Year Twelve

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(2014)

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–NOTE: Via reference in Doomsday Clock #6. Oracle adds the new rookie Judomaster (Sonia Sato) to her rotating Birds of Prey lineup.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #57. Harley Quinn steals the famous Camden Madonna painting from the Gotham Museum, drawing Batman’s attention and ire.

–REFERENCE: In Batgirl Vol. 5 Annual #1. Superman’s cousin, Supergirl (Kara Zor-El), debuts.

–REFERENCE: In the second feature to All-Star Batman #11 and the second feature to All-Star Batman #14. Bruce learns of the horrific mafia-related activities of the richest family on the planet, the Myasnik family of Russia. This family runs the Myasnik Mob, specifically led by its patriarch Papa Myasnik and his daughter Victoria Myasnik (aka “Princess Vik”). Despite being notoriously criminal, the Myasniks control entire countries and are untouchable by the law. Bruce will follow news and rumors about the Myasniks with keen interest, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In Aquaman Vol. 8 #49—originally told in Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #50-51. Aquaman is murdered by his own son Koryak. (Koryak, also known as Narwhal, is the son of one of Aquaman’s former lovers, Kako.) Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Hal Jordan, and Flash travel to Atlantis to attend Aquaman’s funeral.

–REFERENCE: In Shade the Changing Girl/Wonder Woman Special #1, Justice League Vol. 3 #39, Adventures of the Super Sons #1, and Wonder Twins #1. The Justice League reboots its lineup yet again and also sets-up two new state-of-the-art headquarters: a new orbiting Watchtower satellite and a revamped Hall of Justice in Washington DC. Unlike in previous eras, the Watchtower on the moon still stands, although it remains unused. And unlike in previous eras, the Hall of Justice is not a new building that is created now. It’s been around since the early days of the JL, so we must simply assume that the Hall is now revamped and put back into use for the first time in over a decade.

–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 Detective Comics #1008. Batman fights an escaped Joker at Bolland Park (an amusement park that is an analogue of Coney Island). Writer Peter Tomasi insinuates that Bolland Park is supposed to be the now-refurbished and gentrified amusement park from The Killing Joke. However, Doomsday Clock #2 clearly shows that the abandoned amusement park from The Killing Joke stays rundown and condemned, so this cannot be that same place. Nice try.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21, Doomsday Clock #9, and Dial H for Hero #1—originally told in The Brave and the Bold Vol. 3 #27. Robby Reed uses an H-Dial for the first time in a long time, turning himself into a telepath known as Mental Man. Robby then sees a premonition that prompts him to give his H-Dial to wandering hobo Travers Milton, whose destiny is to team-up with Batman. Sure enough, a powered-up Milton teams-up with the Dark Knight to defeat an escaped Joker. Milton dies and the H-Dial returns to Robby. Batman and Alfred note how even non-users can feel the H-Dial’s power resonate in their minds when it is activated. Batman tells Alfred to notify him immediately if an H-Dial is used again in the future. Note that this H-Dial—or at least one of the H-Dials (as there are multiple H-Dials now)—will eventually go into the JL’s trophy room at some point in the next couple years.

–REFERENCE: In Heroes in Crisis #7—originally told in Booster Gold Vol. 2 #1 Part 2. Rip Hunter meets with Booster Gold and exclaims that all of history is in a “malleable” state. Basically, the entire past of the DCU is like wet cement and is filled with temporal anomalies in the form of very accessible worm-holes. These worm-holes are vulnerable to manipulation by evil forces and thus, Rip Hunter recruits Booster Gold (and Skeets) to travel throughout the timestream to seal up the holes and fix any possible errors. Soon after, Batman offers Booster Gold a spot on the JL, but Booster turns it down in order to take on the more important ongoing mission with Rip Hunter. Soon after that, Batman learns about Booster and Rip’s mission. From this point forward, Rip will give Batman constant updates about every mission he and Booster go on, always logging this info into a database known as the “Time-Break Files.”

–REFERENCE: In Green Arrow Vol. 6 #37. Batman meets the violent superhero Manhunter, who is secretly high-profile attorney Kate Spencer.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #38—originally told in Batman #659-662 (“GROTESK”). Cyborg vigilante Grotesk (Wayne Franklin) begins assassinating Russian and Yakuza mobsters and stealing their body parts. Batman rescues Johnny Karaoke (head of the Yakuzas) and fights Grotesk, who accidentally falls to his death.

