Year Seventeen


–Nightwing Vol. 4 #50
Early January. It’s now been four months since Nightwing was shot by KGBeast. For the past couple weeks, Dick—still an amnesiac with no prior attachments, and still going by the name “Ric”—has spent his days and nights drinking heavily and hanging-out at a local dive bar in Blüdhaven. In this duration, he’s also suffered several blackouts, waking up in completely random places following each episode. Cut to now. Babs tries, as she’s been doing for months, to reconnect with Ric, who is now moonlighting as a taxi cab driver (working for a guy named Burl). She accompanies him to his haunt, the aptly named Prodigal Bar (which is tended by Ric’s new friend and soon-to-be lover Beatrice “Bea” Bennett). At the Prodigal Bar, Ric gives Babs the brush-off, as he’s been doing, choosing to embrace his new life and new friends. Later, in the Batcave, Batgirl, in tears, reports to Batman and Alfred. A stoic but clearly depressed Batman says that maybe it’s better to let Dick go, that he might be benefit from a fresh start. Meanwhile, in Blüdhaven, a man is found murdered with a crow’s feather in his hand. Scarecrow has moved to Blüdhaven. Ric goes to his Nightwing HQ and burns it to the ground. Everything is destroyed except for his old superhero costumes, which are preserved behind fireproof glass.

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

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

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1015. Batman creates a new mini electrocution weapon that can be attached to an opponent and then remotely activated.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1009. As one of the more eco-friendly conglomerates in the world, Wayne Enterprises is invited to attend the upcoming Singapore Climate Change Summit.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1013. Batman creates a gaudy new Bat-flamethrower costume.

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

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

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

–Detective Comics #1000 Part 1
Batman continues the now sixteen-year-old “David Lambert’s looking glass case,” following recent clues to an apartment in downtown Gotham. There, Batman finds a hidden stairwell and descends into a library to find the Guild of Detection waiting for him! Finally, after sixteen long years, Batman has solved the mystery of Lambert’s looking glass. Slam Bradley introduces himself along with the current Guild lineup—Martian Manhunter, Detective Chimp, Elongated Man, Sue Dibny, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, a returning Question (Vic Sage), and two unnamed others. (Yes, there are two Questions now.) Batman is stunned to learn that this group has been leading him on a wild goose chase just as a challenge. Now officially a member of the organization, Batman is told everything. The library in which he stands holds files upon files of unsolved cases, many of which are supernatural or celestial (i.e. cosmic) in nature. Some of the texts are ancient. Batman, like a kid in a candy store, is welcomed with open arms and invited to peruse the Borgesian hall of books.

–Detective Comics #1000 Part 4
Batman gets detailed intel on an extremely dangerous terror cell, after which he discovers their hideout in a Gotham warehouse. After lining the inside of the warehouse with non-lethal explosives and setting their destruct codes to link-up with the Bat-computer network in his costume, Batman crashes in and kicks ass. The leader of the terror cell is so scared when Batman approaches him that he turns over a dirty bomb detonator in tears and without a fight.

–Detective Comics #1000 Deluxe Edition Part 12
Batman finished routine patrol and is so “in the zone” that he sits down for breakfast at Wayne Manor while still wearing his Bat-costume. Batman goes to change in the Batcave but gets a police report that an escaped Two-Face has supposedly formed a pact with Mad Hatter, the Ventriloquist (with Scarface), Killer Croc, and Penguin. After taking down each super-villain in order, Batman realizes that they aren’t working with Two-Face. The latter has set them all up to take a Bat-beating because they all beat Harvey Dent in court way back in the day. Batman meets a waiting Two-Face at Demarco’s, which was Harvey Dent’s favorite restaurant before he became a super-villain. The Harvey Dent side of Two-Face allows Batman to bring him to justice. Batman then returns home to finally eat his breakfast.

–Detective Comics #1001-1003 (“MEDIEVAL”)
The Arkham Knight and her elite team of warrior knights known as The Knights of the Sun make their debut by activating a device that causes all the bats in Gotham to drop dead. After examining the dead bats in the Batcave, Batman visits Francine Langstrom. Francine is journaling about the bat-massacre and mentions that she once became She-Bat “several years ago.” In New Age continuity, Francine became She-Bat one time indeed—in Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #35, about two years ago. Francine freaks-out and injects herself with Man-Bat Serum, turning into She-Bat and raging wildly. Batman is pulled across town by She-Bat to the zoo. There, Batman injects her with anti-serum, reverting her back to normal. The Knights of the Sun then activate an artificial sun that brings daylight to the midnight hour. At the nearby Kane Castle mansion, the Arkham Knight and her warriors attack Batman. (The Arkham Knight’s attack upon Batman and Gotham is also referenced in Detective Comics #1000 Part 11.) After putting a dozen armor-piercing arrows into a tough-as-nails Batman, the Arkham Knight and her men stand down. Back home, Alfred patches up the injured Batman while Robin finds the bad guys—in scuba gear and a submarine—in the waterway connecting Gotham River to Aparo Bay. After getting knocked-out, Robin wakes up in a dungeon filled with hand-drawn Bat-tapestries. The Arkham Knight shows Robin a medieval-styled Robin costume and asks him to join the Knights of the Sun. Robin quickly escapes and ascends to the top of the dungeon, emerging in the heart of Arkham Asylum. The Arkham Knight unmasks and allows Robin to go free. Back home, Alfred tailors new armored costumes for Batman and Robin. Together, the Dynamic Duo goes after the Knights of the Sun! Upon arrival back at Arkham Asylum, Jeremiah Arkham greets the Dynamic Duo, revealing that the Arkham Knight is his thirteen-year-old daughter Astrid Arkham!

–Detective Comics #1004-1005 (“MEDIEVAL” Continued…)
Jeremiah Arkham tells the Dynamic Duo his daughter’s super-villain origin story, specifically how she was practically raised by Batman’s rogues and blames Batman for the death of her mother. Not long after, on the outskirts of the city, Batman and Robin come face-to-face with the Arkham Knight and her warriors—the Knights of the Sun, Dr. Phosphorus, Anton Arcane, and Arcane’s UnMen. The Dynamic Duo defeat all their opponents and make their way into a nearby observatory where the Arkham Knight detonates an even stronger “day bomb” that blankets all of Gotham in blinding light. A sightless Batman is able to defeat the Arkham Knight and destroy her light machine. Everyone in Gotham, including Batman, will remain blind for several days. During this time, Robin, having had his eyes protected by diffusion lenses, guides the blind Batman on nightly patrols until the Dark Knight’s sight returns.

–Detective Comics #1006-1007
Batman tracks some would-be bank robbers for two days before busting them in the act. Across town, Detective Jim Corrigan and his partner Tony Martinez have a late diner meal. (Corrigan mentions a major league baseball game, so it must be preseason or very early in the season.) The detectives depart to survey a murder scene only to be attacked by several maniacs dressed up as the Spectre (members of The Cult of the Divine Hand). The real Spectre emerges from within Corrigan to fight the attackers, leaving Corrigan himself to attend to the fatally wounded Martinez. This allows the cultists to drug and kidnap Corrigan, leaving him separated from the Spectre. Their aim is to permanently separate the two via arcane ritual so that they can control God’s Wrath. The Spectre immediately collects Batman. Together, they examine the scene of the crime and Batman scans it using his new data-analysis device. In the Batcave, the Spectre finally tells Batman the truth about he and Corrigan, revealing that they are symbiotically linked. Batman and the Spectre go on a joint investigation that eventually takes them to an abandoned church. There, Batman and the Spectre free Corrigan, who helps them defeat the Cult of the Divine Hand. Re-bonded with the Spectre, Corrigan tells Batman that he is transferring back to the NYPD.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #81. Batman discovers that Clayface (Basil Karlo) is still alive. He reaches out to Clayface and their relationship stays in a positive place.

–Superman: Leviathan Rising #1
The new mystery leader of Leviathan (disguising his face via stolen DEO tech) approaches Metropolis’ top mob boss (and new owner of The Daily Planet) Marisol Leone, asking her for advice on how to get rid of Superman. Leone tells him that whoever gets rid of Superman won’t get any glory or recognition—the reason so many super-villains fail is ego. Leone also tells the mystery man that Lois Lane is far more dangerous than Superman. She suggests targeting Lois by kidnapping Clark. Across town, Superman easily defeats Mongul and heads home to find Talia al Ghul’s assassins waiting to ambush Clark Kent. After checking-in with Lois, who has once again sequestered herself away at her secret writing haven in The Drake Hotel, Superman decides that he will fake getting kidnapped by Talia’s men in order to find out what’s going on. All goes according to plan until Talia straps Kryptonite to Clark’s chest, hoping to use him as bait to lure in Lois. When Clark doesn’t come home, Lois alerts Batman and Wonder Woman, who begin a search for him with the entire JL. Meanwhile, Supergirl returns to home to find her apartment destroyed and her foster parents—DEO agents Jeremiah Danvers and Eliza Danvers—missing. (They were attacked by a Leviathan super-soldier, who leveled their apartment. Eliza is dead.) Supergirl finds a note left behind by Leviathan. Manhunter (Kate Spencer) watches from the shadows. As referenced in Year of the Villain #1 Part 2, the JLA locates Clark’s position and are able to get drone footage or hacked security footage of him being interrogated by Talia and her men. Likewise, they are able to get footage of the villain that destroyed the Danvers’ apartment. Soon after, at Talia’s HQ, the new mystery leader of Leviathan enters and saves Clark, removing his Kryptonite chest-piece. After the new Leviathan head disappears, a rescue team consisting of Lois, Jimmy Olsen, Dex-Starr, and Firestorm shows-up (with the JL following a few minutes behind). They begins kicking Leviathan ass. Meanwhile, aboard a Leviathan aircraft, the new leader of Leviathan confronts Talia, who tells him that he stole her organization out from under her and won’t stand for it. The new leader kicks her out of the group by throwing her out of the aircraft. Superman saves Talia and jails her. Not long after, Marisol Leone promotes Red Cloud (Robinson Goode) within her secret crime cabal ranks, making her an official equal partner.

–REFERENCE: In Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen Vol. 3 #5. Batman inquires as to how and why Red Lantern Dex-Starr wound up assisting in the recent fight against Leviathan, learning that the interstellar feline got mixed up on a shameful Jimmy Olsen adventure during which the former vomited alien blood all over the latter (as seen in the risible Jimmy Olsen-centric pages of Superman: Leviathan Rising #1).

–Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen Vol. 3 #4-5
Jimmy Olsen has just faked his death and gone into hiding due to fears that Lex Luthor is out for his head due to some weird possible connection in their ancestry. In his awful alter ego of super-troll “Timmy Olsen,” Jimmy films some terrible content for his way-too-popular comedy video blog. In Gotham, Jimmy bothers Dr. Fate and then has seventeen people dress up as Joker in an effort to troll Batman too. Batman shows up and punches Jimmy in the face. Later, Jimmy heckles Mayor Michael Akins and has a revolving door delivered to Arkham Asylum. He then accosts Bruce Wayne, yelling “You’re Batman!” over and over. Next, he steals the wheel off the Batmobile, forcing Vicki Vale to report that the “Batmobile has lost its wheel.” Okay, maybe this is some good content after all. Other hijinks are more mean-spirited and offensive towards the Bat-Family. I won’t sully our highbrow website by mentioning them here LOL. Later, to keep up playboy appearances (and to bolster the launch of a new WayneTech mobile platform), Bruce goes on an awful paparazzi-swarmed dinner date with self-absorbed 22-year-old “alpha influencer” Gliminny Tamtam. The next day, Jimmy’s funeral is held. Present are Clark, Lois, Perry White, Jimmy’s brother Julian Olsen, Jimmy’s cousin Janie Olsen, Jimmy’s landlord/lawyer Ed Lynch, Lynch’s secretary Miss Denise, Metamorpho, the Middlefield Cemetery undertaker, and others. Dr. Anton Mantel, Jimmy’s friend that helped fake his death with a synthetic corpse, emerges from beneath the earth, revealing that Jimmy is still alive to the astonished mourners. A couple days later, Jimmy continues his ultimate “Timmy Olsen” trolling, dressing up a bunch of people as the Joker and having them all visit a frozen yogurt shop. The world’s best sports mascot, The Phillie Phanatic, is there too! Batman shows up and knocks-out Jimmy, leaving him a note saying he will get him back later that evening—and thus begins a ridiculous prank war between the two! But is Batman funny? Does he have a sense of humor? Bruce finds out the hard way that he doesn’t, overhearing two Wayne Enterprises employees reveal that Alfred has been paying people to laugh at his jokes for nearly two decades. A dejected Bruce picks up a classic arrow-through-the-head prop at a gag store  on his way home. After a miserable patrol, Batman confronts Alfred, telling him he knows that he’s been paying people to laugh. Batman is so mad, he even tells Alfred he’ll be docking his pay as punishment! Jimmy, still in hiding, meets with his cousin Janie at a diner. There, Batman drops off a wrapped present addressed to Jimmy. Janie opens it, revealing Dex-Starr waiting inside. Dex-Starr spews disgusting blood vomit all over the Olsens. One point for Batman.

–Justice League Vol. 4 #19-21 (“THE SIXTH DIMENSION”)
The Justice League decides that it needs 5th Dimensional firepower to deal with the pending Legion of Doom/Perpetua situation, which could explode at any moment. Thus, under the guise of a Wayne Industries “air control experiment”—a giant dome is erected in midtown Metropolis. Under this dome, the magickally-disguised JL (with Starman) preps to entrap Mr. Mxyzptlk, who is due to arrive. Clark wraps up an article at work and joins the rest of the team just in time to witness Mxyzptlk emerge from his 5th Dimensional gateway. J’onn is able to telepathically control Mxyzptlk, who submits and agrees to help the JL. At the Hall of Justice, Mxyzptlk explains that everyone in the 5th Dimension has been dying since the Source Wall was destroyed. He also explains that the Monitor, Anti-Monitor, World Forger, and Perpetua created everything from the 6th Dimension. (The World Forge itself seems to co-exist in both the 6th Dimension and the Dark Multiverse.) Mxyzptlk opens a door to the 6th Dimension, through which Superman goes. Instantly, a gray-haired Superman wearing a weird white costume emerges back through, citing that he’s been gone for a decade, but now knows how to defeat the bad guys and save the multiverse. The JLers join this older Superman through the door, winding-up in an alternate future world where they are greeted by alternate future versions of themselves (6th Dimensional Batman, 6th Dimensional John Stewart, 6th Dimensonal Flash, 6th Dimensional Hawkgirl, 6th Dimensional Martian Manhunter, and 6th Dimensional Wonder Woman). Trickery is afoot, though. The real Superman remains trapped in a sun-less pocket dimension filled with corpses, all alone and unable to fly. Old Superman is really the resurrected World Forger (Alpheus), son of Perpetua, and brother to the Anti-Monitor and original Montior Mar Novu. (Alpheus, along with his family, created the entire multiverse! He helped imprison his evil mom long ago.). This alt-future world is merely a template, one of many possible futures, created by the World Forger from his anvil in the 6th Dimension. In this alt-future, the elder JL shows-off a utopian version of Earth where all crime has ended. The alt-future’s Batman, Dick Grayson, tells Batman how the their version of Bruce Wayne sacrificed his life to ensure the peace they now have. Alt-Dick gives Batman a tour of the Pennyworth Home rehabilitation center. As Hawkgirl and Martian Manhunter admire the scenery, Shayne J’onzz (the son of their alt-future counterparts) pulls back the curtain, revealing a hidden aspect of this reality—a gulag (on Apokolips) filled with over a trillion detainees. J’onn, Hawkgirl, and Shayne call the JL to an emergency meeting, but it is interrupted by Old Superman, who has just confronted Superman, telling him that he’s been imprisoned because he will be the cause of the destruction of the multiverse. Old Superman reveals himself to be Alpheus. Meanwhile, on Earth, Lex Luthor and Brainiac begin a plan to capture Mxyzptlk, causing the imp to lose control and grow to immense size. as Mzyzptlk begins unconsciously un-imagining Earth into non-existence, Starman, Mera, and Jarro try to contain him. (A cheeky visual reference in Justice League Vol. 4 #29 tells tale of Jarro “officially” joining the JL.) In the alt-future, Alpheus tells the JL that, in order to preserve the utopia that he has shown them, their alt-future counterparts engaged in a pre-emptive war to defeat the Legion of Doom. This war saw the JL travel the multiverse and imprison trillions into the gulag. The JL takes a vote on whether or not to go down Alpheus’ unethical but sure-footed path towards semi-utopia by allowing the future reality to re-write their own. Everyone votes hell no except for Batman, citing that all hope seems lost. A disappointed Alpheus teleports the JL to the Apokoliptian gulag where they meet its wardens: an aged 6th Dimensional Lois Lane and 6th Dimensional Jimmy Olsen.

–Justice League Vol. 4 #23-25 (“THE SIXTH DIMENSION” Continued…)
Warden Lois Lane of the Apokoliptian gulag tells the JL—sans Batman—that she is originally from another alternate universe that the World Forger (Alpheus) created. Warden Lane says that she’s seen many alternate worlds and that this one is a template for the best possible scenario. The JLers present refuse to believe this, fight back, and wind up behind bars. Meanwhile, Batman chats with Alpheus, who tells him that this future world must replace Universe-0—in order to please (and fool) the Judges of the Source. Or something like that. Alpheus reveals that, at this very moment on Earth-0, Bat-Mite is battling Mxyzptlk, who is currently slowly erasing Universe-0 from existence, after which he (Alpheus) will replace Universe-0 with the alt-future world template. With Superman being the only real threat to stopping this from happening, Alpheus instructs Batman to pull the execution switch on his friend—an act that will shut down the artificial suns dimly lighting the Man of Steel’s pocket universe prison, effectively killing him and sending his essence into Alpheus himself. Reluctantly, Batman pulls the switch. In the gulag, Shayne uses his explosive mental powers to destroy the entire building. This leads to a bunch of angry alt-future super-villains chasing after the JL. The JL is rescued by an alt-future Legion of Doom that is led by an alt-future Darkseid! Meanwhile, Alpheus shows Batman the Son Box, a Minority Report-type chamber that Batman’s alt-future counterpart built to determine who would side with him or against him. Alpheus also shows Batman the “Final Bat-Suit,” an ultimate Gundam-style war-mech, also devised by the deceased alt-future Batman, which has the power to brainwash people and rewrite people’s cellular structure. The alt-future LOD sacrifices their own lives to help the JL escape recapture. Back at the alt-future Hall of Justice, the JL faces-off against their alt-future doppelgängers, Alpheus, and Batman, who dons his menacing Final Bat-Suit. The JL fights against the future JL, Batman, some future Flash Family members, and Alpheus. Batman has a change of heart and betrays the 6th Dimensional forces, using his Gundam-suit to create a fake sun, which not only re-powers Superman, but provides a guiding light for him to follow. Superman shows up angry as hell and kicks everyone’s asses. Alpheus tells the JL that he’s seen every possible outcome from the 6th Dimension. He tells them they’ve doomed their world by their actions—as revealed in Justice League Vol. 4 #29, by witnessing and denying his alt-future, they have unleashed the sixth Dark Force, which is linked to visions of impossible futures. However, Batman and Superman tell Alpheus that there’s still another possible outcome, one where they come out on top. They recruit Alpheus into the JL and return home with him (and Shayne) to challenge the Legion of Doom. But upon arrival back home, Washington DC is smoldering and partly in ruin. The heroes enter the Hall of Justice to learn that while only hours seemed to have passed in the 6th Dimension, a full week has transpired. Mera tells the returning heroes that the Legion of Doom defeated Mxyzptlk, after which Lex Luthor gave a public speech to the populace of the world. They watch a video of Luthor, who reveals to the world that the Source Wall was destroyed “a few short weeks ago.” This contradicts Year of the Villain #1 Part 3, which says the Source Wall was destroyed a “few months ago.” (The Source Wall was destroyed over four months ago, so Luthor is lying here for whatever reason.) Luthor tells all that the JL has hidden the fact that the universe is dying, urging everyone to rise up and become villains in order to save themselves. Luthor says he is dissolving LexCorp and giving all his money and technology to certain unspecified people. As the video ends, Mera continues her narration of events. Luthor’s harangue and actions led to a week of global rioting and panic, which culminated in the events of Year of the Villain #1 Part 1, in which the LOD attacked President Trump and Amanda Waller in the Oval Office, stealing all of Waller’s top secrets. As part of a supposedly foolproof Perpetua-powered resurrection scheme that will cause the entire planet to fall under his power, Luthor then publicly killed himself, blowing up LexCorp Tower in the process.[1] To prepare for the coming battle, the heroes decide that they must seek out the aid of the Monitor, Anti-Monitor, Justice Incarnate, and as many Earth-0 heroes as they can recruit. (The epilogue to “Sixth Dimension” takes place at the end of Year of the Villain #1 Part 3, a few days from now.)

–REFERENCE: In Superman Vol. 5 #16. With Batman out of Gotham on an unspecified case, Robin is left alone to defend the city against a horde of Leviathan troopers. After besting them, Damian is visited by a very-recently-returned Superboy, who has just recently returned from the conclusion of “Unity Saga” and now appears seventeen-years-old (when he’s actually still twelve-years-old) thanks to the cosmic machinations of kooky old Jor-El. Damian mentions that Superboy was only gone for “three weeks,” which is true, but it’s been months since Damian last saw him. Together, they bust Riddler, Kite-Man, Killer Croc, and Catman. Jon tells Damian that he’s accepted an offer to go live in the 31st century with the Legion of Superheroes, who have just recently revealed themselves to the present day hero community.

