Rebirth Year Nineteen (Part 1)

(January 2020 to June 2020)

–Action Comics

Let’s catch up, shall we? Marisol Leone has been exposed as the leader of the Invisible Mafia, which brought the full investigative wrath of the FBI bearing down upon the Daily Planet, of which Leone had been owner. In a shocking twist, Jimmy Olsen—using his vast resources obtained from Lex Luthor (see Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen Vol. 3 for details)—responded by purchasing the Daily Planet. After Olsen names Perry White as ongoing editor-in-chief and keeps everything ostensibly status-quo at the paper, Superman returns Superboy (Conner Kent) back to the Hall of Justice where the super-science team (Ray Palmer, Mr. Terrific, and others) announces that Conner will eventually lose his powers at some unknown point in the future. Mr. Terrific more-or-less states that Conner is from a different timeline, proving that the current timeline has been rebooted before. (Originally, Brian Michael Bendis’ likely intention was to make Conner the legitimate Modern Age version, transplanted to this continuity. Bendis also basically says this outright in said this in Young Justice Vol. 3 #5 and Young Justice Vol. 3 #15. However, thanks to later comics disavowing this concept, we should read Mr. Terrific’s dialogue as simply saying that Flashpoint didn’t effect Conner because he was exiled on Gemworld at the time. Conner is not actually from another timeline.) Afterward, Superman delivers Conner to Ma and Pa Kent. Conner moves into the Kent home in Smallville. Superman then hangs out with Superboy (Jonathan Kent), who is visiting from the 31st century. Jon tells his pop that he’s romantically involved with Saturn Girl. A day later, Penguin attempts to take over the remnants of the Invisible Mafia, but Superman, Superboy (Jon), Batman, and Robin (Damian) bust him. The four heroes then get tacos from a food truck. Superman and Superboy (Jon) do some routine patrolling before delivering tacos to Lois. Afterward, Jon goes back to the future, leaving Lois and Clark to rejoin their co-workers at the Daily Planet. When news of super-villainy in Kahndaq emerges, Superman heads off to do what he does best.

–Batman: The World Part 5
January 6—Night of the Three Kings. Note that artist Thomas Von Kummant takes big time liberties in stylizing Batman and Joker with unique looks in this story. But we should take it as simply that, as there nothing here that frames this tale as being out-of-continuity otherwise (aside from maybe the fact that one of the main characters doesn’t recognize Joker, which seems unlikely due to his level of infamy). Joker travels to the snowy Bavarian Mountains in Germany and kidnaps corrupt CEO Walter Steingartner in his cabin retreat. Joker then meets with two radical environmentalists that are rivals to Steingartner, hoping to team with them. Joker kills one of the environmentalists, who doesn’t approve of his violent methods. Batman then shows up to take down Joker’s henchmen and the super-villain himself. After Batman departs, the remaining eco-activist, inspired by Joker, kills Steingartner.[1]

–Batman and The Outsiders Vol. 3 #9-12 (“A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN”)
As seen in the giant continuity error that is the Batman-less epilogue to Batman and The Outsiders Vol. 3 #8 (which actually goes right here despite all appearances within the comic itself), Ra’s al Ghul orders Ishmael to violently murder Tina McClintock, a teacher that works at Jefferson’s school in Metropolis. Ra’s al Ghul also has the school bombed. Batman immediately investigates and then visits Jefferson to offer him half-hearted condolences. Understandably, neither Batman nor Katana are able to calm the storm raging within Jefferson. However, Meanwhile, Jefferson and Tatsu meet up later and form a tighter bond, vowing to support each other as best they can. Later, Batman takes Orphan and Signal on a field test, watching them patrol in Metropolis. Afterward, Cassie and Duke finally tell Bruce that Shiva is back, and he upbraids them for keeping it a secret. Superman shows up to chat with Bruce, offering condolences about Alfred and warning him to slow his roll in regard to how he handles the Outsiders and the Ra’s al Ghul situation at hand. Bruce balks at Superman’s advice, chastising the Man of Steel for having revealed his secret ID to the world. While Bruce and Superman argue, Cassie and Duke vow to support each other as best they can. Later, Shiva approaches Jefferson saying that, together, they can and should kill Ra’s al Ghul. A day later, back in Gotham, Batman meets with Sofia. Then, as Bruce, he meets with Elfa, learning more about Kaliber’s connection to the Markovian Black Market, specifically to arms dealer Martina Dimentieva. Elfa tells Bruce that Dimentieva has an alien doomsday weapon. Bruce knows that Ra’s al Ghul now has the weapon. In Cambodia, Black Lightning and Shiva chase after Dimentieva in an effort to get to Ra’s al Ghul. But before the can get Dimentieva to speak, she is executed by Kaliber, Karma, and Ishmael. Having trailed Black Lightning, the rest of the Outsiders (Katana, Orphan, and Signal) arrive to better the odds. After suffering defeat at the hands of the Outsiders (and Shiva), the villains detonate bombs in order to escape. Shiva, impressed by her new comrades, unofficially joins the Outsiders! Meanwhile, Batman begins training Sofia Ramos. Later, in the Batcave, Batman officially enters Shiva and Sofia into the Outsiders lineup. Batman and Black Lightning have a heart-to-heart alongside the graves of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Likewise, Shiva and Cassie have a mother-daughter heart-to-heart as well (while sparring, of course). Black Lightning then has another heart-to-heart with Katana. The next day, the Outsiders travel to Khadym and ride horseback to Ra’s al Ghul’s fortress, which a retro-fitted alien spaceship. Inside, they find the corpse of Kaliber, who has been executed by the League of Assassins. Ishmael, having also been fatally-wounded, delivers a holographic message from his former master. Ra’s al Ghul gloats, using his alien super-weapon to completely demolish Shiva’s hometown in China. The Outsiders have lost round one, but they vow to bring Ra’s al Ghul to justice.

–Detective Comics #1017 Epilogue
Around two months have passed since the conclusion of the main action of Detective Comics #1017. Bruce, Damian, and Lucius Fox attend the grand opening of the new Miguel Flores Wing at the Martha Wayne Orphanage.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman/Superman Vol. 2 #14. With some hesitation (thinking specifically of past mistakes with Brother Eye), Batman and Superman activate their new semi-sentient crime-predicting computer algorithm.

–Batman/Superman Vol. 2 #7-8 (“THE KANDOR COMPROMISE”)
Batman and Superman capture a pair of King Kongs, delivering them to Monster Rock. They then fight a series of successive battles against Bizarro #1, Prankster and his giant robot, Magog, Clock King II (Temple Fugate) and his giant robot, and Dr. Destiny. Batman and Superman then use their new algorithm, which sends them to the cemetery at Stryker’s Island Prison. There, they examine the remains of Kryptonite Man only to be attacked by Ra’s al Ghul, who is on a hunt for Kryptonite. Ra’s al Ghul tells them that Zod has taken the shattered Bottle City of Kandor, complete with thousands of microscopic corpses, with plans to resurrect them all via Lazarus Pit. Batman, Superman, and Ra’s al Ghul go to an ancient Aztec temple in Mexico, site of a Lazarus Pit. There, where they find Ra’s al Ghul’s elite League of Lazarus beaten to a pulp. Zod emerges and dumps Kandor into the Lazarus Pit. Thousands of exiguous frenzied Kandorians emerge and swarm like killer bees. Batman, Superman, Ra’s al Ghul, and Zod are forced to defend themselves against the swarm. Eventually, Ra’s al Ghul uses a red sun grenade to take out the entire swarm. Zod puts the Kandorians back into their bottle. They are fully resurrected (and de-powered), but no one knows when their aggressive Lazarus state will wear off. Angry at having been used by Zod, Ra’s al Ghul destroys the bottle. Zod flips out and begins fighting Ra’s al Ghul. Batman is able to talk Zod our of murdering Ra’s al Ghul. Batman then meets with Superman at the Fortress of Solitude where the Man of Steel has saved the Kandorians but putting them into coma-like stasis, in which they will remain until a safer form of resurrection is discovered. Superman tells Batman that Zod has taken half of the Kandorians. Zod, with his Kandorians also in a similar stasis, returns to his planet of Jekuul.

–Batman/Superman Vol. 2 #9-11 (“ATOMIC”)
In Gotham, Batman fights Atomic Skull. During their fight, Batman recaps Atomic Skull’s history, of which he is familiar from his detailed crime-files. Realizing that the SWAT team assisting him are a bunch of phonies, Batman helps Atomic Skull fend them off, after which the “cops” drop dead, revealing that they were re-animated remote-ambulated corpses the entire time. Atomic Skull then tragically dies, exploding in a mini nuclear blast. Meanwhile, Lois and Clark try to go on a dinner date in Paris, but they are swarmed by paparazzi. Superman departs to clean-up the blast damage in Gotham and to rescue Batman. In a cave near Gotham Harbor, the culprit behind it all—the Ultra-Humanite—prepares for an onslaught. After an autopsy, Batman finds pilfered WayneTech, LexCorp, Kord Industries, and STAR Labs detonator tech inside Atomic Skull’s body. Batman and Superman visit Gotham Industrial Clean Waste where they are attacked by Ultra-Humanite-controlled zombies. Ultra-Humanite captures Batman and surgically implants a nuclear device inside the Dark Knight’s head. Controlled by a strange device strapped to his neck and arms, Batman is forced to fight against Superman. Superman destroys the controller device, allowing Batman to zap Ultra-Humanite out with a taser. Ultra-Humanite’s brain is then sent to STAR Labs. Superman attends Atomic Skull’s funeral before joining Lucius Fox in the Batcave. Superman and Lucius watch as Bruce performs robotic surgery on himself, fixing up the damage Ultra-Humanite did to him. Batman and Superman discuss the fact that someone had been holding Atomic Skull hostage prior to Ultra-Humanite taking control of him. (Unknown to Batman and Superman, Atomic Skull was being secretly held by Robin in the latter’s torture dungeon under Mercy Hall.) In Metropolis, Atomic Skull resurrects, emerging from his grave.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Urban Legends #5 Part 3. Tim and Stephanie break up, but remain friends.

–Robins #2-4 (“BEING ROBIN”)
Newcomer Jenny Wren aka “The First Robin” hacks into the Bat-computer network to gain top secret information, which she uses to kidnap rivals from the pasts of Nightwing, Red Hood, Red Robin, and Spoiler. After the villainess murders Lou Delcaine before their very eyes, the ex-Robins go into a panic. Upon being alerted to the hacking, Batman shuts down his network to do a safety sweep. Red Hood, Red Robin, and Robin visit the Batcave to chat with Batman, hoping to regain access to the Bat-computer directly. Batman refuses them before heading off to meet Cyborg at the Hall of Justice to continue his network-cleaning. Nightwing joins his brothers and Spoiler in the Spoilermobile (a minivan), following clues to a local cemetery. While conducting their investigation, Red Robin and Spoiler talk about current events, notably their recent breakup and the actions of the QAnon-ish cult known as the Devotees of Anarky (including members Neophyte, Mr. Neg, and a new Moneyspider). Red Robin notes that the Devotees of Anarky started out innocently as a fan group for a video game created by video game designer cum super-villain Cormac Dodge (aka The Escape Artist). Eventually, the heroes find the remaining abductees in a mausoleum, but they are confronted by the Junior Supercriminals (Giggles, Guffaw, Chick, Honeysuckle, and Kitten), who use special SPK hard-light tech combined with data stolen from the Bat-computer to hulk up. The heroes combat the villains. At some point (either right before or during the mausoleum fight), a disguised Jenny Wren captures Red Robin and swaps places with him. When the baddies try to hulk up even further, it causes them defeat and permanent brain damage. The fake Red Robin tries to convince his comrades to execute their former rivals, but Red Hood violently rejects that line of thinking. Afterward, Nightwing reports back to a cold Batman, who couldn’t care less about the emotional trauma of his sons. A pissed-off Nightwing tells Batman that “being a Robin was a bad thing.” (Yes, being manipulated into being a child soldier is unequivocally a very bad thing.) Nightwing’s barb really stings deep, and Batman is crestfallen. Meanwhile, Jenny Wren tortures the captive Red Robin. Unaware that their comrade has been taken off the playing field, the Bat-Family hunts down Anarky, each following separate leads. Nightwing roughs up the Blüdhaven black market known as the Meadowvale Mall. Red Hood takes down Wyrm‘s top lieutenant Vire. Robin (Damian) busts HIVE members. Meanwhile, Bruce publicly announces a partnership between Wayne Enterprises and the Thomas Wayne Memorial Clinic to open a new children’s mental health hospital. In the crowd, Bruce notices the Escape Artist, who uses hard light tech to briefly morph into a Joker-Penguin hybrid before disappearing. (We must ignore the topical hot weather in this scene.) In an abandoned railway tunnel between Gotham and Blüdhaven, Nightwing, Red Hood, Robin, and Spoiler confront Anarky, who claims he has nothing to do with the Devotees of Anarky. Anarky escapes, after which Robin chastises his partners. (During Robin’s rant, we see a flashback to Dick in his apartment with his puppy Haley, bit this must be disregarded since Haley won’t debut until next year.) In the Batcave, Batman reviews drone footage from his public address along with video files on the Escape Artist. Back at Dick’s apartment, the ex-Robins (sans the still missing Red Robin) pool their resources and discover that all the Devotees of Anarky and the Junior Supercriminals believed they had been playing the Escape Artist’s online VR game the entire time. They deduce that the Escape Artist must be the new Moneyspider behind everything. The ex-Robins plug themselves into the game, quickly losing all memory of reality and falling into deep individualized simulations that are based upon profiles that Bruce created and stored in the Bat-Computer.

