailed, but the latter gets his wish as Aquaman returns to his place as king.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Casting #1, Dark Nights: Metal #2, Batman: The Merciless #1, and Red Hood: Outlaw #31—originally told in “DEATH OF THE FAMILY.” Joker steals back his face, kills a bunch of cops, and—with his face literally tied-on like a mask—enters Wayne Manor and kidnaps Alfred, leaving a video message that implies he knows all about Batman’s secret ID. After Batman and Robin stop a Jokerized mob, Batman deals with Poison Ivy, Clayface, and Penguin’s top man Ignatius Ogilvy (who ditches Penguin to become his own boss. When Joker strikes at Commissioner Gordon, Batman saves him, but gets knocked unconscious (and nearly killed) by Joker. Robin, Red Robin, Red Hood, and Batgirl struggle with Joker while Batman is out-cold. Joker then takes control of Arkham Asylum and kidnaps the entire Bat-Family, forcing an awakened Batman to enter into battle against Mr. Freeze, Clayface, and Scarecrow. Using the kidnapped Bat-Family as leverage, Joker defeats Batman and lines him up next to his Jokerized Bat-Family, including Alfred, in the Batcave. Batman is able to cure his fam and defeat Joker, who falls into the catacomb rivers beneath the Batcave and is washed away. Later, Bruce explains to his fam the complicated nature of Joker’s mind when it comes to the secret ID of Batman. Bruce is still convinced that Joker knows the Bat-Family secret identities, but he is so crazy that he doesn’t (and never did) care who was beneath the masks, mentally blocking out the information. In essence, Bruce tells his fam, “Bruce Wayne isn’t important to the Clown Prince of Crime; only Batman matters.” The Bat-Family, shaken to its core, remains highly skeptical of this explanation. Meanwhile, Joker gets washed deeper and deeper into the catacombs beneath the Batcave, falling into a pool of simmering liquid green metal called Dionesium, which heals his wounds, including his face. (His old sawed-off face disappears into the underground waterways.) Joker discovers an ancient cave drawing of Batman’s cape and cowl scratched onto the wall above the jade pool. (This bizarre Dionesium pit has been secretly carved into the adjacent-but-much-deeper caves next to the Batcave by the Court of Owls in conjunction with Barbatos’ Judas Tribe followers as part of their bigger “Mantling” ritual plan.) With a new lease on life and a fascinating mystery dating back to the dawn of man, Joker will begin soliciting information about immortality and the history of bats in Gotham from anyone with arcane knowledge, including the Court of Owls and Crazy Quilt. Later, the entire Bat-Family gathers to unwind and recover from the ordeal Joker has put them through. Starfire and Roy Harper (having switched back to his old Arsenal name) come to support Red Hood as they currently are a crime-fighting trio known as The Outlaws.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #971Detective Comics #995, and Batgirl Vol. 5 #19. Batgirl codes a brand new security system for Arkham Asylum. Via this security system, Batman will be able to control the prison’s power grid whenever he likes. With Joker’s recent actions on his mind, Batman also secretly installs his own electrified lockdown override protocol into the new system. Batman can activate the override with the voice-code ZEA, which presumably stands for “Zur-En-Arrh.” Knowing this special program can only be used once, Batman promises to himself to only ever use it in the most extreme emergency.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #41. Using rare franciscan extract, Batman creates a brand new formula for an efficacious antidote that works against all of Poison Ivy’s mind-control powers and toxins.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21. Batman makes an armored exo-suit, which he stores in the Batcave.