–Year of the Villain #1 Part 2
The superhero community investigates Leviathan, which is responsible for shuttering several government agencies, clandestine spy organizations, and international criminal cartels over the past seven months (as seen in “Leviathan Rising”) and for the recent kidnapping of Clark Kent (as seen in Superman: Leviathan Rising #1). In the Batcave, Batman monitors various related video, including recent footage of Clark when he was kidnapped, recent footage of a the new super-villain that destroyed the Danvers’ apartment (as also seen in Superman: Leviathan Rising #1), and a live feed of Batgirl and Green arrow, who are following-up a Leviathan lead in Seattle. Batgirl and Green Arrow sign-off after a quick chat with Batman, then easily taking down Merlyn, who tells them that Leviathan has crushed the League of Assassins. The new mystery leader of Leviathan captures Batgirl and offers her a chance to join. In the Batcave, Robin approaches Batman and tells him that he thinks Red Hood is at the epicenter of the new Leviathan.

–Event Leviathan #1-3
ARGUS’ new Coast City mega-HQ (disguised as The Museum of Super Science) is reduced to rubble and all ARGUS agents disappear without a trace, thus completing the new Leviathan’s purge of all clandestine organizations. (The Leviathan purge started about seven months ago with the destruction of the DEO, but was completed in the last twenty-four hours, which has seen the obliteration of Cadmus, Spyral, Task Force X, Kobra, SHADE, the League of Assassins, and more. Event Leviathan insinuates that all of the attacks, including the one upon the DEO, have taken place within the past twenty-four hours. However, as referenced in both the “Leviathan Rising” arc and Superman: Leviathan Rising #1, the DEO attack occurred about seven months ago.) Batman and Lois Lane investigate the rubble of the ARGUS compound, finding a shell-shocked Steve Trevor there. Trevor tells them that the new all-powerful Leviathan villain (the same one that leveled the Danvers’ apartment) destroyed the ARGUS HQ. Untrusting of anything or anyone, Trevor freaks out and starts firing a gun at Lois and Batman. Green Arrow arrives just in time to take him down and send him to prison. The heroes discuss the fact that world governments have been able to keep the Leviathan purge a secret from the greater public so far, but they won’t be able to after this. Together, they decide they must find out who the new mystery leader of Leviathan is as soon as possible. Undetected, the Question (Vic Sage) watches them from the shadows. Elsewhere, the new leader of Leviathan makes an offer to a kidnapped Dr. Strand, one of the top ARGUS scientists. Batman joins an anti-Leviathan team consisting of Lois Lane, Robin (Damian), Green Arrow, the Question, Plastic Man, and Manhunter (Kate Spencer). The Question goes to check on Sam Lane in his Columbus, Ohio hospital room. There, the Question prevents a Leviathan soldier (dressed in bizarre armor) from assassinating Sam Lane. Lane shoots and kills his attacker, a former ARGUS agent gone rogue. Plastic Man goes to examine the attacker’s body in the local morgue, but runs into the mystery leader of Leviathan, who tells him that the new Leviathan is trying to make the world a better place. The leader takes the corpse and disappears, leaving only a Batarang-like weapon behind. Going off Damian’s intel that Red Hood might be a part of Leviathan, the anti-Leviathan team stalks Red Hood, who surveys the Seattle rooftop where Batgirl went missing at the hands of Leviathan. After Batman chats with an unsuspecting Red Hood, the rest of the team jumps him and the chase is on. Red Hood masterfully kicks everyone’s asses before speaking with Lois directly. She realizes that he has been set-up by Leviathan as a patsy. Red Hood tells her that Leviathan will be targeting Amanda Waller. Green Arrow gets in Batman and Robin’s way as all three try to nab Red Hood, bungling the attempt and allowing Red Hood to walk. Too many cooks in the kitchen here! The heroes regroup at Superman’s Fortress of Solitude in the Bermuda Triangle. There, they discuss the case and discover a listening device that Amanda Waller has secretly hidden. Waller, on the lam in a Latin American country, is confronted by the leader of Leviathan and a squadron of his top men. Superman comes to Waller’s aid.

–Event Leviathan #4-6
Leviathan uses strange tech to disorient Superman, who goes into an intense psychedelic dizzy spell. When he comes-to, Leviathan is gone, along with all his troopers and Amanda Waller. Shortly thereafter, Lois Lane’s detective team gathers in the Batcave with Superman. They regroup and go over the details of the case at hand. As they do, Lois sneaks off, steals a car from the Wayne Manor garage, and drives away. Outside of Wayne Manor, the Silencer watches, reporting back to her boss, Talia al Ghul. In the Batcave, Batgirl reports-in via live video feed, saying that she accepted Leviathan’s offer in order to infiltrate the group. She tells her friends that Leviathan is making a big play in the morning, but then gets cut off. When a giant Leviathan floating fortress appears in the sky Superman flies off with Plastic Man to check it out. Concurrently, Lois steals a car from Wayne Manor and meets with yet another team of detectives working the case: Zatanna, Elongated Man, Harvey Bullock, Deathstroke, the Question (Renee Montoya), and John Constantine. They tell Lois that they believe Sam Lane has faked his heart attack and is the secret leader of Leviathan. Batman and his team watch via bio-sensor cams hidden in the stolen car. Just as Zatanna sends (via magick portal) Lois to her dad’s hospital room in Columbus, Ohio, Leviathan troopers attack Team Zatanna. Chaos ensues, during which the terrible ill Sam tells Lois the answer to the Levithan mystery lies in the “snowman’s ticket.” As troopers bear down upon them as well, Sam and Lois are teleported to a far off mountain range where Sam dies in his daughter’s arms! Meanwhile, Superman and Plastic Man confront the leader of Leviathan, who stands alongside his flying fortress, a gigantic army, and an entire fleet of airborne warships on Leviathan Island (off the coast of Iceland). In Gotham, Batman, Robin, the Question (Vic Sage), Green Arrow, and Manhunter (Kate Spencer) hop in the war machine hummer and rush to Superman’s location. Robin realizes that the leader of Leviathan has something to do with Manhunter, but before they can pursue the revelation further, Talia al Ghul and the Silencer attack their vehicle, toppling it upside-down. Everyone realizes that the Manhunters are involved with Leviathan, so they all turn on Kate, who attempts to fight them only to get easily knocked out. But Kate was just a patsy. Knowing they are being watched and listened-to, Batman and Robin begin giving false plans out loud while communicating their real plans in sign-language. The two groups of detectives then finally gather together. On Leviathan Island, the leader of Leviathan unmasks to reveal himself as ex-Manhunter Mark Shaw. Know knowing Superman’s location, both detective teams, Talia, and the Silencer appear on Leviathan Island. The League of Assassins and League of Shadows members present, along with Batgirl, betray Leviathan, joining the detective teams and Talia to defeat Shaw’s army. Shaw threatens to release every single military, government, and corporate secret to the public before teleporting away. Thankfully, the device they need to do this is safely in Batgirl’s hands, having been sneaked away to her by Amanda Waller (who is now MIA). However, Shaw still has a treasure trove of info that he could potentially distribute bit by bit, potentially uprooting the global socioeconomic balance and throwing into complete turmoil. The heroes learn that Shaw’s entire plan was actually designed by Sam Lane, a theoretical plan to bring down all clandestine organizations at once, known as the “snowman’s ticket.” Unsure of what to do next, the heroes meet with Lois Lane, deciding that a simple news story is the best course of action. The next morning, Lois’ Daily Planet article exposing Shaw as the leader of Leviathan is published. (Note that the article carries a November 13, 2019 date, but that merely refers to the publication date of Event Leviathan #6, so we shouldn’t take this date as canonical.) In a remote location, Shaw regroups with his secret righthand man, the ex-superhero known as The Guardian (Jim Harper). Together, they vow to rebuild and carry out their plans in the future.

–Year of the Villain #1 Part 3
Editorial notation tells us that the Source Wall was destroyed a “few months ago”—five months ago to be exact. The Justice League enacts a monumental plan of action that involves saving several entire alien civilizations that are being threatened with extinction thanks to the destruction of the Source Wall. After helping these civilizations aboard massive arks, which fly them to safety, one veers dangerously off course thanks to a terrorist that would rather kill his people than ever face Perpetua and her “great minion.” The JL meets and decides that it must gather all of Earth’s superheroes in order to successfully deal with the threat. Meanwhile, in the Hall of Doom, the Legion of Doom gathers as Perpetua comes out of her inert state. (The Batman Who Laughs is shown secretly spying on them.) Perpetua’s plan of multiversial conquest/annihilation has begun. The deceased Lex Luthor floats in a tank, ready to be reborn as something new. As seen in the epilogue to Justice League Vol. 4 #25, at the Hall of Doom, thanks to Perpetua’s machinations, Luthor is indeed resurrected with cosmic power.

–REFERENCE: In Justice League Vol. 4 #26. The superheroes mobilize as the resurrected Lex Luthor, seemingly with godlike powers, makes his return public. Many refuse to believe that Luthor is indeed alive again. However, Luthor is very much alive. He begins making offers and handing out gifts of terror all over the planet. Global unrest ensues.

–Action Comics #1015-1016
Naomi McDuffie, an Oregonian teenager that has just learned she is actually a powerful metahuman from an alternate Earth, crashes into Metropolis, seeking out Superman’s help. Upon meeting Superman, Naomi explains her backstory, also telling him about genocidal metahuman Zumbado, the man that killed all life on her birth-Earth. At the Hall of Justice, Superman introduces Naomi to the Wonder Twins. Ray Palmer tries asking her about which Earth she is from, which only confuses her. Batman tests Naomi’s powers and questions her as well. All of a sudden, Superman detects an emergency. Batman asks if it’s Lex Luthor, but Superman tells him it’s a Leviathan threat, taking off to handle it. But Superman is mistaken, for when he arrives at the site of the emergency (seedy Club Ultimate), the Man of Steel finds the Red Cloud (now powered-up thanks to a Luthor offer) threatening Rose Forrest aka the schizophrenic antihero Thorn. Metropolis’ shady Mayor Hopkins and Marisol Leone’s top man Mr. Strong are also present at the club. The Red Cloud then kicks Superman’s ass in front of a gathering crowd until Naomi shows up and easily dispatches the Red Cloud. Superman and Naomi then fly to the latter’s hometown of Port Oswego, Oregon. There, joined by Batman and STAR Labs scientists, Superman meets Naomi’s adoptive mom Jen McDuffie. Batman has STAR Labs set up an observation stakeout base to monitor the interdimensional breach where Zumbado came through. The head of the operation, Dr. Glory, introduces herself to Naomi. In Metropolis, Marisol Leone and Mr. Strong decide it’s soon time to come out of the shadows and make their presence felt. (Note that Action Comics #1015‘s meta splash page, which contains lots of Batman-related info, is placed, not as a frontispiece as usual, but instead at the end of the issue. Despite being in a different location, this splash is still non-canon.)

–Detective Comics #1008
Joker sends out a public advertisement saying that he will be at Bolland Park. Peter Tomasi insinuates that Bolland Park is supposed to be the now-refurbished and gentrified amusement park from The Killing Joke. But Doomsday Clock #2 clearly shows that the abandoned amusement park from The Killing Joke is still rundown and condemned, so this cannot be that same place. Also, why anyone would go to the park when Joker has explicitly said he will be there is beyond me. Yet, the park is filled with people, all of whom have been forced to wear explosive clown bolo ties. Sigh. After Joker kills a few folks, Batman finally arrives. With so many hostages, Batman is forced to go on rides with Joker and listen to his insane monologues. Eventually, Batman disarms the bolo ties and knocks Joker into the bay using his classic sonic bat-attracting device. Meanwhile, in the Gotham Pine Barrens, Lex Luthor offers to help an escaped Mr. Freeze bring his frozen wife back to life. (As referenced in Detective Comics #1013, Mr. Freeze has already had a new plan to rejuvenate Nora in the works for months now, but was missing the final piece to guarantee success.)

–Justice League Vol. 4 #26-28 (“APEX PREDATOR”)
The superheroes mobilize as a cloaked godlike Lex Luthor continues handing out gifts of terror all over the planet. Global unrest ensues. Batman, Superman, John Stewart, Flash, and Wonder Woman travel to the former satellite domain of the original Montior, the House of Heroes, located in the Bleed-space between universes. There, with help from Harbinger and Justice Incarnate, the Earth-0 heroes put a call out to the multiverse. Soon, well over a hundred superheroes from throughout the local multiverse arrive, including Earth-2’s Wonders of the World (featuring Earth-2 Batman), Earth-4’s Pax Americana, the Earth-6 Justice League of America (featuring Earth-6 Wonder Woman), Earth-6 Shazam, Earth-8’s Retaliators, Earth-9 Atom, Earth-9 Superman, Earth-10’s Uncle Sam, Earth-11 Superwoman, Earth-12 Batman, the Earth-13 League of Shadows, Earth-16 Batman, Earth-17’s Atomic Knights of Justice, Earth-18’s Justice Riders, Earth-19’s Accelerated Man, Earth-19 Wonder Woman, Earth-19’s Bat Man, Earth-20’s Society of Super-Heroes, the Earth-21 Justice League of America, the Earth-22 Justice League (featuring Earth-22 Alan Scott, Earth-22 Superman, Earth-22 Starman, and Earth-22 Nightstar), the Earth-23 Justice League, Earth-26’s Zoo Crew, Earth-29’s Unjustice League of Unamerica, Earth-30 Batman, Earth-30’s Soviet Superman, Earth-30 Flash, Earth-31’s Captain Leatherwing, Earth-31 Green Lantern, Earth-32’s Justice Titans, Earth-35’s Super-Americans, Earth-41’s Nimrod Squad, Earth-43 Batman, Earth-47’s Love Syndicate of Dreamworld, and Earth-48’s Royal Family of Warworld! Superman recruits them into the war against Perpetua and Luthor, citing that if Earth-0 falls, the rest of the multiverse will too. Alpheus tells everyone they will need to find his brothers, the Anti-Monitor and the Monitor. At the Hall of Justice, Hawkgirl and Mera oversee operations. The JL Science Division, the Question (Vic Sage), Detective Chimp, Plastic Man, Green Arrow, and John Constantine try to pinpoint the location of the hidden Hall of Doom. Hawkman, Black Canary, and Orphan act as coaches, training the Titans, Teen Titans (Djinn, Crush, Roundhouse, and Kid Flash), and Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes) for the upcoming war. Jarro and Starman attempt to find help from the distant past and future. Concurrently, Martian Manhunter searches for Luthor alone, following breadcrumbs to an abandoned shack in California. There, one of Professor Ivo’s androids (a Lionel Luthor lookalike) captures J’onn. Meanwhile, Superman, Batman, John Stewart, Wonder Woman, Flash, and Alpheus visit the desolate home-realm of the Monitors, Nil. As they walk about, Alpheus tells them the true history of the DCU’s reboots—the history of the “Metaverse,” if you will. After the original Monitor (Mar Novu) reluctantly joins their crusade, the heroes depart for Qward (in Universe-3), home to the Anti-Monitor (Mobius). In California, Professor Ivo (remotely, through a lookalike android of himself) explains that Lex Luthor hired him to replicate Perpetua’s old army of “apex predators” (i.e. her army of proto-Human-Martian hybrids). Hawkgirl, having tracked J’onn, rescues him. Together, they smash up a bunch of Amazos and find hundreds of incomplete “apex predators.” Hawkgirl calls into the Hall of Justice and orders a pick-up to place them all into safe-storage. A drone then appears and projects a live holographic video feed of Lex Luthor, who makes J’onn an offer. The next day, while the JL visits the planet Qward (in Universe-3) only to find a bunch of massacred Weaponers and a message from Mobius telling them not to look for him, J’onn meets with Lex at an old Legionnaire’s Club hideout (the very place he was once kidnapped to as a child). Lex shows J’onn video of some of the folks to whom he’s made other offers (or will soon make other offers to), including Jericho, Harley Quinn, Bane, Black Adam, Lobo, and more. Lex tells J’onn that they should merge into one being to become the ultimate “apex predator” hybrid of Perpetua’s dreams. When J’onn refuses, Lex absorbs J’onn into his body! Hawkgirl tries to fight Lex, but he holds her back behind a force field. Meanwhile, Sinestro, Cheetah, and Grodd confront the JL on Qward.

–The Batman Who Laughs #1-4 (“THE LAUGHING HOUSE”)
Commissioner Gordon, not believing that James Jr’s drug treatment is really changing him, signs paperwork to end his son’s Diaxamyne trial and work-release program. Soon after, Joker is sent back to Arkham Asylum. A few days after that, Batman’s Last Laugh emergency ventilation system reaches its final stages of construction, soon ready for testing. And shortly after that, Batman chases some crooks that are smuggling cadavers out of Gotham inside extreme-load trucks. After smashing-up their operation on the highway, Batman finds that it was all a set-up for him to stumble across a dead body meant to shake him to the core. Batman finds the corpse of an alternate universe Bruce Wayne. Before Batman can take the body, the GCPD gets ahold of it and brings it to the morgue. Batman knocks-out coroner Dr. Veth, disguises himself as Veth, and does an autopsy on the body, learning that he is six or seven years older than him. Via autopsy and deduction, Batman finds that this Bruce quit after getting his back broken by Bane, married Selina, and had a child with her. Batman realizes the delivery of this corpse is the handiwork of the Batman Who Laughs. Meanwhile, the Batman Who Laughs, accompanied by another Dark Multiverse Batman (The Grim Knight), murderously breaks into Arkham Asylum. The Batman Who Laughs murders Joker, but Joker knew he was being targeted and had already escaped, leaving a disguised former henchmen as a decoy in his place. Not long after, Batman meets with Commissioner Gordon and tells him all about the Batman Who Laughs. After a brief investigation, Batman deduces that Joker will try to come visit him in the Batcave. Sure enough, just as Alfred lowers the riparian security system, Joker emerges from the waterway (somehow, inexplicably without any scuba gear or anything). Batman offers to team-up against the Batman Who Laughs just like they did once before, but Joker uses a trick gun to shoot himself in the chest. Batman rushes over to cradle the bleeding Joker, which causes Batman to become infected with the villain’s heart poison, instantly Jokerizing the Dark Knight. Batman responds by stripping shirtless and jabbing dozens of IV needles into his body, flushing his system full of every Joker Toxin antidote he’s got. Meanwhile, Alfred immediately begins open heart surgery on Joker. The next day, the Batman Who Laughs leaves yet another deceased alternate universe Bruce Wayne on the streets of Gotham. A partially-recovered Batman, disguised as Harvey Bullock, examines the corpse alongside Commissioner Gordon. Batman then realizes that the Batman Who Laughs will target the Last Laugh hub in Wayne Tower. By the time Batman gets to Wayne Tower, the Batman Who Laughs has already slaughtered a bunch of guards. Batman tries to fight his foe, but the Grim Knight snipes him in the chest, incapacitating him with a sci-fi bullet. The Batman Who Laughs completely demolishes Wayne Tower. Batman barely escapes with his life. Later, in the Batcave, Joker wakes up to tell Batman that only James Gordon Jr—the “best” criminal planner in the history of Gotham—truly understands what the Batman Who Laughs is planning. After a quick call from Batman to Jim, the Commish reluctantly recruits his son—who is on a monitored Wayne Enterprises/Arkham-sponsored work release program at a supermarket—into the fold. After discovering that the Batman Who Laughs has stolen all of James Jr’s old notebooks, Batman joins Commissioner Gordon to speak to James Jr. Batman tries to bully James Jr into helping, hoping to provoke his evil side to re-emerge, but the Diaxamyne in his system has seemingly turned him into a docile warm-hearted soul with no mind for criminality anymore. The Grim Knight then interrupts, shooting up the market and confronting Batman head-on. When the Grim Knight threatens to down a passenger plane, Batman has to stand down, allowing the Grim Knight to kidnap Commissioner Gordon. (As revealed in Batman/Superman #1, Gordon is taken to the Batman Who Laughs’ evil Batcave underneath Crime Alley.) Meanwhile, at Penguin’s Iceberg Lounge, the Batman Who Laughs kills another alternate universe Bruce Wayne and runs homicidally amok. Across town, with James Jr proving to be no help at all, Batman begins to lose faith. He tells James Jr that his dad has cancelled his treatment program. Batman, becoming more and more unhinged due to the Joker Venom coursing through his veins, takes-off. Batman tests the water at the Last Laugh reservoir, during which Joker visits him. Joker says he hopes both he (Batman) and the Batman Who Laughs defeat each other. Joker also promises to kill Batman if he fully-turns. They laugh together maniacally. Later, in the Batcave, Batman succumbs further to the poisons in his body. He creates and dons his very own Batman Who Laughs headgear made out of Nth Metal. With this headgear, Batman will be able to see into the Dark Multiverse. Alfred is so shocked at seeing Batman wearing the Batman Who Laughs’ headgear that he begins fist-fighting the Dark Knight in the Batcave. After a brief scuffle, Batman and Alfred hug it out. Batman takes-off and, by using the headgear and coordinating with James Gordon Jr, locates a Dark Metal energy spike inside Blackgate Prison. Inside the prison, Batman accidentally wanders through an interdimensional portal (presumably of the Batman Who Laughs’ design), winding-up in an alternate Dark Multiverse Earth where an elderly Bruce Wayne is warden of Blackgate. Together, both Batman and the alt-Bruce phase back to Earth-0. The Batman Who Laughs, disguised as a prison guard, immediately murders the alt-Bruce Wayne. A bunch of Blackgate guards enter and begin firing upon Batman, mistaking him for the Batman Who Laughs. Meanwhile, the Grim Knight unleashes upon Commissioner Gordon his own Dark Robins, cannibal Boy Wonders that are all alt-versions of James Junior. Commissioner Gordon flees into the sewers.

