Rebirth Year Twelve


–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #44 and Batman Vol. 3 Annual #4. Batman retires his grey-and-black with yellow oval costume, putting it on display with the other yellow oval costume in the Batcave. For the next two years or so, he will only wear his grey-and-black costume (with the black Bat-symbol insignia). (For the past five years, Batman had been wearing both a yellow oval costume and black insignia costume interchangeably.) It’s possible (and likely) that some modifications are made and new tailoring is done on the latest working model of the Bat-costume, but for all intents and purposes, it will look virtually the same: gray-and-black with the black Bat-insignia. Note that Batman will still sometimes randomly wear trunks on the outside of his costume.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1027 Part 4. From his Bat-computer, Batman begins reviewing the latest batch of GCPD rookie recruits, including Lynn Baker, who seems have integrity and potential—things that most Gotham cops sorely lack. Batman begins secretly keeping tabs on Officer Baker. He will do so for months to come.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #960. While battling the League of Assassins, Batman discovers a great conspiracy, a secret war that has impacted global politics and socio-economic conditions at the highest levels imaginable for hundreds of years. Batman comes face-to-face with The League of Shadows—an elite group within the League of Assassins that wields greater power and poses as a greater threat. The League of Shadows, consisting of an army of sleeper cells hiding in plain sight, has been secretly responsible for the largest acts of terror in human history. Ra’s al Ghul and the League of Shadows capture Batman and wipe his mind of all knowledge of the organization via magickal means.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #1004. January 20. Lex Luthor is inaugurated as President of the United States of America. Pete Ross is sworn-in as his Vice President.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Dark Vol. 2 #9—originally told in “DEAD RECKONING.” Batman meets with supernatural detective Mark Merlin (aka Prince Ra-Man of the Lords of Order) to get help with solving a cold case involving Paul Sloan, an actor that once worked as a stand-in for Two-Face. Now debuting as “The Charlatan,” Sloan tries to kill a bunch of his old acquaintances, including Two-Face. Batman reluctantly teams-up with Two-Face to bust the Charlatan.

–REFERENCE: In Adventures of the Super Sons #8 and Nightwing Vol. 4 #68—originally told in Nightwing Vol. 2 #75. Batman and Nightwing investigate the corrupt Mayor Avers (the top elected official of Blüdhaven). While in Blüdhaven, Nightwing meets the city’s new vigilante superhero Tarantula (Catalina Flores).

–NOTE: In a reference in Young Justice Vol. 3 #5-6Young Justice Vol. 3 #11, and Young Justice Vol. 3 #15—originally told in Titans/Young Justice: Graduation Day #1-3 and Teen Titans Vol. 3 #1. Young Justice now includes new-ish members Snapper Carr (a team mentor), Empress, The Ray (Raymond Terrill), Slobo (a clone of Lobo), Super-Cycle (a sentient car from New Genesis), and Traya Sutton-Smith (a team mascot). Spoiler (Cluemaster’s daughter Stephanie Brown) and Lagoon Boy are both close associates/unofficial members of the team. Young Justice successfully handles Indigo (Brainiac 8), but the latter (possibly with assistance from Dark Opal of Gemworld) causes the teen super-team to permanently disband. Gemworld, in case you didn’t know, is a kingdom in the realm of Faerie. In the aftermath of the breakup, Robin forms a brand new Teen Titans with Cyborg (who is the elder at age twenty-two going on twenty-three), Starfire, Beast Boy (formerly Changeling), Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark), and Impulse. This version of the Teen Titans will continue with a rotating lineup until the end of next year before disbanding. Note that Dark Nights: Death Metal – The Last Stories of the DC Universe #1 Part 1 references this incarnation of the Teen Titans, but it also shows Conner Kent in the lineup. Don’t forget Conner Kent doesn’t exist in the Rebirth Era, so this reference is completely bunk, meant merely as a nod to the “fractured” false memory of the Modern Age version of the team.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #44, Batman Vol. 3 #50, and Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Batman – Hush #1—and referenced in All-Star Batman #10, All-Star Batman #13, Batman: Prelude to the Wedding Part 2 – Nightwing vs Hush #1, Detective Comics #990, and Detective Comics #1032. Originally told in “HUSH.” One of Bruce’s closest childhood friends, Dr. Tommy Elliot, returns to Gotham and becomes the super-villain known as Hush. Armed with knowledge of Bruce’s identity as Batman, an injured Elliot wraps bandages around his face and, as Hush, strikes the surprised Caped Crusader, first by hiring Poison Ivy to mind-control a mutated Killer Croc and Catwoman. Killer Croc and Catwoman attack Batman, but the Dark Knight is able to free the minds of those she has held captive. Batman then nurses his wounds and regroups with Catwoman and Alfred in the Batcave. Before heading out to take on Poison Ivy, Batman and Catwoman make out! The Bat and the Cat successfully take down Poison Ivy, who briefly manages to control Superman’s mind. After a bunch of mind games, Hush reveals himself in grandiose fashion. In the end, Batman (with help from a surgically-repaired Harvey Dent!) successfully defeats Hush. Batman, however, learns a sobering truth about his old friend. Years ago, a young Tommy cut the brake cables on his parents’ car, resulting in their untimely deaths. Tommy tells Bruce that he has no regrets about killing his parents, only wishing that he would have done it at their favorite family getaway in the Florida Keys instead of in Gotham. After this case wraps, Batman tells the Bat-Family all about his tragic relationship with Hush. (Note that Batman Vol. 3 #50 contains two separate “Hush” flashback splash pages, one by Becky Cloonan and the other by Jim Lee, Scott Williams, and Alex Sinclair. Both show Batman and Catowman kissing.)