–REFERENCE: In Superman Vol. 4 #37. Batman collects a Lightning Rod, a mystical future artifact from the alien Lightning World of Winath. The Lightning Rod has the power to trap beings connected to the Speed Force. It can also sometimes be used to resurrect the dead at the expense of the life of another. In previous continuities, the Lightning Rod was an item linked to the 31st century’s Legion of Superheroes. However, in the New Age, we don’t know how Batman acquires it.

–REFERENCE: In The Green Lantern #1—originally told in The Brave & The Bold Vol. 3 #1-6 (“THE LORDS OF LUCK”). Batman and Hal Jordan discover that sixty-four identical corpses are scattered all over the globe. A clue leads the heroes to a Las Vegas casino owned by villainess Roulette. There, two aliens from the planet Ventura, members of The Lords of Luck (aka The Luck Lords), steal the Book of Destiny (as in Destiny of the Endless‘ book that tells the past, present, and future) from Roulette. Hal and Supergirl chase one Luck Lord to the planet Rann (which is still in the ongoing Rann-Thanagar War that started months ago) while Batman and 13-year-old Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes) go after the other in El Paso. During their pursuit, Batman and Blue Beetle fight immortal gun-runner La Dama (Amparo Cardenas), and time-traveling future villains Epoch (aka The Lord of Time) and The Fatal Five (Emerald Empress, Tharok, Mano, Validus, and Persuader). The Luck Lords use the Book of Destiny to destroy the entire multiverse, but, eventually, the heroes defeat Rannian war-monger Mondrath to regain control of the Book of Destiny, which they use to undo the Luck Lords’ devastation. Destiny then reclaims his tome.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Giant #6. The Rann-Thanagar War ends. Batman realizes that he actually doesn’t know much about the history of the war, nor does he know much about Rannian or Thanagarian culture. Batman notes to himself that he should do some research, but it’s not a top priority and he won’t ever actually get around to doing it.

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #5-6—originally told in Green Lantern Vol. 4 #15-17 (“WANTED: HAL JORDAN”). After being falsely accused of murder, Hal Jordan goes on an illegal mission to rescue his friend Cowgirl in Russia. There, Hal fights an army of Rocket Reds, a bunch of alien bounty hunters, and some mind-controlled Global Guardians—Jet, the Tasmanian Devil, Gloss, Crimson Fox (either one of the originals or a new one, unknown), Freedom Beast (Dominic Mndawe), Manticore IV, and Sandstorm. (As revealed in Doomsday Clock #8, Sandstorm is only a little boy. At this point, he’d probably be around six or seven-years-old.) The Justice League arrives and offers Hal support. (Hal will soon be found innocent of all charges.) Meanwhile, deep in the Antimatter Universe, Sinestro recruits members for his new group of Yellow Lanterns known as the Sinestro Corps. Hoping to turn Batman into a Yellow Lantern, he rockets a yellow power ring through the multiverse and onto Earth-0. The ring slips onto Batman’s finger and he freaks-out. However, Batman is able to use his willpower to reject the ring’s influence, sending the cosmic jewelry on a new search. Afterward, Batman has no idea what has just occurred. The yellow ring intended for Batman moves on and selects Amon Sur (son of Abin Sur) as the newest member of the Sinestro Corps.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Forge #1Doomsday Clock #5, and The Green Lantern #3—originally told in “OUTSIDERS: FIVE OF A KIND.” Batman disbands the Outsiders and forms a new version of his covert-ops team, featuring Martian Manhunter, Grace Choi, Thunder, Catwoman, Francine Langstrom, Green Arrow, ReMAC, The Creeper, Owlman (Roy Raymond Jr), Freight Train, and Olympian. Right out of the gate, Martian Manhunter and Thunder challenge Darkseid’s son Grayven. The Outsiders will continue going on unspecified missions and investigating the “dark energy” signature found in geological anomalies across the globe. (Note that Cassie Cain was originally a member of this Outsiders team in the Modern Age, but it is unlikely—although not impossible—that she is a member of this team in the New Age.)