–Robins #5-6 (“BEING ROBIN” conclusion)
Picking up directly from Robins #4, Nightwing, Red Robin, Robin (Damian), and Spoiler remain trapped in the false realities of the Escape Artist’s VR simulation. Nightwing’s sim involves him being a Spyral agent again. Damian’s sim sees him as a monk in Thailand. Spoiler’s sim shows her as the leader of an authoritarian Teen Titans. Red Hood’s sim places him in the role of famous race car driver. (Note that these sims are modeled off of profiles originally created by Bruce in the Bat-Computer.) Meanwhile, Batman visits the Escape Artist’s former HQ, which has been converted into a new tech office. Batman accesses one of the Escape Artist’s old digital dungeons. After besting a grue, Batman uses his own Nano-Bat tech to purge and wipe the dungeon clean. Batman then follows leads to site of a recent terrorist bombing in England, learning that the Escape Artist’s daughter AJ Dodge had been caught in the blast. However, Batman supposedly watched AJ die before his very eyes almost two decades ago, so he knows this is a clue telling him that something is amiss. Back in the States, the ex-Robins escape their simulations and then receive a hidden message from Tim, filling them in on the details of the situation—AJ is Jenny Wren, the self-proclaimed “First Robin,” who originally helped Batman defeat her father, after which she killed her father and faked her own suicide. Batman hurries in the Batcopter to join the ex-Robins at Tim’s location, but upon arrival, he is drugged with SPK tech, which causes him to see the also-arriving ex-Robins as villainous monsters. Batman fights his kids, but Nightwing is able to snap him back to his senses. The Bat-Family then exposes more truth—the Escape Artist has been a hard-light construct this entire time and Jenny Wren is the Big Bad. The heroes corner Jenny Wren, which allows Red Hood to take her down. With Jenny Wren behind bars, some of the Devotees of Anarky, having been manipulated by her, are released from prison. Spoiler kindly visits one of them in jail just prior to her release. Later, Bruce, Damian, Dick, Tim, Stephanie, and Jason all gather together at Dick’s apartment to hang out as a happy family. (Again, Dick’s puppy Haley is shown, but this must be disregarded since Haley won’t debut until next year.) Dick asks Bruce if he had a hand in initiating the events surrounding Jenny Wren’s defeat as part of a final “gauntlet” test for the ex-Robins. Bruce just sips his coffee in silence. (We can assume that part of the fight against Jenny Wren was indeed a test for the fam.)

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #91. Batman, Nightwing, and Robin (Damian) discuss La Agente Fúnebre, a super secret Latin American master assassin that supposedly has had a hand in many killings for many years, running clandestine operations and illuminati murder societies all over the globe. Batman says that La Agente Fúnebre is nothing more than a myth, but Damian strongly disagrees.

–Robin 80th Anniversary 100-Page Spectacular Part 10
Batman suspects that something is terribly wrong with Damian. As such, he meets with his son, hoping to speak to him. But when they chat, Batman is stifled and unable to properly communicate. Instead, father and son patrol together in silence. Unknown to Batman, Damian has been kidnapping, torturing, and mind-wiping super-villains in his secret Teen Titans dungeon. He’s been doing this for two years now, but things have gotten much darker and violent lately. (Don’t forget—as per reference in Flash #761—an unsuspecting Robin and Kid Flash have both been pushed toward using unsavory anti-crime methods by Reverse-Flash Eobard Thawne, who has used the Negative Speed Force to put dark subliminal messages into their subconsciouses.) Soon, they come across Quietus, who commands an entire army of robot doppelgängers of himself. Together, they defeat all the bad guys. Unable to have a father-son chat, father and son part ways.

–Teen Titans Vol. 6 #42-44[2]
The Teen Titans recently mind-wiped Brother Blood. When Brother Blood turns up dead in New York City, the team decides to investigate, searching the sewer where his corpse turned up. There, the teens fight some Church of Blood cultists and stop a plot to release deadly toxins into NYC. The mystery of who killed Brother Blood remains unsolved. Meanwhile, in Wayne Manor, a pensive Batman looks at a chessboard and a broken picture frame containing a photo of Alfred and Damian. The Dark Knight’s son is absent and his father-figure is gone. Thinking of their recent interaction in Robin 80th Anniversary 100-Page Spectacular Part 10, a disheartened Batman wonders what Damian could be up to. In Brooklyn, Superboy (Jonathan Kent) travels to the present from the 31st century to check up on Damian. Later, Robin’s Teen Titan teammates come to believe that he’s killed Brother Blood, so they confront him just as he’s about to waylay KGBeast. Robin admits to the murder, which leads to the Teen Titans fighting him. Robin fends-off his kith, claiming that he plans on executing KGBeast as well. Robin charges at KGBeast and chops his robo-arm off. While KGBeast escapes from Kid Flash, the rest of the Teen Titans fight Robin, who escapes as well. Batman infiltrates Mercy Hall, learning that Robin had been kidnapping super-villains and holding them there. At a former Janus Cosmetics building, Black Mask forgathers Gizmo, Mammoth, Onomatopoeia, Joystick, Swerve, and Deathstroke. The villains plot revenge against Robin. A day later, Robin and his fellow Teen Titans confront each other yet again, but this time Batman interrupts.

–Teen Titans Vol. 6 Annual #2
Picking up directly from Teen Titans Vol. 6 #44, Batman confronts Robin, accusing him of kidnapping, torture, and murder. Before things can heat up, Deathstroke nearly kills everyone with a rocket launcher. Batman tells the Teen Titans they are “finished” before departing. Soon afterward, despite their differences, the Teen Titans assist Robin in a fight against Deathstroke. Robin’s wantonness injures Red Arrow and allows Deathstroke to escape. Batman once again approaches Robin, telling him that he’s behaving out of character. Batman and Robin fight, with the former soon realizing that the latter hasn’t been able to properly deal with the tragic loss of Alfred. Batman tells Robin that he loves him and that he has failed him as a father, to which Robin tears off his chest emblem. Robin says he’s no longer the Boy Wonder and walks off in anger. (Don’t forget—as per reference in Flash #761—an unsuspecting Robin and Kid Flash have both been pushed toward using unsavory super-villain-ish methods by Reverse-Flash Eobard Thawne, who has used the Negative Speed Force to put dark subliminal messages into their subconsciouses.) Robin’s fight against Batman is also shown via flashback from Detective Comics #1030 and Robin Vol. 3 #1. Note that the Teen Titans will remain a team, moving forward, just without Damian in the lineup.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1030. Despite being devastated at what has happened with Damian, Batman decides to give his son all the space he needs to rethink his decision.

–REFERENCE: In Young Justice Vol. 3 #18. With the Robin moniker vacant, Batman and Conner Kent convince Tim to begin using it again. He ditches his Drake costume and becomes Robin once again. (Note that, as before, he will also be called “Red Robin” sometimes. Tim loves the name “Red Robin.”) Note that, according to Brian Michael Bendis notation, this item is supposed to take place mere days after “Metropolis Doom!”—with Young Justice Vol. 3 #19-20 occurring only three days after “Metropolis Doom!”—but that’s impossible. At least a month has passed, no bones about it. Bendis’ decompression is bad. As is his continuity in general.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1024 and Batman/Superman Vol. 2 #15. Batman begins carrying Mr. Freeze’s ice weaponry and some sanitization pellets in his utility belt. Batman also adds a radiation detector to his utility belt.

–Batman: Black and White Vol. 5 #4 Part 3
For the past couple weeks, Poison Ivy has been harassing Bruce Wayne about his lack of environmentalism, and now she goes a step further by appearing at Wayne Manor and digging up his parents’ graves. Batman confronts and subdues the angry Poison Ivy, who tells him that she has created a new super-oxygenating plant that could be a boon to Mother Earth if utilized by Wayne Industries. Poison Ivy pleads with Batman to join her side, imagining a world where they form an eco-warrior version of the Dynamic Duo, battling all the Bat-rogues together. But Batman notices that Poison Ivy is armed with deadly botanicals. Unable to view her as anything other than a maniacal eco-fascistic villain, Batman busts Poison Ivy, ending her reign of terror over the Wayne Manor property.

–Batman/Superman Vol. 2 #15
Winter. An editorial note places this item “months ago.” While you can’t get more vague than that, presumably, this means months prior to the previous issues, Batman/Superman Vol. 2 #12-14, hence placement here. Placement here also makes more sense in regard to the Poison Ivy we see in the story. Amidst the backdrop of a menacing Northeastern snowstorm, Batman and Superman receive word from Arkham Asylum that Solomon Grundy has turned into a walking atomic bomb, set to explode at any moment. After meeting with members of the US Army (including Colonel Marie Jonas) and conferring with a restrained Poison Ivy, Batman and Superman learn that their only course of action is to return Solomon Grundy to the place of his zombie origins: Slaughter Swamp. En route, our heroes are attacked by the current incarnation of the Secret Society of Super-Villains—Deadline, Lock-Up, Black Spider, Killer Moth, Lady Vic, Double Dare (Aliki Marceau and Margot Marceau), Bloodsport, Sportsmaster (unclear whether this is the original or his clone), and two or three completely unrecognizable characters. After fending off the Secret Society, Batman and Superman deliver Grundy to Swamp Thing, who buries him in the swamp, curing his nuclear affliction. Batman and Superman have a snowball fight before picking off the rest of the Secret Society.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1028. Batman begins keeping tabs on GCPD Officer Richard Gotis, a highly corrupt but untouchable cop. Batman also takes note of good cops too, specifically Officer Christopher Nakano. The Dark Knight will keep tabs on these policemen for months to come.

–REFERENCE: In Suicide Squad Vol. 7 #2. Batman wrecks teleporting super-villain Exit (Jason Phillips), injuring him so badly that he requires surgery and ten metal pins in his leg.

–Batman Giant Vol. 2 #2 (Batman: Gotham Nights Vol. 3 #3)
After twelve international industrialists are murdered by their own bodyguards, Batman is on the case. The clues point him in the direction of a logging camp in the rain forests of Brazil. Thinking the League of Assassins might be involved, Batman preps by creating some mini-surveillance drones and new prototype knockout pods. At the logging camp, Batman is surprised to find that Poison Ivy is responsible for the murders. These are Poison Ivy’s first murders in her entire career as a super-villain. It’s true, she’s never killed before. But now, sadly, she’s crossed that line, seemingly become more plant than human. (We’ll see Poison Ivy continue her murderous ways in the upcoming Batman: The Joker War Zone #1 Part 4.) Batman brings down Poison Ivy, bringing her back to Gotham to be imprisoned. Later, Bruce purchases the logging camp with a directive to turn it into a nature preserve.

–REFERENCE: In Superman: Son of Kal-El 2021 Annual. Batman visits Lois and Clark’s Metropolis apartment, hoping to have a word with Superman. He enters the kitchen through a window, which scares un unsuspecting Lois and leads to a pretty big dustup between the two. Suffice to say, Batman will be ringing the doorbell from now on.

–REFERENCE: In Batman and The Outsiders Vol. 3 #15. An Illuminati-like secret cabal of international corporate leaders in tech, real estate, and media—known as The Master Group—put out feelers to Bruce and Lex Luthor, inviting them both to join their illustrious ranks. Bruce and Lex both give them congé. The Master Group includes moguls Jennifer Cunningham and four unnamed others.


–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1027. Batman begins hounding suspected murderer Balsam, a master craftsman and electrical engineer.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1021. Batman stops a crook from mugging the nephew of GCPD medical examiner Dr. Woodard. Batman meets Dr. Woodard and will visit her at the police morgue on several occasions in the next month (although we’ll have to imagine these visits on our timeline).

–Batman and The Outsiders Vol. 3 #13-16 (“THE DEMON’S FIRE”)
Batman and Black Lightning discuss how they have been in a nervous waiting game in regard to Ra’s al Ghul, who still has possession of an alien WMD. Batman introduces Black Lightning to Martian Manhunter, who has agreed to help them fight Ra’s al Ghul. (This is a huge continuity error by Bryan Edward Hill. J’onn was absorbed by Apex Lex Luthor a year ago, and he’s been off the playing field ever since then. Plus, it’s incredibly hard to believe Black Lightning has never met Martian Manhunter before. No matter, we must ignore J’onns appearance in this arc entirely.) Elsewhere, the rest of the Outsiders train. Seemingly with Katana’s blessing, Shiva takes Cassie and Duke to her hotel, wheedling them to break ranks with the Outsiders and go after Ra’s al Ghul with her instead of Batman. Duke and Cassie, sick of sitting on the bench, agree with the idea. Batman, secretly in league with Shiva, allows Duke and Cassie to depart with her. In the Batcave, Batman plugs Black Lightning into his electromagnetic amplification chair. Batman, Black Lightning, Sofia Ramos, and Katana enter Khadym to wallop League of Assassins soldiers and level houses. Black Lightning uses his augmented power to begin searching for Ra’s al Ghul’s super-weapon. Meanwhile, in conjunction with Batman’s plan, Shiva, Signal, and Orphan rough-up Ra’s al Ghul’s banker, learning that the Demon’s Head has relocated to Tokyo, Japan. The fully-reassembled Outsiders beat up a cyberpunk arms dealer in Tokyo, learning that Ra’s al Ghul is targeting the Illuminati-like Master Group. Sure enough, Ra’s al Ghul takes control of the Master Group and announces—via live TV broadcast—that he is purging the world with his WMD. While Orphan bests the entire League of Assassins by herself, Black Lightning and Ra’s al Ghul face off against one another in Dragon Ball Super-esque showdown, pitting god power versus god power. Black Lightning easily destroys Ra’s al Ghul’s weapon and disposes of him. Batman honors his team, and tells them he has an important message for them when they return to Gotham.