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #50. Batman lurks outside of Catwoman’s apartment window. (Note that this splash page is drawn in Lee Bermejo’s specific artistic style and does not represent any actual costume that Batman has worn in-continuity. However, both Batman and Catwoman’s costumes seem to be most closely linked to what they’d both be wearing at this point on our timeline, hence placement here.)

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #50. The Neal Adams splash from Batman Vol. 3 #50 could easily occur immediately after Lee Bermejo’s splash (and also make the latter seem way less creepy), which is precisely why I’ve placed it here. Batman and Catwoman pose atop her apartment building.

–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 Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #73—originally told in JLA #80-82 (“THE WHITE RAGE”). Axis America (a White supremacist super-villain group consisting of ÜbermenschHel, The Mouth, and Mason) tricks the public into believing the Justice League has caused a massacre at their commune. The JL is able to undo this illusion and clear the team’s name.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Secret Files #3 Part 1. Bruce approves heartily as a contemporary of his, millionaire philanthropist Karl Fogle, purchases a gentrifying neighborhood and obtains landmark status for it just so that its low-income residents won’t get pushed out. Kudos to Fogle, a true superhero.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman and The Outsiders Vol. 3 #1—and referenced in Batman and The Outsiders Vol. 3 #2-3. and Batman and The Outsiders Vol. 3 #17. Batman shuts down The Ark Program, a consortium of evil billionaires that kidnap poor people to experiment on them in the hopes of creating their own superhuman. Batman burns down the Ark Program’s lab, but the architects of the sinister experiment execute nearly all of their subjects. Batman is only able to save a few people, including the Ramos family and someone named Ishmael. Ishmael goes missing, but Bruce and Lucius Fox set up the Ramos family with a house in California and a new lease on life. However, tragically, Ana Ramos dies due to complications from the Ark experiments. Gabriel Ramos is left to raise his young daughter Sofia Ramos, who has healing powers, all by himself. With dad’s permission, Batman implants a surgical tracking implant inside of Sofia’s body. Gabriel tells Batman all about his daughter. Batman will keep tabs on the Ramoses this way, moving forward. He promises the Ramoses they will always be safe from harm. The Dark Knight also meets a former Markovian arms dealer named Kaliber, whom he tasks with acting as the Ramoses guardian angel protector (from a distance).

–Batman Secret Files #2 Part 5
Batman chases after a fugitive Bane, following him to Tegucigalpa, Honduras. There, Batman learns that Bane is stalking AN6, a brutal Latin American cartel, which has kidnapped famous muckraking journalist Daniel Chirinos. Batman studies up on Chirinos’ work, finding that he visited the prison where Bane grew up while Bane was living there as a teen. By the time Batman finds the AN6 lair, Bane has already torched the place, which is strewn with dead AN6 members and a dead Chirinos. Batman will never know, but Bane once gave a deeply personal interview to Chirinos and has now silenced him in an effort to prevent the interview from ever going public.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Forge #1 and Doomsday Clock #5. The Outsiders disband and reform, operating under Batman’s same primary mission to explore the “dark metal” mystery. This version of the team includes Nightwing, Arsenal, Grace Choi, Indigo (Brainiac 8), Shift, Starfire, and Jade. (Note that Jade is Alan Scott’s daughter, though at this time, everyone’s memories of her dad are blocked, meaning no one is aware of this connection, not even Jade herself.) Likewise, Captain Boomerang Jr (Captain Boomerang’s son Owen Mercer) was originally a member of this Outsiders lineup in the Modern Age too, but—as per Suicide Squad Vol. 5 #47—Owen doesn’t get into the costumed vigilante game in the Rebirth Era, instead becoming a wealthy inventor and tech industrialist. Furthermore, Thunder (Black Lightning’s daughter, Anissa Pierce) was also a member of this lineup, but she would be too young to have debuted as a superhero at this juncture, so she’s not here in the Rebirth Era either.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 Annual #4. March. MMA champion Henry Feder publicly challenges Batman to a fight. Batman turns him down. Over the course of the next year, Feder will mock Batman and continuously challenge him.