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #10 and Deathstroke Vol. 4 #32—and also referenced in Superman Vol. 4 #20, Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #1, Deathstroke Vol. 4 #30, and Deathstroke Vol. 4 #34-35. Originally told in “BATMAN AND SON.” Talia al Ghul attacks Gibraltar with ninja man-bats, dropping a sword-wielding ten-year-old Damian in Batman’s lap. Batman is shocked to learn that he has a son. Batman brings the wild and haughty boy home to Wayne Manor, but Damian immediately raises hell, beating up Alfred and nearly killing Robin after impaling him on a stalactite in the Batcave. Damian then kills the Spook when the super-villain kidnaps Gotham’s corrupt new political leader, Mayor Sebastian Hady. Batman returns to Gibraltar (with Damian) when Talia strikes again, ending her threat. Despite Damian’s protests, the boy returns to the League of Assassins with his mother.

–REFERENCE: In Deathstroke Vol. 4 #30-35. Back in Gotham, Batman, who has secretly taken some of Damian’s DNA, confirms that the boy is indeed his genetic offspring via testing. Bruce and Alfred discuss the ramifications of this, and Bruce says he’ll tell the rest of the Bat-Family later. When he says nothing, a pissed-off Robin confronts Alfred about it. Meanwhile, Talia, wanting to mess with everyone’s heads, puts fake DNA test results, which say that Deathstroke is Damian’s real dad, on the dark web. She makes sure this fake info gets to Robin. Tim seals up the doctored test results, believing them to be real, and records a video for Damian, telling him about his findings. Unsure of what to do next, Tim decides to sit on the info. He saves the video but doesn’t send it, and he puts the falsified test results into a safe deposit box.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Nights: Metal #1-2Nightwing Vol. 4 #29, and Detective Comics Vol. 3 Annual #2—originally told in Batman #664-665 and Batman #667-679. Bruce begins dating Jezebel Jet. Batman defeats Josef Muller and Branca, Simon Hurt’s returning Substitute Batmen. After scanning his Black Casebook, Batman realizes his fight against them from seven years ago, which he had always thought was a mere hallucination, was actually real. Later, John Mayhew invites all the old members of the Club of Heroes to a reunion on his private island. Batman, along with Knight (Cyril Sheldrake) and the new Squire (Beryl Hutchinson), attends the reunion, which includes all the other former members. Hurt appears via remote live video feed, explaining that he controls the criminal organization known as the Black Glove and the heroes will soon suffer. The Legionary and the Ranger (now going by “Dark Ranger”) are both killed by a traitorous Wingman, who reveals he is in league with the Black Glove. Unfortunately for Wingman, the Black Glove is just using him. Mayhew shoots Wingman dead. Hurt, from his secret distant location, makes sure that Mayhew is fatally stranded on the island as a bomb is activated. Batman is now aware of the Black Glove, but he knows virtually nothing about the organization, and has yet to learn of Hurt’s involvement with the group.

–REFERENCE: In Deathstroke Vol. 4 #32—originally told in Batman Annual #26. Dusan al Ghul (Ra’s al Ghul’s biological son, aka “The White Ghost”) initiates a plan—based on a combination of his father’s “if I die” contingency and an 18th century prophecy—wherein which The Demon’s Head will be resurrected using Damian’s body as a host. (Talia has long known about the prophecy and her dad’s desire to use Damian as a vessel for his immortal soul, but she’s never been down with the idea.) Talia and Damian avoid an ambush by Dusan al Ghul and some League of Assassins ninjas, after which Batman shows-up to finish-off the bad guys.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #57. Harley Quinn kidnaps Animal Man’s children Cliff Baker and Maxine Baker. As ransom, she forces Animal Man to tell bedtime stories to her pet hyenas Bud and Lou. Batman reluctantly (and angrily) gets involved.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Nights: Metal #2, Super Sons #15, and Doomsday Clock #6—originally told in “UNLIMITED.” Lex Luthor, Joker, and the Cheetah start up a new incarnation of the Injustice League. Over two dozen super-villains gather at Luthor’s mobile Hall of Doom HQ in the Everglades. Notable villains on the roster include Luthor, Joker, the Cheetah, Dr. Light, Poison Ivy, Parasite, Deathstroke, Gorilla Grodd, Mr. Freeze, Giganta, Cheshire, Fatality, Manticore III (Saied), Shadow Thief, Jewelee, Mr. Terrible, and Volcano Man. Despite facing overwhelming odds, the better organized Justice League defeats the IJL.