–The Batman Who Laughs #5-7 (“THE LAUGHING HOUSE” Continued…)
James Jr kills his cannibal doppelgängers and rescues his dad. Meanwhile, in Blackgate, Batman pretends to be the Batman Who Laughs, threatening to harm the prison guards’ families unless they let him walk. Standing down, they let him go. Batman takes the interdimensional portal from Blackgate and brings it to the Batcave for safekeeping. In the Court of Owls labyrinth, the Batman Who Laughs easily rips the arms off of several Talons and confronts the Court members head-on, killing one of their new young leaders. The Batman Who Laughs then summons yet another alternate-Bruce Wayne, this one at Talon and the head of the Court of Owls on his world. The Batman Who Laughs dispatches with Talon Bruce just like all the others. Meanwhile, Batman picks-up Commissioner Gordon and James Jr in a remote-controlled hyper-submarine, bringing them to the Batcave. There, Batman and Commissioner Gordon prepare to activate the Last Laugh system in an effort to prevent the Batman Who Laughs from poisoning the entire city. But before Batman activates it, he realizes that the Batman Who Laughs has played him. The Batman Who Laughs phones-in and reveals that Last Laugh was not built in 1780, but actually in 1699. And it wasn’t built to protect Gotham—it was built as a biological WMD. Batman has accidentally built and refurbished a giant chemical weapon, designed to kill everyone in his beloved city. The Batman Who Laughs psyches-out a poisoned Batman, who starts to agree that Gotham was always evil and deserving of punishment. With tears running out from underneath his weird headgear, a confused and troubled Batman activates Last Laugh. However, Batman has a plan. Able to now view alternate Dark Universes just like the Batman Who Laughs, Batman sees various alternate versions of himself. Batman comes to believe that he is the least effective of the other Batmen, because he would never give up his never-ending vigilante war for grander, more effective crime-fighting plans or for something that might be healthier for himself. Batman reaches out to the Batman Who Laughs, challenging him to a one-on-one duel. Batman deduces that his rival needs one final ingredient to activate the citywide Joker Venom toxin: some of his blood. Batman also realizes that the Batman Who Laughs’ end goal is not only to Jokerize all of Gotham, but also to pass the torch to him, leaving Batman as the new permanent Batman Who Laughs. Batman further realizes that his rival will likely use a Wayne Tech syringe to extract his blood and test him. Thus, Batman rigs a special charge in his costume that will mess with all nearby Wayne Tech syringes. In the Batcave, Commissioner Gordon and James Jr don experimental proto-Batman Beyond costumes and fight a losing battle against the Grim Knight. On the lawn of Wayne Manor, Batman fights the Batman Who Laughs. Batman tries to lure the Batman Who Laughs into a trap by summoning a child version of Bruce Wayne from an alternate universe, but the villain doesn’t fall for it. Instead, the Batman Who Laughs stabs Batman in the chest with a full syringe of Joker Venom, also extracting some of Batman’s blood at the same time. The Batman Who Laughs puts a gun to his own head, convinced that he has finally turned Batman, but he realizes that Batman has tricked him and instead shoots him in the shoulder. Meanwhile, the Grim Knight tries to drown Jim Gordon in a pool of Joker Venom, but James Jr saves his dad, stabbing the Grim Knight to death. Above ground, the Batman Who Laughs chases the young alt-Bruce to the cemetery where Thomas and Martha Wayne are buried (next to Wayne Manor). At the cemetery, Batman and Alfred defend young Bruce and activate their preset harpoon traps. With Alfred blasting shotgun shells into the Batman Who Laughs, and electrified harpoons tearing into the villain’s body, Batman whacks the vile doppelgänger with his mom’s toppled tombstone. Batman begins to finally fully succumb to the Joker Venom in his body and is about to kill the Batman Who Laughs. Joker shows up and spares Batman from doing the deed, taking him down himself, preventing Last Laugh from activating. Alfred immediately rushes a downed Batman into an emergency blood transfusion with young alt-Bruce, saving his life and clearing out most of the Joker Venom in his system. Bruce is in a coma for nearly two weeks before coming-to. Upon awakening, Bruce is notified that the Batman Who Laughs is in a secure cell in the Hall of Justice. (As referenced in Batman/Superman #2, the Bat-Family has secretly imprisoned the Batman Who Laughs deep beneath Batman’s private domain within the Hall of Justice. They have kept this a secret from the JL and the other heroes. Bruce decides that keeping it a secret is an auspicious idea, taking added steps to ensure that it remains as such.) Bruce does some research and comes to think that Joker helped him fend-off succumbing to the Batman Who Laughs’ toxins via a decelerating agent. Alfred tells Bruce that he sent the young Bruce back to his correct world. While Bruce then melts down the interdimensional portal, Alfred also tells him that he did a full toxicology screening and found no traces of any decelerating agent in his system. Batman was able to fend off the Joker Venom simply because he is Batman. Across town, Jim tells James Jr that he will continue doing his treatments and work-release program. Unknown to all, some of the Last Laugh toxins are within Jim’s body and mind.

–REFERENCE: In Detective Comics #1012. Due to all the horror Jim Gordon has just faced in The Batman Who Laughs arc, he decides to distance himself from his work a bit, giving a bit of his caseload to Harvey Bullock by appointing him as interim GCPD captain. Commissioner Gordon will still be leading the Force, but his weekly schedule will be much lighter, moving forward. Don’t forget, the infected Gordon is being partially mind-controlled by the Batman Who Laughs.

–Justice League Vol. 4 #29
The Justice League names the unnamed Dark Forces. The fourth Dark Force, released when the Key to the Graveyard of the Gods was destroyed, is labeled as “The Void Wind.” Its opposite is The Sphere of the Gods. The fifth Dark Force, released when the Martian elder lifted the Absorbascon veil over Thanagar, is labeled as “The Black Apple.” Its opposite is the Collective Unconscious. The sixth Dark Force, released when the JL traveled to the 6th Dimension, is labeled as “The Sixth Note.” Its opposite is the Dimensional Superstructure. (The oppositional forces are first referenced in Justice League Vol. 4 #30.) The JL discusses the fact that Lex Luthor now has six of seven Dark Forces (the final Dark Force is still unknown, but would give he and Perpetua limitless power) stored within his cosmic doorknob artifact. Batman meets with and checks-in with his fellow Justice Leaguers to draw up war plans. Hawgirl has fallen into a deep depression. John Stewart says that nearly all of the Green Lantern Corp is ready to fight against Perpetua and the Legion of Doom. Wonder Woman says that the JLD and several gods are as well. The Monitor and the World Forger are off searching for their brother. Later, Jarro sees a vision of the JL being defeated by the Legion of Doom. Panicking, Jarro mind-controls all the heroes in the Hall of Justice and makes them see a shared illusion that they (along with Jarro in a tiny starfish-shaped Robin costume) have defeated their villainous rivals. Jarro’s plan is to take his friends to the O-World (home planet of the Star Conquerors) where he can keep them hidden away. Batman sees through the illusion and rips a Jarro-fish off of his face. Batman scolds Jarro, telling him that what he’s done is not the heroes way. Jarro releases everyone from the hallucination. Batman gives Jarro a loving hug. Elsewhere, Brainiac and Lex Luthor gloat. Thanks to a severed tentacle from the original Starro, which they have stored at the Hall of Doom, they were able to physically link to the Hall of Justice when Jarro took over everyone’s minds. The LOD now knows all of the heroes’ battle plans.

–Detective Comics #1009-1011
Batman busts numerous people while on routine patrol, during which Alfred tells him that he hasn’t taken a crimefighting break in over thirty days and that he has a Wayne Enterprises meeting in a few hours. After returning home and getting literally two minutes of sleep, Bruce is rudely awakened by Alfred and shuffled off to “day work.” In a Lucius Fox-led meeting about keeping Wayne Enterprises’ global carbon footprint low and keeping environmental standards high across the board, Bruce pretends like he’s not interested, but heartily approves Lucius’ green protocols. Bruce, Lucius, and the rest of the CEOs at the meeting then depart from a private airfield to go to the Singapore Climate Change Summit. While en route, Deadshot, who had disguised himself as the co-pilot, attempts to hijack the plane. Lightning strikes the plane, causing it to tailspin and crash onto a Pacific jungle island. Deadshot then holds the airplane crash survivors hostage. Bruce, who had been thrown from the plane, is taken in by two opposing soldiers, Hiroshi and Clarence, that have been stranded on the island since WWII (à la the films Hell in the Pacific or Kong: Skull Island). The elderly soldiers give Bruce a tattered flight suit and aviator mask. Covered in mud and with this makeshift costume, Batman returns to the site of the crash to rescue his people from Deadshot. With help from Hiroshi and Clarence, Batman chases Deadshot away from the hostages. Batman then defeats Deadshot in a fistfight. The next morning, Alfred arrives with a military rescue airlift. Bruce leaves a comm-link with Hiroshi and Clarence, who decide to stay on the island. A few days later, Batman drops books and supplies for Hiroshi and Clarence. The implication here is that Batman will regularly drop goodies for them, moving forward. While we likely won’t see it on our timeline, we should assume that the Dark Knight does so. Back in Gotham, Mr. Freeze is nearly ready to awaken his wife Nora, having been slowly resurrecting her using the tech Lex Luthor gave him. However, he needs to harvest a few damaged body parts from living subjects.

–Year of the Villain: The Riddler #1
A week ago, Lex Luthor visited Riddler, telling him that he (Riddler) himself has been his own worst enemy all these years, shooting himself in the foot with all his compulsive riddling attached to crimes. Luthor told Riddler he needed to change in order to succeed, giving him a pep talk. No gifts of power, just a pep talk.[2] Cut to now. King Tut convinces Riddler to assist him in a challenge against Batman. After sending in a fake bomb threat, the villains are able to lure Batman (drawn wearing the wrong costume, but oh well) into their warehouse deathtrap, an Egyptian-styled maze filled with traps and live crocodiles. Batman easily makes it through and nabs King Tut. An embarrassed Riddler decides he’s had enough. He walks out on both Tut and Batman, discarding his Riddler attire. It’s time to heed Luthor’s words and start fresh for the super-villain.

–Red Hood: Outlaw #32
Red Hood holds Penguin hostage inside his own Iceberg Lounge Casino. Jason replaces Penguin’s goons with his own gang consisting of Suzie Su, Blanc Su, Candy Su, Anastasia Su, Night Su, Bunker, and the new Wingman. (Don’t forget, Wingman is secretly working for Batman.) After gloating about being the new owner of the Iceberg Lounge during a live TV interview with Vicki Vale, Jason is visited by an angry Batman, who is quite displeased about Jason’s bold move. They argue as they so often do, but Batman ultimately leaves, huffing and puffing as he goes. (This item culminates in Red Hood: Outlaw #36, which sees Penguin escape, Lex Luthor make an offer to Jason, and Suzie Su take over the Iceberg Lounge. Since the upcoming “Tyrant Wing” shows Penguin back in control of the Iceberg Lounge, we must assume that he immediately gets it back from Suzie right now. I mean, legally, it is his property, no? Either that or Penguin has a second Iceberg Lounge.)

———————––Batman and The Outsiders Vol. 3 #1-4
———————––Batman and The Outsiders Vol. 3 #6
(This item seems to have been written to occur in closer proximity to the last Outsiders appearance on our timeline, but it must go here, after Lex Luthor’s resurrection. Editorial notation in Batman and The Outsiders Vol. 3 #5 places “Lesser Gods” prior to “City of Bane.”) Bruce purchases Jefferson Pierce an apartment in Gotham while Katana moves into a place of her own in Gotham as well. Now equipped with new Bat-signal watches, the Outsiders (Black Lightning, Katana, Signal, and Orphan) are ready for fresh action! Batman sends them to bust a serial killer named Saint John, who has spent the last few days on a murder spree. After the Outsiders bust Saint John, Jefferson debriefs Bruce and chats with Katana. When Batman gets word that Gabriel Ramos has been killed by a League of Assassins member named Ishmael, who is now hunting a scared Sofia Ramos, he sends the Outsiders to work the case. Batman, meanwhile, departs to tackle the much-neglected Markovian Black Market case. In California, Sofia is taken under the protection of Kaliber,  who claims to be a time-traveler an alternate future where Sofia one day saves the entire world. Kaliber is only joking, of course. Working under Batman’s employ, Kaliber has been secretly watching over and protecting Sofia for years. In the Batcave, Bruce sips on hot tea and chats with Black Lightning. At a West Coast safe-house, Sofia and Kaliber are attacked by Ishmael, but the Outsiders (Black Lightning, Katana, Signal, and Orphan) intervene. The heroes are defeated and Ishmael kidnaps Sophia, taking her into Ra’s al Ghul’s custody in Khadym. Orphan meets with Batman to tell him that the Signal is still messed up over last year’s fight against Karma. Batman then meets with the Outsiders (now officially joined by Kaliber) to discuss the loss of Sofia Ramos to Ra’s al Ghul and to tell the team that he will be putting them through a test. Soon after, Batman—dressed up in Karma’s gear—attacks the Outsiders at the Gotham Waterways plant. But this test is really just for the weakest link of the team: the Signal. “Karma” strikes out at the Signal, who falters but learns a valuable lesson—that his teammates are there for him. Batman unmasks, telling the Signal he knows how he feels and fully supports him. Meanwhile, having been given an offer he couldn’t refuse from the resurrected Lex Luthor, Ra’s al Ghul puts Sofia through a straight-up rip-off of Return of the Jedi, acting in a Palpatine role and urging Sofia to strike down her tormentor Ishmael. She doesn’t kill Ishmael, but she does turn to the dark side and accept Ra’s al Ghul as her master. Sofia slaughters nearly two dozen assassins, earning the super-villain name Babylon. In Gotham, Bruce keeps up playboy appearances by hosting a sybaritic yacht party, during which he secretly meets with Jefferson. Bruce instructs Jefferson to take the Outsiders—sans Orphan and Signal—into Khadym to rescue Sofia, no matter what’s become of her. The Outsiders rescue the brainwashed Sofia, after which Jefferson checks-in with Bruce, who is on business in Paris. Ra’s al Ghul ships a chess set to Wayne Manor to mock Bruce. Meanwhile, in Gotham, Orphan and Signal chase Ishmael to an underground lair where they are greeted by a resurrected Lady Shiva, who displays a captured Karma. Shiva tells her daughter that they stand in one of Batman’s secret compounds and that Batman has held Karma captive there for some time. Allied with Ra’s al Ghul once again, Shiva takes down Orphan. Ishmael then takes down Signal and abducts him, departing with Shiva to rejoin Ra’s al Ghul.

–Batman and The Outsiders Vol. 3 #7
Batman sends Orphan to rescue Signal. She winds up fighting and defeating Ishamael. Signal is saved, but Ishmael altered his metahuman physiology, causing him only to see “darkness instead of light.” Meanwhile, en route back to Gotham aboard a plane, Babylon (Sofia Ramos) breaks out of her shackles and confronts Black Lightning and Katana. Kaliber reveals that he is secretly in the employ of Ra’s al Ghul, turning on the Outsiders by detonating a bomb that sends the plane hurtling toward the ground. Soon afterward, a large Doom Totality symbol burns brightly in the sky. This symbol, meant to coincide with the actions of the Legion of Doom in Justice League Vol. 4, was forcefully shoved onto the last page of every DC title released in early October to early November 2019 by editorial mandate. Continuity be damned! We should definitely ignore this scene since it makes little to no sense happening now, nor does it make chronological sense in almost all of the titles in which it appears. (The only way the appearance of the symbol makes any sense is if it sporadically appears multiple times over the course of the next few weeks.)

–Detective Comics #1012
An editorial note places this item prior to “City of Bane.” An snowy chill falls over Gotham, although, I’m not sure the winter season makes sense her on our timeline. Batman, still lovesick over Catwoman, visits the now-ruined SS Dolphin, the ship where they first met each other in costume. Meanwhile, Mr. Freeze’s henchmen have already kidnapped three Nora Fries lookalikes upon which to test the Lex Luthor-powered rejuvenation process, but Batman’s interest isn’t piqued until he learns that a fourth would-be victim has been able to evade capture. After a brief visit with Interim Captain Harvey Bullock, Batman goes to the home of the woman that evaded capture. He waits, setting up an ambush, nabbing the returning abductor.

–Detective Comics #1013-1015 (“COLD DARK WORLD”)
We pick up right where ‘tec #1012 ended. With Alfred’s thespian assistance, Batman gets Mr. Freeze’s henchman to admit to Mr. Freeze’s involvement in the kidnappings. As referenced in Detective Comics #1014, upon hearing about Mr. Freeze’s involvement, Batman visits the WayneTech Cryogenics Lab and cleans out all compounds and chemicals that Victor Fries ever worked on there in the past. Then, donning his ridiculous Bat-flamethrower costume, Batman crashes into Mr. Freeze’s lair in the Pine Barrens. After dispatching with a bunch of zombified frozen test victims, Batman then chases after a fleeing Mr. Freeze, who escapes with Nora in tow. Batman then brings the three frozen Nora lookalikes into the Batcave, hoping to revive them and return them to normal. Not sure if they are conscious and aware of their surroundings, Batman tells Alfred to put on a mask. Cheekily, he wears a Flash halloween mask (likely left in the cave by Damian or one of the other boys). Back in the Pine Barrens, Mr. Freeze revives Nora! Suffering from his same affliction, she must also remain at absolute zero! Bruce meets with Lucius Fox at WayneTech Cryogenics Lab to discuss the Nora lookalikes, but they are interrupted by Mr. Freeze and Nora. Mr. Freeze steals a hidden compound, which he administers to Nora, effectively turning her into a blue-skinned Mrs. Freeze! Mr. and Mrs. Freeze debut by icing-over an entire theater full of people at the latter’s old ballet company. Soon afterward, the villains view a huge Doom Totality symbol that burns brightly in the sky. (As mentioned above, this symbol, meant to coincide with the actions of the Legion of Doom in Justice League Vol. 4, was forcefully shoved onto the last page of every DC title released in early October to early November 2019 by editorial mandate. We should ignore this scene since it makes little to no sense happening now, nor does it make chronological sense in almost all of the titles in which it appears. The only way the appearance of the symbol makes any sense is if it sporadically appears multiple times over the course of the next few weeks.) In the Batcave, Alfred, Lucius, and Batman struggle to find a cure for the people Mr. Freeze has turned into blocks of ice. Lucius synthesizes a potential cure, but wants to test it on Bat-Cow first, but Batman says that he (Batman himself) will be the guinea pig. Thus, they freeze Batman’s arm and immediately administer the serum. It works as a de-icer, but leaves his limb totally numb. Back to the drawing board. Meanwhile, Mr. and Mrs. Freeze rob a bunch of banks with ease. Then, Mrs. Freeze dumps Mr. Freeze, icing him over and leaving him behind! Soon after, a one-armed Batman meets with an escaped Mr. Freeze, who begs him to help him deal with Mrs. Freeze in exchange for the de-icing cure. (Again, the Doom Totality symbol is still shining in the night sky, but we might have to ignore this.) Batman agrees and soon has a working arm and the cure, which he sends to Alfred. In the Batcave, Alfred (in his plastic Flash mask) and Lucius (wearing a Batman Halloween mask) revive the Nora lookalikes. At the theater, all are saved as well. Mr. Freeze then teams-up with Batman (back in his flamethrower costume) to go after the former’s crazed wife.

———————––Batman/Superman #1
———————––Batman/Superman #2 Part 1
———————––Flash Vol. 5 #65 Epilogue

“Who are the Secret Six?” takes place a few weeks after the conclusion of The Batman Who Laughs #1-7. Batman begins our tale by telling Superman (who has just busted Killer Croc) that the Batman Who Laughs first came to Earth-0 “last year,” but this actually technically happened toward the end of Bat Year 15. Commissioner Gordon (still secretly under the influence of the Batman Who Laughs’ mind-altering Joker Toxin) tells Batman and Superman that a teenage boy was supposedly captured by a “laughing Superman,” leading them to the Batman Who Laughs’ abandoned Batcave beneath Crime Alley. After infiltrating the cave, they find evidence that someone close to them (likely a few of their friends) have been infected with the villain’s Joker Toxin. They don’t know who, though. Our heroes are then approached by a cannibal Dark Robin, who reveals himself to be Billy Batson. Billy turns into a “Shazam Who Laughs” and attacks Superman, trying but failing to infect him with Joker Venom. The magickal disturbance caused by evil Shazam is so strong that it causes Zatanna to collapse and Phantom Stranger to have a nosebleed deep in the bowels of the Hall of Justice. Batman and Superman then fight the evil Shazam, which is also shown via flashback from The Infected: King Shazam #1). Batman crashes one of the Batman Who Laughs’ evil Bat-planes into Shazam, a dangerous maneuver that fails miserably. While Superman rushes an injured Batman into medical care inside the Fortress of Solitude, Shazam flies away. Once recovered, the battered Batman joins the bruised Superman, who tells him that six of their friends have either already been infected or will be shortly (i.e. Shazam and five others). In the Batcave, Batman and Superman continue their discussion of the Batman Who Laughs’s “secret six” situation. The World’s Finest discuss plans on how to handle things.[3]

———————––Batman/Superman #2 Part 2
———————––Batman/Superman #3-4

Batman and Superman deduce that Superman himself has been targeted to become one of the Batman Who Laughs’ “secret six.” Taking a daringly ridiculous course of action, Superman decides to go ahead and infect himself with the Batman Who Laughs’ Joker Venom in order to find out the villain’s plan. With Batman monitoring and setting up various safeguards, the “Superman Who Laughs” meets with the Batman Who Laughs in his underground cell. With the aid of hard-light holograms, a barely-in-control Superman tricks the Batman Who Laughs into thinking he has left his cell. Batman quickly realizes this is a terrible plan and intervenes, sticking Superman with a syringe full of Kryptonite/Anti-Joker Venom and restraining the Batman Who Laughs. Batman then locks up Superman, activating a giant sunlamp to expedite his healing. Realizing that Jim Gordon is one of the “secret six,” Batman tracks him down in Gotham. There, the “Gordon Who Laughs,” via remote-control, siccs his old Batman-mech suit (aka “Rookie the Robot”) to war against Batman. Superman, still giggling from the remaining poison in his system, breaks free of the Hall of Justice to help Batman fight Robo-Batman. They defeat Gordon and the Bat-mech, taking the Commish and his tech to the Fortress of Solitude. There, the another infected hero, replacing Superman as number three, emerges from within the Bat-mech: Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes). Meanwhile, a large Doom Totality symbol burns brightly in the sky. This symbol, meant to coincide with the actions of the Legion of Doom in Justice League Vol. 4, was forcefully shoved onto the last page of every DC title released in early October to early November 2019 by editorial mandate. As mentioned above, we should definitely ignore this scene since it makes little to no sense happening now, nor does it make chronological sense in almost all of the titles in which it appears. (The only way the appearance of the symbol makes any sense is if it has already appeared before and will continue to sporadically appear multiple times over the course of the next few weeks.) Blue Beetle opens-up the Fortress of Solitude to Commissioner Gordon and the the fourth and fifth infected heroes, Donna Troy and Hawkman (who is being controlled by Earth-3’s Sky Tyrant). As Batman and Superman fight the Jokerized heroes, Gordon tells of the Batman Who Laughs’ evil plan to use Negative Earth-22’s old JL Satellite along with an Anti-Montior-style tuning fork tower to bring doom and gloom to Earth-0. Supergirl and Krypto arrive to assist Batman and Superman. However, Supergirl is already under the secret influence of Brainiac-1‘s nano-bot manipulation, so she quickly succumbs to Joker Venom. (The sequence depicting Supergirl’s arrival is also shown pretty much verbatim and shot-for-shot in Supergirl Vol. 7 #36.) Shazam then arrives, thus completing the assemblage of the new Secret Six.

