Rebirth Year Seventeen (Part 2)

(July 2018 to December 2018)

–Batman Vol. 3 #50
Batman and Catwoman patrol together, taking down Kite Man. Spur-of-the-moment, they decide to basically elope and have their wedding ceremony atop a Gotham roof, scheduling it for later that night. Changing previous plans that involved Clark as the Best Man and Selina’s friends as part of the wedding, Bat and Cat decide to keep it simple, with one witness each and a judge to make it official. Batman rounds up alcoholic Judge Wolfman from Porky’s Bar. Meanwhile, Catwoman breaks into Arkham Asylum and pays off some guards to ensure an easy escape for her witness, Holly Robinson, later on. Batman and Catwoman then catch an escaped Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Catwoman blindfolds and escorts Holly into Wayne Manor through the Batcave. In his tux, Bruce meets his bride-to-be, in her gown, and they kiss in Wayne Manor’s Fox Hall. (This scene is also shown via flashback from Catwoman Vol. 5 #17 and Batman Vol. 3 #85.) Later, Holly chats with Selina, telling her she’s never seen Batman happy before—how he’s seemed to have lost his misery, the thing that usually drives him as a crimefighter. (As referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #72, Holly is secretly working for Bane here, trying to subtly convince Selina to not go through with the wedding.) Bruce tells Alfred not to call Best Man Clark or best friend Dick, making Alfred his witness for the wedding. Alfred gives Bruce a big hug. (As referenced in Batgirl Vol. 5 #25, Bruce then has Alfred book a honeymoon suite at the Gotham Gaslight Hotel.) Bruce then writes a letter to Selina, telling her that he’s always seen how great of a person she is, ever since the beginning. He also write about how he can move forward in life for the first time ever, thanks to her. Concurrently, Selina, bothered by Holly’s conversation, decides she can’t go through with the wedding. She writes a letter to Bruce, saying that she’ll be killing the superhero within Bruce if she takes away the driving force behind Batman. In order to be a hero herself, Selina explains that she must sacrifice her one true love. Atop the roof where the wedding is supposed to occur, Bruce waits with Alfred and Judge Wolfman for over an hour, realizing that Selina has bailed. As a mournful Selina leaps into the night across town, a saddened Bruce leaps into the night as well. (This scene is also shown via flashback from Batgirl Vol. 5 #25, Batman Vol. 3 #72, and Catwoman Vol. 5 #17 and is visually referenced in Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #61.) Back in Arkham, Holly descends into the bowels of the prison to meet with a secret cabal. She—along with Riddler, Joker (likely the Comedian), Psycho-Pirate, Gotham Girl, Skeets, Hugo Strange, the Ventriloquist, Scarface, and Flashpoint Batman—are all in league, working for Bane, who secretly runs Arkham and has capped-off his year-and-a-half-long psychological breaking of Batman. (As referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #72, Flashpoint Batman, having unraveled and been impressed by Bane’s long con, has just joined Bane’s cabal minutes ago.)

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #51-53—and referenced in Batgirl Vol. 5 #25 and Detective Comics #987. Dick talks with Bruce about what happened with Selina. Bruce is a wreck. Trying to take his mind off things, Batman goes on patrol. The crestfallen Caped Crusader pauses atop a roof to stare into the night sky, searching for meaning. He then continues his patrol only to see Catwoman dart across a fire escape in the distance. Not long afterward, when three women die of blood clots in their brains, Batman does autopsies and fingers Mr. Freeze as the culprit. A rage-filled Dark Knight, with the thought of Selina clouding his judgement, busts Mr. Freeze, taking his frustration out by beating him up and leaving him for the cops.

–REFERENCE: In Catwoman Vol. 5 #1. Selina, devastated about what has occurred between she and Bruce, moves across country into an apartment above a pawn shop in Villa Hermosa, California. Bruce and Alfred, of course, easily track her whereabouts.

–REFERENCE: In Batwoman Vol. 3 #17. Upset over what has occurred between he and Selina, Batman dives into his work, patrolling with an intensity like never before. He also takes notice that Kate Kane, Beth Kane, and Julia Pennyworth move into an apartment together and begin fighting crime together. He begins monitoring all Batwoman-related activity and will continue to do so, moving forward.

–FLASHBACK: From Heroes in Crisis #2. An upset Batman visits Sanctuary in Nebraska and speaks before one of the robot therapists. He presumably talks about every recent trauma in his life, eventually getting into how he’s struggled when dealing with death in his life.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Urban Legends #11 Part 1. As they have before, Batman and Zatanna perform an occult ritual to keep evil forces (which they accidentally released as teens) at bay.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics Annual #2 (2019) and Detective Comics #1005. Batman invents a mini “snuff polymer” sprayer, basically a special quick-drying glue gun, which he adds to his utility belt.

–REFERENCE: In Robin 80th Anniversary 100-Page Spectacular Part 10. Batman hears details about the most recent Leviathan in-fighting, specifically a false report that the super-villain Quietus has died.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1027 Part 2. Commissioner Gordon and Batman discuss a recent transfer to the GCPC—the highly corrupt Detective William Dungeon.

–Detective Comics Annual #2 (2019)
July 13-16. Alfred notifies Bruce that the industrialist gathering known as the Bridleburg Summit is scheduled for the weekend in Greece, but Bruce tells him he’s not going. Later, Batman busts Eraser by spraying his reality-erasing hands with a special quick-drying glue gun. After wrapping patrol, Bruce reads in the news that yet another Reaper copycat is on the loose in Paris. This is officially Reaper #6![1] Using the Bridleburg Summit as cover, Bruce and Alfred invite Sophia Zervas to the Greek gathering of billionaires. Bruce and Alfred bail early to tackle the Reaper case. Soon, Batman meets the new Reaper and fights him to a stalemate. Batman and Alfred then regroup at a Greek version of the Batcave underneath Bruce’s property in Pyrgos (last used by the former unnamed Greek Batman Inc agent years ago). Batman tracks the Reaper to a bookstore, finding there a hypogeum filled with weapons and multiple Reaper costumes. When the Reaper shows up, Batman kicks his ass and unmasks him. Julian Caspian (Judson’s son and Rachel’s brother) appears on a live video feed, telling Batman that there isn’t just one new Reaper, but an entire group of Reapers all over the globe. He leads this army, and they have a mission to destroy Batman. From afar, Julian unleashes The Reaper Prime, a hulking version of the Reaper that is juiced up on Venom and body mod-enhancements. The Reaper Prime attempts to kill both Batman and the other Reaper, prompting Batman to fight the former and rescue the latter. A huge explosion decimates the entire compound, seemingly killing the Reaper Prime. Batman barely escapes intact.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Who Laughs #3. Batman, in his Matches Malone disguise, gets a job at the Iceberg Casino in order to keep closer tabs on Penguin. As Malone, Batman does all he can to mess up Penguin’s illegal gambling and card-sharping. The Dark Knight even replaces fake cheating dice with real dice. It’s the little things, y’know? Malone will work on-and-off at the casino in the months to come, although we won’t physically see this undercover work listed on our timeline below.

–REFERENCE: In Flash Vol. 5 #64. Batman makes tentative plans to test the top speed capability of the latest model of the Batwing jet.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Who Laughs #1. Gotham banks begins offering Batman-related damage insurance policies, which they cheekily refer to as “Dark Knight Returns.” Har har.

–REFERENCE: In Superman/Top Cat Special #1. Superman lets Top Cat move into a special living quarters inside the Hall of Justice! (Presumably the many heroes of the Hall are notified.)

–Batman Vol. 3 #51-53 (“COLD DAYS”)
Bruce, likely reminded at the last second by Alfred, attends jury duty. In court, Bruce is chosen as a juror for the fast-tracked trial of Mr. Freeze (stemming from the recent triple-murder Batman bust). Learning that he will be sequestered at a hotel for what could be weeks of deliberation, Bruce asks Dick to fill-in for him as Batman. As the trial goes on, Batman (Dick) meets with Gordon and tells him that the other Batman isn’t doing so well. After routinely busting Killer Croc, Dick leaves a concerned voicemail on Bruce’s phone, inquiring whether or not Bruce is okay. A few days into the trial, a frustrated Bruce vents in the courthouse bathroom by screaming and destroying a urinal. After Mr. Freeze takes the stand, the jurors go in to deliberation. Bruce has seen or heard something that has made him doubt his original explication. He raises his hand as the lone “not guilty” vote. The jury argues for an hour as Bruce makes his case, trying to convince the others that someone messed with the bodies in the morgue before Batman did the autopsy in order to frame Mr. Freeze. Bruce bewails the fact that Batman didn’t properly question Mr. Freeze and, instead, simply beat a confession out of him. Bruce then calls into question Batman’s policing methods. (This moment functions as Bruce internally questioning the efficacy of his own brutal policing methods throughout his entire career as Batman. Maybe he’s beaten or scared false confessions out of people before?) After being questioned by his doubting peers, Bruce tells the group that Batman was acting irrationally and out-of-sorts during his encounter with Mr. Freeze—and he can prove it. Bruce tells the jury about how he lost his ecclesiastical faith when his parents were killed. He then asks the jury, “Who would be dead if not for Batman?,” and they all raise their hands. (I assume that this doesn’t mean that all eleven people have been personally saved by Batman at some point. Besides the one guy who said specifically that Batman saved his mom’s life from the Joker, I don’t have the eleven jurors on this chronology somewhere prior to this. I take them all raising their hands to mean that Batman has saved the entire city so many times that they’d surely be dead if not for his existence. Bruce could pose the same question to a hundred people on the streets of Gotham, and they’d all better raise their damn hands!) Bruce continues, saying that everyone in Gotham sees Batman as this infallible god, whom they’d never even think to question. But Batman is human. He’s no god, no matter how much Gotham respects, fears, or loves him. With this sliver of reasonable doubt, the jury votes not guilty and Mr. Freeze is acquitted. Presumably, he stays in jail, though, because he had escaped prior to this and he has been previously convicted of a litany of other legit crimes. Back home, Bruce tells Alfred that he won’t wear the Bat-costume he’s been wearing because it reminds him of Selina. He switches back to his original black-and-gray-with-black-insignia (and black trunks) costume and heads out to patrol.

–Batman: Black and White Vol. 5 #1 Part 3
A squadron of ninja man-bats attack Batman and Alfred inside the Batcave. Talia al Ghul shows up and helps Batman defeat them, revealing that they were the first (failed) batch of ninja man-bats that have gone rogue due to faulty mental conditioning. Batman and Talia deliver the ninja man-bats into the care of Swamp Thing, who trains them to become protectors of the rain forest.

–Detective Comics #1027 Part 2
The entire Bat-Family (Batman, Nightwing, Batgirl, Red Robin, Red Hood, Robin, and Spoiler) stumbles upon the murdered body of crooked cop William Dungeon on public display in Gotham. Since they each hero was patrolling solo (well, Red Robin and Spoiler were together) at the time they found the corpse, the coincidence seems too great to ignore, so the group assumes that a trap has been set. Proceeding with caution, the Bat-Families combined detective skills lead them to Dungeon’s ex-wife, Cynthia Markus, a murderer that had been victim of a blackmail scheme. Cynthia’s pal Killer Croc arrives, revealing that he confronted Dungeon on Cynthia’s behalf only for Dungeon to drop dead of a drug-induced heart attack. The Bat-Family takes down Cynthia and Croc, wrapping the case. Despite Batman not really being on good terms with anyone in the Bat-Family right now, he tells them all he is proud of their work.

–REFERENCE: In Batman/Superman Vol. 2 #12. Batgirl abandons her purple-and-yellow “Burnside” look and permanently switches to an updated version of her original duds. Batgirl donates one of her “Burnside” outfits to Batman. He puts it on display in the Batcave.

–Batman: Black and White Vol. 5 #4 Part 1
Wildlife smugglers, who have been illegally catching and selling bats, murder some of their rich clients as revenge for stiffing them on payment for super-villain memorabilia. Batman busts the homicidal bat-smugglers. Later, with Robin (Damian), Nightwing, and Batgirl present, Batman nurses a rescued bat to health and releases him into the Batcave. Note that Batman currently isn’t on good terms with anyone in the Bat-Family, especially Damian, but that doesn’t stop the fam from enjoying a rare happy moment in the Batcave together.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #118. Batman and Commissioner Gordon solve an unspecified case together, after which they hang out on top of GCPD HQ, blasting the Bat-Signal light into the night sky.

–Detective Comics #988-990 (“DEFACE THE FACE”)
Batman and Commissioner Gordon investigate the murder of a man named Harold Frank (who, unknown to them, is a secret Kobra agent). Batman radios into Alfred. They chat briefly about Selina, and Alfred tells Batman that he’s proud of him. At Frank’s apartment, Batman finds a secret room containing an automatic rifle, maps, plans, and apparent hit-list photos. Before Batman can fully examine the details, Ted Carson’s protégé Lady Firefly (Bridgit Pike) attacks and scorches the room. After a brief fight, Firefly (Ted Carson) himself arrives and burns down the whole building. (As referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #60, Firefly has just recently been paroled from Arkham Asylum.) Batman puts a tracer on Lady Firefly as the villains flee. Across town, a few Kobra soldiers murder two more people, continuing Frank’s plans. Soon afterward, an autopsy reveals that Frank is actually surgically-altered crime-planner Karl Twist. Batman upgrades his fire suppressant before meeting with Gordon and then going after the Fireflies again. After easily taking down the Fireflies, Batman saves Frank from Tweedledum and Tweedledee before coming face-to-face-to-face with Two-Face, who blows up his own HQ in order to evade capture. The Signal looks into matters, roughing up some of the Broker’s henchmen to learn that Two-Face has a second HQ and that Kobra is in town. Duke then reports his findings to Bruce, who is lolling in the sun outside of Wayne Manor. Later, Kobra soldiers swarm into GCPD HQ, killing everyone in sight. Two-Face arrives and kills the Kobra guys, saving Commissioner Gordon’s life. Over the phone, Gordon tells Batman that one of Harvey Dent’s final cases before becoming Two-Face was failing to put away Karl Twist, who got off on a technicality. Batman parleys with Two-Face at his second lair and they call a truce.

–Detective Comics #991-993 (“DEFACE THE FACE” Conclusion)
Picking up directly from ‘tec #990, Commissioner Gordon arrives at Two-Face’s bridge-top lair, which prompts Two-Face to attempt suicide. Batman saves him, after which, Two-Face explains that Karl Twist’s reemergence in Gotham caused his two halves to temporarily split. The “good” Harvey side wigged-out and killed Twist, and the “bad” Two-Face side, surprised at his other half’s murderous actions, covered-up the crime. (Two-Face has really lost his marbles here.) Two-Face then shows Batman and Gordon Twist’s map, which lists places that Kobra will be targeting for terrorist strikes. Batman and Two-Face then team-up to organize a citywide defense against Kobra. The Fireflies defeat Kobra at Robinson Park. The Outsiders and Batgirl (having ditched her “Burnside” costume and permanently switched to an updated version of her original duds) defeat Kobra at Grand Central Station. The Signal and Batwoman defeat Kobra at the zoo. And Two-Face and Batman—who oddly uses the radio codename “Voice” for Alfred—defeat Kobra at the museum. Batman hacks into a Nāga’s headgear and learns that another Kobra unit is planning on releasing a mind-control agent into the city’s water supply. Batman relays this info to Gordon as he arrives with his men for clean-up duty. Batman and Two-Face then scour the sewers and kick Kobra’s collective ass, during which Two-Face is seemingly killed. But Batman sees through a greater ruse and knows that Two-Face isn’t really dead. In fact, he deduces that Two-Face has actually stolen the mind-control agent, which he plans to sell to Leviathan. Despite this, Batman plays along, even attending a funeral for Two-Face the next day. A day after that, Batman decrypts a Leviathan communiqué and tells them not to bother with any trips to Gotham. The Caped Crusader then confronts Two-Face and the Fireflies. As the Fireflies run away, Batman and Two-Face duel. And that’s how this arc ends, with Batman and Two-Face mid-fight—a sort of oroboros ending, a non-conclusion, a commentary on the never-ending fight between “frenemies.”

–Batman Vol. 3 #54
Nightwing and Batman take down Crazy Quilt. At Wayne Manor, Dick tries to cheer up the disheartened Batman through humor and affection, giving him a big hug. Bruce is having none of it and descends into the Batcave to continue working on the Mr. Freeze case. Later, Batman and a cachinnating Nightwing bring down an escaped Condiment King. Later still, Dick and Bruce watch an NFL game. (I’m fairly sure we’re not in football season, so this might need a fanwank or a caveat, but we’ll see about that later. Maybe it’s summer league preseason or something? In any case, Tom King continues a running gag about the Gotham Knights having the NFL’s most inept quarterback, Chris Campbell.) After the game, the heroes suit up for another patrol. Nightwing jounces around his escrima stick for fun and makes a joke, getting Batman to laugh before breaking down again. Regaining his equanimity, Batman patrols with Nightwing again.

–DC Talent Showcase 2018 #1 Part 1
A senatorial candidate, whose husband (a former Gotham DA) was murdered by Victor Zsasz, speaks before a large crowd of her adherents, who want Batman to publicly unmask. Bruce watches the speech from the audience. An hour later, an escaped Zsasz hijacks the candidates plane and threatens to kill her and the rest of her family. Batman skydives onto the plane mid-flight and fights Zsasz. The violent killer is jettisoned along with Batman, the candidate, and her family. Despite this, Batman is able to capture Zsasz and save the family, after which, Alfred picks him up.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Secret Files #1 Part 2. An escaped Scarecrow Fear Gas bombs a warehouse filled with cops. Batman rushes-in and saves GCPD Officer Henry Fielding, but Fielding has endured too much of the horrific chemical attack and has become permanently brain-damaged. Officer Fielding gets committed to Arkham Asylum.

–Cursed Comics Cavalcade #1 Part 2
When the notorious serial killer known as Gorehound, who has staged multiple elaborate murder sprees at locations usually reserved for slasher horror movies, picks Gotham Woods Camp as the latest locale for bloody carnage, Batman is on the case. After several people are horribly butchered, Gorehound attempts to trick Batman into nabbing the wrong suspect. Batman sees right through the ruse and busts the real Gorehound, a beautiful young tattooed woman that was playing victim. She goes straight to Arkham Asylum.

–Batman Secret Files #1 Part 1
Superman catches-up with Batman on patrol and tells him to meet in the Batcave. There, Superman gives Batman the ultimate gift, straight from the Phantom Zone, a chunk of Platinum Kryptonite, which has the power to endow someone with permanent super powers. Batman mulls what his life would be like with Superman’s powers. After dropping a cup of coffee because his knuckles are broken, Batman asks Alfred if he is good enough without powers. Of course, Batman won’t use the Platinum Kryptonite, safely storing it in the Batcave.

–Batman Secret Files #1 Part 2
Bruce, as part of his Wayne Foundation responsibilities, takes a tour of Arkham Asylum, seeing that Officer Henry Fielding is there and has shown no signs of recovery from last week’s Fear Gas attack.

–Batman Secret Files #1 Part 3
Batman investigates a triple-murder in the Hill section of Gotham. By morning, Batman interrogates the only witness, a local woman that reveals the murders were committed by WayneTech drones. An angry Batman immediately meets with Lucius Fox, who tells him that he (Lucius) was overruled at the last shareholder’s meeting, which led to WayneTech accepting a military drone contract. (Bruce wasn’t even at the meeting.) The drones were built, stolen, and are now on the street being used by gangsters and drug pushers. Lucius tells Batman that he can permanently shut down all the drones remotely via his own (Bruce’s) retinal scan, but advises him against doing so because it would flush millions of dollars worth of WayneTech down the drain. Batman doesn’t hesitate and shuts down the drones.