–Batman and The Outsiders Vol. 3 #17
Bruce buys a horse ranch for Sofia Ramos. The Outsiders all meet at Sofia’s ranch. Bruce tells Sofia that he hopes she remains a crimefighting vigilante, but the choice is hers and hers alone. Tatsu and Jefferson chat, asseverating that the Outsiders are now officially disbanded. At the ranch, a smiling Bruce hosts a lighthearted dinner for the Outsiders. Bruce then has a touching conversation with Cassie, telling her that he never invited her to be a Batgirl or a Robin because he wanted her to walk her own path in life. Bruce and Cassie have a lovely father-daughter moment and hug each other in a warm embrace. Over tea, Bruce chats with Shiva, but the latter drugs him, giving her ample opportunity to get one-on-one time with Sofia, who decides that she wants to distance herself from Bruce’s gifts and join up with Shiva. When Bruce awakes, everyone has left except Shiva. Shiva tells Bruce to butt out of Sofia’s life for good. Bruce sulks at his empty ranch house.

–Strange Adventures Vol. 5 #1-3
Adam Strange and his wife Alanna have relocated to Earth from Rann, following the destruction of Ranagar during a war against the robotic alien race known as the Pykkts—a conflict that has supposedly left their daughter (Aleea Strange) dead. Having dealt with his grief by writing a memoir about his experience, Adam recently completed a book tour and was awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor (about a month ago). As such, things are going relatively okay for Adam—until he is publicly accused of interplanetary war crimes and his accuser subsequently is murdered by an Adam Strange-like ray gun. Adam immediately goes to Batman for help, asking the Dark Knight to vouch for him and assist in clearing his name. Batman says they have too close of a personal history together, so he cannot get involved. However, Batman sanctions a Justice League-sponsored investigation and sets Adam up with Mr. Terrific, who has instructions to solve the case and (hopefully) clear Adam’s name. Mr. Terrific says he will read Adam’s book and do some preliminary outreach before officially accepting the job. After reading the book a few times, Mr. Terrific checks-in with Batman via phone. Batman chats with him while busting an escaped Professor Pyg. Later, Mr. Terrific deduces that Aleea is secretly still alive. Curious, Mr. Terrific phones Batman to accept the case. The hero of Rann goes to Superman and Hawkman for advice, but they don’t put his mind at ease. Uncomfortable about being questioned about Aleea’s death, Adam and Alanna seek advice from a lawyer, but he says the JL isn’t to be messed with in the courts. Soon after, a news leak gives some case details to the press, notably highlighting the JL’s role in the investigation and spreading rumor that the Pykkts could threaten Earth as revenge against Adam Strange. When public opinion turns on the Stranges, they take to the daytime talk show circuit to defend their privacy (and to smear Mr. Terrific). At the Strange household, Batman pays a visit to Alanna, reminding her that Adam came to him for help. Batman questions why Alanna is pushing back so adamantly and publicly against the JL. As they vociferate, someone snaps a photo of them, which gets leaked to the press.

–REFERENCE: In Strange Adventures Vol. 5 #5. Batman and Superman notify the superhero community not to speak with Adam Strange while the Pykkt investigation is still ongoing. Soon after, Batman takes down a robotic murder-drone (supposedly of Pykkt origin) in Gotham. This leads to a congressional hearing, which in turn leads to asshole President Trump creating an anti-Pykkt task force led by Adam Strange and Alanna Strange—much to the chagrin of the Justice League.

–REFERENCE: In Strange Adventures Vol. 5 #8. Batman learns how to speak (very broken) Pykkt language.

–Strange Adventures Vol. 5 #7-9
The Pykkts begin their pre-invasion of Earth by sending some scouts, which Batman fights. Adam Strange shows up and kills one of the scouts, which angers Batman greatly. Adam tells Batman that this is war and they must kill the enemy if they want to survive. Later, Adam chats with Alanna, revealing that, during and following the Pykkt-Rannian War, the Pykkts fucked with his head by using the Zeta Beam as a psychotropic weapon. Soon, the first wave of the Pykkt invasion force arrives on Earth and all-out war begins, featuring many superheroes defending various cities across the globe. The Pykkts level the entire city of Phoenix, Arizona, killing nearly 40,000 people. Mr. Terrific captures a Pykkt soldier for interrogation, after which he is joined by Batman. Together, Batman and Mr. Terrific question the rugged alien for eighteen hours straight. (Mr. Terrific is much better at speaking Pykkt than Batman.) Eventually, the captive says that they are on Earth to get revenge against Adam for a multitude of genocidal war crimes he supposedly committed during the Pykkt-Rannian War. Batman and Mr. Terrific rejoin the frontlines as the second wave of the invasion fleet arrives from deep space. Shortly thereafter, after a debriefing with Mr. Terrific, Batman issues an official JL press release citing that there exists evidence (to be revealed at a later date) that Adam committed “grave offenses” during the Pykkt-Rannian War, warranting a full lifetime ban from the JL. Adam meets with Batman on the frontlines to plead his innocence. Batman gets shot in the shoulder, forcing Adam to rescue him. With Batman stabilized at the Hall of Justice, Adam tries speaking to Superman, but the Man of Steel is firmly on Batman’s side regarding their former comrade’s actions. Meanwhile, Alanna plays damage control for her husband on all the cable talk shows. Pissed off at Alanna’s media manipulation, Mr. Terrific writes her a threatening letter. (The Batman-less Strange Adventures Vol. 5 #10 details the letter, which includes Mr. Terrific accusing Adam of selling-out Earth to the Pykkts in exchange for leaving Rann alone. Aleea’s death was faked and she was taken as collateral, while Adam was allowed and exhorted by the Pykkts to commit atrocities against the Pykkts to erase any doubts about Adam’s loyalties. Meanwhile, Alanna had been—and remains—left in the dark about this whole plot.)

–REFERENCE: In Strange Adventures Vol. 5 #11-12. Upon learning about her husband’s secret involvement in the Pykkt-Rannian War, Alanna kills Adam Strange in a fit of rage, then covers it up to make it look like a suicide.

–Batman Secret Files #3 Part 3
Batman learns that a new assassin named Mr. Teeth plans on killing a woman in the suburbs outside of Gotham. The Dark Knight shows up just in time to save her and bust the villain.

–Justice League Vol. 4 #40-43 (“INVASION OF THE SUPERMEN”)
Scott Snyder tweeted that “Invasion of the Supermen” occurs prior to “Justice/Doom War.” I usually don’t arrange the chronology based upon what creators say outside of the comics themselves, especially when said creator isn’t even the writer of the title in question—but this one is actually fact, hence placement here. Former Green Lantern Sodam Yat violently crashes on Earth and is taken into the care of the Justice League at the Hall of Justice. Sodam Yat explains that the Eradicator has created a cloned army of Daxamite warriors that are coming to Earth. (Sodam Yat is a Daxamite, an alien species that descended from Kryptonians, so they are very similar.) Wonder Woman suggests that they consult Madame Xanadu for special magick to use against the hordes from Daxam. Justice League Vol. 4 #40 tells us outright that: the JL—sans John Stewart—hasn’t met Sodam Yat before; the JL—sans Wonder Woman—hasn’t met Madame Xanadu before; and Flash has never met nor even heard of the Eradicator before. As far-fetched as that all may seem (especially Flash’s ignorance), the elision of facts listed above are indeed possible, I guess. While Superman and John Stewart chat about the former’s recent decision to tell the world his secret ID, Batman—with sad thoughts of the dearly departed Alfred on his mind—visits London in search of Madame Xanadu. Madam Xanadu finds Batman first and she isn’t pleased that he’s come a-calling. Eventually, however, Batman is able to win her over. Sensing the danger involved with the current battle against the Eradicator, Batman orders the evacuation of the Hall of Justice. In Metropolis, Superman, Wonder Woman, John Stewart, and Flash face off against Eradicator and the “Advance Legion” of his Daxamite army. The heroes struggle mightily until Batman and Madame Xanadu come and bail them out by teleporting them to the safety of the Scottish Highlands. However, an unconscious Wonder Woman gets accidentally left behind. Eradicator kidnaps Wonder Woman, smashes his way into the Hall of Justice, and delivers a live global broadcast, declaring himself as the new ruler of Earth. Soon after, Sodom Yat and the heroes combat the Eradicator and his army yet again. The bad guys fatuously chase Flash, who lures them through a Madame Xanadu-created portal and onto a distant planetary system that doesn’t have a yellow sun. On this alien planet, with the playing field evened, the heroes kick the villains’ asses. Eradicator is so disappointed in his troops that he tries to kill them all. The JL stops him from doing so. While Superman distracts Eradicator, Wonder Woman chops his head clean off with her sword! The Green Lantern Corps then brings all the Daxamites into custody. Back on Earth, Batman invites Madame Xanadu to join the main JL roster, but she turns him down. She gives him a tarot reading, telling him that a great obstacle lies ahead for the JL. (A reference in Justice League Vol. 4 Annual #2 tells us that the JL puts the Eradicator’s severed robot head into one of the Hall of Justice’s laboratories.)

–DC’s Crimes of Passion #1 Part 7
Nightjar returns to Gotham, ripping off Penguin. Batman notifies Slam Bradley, who tells the Dark Knight he must handle the situation solo. Bradley meets with his old flame and helps her escape from Penguin’s henchmen.

–REFERENCE: In Superman Vol. 5 #23. John Constantine helps Batman on an unspecified case, after which Superman hears about it.

–REFERENCE: In Superman Vol. 5 #23. Lois Lane, Batman, and some of Superman’s other friends, looking out for his mental health, ask him to go through a mystical check-up and therapy session with the new Dr. Fate (Khalid Nassour).

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1024. Bruce hears a rumor that an inert Lincoln March has been disavowed by the Court of Owls and buried in their secret “Tomb of the Unworthy.”

–REFERENCE: In Suicide Squad Vol. 6 #6. Batman hears about Arkham Asylum inmate Dr. Pacat, who escapes from the prison by stabbing three guards with a spoon.

–Batman Secret Files #3 Part 4
When a new assassin named Gunsmith (Douglas Worth) murders several folks and takes control of a Wayne Enterprises building that is running a weapons-return amnesty program, Batman is on the case. After researching his foe, Batman infiltrates the boobytrapped premises only to find that Gunsmith has taken a hostage. The hostage’s brother, manipulated by Gunsmith, shoots Batman at point blank range, winging him. Batman rescues the abductee, but Gunsmith escapes clean. Afterward, Batman takes the gun from the kidnap victim’s brother and calms him down.



–Suicide Squad Vol. 6 #6
With their government handler dead, the Suicide Squad is free and hellbent on going after the money man behind the latest version of Task Force X—Ted Kord! (SPOILER: Ted is actually a disguised Black Mask.) The latest Suicide Squad lineup (Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Chaos Kitten, The Aerie, Deadly Six, Fin, Osita, Thylacine, Zebra-Man, Wink, and an as-of-yet-unnamed puppy that will later be named Dogshot) heads to Gotham to have their brain bombs removed by Dr. Pacat. (The majority of the new Suicide Squad line-up is comprised of the Badhnisian antihero group known as The Revolutionaries.) After surgery, Harley Quinn and Deadshot learn that they’ve finally been fully pardoned for all their crimes thanks to having completed enough Suicide Squad missions. Amazing! When a big bounty goes out on the rogue Suicide Squad, Batman springs into action. After taking down Dr. Pacat and some would-be assassins, Batman confronts the Suicide Squad head-on. Despite ten-to-one odds, Batman holds his own. The entire Suicide Squad flees, leaving Deadshot and the puppy behind. Wink steals the Batmobile! Batman then fights Deadshot to a stalemate, after which Deadshot shows Batman his pardon.