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing/Magilla Gorilla #1. Nightwing gets in a heated argument with Batman. It is unknown what their fight is about.

–NOTE: In a reference in Doomsday Clock #5, Doomsday Clock #8, and Detective Comics #992—and originally told in JSA #51-56. Black Adam publicly kills the leader of Kobra, Jeffrey Franklin Burr, by ripping out his heart. Black Adam then ousts the dictatorial leaders of the Middle Eastern nation of Kahndaq. He becomes the country’s new totalitarian ruler.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #965 and Batman/Superman Vol. 2 #2. Batman and Robin decipher some Kryptonian coding theory and, in the process, learn a bit more about advanced Kryptonian computer technology. They also begin teaching themselves how to read and speak the Kryptonian verbal language, which is sometimes called Kryptonese.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21, Detective Comics #967 and Batman Vol. 3 Annual #4—originally told in “IDENTITY CRISIS.” March 30. Robin’s dad, Jack Drake, is killed by Captain Boomerang. A funeral is held. Just like Batman and Nightwing, Robin is now an orphan. Bruce adopts Tim, becoming his legal guardian. Tim, marked by this tragedy, will become more distant from Batman, moving forward. He will rarely be home, likely staying mostly at Teen Titans HQ.

–REFERENCE: In Flash #762, Flash #768-769, and Flash Forward #6—originally told in Flash Vol. 2 #220-225. Wally West has recently married Linda Park (now Linda Park-West), who now gives birth to twins (Iris “Irey” West and Jai West)!

–NOTE: In Doomsday Clock #5 and Titans Giant #3 (aka Titans: Burning Rage #5)—originally told in Teen Titans Vol. 3 #22-23 (“LIGHTS OUT”). Batman is not in this item, but it bears mentioning because of its link to the Rebirth Era history of the Teen Titans. The Teen Titans lineup now includes Robin, Beast Boy, Starfire, Raven, Cyborg, new Speedy (Mia Dearden), Red Star (Leonid Kovar), Hawk (now having returned to his old moniker following his villainous stint as “Extant”), and Dove.[1] When Dr. Light swears public vengeance on the Teen Titans, the young heroes—along with Nightwing, Flamebird (former Bat-Girl Bette Kane), Starfire, Arsenal, and Tempest—defeat him in battle.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman: Urban Legends # 1 Part 1—and referenced in Trinity Vol. 2 Annual #1 Epilogue, Batman Vol. 3 #33, Red Hood & The Outlaws Vol. 2 #16, and Red Hood: Outlaw #35. Originally told in “UNDER THE HOOD.” Jason Todd makes his dramatic return as the super-villain/anti-hero Red Hood. He makes his presence felt in the Gotham underworld by murdering eight top mob lieutenants and delivering their severed heads in a duffel bag to their bosses. Red Hood then plays mind games with both Batman and Nightwing while the heroes deal with Black Mask. Red Hood attacks Batman one-on-one and shockingly unmasks. Stunned at the fact that Jason is alive, Batman and the Bat-Family struggle in battle against him. The fight ends in a stalemate. Batman returns home to talk to Alfred about Jason’s return. A compassionate Alfred tells Batman that they both let down Jason, but Batman is unable to view him as a former pupil and son, now only seeing him as an unstable foe.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #1001. Batman defeats a forgettable small-time criminal, who, as a result of the encounter, develops a rare skin condition that requires painful ongoing treatment to extend his life. Undergoing a radical transformation, the loser becomes the powerful super-villain Terminus.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Forge #1. Mr. Terrific begins living part-time on Earth-2, moving freely between the Bleed from Earth-1, back and forth. Batman is made aware of this fact.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Forge #1 and Green Arrow Vol. 6 #32. As part of his secret investigation into the dangerous “dark energy” signature, Batman begins a global search for the mystery metal linked to it. Bruce and Lucius Fox set up fourteen Wayne Enterprises “Black Sites,” secret science facilities whose sole purpose is to mine-for and study any geological anomalies linked to the strange metal. (We aren’t told about where the “Black Sites” are located, except for #14, which is a science drilling rig on a volcanic island in the Bermuda Triangle.) At site #14, Dr. Madison leads a team of scientists to study metals in the Earth’s core. Since several of the “Black Sites” involve magma and deep underground drilling, Batman builds a brand new lava-proof mech suit that he can use to travel deep under the Earth’s surface (and to use in case of emergency). Via his secret drilling operations, Batman finds some evidence that the “dark energy” could be linked to an unknown region beyond the known multiverse. Fearing that the very existence of this “dark energy” metal could be dangerous to all life on the planet, the Caped Crusader consults the smartest man he knows, Mr. Terrific, to assist on research at the “Black Sites.” Since Batman knows Mr. Terrific lives part-time on Earth-2, Batman asks him to run similar geological tests there. In doing so, Mr. Terrific finds a cosmic frequency that exists in the Bleed that is similar to the “dark energy” signature. Batman (as both Batman and Bruce Wayne) will monitor his Black Sites and sporadically consult with Mr. Terrific for years to come.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Forge #1, Dark Nights: Metal #5, The Terrifics #1, and The Terrifics #5. Mr. Terrific meets with a troubled and completely unstable Plastic Man, who has been having increasingly worse nightmares night by night. Realizing that Plastic Man’s dreams are linked to the ongoing dark metal investigation, Mr. Terrific runs tests on him with Batman. They learn that Plastic Man is a superconductor for dark cosmic energy—he’s literally been experiencing the nightmares of every living being on multiple universes. Further examination and extraction of molecules reveals that Plastic Man can physically access the Dark Multiverse! After Batman preps him and explains a priori ideas about the Dark Multiverse, Plastic Man agrees to help his friends by acting as a human probe of the Dark Multiverse. However, shortly after he crosses over, Plastic Man quickly returns in a state of utter catatonic shock. His nightmare visions increase tenfold and his impulse to give into pure evil becomes overpowering. Thus, Plastic Man puts himself into an inert (and unconscious) permanent egg shape. Batman, Mr. Terrific, and select unknown others discuss (likely the Outsiders) the danger Plastic Man poses, even as an egg. They decide to put him into stasis and top secret storage. (Note that The Terrifics #5 specifically tells us that Plastic Man will be stuck in egg form for around five years.)