–Superman Vol. 5 #17
Lex Luthor has gifted Lois Lane something worthy of publishing in The Daily Planet, something top secret hidden in a small lead-lined box. Superman asks her what’s in the box, but she says she cannot tell him—that he must wait until she publishes it for the world to see. While they discuss a range of topics, including the box, Sam Lane’s death, and Jon’s departure to the future, a frustrated Superman telescopically scans the country looking for any trouble, but he only sees relative calm, including Batman and Alfred hanging out in the Batcave. Later, Young Justice tips Superman off to a secret unsanctioned STAR Labs compound in Utah that has dedicated its resources to killing the Man of Steel. Superman mere appearance at the compound is enough to shut it down, although he doesn’t learn that Dr. Glory is secretly behind it. Superman and Supergirl then visit New Krypton, a manmade planet at the other side of the universe that has been created by a reformed Zod and his wife Ursa. There, with Lor-Zod (Zod and Ursa’s son) eavesdropping, Superman tells Supergirl that he plans on revealing his secret ID to the world in the near future.


–Batman Vol. 3 #58-60 (“THE TYRANT WING”)
Lately, Penguin hasn’t been following Bane’s secret preachments to the letter, so Bane decides to send him a message from Arkham Asylum. Penguin’s recently wedded “wife” (an actual penguin named Penny) is murdered. Penguin goes old-school and attacks Batman with a trick umbrella, which gets him sent to Arkham for a few-day stint. While there, Penguin meets with Bane and Flashpoint Batman in the bowels of the building. Bane tells Penguin to fall back in line and that he has plans for Bruce Wayne, ordering Penguin to assassinate Alfred. After being released, Penguin attends a funeral for Penny. There, Penguin chats with his henchmen about the still-ongoing Mr. Freeze-copycat murder case, which Penguin is revealed to be orchestrating on behalf of Bane. Penguin then puts out the hit on Alfred. In the Batcave, Alfred cleans the T Rex and sees-off Batman, who heads out upon hearing that there’s been yet another Mr. Freeze-copycat murder (the first one since the triple murder from months ago). Batman meets with Commissioner Gordon, who tells Batman that there was a penguin feather found near the body of the latest victim. Batman immediately visits the Iceberg Lounge and punches his way to Penguin’s inner sanctum. Penguin plays his card, revealing that his men have a sniper rifle targeted on Alfred inside Wayne Manor as they speak. But Penguin tells his own men to kill themselves, which they do. In an ostensibly venturesome move, Penguin appears to be going against Bane. He sits Batman down with quite a yarn to tell. Of course, Bane has anticipated every possible outcome—even a betrayal by Penguin, who, despite great risk to his own life, goes against the grain due to anger over the loss of his “wife.” Penguin tells Batman that Bane ordered him to commit the Mr. Freeze frame-up murders. Penguin also tells Batman that Bane has been in total control of Arkham Asylum for at least a year. From Arkham, Bane has ruled over Gotham’s underworld in this time. Batman immediately visits Bane’s Arkham cell to find the villain a blubbering catatonic mess. Batman beats the shit out of Bane, accusing him of being behind KGBeast’s hit on Dick and all that Penguin has claimed. Bane plays dumb and keeps up his blubbering act. Commissioner Gordon rushes-in and pulls Batman off the shaking bloody Bane. Batman punches-out Gordon, to which the Commish tells Batman to get the hell out. Badly injured, but having fooled Batman, Bane smiles to himself in the infirmary. After leaving, Batman tells Alfred that he doesn’t know what to believe anymore. After building a makeshift cage inside the Batcave, Batman puts a blindfolded Penguin into his protective custody, placing him inside the cage while ordering Alfred to act as his keeper. Batman then sets out to interrogate anyone that has been released from Arkham in the past year. First, Batman mercilessly thrashes a cowering Maxie Zeus, who has been inexplicably paroled despite having been given a life sentence. Batman then terrorizes Firefly (Ted Carson), Kite-Man, Signalman, and nine more (unnamed) recently released Arkham inmates. All of them say the same thing: Bane is a blubbering mess and there’s no way he’s the leader of a secret Arkham-based criminal cabal. When Gordon hears that Batman has been mercilessly brutalizing parolees, he angrily stomps up to top of the GCPD HQ roof and smashes the Bat-signal with a baseball bat. Batman then returns to the Batcave where he is ambushed by Flashpoint Batman. As referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #70-71, Batman is knocked unconscious and imprisoned inside Arkham Asylum by Flashpoint Batman. After being strapped to a machine that pumps a continuous flow of Fear Gas into his system, Batman hallucinates. First, Batman has a dream about Flashpoint Batman attacking both he and Alfred.

–Batman Vol. 3 #61-63 (“KNIGHTMARES”)
Batman, having been taken prisoner by Flashpoint Batman and strapped to a machine that pumps a continuous flow of Fear Gas into his system, continues to hallucinate. The Dark Knight dreams about the false origin and delusions of the murderous young Matthew Warner aka Master Bruce. Then, Batman finds himself, within the nightmare, tied-up hanging upside-down in a slaughterhouse. Batman struggles to free himself and regain his equilibrium as Professor Pyg strikes out at him. Batman demands answers of the villain, who morphs into Damian. Batman then dreams that his wedding with Catwoman went as planned. Batman vacations, patrols, and lives a happy life of marital bliss. Batman’s deep subconsciousness appears in the form of John Constantine, who follows the Dark Knight and acts as a voice of reason, trying to tell him something is amiss. After witnessing Catwoman die, Batman—via Constantine—struggles to convince himself that he’s been drugged and is being held captive.

–Batman Vol. 3 #66-69 (“KNIGHTMARES” Continued…)
Batman’s Fear Gas-induced nightmare hallucination continues with a vision of the Question (Vic Sage) in conversation with Selina. They discuss the Bat-Cat relationship, Batman’s relationship to the Trinity, Batman’s war on crime, and whether or not Batman can ever be happy. Batman then hallucinates that he is chasing an extra-agile Joker all throughout Gotham. This segues into a weird dream where Selina and Lois Lane have a drunk and debaucherous bachelorette spa date at the Fortress of Solitude (which includes Supermen Robots stripping for them). Meanwhile, the dream continues with Bruce and Clark sharing together a quiet night of formal dinner, watching football on TV, and playing chess. Realizing that he’s dreaming, Batman tries to turn his vision into a lucid one, forcing the dream to take him to a scene of himself dancing with Selina. Batman faces his greatest fear—the fear of committing fully to Selina. Dream Selina tells Batman that he doesn’t truly love her. Elsewhere, Flashpoint Thomas Wayne spars with a nude Bane.

–Batman Vol. 3 #70-72 (“THE FALL AND THE FALLEN”)
Batman comes-to and smashes out of the nightmare machine to find himself in a Bane-controlled Arkham Asylum. Shaken and believing to have been held captive for what he mistakenly believes to have been weeks, Batman traverses the halls of the asylum. After kayoing Riddler (who is shown wearing his costume here, possible erroneously) and ignoring an annoying Calendar Man, Batman easily takes down a Kobra snake man (or maybe Copperhead, but its hard to tell), Hush, Dr. Phosphorus, Mad Hatter, Victor Zsasz, a random man-bat (maybe a League of Assassins man-bat since Kirk Langstrom would currently be with the JLD and definitely not in Arkham), Eduardo Flamingo, Black Spider, Firefly, Mr. Freeze, Scarecrow, Amygdala, Solomon Grundy, and Two-Face. As Maxie Zeus shouts in the background, Batman orders Two-Face to tell Bane that he’ll be returning with an army in twenty-four hours. Batman then heads to police HQ where he pops a red bulb and new lens into the Bat-signal, shining it for his Bat-Family to see. Batgirl radios the troops: Robin (Tim) wraps-up fighting Samuroids with Young Justice; Robin (Damian) wraps-up dealing with Professor Pyg; Huntress wraps-up a team-up with Tiger King of Kandahar; a sleepy Spoiler ignores the call; Batwoman acknowledges but is out of country; Orphan responds affirmatively; Signal responds affirmatively; Dick (now “Ric”) says Bat-Family matters have nothing to do with him anymore; and Jason flat-out refuses to come. (Jason is shown in his Iceberg Lounge office, which is a continuity error—a misguided attempt to connect to other comic storylines. Jason was in control of the Iceberg Lounge, but not anymore. The only way this could work is with a heavy fanwank of there being two Iceberg Lounges and Jason is visiting Suzie Su, who would be owner of the other one.) Atop a Gotham roof, Batman addresses his people, telling them of Bane’s machinations at Arkham. Batman tells the Bat-Family that he had been captured for weeks, which confuses them because there’s no way that could possibly be true. Despite this, they agree to listen to their mentor anyway. At Arkham, everything seems to be normal and all the prisoners are safely in their cells. After a quick call to Alfred, Batgirl learns that Batman had only left yesterday. Tim tries to calm down a quickly panicking and increasingly confused Batman, but the Dark Knight punches him. (A reference in Batman Vol. 3 #81 reveals that Batman knows that Gotham Girl is secretly listening-in on Bane’s behalf, so the Dark Knight, with this punch, actually sends a hidden message to the Bat-Family to begins communicating on more secure comm channels. He tells his fam that he will take a dive against Bane in order to figure out their plan and how to beat them. This ridiculousness puts some of his old Golden Age ruses to shame, but oh well.) At Wayne Manor, Batman comes face-to-face with Bane and Flashpoint Batman waiting for him at the dinner table. Alfred serves food, referring to Bane as “Master Bane.” An angry Batman flips the table, prompting Bane to rise up and knock his lights out. Alfred helps Batman to his feet, but tells him that Bane has finally truly broken him. Batman fights Bane all over the mansion, but Bane gets the upper hand and gives the Caped Crusader a patented backbreaker.

–Batman Vol. 3 #73-74 (“THE FALL AND THE FALLEN” Continued…)
Batman, having been knocked unconscious by Bane, is mended by Flashpoint Batman, who performs surgery on his injured spine, saving his life. Heavily sedated, Bruce is hijacked to the deserts outside of Khadym by a horseback-riding Flashpoint Batman. After several days, Bruce awakens and adjusts to his surroundings, seeing his captor and a mysterious coffin. Another groggy day passes and Bruce erupts from sleep to find Flashpoint Batman finishing off The Death of the Desert, Ra’s al Ghul’s personal elite guard unit. Bruce chats with Flashpoint Batman and realizes that the alt-Dark Knight has dug up the corpse of Martha Wayne, which is in the coffin. The plan is to resurrect her in the Lazarus Pit of Khadym, known as the Nain Pit! The next night, while Flashpoint Batman sleeps, Batman sneaks his mother’s corpse out of the coffin, replacing the weight with rocks. He buries Martha in the sand. the next day, the two Batmen near the Nain Pit and defeat the rest of the Death of the Desert, including their fearless leader Shaddad the Unbroken. After repelling to the bottom of a deep chasm to the edge of the Nain Pit, Batman stops playing along and kicks his alt-dad’s ass. He tells Flashpoint Batman that Bane’s plan hasn’t worked. He’s not emotionally shattered and done for. Batman defeats Flashpoint Batman and ascends out of the chasm. And here’s where things get confusing.

–REFERENCE: In Batman Vol. 3 #81. After climbing out of the Nain Pit, Batman realizes that Bane wants control of Gotham and will likely use Gotham Girl to help keep the Justice League out of his way. Knowing that Gotham Girl needs Super-Venom to slow down her rapid senescence, Batman decides that he must protect the last dose, which is hidden with the Memory of the Mountain in the Himalayas. Knowing that many of Gotham’s worst villains are in league with Bane, Batman has Clayface (Basil Karlo) infiltrate Bane’s ranks, disguised as Joker. Batman also preps his Bat-Family for clandestine action. The implication here is that this leads directly to the “City of Bane” arc, starting with Batman getting badly injured by Magpie’s thugs and Bane taking over Gotham. Batman even says he “did not return to the city” after crawling out of the pit. Thus begins “City of Bane.”

———————––Batman Vol. 3 #75-76
———————––flashback from Batman Vol. 3 #77
With the aid of Psycho-Pirate’s brainwashing powers, Bane takes over Gotham, ejecting the Bat-Family from the city. Bane holds Alfred hostage, telling all Bat-Family members that he will kill him if they appear in the city. Flashpoint Batman and Gotham Girl replace Batman and Robin, even moving into the Batcave. The Ventriloquist replaces Alfred as butler of Wayne Manor, although Alfred remains in the mansion as a “permanent guest” under lock and key. Bane appoints Hugo Strange as the new commissioner of police and makes his top cops Riddler, Professor Pyg, Hush, Victor Zsasz, Mad Hatter, Dr. Phosphorus, Killer Croc, and Joker. (Note that Croc is not under Bane and Psycho-Pirate’s spell in Gotham City Monsters, which takes place during this time period. Thus, Croc must succumb immediately after that series. Also note that Joker is actually secretly a disguised Clayface, who is working for Batman.) Firefly and Firebug are put in charge of the Gotham City Fire Department. Psycho-Pirate—with Tweedledum (Dumfree Tweed) and Tweedledee (Deever Tweed) as his cronies—control Arkham Asylum. Only Two-Face—with hired men Solomon Grundy and Amygdala—remains to fight against the new status-quo. While Bruce flees to the other side of the planet seeking to retrieve the Super-Venom from his old master, the Memory of the Mountain, Two-Face and his henchmen wage a war against Bane for days, eventually executing Bane’s agent, Dr. Double-X. Flashpoint Batman and Gotham Girl then bust Two-Face, leaving his Harvey Dent side catatonic. Two-Face, Grundy, and Amygdala are thrown into Arkham where they are reprogrammed by Psycho-Pirate. In the snow-capped mountains of Asia, Bruce arrives at the Memory of the Mountain’s home, but Bane is one step ahead of him. Having sent Magpie to intercept, the Memory of the Mountain is already dead. Magpie’s henchmen steal the Super-Venom, stab Bruce in the neck, and leaving him half-naked and comatose in the snow. Catwoman, having tracked Bruce, saves his life. Back in Gotham, Lex Luthor makes an offer to Bane, telling him he can make his control of Gotham legally-binding in the eyes of the US Government. Bane tells Luthor that the LOD can conquer the multiverse, but he wants Gotham and Gotham alone. Soon after, an executive order from President Trump makes Bane’s control of Gotham legal, simultaneously banning all superheroes from entering the city. Captain Atom breaks the order and enters Gotham to challenge Bane. Upon Captain Atom’s arrival, Gotham Girl kicks his ass and puts him in the hospital. Meanwhile, Flashpoint Batman takes down Tweedledum, Tweedledee, Kite-Man, and Scarecrow when they all refuse to fall in line. Damian and Tim meet to discuss a plan of action, but all hope seems lost. In Paris, Bruce comes out of his coma. Selina nurses him back to health. Over a lovely Parisian dinner, a depressed Bruce says that he must return to Gotham even if it kills him. Selina tells Bruce that they can defeat Bane if they work together.

CITY OF BANE (Continued…)
———————––Batman Vol. 3 #78-79 / reference in Batman Vol. 3 #83
———————––reference in Batman Vol. 3 #77[5]
Catwoman finds out that Magpie is planning on selling the Super-Venom to Bane’s henchmen in Hawaii in a few days. They immediately book a trip. Bruce, disguised as a vacationing Matches Malone, continues his recovery on a honeymoon-like retreat with a disguised Selina at a luxurious Hawaiian resort. They kayak, sip drinks by the beach, and listen to sports talk radio—specifically about the ongoing football season, which might be topically dubious due to the time of year. (It’s a bit early for football, but an easy fanwank is that they are talking about the prior season.) As honeymoon-like as it all seems, Bruce is here to train and get better, which means no funny business! That’s right, Bruce and Selina will stay in two different rooms. Aside from the sexual edging, poolside tanning, and campfire heart-to-hearts about what went wrong with their engagement, Batman and Catwoman train by rock climbing, cliff diving, and Batarang toss-and-catch. While training, they give in to their true feelings, both attempting to take responsibility for what happened on their wedding day. They embrace and kiss, reunited once again. The Bat-Cat relationship is back on! Bruce and Selina discuss their past, exercise on the beach, and hear the latest news reports about Bane’s control of Gotham. After things heat up in their now-shared bedroom, Bruce and Selina heat up the streets of Honolulu, costuming themselves to fight crime. Batman and Catwoman spend a night busting stick-up men, gangsters, and weird super-villains. As referenced in Batman Vol. 3 #83, Alfred, not wanting to screw up Batman’s plans to defeat Bane, contacts the Dark Knight and tells him a lie that he’s safely escaped Gotham. Batman then phones Damian, telling him to go after Bane’s crew. After another night of action, Batman and Catwoman tell each other that they love one another before easily busting Magpie and getting the Super-Venom back. The next afternoon, Bruce thanks Selina for everything she’s done for him. They decide to have a new meeting place that isn’t the street or the boat—it’ll be the beach. With his orders from Batman, a determined Damian acquires Klarion’s magick wand, which he uses to defeat and restrain Gotham Girl. On a roll, Damian takes down Zsasz and Scarecrow (who has already been brainwashed into a Bane-cop by Psycho-Pirate). But Flashpoint Batman is too much for young Damian, who gets knocked-out and taken captive. In Wayne Manor, Damain is forced to watch as Bane seemingly murders Alfred.

–Batman Vol. 3 #80-82 (“CITY OF BANE” Continued…)
Batman and Catwoman sneak into Gotham City. Batman takes down Officers Pyg and Two-Face. When they fail to report in, Flashpoint Batman knows Batman has returned. While Catwoman takes down Officer Mad Hatter, Batman takes down a rogue Kite-Man and Officer Hush. At Wayne Manor, Flashpoint Batman tucks a very sick Gotham Girl, ill due to overuse of her powers, into bed. The Ventriloquist announces that Bane has ordered the execution of Damian. Flashpoint Batman descends into the Batcave and puts a gun to a bound Damian’s head. Meanwhile, Batman and Catwoman defeat Solomon Grundy and Amygdala to infiltrate Arkham Asylum. Clayface takes down Riddler. In the Batcave, Damian easily escapes and, as per Batman’s plan, joins the Bat-Family (Tim, Huntress, Orphan, Batwoman, Signal, and Batgirl) to fight Flashpoint Batman. But the villain kicks their asses and stabs Tim in the chest. Bloody and battered but victorious, Flashpoint Batman sends a fake message to Batman, telling him that the Bat-Family has won. The ham-fisted final pages of Batman Vol. 3 #81 show a nude Harvey Bullock gawking at a giant Doom Totality symbol that burns brightly across the skies above Earth. This symbol, meant to coincide with the actions of the Legion of Doom in Justice League Vol. 4, was forcefully shoved onto the last page of every DC title released in early October to early November 2019 by editorial mandate. As with prior titles, we should definitely ignore this scene since it makes little to no sense happening now, nor does it make chronological sense in almost all of the titles in which it appears. (The only way the appearance of the symbol makes any sense is if it has already appeared before and will continue to sporadically appear multiple times over the course of the next few weeks.) After doing some prep work, Batman and Catwoman fight Bane in the bowels of Arkham Asylum. The trio fights to a bloody stalemate until Flashpoint Batman arrives with the Ventriloquist at his side. Flashpoint Batman puts bullets into both Batman and Bane.

–Batman Vol. 3 #83 (“CITY OF BANE” Continued…)
Batman wakes up what could be days later, finding himself face-to-face with the deceased Alfred in Wayne Manor. Batman cradles Alfred and freaks out, smashing things in anger. Batman then finds that all the entranceways to the Batcave have been bricked shut. After finding and listening to a heartfelt final audio-recorded message from Alfred, Batman sheds some tears before facing the task at hand. The entire Bat-Family has been mind-controlled into subservience by Psycho-Pirate. A brainwashed Catwoman escorts Batman into the main parlor where Flashpoint Thomas Wayne (in street clothes) awaits. Batman challenges his “father” to one more winner-take-all fight.