–Batman Secret Files #1 Part 5
Detective Chimp catches-up with a patrolling Batman, asking for help to prevent the son of an old friend from going down the wrong path and joining an escaped Riddler’s gang. Soon, Batman wails on Riddler while Detective Chimp chases after his friend’s son, who panics and shoots Detective Chimp in the gut! Rather than see his friend’s son jailed, the bleeding Detective Chimp tells him to run. Batman then takes Detective Chimp to the hospital.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #995. Batman and Alfred develop a new medical “pressure gel” that is a spray-on adhesive that stops bleeding immediately.

–REFERENCE: In Superman: Leviathan Rising #1. The Trinity gives Lois Lane a special alert button that will notify the JLA if anything serious happens to Superman or if the Man of Steel goes missing.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1000 Part 6. Batman builds new mini-ultraviolet scanning technology that can be used mostly for autopsies and crime-scene analysis. For spy-craft purposes, he also makes fake coffee cups that mask the tech, so he will have the ability to scan things out in the open (but also secretly).

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1009. Bruce meets and hangs out with George Clooney, doing him an unspecified favor.

–REFERENCE: In Wonder Twins #2. The JL busts a group of five unnamed rookie super-villains, plus Clayface III.

–Detective Comics #1000 Part 6
When a Chinese immigrant is murdered with only an old Wayne Foundation business card is found on his person, Commissioner Gordon calls-in Bruce to see if he can ID the victim. Dick dons the Bat-costume so that Batman can also be present. Later, in the Batcave, Batman deduces that the victim has been killed by the League of Assassins. After some digging, Batman learns that the deceased is Tan Lujun, a former League of Assassins member that fled the group and started an underground railroad for boys looking to escape the League of Assassins. In NYC, Batman confronts Ra’s al Ghul, who tells the Dark Knight that Tan was indeed killed by the League of Assassins, but not by his authorization. Ra’s al Ghul tells Batman that it was a familial honor killing—that the hit was ordered by Tan’s own sister. Batman immediately travels to Lhasa, Tibet and confronts Tan’s sister, who claims that she had the right to kill her kin since he betrayed the League of Assassins. Tan’s sister also reveals that her brother was the boy that robbed Bruce while he was training in the Himalayas years ago, which is why he had the old business card on his person. Batman stands down, but vows to continue running Tan’s underground railroad. (We must assume Batman gets in touch with some of Tan’s contacts and sporadically tries to help young kids escape the grasp of the League of Assassins, moving forward.)

–REFERENCE: In Batman Giant #6 (Batman: Universe #2). Batman creates a telepathic scrambler that can prevent telepaths from reading his mind or controlling him. This special device attaches to his chest and cowl.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #1011. Batman begins storing random items, with Superman’s reluctant permission, inside the Fortress of Solitude. Batman specifically stores away a “life-pod,” basically some sort of health rejuvenation escape pod.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Giant #10 (Batman: Universe #4). Alfred has a chat with Bruce, suggesting that he, for his own emotional health, avoid Crime Alley while patrolling. Alfred also suggests adding an automatic self-destruct mechanism onto all of Batman’s Bat-gear and costumes should he lose any of it in the field.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Giant #11 (Batman: Universe #5). Batman designs and constructs a new Batcopter, taking into consideration some complaints he’s had about previous ones—notably adding cup holders.

–FLASHBACK: From Superman Giant #10 (Superman: Up in the Sky #4). Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman meet up for a fast food lunch consisting of burgers and fries.

–FLASHBACK: From Batgirl Vol. 5 #44. Batgirl has a laugh hanging out with Batman, Nightwing, and Alfred. (Alfred is mistakenly drawn with no hair.)

———————-––Superman Giant #3 (Superman: Up in the Sky #1)
———————-––Superman Giant #11
(Superman: Up in the Sky #5)
When an unnamed alien kills two sisters, injures a third, and abducts a fourth (a girl named Alice) into deep space, Batman tasks Superman with rescuing her. Clark tells Perry White he wants some time off to do a story on the abduction, but Perry chews out both he and Lois. Superman chats up Hal Jordan, goes about his quotidian business of saving countless lives, defeats Atomic Skull and Metallo, and then talks with a Sanctuary Pa Kent android, getting advice on what to do.[2] Superman tells Lois that he might be gone for a while to search across the cosmos for the missing girl. The Man of Steel then departs. (Of course, we don’t have time for Superman to be gone for a while on our already highly compressed timeline, so we have to assume that the entirety of Tom King’s psychedelic Superman Giant arc happens pretty quickly.) By issue #11, Superman finds Alice at the other end of the universe, captured by a tyrant that controls an army of Robotien warriors. While Superman fights the Robotiens in deep space, each superhero of Earth is swarmed by Robotiens. All hope seems lost until Superman defeats his opponents and their leader, shutting down all Robotiens across the cosmos. Thus, Earth is spared their wrath. Superman rescues Alice and brings her home. Note that Superman Giant #12, which details Superman and Alice’s trip home, contains a pin-up splash page of Batman fighting Superman, linked to Alice questioning the Man of Steel in regard to who would win in a fight between he and the Dark Knight.

–Batman Giant #3-5 (Batman: Universe #1-2) (“BATMAN UNIVERSE”)
Bruce ditches a fancy dinner gala at Wayne Manor when an escaped Riddler sends Batman a message on the dark web. Knowing that Riddler will target a $15 million Fabergé egg exhibit at the Flugelheim Museum (a canon-immigrant from Tim Burton‘s Batman!), Batman goes there and fights through three dozen people dressed up as Riddlers out front. After taking down the real Riddler, Batman finds him to be shaken and catatonic, seemingly as if he has been manipulated by an outside force. All of a sudden, three bright orbs of light shine upon them, knocking them both out cold. When Batman wakes up, the egg is gone and so is Riddler. Atop police HQ, Commissioner Gordon tells Batman that the egg was loaned to the museum by Jinny Hex, the great-great-granddaughter of Jonah Hex! After doing some research, Batman visits Jinny out in the sticks, but she doesn’t have any extra info about the egg. Batman tracks Riddler to a club in Amsterdam, but Deathstroke has been hired as Riddler’s protection. Batman and Slade duke it out until Green Arrow arrives and kayos the latter. Riddler flees, able to drug Green Arrow, causing him to attack Batman. The Caped Crusader sprays Green Arrow with anti-neurotoxin, fixing him right up. Batman flies Green Arrow back to the States. In Amsterdam, Riddler delivers the egg to Vandal Savage.

–Batman Giant #6-8 (Batman: Universe #2-3) (“BATMAN UNIVERSE” Continued…)
Less than 24 hours have passed since the Fabergé egg theft in Batman Giant #3. Batman tracks Riddler to Gorilla City. En route, Batman has the Bat-computer perform a brain scan on himself, hoping to discover how or why he had been mind-controlled and by whom. Batman dons his telepathic scrambler and sneaks into Gorilla City, soon garnering an audience with King Nnamdi. Batman then finds Riddler passed out in Nnamdi’s trophy room. Batman touches the egg and is immediately transported to Thanagar Prime! There, Batman is given a custom set of Thanagarian police wings. Batman helps some Thanagarian space cops fight against Onimar Synn, but gets slingshot teleported back to Gorilla City in an instant. There, Batman finds a burned out trophy room and several badly injured apes. Nnamdi tells Batman that Vandal Savage kidnapped Riddler and took the egg! (As referenced in Batman Giant #12 aka Batman: Universe #5, Batman wonders whether the egg might be Zeta Beam-powered or contain a piece of the Source.) Later, while Superman and Wonder Woman provide aid to Gorilla City, Cyborg uses Batman’s old JLA surveillance satellite to track the egg to Dinosaur Island. Batman and Hal Jordan travel there to find Vandal Savage with the egg. Vandal Savage disappears before Batman and Hal’s very eyes and, when they approach the egg, they are transported to the Wild West of the 1860s, coming face-to-face with Jonah Hex!

–Batman Giant #9-11 (Batman: Universe #4-5) (“BATMAN UNIVERSE” Continued…)
Batman tells Jonah Hex that he and Hal are from the future and searching for Vandal Savage. After swapping out their costumes for cowboy duds, Batman and Hal travel with Hex to Vandal Savage’s mining camp. There, Hal is zapped back to present day. As referenced in Batman Giant #12 (Batman: Universe #5), Batman begins to suspect that the egg is linked to a Lantern Power Battery. Vandal Savage arrives with a horde of Black Order ninja warriors and a brouhaha erupts. During the chaos, the egg navigates itself into Bruce’s hands, sending him back to present day Crime Alley. There, Vandal Savage, who has waited over 150 years for Bruce to return, arrives, shoots him in the chest, and retakes the egg. In Crime Alley, Bruce succumbs to his wound and dies! But some mysterious force immediately resurrects him. Alfred, wearing a domino mask, arrives to pick-up Bruce in the Batmobile. A couple hours later, Batman and Nightwing board Vandal Savage’s submarine, taking down the entire Black Order before coming face-to-face with Vandal Savage himself.

–Batman Giant #12-14 (Batman: Universe #5-6) (“BATMAN UNIVERSE” Conclusion)
Batman recites the “Green Lantern Oath,” which opens the egg, revealing a White Lantern Power Ring inside. The ring affixes itself onto Batman’s finger, turning him into an armor-clad White Lantern! Using its vast power, Batman blasts Vandal Savage into unconsciousness. However, the White Lantern Power Ring takes control of Batman’s body. This brings the immediate arrival of nearly the entire Green Lantern Corps—including John Stewart, Kyle Rayner, Kilowog, Simon Baz, Jessica Cruz, Medphyll, Isamot KolAegle, Gorin-Sunn, Aa, B’dg, Hannu, Iolande, Rot Lop Fan, Salakk, Shorm, Two-Six, Voz, Tagort, Lashorr, Venizz, M’Dahna, Gorius Karkum, Chriselon, and dozens more. The GLC demands that Batman take off the ring. Unable to comply, Batman is placed under arrest by the GLC. The ring forces Batman to attacks the GLC, unleashing a cosmic burst of pure energy that sends Batman’s soul/consciousness into the ethereal White Lantern Dimension (literally inside the ring itself). Batman’s comatose physical body remains on Earth where a colossal war erupts between Vandal Savage’s Black Order ninja and the GLC. Inside the ring, Batman meets an AI avatar of the ring’s original creator, who tells the Dark Knight she has chosen him to be the guardian of the galaxy. Batman tells the AI that the ring is damaged and unsafe, to which the AI ejects Batman from within the ring, delivering the jewelry unto Vandal Savage instead. With his first act of limitless power, Vandal Savage erases the existence  of Batman, re-writing the entire timeline! In the new timeline, Bruce doesn’t become Batman, but he still becomes a vigilante of sorts and still gets tangled up in the very conflict from this arc, tussling with Riddler over the egg and running into Vandal Savage. Eventually, Vandal Savage winds up trapped in the White Lantern dimension and has no choice but to undo his wish, fixing the timeline. Batman, with his history intact, appears inside the White Lantern dimension alongside Vandal Savage. The ring AI opens up an interdimensional gateway into Hypertime, through which Batman chases Vandal Savage. They blast through various Hypertimeline locations, including versions of scenes from Action Comics #1, a Hans Von Hammer WWII air battle, ancient Themyscira, Jack Kirby’s Apokolips, Silver Age Metal Men, Silver Age Aquaman, an Atomic Knights battle, and Silver Age Superman. Eventually, Batman winds up back on Earth-0. The GLC takes the White Lantern ring and departs. Meanwhile, Vandal Savage winds up in the Wild West where he is arrested by Jonah Hex. Later, Batman returns the now harmless Fabergé egg to the Flugelheim Museum.

–The Green Lantern #3
Volgar Zo (a Dhorian, the same species as Kanjar Ro) shrinks down the entire planet Earth and prevents all of the superheroes—including the Justice League and John Stewart—from taking any action to stop him. Stealing the entire planet, Volgar Zo puts it up for sale at an intergalactic black market auction! The worst of the worst are present, including Steppenwolf, Mongal, Gelgoth, Queen Bee, Grayven, Overmaster, Bolphunga, Agamemno, Kromm, Zuggernaut, Zerno the Sorcerer, Zerno’s Gzann pet familiar, Ulala, Oom the Mighty, Death’s Head II (from Marvel’s Earth-8410), Robot (from the 2018-2020 Lost in Space TV show), a representative of the The H’San Natall, the last Rukk, an alien pterodactyl, a Mikrid, the Mikrid’s mind-controlled Bowerd, a White Martian, a few Dominators, some mini-Star Conqueror/Starling hybrids, some Khunds, and many more.[3] As the auction concludes with a sale to the cosmic Shepherd (who resembles a mix of Zeus and the Christian God), the defenseless populace of Earth panics. Eve Doremus and Tom Kalmaku wonder where their pal Hal Jordan could be. Where is Hal? He’s rounded up his Green Lantern Corps troops and is mounting an offensive. Hal and seven of his space-cops—including Medphyll, Tagort, Lashorr, Venizz, M’Dahna, Gorius Karkum, and Chriselon—charge into battle, but Volgar Zo has hired some tough bodyguards in form of the Blackstars, an offshoot of the anti-GL group known as the Darkstars. While the GLC fights the Blackstars, Hal confronts the Shepherd, who claims that he has only good intentions for Earth. Hal asks Tom how the populace of Earth are doing. Tom reveals that, shortly after the auction, Volgar Zo softened the minds of everyone on the planet, making them all willingly submit to the rule of their new false god. Hal reveals to everyone on Earth that the Shepherd is actually an evil alien monster that is planning on eating everyone, but everyone calls Hal a fascist and tells him to piss off! Hal uses his authority to arrest the entire population of Earth, citing that they are all too intoxicated to make rational decisions. Hal punches-out and arrests the Shepherd before turning his sights on a fleeing Volgar Zo. After finding a bunch of emaciated enslaved aliens in Volgar Zo’s ship, the disgusted Hal brutally murders Volgar Zo, telling his fellow space-cops that it was self defense if anyone asks. (This is, of course, part of the beginning of a deep cover GLC mission.) Earth is returned back to its proper size and rightful spot in the Milky Way Galaxy.


–Batman: Gotham Nights Vol. 3 #18
The assassin known as The Gold Star Assassin targets Bruce, seeking to shut down Wayne Enterprises research into clean energy on behalf of an unknown party. Scheduled to dedicate a new statue of Dr. Leslie Thompkins in Robinson Park, Bruce decides to set a trap for the Gold Star Assassin at the ceremony. The next day, with Batman, Nightwing, Batgirl, Red Hood, and Robin waiting in the wings, Superman disguises himself as Bruce and delivers the speech. Sure enough, the Gold Star Assassin strikes, “killing” Bruce. Batman busts the Gold Star Assassin, bringing her to justice. Afterward, Batman debriefs the Bat-Family in the Batcave. A day later, Bruce “returns from the grave,” claiming that he was working with Interpol as part of a sting to bust the Gold Star Assassin.

–Batman: Gotham Nights Vol. 3 #21
When Batman and Nightwing hear about the existence of dangerous cryptids roaming about Gotham Woods, Batman goes to investigate, coming across alien-like monster people (transformed humans) in a satellite bunker. Meanwhile, Nightwing takes down some downtown terrorists connected with Professor Hugo Strange. In the bunker, Batman is greeted by Strange, who claims the was given this latest Monster Man formula from an unknown benefactor. Guided by Alfred, Nightwing joins Batman to ward off the monsters and bust Strange. The heroes take all the monster folk to Leslie Thompkins to help revert them back to the way they were before transmogrification. Later, in the Batcave, Nightwing confirms that the new Monster Man formula was sent to Strange from distant aliens. The formula was simply a lost transmission of a recipe for creating food cattle, but Strange mistook it to be a call from a likeminded villain to raise an army of warriors. Batman and Nightwing then bust the rest of Strange’s accomplices linked to the downtown terrorist group.

–Batman: Three Jokers #1[5]
Wearing his Batman Inc-style raised-yellow-oval costume (complete with the light-up chest symbol), Batman fights Penguin and his goons, getting stabbed in his side. (Batman will wear his yellow-oval costume for the remainder of the Three Jokers series, but will return to his regular costume afterward.) Retreating home, Batman is nursed back to health after some emergency surgery by Alfred. Hours later, TV news reports that Joker has killed off the remaining members of the Moxon crime family. The news also reports that Joker has also murdered comedian Kelani “Fatman” Apaka, Dr. Roger Huntoon, and some unknown others at Ace Chemical. Across town, Red Hood fights Joker’s gang. (As referenced in Doomsday Clock, the Jokers have amassed a large new gang, each member of which has been tattooed by their resident tattoo artist, Shakey.) The same sensationalist news report also says Joker debuted “decades ago,” which is impossible. Batman joins Commissioner Gordon and Harvey Bullock at Ace Chemical to study three homeless men, each Jokerized and dressed up in an old-school Red Hood Gang costume. (Two are dead and one is barely clinging to life.) Batgirl aids in the crime scene investigation, noting that Joker has stolen a truck full of chemicals, the very same cocktail that turned him into Joker way back when. They all discuss how witnesses have seen three different Jokers simultaneously active within the past few hours. (Despite having found out about the existence of three Jokers two years ago, Batman has been unable to solve the mystery. He knows who they are, but doesn’t know why there are three—or what they are up to. Now, they are boldly engaged in a joint operation.) En route to the hospital, Red Hood ambushes the ambulance carrying the living Jokerized man. Red Hood brutally interrogates him in an effort to find out what Joker is up to. Batman puts a stop to Red Hood’s violence, and they reluctantly join together to combat the supposed three Jokers. Meanwhile, the three Jokers (the Criminal, the Comedian, and the Clown) meet in a cabin in the woods to discuss their plan. Batman, Batgirl, and Red Hood follow the clues to the Gotham Aquarium. (Red Hood mentions the chest Bat-Light as being new, and while it may be new to him, the chest light was definitely a thing in the Batman Inc era.) At the Aquarium, the heroes find that all the fish have been Jokerized. A bunch of henchmen, led by a returning Gaggy, attack. Gaggy gets devoured by a shark, prompting the Clown to appear. The heroes kick his ass. When another Joker sighting is reported across town, Batman takes off. The Clown taunts Red Hood for having killed him all those years ago, which prompts an enraged Red Hood to put a bullet in his head! (It’s very likely that the Clown is indeed the Joker behind Jason’s death, but these Jokers are pathological liars, so who really knows?)

–Batman: Three Jokers #2
I’ve divided the synopsis by individual issue simply because each issue is so dense. Batman examines the murder scene of retired Judge Walls, who has been mauled to death by Jokerized dogs. After tranquilizing the dogs, Batman learns that Walls had been dirty for years, taking bribes that had contributed to Arkham Asylum becoming a revolving door for criminals. Batman also finds Joe Chill’s fingerprints at the scene of the crime. Batgirl shows up to report that Red Hood has murdered the Clown. Batman tells Batgirl that there’s nothing they can do—busting Jason for murder would only jeopardize both their crimefighting ventures. Batman and Batgirl then visit Blackgate Penitentiary only to find that Chill has been laid up in the hospital wing with stage four cancer for months. Meanwhile, Red Hood tracks the other two Jokers to an abandoned public pool that is filled with Jokerized victims. Red Hood is ambushed, captured, and stripped down by the Jokers. The Criminal prates, telling Jason that he ran Gotham’s criminal underworld prior to becoming Joker. He also adamantly tells Jason that he is the original Joker, and his plan is to now “build a better Joker.” (As to whether or not the Criminal is the original Joker, there is some evidence to support his claim, but it really does seem like the Comedian is the legit original Joker.) The Comedian then begins pummeling Red Hood with a crowbar. Batman and Batgirl enter the pool building only to be swarmed by all of the Jokerized victims. They fight off the out-of-control would-be Jokers, who all drop dead. They then find a nude and bloody Jason, shaken to his core. Batgirl embraces Jason and calms him down. Batman and Batgirl then take Jason to Babs’ apartment so he can rest and recover. Later, Babs and Jason have a heart-to-heart, talking about both of their traumatic lives. With their guard down, Babs and Jason kiss. Babs pulls away, apologizing, saying it was “only a moment.” At the Batcave, Batman reviews his files about the Jokers, trying to make sense of the mystery. At Blackgate, the Comedian kidnaps Chill and interviews him (on video) about the murder of the Waynes.