–REFERENCE: In Heroes in Crisis #3—originally told in Titans Vol. 2 #1-2. Before a synopsis, don’t forget: the global mind-wipe of the memory of the original Teen Titans is still in effect! A brand new Teen Titans East—featuring Cyborg, Anima, Hawk (Holly Granger), Dove (Dawn Granger), Lagoon Boy, Son of Vulcan, Little Barda, and Power Boy—forms. The evil sons of Trigon (Raven’s demon father) greet the new team by brutally injuring all of them and murdering Power Boy. Thus, the Teen Titans East experiment ends after only one mission together. The spawn of Trigon also sends demons to attack the main roster of the Teen Titans—currently consisting of Robin, Miss Martian, Red Devil (aka Kid Devil), Ravager (Rose Wilson), Supergirl, and Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark). When demons assault a bunch of ex-Teen Titans, Nightwing responds by forming a new Titans team with Starfire, Red Arrow (formerly Arsenal), Beast Boy, Raven, Cyborg, and Donna Troy. These Titans, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman then scour the globe rescuing other ex-Teen Titans from Trigon’s kid’s henchmen. (Nightwing’s new Titans venture will only last a few months before disbanding.)

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #958 and Deathstroke Vol. 4 #32—originally told in “THE RESURRECTION OF RA’S AL GHUL.” Ra’s al Ghul is resurrected, but thanks to the machinations of his rival pop Sensei, his soul winds up in the poisoned body of a League of Assassins underling! At a League of Assassins hideout in Tibet, Talia introduces Damian to his grandfather, but Ra’s al Ghul isn’t a sentimental guy. He immediately demands use of Damian’s body to use as a host vessel. Talia and Damian flee, with the latter running to Wayne Manor for protection. Eventually, Robin and Damian are captured by ninjas and brought to Tibet. After Talia gives Batman the 12th century Suit of Sorrows, magickal armor linked to an ascetic splinter sect of the Order of St. Dumas known as The Order of Purity, the Dark Knight is ready for action. In Nanda Parbat, Batman, Nightwing, Alfred, and Talia wind up fighting two sects of the League of Assassins: one loyal to Ra’s al Ghul and the other loyal to the Sensei. Eventually, the Sensei is defeated and the boys are saved. Ra’s al Ghul is forced to leave his poisoned body and soul-hop into his son Dusan’s body. (This not only kills Dusan’s spirit and soul, but also erases his physical traits as Ra’s al Ghul’s physical traits replace them.) Ra’s al Ghul then assumes sole control of the League of Assassins once again. Batman and company then fight Ra’s al Ghul’s super-team known as The Seven Men of Death (Merlyn, a resurrected Hook, Maduvu, Shellcase, Whip, Detonator, and Razorburn) until Rama Kushna kicks everyone out of Nanda Parbat. Talia runs off with Damian. Afterward, Batman keeps the Suit of Sorrows as a trophy in the Batcave.

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #5-6, Detective Comics #992, and Action Comics #1010—originally told in Checkmate Vol. 2 #24-25 (“CASTLING”). The Checkmate organization is no longer run by Max Lord. Amanda Waller and Mr. Terrific, and Count Vertigo are at the apex of the organization now. Under their command, Checkmate learns that the Kobra Cult, which has gotten even more fanatically into Kali Yuga apocalypse prophecies ever since Black Adam murdered their leader last year, has gained access to the remnants of Lex Luthor’s old “Everyman Project” and used it to turn normal human beings into homicidally insane metahumans. Checkmate officials Valentina Vostok, Carl Draper (aka Castellan aka Master Jailer), Sasha Bordeaux, and Mr. Terrific brief the Justice League, Global Guardians, Hayoth, Ghost Fox Killer, and others on the situation. This large contingent of heroes then begins a global assault on the Kobra Cult. Batman secretly leads the Outsiders, who assist from the shadows, during the assault. Eventually, the heroes are aided by Checkmate’s own Rooks (Sebastian Faust, Cinnamon, Gravedigger, and GI Robot JAKE 6.1) to defeat the Kobra Cult and rescue a bunch of babies that had been kidnapped in order to be brainwashed into the next generation of cultists.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #68—originally told in Blue Beetle Vol. 7 #25. Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes) and Batman organize the defense of the entire planet from an invading alien species known as The Reach. From behind the scenes, Batman guides Blue Beetle, Guy Gardner, Fire, Ice, Booster Gold, and Traci Thirteen into battle, sending the Reach armada back to where it came from.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1006—originally told in Tales of the Unexpected Vol. 2 #4. When the Spectre begins brutally killing criminals in Gotham (his human host vessel Crispus Allen has temporarily lost control of Wrath), the Dark Knight joins forces with GCPD Detective Marcus Driver confront the ghoulish anti-hero. Batman tells the Spectre never to show his face in Gotham again.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21—originally told in Tangent: Superman’s Reign. Earth-0’s heroes—including Batman—travel to Earth-9 where Tangent Superman (Earth-9 Harvey Dent) rules as dictator alongside his lackeys, Tangent Powergirl and Tangent Orion. Batman and Earth-0’s heroes join forces with Tangent versions (Earth-9 versions) of the Spectre, Green Lantern, Batman, and the Outsiders to fight the evil tyrants. Eventually, Tangent Superman, along with Tangent Ultra-Humanite, attacks Earth-0, prompting heroes and villains to unite in defense of the planet. Tangent Superman is defeated and sent back to Earth-9, where he is imprisoned. Afterward, the Justice League keeps Tangent Superman’s staff as a trophy for the “lost and found” room.