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #14. By this point in Batman’s career, his public repute as being unbeatable and prepared for anything has been cemented. This is so much the case that he and Alfred begin hearing the saying, “Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman,” which enters the lexicon as a popular American aphorism.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #43. Batman invents and adds a machine that can dress him in his Bat-costume while he is driving the Batmobile. This amazing device, along with numerous spare costumes, goes into each Batmobile. Talk about getting changed on the go!

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #22. Batman and Nightwing team-up to bust Penguin’s top enforcer/henchman Stallion.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Casting #1. Batman spies-on and learns all about Project Cadmus, a secret super-science organization that, among other bizarre experiments, creates genetically-modified lifeforms known as DNAliens. Batman meets one of Cadmus’ top scientists, a telepathic DNAlien named Dubbilex.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #22 and Nightwing Vol. 4 #27. Batman and Nightwing bust super-villain couple Giz (Brendan Li) and Mouse (Pamela Sweigeld) as they attempt to break Catman out of Arkham Asylum. Giz is an expert computer hacker who owns a pet squirrel named Goober. Mouse is an acrobatic genius thief who has trained under Catwoman.

–REFERENCE: In Trinity Vol. 2 Annual #1. Bruce gets into the restaurant business, heading what will become Gotham’s most expensive Michelin-star rated eatery. We are not told whether Bruce buys a pre-existing restaurant or starts this one up from square one. Either is a possibility.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Nights: Metal #1, Action Comics #1004, and Justice League Vol. 4 #12—originally told in “WORLD’S FINEST (PUBLIC ENEMIES).” When a giant Kryptonite asteroid plummets toward Earth, President Luthor takes the opportunity to frame Superman and push him to the top of America’s Most Wanted List. Batman comes to Superman’s aid against hordes of heroes and villains alike—including Mongul (Mongul’s son), Solomon Grundy, Mr. Freeze, Nightshade, Gorilla Grodd, Lady Shiva, Mr. Polka-Dot, Black Spider, the Cheetah, Black Manta, Captain Atom, Major Force, Katana, John Stewart, Black Lightning, Power Girl, and Starfire. Batman and Superman evade their tormentors and infiltrate the White House to publicly expose President Luthor as a drug-addled super-villain, revealing his addiction to Venom and synthetic Kryptonite to the entire world via live TV broadcast. President Luthor flips-out, dons a large war-mech version of his old green super-suit, and attacks the heroes. Thirteen-year-old super-genius Hiro Okamura (aka the newest and third Toyman) offers his assistance to Batman and Superman, building a cheeky gigantic Composite Superman-Batman robo-spaceship, which he rams into the asteroid to save the planet. Exposed as a criminal, Luthor goes into hiding. He is immediately impeached and fired from his post, leaving his tenure as POTUS at a mere few months in length. Pete Ross is sworn-in as the new POTUS, making Lana Lang the new First Lady. Superman keeps Luthor’s war-suit as a trophy.

