Rebirth Year Sixteen (Part 1)

(January 2017 to June 2017)

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #11 and Dark Days: The Casting #1. Unable to shake the vision of alternate versions of himself dying, Batman begins working on his cloning machine again with hopes of learning more about the “dark energy” metal. Batman is convinced that he is the central player in a cosmic mystery and that the cloning machine can help figure it out. Cloning is a hell of a thing though, and a bit out of the range of Batman’s super-science expertise. Batman will continue working on this project on-and-off for the rest of the year. Likewise, Batman initiates a related project, “The Alfred Protocol.” Batman secretly scans a data map of Alfred’s mind, connecting it to a life-size hologram of Alfred. He plans to use Alfred’s consciousness to build a sentient AI version of Alfred that will be linked to the Bat-computer. Bruce keeps both his continuation of work on the cloning machine and the Alfred Protocol programming a secret from Alfred, but Alfred finds out anyway. Batman will continue working on perfecting the Alfred Protocol for the whole year as well.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: The Detective #5. Batman travels to Europe to work a special unspecified case. While there, he works with various agency heads, police officials, diplomats, spies, and mercenaries. While not marked on our chronology, moving forward, Batman will go to Europe every once-and-a-while in the years to come, and he will meet, work with, and befriend many people of this ilk.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: The World Part 8. Batman, Nightwing, and Batgirl begin tracking an arms dealer working out of ships in Gotham Harbor. They will monitor him for months to come, tracking his every movement.

–REFERENCE: In Robin Vol. 3 #3. Batman busts an unnamed blonde super-villain in a circus strongman outfit, dragging him from the back of the Batmobile for twenty blocks.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Black and White Vol. 5 #6 Part 4. Batman begins investigating an abduction and human trafficking ring that is run by a man named Strasser. Without sufficient evidence or knowledge of Strasser’s inner workings, Batman plays the long game and begins a detailed investigation that will last a couple months before any action is taken.

–FLASHBACK: From Harley Quinn: Black + White + Red #2. Harley Quinn captures Batman, ties him up, hangs him upside down, and dunks him in a barrel full of glue and glitter.

–DC: The Doomed and The Damned #1 Part 10
Is this canon? Don’t ask. Darkseid visits Noonan’s Sleazy Pub for a quiet drink. Boy, did he pick the wrong place. After meeting patrons Hacken, Bueno Excellente, and Guts, Darkseid is pressured into a drinking contest against former Hell-demon cum owner of Noonan’s, Baytor. Even Batman, who is just passing by, urges the boozing to commence. Baytor outdrinks Darkseid in a rousing contest, which is live-streamed on Apokolips.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #1000 Part 3. Batman catches wind that Poison Ivy has been cooking-up some dangerous plant cocktails in her secret lab. Thus, he sends Nightwing undercover as Knute Brody to join her team of henchmen. Brody “accidentally” burns Poison Ivy’s lab to the ground.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #50. Batman goes on a date with Catwoman at the zoo, after hours. Much to his surprise (and concern), Selina has set up a picnic blanket right in the middle of the tiger pen. Bruce and Selina drink champagne and eat sandwiches as the tigers cuddle up to them.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Forge #1 and Doomsday Clock #5. Batman reforms the Outsiders, returning the covert-ops team to its original lineup of Geo-Force, Katana, Metamorpho, and Black Lightning, plus the addition of newcomer Halo (who has just recently debuted as per reference in Suicide Squad Black Files #1). Batman poses for a picture with the Outsiders. The Dark Knight then turns the picture into a holographic stereoscopic image and attaches it to a plinth projector display in Sub-Cave Alpha. The Outsiders will continue going on unspecified missions and investigating the “dark energy” signature found in geological anomalies across the globe. This version of the Outsiders will only last for a few months before disbanding.

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #12-13. Alfred, as he has always done in an effort to subconsciously convince Batman to retire from crimefighting, suggests a Wayne Enterprises real estate purchase in a sunny vacation location. With Alfred’s urging, Bruce authorizes a gentrification project in downtown Miami. Alfred, in his official role as real estate consultant, even helps the marketing team come up with a catchy slogan to help sell the project. Shortly thereafter, WayneTech construction commences, breaking ground on a series of structures, including a new “affordable” ocean-view hotel/condo tower.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #50. Catwoman and Batman have yet another amatory encounter atop a Gotham roof.

–REFERENCE: In Trinity Vol. 2 #16 and Suicide Squad Vol. 5 #41-42—originally told via flashback from the second feature to Suicide Squad Vol. 5 #1. The Kobra Cult kidnaps Deadshot’s daughter, Zoe Lawton, and blackmails him into accepting a risky hit on Bruce Wayne. Naturally, Deadshot winds up teaming with Batman to rescue his daughter. Much to the chagrin of Batman, Deadshot murders Lord Kobra (Jeffrey Franklin Burr), who had only recently been resurrected.

–FLASHBACK: From Wonder Woman Vol. 5 #33, The Brave and The Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman #2, and Justice League Odyssey #2—and also referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #21, Flash Vol. 5 #21-24, Flash Vol. 5 #33, Titans Vol. 3 Annual #1, Dark Days: The Casting #1, Green Lanterns #46, and Batman: Three Jokers #1-3. Originally told in Justice League Vol. 2 #41-50 (“THE DARKSEID WAR”). Nearly nine months have passed since Forever Evil. The Anti-Monitor and Grail (Darkseid’s daughter) attack the Justice League, who get rescued by Metron. Lex Luthor is shot by his sister Lena Luthor before being saved by Superman. Inside the Rock of Eternity, Wonder Woman rips Metron out of the Mobius Chair. Batman gambols into the throne, becoming a “Bat-God” and learning a wealth of hidden information, including the fact that there are three Jokers.[1][2] The heroes soon get caught in the middle of a war pitting Darkseid’s forces—including Steppenwolf, Kanto, Kalibak, the Female Furies (Lashina, Stompa, Mad Harriet, and Bernadeth), and a swarm of Parademons—versus the Anti-Monitor’s army of Shadow Demons. On Apokolips, Superman falls into a fire pit, which imbues him with Apokoliptian negative-energy, turing him evil. Batman and Hal travel to the Universe-3, birthplace of the Anti-Monitor to learn more about his origin. After dispatching a legion of Qwardian Thunderers, Batman and Hal learn that the Anti-Monitor is Mobius, creator of the Mobius Chair. Batman sees a vision of the creation of the positive-matter universe (Universe-0) and the creation of the anti-matter universe (Universe-3) and learns that the latter was born from the Anti-Life. Mobius discovered the Anti-Life and was endowed with the power of the sentient Anti-Life Equation. On Earth-0, before reverting back to Mobius, Anti-Monitor fuses Flash (Barry Allen) with the Black Racer, flinging him into and killing Darkseid! The deceased Darkseid’s Omega power is instantly subsumed by Lex. Batman, addicted to the Mobius Chair, then returns to Gotham. While Grail steals the Anti-Life Equation, Hal, Batman, and Wonder Woman fight evil Superman, who is able to expel the darkness within him using his solar-flare technique. Batman discovers that, despite having gotten rid of the bad fire pit juju, Superman now has super-cancer thanks to the Apokoliptian negative-energy. Concurrently, Cyborg’s body is retaken by the Grid while Jessica Cruz (Power Ring) is taken over by the Volthoom soul entity inside her ring. Jessica and Victor Stone (separated from his Cyborg body) are exiled into Volthoom’s “Green Realm,” which exists inside the power ring. There, they are confronted by the Power Ring Corps. The heroes make a truce with the reformed Crime Syndicate, including a nine month pregnant Superwoman. Mobius fights the Green Lantern Corps, Lex, Parademons, and Crime Syndicate, murdering Ultraman in the process. Grail uses a mind-controlled and powered-up Steve Trevor to kill Mobius. Superman returns to his senses just as Superwoman gives birth to a baby boy. (Some sources list the baby boy as “Alexander Luthor Jr” since he is Earth-3 Alexander Luthor’s son, but the baby’s name is never actually mentioned in any comics.) Superwoman breaks the détente by stealing both Lex’s Omega-powers and the Apokoliptian negative-energy, giving them to the baby. Grail then murders Superwoman, but continues powering-up the baby, giving it the magick of Shazam (Billy Batson), Trevor’s power, and the Black Racer’s powers from Barry, separating the two in the process. As Barry races away from the Black Racer, a fissure opens, releasing Wally West! (He’s been trapped in the Speed Force ever since being exiled there by Dr. Manhattan during the Mr. Twister mind-wipe episode from years ago.) Before departing, the Black Racer kills the Volthoom soul entity, which destroys his ring and frees Jessica. Darkseid is reincarnated in the baby, who grows to adulthood instantly. Hal helps Batman out of the Mobius Chair. Big Barda returns from Apokolips, having made a truce with the evil New Gods. As Barda and the evil New Gods attack, Grid releases Cyborg. As Owlman (in the hijacked Mobius Chair) and Grid boom away, Myrina Black (Grail’s mom) sacrifices her own life to get the Anti-Life out of Darkseid, reverting him back to a baby. Grail, baby Darkseid, and the Anti-Life Equation disappear. With her dying breath, Myrina reveals that the first male to set foot on Themyscira is her (Diana’s) brother, Jason. Jessica becomes a new Green Lantern. Lex fashions a Superman-styled war-suit for himself. Superman learns that he is dying of super-cancer. On the moon, Mobius-Chair Owlman meets with Metron, but Dr. Manhattan arrives and kills them both! Afterward, Batman conducts an investigation into the three Jokers thing, building case-files on each Joker. Despite having had godlike knowledge, I guess Batman’s time in the Mobius Chair was brief enough that he still lacks full cogency in regard to the three Jokers mystery. It’s also possible that some of the details Batman learned are fuzzy now that he is no longer connected to the chair. In any case, there’s no way Batman didn’t use his godlike powers (while he had them) to solve all mysteries surrounding the three Jokers, right? Yet, the mystery still remains following “Darkseid War,” so we can only surmise that Batman’s knowledge becomes does indeed become fuzzy after becoming disconnected from the chair.

–Batman: Black and White Vol. 5 #6 Part 4
Having been tracking the vile Strasser’s abduction ring for months, Batman finally has enough evidence to strike. Upon learning that Clayface was once duped by Strasser many years ago, Batman arranges for his temporary release from Arkham Asylum to help with the final bust. Under Batman’s watch, Clayface morphs into a girl and allows himself to get kidnapped by Strasser’s men. Once inside Strasser’s lair, he frees all the women but goes wild with rage and attempts to execute a captive Strasser. Batman blasts Clayface with a hardening agent just before the villain can cross the line.

–Let Them Live! Unpublished Tales From the DC Vault #3
Batman discovers that twelve patrons of the the Willoughby Z Tchalgadjieff Antiquarian Library have gone missing over the course of the past few months. Batman then finds a 18th century book that dissolves in his hands, dosing him with toxins. Realizing the missing persons and the appearance of the strange tome are no coincidence, the woozy, drugged-up Dark Knight goes to the Tchalgadjieff Antiquarian Library. There, Batman confronts elderly bookbinder CJ Greenwood, who has killed the library patrons and bound books using their skin. Batman horrifically realizes that some of the missing patrons volunteered to become book sleeves at the hands of Greenwood, who had entered with them into a bizarre suicide-anthropodermic bibliopegy pact. Of course, the serial killer murdered the others without their consent. Batman trails the twisted bookbinder to the roof of the library, angrily beats the shit out of him, and leaves him hanging upside-down for the cops.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 4 #39. Batman meets the god-team known as the Quintessence (Izaya, Zeus, Hera, Ganthet, the wizard Shazam, the Spectre, and Phantom Stranger).

–REFERENCE: In The Unexpected #4. While he’s building Batcaves on the moon, why not build one underwater too? Batman, presumably using the same means and metahuman help for the lunar project, builds the Bat Cove, a large undersea fortress at the bottom of a deep ridge in Gotham Harbor. Batman will grant Bat Cove access to just about every Bat-Family member, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 5 #8. Batman discovers a strange anomalous geographical region akin to Marvel’s Savage Land—a mile-deep tropical valley in Siberia, hidden from the world by magnetic cloud cover. In this deep lush valley, which will later be named Monster Valley, monsters and prehistoric creatures exist. Batman does a flyover to map the area and to take scientific readings. It is possible the creation of this unnatural valley is linked to the the 1908 Tunguska Event. Batman begins monitoring the valley and will continue to do so, in perpetuity.

–NOTE: In a reference in Nightwing Vol. 4 #22 and a reference in Detective Comics #969 Part 1—originally told in Grayson #16-20. Dick goes against Spyral and winds up fighting against a team of international super spies, after which he defeats a reincarnated Otto Netz. Dick’s secret identity is returned to him via a brainwashing satellite that mind-wipes the global populace. With his secret ID intact and Spyral purged of evil influence, Dick quits Spyral and returns to his Nightwing persona. Dick also reunites with the Bat-Family.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Nights: Metal #2 and The Batman Who Laughs #3-4—originally told in Batman Vol. 2 #51. Batman builds a new version of the Batmobile that has a high-tech cloaking device with the ability to make it appear like any number of unassuming street-legal vehicles. Later, when a citywide blackout occurs, Batman checks on all the usual suspects, including the Court of Owls. While spying on them, he hears them talk about “The Mantling” orchestrated by the “Strigydae.” If Batman only knew they were talking about him in relation to Barbatos and the Dark Multiverse, but he doesn’t have a clue. Not yet anyway. Later, Batman finds that the blackout was simply a result of natural causes.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #50. Catwoman bests Batman during a robbery, tying him up and hanging him upside-down. Before fleeing the scene, she gives him an upside-down kiss on the lips.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #24 and Batman Vol. 3 #34—originally referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #9-10 and Batman Vol. 3 #15. A Kahndaqi terror group known as The Dogs of War bombs The Thomas and Martha Wayne Home for the Boys and Girls of Gotham, killing 171 people, mostly orphaned children. Catwoman’s friend Holly Robinson, who once stayed at the home with Selina as a child, snaps. Holly begins a clandestine campaign of bloody vengeance and retribution. Over the course of the next couple months, Holly will stalk all 237 members of the Dogs of War and murder them individually. Batman investigates the Dogs of War bombing as well, but is unaware who is responsible for the executions of the Dogs of War at this point.

–REFERENCE: In Titans Vol. 3 Annual #1—originally told in Green Lanterns: Rebirth #1. Hal Jordan leaves the Justice League, but installs rookie Green Lanterns Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz on the team in his place.

–FLASHBACK: From Robin 80th Anniversary 100-Page Spectacular Part 9. Batman and Superman finally introduce their sons to one another. Damian and Jonathan meet for the very first time! Why had the dads kept their sons apart until now? It’s never made clear, but I’m sure they had their reasons.

–REFERENCE: In New Super-Man #10-12—originally told in “THE FINAL DAYS OF SUPERMAN.” A fake Superman (Denny Swan) appears in Metropolis. (Swan has been blasted by a sentient energy source that has been infused with a copy of Superman’s genome.) Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman fly to China, mistakenly tracking the fake Superman’s energy signature there. The Trinity are confronted by members of The Great Ten (August General in Iron, Accomplished Perfect Physician, Ghost Fox Killer, Jade Lion, Yeti, Celestial Archer, and Seven Deadly Brothers). The Great Ten accompany the Trinity to the lab of super-scientist Dr. Omen, head of the Ministry of Self-Reliance. Omen reveals the first ever Chinese Man of Steel, Super-Man Zero, who flies off. Soon afterward, Superman and the fake Superman do battle in California. Batman, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Lois, Jon, Steel, and Lana Lang are present. Superman grabs the faker and flies him into Earth’s orbit. There, both Supermen erupt with solar-flare techniques. The fake Superman is instantly killed. The real Superman is seemingly incinerated. The blast also endows Lana with super powers. Without a body to be found, everyone assumes Superman is dead. The news of Superman’s putative death quickly hits news outlets, and soon the entire planet mourns his passing. Of course, Superman isn’t actually dead. In fact, the double explosion has cured him of his super-cancer (and erased his ability to solar-flare). Hours later, Clark reunites with his family. For safety reasons, however, he will continue playing dead and move his family into a motel while recovering from injury.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #21, Batman Vol. 3 #24, Flash Vol. 5 #21, Titans Vol. 3 Annual #1, and Batman: Three Jokers #1-3—originally told in DC Universe: Rebirth #1. The events of DC Universe: Rebirth #1 occur “a few months” prior to Titans Vol. 3 Annual #1. Wally West, having finally been released from the Speed Force during “Darkseid War,” attempts to make contact with the world. While trapped in the Speed Force, Wally saw the true Metaverse history of the DCU—from the original Crisis through the Modern Age, Flashpoint, New 52, and Rebirth Era. He also learned that years were literally pilfered by an unknown force. (SPOILER: It’s Dr. Manhattan, who has erased/blocked stuff.) When two Jokers are captured in different cities, Batman confirms that there are indeed three of them. (As originally revealed in Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #13, one of the captured Jokers is a copycat named Edwin, who has nothing to do with the three main Jokers.) Wally breaks through the Speed Force barrier and tries to talk to Batman, but is unable. However, a bloody smiley face button-pin shoots into the Batcave.[3] Wally then visits nonagenarian Johnny Thunder at an elderly home and apprises him that he must make everyone remember the erased history the Justice Society of America. In Metropolis, a time-and-continuity-displaced Modern Age Saturn Girl is questioned by Captain Maggie Sawyer before getting shipped-off to Arkham Asylum. (Note that this Saturn Girl is indeed from the Modern Age. It’s only due to Saturn Girl’s incredible cosmic powers that she still remains on the Rebirth Era timeline. And don’t forget, at this juncture, the Legion of Super-Heroes is blocked from collective memory thanks to Dr. Manhattan.) In Ivy Town, Ryan Choi receives a message from the Atom, who is trapped in the Microverse.[4] Elsewhere, Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes) forms a partnership with original Blue Beetle Ted Kord. Dr. Fate appears and tells Ted that the beetle Scarab—a sentient symbiotic being that gives Jaime his metapowers—is magickal. At Wayne Manor, Robin celebrates his tenth birthday. (Originally, this was his thirteenth birthday, but Death Metal era retcons have altered this.) Elsewhere, Lucia Hyde talks to her teenage son Jackson Hyde, who is struggling with being a gay Black metahuman. Concurrently, Pandora is murdered by Dr. Manhattan. (She’s the main potential witness to his machinations, now silenced.) On a secret island, Grail comforts baby Darkseid. At a motel where the Kents are temporarily hiding out, Superman runs into “Mr. Oz”, who tells him that nothing is what it seems. (SPOILER ALERT: As revealed in Action Comics #987, Mr. Oz is Superman’s biological father Jor-El.) On yet another deserted isle, Aquaman proposes to Mera. (They’ve more or less been husband and wife for years, even referring to each other as such, but now it will be “surface dweller official.”) A serried crowd gathers at the site of Superman’s supposed murder, including Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Linda Park, who runs into Wally, manifesting out of the Speed Force yet again. Wally tries to reach out to his wife in a failed effort to connect and make her remember him. In Gotham, new superhero Gotham (Hank Clover) tells his sibling partner Gotham Girl (Claire Clover) that they aren’t quite ready to debut. In Louisiana, John Constantine kibitzes with Swamp Thing. Wally appears before Captain Boomerang, Cyborg, Nightwing, the new Kid Flash (his cousin that is also named Wally West), and Flash (Barry Allen). Wally is finally able to connect with Barry. In tears, they embrace and Wally is back! (In this moment, Abra Kadabra’s global mind-wipe ends and the world remembers the historical existence of the Teen Titans again. Young Justice memories continue to remain blocked for now.) In the Batcave, Batman finds the smiley face button-pin. On Mars, Dr. Manhattan watches all. Afterward, Batman ramps up his investigation into the three Jokers matter, but it leads to nothing but a dead end. (There’s no way Batman doesn’t visit Arkham and ask Joker directly about the three Jokers situation, but I guess that also leads to a dead end.) Superman then publicly returns, showing the world that he didn’t actually die during the “Final Days of Superman.”

–FLASHBACK: From Flash Vol. 5 #21 and Flash #761—originally told in The Flash: Rebirth #1. Batman and Flash (Barry Allen) begin analysis and testing on the smiley face button-pin. Reverse-Flash Eobard Thawne secretly watches them. Using the uncanny subliminal power of the Negative Speed Force, Thawne causes Batman and Barry to keep the smiley face button-pin investigation to themselves. As such, they will be mentally-blocked from sharing the revelations about changes to the timeline or the missing Jay Garrick with the rest of the superhero community. Batman and Barry will run tests on the button-pin for months to come, learning nothing, .

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Forge #1 and Dark Days: The Casting #1. Batman locates the amnesiac Joker (the Comedian) and apprehends him. Hoping to study his condition and learn more about Dionesium, Batman extracts a sample of Dionesium from Joker’s body. Batman then 3D-scans the sample into an enlarged holographic image, which he adds to a holographic pedestal projector display in the secret Batcave wing within the Batcave. Upon close examination and molecular study, Batman learns that Dionesium is linked to the same “dark energy” as the compound comprised of Electrum and the mystery metal he has been investigating for the past couple years. Batman also runs tests on Joker and turns the docile amnesiac back into his evil self just to question him about Dionesium. (Joker knows more about Dionesium than anyone else.) Chary of his sly arch-rival, the Dark Knight creates a special holding cell in Sub-Cave Alpha and incarcerates Joker there. To ensure top security, Batman creates the “Smile Protocol,” which is an automated defense system that will activate should Joker get out of his cell somehow. In exchange for info about Dionesium, Batman tells the revived Joker all about his “dark energy” investigation and covert use of the Ousiders and “Black Sites.” Batman even shows Joker his cloning machine and the “Meta-File” on the Bat-computer.