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #5—originally told in Nightwing #145. Evil scientist Creighton Kendall kidnaps Chinese metahuman Mother of Champions, a member of the Chinese metahuman team known as Great Ten. Mother of Champions has the super-ability to give birth to litters of twenty-five metahuman babies every three days. Kendall has kept Mother sedated and artificially inseminated her round-the-clock, spawning over 200 super-babies. The only problem is that the babies age ten years daily, making their development really screwed-up and making their lifespan about ten days long. Kendall brainwashes Mother’s winged-metahuman children and sends them (on days two through four of their development stage) to kill Nightwing. Nightwing defeats his attackers, and apprehends one of them, who continues aging rapidly. Nightwing brings the now old man to visit Batman and Robin. After the Dynamic Duo interrogate the poor creature, they depart to deal with Ra’s al Ghul. Meanwhile, Nightwing teams-up with Talia to save Mother of Champions and defeat Kendall.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21—originally told in Trinity. The “Evil Trinity” of Morgaine Le Fey, Enigma (Earth-3’s Edward Nigma), and Kanjar Ro steal the Cosmic Egg from the Watchtower, using it to build a loyal but paltry squadron of metahuman soldiers. Le Fey is able to cast a spell on the “Good Trinity” of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, which sends the trio to prehistoric Earth-1 where they lose all memory and sense of their humanity, becoming giant gods that rule over the planet for thousands of years! Meanwhile, on Earth-0, the existence of Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman gets erased, radically altering the timeline. Altered heroes, after fighting the “Evil Trinity”—now consisting of Le Fey, Enimga, and Konvikt—cast a spell of their own, transporting themselves to Earth-1. There, they meet the super-god versions of the “Good Trinity” and everyone remembers the way Earth-0 is supposed to be. The super-god “Good Trinity” and the altered heroes return to Earth-0 where Superman uses his god-powers to return everything back to status quo. Still in giant super-god form, the “Good Trinity” battles a bunch of villains, including the “Evil Trinity”—now Le Fey, Despero, and Krona (who has escaped from the Cosmic Egg). Krona destroys the entire planet. Only the super-gods survive. With help from the cosmic Worldsoul (the literal soul of Earth-0), the super-gods defeat Krona in space, exiling him to Earth-1. The Worldsoul reforms Earth-0 and returns everyone back to life. The super-gods, on their own accord, morph back into regular Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. Afterward, the Cosmic Egg is returned to the Watchtower Trophy Room.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #960. Batman once again discovers the existence of the League of Shadows, but, as before, Ra’s al Ghul and his minions capture and magickally mind-wipe Batman’s memories regarding the illuminati organization.

–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 Action Comics #1001. Batman takes down a heavily-pierced punk crook, sticking her with several razor-sharp Batarangs in her ear and down her shoulder and back. Scallop, as she will call herself from now on, will keep the Batarangs in her flesh as new permanent “piercings.”