–REFERENCE: In Superman Vol. 4 #21, Detective Comics #958, Detective Comics #967, Batman Vol. 3 #33, Doomsday Clock #5-6, DC New Talent Showcase 2018 #1 Part 3, and Flash Vol. 5 #61—originally told in Batman Incorporated Vol. 2 #1-13. Talia al Ghul’s international terrorist organization known as Leviathan, has secretly corrupted all facets of Gotham. Batman and Robin stop a Leviathan shipment of poisoned meat from entering Gotham’s markets—and take one of the healthy bovines as a pet, which Robin dubs Bat-Cow! Alfred also gets the Boy Wonder a pet kitten, which Robin cheekily names Alfred Pennyworth. Later, at a Leviathan lair, Batman Incorporated fights Goatboy, Judge, Hangman, the Seven Men of Death, Sportsmaster (a clone of the original), Ojo, Shrike (Boone, former student of the original Shrike), Aron Abromowitz, some Mutant Gang members, and others. Batman Incorporated then takes on Leviathan at Wayne Tower as Talia unleashes the monstrous Heretic—an adult clone of Damian that still has his youthful face. The Heretic kills Knight and Robin. After funerals are held, Batman mourns the loss of his son. Unable to cope with the loss, Batman creates and initiates the “Broken Wing Protocol,” a detailed analysis of the corpse to make sure that no funny business (redolent of what happened to Jason Todd) has occurred. Confirming that his son is indeed gone, a distraught Batman vows revenge. Meanwhile, in London, former Squire Beryl Hutchinson becomes the new Knight. Soon after, Talia takes control of Gotham, making Wayne Tower her HQ and demanding the immediate and permanent legal shutdown of Batman Inc. With his operation officially kaput, Batman seeks the help of Azrael (Michael Lane), who returns the mystical Suit of Sorrows back to the Caped Crusader. Lane also gives Batman the fiery Sword of Azrael. Batman then gets some Man-Bat Serum from Dr. Kirk Langstrom. After micro-dosing to pump-up and donning some Azrael gear, Batman attacks Leviathan by himself head-on. Batman fights and defeats the Heretic, who is killed by Talia for his failure. Shortly thereafter, in the Batcave, Batman duels Talia. Meanwhile, Batman Inc members fight and defeat Leviathan members—including shrouded cultists, the Mutant Gang, Manticore (Saied), and Veiniac—all over the globe. A returning Kathy Kane, acting as secret head of the spy agency Spyral, enters the Batcave and shoots Talia dead. A grief-stricken Bruce buries Talia next to Damian. He also puts the Suit of Sorrows into storage. Batman Inc officially shuts down.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Dark Vol. 2 #7-8—originally told in Batman and… #19. Obsessed with bringing back Damian from the dead, Batman hacks into the computer database of the secret government peacekeeping agency known as SHADE (Super-Human Advanced Defense Executive), looking for information about resurrection. (SHADE is run by Father Time, who is currently in the body of a young unnamed Japanese schoolgirl. Father Time, as inquiring minds will want to know, is a sentient microscopic creature that resides in the brain of its host body, which he replaces every ten years.) The Caped Crusader learns the secret location of Castle Frankenstein near the North Pole. There, Batman kidnaps SHADE’s top agent, the patchwork living-zombie Frankenstein (leader of the Creature Commandos). The Caped Crusader hopes that the original re-animated man can somehow help him bring back Damian. When Frankenstein refuses to help, a crazed Batman takes him apart (literally) and begins a bizarre autopsy/experimentation using his dismembered body. Red Robin puts a stop to Batman’s madness, sending the pissed-off Dark Knight back to Gotham.

–REFERENCE: In Batgirl Vol. 5 Annual #2—originally told in Batgirl Vol. 4 #18-22 and Batman and… #21. A disheveled and depressed Batman tells Commissioner Gordon that Robin has died. Jim tells Babs. Shortly thereafter, Batgirl busts Firebug and then tracks down her brother, James Junior, who has escaped from Arkham and has been stalking Babs’ roommate Alysia Yeoh for weeks. James Junior challenges his sister to a duel. The siblings fight, during which brother seemingly falls to his death. Batgirl is briefly charged with murder, leading to tension between she, Batman, and Commissioner Gordon. Thankfully, James Junior turns up alive-and-well and goes into Blackgate Prison.