–REFERENCE: In Young Justice #1, Challenge of the Super Sons #6, and Infinite Frontier #4—originally told in Convergence. Note that “Superman Reborn”/Rebirth Era reboot essentially erased Convergence from continuity. However, the multiple references listed above add it back in—at least a bare bones new version of it that only vaguely resembles the original. While all of Brian Michael Bendis’ fun meta splash pages from Action Comics are non-canon, there can be some canonical information gleaned from them. Such is the case with the splash in Action Comics #1008, which lists the “Convergence Crisis” (i.e. Convergence) as the sixth major crisis (following Flashpoint), basically confirming and adding more detail to the Young Justice #1 reference. In any case, the wild meta-narrative effects of the original terrible Convergence are definitely not present in the Rebirth Era, thank god. Here’s a synopsis. The über Brainiac (an alternate version of Brainiac that is essentially multiple iterations of himself combined into a single being) collects hundreds of cities from alternate timelines by literally digging them up and putting an impenetrable energy dome around them. These cities are placed onto the sentient planet Telos, which resides outside of time and space. (Telos is a transformed alternate version of Skartaris’ Arak Red-Hand aka Son of Thunder.) Telos betrays über Brainiac, defeating him and taking over his collection, forcing the hijacked cities to go to war against one another. When an alternate version of Deimos controls Telos and brings the planet into Universe-0, ushering in “Crisis VI,” the Justice League assembles the superhero community for combat. The heroes join forces with the alt-heroes of the domed cities to fight against alt-Deimos’ hordes—a battle that leads to the beginnings of the destruction of the multiverse. At some point during the crisis, as mentioned in Challenge of the Super Sons #6, Batman invents a device known as chrono-vision, which can detect localized time displacements. Eventually, über Brainiac retakes control of Telos and sends a few alt-heroes back in time to prevent the multiversial collapse, ending the crisis.

–REFERENCE: In Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #1-6—originally told in BatmanBatman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1-5. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Raphael, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Leonardo), their human-rat mentor Splinter, and their rivals Shredder and his ninja Foot Clan all get transported to Earth-0 from their own Earth-IDW by the evil IDW-multiverse alien Krang. The Turtles and Batman join forces to defeat Shredder, his Foot Clan, and Penguin. Shredder then teams-up with Ra’s al Ghul and the League of Assassins. Meanwhile, the Turtles’ best friend Casey Jones jumps to Earth-0 courtesy of Earth-IDW’s top science genius Harold Lillja. Things culminate at Arkham Asylum where Shredder uses Mutagen to turn all the inmates into temporary mutated human-animal-hybrids. Batman, Robin, and the Turtles defeat all the villains. Casey Jones and April O’Neil then appear on Earth-0 via another interdimensional portal created by Lillja. The heroes round up the Foot Clan members and, along with Shredder, toss them through the portal. The Turtles, Splinter, April, and Casey then go back home.

–REFERENCE: In Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #29—originally told in Harley Quinn Vol. 2 #25. Harley Quinn’s boyfriend, Mason Macabre, was recently unjustly jailed for the second degree murder of the son of New York City’s corrupt top politician, Mayor DePerto. After DePerto has Mason transferred to Arkham Asylum, Harley and Poison Ivy break-in and rescue him. Before leaving, Harley kicks the shit out of fake Joker Edwin. Batman, having been contacted by Harley’s Coney Island crew (Big Tony Delfini, Madame Macabre, Queenie, and Egg Fu), arrives to assist. (Note that this Egg Fu is Edgar Fullerton Yueng, a clone of the original Egg Fu.) Feeling sympathetic, Batman takes Mason to government officials, who put him into the safety of the Witness Protection Program.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #27, Nightwing Vol. 4 #29, and Nightwing Vol. 4 #32—originally told in Nightwing: Rebirth #1 and Nightwing Vol. 4 #1-4. Dick meets with Batman, telling him he will bring down the Parliament of Owls at any cost. Dick then surprises Batman, revealing that he has returned to the Nightwing gimmick. Soon after, the Parliament assigns Nightwing to team-up with their top agent Raptor (who is actually a triple agent—working against them as an anti-hero of sorts and also per hire by Kobra). After several globetrotting missions together, Nightwing and Raptor rebel against the Parliament at their main headquarters in Turkey, shutting down their Istanbul branch with some support from Spyral (including Dick’s former Spyral partner, the Tiger King of Kandahar). An injured Raptor, who shockingly reveals that he knew Dick’s mother back in the day, is left behind. (Raptor is a former Haly’s Circus performer that was once a close friend/lover and personal bodyguard of Dick’s mother.) Afterward, Nightwing debriefs with Batman.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #29. Batman designs and builds a special thermal armor suit specifically for Dick, which he gives to him as a gift. Nightwing appreciates the gesture, but isn’t especially thrilled with the aesthetic of the suit, so he stores it in the Batcave.

–Batman: Gotham Nights Vol. 3 #19
Bruce attends a black and white gala with a South American ambassador named Vargas. Kate Kane also attends when she gets word that there might be an attempt on Vargas’ life. During the gala, a boat explodes in the harbor a few hundred yards away. Simultaneously, Councilwoman Ann Vinton (rival to Councilman Rupert Thorne, who is also present) drops dead. Bruce and Kate suspect poison. Batman inspects the boat, finding traces of radiation. Meanwhile, Batwoman finds an escaped Dr. Phosphorus nearby. After slipping on an extra protective layer and grabbing a liquid silica bomb, Batman takes on Dr. Phosphorus at a power plant. Batwoman calls Julia Pennyworth, who arrives in the Sequoia to help capture and secure Dr. Phosphorus. Batman discovers that Dr. Phosphorus had been tortured on the boat from which he escaped. Thorne had arranged for Dr. Phosphorus’ escape only to have him tortured on the boat, during which a poison extract was taken and used to kill Vinton. The plan had been to make the killing look like a botched political assassination on Vargas, but Dr. Phosphorus’ escape complicated matters. Shortly thereafter, Thorne is arrested and jailed.

–REFERENCE: In Batman: Knightwatch – Batman Day Special Edition #1. Batman upgrades one of the Batmobiles with a ton of specialized weaponry and the ability to transform into a large all-terrain off-road vehicle.

–Batman: Knightwatch – Batman Day Special Edition #1
After a breakout at Arkham Asylum, Batman (remotely guided by Alfred) chases after Clayface. After Batman and Alfred lose track of their prey, Batgirl assists by tapping into social media to search for reported sightings. Clayface tries to get the jump on Batman by morphing into Damian, but Batman sees through his ruse and busts him. Afterward, seeing potential in Batgirl’s methodology, Batman initiates Knightwatch, an online network of private citizens backed by Bat-tech, designed to help disseminate information to the Bat-Family when needed. Soon afterward, Batman and Batgirl shake down Catwoman, who is falsely suspected of a spate of jewel thefts. Perusing the Knightwatch video submissions online, Batman and Batgirl learn that the jewel thief is none other than Mr. Freeze. After upgrading his thermal armor, Batman teams with Batgirl and Nightwing to bust Mr. Freeze in Blüdhaven. Presumably, Batgirl will monitor Knightwatch, moving forward.

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #973, Robin 80th Anniversary 100-Page Spectacular Part 7, and Dark Nights: Death Metal – Rise of the New God #1—and referenced in Batwoman: Rebirth #1, Detective Comics #957-958, Detective Comics #963-968, Detective Comics #972-975, and New Talent Showcase 2017 #1 Part 1. Batman gets wind that a large paramilitary group (the Colony) is attempting to recruit superheroes into its fold. Shortly thereafter, Red Robin (now switched to his “old-school look” costume) meets with Dick, Jason, and Damian to shoot the breeze about the meaning of life. After that, Red Robin meets with Batman to discuss a new crime-fighting venture. Red Robin delivers a speech about a new type of superhero team that could bring hope to Gotham. He talks about the definition of what it means to be a hero, perorating about how heroes must earn the public trust through collaboration and rehabilitation rather than the fear-instilling and coercion. Red Robin lays out his “Gotham Knights Protocol,” a detailed plan about rehabilitative social justice that can be adapted-to and combined-with the operations of a new superhero team. Batman, seeing a perfect opportunity to recruit unaffiliated Gotham heroes under his watch before any clandestine paramilitary group can, green-lights Red Robin’s idea. The Dark Knight immediately begins thinking of possible team members—including an idea to rehabilitate Clayface—and also gives Robin the green light to begin work on an HQ with an unlimited budget. Red Robin, likely with some metahuman help, begins immediately turning a large portion of Old Wayne Tower into a brand new base of operations called The Belfry. (Old Wayne Tower, also known as the Corolla Building, is a historical landmark that hasn’t been used for Wayne Enterprises business since the days of Bruce’s parents.) One of the first finished parts of the Belfry that is the “Mud Room,” a Danger Room training facility that incorporates programmable holographic computer simulations (ranging in difficulty) and hundreds of gallons of vestigial living clay that Wayne Chemical has collected from Clayface crime scenes over the years. Batman checks out the Belfry and tells Red Robin that he is ready to recruit the new team with Batwoman. Thus, the “Bat-squad” team—consisting of Batman, Red Robin, Batwoman, Spoiler, Orphan (Cassandra Cain), and a reformed Clayface (whom Batman has promised to help cure)—is born. Each team member is on-boarded and a distress beacon tracer is added to each member’s costume, to use in case of emergency. (Red Robin wants to call the team “The Gotham Knights,” but never says it aloud, so the unofficial “Bat-squad” name happens instead. Batwoman will refer to the group simply as “The Team.”) Training in the Mud Room begins immediately. Clayface is specifically taught a “strategic retreat” maneuver. The entire Bat-squad will train together regularly, moving forward. The Belfry will also be connected to the Batcave and other locations around the city by subway cars that run on abandoned railway lines. Likewise, there will also be a direct underground sewer passageway that leads from the Belfry to Arkham Asylum.

–REFERENCE: In Teen Titans Vol. 6 #8-10 and Super Sons #11—originally told in Teen Titans Vol. 6 #5. Red Robin, fully occupied-with and focused-on building the Belfry, lets his Teen Titan leadership duties slip, effectively ending the team of young heroes. From the ashes of the defunct Teen Titans, Robin immediately forms a new Teen Titans, which includes Starfire, Beast Boy, Kid Flash (the younger Wally West), and Raven. (Note that Robin is only ten-years-old while Beast Boy, Starfire, and Raven are all around twenty-one-years-old. This means, yes, there are literally no teens on this version of the Teen Titans. Sigh.) When Robin is bested and imprisoned by his cousin Mara al Ghul (the daughter of Ra’s al Ghul’s son Dusan al Ghul), the Teen Titans rescue him and soon find themselves face to face with Ra’s al Ghul’s teenage super-villain squad known as The Demon’s Fist (Blank, Plague, Stone, and Nightstorm). When the Demon’s Fist betrays Ra’s al Ghul to help their fellow teens, Ra’s al Ghul flees with Mara. Later, Batman orders Robin to submit weekly briefings to him regarding all Teen Titans activities. (Robin will comply with this for a little bit, but slack off after a while.) Not long after, Bruce funds the construction of a T-shaped Teen Titans HQ—based on a blueprint by Red Robin—in San Francisco Bay.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #11. Now that Damian is operating more independently, Batman figures out all of Damian’s private passwords and formulas for creating them. This way, invasive Bruce can spy on any information Damian stores on a computer network. Moving forward, dad will spy quite a bit.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman & The Signal #2—and also referenced in Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #7, Dark Days: The Forge #1, and Batman & The Signal #1. Originally told in Batman: Rebirth #1. Duke Thomas finally accepts his spot in the Bat-Family. He moves into Wayne Manor and begins on-the-job-training with Batman, who creates a bright yellow superhero costume for him. Duke then debuts as the superhero Lark. Batman teaches Lark a valuable first lesson, telling him to always look for hidden patterns while doing investigative work. Batman also orders Lark to keep copious notes while training. The Dark Knight will have full access to Lark’s notes and will review them constantly for the rest of the calendar year.

–REFERENCE: In New Super-Man #16-18—originally told in New Super-Man #3. China’s newest rookie hero Super-Man (Kenan Kong) is interviewed by reporter Laney Lan on a live global web-feed, during which he boldly reveals his secret identity to the world. (Kenan is also Dr. Omen’s son.) During the interview, Super-Man introduces the Justice League of China, a teenage trio featuring himself, Wonder-Woman (Deilan Peng aka “Green Snake”), and Bat-Man (Baixi Wang). People all over the world, including Batman and Kenan’s father Zhongdan Kong (the vigilante known as Flying Dragon General), watch the broadcast with great surprise and keen interest. (Flying Dragon General is the leader of the Freedom Fighters of China.)

–REFERENCE: In Titans Vol. 3 Annual #1—originally referenced in Titans Vol. 3 #7. Now that Abra Kadabra’s mind-wipe has ended and everyone remembers the original Teen Titans, the former sidekicks decide that they might as well team up again. Bruce bankrolls the brand new Titans—Nightwing, Donna Troy, Arsenal, Omen, Tempest, and Flash (Wally West). Bruce pays for the team’s new gaudy T-shaped headquarters in the middle of the East River in New York City—which is likely constructed at super-fast speed with metahuman help. He will continue to fund the Titans from this point forward.

–REFERENCE: In Superman Vol. 4 #20-23, Superman Vol. 4 #43, Action Comics #978. The Kents (with their pet cat Goldie) make a full-time move to a farm in Hamilton County, New York (300 miles north of Metropolis). The Kents’ farm is located next door to the Cobb Dairy Farm, run by Cobb Branden, who lives with his granddaughter Kathy Branden. (SPOILER ALERT: The Brandens—along with a few other of Hamilton County’s citizens that will be closest to Jon—are actually secret aliens that are a part of Manchester Black’s Super Elite. Young Kathy, for instance, is the powerful extraterrestrial known as Beacon.)

–REFERENCE: In Superman Vol. 4 #21-24—originally told in Superman Vol. 4 #1-2 (“SON OF SUPERMAN”). At the Kent Farm in Hamilton, NY, a seven-year-old Jonathan has just recently discovered his super powers, but doesn’t know how to control them yet, inadvertently killing his pet cat Goldie with heat vision. Jonathan’s friend Kathy Branden sees him using his powers. Later that night, an angsty Jon looks out his window to see his dad, in costume, meeting with Batman and Wonder Woman. When a distress alert comes in from a US Coast Guard ship, Superman asks Wonder Woman and Batman if he can take his son on his first official mission. Wonder Woman and Batman give the green light. Superman and Jon defeat a giant pink Riftsquid together. (SPOILER ALERT: Manchester Black is responsible for the Riftsquid attack.)

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #978-982, Superman Vol. 4 #22, Dark Days: The Forge #1, and Super Sons #13—originally told in Superman Vol. 4 #6. Batman, with metahuman help (likely from Superman and Mr. Terrific), builds a Batcave on the moon! The Dark Knight moves his most dangerous and experimental lab equipment and weaponry there, including the Hellbat-suit. Batman also connects the Earthbound Bat-computer network to the moon-cave computer systems. Shortly thereafter, The Eradicator does battle against Superman, Lois (wearing the Hellbat-suit), Jon, and Krypto inside Batman’s moon-cave. Superman and Krypto kick the Eradicator’s ass, causing him to blow up in a nuclear explosion. Superman buries the Eradicator on the moon. Batman logs all of the substantial damage done to his lunar HQ. Superman then introduces Jon to Batman and Wonder Woman as Superboy! Batman tells Superboy to be prepared because bad guys will aim for the S-symbol on his chest. (This warning is mentioned in Super Sons #13, which might be a reference to a specific conversation in a specific issue, but I couldn’t find one, so that’s why it’s here.) Lois keeps a special weaponized Hellbat glove as a souvenir from this lunar exploit. While cleaning-up and repairing the moon base, Batman records the Eradicator’s unique energy signature into his criminal database.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Days: The Forge #1. Batman moves Plastic Man’s inert egg-shaped body to a secret containment unit in the moon-cave.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 4 #25. Lex Luthor officially leaves the Justice League.

–REFERENCE: In Blue Beetle Vol. 9 #12. The original Blue Beetle Ted Kord sends a bunch of letters to the Justice League asking to be a member of the team. He will continue to send letters for months to come. These letters will be considered highly embarrassing by the JL, who won’t even deign responding.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 3 #21—originally told in Justice League: Rebirth #1. The giant mollusk-cockroach alien known as The Reaper invades Metropolis, taking control of hundreds of thousands of humans in parasitic Starro fashion. The JL defeats the Reaper, who claims that worse monsters will soon come to Earth before fleeing the planet.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 3 #21-29Justice League Vol. 3 #35, and Aquaman Vol. 8 #56—originally told in Justice League Vol. 3 #1-5 (“THE EXTINCTION MACHINES”). An evil alien race (from which Cyborg’s tech originates) invades Earth with thousands of cocoon-like alien spaceships, unleashing voracious mini-swarm creatures across the globe and causing massive earthquakes via orbs embedded in the planet’s upper core. The aliens also begin assimilating humans. In response, the bizarre cosmic entities known as The Kindred rise up, taking the form Godzilla-tall clumps of assimilated humans. The Kindred tells Wonder Woman that metahumans only have powers because of them, and they are taking the powers back. While Superman destroys the orbs, the JL fights the aliens and the Kindred. Cyborg learns the Kindred’s plan—to stop the swarm aliens from “Purging” the Earth by initiating their own “Awakening,” which seems pretty bad too since it will animate an evil cosmic power. The JL decides that option three is the best: save the day by preventing both the Awakening and the Purge. In deep space, the Green Lanterns find hundreds of humanoid aliens that look just like Cyborg, bringing them back to Earth. Cyborg is able to stop the Purge and send the invading aliens packing. Using the Cyborg aliens as missiles, the Green Lanterns take down the Kindred, who sing a mystical song that sends a signal out into the hinterlands beyond. Aquaman finishes off the Kindred with power from the magickal sentient Zodiac Crystals, which are ancient artifacts from Atlantis.

–Aquaman Vol. 8 #56
Aquaman and Mera announce their surface-world engagement to their friends and throw a party in Amnesty Bay. In attendance are Wonder Woman, Batman (who baked and brought pie), Bea Whitmore, Officer Erika Watson of the Amnesty Bay Police Department, and other Amnesty Bay citizens. After the party, Officer Watson reports that the Trench have returned and are attacking an oil rig. Aquaman and Mera fight the Trench and realize they are merely trying to rescue one of their babies, which is being held captive aboard the rig. Aquaman returns the baby to its people, who retreat back to the depths of the sea from whence they came.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #52. Batman defeats an escaped Mr. Freeze, who debuts a new diamond-powered costume.

–REFERENCE: In Titans Vol. 3 Annual #1. Batman upgrades his cowl tech to include state-of-the-art sensors of all varieties. His cowl tech has stronger capability and range than the smaller domino masks of Robin or Nightwing.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 3 #21 and Justice League Vol. 3 #25—originally told in Justice League Vol. 3 #6-7 (“STATE OF FEAR”). The Justice League fights the “Fear Thing,” a giant black blob that causes them to feel intense fear and to lash out violently at each other. Wonder Woman and Aquaman threaten to take over the world. Eventually, with Flash’s help, Jessica Cruz uses her ring to destroy the growing black fear monster in Seattle, ending its control over everyone.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 3 #27-29—originally told in Justice League Vol. 3 #8-11 (“OUTBREAK”). A rogue AI hacks the Batcave systems, Watchtower systems, Cyborg’s body, and banks all over the globe, causing massive chaos. After re-controlling Cyborg in San Francisco, the JL traces the hacker code to the home of Kindred victim James Palmer in Denver. There, the JL discovers the hacker is Genie, a semi-sentient AI search engine designed by James’ genius daughter Lily and accidentally activated by brother Bobby. Genie, attuned to the Kindred’s disrelish for the JL, sends out their GPS location and a big money reward for the deaths of the heroes. This immediately brings a bunch of super-villains to Denver—among them Scarecrow, Amazo, Giganta, Count Vertigo, Girder, and The Fearsome Five (Gizmo, Psimon, Mammoth, Jinx, and Shimmer). After the heroes defeat the villains, Batman takes and reprograms Genie, integrating it into both his Bat-computer network and the JL Watchtower network.

–Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #1-3 (“A KNIGHT IN NEW YORK”)
A few months ago, some Earth-IDW characters crossed over to Earth-0. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Batman defeated Shredder and Ra’s al Ghul. Cut to now. The League of Assassins splits into a two-way civil war for control of the organization. Likewise, on Earth-IDW, the Foot Clan falls into separate warring factions. The three-way war involves a faction led by Shredder’s adopted daughter Karai, a faction led by the Foot Clan’s Elite Guard, and a faction led by Bebop and Rocksteady. On Earth-0, Ra’s al Ghul breaks every prisoner out of Arkham Asylum. Batman and Robin learn that Bane is attempting to take over as the new leader of the League of Assassins by accessing a Lazarus Pit hidden beneath Gotham City. Shortly thereafter, Batman and Robin fight a swarm of ninja man-bats and witness Bane emerge from the Lazarus Pit. From Earth-IDW, Donatello uses Harold Lillja’s tech to swap Bane with himself. Batman learns what has happened and spends a full week collecting the parts needed to build an interdimensional portal-making machine. At the end of the week, Batman meets with Ra’s al Ghul while Robin and Donatello team-up to build the Bat-sled and defeat Mr. Freeze. At a Wayne Enterprises lab, Lucius Fox finishes assembling the portal machine. Leaving Batgirl behind to protect Gotham, Batman, Robin, and Donatello go to Earth-IDW’s New York City. There, the heroes meet up with the rest of the Turtles and learn that Bane has taken over the entire Foot Clan. Running low on Venom, Bane kidnaps Dr. Baxter Stockman and orders him to create a synthetic version. Shortly thereafter, all the heroes strike at Bane, who unleashes a Venom-pumped Bebop, Rocksteady, and Foot Soldier crew upon them. During the fight, Stockman gets turned into a mutated fly.

–Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #4-6 (“A KNIGHT IN NEW YORK” Conclusion)
A battle royale pitting good versus evil ends in a stalemate and with Splinter in a coma. Bane then asserts his public dominance over Earth-IDW’s New York City by making the Statue of Liberty his home base. Donatello, seeing no other option, pumps himself full of Venom and takes down the entire Elite Guard by himself. The out-of-control Donatello then fights Leonardo and Batman, but eventually calms down. Meanwhile, April O’Neil is able to make contact with Earth-0. Batgirl opens up a temporary portal, through which Robin and Raphael take the battered Splinter. At the Gotham Lazarus Pit, Splinter is submerged and is healed with no side-effects. Robin, Raphael, Splinter, Nightwing, and Batgirl defeat a bunch of ninja man-bats before going to Earth-IDW. The heroes join together as Donatello creates an antidote spray that works against Stockman’s fake Venom. As Bane asserts his dominance over New York by rounding up half the population into prison camps, Batman visits Rikers Island and frees Shredder, who promises to help the heroes in exchange for a one-on-one rematch fight against the Dark Knight. The rematch ensues, although we aren’t shown who ends up victorious. Soon afterward, the heroes (and Shredder) bomb the villains with Anti-Venom, returning the Foot Clan members back to their human states. While the rest of the heroes free internment camp prisoners, Batman, Splinter, and Shredder fight Bane. Upon seeing and hearing from their master, the Foot Soldiers return to his side. Only Bebop and Rocksteady remain by Bane’s side as the opposition surrounds and overtakes them. All the bad guys are beaten and Shredder voluntarily returns to prison. Afterward, the Bat-Family poses with the Earth-IDW heroes for an April O’Neil selfie. Before the Bat-Family departs for Earth-0 with an unconscious Bane in tow, Batman leaves a note containing the Robin training protocols for Donatello.

–REFERENCE: In Bane: Conquest #12. Batman designs, develops, builds, and tests a brand new high-concept submarine vehicle, which he dubs the Sea-Bat.

–Bane: Conquest #2-3 (“THE SWORD”)
Bane escapes from prison and goes after the enigmatic Damocles, leader of a new terror cult. While surfing the deep web, Batman learns about Damocles and decides to go after him as well. Batman shakes down Damocles’ man Chango (Lester Belloquet) before following Damocles’ trail across four continents. In Mumbai, Batman confronts Damocles and his cult, only to get captured, stripped of his Bat-costume, exposed as Bruce Wayne, sent to a Quraci stronghold, and then put behind bars in a secret Romanian prison. Bruce and the other prisoners are fed drugged-food to keep them weak. After two days trapped in Damocles’ prison, Bane—also defeated by Damocles—gets thrown in the brig as well. Bruce and Bane discuss their situation and mythology, citing that Damocles was a courtier to Dionysius, meaning he likely has a superior to whom he answers. The next day, both Bruce and Bane are interrogated by the doyen of torture, Damocles’ man Quan. Later that night, Bane smashes his way out of the prison wing. Bruce and Bane fight their way through dozens of guards until they recover their costumes. (Notably, Monkey Fist Cult costumes are on display, meaning that Damocles has defeated members of their group as well.) A truce is formed, but Bane vows to kill Batman last. While Bane breaks every bone in Damocles’ body, Batman takes a subtler approach when confronting Damocles’ master, “Dionysius,” a little person with a mini-tank for a body. Batman walks and talks with Dionysius until Bane shows up and attacks the Dark Knight. Dionysius rockets away in an attempt to escape, but Bane tackles him down the side of a mountain slope. While Batman escapes the prison in a commandeered helicopter, Bane forms an alliance with the sweet-talking Dionysius. Bane throws Dionysius into a cat-carrier and meets up with Zombie, Bird, and Trogg.

–Bane: Conquest #8
Bane, Zombie, Bird, and Trogg (remotely guided by Dionysius) chase after sexy Kobra agent Valentina, who escapes them with the new Nāja-Naja—an infant that has supposedly been reincarnated as the new leader of Kobra—in hand. Valentina delivers the baby safely to high-ranking Kobra member, Rampo. Over the course of a week, Kobra soldiers systematically destroy all of Bane’s drug-running and crooked political organizations across the globe. In the Batcave, Batman studies the global crime war closely, noting certain patterns. He tells Alfred that they must take a trip. Bane, eager to recruit new blood to help him fight Kobra, recruits the Beast (aka KGBeast) in Russia.

–REFERENCE: In Bane: Conquest #8-11. With the war between Bane and Kobra escalating rapidly, Batman and Alfred prepare to intervene. They set up multiple contingency plans, one of which includes a suborbital WayneTech payload (containing unknown material) attached to an upcoming satellite launch at a commercial space center in the South American nation of Bosqueverde. (Cost for this is a cool $300 million. No sweat.) Following the prep, Batman goes off the grid for a week, during which time he takes-out the French assassin Crow and his wheelman/butler Luc. Posing as Crow in Paris, Batman attracts the attention of Bane, who is currently recruiting a new team.

–Bane: Conquest #9-12 (“THE REAPER”)
Note that the appearance of King Faraday in the final arc of Bane: Conquest is a huge continuity error! (As per Suicide Squad Vol. 5 #27-32, Faraday is currently completely off-the-grid, trapped in suspended animation in outer space, where he’s been ever since the 1960s. Faraday won’t re-emerge until next year—and, even when he does, he’ll be inflicted with Red Wave Virus, quarantined, and in the custody of Amanda Waller.) So, we must either ignore Faraday’s presence in this arc, or this is a FAKE Faraday, OR the entire “Reaper” finale of this series is non-canon. Choose your own fanwank! Onto a synopsis. Bane, having already recruited the Beast (KGBeast), adds more members to his new team: Gunbunny, Gunhawk, Shaka Usuthu, Kiang, Harpo, “Crow” (actually Batman in disguise), and King Faraday (again, either completely ignore Faraday’s presence in this arc or treat him as a fake Faraday). After planning, the squad visits Rhama Lumpur in an effort to extract information that will help them gain access to Kobra’s North Korean stronghold. After Kiang, Gunbunny, and Gunhawk get codes from and assassinate a North Korean general, they rejoin Bane’s team to preps for a trip to North Korea to kidnap the baby Nāja-Naja. Batman alerts Alfred of the situation and initiates one of their contingency plans. Zombie overhears Batman’s message and Dionysius confirms that Batman has infiltrated their group. Alfred authorizes the rocket launch in Bosqueverde. A few days later, a large coffer is sent into Earth’s atmosphere before dropping near Batman’s specific coordinates outside of North Korea. (The coffer contains supplies and the Sea-Bat.) As the payload splashes down, Bane, fake Faraday, Gunhawk, and Gunbunny sneak into Haeju Hang. Not long after, remotely-guided by Kiang and Dionysius, Bane’s crew—with Batman posing as Crow—hikes up Mount Baekdu on the Chinese-North Korean border and infiltrates another Kobra base. As Bane’s crew kicks ass, Bane steps back and pummels fake Faraday, mistaking him for a disguised Batman. (He’s phony alright, but he’s not Batman.) After infiltrating the Kobra nursery, Bane sees that all the guards have been knocked-out via Batarangs. Batman sheds his Crow disguise and rescues the baby. He also blocks Kiang and Dionysus from stealing billions of dollars via a computer virus. As Kobra cronies spray high-tech laser blasts left-and-right, pinning Bane’s team deep in a dead-end cave, Valentina uses a mech to shoot at Bane and Batman. Batman reasons with his longtime foe and they form a truce. Darkseid’s general Steppenwolf, angry that Kobra has stolen New God technology, arrives from Apokolips and saves Bane’s gang, killing all the Kobra soldiers. Bird, Trogg, Zombie, and KGBeast depart with Steppenwolf through a Boom Tube to Apokolips. Batman, Bane, and the baby make their escape in the Sea-Bat. Defeated, Valentina executes Rampo for his failure. Back in Gotham, Batman and Bane drop the would-be baby Kobra leader in front of an orphanage. Bruce leaves a wad of cash while Bane leaves his old teddy bear with the infant. Bruce and Bane then go their separate ways, with the latter returning to his home in Santa Prisca.

–Batman: The World Part 8
Batman, Nightwing, and Batgirl connect the arms dealer they’ve been tracking for the past few months to Bane. Commissioner Gordon and his men are involved, but they suffer severe casualties. While Nightwing and Batgirl deal with Bane, Batman shakes down the arms dealer, hoping to find out more intel. Bane is just a buyer, but Batman learns that the person funding the operation is in Turkey. Thus, Bruce heads to Ankara, Turkey. With some entry help from an old MI6 friend of Alfred’s and remote guidance from Alfred himself, Bruce traverses through Ankara, Sivas, and Istanbul, all the while finding various double-headed eagle clues. At a cathedral in Istanbul, Batman fights two eagle-themed warriors called Dawn and Dusk. He chases them and busts them, learning that they are part of the Court of Eagles, a European group linked to the Court of Owls.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #64—and referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #21, Batman Vol. 3 #24, Batman Vol. 3 #72, Flash Vol. 5 #64, and Batman Vol. 3 #83. Originally told in Batman Vol. 3 #1-6 (“I AM GOTHAM”). When members of Kobra shoot down a passenger plane, Batman rushes to the rescue, hopping on top of the aircraft in an attempt to steer it into the bay. While doing so, a macabre Batman fears he will not survive, asking Alfred if this death would be honorable in the eyes of his parents. But just before fatal impact, Gotham and Gotham Girl (brother and sister Hank and Claire Clover) make their dramatic debut and save the day. Recalling saving Hank a decade ago, an impressed Batman begins training the Clovers with the idea that they could potentially one day fill his shoes as the city’s primary protectors. Batman also learns that their powers come with a catch—using them literally takes off years of their lifespans. (What Batman doesn’t know is crucial: Hank and Claire have been given their powers by Bane, who is manipulating them for his own devious ends.) Not long afterward, Batman assists Gotham and Gotham Girl to bring down Solomon Grundy. Batman, Gotham, and Gotham Girl then deal with several terrorist bombings that are linked to Professor Hugo Strange. (Amanda Waller mistakenly believes she is pulling Strange’s strings, but Strange is actually working for Bane, doing exactly as Bane wishes). Gotham Girl winds up confronting Psycho-Pirate, who is under the control of Hugo Strange. Psycho-Pirate causes the deaths of an entire squadron of Waller’s soldiers before scrambling Gotham Girl’s mind, causing her to go into a permanent shell-shocked state. Batman confronts Waller, says she has nothing to do with Hugo Strange going rogue and controlling Psycho-Pirate. (Waller is trying to lie here, but in fact, she is really telling the truth since she has no clue that Bane is working her through his minions.) When Batman learns that there is one more soldier still alive and under Psycho-Pirate’s spell, he rushes to the Clover household in the suburbs, but it’s too late—the Clover parents are already dead. An enraged Gotham begins smashing up the city. Meanwhile, the rattled Claire tells Duke that she and her brother paid money for meta-powers that increase exponentially at the cost of a decreased lifespan. Batman and the Justice League are defeated by Gotham in battle, forcing Gotham Girl to swoop in and kill her brother to stop his carnage. A broken Gotham Girl, distraught by all the deaths in her family and still messed-up by Psycho-Pirate, then shaves her head and busts Colonel Blimp, Captain Stingaree, and Kite Man. Batman reveals his secret ID to Gotham Girl and takes her into Wayne Manor. Later, Batman meets with Waller, who tells him that Hugo Strange has turned over Psycho-Pirate to Bane in exchange for Venom. Waller agrees to help Batman invade Santa Prisca.

–FLASHBACK: From Red Hood & The Outlaws Vol. 2 Annual #1 and Deathstroke Vol. 4 #35—and also referenced in Batwoman: Rebirth #1, Detective Comics #957-958, Detective Comics #963-968, and Detective Comics #976-978. Originally told in Detective Comics #935-940 (“RISE OF THE BATMEN”). The Bat-Squad’s Belfry is completed and fully-operational. The Colony, a military ops group run by Jake Kane, attacks and abducts Batman. The Caped Crusader escapes custody and interrogates the Colony’s resident tech-nerd Ulysses Hadrian Armstrong, who reveals that the Colony has been active all over the globe for years and has been secretly surveilling Batman’s every move since his debut. Jake and his men tell Batman that only his group is capable of defending America against threats like the League of Assassins and its elite inner-group, the League of Shadows. The Bat-squad crashes the party, kicks Colony ass, and rescues Batman. Armstrong tells Jake that he’s programmed drones to immediately kill Gothamites on the League of Shadows terror watch-list—a strike that could cause around 600 innocent collateral deaths. Tim, who has recently started dating Stephanie, tells her that he has decided to quit the superhero game and go to college. Soon after, Red Robin learns that Armstrong’s drones are active, prompting the Bat-squad back into action. The team rushes to scatter the innocent people nearest to Jake’s targets, successfully bringing many to safety. Lady Shiva watches her daughter in action from a distance. Red Robin is able to re-route all of the drone programming, causing them to target him instead of the folks on the terror watch-list. Batwoman busts her dad and his top soldiers Dom and Cooper, who get confined to Belfry cells. Meanwhile, Red Robin defeats an entire drone army all by himself but is incinerated in the process. The Bat-squad mourns Red Robin’s death. But not so fast! Elsewhere, the mysterious Mr. Oz (Jor-El) rematerializes Red Robin inside his secret prison fortress lair. Mr. Oz tells Red Robin that he needs to be alive, but needs to be “off the playing field” in order for things to work out in a certain way on the timeline. Confined to a cell, Red Robin vows to escape, even if his friends and family think he is dead.[5]

–FLASHBACK: From Detective Comics #967—and also referenced in Detective Comics #967. A funeral is held for Tim. His ashes are buried in the Wayne family plot in Gotham. Afterward, an obsessive Bruce initiates his “Broken Wing Protocols,” examining video of Tim’s death and running chemical tests on the exhumed ashes for a week-and-a-half. Finding nothing out of the ordinary, Batman accepts the loss of his surrogate son.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #970. Batman builds a memorial case for Tim in the Belfry, putting one of his Red Robin costumes on display.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #978. The Bat-Squad studies the Colony’s armored super-suits, learning that they use high-tech internal computer programming that allows the wearers to mimic opponents’ moves.

–REFERENCE: In Deathstroke Vol. 4 #31. Bruce gets a handsome photo of Damian wearing a suit and tie. He frames it and puts it on his work desk at Wayne Enterprises.

–REFERENCE: In Red Hood & The Outlaws Vol. 2 #12, Red Hood & The Outlaws Vol. 2 #20, Red Hood & The Outlaws Vol. 2 #24, and Red Hood: Outlaw #31—originally told in Red Hood & The Outlaws: Rebirth #1 and Red Hood & The Outlaws Vol. 2 #6. Batman sends Red Hood to investigate a connection between Gotham City Hall and an international cartel. This leads to Red Hood working undercover as one of Black Mask’s henchmen in order to bring down his operations from within. After arguing with Batman, Red Hood promises not to use lethal force on this mission or any future missions. (A reference in Red Hood: Outlaw #26 tells us that Jason will keep his promise to Batman for “months,” but Red Hood will do a little better than that. He’ll hold true to his word for nearly a year-and-a-half.) While undercover, Red Hood is exposed and Black Mask sics on him a mind-controlled Bizarro II. (This is the second Bizarro clone of Superman, not to be confused with Earth-30’s very similar Bizarro #1.) Red Hood teams with his new Amazonian acquaintance Artemis to defeat Black Mask and Bizarro. Black Mask is stricken with a techno-virus that paralyzes him. Afterward, Red Hood, Artemis, and a pacified Bizarro form a new Outlaws team. They put a comatose Black Mask under house arrest with Ma Gunn, who has recently reopened her Home For Wayward Boys and re-connected with Jason, learning about his vigilante life. A few days later, Willis Todd (Jason’s dad), who has been stalking Jason for years, chuckles as he reads the “Dark Trinity” caption from the paper. (Jason mistakenly believes his dad is long dead.) Willis will secretly watch Jason from afar for the next year or so.

–FLASHBACK: From Batgirl & The Birds of Prey #17—and also referenced in Batwoman: Rebirth #1 and Detective Comics #973. Originally told in “NIGHT OF THE MONSTER MEN.” Hugo Strange uses a combination of Monster Serum and Venom (aptly called Monster Venom), which he recently got from Bane, to create kaiju monsters that attack Gotham. Batman activates the Wayne Watchtowers, causing a few Wayne Enterprises-owned buildings to send a high voltage shock into the monsters. The downed creatures combine to form one destructive mega-monster. While Batman confronts an unhinged Bat-costume-wearing Hugo Strange, the Bat-Family operates the Wayne Watchtowers, defeating the giant mega-monster. Batman brings Hugo Strange to justice. ARGUS seals off a section of the city around the corpse of the final defeated monster, turning the spot into a radioactive weapons research outpost known as Monstertown. (NOTE: Birds of Prey #17 lists this item as occurring in 2016. That is wrong. It is 2017.)

–Batwoman: Rebirth #1
Batman learns that Monster Venom, stolen warheads, weaponized smallpox, and tetrodotoxin have arrived in mass quantities on the overseas Black Market. As referenced in Batwoman Vol. 3 #1-4, Batwoman Vol. 3 #7, and Batwoman Vol. 3 #12, the evil Kali Corporation has been selling guns and bio-weapons to an international terrorist organization called The Many Arms of Death. Batman summons Batwoman to meet him in Monstertown. There, Batman gives Batwoman a special mission to travel overseas and prevent Monster Venom from being distributed. (Note that this issue contains several flashforwards at its conclusion. Some are canon, but others simply don’t fit anywhere. The first questionable flashforward shows Batman asking Batwoman where she is going. The second questionable flashforward shows a rheumy-eyed Spoiler—standing next to Batman, Clayface, and Orphan—asking if Batwoman is leaving them. These two flashforwards are either non-canonical or they take place on the alternate “666/Titans Tomorrow” timeline.)

–REFERENCE: In Batwoman Vol. 3 #1-4, Batwoman Vol. 3 #7, and Batwoman Vol. 3 #12-15. Batman preps Julia Pennyworth to assist and guide Batwoman on the upcoming anti-Monster Venom mission. Batman, unknown to Batwoman, gives Julia very specific orders on how to handle Batwoman, specifically telling her to call him in (“Plan B”) if things go badly. Batman refurbishes the Kane family yacht, called “The Sequoia,” into a high-tech mobile HQ boat/airship for Batwoman and Julia. When all is ready to go, Batman sends Batwoman and Julia to Coryana, a Mediterranean island with which Batwoman is already quite familiar, having lived there years ago. On the island, Batwoman and Julia’s mission will be to expel the Kali Corporation and then shut down the Many Arms of Death wherever they may be operating internationally. While not specifically shown on our timeline below, Julia will report all details of Batwoman’s activities to Batman—although she will choose to omit certain details that might piss Batman off. Batwoman will bounce back and forth between her Gotham duties and her international mission for the rest of the year.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #963. In obeisance to Tim and in line with his more progressive views on superhero vigilantism, Batman orders the Bat-squad to begin a weekly raids of Penguin’s narcotics warehouses to steal EpiPens and other medications to distribute to the uninsured and poor sick folks of Gotham. The Bat-squad will do this weekly raid for many months to come.

–REFERENCE: In Nightwing Vol. 4 #27 and Nightwing Vol. 4 #30—originally told in Nightwing Vol. 4 #7-8 (“RISE OF THE RAPTOR”). Nightwing confronts a returning Raptor, who is outed as a Kobra spy. Raptor reveals that he used to date Dick’s mom, has been secretly stalking Dick for decades, and knows Batman’s secret ID. (As stated earlier, Raptor, a former Haly’s Circus performer, was once Dick’s mom’s bodyguard as well.) Later, at a Wayne Enterprises press conference, Raptor kidnaps Bruce and puts him in a death trap in Paris. Citing anarchist political values, Raptor tells Bruce that he hates him both for foisting a bourgeois life upon Dick and for waging an anti-crime war via plutocracy. Nightwing saves Bruce and busts Raptor. Spyral then uses hypnos technology to mind-wipe Raptor’s knowledge of Batman’s secret ID.

–REFERENCE: In Teen Titans Vol. 6 #8, Deathstroke Vol. 4 #19, and Deathstroke Vol. 4 #30—originally told in Deathstroke Vol. 4 #4-5 (“THE PROFESSIONAL”). When Deathstroke’s ex-wife Adeline Kane puts a hit out on his daughter Ravager (Rose Wilson), Deathstroke returns to Batman’s city to protect her. After prepping for battle with some help from hacker Hosun and right-hand man William Randolph Wintergreen (who is an old chum of Alfred’s), Deathstroke and Ravager engage in a game of deadly cat-and-mouse with Batman and Robin. Deathstroke kidnaps Robin, prompting Batman to meet with and play mind-games with Ravager, talking about her dysfunctional relationship with her dad. After saving Robin, Batman comes to mistakenly believe that Deathstroke put the hit out on his own daughter. Ravager then seeks the aid of her boyfriend, hitman Luis Trayce, who has secretly simultaneously accepted conflict-of-interest hits—both Ravager’s hit on her dad and Adeline Kane’s hit on Ravager.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman/Fortnite: Zero Point #6—and referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #24, Batman Vol. 3 #34-35, Batman Vol. 3 #50, Batman Vol. 3 #66, and Batman Vol. 3 #69. Originally told via flashback from Batman Vol. 3 #11 and reference in Batman Vol. 3 #12. Catwoman decides to take the rap for her bestie Holly Robinson, who has spent the last couple months murdering all 237 members of the Dogs of War. Knowing that Batman will soon come for her, Catwoman writes a letter to him and mails it to Wayne Manor. The letter lies about why she killed the Dogs of War and details why, despite their closeness and intimacy, they’ll never truly be compatible. Batman chases after and reluctantly busts Catwoman, whom he does not believe is truly responsible for the murders. Back home, Batman reads Selina’s letter while clutching the ring he’s been saving for her since their earliest days of knowing one another. Selina is quickly tried by Gotham’s fast-track courts of law and soon goes into Arkham Asylum. Batman sends Selina a return letter telling her how much he cares for her and saying that he doesn’t truly believe she killed anyone. In his letter, Batman also talks about his painful childhood after the death of his parents (revealing that he attempted suicide when he was only ten-years-old) and the feeling that his life has been like one long drawn-out suicide.