–the second feature to All-Star Batman #10-14 (“KILLERS-IN-LAW”)
Batman learns that the Myasnik family’s Russian mob organization is set to ship guns to Gotham to start a war against the Falcones, so he takes-out Russian bruiser Knockout (Alexey Nokaut) and assumes his identity. After studying the geography of Moscow, disguising himself as Knockout, and traveling to Russia, Batman competes in a series of bare-knuckle pit fights before meeting the heir to the Myasnik crime organization, Princess Vik (Victoria Myasnik). After getting legitimately drunk to keep up appearances, Batman (as “Knockout”) accompanies Princess Vik on a raid of a building belonging to the rival Pushka Mob. (The Pushka Mob is run by the Pushka family.) While the tipsy Batman busts heads, Vik lifts a matryoshka doll. Together, they flee. Later, at a party, Vik introduces “Knockout” to Papa Myasnik. During the party, Batman sneaks off and takes apart the matryoshka doll to find GPS coordinates to an illegal Pushka weapons depot at its center. Vik enters, exposing the truth about “Knockout” and forcing Batman to make a quick escape. At the Pushka weapons depot, Batman fights mafioso, taking a bullet in his arm. Batman is forced to retreat, but not before putting a geo-tracer on one of the gun boxes. Later, Batman spies on the Myasniks, learning that they now know about his humbug as “Knockout” and are planning on moving forward with the gun shipment ASAP. Batman then fights Princess Vik atop a moving caravan of trucks before departing to steal a truckload of Pushka weapons. Not long after, Batman strikes at both the Pushkas and Myasniks in a scene that sees multiple explosions and reveals Papa’s dirty secrets, including the fact that he killed his own wife (Vik’s mom). Utterly betrayed and downtrodden, Vik stabs her dad to death. With all the Russian mob weapons irreparably destroyed, Batman returns home. Vik becomes the new head of the Myasnik crime empire.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #57. Joker and Harley Quinn attempt to poison Gotham’s supply of sugar cereal, but Batman foils their plans.