–REFERENCE: In Wonder Woman/Justice League Dark: The Witching Hour #1 and Wonder Woman Vol. 5 #56—originally told in JLA #100 and Justice League Elite #1-12. An angry Gaea (the Greco-Roman Goddess of Earth) begins to ravage the planet with a series of natural disasters. As part of an elaborate plan, Vera Lynn Black—sister of Superman rival Manchester Black—re-forms her brother’s old super-villain team known as the Elite, but only in order to stage a mock battle against the Justice League. This mock battle fools Gaea into backing down. Afterward, the JL and the UN approve of Vera continuing the Elite as the Justice League Elite. The new team consists of Vera (who goes by “Sister Superior”), Green Arrow, Manitou Raven, Major Disaster, Coldcast, Menagerie, The Hat, Naif al-Sheikh, and Kasumi (an undercover Cassie Cain, who secretly reports back to Batman). The JLElite fights the evil aliens known as The Aftermath, during which Manitou Raven is killed. Soon after, Manchester Black returns and takes control of his sister’s mind and body. Along with the godlike super-villainess Eve, Manchester Black combats the JLElite, JL, and Dawn, who becomes the shaman Manitou Dawn. The heroes win the day, but the JL decides to permanently disband the JLElite, deeming it a failed experiment.

–FLASHBACK: From Robin 80th Anniversary 100-Page Spectacular Part 8—and referenced in Young Justice Vol. 3 #18. Originally told in Robin Vol. 2 #124-130. Jack Drake finds out that his son is Robin, and he is not pleased. This causes such a kerfuffle that Tim resigns from his superhero post! Batman wastes no time in immediately appointing Stephanie Brown as the new Robin! She dons one of Time’s spare costumes. On Stephanie’s second night as Robin, she attends a school dance, much to the chagrin of Batman. On day three, Batman and the new Robin train, after which Alfred designs a special Robin costume just for her. The fresh Dynamic Duo brings down an escaped Firefly at an amusement park, but they don’t work very smoothly together. On day four, Batman, dedicated to making it work with his new Girl Wonder, builds a changing station for Stephanie in the Batcave. However, after only a few more adventures together with Batman, Stephanie disobeys an order, which results in her termination. With his dad’s reluctant approval, Tim becomes Robin again.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #37—originally told in Superman/Batman #20-25 (“WITH A VENGEANCE”). During a fight against Atomic Skull, Batman and Superman are kidnapped by The Maximums, anti-heroes from an alternate timeline that are secretly working for Lex Luthor. Eventually, thanks to some “help” from Batzarro and Bizarro #1 (strange backwards versions of Batman and Superman, representing Earth-29’s Unjustice League of Unamerica), the heroes discover that the entire Maximum timeline (along with the Maximums themselves) have been created by Mr. Mxyzptlk on behalf of Joker (likely the Comedian). Batman, Superman, Bat-Mite, Bizarro, and a host of superheroes from multiple alternate timelines gather together to defeat Lex Luthor, Darkseid, Joker, the Maximums, and a host of super-villains from multiple alternate timelines! Afterward, Mr. Mxyzptlk erases the Maximum timeline from existence.

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #5-6—originally told in JLA Classified #1-3. In deep space, the Justice League, sans Batman, gets trapped in the tiny pocket universe called Qwewq. In Africa, the International Ultramarine Corps—along with new members The Olympian and the Tasmanian Devil—fight against Nebula Man, Gorilla Grodd, and an army of Ape-Men. When the IUC goes down hard, Squire (Beryl Hutchinson) phones Batman for help. Together, Batman and Squire rescue the JL and contain the tiny Qwewq. The heroes then boom to Africa to join the battle. Nebula Man reveals that he is the adult form of Qwewq, which is a sentient time-traveling alternate universe from the future. After defeating the villains, the IUC decides to enter the infant Qwewq to become its peacekeepers and ensure that it doesn’t grow up to become the evil Nebula Man.

–REFERENCE: In Adventures of the Super Sons #8—originally told in Nightwing Vol. 2 #99-100. Tarantula moves to Gotham City and begins using lethal force to bring down criminals. Batman brands Tarantula a villain and tells her to piss-off, which leads to Nightwing busting her.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Dark Vol. 2 #8—originally told in JSA #54. The Justice League and Mr. Terrific defeat Kulak the Sorcerer and The Warlock of Ys.