–REFERENCE: In Batwoman: Rebirth #1, Detective Comics #957, Detective Comics #964, and Detective Comics #969-971—originally told in Detective Comics #943-947 (“THE VICTIM SYNDICATE”). The Victim Syndicate (The First Victim, Mudface, The Mute, Mr. Noxious, and Madame Crow) debuts by murdering some Wayne Enterprises security guards and then causing the slaughter of several cops. This leads to a direct attack on the Bat-squad, Harper Row, and Batwing. (Unknown to the heroes, a returning Anarky is secretly assisting the villains from the shadows.) After the First Victim demands Batman publicly unmask and retire in order to “prevent more innocent lives from getting in the crosshairs,” the Victim Syndicate defeats all the heroes in battle. Later, Batman orders Dr. Leslie Thompkins do psych evaluations on his team. The First Victim then confronts Stephanie Brown, filling her head with some bad juju. During Steph’s head-shrinking session with Dr. Thompkins, the former realizes that Batman is listening-in and calls him out. Immediately afterward, the Bat-squad—with Batwing and Azrael (Jean-Paul Valley Jr.)—fight the Victim Syndicate again. Just as the Bat-squad defeats the Victim Syndicate, Spoiler arrives to challenge her teammates. She has become completely disillusioned with Batman’s war on crime. After taking down the entire Bat-Family by herself, Spoiler addresses Batman, saying that his “costumed games” have hurt too many innocent people. Spoiler speaks of another world where each Bat-Family member does something positive for the community without having to wear masks or join a paramilitary group. She tells the Bat-Family that she will forever be their rival before motorbiking away. Batman lets Spoiler operate on her own, but will keep tabs on her. We won’t see Batman keeping tabs on our timeline below, but he will definitely be monitoring her from a distance. On the flip side, Spoiler begins a website called “Spoiler Alert,” which crowdsources photos of Gotham vigilantes—so Stephanie will be watching Batman quite a bit herself. Not only that, but Spoiler will also begin randomly vandalizing the Bat-Signal and taking secret cellphone photos and videos of the Bat-squad in action. (She’s taken quite a few secret videos of the team on her phone already.) Later, Azrael and Batwing officially join the Bat-squad. Concurrently, Red Robin tries but fails to escape from his cell in Mr. Oz’s lair.

–REFERENCE: In Dark Nights: Metal #2. All members of the Bat-squad are given heightened security clearances. This means those who were unaware of all Bat-Family secret IDs now learn them. (Presumably only Clayface and Batwing didn’t know everyone’s secret ID prior to now.)

–FLASHBACK:  From Batman Vol. 3 #72—and referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #21 and Batman Vol. 3 #24. Originally told in Batman Vol. 3 #9-13 (“I AM SUICIDE”). Claire Clover is still feeling anguish caused by both the lasting effects of using her powers and Psycho-Pirate. In fact, only Psycho-Pirate can heal her damaged mind. To invade Santa Prisca, Batman cuts a deal with Amanda Waller and law enforcement officials to recruit a team of Arkham Asylum prisoners, including Catwoman, the Ventriloquist (Arnold Wesker), Bronze Tiger, Punch, and Jewelee. After battling against overwhelming odds, surviving death traps, and initiating a multi-layered deception, Batman faces-off against Bane. Meanwhile, Amanda Waller reveals that she knows Batman’s secret ID, entering the Batcave to confront Alfred. In Santa Prisca, as Bane menaces over a seemingly defeated Batman, Catwoman takes down Bane. Batman’s motley crew kidnaps Psycho-Pirate and makes their escape back to the States. Batman begins trying to figure out how to use Psycho-Pirate’s mask to save Claire. Adding an even deeper layer to this already layered game of spy-craft, unknown to the Caped Crusader, Bane is one step ahead of everyone and has exactly anticipated everything that has happened. This is all part of Bane’s long con.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #50—and referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #24 and Batman Vol. 3 #34. Originally told in Batman Vol. 3 #14-15 (“ROOFTOPS”). Batman and Catwoman have one night to spend with each other before the latter must go back to jail. Together, they patrol, taking down a bevy of super-villains, including Magpie, Signalman, Amygdala, Gorilla Boss, Ten-Eyed Man, a werewolf (possibly Anthony Lupus), Copperhead, Cavalier, Zebra Man (Vortex), Film Freak, Mad Monk, Kite Man, Condiment King, King Snake, and a new face-tattooed Clock King. (Note that there are currently four Clock Kings active in the DCU.) Afterward, the Cat and the Bat visit one of the former’s safe houses, which functions in Catwoman giving Batman a cryptic clue about Holly Robinson. Batman and Catwoman then unmask and get sexy on a Gotham rooftop. In a post-coital embrace, both Bruce and Selina say “I love you” to one another. Then Catwoman bails. With the help of Commissioner Gordon and the perpetually-drunk Judge Wolfman, Batman tracks down Holly Robinson, who immediately slashes him in the neck with a knife! When a weak and bloody Caped Crusader comes-to a while later, Alfred notifies him that Holly has booked a flight to Kahndaq. Catwoman gather the injured Batman and takes him home to Wayne Manor, where Alfred patches him up. In the morning, a sedated Bruce still hasn’t woken up and Holly is long gone. Selina leaves, telling Alfred the truth about Holly’s crimes. Later, Alfred relays Selina’s message. Despite being innocent, Catwoman must remain a fugitive since there is no proper evidence to link the absent Holly to the killing spree.

–REFERENCE: In Green Arrow Vol. 6 #29. Batman monitors some anomalous space frequencies and is able to trace them to the recent launch of a Queen Industries satellite. The Dark Knight begins constant secret monitoring of the satellite, which seems to be stealing information in an attempt to blackmail individuals, businesses, and governments across the globe. In the coming months, Batman will discover that the satellite in question was launched by a hundreds-of-years-old occult group known as The Ninth Circle, which is led by Moira Queen (Green Arrow’s own mother). The Ninth Circle has been led by a member of the Queen family for generations and has financially backed nearly every DCU super-villain at some point in their career. Not only that, the Ninth Circle is linked to the Court of Owls. Batman will spend the next few months closely monitoring the Ninth Circle’s actions.

–FLASHBACK: From Suicide Squad Vol. 5 #23 and Justice League of America Vol. 5 Annual #1—and also referenced in Justice League of America Vol. 5 #5, Justice League of America Vol. 5 #21, Suicide Squad Vol. 5 #18, Suicide Squad Vol. 5 #21-23, and Batman/Superman Vol. 2 #12—originally told in Justice League vs Suicide Squad. Amanda Waller, who wants to legitimize the Suicide Squad as a fully-sanctioned team (in the eyes of the superhero community), secretly manipulates Maxwell Lord into forming a team consisting of Doctor Polaris, Emerald Empress, Lobo, Johnny Sorrow, and Rustam. Amanda Waller then lures the Justice League into a fight against the Suicide Squad—Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, Deadshot, Killer Frost (Caitlin Snow), Enchantress, El Diablo, Captain Boomerang, Katana, and Rick Flag Jr—shortly after the latter has bested the Brimstone Brotherhood. Waller knows that new member Killer Frost will be able to capture the entire JL. Sure enough, Killer Frost defeats them all. When Max Lord’s team attacks Belle Reve Prison, the JL is released and impelled to team-up with the Suicide Squad. Batman, aware of Lobo’s healing factor, takes him out by blowing up his head. Max’s team is defeated, but he uses the magickal “Heart of Darkness” to release Eclipso, who proceeds to quickly take over the entire planet in minutes. Batman leads a Lobo (now with his head back and fighting on the side of good) and the Suicide Squad to defeat Eclipso and save the world. Afterward, Batman hacks and records the fluctuating mobile frequency of the brain-bombs that Waller uses to keep her Suicide Squad members in line. Then, Batman parleys for the release of Killer Frost, offering her a spot on a new hero team he is now planning. Waller agrees to release Killer Frost, but warns Batman that the icy villainess is no hero and can’t be redeemed. Batman scoffs at her remark but tells Amanda Waller that he finally accepts the Suicide Squad as a legitimate government program. Batman then asks Lobo to join his new team as well. At Belle Reve, Amanda Waller gloats in front of a captive Max Lord.

–FLASHBACK: From Suicide Squad Vol. 5 #23—originally told in Justice League of America Rebirth: Killer Frost #1. Amanda Waller tries to screw over Killer Frost by delaying her release from jail and placing her in bad situations inside Belle Reve in an attempt to get her to slip up and get stuck behind bars for good. Batman sneaks into Belle Reve and tells Amanda Waller that enough is enough. Killer Frost’s Suicide Squad brain-bomb is removed (although a hidden tracker remains). She then joins the company of Batman as a free woman.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 3 #21 and Justice League Vol. 3 #25—originally told in Justice League Vol. 3 #15-19 (“TIMELESS”). The Keeper, a cosmic “watcher” that has lived at a high enough plane of existence to be able to bear witness to the original Crisis and Flashpoint, arrives on Earth in the form of a human named Molly. She draws the attention of the Justice League by fighting a phalanx of Borg-like Cell Soldiers of the cosmic race known as The Timeless, who want to rid the universe of all metahumans. Unknown to the heroes, both the Timeless and the Keeper want to get rid of metahumans, sharing a similar fear that metahuman existence will lead to the destruction of the entire universe. The only difference is that the Timeless want to do away with metahumans by quarantining Earth at the end of time whereas the Keeper wants to exterminate them all immediately. (If you haven’t noticed the theme in author Bryan Hitch’s run, it’s heroes saying, “To hell with the Sophie’s Choice scenario we’ve been dealt; we will find our own way.”) The Keeper, tricking the JL, sends its members (sans Batman and Superman) to different points in the past and future on missions to destroy the Timeless’ “temporal bombs.” In reality, these “bombs” are power siphons, which are needed to suck up enough energy to send Earth to the end of time. The Keeper wants to siphon that energy for herself, so she can kill all metahumans right away. Batman and Superman team with the time-traveling Infinity Corporation (Alexis Martin, Jane Jones, and Vincent), confronting the Timeless’ holographic AI leader, Tempus the Timeless Mind, who, like the Keeper, has seen the entire true history of the DCU. Alexis reveals that she is Lex Luthor’s daughter from the future, offering Batman her father’s old Superman-suit. Jane, Batman, and Superman defeat Tempus and the Cell Soldier army. At each moment in time, the heroes are tricked into funneling massive amounts of power straight to the Keeper, who reveals her true plan. While Vincent destroys Tempus, the JL defeats the Keeper in Metropolis. Earth is saved. In defeat, the Keeper warns of a greater threat’s impending arrival in the near future.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #979 and Trinity Vol. 2 #9-11—originally told in Trinity Vol. 2 #1-6 (“BETTER TOGETHER”). Jon Kent plants some “magic seeds” he gets from a strange man (actually Poison Ivy in disguise). Later, Lois, Clark, Bruce, Diana, and Jon have dinner at the Kent Farm. In the barn, the seeds sprout. Bruce, Clark, and Diana are snatched up by large alien Black Mercy plants (!) that put them into an unconscious dream realm, where they come face-to-face with long dead family members and younger versions of themselves. In the vivid dream, the young dream version of Bruce runs into a cave north of Smallville and carves the symbols representing the Trinity into a rock wall. Eventually, the shared hallucination takes the heroes face-to-face with Mongul and his dream daughter White Mercy. Back in the waking world, Poison Ivy tells Lois that, thanks to her connection to the Green, she had found her way into the Black Mercy dream of a trapped and unconscious Mongul. Mongul allowed Poison Ivy to befriend and care for his dream daughter only to then blackmail Poison Ivy with the threat of harming White Mercy. When Mongul enters Clark’s body in the waking world, White Mercy betrays her father, using Bruce’s body to defeat him. Diana is able to wake herself, Clark, and Bruce. Mongul remains trapped in dreams while Poison Ivy returns to Gotham. Thanks to Poison Ivy’s connection to the Green, White Mercy is given life in the real world.

–REFERENCE: In Batman/Superman Vol. 2 #7. Batman and Superman hear about a recent battle between Lana Lang, who has temporarily been given “Superwoman” powers, and Lena Luthor (Lex Luthor’s sister, who has turned into a new “Ultrawoman”). Kryptonite Man, also involved in this mess, winds up getting killed.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #21, Batman Vol. 3 #24, Batman Vol. 3 #39, Batman Vol. 3 #50, Batman Vol. 3 #59, and Batman Vol. 3 #72—originally told in Batman Vol. 3 #16-20 (“I AM BANE”). Batman discovers how to manipulate Psycho-Pirate and his cosmic facial attire in order to save Claire. After one of Bane’s men tries and fails to assassinate Psycho-Pirate, accidentally injuring Jeremiah Arkham, Bruce meets with Jason, Dick, Damian, and Duke at BatBurger, Gotham’s tacky Batman-themed restaurant. Bruce tells his boys that Bane is coming and that he needs a few days with Psycho-Pirate and Claire to undo the damage to her mind. Later, the three former Robins are beaten up by Bane and strung up by their necks in the Batcave. The Dark Knight cuts down his former Robins and flies them straight to Superman’s Fortress of Solitude where they go into nutritive chambers. In preparation for his arrival, Bane sends his top men Trogg, Zombie, and Bird into Gotham. They kidnap Bronze Tiger and Catwoman—although the latter has allowed herself to be captured as part of a plan she and Batman have concocted to defeat Bane. (In a side-narrative, we hear sports radio discuss the performance of Chris Campbell, the woeful starting quarterback of the NFL’s Gotham Knights. Campbell’s mediocrity on the playing field will be a running gag for years to come. Note that it’s not football season, but the radio program could easily be talking about last season.) After Alfred disguises himself as Jeremiah Arkham and wheels in Claire, who is disguised as Hush, to Arkham, Claire’s treatment with Psycho-Pirate begins. Meanwhile, Bane enters Gotham and kidnaps Lark and Commissioner Gordon. Bane then goes to Arkham where Batman has opened all the cells and allowed the prisoners access to their costumes and weapons. While the Bane and Batman brouhaha, Catwoman frees herself, rescues the captives, and kicks Bane’s henchmen’s asses. Catwoman then radios Bane to mock him. Now even more pissed, Bane smashes into Arkham while Batman joins Alfred, Claire, and Psycho-Pirate. Bane fights through Two-Face, Solomon Grundy, Amygdala, Scarecrow, Mr. Freeze, Firefly (Ted Carson), Black Spider, Eduardo Flamingo, Man-Bat, Victor Zsasz, Mad Hatter, Dr. Phosphorus, Hush, Copperhead, Calendar Man, and Riddler. As Maxie Zeus screams in the background, Batman knocks-out Bane and wins the day. Or does he? (Bane has actually taken a dive as part of a long plan to ruin Batman. Seemingly in a weakened blubbering state, Bane gets checked into an Arkham cell. However, Bane’s catatonic condition is just as phony as his fight dive. Unknown to all, Bane has secretly already taken control of Arkham. Even with Commissioner Gordon personally overseeing Bane’s care/imprisonment, Bane will not only run Arkham, but he will also clandestinely run all of Gotham’s criminal element, moving forward. Bane’s big scheme to ruin Batman is now kicking into full gear.) Claire makes a full recovery and returns home. Batman brings Psycho-Pirate’s mask home to keep in the Batcave for further study.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 5 #22. In his dreams, Bruce is visited by the mysterious being known as The Might Beyond the Mirror, who offers him any wish he desires. (Unknown to Bruce, the Might Beyond the Mirror is none other than old Justice League foe Tsaritsa, who is hoping to return from her interdimensional prison by obtaining magickal power in exchange for doling out wishes.) Knowing there is a catch, Bruce denies her, thus earning her wrath. The Might Beyond the Mirror tells Bruce that she will strike when her powers amass. Note that Bruce won’t tell anyone else about his encounter with the Might Beyond the Mirror and, in fact, will openly act as though the meeting didn’t happen.

–FLASHBACK: From Justice League of America Vol. 5 Annual #1 and Justice League of America Vol. 5 #25—and also referenced in Justice League of America Vol. 5 #5-8, Justice League of America Vol. 5 #10, Justice League of America Vol. 5 #18, Justice League of America Vol. 5 #25, Suicide Squad Vol. 5 #25, and Adventures of the Super Sons #1. Originally told in Justice League of America: Rebirth #1 and Justice League of America Vol. 5 #1-4 (“THE EXTREMISTS”). Batman begins recruitment for his own Justice League of America, first locking-in Frost (formerly Killer Frost). Batman takes her to Happy Harbor, declaring not only that it’ll be the new headquarters of the JLA, but also the future of superheroism in general. The next recruit is Black Canary, whom Batman taps to be the “honest conscience” of the team. Lobo joins after Batman promises to get him information about the space dolphin homeworld. (Lobo loves space dolphins.) The Caped Crusader then targets the Atom (Ray Palmer) only to discover that he is missing in the Microverse. In Palmer’s place is new Atom Ryan Choi. Batman rudely dismisses Choi, but Lobo convinces Batman to let him join. Eventually, the team is finalized, consisting of Vixen, Lobo, the Atom (Ryan Choi), The Ray (Raymond Terrill), Black Canary, and Frost. They fix-up the old JL Secret Sanctuary in Happy Harbor, RI, turning it into their new HQ. Batman and Vixen secretly add a failsafe that will lock down the entire complex in case the unpredictable Lobo ever goes rogue. The Atom then tells the team about original Atom Ray Palmer’s damaged “TroubleAlert,” a special news trawler that always let the first Atom know where he was needed the most. Ryan and Frost fix the TroubleAlert for JLA use. Soon after, The ExtremistsLord Havok, Dreamslayer, Dr. Diehard, Gorgon, Tracer, Brute, and Death Bat (with Chiroptera)—cross through the Bleed (from their home of Universe-8), entering Earth-0 in Saratoga, New York. The Earth of Universe-8, known as Angor, has been destroyed via nuclear holocaust and the Extremists now want to take over Earth-0 and make it their new home. (This is the second time Angor has been destroyed—the first time happened in The Multiverse #1-2!) In New York, the JLA combats the Extremists, who eventually teleport to Kravia, a small Eastern European country that was home to Havok on Angor. The Extremists remove a ruling military junta and Havok’s accession to monarch is sealed at a public coronation, during which he exclaims that the mysterious Might Beyond the Mirror granted him his power. (The Might Beyond the Mirror didn’t just give Havok power—she also resurrected him following his death in The Multiversity #1.) The Extremists then annex several surrounding countries. The JLA, joining with a rebel group led by Bogna Budusheva, invades Kravia, dethrones the new potentate, and defeats his team. Only Dreamslayer is able to escape. Batman tells an imprisoned Havok that he will one day save Angor.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Giant #8 (aka Batman: Universe #3). Batman’s new JLA launches its very own high-tech surveillance satellite into Earth’s orbit.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 5 #28. Batman begins training with his new JLA. They will often train together as a team, moving forward.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 5 Annual #1. Batman, as promised to Lobo, begins searching for any information regarding the location of the alien space dolphin homeworld. Batman will half-heartedly search for the space dolphin info over the course of the next several months. Notably, he will, every once and a while, pal-around with Aquaman in order to speak with dolphins in the ocean! Both he and Aquaman will also study star charts together. Of course, this amazing dolphin-searching won’t be seen on our timeline below, so we’ll have to simply imagine it occurring randomly in-between cases and patrols.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #33-34. When Talia al Ghul once again seeks to threaten the world via the scourge of Leviathan, Batman decides enough is enough. But this time, instead of bloody war, diplomacy (in the form of militarily-enforced secret international sanctions) will be the order of the day. In a conference sponsored by the UN and attended by the JL, JLA, US Armed Forces officials, UN officials, Spyral higher-ups, and Talia, the latter agrees to confine herself (and her operations) to a fortress in the Middle Eastern country of Khadym, a “rogue nation” that has long been controlled by Ra’s al Ghul and Talia. Along with a harem of odalisques, lovers, and manservants (including her elite Silent Soldiers of the Pit army), Talia immediately moves into a lavishly orgiastic Khadymi seraglio that can only be accessed via long mountain tunnels. Neither the coordinates of the decadent palace nor maps of the labyrinthian tunnels are revealed to any superheroes. Only a very select few intelligence officials are bestowed this info. The joint forces then fully seal off the country’s borders. Batman then personally drafts out further security rules, to which Talia agrees (likely in exchange for something pretty sweet). Per Batman’s rules, the JLA appoints a metahuman behemoth known as The Guard in the Desert to protect the entrance to the tunnels at all costs. His job is to prevent any outside force, even members of the JLA themselves (including Batman), from going inside. Should any incursion take place, alarms will be raised each of the joint force’s headquarters. Anyone breaking the embargo in any way will be in violation of international law and be punished to the maximum extent of the law, no matter who they are. After all is said and done, Bruce tells Damian and Alfred what has gone down.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #73. Now that Talia is exiled, Batman learns all he can about Khadym. He hears rumor that the League of Assassins controls a hidden Lazarus Pit in Khadym called the Nain Pit, and that Ra’s al Ghul’s elite personal guard team, collectively known as The Death of the Desert, has sworn to protect it at all costs.