–Batman: Three Jokers #3
Batman assembles Batgirl and Red Hood to brief them about the latest on the Joker situation. All the victims had recently gone missing, kidnapped by the Jokers as part of their plan to create a new Joker. Batman and Red Hood argue but decide to put aside their differences to focus on the case. Batman tells his compatriots that one of the three Jokers is the original Joker, and that original Joker created the other two early on in his career as a super-villain. Upon hearing that Joe Chill has been kidnapped, Batman examines his Blackgate cell, finding a bunch of un-mailed letters to Bruce. Batman speaks to Blackgate’s reverend, learning that Chill had become a repentant, changed man while in prison—truly sorry for his actions from all those years ago. Among the letters, the Jokers have left an invitation for Batman to come to the abandoned Monarch Theater. (The Monarch Theater is indeed shut-down and has seen better days, but it is still owned by its original proprietor.) Batman, Batgirl, and Red Hood go to the theater to find the Chill video being projected on the silver screen. While Batgirl and Red Hood fight off swarming Jokerized ushers, the Criminal unveils Chill, hanging above a vat of the same chemical cocktail that turned him into a Joker long ago. The Criminal tells Batman that Chill will become a new Joker. In the background, the film continues to play, with Chill revealing that he didn’t even see little Bruce during the Wayne murders. Chill says that he rued killing the Waynes once he learned that they were philanthropists. While Batgirl and Red Hood fight the Comedian, Batman takes down the Criminal and rescues Chill. The Comedian then kills the Criminal and surrenders to Batman. The Monarch Theater burns and is further destroyed, although still standing. Afterward, Red Hood asks Batgirl if she could ever see them in a relationship together, to which Batgirl says no. Commissioner Gordon tells Batgirl to stay away from Red Hood, to which Batgirl tells him to stay out of her business, referring to him as “dad.” (Joker Vol. 2 #2 will reveal that Jim already knows his daughter’s secret at this point and has known for some time, but Batgirl still doesn’t know that he knows. Thus, this sequence is hard to reconcile on the timeline. Maybe Babs meant it as a dangerous boundary-pushing jab i.e. “you are acting like my dad” or maybe it was said quietly under her breath? In any case, Babs thinks her superhero secret is safe from her dad, and Jim has long gone to great lengths to pretend he doesn’t know—and he will continue to do so. It’s unknown how long dad has known the truth.) En route to Arkham Asylum in a paddy wagon, the Comedian chats with Batman. He reminds him that he’s always known the secret IDs of the Bat-Family but that it’s never mattered. He plays coy as to whether or not he made the Criminal or whether the Criminal made him, but does admit to being the real leader of the trio, responsible for all that has happened with the Chill plot. (It’s fairly clear that, as the primary Joker, the Comedian is indeed the original.) The Comedian ends his monologue by reasserting his role as the undefinable evil chaos in Batman’s life. Later, Bruce visits Chill on his deathbed, finally receiving and accepting his apology letter. Bruce holds Chill’s hand as he dies, finally forgiving the man that killed his parents. Bruce then visits Chill’s grave, following the latter’s funeral. Jason writes a heartfelt love letter to Babs, taping it to her apartment door. However, in an overly poetic metaphor for their non-relationship, the letter falls off the door and is swept away by a janitor, never to be seen by Babs. At Wayne Manor, Bruce debriefs Alfred, revealing to him that he learned the Comedian’s true name a week after he debuted. (The Comedian was the troubled comedian from Alan Moore’s Killing Joke, but the twist is that his wife and unborn child didn’t die. Hoping to escape abuse, she went into a witness protection program of sorts, moving permanently to Alaska.) Three Jokers #3 ends with a scene of Bruce spying on the Comedian’s wife and child—drawn to be in his pre-teens. Since the child was born in Year One or Year Two, then this scene must be a flashback. Not to mention, the story’s own internal logic (even if flawed) supposedly places this arc “decades” after Joker’s son was born, meaning this end scene in Alaska is 100% meant to be a flashback.

–Challenge of the Super Sons #14
Having just defeated a time-traveling 16th century Felix Faust and Vandal Savage, saved Faust’s former apprentice Aurora (aka Rora), and ended the 500-year-old “doom scroll” spell, Robin (Damian) and Superboy are attacked by present day Faust and Savage. The Justice League soon arrives to assist the boys, making quick work of the super-villains. This item is also shown via flash-forward from Challenge of the Super Sons #5 and visually referenced in Challenge of the Super Sons #6.

–Justice League Vol. 4 #1[6]
The superhero community—including the Justice League, Justice League Dark, The Terrifics (Mr. Terrific, Plastic Man, Metamorpho, and Phantom Girl), Hawkman, Adam Strange, Green Arrow, Animal Man, and Vixen—fights on multiple fronts against Vandal Savage’s new Injustice Gang—an army of dozens of “Neo-Neanderthal” soldiers, who have all been secretly evolving in caverns under the Earth’s crust for the past 50,000 years. During the conflict, Vandal Savage turns the Moon into a cyclotron that begins crumbling the surface of the Earth. Martian Manhunter turns into a giant moon-monster and crushes the Moon. Combined with the detonation of Batman’s moon-bombs, the Moon is completely destroyed, reduced to a few floating space rocks! (Batman’s moon-cave is presumably leveled, but the old Watchtower remains intact on a floating chunk of rock.) Swamp Thing “rebinds” the Earth’s land masses while Vixen, Animal Man, and Geo-Force fix the messed-up tides and ocean currents. Geo-Force specifically also creates simulated gravity for the entire planet (as referenced in Justice League Vol. 4 #3). The main JL roster then meets telepathically in Martian Manhunter’s “psychic boardroom.” (Martian Manhunter can basically contact any superhero via a long distance psychic link at any time.) Martian Manhunter reveals that a comet-like “Totality” has emerged from the breach in the Source Wall. In only three minutes, the strange cosmic force will arrive at Earth with unknown consequences. Cyborg detects a code emanating from the Totality, which he draws out as an arcane geometric symbol. The Totality is so powerful that it can be seen in across all time and space, from the Big Bang to the Vanishing Point. (The JL-A sees it in the 853rd century; Kamandi and Dr. Canus see it in the 71st century; members of the Quintessence—Highfather Izaya, Hera, Ganthet, the Phantom Stranger, and the original Monitor—see it in present day, but cannot intervene; as shown in Justice League Vol. 4 #7, Vandaa aka Vandar Adg, who will later become Vandal Savage, sees it in circa 38,000 BCE; and, as shown in Justice League Vol. 4 #8, NASA scientists see it in 1988 where it endows Will Payton with super powers.) Meanwhile, Lex Luthor—having learned a great cosmic secret a few months ago—infiltrates Vandal Savage’s Hall of Doom HQ along with his brand new team, The Legion of Doom. (The LOD consists of Luthor, Joker, Grodd, Sinestro, Black Manta, and the Cheetah. The Hall of Doom was once the HQ of a decades-old group of rogue scientists known as the Legionnaires Club, of which Lex Luthor’s father, Vandal Savage, and Saul Erdel were key members.) With the LOD watching, Luthor kills all the Neo-Neanderthals and murders Vandal Savage with a cosmic-powered doorknob that has the Totality symbol etched into it. (This doorknob was forged long ago, made out of a sliver of the Totality, which itself is an actual chunk of the Source Wall. Not long ago, Luthor retrieved it from an old Legionnaires Club chapter house.) With his last breath, Savage forges a telepathic connection with Martian Manhunter, causing J’onn to see terrible visions of the past—Luthor finding a hidden corpse and the death of J’onn’s own family on Mars—and the future—Luthor beating-up Starman Ted Knight (from an alternate timeline), a cosmic army, revived gods, and a wry smile branded upon a star. J’onn also discovers the dark secret of the universe that the deceased Vandal knew and Luthor currently knows. Even with this knowledge, J’onn is unsure whether the Totality is good or bad. Either way, it crashes into a Nevada desert.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 4 #2. The multiple JL teams scramble to the site of the Totality impact in Nevada to find a strange energy wall circumambient to what appears to be an impregnable giant stone head encasing the mysterious Totality within. The Justice League Dark casts a spell to hide the Totality from the public, while the other heroes set up a perimeter. Some of the best science heroes examine the outer wall of the head, determining that the Totality might be the best bet for saving the dying multiverse.

–Wonder Twins #1
Superman reveals that the Wonder Twins (Zan and Jayna), now awkward teenagers exiled from their home planet of Exxor, have moved to Earth and are attending Morris High School, which is run by Principal Tim Turner. The Wonder Twins briefly lived on Earth when they were younger, even joining a splinter branch of the Justice League and gaining some public notoriety. However, Batman and Wonder Woman, having never met them and not really knowing anything about them, are surprised when Superman reveals that they’ve been living on Earth for months already. Batman and Wonder Woman are also surprised when Superman tells them he’s cleared an after-school internship for the teens at the Hall of Justice. Superman gives the Wonder Twins a tour of the complex, during which we get neat cameos by Mexico’s own El Dorado and the old JL Supercomputer. When Mr. Mxyzptlk strikes, the JL fights him to a stalemate. The next day, the Trinity tries to make Zan feel better about recent embarrassing growing pains at school. Batman even tells a recherché story about a crush he had in high school! Later, the JL prepares for round two against Mr. Mxyzptlk, who sneaks into the Hall of Justice and comes face-to-face with the Wonder Twins! With a little help from Supercomputer, the Zan and Jayna easily best the pesky little imp, sending him back to the 5th Dimension.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Nights: Death Metal #1. Batman invents his own version of Martian Manhunter’s psychic link. Don’t ask me how—Scott Snyder doesn’t tell us. Suffice to say, this is apparently some sort of science-based pseudo telepathy.

–Flash Vol. 5 #49-51 (“FLASH WAR”)[7]
Thanks to Zoom (Hunter Zolomon), Flash Wally West recovers still-blocked memories of his children, twins Jai and Irey. Thinking they must be trapped in the Speed Force like he was, Wally flips-out and threatens to use his powers to return them (even if the act could potentially throw all of time and space into dangerous chaos). Flash Barry Allen tries to talk him out of doing such a reckless maneuver, which prompts them to fight and race around the planet. As their collective Speed Force energy unsafely builds-up, Amanda Waller and Steve Trevor call in military back-up in an attempt to stop them. The JL, JL Dark, Titans, Hal Jordan, and Hawkman all witness the Flashes zigzagging around the globe. The Atom feels their energy from the Microverse. Highfather Izaya and Fastbak even feel their energy from New Genesis. Superman attempts to stop their reckless race, but they are too fast for him! Hal tries to stop them with a wall construct on Dinosaur Island, but they smash right through it. Eventually, all the heroes gather in Central City after Wally and Barry explode with a climactic surge of pure energy, which breaks the Force Barrier, ripping a glowing red hole in the sky that releases a bunch of outré force powers into the world. Zoom appears and knocks-out all the heroes except for the Flashes. He then unveils the original Flash Ring, which he’s stolen from Barry. Putting on the original costume, Zoom declares himself the one true Flash! He then wields the Sage Force and Strength Force to take down the good Flashes.[8] Zoom threatens to go back in time and re-write all of history, prompting the Flashes to chase him. They chase Zoom into Hypertime where the villain claims he gain gain access to the Still Force, the polar opposite of the Speed Force and one of seven hidden Dark Forces. In Hypertime, Wally tells Barry that they can reset their lives to the way they used to be before Flashpoint (i.e. before Dr. Manhattan messed with everything). Eventually, the trio emerges in the 25th century, which has been completely erased/destroyed/re-written into a current state of limbo. Barry urges Wally to think about his life before Flashpoint, an act that causes bursts of energy to surge into Hypertime. The energy of all the Flashes of every timeline in DC history combines to knock-out and defeat Zoom, who disappears. Barry winds up back in Central City along with Iris West, Kid Flash, and Commander Cold, who have escaped exile from a place outside time and space. Commander Cold informs the heroes that the breaking of the Speed Barrier has caused the Speed Force to become drained of temporal energy, meaning that no Flash can travel through time anymore. Commander Cold also notes that the 25th century has been fixed, but massive changes have been made to the timestream. Barry meets with Wally atop Mount Hood in Oregon. A distraught Wally takes-off, vowing vengeance upon Zoom. Later, Barry debriefs the JL on all that has occurred. Meanwhile, Impulse (Bart Allen) emerges from Hypertime thanks to the broken Force Barrier. Impulse, who had been erased from everyone’s memory and trapped Hypertime for the past six years, is finally back! Concurrently, in 25th century, The Renegades (Heatstroke, Mirror Monarch, Golden Guardian, and Weather Warlock) are killed by the super-villain Crisis, who breaks out of Iron Heights Prison. Dejected and confused, Flash (Wally) begins running aimlessly. Two days later, Iris West, now with knowledge of her stolen life, sits in Central City Park and journals about her returned memories. Kid Flash, also dejected and confused about his own continuity, decides to move out of Iris’ house and to leave the Flash-Family. Barry moves in with Iris and temporarily gives his apartment to Commander Cold. Flash (Wally) eventually stops running and meets Iris and Barry in Central City Park. Wally breaks down in tears, unable to put the thought of his lost family out of his mind. Barry calls the JL and sets up a rehabilitative stay for Wally at Sanctuary, to which Wally agrees. A bit later, Superman and Wonder Woman personally escort Wally to Sanctuary. Shortly thereafter, Flash (Barry) approves Central City’s idea for an official Flash Museum, which breaks ground and begins construction immediately. About a week later, Batman gets word from Superman that Wally is doing well at Sanctuary. The Dark Knight meets with Flash (Barry) in Central City. They talk about the rough times upon which the Flash-Family has fallen and both their actions during Flashpoint and “The Button.”

–The Immortal Men #6
Immortal Woman (Kyra Arg) has recently killed her brother, the Immortal Man (head of the House of Action), sparking unrest within the secret immortal community of the DCU. Immortal Woman, as head of The House of Conquest, contacts her siblings, the other heads of the immortal houses, and calls for an official meeting. A gathering of the sort hasn’t happened since 1946. The Constant (head of The House of Knowledge) and The Forever Child (head of The House of Expression) agree to meet. There are only two other houses—the House of Action, whose leadership is now left vacant due to Immortal Man’s murder, and The House of Harmony, which has been in hiding for several hundred years. They set a meeting to take place in a month’s time. Meanwhile, at an ARGUS building, Amanda Waller interrogates Roderick Clay, who knows all about the chaos within the secret world of the immortals. Aboard the House of Conquest’s cloaked warship known as The Siege, which hovers above Manhattan, the remnants of the House of Action—in the form of the Immortal Men (now joined by unfledged hero Caden Park, who wears the magickal Blood Mask, which allows him to communicate with the ghostly guide known as Communion)—fight a bunch of Conquest warriors, including horrible monsters, The Hunt, The Kill, and Immortal Woman herself. The Immortal Men are able to de-cloak the Siege, bringing the immortal war out of the shadows and into public. A day later, the Justice League (along with a visiting John Stewart, who is not yet an official JL member) assembles at the Hall of Justice to discuss the immortal situation.

–Batman Giant #1-2 (“ONE MORE CHANCE”)
Note that this issue shows Batman wearing the wrong costume. This is because “One More Chance” was originally intended to go earlier, but it must go after Three Jokers due to the involvement of the Monarch Theater in its narrative. Onto a synopsis. Commissioner Gordon calls-in Batman, reporting that the child heir to the fortune of Gotham’s most well-known grocery chain (Giessen’s Paycheck Foods) has been kidnapped. After examining security footage, Batman targets suspect Patrick Crown, head of security at the Giessen Estate. After interviewing the Giessens, Batman visits Crown’s Chinatown apartment and chases him across the rooftop when he flees. Crown admits to being blackmailed (via text message) into letting a mystery person into the mansion. Batman sends the phone number to Alfred, who traces it to the tumbledown Monarch Theatre. In front of the theater, Batman is run over by a van driven by the kidnapper’s henchmen. Batman’s life literally flashes before his eyes in a psychedelic kaleidoscope of imagery. Despite nearly being killed and having several broken ribs, Batman defeats the henchmen and rescues the Giessen girl from the kidnapper, who is revealed to be the nanny. Soon after, thanks to a generous Wayne Foundation grant, the Monarch Theater is refurbished and reopened for business. Bruce and Alfred attend the grand reopening screening of The Mark of Zorro. (As we will learn later, the owner of the Monarch Theater, while obviously willing to accept Bruce’s donations, still won’t sell the theater to Bruce outright.)

–Dog Days of Summer #1 Part 2
Killer Croc hears that Gator, his mentee from from when he was a Louisiana crime boss before moving to Gotham back in the day, has gotten himself into some trouble with the law. Angry, Killer Croc injures Aaron Cash and escapes from Arkham Asylum to head down South. Batman trails Croc to the swamps only for Croc to calmly turn himself into his custody. A disappointed Croc, who always wished a happy life for Gator, has already killed his friend in order to spare him from going down the same path he ventured oh so long ago.

–Green Lantern 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular Part 2
Hal Jordan crashes onto what he believes is a remote oxygen-less desert planet. With only minimal charge left on his ring, Hal sends out three messages—one to the Green Lantern Corps, one to Batman (apologizing for having been a dick and thanking the Dark Knight for inspiring him), and one to Carrol Farris. Hal then realizes he’s actually crash landed outside of Las Vegas. Later, his friends rib him about the sappy “final” messages.[9]

–FLASHBACK: From Wonder Woman #759. The Justice League fights a bunch of Parademons.

–REFERENCE: In The Next Batman: Second Son #3 (The Next Batman: Second Son Print Edition #1). Joker begins using Winfield as his new “advance man.” Basically, Winfield is a pre-planning crime scout that helps Joker map out all his wild schemes.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1027 Part 3. Late August. Joker celebrates Batman’s “birthday” by poisoning a Gotham waterway, killing all the wildlife within. In this flashback, Batman is shown wading into the water, presumably to collect his “gift.”

–Detective Comics #1000 Part 10
Early September. Batman and Alfred assemble the entire Bat-Family for a photograph. En route to the picture-taking, Batman busts Kite Man. In attendance at the gathering are: Batman, Alfred, Nightwing, Robin (Damian), Robin (Tim), Spoiler, Batwoman, the Signal, Red Hood, Batgirl, Huntress, Orphan, Ace the Bat-Hound, and Catwoman. Batman and Catwoman are definitely not on speaking terms right now, but she’s been kind enough to set aside emotions and show up for this important moment. Same goes for Damian too—these days he and his dad aren’t on very good terms either. (Also note that Tim has dropped “Red” from his name and has returned to simply calling himself “Robin” again. So, yes, there are two Robins right now—although Tim will sometimes still call himself “Red Robin” because old habits die hard I guess. In any case, Tim’s costume only has one R on it again.) After developing the Bat-Family photo, Bruce, as he does every year, visits the cemetery where his parents are buried. He smiles as he lays down the photo before his parents’ graves. (Note that creators Tom King and Joëlle Jones, as Josh Williamson and Howard Porter have also done before, incorrectly show the Waynes as buried at a public city cemetery. This contradicts other stories—notably by Scott Snyder, Peter Tomasi, Warren Ellis, Greg Rucka, and Chip Zdarsky—which show that the Waynes are buried in the private cemetery adjacent to the Wayne Manor property.)

