Rebirth Year Eighteen

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(January 2020 to June 2020)
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–Batman and The Outsiders Vol. 3 #9-12
(“A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN”)

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

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

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

–Batman and The Outsiders Vol. 3 #13 (“THE DEMON’S FIRE”)
Batman and Black Lightning discuss how they have been in a nervous waiting game in regard to Ra’s al Ghul, who still has possession of an alien WMD. Batman introduces Black Lightning to Martian Manhunter, who has agreed to help them fight Ra’s al Ghul. (Hard to believe Black Lightning has never met Martian Manhunter before but, okay, sure.) Meanwhile, the rest of the Outsiders train. Seemingly with Katana’s blessing, Shiva takes Cassie and Duke to her hotel, urging them to break ranks with the Outsiders and go after Ra’s al Ghul with her instead of with Batman. Duke and Cassie, sick of sitting on the bench, agree with the idea. In the Batcave, Batman shows Black Lightning his electromagnetic amplification chair.

–Batman/Superman Vol. 2 #9
In Gotham, Batman fights Atomic Skull. During their fight, Batman recaps Atomic Skull’s history, of which he is familiar from his detailed crime-files. Realizing that the SWAT team assisting him are a bunch of phonies, Batman helps Atomic Skull fend them off, after which the “cops” drop dead, revealing that they were re-animated remote-controlled corpses the entire time. Atomic Skull then tragically dies, exploding in a mini nuclear blast. Meanwhile, Lois and Clark try to go on a dinner date in Paris, but they are swarmed by paparazzi. Superman departs to clean-up the blast damage in Gotham and to rescue Batman. In a cave near Gotham Harbor, the culprit behind it all—the Ultra-Humanite—prepares for an onslaught.

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

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

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

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

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

–Strange Adventures Vol. 5 #1-2
Adam Strange and his wife Alanna have relocated to Earth from Rann, following the destruction of Ranagar during a war against the robotic alien race known as the Pykkts—a conflict that has supposedly left their daughter (Aleena Strange) dead. Having dealt with his grief by writing a memoir about his experience, Adam recently completed a book tour and was awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor. As such, things are going relatively okay for Adam—until he is publicly accused of interplanetary war crimes and his accuser subsequently is murdered by an Adam Strange-like ray gun. Adam immediately goes to Batman for help, asking the Dark Knight to vouch for him and assist in clearing his name. Batman says they have too close of a personal history together, so he cannot get involved. However, Batman sets Adam up with Mr. Terrific, who has instructions to solve the case and (hopefully) clear Adam’s name. Mr. Terrific says he will read Adam’s book and do some preliminary outreach before officially accepting the job. After reading the book a few times, Mr. Terrific checks-in with Batman via phone. Batman chats with him while busting an escaped Professor Pyg. Later, Mr. Terrific deduces that Aleena is secretly still alive. Curious, Mr. Terrific phones Batman to accept the case.

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

–Batman Giant Vol. 2 #5 Part 1 Epilogue (Batman: Gotham Nights Vol. 3 #7 Epilogue)
The latest of Bruce’s donations to Arkham Asylum has purchased new higher-quality living spaces for the inmates. Bruce is given a tour of the new facilities, finding that the prisoners are in much better spirits as a result.

[1]

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

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

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

–Batman Vol. 3 #92-93 (“THEIR DARK DESIGNS” Conclusion)
Picking up directly from Batman Vol. 3 #91, a hospitalized Penguin, as usual, dodges any culpability in wrongdoing, much to the chagrin of Commissioner Bullock. Meanwhile, Riddler turns the entire city into a giant crossword puzzle using hard-light holographic walls that are rigged with explosives. Riddler challenges Batman on a live pirated TV broadcast to complete the puzzle, which Batman does while riding the Bat-Train (with Deathstroke) toward Riddler’s location inside Bruce Wayne’s office at Tricorner Yards. Once there, Batman kicks Riddler’s ass and tranquilizes Deathstroke. The Designer confronts Batman, revealing that he knows his secret ID. Across town, Catwoman and Harley Quinn dispatch with more zombie cops and then attempt to rob an underground hedge fund for super-villains (The Underbrokerage) run by the aptly named Underbroker (Harlan Graves) and his assistant known as Doorman. Punchline shows up to fight Harley Quinn while Catwoman makes a transfer of funds. Fearing exposure of Bruce’s secret life and theft of his assets, Catwoman orders the Underbroker to transfer Bruce’s entire portfolio into her super-villain account. In Bruce’ office, Batman sword-duels the Designer and unmasks him to reveal that he is still just a corpse—albeit a remote-controlled corpse like all the others. The Designer is still dead, killed by the hand of the Joker all those years ago. Who’s been pulling all the strings? Joker, of course. Deathstroke, having been working for Joker the entire time, shows up and stabs Batman in the leg. At the Underbrokerage, Punchline slits Harley’s throat and shoots Catwoman. On Punchline’s command, the Underbroker transfers all of Bruce’s assets—his personal fortune and Wayne Enterprises—into Joker’s account.