–REFERENCE: In Gotham City Monsters #4—originally told in Batman/The Shadow. Batman turns a sunken aircraft at the bottom of Gotham Harbor into the massive undersea base known as the Batcove. He likely has a ton of metahuman assistance in putting this together and making it fully operational.

–REFERENCE: In All-Star Batman #10, Batman Vol. 3 #56, and Detective Comics #990—originally told in All-Star Batman #1-5 (“MY OWN WORST ENEMY”). Two-Face reigns chaos over Gotham. Things are so bad that Penguin, Black Mask, and Great White Shark join together (forming a new gang known as The Blacks and Whites) to help Batman bust Two-Face. A captive Two-Face reveals that he knows Batman’s secret ID, telling Batman that there is a cure for his (Two-Face’s) split personality hidden at the old Arkham Home in Innsmouth, Massachusetts where Bruce and Harvey first met each other shortly after Bruce’s parents’ deaths. En route to Innsmouth, a pre-taped message from Two-Face is released via news media outlets. The message reveals that Two-Face has dirt, thanks to years of extreme doxxing and info-phishing, on a large portion of the nation’s populace. With the threat of releasing the info, Two-Face essentially blackmails the entire United States into attacking Batman. Two-Face also threatens to remotely cause acid rain to pour over Gotham using sci-fi weather tech. This prompts dozens of regular citizens and super-villains to strike at Batman. The Dark Knight shakes-off Killer Moth, Firefly (Ted Carson), Black Spider, Gentleman Ghost, Egghead, Orca, Killer Croc, King Shark, Amygdala, Cheshire, and a new female Copperhead. With help from Lark and Harold Allnut, Batman bests the Beast (aka KGBeast), Penguin, Black Mask, the Great White Shark, Tweedledum, and Tweedledee. At the old Arkham Home, Two-Face reveals that his dualist cure doesn’t really exist. Batman saves the day, tricking Two-Face into ending his blackmail and acid rain threats.

–REFERENCE: In Suicide Squad Vol. 5 #45—originally told in Aquaman Vol. 8 #12-15 (“THE DELUGE”). An evil organization called NEMO (Nautical Enforcement of Macrocosmic Order)—which includes Black Manta, Black Jack, and Commander Michael Patrick Stubbs—attacks the United States, making it seem like Atlantis has started a full-scale invasion. The US Navy responds by deploying destroyers and by scrambling the DEVGRU SEAL team known as The Aquamarines (Great White, Octo, Barracuda, Stone, Lion, and Orca—not to be confused with the other female super-villain Orca). The Aquamarines report directly to Navy Admiral Meddinghouse nd the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mr. Gantry. Meanwhile, in the capital of Atlantis, Aquaman’s closest royal confidants—including Mera, Jurok Byss, Carcharador, Zeekil Neol, Seneschal Kae, Tula, Elder Rowa, Murk, Joanna Stubbs, Reverend Mother Cetea, and General Seagrave—go into a full blown panic. When Stubbs and his NEMO soldiers are captured by Aquaman, Black Manta remotely kills them all with coral bombs. When the Justice League is unable to convince Gantry that NEMO is behind starting the war, Admiral Meddinghouse orders the Aquamarines to assassinate Aquaman. Aquaman eventually exposes and defeats NEMO before personally surrendering to asshole President Donald Trump, a corollary to Atlantis being accepted into the UN.

–FLASHBACK: From Robin 80th Anniversary 100-Page Spectacular Part 9—and referenced in Superman Vol. 4 #20, Superman Vol. 4 #43, Teen Titans Vol. 6 #6, Justice League Vol. 3 #22, and Batman Beyond Vol. 8 #10-11. Originally told in Superman Vol. 4 #10-11 (“In the Name of the Father”). Robin—with help from his friend Nobody (Morgan Ducard’s daughter, Maya Ducard) and his pet bat-dragon named Goliath—spies on Jonathan Kent and Kathy Branden their Hamilton County school, hoping to gain insight into Superboy’s powers. Robin, Maya, and Goliath fight and capture Jonathan, leading to Batman and Superman showing up to stop the chaos. At the Batcave, Batman learns the story of Goliath—the last creature of his kind—and runs tests on Superboy, this time with Superman’s blessing. When Robin and Superboy refuse to get along, Batman and Superman force them to go through a “boot camp” where they must work as a team to get through a series of challenges, including fights against Maya, Goliath, and a synthetically-created “Rainbow Creature” that the boys call “Mr. Squish.” The boys successfully get through the ordeal, forming a closer bond. Batman also takes notice of another close bond—the relationship between Goliath and Damian. The beast has latched onto Damian and will be loyal to him—like Chewbacca to Han Solo—for the rest of their lives.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #1030. Batman begins the secret practice of monitoring Jonathan Kent’s power levels. He will do so for years to come.

–FLASHBACK: From Nightwing Vol. 4 #21—and referenced in Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #43-44. Batman and Robin fight the latest Reaper, a copycat of  the original deceased Reaper (Judson Caspian). While this new Reaper’s identity is unknown, he is the leader of a group of fellow emulous fanatics that each dress up as Reaper #2 (Benjamin Gruener). This group collectively calls itself “The Reaper.” Batman and Robin now fight the new main Reaper (the single leader of the group), but they won’t take on his Gruener wannabe hench-cult. Harley Quinn and her crew will defeat the whole group about a year from now in the Batman-less Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #43-44. So, to Reaper recap, Judson Caspian debuted as 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 earlier this year. And now we have Reaper #5, who commands a group of Reapers that call themselves “The Reaper.” If you thought that was bad enough, just wait until next year when Reaper #1’s son will become Reaper #6, commanding a small army of Reapers known as “The Reapers.” All in all, there have been dozens of Reapers in Batman’s life. Sheesh!

–REFERENCE: In Batgirl & The Birds of Prey #12 and Nightwing Vol. 4 #30—originally told in Batgirl & The Birds of Prey #2. The newly reformed Birds of Prey—featuring Batgirl, Black Canary, and Helena Bertinelli (no longer working for Spyral and now going by “Huntress“)—investigates a new Oracle (Gus Yale) and crime bosses Santo Cassamento and Fenice (Huntress’ mom Maria Bertinelli). Batman visits Batgirl at her Clocktower HQ and warns her to be careful. Batgirl tells him that the gals don’t need his help, now or in the future. Batman respects her words and leaves. After successfully dealing with Fenice and her hired ruffians, the Birds of Prey recruit the new Oracle onto their team.

–REFERENCE: In Batwoman: Rebirth #1, Batwoman Vol. 3 #8, Red Hood & The Outlaws Vol. 2 Annual #1—originally told in Detective Comics #948-949 (“BATWOMAN BEGINS”). Batman is contacted by Dr. Victoria October, the ARGUS-contracted scientist that runs Monstertown. Batman and Batwoman visit Monstertown to find that sea gulls are merging with human remains to form horrific beasts. Batman and Batwoman return to the Belfry to find Colony Prime (the Colony’s top man Simon Samuels) attempting to free Jake Kane. The duo defeats Samuels after tricking him with the Mud Room simulator. Samuels then flees. Afterward, Jake reveals everything he knows about the League of Shadows. Batman, ever distrusting, remains skeptical about the League of Shadows’ existence.

–FLASHBACK: From Batman Vol. 3 #113—and referenced in Dark Nights: Metal #1. Originally told in All-Star Batman #6-9 (“ENDS OF THE EARTH”). Batman beats Mr. Freeze, deals with Poison Ivy (who kisses him), and fights Mad Hatter, all while being chased by an elite squadron of mystery soldiers disguised as covert-ops Blackhawk troopers. After learning that Ra’s al Ghul is behind all of it, the “Blackhawks” reveal themselves as League of Assassins ninjas, kidnapping Lark. In Washington DC, Batman, Catwoman, and Alfred (with help from the real Blackhawks, including leader Lady Blackhawk) defeat the League of Assassins and rescue Lark. (Note that Lady Blackhawk is secretly former Hawkgirl Shiera Sanders Hall, who has now reincarnated as Kendra Saunders.) Ra’s al Ghul flees. After the case wraps, Batman investigates the Blackhawks, learning that they are linked to his overarching Dark Metal mystery in some way. Digging deeper, Batman learns that the Blackhawk’s hidden headquarters might contain some Nth Metal, which he’d love to get his hands on. Unfortunately, Batman is unable to locate the cloaked HQ. Moving forward, Batman will closely monitor the actions of the Blackhawks. Simultaneously, he will be very aware of the Blackhawks watching him right back.

–REFERENCE: In Batwoman: Rebirth #1 and Detective Comics #957-958—originally told in Detective Comics #950. A lonely Orphan (Cassandra Cain) visits the Gotham Metropolitan Ballet, briefly meeting (and scaring) dancer Christine Montclair. Later, Cassie listens-in as Batman meets with Commissioner Gordon and Mayor Sebastian Hady. The usually morally bankrupt political leader of Gotham has seen the light and wants to be a good guy now. Batman and the reformed Hady have a series of meetings in which the latter spills the beans on every corrupt official in Gotham. As a direct result, crime in Gotham immediately drops to its lowest level in years. In the Belfry, Jean-Paul shows Luke an AI android project he has been working on. Luke is dumbfounded to view the seemingly impossible tech specs of the Suit of Sorrows, which Jean-Paul has linked to a dormant robotic shell. After Jean-Paul and Luke depart, the android receives an energy signal that brings it to life. This evanescant spark of energy signifies that, somewhere in Europe, the Sacred Order of St. Dumas has just activated its newest Azrael, a deadly android called Ascalon.

–REFERENCE: In Batwoman: Rebirth #1, Detective Comics #957-958, and Detective Comics #968—originally told in Detective Comics #951-956 (“LEAGUE OF SHADOWS”). Lady Shiva and the League of Shadows attack Gotham, assassinating Mayor Hady and dropping Joker Venom on the city. Shiva defeats Batman and Orphan in combat. The League of Shadows then infiltrate the Belfry and kidnap Batwing, Azrael (Jean-Paul), Batwoman, and Clayface. With the Belfry undefended, Ulysses Hadrian Armstrong steals Red Robin’s spare costume and Jake Kane escapes. In the Batcave, Batman finds Ra’s al Ghul, who reveals that he has magickally mind-wiped Batman’s memories of the League of Shadows on three separate occasions. Ra’s al Ghul then subdues and captures Batman, delivering him to Shiva in exchange for her to halt her assault on the city and return the League of Shadows to the shadows. Orphan infiltrates the League of Shadows’ underground HQ, defeating over 200 warriors (!) and freeing the Bat-squad. Ra’s al Ghul arrives and shoots Lady Shiva dead. Ra’s al Ghul and his man-bats then depart with Shiva’s corpse. Later, Batman tells an injured Kate that the Bat-squad will need to use magick to defeat Ra’s al Ghul in the future.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #960-961. With anamnesis in regard to the League of Shadows, Batman also recalls another mind-wipe done at the hands of John Zatara when he was just a teenager. Batman remembers that Zatanna once offered to teach him the magick art of resurrecting the dead and communing with the afterlife, but then her dad erased the memory. Batman won’t follow up on this magick investigation with Zatanna for a while due to important stuff coming up on our timeline that will prevent him from doing so immediately.

–REFERENCE: In Superman/Top Cat Special #1—originally told in the second feature to Adam Strange/Future Quest Special #1. Batman and Catwoman play a game of “catch me if you can.” Catwoman runs into a universally-displaced Top Cat (from one of the DC Hanna-Barbera Earths). After a brief chat, the slick anthropomorphic kitty offers to distract the Dark Knight while Catwoman hides. Batman sees Top Cat and is startled by his strange cartoonish feline appearance. Top Cat tells his story and how he came to be stuck on Earth-0, also saying how his friend Benny (also spelled “Bennie”) is missing. Batman offers to help him find Benny, but Top Cat declines. Batman does, however, hook-up Top Cat with a job at a grocery chain called Wholesome Goods. Afterward, Batman tells Superman all about Top Cat.

–NOTE: In Action Comics #976. “Superman Reborn” (published May 2017) concludes. Mr. Mxyzptlk kidnaps Superboy, which prompts Superman and Lois Lane to go after their son. During the rescue, a cosmic clash between Superboy and Mxyzptlk causes all of reality to be rewritten. In an instant, the New 52 is erased and replaced with the official Rebirth Era timeline you see before you. Mr. Oz, watching from his prison fortress in an unknown remote location, is shocked that Superboy and Mxyzptlk could have enough combined power to change reality.[6][7]

–Trinity Vol. 2 #8
Superman has been having horrible nightmares ever since “Superman Reborn,” which has just recently occurred. In these nightmares, Superman fights New 52 Superman and sees dozens of alternate reality versions of himself, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Panicked, Superman calls Batman and Wonder Woman to the Fortress of Solitude to tell them about his dreams. Superman tells his friends that the dreams are a final reminder of memories of a past life that is disappearing from his mind. He knows that reality has been altered. Batman tells them not to tell the rest of the Justice League until they can figure out more information. Meanwhile, Mr. Oz watches and hears all from his secret prison fortress.


–REFERENCE: In Teen Titans Vol. 6 #10. Beast Boy gives a live TV interview at Teen Titans Tower, giving a detailed tour of the premises (as seen in Teen Titans Vol. 6 #6). In Gotham, Batman watches with disgust, angry that Beast Boy would expose the team in such a manner. Batman is equally disgusted to discover Beast Boy’s vlog, which is more of the same high profile stuff.

———————-––Mother Panic #1
———————-––Mother Panic #3
Celebutante bad-girl Violet Paige (and one-time lover of Kate Kane) returns to Gotham after a long stint abroad. Violet, with plans of moonlighting as an edgy superhero, learns that the bodyguard (Dominic) of an old family acquaintance (Frederick Hemsley) is in immanent danger. She tails Dominic, spying on him at a fancy charity event (also attended by Kate Kane). There, Violet is approached by a paparazzo that wants to know about the details of the death of her father, who died under mysterious circumstances years ago. Outside in an alley, Dominic is accosted by Hemsley’s henchmen. Violet switches into her crime-fighting costume and becomes Mother Panic. Using cybernetic implants and training received as a teenager at the “experimental school” known as Gather House, Mother Panic is more than equipped to kicks ass and rescue Dominic. Batman silently watches the rookie hero from the shadows. Dominic thanks who he mistakenly assumes is a member of the Bat-Family, to which Mother Panic replies, “Fuck the Bat.” She then takes Dominic to the safety of a mansion belonging to her Alzheimer’s-inflicted mother Rebecca Paige. Via interrogation, Mother Panic learns that Hemsley showed Dominic a piece of “artwork” that he had commissioned and purchased from the sadistic Gala, a snuff-artist that makes gory art pieces via legitimate murderous acts. Upon seeing the Gala piece, Dominic was going to go to the cops until Hemsley’s men got to him first. Meanwhile, Batman orders Batwoman to begin monitoring all of Mother Panic’s activities. A few days later, Batwoman reports another sighting to Batman before confronting Mother Panic face-to-face. They fight, with Mother Panic getting the best of Batwoman. Acting on a tip from Hemsley, Mother Panic goes to an address in the city and meets the vile Gala, who has kidnapped children—her “commissioned snuff-art”—chained-up all around her. Gala hits a button that lights the room up in flames, allowing her to escape while Mother Panic saves the kids—including seven-year-old Rosie. Outside, Batwoman watches Mother Panic work, relaying the footage to Batman. Outside, an angry Mother Panic tells-off Batwoman yet again. Later, Mother Panic goes to confront Hemsley only to find him murdered. Afterward, Mother Panic visits with her confidant and physician, Dr. Suditi Varma, who tells her that Dominic will now be her mom’s new caretaker.

–REFERENCE: In Superman Vol. 4 #20, Super Sons #5, Super Sons #15, and Nightwing Vol. 4 #24—originally told in Super Sons #1-4. With Batman and Superman on unspecified business, Robin surprise visits Jonathan Kent in Hamilton County in the dead of night, telling him they need to investigate break-ins and cyber-espionage attempts at LexCorp. So it’s 300 miles to Metropolis in the dead of night to LexCorp Tower for Robin and Superboy. The self-proclaimed Super Sons are made official! Once they get there, the Super Sons immediately run into Lex Luthor. After ditching Luthor, Robin and Superboy travel to the woods outside of Providence, RI where they confront the hacker, fourteen-year-old Reggie Meyer aka Kid Amazo. Unknown to all, Reggie isn’t actually Kid Amazo—he’s actually wearing Kid Amazo, which is a sentient symbiote-suit akin to Marvel’s Venom Symbiote. Kid Amazo/Reggie battles the young heroes, who team-up with a robot version of Reggie’s little sister, Sarah Meyer. Eventually, Lex Luthor and the real Sarah Meyer join the boys to help defeat Kid Amazo/Reggie and save the rest of the Meyer family. Afterward, Kid Amazo/Reggie is detained in a LexCorp lab where Luthor himself is able to separate Kid Amazo from Reggie. However, Luthor and his team of scientists mistakenly think that the comatose Reggie is Kid Amazo, while regarding the possum-playing real Kid Amazo for a lifeless armored carapace.

–REFERENCE: In Super Sons #5. Damian and Jonathan are caught by Lois and Alfred following their adventure in Rhode Island. Batman, Superman, and Lois decide that the boys should be grounded for a week. Jonathan will not be allowed to use his powers and Damian will not be allowed to go on patrol. The boys decide to keep Kid Amazo’s (and probably Lex Luthor’s) name out of the conversation as they protest, but do reveal that they saved the lives of a family. The adults won’t hear a word of it and the punishment begins.

–FLASHBACK: From Super Sons #5. Batman and Superman team-up to defeat a bunch of Parademons. After a job well done, Batman and Superman shake hands with each other.

–REFERENCE: In Suicide Squad (Free Comic Book Day) Special Edition: King Shark #1—originally told in Nightwing Vol. 4 #15-20. Simon Hurt, Professor Pyg, and Deathwing kidnap Dick’s new girlfriend Shawn Tsang (the former super-villain known as Defacer), prompting Nightwing and Robin to come to her rescue in Egypt. However, when Robin is taken captive while Shawn is freed, Nightwing and Defacer team-up to rescue Robin. During the conflict, Deathwing cuts Nightwing with an Nth Metal blade, causing him to see visions of other realities.

–REFERENCE: In Action Comics #980. As seen in Suicide Squad Vol. 5 #18, Amanda Waller brings Zod out of the Phantom Zone in an effort to bring him into the Suicide Squad, but the evil Kryptonian’s powers are too strong. He releases spirits from the Phantom Zone and puts an impenetrable black shadow dome over Bell Reve. Batman, unsure of what is happening inside, immediately begins using WayneTech satellites to keep tabs on the situation.

–Action Comics #980
Superman visits Lois and Jon at their new empty apartment in Metropolis—(the Kents have decided to move back to the city, but have yet to actually move from the farm). Superman tells his family that the Eradicator, Cyborg Superman, Mongul, Blanque, and Metallo have formed a new “Revenge Squad” and have destroyed his backup Fortress of Solitude in the Himalayas. Superman then visits Batman at the Watchtower and fills him in as well. Superman gives Batman some positive feedback on his new JLA venture before flying to Belle Reve when satellite imagery spots the Eradicator and Cyborg Superman smashing their way into the prison. There, the Kryptonian dome causes Superman to have horrible hallucinations that all his friends and family are zombies. (In the following Batman-less Action Comics #981-984, Zod takes over leadership of the “Revenge Squad” and sends his team into battle against Superman and his friends. During the fight, Zod grows weary of Mongul and forcibly kicks him off the villain team, punching him into deep space. Eventually, the heroes defeat all the villains.)

–REFERENCE: In Dark Nights: Metal #1. In the direct aftermath of Action Comics #984, Superman fills in the Justice League on what happened. They then track down Mongul in deep space and send him to a maximum security alien prison on Braal.

–Super Sons #5
Nearly a week has passed since Robin and Superboy’s adventure in Rhode Island. Since that time, the boys have been grounded. In Hamilton County, Clark and Lois tell Jonathan to start packing some things up for their impending move back to Metropolis. Jon gets emotional and runs-off to Gotham. Superboy breaks into the Batcave and soon begins fighting with Robin. When they hear Alfred coming, they try to hide, but get caught. The wise Alfred serves the boys dinner and gives them valuable life lessons. Batman and Superman then arrive to talk to the boys as well. Superman tells his son that he can go on patrols with Robin from now on. Superman and Robin then take to the streets.

–Justice League Vol. 3 #19-21 (“ENDLESS”)
The Justice League deals with an alien attack in Brooklyn, after which Flash (Barry Allen) arrives from 24 hours in the future. He explains that he has been having a Groundhog Day experience, reliving the same bad day over-and-over. In one variation, a scientist named Jason Taylor detonates an explosion in a Bronx lab, stabs Jessica Cruz to death, and detonates another explosion in Manhattan. In a second variation, Barry rallies his teammates and they go to the lab in question to find a the scientist, Taylor, showcasing a new zero-point energy device that controls gravity and force to a room full of onlookers, including his family. Barry goes to secure the device, which causes it to explode, nuking most of the Bronx and parts of New Jersey. After hearing Flash’s Groundhog Day story, Batman leaves the alien fight in Brooklyn to help the Scarlet Speedster. At Taylor’s lab, Batman disguises himself as a security guard and gets intel from a hacking Barry and Cyborg. The heroes learn that Taylor’s conniving boss Tony Palmer, wanting to steal the energy device to sell to China, has rigged it to blow (but remain intact) using tech that ARGUS pilfered from the alien in Brooklyn. Just as the energy device is about to destroy the entire planet, the alien arrives and shuts it down by taking back what was stolen from him: the powerful cosmic artifact known as the Starheart. The alien explains that he is a sentry that guards cosmic borders, cryptically mentioning the Kindred before teleporting away to prevent an “incursion in the Outerverse.” With Palmer behind bars, the JL has a rare in-costume dinner in a restaurant.