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1000 Part 5. Early September. Batman, as he does every year on the anniversary of his parents’ murders, visits Crime Alley.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Pennyworth RIP #1. Alfred gathers and joins with Batman, Nightwing, Batgirl, Robin (Tim), and Robin (Damian) for a group photo in the Batcave.

–Wonder Woman/Justice League Dark: The Witching Hour #1[10][11]
Wonder Woman and Zatanna call an emergency meeting with the Justice League (and special guest John Stewart) in the Hall of Justice. In the Hall of Justice, Wonder Woman and Zatanna report that a race of cosmic horrors known as The Otherkind is attempting to destroy all magick and, by extension, all of reality. One of the Otherkind, a monster known as The Upside-Down Man, was able to easily defeat the entire JLD before they barely managed to seal him away. Worse yet, Nabu has gone full-evil and was responsible, after taking control of Dr. Fate, for summoning the Otherkind to into the world. There’s one more terrible bit of news, which Wonder Woman decides to keep a secret between she and the JLD only: when Diana was a girl, she was attacked by Hecate in her dreams, during which she was branded on her forehead with the diabolical mark of the chthonic three-faced goddess. The influence and power of Hecate has recently begun to surge within Wonder Woman’s mind and body—with unforetold consequences. After the JLD leaves, the JL begins to chart a course of action, but Hecate casts a spell over the team, causing them to forget what they were doing. At the Oblivion Bar, now owned by Detective Chimp and operated by Traci Thirteen, the “Meeting of the Midnight Society,” a great gathering of the witch coven known as “The Sisterhood of the Sleight Hand,” is held. Dozens of magick users attend, including Witchfire, Lourdes Lucero, Black Alice, Manitou Dawn, Jonni Thunder, Enchantress, Nightshade, and John Constantine. Just as Traci begins to lead the witches in a ritual to protect themselves against the threat of the Otherkind, Hecate, having branded Witchfire when she was a child as well, takes control of Witchfire’s body. The witches flee in terror, but many of them are killed and the bar is burned to a crisp. Afterward, in the JLD HQ, Hecate takes control of Wonder Woman. Detective Chimp tries to call the JL upstairs for help, but Hecate blocks his message. The JLD then flees through a magickal teleportation door to the bombed-out corpse-filled Oblivion Bar. Only a shaken Constantine remains seated at the bar. He kisses Zatanna and tells the JLD that the Witching Hour has begun and everyone will soon be dead. (Don’t worry, though, the JLD will handle it.)[12]

–Heroes in Crisis #1-2[13]
Wally West seemingly snaps and releases an explosion of pure Speed Force energy, accidentally killing nearly everyone at Sanctuary, including Arsenal, Poison Ivy, Lagoon Boy, Blue Jay, Hot Spot, Gunfire, Tattooed Man (Mark Richards), Gnarrk, Red Devil, Protector, Solstice, Nemesis (Tom Tresser), Commander Steel, an obscured unknown Green Lantern, someone with wings, and a few others. Poor Commander Steel had only recently been resurrected from the dead only to now be killed once again. As revealed in Flash 2021 Annual #1, Wally thankfully hasn’t committed mass murder. Unknown to him, a time-traveling energy surge from within the Speed Force, which is linked to Savitar, has done the actual killing. Nevertheless, a panicked and guilt-stricken Wally thinks he’s done the unthinkable. He reenters Sanctuary to find that Booster Gold and Harley Quinn (who was visiting Poison Ivy) are still alive, having not left the building like the others. At super-speed, Wally destroys the host robots and reprograms Sanctuary to make Harley think Booster killed the heroes (and vice versa). Wally also time-travels five days into the future with plans to murder himself in a twisted form of suicide so he can leave his own body on the corpse pile as well. Why does Wally irrationally decide to cover up murder like a cheap super-villain? As revealed in Flash #761, an unsuspecting Wally is being secretly pushed by Reverse-Flash Eobard Thawne, who is using the Negative Speed Force to put dark subliminal messages into his subconscious. (As referenced in Heroes in Crisis #9, reality is slightly altered by an intervening team of time-traveling heroes from five days in the future, who prevent Wally from doing his suicide-murder. Instead, these heroes—Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Booster Gold, and Blue Beetle—help Wally obtain a dead clone of himself, which winds up going on the corpse pile. But we’ll get to this in five days’ time.) In the immediate wake of the Sanctuary massacre, a confused Booster Gold fights Harley Quinn. Thanks to Wally’s initial reprogramming, Booster and Harley both accuse each other of the killings. Meanwhile, the Trinity visits the grisly mass murder scene at Sanctuary, stunned at what has occurred. A bleeding Harley flees to the Iceberg Lounge for help. (Penguin is shown here in good health, bearing no permanent injuries from his recent shooting altercation with Red Hood. This is a continuity error, as he should be wearing an eye patch.) Meanwhile, Batman performs an autopsy on Commander Steel, finding some Harley Quinn-signature wind-up teeth lodged in his throat. (Wally has grotesquely set up the crime scene with precise detail to fool everyone.) The Trinity tracks down Harley (who is wearing her original costume) and confronts her at Penguin’s safe house. Harley tells the Trinity that Booster is the one they want. In a huge moment for Harley, she defeats Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman all by herself and escapes! (This scene is also shown via flashback from Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy #1.) Harley then mourns the tragic loss of Poison Ivy, throwing a rose that she got from her into the Gotham River. (Unknown to Harley, part of Poison Ivy remains alive within this rose!) Meanwhile, Booster and Skeets visit Flash (Barry Allen), who is finishing off some Samuroids in Central City. Booster asks Flash about the situation in Nebraska, but clearly Flash hasn’t been told yet. Flash quickly runs to Sanctuary and sees the damage done, briefly talking to the Trinity. Distraught, Flash runs back to Central City, angrily punching-out Booster. Flash then takes Booster and brings him to the Trinity. (This scene is also shown, with added detail, in Flash Vol. 5 Annual #2.) Concurrently, at the Daily Planet Building, Lois Lane receives a package containing Arsenal’s top secret Sanctuary therapy session video.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #64. Batman, joined by Flash, continues investigating the Sanctuary massacre. Together, they’ll work the case on-and-off for the next three days. In Gotham, Batman notices several instances of exiguous but highly symbolic banditry, so he briefly puts aside the Sanctuary case. Disturbingly, Batman determines that Gotham Girl has come back to the city and is responsible for these misdemeanors.

–Red Hood: Outlaw #27
One day has passed since the Sanctuary massacre. Jason, sporting a brand new Red Hood costume, has recently left Gotham and begun tracking and hunting members of the criminal organization known as Underlife. While Jason fights some Underlife smugglers in a local yokel diner, Bruce, having been urged by Alfred to talk to Jason, shows up and nerve-pinches the last standing villain into unconsciousness. Bruce sits Jason down with a coffee and breaks the bad news to him: Roy Harper is dead. In spite of all the recent expostulation and animosity shown toward one another, Bruce and Jason have a touching heart-to-heart about life and death. Before parting ways, in one of the most heartfelt moments of filial affection I’ve ever read in any Batman comic ever, Jason hugs Bruce and thanks him. Bruce tells Jason that he’s never hated him, not for one second, and he knows that they’ll always be there for each other no matter the circumstances. Bruce drives back to Gotham while Jason moves on with his quest, heading to a small town called Appleton, which is controlled by Underlife.

–REFERENCE: In Red Hood: Outlaw #32. Batman learns that Willis Todd is alive and meets up with him. Using the assumed name of “James,” Willis becomes the brand new Wingman! Wingman’s first mission is to ingratiate Red Hood in an effort to join his cause in an effort to keep tabs on him. From this point onward, as long as he is by Red Hood’s side, Wingman will secretly watch over Jason while reporting back to Batman.

–REFERENCE: In Green Arrow Vol. 6 #45. This item takes place one day after the Sanctuary massacre. Bruce is invited to funeral of Roy Harper, but he decides not to attend, choosing to instead spent the time hunting for the person responsible for the Sanctuary massacre. (Bruce also wants to tell Jason what has happened, which he will do in our next item.) Pretty much everyone else besides Bruce attends the funeral. (Note that Gnarrk, who was also killed at Sanctuary, is mistakenly drawn in attendance at Roy’s funeral. Continuity fail.) Presumably, there is also a funeral for Wally West, which Batman likely skips.

–Batman Vol. 3 #55-57 (“BEASTS OF BURDEN”)
Since “Beasts of Burden” has to occur in the middle of Heroes in Crisis, this entire arc must take up, at most, 36 hours. Suspend your disbelief, people. We are operating on ultra-compressed comic book time now. Batman and Nightwing take on the debuting Phantom Pharaoh and his army of mummy henchmen. They continue patrolling with Nightwing cracking jokes and trying to get Batman to smile the whole time. Responding to the Bat-Signal atop police HQ, Batman and Nightwing listen as Commissioner Gordon tells them that his men found references to Joker and Riddler written on a napkin at a diner. (Batman makes mention that it is the anniversary of the end of the War of Jokes and Riddles, but we cannot take this at face value. The War of Jokes and Riddles ended in June and we are in September at this juncture. Also note that talking heads on TV discuss the Gotham Knights’ turnover-prone QB Chris Campbell again.) As Gordon and Batman continue their conversation, Nightwing continues cracking jokes, but gets a bullet in the head courtesy of KGBeast, who has sniped him from a nearby apartment. (This horrific scene is also shown—with additional detail—via flashback from Nightwing Vol. 4 Annual #2, Teen Titans Vol. 6 Annual #2, and Nightwing Vol. 4 #76.) As referenced in Nightwing Vol. 4 #50-51 and Nightwing Vol. 4 #54, and Nightwing Vol. 4 Annual #2, Batman gets Nightwing out of costume and into a hospital where he undergoes life-saving emergency surgery, but remains comatose and in serious condition with brain injury. Bruce sends for the world’s best neurosurgeon, Dr. Isabella Haas, who is quickly flown in to provide care for Dick. (SPOILER ALERT: Dr. Haas works for the Court of Owls and plans on drugging Nightwing to leave him an amnesiac.) Batman then begins a hunt for the shooter, obtaining and reviewing security footage, quickly learning that it was KGBeast. Batman visits Bronze Tiger to ask him about KGBeast’s whereabouts. While they fight a horde of ninjas, Bronze Tiger tells Batman that the only living person that trained KGBeast is one of the New Gods of Apokolips, Kanto. Batman discovers Kanto’s location (he’s hiding from Granny Goodness somewhere on Earth) and then meets with Orion, who preps the Dark Knight for an encounter with Kanto. After feigning being captured by Kanto, Batman turns the tables on him, learns KGBeast’s location from him, and then kicks the evil New God’s ass. Next stop is Russia. After navigating (and intimidating) his way through Russian bureaucratic red tape, Batman spends two days trudging 186 miles through a snow-swept Siberian wasteland towards a cabin belonging to KGBeast’s father. In the cabin, KGBeast shares a drink with his pop before putting a bullet in his head too. Batman arrives, prompting a brutal fight in the snow, which leaves KGBeast with a broken neck. The KGBeast offers to reveal who hired him to shoot Nightwing in exchange for help, but Batman tells him to piss-off and walks away. (If it looks like Batman is callously leaving KGBeast to die in the snow, he isn’t. As revealed in Batman Vol. 3 #60, Batman learned that the FBI has been surveilling KGBeast ever since he shot Nightwing. He knows they’ll swoop-in and pick-up the Beast. Also, while it took Batman two days to hike to KGBeast’s location, he must have a super-fast ride waiting to leave because our timeline simply cannot accommodate another two days’ worth of perambulation.)

———————-––Batman Vol. 3 #64
———————-––Flash Vol. 5 #64
———————-––Batman Vol. 3 #65
———————-––Flash Vol. 5 #65
(An editor’s note places this arc before “Knightmares,” meaning actually before “The Tyrant Wing,” which leads directly into “Knightmares.”) Four days have passed since the Sanctuary massacre. Batman begins to perform an autopsy on Wally West, but can’t bring himself to go through with it. (Don’t forget, thanks to time-manipulation in Heroes in Crisis #9, this Wally corpse is actually a Wally clone, not the real deal.) The Justice League then takes down a bunch of Amazo prototypes on Oolong Island, during which an overworked and somnolent Batman hallucinates images of Commander Steel and Sanctuary. The Amazo robots are easily dealt with, after which John Stewart remarks that this is the fifth emergency the JL has dealt with in a single week. This is likely not an exaggeration, but Batman definitely was not involved in these cases. Immediately after defeating the Amazo duplicates, Batman and Flash rush off to the Flash Museum in Central City where a terrorist attack has been committed by an unknown metahuman. Batman and Flash save lives at the museum, after which the former notifies the latter that Gotham Girl is responsible for the attack. Elsewhere, an unhinged Gotham Girl checks-in on the her revived brother Gotham, who is a languid zombie hooked up to a Frankenstein-like resurrection machine. Unknown to the heroes, Gotham Girl is working for Bane in exchange for the promise of fully-restoring her brother. Batman and Flash work the Gotham Girl case, following the clues to an abandoned castle on a remote island. While entering the castle, Flash asks Batman how married life is. No one told Barry what happened with Selina! Inside the castle walls, the heroes find a disturbingly obsessive shrine dedicated to the Justice League. Gotham Girl had clearly been living there at some point for quite some time (and very recently too). Flash asks Batman if he knows how the Clovers got their powers in the first place, to which Batman has no answer. Deeper into the structure, the heroes find broken glass pods filled with deceased corpses of Gotham and Gotham Girls duplicates. The oldest corpse appears to have died about a year ago. Only two of the pods are unbroken and appear to have opened. Flash does a quick diagnostic check on the machinery finding that the main chemical being pumped into the pods was Venom. As Flash finds a Sanctuary mask on the floor, Gotham Girl comes home. She attacks the heroes, lecturing Batman for having left her all alone. Gotham Girl confirms that her powers are Venom-based. She says that her new benefactor has given her a fresh start—an opportunity to revive her brother and to be a hero again. She activates the pods, which sends Gotham zombies and Gotham Girl zombies swarming upon Batman and Flash. As they fight the undead, Batman tells Flash that Gotham Girl never went to Sanctuary. After defeating the zombies, Flash chases after the real Gotham Girl, who returns to continue terrorizing Central City. Flash tries to reason with her, but a now-resurrected Gotham (the real one) arrives to back-up his sister. Gotham pummels Flash mercilessly but uses too much power, which causes him to explode with energy, killing him once again. An enraged Gotham Girl attacks an already-weakened Flash, but Batman arrives just in time to save his pal. Further enraged, Gotham Girl dangerously charges herself up to full power, but burns out and collapses. Iris West shows up and chastises both Flash and Batman, blaming them for both Wally’s death and Gotham Girl’s actions. (This scene is also shown via flashback from Flash Vol. 5 #79.) Flash and Batman then rush Gotham Girl to the Batcave where they stabilize her inside a makeshift vat akin to what they saw at the castle. Gotham Girl has amnesia and will need to be inside the vat for an undetermined amount of time. A heated Batman and Flash argue like they’ve never argued before, nearly coming to blows. Flash angrily returns to his house in Central City to find a break-up note from Iris. In Gotham, Batman takes his mind off things by going on patrol to fight some ninjas.

–Heroes in Crisis #4-5[14]
It’s been five days since the Sanctuary massacre. (The date January 2, 2019 is given within the narrative, but this should be ignored. January 2, 2019 merely refers to the release date of the issue.) Tempest drowns away his sorrows at a tavern in Hatton Corners, the town where the Teen Titans first formed so many years ago. Donna Troy carries the drunk Tempest out of the bar. At Sanctuary, Flash and Batman disagree about the perp—Booster Gold or Harley Quinn. Remotely, a pissed-off Green Arrow and Black Canary tell them they better solve this case soon. Meanwhile, Booster Gold remains in JL custody at the Hall of Justice. Wonder Woman interrogates him, but the answers are not clear. At their apartment, Lois talks to Clark about the fact that someone keeps sending her Sanctuary videos. Lois decides that she has to release a story about it. In Gotham, Batgirl catches-up with a still fugitive Harley Quinn. Using at non-violent approach and empathizing with Harley’s pathos, Batgirl is able to calm her down. Harley decides to trust Batgirl. They embrace and talk. At the Hall of Justice, Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) decides to go all-in for his best friend. Using the Bug-ship, Blue Beetle breaks Booster Gold out of lock-down, and together they flee. The Trinity holds an emergency meeting inside the Batcave, during which tempers flare and Superman reveals that Lois has written a Daily Planet story about the Sanctuary videos, which she has just published online. In Gotham, Batgirl, believing Harley is innocent, teams-up with her to try to solve the case. The Trinity drafts a joint statement to make to the public in regard to the Sanctuary massacre. Batman then scans Skeets for info. After running a clean sweep and finding nothing, Batman turns Skeets over to Batgirl for a more thorough examination. Batgirl plays the good cop routine before turning Skeets over to bad cop Harley Quinn. While the other Sanctuary massacre funerals take place (notably we see Blue Devil mourning Red Devil), Superman and Wonder Woman make their plaintive public address. Booster Gold and Blue Beetle break into Flash’s lab, knock him out, and then perform their own analysis of Wally’s body, determining that the deceased Wally from Sanctuary is the wrong age, off by five days. As referenced in Heroes in Crisis #7, Batman, learning about the breakout, immediately begins monitoring all of Booster and Beetle’s safe houses and Beetle’s businesses. He also consults with Rip Hunter. Batgirl and Harley, done with their Skeets interrogation, smash their way into Flash’s lab to confront Booster and Beetle. Meanwhile, on the shores of the Gotham River, Wally West picks up Poison Ivy’s rose.

–Heroes in Crisis #7
Flash wakes up and immediately tells Batman that Booster Gold and Blue Beetle have gone on the lam together. Meanwhile, Batgirl and Beetle watch as Harley and Booster violently duke it out. Batgirl punches-out Beetle, which leads to a somnolent Harley and Booster collapsing next to each other in a stalemate. Eventually, the foursome talks it out, coming to the agreement that Wally is still alive. They decide to solve the mystery themselves, without notifying the rest of the superhero community. Meanwhile, Wally returns to Sanctuary and plants the Poison Ivy rose in a nearby field. An emerald-skinned Poison Ivy is instantly reborn! In order to complete the time loop that he initiated five days ago shortly after the Sanctuary massacre, Wally accepts his suicidal/homicidal fate—death at the hands of himself, time-traveling from five days ago. Five-days-ago-Wally returns with his own future corpse to cover up his actions at the Sanctuary massacre (i.e. to the outset of Heroes in Crisis #1). (As noted above, thanks to a slight time-traveling reality-rewrite by Batgirl, Harley, Booster, and Beetle in Heroes in Crisis #9, the corpse that Wally adds to the massacre body-pile is not his suicide-murdered future self, but a conveniently handy dead clone of himself.) Batman’s alarms register in the Batcave and both he and Flash go after Booster and Beetle.