–DC Cybernetic Summer #1 Part 10
Cyborg (having just recently returned from his long JL Odyssey adventure in deep space) fights Cyborg Superman. Meanwhile, from the Synodic Transphase Zone (a realm outside of time and space), the Cyborg Superman of Earth-D/cosX19Y (Henry Victor Kentshaw ClarkStone) uses his vast cosmic power to influence Batman and Superman’s minds, causing them to intervene in Cyborg and Cyborg Superman’s fight via a preposterous dissimulation. Batman dons a bizarre robot disguise and calls himself “Super Cyborg Cyborg Superman” aka “SuCCS” (and even makes a fake Wikipedia page about this new persona). The appearance of Superman and SuCCS are enough to confuse Cyborg Superman, who is taken down by Cyborg. Confused yet? We learn that Earth-D/cosX19Y Cyborg Superman is only messing with Earth-0 affairs because he is in a Synodic Transphase Zone high-stakes poker game that involves betting actual Earths. Seated at the poker table are Harbinger, Kamandi, Reverse-Flash, and the Anti-Monitor! Harbinger is definitely an alternate universe version of the original. The others are very likely alternate universe versions as well.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 4 #44. Aquaman secretly returned from his long absence (ever since “Drowned Earth,” where he had been mistakenly believed to be dead) about nine months ago. Cut to now. Aquaman and Mera have a baby (as seen in Aquaman Vol. 8 #57)! Mera gives birth to their daughter Andrina “Andy” Curry. Aquaman not only surprises the the Justice League with his presence, but also notifies them of Andy’s arrival into the world. Note that Aquaman’s re-appearance here directly contradicts his dramatic re-appearance in the upcoming “Justice/Doom War” (Justice League Vol. 4 #30-39). This error exists because a bunch of Justice League issues were released out of order. Because “Justice/Doom War” leads directly into Dark Nights: Death Metal, Justice League Vol. 4 #30-39 (October 2019 to March 2020) occurs AFTER Justice League Vol. 4 #40-52 (April to December 2020). You can see how continuity got screwed up as a result.

–Suicide Squad Vol. 6 #11
In a Bell Reve morgue, the Black Racer resurrects his Earth-born son (and ex-Suicide Squad member) Jog (Samuel Song). Jog rejoins the Suicide Squad (Harley Quinn, Chaos Kitten, the Aerie, Deadly Six, Fin, Osita, Thylacine, Zebra-Man, and Wink) in Badhnisia to help them contain an exploding TNTeen. (The Suicide Squad has just outed the fake Ted Kord as Black Mask, ripping his mask off and taking him captive—but at the loss of Deadshot, who has been killed.) With Jog’s help, the team stops TNTeen from exploding, saving her life. The Justice League (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash), Green Arrow, and real Ted Kord show up to apprehend the Suicide Squad and Black Mask, but Badhnisian President Mishra (the Aerie’s mom) intervenes, praising the Suicide Squad as heroes. The JL takes Black Mask into custody, but leaves the Suicide Squad to its own devices. Fully-pardoned, the Suicide Squad disbands, but they all (sans Harley Quinn) stay in Badhnisia as the now-government-avowed Revolutionaries. Harley returns to Gotham to spend quality time with Zoe Lawton, who is devastated at the loss of her father. Two days later, the Revolutionaries abduct several top authority figures currently linked to Task Force X—including Dr. Mrva, a US Army General, thinly-veiled President Donald Trump, and possibly Condoleezza Rice. Osita even beats Trump with his own golf club! In an undisclosed location, the Revolutionaries force the government cabal members to shut down the Suicide Squad project permanently. Hopefully this sticks for a while—at least until the next Suicide Squad movie gets released. Sigh. Notwithstanding, Tom Taylor is a damn good comic book writer.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 4 Annual #2. Batman begins working on a top secret microbot/nanobot defense system inside the Hall of Justice.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1027 Part 3. Early May. An escaped Joker celebrates Batman’s “birthday” by kidnapping him, unmasking him, and strapping him to a chair for electro shock therapy. Note that while Joker obviously knows Batman’s secret ID, the bluntness of removing his mask feels a bit more post-“Joker War” than pre-“Joker War.” However, we can assume that Joker doesn’t care about Batman’s alter ego in this moment, so it’s not too big of a deal. In the flashback image, Joker isn’t even looking at Batman anyway. Batman escapes his electrified predicament.

–Justice League Vol. 4 #44-47 (“COLD WAR”)
Aquaman calls in the Justice League for help in the Southern (Antarctic) Ocean to deal with the spirits of Scylla, the Hydra, the Drakon, the Nemean lion, Cetus the serpent, a manticore, a griffin, a hippogriff, some rocs, and other creatures of myth that have escaped from Tartarus. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and John Stewart join with Aquaman and Atlantean troops to combat the creatures, during which the Javelin is totaled. Unknown to all, the creatures have been set free and prodded into combat by the Spectre. The heroes send the creatures back into he depths of Greco-Roman Hell, but the Spectre then causes the Justice League to succumb to their deepest jealousies, which leads to them battling each other. The heroes cool off and then confront the Spectre. Wonder Woman lassos him to learn the truth at the heart of the matter at hand. Jim Corrigan, sick of being bonded with the Spectre, traveled to a place outside of God’s jurisdiction: Tartarus. This has caused a fog of vengeance to suffuse the entire planet. Unless our heroes can re-bond Corrigan with the Spectre, the planet is doomed. Hoping to access Tartarus, the JL travels to Themyscira. Upon arrival, the JL is greeted with Amazonian spears, arrows, and swords. Hippolyta calms her warriors and is about to let her daughter and company pass, but the Spectre causes the Amazons to attack. While John Stewart stays behind to stave off the Amazons, the rest of the JL ventures down into Tartarus. In the abyss, they find Corrigan and the great god Tartarus (for whom the Hellish realm is named). The evil god restrains the heroes and causes anger and hatred to spread across the globe. Seeing no other recourse, Corrigan re-bonds with the Spectre. The combined might of the heroes (along the the Amazons) is enough to defeat Tartarus.

–Justice League Vol. 4 #48-50 (“THE RULE”)
The Justice League fixes and upgrades the Javelin, using it to rescue a drifting spacecraft filled with alien children of the species known as The Trotha. The kids have been orphaned as a result of a brutal civil war between the Spark-worshippers and the Cell-worshippers of their society. Just as the JL arrives on the rogue comet home world of the Trotha, they find that a revolt by enslaved aliens has deposed the tyrant Empress Siddinix. (Writer Si Spurrier refers to revolting enslaved aliens as a “lynch mob,” which is not only odd, but also fairly offensive.) Superman prevents the formerly enslaved aliens from executing the queen, taking her into custody instead. The JL then chats with the leaders of the the Spark-worshippers and Cell-worshippers, who beg the JL to become the new rulers of the planet. All of a sudden, a weird brain-like alien slug in an even more bizarre looking mech appears, citing that the warmongering Vermidiim race is coming to colonize the Trotha. He detonates himself in a suicide attack, but the heroes save everyone present. All JLers but Wonder Woman agree to assume temporary leadership of the Trotha to help them repel the impending invasion. For four days, Batman, Flash, Superman, and John Stewart try to prep the Trotha for war, but they fail to understand their culture, causing even more problems. Wonder Woman, who has taken the time to actually talk to people and learn about the Trotha, chastises her teammates for their screw-ups. Eventually, Wonder Woman joins Superman, Flash, and John Stewart to repel the Vermidiim invasion in space. Meanwhile, Batman audio-records his friends in battle, but they say some upsetting pro-war things that get leaked to the Trotha populace. This causes the Spark-worshippers and Cell-worshippers to unite and attack Batman while attempting to put Siddinix back on the throne. Siddinix mind-controls Batman, sending him to regroup with the rest of the returning JL. However, Wonder Woman realizes something is off and lassos Batman, returning him to his senses. Batman pretends that he’s still under Siddinix’s control and the JL begins a massive expedient to stop her casuistry and end the war. The JL tries to broker a peace treaty between the Vermidiim and united Trotha, but they seemingly fail yet again. (It’s all part of the sting operation.) Soon after, the Trotha factions restart their civil war, but Batman (still pretending to be under Siddinix’s thumb) tricks the Cell-worshippers and Spark-Worshippers into joining together to combat the lingering Vermidiim. Just as all hope seems lost and Siddinix regains her throne, the JL turns the tables on the despot, exposing her evil to the Trotha. An angry citizenry apprehends Siddinix and turns her over to the Vermidiim, ending the conflict. The Trotha also end their pointless civil war at home as well.

–Justice League Vol. 4 #51-52 (“THE GARDEN OF MERCY”)
Picking up directly from Justice League Vol. 4 #50, the Justice League flies back home from the Trotha planet. A mysterious force summons them to a distant seemingly dead planet. Upon investigating the surface, our heroes find humanoid beings attached to towering Black Mercy trees. The forest quickly ensnares the heroes, putting them each into hallucinatory states. The heroes are able to fight their way out and destroy the Black Mercy. Back home on Earth, Superman debriefs with Batman.

–Justice League Vol. 4 Annual #2
When a fresh corpse turns up inside the Hall of Justice, the Justice League is on the case. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, and John Stewart are soon attacked by all the technology inside the Hall of Justice, forcing them to fight against their own HQ. Eventually, the heroes discover that the Eradicator’s severed robot head has taken control of the entire complex. The JL regains control and locks Eradicator’s head away into a safer place.

–Shazam! Vol. 3 #14
In the alternate dimension known as the Magiclands, which connects to a mashed-up Oz and Wonderland (aka the Wozenderlands) and other fantastical places, the Shazam Family, including new member CC Batson (Billy Batson’s dad), battles against the Monster Society of Evil (Mr. Mind, Dr. Thaddeus Sivana, Black Adam, Evil Eye, Jeepers, King Kull, Mr. Atom, Mr. Merry-Go-Round, the Red Queen, Scapegoat, the Crocodile-Men, the Wicked Witch of the West, some flying monkeys, and some evil clowns). With his adoptive parents (Rosa Vasquez and Victor Vasquez), Tawky Tawny, the White Rabbit (from Alice in Wonderland), and the Scarecrow (from The Wizard of Oz) watching, Shazam defeats the Monster Society. (Don’t forget, Shazam is still technically suffering from his Dark Joker infection, but that doesn’t come into play in this story. He’s totally fine.) However, Superboy-Prime, having been released from a dungeon in the Monsterlands, attacks! Sensing the greater threat, Black Adam turns face and helps Shazam defeat Superboy-Prime. Shazam then does a spell that prevents the Magiclands from merging with Philadelphia. As the Magiclands fade into the ether, Shazam hears cries for help from Dorothy Gale and the Cowardly Lion (from The Wizard of Oz) and Humpty Dumpty (from the Mother Goose nursery rhyme). He vows to return to help them one day. CC Batson loses his powers along with any memories about what has occurred. With no desire to reconnect with his son, CC departs, leaving Shazam heartbroken. Black Adam officially takes CC’s place in the Shazam Family. The Monster Society members get locked up in Rock Falls Penitentiary while Superboy-Prime gets locked up at the Hall of Justice. The Shazam Family (sans Black Adam) then hangs out with the Justice League. (Note that Aquaman is drawn very generically, with short hair and no beard, which is a continuity error.)

–Detective Comics #1027 Part 1
Batman gets kayoed and winds up restrained in a high-tech underwater death trap. The Dark Knight escapes and busts the man responsible, Balsam.

–Detective Comics #1027 Part 7
Bruce is notified that, thanks to new WayneTech “wavefinder” scanning devices, the annual SS Odyssey salvage team believes it has found the long hidden location of Patrick Wayne’s ill-fated floating art museum, which sunk in 1937. Live from Wayne Manor, Bruce speaks about the impending salvage dive as part of an interview for the podcast Impossible But True, hosted by Roy Raymond Jr (former Owlman and grandson of the original TV show host). A day later in the Atlantic, Bruce joins Raymond and his crew—Martin Compass (grandson of Captain Mark Compass), Sandra Bradley (granddaughter of Slam Bradley and daughter of Sam Bradley), and Cathy Saunders (granddaughter of Cyril “Speed” Saunders) for the dive. Bruce, having been tipped off by international law enforcement that there could be a mole aboard the boat, feigns indisposition to stay behind on the yacht above. He finds Compass gagged-and-bound in a back room. The mole, having swapped places with Compass, joins the others to locate the long lost Odyssey shipwreck. They find that all the art has already been removed. The mole finds a map leading to the lost treasures, takes it, and returns to the surface with plans to eliminate the seasick Bruce. Of course, Batman is waiting for the guy. With a little help from Raymond, Batman takes him down. Later, Bruce and the Impossible But True crew follow the map to recover the art.


–Batman: Gotham Nights Vol. 3 #17 Part 1
Batman chases an escaped Scarecrow and his minions to the alligator-filled Slaughter Swamp outside of Gotham City. After getting dosed with a new strain of Fear Gas, Batman is saved by Swamp Thing. Wearing Swamp Thing akin to a 616-Venom-like symbiote suit, a jacked-up Batman busts Scarecrow and his henchmen.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Urban Legends #2 Part 1. Batman shakes down one of Scarecrow’s henchmen, Sydney Paige, telling him to wise up and change his ways.