–Trinity Vol. 2 #9-11 (“DEAD SPACE”)
Clark, still troubled by the Black Mercy hallucination he shared with Bruce and Diana a couple months ago, invites Diana and Bruce to Smallville to discuss his feelings. In the real location that appeared in the dream, the heroes find cave carvings that the dream version of Bruce made. They don’t take notice of White Mercy because an Justice League emergency booms them to the Watchtower, which is powerless with a hull breach thanks to an apparent alien attack from the parasitic insect-like “Enlightened.” The Trinity saves an injured Cyborg from Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz, who have been taken over by the aliens. The bugs attack, knocking Superman and Wonder Woman into space. The heroes enter the base of the Watchtower to find an humanoid android alien called The Traveler, who says the only way to stop the parasites from spreading is to incinerate the entire contaminated satellite, which begins to plummet towards Earth. Flash (Barry Allen) whirlwinds Batman and a comatose Cyborg safely away from a turned Aquaman, but one of the bugs, having evolved into a large tentacled creature, attacks in an attempt to defend a cache of alien eggs. Tricked by the Traveler, Wonder Woman is assimilated, but thanks to her lasso, she learns that the android is actually the baddie and the Enlightened bugs are the good guys. After defeating the Traveler, Wonder Woman joins her teammates and they prevent the Watchtower from crashing into Mumbai. The Trinity then takes the hatched little creatures—actually a separate species known as The Perfect—and deposits them into a stream in Smallville. (Supposedly, the Perfect are “adaptive symbiotic organisms,” which are very good for the environment.) From the shadows, White Mercy watches in approval.

–Justice League Vol. 3 #22
When asteroids threaten to crash into Earth, the entire Justice League (sans Aquaman and Flash) gathers aboard the Watchtower. Lois Lane, writing a story about the Watchtower, and Jonathan join as well. After the Green Lanterns are prepped to destroy the asteroids, Jessica tries to ask Batman a question, but he churlishly ignores her. The Green Lanterns then destroy the asteroids and return, accidentally bringing aboard microscopic aliens that spread across the entire satellite. Unable to figure out what to do about the aliens, the Watchtower is quarantined until further notice. Eventually, the alien queen bonds with Jessica, causing the entire micro-swarm to join together, forming a bug version of Jessica that attacks the Justice League. Jessica is able to telepathically communicate with the queen, ending the threat. The Green Lanterns then put the entire micro-alien bug race on one of the fragments of the asteroids they pulverized.

–Superman Vol. 4 #20-22 (“BLACK DAWN”)
Jon, still unable to fly as his powers haven’t fully developed, plays with Krypto and Kathy Branden. Kathy’s grandpa, Cobb Branden, warns of a big storm coming. Later, in the storm cellar of the Kent Farm, Lois, Clark, and Jon hang out. Lois and Clark make reference to the recent “Superman Reborn” events—they still have some memories and knowledge of the Modern Age and New 52, but those memories are fading fast and will soon disappear completely. In the dead of night, Jon sees Batman’s shadow, so he suits up into his Superboy costume. (Upon seeing the shadow, Jon says “not again,” which is a reference to Damian’s showing up randomly in the dead of night during the recent Super Sons arc.) Superman and Superboy confront Batman and Robin in the barn, but Lois forces them to all sit at the dining room table for pie. Batman reveals that the test results on Jon have come back inconclusive, showing that Jon is “abnormally healthy.” In other words, something is causing Jon’s powers to be held at bay. After a short contretemps with Superman, Batman is told by Lois that Jon drinks milk from Cobb Branden’s prize winning cow Bessie every day. Batman goes next door to the Cobb Farm and takes a sample of Bessie’s milk, but the milk comes alive and turns into a spiderweb-like inky goo that traps the Dark Knight. When Batman hasn’t returned come morning, Superman, Superboy, and Robin go out in search of him. The trio is called to action when the giant pink Riftsquid (which Superman and Superboy defeated months ago) returns to attack Hamilton County. The Riftsquid has been sent by Manchester Black, who has been spying on the heroes. Black manifests before Superman’s eyes as an inkblot humanoid, flanked by inkblot henchmen. The heroes fight off the inkblots, but Superman refuses to kill the unwieldy squid. Seeing no other option, and being egged on by the townspeople, Superboy uses his heat vision to kill the raging beast. Later, Superboy and Robin reveal that Cobb is linked to an abandoned house in a nearby swamp. Superman goes to the house on his own. Meanwhile, Kathy reveals powers of her own and attacks Superboy and Robin, kidnapping them both. With everyone missing, Lois searches in town, discovering that nothing is what it seems. A deputation consisting several Hamilton County citizens—Mayor Dwayne Goodman, Dr. Brooks, Candice, Tony Martinez, Officer Haggart, and the Brandens—have been surveilling the Kents on behalf of Manchester Black ever since they arrived. Lois flees home to find these sinister citizens in her house. She grabs her Hellbat glove, fights off her would-be abductors, and hops in the Batmobile to make a getaway. Cobb Branden reveals his super-strength, tearing apart the car to stop her. Meanwhile, in a hidden lab deep beneath the abandoned house, Superman finds a giant spidery robotic monstrosity attached to large liquid tubes. The tubes hold an unconscious selection of prisoners, including Batman, Robin, Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, some Kroogarian aliens, and Walter and his clown mask gang. (Superman busted Walter and his clown mask gang earlier.)

–Superman Vol. 4 #23-25 (“BLACK DAWN” Conclusion)
When Superman hears Lois in trouble above the underground lab, he flies up to find Cobb Branden fighting his wife. Superman knocks-out Cobb and rescues Lois only to find out-of-control giant monsters attacking the town. (The underground lab is actually Manchester Black’s interdimensional-hopping ship, which is damaged and is allowing monsters to come through a breach that it has created. Cobb refers to all the monsters collectively as “Riftsquids” despite the fact that only some resemble the pink squids we’ve seen before. The other monsters resemble giant mutated bats, insects, and crustaceans.) Mayor Goodman, Dr. Brooks, Candice, Tony Martinez, and Officer Haggart all reveal themselves to be super-powered alien members of Manchester Black’s Super Elite. They execute the monsters with reckless abandon, causing Lois’s leg to get completely severed in the process! Superman cauterizes the wound. Deep underground, Manchester Black forces a terrified Jon to watch the horrific scene above. (Don’t worry, this is all a psychic misdirection courtesy of Manchester Black. Lois is fine.) After making sure Lois is okay at a hospital, Superman (with Krypto) fights Manchester Black. Cobb and Kathy realize that their leader is evil, joining Superman and Krypto in battle against Black. After Cobb is killed by Black, Superman releases Batman, Robin, Frankenstein, and the Bride. In response, Black mind-controls the rest of the Super-Elite and turns Superboy into his puppet: the evil “Superboy Black.” Kathy and the heroes fight the Super-Elite and Superboy Black, who unleashes his full potential for the first time. Meanwhile, Manchester Black creates a giant ink tree that collapses like a tidal wave over Hamilton County. The Super-Elite’s ship’s quantum reactor drive explodes, throwing out “arcs of space-time,” meaning that it expels literal lightning bolts of alternate timeline imagery. Lois then arrives and, when Superboy Black sees his mom is okay, he reverts back to regular Jon. Superboy and Kathy then join together and use telekinesis to cause psychic feedback that smashes Manchester Black’s consciousness out of his body and into Bessie the cow! The Super-Elite vows to stay in their human alter-egos and fix the town.

–Justice League Vol. 3 #24
Batman, Wonder Woman, and Jessica Cruz go to the African nation of Nomalia to combat a terrorist group. Unfortunately, The Black Shield and his group of racist alt-right militiamen are in Nomalia with the same idea. The major difference is that Black Shield wants to detonate a WMD to “bring terror to the terrorists.” While Wonder Woman and Batman capture some of the Black Shield’s men, Jessica is able to contain a chemical weapon blast, saving the town below, but she is rattled to her core. After Wonder Woman interrogates the Black Shield’s men, she learns that he is planning an attack on the capital of Bialya. With Cyborg’s remote guidance and Wonder Woman and Batman on the ground, Jessica saves the day yet again, capturing the Black Shield and stopping another WMD strike.

–Titans Vol. 3 Annual #1
The Key teleports the members of the Justice League and their former sidekick counterparts from the Titans into his Alaskan bunker lair for what will basically be a deadly game of “escape the room.” (SPOILER: The Key is working for Troia, an alternate reality dystopian future version of Donna Troy.) The Titans and JL team up for the first time to defeat a fake Metallo and fake Parademons. Meanwhile, at Titans Tower in Manhattan, Cyborg, Superman, Simon Baz, Jessica Cruz, Arsenal, and Omen try to figure out what happened to their friends. Back in the Key’s lair, Batman rigs up one of the fake Parademon’s tech as a scanner. Wonder Woman reveals that Donna Troy isn’t human, she was created magickally from clay and given false memories. Donna breaks down in tears. Her rush of emotion is enough for both Omen to get a read on her location and for the Key to expose himself. The heroes in the Key’s lair smash through the wall to confront the Key just as the heroes from Titans Tower arrive via Boom Tube. The Key teleports away. At Titans Tower, Batman tells Nightwing that the Key had to have been working for someone else. Elsewhere, in a strange limbo space, the Key is brutally punished for his failure by Troia.

–Justice League Vol. 3 #24-25
Aquaman has just been overthrown from his rule by the nefarious Corum Rath, who has exiled him and cast a “Crown of Thorns” spell, walling-off Atlantis from the rest of the sea. With Aquaman away intriguing to regain his throne, a pissed-off Mera creates a giant tidal wave in an attempt to crash through the “Crown of Thorns,” but it fails and causes a tsunami that threatens the entire Eastern seaboard. The Justice League intervenes and fights an out-of-control Mera, getting their butts kicked but eventually calming her down. The JL then gives Mera a “let’s be friends” pep-talk aboard the Watchtower, which is interrupted when they hear news of Qwardian Hate-Drones striking in Pakistan. Mera acts as the absent Aquaman’s substitute, going with the JL to deal with the trouble. (Mera teaming with the JL is also shown via flashback from Aquaman Vol. 8 #32.) Shortly thereafter, the Keeper, in government custody, requests an audience with Batman. She tells the Dark Knight quite a tale. First, the essence of an evil millennia-old alien tyrant called Shirak is somewhere on Earth. Second, every cosmic threat the JL has dealt with this year has been trying to prevent the multiverse’s destruction by an even greater evil—”The Great Darkness.” Third, the current timeline has been rebooted several times. The Keeper specifically mentions “The Crisis,” “Flashpoint,” and “Rebirth” (aka “Superman Reborn”) by name! Fourth, the “Great Darkness” has existed since the very beginning and lived through (and fed upon) every iteration of every timeline. This has caused Earth to become a cosmic nexus point. Fifth, whoever is responsible for all the reboots has a conscious and active mind, a deliberate hand, when it comes to re-shaping the multiverse—they act like an all powerful god. (DiDio, Johns, and Lee as gods? Very meta, but in a sense, this is what the Keeper means.) On the flip side, if the unknown god is a creator, the “Great Darkness,” soon to make its presence felt, is a destroyer. (The “Great Darkness,” while its own blob-like entity, as we will soon see, seems to also partly hint at or link to the coming of Perpetua, which will happen in a couple years.) As Batman talks with the Keeper, Shirak appears in Detroit, turning 120,000 people into his Wraith Army. The Justice League (sans Batman and with Mera still subbing for the unavailable Aquaman) fights Shirak and his hordes. Simon Baz and Cyborg are able to take down the alien fiend, ending the threat. As soon as Detroit is saved, Cyborg gets an alert of another “large scale metahuman threat” involving a lot of casualties in Midway City. The “Great Darkness” has already arrived in the form of a massive quickly spreading sentient onyx blob. As the JL preps for more action, Batman tells the Keeper that he doesn’t care if everything is preordained or if higher-powers sculpt the world, he will continue to make his own choices to make the world the best place it can be. (The Keeper is not only dropping a lot of pipe-bomb level truths here, but she also refers to Batman as “Bruce”—all in front of a bunch of government handlers. We must assume that she is blocking them from hearing somehow.) Batman ends their conversation and the Keeper is rocketed to exile on the dwarf planet Ceres.

———————-––Justice League Vol. 3 #27
———————-––Justice League Vol. 3 #29-31
(“Legacy” goes here because the Kents are still living on their Hamilton County farm. Note that they will finally soon be moving back to Metropolis.) The adult children of the Justice League—Cruise (Nora Allen), Green Lantern Jenny Allen, Green Lantern Jason Allen, Cube (George Marvin Stone), Hunter Prince, and Serenity (Eldoris “Dory” Curry)—appear from the year 2039 to forewarn their parents of a terrible dystopian future, which must be prevented at all costs. (Of course, SPOILER ALERT, the good guys will prevent this evil future from happening by story’s end, thus relegating these future hero kids to alternate timeline characters.) The JL (sans Batman and still with Mera subbing for Aquaman) takes the kids aboard the Watchtower and verifies their claims. Cube shows everyone a video detailing the future history that must not come to pass. It shows a great war between superheroes and super-villains—in which the heroes have become evil thanks to the “Great Darkness” blob and also in which Joker kills Batman—that leads to the destruction of most of the planet and deaths of nearly all the heroes. The kids have been waging a losing battle against the mysterious dictator of the planet, the powerful metahuman known as The Sovereign. Meanwhile, in the Batcave, Batman interfaces with Genie, who tells him that an echo of the Kindred signal frequency is linking to a source in Midway City, where the “Great Darkness” blob has just attacked. All of a sudden, a grizzly future-Aquaman from 2039 (who is aligned with the Sovereign and wears the remains of a deceased Cyborg) appears and brutally kicks Batman’s ass, stealing his anti-JL countermeasure weapons. Using the weapons, old Aquaman easily defeats Superman, Barry, Jessica Cruz, and Cyborg, trapping them inside a Boom Tube wormhole. Meanwhile, a miraculously recovered but bandaged-up) Batman visits Lois Lane at the Kent Farm, where she tells him what has happened and fills him in on the arrival of the future JL kids. She also gives him hell for having anti-JL weapons. In Nova Scotia, the future JL kids (sans Serenity) attack Wonder Woman, believing that they can prevent their horrible future if Diana dies. Wonder Woman and the kids wind up getting boomed to Midway City where the “Great Darkness” blob escapes containment. In Amnesty Bay, old Aquaman confronts Mera and Serenity. With his head hung low and full of apology, old Aquaman opens a time-portal, allowing Mount Olympus and the Sovereign to come through. While Batman flies toward old Aquaman, Wonder Woman struggles to fight off the influence of the “Great Darkness” in Midway City. The Sovereign teleports herself, old Aquaman, Mera, and Serenity to Midway City and a battle royale breaks out. Old Aquaman betrays the Sovereign, but she is still able to defeat all the heroes and murder Simon Baz. With the heroes down, the Sovereign unmasks to reveal her true identity: Wonder Woman’s mom Hippolyta! The trapped heroes escape the Boom Tube wormhole only to get engulfed by the “Great Darkness” in Midway City as well. The future heroes fight against the possessed JL until Batman arrives to help out. Just as the future Green Lanterns bring Simon Baz back to life, Hunter Prince takes down the future-Hippolyta, who reveals that the Kindred’s plan all along was to use the “Great Darkness” to destroy the world, a fate that happened in their future world and which is being expedited now. The future Green Lanterns then suck up the “Great Darkness” into a ball, which future-Aquaman and future-Hippolyta Boom away, sacrificing their own lives in the process to save the day. A week later, Batman meets with the JL and their future kids. Now that the dark future has been averted, Flash (Barry Allen) tells the kids that they still exist in an alternate future that exists on a divergent timeline. The kids say their final goodbyes and Boom to their timeline where they will become their world’s new Justice League.

–REFERENCE: In Green Lanterns #24. Batman tells Jessica Cruz some stories about his interactions with the Green Lantern Corps, including the time he knocked-out Guy Gardner with one punch.

–Justice League of America Vol. 5 #5-6 (“HEART OF A BASTICH”)
The new JLA holds its first press conference at Mount Justice (the mountain above the Secret Sanctuary) in Happy Harbor, RI. While Batman doesn’t attend, Vixen says that he supports the team 100%. Vixen acts as press secretary, fielding questions from numerous reporters, including Lana Lang, Olivia Ortega, and Ben Rubel. After the conference, journalist Frances Rock speaks to the Ray, telling him about Penn City, PA, a town where warmongers Nikos Aegeus and a blackmailed scientist named Xenos are running a veritable sweatshop that makes “folklore-powered weapons”—weird guns that merge ancient myth with modern tech, some of which have been personally blessed by gods. The JLA booms to Penn City, which is completely controlled by Aegeus’ 300 man army of soldiers wearing Ancient Roman armor mixed with high-end tech. Lobo and the Atom Interrupt a sale between Aegeus and the Whisper Gang, while the rest of the JLA meets with the town leaders of Penn City, asking them why they willingly allowed Aegeus to start his weapons factory in their town. The citizens explain that the local mine closed decades ago and they were at a 99% poverty rate before Aegeus came to town. Aegeus’ militia—riding magickally-created chimeras—attacks the JLA, who all don their own loricated armor, made of hard light, courtesy of the Ray. With the battle spreading across town, Batman and Black Canary ride one one of the chimeras while Frost accidentally freezes one of the militia men’s arms off. After Lobo is shot with a special anti-god poison cannon, his regeneration powers get messed up. Requiring a full reboot, so to speak, he makes the Ray stab out his heart entirely. The Atom, Lobo, and the Ray then take down Aegeus. With Aegeus down, the chimeras disintegrate into agglomerations of salt and the militia is easily defeated. Later, Frost talks to Black Canary about “heat sickness,” which is afflicting her. The Atom hangs out with Lobo and also tells Frost that there might be a way to cure her condition.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League of America Vol. 5 #7 and Justice League of America Vol. 5 #9. Batman interrogates Nikos Aegeus, learning that the mysterious Might Beyond the Mirror granted his wish for power, allowing him the capability to create his fantastic folklore-powered weapons. Batman then takes samples of the salt left behind from Aegeus’ magick weaponry. Batman also hires Xenos as the newest member of the JLA, making him the Sanctuary’s resident tech guy. Xenos’ first task is to renovate the entire HQ—to both make it better for the team and accommodate Penn City refugees.

–Justice League of America Vol. 5 #7
Xenos shows Batman a tourist observation deck that he has constructed near Mount Justice and they argue about it. Meanwhile, at a Mammoth City, NJ metahuman club called Heaven’s Undercarriage, Lobo and Black Canary fight a roughneck named Mr. Scarlet—not to be confused with the Mr. Scarlet that teaches at Gotham Academy. In New York City, the Atom (Ryan Choi) takes Frost to the Museum of Unnatural History in Manhattan where they study the mummified remains of a prehistoric “glacier boy,” from which the superhero Ice supposedly got her cryokinetic powers. Terrorsmith attacks the museum, hoping to get energy from the corpse of the Bloodlines Parasite, Glonth, which is currently on-display. Terrorsmith turns some security guards into monsters, who fight the Atom. While Frost takes down Terrorsmith, the Atom uses Dr. Thaddeus Sivana‘s time pills to save the security guards. In Harlem, the Ray and Vixen speak about the JLA at a highly publicized community meeting. Later, Black Canary trains Frost and tells her that the Atom has a crush on her (Frost). Terrorsmith goes behind bars at Bell Reve, where he tells Amanda Waller that an all-powerful wish-granter (The Might Beyond the Mirror) sent him to Glonth’s corpse in Manhattan.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #23. Local weapons supplier Nat the Gnat winds up on Batman’s radar.