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #10—originally told in “BATMAN RIP – HEART OF HUSH.” Hush, who has permanently surgically altered his face to look exactly like Bruce, returns and attacks Batman and Catwoman. The Dark Knight saves Catwoman’s life and busts Hush.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21 and Nightwing Vol. 4 #29—originally told in “BATMAN RIP.” The Black Glove organization makes waves in Gotham as Michael Lane, Simon Hurt’s third Batman substitute, returns and attacks Batman. Batman finally recalls the name “Simon Hurt,” which had been previously blocked from his mind, and realizes that Hurt is responsible for messing with his head during sleep deprivation. Batman’s post-hypnotic word, “Zur-En-Arrh,” is triggered causing him to go into convulsions. He is drugged by Hurt and dumped on the streets. The eccentric villain then dons Thomas Wayne’s old masquerade ball Bat costume and turns the Batcave into his new HQ. Intoxicated and suffering from memory loss, Bruce’s Thögal mental backup defense kicks in and he becomes the bizarre “Batman of Zur-En-Arrh!” Hurt and the Black Glove lure the “Batman of Zur-En-Arrh” to Arkham to face-off against Joker in a life-and-death battle. Eventually, Batman shakes off his Zur-En-Arrh insanity, regains his composure, and defeats Joker, Hurt, and the Black Glove with the help of the Bat-Family and Talia al Ghul. Talia chases down Jezebel Jet and kills her as well. During the chaos, the Order of Purity steals the Suit of Sorrows from the Batcave.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #21, Flash Vol. 5 #33Flash Vol. 5 #64Detective Comics #958, Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #7, Dark Days: The Forge #1, Dark Days: The Casting #1, Dark Nights: Metal #1-2, Batman: Lost #1, Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt #1, Dark Nights: Metal #6, The Unexpected #1, The Unexpected #5-7, Sideways #7, Justice League Vol. 4 #7, Justice League Vol. 4 #27, Heroes in Crisis #3, and The Green Lantern #6—originally told in Final Crisis, Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne #1-2, “BATTLE FOR THE COWL,” and Batman & Robin #1-3. Darkseid, having recently been killed by Orion, was able to send his own spirit backward through time and resurrect himself into a human host body called “Boss Dark Side.” Now, using Metropolis Police Detective Dan Turpin as a new host vessel and empowered via the discovery of the Anti-Life Equation, Darkseid is able to murder Orion and prepare for a total takeover of Earth. A new Mr. Miracle (Shilo Norman), the only hero aware of Darkseid’s return and plot, recruits Japans’ Super Young Team (Shiny Happy Aquazon, Lolita Canary, Most Excellent Super Bat, Big Atomic Lantern Boy, and Well-Spoken Sonic Lightning Flash) to combat the dark lord. Rising Sun, leader of the stuffier elder Japanese superhero team known as Big Science Action, publicly denounces Super Young Team. Using the Anti-Life Equation, Darkseid—along with Desaad, Granny Goodness, and a vast army of Justifiers—completely takes over Earth, initiating “Crisis IV” (or what the public dubs “The Final Crisis.”) Most of the Earth’s protectors succumb to the Anti-Life Equation, leaving a precious few—including the Super Young Team and Tattooed Man (Mark Richards)—to help defend the planet. During this period, Cain separates the Spectre from his human host Crispus Allen, killing Allen in the process. Meanwhile, Darkseid’s minions manage to capture Batman. With the Caped Crusader off the playing field, Darkseid attempts to remove Superman as well—by attacking and injuring Lois Lane. Superman travels through the multiverse, into Comic Book Limbo, into the Overvoid, and into the dark Monitor home-realm known as Nil.[1] In Nil, Superman fights Dax Novu (aka the evil Monitor known as Mandrakk) in order to save Lois. Meanwhile, Darkseid’s agents Simyan and Mokkari torture the Batman in a failed attempt to clone him, during which the Caped Crusader uses his own memories as weapons against The Lump. As the entire multiverse begins to collapse, several fearful heroes fill a rocket ship time capsule with memorabilia and historical items, hoping to preserve them. The rocket is launched into the disintegrating Bleed, with hopes that it will reach some distant unharmed reality or alternate universe. Flash, racing away from The Black Racer (a New God that exists as an aspect of Death), causes the latter to run smack-dab into Darkseid, ending the tyrant’s control over the planet. Just before Darkseid’s final defeat at the hands of Superman (who destroys the tyrant’s non-corporeal form using a Miracle Machine), Darkseid zaps Batman with the Omega Sanction, sending the Dark Knight spiraling backward in time to 38,000 BCE. A deadly Hyper-Adapter monster and the rocket ship time capsule also travel with Batman, who will only be able to time-leap forward during solar eclipses. As per Darkseid’s plan, the Hyper-Adapter will be connected to Batman’s movements, making him a living weapon that could doom the entire universe should he successfully reach present day. In the present, Superman and the other heroes—including the last benevolent Monitor Nix Uotan (Dax Novu’s son)—rally to save the exposed multiverse from the opportunistic threat of the new Mandrakk (Dax Novu’s partner, ex-Monitor Rox Ogama). After the multiverse is saved, the world mistakenly believes Batman is dead thanks to a Batman-clone corpse left behind by Darkseid’s minions. Friends and family mourn Batman’s passing and bury the clone. Hush is forced to play the role of Bruce Wayne to avoid suspicion. Michael Lane is given the Suit of Sorrows from the Order of Purity, becoming the new Azrael. Dick Grayson becomes the new Batman and Damian—moving back to Gotham and finally taking his father’s last name of Wayne—becomes the new Robin, wearing a costume designed for him by Alfred. The new Batman and Robin operate out of the Wayne Tower sub-basement bunker. Meanwhile, in 38,000 BCE, an amnesiac Bruce bears witness to the death of an elderly Anthro (one of the last of the Bear Tribe) before getting involved in a war between two Native American tribes, the Deer People and the Wolf Tribe (which also goes by several other names, including Wolf Clan, Blood Mob, and Blood Tribe). The defeated Hyper-Adapter, in giant bat form and having retreated backward to 38,000 BCE from the End of Time, is slain by the leader of the Wolf Tribe, Vandaa aka Vandar Adg, who gains immortality and will one day be known as Vandal Savage.[2] Bruce dons the flesh of the Hyper-Adapter as a gimcrack cape-and-cowl and then defeats Vandaa in combat. (Unknown to all, the celestial synchronicity of an anomalous confluence of bats—a cosmic bat monster being slain and then worn by a bat warrior—has drawn the attention of Barbatos—evil bat-demon god of the Dark Multiverse. From his realm, Barbatos sees Batman for the first time and becomes obsessed, realizing that, despite the fact that Batman won’t exist for 40,000 years, he will one day be able to use the Caped Crusader as a doorway to enter the regular multiverse via an occult ritual known as “The Mantling.” Thus, via actions of the Hath-Set-led Bat Tribe and, later, the Strigdyae priests of the Judas Tribe, Barbatos initiates and executes his sinister plan, which will last for 40,000 years and involve subtle manipulation of Bruce life, once he is born.) After meeting Bruce, the Deer People change their tribal name to Miagani, meaning “Bat People,” and vow to protect the land that will become the future site of Gotham. Inspired to make bat-themed cave drawings and take on bat-themed customs, the Miagani will do so for thousands of years to come. Nomadic tribes will re-draw the bat-pictures in Eurasia and the Middle East, spreading bat-worshiping religions across the globe as a result. (As per Barbatos’ influence, the Bat Tribe will form, followed by the Judas Tribe, and, eventually, Parliament/Court of Owls.) With a solar eclipse, Bruce then leaps to the Puritanical Gotham of 1640 where he fights the Hyper-Adapter and then assimilates into society by taking the name “Mordecai Wayne.” Bruce lives a quiet life in 17th century Gotham for months while the new Batman and Robin have adventures in present-day Gotham.