–Detective Comics #1020-1022 (“UGLY HEART”)
Two-Face has gotten even more unhinged since we last saw him in “City of Bane.” Having blackouts and switching randomly switching back-and-forth between his good side and his evil side, Two-Face has started a new cult called The Church of the Two and permanently acid-scarred the entire left side of his body to match his face. After Two-Face brutally murders the notorious DeMarco Brothers, Batman visits the scene of the homicide to gather evidence, instantly recognizing the famous gangsters from his vast criminal databases. An injured Two-Face gets fixed up at an urgent care center, but then kills his doctor. This prompts his cult followers to torch the place. Batman shows up mid-arson and kicks their asses, but they all commit suicide rather than tell the Dark Knight what Two-Face is up to. After examining the corpses, Batman discovers they all had terminal illnesses. The clues lead Batman to the courthouse, but while en-route he runs into a panicked Two-Face. Two-Face appears in his Harvey Dent persona, importuning Batman for help, citing that he’s not in control of his other half at all anymore. Batman cuffs Two-Face in the Batmobile and heads into the basement of the courthouse. There, he finds Two-Face’s cult. Meanwhile, Two-Face reverts back to his evil persona, breaks free of his cuffs, and descends into the basement with guns a-blazing. Two-Face captures Batman and dumps him into a vat of acid, but Batman escapes unscathed and even saves the lives of every single cult member when the acid bath floods the room. Batman then prevents two cultists from blowing up a children’s hospital, discovering that all Church members have terminal illnesses and their families were paid large sums of cash in exchange for their loyalty to Two-Face. Batman also learns that a faceless Joker, Hugo Strange, and Mad Hatter saved Two-Face’s life after he attempted suicide (by shooting himself in the head) four years ago. (Joker implanted a mind-control microchip alongside the bullet, which remains lodged in Two-Face’s brain to this day.) The cultist under Batman’s interrogation reveals that he—along with another cultist named Versa—is secretly working for Joker as a mole within the Church. He says Joker has told them to follow all of Two-Face’s order to a tee. Meanwhile, across town, Joker blows open the Court of Owls’ Tomb of the Unworthy.

–Detective Comics #1023-1024
Picking up directly from Detective Comics #1022, Joker resurrects Lincoln March. Meanwhile, Batman shakes-down the usual suspects in search of Two-Face, instead finding his way to Hugo Strange and Mad Hatter. Batman beats them both up, learning that Joker is trying to control Two-Face via the microchip implanted in the bullet in his head. At the GCPD armory, Batman fights Two-Face, who dons one of Geri Powers’ old Bat-mech-suits. Batman fights Two-Face and destroys the chip in his head using some magnetized tech. On Joker’s behalf, Lincoln March leads an army of Talons against the Caped Crusader. Batman and Two-Face team-up to fight the Talons, defeating them. Batman then restrains Two-Face and performs brain surgery on him, removing the bullet from his head! Later, as Matches Malone, Batman visits Two-Face in prison to give him the bullet.

–REFERENCE: In Batgirl Vol. 5 #48. Jim Gordon is released from prison with court dates set in his future.

–REFERENCE: In Batman/Superman Vol. 2 #12. Batman hears all about the Metal Men fighting a Chemo in New York (as seen in Metal Men Vol. 4 #6-9). A device known as a Chemo Responsometer, created by Dr. Will Magnus, was responsible for conjuring up the monster. Batman studies up on the device.

–Batman/Superman Vol. 2 Annual #1
Bat-Mite and Mxyzptlk are up to their old tricks again. Arguing over who would win in a fight between Batman and Superman, the 5th Dimensional gods temporarily re-write reality in order to tell their epic stories of “Batman vs Superman.” Eventually, Batman and Superman, transformed into plastic action figures and brought to the 5th Dimension, realize their predicament. The heroes are able to trick Bat-Mite and Mxyzptlk into fighting each other, thus allowing for a return home and return to continuity normalcy. Bat-Mite and Mxyzptlk wind up as plastic action figures inside the Batcave, playthings for Ace the Bat-Hound and Krypto.

–DC: The Doomed and The Damned #1 Part 2
Batman hears about multiple boys falling mysteriously ill and dying at an orphanage, supposedly due to supernatural causes. Taking the case, Batman preps some interdimensional detection equipment and obtains some Nth Metal weaponry from Dr. Fate. Soon afterward, Batman and the sibling of an afflicted child confront the grotesque monster known as Mr. Slowdeath, a Cthulhu-like creature that emerges from a mirror. Using his weapons, Batman exorcises the demon, thus saving the sick kid.

–Batman/Superman Vol. 2 #12-14 (“PLANET BRAINIAC”)
Guided by their special crime prediction algorithm, Batman and Superman travel to Hawaii to take on the Brimstone Brotherhood, a cult obsessed with resurrecting the original Apokoliptian Brimstone. Instead, the cult raises up a lava-fueled Chemo, which Batman and Superman are able to defeat. The heroes jail the villains and confiscate a stolen Chemo Responsometer. Later, while Batman and Superman debrief in the Batcave, the Bat-computer gets hacked. Bat-mechs, Batmobiles, Batplanes, Bat-drones, the T rex, and other networked Bat-stuff goes haywire and begins attacking the heroes. The Chemo Responsometer creates a new Chemo as well. This forces Batman to do a manual override of the entire Batcave, which shuts down the Batcave and everything inside of it. With the Batcave trashed, Batman troubleshoots his Bat-computer network, finding a Kryptonian virus within. The restored Kandor has corrupted their algorithm with an ancient Brainiac signal (essentially a duplicate of the real Brainiac in the form of a computer virus). Superman and an injured Batman—who both don extra armor—record an explanatory video and send out a JL alert specifically to Steel and Batwoman, who follow the path of the Brainiac Virus signal to its source on the dark side of the Moon. (En route, Steel mentions that Brainiac is currently partnered with Lex Luthor, and we get an editorial asterisk that says “See ‘Justice/Doom War’ .” Brainiac is absolutely partnered with Luthor at the moment, but this editorial notation should read “See ‘Metropolis Doom’ ” or “See Justice League Vol. 4” instead. “Justice/Doom War” has yet to occur.) On the Moon, Batman and Superman are captured by a bunch of Brainiac robots. Shortly thereafter, Batman, Superman, Batwoman, and Steel fight dozens of Brainiac robots that resemble their greatest foes. Meanwhile, the main Brainiac doppelgänger monologues and creates a Composite Superman-Batman robot, sending it to wreak havoc on Earth. While Superman defeats the Composite Superman-Batman robot in Metropolis, Batman and Steel hack into the Brainiac Virus’s system, overloading it and containing it inside a severed robot Joker head. Batwoman defeats dozens of remaining robot drones all by herself. Later, in the Batcave, Batman downloads the Brainiac Virus (which is now permanently stuck in a heroic Composite Superman-Batman mode) into an old computer terminal from the 1980s. Superman, Batwoman, and Steel leave Batman to clean up the Batcave all by himself.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1028. With Mr. Terrific’s help, Batman creates a high-tech portable x-ray device.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Nights: Death Metal #5. Batman collects some of the rare metal inertron, a nearly indestructible alloy (basically DC’s equivalent to Marvel’s adamantium). He stores it in the Batcave.

–Batman: Black and White Vol. 5 #1 Part 5
Batman is called in by the GCPD to handle a putative hostage situation involving Killer Croc. Batman enters an apartment building to find the supposed hostage, a young woman named Melanie, sitting calmly near the corpse of a mutilated cop. Batman finds Killer Croc making dinner in the kitchen, upon which Melanie bops Batman on the head and tells Killer Croc to scram. The villain leaps out the window only to be apprehended by the cops. Melanie reveals to a surprised Batman that she was in love with Killer Croc, and they had been sharing the apartment as a couple.

–Batman: The World Part 10
Bruce goes on a Wayne Enterprises business trip to Mexico City, Mexico. While there, he witnesses what appears to be a woman being murdered only to be told that it is la atormentada, a ghost of a someone that was killed but whose death was never avenged. As night falls, Batman takes to the streets, busting the ghost’s killers. He is then approached by the spirit, who guides him to her discarded corpse deep beneath an old Aztec pyramid. There, Batman buries her remains, giving her a proper burial.

–Batman: The World Part 11
Bruce and Lucius Fox travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to see why their Wayne Industries investments have not born any fruit there, despite having had lucrative funding for a year now. While Lucius meets with all the top brass, he secretly records the meeting, sending video to Batman, who is able to ascertain that the congressman in charge of their contracts is corrupt. After saving a woman and her child from a mugger, Batman targets a Wayne Industries money exchange between crooks and senators, busting the whole bunch. Batman then intimidates their big boss, congressman João Santos, scaring him straight.

–Batman: The World Part 12
Lucius Fox shutters WayneTech Korea’s Muninn project, which focuses on visual memory scanning and memory capture technology, citing that it’s too dangerous and unethical to continue funding. However, a rogue scientist continues the project. When the Muninn tech falls into the hands of masked Korean super-villain Saba, the scientist has no choice but to notify her superiors. Thus, Batman travels to Korea to meet with the scientist, who tells him that she had only continued the project because she wanted to use Muninn to solve the mysterious nature of her brother’s recent suicide in Gotham. Batman dons a special tiger-striped Bat-costume (which had been in development by the scientist and Lucius Fox) and takes on Korean gangsters and Saba. However, the scientist reveals that she is working with Saba in an effort to get revenge on Batman, who was at the scene of her brother’s suicide (and whom she blames for causing his death). The scientist shows Batman a Muninn visualization of her niece’s memories from the night of her brother’s death, depicting a menacing Batman causing the victim to jump out of a window to his death. Meanwhile, the scientist begins scanning all of Batman’s memories, threatening to share all his secrets to the world. When Batman tells her that her brother killed himself because of Scarecrow’s Fear Gas, she realizes that her niece’s memories of the event are false—mere hallucinations of Batman. (The suicide victim was a criminal, so the niece, under the influence of Fear Gas, merely envisioned Batman going after her dad.) Realizing the error of her ways, the scientist helps Batman, allowing him to defeat Saba.

–REFERENCE: In One-Star Squadron #1 and One-Star Squadron #3. Against their better judgement, the Justice League endorses the number one hero-for-hire app service Heroz4U, which is currently being managed by Red Tornado and Power Girl (although it has a corporate board of directors at the top). As part of the endorsement, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Hal Jordan, Black Lightning, and Hawkman all act in a cheesy TV commercial. (It’s also possible that the heroes appearing in the commercial are actors playing the heroes, but it’s best not to think too deeply about this one.)

–Blue and Gold #1
Note that an editor’s note in Blue and Gold #8 places the entire series prior to “Joker War.” The Justice League (sans Superman) is captured by robot-aliens, prompting Booster Gold and Skeets to attempt a monetized livestream rescue! With fans—including “b-bo” (Bibbo Bibbowski), “gg” (Guy Gardner), “bill“, “dubba“, “gawd“, “jdj“, “outliar“, “radiojoe“, “she kat“, “t-grrl“, and “zblah“—watching (and trolling), Booster struggles mightily with the robots. Worried, Skeets contacts Ted Kord for help. Soon after, Blue Beetle joins Booster, giving him the boost he needed to succeed. Beetle and Booster rescue the JL just as the aliens warp away. Afterward, Booster departs with Black Adam on clean-up duty. The rest of the JL invites Beetle to join the team, but he refuses to join without Booster (who is definitely not getting an invite). Light years away on a distant planet, the robot-aliens’ royal general, Princess Omnizon, reports back to her father Lord Kif’n, vowing revenge against Beetle and Booster.

–Blue and Gold #8
Booster Gold and Blue Beetle, now guided by secretary Trixie Collins and going as “Blue and Gold Restoration,” bust the Rainbow Raider. Afterward, Buggles (Blue Beetle’s own version of Skeets) teleports the heroes to the Badlands, South Dakota. A diagnostic reveals that Buggles has been accidentally infected with a computer virus by the other Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes), who in turn had been infected by the real culprit: Black Beetle. The villain zaps the heroes back to the age of the dinosaurs where they do battle. Black Beetle unmasks, revealing himself to be a Booster Gold from an alternate future timeline. After defeating Black Beetle, the heroes return to the present day only to learn that they are completely out of money. Batman, having been remotely following along, shows up and gives them $20 million (of Bruce Wayne’s money) to continue their operations.