–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 or may not be linked to the “Great Darkness” from Bryan Hitch’s Justice League Vol. 3 from two years ago. Thus, 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, Shazam, Supergirl, an unknown person in an Ikon suit, and 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. In fact, Jericho’s appearance here in any capacity might contradict narrative in Deathstroke Vol. 4.) Starman reviews the six known Dark Forces (and their oppositional Positive Forces) and displays the Cosmic Rod.[6] 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 debriefs 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), Catwoman, Red Hood, Ra’s al Ghul, Riddler, and many more. (Riddler’s appearance here seems to be a continuity error, directly contradicting the events of Year of the Villain: The Riddler #1.) 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. 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, whose lineup includes Owlwoman. Concurrently, in some possible alt-Hypertimeline (January 7, 1941), Flash and John Stewart find themselves before the Justice Society of America! 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 Flash (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 contains the Totality our heroes are searching for. 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. 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-6 Wonder Woman, the Earth-22 Justice League, 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 (from the Titans Tomorrow/666 timeline), Blue Scarab (from Justice League: Generation Lost #14), an alt-Deathstroke (from “Deathstroke RIP”), an alt-Flash, an alt-Shazam, and 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, 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 Anti-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 (“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 not only has Tim given up the Red Robin insignia a while ago, he should likely be wearing his new Drake costume as well. 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.) 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 Anti-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. As the heroes make their charge, Batman activates the Hall of Justice’s final defense mode, turning the entire building into a gigantic flying fortress.

–The Green Lantern #3
Volgar Zo (a Dhorian, the same species as Kanjar Ro) shrinks down the entire planet Earth and prevents all of the superheroes—including the Justice League—from taking any action to stop him. Stealing the entire planet, Volgar Zo puts it up for sale at an intergalactic black market auction! The worst of the worst are present, including Steppenwolf, Mongal, Gelgoth, Queen Bee, Grayven, Overmaster, Bolphunga, Agamemno, Kromm, Zuggernaut, Zerno the Sorcerer, Zerno’s Gzann pet familiar, Ulala, Oom the MightyDeath’s Head II (from Marvel’s Earth-8410), Robot (from the 2018 Lost in Space TV show), a representative of the The H’San Natall, the last Rukk, an alien pterodactyl, a Mikrid, the Mikrid’s mind-controlled Bowerd, a White Martian, a few Dominators, some mini-Star Conqueror/Starling hybrids, some Khunds, and many more.[7] As the auction concludes with a sale to the cosmic Shepherd (who resembles a mix of Zeus and the Christian God), the defenseless populace of Earth panics. Eve Doremus and Tom Kalmaku wonder where their pal Hal Jordan could be. Where is Hal? He’s rounded up his Green Lantern Corps troops and is mounting an offensive. Hal and seven of his space-cops—including Medphyll, Tagort, Lashorr, Venizz, M’Dahna, Gorius Karkum, and Chriselon—charge into battle, but Volgar Zo has hired some tough bodyguards in form of the Blackstars, an offshoot of the anti-GL group known as the Darkstars. While the GLC fights the Blackstars, Hal confronts the Shepherd, who claims that he has only good intentions for Earth. Hal asks Tom how the populace of Earth are doing. Tom reveals that, shortly after the auction, Volgar Zo softened the minds of everyone on the planet, making them all willingly submit to the rule of their new false god. Hal reveals to everyone on Earth that the Shepherd is actually an evil alien monster that is planning on eating everyone, but everyone calls Hal a fascist and tells him to piss off! Hal uses his authority to arrest the entire population of Earth, citing that they are all too intoxicated to make rational decisions. Hal punches-out and arrests the Shepherd before turning his sights on a fleeing Volgar Zo. After finding a bunch of emaciated slaves in Volgar Zo’s ship, the disgusted Hal brutally murders Volgar Zo, telling his fellow space-cops that it was self defense if anyone asks. (This is, of course, part of the beginning of a deep cover GLC mission.) Earth is returned back to its proper size and rightful spot in the Milky Way Galaxy.

. . .


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

. . .

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #5. (This item occurs three months prior to the main action of Doomsday Clock.) Jack Ryder (aka the Creeper), while on assignment for his news agency in Kahndaq, is abducted and held captive by King Kobra.

. . .

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #5 and Doomsday Clock #8. (This item occurs one month prior to the main action of Doomsday Clock.) With the threat of King Kobra growing within Kahndaq, Black Adam meets with the world’s most powerful leaders, signing a global pact that grants him authority to execute Kahndaqi law (a very brutal and oppressive type of jurisprudence) as long as he does not cross international borders. Black Adam is more than happy to be publicly legitimized as a world leader in any way, shape, or form. Now with reluctant international backing, Black Adam immediately begins a “war on terror,” violently striking out against King Kobra.

. . .

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #2 and Doomsday Clock #5. (This item occurs a few weeks prior to the main action of Doomsday Clock. Six months have passed since Dr. Helga Jace first published her Supermen Theory findings.) A tax fraud investigation into Simon Stagg stirs up evidence seemingly proving Dr. Helga Jace’s conspiracy in regard to Metamorpho. The Stagg investigation leads to the public release of Department of Metahuman Affairs classified documents, which confirm Metamorpho’s false provenance and creation by the US Government. The documents show that Metamorpho was (and has been) secretly working with his “arch-rival” Stagg and all of his other rogues, playing out a false hero-villain narrative for years, in order to mask their connections to the government. The public goes into an uproar. Batman is deeply troubled by this news, especially since he has worked closely with Metamorpho. Not long after, Jace’s Supermen Theory immediately gains even more traction (and is basically ubiquitously validated by the global public) when Dr. Kirk Langstrom publicly admits that his Man-Bat experimentation has always been secretly sponsored by the Department of Metahuman Affairs. Yet another of Batman’s allies has been working for the government on the down-low. Following his admission, Langstrom goes missing. Public trust in the metahuman community instantly drops to zero. Meanwhile, LexCorp, in its ongoing effort to upgrade its metagene research, finalizes purchases of Kord Industries, Genetech, and the Sunderland Corporation. President Trump denies that the Supermen Theory is true. (NOTE: The early December 2017 dates attached to this reference—taken from supplemental material in Doomsday Clock #2—must be ignored.)

. . .

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #2. In the wake of the latest “Supermen Theory” revelations (which happened about a week-and-a-half ago), Russia forms a military alliance with Markovia. (NOTE: The December 11, 2017 date attached to this reference—taken from supplemental material in Doomsday Clock #2—is incorrect.)

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #2 and Doomsday Clock #5. Sparked by the latest “Supermen Theory” revelations and the Russian-Markovian Alliance (which formed just over a week ago), Lex Luthor unleashes a highly-funded all-out anti-metahuman campaign. He demands that all superheroes and super-villains unmask, to which Superman publicly rebukes. Metamorpho’s longtime girlfriend Sapphire Stagg publicly turns on both Metamorpho and her father, Simon Stagg. Metamorpho and Stagg immediately go off-the-radar and into hiding. The next day, as Bruce attends a Martha Wayne Mental Health fundraiser, Luthor funds an act of industrial espionage aimed at stealing metagene research information from Wayne Enterprises. This failed thievery leads to the arrest of four Wayne Enterprises employees. Bruce speaks with the media about the situation and also reveals that Wayne Enterprises is purchasing Stagg Industries. Luthor, as he is so good at doing, denies involvement and distances himself from the crime completely. Undeterred by his inability to pilfer the metagene research, Luthor tries another means—corporate takeover. Luthor counters Bruce’s announcement by announcing his own interest in a LexCorp buyout of Wayne Enterprises, appealing directly to the Wayne Enterprises Board of Directors. (NOTE: The December 19-20, 2017 dates attached to this reference—taken from supplemental material in Doomsday Clock #2—are incorrect.)

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #5-6. The original Killer Frost (Louise Lincoln) admits to being a Department of Metahuman Affairs agent. She also publicly accuses Firestorm, Firehawk, Captain Atom, Moonbow, and Typhoon of being secret DMA agents as well. Pozhar backs Louise Lincoln’s claims. Firestorm vehemently denies the accusation. President Trump continues public denials. (Moonbow and Typhoon are indeed actually DMA secret agents.) The author of the Superman Theory, Dr. Helga Jace, tells the news media that Geo-Force once secretly worked with Batman (as part of the clandestine Outsiders team). Geo-Force publicly denies having ever worked with Batman. Meanwhile, various nations—Russia, Markovia, France, Israel, the UK, India, China, Kahndaq, Iran, Australia, and Japan—begin assembling official government-sponsored super-teams in response to the ever-growing Supermen Theory conspiracy. (NOTE: It is unknown whether the late May or late July dates attached to this reference—taken from supplemental material in Doomsday Clock #5-6—are correct.)

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #5-6. Several nations’ superhero teams go public. Russia’s People’s Heroes roster features Pozhar (ex-Red Shadows and Rocket Red Brigade), Black Eagle, Firebird (Pozhar’s neice and ex-Soyuz), Lady Flash (ex-Blue Trinity), Morozko (ex-Soyuz), Negative Woman (ex-Checkmate, Agency, and Doom Patrol), Perun (ex-Soyuz), Red Star (ex-Teen Titan), Rusalka (ex-Soyuz), Snow Owl, Steel Wolf (ex-Red Shadows and Suicide Squad), Tundra (ex-Global Guardians), Vikhor (ex-Soyuz), and Vostok-X III. Markovia’s Outsiders lineup, which consists of ex-Outsiders or folks related to the Outsiders, features Geo-Force, the Eradicator (possibly merged with Dr. David Connor again), Baroness Bedlam (likely a relative of Baron Bedlam), Charlie Wylde, Terra IV, and Knightfall (likely someone related to ex-Outsiders Atomic Knight and Windfall). The UK’s Knights Inc consists of Knight (ex-Club of Heroes, Ultramarine Corps, and Batman Inc), Beaumont, Canterbury Cricket, Crusader, Godiva (ex-JLI), Golden Pharaoh, the Hood (ex-Batman Inc, Spyral, and THEY), Jack O’Lantern (ex-Global Guardians, Leymen, and Ultramarine Corps), Looking Glass (ex-Blasters), Lionheart (ex-JLI), Mrs. Hyde, Ridge (ex-Ravagers), a new Silent Knight, a new Squire, and Templar (ex-Conglomerate). The new French-run Justice League Europe features Crimson Fox (ex-JL, JLI, Université Notre Dame des Ombres, and Global Guardians), Fleur-de-Lis (ex Département Gamma, Global Guardians, and Ultramarine Corps), The Hunchback, Musketeer (ex-Club of Heroes and Global Guardians), Nightrunner (ex-Batman Inc), and Thief of Arts. Israel unveils a new Hayoth: Seraph (ex-Global Guardians), Dybbuk (ex-Hayoth), Golem (ex-Hayoth and Leymen), Judith (ex-Hayoth), Pteradon, and Ramban (ex-Hayoth). India’s The Doomed features Celsius (ex-Doom Patrol and Black Lantern Corps), Aalok of the Komeriah, Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man (ex-Front Men), Aruna Shende, Beast Girl, Maya (ex-JLE and JLI), Solstice (ex-Teen Titans), and Son of Kalki (Celsius’ sister). China expands its Great Ten into the Great Twenty, consisting of Super-Man (ex-JLC and Ministry of Self-Reliance), Accomplished Perfect Physician (ex-Great Ten), Bat-Man (ex-JLC and Ministry of Self-Reliance), August General in Iron (ex-Great Ten, JLI, and Checkmate), Celestial Archer (ex-Great Ten), Dao (ex-Zhuguan), Flash Avery Ho (ex-JLC, China White Triad, and Ministry of Self-Reliance), Ghost Fox Killer (ex-Great Ten), Gloss (ex-New Guardians and Global Guardians), Guanxi (ex-Zhuguan), Immortal Man in Darkness (ex-Great Ten), Mother of Champions (ex-Great Ten), Night-Dragon, Ri (ex-Zhuguan), Seven Deadly Brothers (ex-Great Ten), Shaolin Robot (ex-Great Ten), Socialist Red Guardsman (ex-Great Ten), Striker Z (ex-Power Company), Thundermind (ex-Great Ten), and Wonder-Woman (ex-JLC and Ministry of Self-Reliance). Japan alters its Big Science Action into Big Monster Action, consisting of Rising Sun (ex-Global Guardians and Big Science Action), Goraiko (ex-Ultramarine Corps and Big Science Action), Hammersuit Zero-X (ex-Big Science Action), Judomaster (ex-Birds of Prey), Naiad (ex-Parliament of Waves), Ram (ex-New Guardians and Global Guardians), Samurai, and several unnamed domesticated kaiju. Iran’s Elite Basu features Sayeh the Seer (ex-Others), The Blacksmith of Tehran (likely Amunet Black, meaning ex-Rogues), Manticore (likely Saied, meaning ex-Jihad, Injustice League, and Leviathan), The Patient One, Sirocco, and Super-Shayk. Australia’s team is called The Sleeping Soldiers, comprising Dreamer (ex-New Guardians), The Argonaut, Dark Ranger (ex-Batman Inc), Miss Midnight, the Tasmanian Devil (ex-Global Guardians, Ultramarine Corps, and JLI), and Umbaluru. Black Adam doesn’t go public with his Kahndaqi team’s lineup, which numbers in the dozens, but the DMA is aware that Syrian metahuman and former Global Guardian Sandstorm has joined him. (NOTE: It is unknown whether the late May or late July dates attached to this reference—taken from supplemental material in Doomsday Clock #5-6—are correct.)

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #3. Batman retires his costume and tailors a new model with a raised yellow-oval chest symbol. He begins wearing this new costume.

–Doomsday Clock #2-4
On Earth-Watchmen the year is 1992, and chaos reigns supreme as the world has finally discovered the truth about Ozymandias‘ “alien attack” from years prior (as seen in the pages of Watchmen). With nuclear holocaust set to destroy all life on the planet, Ozymandias gathers a new Rorschach and husband-and-wife-criminal duo Marionette and The Mime to assist him on a quest to find Dr. Manhattan and convince him to save their world. (Ozymandias has traced Dr. Manhattan’s energy signature to Earth-0.) After Ozymandias shows Rorschach old security footage of Dr. Manhattan busting the couple but showing non-lethal mercy, the foursome (along with Ozymandias’ new pet lynx Bubastis II) travel through the Bleed via Nite Owl‘s rigged-up Owlship just as Earth-Watchmen goes kablooey. On Earth-0, Bruce undergoes his annual psych exam, lying about what he sees in rorschach pictures as he does every year in order to pass. Afterward, Lucius Fox scolds him, telling him to take LexCorp’s recent industrial espionage more seriously. They also discuss the fact that Lex Luthor wants to purchase Wayne Enterprises in order to obtain their research on the metagene. With the espionage case linked to the “Supermen Theory” revelations, along with flames of paranoia being stoked by Russia and Markovia, anti-Batman protesters march throughout Gotham. Meanwhile, the Watchmen Universe characters arrive on Earth-0. Ozymandias handcuffs Marionette and the Mime to the inside of the Owlship before departing with Rorschach. After some research at the public library, Rorscach heads toward Wayne Manor while Ozymandias goes to LexCorp. Bruce ignores Lucius and suits up as Batman to bust an escaped Mad Hatter, Tweedledee, and Tweedledum. Rorschach, after a nap and breakfast in Wayne Manor, discovers the Batcave and trips the alarm. Batman returns home to confront him. Meanwhile, Marionette and the Mime escape (as part of Ozymandias’ plan). Concurrently, Luthor, fires (i.e. disappears) more failed scientists from his company. Ozymandias shows up and basically tells Lex the whole story of Watchmen. Out of nowhere, The Comedian (Edward Blake) returns! (At the time of his death, the Comedian was saved by Dr. Manhattan, whose cosmic spacetime rejiggering caused the Comedian’s fatal fall to land him safely in Earth-0’s Metropolis Harbor instead of splat on the sidewalk. However, since the events of the original Watchmen series remain unaltered, with the Comedian’s death still having seemingly occurred, we must assume one of the following scenarios. Option one: Dr. Manhattan created a duplicate Comedian, who we see now. Option two: This is the original Comedian, and Dr. Manhattan saved and stole him away but created another Comedian body to act as a physical replacement on the unaltered Watchmen timeline. Option Three: This is the original Comedian and he will return to complete his cycle of death.) The Comedian accidentally shoots Luthor while aiming for Ozymandias, who jumps through a window and crash lands, winding up unconscious and in the custody of the Metropolis PD. Meanwhile, Rorschach gives Batman the original Rorschach’s journal. While Batman reads, Alfred sets Rorschach up with dinner, a shower, and a place to sleep in Wayne Manor. Meanwhile, at an assisted living home, a troubled 102-year-old Johnny Thunder ponders his life as the other geriatrics fight over the TV, switching between a Nathaniel Dusk movie from the 50s and news—featuring stories about an explosion in Germany linked to The Wild Huntsman, anti-metahuman dissidence, the ongoing global metahuman arms race, and Luthor’s latest metagene detector invention. The Mime and Marionette brutally kill everyone inside a Joker-run bar. (Joker has recently amassed a few properties and a small army of henchmen, each of whom are inked with Joker tattoos, courtesy of Shakey.) Twenty four hours later, having read the old Rorschach’s journal, Batman decides the current Rorschach is dangerous or crazy or both. With the backing of Arkham Asylum officials, the Dark Knight tricks Rorschach into accompanying him to Arkham, where he locks the latter in a cell. The next day, Batman—in disguise as a psychiatrist—interviews the troubled Rorschach. A day later, Batman debriefs Alfred in the Batcave. Concurrently, Saturn Girl opens Rorschach’s cell in Arkham. Having telepathically scanned his mind, she’s learned all about the history of Earth-Watchmen and that Rorschach is Reggie Long, mentally-scarred son of Malcolm Long, the original Rorschach’s psychiatrist. Reggie trained under elder vigilante Mothman (Byron Lewis) in a mental institution before becoming the second Rorschach, at which point he attempted to kill Ozymandias, but wound up reluctantly joining him instead. While Saturn Girl and Reggie escape, Dr. Manhattan watches everything unfold. He zaps a mosquito, which puffs into a smoke ring that resembles his signature hydrogen atom symbol. A photograph of Jon Osterman (his former self) and Janey Slater (his ex-girlfriend) floats down the hallway. (NOTE: Doomsday Clock #2 and Doomsday Clock #5-6 tell us that Doomsday Clock‘s narrative paradoxically occurs in December 2017 and/or either late May or late July 2019. Obviously, it cannot take place at all three time periods at once. It’s likely not the former—and more likely that it’s one of the latter, but there’s still no definitive proof supporting either. See above footnote for details.)

–REFERENCE: In Doomsday Clock #11. Batman finds the photo of Jon Osterman and Janey Slater in Arkham Asylum, bringing it into police evidence. This photo is collected by Lex Luthor’s science team.