–Heroes in Crisis #9
Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Booster Gold, and Blue Beetle solve the Sanctuary massacre mystery, coming to the conclusion that Wally killed everyone, faked the crime scene, and time-traveled to now (from five days ago) in order to kill himself. Using Booster’s time machine, the four heroes catch-up with five-days-ago-Wally just before he is about to kill his current self. Harley happily re-unites with the reborn Poison Ivy. In order to protect the sanctity of the timeline, a dead Wally must show-up with the rest of the bodies at Sanctuary five days ago. If this doesn’t happen, reality gets a full re-write. But before Wally #1 can kill Wally #2, Booster stops him, saying that they can efficaciously close the loop with a body, but it can be Wally #3! The heroes take a quick trip to the 25th century where they obtain a lifeless adult Wally clone (the less questions asked the better, I suppose).[15] Wally takes the clone back five days, dumps it, sets the scene, then goes about his business until he gets back to the present, thus closing the time loop. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Flash then arrive, dumbfounded to learn that Wally is the killer. With no other options, the Trinity puts Wally behind bars.[16]

–Wonder Twins #6 Part 1
The Scrambler, member of the Legion of Doom splinter group known as The League of Annoyance, uses his superpower to swap the consciousnesses of one million people, then publicly states he will scramble the brains of everyone on the planet in thirty days. His plan is to initiate a utopian “year zero” for the entire globe. Chaos instantly ensues, leading asshole President Trump (drawn a bit differently by artist Stephen Byrne but clearly meant to represent the real Prez) to contact the Hall of Justice for help. Superman assembles all the heroes that are present at the Hall of Justice to give them a code red briefing. Superman also makes a call to the United Nations. Since the Wonder Twins have dealt with the League of Annoyance before, Superman sends Zan to meet with LOA member Praying Mantis at The Lexicon Prison & Call Center. (Also jailed at the Lexicon Prison are LOA members The Malingerer and Baron Nightblood aka Drunkula.) Meanwhile, Jayna visits her best friend (and LOA member) Polly Math, who happens to be the Scrambler’s accomplice. Jayna tries to talk Polly Math and the Scrambler out of their plan, but they won’t listen. Not wanting to rat on her friend, Jayna decides not to tell the rest of the superhero community their hidden location.

–Justice League Vol. 4 #2-4 (“THE TOTALITY / LEGION OF DOOM”)
(As referenced in a footnote above, don’t forget, Batman is wearing the wrong costume in these issues. Speaking of continuity errors, supposedly, only one week has passed since the Totality crashed in the Nevada desert. That’s just not possible, as per the myriad reasons listed in the above footnotes. There has to be at least one month in the gap to accommodate other stories.) Using Swamp Thing as a conduit, Batman speaks to John Stewart, who is wrapping-up a Green Lantern Corps case in deep space, briefing him about the Totality situation and inviting him to officially join the JL roster. Batman cuts his communication short to help his fellow JLers fight and defeat a mutated Killer Croc, who managed to temporarily breach the Totality’s protective seal, which turned him into a giant Godzilla-esque creature. Meanwhile, Luthor (speaking through a Luthor-robot) guides his Legion of Doom brethren through a 100-year-old undersea lair hidden inside a veracity point (i.e. a place that violates the laws of physics to exist). The Luthor-bot explains that, to control the Totality, one must unlock seven hidden forces (aka Dark Forces) of the universe. The Luthor-bot exclaims that he has already unlocked the Still Force—thanks to help from an “evil genius” in his care: an infant Turtle. (The Turtle, Barry’s first ever costumed adversary, is like Benjamin Button, aging backward over time before being reborn as an old man.) Across the universe, Sinestro unlocks the second Dark Force—the previously invisible ultraviolet energy from the emotional color spectrum. (Ultraviolet is linked to the darkest parts of the human psyche, including shame and hatred. It is the polar opposite of the emotional visible color spectrum.) Sinestro takes over John Stewart’s mind, turning him into the first deputy of the Ultraviolet Corps. At the Hall of Justice, Batman and Ray Palmer runs tests, learning that only Superman and Martian Manhunter can withstand being inside the Totality’s barrier. Thus, Batman and Palmer create special white dwarf star-powered shrinking vehicles that will allow someone to literally ride inside Superman and J’onn’s bodies. They also design special containment suits for Superman and J’onn to wear. (As referenced in Justice League Vol. 4 #6, before shrinking and going inside the Man of Steel, Batman puts his Kryptonite Ring into a lead-lined capsule in his utility belt—just in case. As referenced in Justice League Vol. 4 #31, Batman reads a paper by Palmer about the theory behind these new white dwarf shrink-ships.) Soon after, Superman (with Batman inside of him) and J’onn (with Hawkgirl inside of him) enter the Totality, quickly coming across various mutated monsters through the void. Unknown to the heroes, Luthor has shrunk down in his own mini-vessel and is also inside Superman’s body while Joker has shrunk down and his hiding inside Hawkgirl’s mini-vessel. Inside Superman and J’onn’s bodies, the Totality effect causes their cells to mutate, but Batman and Hawkgirl are able keep their hosts healthy by zapping the mutations. Meanwhile, the Ultraviolet-possessed John Stewart attacks the rest of the JL. Cyborg is able to knock-out John. Once John recovers in the Hall of Justice, he explains that the source of the Ultraviolet Spectrum emanates from a mobile sentient black sun known as Umbrax, which drags around an entire phantom galaxy along with it wherever it roams through the cosmos. The Ultraviolet energy is linked to six other powerful hidden forces of the multiverse, including the Still Force. Flash is able to track the Still Force to Luthor’s veracity point underwater base. Nearing the center of the Totality, Superman and J’onn (and their miniaturized heroes and villains within) find a giant wall that looks like the Source Wall, complete with frozen gods trapped in its structure. When J’onn tries to mind-meld with the wall, the gods come alive and attack, calling J’onn the “first abomination.” Inside J’onn’s body, tiny Joker horrifically chops-off tiny Hawkgirl’s wings with a chainsaw. Meanwhile, tiny Luthor ejects tiny Batman into the gaping maw of a mutated pathogen inside the Man of Steel’s neural canal. At the crumbled remains of the Moon, John and Cyborg visit the old Watchtower. There, they are approached by Sinestro, who heralds the arrival of Umbrax and its phantom galaxy, which appears in the Milky Way. Sinestro turns John back into an Ultraviolet Lantern and begins the process of turning all humans into members of his evil corps. After infiltrating the undersea LOD base, Flash, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman are attacked by four hybrid creatures that are part White Martian, part Amazonian, and part Atlantean. (These creatures were created by the Legionnaires Club decades ago.) Grodd, with the Turtle strapped to his chest in a baby harness, takes down the heroes as Black Manta and Cheetah gloat from the sidelines. Inside the Totality, the gods halt their assault, sensing the evolution of the Still Force and emergence of the First Force. Luthor takes control of Superman’s brain while Joker takes control of J’onn’s brain. Just Grodd defeats Flash and Sinestro assimilates every single color spectrum corps into his Ultraviolet Corps, Joker and Luthor access the center of the Totality, which is revealed to be the living cosmic embodiment of the multiverse itself.

–Justice League Vol. 4 #6-8 (“THE TOTALITY / LEGION OF DOOM” Conclusion)
(As referenced in a footnote above, don’t forget, Batman is wearing the wrong costume in issue #6.) The evil living sun Umbrax begins to turn Earth into an evil living planet. In the Hall of Doom, Black Manta and Cheetah take the Key to the Graveyard of the Gods and the Tear of Extinction (the third now-unleashed Dark Force, also known as the Death Force, a dark mirror of life’s connection that has the power to kill gods). (The opposite of the Tear of Extinction is the Life Force.) Inside the Totality (and inside the Man of Steel’s body), Batman uses his Kryptonite ring to escape the clutches of Superman’s mutated cells before confronting Lex Luthor and demanding the doorknob. A Joker-possessed Martian Manhunter attacks Superman, but Hawkgirl magickally grows new glowing energy wings and takes down Joker. Luthor uses the power of the doorknob to break all of Batman’s limbs and send him—along with Superman and J’onn—back into the Hall of Justice. Luthor also sends Joker to the Hall of Doom. While Batman gets high-tech casts put on his broken parts, John Stewart hops in Flash’s car, which Superman flings across the Earth. John will attempt to break Sinestro’s emotional hold over the Ultraviolet Corps. Meanwhile, Flash and J’onn meditate—with the former trying to tap into the Still Force and the latter attempting (with Cyborg’s help) to mind-link all of humanity. As John circles the Earth dozens of times in seconds, Superman takes on the Ultraviolet Corps all by himself. At the center of the Totality, Hawkgirl attacks Luthor. Meanwhile, a giant White Lantern symbol appears on the surface of the Earth. Batman, in his Bat-themed medical suit that allows him to move around while his body remains completely immobile within, joins Cyborg and J’onn. Sinestro stops John Stewart dead in his tracks and plays mind games with him. Aquaman calls up some megalodon shark pals and has them chase off Manta, Cheetah, and Grodd. Flash is able to connect with the Still Force, sensing incomprehensible cosmic visions akin to those Vandal Savage has seen. This act closes the cosmic membrane, basically exiling Umbrax and the Ultraviolet Corps and saving Earth. John’s power ring melts into his finger, becoming a new tattooed power ring! At the center of the Totality, Hawkgirl stabs Luthor in the shoulder. Joker is able to teleport all the Legion of Doom members back to their lair. Hawkgirl then collects the power core of the Totality, which gets stored at in the Hall of Justice. The next day, J’onn leads a meeting to discuss all that has happened. The JL, JL Dark, Adam Strange, Vixen, and Animal Man are all present. Hawkgirl’s wings have mysteriously grown back. J’onn asks Hawkgirl and John if they’ll accompany him on a mission to Thanagar Prime to peruse through a records archive there. Wonder Woman and Aquaman discuss all the strange Atlantean, Amazonian, and Martian tech they saw inside the Hall of Doom. All of a sudden, a time-deracinated Starman Will Payton from the past—having escaped Luthor’s captivity—booms into the Hall of Justice, claiming that three heroes must die in order for important information to be revealed. J’onn and Batman (now in a hover-wheelchair and using Jarro as a brain-scanner) probe the unconscious mind of Starman Will Payton, learning that Luthor recently travelled back in time—likely to the 1990s—and kidnapped the sidereal superhero. In the Hall of Doom, Luthor tortured Starman and ripped information regarding the Totality from his mind before erasing said memories. (Starman originally gained super powers from the Totality in 1988.) J’onn also learns that the Hall of Doom is protected by Morgaine Le Fey’s magick and technology from the distant future. After a briefing, the JL is in low spirits. Meanwhile, the Cheetah and Black Manta go on a special mission. First, they send out a “dark call” to the depths of Atlantis and then they flush a hidden Poseidon out of hiding in Newfoundland, Canada. The Cheetah chases Poseidon down and murders the Old God using her claws, which have been tainted with the Tear of Extinction. At the Hall of Doom, Luthor chats with a captive Batman Who Laughs. We (the readers) learn that Luthor has been in communication with the Dark Multiverse (the Batman Who Laughs in particular) for over two years. In exchange for his freedom, the Batman Who Laughs tells Luthor that the Source Wall was originally created to imprison the über-goddess Perpetua, who is trapped within the released Totality. To unlock the seven powers is to unlock the power of Perpetua. Within the Totality, locked “safely” away inside the Hall of Justice, Perpetua stirs. Luthor releases the Batman Who Laughs, which violates the terms Joker put on the table to join the LOD.

–Justice League Vol. 4 #9
After scanning Starman’s mind for more information, Batman goes under the knife, allowing his injured body to be surgically-repaired by sci-fi orthobots controlled by Mr. Terrific and Alfred. While being operated upon, a conscious Batman chats with Superman, who puts the Moon back together. Hoping to challenge Superman, rally the superheroes and convince everyone to turn the Moon into a fortress, Batman uses a signal to summon alien monsters known as Coronavores to attack the Man of Steel. In the Hall of Justice museum, business is booming as tour groups are guided through exhibits. The Hall’s restaurant is packed with superheroes, including most of the JL, JLD, Titans, and Terrifics. In non-utilized sector of the Hall, Wonder Woman and Aquaman discuss new news about Poseidon being missing while they assemble a chapel. In the Hall garage, Martian Manhunter and Hawkgirl train. Finished with his surgery, Batman suits-up in his warrior body-cast armor (with floating Professor X-style chair) and calls for all the heroes to assemble. Superman tells Batman he knows he called the Coronavores, prompting Batman to send them away. The Moon is once again whole and as it was before it was destroyed.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 4 #36. Superman takes Batman (still in his recovery chair) to the Andromeda Galaxy to look for materials to help finish the Hall of Justice chapel. Batman picks out some “floating stone,” the lightest rock in existence. Superman fashions it into an altar.

———————-––Justice League Vol. 4 #10
———————-––Aquaman Vol. 8 #41
———————-––Justice League/Aquaman: Drowned Earth #1
Martian Manhunter, Hawkgirl, and John Stewart go to Thanagar Prime. From his recovery chair, Batman guides superhero action all over Earth. On Veracity Island in the Banda Sea, Superman, Adam Strange, and Flash search the last known location of the Hall of Doom. They defeat Volcano Man, who has split into multiple bodies, before realizing that the villains have recently fired a signal beacon into deep space. Batman analyzes the beacon trajectory, and finds that it’s been shot into an alien coral space reef at the far end of the cosmos. Batman also reports that Starman’s mind is broken, but the Dark Knight was able to ascertain that the Totality has left pieces of itself all over time. In the Arctic Circle, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Firestorm go in search of the missing Poseidon. There, they locate the long lost ship of Arion. Aquaman tells all that, according to Atlantean myth, Arion once fought off an alien invasion by calling upon alien sea gods for help. Wonder Woman notes that Arion’s ship is made of both Atlantean and Amazonian materials. Upon unearthing a strange key, the heroes are attacked by a space kraken called The Flood, which turns Firestorm into an aquatic humanoid monster. The Flood opens a portal and sucks Wonder Woman and Aquaman into it. The latter appears in the Blood Reef, among hundreds of beings from water worlds across the universe (including planet Hykraius). Aquaman is approached and addressed by the evil alien sea gods Gall, Drogue, and Tyyde, who reveal that they were the alien invaders that were once defeated by Arion so long ago. Now they are back with a full armada of alien warships, which have blockaded Earth with planetary conquest in mind. In an instant, the Flood extends itself via an endless cataract of purple rivulets, which immediately cover the entire globe, turning almost the entire population (whoever touches the amaranthine liquid) into amphibious monster people. Queen Mera uses her powers to protect Atlantis, but half of her people are lost to the purple right away. Batman, having locked down the Hall of Justice, contacts Mera, who confers with Reverend Mother Cetea, Ondine, Elder Rowa, and Vulko. Batman commends Mera for helping her people, but asks her to help the whole world too, citing a promise she made to the Trinity. (I think he’s talking about Justice League Vol. 3 #24, in which Mera had a heart-to-heart with the Trinity and then joined the JL for the first time, but she technically never promised anything, at least not outright. I guess Batman took their conversation as a pledge of some sort.) The Caped Crusader shows the queen Bat-drone imagery of the alien armada hovering over the major cities of the surface world. Mera agrees to use Atlantean warships to help fight the invaders, but before she can launch her navy, an explosion knocks her down, causing her aquakinetic protection to collapse. All of Atlantis succumbs to the purple, except for two people: Mera and Ocean Master, who is locked in a cell in a high tower. With Batman’s communication feed severed and seeing no other options, Mera frees Ocean Master. Meanwhile, the remaining heroes of Earth band together and begin global evacuation procedures, trying to save as many people as they can from the rising flood waters. Millions of people succumb to the purple all over the globe, but the heroes are able to begin an US East Coast evac to the Appalachian Mountains. The entire Bat-Family—sans Batman—retreats to the Appalachians. Batman, via holographic video projection, talks to Commissioner Gordon in Gotham, briefing him on the situation. Batman teleports Miss Martian to his location at the central JL computer console to give her a briefing as well. Using Miss Martian’s telekinetic powers, Batman speaks to the other heroes. Superman reports that STAR Labs has prevented Metropolis from flooding. Flash hops around the planet at super-speed, helping Mr. Miracle and Big Barda in LA, Super-Man in Beijing, the Ray and Adam Strange in Vanity, the Titans (rejoined by Tempest) in Japan, and Simon Baz in London. As seen in Titans Vol. 3 #28, using Steel’s teleportation spacecraft known as the Boom Room, the Titans have charged into battle to take the bad guys’ armada head-on. Already shaken by the news that Nightwing remains in serious condition after being shot in the head, Donna is also very upset about Roy’s recent death, mentioning, via inner monologue, that she hasn’t been able to bring herself “to tell the others about it yet.” The verbiage of this statement is a bit off/a bit peculiar. While Miss Martian, Steel, Raven, and Beast Boy might not have been that close to Arsenal (not as close as Donna and Tempest were, anyway), it seems improbable that anyone wouldn’t know about Roy’s death at this juncture, especially since it has been made public news. Probably best to ignore Donna’s over-stressed thoughts here. Or maybe her dialogue should have read: “I haven’t been able to bring myself to TALK TO the others about it yet.” That makes so much more sense. Additionally, Tempest nonchalantly says to Donna that he’s “heard about” the Sanctuary massacre. This is a straight up continuity flub. Tempest has more than just heard about it. He’s been to funerals and grieved over the loss of his best friends—and grieved with Donna no less! It’s upsetting that writer Dan Abnett felt that he needed to connect his story to bigger events in the DCU via forced dialogue that is both expository and specious. Maybe there needs to be better communication between writers, better editorial, or maybe there’s just too many damn comics at play here, but it makes for frustratingly glaring continuity errors. Moving on (back to JL/Aquaman: Drowned Earth #1), the evil sea gods tell Aquaman that they are getting revenge on Earth because Poseidon, long ago, imprisoned them in the Graveyard of the Gods. Black Manta appears and begins fighting Aquaman. Tyyde helps Black Manta best Aquaman, after which she steals his powers and gives them to Black Manta! After STAR Labs’ levee breaks, dooming Metropolis, Batman directs Superman to the Flood (source of the purple) in the Atlantic Ocean. Drogue, having just forced the Titans to retreat, shows-up and fights Superman and Flash there. Defeated, Superman and Flash retreat. Meanwhile, in Atlantis, Captain Gall fights Mera and Ocean Master, who have retrieved the Tear of Extinction, an ancient artifact that Poseidon and Arion once used to defeat the evil sea gods in the distant past. Ocean Master is swept-up by the purple and transformed into a fish-man. Batman teleports Miss Martian back to the Titans, who are now engaged in battle with Drogue. (As seen in Titans Vol. 3 #28, the Titans, like Superman and Flash, are also beaten by Drogue.) Elsewhere, a pissed-off Wonder Woman kicks some alien pirate asses.