–REFERENCE: In ???—originally told in “DEATH AND THE MAIDENS.” Nyssa Raatko al Ghul kills her father Ra’s al Ghul and takes over the League of Assassins alongside her sister Talia.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #34. Batman encounters Talia al Ghul’s elite League of Assassins fighting unit, several dozen warriors collectively known as The Silent Soldiers of the Pit, who have cut out their own tongues and sworn allegiance to Talia and Talia alone.

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #10. Bruce and Alfred learn about a theoretical technology called a “Genesis Engine,” which could potentially be used as a weapon. Finding only circumstantial evidence of its existence, they both dismiss it as fiction.

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

–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 Mera: Queen of Atlantis #1—originally told in Aquaman Vol. 6 #21-22 (“WITH THE FISHES”). When Gotham gangster Mortimer Coolidge becomes a telekinetic undersea super-villain called The Eel, Batman and Aquaman team up to defeat him.

–REFERENCE: In The Green Lantern #5—originally told in Green Lantern: Rebirth #1-6. When Spectre (the ghost of Hal Jordan) brutally injures Black Hand, Batman trashes Hal, accusing him of being an out-of-control super-villain. Soon after, Kyle Rayner and Guardian of the Universe Ganthet arrive with Hal’s corpse. They warn the heroes that Parallax is coming back. Sure enough, Parallax soon arrives and overpowers the Spectre, taking control of Hal’s soul. Now with the combined power of the Spectre and Parallax, ghost Hal fights all the heroes. The Spectre is able eject both Parallax and the spirit of Hal out of his body. Hal’s spirit is then forced back into his body by the power of his old ring. Hal is resurrected! Back as a Green Lantern, Hal teams-up with the rest of the heroes to fight Sinestro and a Parallax-infected Ganthet. Batman argues with Hal, which results in a punch to the face. Eventually, the Green Lantern Corp takes over the battle and wins the day.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #32—originally told in Man-Bat Vol. 3 #1-5 (“THE RETURN”). Hush hires the super-villain Murmur to frame Man-Bat for screwing-up Black Mask’s operations. Batman shuts down the resultant battle-royale involving Hush, Murmur, Black Mask, and Man-Bat.

–REFERENCE: In Heroes in Crisis #3—originally told in Green Lantern Vol. 4 #9. Batman and Hal Jordan defeat the debuting Tattooed Man II (Mark Richards) in Gotham.

–REFERENCE: In Catwoman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular Part 10. Catwoman, having just gotten intel from her pals Slam Bradley and Holly Robinson, notifies Batman that an escaped Joker is targeting a prominent senator at a Gotham arena. Presumably, Batman busts Joker thanks to the hot tip. (It’s unclear which Joker appears here.)

–Detective Comics #1027 Part 4
When some of her fellow officers try to plant evidence to cover up their own crimes, Officer Lynn Baker tells her superiors, Detectives Renee Montoya and Crispus Allen. The bad cops try to kill the scrupulous cops, but thankfully, Batman is waiting in the wings. He swoops in and takes out the crooked policemen. Batman then suggests to Commissioner Gordon that Officer Baker should be promoted to the Major Crimes Unit.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #6, Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #10, Batwoman Vol. 3 #6, Blue Beetle Vol. 9 #9-12, Detective Comics #967, Detective Comics #980, Tales from the Dark Multiverse: Infinite Crisis #1, and Batman/Superman Vol. 2 #6—originally told in DC Countdown #1, The OMAC Project and DC Universe Presents #0 Part 1. Batman learns that he was mind-wiped by several of his superhero peers four years ago, thus exposing the “mind-wipe scandal.” As a direct response, a pissed-off Batman and Mr. Terrific secretly begin working on “The Observational Metahuman Activity Construct Project” aka “The OMAC Project.” This scheme, meant to be the ultimate surveillance device/counter-measure against the threat of super-villainy and/or superhero overreach, consists of a super-AI program called Brother I, an orbiting satellite panopticon designed to monitor and police the globe using thousands of remote-controlled OMAC soldiers. Batman and Mr. Terrific don’t get very far in their programming before they run into problems. Despite not even being half-built, Brother I gains sentience and goes rogue (thanks to the secret machinations of a sneaky Max Lord, who has betrayed his fellow Checkmate operatives Sasha Bordeaux and Jessica Midnight). Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) catches wind of Lord’s shenanigans, but gets a bullet in his head courtesy of Lord. (Note that while Lord definitely shoots Kord in the head here to successfully silence him, Kord does not die. This is a big difference between the Modern Age and Rebirth Era. Mariko Tamki’s 2019 Wonder Woman run plays it vague whether or not Lord is killed by Wonder Woman (as he was in the original Infinite Crisis). Tamaki includes much dialogue about the killing, and Wonder Woman #767 even shows a flashback of the execution, but much of the run’s narrative is about Max having seen his fate on other Earths, so we don’t really know if Max actually dies here. Plus, he’ll soon show up alive and well again, so if he does die, then there’s a resurrection at play as well.) Having been influenced by Lord, the re-christened “Brother Eye” attempts to go live early with plans to destroy all metahumans. Thankfully, Batman is able to shut down Brother Eye, putting the evil AI on the shelf indefinitely. However, before going down for the count, Brother Eye sends out a sliver of itself via a techno-virus, which winds up merging with flu shots all over America. Teenager Kevin Kho gets injected with the virus, becoming Brother Eye’s destructive “One Machine Attack Construct” (or OMAC). While the magna pars of Brother Eye will remain unfinished and dormant inside the Bat-computer network, the sliver of Brother Eye that escaped will remain active and communicative whenever Kho morphs into OMAC. Thankfully, Kho will be able to resist the tiny bit of Brother Eye connected to his system, allowing him to relatively control it and become a superhero. Presumably, Batman and Mr. Terrific will monitor OMAC’s actions, moving forward. (Note that, thanks to Detective Comics #967, the narrative pertaining to this Brother Eye debut item is radically different from any prior incarnation, and this includes both the Modern Age and New 52 versions of the story, which were both based off of The OMAC Project.)