–REFERENCE: In Trinity Vol. 2 Annual #1 Epilogue. Having won back the trust of his peers and been accepted back into the fold, Jason returns to his Red Hood name. He will still teeter on the edge of villainy, but he will now be a full-fledged Bat-Family member again.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #958—originally told in Batwing #19-20. Batwing David Zavimbe retires from crime-fighting. Batman passes the mantle of Batwing onto wealthy socialite cum professional MMA fighter cum tech entrepreneur Lucas “Luke” Fox, son of Lucius Fox.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics Vol. 3 Annual #2. Now that Bruce has shuttered Batman Incorporated, he’s lost a big part of his international reach and intel. At Batman’s request, Alfred begins the practice of downloading several international newspapers onto a tablet for Bruce to read with his post patrol breakfast. Bruce will make this a habit for years to come.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #957—originally told in Detective Comics Vol. 2 #22-24. Batman defeats a new super-villain called The Wrath (wealthy tycoon ED Caldwell) and one of his many disposable Scorn henchmen.

–REFERENCE: In Suicide Squad Vol. 5 #18 and Action Comics #980. Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman fight the Kryptonian super-villain General Zod (Dru-Zod), who escapes the Phantom Zone to attack Earth. The heroes defeat Zod and send him back to the Phantom Zone using a Kryptonian Phantom Zone Projector. (The Phantom Zone is a tesseract hyperspace where old Kyrptonians, using the special projector, sent criminals into exile. The Phantom Zone is one and the same as Limbo, Purgatory, and the Ghost Zone. It is also home to the Underworld, which is adjacent to/apart of Hell.)

–REFERENCE: In Man of Steel #3. Batman discovers a Penguin plot to assassinate the Prime Minister of Malaysia, but the Dark Knight prevents the assassination from happening.

–REFERENCE: In Deathstroke Vol. 4 #31. Someone (likely either Alfred or Bruce) snaps a touching photo of Dick, Tim, and Jason smiling and goofing around. Bruce frames the photo and puts it on his desk at Wayne Enterprises.

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #2. Bruce lies through his annual Wayne Enterprises psych exam in order to pass.

–REFERENCE: In DC Holiday Special 2017 #1 Part 10. December 22. Diana asks Bruce to join her in the woods to light a ceremonial winter solstice pyre. Bruce agrees to make this an annual tradition between the two of them.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: The Merciless #1—originally told in “SUPERMAN UNCHAINED.” Batman and Superman become aware of a secret US military organization called The Machine, which has existed since 1938 and is now led by Lois Lane’s estranged agonistic dad, Colonel Sam Lane, whom she hasn’t spoken to in years. Considering Superman a threat because he won’t be a slave to government control, Colonel Lane unleashes WRAITH, a powerful alien agent that has secretly worked for the Machine since the 1930s. While WRAITH pummels Batman, Sam Lane’s Machine soldiers attack Superman. After Superman defeats the soldiers, WRAITH summons his brethren—a large armada of warriors—to Earth. However, in fighting Batman and Superman, WRAITH sees the error of his ways. WRAITH sacrifices his life to destroy his entire species, saving Earth in the process.


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  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: The Pyrgos Batcave, interestingly, contains trophies, including giant dice and a giant stuffed Orthrus (the two-headed dog of Greek myth). Since Batman already has giant dice as trophies in the States, it’s safe to assume that these trophies belong to someone else, namely the unnamed Greek agent of Batman Inc.
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: The idea of Batman having anti-JL contingency weapons originally comes from Mark Waid’s JLA “Tower of Babel” story arc (2000). The anti-JL contingency briefcases come directly from Geoff Johns’ Forever Evil (2013-2014). Peter Tomasi references the briefcases in Superman Vol. 4 #37 (2018). Scott Snyder’s Batman Vol. 2 “Endgame” arc (2014), Bryan Hitch’s Justice League Vol. 3 “Legacy” arc (2017), and Peter Tomasi’s Super Sons #16 (2018) all include additional anti-JL contingency weapons as well. For the purposes of our timeline, I’ve mashed all the weapons together in order to be as inclusive as possible.

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