–Batman Vol. 3 #86-88 (“THEIR DARK DESIGNS”)
Early summer—Penguin hints at the season in Batman Vol. 3 #94. The Bat-computer flags an alert on the deep web about a big assassin hit happening in Gotham in five days’ time. Batman soon discovers that Deathstroke, Cheshire, Merlyn, Gunsmith, and Mr. Teeth are the assassins that have been hired for the score. As Batman preps to fight them, he makes several visits to a Wayne Enterprises hospital construction site. On the night of the big hit, the new Wayne Enterprises Tricorner Yards Campus opens for business. As does the secret Hibernaculum bunker deep beneath it (and the five Micro-Batcaves hidden in the main building above). Batman gives Lucius Fox designs for a new hybrid super-vehicle called the Nightclimber, which Lucius immediately begins running through their autonomous tech-building factory. Later that night, Bruce and Selina attend the grand opening of the new campus, which also functions as an investment fundraiser gala. In attendance are Mayor Dunch and his wife Deborah Dunch. Bruce ditches in order to patrol and re-visit the hospital site. Meanwhile, the assassins enter Gotham, but Batman gets the jump on them, busting all five, starting with Deathstroke. (The bloody fight against Deathstroke is shown in Batman Secret Files #3 Part 5, which overlaps with Batman Vol. 3 #86, and also via flashback from Deathstroke Inc #1.) In the Tricorner Yards Campus vault, Catwoman prevents a man from swapping out new blueprints with the current Tricorner Yards blueprints. The man then succumbs to a violent and poisonous death before the super-villain who hired the five assassins, known as the Designer, speaks through him, telling Catwoman he and his pals have big plans for the city. Meanwhile, Joker continues top secret plans of his own, ordering the execution of henchmen that know about his scheme. Upon hearing about the arrest of the five assassins, Riddler and Penguin both worry, knowing the Designer is in town. An unhinged Riddler, who has been tweaking on meth for six-and-a-half months (ever since Luthor visited him in Year of the Villain: The Riddler #1), panics while Penguin violently stabs his entire inner circle to death before gearing up for war. (Note that we are told that “City of Bane” and Year of the Villain: The Riddler #1 took place around three months ago, but in order to jibe with our specific early summer setting, it has to have been been six-and-a-half months ago.) Batman briefs with Catwoman before heading to the Black Block. There, he discovers that Cheshire is still on the loose, having been swapped out with a clay body double. Batman puts a poison-proof protective coating on his costume and then rockets himself out of the Nightclimber in the Bat-Shot, testing the dangerous vehicle on the fly. While the Dark Knight takes down Cheshire, Penguin infiltrates police HQ and opens the cell doors in the Black Block. So much for state-of-the-art security. Sheesh. Penguin kidnaps the prisoners. Meanwhile, Catwoman radios Riddler, reminding him that he, she, Penguin, and Joker made a deal with the mysterious Designer years ago, and now the latter has come to collect. In Gotham’s Potter’s Field, Catwoman digs up a grave and opens a casket revealing a corpse dressed up to look like Joker. Across town, Batman uses a brand new Lucius Fox-designed tech called The Echo, which can turn any car with a Wayne Enterprises engine into a temporary Batmobile. Guided by Lucius, Batman finds Penguin and the captive assassins. Freed, the assassins attack Batman and make their escape by slitting Penguin’s throat. Batman is able to stabilize Penguin, who tells him that the Designer is going after Bruce Wayne, putting into motion a plan that he, Riddler, Joker, and Catwoman initiated years ago. In the graveyard, Catwoman is attacked by several undertakers that are mind-controlled by the Designer. Harley Quinn shows up and rescues Catwoman.

–Batman Vol. 3 #89-91 (“THEIR DARK DESIGNS” Continued…)
Early summer. At Gotham’s Potter’s Field, Catwoman and Harley Quinn rough up the Designer’s sexton henchmen. Harley tells Catwoman that the dead Joker corpse is an old Joker henchman, and Joker had left him there as part a lead-in for a big scheme he’s been planning against Batman. Merlyn and Cheshire attack next, keeping Harley and Catwoman on their toes. From a distance, Joker’s new girlfriend Punchline (Alexis Kaye) watches with keen interest. After busting Gunsmith and Mr. Teeth, Batman infiltrates Riddler’s not-so-secret lair and finds security footage of the Big Bad—the Designer. Batman tells Lucius to activate the BatSpawn drones. Lucius does so, sending them after Deathstroke (with Harley Quinn at the controls). Catwoman and Harley then show up at Riddler’s lair, meeting up with Batman. Meanwhile, Joker and Punchline forge ahead with their own scheme, prepping for engagements with the civilian alter-egos of each primary Bat-Family member. Atop the skyscrapers of Gotham, Catwoman tells Batman about the deal she and the other Bat-rogues made with the Designer years ago. The Designer offered to design the ultimate villainous plan for each of them in exchange for half the loot gained afterward. After approving Riddler, Penguin, and Catwoman’s plans, the Designer met with Joker, learning how sick and twisted the Clown Prince of Crime really was. (Joker’s wish was simply to take the Designer’s place.) This caused the Designer to renege, leading to Joker shooting him dead. But now, the Designer has seemingly returned and is out for revenge. Catwoman tells Batman the ultimate heist that she and the Designer came up with all those years ago involved robbing Wayne Enterprises of its entire fortune. While Batman fights Deathstroke, the Designer abducts all the other villains and sends mind-controlled cops after Catwoman and Harley Quinn. When the Designer cancels his contract with Deathstroke, Deathstroke decides to team-up with Batman. The unlikely duo fights against more mind-controlled cops. Riddler announces he is partnered with the Designer.

–Batman Vol. 3 #92-94 (“THEIR DARK DESIGNS” Conclusion)[7]
Early summer. Picking up directly from Batman Vol. 3 #91, a hospitalized Penguin, as usual, dodges any culpability in wrongdoing, much to the chagrin of Commissioner Bullock. Meanwhile, Riddler turns the entire city into a giant crossword puzzle using hard-light holographic walls that are rigged with explosives. Riddler challenges Batman on a live pirated TV broadcast to complete the puzzle, which Batman does while riding the Bat-Train (with Deathstroke) toward Riddler’s location inside Bruce Wayne’s office at Tricorner Yards. After alighting at the station, Batman kicks Riddler’s ass and tranquilizes Deathstroke. The Designer confronts Batman, revealing that he knows his secret ID. Across town, Catwoman and Harley Quinn dispatch with more zombie cops and then attempt to rob an underground hedge fund for super-villains (The Underbrokerage) run by the aptly named Underbroker (Harlan Graves) and his assistant known as Doorman. Punchline shows up to fight Harley Quinn while Catwoman makes a transfer of funds. Fearing exposure of Bruce’s secret life and theft of his assets, Catwoman orders the Underbroker to transfer Bruce’s entire portfolio into her super-villain account. In Bruce’ office, Batman sword-duels the Designer and unmasks him to reveal that he is still just a corpse—albeit a remote-controlled corpse like all the others. The Designer is still dead, killed by the hand of the Joker all those years ago. Who’s been pulling all the strings? Joker, of course. Deathstroke, having been working for Joker the entire time, shows up and stabs Batman in the leg. At the Underbrokerage, Punchline slits Harley’s throat and shoots Catwoman. On Punchline’s command, the Underbroker transfers all of Bruce’s assets—his personal fortune and Wayne Enterprises—into Joker’s account. Bruce is also publicly exposed as having embezzled millions and warrant is issued for his arrest. A bloody and battered Batman is nursed back to health by Lucius Fox, who tells him that he can’t play Alfred anymore and must instead focus his efforts on trying how to figure out how to save the company. Lucius tells Batman that his daughter, Dr. Tam Fox, is caring for an equally-injured Catwoman at Mercy Hospital. Batman has a quick phone chat with Catwoman before rushing over to the hospital only to find that she’s already gone—having been rescued by Penguin. Batman is then approached by Joker’s henchmen, who show him a cellphone video link upon which Joker taunts the Dark Knight and reveals that he’s already kidnapped Lucius. In a secret bunker beneath the Iceberg Lounge (i.e. the Cool Room), Penguin’s doctors tend to Catwoman, who wakes up to find herself hiding among a handful of other super-villains, who are all worried at the scope of Joker’s latest scheme. The New-52-styled Killer Moth is shown, but he’s decidedly different from the Rebirth version, so we must assume this is a different guy than the original (i.e. he’s Killer Moth II). Utterly defeated and having lost everything, the bloody Batman ascends to the top of a skyscraper and beckons the heavens for sign, much like how he did on the night the bat crashed through his study window all those years ago. Thunder rumbles and lightning flashes across the sky, painting the image of a Bat-symbol briefly across the clouds. In the deceased Alfred’s name, Batman vows that he will “become a better bat.” The so-called Joker War has officially begun.

–Detective Comics #1027 Part 12
The Joker War enters its third day. (Note that this item supposedly occurs on Bruce’s birthday, but we are not anywhere near February, so that must be ignored.) Batman breaks into the Batcave and grabs as much gear as he can. He also takes a copy of the Black Casebook. After checking into a dingy hotel under a false name, Bruce phones Lucius Fox, who keeps him abreast of what is happening, informing him that the last secure Wayne Enterprises buildings have been broken into by Joker and his hooligans. The takeover is not only legally official, but now nearly physically complete as well. This prompts Batman to enter a records storage facility that has been heavily booby-trapped. GCPD Officers Bart and Christopher Nakano enter the facility as well. A bomb explodes, killing Officer Bart. Officer Nakano angrily blames Batman for his partner’s death.

–Batman Vol. 3 #95-98 (“THE JOKER WAR”)
The Joker War enters its fourth day. Batman sends multiple remote-controlled Batmobiles to occupy Joker’s henchmen at the Gotham Reservoir. Meanwhile, Punchline drugs Lucius Fox with Joker Venom, forcing him to give her access to all of Batman’s weaponry and tech. Across town, Joker purchases the Monarch Theater and screens The Mark of Zorro before a packed house of laughing Joker Venom victims. (When we last saw the Monarch Theater in Batman: Three Jokers #3, it was derelict, rundown, and boarded-up. Now it is fixed-up and operational, which means that the owner must have recently refurbished it.) Outside of Tricorner Yards, Harlan Graves—now representing all of Wayne Enterprises (i.e. Joker’s) legal affairs—tells Commissioner Bullock to clear his troops off Wayne Enterprises properties. Bullock tells Graves to get bent, citing that he won’t kowtow to Joker or recognize his fraudulent takeover. But the law is on Joker’s side and the GCPD backs down. Batman sneaks into one of his Micro-Batcaves located at Tricorner Yards, specifically the fifth Micro-Batcave, which was being reserved for special use after the Wayne Rebuild Project’s final completion. Inside, Batman fights Punchline and sees a shiny cerulean Bat-costume on display. Interestingly, Lucius designed the turquoise suit based upon blueprints he found in the Bat-computer, but neither Bruce nor Lucius have any idea where the design came from. (They clearly came from Alfred.) Batman succumbs to Punchline Venom and begins hallucinating, hearing Alfred’s voice. He tries to flee the building only to run into a Joker-controlled Batplane. An injured Harley Quinn rescues Batman, who slips into a coma for three days. Batman awakens to find that Gotham has spiraled into Joker-orchestrated chaos. A murderous anti-Joker vigilante known as Clownhunter has begun stalking Joker’s henchmen as well. Still having hallucinations and hearing Alfred’s voice, Batman enters the Monarch Theater where he is attacked by dozens of Jokerized zombies. Harley Quinn rescues Batman, bringing him to an underground bower built by Poison Ivy. Harley gives Batman an anti-toxin, but it makes Batman hallucinate even harder. Punchline invades Poison Ivy’s lair, fighting Harley Quinn again. Batman comes-to and kayos Punchline. Using the Bat-tery, Batman finds the GPS location of each remaining Bat-Family member, recruiting them for battle. As referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #99 Part 1 and Catwoman Vol. 5 #25 Part 1, Batman secretly communicates with Catwoman, coming up with a plan of action to solve his money problems. In Penguin’s villain lair, Catwoman recruits Riddler and Penguin onto her cause via mendacity, saying she wants to rob Joker and split the funds three ways. As seen in the Batman-less Catwoman Vol. 5 #25 Part 1, which occurs now, Catwoman steals back all of Bruce’s money and property, which legally transfers to a bunch of charities and to Lucius Fox. Lucius becomes the new multi-billion dollar CEO of Wayne Enterprises.

–Detective Comics #1025-1026 (“THE JOKER WAR: COLLATERAL DAMAGE”)
This item spans only a few hours, occurring between Batman Vol. 3 #98 and Nightwing Vol. 4 #75 Part 1—still the fourth day of the Joker War. Batman monitors Batwoman fighting Joker’s henchmen in Aparo Park, but the Dark Knight eventually joins Batwoman and Harvey Bullock in a cemetery to help battle more henchmen and shoot down remote-controlled Bat-drones (now Joker-drones). Batman and Batwoman then team-up inside the Bat-Tank, smashing into the Wayne Enterprises Tricorner Campus. They destroy the weapons factory and rescue Lucius Fox, administering an antitoxin to help dilute the Joker Venom in his bloodstream. Batman then hears through the grapevine that Killer Croc has turned over a new leaf and is avoiding Joker’s war at all costs. Thus, Batman is surprised when he learns Croc is kidnapping people. Batman chases Croc into the sewers, finding that he’s turned his victims into his half human-half animal henchmen (via toxic sludge). Croc tells Batman he plans on creating an army of similar henchmen. Batman defeats Croc in combat, after which the villain surrenders, allowing the Dark Knight to take him and his new buddies into Arkham Asylum. While Batman provides treatment to the mutated folks, Croc chats with Batman, apologizing for his actions. They have a touching heart-to-heart and shake hands.

–Nightwing Vol. 4 #74
Picking up directly from Detective Comics #1026, the fourth day of the Joker War continues. Batman departs a chaotic Gotham en route toward Blüdhaven where a brainwashed Ric Grayson (controlled by Joker via a magick Court of Owls crystal and wearing an alternate vigilante costume) fights Batgirl, Red Hood, and Robin (Tim Drake). Joker and Punchline cheer from the sidelines. Bea Bennett wields the magick crystal, which restores all of Ric’s old memories. Finally, Dick is back! Joker and Punchline quickly flee the scene. Batman arrives just in time to greet Dick and celebrate the return of Nightwing. Bea runs away in tears, miserable about losing her boyfriend Ric.