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 5 #28, Doomsday Clock #6, Adventures of the Super Sons #1, Detective Comics #990, Detective Comics #1010, Deathstroke Vol. 4 #38, Flash Vol. 5 #61, and Justice League Vol. 4 #22, Batman Giant #7 (aka Batman: Universe #3), Naomi #4, Nightwing Vol. 4 #68, Dark Nights: Death Metal – Multiverse’s End #1, and Dark Nights: Death Metal #4—originally told in Batman #645-647, JLA #115-119 (“CRISIS OF CONSCIENCE”), JLA #121-123 (“WORLD WITHOUT A JUSTICE LEAGUE”), Catwoman Vol. 3 #51, Rann-Thanagar War, Nightwing Vol. 2 #116-117, Nightwing Vol. 2 Annual #2, and Infinite Crisis. Two schemers from erased timelines that were destroyed during the original “Crisis”—an alternate Lex Luthor named Alexander Luthor Jr and an alternate Superboy named Superboy-Prime—have managed to preserve their existence using cosmic magick. Now unleashed upon Universe-0 (thanks to Superboy-Prime literally shattering reality via a meta-punch), they aim to bring back their own worlds at the expense of the very existence of the current multiverse. (Luthor Jr is being secretly influenced by the evil über-goddess Perpetua.) For the first part of the dastardly plan, Luthor Jr rallies all the bad guys into a Secret Society of Super-villains. Black Mask says he will only join the Society if they help him kill Red Hood. In response, the Society sends Captain Nazi, Count Vertigo, and Hyena (Dr. Jivan Shi) after Red Hood. (Unknown to all, Hyena is actually secretly a Department of Metahuman Affairs agent.) Batman reluctantly teams with Red Hood to fend them off. Shortly thereafter, the Justice League disbands. Luthor Jr and Superboy-Prime then initiate the next phase of their plan. With the help of Kanjar Ro, they initiate an interplanetary conflict, which devolves into the Rann-Thanagar War. Luthor Jr and Superboy-Prime then initiate the third and final part of their master plan, starting a new “Crisis” by severely damaging the Watchtower, attacking all the heroes, and dropping Chemo onto Blüdhaven. Eventually, as per usual during these crises, the sky turns bright red. This leads to a series of huge clashes—including Catwoman taking on Black Mask and Angle Man—and the brief return of an alternate Superman from another erased timeline (Kal-L). In Gotham, Dick proposes to Babs, but tells her not to answer until the crisis is over. Soon after, the villains are defeated in what comes to be known as “The Battle of Metropolis.” Many are killed, including Judomaster (killed by Bane) and Luthor Jr (killed by Joker). (This Joker could be the Comedian but is likely the Clown.) Likewise, Nightwing is badly injured and goes into a coma. Plus, reality gets temporarily screwed-up and re-written, but eventually the timeline returns back to how it was before. Luthor Jr’s corpse is put into secure storage by the JL, and it will be held in storage by all future incarnations of the JL. Note that the JL trophies are salvaged during this affair, but the actual lunar Watchtower structure remains damaged beyond repair. While still technically standing and inhabitable, the team will not be able to use it, moving forward. Also of note, the Spectre chooses a new host: the ghost of recently murdered GCPD Detective Crispus Allen. Following “Crisis III” (“Crisis II” was the “Crisis in Time”), Dick wakes up from his coma. Babs returns his engagement ring and they decide it’s best to just remain friends. Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman decide to take the rest of the year off, each going on sabbaticals. Batman obtains a surgically-repaired Harvey Dent’s release from Arkham Asylum, briefly trains him, and appoints him as Gotham’s temporary protector. Bruce, Dick, and Tim then travel abroad, where they will remain for the rest of the year. (Note that this Rebirth Era version of Infinite Crisis is bare bones, quite radically different and stripped-down from its original version.)