[2]

–Justice League Vol. 4 #30-32 (“JUSTICE/DOOM WAR”)
Starman shows his fellow Justice Leaguers what he believes to be the undeniable future—a vision of the Legion of Doom killing all the heroes in three days’ time. Wonder Woman tells all that a “Great Darkness” will soon rise. This may mean that the “Great Darkness” blob from Bryan Hitch’s Justice League Vol. 3 from two years ago was indeed linked to and a precursor to Perpetua’s rising all along. With the threat looming, the JL invites nearly every single hero they can think of for a meeting, officially deputizing them into the JL army. This gathering includes all branches of the JL, the Terrifics, the Titans, the Teen Titans, an unknown person in an Ikon suit, and many others. (The guy in the Ikon suit might be included in error—artist Jorge Jimenez  accidentally drawing Jericho in both the hero gathering and villain gathering. Although, I guess Jericho could conceivably zip on over to appear at both meetings. We also see Supergirl, Hawkman, Donna Troy, and Shazam in the crowd, but the appearances of these characters must be a continuity error too because they are currently infected “Secret Six” villains. There are a lot of alternate universe versions of characters that will show up in this arc, so I guess that could be our fanwank here, but it’s more likely that their appearances are erroneous.) Standing before the gathering of heroes, Starman reviews the six known Dark Forces (and their oppositional Positive Forces) and displays the Cosmic Rod.[3] Starman tells all that they must travel to specific points in the past and future of Hypertime in order to collect the Positive Forces, with which they can create a Justice Totality to wield against Lex Luthor’s Doom Totality. Unknown to all, there is a mystery spy in their midst, who watches with keen interest. (Spoiler: It’s Aquaman!) At the Hall of Doom, Luthor briefs hundreds of super-villains, all powered-up thanks to his many gifts, who comprise the deputized new LOD army. Featured among these villains are Harley Quinn, Jericho, William Cobb, Heat Wave, Papa Midnite, the Oracle robot, Earth-29 aka Bizarro Earth’s The Terribles (Bizarro #1, Mr. Terrible, Disposable Man, Figment Girl, and Change-O-Shape-O), Red Hood, Ra’s al Ghul, Catwoman, and many more. (Note that Riddler’s appearance in the crowd is 100% a continuity error, directly contradicting both Year of the Villain: The Riddler #1 and Batman Vol. 3 #87. Not sure that Catwoman’s appearance should be canon either. What a mess.) In the Hall of Justice, the World Forger and the Monitor open Hypertime portals. Batman preps for departure, telling Jarro to listen to Mera while he’s gone. Flash and John Stewart pass through the “past portal” while Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman pass through the “future portal.” Unfortunately, the mystery spy (Aquaman) has tampered with both portals, and he hops through, sealing the heroes off with no means of return or way to communicate. (These are not simply time machines, but portals to alternate universe timelines i.e. Hypertimelines where our heroes will meet versions of Kamandi, the JSA, and Justice Legion-A. The idea that Kamandi, the JSA, et al are alternate versions is echoed by Scott Snyder, who tweeted, “The version of Kamandi that we’re using here [in “Justice/Doom War”] is taken directly from his classic timeline, but what you might see in Brian [Michael Bendis’ Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium] is something that could happen after the events of our story are concluded and his narrative goes a different way. […] You might see two different versions of Kamandi in existence. So, in that way, we’re looking to make everything fit, everything part of one über-story. Same thing with JSA with Geoff [Johns in Doomsday Clock]”.) In some distant possible future alt-Hypertimeline (71st century), the Trinity finds a dystopia with Doom-symbols everywhere. There, they are approached by alt-versions of Kamandi, Dr. Canus, and Tuftan, who help them fight against Brainiac cyborgs. (Scott Snyder has already shown us the Kamandi and Canus of the primary Universe-0 timeline, but, despite this, these seem to be alternate versions from Hypertime.) Batman interfaces with one of the downed cyborgs, learning that Brainiac has captured fragments of Hypertime—literal chunks of possible alt-futures. The JL heroes and Kamandi then leave the alt-71st century and travel to one of Braniac’s bottled Hypertime slivers, specifically a version of the 853rd century, joining an alt-Justice Legion-A (Aquaman, Batman, Superman, Flash, Owlwoman, Hourman, Starman, and Wonder Woman). Concurrently, in some possible alt-Hypertimeline (January 7, 1941), Flash and John Stewart find themselves before an alt-Justice Society of America (Atom, Green Lantern Alan Scott, Flash Jay Garrick, Dr. Fate, Hourman, Sandman, Starman, Hawkman, and Wildcat)! After a discussion of how there is no JSA on the primary Earth-0 timeline (due to Dr. Manhattan’s secret manipulations), introductions are made. Flash (Barry) mentions that he feels some echoes of a shared history with Jay Garrick, but it’s been erased somehow. Arriving at Pearl Harbor, Barry and John worry whether the LOD would mess with something as sacred as WWII history. As they speak, Grodd, Cheetah, and Sinestro pilot Imperial Japanese dive-bombers along with the rest of the soon-to-attack squadron. Meanwhile, Starman, Shayne J’onzz, Hawkgirl, the Monitor, and the World Forger determine the best course of action is to seek out the Anti-Monitor on the edge of the universe where the Source Wall used to be. They depart immediately. Shayne senses that Luthor and Perpetua are also headed towards the edge of the universe. At the edge of the universe, Aquaman joins the Anti-Monitor, having pledged allegiance to him. As Luthor and Perpetua reach the Promethean Galaxy, Shayera Hol and her Thanagarian armada attack, but fail miserably. Meanawhile, the heroes fight a war on both Hypertime fronts. In the future, Brainiac upgrades himself to a towering “Brainiac One Million.” 83rd century Hourman crashes and burns, but not before handing over the Worlogog from within his body. The Worlogog, as it turns out, not only contains a part of the Source, but also embodies the Totality for which our heroes are searching. The Worlogog is given to Kamandi for safekeeping. In the past, Aquaman returns, helping his friends to both collect another chunk of Totality and deal with the Pearl Harbor situation. At the edge of the Promethean Galaxy, Luthor and Perpetua arrive to greet the Anti-Montitor, but he’s sided with the heroes against them.