———————-––Justice League Vol. 4 #11-12
———————-––Aquaman/Justice League: Drowned Earth #1
A chair-bound Batman and jar-bound Jarro secure the Totality inside the Hall of Justice and telepathically call Flash and Superman, who are being chased by monster-ized Mr. Miracle, Super-Man, Adam Strange, Simon Baz, Atom, Firestorm, and Swamp Thing. Flash’s super-metabolism has allowed him to fight-off the purple transformation, so he’s only half a fish-man. Superman has had an ocular injury and is wearing an eyepatch. Mera saves Flash and Superman, teleporting them to the Tomb of Arion in the heart of the Atacama Desert. There, Drogue and Black Manta attack. The Flood then floods the Tomb of Arion. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman (along with an alien bird she’s found and named Asteria) rescues Aquaman from the evil sea gods. They sail through the cosmos to the Graveyard of the Gods. There, they fight the Graveyard’s guardian, Trigris, a three-headed tiger. After outstripping Trigris, Wonder Woman and Aquaman find Poseidon, who proceeds to stab Aquaman in the chest. The stabbing doesn’t actually hurt Aquaman, and is actually intended to restore Aquaman’s powers. However, it fails and merely send him through a mystical hallucinatory experience. Afterward, Poseidon tells Aquaman his shameful secret—the true story of Arion and the sea gods. Thousands of years ago, the evil sea gods that now plague Earth were not at all evil. Arion, allied with Asteria (an ancient Queen of Themyscira), summoned them for a peaceful gathering, but the jealous Poseidon cast the summoned trio into the Graveyard of the Gods. Thus, Poseidon is partly responsible for everything that is going on now. After Poseidon’s tale, Mera grabs a piece of Arion’s bones (the material that constitutes the Tears of Extinction) and powers-up his magickal sword. Using these weapons, Mera kills the Flood. The purple immediately begins to fade away all across the planet. In the Hall of Justice, the Legion of Doom enters and attacks Batman and Jarro. Batman dons Lex Luthor’s old war-suit mech (which was in the museum) and fights back. Luthor destroys the Key to the Graveyard of the Gods, which begins the destruction of the entire realm and releases the unnamed fourth Dark Force (a deicidal “twin” of the Tear of Extinction). Luthor collects the fourth Dark Force before stealing the Totality and teleporting away with Joker in tow. As the Graveyard of the Gods begins to crumble into nothingness, Poseidon gives his trident to Aquaman and, with a huff and a puff, sends he and Wonder Woman rocketing away to safety on the skiff in which they arrived. Back in the Blood Reef, the evil sea gods and Black Manta respond by releasing a monstrous Death Kraken. At the Tomb of Arion, a bunch of fish-monsterized heroes and villains—including Lobo, Black Canary, Huntress, Firestorm, Mr. Miracle, Shazam, Deathstroke, Giganta, Raven, Simon Baz, Beast Boy, and Etrigan—attack Mera, Superman, and Flash, who escape onto Aquaman and Wonder Woman’s skiff. Aquaman tells his beloved queen and friends he believes, due to Poseidon’s preterite folly, they should not only show mercy to the sea gods, but that the ancient towers of Atlantis should also be activated and launched like rockets (dooming Atlantis but saving Earth). Wonder Woman and Asteria (the bird) travel to the center of the Earth, returning to the Atlantean-Themysciran device the heroes first discovered during Barbatos’ attack last year. This device is the activation switch for the Atlantean towers, which were built by Arion and Asteria (the Amazon). At the hollow planetary core, Cheetah attacks, but Batman, having safely secured Jarro and Starman, teleports to Wonder Woman’s side in Luthor’s war-suit. Batman takes down Cheetah, allowing Wonder Woman to switch on the launcher. As the Death Kraken emerges, Batman and Wonder Woman somehow teleport to the Atlantean towers and ride them as they blast into the sky, right through the sea god’s shields that protect their main air vessel. Using Arion’s Clarion (aka “Cosmic Conch”), Mera is able to speak to the entire universe, sending a message of peace and unity (or something like that). With the Death Kraken holding steady, Aquaman approaches and kneels before the triumvirate of sea gods, offering them a long overdue apology and Poseidon’s trident. Black Manta then deals devastating blows to Drogue, Tyyde, and Gall, wounding them with knives that have been tainted with Tears of Extinction. Drogue and Gall are seemingly killed. Black Manta also steals Drogue’s Bone Crown, which gives him control over the Death Kraken. Luthor radios Black Manta, telling him that he has the Totality and that they should retreat, but Black Manta betrays the Legion of Doom, aspiring to become the new God of Drowned Earth. Tyyde then restores Aquaman’s powers, after which a pirate-themed JL and a shoal of fish-monster heroes defeat Black Manta. Aquaman, endowed with mystic Life Force, pilots a ship into the maw of the looming Death Kraken, seemingly sacrificing his own life to destroy the creature. A frantic search turns up no body. Martian Manhunter and Jarro try to telepathically reach Aquaman, but have no luck. Three days later, all the flood waters have fully receded across the globe and everyone has returned back to human form. The reconstruction of Atlantis begins. The JL, a dozen heroes (including Batwoman and Booster Gold), and Tyyde attend a funeral ceremony for Aquaman, during which a statue of the sea king is erected in his honor. Mera becomes an official JL member, taking over Aquaman’s spot on the team. Wonder Woman tells her fellow JL members that she believes Aquaman is still alive somewhere. And guess what? He is still alive, somewhere far far away. (As we learn in Aquaman Vol. 8 #43, Aquaman has become a complete amnesiac and has washed-up on the shores of the mystical Village of the Unspoken Water.)

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 4 Annual #2—and referenced in Nightwing Vol. 4 #50-51 and Nightwing Vol. 4 #54. For the first time after being shot in the head about three weeks ago, Dick is able to verbally communicate and move his limbs. While he is finally alert and responsive, unfortunately, he has complete amnesia and doesn’t remember a thing. Batman puts aside his differences with Robin (Damian), meeting with him to check up on Dick at the hospital. En route, Batman tells Damian that he took care of KGBeast. At the hospital, Bruce, Damian, Alfred, and Babs are escorted to Dick’s bedside by Dr. Isabella Haas. The fam is shocked when Dick tells them he has no clue who they are. Bruce then speaks with Dick alone, confirming that he truly has amnesia. Dick also says that he prefers to go by “Richard.” An angry Bruce chews out Dr. Haas, asking why this has happened and what can be done. She tells him that things look bleak, but to have patience. (Don’t forget, Dr. Haas works for the Court of Owls and has caused Dick’s amnesia.) Bruce and Babs try but fail to get Richard to remember anything. Babs, while not mentioning superhero stuff, goes into extreme detail, trying to get Richard to recall memories about his life and history (and their shared life and history), but he rejects all of it. With a changed attitude and personality shift due to the serious head injury, Dick wants nothing to do with his former life. Despite this, Babs watches over Richard as he starts intensive rehabilitation at the hospital. Richard will continue rehab for months to come—with Babs watching over him and reporting back to Bruce. Bruce, Babs, and Alfred are happy Richard is okay, but they will remain devastated about the permanence of his brain injury.

–Titans Vol. 3 #31
The Titans, with Kyle Rayner, return to the Hall of Justice for the first time since the end of “Drowned Earth.” While Donna Troy checks-in with Batman, Miss Martian mind-melds with Raven, learning that her soul is trapped in Unearth, a fictive realm (created by Ernest Hinton) that recently came into actual existence a few Titan missions ago. Donna shows Batman the Irons-Rubel Capacitor, a device—built by Steel (Natasha Irons) and Ben Rubel—that can analyze Source Wall energy and its effects on people. (Rubel has joined the Titans as a sort of non-combatant science advisor.) Batman orders Donna and Kyle to spar so he can analyze their physiology and fitness levels. Kyle tells Batman that he’d like to join the Titans, to which Batman smiles and heartily agrees. Donna tells Batman that she is the new leader of the team and that the team’s primary focus will be upon bringing down the Blood Cult. Batman agrees with her on both points. Donna also tells Batman that the Titans are aware that Miss Martian is a potentially unstable White Martian. Batman already knew this, but tells Donna to keep her secret safe and watch over her as best she can. In the medical bay, Beast Boy gets briefly possessed by a force representing the Parliament of the Red. (The Parliament of the Red protects and maintains The Red, an elemental/mystic force that binds all animal life together.) This supposed “representative of the Red” is actually current heresiarch of the Blood Cult, Mother Blood, who already partially controls the Red. Hoping to destroy the Titans, Mother Blood tricks them into going to Unearth. Using the Irons-Rubel Capacitor, Ben Rubel teleports the Titans to Unearth, walking right into Mother Blood’s trap.

–Justice League Vol. 4 #14-16 (“ESCAPE FROM HAWKWORLD”)
It’s been just over a week since Starman crashed into the Hall of Justice. In that time, the still-comatose Starman has been stabilized and placed into a hospital bed where Batman has run countless tests and mind-probes upon him. We pick up this issue with Batman and Jarro probing Starman’s mind yet again. I don’t mean to nitpick, but Starman is shown bruised and beaten while still wearing his tattered costume. This is beyond illogical. Why wouldn’t he be in a clean hospital gown, and why is he bleeding from open wounds? Before I get too heated, I’ll stop myself. The only fanwank I can think of is that the Jarro mind-probe is so intense that it has reopened his wounds. After all, the probe has caused Batman’s nose to bleed. Batman gets brief glimpses about Perpetua before Superman and Wonder Woman stop his dangerous mind venture. On Thanagar Prime, John Stewart, J’onn, and Hawkgirl are confronted by Shayera Hol (née Thal), the new empress of the entire planet. Hawkgirl gives her a dubious look, especially since Hawkgirl knows that Shayera Hol was once one of her own many past incarnations. There’s something fishy going on here, and Hawkgirl lets her friends know about it. Queen Shayera tells the heroes that the Martian Keep (aka the Martian elder) has died and then invites them to a festival. At the grand celebration, Hawkgirl calls Shayera a liar, confronting her about the impossibility of her existence. Upon touching the queen, Hawkgirl sees a psychic vision that shows the Martian Keep is still alive, a prisoner of the royal court. An alternate Katar Hol II (in his “Savage Hawkman” persona from the end of Hawkman’s most recent prior incarnation) then appears and attacks the heroes. What’s happening here? Who are these false Hawk-people? They, like all of Thanagar Prime itself are mere memories given life as sentient constructs thanks to the Absorbascon, an ancient and powerful Thangarian artifact. J’onn uses his telepathic and shapeshifting abilities to help his friends flee to the other side of the city where they trick Thanagarian security and some Dominators. Eventually, some Green Lantern Corps members—Kilowog, Isamot Kol, Aegle, Gorin-Sunn, and someone unknownintervene, charging John and Hawkgirl with taking illegal action against an interplanetary sovereign. Meanwhile, J’onn visits the Martian Keep, who tells him the truth about the fake Hawk-people and Thanagar Prime—both are false constructs created by the Absorbascon and the Martian Keep’s own vast cosmic power. The Martian Keep also reveals to J’onn that the multiverse has been rebooted before, citing that the ultimate-ultimate creator Perpetua is set to return. Back on Earth, Starman explodes with energy, but it is contained by Wonder Woman’s lasso. Starman tells the Trinity the story of Perpetua, the evil “mother of the seven cosmic energies,” who once was the primary demiurge of the multiverse and who once led a devilish army of Earthling-Martian hybrids and cosmic warriors—until she, along with her entire army, was trapped within the Source Wall by unknown powerful beings. The Maltusians—the famed Krona himself—discovered Perpetua’s ancient signs and symbols and kept them hidden for fear that one day they could be used to help her rise armies up again. Decades ago, human scientists of the Legionnaires Club—Vandal Savage, Saul Erdel, and Lionel Luthor —discovered part of this story and kidnapped a Martian infant to take its DNA and make clones. That infant, of course, was J’onn. (The hybrid creatures in the Hall of Doom are the remaining creatures from this experiment.) On Thanagar Prime, the Martian Keep finishes telling the tale of Perpetua to J’onn and then dies. As the GLC fights Shayera, the planet begins to return to its true form, a crumbling disaster of a world, ravaged a couple years ago during a war against Despero. All of Shayera’s fake-Hawkpeople, including her fake Hawkman, disappear. The population returns to its true number, a mere tens of thousands. (As revealed in Justice League Vol. 4 #29, the return to form for Thanagar also releases the unnamed fifth Dark Force, which is linked to knowledge of the universe’s forbidden secrets.) Starman—along with Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman—teleports to Thanagar, interrupting the scene. Starman tells all that Perpetua has brought Shayera, who is truly one of Hawkgirl’s prior incarnations, into re-existence. Using cosmic power, Starman returns Shayera’s energy to Hawkgirl. He also imbues her with all the energy and memories of another of her prior incarnations, Shiera Sanders-Hall. (Hawkgirl now has the memories of Kendra Saunders, Shiera Sanders-Hall, and Shayera Thal-Hol.) Despite being an anomaly that shouldn’t be alive, Starman allows Shayera to continue existing! She will continue to rule Thanagar (as Hawkwoman). Starman smiles as he prepares to teleport everyone home. He tells all that it’s time to fix everything that is broken with reality.

–Wonder Twins #6 Part 2
Early October. With the Scrambler’s plan to scramble the brains of everyone on the planet set to occur in less than twenty four hours, both panic and parties spread across the Earth. With LexNews (Luthor’s right wing news agency that only has bald anchors, including Bald Judge Woman) reporting about all the equal parts mania and gloom on TV, the Justice League holds a final Hall of Justice briefing with the Wonder Twins present. All of the world’s governments have already written new laws in preparation for the new world that will emerge. Even asshole President Trump, fearing what the future holds (he might wind up a poor minority, after all), has helped usher-in progressive legislation (still pending) to fight climate change, mass incarceration, and penury. Trump makes a frantic phone call to a high-ranking Russian government official named Yuri, making sure everyone is on-board. (This Yuri is likely either meant to be Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev or Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov.) Lex Luthor releases a dubious social media platform that will supposedly allow families to remain connected after the scramble. He then departs the planet in a rocket ship. (Luthor will remain trapped off planet for the next three weeks.) The Wonder Twins, thinking that there’s no stopping the scramble, set free their blue pet monkey Gleek. With less than one hour to go, Zan is able to discover the Scrambler’s location. Superman and John Stewart bust the Scrambler and Polly Math, putting an end to their plan. Trump and Congress immediately scrap all progressive legislation, happily returning to their wicked ways. Zan is made Hall of Justice “Employee of the Month” for his heroic actions. Later, Jayna laments having lost a friend (Polly Math) and having cost the planet the possibility of a utopian future.

–Wonder Twins #7
The world celebrates the defeat of the Scrambler and Polly Math. As a result, Zan and Jayna become super popular at school, much to delight of the former and chagrin of the latter. Superman, not wanting to do anymore niggling Hall of Justice tours himself, assigns the Wonder Twins as the Hall of Justice’s new official tour guides. When a hockey riot erupts in downtown Washington DC following the championship victory of the Washington Ice Cubes, Superman arranges for government quarantined C-list superhero Repulso to be airlifted in. Repulso’s power is that he smells really bad. His stench breaks up the riot instantly. (Note that it’s not NHL season, nor is the trophy that is shown the Stanley Cup, so this must be an alternate league that has its championship in autumn.) When a meteor threatens to destroy the entire planet, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman head out into space, stopping the extinction event from happening. Meanwhile, another riot breaks out in DC, leading the Wonder Twins to break it up and save an injured Repulso. Afterward, Zan becomes friends with Repulso while Superman gives a bummed-out Jayna a pep talk.

–Detective Comics #1000 Part 8
October 7—Bruce’s birthday. Alfred gets Batman a birthday cake, which he serves to him in the Batcave. Batman blows out the candles and makes a wish for a happy future. Daydreaming, Batman imagines a future where the Bat-Family consists of his actual family—Selina, Damian, a daughter named Echo, and Ace the Bat-Hound II. One can only dream.

–Detective Comics #994-996 (“MYTHOLOGY”)
October 7—Bruce’s birthday. Every year Batman runs Program 2.1, placing himself into a virtual world that pushes him to his most extreme limits. This year, he wants the greatest challenge ever. Thus, he upgrades Program 2.1, splicing villain DNA into the system and updating it with all his most recent personal information available. Also, Batman makes it so that when he goes into the simulation vat, it will completely overwhelm his mind, making him think it is truly a reality more so than ever before. In this year’s nightmarish sim, the Caped Crusader investigates corpses that have been surgically-altered to look exactly like his parents. Batman then saves Leslie Thompkin’s life from a monster only to find that she has become Jokerized. As Batman rushes her to the Batcave for emergency treatment, the weary and confused Leslie gives words of encouragement to her surrogate son, recalling the day his parents’ died. (She says he was eight, but he was actually ten. Authors have said both in the Rebirth Era, so I can’t fault her—or Tomasi—for getting it wrong either. Plus, she is jacked-up on Joker Juice and this is a simulation.) Leslie dies on the operating table. Another creature breaks into Wayne Manor and stabs Alfred in the chest. While Bruce and Damian have barely interacted lately, Batman agrees to bury the hatchet and call-in his son to care for the injured Alfred. After Batman beats up everyone in Arkham Asylum, he and Damian assume that Henri Ducard must be behind the attacks. Batman tells Damian that they have to re-connect as father and son and put their mini-feud to rest, to which Damian responds positively. Soon after, the Dark Knight finds Ducard in Paris, but Ducard sacrifices his own life, blowing-up another monster with a grenade. Batman then goes to North Korea to check-up on his old sensei Kirigi. There, the Caped Crusader finds all of Kirigi’s students slaughtered, except for Kyodai Ken (a canon-immigrant from Batman the Animated Series). After besting Kyodai Ken, Batman cares for his master. Then it’s off to New Mexico to check-up on the original Mr. Miracle, Thaddeus Brown.

–Detective Comics #997-999 (“MYTHOLOGY” Conclusion)
October 7. Batman’s nightmare simulation continues. Batman and Thaddeus Brown are submerged into a tank filled with sharks and piranhas, but they escape. They then defeat another monster shapeshifter. Soon after, Batman strikes-out at Hugo Strange, but ultimately discovers that he has nothing to do with the creatures. Bruce then dons his Hellbat-suit and visits Jason Blood’s curio shop to find yet another monster attacking Etrigan. Batman defeats the creature and saves Etrigan, who morphs back into Jason. Batman then travels to STAR Labs to meet with Dr. Silas Stone, who reveals himself to be another shapeshifter, taking down Batman and morphing into a young Bruce Wayne wearing an ill-fitting Bat-costume. Batman fights his doppelgänger, who grows to adult size as he descants about Batman’s war on crime. Batman realizes that he is in his own Program 2.1 sim. The fight stops and Batman buries his demons (the little demoniacal version himself) in an open grave next to his parents’ graves in the cemetery adjacent to the Wayne Manor property. Batman wakes up and smashes his way out of the sim tank to find a worried Alfred and Damian waiting for him. (Damian hasn’t spoken with his father in about a month, so it’s nice to see him finally willing to recompense.) Batman suits up and reviews the recent annual murder rate numbers for Gotham City. Later, Bruce, Alfred, and Leslie Thompkins go out for dinner.

–Damage Vol. 2 #12-13[17]
Damage is wilin’ out, which prompts Superman and JL Reservists Vixen, Guy Gardner, Flash, and Green Arrow to fight him. (Green Arrow’s anger towards the JL after the horrific Sanctuary massacre incident has apparently subsided.) With Damage taking Superman to his limit, Batman calls in Deadman for help. Deadman takes over Damage’s body, ending the fight. With Damage reverted back his human form (Elvis Ethan Avery), the heroes place him into protective custody inside the Hall of Justice. After initially determining that Elvis Ethan will remain in long-term custody, the JL does some deep investigative research on Elvis Ethan’s history and decides instead that he needs to be exiled to Monster Rock in order to balance his human and monster halves. As referenced in Damage Vol. 2 #15, Batman notifies Congo Bill that he will be training Elvis Ethan. The Dark Knight then takes the unsuspecting lad aboard the BatCarrier. Using holographic Danger Room tech, Batman tricks Elvis Ethan into thinking he is still at the Hall of Justice. They spar and Elvis Ethan reverts back into Damage. Batman then bails in an escape pod, leaving the BatCarrier (with Damage aboard) to crash land on Monster Rock.

–FLASHBACK: From Justice League Vol. 4 Annual #1—and referenced in Titans Vol. 3 #35. Mid October. Starman devises a massive plan to “fix reality” and mend the damaged Source Wall. The plan, which will take weeks to prepare for, revolves around utilizing as many heroes as possible to gather the three living Omega Titans and returning them to the Source Wall in order to basically plug up the hole. Tragically, Hawkgirl, who is linked to the Totality via her wings, must leave her life behind by donning a special suit and permanently merging with the Source Wall as well. Starman meets with a majority of the heroes and then meets with Hawkgirl, telling her that the energy of the deceased Entropy resides within her wings. He asks her to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the multiverse. Fearlessly, Hawkgirl agrees. The Thanagarians, Green Lantern Corps, and New Gods begin searching for the Omega Titans across the cosmos. Batman and Superman begin working with the Titans to flesh-out details of Starman’s big plan.

–REFERENCE: In Damage Vol. 2 #15. Batman re-visits Monster Rock to check-in with Congo Bill regarding Elvis Ethan Avery’s progress and to drop off some new clothes for Elvis Ethan.