–REFERENCE: In Batwoman: Rebirth #1, Detective Comics #974 Part 2, and Deathstroke Vol. 4 #34. Now that Damian Wayne is the new Robin, a disgruntled Tim Drake angrily confronts Dick about his place in the Bat-Family. Dick and Tim argue about what has happened to Bruce, with the latter refusing to accept that he is gone. Dick essentially fires Tim from the Bat-Family, leading to Tim not only moving out of Wayne Manor and into his own apartment, but also dropping his Robin moniker to become a solo hero called Red Robin. Red Robin sets up a high-tech “Robin’s Nest” HQ in a secret location in Gotham, although Batman (Dick) knows where it is. Dick will pass along the hidden “Robin’s Nest” address to Bruce when he eventually returns.

–REFERENCE: In Batwoman Vol. 3 #11—originally told in Batman & Robin #1-3. The new Batman (Dick) and Robin fight The Circus of the Strange—Mr. Toad, Big Top, Siam (Kushti), and Phosphorus Rex—in a losing effort. Redeeming themselves, they take down the vilest member of the Circus, Professor Pyg (Lazlo Valentin), a porcine psycho that burns masks onto the faces of his brainwashed Dollotron henchwomen. (Unknown to Batman and Robin, the Circus of the Strange is run by Simon Hurt.)

–REFERENCE: In Deathstroke Vol. 4 #34. Worried that their first outing was a little rough and that chemistry is lacking, a nervous new Batman (Dick) hatches a sneaky plan to win over Robin. Dick forges a letter from Bruce to Damian, basically urging Damian to support Dick as Batman in the event of his death or absence. Damian immediately realizes that it’s fake, but accepts the letter anyway. Batman will have to earn Robin’s respect the old fashioned way.

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #2. Bruce’s annual Wayne Enterprises psych exam is held as usual. However, since Bruce is currently lost in time, he definitely isn’t around to take it. Thus, we must assume that the Bat-Family strong-arms the surgically-altered Hush (who is currently playing the role of the lost and presumed-dead Bruce) to fake his way through the test.

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  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: Comic Book Limbo is not to be confused with Limbo/Purgatory, although it could be connected to it somehow. Comic Book Limbo is a purely metaphysical place outside of time and space—and beyond the fourth wall of fiction where unused characters are banished. Upon returning from Comic Book Limbo, one wouldn’t have any knowledge they were even there, nor would they remember that they were fictional or have any memories of Comic Book Limbo at all. Superman is one of the few characters that gets to visit Comic Book Limbo and retain knowledge of the fact that he is nothing more than fiction. Although, this experience would be something less than a profound realization and more like a cosmic epiphany beyond normal human (or even superhuman) comprehension.
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: In both the Modern Age’s Return of Bruce Wayne (by Grant Morrison) and the New 52’s “Endgame” (by Scott Snyder), it is heavily implied that the Hyper-Adapter, a creature made of the eternal-life-giving Dionesium, endows Vandaa with immortality in 38,000 BCE. Vandaa (later Vandal Savage) will hazily recall his origin story as a radioactive comet crashing on Earth and endowing him with immortality. This “comet,” unknown to Vandal Savage, is likely the Hyper-Adapter itself, emerging through time and crash landing smack dab in the middle of Wold Tribe territory circa 38,000 BCE.

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