–Doomsday Clock #5-7
Ozymandias easily escapes from his police-guarded hospital room and reclaims Bubastis. Meanwhile, delayed news comes in from Chechnya. Hawk and Dove have been arrested by the Rocket Red Brigade after aiding Chechen rebels against Russian armored police. The same news report says that, in direct response to Hawk and Dove’s actions, Red Star is coming out of retirement to work for the Russian Government. (TroubleAlert Magazine already reported about Red Star joining the People’s Heroes, so this is old news.) In St. Petersburg, Pozhar goes on live TV to trash Firestorm and announce that Russia’s borders are closing. Within hours, President Vladimir Putin holds a press conference with some of the People’s Heroes, citing that they will work hand-in-hand with Markovian Armed Forces and the Outsiders. At the old folks home, Johnny Thunder reads about a mysterious green flame that has been spotted in a steel mill in Pittsburgh. Knowing that it’s the the lantern-shaped Starheart (the fiery emerald—and sentient—power source for a Green Lantern that never existed on this timeline, but yet one he paradoxically has memories of), Johnny breaks out and heads toward the Iron City via bus. As the Comedian carves his way through Gotham, Marionette and the Mime do the same, learning that Joker and his gang are joining the anti-Bat protests at GCPD HQ. Meanwhile, Batman locates the Owlship in Joker’s old abandoned circus yard and waits patiently for Ozymandias to arrive. Just as they greet each other, a news bulletin goes out telling that the city government has caved to the pressure and put out a warrant for Batman’s arrest. As Batman and Ozymandias fly over the city and argue with each other, more news from abroad reaches the States. Black Adam violated international law, crossing into Syria to rescue Jack Ryder from King Kobra, after which declaring Kahndaq as a refuge for any metahumans seeking asylum. Simultaneously, the US Government decides to pull all of its troops out of the Middle East. With Superman listening outside the window, Lois Lane visits Lex Luthor in the hospital, accusing him of being responsible for the Supermen Theory and subsequent world turmoil. He denies being involved, but says that his sources believe the secret head of the Department of Metahuman Affairs is an ex-Justice Leaguer. (Luthor could be playing down what he knows—he might already know the full truth, being an ex-POTUS.) In Gotham, GCPD HQ is overrun, the Batsignal is smashed, and Commissioner Gordon is knocked unconscious. Ozymandias dumps Batman out of the Owlship into the arms of the angry protestors, who swarm the Dark Knight. A battered and beaten Batman is approached by Joker, Marionette, and the Mime. Concurrently, at the All American Steel Mill in Pittsburgh, Johnny Thunder finds the green lantern and is rescued from some junkie attackers by Rorschach and Saturn Girl, who has her Legion ring. In Gotham, Joker collects the badly beaten and unconscious Batman and straps him into a wheelchair. He, along with Marionette, Mime, and his henchmen, attend an underground meeting of Riddler’s brand new team: The League of Villainy. In attendance are: Mr. Freeze, Mr. Freeze’s henchmen, Sonar, Dr. Poison, Hector Hammond, Dr. Psycho, Giganta, The Judge of Owls, a bunch of Court of Owls members, Captain Cold, Mirror Master, The Top, Heat Wave, Captain Boomerang, Black Mask, Dr. Sivana, Moonbow, Typhoon, Black Bison, Two-Face, Scarecrow, Penguin, Professor Pyg, Prankster, Toyman, Mad Hatter, Tweedledum, Tweedledee, Nocturna, Tattooed Man, and four others that are obscured and hard to correctly identify.[9] Via the villains’ discussion, we learn that Bane has been busted by the feds, the Suicide Squad has gone MIA in Kahndaq, many of the other villains have fled into hiding, and Wonder Woman has been supposedly kidnapped back to Themyscira by her own people. The assemblage argues on whether or not to flee to Kahndaq or remain in the States. When Joker arrives, the bad guys don’t believe he’s got the real Batman strapped in the chair. Before they can investigate further, the Comedian blows Typhoon’s head off and starts spraying bullets into the crowd. At least one Court of Owls member drops dead and Riddler gets capped in the knee. The Comedian detonates a grenade and the villains all scatter. Later, Marionette and Mime regroup and have sex at a hotel only to be interrupted by the Comedian, who has tracked them. Joker, having followed the Comedian (and still wheeling around Batman), zaps him into unconsciousness and takes his smiley face button-pin. Meanwhile, Moonbow reports back to the secret head of the Department of Metahuman Affairs, asking that her partner Typhoon get the hero’s treatment he deserves as a fallen undercover government agent. The DMA director denies her request, citing that Typhoon’s manufactured history as a villain must remain intact for ongoing security reasons. In Pittsburg, Ozymandias picks up Saturn Girl, Rorschach, and Johnny Thunder. Onboard the Owl Ship, they watch the most recent TV news roundup on CNN, which includes stories about the ongoing metahuman arms race: the People’s Heroes shaking hands with the Outsiders; Big Monster Action’s kaiju (fire trolls) raging out of control in Japan; the Doomed helping children in Calcutta only for their own team member Animal-Vegetable-Mineral Man to eat said children; Hayoth’s Dybbuk shutting down Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence computer network; the Sleeping Soldiers entering Chinese President Xi Jinping‘s mind while he sleeps; more paparazzi hounding Firestorm; Superman saving kids in Benghazi, which earns the Man of Steel approval from most international governments, including Libya; and security cam footage of the Comedian. At Joker’s lair, Mime and Marionette torture the Comedian, who says that Dr. Manhattan tasked him with killing Bubastis. (Bubastis has been cloned from the original pet lynx, which had fused with Dr. Manhattan’s DNA at the end of the original Watchmen series. Thus, the new Bubastis is a literal compass that leads to and can summon Dr. Manhattan.) Batman rises out of his chair—(he’s either made a quick recovery or he’s been playing possum for a bit in order to get information)—and begins kicking asses. Ozymandias, with the lantern and Bubastis in his arms, arrives to interrupt the fight. He summons Dr. Manhattan, who appears! Batman says he knows who Dr. Manhattan is—but does the Dark Knight mean he knows about him because he read Rorschach’s journal or does he mean something else? Dr. Manhattan then teleports all the Earth-Watchmen characters to a far away jungle. Dr. Manhattan tells them he won’t help them, also revealing that he spared the life of Marionette all those years ago because of who her son would grow up to be. He also tells Marionette she is pregnant again and outs Ozymandias, revealing that he doesn’t actually have cancer. Ozymandias was merely faking illness in order to get Rorschach on his side. Dr. Manhattan then drops the biggest bombshell—that he can no longer see the future beyond one month from now. Dr. Manhattan then takes his crew to Washington DC where full scale rioting has begun. After a brief moment there, Dr. Manhattan takes the crew to a repertory theater in Hollywood, which is screening The Adjournment as part of a Nathaniel Dusk movie marathon. Dr. Manhattan says how he was present for the murder of actor Carver Colman (who played Nathaniel Dusk) in 1954.[10] Dr. Manhattan then disappears and sends everyone back to Joker’s lair where the fighting picks up where it left off. Rorshach wails on Ozymandias and bludgeons Joker before shedding his mask and fleeing the scene. While Batman collects a badly-beaten Joker (and Rorschach’s mask), Ozymandias sneaks back onto the Owl Ship and knocks-out Saturn Girl and Johnny Thunder. As live news reports show Black Adam and the Creeper invading Jerusalem, Ozymandias says to himself “I have a plan.” When Ozymandias has a plan, you can be rest assured that things are gonna get nuts. Elsewhere, Lex Luthor mails a package to Lois Lane. On Mars, Dr. Manhattan looks as far ahead into the future as he can, seeing exactly one month to the day an image of an angry Superman punching him in the face. Dr. Manhattan wonders what will become of the universe. (NOTE: Doomsday Clock #2 and Doomsday Clock #5-6 tell us that Doomsday Clock‘s narrative paradoxically occurs in December 2017 and/or either late May or late July 2019. Obviously, it cannot take place at all three time periods at once. It’s likely not the former, but it could indeed be late May. Although, there’s still no definitive proof supporting any concrete timeframe (yet). See above footnote for additional details.)

–Doomsday Clock #8-9
Nearly three weeks have passed since Doomsday Clock #7. Ozymandias breaks into the Oval Office at the White House and peeps some top secret files, setting into motion a devious plan. A day later, at the Daily Planet offices, Lois complains that someone has rifled through her locked desk. The entire Daily Planet staff—including Perry White, Ron Troupe, Steve Lombard, Cat Grant, and Jimmy Olsen—watches on live TV as an angry Firestorm confronts the People’s Heroes in front of the Kremlin. The conflict turns ugly when Firestorm accidentally goes kablooey turning a bunch of civilians (including women and children) into seemingly lifeless silverly glass statues. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev immediately denounces Firestorm’s actions as an American terrorist attack. Firestorm disappears and immediate rumors follow that he’s fled to Kahndaq. Superman flies directly to Kahndaq. There, he sees that Giganta has joined Black Adam’s forces. Superman then meets with Black Adam, who welcomes the Man of Steel to his country. Superman meets Sandstorm, learning that he’s only young boy, who escaped the horrors of war-torn Syria. After a brief but tense chat with Black Adam, Superman, satisfied that Firestorm isn’t in Kahndaq, departs for Russia. Back in Metropolis, Lois finds the package that was mailed to her by Luthor. She pops in a flash-drive from the package and watches a video of WWII newsreel footage depicting the Justice Society of America in action. How did Luthor get his hands on footage that’s been erased from history?! Lois doesn’t know what to make of it. Hours later, in Russia, Superman finds Firestorm frantically trying to fix one of the children he’s changed into a statue. With Superman’s stolid presence, Firestorm is able to fix the poor kid, who is thrilled to meet the Man of Steel. In Moscow, Vladimir Putin holds a live news conference at the scene of the Firestorm incident. With the People’s Heroes at his side, Putin declares that the United States has essentially waged war against Russia via the actions of Firestorm. Superman greets Putin and takes the stage. Speaking before the entire world, Superman defends Firestorm’s integrity and says that he can redress the damage he’s done. Superman tells the world that the Supermen Theory is a baseless conspiracy theory with no merit. He denounces the demonization of any group, whether they are metahuman or not. Batman, who had taken off for Russia in the Bat-plane the second the Firestorm incident occurred, nears Russian airspace. Via high-frequency radio, the Dark Knight contacts Superman mid-speech, telling him to shut up and not take a side. Putin interrupts Superman, telling him that he and Pozhar have proof that the Supermen Theory is true. Firestorm returns, hoping to turn all his victims back to normal, but he instills fear in the gathered masses. Russian military shoots at Firestorm and chaos erupts. Several of the statue people are shattered and the People’s Heroes attack Superman and Firestorm. The world watches in stunned silence as Superman battles against Russian military tanks on live TV. As Batman flies over Moscow, he realizes something is off with Firestorm. In a panic, Batman radios to Superman that Firestorm is not in control of his own actions. But it’s too late. Firestorm explodes in a nuclear blast that seems to wipe out most of Red Square. This explosion creates a tachyon cloud that disrupts Dr. Manhattan’s ability to see through time. From a secret location, Ozymandias smiles. Superman, Batman, and Firestorm go into comas. They are rescued by Hal Jordan and Hawkman. Batman goes into Alfred’s care in the Batcave while Superman and Firestorm go into a medical bay at the Hall of Justice. (Batman will remain in a coma for the next five days.) With the two main heroes out of commission and unable to defend themselves against slander, Superman is charged with a litany of crimes. As the global court of opinion fully turns against the heroes, protestors picket all over Washington DC. Hoping to distance himself from the debacle, President Trump tweets anti-Superman propaganda. Meanwhile, the Justice League determines that whoever caused Firestorm to go kaboom is currently on Mars. A large contingency of superheroes gathers into an armada of spaceships and departs for the red planet. Among the heroes are: the Justice League, Justice League Dark, the LAW, a few Green Lanterns, the Doom Patrol, the Metal Men, Black Alice (dressed up as a female Blue Devil), the Shazam Family (Shazam, Mary Bromfield, Freddy Freeman, Darla Dudley, Pedro Peña, and Eugene Choi), Alpha Centurion, Stargirl (Courtney Whitmore), Robby Reed (having turned into “Human Starfish” via the power of an H-Dial), and just about everyone else you can imagine.[11] Interestingly, those present aboard the Bat-Family rocket are: Batgirl, Nightwing, Red Hood, Batwoman, Black Lightning, Metamorpho, Katana, Halo, Atomic Knight, and Atomic Knight’s giant dalmatianHaving been out cold for the past five days, Batman finally wakes up from his coma. Upon hearing that everyone has taken off to Mars, Batman realizes that they’ve all been played. He immediately transmits a warning message to Mars, but the message fails to send. In the Hall of Justice, Lois watches over her still-comatose husband. Lex Luthor arrives, telling Lois that he sent her the Justice Society video. On Mars, the superhero army confronts and fights a confused Dr. Manhattan. As he battles them, Dr. Manhattan shows Ronnie Raymond (now awake from his coma) the truth behind his origin. Ronnie not only learns that Professor Martin Stein is the secret director of the DMA, but also that Stein purposefully caused the accident that merged them together to become Firestorm seven years ago. Dr. Manhattan shrugs-off every depredation, defeating all the heroes. Back on Earth, Black Adam, Giganta, and the Creeper attack the UN Building where Wonder Woman is currently giving a peace speech. (NOTE: Doomsday Clock #8 picks-up nearly three weeks after issue #7. In the Russia scenes, there are no leaves on trees and everyone is wearing cold-weather gear. While the seasonal period reads as autumn or winter, this belies the supplemental material of Doomsday Clock #8, which very specifically places the Red Square Firestorm incident on June 5, 2019. Summer does seem to jibe with previous issues. In fact, June corresponds to the prior issue, which was mentioned as possibly happening in late May. HOWEVER, Doomsday Clock #9, which occurs a mere five days after Doomsday Clock #8, shows Washington DC with leafless trees, hinting at wintertime as well! So, maybe we are not in summer, but actually in winter?)

–Doomsday Clock #11
A few days have passed since Doomsday Clock #9-10. Alfred, on Batman’s orders, reads Rorschach’s  journal and heads out in search of Reggie. With the looming threat of Russian retaliation combined with Black Adam’s attack on the UN Building, President Trump seemingly orders a nuclear strike. (This nuclear threat might be phony—actually manufactured by Ozymandias merely to set-up Batman to become outlawed by the government.) Sure enough, Batman responds by breaking into a Strategic Air Command (SAC) facility to physically stop military troops from launching the warheads, an act that supposedly cripples the entire North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) nuclear grid. After doing so, Batman is ambushed by US National Guard troops, but defeats them and escapes. Sure enough, President Trump outlaws Batman, charging him with treason and officially tasking the National Guard with arresting him. General Sam Lane meets with the President and tries to reason with him to no avail. The President also officially outlaws Superman. At LexCorp, Lex Luthor shows Lois Lane a series of identical photographs his team has found in recent months. Each photo comes from a different time period, but is otherwise identical—the photo of Jon Osterman and Janey Slater. Doctor Manhattan has unknowingly been replicating this cherished item throughout time, leaving it as “chronal debris.” Luthor also shows a “chronal debris” photo of Flash (Barry Allen) teaming up with Flash (Jay Garrick), citing that it was discovered with the JSA film. Luthor, who has long known about the existence of the multiverse, now knows about the Metaverse, citing these images as proof that reality has been rebooted multiple times. His inner hope is to finally find a way to close the “endless loop” that is his war against the Man of Steel. In Gotham, the Mime, the Marionette, and the Comedian wage war against Joker and his henchmen. At Ozymandias’ secret lair, the master villain addresses Saturn Girl, telling her about his master plan to save both Earths—how he manipulated Firestorm, caused the Russian explosions using Bubastis II, and chose the Mime and Marionette to accompany him because their child was adopted by Dan Dreiberg (ex Nite Owl) and Laurie Juspeczyk (ex Silk Spectre). Ozymandias also tells Saturn Girl that she’s a chronal anomaly, existing only because of her metapower. Just like Back to the Future, she disappears into the ether, wiped from reality. (Ozymandias is correct. Dr. Manhattan prevented the original version of the Legion—one which guided and shaped a young Kal-El—from ever forming. This Saturn Girl is not the New Age Saturn Girl—instead she’s a leftover from a prior continuity and only her incredible cosmic power had been keeping her in existence.) In New York, the Amazons, worried about Wonder Woman, remove her from her battle against Black Adam’s forces, stealing her away to Themyscira. Black Adam and his crew—Giganta, the Creeper, Man-Bat (Kirk Langstrom), Sandstorm, Killer Frost (Louise Lincoln), Lady Clayface, Stingaree, Doc Dread, Moonbow, and Manhunter (possibly Mark Shaw?)—crash their way onto the White House lawn. Superman wakes up fully healed only to be accosted by US Army soldiers. He ignores them and immediately flies to confront Black Adam. After a brief altercation with Black Adam, Superman soon finds himself face-to-face with Dr. Manhattan.


  1. [1]COLLIN COLSHER: Shortly before his suicide, as seen in Year of the Villain #1 Part 1, Lex Luthor chats with Brainiac, mentioning Bane’s ongoing plans with Flashpoint Batman in Gotham. This important continuity note means that the mega “Bane vs Batman” arc is still going on at this juncture—or at least that Luthor thinks it still is going on.
  2. [2]COLLIN COLSHER: Note that writer Mark Russell, a devotee of the Silver/Bronze Age, bestows a C-list loser-type characterization unto Riddler, which is dubious in terms of continuity. While Riddler was indeed a C-list loser in the Silver/Bronze Age (and parts of the schizophrenic Modern Age), he certainly hasn’t been portrayed that way in a long time—at least not since the late 1990s/early 2000s. It’s hard to imagine New 52 or New Age Riddler palling around with the inferior King Tut, yet here it is.
  3. [3]COLLIN COLSHER: In the epilogue to Flash Vol. 5 #65, Batman and Superman mention the “twelve official multiversial crises.” As referenced in other titles (Action Comics and Young Justice Vol. 3), there have been seven main multiversial crises—Crisis on Infinite Earths, Zero Hour: Crisis in TimeInfinite Crisis, Final Crisis, Flashpoint, Convergence, and Metal. The others are difficult to say. Batman and Superman have definitely been involved in saving the Earth, the universe, and even other universes, but less often have they both been involved in an adventure that involves saving the entire multiverse. Notably, Batman was involved (without Superman) in saving the multiverse in the JLA arcs “Milk Wars” and “Dawn of Time” and in Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III aka “Crisis in a Half Shell.” Based upon things that are canon in current continuity, though, here’s what I think the other five major crises are: Cosmic Odyssey, Forever Evil, “Darkseid War,” No Justice, and “Legacy” (Justice League Vol. 3 #24-31) from Bryan Hitch’s JL run. Other possible (although much less likely) options might be: “Imperiex War,” JLA/Avengers, “With a Vengeance” (from Superman/Batman #20-25), “Lords of Luck,” or “Tangent Superman’s Reign.”
  4. [4]COLLIN COLSHER: Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #67, a supposed Thanksgiving issue that probably can’t actually occur anywhere near Thanksgiving, features Harley at her most meta as she flips through a comic book (within the comic book) showing an alternate reality in which she travels the metaverse with Booster Gold. Harley Quinn Vol. 3 #67 occurs shortly after Apex Lex Luthor has offered Harley powers. In the issue within the issue, which manifests as a result of Harley’s fourth-wall-breaking rage at being roped into yet another tasteless company-wide crossover, Harley and Booster visit Final Crisis, Infinite Crisis, and Crisis on Infinite Earths, ultimately erasing the latter and replacing it with a happy superhero Thanksgiving dinner, an act that causes all future comic book crossovers to become non-existent. Sadly, so very sadly, all of this is non-canon.
  5. [5]COLLIN COLSHER: Batman Vol. 3 #79 has an editorial note that puts both Batman Vol. 3 #78-79 prior to the main action of Batman Vol. 3 #77. Batman Vol. 3 #77 only shows Bruce via flashback—showing him coming out of his coma and hanging with Selina in Paris. The main action of Batman Vol. 3 #77 doesn’t show Batman, only depicting Robin’s actions against Bane and Alfred’s murder, hence its listing here on our timeline as a reference. Why is this arc written in such an oddly disjointed way? Your guess is as good as mine.
  6. [6]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.

  7. [7]COLLIN COLSHER: Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp are so good together on this series, which is a blast from start to finish with every issue. Just as they gather a bunch of cosmic heavies for the auction scene here, they show (in The Green Lantern #5) the planet Vorr, upon which many of Earth’s vampires have gathered or permanently relocated. While Batman isn’t in The Green Lantern #5, here is a fun list of vampires that are shown to be living on or at least visiting Vorr anyway: Morbius, The Crypt-Keeper, Dracula, Count Orlock, Count Yorga, Lestat de Lioncourt, Louis de Pointe du Lac, Vladislav (from What We Do in the Shadows), Viago (from What We Do in the Shadows), Petyr (from What We Do in the Shadows), Jon Schnepp, Vampirella, and a bunch of Vorr Bats.
  8. [8]COLLIN COLSHER: Doomsday Clock is a mostly continuous and uninterrupted story, meaning, while there are some ellipses, its narrative usually flows from one issue to the next, picking up where each prior issue leaves off. Despite this, Doomsday Clock utilizes a deliberately screwy timeline, one that doesn’t make much sense in the normal linear sense of things. I will break down the discrepancies issue by issue and try to explain them—and also try to explain how I am handling them in regard to my chronology. We, sadly, must also address the fact that Doomsday Clock was plagued with massive delays, leading to it taking two full years to finish. As such, many of the other main line DC stories that were supposed to lead up to it may have passed it by. In October 2019, one month before Doomsday Clock‘s final issue was released, senior DC Comics sources told Bleeding Cool’s Rich Johnston that “if Doomsday Clock had begun publication now, it would most definitely have been a Black Label comic book. And, as a result, out of continuity.” While this remains to be seen, Doomsday Clock not only is working with deliberately dotty temporality, but it’s got a lot of extra non-deliberate continuity issues to boot. We’ll deal with continuity errors as they arise, but, for now, let’s solely examine the purposefully unsound stuff.

    Doomsday Clock #1: Original solicitation date November 2017. Released November 22, 2017. Cover date January 2018. (Take note of the odd difference between the release date and cover date—and this is even before the title’s horrible delays that stretched things out for two full years. It’s especially ironic that the cover to issue #1 is emblazoned with “THE END IS HERE.” The end is nowhere in sight. Sigh.) On Earth-Watchmen, we are told it is November 22, 1992 or November 23, 1992 in the very first line. And in the very fist line, writer Geoff Johns begins what will seemingly be a recurring leitmotif in this series: dates are not to be trusted. Supplemental material shows newspapers from a couple weeks earlier, dated November 5, 1992. Thus, the November 22 date seems merely to correlate with the release date of this issue.

    Doomsday Clock #2: Original solicitation date December 2017. Released December 27, 2017. Cover date February 2018. The “dates can’t be trusted” theme continues with a flashback security video sequence in which Marionette says “Happy Monday” and the banker says, “It’s Wednesday.” Marionette replies, “Whatever.” Supplemental material shows internet articles dated December 7, 2017, December 10, 2017, December 11, 2017, and December 20, 2017. This seems to place the main action of Doomsday Clock in mid to late December or early January. Despite it being November in the previous issue, we can chalk this up to the fact that issue #2 brought us to a new Earth. The December 7, 2017 article in the supplemental material says that Helga Jace’s Supermen Theory first went public six months prior, which would mean June 2017. The December 2017 date seems merely to correlate with the release date of the issue.

    Doomsday Clock #3: Original solicitation date January 2018. Released January 24, 2018. Cover date March 2018. The “dates can’t be trusted” theme continues with Batman’s dialogue, “I ran a search for temporal anomalies.” Johnny Thunder says it’s the first Monday of the month. While the senile fella is far from a reliable timekeeper, we can use this to place us on the calendar. As per the last issue, we have to be either in mid to late December or early January. Thus, if we take Johnny’s line as gospel, then we must be (and must have been) in January this whole time. The January date also correlates with the release date, so take that for what it’s worth.

    Doomsday Clock #4: Original solicitation date March 2018. Released March 28, 2018. Cover date May 2018. The “dates can’t be trusted” theme continues with Mothman’s dialogue: “It’s warm for December. They say the dimensional rift that opened altered our seasonal clock. It’s going to snow in June. Isn’t that funny?” March is not referenced in the issue.

    Doomsday Clock #5: Original solicitation date May. (Things switch to an every-two-month release schedule instead of monthly.) Released May 30, 2018. Cover date July 2018. Clark mentions that it’s “ten years too late” to ask someone else to be Jon’s godfather. The dialogic intent of this line is to let us know that Jon was born roughly ten years ago, placing us in 2017/2018. However, specific mention is made of Johnny Thunder being 102-years-old. Johns’ “The Button” told us specifically Johnny was born in 1917, which would put us in 2019. This seems very deliberate, as if Johns is course correcting, placing us in 2019 where we need to be by story’s end (i.e. when Doomsday Clock will end publication). Supplemental material gives the date May 30, 2019! May 30 correlates with the release date.

    Doomsday Clock #6: Original solicitation date July 2018. Released July 25, 2018. No cover date. This issue picks up immediately where issue #5 leaves off. Supplemental material places the primary action of issue #6 on Wednesday July 25, correlating exactly with the release date of the comic. No specific year is attached.