–Nightwing Vol. 4 #75 Part 1
Nightwing Vol. 4 #75 Part 1 picks up directly from Nightwing Vol. 4 #74. The fourth day of the Joker War continues. Writer Dan Jurgens clearly had zero communication with “Joker War” scribe James Tynion IV because little to nothing of Nightwing Vol. 4 #75 meshes with Tynion’s main narrative at all. Jurgens also starts with the terrible continuity mistake of Dick exclaiming that he was shot in the head “months ago” when he was actually shot in the head nearly two years ago! I guess Dick lost track of time during his “Ric” phase. Since Nightwing Vol. 4 #75 spans a full week, it must occur right here and now. We also get a ham-fisted editorial note that says Nightwing Vol. 4 #75 occurs before Batman Vol. 3 #100. Part of Nightwing Vol. 4 #75 occurs before Batman Vol. 3 #99 while the rest actually occurs after Batman Vol. 3 #100. There are also more bad contradictions and barely-fanwank-able errors, which I will address as we come to them. Onto a synopsis. Dick visits Alfred’s grave (as seen via flashback from Nightwing Vol. 3 #75 Part 2). Bruce asks Dick to move back into Wayne Manor, but Dick turns down the offer, so Bruce puts him up in a hotel instead, presumably outside of war-torn Gotham. (Also, isn’t Wayne Manor a very dangerous place to be right now due to the Joker War? Why would Bruce want Dick to stay there? Oof, this story.) At the hotel, Dick reunites with Donna Troy and Garth.

–Batman Vol. 3 #99-100 (“THE JOKER WAR” Conclusion)
The seemingly never-ending fourth day of the Joker War continues, picking up directly from Nightwing Vol. 4 #75 Part 1. Joker travels to Ace Chemicals and touches base with Punchline via phone. (She escaped scot-free after being defeated by Batman earlier in the day.) Joker tells his sidekick that he needs to put on his new suit, meaning he’s taken Batman’s shiny blue costume and is going to prep it for the final act of his war, which is soon to come. Meanwhile, as per Joker’s scheme, his clown henchmen have begun herding the populace of Gotham into theaters with plans of mass murder in mind. Concurrently, Batman breaks into a Wayne Enterprises micro-cave and gets Dick a proper Nightwing costume. The Dark Knight then assembles the Bat-Family—Nightwing, Red Hood, Robin (Tim Drake), Spoiler, Signal, Orphan, Batgirl, and Harley Quinn. He tasks them with saving Gotham, delivering Dick his old costume as well. Dick reluctantly accepts the duds, returning to his blue-and-black look. Dick also asks Batman how they will solve their money problem, so the latter tells him about Catwoman’s heist. We see a single-page interlude detailing the start of Catwoman Vol. 5 #25 Part 1, in which Catwoman was able to steal back all of Bruce’s money and property, transferring ownership to Lucius Fox. This interlude appears as though it is happening simultaneously to the current action, but it should be read as a flashback, simply part of Batman’s explanation to Dick. Catwoman Vol. 5 #25 Part 1 has already happened. Although it happens off-panel, Batman also honors Cassie and Stephanie, giving them both official Bat-symbol chest emblems for their costumes. Not only that, but Cassie also switches back to her old Batgirl costume! As the fifth day of the Joker war begins (Tuesday), the Bat-Family spreads out across Gotham. Batman finally makes his way to Ace Chemicals. Harley Quinn says that it’s time to kill Joker and end the cycle of senseless murder and mayhem. Batman tells her he will never take a life, not even Joker’s. Batman then enters Ace Chemicals to find a Jokerized zombie Alfred (dug up from his grave and resurrected) waiting for him. Joker then appears, decked out in the new shiny blue Bat-suit. Across town, Batgirl re-opens her old clocktower HQ and becomes Oracle for the first time in many years. (Babs has new anti-paralysis tech embedded in her spine, which isn’t as strong as before, so she’s decided to do Batgirl part-time, moving forward.) Oracle initiates her “Batfall Protocol,” which sends a message out to all Gotham, organizing them to fight back against the evil clowns. When Mayor Dunch orders the GCPD to stand down and fall back, Commissioner Bullock resigns from his post, leading the GCPD into battle against the mayor’s wishes. Nightwing, Red Hood, Robin (Tim), Signal, Orphan, and Batwoman bust Punchline and the rest of Joker’s clowns. At Ace Chemicals, Batman and Joker fight each other. (This fight is also shown via flashback from Detective Comics #1039 Part 2 and Detective Comics #1047.) Harley Quinn takes down Joker, strapping a bomb to herself and another to Joker. Thus, Batman is forced to chase after Harley in order to save her life, an act that will presumably finally result in Joker’s death. Harley could have easily killed Joker then and there, but she doesn’t, citing that Batman (and Batman alone) must be responsible for his death. Batman saves Harley, who gets injured and goes into a coma. After returning to Ace Chemicals, Batman finds that Joker has deactivated his bomb and disappeared. (The epilogue to “The Joker War” occurs a week later. We’ll see it on our timeline ahead.)


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  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: While one can argue that the highly-stylized Batman: The World Part 5 is canon on our primary timeline, the same cannot be said for Batman: The World Part 6, which specifically features a Cold War-era Batman that is active in 1984. Similarly, Batman: The World Part 7 is also non-canon, an autobiographical story about Russian writer Kirill Kutuzov’s lifelong connection to the character of Batman.
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: The lead-up to this item, Teen Titans Vol. 6 #39-40, features Jakeem Thunder and his Johnny Thunder lighting bolt djinni. Note that Johnny Thunder’s status as a lightning elemental has been quietly restored thanks to Doomsday Clock. However, thanks to the Batman Who Laughs blocking Dr. Manhattan’s reboot at the conclusion of that series, the JSA has been restored to history, but present day memories of them still remain been blocked. In other words, Johnny Thunder has been reunited with Yz and Jakeem, but he still doesn’t have his JSA memories back. No one does—not yet anyway.
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: The Batman-less Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen Vol. 2 #8 occurs now. In this issue, creators Matt Fraction and Steve Lieber show a statue in honor of the original Atom, who is said to have been active as a hero in the 1940s, hinting at his time with the JSA. This statue is cute, but it should be ignored. The present day would have no memory of the Atom of the JSA at this juncture on our chronology. Likewise, Dan DiDio’s Metal Men Vol. 4 #4, which also goes right around here on our timeline, shows a Golden Age Robotman and references the fact that the JSA was active in the 1940s. Again, this is fun, but must be ignored for the same determinants as above. Plus, this was written right before DiDio was fired, during a time when he was trying to push in his ill-fated “Generations” reboot. Just as his reboot was snuffed-out, his linked JSA reference must also be cancelled. It’s possible that Fraction and Lieber were also in “Generations” mode when adding in their own 1940s reference. Sheesh. 2020 DCU continuity is a mess.
  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER: Batman: Gotham Nights Vol. 3 #12 is non-canon, impracticable to fit into any chronology. It features Tim as Drake, Dick as Nightwing (in his proper Nightwing costume), Damian as Robin, Clayface as a villain, and Luke Fox as lead technical engineer at Wayne Enterprises. There’s no time where all of the above have aligned (or could even possibly align in the future). Batman: Gotham Nights Vol. 3 #13 Part 1 faces similar problems that render it non-canon. It takes place on April 22, Bruce and Damian are on good terms, Aquaman is active, Alfred is alive, Damian is a member of the Teen Titans, and both Superman and Batman are wearing their trunks-on-the-outside costumes. There’s no time where all of the above align (even if we remove one or two of the items to form a different combination).
  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: In January 2020, DC released Batman: The Caped Crusader Giant #1, a one-shot exclusive to Target stores only. This comic is non-canon as it is merely a toy tie-in for Spin Master action figures.
  6. [6]COLLIN COLSHER: Detective Comics #1027 Part 8 is a very cool Grant Morrison short about the vigilantism in Gotham prior to Batman’s debut. However, it is out-of-continuity.
  7. [7]COLLIN COLSHER / TENZEL KIM: Here is the entire “Joker War” chronology, complete with the Batman-less tie-in issues (in bold). There are, of course, some very nasty continuity errors, some of which are irremediable no matter how you spin them. In fact, one could easily argue that “Joker War” has some of the worst continuity of the entire Rebirth Era, and that’s really saying something.

    –Batman Vol. 3 #86-94 / Batman Secret Files #3 Part 5 (“THEIR DARK DESIGNS”) [“The Joker War” technically begins on final day of “Their Dark Designs”]
    –Detective Comics #1027 Part 12 (Day 3)
    –Batman Vol. 3 #95-98 (“THE JOKER WAR”) (Day 3-4) [Batman: The Joker War Zone #1 Part 5 overlaps with Batman Vol. 3 #96.]
    –Nightwing Vol. 4 #70-72 (Monday, Day 4) [Batgirl is knocked out at the end of the story.]
    –Red Hood: Outlaw #48 Part 1 / Catwoman Vol. 5 #25 Part 1 (Monday, Day 4) [In Red Hood: Outlaw #48 Part 1 (pages 1-18), Punchline and Dick go to Ma Gunn’s home and fight Red Hood, leaving the latter defeated.]
    –Nightwing Vol. 4 #73 / Red Hood: Outlaw #48 Part 2 / Batgirl Vol. 5 #47-48 / Batman: The Joker War Zone #1 Part 1 (Monday, Day 4) [In Nightwing Vol. 4 #73 Part 1 (pages 1-16), Batgirl awakens and fights Dick. Punchline departs for Alfred Pennyworth’s Children Hospital. On page 19 of Red Hood: Outlaw #48 Part 2, Red Hood awakens. Nightwing Vol. 4 #73 Part 2 (page 17) takes place at the same time as Red Hood: Outlaw #48 Part 2 (page 20)—as the same scene with Punchline is featured in both issues. On pages 18-19 of Nightwing #73 Part 2, Dick and Batgirl finish their fight and the latter makes her escape. This is followed by Red Hood: Outlaw #48 (pages 21-22), in which Dick and Punchline are shown in an ambulance. Nightwing Vol. 4 #73 then continues on page 20, in which Dick meets up with Red Hood and Robin (Tim Drake). This brings us directly to Nightwing Vol. 4 #74, in which Red Hood mentions his fight with Dick was “hours ago.” Batgirl returns, and Joker makes a reference to Batgirl Vol. 5 #47. This means either the comment has to be disregarded or Batgirl Vol. 5 #47-49 has to take place before Nightwing Vol. 4 #74Batgirl Vol. 5 #47-49 seems to be entirely fundamentally broken. In these issues, specifically issue #48, we see a scene with Selina that is also shown in Catwoman Vol. 5 #25—Selina chatting with Luke before the latter visits Babs. This creates a paradox where Batgirl Vol. 5 #48 has to take place simultaneously before Batman Vol. 3 #99 Part 1 (due to Dick’s presence) and after Batman Vol. 3 #99 Part 1 (due to Catwoman’s heist in Catwoman Vol. 5 #25, which seemingly occurs during Batman Vol. 3 #99). The only reasonable band-aid for this gaping continuity wound is to regard the heist (as shown in Batman Vol. 3 #99) as a flashback, placing said heist in-between Batman Vol. 3 #98 and the main action of Batgirl Vol. 5 #48. This enables Batgirl Vol. 5 #47-49 to go in-between Nightwing Vol. 4 #73 (page 19, where Babs leaves) and Nightwing Vol. 4 #74. It’s certainly not pretty, but it allows Joker’s reference to the Batgirl story, as well as the Catwoman/Batgirl scene, to both jibe.]
    –Detective Comics #1025-1026 (“THE JOKER WAR: COLLATERAL DAMAGE”) (Monday, Day 4) [Red Hood: Outlaw #48 Part 2 (continued), Batgirl Vol. 5 #47-48 (continued) and Batgirl Vol. 5 #49 overlap with Detective Comics #1025-1026.]
    –Nightwing Vol. 4 #74 (Monday, Day 4)
    –Nightwing Vol. 4 #75 Part 1 (Monday, Day 4)
    –Batman Vol. 3 #99-100 (“THE JOKER WAR Conclusion) (Monday to Tuesday, Day 4 to 5)
    [Batman: The Joker War Zone #1 Part 2, Batman: The Joker War Zone #1 Part 3, and Batman: The Joker War Zone #1 Part 4 all overlap with Batman Vol. 3 #99 Part 2 and Batman Vol. 3 #100.]
    –Nightwing Vol. 4 #75 Part 2 (Wednesday to Saturday)
    –Batman Vol. 3 #100
    –fb from Batman Vol. 3 #101
    –Detective Comics #1028

    –Batman Vol. 3 #101

28 Responses to Rebirth Year Nineteen (Part 1)

  1. Antonio says:

    Hey Collin, how’s it going?
    I’ve just read your kind words for Dennis O’Neal in your blog and I couldn’t have used better words. He was a simple man who truly understood what it meant to be a hero.
    Batman’s biological fathers are Bob Kane and Bill Finger, but the ones who really raised him to become the man he is now, were Denny O’ Neal, Neal Adams and Frank Miller. But Miller wrote Year One and TDKR, whereas Denny wrote numerous Batman’s story which defined the Character from the 70’s on.
    I’ve recently read “Death Strikes at Midnight and Three”, I’m sure you’ve read that one. That is one great example of a simple story and at the same time so powerful and meaningful.
    That was Denny O’ Neal.
    The two main Batman’s witers of today are Snyder and King, but they should learn something from Denny. Snyder always wants to go gigantic. Never simple. Never flying low. King doesn’t seem to grasp the character completely and he gets lost here and there. Sometimes too sentimental, sometimes the fireworks he lit just don’t catch fire in the end.
    So thank you Collin for your words. Dennis O’ Neal meant so much to me. May he rest in peace forever and inspire today’s writers from up above. Wherever he is.