–Justice League Vol. 4 #33-35 (“JUSTICE/DOOM WAR” Continued…)
At the edge of the Promethean Galaxy, Starman fuses the Monitor, Anti-Monitor, and World Forger into one Ultra-Monitor. An enraged Hawkgirl goes off script, unleashing her full power upon Lex Luthor. In 1941, Aquaman guides Flash, John Stewart, and the JSA to Atlantis. There, they find the Legion of Doom allied with Vandal Savage and his Legionnaires Club, lording over a captive Poseidon. After a chat with Stewart, the Legionnaires switch sides, joining the JSA in the fight against the LOD. In the future, the JLA, JL-A, and Kamandi struggle against the might of Brainiac One Million. When all hope seems lost, Earth-12’s Justice League Unlimited (Earth-12 Batman, Aquagirl, Earth-12 Big Barda, Earth-12 Flash, Earth-12 Kai-Ro, Earth-12 Micron, Earth-12 Superman, and Earth-12 Warhawk) arrive. As do Superboy (Jon Kent) and Karate Kid from the 31st century. Not long after that, many of the collected heroes of the 53 universes show up, including a bunch of Earth-0 heroes, Earth-2 Batman, Earth-2 Hourman, Earth-6 Wonder Woman, Earth-16’s Dr. Midnite, the Earth-22 Justice League (including Fate), Earth-22’s Silent Cavalry (including Nightstar and Earth-22 Jade), Earth-23’s President Superman, Earth-30’s Soviet Superman, and more. Some heroes from alt-Hypertimelines show up too: Hunter Prince and a resurrected Old Man Aquaman (from “Legacy”), Old Lady Harley, Damian Wayne Batman and Cyborg 2.0 (from the Titans Tomorrow/666 timeline), Blue Scarab (from Justice League: Generation Lost #14), the Dark Multiverse Deathstroke (from “Deathstroke RIP”/”Deathstroke Rebirth”), Supergirl (from Injustice: Gods Among Us), Flash (from “Out of Time”), Flash (from Sins of Youth), Captain Marvel (an alt-Shazam), an alternate universe Starman (Thom Kallor), an alternate universe Martian Manhunter, and many more. The alt-universe and Hypertime heroes form a gigantic army to combat Brainiac. Powered from past by the JSA Starman, Will Payton and another alt-Starman open time portals. Stewart, Flash, Jay Garrick, Alan Scott, and Aquaman return to the present. As do Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Kamandi, and the alt-Starman. However, at the edge of the universe, Hawkgirl and the Ultra-Monitor are defeated by Luthor and Perpetua. The seventh Dark Force is unleashed and the multiverse succumbs to the power of the Doom Totality. Perpetua grows to giant size as the Doom Totality symbol burns brightly behind her. She crushes Payton like a bug. The Doom Totality symbol shines brightly above Earth, surprising civilians and heroes alike. (Again, despite the surprise at seeing the Doom Totality symbol, this cannot be the first instance of it appearing in the sky. We’ve already seen it in dozens of other comics.) In the Hall of Justice, a mass gathering of heroes—including the JL, alt-JSA, alt-JL-A, Titans, alt-Kamandi, Jarro, and more—tries to regroup. The Doom Totality symbol burns in the skies above the Ghost Sector, Thanagar, Oa, Earth-3, the bowels of the Dark Multiverse where Barbatos is held captive, the World Orrery at the center of the multiverse, and Earth-19. It is on Earth-19 (aka “Gotham By Gaslight Earth”) where Perpetua strikes first. There, Bat Man and Inspector James Gordon are helpless as Perpetua destroys the entirety of Universe-19 in an instant. With a subservient Ultra-Monitor now kneeling before his mother’s side, Perpetua tells Luthor that they will re-create the entire multiverse in any way they see fit. From the Hall of Justice, Batman long-range radios Hawkgirl and Shayne, beckoning them home. They attempt to jump into light speed aboard the Javelin, but Perpetua causes them to crash.