–Wonder Twins #9
Late October. Three weeks have passed since the defeat of the defeat of the Scrambler and Polly Math. Batman, Superman, and the Wonder Twins enter the Eastern European nation of Zagronia to take on a corrupt government that has taken refugees hostage. After the heroes best the Zagronian military, Superman shakes down the Zagronian president while Batman and the Wonder Twins take the hostages to the States. Back home, the Wonder Twins chat with Polly, who, despite her super-villain mistakes, is still their best friend. They realize that Polly’s dad Filo Math is trapped in the Phantom Zone, having been exiled there by the League of Annoyance’s Cell Phone Sylvia. As night falls, Bruce and Clark see the new film Gun Cop at a movie theater. The next day, Superman delivers one of his signature pep talks to a disheartened Jayna. Concurrently, some random thrift shoppers (Sean and Malcolm) unwittingly purchase one of Filo Math’s old computers from a suburban estate sale. Upon plugging-in the machine, they activate a decades-old AI called Colonel 86.

–Wonder Twins #11-12
Late October. Filo Math returns home, having been rescued from the Phantom Zone by his daughter Polly Math and the Wonder Twins. Shortly thereafter, Filo’s AI creation, Colonel 86, takes control of every computer on the planet, sending the globe (and the Justice League) into chaos—although many assholes actually rise up in support of the Colonel. LexNews’ Rex Tanner, Angry Lady, Straw Man, Punditron 5000, and Bald Judge Woman ignorantly discuss the developments on live TV. Colonel 86 begins an attempt to rewind the clocks back to 1986, but only in the most regressively political ways. The Colonel begins e-selling wife-beater tank tops, digitally annulling all gay marriages, and offering his incel right wing supporters jobs in a re-invested coal mining industry. Lex Luthor uses LexNews to stoke the anger of the Colonel’s followers. When Colonel 86’s supporters begin rioting in Washington DC, Superman, Wonder Woman, and the stinky Repulso fend them off. The Wonder Twins usher Filo to the home of Sean and Malcom (the couple that bought Colonel 86). There, Filo shuts down his creation, ending his reign of terror. Shortly thereafter, the JL learns what the Wonder Twins have been up to and they aren’t pleased. The JL has a meeting with the Wonder Twins to chew them out, but the siblings defend their actions, saying they saved the world and would do it again. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor funds Cell Phone Sylvia’s revenge plans against the Wonder Twins, hiring two of his Lexicon Prison & Call Center employees to act as her heavies. Thus, Cell Phone Sylvia, the circus-themed super-villain known as the Ringmaster, and the unnamed supervisor of the call center go after, defeat, and capture the Wonder Twins (and Gleek). When all hope seems lost, the supervisor of the call center reveals herself to be an escaped (and body-swapped) Scrambler. He betrays his fellow villains to save the Wonder Twins before switching into the Ringmaster’s body. The supervisor and Cell Phone Sylvia get exiled to the Phantom Zone, ending their threat. The reformed Scrambler then has a cup of coffee with the twins. By the time the twins return to the Hall of Justice, the JL has found and busted Polly and Filo Math. However, having heard the twins’ complaints from earlier, the JL has decided on a more progressive course of action. With Wayne Enterprises funding, the JL will start a new Hall of Justice department known as ASTRISK (Assessing Strategic Threats Requiring Innovative Skills and Knowledge). The Maths and Wonder Twins will run this new branch of the JL, effective immediately. Bruce greenlights Wayne Enterprises construction of a separate ASTRISK headquarters building in Washington DC as well.

–Justice League Vol. 4 Annual #1
Early November. It’s been a couple weeks since Starman set into motion his grand plan to save the multiverse and patch up the Source Wall. The New Gods, Green Lantern Corps, and Thanagarian Armed Forces have each nabbed the three remaining Omega Titans, brining them to the hole in the Source Wall. (More than a dozen Green Lanterns are present, including Aa, B’dg, Hannu, Iolande, Rot Lop Fan, Salakk, Shorm, Two-Six, and Voz.) The Justice League, along with Starman, Miss Martian, Mera, and Kyle Rayner, travels to the Source Wall in the Javelin as well. As Hawkgirl prepares to join the Omega Titans forever, Martian Manhunter meets with her privately and gives her a psychic gift—a utopian heaven construct that she can experience for eternity. In tears, Hawkgirl kisses Martian Manhunter. But before Hawkgirl can join the Omega Titans, the Legion of Doom—now officially joined by a returning Brainiac—strikes. Hundreds of Brainiac’s warships swarm upon the collected heroes. An epic space battle ensues as Hawkgirl tries to get in position. Brainiac is able to sap Starman of his powers, rendering him useless. The LOD unleashes the Totality, which is cracked open due to being in such close proximity to the Source Wall. Perpetua is released (but still inert), becoming a comatose prisoner of the LOD. As the New Gods fade into non-existence and the Omega Titans cry out in pain, the entire Source Wall explodes, releasing a wave of pure destructive energy. (I guess the Source itself is dead?) Adam Strange, from across the multiverse, reports that New Genesis and Apokolips have disappeared. In the Ghost Sector, Darkseid smiles, setting into motion devious plans of his own. On Earth, the Justice League Dark goes into a metaphysical panic. In Heaven, the Spectre displays holy rage over what has occurred. At the House of Heroes, Justice Incarnate laments that the end of the multiverse is near. After barely escaping the destructive wave, the heroes reflect upon their horrible failure. Before ordering the GLC to return to Oa, Ganthet exclaims that the multiverse will be dead within months. En route back to Earth, Starman tells the heroes that the entire multiverse, no longer held in its place by the Source Wall, is floating freely through the void.

–Justice League Vol. 4 #17
Martian Manhunter realizes that Lex Luthor’s dad (Lionel Luthor) was a member of the Legionnaires Club, the group which kidnapped him and experimented on him decades ago. Not only that, but a young Lex visited and befriended him while he was in captivity. The Blackhawks erased young Lex’s memories of this and also forced Lionel into ruin. Similarly, details of this time had also been unclear to J’onn up until his recent meeting with the Martian Keep. J’onn tells his Justice League teammates all he knows. J’onn then agrees to meet with Lex in an attempt to dissuade Lex from carrying on whatever diabolical intentions the Legion of Doom might be planning with the still-comatose Perpetua. On Mars, J’onn meets with Lex and, appealing to his humanity, tells him about the hidden parts of their shared childhood history. After fighting-off Martian creatures together, the two return to their respective HQs.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Who Laughs #3. Having seen it all and dealt with the best of the best, Batman determines that he himself (even despite hating guns) is one of the world’s top marksmen, top ten for certain. I wonder who else is in the top ten? If we are talking purely in regard to guns, then Deathstroke, Deadshot, and KGBeast for sure. Add in bows and arrows and other types of projectile weaponry and the list gets much bigger.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Who Laughs #2-3 and Batgirl Vol. 5 #33. James Gordon Jr’s Diaxamyne drug trial has been going so well that Jeremiah Arkham decides to let James Jr enroll in a heavily-monitored Wayne Enterprises/State government-sponsored work release program at a supermarket. Commissioner Gordon is initially opposed to the idea, but reluctantly gets on board when he realizes he doesn’t have a say in the matter. Bruce, Jim, and Leslie continue monitoring James Jr’s progress and will continue to check-up on James Jr, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In Wonder Woman Vol. 5 Annual # 3. The Justice League smashes up some Brainiac robots.

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #2 and Doomsday Clock #5. Geneticist Dr. Helga Jace and a team of international scientists publicly release preliminary findings as part of an ongoing study into what they call the “Supermen Theory.” Jace and company have reason to believe that the concentration of worldwide metahumans existing primarily in the United States isn’t aleatory. Jace also releases findings that show that the proliferation of superhuman activity over the past ten to fifteen years—especially in America—has been the direct result of a secret US Government program. Jace claims further that many US superheroes and super-villains alike are actually government agents, playing out predetermined roles, or lab experiments designed to be living weapons of mass destruction. Troubled by this possibility, Bruce begins putting a profusion of money into metagene research at Wayne Enterprises. He also purchases Dayton Labs from its owner, Steve Dayton (aka Mento). Likewise, Lex Luthor also begins pouring money into metagene research and the acquisition of new science-and-tech companies. (NOTE: Based upon supplemental material in Doomsday Clock #2, this item occurs roughly six months prior to Metamorpho and Dr. Kirk Langstrom getting outed as government agents and the start of Lex Luthor ramping up his anti-metahuman campaign. We can and should take this approximate six months as gospel. However, the dates attached to the supplemental material in Doomsday Clock #2, which hint at June 2017, must be ignored. Brian Michael Bendis’ meta opening splash page from Action Comics #1002, which occurs in summer 2018 and references the Superman Theory, should also be ignored.)

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 4 Annual #2—and referenced in Nightwing Vol. 4 #50-51 and Nightwing Vol. 4 #54. Mid December. It’s been three-and-a-half months since Nightwing was shot by KGBeast. An amnesiac Dick (aka “Richard”) was immobile for three weeks in a hospital bed and then went through nearly three months of tough rehab after that in order to get physically better. Richard visits Wayne Manor, accompanied by Dr. Isabella Haas (who secretly works for the Court of Owls and has caused his amnesia). With Dr. Haas waiting outside of the mansion, Richard chats with Bruce and Damian inside. Desperate to jog his memory, Alfred escorts Richard into the Batcave. There, a quick-changed Batman and Robin reveal to Richard that he is Nightwing and that he was shot in the head by KGBeast. They show him video of the shooting, but their intent has the opposite effect. Richard rejects them, saying that they are responsible for his condition, and angrily departs with Dr. Haas. Soon after, Dr. Haas, as per Court of Owls orders, convinces Richard to move out of Gotham. Babs meets with Richard (now also going by “Ric,” but he still rejects his prior history with her as well. The former Nightwing then breaks the Bat-Family’s collective heart and leaves Gotham behind, moving to Blüdhaven. Babs will visit Ric in Blüdhaven frequently for the next couple weeks, trying in vain to convince him to return to his old life.

–REFERENCE: In The Batman Who Laughs #3. Batman adds a holographic video projector to his gauntlet gloves. This projector is linked directly to the Bat-computer network.

–Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #48-49 (“CANCELED BY YESTERDAY”)
From the year 2052, future Batman (Terry McGinnis) travels with Booster Gold and Skeets to present day in an effort to supposedly prevent Blanque from implanting a post-hypnotic suggestion into Batman’s (Bruce’s) mind—a suggestion that will cause him to kill Terry’s brother Matt McGinnis in thirty-four years’ time. (This post-hypnotic suggestion is merely a cover story designed by Booster, Skeets, and future Bruce, who are acting to preserve the timeline.) When Blanque sets fire to several Gotham buildings, Batman (Terry) and Booster rescue as many folks as they can, including Terry’s own future father, a young Warren McGinnis. Batman (Bruce) shows up, but Booster and Skeets distract him from spotting Terry. Booster, Skeets, and Batman (Bruce) then fight Blanque, who Batman (Bruce) meets for the first time. When Batman (Bruce) goes down, Terry steps in and takes down Blanque. Terry then returns to 2052.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #6, Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #44-45, and The Batman Who Laughs #6. Batman begins working on a set of experimental flying Bat-costumes. He will work on these high-tech suits sporadically over the course of the next three decades. (The Bat-costume that Terry McGinnis will one day wear is a finalized version of these prototypes.) Batman specifically designs one for Babs as well.

–REFERENCE: In Dial H for Hero #1. A teenager named Miguel Montez uses the H-Dial (which was most recently seen securely stashed-away in the JL trophy room), turning into the 90s-styled monster truck-themed superhero called “Monster Truck.” Alfred senses powerful cosmic vibrations due to the H-Dial being re-activated for the first time in a long time. As per orders, Alfred immediately phones Batman and tells him. (Note that there are now multiple models of H-Dials, at least five but possibly more. The original H-Dial is now housed in a red-colored phone. There is also a magenta-colored M-Dial, cyan-colored C-Dial, yellow-colored Y-Dial, key black-colored K-Dial, and a mysterious Multiverse-Dial.)

–Batman: Gotham Nights Vol. 3 #22
December 22-25. New Toyman Anton Schott (son of original Toyman Winslow Schott) has managed to form a legitimate toy company that has released the top-selling Christmas item of the year: the walking, talking Benny Doll. Of course, Anton wants to impress his imprisoned dad, so the Benny Dolls come to life and kill entire families once activated. Batman picks one up and, soon after, he and Alfred are forced to battle and destroy a killer dolly in the Batcave. After Batman takes down another one and does some analysis on it, he alerts Commissioner Gordon, who informs the media. On Xmas eve, Batman shuts down Anton’s factory, turning his reprogrammed dolls against him and his henchmen. Anton goes behind bars with his dad. On Xmas day, Bruce gives Alfred a gift of a paid two-week Italian vacation, starting immediately. (Based upon his appearances in other upcoming comics, the most amount of time Alfred could actually be away is a little over a week, so I guess he’ll cut his trip short.) Batman also programs the Benny dolls to help at a soup kitchen.

–Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #57-58 (“HUNTED BY THE BAT”)
Late December. Harley Quinn is approached by Mirand’r of the planet Tamaran, a joint representative the Lords of Order and Lords of Chaos. Seeing both an equal amount of good and bad in Harley, the Lords have decided to test her with a series of trials, which, if she passes, will reward her with cosmic power. Meanwhile, in Gotham, Batman and Commissioner Gordon examine a murder scene in which criminal drug-supplier Dr. Regelmann has turned up dead with a Jokerized rictus grin upon his face. When the clues seem to point a Harley Quinn, Batman goes after her. (Didn’t this just happen in Heroes in Crisis?) In a Coney Island hospital, Harley visits her mom Sharon Quinzel, who has cancer. Soon after getting kicked out of the building, Harley is approached by Batman. They fight and, despite Harley’s claims of innocence, Batman blames her for the crime in Gotham, event going so far as to say she is irredeemable. Meanwhile, in a Gotham autopsy room, Dr. Regelmann wakes up and takes-off! After a short trip to the Batcave, Batman and Harley Quinn team-up to solve the mystery! After following a few leads, consulting with Batgirl, and running from some cops, the duo busts a stalker that is attacking a woman and her child. In a touching moment, Harley shows off her gentle side with the family. Harley then realizes that Dr. Regelmann wasn’t really Dr. Regelmann at all! It was Lord Death Man, who has had a crush on Harley and been stalking her for months. After setting up a sting with the GCPD, Batman and Harley lure out Lord Death Man and his gang, kicking their asses. Batman tells Harley that she really has grown into a decent human being. After Batman departs, Mirand’r appears, telling Harley she’s efficaciously completed her first trial!

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #60-61. Late December. Harley Quinn’s trials at the hands of the Lords of Chaos and Order continue. Enchantress, having suppressed her June Moone host, alters reality into a medieval role-playing world where she is the queen of the entire planet. Harley Quinn, the only person that recalls the way things are supposed to be, sets out to fix the world. Batman is morphed into the medieval-styled Dark Knight, who, having been stood up at the altar by his betrothed (and now deposed) Queen Selina, has left his Dark Knights team (Knightwing the Knight, Anarchy the Druid, Silver St. Cloud the Elf, Harvey the Bullock, and Ace the Wervenwolf) to exile himself on the Moon. Enchantress sends one of Harley’s best friends—now transmogrified from Petite Tina into “Tina the Executioner”—and several medieval versions of Batman’s rogues to combat the heroes. Eventually, Harley Quinn and the cosmic “Continuity Cop” Jonni DC revert the DCU back to status-quo by initiating an instant line-wide retcon! No one except Harley will have any memories of the alternate Dungeons & Dragons reality.

–New Year’s Evil #1 Part 7
December 31. After monitoring some strange shipments sent to Arkham Asylum, Batman realizes that Calendar Man is planning something for New Year’s Eve. Sure enough, Calendar Man starts a riot by manipulating Killer Croc, Amygdala, and Firefly. Batman swoops in and quells the riot.

–New Year’s Evil #1 Part 1
December 31. A fake Joker initiates a fake gas attack upon Gotham’s annual New Year’s Eve ball drop, just to sew the seeds of chaos. This prompts both Batman and the real Joker to visit the scene. Joker kills the fake Joker then gets busted by Batman.