    Doomsday Clock #7: Original solicitation date September 2018. Released September 26, 2018. Cover date November 2018. This issue picks up immediately where issue #6 leaves off. We get a myriad of date references as Dr. Manhattan scans through his memories, viewing time as occurring all at once, but none of the dates are important to the continuity of present-day narrative, so there are no problems or contradictions. Likewise, the supplemental material isn’t about ongoing narrative, so it doesn’t contain any continuity problems or contradictions either. While the “dates can’t be trusted” theme seems to be formally abandoned within the narrative here (i.e. no errors), we still get a very blunt message to “not believe what you perceive to be true.” While there might not be any continuity errors in Doomsday Clock #7, the omnipotent Dr. Manhattan speaks about time extensively and talks about how he can no longer see the future. He has a blind spot in regard to time. Dr. Manhattan says that his fight against Superman, of which we see brief flashes, will occur in one month’s time. Johns even ends Doomsday Clock #7 with an R Buckminster Fuller quote: “Seeing-is-believing is a blind spot in man’s vision.”

    Doomsday Clock #8: Original solicitation date November 2018. Released December 5, 2018. (Release schedule begins to slip behind and will only worsen for the rest of the series.) Cover date February 2019. This issue picks up three weeks after issue #7 leaves off. There aren’t really any time references, although the scenes in Moscow look like it is Autumn or Winter—there are no leaves on trees and everyone is wearing cold-weather gear. Before this, I’m not entirely certain there had been any true indicator of season. If it is indeed meant to be Fall or Winter, this is contradicted by the supplemental material of Doomsday Clock #8, which features several newspaper articles responding to the narrative action of this very issue. The articles place the narrative action on June 5, 2019.

    Doomsday Clock #9: Original solicitation date January 2019. Released March 6, 2019. Cover date May 2019. This issue, which occurs a mere five days after Doomsday Clock #8, shows Washington DC with leafless trees, hinting at wintertime (just as the Russia scenes implied in the previous issue)! So, maybe we are in winter? This issue also is chock-full of time references and callbacks to Dr. Manhattan’s cosmic ability to view all time at once (although his vision is blocked by tachyons, just like it was in the original Watchmen). The issue starts with Manhattan talking stochastically about future dates in quick succession. Even the omnipotent Dr. Manhattan is blind to the “truth” of this inconsistent timeline.

    Doomsday Clock #10: Original solicitation date March 2019. Released May 29, 2019. No cover date. Hooo-daisy, this one’s the kicker! Doc Manhattan recalls all the previous DC continuities and reboots in the same way we (the readers) have perceived them over the years, realizing that the multiverse is actually a “metaverse”—an über-narrative that has changed throughout history, with each change coinciding with a publication release date for a continuity-altering comic book issue. Did Manhattan have a direct hand in affecting previous continuities? Or, would current continuity have originally resembled the Golden Age, Silver Age, and several other continuities if not for Manhattan’s meddling? The only chronologies we know 100% for certain that he messed with are the New 52 and Rebirth Era timelines (which are more or less the same for the purposes of this story). While I’m not quite sure about anything that happens in this issue, I am sure that the “dates can’t be trusted” theme has exploded all over every page. Doomsday Clock #10 is about how time is constantly literally being rewritten in the DCU—and how it has been rebooted numerous times in the past eighty years. Beyond this conceit, there are a bunch of glaring chronal inconsistencies (even within the internal narrative of this issue) worth pointing out. First, while technically not an error per se, I’m personally quite miffed that Doc Manhattan’s vision of the Silver Age Superman’s debut is set in 1956, which means that it doesn’t take into account Sliding-Time. C’mon! Sliding-Time moved Superman’s debut to 1966! But I get it, I get it. Manhattan also tells us that Carver Colman left Philly on December 25, 1928 and arrived in Hollywood on December 31. However, on January 19, 1929, Manhattan tells us that Colman has been already been working at Paramount for eight months—an impossibility based upon the timeline he himself gives. There are also a few contradictions regarding the release dates of the Nathaniel Dusk films within this issue. Furthermore, we are shown Colman holding his Best Actor Oscar trophy on April 18, 1952, but Doomsday Clock #3 tells us specifically that he won the award on March 18, 1953, which is nearly a year later. There are also some Los Angeles historical inaccuracies in Doomsday Clock #10, but we can chalk those up to the DCU’s LA being different than our real world LA. Last but not least, Manhattan makes reference to the events of DC Universe: Rebirth #1 as happening “one year ago,” but they actually happened two years ago. Maybe we can chalk this up to the abject publication delays?

    Doomsday Clock #11: Original solicitation date May 2019. Released September 4, 2019. Cover date November 2019. This item takes place a couple days after Doomsday Clock #10. While Doomsday Clock #10 mistakenly told us that DC Universe: Rebirth #1 happened “one year ago,” curiously, in this issue, Lex Luthor hints at DC Universe: Rebirth #1 as happening the correct two years ago! Like the last issue, we get a lot of trippy stuff about alternate realities and alternate timelines, including “chronal debris” and Back to the Future style erasures. Admittedly, this issue’s time material is much messier than in prior issues. Time is wonky, as per the theme.

    CONCLUSION: Clearly, the dates are being deliberately disordered and should not be exactly relied upon. Johns, in late 2017, said in interviews that the story would wind up being one year ahead of other ongoing DC stories. Since we know Doomsday Clock ends in 2019, we must assume that 2019 is when Doomsday Clock is taking place. Most of the dates, especially in supplemental material, are therefore irrelevant, merely referencing the release dates of the issues. Nevertheless, I will use the dates as best I can to place things accordingly, when I am able to do so. For example, there seems to clearly be about six months from the Supermen Theory going public to the current events of Doomsday Clock, but, as to exact dates, I cannot say for sure. Johns is obviously doing this deliberately in order to keep in step with the theme of Dr. Manhattan’s chronal-manipulation.

  9. [9]COLLIN COLSHER: Note that the second Tattooed Man, Mark Richards, is shown here, and he insinuates that the first Tattooed Man, Abel Tarrant, died during the Sanctuary massacre. This could be a big-time continuity error that happened due to a miscommunication between creators and editors. It was actually Mark that died during the Sanctuary massacre, which means the Tattooed Man in Doomsday Clock #6 should instead be Abel. And, furthermore, Abel should be saying that his counterpart (Mark) died at Sanctuary. See? They seemingly got it all twisted around. However, another fanwanky perspective is that this is Mark, having somehow come back from the dead (or having miraculously survived the Sanctuary massacre), and, since he is with the villains again, he doesn’t want anyone to know that he had been part of a hero-sponsored rehab venture. Thus, the still-alive Mark is deflecting by falsely claiming that it was the other Tattooed Man at Sanctuary instead of himself. But who really knows.
  10. [10]COLLIN COLSHER: Doomsday Clock #7 tells us that Dr. Manhattan caused the death of Alan Scott in 1940, which ensured that he never became a superhero, thus further ensuring that the JSA never formed. The supplemental material from Doomsday Clock #3 tells us that Carver Colman was acquaintances with Frank Farr (Rita Farr’s father), John Law, Sgt. Frank Rock, Jackie Johnson, Randy Booth, Ted Grant, Libby Lawrence, and others, all of whom were originally either members of the JSA or connected to the JSA. Thus, if killing Alan Scott in 1940 ensured the erasure of the Golden Age of superheroes, the 1954 murder of Colman may have been a lynchpin in regard to ensuring the erasure of the Silver Age of superheroes. However, this is still an unknown since we only know Dr. Manhattan was present for the murder of Colman—we don’t know if he was involved in his murder or even if he wanted Colman to die. Also note, as per Flash Vol. 5 #21 (“The Button”), we know Dr. Manhattan prevented several other things from occurring on the New Age timeline: the original Appellaxian affair that formed the JLA; the Identity Crisis affair, which involved lots of terrible things, including the rape of Sue Dibny and mind-wiping of several heroes and villains; and Barry Allen’s death during the original Crisis on Infinite Earths. As per Action Comics #987, we also know Dr. Manhattan saved Jor-El from dying when Krypton exploded.
  11. [11]COLLIN COLSHER: Recently, an H-Dial wound up in the ownership of a teenager named Miguel Montez—as seen in Brian Michael Bendis’ Dial H for Hero series. Robby also co-stars in this series and is the “Operator of the Heroverse” (i.e. master of the H-Dial’s mystic power). Thus, it makes sense that Robby is present here, H-Dialed-up to the max.

48 Responses to Year Seventeen

  1. Martín Lel says:

    When would you place “Deathstroke: Arkham”? It’s confusing because the villain is Hugo Strange, but he’s seen out of Arkham in this Wednesday’s Detective Comics, which was published after Deathstroke.

    • I don’t stress too much about villains appearing and re-appearing in-and-out of prison. It just happens. They escape one day and go back the next day only to escape yet again. Such is the world of the DCU. In ‘tec Hugo is free. We can assume that he goes back to prison afterward (and we can assume he was in prison shortly before too). Thus, for placing “Deathstroke: Arkham,” I’d look towards Deathstroke’s other appearances in conjunction with Hugo’s. Deathstroke appears in Bendis’ “Batman: Universe” arc and in Drowned Earth. “Deathstroke: Arkham” has to be either before “Batman: Universe,” or in-between “Batman: Universe” and ‘tec, or in-between ‘tec and Drowned Earth. Hell, there’s even a slight possibility that it goes post-Drowned Earth.

  2. Antonio says:

    Hey Collin, how’s it going? Antonio here… Hope everything is going well in your life.
    I’d like to share some thouths with you. What do you think of Tom King’s Heroes In Crisis? I heard he’s receiving death threats…
    Now, I know there are some really bad nuts out there… you just can tell a guy you’re going to kill him just because he mistreated your favourite character!

    Anyway, I’d like to hear from you what you think of HIC… I think that with issue number 8 it reached to a point where one can finally say it is pure crap! It doesn’t make any sense to me… and honestly I think poor Wally just deserves better. I was totally in love with DC when they brought him back with Rebirth… but recently they just treated him incredibly poorly.

    Ok, and what about his entire Batman’s run? I don’t know… Tom King is giving me the same bad vibes that Bendis is giving me with his Superman’s run.
    All right, let me know, Collin.

    • I saw the death threats thing. It’s only comics, people, jeez. Not cool.

      But yeah. Heroes in Crisis sucks, no other way to say it. Most reviews have not been kind, nor should they. I’m hesitant to comment more than that since there’s still one more issue, so anything could happen. But it appears as though Wally’s character has been fully assassinated beyond the point of return. Even as a deep analysis/commentary of mental illness via the superhero genre, I’m still not into it.

      And I’ve been vocally critical of King’s run for quite some time now. I hated Vision, but I loved Grayson—so I wasn’t sure what I was going to get. Seventy issues into his run and I’m left feeling meh. There are some powerful individual moments, but as a whole it’s not very strong, especially compared to other long runs in Bat-history.

      Bendis was kinda-sorta born again upon his return to DC—I dig his energy and seeming willingness to consider all DC’s history canon (for better or worse). I hate that Jonathan is like seventeen now, but hopefully that will be reverted. And I’m still waiting for an answer as to how its possible for Impulse and Conner Kent to be back in-continuity without breaking every comic book law of physics that exists. “Leviathan Rising” and Naomi both have potential, so we’ll see. I think Tom King will probably phase himself out of superhero comics once he’s done with Batman, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Bendis gets the keys to the castle after that… for better or worse, as always with comics.

  3. Antonio says:

    Yeah, I forgot asking you what’s happening with young Justice!!! How’s that possibile? Which Conner are we having back??? And what about Tim..? It looks like they know each other and everyone, including Tim, is coming from modern age continuity, but that is impossible, referring to Tim, at least.
    I think Jon being 17 diminishes both his father’s character and his own character. A dumb move, pure and simple. But the worst thing about Bendis is how he writes Lois.
    Hopefully the Greg Rucka series is coming soon to give Lois what she deserves. Hopefully.

    Back to Batman I’ve heard rumors that King’s going to end his run with Selina finally saying YES to Bruce. I hope it’s true.

    • SPOILER: This week’s issue begins to address that situation. It’s kinda sorta the same explanation we got when Wally returned (and in Titans Hunt)—at some point Connor and company were exiled and erased from everyone’s memory.

      And if Selina and Bruce DO tie the knot—the only logical (and satisfying) conclusion to this 100+ issue arc—then maybe it’ll all have been worth it.

  4. Antonio says:

    OK Collin, How’s it going? Antonio here…
    I’ve got some questions about the black label stuff that DC is currently publishing. I mean… are they in continuity? DCeased… seems not to me.
    Last knight on Earth… seems not to me as well, but I read that Snyder said it is the natural conclusion of his batman’s run… which, for the most part (with the only exception of Year Zero, maybe) has been totally canon. So what??
    And how about Superman Year Zero by Frank Miller? Are we talking about the dark knight returns universe’s Superman or are canon-Superman’s origins being rewritten for the millionth time? Bah…

    Also… what about the Kents? Are they back..? Conner clearly used the present tense talking about Pa Kent… and I think Superman did the same talking about his mom…
    I think, but I’m not completely sure, Bendis answered some questions about that saying that things will be totally in place once Doomsday Clock is over. So, I guess at least Martha Kent will be brought back to life..? Does that mean that the Brainiac story and the death of Jonathan Kent is back in continuity? Also… will the Death of Superman return to its original version with the Kents and Conner?

    So sorry for annoying you, Collin. But you’re such an invaluable resource… 🙂
    P.S. How about the placement of all three Batman TMNT? The third one is kind of a strange one…

    • DCeased is out-of-continuity.
      Last Night on Earth is out-of-continuity. It continues Snyder’s “possible future Bruce-clones” storyline, but that storyline isn’t really canon either.
      Superman Year One is out-of-continuity—although, I literally made a joke to a friend last night that Dr. Manhattan is going to make this canon soon LOL.

      Basically, DC has always said that all Black Label stuff would be like Prestige Elseworlds, non-canon. The only exception (so far) will be Three Jokers, which will be canon.

      I’m not sure about the Kents, we’ll wait and see… Doomsday Clock could very well change things, and Bendis has already hinted at certain things. For now, technically, the Kents are still New 52 version—dead on prom night. I’ve chalked up Conner’s line about Pa Kent being due to the fact that he is partly cloned from Clark and might have some of Clark’s memories implanted into his mind. Still… very curious.

      All three Batman/TMNT series are canon. Although, the third one might only feature Batmen from alternate Earths. Again, we’ll have to wait and see how it ends.

  5. Antonio says:

    Thank you Collin, you’re such a kind human being.

  6. Antonio says:

    Holy Bat the site is back on!!! Thank you Collin!!!!

  7. Antonio says:

    Hey Collin, it’s Antonio. Glad the site is back on…
    Well, I have a question. Just finished reading Batman 75… and now Gotham is totally in Bane’s hands. Ok. Alt-Thomas Wayne is kicking asses and Bruce is down looking for the Memory of the Mountain. Hmmmm….
    But how about the ending of Batman 74? We had left Bruce and Alt Thomas down in the pit with Bruce defeating him and comin’ out of the chasm… I can’t understand.
    Please can you make things clearer for this below average guy from italy that I am??
    Thank you.

    P.S. : I Hate Tom King.

    • Glad it’s back too! Tom King has been a very polarizing figure, maybe the most polarizing figure in terms of lead Bat-writer in the past 25 years (topping Morrison and Snyder even). I think King can be a talented writer (see Grayson), but I think his pacing is way off and his plot choices are ho-hum. Bane has conquered Gotham before—from “Knightfall” to Forever Evil Arkham War, we’ve seen it before. Not to mention, we’ve seen “Hell Comes to Gotham” in some form or another over and over since the dawn of the Modern Age. It just doesn’t feel that original, which is a non-starter for me. The one thing (and, in my opinion, only thing) that King will hopefully deliver is the Bat-Cat marriage. I’m still looking forward to that, although, based upon what I’ve now seen for the past two years, I seriously worry about execution.

      King likes to include ellipses and have you fill-in the gaps yourself. He is big on this style of writing. So you get Batman defeating Flashpoint Batman, declaring that he isn’t broken, climbing out of the pit triumphantly… and then “later…” editorial notation followed by a broken Batman, a conquered Gotham, etc… Obviously, a lot of other stories—notably the JL, Year of the Villain, Event Leviathan stuff—goes before Batman #75, so the jump to “City of Bane” out of nowhere does read as very strange. Flashpoint Batman was supposed to be a big part of Bane’s plan. Yet, when Flashpoint Batman fails, Bane’s plan moves ahead anyway. What was the point of Flashpoint Batman? Maybe King will give us some flashbacks. We’ll see.

  8. Austin Eaton says:

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

  9. Martín says:

    I know it doesn’t make sense with any other title other than Batman, but I’m pretty sure the ending of The Fall and the Fallen was supposed to be that Thomas stepped out, not Bruce, and that leads directly into City of Bane.

    • There is a serious disconnect between #74 and #75, and while some might argue that it’s King’s signature writing style, putting in random ellipses here and there, I’d argue that it’s simply slapdash writing. #74 is the story of Bruce crawling out of the pit—both literally and metaphorically. That was the set-up and the delivery. If it’s not Bruce that emerges, it’s a cheap twist, the cheapest twist imaginable. I wouldn’t put it past Tom “Swerve” King. But, Martín, it certainly would make a hell of a lot more sense as to how we go from #74 straight into City of Lame… er City of Bane.

      I’m waiting for the inevitable flashback issue that undoubtedly will cast light on what happened way down in the hole. If it ever comes, it won’t be too hard to shuffle things around. After all, King’s strong suit (if he even has one) was certainly never continuity. On first read, I myself stared at that final panel of #74 trying to determine WHOSE GLOVE COULD IT BE? We’ll find out one day soon enough. Thanks for your insight!

  10. diego2024 says:

    hello colin !! I am impressed by your talent to organize so many chronological data. Every day I visit this page (15-20 times a day), but I did not find an option to receive notifications for updates (my method is very silly … I inspect year by year) is there an option or something similar?

    If you saw any mistake in my text, it’s because … I’m Argentine haha

    • Hi Diego, thanks for visiting so often! I used to have a manual change-log on the site, but it was too difficult to keep up to date since changes happen a lot, so I scrapped it. I’ll look into change-log plug-ins for WordPress, but I’m not sure any of them are front-end facing. Plus, I’m hesitant to attach a third-party plug-in, because it could lead to site issues and glitches.

      I’ll look into a solution for this though. You certainly aren’t the first person to make this observation/request.

  11. Austin Eaton says:

    Hey, Colin. How’s it going? I’m sure you’ve already talked about this somewhere on the website, but how do we know that DC doesn’t operate on a sliding timescale like Marvel does where every four or so years is one year?

    • Hey Austin, there’s nothing concrete indicating DC has been using a sliding-timescale. In fact, last time DC definitively was using one (as could be gleaned via temporal info in the comics and by publisher interviews) was around 2002. But even then, DC’s use of Sliding-Time was different from Marvel’s, which, as you’ve noted quite correctly, always vaguely places everything in it’s past a set number of X years prior, keeping the overall Floating Timeline quite short. Since 1968, Marvel has operated with this type of sliding-timescale, one that constantly moves—instantly retconning all stories into reference material and ignoring topical references—to keep its shared-multiversial start date perpetually around 15 years prior to current ongoing publications. (Thus, the formula is really is close to every 4 years = 1 year in Marvel Comics.) In contrast, DC’s Floating Timelines always altered origin-points with exact specificity. While indeed “floating” like Marvel’s, they didn’t constantly float. Instead, they’d be editorially moved (sometimes officially but sometimes unofficially) every now and again, and really not that often.

      I think by 2011, DC was ready to float things again, but they decided for an all-out reboot instead. And since Rebirth turned out to be a legit reboot in 2017, DC’s primary continuity hasn’t really been “in-need” of a slide. We know DC isn’t using a sliding-timescale simply because every temporal reference in the Rebirth era seems to indicate that they aren’t.

      In fact, the very existence of my website is the ultimate case study for examining how DC doesn’t do Sliding-Time like Marvel does. I literally couldn’t do what I’ve done here if DC did. 😉

      • Austin Eaton says:

        So if this website was based around a Marvel character, how different would it be formatted?

        • It would merely be a “reading order list.” And summaries wouldn’t make mention of any dates, specificity, or topical/seasonal references. Basically, you couldn’t even begin to accurately gauge things year-to-year, season-through-season. It’s hard enough making sense of the history of the Robins in the various DCU chronologies, but it’s truly impossible for Marvel’s youth (Franklin Richards is the prime example), at least in regard to creating a timeline that has very specific dates.

  12. Antonio says:

    Hey Collin, Antonio here…
    Ok… what’s your feeling about Doomsday Clock now that’s coming close to an end? It just seems to me like a missed opportunity by Johns. The incredible delay from issue to issue didn’t help, but overall it just felt like a big mess to me.
    Plus… given what is currently happening to Lex on Justice League… how can that be related to what is happening in DClock? I mean… at this point, with all the Totality and stuff, Luthor should be well aware of alternate timelines, Manhattan and everything else.
    I don’t know… it seems like DClock is happening farther into the future than 2019… bah!

    What do you think is gonna happen in the last issue? Clark punching Manhattan, forcing him (or making him understand) to undo whay he’s done and… bam… what happens? Another reboot? The Kents are alive..? What?

    P.S.: I’ve heard rumors of a “Black Batman” in 2020… do you know anything about it?

    • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I truly enjoy Doomsday Clock and think it is one of the better titles that DC has had going recently. Fifty years ago DC’s characters discovered the multiverse, and they are finally discovering the metaverse. Pretty interesting (and novel) stuff. Now, the delays hurt. That’s undeniable. “Rebirth” as a legitimate reboot hurts too. Doomsday Clock is the perfect response to the New 52. The problem is: It’s merely an okay response to the Rebirth Era—and we are in the Rebirth Era now, not the New 52.