———————-––Batman Vol. 3 #21
———————-––Flash Vol. 5 #21
———————-––Batman Vol. 3 #22
———————-––Flash Vol. 5 #22
May. Modern Age Saturn Girl watches Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals on TV at Arkham and begins flipping out because she knows (being from the future) that there will be a brutal fighting death on the ice. Saturn Girl yells that Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes will die. Meanwhile, in the Batcave, Batman re-examines the bloody smiley face button-pin. When it interacts with Psycho-Pirate’s mask, a hole in the Speed Force opens and Batman sees a vision of his father from the Flashpoint timeline (Batman Thomas Wayne). The Dark Knight calls Flash (Barry Allen) immediately. However, Reverse-Flash (Eobard Thawne aka Professor Zoom), still on his hunt to discover who resurrected him, arrives first, responding to the surge in the Speed Force. Thawne proceeds to beat the shit out of Batman, pausing only to read and rip apart Batman Thomas Wayne’s Flashpoint letter to Bruce. With Batman kayoed on the floor, Thawne picks up the smiley button-pin and is teleported away via Dr. Manhattan. Upon being teleported back to the Batcave, Thawne, with cutaneous burns all over his body, screams that he has seen God. Thawne then drops dead next to the still unconscious Batman. Barry, having been delayed by fighting Samuroids and a failed attempt to save the dying hockey player (one of the Gotham Blades), arrives in the Batcave. While old Johnny Thunder screams at a thunderstorm, Barry examines the morbid murder scene in the Batcave before talking to the injured Batman about what happened. Barry tells Batman he’s seen visions of the Helmet of Mercury. Barry then goes to the Watchtower to get the Cosmic Treadmill out of the Trophy Room.[9] Batman, however, shows up demanding to go along for the time-ride. The heroes run through the pathways of Hypertime, witnessing visions of historical events that have been stolen/blocked by Dr. Manhattan.[10] A cosmic storm takes Batman and Barry to Thomas Wayne’s Batcave in the “World of Flashpoint.” Batman sees the Flashpoint version of the gun that killed his parents, noting that he never was able to find the gun back on his own timeline. (Kevin Smith’s Detective Comics #1000 Part 2 and Peter Tomasi’s Detective Comics Annual #2 (2019) both retcon this, making it so that Batman actually did find the gun that killed his folks. Therefore, we must ignore the dialogue here.) As referenced in Doomsday Clock #2, Batman takes this gun as a keepsake. Father and son are then dramatically reunited in the Batcave. Barry says that Flashpoint happened “months ago,” which is ludicrous because it happened two years ago. Before Bat-dad and Bat-son can talk, Atlantean and Amazonian soldiers break-in and attack. The dual Batmen fight off the invaders while Barry reassembles the Cosmic Treadmill. Dr. Manhattan, from afar, decides his game has gone far enough. The “World of Flashpoint” begins to crumble into non-existence. Bruce and Thomas have one final touching conversation, but Thomas decides to stay and accept the fate of his world. His final words to Bruce are a plea, telling him to stop being Batman. The “World of Flashpoint” is erased completely as Batman and Barry re-enter Hypertime. (This scene is also shown via flashback from Batman Vol. 3 #84.) Hypertime gets twisted as our heroes find themselves face-to-face with Thawne, who is running with the smiley button-pin in hand, moments before his death. (This scene is also shown via flashback from Batman/Superman Vol. 2 #6.) The heroes try to stop Thawne, but he continues on to his death. (SPOILER ALERT: In Flash Vol. 5 #23, which takes place a few days after “The Button,” Thawne will come back to life, so he’s either not really dead here or he will be able to resurrect himself. Also note that Flashpoint Batman ain’t really dead either.) In Hypertime, Barry hears a strange name calling to him and Jay Garrick appears, rescuing Batman and Barry by returning them to the Batcave. Jay tries to explain that some unknown force exiled him and caused everyone to forget him. In an instant, Jay disappears in a wave of bright blue light. A flashback from Flash Vol. 5 #23 adds a scene that immediately follows Jay disappearing in which Barry consoles a dejected Batman, who is having trouble processing having seen his father. Later, in the cemetery where Bruce’s parents are buried, Bruce and Barry discuss all they have seen and heard. (Note that there is a continuity error here as creators Joshua Williamson and Howard Porter place the deceased Waynes in a public Gotham City cemetery. This contradicts other stories—notably by Scott Snyder, Peter Tomasi, Warren Ellis, and Geoff Johns—which show that the Waynes are buried in a private plot next to Wayne Manor.) Later, unable to get his Flashpoint father’s words out of his head, Bruce hesitates to answer the Bat-signal. Elsewhere, Dr. Manhattan clutches the smiley face button-pin in his hand and witnesses a Doomsday Clock vision of the future that involves Superman.

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #2. Batman puts the gun he took from the Flashpoint Batcave on display in his Batcave.

–REFERENCE: In Titans Vol. 3 #14. Nightwing meets with Batman. No further details are given. (This reference comes from a tiny “HIVE” collage on the final page showing different random images of Nightwing.)

–Teen Titans Vol. 6 #10
Nightwing gives Batman a full report on recent Titans and Teen Titans action involving Deathstroke (as seen in “The Lazarus Contract”). Deathstroke fought both teams in order to gain access to the Speed Force so he could go back in time in an attempt to save his son Grant Wilson’s life. The heroes, including Deathstroke’s other son Jericho (Joseph Wilson), stopped Deathstroke from saving Grant, which would have had drastic consequences for the timeline. Upon his failure, the dejected assassin announced his retirement from super-villainy. However, one alteration to the timeline did unfortunately occur, Flash (Wally West) now has a pacemaker and can’t run fast or it will kill him! Angry at Kid Flash’s performance, Robin kicked him off the Teen Titans. Back to the present at hand, Robin video-calls his dad to ask for leadership advice, to which Batman reminds his son that he has been slacking in the Teen Titan reports that he is supposed to be delivering every week. Batman tells Robin that the team must no longer give TV interviews and that Beast Boy has to shut down his vlog. After ending the call, an injured Lucia Hyde enters and reveals that Black Manta (Jackson’s father) has kidnapped Jackson. Robin assembles the team, but struggles to command. Starfire takes over and begins delegating rescue efforts, effectively usurping Robin’s leadership of the team. Meanwhile, Black Manta takes Jackson deep under the Pacific Ocean in search of a hidden Golconda that is guarded by giant sea monsters.

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

–REFERENCE: In Gotham Academy: Second Semester #9-12—originally told in “SECOND SEMESTER” (Gotham Academy: Second Semester #5-8). Gotham Academy students Colton Rivera and Pomeline Fritch break into the office of weirdo librarian Mr. Scarlet (aka Bookworm). Colton steals an antiquarian campus map belonging to Headmaster Hammer (which Scarlet has already stolen from Hammer) only to get caught and expelled for the theft. The rest of Pomeline and Colton’s crew—Maps Mizoguchi, Kyle Mizoguchi, Katherine Karlo (a relative of Clayface’s that also has shapeshifting ability), Olive Silverlock (currently being haunted by the ghost of Amity Arkham)—immediately hires top lawyer Anaica Fritch (Pomeline’s mom) to set up a hearing to fight against Colton’s expulsion. The Gotham Academy Board of Directors, including Bruce Wayne, gathers. Meanwhile, across campus, Pomeline and Tristan Grey, having stolen the map yet again, use it in an attempt to locate the hermetic tome known as “The Old Book of Gotham.” Tristan and Pomeline are joined by Colton, Maps, Olive, Kyle, Katherine, and Eric Jørgensen, marching deep beneath the campus grounds into surrealist catacombs designed by Ambroos Lydecker. The spirit of Amity Arkham possesses Olive, who runs off. After splitting up, Colton, Pomeline, and Katherine find the “Old Book of Gotham.” Mr. Scarlet sneaks up behind them and attacks. After a scuffle, the kids flee with the tome. Back aboveground, the entire gang—along with Isla MacPherson, Isla’s dog Ham, and Batman—confront the possessed Olive, who ignites her entire body aflame, activating her latent pyro metapowers. Under plenary control of Amity, who wants to kill a bunch of Gothamites, Olive goes wild and disappears in a fiery flash, flying off toward the city.[11]

–Batman Vol. 3 #23
Commissioner Gordon calls Batman to the murder scene of an old man named Lloyd McGinn. While investigating, Swamp Thing appears and tells Batman that McGinn is his biological father. Bruce invites Swamp Thing to chat at Wayne Manor, learning that the Plant Elemental seemingly has no human ties anymore and does not mourn the passing of his dad. Swamp Thing, does, however, want to find out who was responsible for the crime. After learning that one of Kite Man’s kites was involved, Batman and Swamp Thing find and shake down Kite Man a few days later, which leads them to a pawn shop, which leads them to Nat the Gnat, which leads them to the culprit: Headhunter. At the Gotham Museum of Art, Batman and Swamp Thing confront Headhunter, who tells them he killed McGinn only because he found out he was Swamp Thing’s dad. An enraged Swamp Thing finally shows his hidden emotion, brutally murdering Headhunter before Batman’s eyes. Pissed-off at having been used, Batman flips-out on Swamp Thing, who offers confused dialogue before simply disappearing.

–Justice League of America Vol. 5 #8-9 (“THE MAN FROM MONSTER VALLEY”)
When the TroubleAlert registers chaos in the anomalous secret tropical valley of monsters in Siberia, the JLA is on the case. Amid the lush flora of the valley, the heroes find SKULL soldiers massacring all the fauna. The JLA stops the returning SKULL (who clearly have new backers running the show), saving Makson, a feral human who has lived among the monsters since he was a toddler. Unfortunately, many monsters are massacred, including the dino-creatures that Makson called family. A few days later, a cleaned-up Makson has fully acclimated to society and learned to read, write, and speak at an accelerated rate. At Vixen’s apartment Angela Chen interviews Makson, who reveals he is Brenton Hamilton of the wealthy Hamilton Court conglomerate. At the Sanctuary, Batman tells the JLA that Hamilton is a liar and is hiding something. Batman examines the remains of a SKULL robot and tracks its origin to Infinity Island. A day later, Brenton speaks at a Gateway City gala with hundreds of his relatives and business associates in attendance. Meanwhile, Batman, Lobo, Black Canary, go to Infinity Island and infiltrate a SKULL facility there. Tapping into their computer systems, Batman learns that SKULL is being operated by Hamilton Court, specifically Brenton’s relatives Charity Hamilton and Simon Hamilton. Batman further learns that Charity used SKULL satellites to find Brenton in an effort to track and assassinate him. (Seems like a bad move since the guy had the mind of an animal and was basically dead to the world, lost in a hidden valley that on one knew existed, but oh well.) Meanwhile, in Manhattan, the Atom breaks into Brenton’s apartment and finds a bloody shrine that tells him that Brenton is planning on killing his entire family. At the gala, Brenton rips his shirt off, reverting back to his semi-feral Makson identity. Frost, Vixen, and the Ray bust-in and begin fighting him before he can assault his family. Batman leaks Charity’s financial information, linking her to SKULL, to the press before teleporting to the Gateway City with the rest of the JLA. While the cops arrest Charity and several members of the Hamilton family, the JLA is able to talk down Makson. A few days later, Makson returns to Monster Valley. At the Sanctuary, Xenos helps usher in refugees from Penn City. Batman studies salt samples from Penn City while arguing with the Ray. Lobo gives the Atom a birds-and-bees talk (as only Lobo can). Meanwhile, Nadine Terrill (the Ray’s mom) gets transported by the Might Beyond the Mirror to a bizarre mirror version of Philadelphia.

———————-––Mother Panic #7
———————-––Mother Panic #9
While Mother Panic beats the stuffing out of some hoodlums in her neighborhood, she has a strange painful spasm. After a physical, Dr. Varma determines that one of Violet’s cybernetic implants will have to be replaced. Dominic then shares bad news about Rosie, one of the kids Mother Panic saved from Gala. Rosie’s parents have just been murdered in front of her by a person wearing a Gotham City Coroner bodybag as a shroud. Despite the pain, Violet suits up and visits Rosie at the hospital. Traversing the rooftops back to her vehicle, she notices Batman—also on the case—trailing her. After a third murder by the “bagged killer,” Violet discovers that both Rosie and the third victim appeared on a TV talk show hosted by Angela Chen. Violet, hoping to use herself as bait, tells Angela Chen that she wants to reveal the truth about her dad’s death, which the paparazzi have been yearning for ever since she was a little girl. On the show, Violet tells the world that her dad was murdered by Frederick Hemsley, who was attempting to rape her at the time. (In reality, Violet killed her own dad after hearing that he was going to allow Hemsley to rape her.) Upon seeing Violet on TV, Batman realizes that she is Mother Panic. Batman also soon figures out that the “bagged killer” is a production assistant on Angela Chen’s show named Larry Tulloch. A couple nights later, outside of a club, Tulloch tries to kill Violet, but Batman swoops in and busts him. The Dark Knight tells Violet that she is doing good work before disappearing. Violet calls him a “smug asshole” and flips him the bird. She then delivers a letter to Rosie and departs for cybernetic implant surgery, leaving her mother in the care of her friend, a reformed Otis Flannegan (formerly Ratcatcher).

–REFERENCE: In Mother Panic/Batman Special #1. Batman catches wind that Otis Flannegan is living with Violet Page’s mother at her palatial mansion.

–REFERENCE: In Adventures of the Super Sons #11. On a snowy day, Bruce and Clark take Damian and Jonathan to the dollar matinee to watch a repertory screening of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Afterward, Damian and Jonathan have a sleepover at Wayne Manor.

–Blue Beetle Vol. 9 #11-12
In El Paso, Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes), Ted Kord, Dr. Fate, Teri Magnus (Flash from the 31st century), and OMAC (Kevin Kho with a tiny sliver of Brother Eye AI) have just defeated the ancient Atlantean wizard known as Arion, who had been temporarily resurrected as a sea god thanks to the power of Blue Beetle’s Scarab. Tina Sung (Batgirl from the 31st century) helped tend to some innocent bystanders in El Paso—including Alberto Reyes, Bianca Reyes, Milagro Reyes, Spike Wilson, and Sugar Plumm—who had been temporarily turned into demons.[12] Arion’s minion Mordecai Cull tries to escape, but is crushed by OMAC. The next day, as Kord Industries begins clean-up of El Paso, Jaime returns to Charlton High School, joining peers Naomi (his kinda sorta girlfriend), Brenda Del Vecchio, Paco Testas, and Kevin Kho. The sentient magickal Scarab begins haunting its symbiotic partner Jaime throughout the day. Across town, immortal gangster La Dama (Amparo Cardenas) seeks out super-villain Ghostfire (Dr. Eliot Spaulding), who seeks out Blue Beetle. In Gotham, Batman watches TV news reports about Ted Kord and Blue Beetle fighting Arion. The Dark Knight does some research on Ted and Jaime and then decides to take a trip to see if the heroes are biting off more than they can chew in Texas. After chewing-out Ted, Batman observes Blue Beetle in action versus Ghostfire. When Ghostfire gains the upper hand, Batman steps in and kayos him. Even though Blue Beetle lost, Batman is impressed and tells him so. Later, Teri asks Jaime to help her and Tina get back to the 31st century.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #964 and Detective Comics #970-971. Spoiler watches from the shadows and, as she has done for months now, captures cellphone video of the Bat-squad in action against random bad guys.


<<< Rebirth Era Year 15 <<< ||| >>> Rebirth Era Year 16 (Part 2) >>>

  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: How does the Mobius Chair work? Nobody knows. And it’s such a bad concept. Supposedly, whoever sits in the throne can gain access to any information in existence. Any question will be answered if asked. This is how Batman learns about the three Jokers. Yet, at story’s end Batman won’t seem to know anything about the three Jokers other than maybe their real names and the fact that there are three of them. A plot device that has all the answers should never be the start of a big mystery. It should be the end. This is the problem with the Mobius Chair kicking off the mystery surrounding the three Jokers. The only explanation is a fanwank that randomly erases some of what Batman learns once he becomes disconnected from the chair. Maybe his human mind couldn’t really handle the chair of the gods? We’ll talk about it more below. Sigh.
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: Note that, in the New 52’s Justice League Vol. 2 #50, which originally gave the three Jokers reveal, Batman tests the Mobius Chair by asking it who killed his parents and then asking the Joker’s true name. While this specificity isn’t even canon in the Rebirth Era, it’s possible that Batman asked these very questions while in the chair. And, if so, the second question is exactly that—merely a test question relating to something Batman already knows.
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: The Comedian’s (Eddie Blake’s) bloody smiley face button-pin originally comes from an alternate reality (i.e. the Watchmen timeline, specifically from Watchmen #1-2). In 1985 of the Watchmen timeline (in Watchmen #1), Rorschach picks-up the stained button-pin off the ground after Blake’s death and gives it to Dan Dreiberg, who cleans it off. In Watchmen #2, Dan tosses the cleaned button-pin into Blake’s grave during his funeral. HOWEVER, the Batcave’s blood-stained button-pin shown here in the DCU: Rebirth reference is NOT the same smiley from Watchmen #1-2—not exactly. As seen in Doomsday Clock #3, Dr. Manhattan alters time and temporarily saves Blake’s life, causing his fatal fall to land him safely in the ocean instead of splat on the sidewalk. However, the fixity of the original Watchmen series is apodeictic. Since its narrative happens unaltered anyway (with Blake’s death still occurring), Blake must die as he originally did or else there would be a time paradox. In Doomsday Clock #12, the loop is closed as Blake gets returned to Earth-Watchmen just in time to complete his fatal cycle. (That’s quite an intense death vision from the penthouse to the sidewalk isn’t it?)
  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER: The Microverse is the sub-atomic dimension that is comprised of various nano-structures. According to some views of superstring theory and M theory, the sub-atomic microscopic realm exists either specifically as the 11th Dimension or as one of the other imperceptible dimensional realms beyond space-time.
  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: We know that Dr. Manhattan brought Jor-El back into Superman’s life in order to fuck with the Man of Steel, just as Dr. Manhattan also was responsible for manipulating Flashpoint Batman’s return to fuck with Batman. However, big questions remain. First, what exactly is Jor-El up to? He has a secret lair and is imprisoning people, seemingly with purpose, but what is that specific purpose? Does Jor-El know who saved his life and brought him back? Are Jor-El and his minions working for Dr. Manhattan, either directly or indirectly? Writer Brian Michael Bendis does reveal that Jor-El’s maneuvers are part of a vague plot connected to involvement with an intergalactic illuminati super group known as The Circle, but we never learn if or how the scheming actually relates to Dr. Manhattan.
  6. [6]COLLIN COLSHER: All DC arcs published prior to “Superman Reborn” are a part of the New 52 continuity, hence the reason that all the bulk of our chronology before now has been comprised mostly of references and flashbacks only. While Rebirth trade-dressing and marketing began in early 2016, it’s not until the “Superman Reborn” arc of May 2017 that Rebirth gets defined as a wholly new timeline (as an official refutation of the New 52 as opposed to just a soft-relaunched continuation of the New 52). As such, almost everything from May or June 2017 onward (give or take a few months depending on the series) functions as the first salvo of the Rebirth Era proper.
  7. [7]COLLIN COLSHER: The narrative physics of the “Superman Reborn” reboot are highly complex but important to understand for the purposes of our chronology-building project. While the synopsis above is what this item looks like to those living on our Rebirth Era timeline, from our omnipotent perspective as readers, the original reboot story (as published) looks quite different and has significant ramifications. “Superman Reborn” features New 52 characters and shows their erasure and reboot into the Rebirth Era, simultaneously creating the debut of every character in the Rebirth Era. Specifically for the Superman-Family, Rebirth Era Superman replaces both Modern Age Superman and the deceased New 52 Superman, Rebirth Era Lois Lane replaces Modern Age Lois and the deceased New 52 Lois, and Rebirth Era Jonathan Kent replaces Convergence-born Jonathan. “Superman Reborn” also finally fixes the literary rigamarole and narrative paradox that occurred during Convergence by correcting the violation of comic book time/physics perpetrated by author Jeff King. In case you weren’t aware, Convergence caused a huge continuity mess that either required straight-up ignoring or a massive clean-up. As terrific comic book critic Kieran Shiach said of Convergence, its effects upon the greater DCU were “ignored” due the fact that it was “overly complicated and not explained properly.” That’s putting it mildly. Since the Golden, Silver, and Modern Ages existed and technically still exist as archived/defunct timelines, any characters removed from those timelines (as they were in Convergence) had to be returned exactly as they were when they were stolen away in order to preserve the future sections of those timelines. This is the fundamental nature of the way comic book universes operate—the “physics of comic book worlds,” in a sense. The metaphor is as such: you cannot play with a toy in the sandbox if that toy has been removed from the sandbox and does not exist anymore. So, basically a side-effect of the “Superman Reborn” reboot (possibly unintentional) is that the characters from the previous ages that continued to live on in the New 52 after Convergence ended—pre-Zero Hour (Modern Age) Hal Jordan, pre-Crisis Supergirl, pre-Crisis Barry Allen, Modern Age Lois, and Modern Age Superman—all get whisked back to the moment in time from whence they were removed from their timelines (in order to complete their actions and live out their lives as originally intended so as to secure the sanctity of their timelines). Returned, they have no memory of their time during Convergence or during the New 52. It will seem as though no time has passed at all. Jonathan, an anomaly of Convergence, with nowhere to return to, simply ceases to exist. Thus, in this strange way, the “Superman Reborn” reboot acts as a coda to Convergence, both because it ties up loose ends (albeit imperfectly but as best it can) and because it erases it from the Rebirth Era timeline.
  8. [8]COLLIN COLSHER: The Justice League/Power Rangers series would have taken place here, but it is non-canon. While this Rebirth Era-published story tries its best to fit into Rebirth Era continuity (and actually does a half-decent job of it), there are too many things that just don’t jibe, such as Hawkgirl’s appearance, the existence of JL reservists, John Stewart as a featured member of the JL, Katana’s Soultaker blade in the JL Trophy Room, Red Hood’s old helmet in the JL Trophy Room, Azrael’s old sword in the JL Trophy Room, and the existence of the Lex Luthor’s face on the US $100 bill.
  9. [9]COLLIN COLSHER: At this point, the Watchtower Trophy Room aka Trophy Vault aka Hall of Trophies aka Hall of Lost and Found, is filled with items, many of which have nothing to do with Batman’s past or his personal history with the Justice League. As referenced in Flash Vol. 5 #21, some of these items include: Martian Manhunter’s original costume, random JSA-styled costumes, Merlin’s Eternity Book (which contains the history of the universe up through the Middle Ages), Merlin’s magick wand, Superman’s Evil New God costume (a canon immigrant from the old DCAU Superman series), a Cosmic Staff/Gravity Rod, an Amazonian Purple Ray healer, the H-Dial, a Phantom Zone Projector, the Green Martian Scepter of State, a rocket ship of unknown origin, a Green Lantern power ring, Wonder Woman’s original shield, the Trident of Lucifer (which once belonged to Lucifer and Blue Devil), and Amethyst’s magickal amethyst gem.
  10. [10]COLLIN COLSHER: A very important idiosyncrasy should be made between alternate universes and Hypertime. DC’s primary multiverse is made up of a finite number of universes. The “Local Multiverse” consists of 52 universes and is attached to an inverse “Dark Multiverse” consisting of thousands of alternate “negative universes.” Each of these singular universes has its own Hypertime stream (aka Hypertimeline) that connects to a web of infinite alternate pasts and futures. This is the first publishing era in which DC has attempted to officially combine the Hypertime concept with a stricter Many-Worlds Interpretation of finite universes. It’s usually been one or the other because, simply put, having both at the same time is a bit redundant. After all, since the number of Hypertime realities is infinite, 52 of the myriad Hypertimelines have to look exactly like the 52 Earths in the Local Multiverse. (The Hypertime-combined-with-Many-Worlds idea technically happened previously, although merely retroactively, when DC assigned specific Earth numbers to its prior Hypertime stories via the “Compendium” section of the The Crisis on Infinite Earths: Absolute Edition in 2005.) Really, both Hypertime and a numbered-Earth system are categorization methods, ways of labeling, or, as I’ve said before, pure semantics/nomenclature. There are always going to be an infinite number of alternate realities, no matter what. You could have an infinite web of unnumbered Hypertimelines or you could have an infinite amount of specifically numbered and grouped multiverses. Either way, you have an infinite number of universes and possibilities!