–Justice League Vol. 4 #36-37 (“JUSTICE/DOOM WAR” Continued…)
Perpetua gathers the primary members of the Legion of Doom aboard her ship. She transforms Brainiac into her living throne and captures the rest, except for Lex Luthor, into strange tubes. Using these devices, Perpetua drains the villains’ powers and syphons them into her chosen number one son, Luthor. Meanwhile, with the Doom Totality symbol now burning permanently in the sky, the Trinity gathers their army of heroes for one last pep talk. (Damian, Spoiler, Oprhan, and Tim are present—and the latter is shown wearing his Red Robin costume. This is a continuity error because Tim gave up the Red Robin insignia a while ago. He should be wearing his new Drake costume. It looks like Jessica Cruz is also present, but she’d probably be off on her Justice League Odyssey adventure in the Ghost Sector at this juncture, so this is likely another continuity error too—unless of course, she’s just recently returned. We also see Supergirl and Donna Troy, but since there a ton of alternate universe heroes present, we can assume these are alt-versions too. Don’t forget Supergirl and Donna Troy are currently “Secret Six” villains.) While the heroes prep for more battle, John Stewart gets ready for a ride in the Flashmobile. In deep space, Hawkgirl and Shayne J’onzz are attacked by the Ultra-Monitor. Simultaneously, an army of Perpetua’s human/Martian hybrid warriors, led by Luthor, who pilots the spidery floating LOD HQ, marches toward Washington DC. The heroes—including alternate universe versions of Jaime Reyes, Supergirl, and Donna Troy—make their stand against Perpetua’s army. Batman activates the Hall of Justice’s final defense mode, turning the entire building into a gigantic flying fortress. As the war erupts into bedlam, several heroes begin psychically forming a Justice Totality. John Stewart drives the Flashmobile to the other end of the universe, crashing right into the Ultra-Monitor, splitting him up into the three separate cosmic brothers once again. Meanwhile, Perpetua destroys Earth-44, killing Dr. Will Tornado and his Metal League (Iron Batman, Mercury Flash, and Gold Superman). Using it as a weapon, she hurls the dead planet towards John Stewart, Hawkgirl, Shayne, and the brothers. The World Forger bats it away like a baseball with his hammer, simultaneously teleporting John Stewart, Shayne, and Hawkgirl back to the Hall of Justice. There, they join the heroes to create a Justice Totality, which shines a sigil that replaces the Doom Totality symbol in the sky above them.