      A couple years ago, Dan DiDio and Jim Lee put a moratorium on using the Legion or JSA in any capacity until Doomsday Clock ended. Of course, Bendis and Snyder had already been promised they could use the Legion and JSA, respectively. When Doomsday Clock dragged a year—and then two years—past it’s projected solicitation end date, Bendis and Snyder couldn’t (or wouldn’t) hold back their stories any longer. That’s the rumbling on the web, anyway. To me, this is a failure of editorial more than anything else. Let’s get the damn book out on time. Your entire line’s continuity is at stake. You’ve made this arc THE MOST IMPORTANT arc in history, so let’s deliver. And if you fail to deliver on time, so god help you DO NOT allow your other writers to contradict this story. I repeat, DO NOT ALLOW! I mean, you’ve gone a few years already without the Legion. You can’t wait a few more months? And you’ve gone nearly a decade without the JSA! C’mon. I know the delays are terrible, but just chill and wait, okay?

      So, yeah, things are a mess right now, and I don’t know how they’ll explain things. Luthor has to return to his old life, which means a big status quo shift for him after Justice/Doom War. And, like you said, after both Superman (by Bendis) and Justice/Doom (by Snyder), the existence of the Legion and JSA shouldn’t be a new concept to anyone. So, what does this mean? It means we might have some serious fanwanking to do. Maybe no one will remember parts of Justice/Doom? Maybe it’ll be all about semantics—like the Justice/Doom JSA isn’t the real JSA, merely an alt-Hypertime JSA (which is what they appear to be anyway). This way, the revelation of the JSA having been a part of the true primary timeline’s history still gets to sorta kinda be a big revelation? The introduction of the Legion is truly premature though. Not sure about how they’ll handle that. Maybe they’ll be some alt-Legion too. After all, there were three Legions in the Modern Age. No matter the case, it seems to me that DiDio has really backed himself into a corner here.

      Doomsday Clock #11 (coming out tomorrow) is by far the clunkiest and temporally (chronally?) dubious of the Doomsday Clock issues thus far. And I still have no clue what’ll happen with Doomsday Clock #12. The prospect of another reboot is always there, but I don’t think it’ll necessarily happen. We might get some sort of soft continuity shift à la Infinite Crisis. After all, Johns did that one too.

      And I haven’t heard anything about Black Batman, but I welcome the change!

  13. Antonio says:

    Really? So, you’d like another person being Batman other than Bruce?
    Isn’t that idea a little bit old now?

    I love black characters (John Henry Irons being one of my favourites) but Batman must remain Bruce Wayne.

    Anyway, thank you for your answer about Doomsday Clock and its implications…

  14. Antonio says:

    Hey Collin, Antonio here… Sorry for bothering you once again.
    Ok, Questions.

    Since we witnessed Alfred’s death in COB, and since (pretty much confirmed) rumors say that he will stay dead (and one year from now Bruce will stay home with Selina, will be presumed dead himself by the JL and will be mentoring Luke Fox as the new -oh my God- PERMANENT Batman)… how in the world can Doomsday Clock be possible since Alfred is alive and well?

    Could it be that Doomsday Clock comes BEFORE the events of City Of Bane?

    Plus… I saw that you have put the Deadman/Ras story by Neal Adams in continuity, but don’t you thing that is a bit of a stretch? I mean… we’re talking about Neal Adams here… Has he ever written something canon about Batman in his life? Maybe in the 70’s… but still up for grabs.
    I’d say that story is out of con. Neal is out of con himself 🙂
    But, of course, you know better.
    P.S.: If Alfred really stays dead… what’s your take on that? I think that’d be the biggest change in a million years. But Alfred is too important of a character for Batman’s life. Like Lois for Superman. I mean… Snyder cutting his hand made people crazy about it… and now King killing him?
    Thank again.

    • You’ve been reading a lot of Bleeding Cool reports, eh? Like I always say, “we’ll see.” I’ll wait until the dust settles before I make any big moves. Time and comics have proven one constant: when you mix Geoff Johns, Dan DiDio, Scott Snyder, and Tom King… you can throw teamwork (i.e. continuity) out the window. And, if we are to believe Bleeding Cool, Alfred’s death wasn’t originally meant to stick—it was supposed to be a Psycho-Pirate mind-trick, nothing but mere illusion. AND THEN the brain trust decided, “hey, let’s actually kill Alfred.” As an afterthought. As a plot device, after the fact.

      Bring on the mess, I guess? And we already have the impatience of an entire publishing staff (combined with Gary Frank’s frustratingly slow-ass illustration) possibly forcing Doomsday Clock earlier, which would mean numerous continuity errors there as well—I’m looking at you Nightwing on Mars. Shouldn’t you be driving a taxi, Ric? Not to mention, shouldn’t Colonel—errr General—Sam Lane be in the hospital? Don’t worry though, I’m here to apply the ultimate fanwanks like I’ve always done. Where there’s nonsense and chaos, there’s sense to be mined, harvested, created, etc… But, like I said, I’d like to see more pieces of the puzzle on the table before I start trying to cram anything together.

      In regard to the madman Neal Adams, who, yes, truly lives on his own parallel universe: My aim when timeline-building has always been to attempt to rationalize everything that gets published onto a chronology—this includes the works of Neal Adams. Now, Odyssey (the ultimate bonkers head-trip) didn’t fit, that’s for certain. The Coming of the Superman… might? Geoff Johns was seemingly a fan of that one. Deadman Vol. 5, which links to Batman vs Ra’s al Ghul directly… who knows. There’s a fair chance I’ll remove Mr. Adams’ entire corpus soon enough. It’s already stretching continuity (and surreality) to the limit. Oh, in case you missed it, Alfred’s in Batman vs Ra’s al Ghul too LOL.

      • Antonio says:

        Yeah I’ve been reading a lot of BC reports 🙂 … and, boy, I hope they are wrong.
        I think, well, I KNOW that killing Alfred would be an incredibly dumb move. You create good stuff with good stories, not by killing main characters as an afterthought, as you said.

        The black Batman would be another example of that: how many times now has Bruce been supposed dead and replaced by another guy? Jean Paul, Dick… Is this something new to work with? Hell no!

        If really Doomsday Clock moves earlier than the current events on the main titles, well, I think DC needs to reconfigure its entire lineup, because that would be a mess nearly impossible to fix.

        We’ll see about the Neal Adams stuff. Still pretty sure you’ll have to remove it from continuity sooner than later.

        I really really hope Alfred doesn’t stay dead and Bruce will still be the one and only Batman. But as you said… those DC guys together in the same room deciding the fate of characters… it’s like having Trump and Johnson in the same room deciding the fate of humanity.
        You just can’t be optimistic about that.

  15. Austin Eaton says:

    I know this is one of those situations where ya gotta be careful with word of mouth and take it with a grain of salt, but Tom King said in a Tweet that in his upcoming Batman/Catwoman maxiseries he’s acting as if Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is canon. My first thought is “How does that work since Batman: Year Two is canon and Mask of the Phantasm is based on it?” Idk. I just figured I’d bring it to your attention.

    • Hey Austin, solicits came out for this a few months ago, I think. Pretty soon everything will be canon—in some way shape or form, of course. There are already like 13 Reapers in canon, so what’s one more LOL? I’m not opposed to canonizing everything (Morrison’s been doing it rather successfully for decades), but I will say there is definitely not that much space left in the early years. Year Zero, Year One, War of Jokes and Riddles, nearly every rogue’s debut, Robin’s training and debut, meeting Superman and WW, and much much more… these things populate Batman’s first two jam-packed years already.

  16. Austin Eaton says:

    Hey Colin, how’s it going? I wanna create my own DC Metaverse timeline so I was wondering if you simply have any recommended Comics to read that would give me some material. You already have a DC Multiverse timeline on Year Fifteen, which is amazing, but I wanna get into even more detail and events. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Just confirming, do you mean a TPB/major arc reading list for the entire DCU? I could cook something up for ya.

      Also, did you see Didio showed the pending NEW DCU Timeline at NY Comic Con yesterday? Looks like a MAJOR REBOOT is coming very soon…

  17. Austin Eaton says:

    Yeah, a major arc reading list would be great. Also, the most recent Green Lantern stories involving the history of the Maltusians and stories involving the Old Gods and whatnot. Like how the Witching Hour arc reveals Hecate’s history and Drowned Earth reveals history of Atlantis. I hope the New Timeline is more like a soft reboot, but Wonder Woman being the first superhero is a pretty significant change that’s definitely there just to capitalize off the movies.

    • I’ll see what I draft for you. Please give me a nudge if I haven’t done it in a week or so—my schedule is hella packed this month.

      Back to the new timeline—it looks to be about as soft as a bed of tempered nails. Dick debuts as Robin in Year 3, JL debut is Year 4, Crisis on Infinite Earths is Year 15, Wonder Woman being around as early as WWI, Steph as an ex-Robin again, etc… Also, if we are to believe the new timeline, Batman and Superman will currently be in their 35th active year as of 2020, meaning they’ll both be in their 50s! Is Damian in his late 20s then? I know it hasn’t been officially released yet, but I’m scratching my head here. It doesn’t make sense, so I must be reading it wrongly. In any case, it all seems a bit insane—the very antithesis of what DC should be doing to produce a line that makes cohesive sense.

      Bleeding Cool is also reporting that DC higher-ups are flummoxed about how to handle the Doomsday Clock situation. The entire line was meant to have dovetailed with Doomsday Clock A YEAR AGO. Snyder and Bendis clearly delayed their story-arcs for as long as they could in a vain attempt to give Johns the room he needed, but an extra 12 months was impossible to grant. So instead of having Doomsday Clock reintroduce both the JSA and Legion and then lead directly to Snyder’s use of the JSA and Bendis’ use of the Legion, you have them both moving forward anyway, which now leaves Doomsday Clock in a continuity quagmire. Everyone—Didio, Johns, Snyder, Bendis—shit the bed here. I’m curious to see how they try to reconcile everything. December/January are going to be veeeeeerrry interesting.

      • Austin Eaton says:

        Not to rush you or anything but I was wondering how’s the project you were doing for me going?

        • Hey Austin,

          I haven’t had any time to work on any special projects lately, but I promise I will get to it in the coming weeks. Feel free to give me another nudge if need be.


          • Austin Eaton says:

            Have you started that project?

            • Hey Austin, thus far, by combing through my site and by cribbing off the amazing resources that are Trade Reading Order and Comic Reading Orders, I’ve assembled a master list of 200 trade paperbacks/essentials from the dawn of Batman up to present day—a “metaverse” list, if you will. If you are looking for a more detailed list with specific arcs/titles, especially in the Golden, Silver, and Bronze eras, let me know. That is going to take a little more work.

              The Batman Chronicles Vol. 1-2
              Batman: The Dark Knight Archives Vol. 1
              Batman Archives Vol. 1-2
              The Batman Chronicles Vol. 3-4
              All Star Comics Archives Vol. 1
              Batman: The Dark Knight Archives Vol. 2-3
              The Batman Chronicles Vol. 5-6
              Batman Archives Vol. 3-4
              The Batman Chronicles Vol. 7-8
              Batman: The Dark Knight Archives Vol. 4-6
              The Batman Chronicles Vol. 9-10
              Batman: The World’s Finest Comics Archives Vol. 1-2
              Batman: The Dark Knight Archives Vol. 7
              Batman Archives Vol. 5-6
              The Robin Archives Vol. 1-2
              Batman In The Forties
              Batman Archives Vol. 7
              World’s Finest Comics Archives Vol. 1-2
              Justice League Of America Archives Vol. 1-3
              The Brave And The Bold Team-Up Archives Vol. 1
              Justice League Of America Archives Vol. 4-5
              Batman: The Dynamic Duo Archives Vol. 1-2
              Showcase Presents: World’s Finest Vol. 1-2
              Showcase Presents: The Justice League of America Vol. 2
              Showcase Presents: Batman Vol. 1
              Crisis on Multiple Earths Vol. 1
              The Brave And The Bold Team-Up Archives Vol. 1
              Showcase Presents: Batman Vol. 1
              The Silver Age Teen Titans Archives Vol. 1
              Justice League Of America Archives Vol. 6-8
              Batman Illustrated by Neal Adams Vol. 1-3
              Batman in The Sixties
              Justice League Of America Archives Vol. 9
              Crisis on Multiple Earths Vol. 2
              Jack Kirby’s Fourth World Omnibus Vol. 1-4
              Deadman: The Deadman Collection
              Showcase Presents: Batgirl
              Batman: The Saga of Ra’s Al Ghul / Tales of the Demon
              Crisis on Multiple Earths Vol. 3-5
              Batman In The Seventies
              Huntress: Dark Knight Daughter
              Batman: Strange Apparitions
              The New Teen Titans Archives Vol. 1-2
              Crisis on Infinite Earths
              —Batman Year One by Miller/Mazzucchelli
              —Batman & The Monster Men by Wagner
              —Prey by Moench/Gulacy
              —Batman & The Mad Monk by Wagner
              —The Man Who Laughs
              —Shaman by O’Neil/Hannigan
              —The Long Halloween by Loeb/Sale
              —Dark Victory by Loeb/Sale
              —Dark Detective by Englehart/Rogers (aka Strange Apparitions)
              —Justice League International Vol. 1 by Giffen/MacGuire
              —Ten Nights of the Beast
              —Arkham Asylum by Morrison
              —Justice League International Vol. 2
              —Cosmic Odyssey by Starlin/Mignola
              —Killing Joke by Moore/Bolland
              —A Death in the Family by Starlin/Aparo
              —Birth of the Demon
              —Vengeance of Bane
              —Knightfall/Knight’s End
              —JLA: New World Order by Morrison
              —JLA: American Dreams by Morrison
              —JLA: Earth-2 by Morrison/Quitely
              — “No Man’s Land” (the government declares Gotham a wasteland, cut-off from the rest of society)
              — “Bruce Wayne: Murderer/Fugitive” (Bruce is framed for murder)
              — “Hush” (introduction of Hush)
              — “War Games” (crime war involving Black Mask, Stephanie Brown as Robin)
              —Identity Crisis
              —The OMAC Project
              — “Under the Hood” (Jason Todd returns)
              —Infinite Crisis
              — “Black Case Book” (beginning of Grant Morrison run)
              — “Batman and Son” (introduction of Damian aka Bruce’s son with Talia)
              — “Batman RIP” (the final Bruce Wayne story-arc before Final Crisis where he “dies”)
              —Final Crisis
              —Batman & Robin: Batman Reborn
              —The Return of Bruce Wayne
              —Batman Incorporated Vol. 1
              —Batman Incorporated Vol. 2
              DC Comics: The New 52
              Batman: Volume 4-5: Zero Year: Secret City/Dark City
              Justice League: Volume 1: Origin
              Batman: Volume 1: The Court of Owls
              Batman: Detective Comics: Volume 1: Faces of Death
              Batwoman: Volume 1: Hydrology
              Batman and Robin: Volume 1: Born to Kill
              Batman: The Dark Knight: Volume 1: Knight Terrors
              Justice League: Volume 2: The Villain’s Journey
              Batman: The Night of the Owls / City of Owls
              Batman: Detective Comics: Volume 2: Scare Tactics
              Batman and Robin: Volume 2: Pearl
              Batman: The Dark Knight: Volume 2: Cycle of Violence
              Justice League: Volume 3: Throne of Atlantis
              Batman: Volume 3: Death of the Family
              Batman and Robin: Volume 3: Death of the Family
              Batman Incorporated: Volume 1-2: Demon Star / Gotham’s Most Wanted
              Batman: Detective Comics: Volume 3: Emperor Penguin
              Batman and Robin: Volume 4: Requiem for Damian
              Batman: The Dark Knight: Volume 3: Mad
              Batwoman: Volume 4: This Blood Is Thick
              Justice League: Trinity War
              Justice League: Volume 4: The Grid
              Forever Evil / Forever Evil: Arkham War
              Batman/Superman: Volume 1: Cross World
              Batman: The Dark Knight: Volume 4: Clay
              Justice League: Volume 5: Forever Heroes
              Batman/Superman: Volume 2: Game Over
              Batman and Robin: Volume 5: The Big Burn
              Batman: Eternal: Volume 1
              Future’s End: Volume 1
              Superman Unchained
              Justice League: Volume 6: Injustice League
              Batman: Volume 6
              Batman/Superman: Volume 3
              Batman: Detective Comics: Volume 6: Icarus
              Batman and Robin: Volume 6: The Hunt for Robin
              Grayson: Volume 1
              Batman: Eternal: Volume 2
              Gotham Academy: Volume 1
              Justice League of America: Power & Glory
              Batman: Endgame
              We are Robin / Robin War
              Batman: Superheavy
              Justice League: Darkseid War
              Gotham Academy: Volume 2: Second Semester
              Batman/Superman: The Final Days of Superman
              DC Universe: Rebirth
              Batman: The War of Jokes & Riddles
              All-Star Batman: The Cursed Wheel
              Justice League: The Extinction Machines
              Batman: I am Gotham
              Detective Comics: Rise of the Batmen
              Batman: Night of the Monster Men
              Detective Comics: The Victim Syndicate
              Batman: I am Suicide
              Batman: Rooftops
              Trinity: Better Together
              Justice League of America: The Extremists
              Batman: I am Bane
              All-Star Batman: My Own Worst Enemy
              Detective Comics: Batwoman Begins
              All-Star Batman: Ends of the Earth
              Detective Comics: League of Shadows
              Superman Reborn
              Superman: Black Dawn
              Justice League: Legacy
              The Button
              All-Star Batman: The First Ally
              Justice League of America: Panic in the Microverse!
              Detective Comics: Intelligence
              Deathstroke vs Batman
              Detective Comics: A Lonely Place of Living
              Milk Wars
              Batman: Superfriends
              Dark Nights: Metal
              Detective Comics: Fall of the Batmen
              Super Sons of Tomorrow
              Batman: Everyone Loves Ivy
              Detective Comics: Batmen Eternal
              Justice Leauge: The People vs The Justice League
              Justice League of America: Dawn of Time
              Justice Leauge: Justice Lost
              Batman: The Best Man
              Batwoman: Fall of the House of Kane
              Justice League: No Justice
              Detective Comics: On the Outside
              Batman Vol. 3 #50
              Batman: Cold Days
              Batman Universe
              Flash: Flash War
              Heroes in Crisis
              Batman: Beasts of Burden
              Batman/Flash: The Price
              Justice League: Totality
              Justice League/Aquaman: Drowned Earth
              Justice League: Escape from Hawkworld
              Detective Comics: Mythology
              Justice League: The Sixth Dimension
              Event Leviathan
              Justice League: Apex Predator
              The Batman Who Laughs: Laughing House
              Batman and The Outsiders: Lesser Gods
              Detective Comics: Cold Dark World
              Batman/Superman: Who are the Secret Six?
              Batman: The Tyrant Wing
              Batman: Knightmares
              Batman: The Fall and the Fallen
              Batman: City of Bane
              Justice League: Justice/Doom War
              Doomsday Clock

  18. Austin Eaton says:

    Take as much time as you need. The surprising thing about the timeline to me is if Superman and Batman do end up in their 50s since DC has always been against their characters aging. The funny thing about Doomsday Clock is I’m trying to remain hopeful it’ll still have big consequences, which is very appropriate since a part of the story is hope vs pessimism.

  19. Antonio says:

    Well, it appears the definitive timeline will be split into 4 Generations. Superman and Batman debuted in Generation 2. Go figure…

    Collin, I can’t see the Neal Adams crazy stuff on the timeline anymore… did you eventually remove it? Also Batman vs TMNT III… did you move it back on the timeline?

    Thank you.

    • Yeah, sure smells like a major reboot. Interesting times ahead.

      I removed the Neal Adams stuff (Deadman and Ra’s vs Batman) for now. Although, the latest issue implies that Batman is stuck in some sort of hallucinogenic magick simulation while there are multiple doppelgängers of the Bat-Family running loose. Not that this leans us any closer to canon. After all, this is bonkers to the max Neal Adams shit here. I’d love to add this Adams’ run back in, but I won’t force a square peg into a round hole.

      Batman/TMNT III got moved back to a place where the Bat-Family was still all chill with one another, where Nightwing was actually Nightwing, and where Tim was still RED Robin.

      • Antonio says:

        It looks like DC is trying to implement the idea that “everything is canon”. So, Golden Age is canon, Silver Age is canon, Bronze Age is canon… and so on. Morrison did pretty much the same with his Batman’s run.
        I don’t necessarily dislike the idea, but having both Clark and Bruce in their mid 50’s seems a bit of a stretch. And, furthermore, I don’t like when a timeline becomes to compressed.
        We’ll see.
        Certainly I want Alfred back. Still think that this is going to be a huge mistake, like splitting Lois & Clark in the new 52.
        No Clark without Lois. No Bruce without Alfred.

        With the new “4 Generations” timeline coming soon and the new Batman approaching (oh my God) you could make a highly definitive timeline… God help you! :-))))

  20. Antonio says:

    Sorry for posting so much Collin and bothering you… but if Doomsday Clock is to be considered as out of con, how do we explain now what happened to Jor-El? Who took him before the explosion of Krypton? And that’s just one of the million questions one could ask out of Johns’s book.
    The new 52 timeline is not even worth mentioning because they are erasing it completely from any timeline, as if it never happened in any form… that’s what I heard.

  21. diego2024 says:

    Hello Collin!! I was reading the comments and they mention the DC timeline revealed “accidentally” in the New York CC. I read that… and I don’t dislike it, but I definitely don’t love it!! ¿Will it affect your work here if this timeline is declared “official”? for example ¿would there be modifications to the New52 and Rebirh lines, etc? ¿Or will you leave them unchanged?

    • Hey Diego. If a primary universe gets modified to such an extent as is hinted at in Didio’s new timeline, then we’d have to call it a reboot, no? Just like before, I wouldn’t erase any timelines. If it looks like the Rebirth Era is coming to an end come X-mas time (and it certainly does, then that means we’d have to move onto a new timeline. So that will definitely affect my work here. I won’t speculate too much yet, though. We’ll just wait and see…

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