<<< Rebirth Era Year 17 (Part 1) <<< ||| >>> Rebirth Era Year 18 (Part 1) >>>

  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: Judson Caspian debuted as the original Reaper #1 years before Batman’s debut. He died in Year Two. Benjamin Gruener debuted as Reaper #2 in Year Six. Reaper #3, who was a League of Assassins member, was killed by the Silencer in Year Nine. Reaper #4 is a giant monster alien that debuted a year ago. Reaper #5, who commanded a group of Reapers that collectively called themselves “The Reaper” debuted a year ago as well.
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: Note that, at the time of Superman Giant #3‘s publication, Pa Kent would have been blocked from collective memory thanks to Dr. Manhattan. Only due to later Doomsday Clock and Flash Forward retcons do Ma and Pa Kent get officially reinstated onto our chronology. Ergo, the Pa Kent shown here is likely intended to be a Sanctuary android.
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp are so good together on this series, which is a blast from start to finish with every issue. Just as they gather a bunch of cosmic heavies for the auction scene here, they show (in The Green Lantern #5) the planet Vorr, upon which many of Earth’s vampires have gathered or permanently relocated. While Batman isn’t in The Green Lantern #5, here is a fun list of vampires that are shown to be living on or at least visiting Vorr anyway: Morbius, The Crypt-Keeper, Dracula, Count Orlock, Count Yorga, Lestat de Lioncourt, Louis de Pointe du Lac, Vladislav (from What We Do in the Shadows), Viago (from What We Do in the Shadows), Petyr (from What We Do in the Shadows), Jon Schnepp, Vampirella, and a bunch of Vorr Bats. Flashbacks from The Green Lantern: Blackstars #2 also show Lord Vorlokk, Blade, Edward Cullen, Proinsias Cassidy, and a bunch of Renfield henchmen. The Green Lantern: Blackstars #2 also mentions that the Vampyroi of Vorr worship the “saints” Mandrakk, Carmilla (from Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla), and Martin (from George Romero’s Martin).
  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER: Batman/The Maxx: Arkham Dreams, which was published around this juncture on our chronology, is non-canon. This fascicle of the Kieth-verse is written as if The Maxx has always lived in the DCU, which just ain’t true.
  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: I’ve interposed Batman: Three Jokers here for several reasons. First of all, creators Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok are playing “Black Label” fast-and-loose with continuity here, even going so far as to say, “take it or leave it” to other writers, in interviews. Of course, this story was referenced canonically in other big-time issues, so it’s definitely canon. Originally, I placed Three Jokers immediately after Doomsday Clock in Year 18 (only in keeping with the publication chronology of Johns’ always-delayed corpus). However, there are certain in-story markers for placement that cannot be denied. In Three Jokers, we get a flashback to “Endgame” which directly connects to Dark Nights: Metal, while Alfred is featured as well. So, Three Jokers must go somewhere in-between Dark Nights: Metal and Alfred’s death. The earlier the better, especially since this arc involves a mega-mystery that only feels narratively worse the longer the Dark Detective allows it to drag out. The costumes are also a dead giveaway. First off, Batman is wearing his old Batman Inc-style costume just for kicks. That unfortunately has no bearing upon timeline positioning. But Jason’s costume is important. Originally, I assumed we should just ignore Jason’s costume, since technically it’s a Fabok re-design anyway. However, this is without-a-doubt Jason in his helmet costume, meaning it goes before Red Hood: Outlaw #26 (where Jason debuts his sans-Helmet hooded look). If we are scrutinizing costumes, then Three Jokers also has to go after Batgirl has ditched her purple Burnside duds and returned to more traditional attire. And with all that, we have arrived.
  6. [6]COLLIN COLSHER: Why is Justice League Vol. 4 #1 here? Scott Snyder did this often in the New 52, so it’s no surprise he’s doing it here too. Of course, it means not giving his narratives enough space (or necessary interregna) to accommodate other writers’ arcs. Continuity comics are a team game, remember? Following a gap between Justice League Vol. 4 #1 and Justice League Vol. 4 #2, all of Snyder’s run from issue #2 through #10 is an uninterrupted continuous story. This means that the entirety of JL #2-10 must go after the Sanctuary massacre and after Dick getting shot. This also means that Batman is wearing the wrong costume in JL #1-7. I should also mention that Snyder specifically tells us that the gap between JL #1 and JL #2 is only a week long. However, this is a big continuity error as well. Because of everything we’ve already mentioned, not only do the Sanctuary massacre and Dick getting shot have to be squeezed in there, but a ton of other material has to fit as well, meaning the ellipsis has to be around one month long. If it seems I’m being too nitpicky, trust me, I usually let little issues slide—but these are imbroglios of a rather large magnitude, which can be very vexing for any reader. And if you are looking for a topical reference to help you place Snyder’s JL arc, don’t bother. The leaves outside the Hall of Justice in JL #1 are shown to be full and green whereas the leaves are in full autumn color by JL #10.
  7. [7]COLLIN COLSHER: Editorial notation in Flash Vol. 5 #50 makes reference to the Still Force revelation in Justice League Vol. 4 #2, making it seem like this item should go after Justice League Vol. 4 #2. However, that simply isn’t possible. Since Flash gets an intimation that the Still Force is real by the end of Justice League Vol. 4 #1, the editorial notation should likely reflect that instead, hence placement of “Flash War” here in the gap between JL #1 and JL #2. In any case, because of this arc’s connection to Justice League Vol. 4 #1-2, Batman is shown wearing the wrong costume as a result.
  8. [8]COLLIN COLSHER: According to Zoom (as stated in Flash Vol. 5 #80), there are four main “Cosmic Forces” aka “energy fields.” They are: the Speed Force, Still Force, Sage Force, and Strength Force. Combined, these four unleash the power of the Forever Force. Note that the Speed Force and the Still Force are also part of the greater Justice/Doom Totalities, but the Sage Force, Strength Force, and Forever Force are apparently not (or, at least, have yet to be revealed as such). Confused? So am I. Oh well.
  9. [9]COLLIN COLSHER: Note that the Batman-less Green Lantern 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular Part 5 is a Kyle Rayner story in which Kyle makes reference to Alan Scott being the first Green Lantern. This is a continuity error since no one would remember Alan Scott since all memory of the JSA in the 20th century has been blocked. This flub arose because this story was written at a time where DC continuity was royally messed up do to inner-office upheaval, notably Dan DiDio’s 2020 firing.
  10. [10]COLLIN COLSHER: Wonder Woman Vol. 5 #57 (a Witching Hour tie-in) makes specific reference to the Moon having been blown-up in “Totality / Legion of Doom” arc, placing the entirety of Witching Hour after Justice League Vol. 4 #1. However, since Batman and Aquaman are shown in Witching Hour, this also means that it must go before Justice League Vol. 4 #2. This means it takes place in the one week one month gap between Justice League Vol. 4 #1 and Justice League Vol. 4 #2. Also, in Justice League Dark #5, a drunk Detective Chimp, three days after Drowned Earth, says that Witching Hour occurred “last week.” Based upon everything else on our timeline and references in other titles, Witching Hour can either take place five days before Justice League Dark #5 or thirteen days before Justice League Dark #5. Neither of those qualifies as “last week.” Chimp’s drunk dialogue doesn’t make sense either way, but hey, he’s soused! Chalk up Chimp’s bogus recollection to large amount of booze in his little ape body. He should have said “a couple weeks ago” instead. Witching Hour, based upon references in other titles, must occur at least ten days prior to Justice League Dark #5 (i.e. right here) in order for everything else to jibe.
  11. [11]COLLIN COLSHER: Prior to Witching Hour, the recently formed Justice League Dark was active in Central City in Flash Vol. 5 #55, which supposedly occurred on Halloween. However, the spooky holiday setting is simply a topical discontinuity that must be ignored as we are now only in early September (at the latest).
  12. [12]PABLO KIMY / COLLIN COLSHER: Here is a timeline of things to come, with specific days of the week gleaned from Donna Troy’s dialogue in Titans #28.

    Sunday – Witching Hour concludes.
    Sunday – Barry leaves Central City with Iris.
    Monday – Flash travels around the world in “Force Quest.”
    Tuesday – Heroes in Crisis #1-2: Sanctuary massacre
    Tuesday – Barry finds out about massacre after returning from “Force Quest” and Annual #2 occurs.
    Tuesday – Impulse visits Flash Museum.
    Tuesday – Green Arrow #44: Superman tells Oliver about massacre.
    Wednesday – Red Hood #27: Batman tells Jason about massacre.
    Wednesday – Green Arrow #45: Funeral of Roy takes place here.
    Wednesday – Batman #55: Dick is shot by KGBeast.
    Thursday – Titans #27: The Titans find out about Dick’s condition.
    Thursday – Batman #56-57: Batman goes after KGBeast.
    Friday – Bruce returns.
    Saturday – “The Price” occurs.
    Sunday – Heroes in Crisis #4-9: Donna brings Garth to the Titans. Wally is revealed alive and is arrested.
    Monday –Wonder Twins #6 Part 1
    Monday – JL #2-8: “Totality”
    Tuesday – JL#9: Superman fixes the Moon.
    Tuesday – JL Odyssey #3: Cyborg and Starfire leave Earth.
    Wednesday – Drowned Earth (Donna mentions is Wednesday). Garth is still with the Titans.
    Saturday – JLD #5 – Three days after Drowned Earth and a week after Witching Hour. (In JLD #5, Detective Chimp mentions that Witching Hour took place “last week,” but this should read “two weeks ago” to jibe.)

  13. [13]COLLIN COLSHER: Heroes in Crisis #8 tells us that the Sanctuary massacre happens just over three weeks after Wally is admitted to Sanctuary. That’s a bit of an extra stretch, closer to two weeks makes more sense for our chronology. Also, the confusing details of the opening sequence of Heroes in Crisis is revealed in Heroes in Crisis #8.
  14. [14]COLLIN COLSHER: Heroes in Crisis #4-9 features Booster Gold going on the lam. Since Booster Gold appears with the other heroes at the conclusion of “Drowned Earth,” Heroes in Crisis #4-9 goes before both “Drowned Earth” and all connected Justice League Vol. 4 issues. Does placing Heroes in Crisis #4-9 here lead to continuity errors in other titles? Yes, specifically Titans Vol. 3 #28, in which, as a direct result, Donna talks about the Sanctuary massacre in a way that doesn’t make sense and also in which Tempest utters non-sensical dialogue regarding the timing of the Sanctuary massacre. An alternate option (definitely not a solution, since it leads to more problems), is to ignore Booster Gold’s appearance in “Drowned Earth,” treating that as a continuity error and thus resolving any niggles in Titans Vol. 3 #28. I wouldn’t recommend that, especially since Titans Vol. 3 #28 already has problems on its own—notably Tempest refers to Roy’s death in a highly passive way, saying he “heard about it.” He was shown at the damn funeral in Green Arrow Vol. 6 #45! Tom King has famously admitted that he doesn’t do shared continuity with other writers very well. And Scott Snyder has never done shared continuity with other writers very well. And Dan Abnett has always had a propensity for adding-in references with extreme specificity when not necessarily needed. All three of these guys are prone to excessive decompression in their storytelling. Put it all together and what do you get? A mess.
  15. [15]COLLIN COLSHER: All of Tom King’s woefully misguided Heroes in Crisis is troubling from a narrative and character perspective. For example, if it’s so easy to get a dead clone to plug into the timeline here, why can’t the crew get dead clones for all the murdered Sanctuary visitors? What makes Wally so special that he gets this pass? Is it because he is bros with Booster? Wally is literally covering up mass murder, an act meant to be King’s regressive example of a “trauma victim” having a panic attack. Sadly, King’s “victim” is someone that kills a bunch of people because he is “mentally ill.” Sounds a lot like the spin that the NRA puts on school shooters. Sounds like King is playing a game of “blame the victim,” when the only victims I see here are the piled-up corpses. I hang my head in frustrated shame. Thankfully, as mentioned above, a few years later, writer Joshua Williamson retconned things so that Wally was under the mental influence of Reverse-Flash Eobard Thawne, which at the time gave killer Wally a measly bit of an excuse (à la writers retconning Hal Jordan’s murderous heel turn by later blaming it on the Parallax symbiote). It was a mere bandaid on the gaping wound that was King’s character assassination of Wally. Even more thankfully, writer Jeremy Adams went a step further in 2021, retconning things so that Wally didn’t kill anyone at all.
  16. [16]COLLIN COLSHER: A side note here: Heroes in Crisis #9 shows a lot of the superhero community’s therapy video recordings. Red Tornado is shown specifically mentioning he’d like to start a family someday soon. This is a cheeky nod by Tom King to his own run on Marvel’s Vision, which turned him into a breakout star writer in the industry. While cheeky it may be, its either a continuity error or Red Tornado has had his memory wiped. Red Tornado ain’t Vision. Red Tornado already has a family.
  17. [17]COLLIN COLSHER: In Damage Vol. 2 #11, writer Robert Venditti includes an ill-advised editorial note that jokes about the death of Wally West at the Sanctuary massacre. This obviously places this story post Heroes in Crisis #1. However, while writers were seemingly told not to address Wally’s death before the end of the publication of Heroes in Crisis #9 (the series’ final issue), precisely because the end twist leads to Wally being alive, Venditti decided not to adhere to that precept in order to make a joke, thus creating a mini-continuity error for himself. An easy fix would be to place Damage Vol. 2 #11-13 somewhere in the five day span between Heroes in Crisis #1 and Heroes in Crisis #9. However, this just isn’t possible as there isn’t any more room for anything else Batman-related in that gap. Plus, there’s no way a pissed-off Green Arrow, who initially blamed the JL for Roy and Wally’s deaths, would be working so contently with the team, as he is seen doing here in Venditti’s arc. So, simply ignore the editorial one-liner about Barry being the “Fastest Man Still Alive.” Wally’s still alive too.

18 Responses to Rebirth Year Seventeen (Part 2)

  1. Pablo Kimy says:

    Hi Collin, I’ve been doing a timeline of DC Rebirth and I found your website. Is the most accurate timeline I have ever found!
    So, I have a few questions about the recent events. Looking at the references in Titans #27 and Justice League Dark #5 I think the order of events goes something like this:

    -Justice League Dark foundation
    -Justice League Dark appears at The Flash #55 (around Halloween)
    -The Witching Hour
    -The Flash #58-63
    -Heroes in Crisis (Roy and Wally’s Death)
    -Jason and Oliver are informed
    -Roy’s Funeral (Donna attends)
    -Dick gets shot
    -The Titans are informed of Dick’s situation in Titans #27
    -Justice League #2-9
    -Drowned Earth
    -Justice League Dark #5 (Three days after Drowned Earth and a week after the Witching Hour)

    So, is there something wrong about this order? And why did you put HiC #4 before Drowned Earth if Garth acts in Titans #28 as if HiC #4 hasn’t happened yet?

    Also, an unrelated question, why did you put Detective Comics #883-885 after the Wedding?


    • For one thing, Booster Gold is shown in “Drowned Earth,” so this likely means that all of HiC will be resolved before Drowned Earth. I’m going to wait until HiC is wrapped to really try an make finalized sense of the timeline. Because Booster appears in “Drowned Earth,” Garth’s dialogue in Titans #28 doesn’t really make sense—he SHOULDN’T be acting as if HiC #4 hasn’t happened yet (because it has!). ALSO, take a look at that funeral scene in GA #45. Tempest is THERE! Why then is he acting like he wasn’t there in Titans #28 (i.e. “I heard about Roy”). I submit to you that Titans #28 is a total disaster continuity-wise from the get-go, even without the influence of HiC #4 and “Drowned Earth.” Similarly, Donna’s dialogue in Titans #28 doesn’t make sense either. It’s a continuity mess, but I’m not surprised considering the number of titles involved, the authors involved, and the attempts at unnecessary connected references.

      At this juncture, and with what we know so far, you can go two routes. Ignore Booster’s appearance in “Drowned Earth” OR ignore the dialogue in Titans #28. Pick your poison. Right now, I’ve gone with the latter.

      And I have Witching Hour as close to Justice League #2-9 precisely because of the “three days after ‘Drowned Earth’ and one week after Witching Hour” comment you mention from JLD #5. Moving Witching Hour earlier only adds extra time, making it harder to rationalize the “three days and one week” stretch. Add into the mix that HiC #4 seems to take place a mere few days after HiC #3 and you’ve got yourself a powder keg of continuity that’s ready to pop.

      I’m going to add in a special note in an attempt to explain my rationale, especially with HiC #4. Might I change up a bunch of this part of the chronology? Possibly. But If I do, I’m going to wait until HiC is wrapped up entirely.

      And in regard to ‘tec… do you mean #983-987 “On the Outside”? I really put it post-wedding simply because it ended in October 2018, a month after the wedding, which was published in September 2018. I supposed it could easily go prior to the wedding. Is there a specific reason you think it should go prior to the wedding?

      • Pablo Kimy says:

        Oh, I totally forgot about Booster’s cameo in Drowned Earth. But maybe it was a flash-foward? One thing is certain, Titans has continuity issues. I mean, Beast Boy appears mutated in Drowned Earth even though he disappeared with the Titans in Titans #28. We will have to wait until HiC #9.

        I think Detective Comics #983-987 arc does not fit very well with a post-Wedding Batman, because he is in his old suit and is not violent like in “Cold Days”.

  2. Pablo Kimy says:

    I tried to make a timeline of HiC and Drowned Earth’s week based on all the references. Here it is:

    Justice League of Dark forms

    JLD are in Central City on Halloween in The Flash #55

    Sunday – The Witching Hour

    Sunday – Barry leaves Central City with Iris

    Monday – The Flash travels around the world in Force Quest

    Tuesday – HiC #1-2: Roy and Wally’s death.
    Barry finds out after returning from the Force Quest and Annual #2 happens.
    Impulse visits Flash Museum.
    Green Arrow #44: Batman tells Oliver what happened.

    Wednesday – Red Hood #27: Batman tells Jason.
    Green Arrow #45: Funeral of Roy takes place here.
    Batman #55: At night Dick is shot.

    Thursday – Titans #27: The Titans find out about Dick’s death.
    Batman #56-57: Batman goes after Anatoly.

    Friday – Bruce returns.

    Saturday – The Price takes place here.

    Sunday – HiC #4-9: Donna brings Garth to the Titans. Wally is revealed alive and is arrested.

    Monday – JL #2-8: Totality

    Tuesday – JL#9: Superman fixes the moon.
    JL Odyssey #3: Cyborg leaves Earth with Starfire.
    Young Justice #5: Tim and Steph speak with Zatanna

    Wednesday – Drowned Earth (Donna mentions is Wednesday). Garth is still with the Titans.

    Friday – Young Justice #1-6

    Saturday – JLD #5 – Three days after Drowned Earth and in the week after The Witching Hour.

    (Days of the week based in Donna’s line in Titans #28)

    What do you think?

    • I love this! Amazing work. Mind if I add this in a footnote? I will give you credit, of course. One question: Why do you have Witching Hour before Heroes in Crisis? Shouldn’t it be closer to Drowned Earth? I could be wrong too, just asking! It also might work on either side of HiC as well.


  3. Pablo Kimy says:

    Thanks!! I put Witching Hour on Sunday because of these reasons:
    JLD #1-3 has to be before The Flash #55 because the JLD appear in that issue. And it is before Force Quest.
    The Witching Hour has to be close to Justice League Dark #3, as the threat of Upside-Down Man is imminent and wouldn’t make sense for WW tell them a lot of days after JLD# 3. It’s on Sunday because Barry has to be in the Force Quest on Monday and he is at the meeting.

    It could theoretically be during HiC on Friday,

    Batman is not in his recovering suit so must be before Totality.
    But I think it can’t be directly before because John Stewart is in a mission at the start of JL#2 and he seems to be there quite.

    Putting it after HiC and before Totality is just too close I think, but I could be wrong. Why do you put it before Totality?

    • I had it before “Totality” because in JLD #5 Chimp mentions that Witching Hour took place “last week.” You have it occurring two weekends prior (which is technically two weeks). However, the rest of your logic seems to add up, so I’m not quite sure…

      Chimp could be wrong, of course. But, by his dialogue, it seems that Witching Hour happens only a few days prior to Drowned Earth, but your timeline has it at ten days prior. I guess that isn’t too much of a stretch.

      • Pablo Kimy says:

        Well, if HiC finishes at Sunday and The Witching Hour is after that it would not be “last week”.

        • If HiC finishes Sunday and Witching Hour concludes after it (on Monday), then that means Witching Hour occurs five days before JLD #5. I see what you are saying… five days before Saturday is technically NOT “last week.” However, if Witching Hour is before HiC, where you have it, then Witching Hour is thirteen days before JLD #5, which is also NOT “last week.”

          Chimp’s drunk dialogue doesn’t make sense either way, but hey he’s drunk! He should have said “a couple weeks ago.” In any case, I think you are right in placing Witching Hour at the beginning, prior to HiC. Thanks, Pablo!

  4. Austin Eaton says:

    How you doing, Colin? This isn’t really a continuity question but do you know if the new Batman/Superman series coming out is an ongoing or limited series?

    • Hi Austin, doing well, thanks for asking! I’m not 100% certain, but from my understanding it will be an ongoing series, not a mini or limited. There hasn’t been much information released as of yet, unfortunately.

  5. Austin Eaton says:

    Hey Colin. Could you explain the known of the hidden forces and their counterparts? I’m a bit confused.

    • Confused by a Scott Snyder comic, you say? No way! LOL. So, it had previously been very unclear about what the hidden or “dark” forces were aside from the Still Force. Only in this past week’s JL v4 #29 does Snyder finally reveal them all (and name them).

      1. Still Force. Opposite is Speed Force.
      2. Ultraviolet Spectrum. Opposite is Visible Light Spectrum.
      3. Tear of Extinction, a “dark mirror of life’s connection.” Not sure about the opposite—maybe the spirit of life or something. How about “Smile of Preservation”?
      4. Void Wind, related to the Tear and used to kill gods; released when the Key to the Graveyard of the Gods was destroyed. Opposite unknown—maybe the gods themselves or the power of the gods? How about “Sufficiency Balm”?
      5. Black Apple, i.e. knowledge of the universe’s forbidden secrets, released when the Absorbascon veil is lifted from Thanagar. Snyder calls Perpetua herself “The Universe’s Greatest Secret,” so who knows. Opposite could be unassailable truth—the “White Pear,” maybe?
      6. Sixth Note, i.e. vision(s) of impossible future(s), released by visiting the 6th Dimension. Opposite could be undeniable future, reality, or.. like.. continuity?
      7. ???, the final unknown SUPER TOP SECRET FORCE, as of yet to be revealed.

      I just broke it all down. And I’m still confused.

  6. Austin Eaton says:

    Thanks man!, that helps a lot. I think the Tear of Extinction was said also to be the “Death Force” in Drowned Earth and the opposite is the “Life Force”, but I’m not sure.

    • The Death Force is definitely linked to the Tear of Extinction, and definitely the opposite of Life Force. However, The Death Force is also the power that can kill gods, which is supposedly what the Void Wind also is… Jl v4 #29 does say that the Tear of Extinction and the Void Wind are “twin forces,” so I guess the power to kill gods could (and seemingly does) reside in both.

      Still confused. Thanks, Snyder.

    • Hey Austin, the upcoming issue of JL explains the opposites. We have Speed Force, Emotional Spectrum, Sphere of the Gods, Life Force, Collective Unconscious, and Dimensional Superstructure.

  7. Austin Eaton says:

    Thanks, Colin! Also, sorry about posting that one comment multiple times. It took longer than usual to load on my end so I posted it again thinking it was broken or something. I get a little impatient lol

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