–Justice League Vol. 4 #38-39 (“JUSTICE/DOOM WAR” Conclusion)
Luthor wields the full power of the Doom Totality against the heroes of Earth. When the Trinity teams-up to knock Luthor on his ass, Perpetua has seen enough. She finally appears on Earth-0 to confront the heroes. As Perpetua and her army thrash the heroes, Shayne enters Luthor’s mind and finds a remnant of Martian Manhunter inside (in the form of a memory). Shayne offers the ultimate sacrifice, permanently swapping places with Martian Manhunter in order to resurrect the latter and unleash him from within Luthor. Martian Manhunter telepathically speaks to everyone on Earth, imploring them to abandon their connection with Perpetua. But more humans on Earth want to be evil than good, and they reject J’onn’s supplication, further empowering Perpetua, who re-writes the timeline so that the JL are no longer Earth’s heroes. The Quintessence (Izaya, Hera, wizard Shazam, the Spectre, Phantom Stranger, and Ganthet) are able to save the JL, placing them upon the Moon. The Quintessence explains that they had already augured Perpetua’s inevitable victory, even across multiple hitherto unseen fronts. Creators Scott Snyder, Daniel Sampere, and Juan Albarran pair Ganthet’s monologue with images from Event Leviathan, The Terrifics, Young Justice Vol. 3, and Doomsday Clock! The dialogue attached to these images is extremely vague, but does speak of them in the past tense, seemingly placing them in the past. This is wild, especially since the main action of “Justice/Doom War” hinted at Doomsday Clock as not only canon but having not yet occurred. However, the dialogue overlaying the Doomsday Clock image says specifically, “events that unfolded outside your purview. Some disconnected from your reality altogether but still deeply felt and impactful.” What does this mean? Does this mean Doomsday Clock happened but was erased or blocked somehow? Snyder has said in interviews that the mystery surrounding how Doomsday Clock fits with everything else will eventually be revealed. Let’s just move on, shall we? The Quintessence offers one final solution to undo what Perpetua has done. They show the JL a magickal doorway, through which the heroes can travel and unleash “everything” i.e. all of history, which should be able to thwart Perpetua for good. The heroes open the mystic door and go through. (The heroes entering the portal is also shown via flashback from Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #4.) Passing through the portal supposedly makes “everything” canon, taking us into uncharted territory. Continuity was already at its breaking point with more errors than we’ve ever seen before, but now our timeline pretty much ends and enters into a period of fluidity that doesn’t have a solid chronology. We don’t know the details of where through the door brings us exactly, but for all intents and purposes, we’ve ended the Rebirth Era and begun anew. More details to follow with Dark Nights: Death Metal, which will likely function as a major reboot event and/or the final tale of the Rebirth Era. No matter the case, a reboot’s a-coming.

–Dark Nights: Death Metal
. . .

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  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: In January 2020, DC released Batman: The Caped Crusader Giant #1, a one-shot exclusive to Target stores only. This comic is non-canon as it is merely a toy tie-in for Spin Master action figures.
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: Flash Forward #6, which overlaps with “Justice/Doom War” and doesn’t feature Batman, is an important issue, hence my reason for highlighting it. At the issue’s conclusion, Wally West absorbs the remaining power of Dr. Manhattan. Using this vast cosmic energy, Wally paradoxically re-introduces Jai and Iris West (his kids from the Modern Age) onto our timeline. Jai and Iris are reunited with their mom Linda Park, who instantly gains memories of them (despite having never had any kids). This is yet another (of many) bizarre instances of characters being given false memories of an alternate reality upon meeting alternate-reality characters. It is unknown if these are the actual Jai and Iris from the Modern Age, but they likely are merely alternate versions that mirror their Modern Age counterparts.
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: Here are the Dark Forces and their oppositional Positive Forces in Scott Snyder’s overly Manichaean narrative that pits the Doom Totality against the Justice Totality. At this point in the story, the 7th Dark Force/Positive Force hasn’t yet been revealed.

    1. Still Force vs Speed Force
    2. Ultraviolet Spectrum vs Emotional Visible Light Spectrum
    3. Tear of Extinction/Death Force vs Life Force
    4. Void Wind vs Sphere of the Gods
    5. Black Apple vs Collective Unconscious
    6. Sixth Dimension vs Dimensional Superstructure

    As revealed in Flash Vol. 5 #80, the Still Force and the Speed Force are also “Cosmic Forces” (aka “energy fields”) that are linked to the other energy fields known as the Strength Force, Sage Force, and Forever Force. How (or if) these latter three energy fields fit into the Justice/Doom Totality remains to be seen.

4 Responses to Rebirth Year Eighteen

  1. Antonio says:

    Hi Collin, Antonio here.

    How’s it going? Ok, I saw you included Gotham Nights 6 in the continuity, bit the story has got Alfred in it. So, I assume you’ve ignored all the Alfred’s Scenes?

    Thank You

  2. Antonio says:

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

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