  2. Martin says:

    I find your mention of “many bizarre instances of characters being given false memories of an alternate reality upon meeting alternate-reality characters” fascinating considering the Lois Lane series which finished last Tuesday. It explicitly tackled this phenomenon, calling it “fracturing”, with Lois publishing a book revealing the nature of the multiverse and opening a discount Sanctuary called Unity House to help people struggling with conflicting memories from alternate timelines.

    • Hey Martin! I heard about Lois’ book coming out, but I didn’t realize it was about this subject. That’s really amazing. The first instance of fracturing (at least proto-fracturing) was after the original Crisis, although not quite the same, since folks were recalling fading memories of a false reality, not getting bogus memories upon meeting someone). The first real instance of this phenomenon is with Geoff Johns in Infinite Crisis—notably Power Girl gaining fake memories upon meeting Kal-L. Cut to today, Brian Michael Bendis and Greg Rucka are clearly big-time devotees of the concept, even going so far as to give us a technical term for it!

      While very interesting, I think fracturing might be a thing that could be overused or even abused at the expense of clean continuity. So far, though, I’m into it (I think). Let’s hope fracturing doesn’t become a crutch that writers rely on to ignore continuity. After all, there’s a thin line between a fracture and a fanwank.

  3. diego2024 says:

    Dear Colin: we know that even your head is trying to recover from the chronological chaos created by DC with Justice League #39 and Doomsday Clock, but now “Three Jokers” from Black Label has arrived,
    ¿is it too soon to ask you what you will do with it? ¿will you put it in the canon or not? ¿will you wait until it has been published in full?

    By the way, i love your article “A tale of two reboots” !!!

    • Hi Diego! Definitely waiting until it’s published in full before making any moves there. There are a lot of continuity questions that need to be answered—and I’m hoping Three Jokers and Metal provide them.

      And the Tale of Two Reboots (now three including the epilogue to Flash Forward) still continues!

  4. Antonio says:

    Yes, and Don’t forget I’ve just finished reading Teen Titans Annual 2 in which Damian leaves… but in Joker War he’s still Robin… go figures…
    The DC guys just need to get things back together again or we’ll go crazy

    • Antonio says:

      I think Three Jokers has 3 possible collocations: 1) Black Label out of continuity
      2) Actually It doesn’t contradict anything in the Modern Age (could infact very well be considered one of the last stories of that timeline) and so go there
      3) Going right before The Laughing House and Doomsday Clock (Batman is wearing the exact same costume and Alfred is in it) in Year 17 of the Rebirth Era.

      I don’t think in any possible way it can go after Joker War or Dark Nights Death Metal.

      • Again, I’m waiting until the end before making judgment, but here’s my headcanon so far…

        1) I think it’s 100% canon—as it references the 3 Jokers revelation made in multiple canon comics.
        2) I’d never place it in the Modern Age—as it reads definitively as a Rebirth Era comic. Joe Chill still alive, 3 Jokers revelation only ever mentioned in New 52/Rebirth (and never prior), etc… etc… Johns loves to canonize the Modern Age. Doomsday Clock alone had dozens of references to the Modern Age, despite being a Rebirth Era title.
        3) It should definitely go prior to Alfred’s death, of course. And I think, as a Johns story further developing a prior Alan Moore work, it should go in-and-around Doomsday Clock, maybe just afterward. Again, a lot could happen… and solicitations and rumors hint that the story will have a huge impact.

    • Hey Antonio! There are a bunch of issues that I haven’t placed due to shaky lingering continuity questions. I’m hoping that Metal provides more answers—specifically as to what soft reboot effects Doomsday Clock #12 and the epilogue to Flash Forward had upon the canon.

      Here a few Batman or Batman-related issues that contain references to things that were previously non-canon prior to Doomsday Clock (but which still seem to contradict Rebirth canon)…

      –Batman: Gotham Nights Vol. 3 #12-17
      –Legion of Super-Heroes Vol. 8 #2
      –Superman Vol. 5 #19 Part 2
      –Superman: Heroes #1 Part 2
      –Superman: Villains #1
      –Superman Vol. 5 #22-23
      –Action Comics #1022
      –Teen Titans Vol. 6 #42-44
      –Teen Titans Vol. 6 Annual #2
      –Green Lantern 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular
      –Robin 80th Anniversary 100-Page Spectacular

      Honestly, not too many issues… the Superman stuff is here mostly because of Ma and Pa Kent whereas the Titans stuff is here because the prior arc has Jakeem Thunder and Johnny Thunderbolt. Seems like Ma and Pa Kent might have been re-instated and the JSA returned to present day existence but with collective memory of their 1940s past still blocked. The Robin Special and some of the Gotham Nights books allude to Spoiler having been a Robin. Again, though, I’m waiting for at least a sliver more confirmation from Metal before I take action on the above.

      Metal itself shows the JSA, which seems to point toward Doomsday Clock/Flash Forward having reinstated the JSA in present day but blocked some memory of their past history (as in what we literally saw in “Justice/Doom War”).

  5. Ayaan says:

    Hi Collin nice reading order you have there, I just wanted to point a few things out. In the New Justice league run 40-52 should be placed before city of bane because we see Alfred alive in Justice League#40. Man I wish they never killed Alfred. Nice reading order you have Collin, The only thing I want to see is the batman giants a bit cause im into them. Anyways bye!

    • Hi Ayaan, thanks for your patronage! It’s very subtle, but the JL #40 Alfred appearance is actually a flashback. Batman sets his plane on autopilot to return home, triggering the memory of how, prior to this, he would have Alfred remote-pilot it back (along with some friendly banter). Now, with Alfred dead, Batman sits in silence and simply says “autopilot.”

      And all the Batman Giants have been added! Which ones am I missing?

      • Ayaan says:

        Oh Ok Collin, and for the giants I mean the Batman Gotham Knights Dc Digital Firsts line. I have noticed you have included some but some of the other issues are based on other giants so yeah. I also have a question for The Grim Knight Batman one-shot where would place that.

        • Ayaan says:

          I made a mistake since you already knew about the Gotham Knights thing. About the Joker War can you add the tie ins that are involved, I know they aren’t with Batman but it can help the chronology. Btw there are multiple resources for a Joker war order. I think if you include this I think it can be helpful. Thanks and sorry

          • No need for apologies! Typically, I don’t include any issues that don’t feature Batman, but I’m not opposed to adding in a footnote about the “Joker War” tie-ins that don’t feature Batman. It’ll have to wait until the arc wraps, though.

        • Hey Ayann, I’m holding off on placing Batman: Gotham Nights Vol. 3 #12-17 because some of those issues allude to Spoiler having been a Robin, and some of the others seem to not fit that easily into current continuity for various other reasons. There’s a possibility that they all might go in the new post-Metal continuity come December, but we’ll see.

          The Grim Knight one-shot overlaps with “Laughing House” (the first part of The Batman Who Laughs series), occurring immediately after the Grim Knight kidnaps Jim Gordon.

  6. Antonio says:

    Yes… I missed the Joe Chill thing… and so three jokers can’t go there. I wonder why so many stories of the modern age have been canonized in the rebirth era and other great ones like joe chill in hell didn’t.
    But.. do you like the idea of “it never was only one joker… there’s always been 3 of them”?
    I think it deminishes the character… I don’t know. I’d really lime to hear your opinion on the matter, even though it will end in october

    • Yeah, I certainly don’t love the idea of multiple Jokers. I agree that it could potentially diminish the character and, besides that, it’s a little too-on-the-nose and narratively strange-beyond-necessity. (One could easily make the same argument that there have been multiple Catwomen, multiple Riddlers, multiple Two-Faces, etc, using Johns’ very same logic.) However, I’ll wait until this series is over before handing out any judgement, praise, or condemnation. After all, a sequel to Watchmen was a TERRIBLE idea, but Johns delivered quite well with Doomsday Clock, and the HBO series was also quite good. There hasn’t been this much hype for a DC comic since… Johns last big comic, LOL. Here’s to hoping it’s good. Because of the hype, my expectations are high, and that’s a dangerous place for my expectations to be.

      I’ll be sure to let you know what I think come October/November! I’m sure I’ll have a lot to say about Metal too.

      • Teo says:

        Heh, maybe there WILL be multiple Riddler’s, Two-Faces etc. In Geoff’s wild meta ride, anything is possible!

        Also just wanted to say I’ve been a frequent lurker on this site for about 4 years now, you’re doing amazing work! Keep it up!

        • Hey Teo, thanks for commenting. Glad to have you with me aboard planet Johns, where we have no choice but to ride along. I think the trip’s been good so far, but we’ll see if he sticks the landing. And thanks for being a site patron for so long! I truly appreciate it.

  7. Antonio says:

    Hey Collin, Antonio here.
    I just noticed that you moved everything “one year later” and we’re now in Year 19… did you do that in order to better include everything?
    I also noticed that in the Rebirth Era there’s no place for Dark Victory. Do you like the fact that Dick basically debuted in Year One? I find that pretty ridiculous… but that’s another one from Tom King…

    I hope everything is ok with you…

    • Hey Antonio. I simply got rid of Year Zero and now begin with Year One. There is no reason to have a Year Zero for the Rebirth timeline. That is a New 52 thing only, so the correction has been made. (Snyder’s “Zero Year” has been mashed-up with Miller’s “Year One,” and a handful of Golden and Silver Age tales. Basically, Rebirth contains the ultimate Year One mash-up.)

      And you aren’t the only one pissed about Tom King moving Robin into Year One. I got a lot of angry messages about it, many of which telling me to ignore and move Robin back to Year Two or Year Three. But, it’s pretty clear that King, with DiDio’s blessing, wanted it the way it is, so that’s the way I have it—for better or worse.

  8. Pocok says:

    Hello Collin, hope you are doing okay!

    I know a lot of Joker War tie-ins aren’t represent Batman in there, but I’m curious, can you help me out their proper placement? Like Catwoman 25-26, Batgirl 47-49, Red Hood 48, the remaining Nightwing issues etc.

    Thank you so much in advance if you do so!

    • Doing well. So many people have asked me to add in the tie-ins, you aren’t alone! I’ll definitely include a note about the full Joker War chronology at some point soon.

    • Here is the order. There are, of course, some nasty continuity errors…

      –Batman Vol. 3 #86-94 / Batman Secret Files #3 Part 5 (“THEIR DARK DESIGNS”) [Joker War technically begins on final day of “Their Dark Designs”]
      –Nightwing Vol. 4 #70-73 / Red Hood: Outlaw #48
      –Nightwing Vol. 4 #74
      –Detective Comics #1027 Part 12
      –Batman Vol. 3 #95-98 (“THE JOKER WAR”)
      –Detective Comics #1025-1026 (“THE JOKER WAR: COLLATERAL DAMAGE”) [Batgirl Vol. 5 #47-48 overlaps with Detective Comics #1025-1026, going 100% prior to Batman Vol. 3 #99. But Batgirl Vol. 5 #48 has a terrible continuity error of Luke visiting Babs after meeting with Catwoman in Catwoman Vol. 5 #25, which doesn’t take place until Batman Vol. 3 #99. The flashback in Batgirl Vol. 5 #48 should be summarily ignored.]
      –Batman Vol. 3 #99-100 (“THE JOKER WAR” Conclusion) [Catwoman Vol. 5 #25 happens immediately after the Bat-Family gathering in Batman Vol. 3 #99, thus overlapping with Batman Vol. 3 #99. A bogus editorial note in Catwoman Vol. 5 #25 says that Luke will go to visit Batgirl in “Batgirl #88“. Not only do they mean “Batgirl #48“, but we should also ignore this editorial note entirely as it is just plain wrong. Luke has ALREADY visited Babs, as seen in Batgirl Vol. 5 #48, which takes place decidedly before Batman Vol. #99.]
      –Batgirl Vol. 5 #49
      –Nightwing Vol. 4 #75
      –Batman Vol. 3 #100 Epilogue
      –Catwoman Vol. 5 #26

      • Pocok says:

        Thank you so much!

        2 observations tho: Nightwing #75 and Catwoman #26 not out yet, so can their placement alter in the future maybe a bit?

        Also where does Joker Warzone fit into?

        • Yes, Nightwing #75 and Catwoman #26 and Batigirl #50, all speculation, since they are not yet released.

          Joker War Zone Part 1 (Joker and Bane) occurs somewhere prior to Batman #95.
          Joker War Zone Part 2 (Fox family) overlaps with Batman #100.
          Joker War Zone Part 3 (Spoiler and Orphan) overlaps with Batman #100.
          Joker War Zone Part 4 (Queen Ivy) overlaps with Batman #100.
          Joker War Zone Part 5 (Clownhunter) overlaps with Batman #96.

          • Ok so, after a discussion with Tenzel of the DCU Guide, I made A TON of changes in regard to the Joker War order. (Continuity there is a total mess, but with his guidance, I think we found a decent order.) See the Year 19 for details.

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