    Let’s extrapolate the concept of Hypertime a bit further by looking at its history in DC comics. Hypertime, to the laity, is both a scientific theory of time (aka “narrative physics”) and a literal web of infinite alternate timelines. The theory originally stated that an infinite number of alternate realities—mostly consisting of Elseworlds, alternate universe, or alternate future tales—canonically existed in conjunction with a primary timeline. Following the original Crisis in 1985-1986, DC was supposed to only have one single universe with one single Earth. Yet, the glaring contradiction was that a lot of Elseworlds tales, alternate universe stories, and alternate future stories were getting churned-out anyway. For some writers, such as Mark Waid and Grant Morrison, the Borgesian revelation of Hypertime allowed for them to explain the contradiction with a relative hand wave: these weren’t alternate universes, they were merely a part of a Hypertime web that was connected to the “one single primary” chronology. As you can see, in actuality, Hypertime was (and still is) really more about semantics than anything else. Eventually, the DC consistory realized this and fully did away with the concept of Hypertime by the late 1990s, delivering a final nail in its coffin in 2006 with Infinite Crisis, which returned DC to the multiversial “Many Worlds Interpretation” concept, complete with a set of numbered universes. Of course, as stated above, it’s really more about semantics and compartmentalization. There will always be an infinite number of universes; how we classify them is the key. And this is no better exemplified than in the Rebirth Era, where we have an ordered finite number of universes coexisting quite harmoniously along with Hypertime. To further hammer in the idea of the combination of a finite local multiverse coexisting alongside Hypertime, we need look no further than Justice League Vol. 3 #33 where Cyborg says straight-up, “Hypertime is “a web of timestreams outside the multiverse.” Simple. Listen to Cyborg. He knows what he’s talking about.

  11. [11]COLLIN COLSHER: Batman: Black and White Vol. 5 #4 Part 2 is an alternate timeline (non-canon) story featuring Maps Mizoguchi as Robin. Since Maps becomes Robin on the Future State timeline, this is likely a part of that reality.
  12. [12]COLLIN COLSHER: Teri Magnus and Tina Sung, the respective Flash and Batgirl of the 31st century (and also members of the 31st century Justice League), are stuck in the 21st century, having been sent back through time from their era. These characters originated in the Justice League 3000 and Justice League 3001 series, which were both published during the New 52 era, but are both non-canon in the New 52 due to the fact that they took place on an alternate Earth. However, this is not quite the case in the post-“Superman Reborn” Rebirth Era. Teri and Tina’s 31st century—albeit a modified referential version—is indeed a canonical part of Earth-0’s primary timeline in the Rebirth Era. See the Future section for details.

21 Responses to Rebirth Year Sixteen (Part 1)

  1. The Kents have definitely have picked out an apartment by Action Comics #980, but it’s clear they haven’t moved anything in yet, meaning they have to still be living on the farm. For that reason alone, I’ll move it. The whole leg being chopped off thing seems like the lowest hanging fruit that you can dangle in comic book land to garner shock and awe (yawn). I’d almost guarantee Lois’ leg is back by the end of the arc. But we’ll see.

    In regard to Batman/Shadow (a truly amazing series thus far with IMO the best illustration in mainstream comics today), while nothing indicates that it isn’t in post-“Reborn,” nothing thus far has indicated that it IS either! I’ll wait until it wraps to make a final decision on that. Right now, I’m looking at single issues and arcs that have been published within a few month span of “Superman Reborn”—prior to it, during it, and after it. These items could go either way depending on how they are read.

    And last but not least, I haven’t added “Zero Year” stuff into the New Age/post-“Reborn” timeline yet, as I’m waiting for something more concrete. But with Scott Snyder being the primary Bat-architect over the course of the last six or seven years, I’d wager big money that most of his run will be canonized somehow, and that includes “Zero Year” (for better or worse).

    • Antonio says:

      Yeah, the chopped leg thing… My sister found it very sexist… kinda like The Killing Joke she said.
      Some people say Lois’ injury will stay for a while, others say that’s just an illusion by MB… either way I think it was a really wrong decision by the Tomasi-Gleason duo.
      I thought times were finally mature for a Lois Lane solo book. Kinda investigative, kinda mystery, kinda noir, kinda best mom in the world. And there you go… they chopped her leg because in their mind Lois is still Superman’s weakest point…

      As far as Zero Year, I think there is a line in JLA 7 that pretty much confirms it is the official Batman debut against Nygma. But I’ll have to take a closer look to it…

      P.S. Given the fact that we’re in Year 15 of this New Age Timeline (and so the characters are definitely NOT in their prime)… haven’t you got a bad feeling that in 3-4 years from now we’re going to xperience ANOTHER Reboot?
      Meh… world of comics… meh…

      • Yah, the leg… it’s definitely a “throwing her in the fridge” moment. And very out-of-synch with what Tomasi and Gleason have done so far (which has been really really good). They’ve treated Lois with the respect she deserves for years now. This seems very DiDio/Lee inspired/forced. Not into it.

        I really hope that DC doesn’t go any type of Marvel way, with reboots aplenty and a never-ending-sliding scale timeline. Doomsday Clock might give us another sort of reboot/relaunch of sorts thanks to the Watchmen character interventions, but, again, we shall see. Both Marvel and DC won’t survive if they don’t do the obvious, which is to pare down and release less monthly material, do way less crossovers, promote diverse works by diverse creators, and give guaranteed minimum runs to titles so that they have a chance to grow readership. (Inflation rates over the course of the past 30 years dictate that comic books today should be in the $1 to $1.50 range MAXIMUM, so cheaper books should happen too. If comics weren’t $2.99 or $5.99 or whatever, people would BUY MORE.) The Direct Market Monopoly (Diamond Comics) obviously is a terrible obstacle in the positive path for both companies, so it will be an uphill battle against the forces of Capitalism and corporate idiocy—that is, even if both companies decide they want to go in the positive direction at all.

        I looked into JLA #7 again, but I didn’t see any references to “Zero Year”…

  2. Antonio says:

    Hey Collin, how are you? I hope everything is fine…

    Well, in a recent twitter post Tom King has said that The War Of Jokes And Riddles happens “a year later the bat crushed through the window…”
    Is it possible that they’re trying to bring Year One back into continuity? Of course, I guess, a “modern” version of it?

    I’ve heard rumors that TWOJAR contraddicts a lot of Zero Year which may not be canon in the Post Reborn Timeline anymore…

    Also, the more I read The Final day Of Superman now, the more I think it can’t be in continuity anymore. It simply doesn’t make any sense knowing now that there never were two Supermen. I think that just like Convergence, Superman/Wonder Woman love story and parts of Jurgen’s Arrival, it simply must be considered out of continuity.

    P.S. Have you had the opportunity to watch WW movie? I’d love to hear from you what you think of it. Personally, I found the movie entertaining… Gal Gadot is clearly the Chris Reeve of Diana, but one thing I just can’t accept. I won’t tell you because if you haven’t watched it yet…..

    Anyway, take care!!!

    • I’ve included an amended version of “Final Days of Superman” on the new timeline. Superwoman and New Super-Man both make constant references to it, so it has to exist in some form. Plus, Clark, Lois, and Jon hide out in a hotel while the world mistakenly believes Superman is dead in DC Universe: Rebirth. Basically, “Final Days” happens as such: The one real Superman fights a fake Superman (Denny Swan) and they blow up. The world thinks Superman has been killed, but in reality he is weakened and his family is still being threatened somehow, so they hide out for a few days until Superman makes a grand re-appearance.

      Tom King has already made a number of references to Frank Miller’s “Year One” in his run so far. I think we might get sort of what we already had in the New 52: a mash-up of Snyder’s “Zero Year” with small bits of Miller’s “Year One.” But if it contradicts “Zero Year” I’m totally cool with that. It is a bit curious, though, that there hasn’t been any reference made to “Zero Year” so far, while there has been some referencing to “Year One”…

      And I have not seen Wonder Woman, so I can’t comment!

  3. Antonio says:

    Hey Collin, recently I stumbled on The Darkness/Batman.

    I was wondering if it can be considered canon in the modern age timeline. Plot-wise, nothing indicates it isn’t, but Batman wears a costume which is very similar to the post-Prodigal suit… and there’s a panel where Selina appears and she’s wearing her early years suit!

    So, is this book canon to you?

    • It’s hard to say… There is an editorial note that says it even takes place before NML, which seems to imply its canonicity. However, the Top Cow Universe is definitely separate from the DCU, which makes me leery. For example, anther Top Cow crossover is JLA/Witchblade, in which Witchblade reveals that she was childhood friends with Barbara Gordon. JLA/Witchblade cannot be canon in the DCU—it just wouldn’t make sense. For this reason, I also believe The Darkness/Batman is also non-canon.

      Usually, to be canon, a crossover will mention crossing through an interdimensional portal—like in Batman/TMNT or Batman/Judge Dredd. There are other possibilities for stories that don’t mention crossing through an interdimensional portal, though, so let’s dig deeper. One, like the Batman/Punisher crossovers, you could have a thing where universes temporarily merge or characters go through the Bleed without making mention of it. Two, like Batman/Aliens and Batman/Predator, you could have it where the popular characters (the Aliens and Predators, in this case) are unique versions introduced into a different continuity (in this case, the DCU). Or three, like Batman/Grendel, you could have it only be canon in one universe and not the other.

      I’m leaning toward option three for the Top Cow crossovers. They are canon for the Top Cow Universe—I think they get mentioned in other Top Cow books—but not canon in the DCU. The depiction of the costumes of Batman and Catwoman possibly being anachronistic also lend credence to the idea that The Darkness/Batman might not be canon in the DCU. Unlike Batman/Aliens, Batman/Predator, and Batman/Punisher, the Top Cow crossovers are never mentioned in any other DC title. That’s a red flag waving to the skeptic in me.

      In any event, this def warrants a note on the site. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  4. Jason Fetterley says:

    Collin, in Note #8 you typed “Guardians of the Galaxy”. Obviously, you meant “Guardians of the Universe”.

  5. Antonio says:

    Hey Collin, Antonio here.

    Just finished reading batman 32… and I think Tom King just destroyed everything Batman has ever stood for and what he’s always represented.
    Bruce trying to kill Nygma is just unacceptable.
    They can do everything but that with the character.

    As ever, I’d really like to know what you think of all this big hell of a mess…

    • Austin Eaton says:

      Really? I think it’s a lame thing to be his greatest mistake. What about when he tried to kill the Joker in “Hush” or Darkseid in “Final Crisis”?

    • I think that if Batman would have actually killed someone, it would have destroyed everything he has ever stood for. Murder is one thing, attempted murder another. I can give a pass to this since it is early in his career and it’s a slip-up. Don’t get me wrong, Antonio, Batman’s action here is truly horrendous. But egregious as this action may be, the young Dark Knight has just witnessed the worst horror he’s ever seen on his watch to date, which causes him to breaks down and snap. And afterward, for Batman, the attempted murder is traumatizing. But maybe even more-so is the fact that Joker is the one that stops him. The only reason Batman didn’t go “too far” is because Joker didn’t let him. THAT is a tough pill to swallow. Plus, Batman’s two biggest rivals will forever hold this over him, moving forward, no matter how much he repents and reaffirms his values.

      So, again, I see the egregiousness of this, but what else, really, besides an attempted murder, would shake Batman so deeply to his core? Austin correctly mentions Batman shooting Darkseid and trying to kill Joker during “Hush.” There are other instances of Batman seemingly using lethal force scattered throughout comics, especially in the 1980s and early 1990s, too. But, at his core, Batman doesn’t kill. In the rebooted “Rebirth” world, any instance of Batman attempting murder or “accidentally” using lethal tactics has been retconned away, meaning that Tom King gets to highlight the literal ONE TIME Batman went too far, how it made him feel, and how he reacted—again, it causes him to REALLY commit to the idea of non-lethal crime-fighting after fucking up so badly.

      So in that regard, I think it gets a pass from me. It’s a big deal in some ways, but also not so big in other ways. WHAT DOESN’T get a pass is how terrible “War of Jokes and Riddles” was as a whole. The villains were one-dimensional, the plot and pacing atrocious, and the whole thing felt like bad filler. Don’t get me started on Kite Man. Ugh. King’s Grayson was a delight, but I’ve not been a big fan of his Batman run so far, nor was I a fan of his critically acclaimed Vision either. (Still on the fence about Mister Miracle.) King is a very talented author, but his narratives feel like they are right out of the Grim N’Gritty “deconstruction of the genre” era, like they would have fit in perfectly with Alan Moore and Frank Miller’s works from the late 1980s. Lumping King in with those two legends could never be regarded as anything other than the highest of compliments, but King’s type of storytelling—while deft, layered, and certainly impactful—just hasn’t been what I’m looking for in contemporary Batman stories.

      I’m eager to move on from “War of Jokes and Riddles,” especially since Selina has said yes. My favorite couple in all of fiction is the Bat and the Cat. My dream Batman stories involve the adventures of a married Batman and Catwoman, raising a family. Who knows if we’ll get there, but I’m excited to see what comes of the engagement. Hopefully, it’ll stick and King will deliver some good stuff. If there’s anything that King truly appreciates and truly GETS, it has been the Bat and Cat relationship. And, hopefully, some other writers (aside from King) will get to tackle the married superhero couple as well.

      • King implied at NYCC today that he has a contract to write 100 issues of Batman, which, if true, would be quite astounding. I can’t recall anyone going uninterrupted on any title for that long in a long time.

  6. Austin Eaton says:

    Hey Collin, hope you don’t mind me asking but, which storylines aren’t on the New Age timeline yet but most likely or almost definitely happened in the New Age?

    • I don’t mind answering any questions! The only stories not listed already that might be added later are: the original formation of the Justice League (with Appelaxians, etc…), Identity Crisis (with mind-wipe flashbacks), Barry Allen’s death during the original Crisis, and Barry’s resurrection.

      There are a bunch of items that have “???” as references because they, as of this moment, don’t actually have a New Age reference YET. These “???” items are things that will likely be referenced in the near future.

      Also, it is possible we’ll have a big shake-up following Doomsday Clock. So keep your eyes peeled for that. And for anyone else reading this, the New Age is my name for what DC has referred to as its “Rebirth” Era.

  7. Antonio says:

    Collin, what kind of “re-shake” do you see happening after Doomsday Clock?
    I mean… after the Reborn Reboot I think it might be a mistake to get another one in such a short time… unless they bring back the Kents (at least Martha), Conner and possibly a Knightfall much more coherent with the original one (especially Jean Paul, who makes no sense to me without the role he had in KF).

    What changes would you like to get?
    I guess we’ll know better only when Doomsday Clock is said and done, but what do you think about REBIRTH and REBORN in general? What good things do you think they have brought to dc comics and what did you like best in the New52?

    Thanks, Collin. You’re invaluable.

    • It’s hard to speculate. The hype for Doomsday Clock is legit. I am on pins and needles thinking of the various possibilities that story itself could provide. It’s still hard for me to see how the DCU will crossover with Watchmen, especially since Doomsday Clock is now an official sequel to the original Watchmen. That ashcan preview blew me away!

      In regard to potential “shake-ups,” I’m simply referring to the “ten years” stolen from the DCU by Dr. Manhattan. In Hypertime sequence of “The Button,” we were shown Identity Crisis, the original formation of the JL, and Barry Allen’s death, and it was theorized (by Barry) that these were bits of timeline stolen from the primary chronology i.e. parts of the missing ten years.

      Now, I can’t imagine Geoff Johns straight-up adding ten years to the timeline. That would be an out-and-out reboot—and too soon after our recent “Rebirth” reboot to boot. (This is the first comment response that sounds like Dr. Seuss LOL). Anyway, we’ll, at the very least, see additions of some great classic stories—AND Identity Crisis too haha. But this is Johns we are talking about. I expect something truly face-melting. And I expect the unexpected.

      I personally don’t mind Jean-Paul’s new origin, which comes entirely from Batman and Robin Eternal, IMO Scott Snyder’s best work at DC (not including Metal, which I’m enjoying tremendously so far but am still on the fence about, depending on where it goes.) HOWEVER, “Knightfall” is one of my all-time favorite Batman stories ever, so, like you, I do miss the classic Jean-Paul origin and Az-Bats. Az-Bats was the GOAT. You asked what changes I’d like to see, though. Honestly, I’d like to see the missing ten years just go away. I wouldn’t change a thing. (It makes more work for me, anyway!) I’m quite content with the amount of backstory and old-school reference material already peppered throughout the New Age (aka “Rebirth”) timeline.

      “Rebirth”/post-“Superman Reborn” has been exactly what DC needed to right its dying brand. By the end of the New 52, things were pretty bleak. The new line has been a refreshing return to greatness, yet without abandoning New 52 narrative, which is nice. At first I was mystified by it, but now, in hindsight, I really like the rewriting of Superman’s history in “Superman Reborn.” Modern Age Superman should never have come to the New 52 in the first place IMO.

      What can I say about the New 52? 2011 was the perfect time to do a full reboot, start anew, with new writers and new stories and new origins. But instead we got mostly crappy writers, and editors that decided that some titles would carry over with them long histories that didn’t actually jibe with the new shortened timeline. So much of the core DC line was just terrible throughout the New 52. Justice League, Batgirl, Detective Comics, and Batman Eternal come to mind as bad books. Don’t get me started on Jim Gordon as Robo-Batman. Ugh. In order for the New 52 to have worked, they had to have committed to starting over completely. I truly believe that the idea to do the New 52 reboot was one of the boldest and most brilliant concepts in superhero comics in the past twenty years. The PROBLEM, however, was not in the idea, but in its implication.

      Here are some things that I liked about the New 52, off the top of my head:

      Gotham Academy!
      Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!
      -The second and final half of Batman Incorporated!
      Sugar & Spike: Paranormal Investigations!
      Forever Evil
      -the Jonah Hex conclusion to All-Star Western
      Batman and Robin Eternal functioning as a solid “Batman’s Second Year” tale.
      -While I didn’t love how the Joker was used specifically, I did love the Joker getting used very sparingly and showing up as a Big Big Bad only when appropriate. Similarly, I didn’t love “Zero Year,” but I love the brass balls on Snyder for delivering a wildly original tale that still felt like it hit the marks of what makes a classic Batman origin.
      -New 52 Superman. His Grant Morrison t-shirt origin was great and his character was well-developed over the years. People didn’t like it because it didn’t “feel” like Superman, but this was a new character with new traits, which I dug.
      -And, last but not least, I love the foundation built for the “Rebirth” era we are in today. Without the New 52, we wouldn’t be where we are now.

      Thanks, Antonio. YOU are invaluable. 🙂

  8. Antonio says:

    Thanks Collin.
    I think I agree with 99% of what you think. One of the exception to be The New52 Superman. See… I grew up with the Modern Age version of the character… Lois as his companion for life… his values… his family which, in a way, always made him look much more “human” than Bruce (who’s a no sense of humour machine 🙂 ).
    That’s why I always enjoyed the World Finest: they couldn’t be more different, but, still, at the core of it, they are exactly the same.
    The New52 Superman didn’t feel like Superman. No, he didn’t at all. I understand the attempt to create a brand new character with different origins and attachments… but, heck… that’s Superman we’re talking about. Superman!
    With Trump on the throne (Luthor as President is a much much more preferable option and actually did some good Trump will never do) I’d replace the US Flag on the moon with the S shield and a Bat signal…
    They’re just not only two comics characters… they’re just like everyone of us should be and aspire to be.
    So, the importance of Superman is too big for a change like he underwent with the New52.

    I still think Jean Paul is a diminished character without him being Az-Bat. Cass Cain without her role in NML is as well in my opinion.
    As much as I love Babs back in action, there’s part of me that thinks that as Oracle she was an outstanding character, that she could show the world that a paralyzed woman can be as sexy and smart and strong as she can be.

    I love Rebirth. I would have taken the opportunity of the Reborn reboot to make other adjustments they missed though. Martha Kent, Conner (maybe he’ll be back since he seems lost in the Hypertime)… and surely I would have never compromised the myth and hystory of Krypton and Jor-El like Jurgens is currently doing and, as I already said, I wouldn’t have never compromised the NO-KILLING unavoidable rule in Batman’s life.
    I know… it was very early in his career… still I feel like a betrayal to his parents and what happened in crime alley.

    I feel the same about those ten years missing. It’s complicated as it is that we’re in year 15 now… imagine to add another 10 years to the timeline… that could compromise the integrity of the New Age Overall… but we’ll see.

    I’m really sorry I can’t help you on Patreon because I don’t have a job right now (well, actually since 2015) since the company I worked for just went bankrupt and I have been broke for a long time… but I just want to tell you once again your website is a companion I could never go on without.

    So, thanks.

  9. Lewis Foxhall says:

    How come every issue of Batman Vol. 3 prior to #21 are considered flashbacks or references rather than regular comics? Or am I missing something?

    • Hey Lewis, all the arcs prior to Batman Vol. 3 #21 are still a part of the New 52 continuity. While Rebirth trade-dressing and marketing began in early 2016, it’s not until the “Superman Reborn” arc of May 2017 that Rebirth gets defined as a wholly new timeline (as an official refutation of the New 52 as opposed to just a soft-relaunched continuation of the New 52). As such, almost everything from May or June 2017 onward (give or take a few months depending on the series) functions as the first salvo of the Rebirth Era proper. If it’s not made clear on the site, I can definitely add a note.

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