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #5 and Action Comics #1004—originally told in 52 #3, 52 #5, and 52 #34. Kahndaqi ruler Black Adam publicly executes super-villain Terra-Man, who had committed several crimes after violating Kahndaqi airspace. This sets an ominous precedent of extreme violence by Black Adam toward unsanctioned foreigners within Kahndaq’s borders. Meanwhile, in the States, a team of attorneys exonerates Lex Luthor of any illegal activity that he’s partaken of in the past year, basically giving him a fresh start with a clean slate. Luthor is able to pin every bad thing he did this year, including his Presidential criminalities, on his deceased alternate universe counterpart, Alexander Luthor Jr. Regaining control of LexCorp, Lex enacts the “Everyman Project,” which can turn anyone willing into a super-powered metahuman as long as their genetic make-up syncs with the procedure. People begin lining-up around the block to become superheroes. Unknown to the public, Lex has the control to turn the “Everyman” powers on and off. With hundreds given powers, Lex shuts them down without warning. Hundreds of flying “Everymen” plummet to their deaths. Downtown Metropolis is devastated with piles of bodies and a ton of property damage. (Lex will eventually be charged but acquitted of all crimes related to the Everyman Disaster. He will, however, suffer serious financial losses due to various lawsuits.)

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #969—originally told in 52 #33. Massive corruption swells within the ranks of the GCPD. Despite having a clean record and being an honorable man, Commissioner Akins is forced to resign. Jim Gordon comes out of retirement and becomes commissioner once again!

–REFERENCE: In Dark Nights: Metal #1-2 and Nightwing Vol. 4 #29. Bruce is a celebrant in the mystical askesis known as the Thögal (aka Tögal) ritual, during which he learns that Simon Hurt has messed with his head. Unsure of the details of Hurt’s actions, Batman creates an anti-trigger backup personality based upon his years-old “Zur-En-Arrh” hallucination.

–REFERENCE: In Blue Beetle Vol. 9 #11-12. Project Cadmus secretly takes DNA samples from many of the world’s superheroes and super-villains, including Batman.

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #8 and Heroes in Crisis #7—originally told in 52 #44-46, 52 #49, World War III, and 52 #51-52. Egg Fu (Chang Tzu) captures a bunch of scientists and forces them to create gigantic techno-organic warriors known as The Four Horsemen. The Horsemen—Azraeuz, Yurrd, Rogga, and Zorrm (better known as Death, Famine, War, and Pestilence of the Four Horsemen)—attack Kahndaq, causing massive casualties, including Black Adam’s wife Isis. In retaliation, Black Adam attacks the nation of Bialya and Egg Fu’s home-base on Oolong Island, setting off a weeklong “world war” in the Middle East. Black Adam is defeated and left powerless, although he flees back to Kahndaq where he will soon regain his powers and his throne. Batman wasn’t involved in the war against Black Adam, but he definitely was following along. Afterward, Bruce attends a memorial service to honor the fallen victims. Meanwhile, Booster Gold and “Time Master” Rip Hunter begin investigating Skeets, who has come under the control of the evil cosmic caterpillar known as Mr. Mind. Booster Gold and Rip Hunter free Skeets, defeating and imprisoning Mr. Mind in a time-loop.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #990—originally told in “ONE YEAR LATER/FACE THE FACE.” Batman returns from his sabbatical to find evidence that Harvey Dent has been using lethal force in his efforts to protect Gotham. Considering Harvey’s trial period as a superhero a failure, Batman angrily confronts him, but Harvey denies the accusations. Harvey is so upset at Batman’s mistrust that he pours acid on his own face, becoming Two-Face all over again. Batman re-jails Two-Face only to learn that he was indeed innocent. A super-villain called The Tally Man, in the employ of the Great White Shark, framed poor Harvey.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 Annual #4. MMA fighter Henry Feder, who has been mocking and challenging Batman to fight him all year long, is charged with domestic abuse. When a video surfaces of Feder beating up his girlfriend, Batman finally agrees to face him. A UFC match is scheduled for March.


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  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: In the original Modern Age arc, the Hawk featured here was not Hank Hall, but instead Dove’s sister Holly Granger. Doomsday Clock #5 implies that the Hawk in the Rebirth Era version of this event is still Hank Hall.

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